In the rarefied world of supercars, one has to go to extremes to stand out. Italian niche automaker Covini Engineering has gone one – actually two – better with the outrageous, astonishing and innovative Covini C3A, the world's only 6-wheeled supercar.
Conceived way back in the mid-1970s and inspired by the groundbreaking Tyrell P34 Formula One race car (above), Ferruccio Covini's concept was stalled by the same factor that compromised the Tyrell P34: a lack of low-profile tires. Once such tires became readily available, however, the blueprints were dusted off and the Covini C6W began to take shape.
By 2004, the wraps were taken off the prototype C6W and a year later a slightly revised version made its debut at the Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sporting a new sextet of custom alloy wheels, a stronger roof structure and a more ergonomic (and luxurious) interior, the vehicle was given a new designation, the Covini C3A 3-Axis, and the firm began taking orders. Covini Engineering (in partnership with PMI) then began production strictly limited to under 10 cars annually.
Like its road-racing inspiration, the Covini C3A features smaller sized wheels and tires in front matched with larger counterparts in back: spec-wise that translates to four Anterra 15” alloy wheel shod with 205/45 tires up front and a pair of 20” rims sporting 345/25 tires at the rear. Stopping power is provided by front and rear vented Brembo discs supplemented by Bosch servo and electronic brake distribution.
Power comes courtesy of a rear-mounted, naturally-aspirated, 349hp Audi V8 engine displacing 4200cc that gives the vehicle a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h). Weighing in at 2,535 lbs, the Covini C3A is rated at 7.3 lbs per hp. Perhaps surprisingly, the powerplant is paired with an electric motor making it a hybrid... Prius-owners may commence drooling now!
The Covini C3A offers many other features of note including a tubular-steel chassis, mixed fiberglass and carbon-fiber body panels, and a retractable plastic hardtop. For a full list of tech specs on this distinctive vehicle, check out the entry at Serious Wheels.
Potential buyers may opt for either a roadster version or a track version, the Covini Speedster. According to Covini's website, the C3A is “The only 6 wheeler supercar, completely bespoke, customisable, and with individual production number and name.” Don't you wish it had your name on it?