The Enzo successor has finally bowed. Meet the Ferrari LaFerrari, which, if I’m combining English and Italian into just English, would be saying, “Meet the Ferrari the Ferrari.” Redundant, no? But Ferrari claims that its new top-of-the-line supercar, which will handily outperform every road car in the marque’s storied history, has the strange name “to underline the car’s uniqueness in the brand’s storied history.” Continue Reading →
These days, numbers no longer do the talking.
We have comfortably exceeded every available record to break for the modern sports car. Fastest lap times – check. Fastest acceleration – check. Shortest braking distance – check. You get what I mean; there is so much improvement from cars of yesteryear that now we are spoilt by excellence.
By Chris Haak
In a very candid assessment of his brand’s 2011 performance, Acura’s general manager Jeff Conrad told assembled journalists in Detroit that the best thing about 2012 was “that it was not 2011.” While he claimed that his brand lost its momentum until the end of the year due to the Japanese earthquake/tsunami and Thailand flooding, the fact is, Acura hasn’t seemed to have much going for it for the past half decade.
By Chris Haak
Before you get too excited, I should say up front that no, I did not get a chance to drive the new McLaren MP4-12C supercar just four days after driving an Audi R8 5.2 FSI Spyder. If I did have that chance, it might well be in the top five greatest weeks of my life. But instead, I did have the opportunity to sit in an MP4-12C for the first time, and to really look over the car pretty closely. It really is an amazing piece of technology.
By Chris Haak
There are few cars that I am willing to wait in line for a chance to drive when I’m at press events. The limited criteria for which I’d be willing include things like a) 500-plus horsepower, b) exotic car looks, and c) something I haven’t driven before. Yesterday, I waited almost three hours to drive this car (admittedly, I was on a waiting list, and was able to do other things in the interim). But boy, was the wait worthwhile.
By: Carl Malek
Audi of America has released the official asking price for the 2012 Audi R8 GT supercar. Owners interested in owning one of these rare vehicles will have to act fast; only 333 will be built before production ends, (with only a third of that total expected to hit U.S roads), and owning this lightweight rarity will cost you a grand total of $196,800 dollars excluding any optional equipment.
The most potent model in the R8 supercar lineup, the GT sets itself apart from the normal R8 model by shedding 220 pounds of weight. This weight loss is due to the extensive use of various carbon fiber body parts and Audi’s familiar ASF lightweight construction.
By: Carl Malek
Is there a more powerful Audi TT RS variant in the works? According to some leaked documents obtained by World Car Fans via Qarsi.de that appears to be the case.
A variant of the high performance two door under the designation “Audi TT RS Plus Coupe 2.5″ was among the models featured in an internal Audi parts catalog. The unknown and currently unconfirmed variant of the familiar fun to drive Audi TT RS was quoted to have at least 355 horsepower, which would be a 20 horse jump over the standard TT RS model’s 335 horses. While this meager gain may not appear to produce a significant increase in performance, there is a possibility that Audi could make extensive use of carbon fiber parts in the TT RS Plus’s design to help the car slim down and improve its handling characteristics. This process was last used by the company in the R8 GT super-car to help that particular model shed precious weight and it would perhaps serve to enhance the plus model’s performance abilities as well when combined with the slight horsepower increase.
By Chris Haak
The Pagani Zonda, one of the rarest and most sought-after supercars in history, has finally been supplanted. It’s OK, though, because the new sheriff in town happens to also be made by Pagani. Meet the new Huayra (pronounced “WHY-ra”), a car that was in development for seven years before going under the spotlights and making its world debut.
Just as the Zonda was perhaps the gold standard of supercars (in spite of not boasting the over-the-top horsepower and price numbers like the Bugatti Veyron), the new Huayra gives more of everything the Zonda stood for, including design. Not that the design of the Zonda was anything to sneeze about; that car certainly had its fans, including among us here.
By Chris Haak
Having driven several hundred new and used cars during my 17 years with a driver’s license, and especially in recent years as I’m afforded the opportunity to sample cars and trucks from all corners of the automotive market, I’ve become a bit jaded, particularly in terms of what I feel is enough power for me to call it “enough.” My own 304-horsepower Cadillac CTS sedan feels quick at times, but its slow-witted six-speed automatic and lack of low-end torque compared to V8s often makes it feel a bit flat-footed. I’ve gotten to the point that almost any car – even those with 400-plus horsepower V8s – feels to me as if it could be just a little faster.
So as it happened, at a recent media event, I was standing near a parking area containing several Chevrolet models – a Cruze LTZ (which I had the chance to drive for the first time), a Camaro SS, and a few other random cars. The folks loitering nearby were atwitter with talk that a pre-production Chevy Volt would be arriving within moments. “Cool,” I thought; I’d love to get some seat time in Chevy’s media darling.
By Chris Haak
It’s not every day that a normal human being (as opposed to a superhero) gets the chance to drive a true supercar. Last May, I had the opportunity to take a brief drive in a half-million dollar Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren at a media event; the SLR was and will probably remain the most expensive vehicle that I have ever driven. But something was missing when I drove the car because of two issues: I was driving an unfamiliar car on an unfamiliar road, and I was chaperoned by a Mercedes-Benz representative. Basically, I was scared that I’d be unable to control the car if I really let loose, and perhaps even more afraid that my host would fear my driving. So I took it reasonably easy and just savored the car, doing my best to etch its memory somewhere permanent in my mind, so I can tell my sons someday that I drove the car they’re reading about somewhere.
This year, I was at the same annual media event, and after having read the list of cars and trucks that were expected to make their appearance, I was licking my chops for some wheel time with a few of them: Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, Audi R8, and Ford Fiesta piqued my interest, among others. Then imagine seeing my jaw drop when I spotted an SLS AMG in the parking lot, along with those other cars. I just had to take that baby for a spin, chaperoned or not.
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