See our next post for details.
Remember that prototype Porsche 918 Top Gear teased everyone about the other day? You know, the one they took for a test drive? This is it!
This post isn’t for people who want to reblog sleek, shiny, completely finished supercars. This is a post for the petrolheads and Porschephiles who want to know what your meal looks like before it hits the table. This isn’t fine dining. This is a trip to the slaughterhouse:
Given it’s so early in development, you can forgive it looking like an absolute shed. The only vaguely production-shape panels are the doors. The rest is a mash-up of hack-sawed 911 panels and gaffer tape and naughty naked nudeness. The engineers don’t even call it a prototype, but a ‘rolling chassis’.
Even so, now it’s up and running, with the major systems on board, the engineers tell me they’re confident of what this astounding car will do….
This is just cruel. Porsche 918 supercar is more than a year away from showrooms but Top Gear Magazine got an exclusive test drive with the first production prototype and chose to share the experience with us… in words:
We’ll have the full story in the next issue of Top Gear Magazine. But here’s the executive summary for all you time-poor internauts.
The performance headlines are this. Acceleration from 0-62mph in ‘less than three’ seconds. Zero to 125mph in a time that almost matches a Bugatti Veyron. And a Nürburgring lap time (so far verified only on Porsche’s supernaturally accurate simulators), of 7.22. That’s 10 seconds faster than the old Carrera GT, and 10 seconds, to the sort of people who obsess on ‘Ring times, is an entire geologic era.
The point is when the V8 gets cracking. It’s a 4.6-litre job that revs to 9000rpm and makes a crazed 570bhp. Where the concept car had its air intakes - just behind and above your head - the real car has its exhaust tips. It sounds beyond awesome. Even though in my ride they were rev-limiting it, the noise was bouncing around my cranium for hours after.
And then, on top of that, there are the front and rear electric motors. In the ‘race hybrid mode’ their power is amped up so that between them these electric motors make 270bhp, which is more than the flat-six of an original 911 Turbo.
I guess we’ll have to wait for the magazine. In the meantime we’ve posted sketches of the production 918 above. For more detail on Top Gear’s ride, click this here link.
Like the 599 GTB Fiorano which it replaces, the F12’s undoubted USP is that thumping great V12. A reworked version of the unit that first appeared in the FF, it shares the same 6262cc capacity and 65 degree configuration, but its power output is increased by approximately 80bhp to just over 730bhp (740CV), and it produces 509 torques. In other words, the F12 is the most powerful road-going Ferrari ever. Factor in a dry weight of 1525kg and you can imagine what sort of performance this thing delivers: 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, 0-124mph in 8.5, and a top speed of 211mph. So, quite fast, then. Fast enough, in fact, to blitz Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in 1min 23 seconds, a time that outpoints even the Enzo supercar to make this the quickest Ferrari road car to lap the famous circuit.
There’s an all-new aluminium spaceframe chassis, which mixes and matches 12 different kinds of alloys to reduce weight and improve structural rigidity by 20 per cent. And despite that front-mounted V12, the F12 has optimum weight distribution, 46/54 front to rear. The centre of gravity has been reduced, and the engine, interior and seats all sit 25mm lower in the chassis. A new rear suspension layout and redesigned rear transaxle also help reduce the F12’s rear volume. It’s a smaller, more muscular car than the 599, a car that could feel a little too big to be comfortably punted down a typical British back-road when you weren’t swanning about in Monaco.
For all of the pretty specs, visit TopGear.com
Here’s another early reveal from next month’s Geneva Motor Show and this one is a beaut — The Bugatti Veyron Vitesse. The most powerful factory built roadster IN THE WORLD:
So, what sort of numbers does a convertible need to be the fastest in the world? 1184bhp and 1105lb ft. That’s 197bhp and 183lb ft up from the cooking variety Veyron’s 987bhp and 922lb ft. Or roughly one Golf GTI more…
Extra power’s been teased out of the 16-cylinder engine by enlarging the four - FOUR - turbochargers and intercoolers. The chassis’s also been beefed up to support the extra muscle.
No performance stats have been released yet, but if it’s anything like the Veyron Super Sport, it’ll hover around 2.5 seconds to 62mph. That’s 0.2 seconds faster than the current Grand Sport. Pricing’s equally mysterious, but we reckon it’ll be in the region of $3.3M.
The buxom GT slots in atop the company’s range and gets the tweaked 454bhp 4.7-litre V8 that’ll be fitted to the 2012 track-biased GranTurismo MC Stradale. Which is good news for power enthusiasts with more than one friend - unlike the MC, the GranTurismo Sport gets rear seats.
According to the Italians, it’s also undergone “a significant restyling” which, to our eyes, is not hugely significant. There’s a new bumper and lights, as well as slightly more gurn to the mouth, inherited from the MC Stradale - this increases airflow to the engine and brakes. It’s also sprouted a set of daytime running LED lamps and the taillights now have an “elegant, more aggressive, darker tone.” Or, as we prefer, “they have been tinted a bit”.
It’ll be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva motor show in March and production’s scheduled to start in September 2012 (at which point the old GranTurismo S will come to an end)
New GranTurismo Sport, we welcome you with open arms.
Expensive, two-seater supercars. OK, so they look cool, go extremely fast, have superb handling based on millions of dollars of research, slip through the air like greased lightning after about a decade in a wind-tunnel, and you can sell them on to someone else for lots of money when you’re finished. But you can only take one of your mates for a ride.
And if this is the reason you purchased a Vauxhall Zafira over an Audi R8, we have good news. Limo Brokers in the UK now claim to have an answer: an eight-seater R8 limo with eight gullwing doors.
It’s an engineering problem we’ve noticed and tackled before on Top Gear. But our experience making limos proved that it’s a lot harder than it looks…
Remember it? Of course you do. It’s the 6.5-litre, V12 powered 650bhp ode to everything that Lamborghini stands for. Carbon fibre excess? Check. Big, hugely intimidating and shouty body? Check. Raucous engine note capable of spontaneously combusting nearby wildlife? Check.
This particular one is being offered by Surrey-based SuperVettura car sales, and is reported as being car number 18; that’s 18 from a build run of just 20, remember, originally destined for “Lamborghini friends and collectors”.
The price? A bargain at just $1.3M.
Deets at TopGear.com