As others have pointed out, you could buy a ListerBell Stratos or a Hawk HF 3000 for about $36,000 and revel in the knuckle-busting joy of building it yourself. But the Earth is awash in money — it's said that China mints a new billionaire every three days — so we don't expect MAT Stratos buyers to worry about such either/or scenarios and comparison shopping.
When the New Stratos drove its blunt black wedge into our hearts in 2010, it did so because it was practically, well, practical. Sure, birthing a New Stratos required euthanizing a healthy Ferrari F430, but that was a trifle for the chance to own limited-edition fabulousness. Relatively speaking, the investment bankers now bogarting supercars didn't lust after the F430, and the Stratos' rough MSRP of €400,000 ($540,000 at the time) — which included the price of the donor car — didn't compel anyone to pop Prinivil.
Now that MAT requires one of the 1,200 F430 Scuderias that Ferrari originally made, instead of a standard F430, the price and the specs have gone up. The MAT Stratos shortens the wheelbase by nearly eight inches, moves the radiators, and changes the 4.3-liter V8's intake and exhaust to goose horsepower from 510 hp to 540 hp. Buyers can run the dyno up to 600 hp if they pay for a tuned ECU and other mechanical changes. A six-speed sequential transmission turns that engine wail into tire squeals.
With a stated production cap of 25 cars, MAT says customers have already ordered 12. The production version of the daily driver version will go on display at the Geneva Motor Show next month, flanked by renderings of the GT race car and Safari models. And perhaps a sign that says, "Bring money."