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  1. #1
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    My thoughts on the McLaren P1

    I copied this from my blog at: http://fast-carsandfreedom.blogspot....claren-p1.html

    Rumors and a steady stream of teasers have been floating around regarding the McLaren P1 for quite some time. Initially, the rumor was that this car would be a true successor to the McLaren F1, that it would be a world beater. It certainly looks the part.

    Click here to enlarge
    It certainly looks like a proper hypercar.

    Needless to say, as a child of the 90's and early 2000's car culture, I was very excited. There's nothing more fun than a good old fashioned hypercar war...just ask the teenagers of the '70's (Lamborghini Countach vs Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer), the 80's (Porsche 959 vs Ferrari F-40 or GTO), the 90's who were spoiled with the Jaguar XJ220, the Bugatti EB110, the Ferrari F50, Lamborghini Diablo and the McLaren F1, and last but not least, the teens of the early 2000's who had the Ferrari Enzo, the Porsche Carerra GT, and the Mercedes SLR McLaren.

    From my point of view, its been about 10 years, the Bugatti Veyron has been the king of the production car castle for too long and it is far too ugly. I was excited by the prospect of McLaren attempting to take back the throne it held from 1992 through 2005.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    Ahhh....the glory days.

    However, McLaren was quick to dampen the excitement when they announced, "the aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit." source Please allow me to translate this, "we can't beat or even approach Bugatti so we are just going to pretend we don't care." Great, there went my excitement over the second coming of the great hypercar wars of yore.

    Here are the numbers according to Motortrend:
    903 hp and 664 lb-ft. According to McLaren, 727 hp and 531 lb-ft will be provided by a twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8, an upgraded version of the 12Cís engine running an additional 3 psi of boost. Additional thrust will be donated to the accelerative cause by a McLaren-built electric motor mounted to the back of the engine and producing up to 176 hp and 192 lb-ft. All that powerClick here to enlarge is shunted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. All said and done, McLaren says the P1 will hit 62 mph in less than three seconds, 124 mph in less than seven seconds and 186 mph in less than 17 seconds (thatís 5 seconds faster than the McLaren F1).

    Read more:http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz2NAzJJ5w5
    These are impressive numbers no doubt. I'm sure this car will be an amazing all around car. As a supercar, I would be gushing with praise. But this car is priced as a hypercar ($1.3m) so I am analyzing it as a hypercar.

    In reality, the translation above could also say, "we can't beat or even approach the last hypercar we built so we are just going to pretend we aren't trying to." Frankly, I don't understand how or why McLaren thinks its okay to charge $1.3m for a car that, by some metrics, is not as good as their previous $800k+ car. I'm sure this car will demolish the F1 around a track but that's not what hypercars are all about. First and foremost, hypercar wars are supposed to be a high stakes game of one-upsmanship. Hypercars are all about the numbers, what is possible, not what is practical. The majority of people with enough money to afford a hypercar barely even drive them, much less race them on a track. On the same token, they probably spend even less time pushing their cars' top speed limits. A hypercar should be performance without compromise. It should accelerate quickly, handle well, and have an insanely high top speed. Its an opportunity for a manufacturer to say, "this is the fastest car we can make."


    I know it seems silly to be ranting about McLaren throwing in the towel when their customers are unlikely to ever drive their cars at 200+ miles per hour but that is sort of the point of the hypercar. Its not what hypercars actually do that makes them special. If that were the case, a P1 can probably sit in a private garage just as well as an F1 can. What makes hypercars special is what they are capable of doing, what they do in magazines and comparison tests, how they look on kids and teenager's walls, and what they do in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts (most of whom will never own one) around the world.

    Click here to enlarge
    I doubt magazines will have the urge to race a P1 against an F18.
    Its just not that special.
    To this day I can still rattle off a McLaren F1's top speed and 0-60 time from memory (240mph and 3.2 seconds). I'd be surprised if anyone will be able to recall a Gumpert Apollo's 'ring time 11 years later from memory. I suspect that the P1 will be overshadowed by the F1 in the annals of time in similar fashion.

    The other issue faced by the P1 is the the MP4-12C. I suspect its "street cred" (or more likely "wall cred") will be harmed by the fact that it uses a tuned version of the MP4-12C's engine coupled with a KERS hybrid system. Also, its interior looks very similar to its younger sibling. Which is strange considering the price premium. The F1 had very unique interior, notice where the guy is sitting in the picture above.

    Click here to enlarge
    P1 Interior
    Click here to enlarge
    Mp4-12c Interior
    Furthermore, in addition to the F1, the P1's credibility is being challenged by its little brother, the MP$-12c. The P1 will likely not be fast enough to justify its price compared to the MP4-12c. The MP4-12c does 0-60 in 3.2 seconds and tops out at 205mph. McLaren says the P1 will do 0-60 in "under 3 seconds" and top out at limited 217mph. Impressive no doubt, but not terribly so considering most of the hypercars of days past were at that level over 10 years ago, the last gen 911 turbo does 0-60 in about 2.9 seconds, and the current crop of supercars (458 Italia, Zr-1, MP4-12c, Aventador, etc...) are within spitting distance.

    The current crop of supercars cost half as as much as the P1. The P1 is not twice as good as those cars.

    I'm not sure what the issue is but we seem to have hit a plateau in hypercar development. I include the Veyron in this statement because, even though it has an amazing top speed, it is not very fast around a track (comparatively speaking of course). Hypercars should be amazing on all major performance metrics: handling, acceleration and top speed. In a vacuum I would be head-over-heels for this car but its just not enough of a leap beyond past hypercars or current supercars to justify its extravagant price.

    Click here to enlarge
    I love the diffuser.

    I'm well aware that I'm being a little ridiculous. Hypercar buyers don't care about price (If you have to ask, you don't belong!), they will likely never test the car's top speed and the P1 offers much more practical and useable performance than the hypercars of the past. But, as mentioned, hypercars are all about numbers. Hypercars are not supposed to contain compromises. The hypercars of the past were head and shoulders above the supercars of their time in acceleration, top speed, and handling. Today, the difference between supercars and hypercars is just not big enough to justify the price.

    In conclusion, the McLaren P1 will likely be an incredible performance car. I look forward to comparisons between it and the recently unveiled LaFerrari. However, this car will never get out of the F1's shadow and won't enjoy the esteem of the hypercars of the past as time goes on, not necessarily because this is a bad car, but because the current supercars are such good cars.

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    Jeremy Clarkson once said something like: "Supercars are supposed to mess with G-forces, and hypercars with G-strings" I think he was right, but we are unfortunately coming to a point were manufacturers try to build gentlemans wehicles, as I do not think the health and safety people in the goverment are very fund of 300 mph cars.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Petrolhead Click here to enlarge
    I do not think the health and safety people in the goverment are very fund of 300 mph cars.
    I agree with that. i think this explains all the hybrid supercars coming down from the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren.

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    Interesting they didn't mention that the P1 will pull 2g's under braking.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    "we can't beat or even approach Bugatti so we are just going to pretend we don't care." Great, there went my excitement over the second coming of the great hypercar wars of yore.
    This is rather absurd. They are trying to make it perform like a supercar on the track not be some one-dimensional overpriced car that can only do one thing well.

    McLaren set a top speed record a loooooong time ago with the F1 so saying they can't compete or beat Bugatti is absurd. Especially considering they did it with far less power.

    The Veyron isn't even a better supercar than the McLaren F1.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    I agree with that. i think this explains all the hybrid supercars coming down from the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren.
    Hybrid supercars is a technology exercise not a top speed thing.

    If one wants to focus on top speed you are going to have to sacrifice downforce. It's give and take, you aren't juxtaposing these correctly.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    This is rather absurd. They are trying to make it perform like a supercar on the track not be some one-dimensional overpriced car that can only do one thing well.

    McLaren set a top speed record a loooooong time ago with the F1 so saying they can't compete or beat Bugatti is absurd. Especially considering they did it with far less power.

    The Veyron isn't even a better supercar than the McLaren F1.
    I agree on the Veyron, but these are supposed to be hypercars, not just super cars. They are supposed to be either "one-dimensional overpriced car that can only do one thing well" or vehicles without performance compromises.

    Perhaps they could beat the Veyron, perhaps they can't. We may never know because they decided to punt. It takes a lot of resources to build a car that can go that fast.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge

    If one wants to focus on top speed you are going to have to sacrifice downforce. It's give and take, you aren't juxtaposing these correctly.
    I'm well aware of that but the whole point is that this is supposed to be a hypercar. There is no right or wrong way to "juxtapose" it. Its my opinion about what I think a hypercar should be and how Mclaren missed the mark.

    Obviously this is an amazing car and I would take one over the Veyron any day but if I were paying for it, I would just get an MP4-12c because the P1 is not insane enough to justify the price increase because, to me, if you are charging hypercar money, you need to deliver a hypercar.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    I agree on the Veyron, but these are supposed to be hypercars, not just super cars. They are supposed to be either "one-dimensional overpriced car that can only do one thing well" or vehicles without performance compromises.

    Perhaps they could beat the Veyron, perhaps they can't. We may never know because they decided to punt. It takes a lot of resources to build a car that can go that fast.
    The term hypercar is idiotic in of itself.

    A supercar isn't defined by top speed alone.

    Decided to punt? It is going to run circles around the Veyron I don't know what you are talking about. Track performance is much more impressive and what the car is defined by, how it drives.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    I'm well aware of that but the whole point is that this is supposed to be a hypercar.
    I'm sorry the whole point is to be an extremely high performance and exlusive car which it will be.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    There is no right or wrong way to "juxtapose" it. Its my opinion about what I think a hypercar should be and how Mclaren missed the mark.
    I think you're opinion is wrong and you are looking at this one-dimensionally. The car isn't even out yet and you are faulting it for top speed as if that is the measure of a car which it isn't. Like they can't build a car solely for top speed? It's an issue of downforce and drag, very simple to understand.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    I would just get an MP4-12c because the P1 is not insane enough to justify the price increase because, to me
    Wait until you see the final product...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    903 hp and 664 lb-ft. According to McLaren, 727 hp and 531 lb-ft will be provided by a twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8, an upgraded version of the 12C’s engine running an additional 3 psi of boost. Additional thrust will be donated to the accelerative cause by a McLaren-built electric motor mounted to the back of the engine and producing up to 176 hp and 192 lb-ft. All that power is shunted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. All said and done, McLaren says the P1 will hit 62 mph in less than three seconds, 124 mph in less than seven seconds and 186 mph in less than 17 seconds (that’s 5 seconds faster than the McLaren F1).

    Read more:http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...#ixzz2NAzJJ5w5
    These are impr
    Yeah, it's VERY impressive. I think that comparing this car against something like a Veyron doesn't really make sense. This is a pure "race car" - whereas the Veyron simply isn't. It's extremely heavy - and has a TON of power to make up for this weight, but because this car was made for entirely one thing (to be the fastest at top speed) - it fails at a BUNCH of other things (e.g braking/cornering/acceleration) when comparing to this car (or even lesser cars). Less than 17 seconds to 300 km/h is VERY fast, the Veyron hits this in 19.7 (grand sport)... Trust me, people may not ever hit these top speeds of these cars as you said, but they most likely WILL make runs to 300 km/h if the car can do it quickly and safely (as @LZH said, the brakes on this thing are supposedly RIDICULOUS)... I don't know many people who would buy this car to compare it against a Veyron - they aren't even similar in any form. You can call either or one a "Hypercar" - but that's a term used to loosely define something. Some might agree what your definition of a Hypercar is, other's will disagree. For all intensive purposes, cars in this league belong on a track - so I look at things other than top speed (or one single metric) to define what a Hypercar is.

    You then say:

    "McLaren says the P1 will do 0-60 in "under 3 seconds" and top out at limited 217mph. Impressive no doubt, but not terribly so considering most of the hypercars of days past were at that level over 10 years ago, the last gen 911 turbo does 0-60 in about 2.9 seconds, and the current crop of supercars (458 Italia, Zr-1, MP4-12c, Aventador, etc...) are within spitting distance."

    Who cares about 0-60? These cars have so much power that this number is meaningless these days. A GT-R might be faster than this car up to 60 (doubt it) - but does that mean it's more for your dollar? NO! It's COMPLETELY traction
    dependent (who has AWD? who has stickier tires? who has a better surface to launch?) - with today's cars - those questions are MUCH more important than "how much power do you have? or what's the car's weight?"... It's dumb to even care about 0-60, I have no idea why anyone measures cars these days with this antiquated measuring stick. If they were to hold the throttle for another 4 seconds, this car would be at 124 - now THAT is something to compare. How many MP4s (or any other cars you know) reach 124 in less than 7 seconds? That's incredibly fast. Now you look at the 0-300 (5 seconds faster than the "stock" MP4) - and you see you are dealing with something VERY special. A Hypercar by my standards.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
    Yeah, it's VERY impressive. I think that comparing this car against something like a Veyron doesn't really make sense. This is a pure "race car" - whereas the Veyron simply isn't. It's extremely heavy - and has a TON of power to make up for this weight, but because this car was made for entirely one thing (to be the fastest at top speed) - it fails at a BUNCH of other things (e.g braking/cornering/acceleration) when comparing to this car (or even lesser cars).
    EXACTLY.

    He doesn't seem to get it...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
    Who cares about 0-60? These cars have so much power that this number is meaningless these days. A GT-R might be faster than this car up to 60 (doubt it) - but does that mean it's more for your dollar? NO! It's COMPLETELY traction dependent (who has AWD? who has stickier tires? who has a better surface to launch?) - with today's cars - those questions are MUCH more important than "how much power do you have? or what's the car's weight?"... It's dumb to even care about 0-60, I have no idea why anyone measures cars these days with this antiquated measuring stick. If they were to hold the throttle for another 4 seconds, this car would be at 124 - now THAT is something to compare. How many MP4s (or any other cars you know) reach 124 in less than 7 seconds? That's incredibly fast. Now you look at the 0-300 (5 seconds faster than the "stock" MP4) - and you see you are dealing with something VERY special. A Hypercar by my standards.
    THIS

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    The term hypercar is idiotic in of itself.

    A supercar isn't defined by top speed alone.

    Decided to punt? It is going to run circles around the Veyron I don't know what you are talking about. Track performance is much more impressive and what the car is defined by, how it drives.
    Why is the term idiotic? Is there another name for the level of car above supercar?

    Yes, of course they aren't defined by top speed alone but if you read everything I wrote, traditional hypercar wars are all about comparing yardsticks like top speed and 0-60 or 0-100 not "our car is fastest around a track" or "our car drives better." Before you guys flip out (God bless the internet) note that I'm not saying the latter two points don't actually make for a better car, because they do.

    My point is that hypercar wars are all about numbers, as silly as those numbers are. Don't think about it from an objective, rational or knowledgable viewpoint, look at it from the viewpoint of a 5th or 6th grader who is hanging car posters on his wall. You probably won't admit it, but back then, 0-60 and top speed were all that mattered. (Sticky, I've known you almost that long so don't pretend you didn't care about that stuff)

    I agree the P1 will run cirlces around the Veyron in everything besides 0-60, 1/4 mile (maybe) and around any race track...as long as that race track is not a long, highspeed, high banked oval, then the Veyron will "run circles" around the P1 (see what I did there).

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    Why is the term idiotic? Is there another name for the level of car above supercar?
    I just think the term supercar should be used. Why invent a new term it's not necessary the problem is people calling cars that aren't supercars... supercars.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    traditional hypercar wars are all about comparing yardsticks like top speed and 0-60 or 0-100 not "our car is fastest around a track" or "our car drives better."
    0-60 is meaningless and acceleration is part of the puzzle not the defining characteristic.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    ook at it from the viewpoint of a 5th or 6th grader who is hanging car posters on his wall. You probably won't admit it, but back then, 0-60 and top speed were all that mattered. (Sticky, I've known you almost that long so don't pretend you didn't care about that stuff)
    Yes but I think we have grown up a little bit and are able to do slightly more sophisticated analysis now?

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    I agree the P1 will run cirlces around the Veyron in everything besides 0-60, 1/4 mile (maybe) and around any race track...as long as that race track is not a long, highspeed, high banked oval, then the Veyron will "run circles" around the P1 (see what I did there).
    But if top speed is the goal why wouldn't they just change the aerodynamics for that specific purpose? Being able to hit 24X MPH does nothing on the race track where that speed will never been seen.

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    Stock MP4-12C ran even better recently, on only 616hp and it's %#)%*# RWD which is insane, it would be awesome if Mclaren could put a factory RWD car into the high 9s at ~140mph but that's not what they are shooting for. This MP4-12C is this fast on the drag strip...and it wasn't even made for it!

    0-60: 2.7s
    0-100: 5.8s
    0-135: ~10.3s
    60-130: 6.59s
    1/4 Mile ET: 10.371
    1/4 Mile MPH: 134.970
    http://www.dragtimes.com/Mclaren-MP4...lip-25329.html

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Yes but I think we have grown up a little bit and are able to do slightly more sophisticated analysis now?
    Of course we are but the point of the post was to look at the from what I think makes great cars go from great to legendary in the hearts and minds of history. I will always have a much bigger place in my heart for the f40, xj220, EB110 and F1 than I will for the Carerra GT, the SLR McLaren, and the Enzo even though the latter are arguably better cars (f40 notwithstanding).

    I believe the reason for this is because I was younger when the earlier cars came out and I was able to obsess about them and the numbers war they were engaged in.

    The point is that the hearts and minds of adolescent boys today, ie. the people responsible for a car's position in hearts and minds in history, the P1 will not be as big of a deal as the F1 was to us because it doesn't chase after those meaningless yardsticks.

    Also, why the hate on 0-60? I spend a lot more time taking my car from 0-60 than I do from 60-100.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I just think the term supercar should be used. Why invent a new term it's not necessary the problem is people calling cars that aren't supercars... supercars.
    Exactly. Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I just think the term supercar should be used. Why invent a new term it's not necessary the problem is people calling cars that aren't supercars... supercars.

    That's fair but then what do we call the current "supercars" like the 458 Italia and the MP4-12c?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    That's fair but then what do we call the current "supercars" like the 458 Italia and the MP4-12c?
    Why not call them now what we called them back in the 80's. Exotics.
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    Also, why the hate on 0-60? I spend a lot more time taking my car from 0-60 than I do from 60-100.
    Because it's a traction dependent stat so when cars get so powerful it really is meaningless. Trap speed is far more telling as is 0-100 now.

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    And here I will go on a bit of a rant. Yes the term hypercars to me is also pretty awkward, I've used it myself and each time that combination of words left my mouth I always felt conscious about it, thinking: "Well that sounds weird..."

    Anywho I agree that who cares why the P1 wont possibly beat the Top Speed record of the Veyron, and why does it have to? Why does it have to sacrifice other driving characteristics for the sake of just 1? Will the top seed record lead to more sales of the car? I'm pretty sure there are already more 458's running around than we have Veyrons and most likely more MP4-12C's as well. And that's what those companies are in the business, McLaren now wants to be a company like Ferrari and sell a wide range of exotic sportscars to the people. Could they build a Veyron killer, no doubt in my mind. But again what's the point, that doesn't define what the company is, and they build cars that follow in their history and heritage just like Ferrari. So ask yourself the same question, does the Veyron define what kind of company Audi and Volkswagen is?

    There are other metrics by which people define driving and cars, handling, stopping etc. And as we know there is a wide range of cars that do that much better than the Veyron can. A Veyron is a car made for a movie star who will drive it to a movie premiere:



    The 458 and the MP4-12C and others also will be used for that reason as well, but they will also be stripped down and used for racing in real sanctioned series and not some track rentals. You wont see anybody do that to a Veyron ever.

    Rant is over, not even sure if I stayed on topic.
    Click here to enlarge

  23. #23
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    That's fair but then what do we call the current "supercars" like the 458 Italia and the MP4-12c?
    Those aren't supercars. Exotic? Yes, but an Enzo is a supercar. The 458 Italia isn't.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    That's fair but then what do we call the current "supercars" like the 458 Italia and the MP4-12c?
    This is the problem here - you think those are "supercars". Fine. You definition and my/our definition of a "supercar" are very different. Main reason why I don't think the 458 or the 12c are supercars....because I see 2 or 3 of them every day.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sr20seb Click here to enlarge
    Why not call them now what we called them back in the 80's. Exotics.
    Great post. Agree 100%.

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