Tony O'Kane | May 28, 2008

An initiative of the Thai-based composites manufacturer Cobra International (how's that for an ominous sounding business name!), the Scuderia Bizzarrini P538 features a carbon-composite chassis, 7-litre LS7 V8 and the same six-speed sequential gearbox as the Pagani Zonda and Koenigsegg CCX. It's easy enough to get excited by just looking at its spec sheet, but once you glance at the beautiful roadster bodywork they've decided to cover those impressive mechanicals with, one can't help but salivate involuntarily.

Styled by German designer Stefan Schultze and Italian design legend Giotto Bizzarrini, the body is a sublime blend of modern edges and classic, shapely curves. Bizzarrini's influence is immediately apparent: he designed the Ferrari 250 GTO as well as the original P538, which this modern incarnation clearly pays homage to.

While the overall shape remains similar to its progenitor, Cobra International's take on the P538 features a completely different mechanical package. Gone is the Lamborghini-sourced V12, instead a 500+hp LS7 V8 now lurks under the rear deck - with a Lingenfelter twin-turbo LS that's good for 1000hp being on the option list for more suicidal owners. A Cima sequential six-speed is bolted up to the Chevrolet V8 and sends power to the rear wheels, while an AP Racing clutch is sandwiched between the two.

Penske dampers and Alcon brakes help the P538 get around bends, while a Recaro racing bucket holds you firmly while clipping those apexes. If you think the cut-down windshield of the roadster will only serve to direct flying insects into your face while out blasting through mountain switchbacks, don't worry - a carbon-fibre removable hardtop will also be available.

Cobra International have not mentioned price as yet, but it will be exclusive: only 100 P538s will be built over four years. A prototype is due to be revealed at the Nardo circuit in Italy in November, but until then feel free to ogle the computer-generated renderings of the P538 below.

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