January 30, 2018
For the uninitiated, the difference between a hypercar and a supercar, is that the latter is a luxury, high performance sports car, and a step down from the hypercar. The supercar category includes those sports cars that are unique and very pricy, and usually limited in production. These cars are often modified versions of standard models.
The car is characterised by the butterfly wing doors, the low-lying position of the car, and the small interior. The car has a twin-turbo V8 engine, and gears are selected using metal shift paddles. It can go 0-100 km/h in just 3 seconds. Cornering provides a great experience, and is assisted by a stiff chassis and adaptive dampers. Steering is direct, and stopping distance is most effective due to carbon ceramic brakes. You would do the McLaren 650S a true injustice if you drove it around urban areas, because you really need a race track to get the most out of it. Finally, the car is easy to operate, especially when you set the electronics into Comfort mode.
Although the 488 GTB doesn’t sound as fabulous at top revs as does the 458 Italia, it still produces the typical Ferrari ‘music’. This car is extremely fast, and just amazing to drive. Cornering is not intimidating, but just astonishing due to the car being so balanced. This is despite the fact that it is considerably more powerful than the 458 Italia.
Nothing completes the supercar class better than the Porsche 911, the cutting-edge German engineered, rear-engined machine. The Porsche 911 boasts of the world-renowned flat engine, a racing suspension, and a twin-clutch gearbox. The 3.8-litre engine produces that typical ‘howling’ growl all the way to a maximum of 8000 rpm.
Corner-handling is just amazing, assisted by supreme controls. It is almost as easy to handle the GT3 compared to the standard 911.
This Ferrari has a developed FF 6.3-litre, V12 engine, producing a staggering 544 kW of power. The F12 was made to be more pleasant for everyday use, compared to the mid-engined 458 Italia. Any drag on the car has been minimised, and downforce is maximised through the use of scoops and air vents, thus eliminating the need for any a large rear wing.
The first impression you get when you see the Audi R8, is that it looks quite the same as the previous model. However, there is a striking increase technologically speaking, and its performance is second-to-none. The only downside is that there is no V8 model available. However, you have a choice of either the 397 kW or 449 kW engine. The twin-clutch automated gearbox provides seamless gear changes, and the updated quattro 4x4 system can swiftly provide full torque to either the back or front wheels. The more powerful V 10 Plus accomplishes the 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds. Inside the cockpit, a 31.2-cm virtual display is there to greet you. The only negative aspect of this car is the small boot.
The reason for the name, Ford GT, is to celebrate the amazing Ford GT40, which won the Le Mans race in 1966. The car made its debut in 2015, at the Detroit car show. Besides the mind-blowing design, the car itself is made of ultra-light carbon fibre, and has a twin-turbo, 3.5-litre, Ecoboost V6 engine, delivering over 447 kW. The suspension is based on that used by racing cars, and the car is equipped with dihedral lifting doors.
The fabulous Aston Martin DB11 is driven by a brand-new 5.2-litre, V12 engine, and twin-turbo chargers. This model replaces the amazing but ageing Aston Martin DB9, thus starting a whole new chapter for the car company. The supercar is not too light, coming in at 1800 kg, but the 447 kW power output more than makes up for that.
The interior design allows for more space, replacing the rather small cockpit of the DB9. The DB11 was very well received when it made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016. The new engine is married to an 8-speed ZF gearbox, offering GT, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes. The 0-100 km/h is covered in 3.9 seconds, with a maximum speed at over 320 km/h.
The interior is graced with a 20-cm touchscreen system providing entertainment and various driver assistance options.
The BMW i8 still comes across as the supercar of the future. It is powered by a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder, turbo-charged engine supplied by Mini Cooper. The engine of the 4-wheel drive car is connected to an electric motor in the front, delivering 266 kW. Although the car’s traction and handling is great, the 0-100 km/h takes 4.4 seconds, with the maximum speed being at 248 km/h. It is cheaper than either Ferrari or McLaren, costing about ZAR1.7 million. The electric motor provides instant torque when required. It’s not too great on fuel economy, demanding a rate of 7 litres/100 km. The other disadvantage is that the batteries of the electric motor have to be recharged, because there is a considerable drop in power when running on only petrol.
The 5.2-litre, V10 engine provides more power than the Lamborghini Gallardo it replaces, and it positions the car at the forefront of the supercar class. The chassis is part carbon, and adaptive dampers with stability control are provided. The gearbox is dual-clutch, while the interior has TFT screens. The V10 engine has direct fuel injection. For driving around town, the Strada mode provides a comfortable speed, but the supercar roars to life when switching to the Sport mode. The direct steering, and the 4-wheel drive provide much pleasure. The car’s 7-speed gearbox provides seamless gear shifts. All the braking power you need is provided by the carbon ceramic disc brakes.
The Lexus LFA is a unique supercar that is manufactured by a company not normally associated with the supercar category. It is powered by a 4.8-litre, V8 engine, delivering 412 kW, with maximum rpm at 9000. The Nŭrburgring-refined suspension provides excellent handling, and the 6-speed, robotised, manual gearbox makes gear shifts real fast, each one taking 0.2 seconds. Accelerating 0-100 km/h takes 3.7 seconds, with the maximum speed being 323 km/h. The car is quite expensive at about ZAR6.3 million, but the manufacturer believes that the LFA beats supercars such as the Lamborghini Aventador. The only draw-back is the really small boot, despite the fact that it is front-engined, compared to most supercars having mid-engines.
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