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I’ll just leave this one here – Three Blokes in Three Hypercars

Estaban Moreno June 20, 2014 Top Gear

LaFerrari Porsche 918 Spyder McLaren P1

One can only assume that everyone’s favorite trio of blokes from England got their hands on a LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, and McLaren P1. Found on Reddit, two questions remain: 1) when is this Top Gear special coming out, and 2) which one is going to win?

I’m betting the Porsche will provide a surprise upset, and the Ferrari will be the slowest to lap Dunsfold Aerodrome. What say you?

 

LeMans recap: What about the Nissan ZEOD RC?

Estaban Moreno June 19, 2014 Motorsports

Nissan ZEOD RCNevermind the legal issues surround Nissan’s electro-centric ZEOD RC. Nevermind that it really is a clear copy off the DeltaWing or that the BladeGlider concept inspired by it will probably never go into production.

It competed last weekend at the 24 Hours of LeMans, and you probably didn’t hear anything about it. If you did, it was probably that it completed a lap on all-electric power. And then, after 23 minutes and just five laps of Circuit de la Sarthe, it went kaputt. The transmission failed, and so did the most electrifying car in all of endurance racing.

With the advent of KERS, capacitors, and heavily hybridized race cars, does the Nissan ZEOD RC really matter? Do cars that run completely on electricity – extended-range electric cars – really make sense in racing? Further, do they make sense in any sort of performance car?

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Congratulations, your 2013 Corvette ZR1 officially sucks

2015-Chevrolet-CorvetteZ06-027-medium

Yesterday, General Motors released engine specs on its new LT9 engine: 650 horsepower and 650 torques for the 2015 Z06. At the same time, the C6 Corvette ZR1 became irrelevant.

Like so many other cars, the C7 Vette is making haste to lay waste to its predecessors. If the mid-level Z06 is going to be that much better than the model it replaces, expect next year’s ZR1 to come with 100 more horsepower. Turbochargers. Superchargers and turbochargers. Rockets. Drag slicks. Methamphetamine.

Suddenly, the C6 ZR1 and all of its once-epic performance will fall into obscurity. Auto journalists will forget it ever happened after September or so.

It happened when the E90 BMW M3 replaced the E46. It happened when the 991 Porsche 911 replaced the 997.

Planned obsolescence is a bitch. Damn you, Bill Durant. Damn you.

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What would a Cadillac ELR-V look like?

ELR

Never mind that the Cadillac ELR is a flawed vehicle: A beautiful car with meek horsepower; a sophisticated car with an overly optimistic price. Its chassis is still GM’s Delta platform. And the Delta is pretty damn good.

Despite having a torsion beam rear axle, the Delta has underpinned the Cobalt SS, Astra OPC/VXR, Cruze BTCC race cars, and even the Buick Verano. Despite the Cobalt being a flaming pile of excrement on so many levels, its chassis was benchmarked against the Mk. 4 VW Jetta’s for refinement and handling. GM’s engineers did a decent job there.

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Are cars really more expensive than they used to be?

001-2014-mazda3-sedan

The other day, I saw a dealer listing a 2014 Mazda3 Grand Touring for nearly $30,000. $30,000!?! I remember when it was possible to get into a new BMW 3 Series for that kind of money not too long ago. Now, we’re talking about a compact hatchback from a company that once spewed the chintzy Mazda 121 from its depths.

It got me thinking: Are cars really that much more expensive than they used to be? Will I soon be living in a world of $35,000 Ford Focii and Chevrolet Cruzes with leatherette seats and 16-inch wheels if inflation keeps going at this rate?

What you may be thinking is “Well, that there Mazda probably had leather, active cruise control, and a head-up display!” At the end of the day, though, it’s still a car that has a back seat designed for at-the-knee amputees and the Lolly Pop Guild. Definitely not at the same time, though.

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