Words: Kristie Real
Photos: Brian McGee
Anyone who was a fan of the import scene in the early 1990s and 2000s might recall the Black Widow series of body kits by Ground Designs 2000, owned by Ivan Tampi, which adorned many Honda and Toyota sport compacts of the period. Then there was the Black Widow Ford Mustang body kit that led to a collaboration with Ford, as Tampi was given the chance to transform a few of their vehicles for promotional purposes. Created by Tampi in an age where imports reigned supreme, his success turned out to be his downfall, as everyone started to copy his kits, forcing Ivan to take a sabbatical from the industry he loved so much to re-evaluate his goals.
But after seven years away, it was time for Tampi to make his comeback, choosing the 2014 SEMA Show to debut his new widebody kit for the BMW Z4. At the show, he noticed the allure of the, then, freshly redesigned 2014 Corvette and was inspired to create a new kit that would accentuate the body lines while providing an eye-catching mod. “I have a background in Mustangs and created a rendering that blended features of both for the current model Corvette, placed it on social media and had an amazing response,” he details. With so much interest in his render, Tampi spent the following year hard at work to finish three examples of his XIK Wide Body kit before the next SEMA show.
“Nothing compares to my craftsmanship and I do the entire installation on my own. I’m a one-man-shop building kits ranging from $30k up to $100k.”
“I try to make it more like a supercar than a sports car,” he notes about his design process. With only 100 kits available to create a sense of exclusivity, Tampi is currently on No. 13. “I’ve built Corvettes for all sorts of owners from different states and I do each one individually by hand from carbon fiber replacement parts that I fabricate myself. Nothing compares to my craftsmanship and I do the entire installation on my own. I’m a one-man-shop building kits ranging from $30k up to $100k.”
His XIK kit is a hand-laid carbon fiber package that is a direct bolt-on to the factory mounts, consisting of 15 pieces that he molds entirely on his own. It plays off of the already prominent body lines the C7 features, drastically widening its lines for a sleeker, yet more aggressive, look. “My kit is 8” wider in the rear than a stock Stingray and 4” wider in the front, providing an imposing stance for the Corvette,” he explains. The entire kit includes a new front bumper, front bumper bottom spoiler, front fenders, side skirts, rear quarter panels, rear spoiler wing, rear bumper and rear bottom splitter.
As the demand for his body kits have grown, Tampi is looking to expand into a larger facility and pass down his knowledge to a few chosen participants. The XIK kit for the Corvette is just the first step in his journey towards more exotic aspirations, as he looks forward to restyling some of today’s more popular rides. By year’s end, he’ll have new kits for the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Lamborghini Huracan so be on the lookout!
The green beast you see in the feature is just one example of how his XIK kit looks like at full potential. Although he does offer a la carte body kit options, this green number is fitted with the works! Not only does it feature his grand kit, but special BASF paint, A&A Corvette (Vortech) supercharger, a Borla exhaust, Roloface big brake kit and some APR carbon fiber accessories. “My client was a former conditioning coach with the Seattle Seahawks who saw my work at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show and fell in love with my previous Corvette models,” he describes. “His Corvette features more than $100K in mods, measuring up there with my own Corvette as my best work!”
TECH SPECS : XIK C7 CORVETTE
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
- 20×10 front and 21×14 rear Kompression Forged KCV-500 wheels
- 285/25R20 front and 355/25R21 rear Pirelli P Zero Nero tires
- Rolloface Big Brake kit
- Limited Edition XIK Widebody Kit C7 No. 8 of 100
- XIK GT style wing
- APR fender vents
- APR quarter panel vents
- APR side mirror w/ bottom carbon fiber overlay
- APR exhaust heat shield
- APR tail light bezel
- Custom front grill powder coated stainless steel
- A&A Corvette Performance (Vortech) supercharger system
- Borla long tube headers
- Borla X-Pipe
- Borla headers adaptor
- Borla mufflers
- Custom lowering kit