It has been a while since I last posted something here on my blog. A lot has changed, a new pope has been chosen, political leaders have passed and after the Geneva motor show three super car manufacturers flexed their muscles and showed us what they are made of.With them, there is a fourth who showed off the tech in 2010. Two from Italy, one from England and the last from Germany.
Ferrari had us waiting the longest to show the car, just throwing teasers every now and again and only showing the car when they wanted it revealed. Are the Ferrari staff that good at keeping secrets? Jaguar land rover take note.
Nonetheless, Ferrari laferrari is here. I don’t particularly care for the name or the front end of this car, but looking through its specs makes it quite a contender for the top prize. In their official press release, Ferrari stated that this is the ultimate Ferrari, and is the epitome of the brand and so will the be called ‘The Ferrari’.
I have always felt that styling falls behind air flow in the design of an anniversary Ferrari; and this one is the same. The front end still looks like a test mule, but the side and rear views are stunning. To be fair most drivers will only catch a glimpse of the rear of the motor and not much else.
It has a 6.3l naturally aspirated V12 allowing the engine to redline at a healthy 9,250RPM helped along with a 163hp electric motor gives this monster a whopping 963bhp and 715 ft pounds of torque. It was expected that the car can hit 0-60 in under 3seconds but the surprise is 0-125 time which is sub 7seconds. This is the first production Ferrari to be fitted with F1 style HY-KERS system allowing the batteries to be charged through regenerative braking. Even though this car has a battery pack, this is no ordinary hybrid where the engine cuts in and out. Ferrari felt that the engine was the whole part of the experience so the electric motor is there to boost the engine.
The other Italian is Lamborghini.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Lamborghini did what they do best. Come out with a radical car. Presenting the Veneno. Named after a bull which gorged a matador in 1914, this Le Mans styled road legal car which is Aventador based, looks simply insane. Only three have been made, priced at over £2.5 million and have all been sold. It has a 6.5l naturally aspirated V12 pushing out 740BHP. This is not a car which has any electric motors, just insane amounts of power put down on the road via all four wheels.
The car presented at the motor show, had accents of the Italian Flag, however the 3 made will have red, white or green accents. As a car, the underpinnings have been tried and tested through the Aventador and to save a little more weight, the men at Lamborghini used Carbon enhanced plastic panels instead of the mix of aluminium and carbon.
A British hyper car manufacturer celebrating its 50th anniversary, who has only been known for its F1 success and the car it was named after. More recently, the MP4-12C was launched and now we have a new car. The P1. Displayed in Mclaren Burnt Orange, we already knew what it was going to look like as test mules had been sighted all over England. This car is a looker from every angle as you may have already seen.
Different from the Italians, this car has a twin turbo 3.8L V8 with a similar hybrid set up to the Ferrari’s. Combined the engine and electric motor will churn out just over 900BHP and 633 foot pounds of torque. Taking engineering cues from Formula 1, the P1 has DRS style flap to increase downforce under braking. Even though this is one of my favourites of the four, I do not think people will appreciate that the underpinnings to this £866,000 limited to 375 examples, hyper car is its baby brother, the MP4-12C.
By far the most anticipated (or forgotten) super car is the Porsche 918 spyder.
This car is an engineers dream. A car with over 800BHP, 575 foot pounds of torque but returns over 70 miles to the gallon. Sub 100g/km CO2. Dizzying numbers. The testing that has gone into this car is immense. It was teased in 2010, and will be released some time soon. that’s just under three years of road testing. This is no ordinary Porsche, it is a naturally aspirated 4.8l V8 coupled with two electric motors. One of which powers the front wheels whilst the other powers the rear wheels and helps the engine. Here we have an all wheel drive car with four-wheel steering. There is so much tech on this car, it is engineering genius. At low speeds the rear wheels turn in an opposite direction to the front wheels allowing tighter cornering. At higher speeds, this steering turns with the front wheels giving the car more stability when reaching its maximum of 202mph.
Back to those electric motors, this is only one out of the four that starts in ‘electric mode’ allowing you to drive silently for 15 miles up to 100mph, where you can flip the switch and allow the engine to help in ‘hybrid mode’ focusing on economy and battery range. ‘Sport hybrid’ mode is more aggressive and keeping the engine running constantly, which I think most people will keep it on. Then there is ‘Race Hybrid’ which uses the batteries to give extra grunt to the engine and also ‘Hot Lap’ which uses all power reserves to give the driver that little bit extra when racing against the clock. Price of this piece of wizardry – £650,000.
All four of these cars cost over half a million pounds, and all run in limited numbers. Who will be crowned champion? Only time will tell. I rule the Veneno out of the race as its more of a museum piece seeing only three will ever be made. The Porsche is looking to be the future of motoring, but will be a rare sight. So I believe it will fall to the mighty Ferrari and Mclaren to battle it out.