The K-1 Attack is one Slovakian’s vision of a hunkered down, slash-cut, sexed-up, air-scooped atomic-bombed crustacean, and you either buy it or you don’t. We do. The K-1 Attack has got it all going on, but at a stiff price.
The Slovak in question, Dick Kvet?anský, started K-1 Styling & Tuning (now called K-1 Engineering) in the suburbs of Bratislava around 1990 to produce fiberglass faux-exotic body kits for the GM F-body Chevy Camaro/Pontiac Firebird. The kits included the Turborossa (Ferrari quickly sued), the K-25 Anniversary (a Countach knockoff), and the Evoluzione, which perhaps avoided legal trouble because it blended Ferrari themes with those of other cars, including the C4 Corvette and Huggy Bear’s pimpmobile.
After all that, the Attack was K-1′s next project, and a great leap forward it was. Styled by Kvet?anský’s pal Juraj Mitro, the Attack is a two-seat roadster—there’s no top—built on its own steel-tube space frame and clad in a stiletto-shaped fiberglass body with Lamborghini-style scissors doors (motorization is an option) and a carbon-fiber belly pan. Except for a few Grand Canyon-sized panel gaps, the whole car has the highly teased styling and factory-finished polish of an auto-show concept car.
Much of the credit for that goes to Jay King at Ultimate Kit Builders in Danbury, Connecticut, who took over the build of this car from a distraught customer and had war stories to tell of hieroglyphic instructions, ill-fitting parts, and missing vitals such as the emergency brake, which King fabricated from scratch (builders can exchange info at the K-1 forum www.attackforums.com). Still, King became so enamored with the Attack that he signed up to be the U.S. distributor and is currently in negotiations with K-1 to buy the tooling and make the kits for the U.S. market.
The engine and the front suspension of a front-drive car are grafted, struts and all, onto the rear quarter of the K-1 behind the cockpit. In Europe, the preference is for 2.5-liter V-6 Ford Mondeo units; however, our test car had a 220-hp, 2.2-liter Honda H22A four-cylinder from a circa-1995 Japanese domestic-market Prelude hooked to a five-speed manual from a 1998 Accord. The front suspension is K-1′s own design, using pyramid-shaped control arms levered on inboard Audi shock absorbers. The shocks poke through holes in the nose cone, allowing the driver to watch the front suspension twitch and spasm as the 18-inch Moda wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires (225/40 front, 275/35 rear) roll over bumps.
Neon-blue Dakota Digital gauges and hard-shell seats sporting a funky dog’s-paw-pad arrangement augment the car’s futuristic weirdness. But the Attack is unexpectedly comfortable and capable on the road. The dynamics are well sorted, with the mid-engine layout, quick steering, and competent suspension tune keeping it stable and stuck in corners up to 0.95 g on the skidpad. The body roll is restrained, and the chassis swallows road blight without shedding pieces, not always a given in kit cars. Except for some slop in the pedals, the Attack’s overall sophistication is surprising.
The basic Attack kit is $25,000, which buys the frame, the unpainted body shell, a big baggie of unmarked fasteners, and a couple years’ worth of headaches. If King’s deal happens, the Attack will sell for $45,000 as an assembled and unpainted rolling chassis with the major problems sorted. King, whose main business is tuning Japanese cars, figures a fully finished Attack will attack its owner’s wallet for at least $75,000, or up to $100,000 for a supercharged version making 300 horsepower.
The 2369-pound Attack sheared one of its relatively new aftermarket half-shafts after just a few charges up the drag strip. Bad metallurgy was the possible culprit. The 60-mph run in 7.0 seconds and the quarter in 15.3 seconds at 89 mph might have been fleeter were there more time to discover the best launch technique. In almost every other aspect, the Attack is hard to assail except on price, which at least purchases absolute novelty, something that is rarely cheap.