Supercars: What Makes a Good One?
With exotic cars, taste counts as much as price or performance.
"I'm of the thought that people use the far fringe of a subject to justify their mainstream tastes -- as much to define what their tastes aren't as what they are. You see this with supermodels: One guy says Chrissy Teigen is perfection, another guy says perfection can't have a forehead that big, perfection is Kate Upton; another guy says no blonde can be the perfect woman, and so on.
Thing is, at any given time it's always the same five Victoria's Secret/Sports Illustrated models (or cars) in the conversation. People are basically using a handful of well-known examples to argue their preference for the archetypes of beauty -- exotic versus girl-next-door versus classic versus vixen, etc."
I had to think about this one for awhile. For me, I prefer stark simplicity. So for me there are a few choices. There is the V8 powered Caterham Seven, which is a modern take on the classic Lotus 7 using a small displacement V8 (2.0L to 2.6L depending on the configuration) made from two Japanese 4 cylinder motorcycle engines. About 340HP at somewhere around 10,500 RPM. 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds. Nothing around you but a tinker toy frame.
The next I might choose the original Ariel Atom with the Honda K20 engine. Another I might pick is the KTM Xbow. Reasons for these picks are similar to the Caterham above.
The Eye Of The Beholder,
Like a sensuous woman, an incredible piece of art or even the most exotic locale on the planet, the esoterics of supercars are in the eye of the beholder. While statospheric prices, performance and exclusivity seem to go hand in hand, the lust factor is always quite another matter. Personally, I have preferred the stealth-like angular geometry of the Lambos, the sculptural stance of the Astons and the artful flowing lines of a Lotus or Ferrari. However, for pure 'machismo' and unadultered in-your-face looks and G-force numbers, the Bugatti Veyron16.4 would seem to be the closest thing to a "Holy s**t, this thing is giving me a giant woody" experience. It would definitely be a machine to put a smile on one's face by stabbing the pedal, listening to that massive 4 turbo engine spool up and ripping through the gears on a scenic stretch of asphalt...what a rush.
Peace to all ~
Sorry Annatar, putting a diesel engine in a supercar doesn't really challenge any norms for me. People have attempted to put diesel engines in race cars for years. Audi is just the first company to be successful with it on the track, and transferred the technology to the consumer market. Seems like business as usual to me, so what did it challenge?
When it comes to supercars, what makes them desireable isn't the technology behind the engine, or the fact that it's different than the rest of them. If this was true, the Gumpert Apollo would be more desireable than most Ferraris. And, at this point in the evolution of supercars, they are all very similar in terms of performance (200+ mph top speed, 0-60 in under 4 seconds, etc), so that no longer really plays a part of it anymore.
For me, the best supercars have something unique about their design that makes you want them in a viceral way. The Pagani Zonda has this. The Huarya doesn't.
Yup, I think the Hamster hit the nail on the head. For me, it's about looks and sound, and also a little rarity. I think for the most part, super, (or hyper, as TopGear has been calling the newest breed of insanely fast cars) cars are just silly. In exchange for being ludicrously expensive, the major thing they offer in return is a level of performance that except for the select few, will never be able to be (legally) exploited. I understand the "look at me" aspect of them, but personally I like something a bit more understated.
My "gotta have it" car would be an Aston. I don't care that there are cars that are much faster, to me the Aston is art on wheels. I don't consider it a supercar though, more of a GT, and at under 200k it's a relative bargain compared to some of them.
My "supercar" choice would be the Corvette ZR1. Being the Corvette hatchback bodystyle, it has some semblance of practicallity, and respectable fuel mileage for a 638hp V8. Also, at first glance it's just a Corvette, so it's a bit understated as compared to a Lambo, Zonda, or Koenigsegggegggegg. And the performance value is a downright steal compared to some others in will run with. And being a GM V8, it's only a few tweaks away from 700, or even 8 or 900 hp.
Annatar, you're right the TDI R8 is impressive, but I think it comes down to more than just specs and engineering details. And personally, the looks of the R8 do nothing for me.
Without an engine, nobody will be going anywhere. The engine is the most important innovation and technology in a vehicle, any vehicle. If you had a starship, the anti-gravity, faster-than-light drive is what would make it or break it.Maybe for vehicles in general, but it's a stretch I think. For cars in specific though I disagree. The most important technology for a car is less glamorous, less fascinating, and more mysterious than the engine. It's the tire. Followed by the suspension and brakes. Followed by the engine.
Though I guess if I think about it, all those pieces are actually in a way all part of the same drive system of this particular vehicle; the car.
Sorry the R8 TDI got canceled though.So sorry. It would have been my next car.
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