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How the Lazareth Wazuma Works

        Auto | Unusual Cars

Wazuma Variants
The Wazuma V8F Matt Edition is characterized by a flat black exterior.
The Wazuma V8F Matt Edition is characterized by a flat black exterior.
Courtesy of Lazareth Auto Moto

The Wazuma platform is currently available in three versions, carefully configured to appeal to a range of customers. Behold:

The original Yamaha R1-based Wazuma is available in a 100-horsepower version in France and Europe (the United Arab Emirates version is tuned to 178-horsepower). It's basically a motorcycle that's been liberated from its origins, rearranged, and stuffed into a cartoonish custom fiberglass and carbon quad frame, anchored to the ground by four 18-inch wheels (8 inches wide in the front, 10 inches wide in back). Even the brakes are cribbed from the Yamaha R1. It has serious power, even if it looks like a ridiculously proportioned riding lawn mower, and can be had for about 50,000 Euros (about $65,000 USD).

The Bio V12 is composed of a Wazuma platform stuffed with a 500-horsepower supercharged BMW drivetrain. Yeah, we've seen this kind of thing before, and we'll see it again. What makes the Bio V12 a little more notable is the "bio" factor -- Lazareth engineered this quad to run on E85 ethanol instead of gasoline. It might seem like innovation purely for innovation's sake. The more cynical might suggest it's simply an excuse for self-righteous chest-puffery...but why bother? A few recreational vehicles running ethanol won't go far toward canceling out the damage of others. So maybe it's just a happy coincidence that ethanol has a higher octane rating than everyday gasoline, allowing Lazareth to tune the engine for higher compression, which results in more powerful engine performance. If you're in the market for a quad and want an excuse to feel a bit better about it, just write a check for 200,000 Euros (or about $280,000 USD).

And the latest Wazuma, the V8F, mates a Ferrari V-8 (hence the "V8F") engine to a 6-speed BMW M3 transmission. Push buttons in the handlebars control the shifting to help the rider make the best use of the available 250-horsepower engine mounted between the front wheels. (Would an actual clutch/throttle shifting setup prove to be too distracting?) A set of 12.8-inch Brembo brakes (the same kind found on many high-end sports cars) helps ground the corners to a stop. So what kind of machine does this add up to? Well, it weighs half as much as a Chevy Cruze but costs more than an Audi R8 Spyder (which of course also has the benefits of an actual car). For all that, you might think the Wazuma V8F should be able to top 150 miles per hour (241.4 kilometers per hour)...but Lazareth is clearly too smart to kill off its customer base. The V8F also comes in a Matt Edition, characterized by a flat black exterior. Flat black may be on its way out (at least in the sport compact world), but things work a little differently when it comes to exotics -- the distinctive satiny sheen of a flat black finish lends an interesting angle to the Wazuma, aggressive yet somehow elegant. The V8F also sells for about 200,000 Euros.