Remember the ludicrously fast rocket-powered Bloodhound car? Years in the making, its creators are hoping not just to beat the current land speed record, but crush it with a 1,000-mph speed--and the Bloodhound is taking another step toward that goal as construction formally begins this week.
The Detroit Auto Show is kicking off this morning, and the first big news from the showroom is the Porsche 918 RSR, a hybrid supercar that not only takes design cues from sexy predecessors like the 911, the 908, and of course the 918 Spyder, but that churns out a whopping 767 horsepower between its gasoline and electric-powered motors.
If you're of the mind that consuming natural resources for anything but the basic needs of civilization – sustenance and the like – is irredeemably decadent, log off now and go aerate a compost heap or dig a well for a needy village. The Bentley Continental GT Supersports is definitely not your bag of soy.
On the other hand, if you think it possible – by way of octane-rich biofuel – to reconcile massive, brain-pan-sloshing displays of horsepower and torque with a reduction in carbon emissions while keeping a straight face, then by all means read on.
With a top speed of 155 mph and 0-60 acceleration in under four seconds, the e2's performance is nothing to scoff at (for an EV especially).
No sooner does Tesla announce that it's expanding its vision to include minivans and crossovers, e-Wolf unveils an EV supercar that’s so sporty we’ve forgotten what Tesla’s Roadster even looks like. With a top speed of 155 miles per hour and a 0-60 acceleration that clocks in under four seconds, it has the performance to (somewhat) match its Italian playboy good looks, and its all-wheel drive (each wheel is powered by an independent electric motor) should be able to keep all 2,000 pounds of it on the road.
The Gumpert Apollo Speed may be uglier than a naked mole rat (please, don't Google the rat, trust me), but it's also ridiculously fast. So fast, indeed, that the Apollo this week set the fastest lap time of any production car around German's legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife. Why does that matter? It proves some people will never stop manipulating physics for purposes of speed, no matter how much time others spend on fuel efficiency. Twenty-six-year-old racing driver Florian Gruber did the lap in 7:11.57, taking a 10-second bite out of the Dodge Viper's record of 7:22.1.
In an interview with Germany's Automobilewoche trade paper, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann says the Audi-owned sports car maker will launch a hybrid model by 2015. Surprising news for a company whose V10 and V12 engines are best known for converting large quantities of premium unleaded into blazing speed? Not really. Officials from rival Ferrari have said, as often as anyone will listen, that a hybrid Ferrari is on the way -- the exact same year. What a coincidence.
There's nothing like the curves of a new Ferrari to bring optimism back to the table. Ferrari today revealed its latest V8-powered sports car, the 458 Italia. The new model will succeed the current V8 hottie, the F430. Sporting a sexy new design by long-time Ferrari styling partner Pininfarina, the 458 Italia gets a new, high-compression 4.5-liter V8 producing 570 horsepower and 398 pounds-feet of torque. Top Speed: 202 mph. That makes it the first stock V8 Ferrari to break the 200-mph mark.
Chevrolet's 2009 Corvette ZR1 is the best thing to come out of Detroit since Dearborn-style pistachio baklawa. I don't say that lightly; pistachio baklawa is spectacular.
Leading with a headline-grabbing horsepower figure, the ZR1 delivers sharp, predictable handling, unjarring road feel and performance as barmy on pavement as on paper, all without artifice or intimidation. Yes, it’s a Corvette, and while that may confound anyone who assumes the badge signifies rough trade, the ZR1’s excellence won’t surprise anyone whose watched GM’s Corvette program evolve over the past decade.
By Mike SpinelliPosted 05.01.2008 at 3:39 pm 3 Comments
Let's face it. It's hard to design a new exotic supercar. The most timeless shapes were spoken for years ago, and every exotic since then has been just a derivative mishmash of science fiction and aerodynamics optimization (especially the homemade ones). That's not to say a car like the Lamborghini Gallardo isn't good looking in its own way, or that the Aston Martin DB9 isn't a luscious piece of eye candy. It's just that those traditional parameters of automotive beauty—see any Ferrari built before 1972—no longer exist.