All posts in “Video”

Video Roundup: Magnus Walker’s Porsches, Hermes Edition Pagani Huayra, Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door and More

These are the Videos That Caught Out Eye This Week

We watch a fair number of supercar and sports car videos each week on YouTube, and we come across some seriously wonderful stuff. While we will occasionally showcase a video of something, sometimes there’s just too many good videos to do a write up for each and every one. That’s why we thought it best to give a video roundup of all our favorite videos this week. 

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best videos that came out this week on YouTube that showcase some of the best and most impressive cars out there. 

Magnus Walker’s Porsche Collection

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Magnus Walker might look like a dirty hippy or a dirty homeless man, but the buy is an insanely cool dude who is one of the best to turn to when it comes to Porsches. In the video above, Walker takes the guys behind the YouTube channel Seen Through Glass through his collection of Porsche cars. It’s a video full of eye candy, and it showcases just how big of a Porsche enthusiast Walker is. This is our dream garage, and It’s absolutely perfect. 

Hermes Edition Pagani Huayra With Supercar Blondie

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If you don’t know Supercar Blondie, you should. She gets access to some of the most amazing cars in the world and showcases them on her YouTube channel. In the video above, she gets to take a close look at the first-ever Hermes Edition Pagani Huayra. Hermes is one of the most prestigious luxury brands out there and Pagani is its equivalent in the supercar world. The two make an amazing paring, and as you can see, this car in the video does not disappoint. 

Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Road Review by Carfection

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I’m a huge fan of Carfection’s YouTube channel. The publication puts out some of the best videos out there, and Henry Catchpole is one of the better car reviewers in the business. In this review, Catchpole looks at the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door to see how it drives on the road and to find out if it’s worth the money that Mercedes wants to charge for it. He gives an honest look at one wildly impressive four-door car. 

2020 Jaguar F-Type Checkered Flag Review by TheStraightPipes

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Another good channel for straight car reviews is TheStragihtPipes. The channel is run by some serious automotive journalist giving you a clear look at some of the best high-performance cars out there. This time around, the guys have their hands on the 2020 Jaguar F-Type Checkered Flag, and they go over what makes this version of the car different and if it’s worthy of your hard-earned dollars.

BMW E30 M3 vs E46 M3 CSL vs M2 Competition by Autocar

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Autocar is one of the older and still one of the best automotive publications out there and it’s videos like this one that set the publication’s YouTube channel apart from all of the random videos out there. In the video, the journalists put three of the best BMW models up against one another to determine what the best M Division car is. It’s an entertaining video with some awesome eye candy and excellent evaluation. 

Those are the videos that caught out eye this week. We’ll be rounding up future videos in the coming weeks so that you can catch all of the great video content being put out by various channels. 

Autocar Reviews the McLaren F1, P1 and Senna

The Best Hypercars Reviewed Back-to-Back

There’s a lot to love about what McLaren is doing right now with its lineup. However, Autocar thought it best to take a look at the Senna and its predecessors to get a true understanding of what the company is doing and how it has progressed over time. 

The publication managed to get the McLaren Senna, P1, and F1 all for one fantastic video shoot so it could discuss their impacts, how they drive, and how they’ differ from one another. Matt Prior of Autocar takes you on a journey through the car’s history and how they drive. 

While the McLaren P1 and Senna are so much more advanced than the F1, it seems that Prior enjoys the F1 the most. The car will do 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and do a standing quarter-mile in 11 seconds, and that’s with no launch mode or traction control or really any assisting systems of all time. 

However, the P1 and the Senna are truly amazing cars, and it’s clear how one leads into the other in a lineage like no other. Check out the full video below. It’s worth the watch to see these three icons doing what they do best. 

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Road Review of the Porsche 718 Spyder by Carfection

Watch Henry Catchpole Take the Topless 718 Around Scotland

The Porsche 718 Spyder is new and improved and features a wonderful six-cylinder engine. Henry Catchpole of Carfection recently had the chance to take the car to Scotland on some beautiful roads and discuss the merits of the model and how it’s different than the previous version of the car. 

As you can expect, Catchpole likes the car. “Oh yes, it’s brilliant,” he said. “Just as well all expected.” Of course, it helps that he’s driving the car on some of the most beautiful country roads ever. However, even if he weren’t on those roads, you can tell that the car would have performed admirably. 

In the end, he says the Spyder is a notable improvement over the previous car and even says he finds that he thinks it justifies upgrades more so than the coupe if you owned the last generation model. You can watch the full video below. 

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2004 Porsche Carrera GT: History, Specifications, & Performance

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Porsche Carrera GT has become one of the most iconic and sought after vehicles in the realm of exotic car idolization and ownership. It  is hard to believe, that things didn’t really start off that way. 

When the Porsche Carrera GT was released in 2004, it was anticipated to stir up plenty of fervor. It certainly had all the attributes to do so. It was a mid-engined V10 hypercar – one of the first to be considered a step beyond supercar status – and introduced a variety of industry-first technologies and features to the production car market. 

It was hard to argue against the Carrera GT having the performance, appearance, and stature to justify its $440,000 USD price tag when brand new. Nevertheless, Porsche dealerships would have a difficult time selling them despite costing over $200,000 USD less than a new Ferrari Enzo; the Carrera GT’s intended target and rival. 

The slower than forecasted sales are likely the cause for Porsche ending production after just 1,270 units. Though a run 1,500 units were originally planned, the German marque went on record to blame “changing airbag regulations” for their decision to ax the car. Thankfully, this turn of events would not prove ominous for the Porsche Carrera GT over the long run. In fact, quite the opposite.

Interestingly enough, we can thank the ongoing technological advancements taking place in the automotive industry for the Porsche Carrera GT’s resurgence into the limelight. Besides being equipped with a wicked state-of-the-art, naturally aspirated, 612-horsepower engine which was ahead of its time, the Carrera GT was otherwise an extremely analog machine and it is this very characteristic that would elevate its appeal over time.

This was helped on mainly by the fact that since the Porsche Carrera GT was released, the exotic car landscape has shifted dramatically to the production of more user-friendly, techologically refined and easy-to-live-with supercars – the fastest for the masses, if you will. 

This generally means that certain features have become standard issue in today’s highest performing vehicles – electronic assists and nannies which prioritize safety, dual-clutch automatic transmissions to make driving easier, hybrid powertrains designed to lower fuel consumption, and so on. You don’t have to be a professional driver to wring out the most, if not all of the performance potential in a modern supercar – that predictably appeals to more people.

While all of these changes are welcome and generally considered to be advancements in the supercar space, the pace at which the technology has been improving often feels too fast and overwhelming. In the midst of all the craziness, people began to catch on to just how special of a car the Porsche Carrera GT really is. 

That is because it is one of the last hypercars/supercars that isn’t like anything that is produced today – in all the best ways possible, of course. For instance, it is one of the last mass production supercars to be fitted with a true manual transmission. 

Today, this sentiment is reflected in the Carrera GT’s sky-high prices in the used market, which would have translated to a very reasonable return on investment if you had bought one new, kept it and then decided to sell now.

Engine & Performance

Specifications:

  • Engine Type & Size: 5.7L Naturally Aspirated V10
  • Horsepower: 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm
  • Torque: 435 lb-ft @ 5,750 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed Manual
  • O-60 mph: 3.8 seconds

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense, often used as a sales gimmick in marketing ads these days, but in the true sense of the word. 

In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally aspirated V10 concept engine which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not be wasted. Porsche decided to adapt the engine for the use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols but still managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. 

The result is a naturally aspirated 5.7L V10 midship engine, which produces 612-horsepower @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque at 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate to 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

2004 Porsche Carrera GT Engine2004 Porsche Carrera GT Engine

The engine wasn’t just all brawn, as it was meticulously designed to be just one element of something that was greater than the sum of its own parts. For example, the optimized V-angle of the cylinders and the extremely low-to-the-ground crankshaft helps to give the car a very low center of gravity which enhances its overall handling and chassis capabilities. 

The Carrera GT’s V10 engine, in spite of its large displacement, weighs in at just 472 pounds thanks to the extensive use of lightweight forged alloy materials which provides bulletproof engine internals which have the highest levels of temperature resistance.

Mated to the powerplant is a six-speed manual transmission developed especially for the Carrera GT. Like the rest of the car’s driving components, the transmission was also designed to be compact and ideally specced to reduce overall weight and maintain an optimum weight distribution.

For the first time in a production car, Porsche introduced a factory-installed ceramic clutch known officially as Porsche Ceramic Composite Clutch – or PCCC. While sharing the characteristics of some race car clutches such as compactness and low mass, PCCC was also designed to meet or exceed the life expectancy of conventional clutch plates, making it suitable for everyday driving applications and importantly, fit for use on a production car.

The transmission, in an overall sense, is able to smoothly translate the car’s massive power into something that is as manageable as it is robust. Although the grabby and sensitive ceramic clutch will likely take some time to get acquainted with, it will soon reward the driver with solid, mechanical shifts which could be most accurately described in one word as “satisfying”.

Chassis & Handling

The Porsche Carrera GT continues to benefit from the manufacturer’s experience in endurance racing, through which their carbon fiber technology had undergone the most rigorous of trials by the turn of the millennium. 

The most notable use of carbon fiber in the formation of the chassis is the Carrera GT’s pure carbon fiber monocoque and subframe. This would be the foundation on which the car’s rigidity, lightweightedness and agility would be showcased.

Many of the technologies used in the Carrera GT’s suspension components were adapted from the Porsche 911 GT1 race car, which won the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. 

The suspension configuration was designed with double-wishbone axle pushrods in the front and rear which improved the car’s responsiveness to driver inputs while enhancing road feel – something that the more common McPherson spring/strut design would not have provided adequately. The majority of the components were also made of aluminum to save weight.

Porsche Carrera GT DiagramPorsche Carrera GT Diagram

The electronic driving aids in the Carrera GT does nothing to detract from the purest of driving experiences, while at the same time allowing the car to feel compliant when driving at the limits. A meticulously thought-out power steering system accentuates the car’s agility and is perfectly weighted at both low and high speeds to elevate communication between man and machine. 

The ABS and traction control systems are adaptive to a variety of different road surfaces and conditions, to allow for a spirited driving style in any circumstance. Working in tandem with each other, both systems enhance stability under hard braking and acceleration to give the driver dynamic control of the vehicle’s steering capabilities, even in the most demanding situations. Safety without sacrifice of performance or driving pleasure is paramount in the philosophy on the Carrera GT.

Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes – or PCCB – come standard on the Carrera GT and were the first of its kind in the production car world, when Porsche introduced them on the 2001 Porsche 911 GT2. 

Besides being considerably lighter than conventional rotors, Porsche had the technology improved for use in the Carrera GT, which featured enlarged cross-drilled ceramic brake discs which have the highest level of heat resistance and an exceptionally consistent frictional coefficient. Completing the braking system were set 6-piston monoblock calipers, employed at all four corners of the car. 

Last but not least, the Porsche Carrera GT meets the tarmac a set of staggered center-locking forged magnesium wheels wrapped in Michelin tires specially developed for the Carrera GT (F: 265/35/19, R: 335/30/20)

This combination allowed for the extremely strong and lightweight wheels to complement the chassis in its unsullied responsiveness to driver inputs, while also reducing the rate of wear on the extra-wide and grippy tires.

Porsche Carrera GT TirePorsche Carrera GT Tire

 Design, Styling, & Interior

On the outside, there is nothing to suggest that the Porsche Carrera GT should be anything but a purpose-built super/hyper sports car. The silhouette of the car is a properly executed amalgamation of sleek and muscular features which certainly feels applicable to the Carrera GT’s overall demeanor.

Porsche Carrera GTPorsche Carrera GT

From the front particularly, the car is still undeniably a Porsche, with its headlights paying tribute to the Porsche 917 – the first Porsche race car to win at Le Mans. The bulgy front fenders extend across the doors and connect to the rear haunches of the car, which then blend into its extroverted rear deck finished off by the large, retractable rear wing. 

The double-clamshell engine lid conceals the 5.7L power plant while complimenting the two roll hoops it sits purposefully behind. The windshield and windows are designed to provide maximum visibility to the driver from all angles.

The cockpit of the Carrera GT is relatively understated but still more than adequately appointed with its perfect blend of functionality, elegance, and convenience. The center console inclines at a sharp angle towards the front dash, and is fully made from carbon and bolted to the chassis of the car to promote rigidity and safety.

 Mounted near the top of the center console, is one of the Carrera GT’s most quintessential features – its ergonomically located manual gearbox fitted with a laminated birchwood shift knob, which pays tribute to the heritage of Porsche motorsport.

Porsche Carrera GT WheelPorsche Carrera GT Wheel

One of the Carrera GT’s world firsts for production cars was its use of sport buckets made from a special hybrid of carbon fiber and aramid fiber, which is commonly known today as carbon kevlar. This super light and durable composite meant that the seats could be upholstered in high-end leather and still weigh less than 23 pounds each. With comfort still being a paramount feature in the Carrera GT, Porsche fitted the car with power windows, air conditioning, infotainment, and BOSE speakers.

Pricing

When the Porsche Carrera GT was released for the production year 2004, it had a retail price of $440,000 USD. Few would have guessed that its price would skyrocket over time to the levels they are at now – least of all Porsche, who cut production of the Carrera GT well before reaching its original target of producing 1,500 examples.

Today, a used Porsche Carrera GT can go for upwards of $700,000 USD. Some of the lowest mileage and best condition examples have been seen to fetch north of $1,000,000 USD. 

Over the past 15 years, the Carrera GT has become one of the most renowned supercars in history; thanks to its unique blend of driver-focused elements and advanced road-going technologies, it epitomizes what has now become the pinnacle of an era in which cars of this ilk would be produced. 

Knowing what the Carrera GT represents and possessing a rudimentary understanding of economics, my guess is that these prices will only go up as time passes.

Performance & Specifications Summary

Model & Pricing Info

Make Porsche
Model Carrera GT
Car type Coupe
Category Limited Series Production Car
Built At Zuffenhausen, Germany
Introduced 2004
Base Price (US) $440,000
Units built 1,270

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,380 kg (3,042 lbs)
Layout Rear mid-engine, Rear-wheel drive
Body / Frame Pure carbon fiber monocoque and subframe
Suspension (F) Independent double-wishbone with axle push rods made from aluminum
Suspension (R) Independent double-wishbone with axle push rods made from aluminum
Steering Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Brakes Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (380 mm carbon-ceramic brake discs and 6-piston calipers, front and rear) 
Tires Michelin (F: 265/35/19, R: 335/30/20)
Transmission 6-Speed Manual

Engine, Output & Performance

Engine V10
Displacement (Litres) 5.7L
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Power (hp) 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Power (hp) / liter 107.4 hp / liter
Power (hp) / weight 0.44 hp / kg
Torque 435 lb-ft @ 5,750 rpm
0-60 mph time 3.8 seconds
¼ Mile (standing) 11.3 seconds
Top Speed 205 mph (330 km/h)
Average Fuel Consumption 16 mpg (combined)

Image Gallery

The Porsche Carrera GT exudes a level of performance that can only exist in the highest echelons of road car hierarchy. It is rare that such a design can become so timeless in just 15 years, which can be the lifetime of a single iteration of vehicle. 

In my opinion, the Porsche Carrera GT is a monument of automotive history which will only become more prominent in the years to come. It is the culmination of arguably the most ideal era of automobiles, in which technological prowess and puristic driving principles were combined in perfect harmonization. It serves as a reminder as to how powerful the connection between man and machine can be, without one overwhelming the other.

Doug DeMuro never holds back when exclaiming that the Porsche Carrera GT is ‘the single greatest car ever made’. The famed YouTube car reviewer provides an in-depth overview of the car, and takes it for a test drive in the streets near Cleveland, Ohio where he discovers that it is less intimidating to drive than it looks.

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The most viewed review of the Carrera GT on YouTube is from Top Gear, where none other than Jeremy Clarkson admits that it is one of the most beautiful, exciting and fastest drives of his life. Also watch as the Stig attempts to beat the record-holding McLaren Mercedes, as the fastest car around the Top Gear test track.

[embedded content]I’ve always enjoyed the way in which EVO presents their video review documentaries, so here is Dickie Meaden taking the Carrera GT through its paces in an ‘ICONS’ episode. He credits the car’s analog driving experience and its engine, as positive differentiators amongst its competition which includes the Ferrari Enzo, McLaren Mercedes SLR, and Ford GT.

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Here is the only official video uploaded by Porsche on the web, which features the Carrera GT in an episode of ‘Porsche Experience TV’.

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Press Release: Carrera GT ‘Recommissioned’

02/04/2019

The Porsche Carrera GT is still counted among the most exciting sports supercars in the world, more than 15 years after it first appeared. Now, Porsche Classic has implemented a spectacular reconstruction as part of a custom order.

Porsche Carrera GTPorsche Carrera GT

With a ten-cylinder V engine with 612 PS of horsepower derived from a Formula 1 powertrain, premium design, and – not least – the incomparable driving experience it offers, the Porsche Carrera GT remains a milestone in the world of sports supercars today, and a collector in the US has commissioned Porsche Classic to thoroughly rework one of their privately owned vehicles.

It was truly a spectacular project. 

The collector wanted a complete, custom reconstruction of the vehicle, implemented at a manufacturing quality that can only be achieved by Porsche itself. The process involved the vehicle being entirely disassembled into individual parts, with every component extensively checked, and refurbished or replaced where necessary.

Extraordinary Paintwork in Oak Green Metallic

To set off the completely overhauled engine, transmission, and chassis components to their best advantage, the Carrera GT was also treated to a full refinish. Working with Porsche Classic, the owner chose Oak Green Metallic paintwork – a color that appeared for the first time in the 1970s, but which has never been available for the Carrera GT.

Porsche Carrera GTPorsche Carrera GT

The complementary five-spoke magnesium tires were specially designed, taking their initial inspiration from the legendary motorsport tires from BBS, which had a star-spoke painted in gold and a polished rim ring. 

However, material experts from the Porsche R&D center Weissach advised that polishing the rim ring would structurally alter the material in such a way that it would potentially be dangerously weakened, so an alternative engineering process was required to create the desired metallic high-gloss effect rim.

A Silver Ring Coated with Silver

The solution to the challenge lay in using silver, a precious metal. In an innovative procedure that had never before been used in series vehicle construction, a silver layer was applied to create a visually chrome-like surface finish.

This high-gloss silver layer requires a final protective coating though because silver is second only to iron in terms of metals that most readily oxidize: where prolonged   on iron results in rust, silver responds to exposure to atmospheric oxygen and water by accumulating unsightly black tarnish on its surface. 

This is why the silver-coated rim ring required a protective layer of clear lacquer, and the star-spoke was painted in gold to match. Serving as a technical contrast to this is the blue-and-silver central wheel lock, bearing the Porsche emblem in color.

Porsche Carrera GT TirePorsche Carrera GT Tire

The gold of the star-spoke has also been picked up elsewhere, for example in the Porsche lettering on the brake callipers, in the engine compartment, on the intake housings, and even in the interior, where the top marking in the center of the steering wheel is adorned by a single gold stripe flanked on both sides by a stripe of Oak Green – a discreet and individual touch.

Elaborate Repair of All Carbon Fiber Parts

Even at this stage, the work on this special Carrera GT was far from complete. “Because the coating on older carbon fiber parts tends to yellow and fade, we spent 350 hours manually sanding and recoating all the carbon fiber components, including the monocoque,” explains Uwe Makrutzki, Manager of Porsche Classic Factory Restorations in Stuttgart.

Porsche Carrera GT WheelPorsche Carrera GT Wheel

The vehicle is now ready for delivery, and at the invitation of Porsche Cars North America, Porsche Classic has presented it for the first time at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, to a select group of 100 invited guests including the car’s owner.

Porsche Classic also hosted a symposium to coincide with the event, moderated by motor journalist Pete Stout, and featuring Alexander Fabig, Head of Customer Center, Uwe Makrutzki, Manager of Porsche Classic Workshop Restoration, record-winning race driver David Donohue, and Porsche Designer Tony Hatter, who were all available to talk about the project and answer questions.

About Porsche Classic

Porsche Classic takes care of all vehicles whose production end date is generally more than ten years in the past. 

These include legendary sports cars, such as the 356, 914, 959 and 911 up to and including type 996, as well as all four and eight-cylinder vehicles, such as the 924, 928, 944 and 968, and the Porsche Boxster, type 986. Since 2016, Porsche Classic has also been responsible for the genuine parts supply of the Carrera GT super sportscar. Further information is available at Porsche.

Final Verdict

As my fellow Supercars.net colleague, Nick Dellis once remarked, “The world is full of armchair commentators when it comes to cars. At Supercars.net we have a number of journalists and automotive publications we rely on when we want to get unbiased opinions from people we admire.”

Below are snippets from some of our favorite car reviewers and automotive personalities regarding the Porsche 911 Speedster. As always, we ask that you support the amazing publications they release, so that the automotive community continues to benefit from the hard work and enthusiasm they put into providing us with content that we love.

Car Magazine – “Brilliant. Pure, Full-fat Unadulterated Brilliance.” – 5/5

Porsche Carrera GTPorsche Carrera GT

Ben Whitworth from carmagazine.co.uk reviewed the Porsche Carrera GT in 2008. He admits that the car can be a hassle to drive in low speed, stop-and-go traffic thanks to the sensitively operated clutch. Where things really start to get good are when “It’s only above 3000rpm that the ride, steering, chassis, and engine really start to work their magic. But boy, what magic.”

The Carrera GT’s handling is the perfect compliment to its engine, where he notes that “One of the car’s key attributes is its forgiving chassis and superb steering that together allow you to extract the best that fabulous engine has to offer. The more speed you add, the smoother and more fluid the ride becomes, allowing you to sew a series of bends together with real precision and confidence.” 

A disclaimer to end things off though, as he reminds us that “You can drive the Carrera GT at seven-tenths all day – which by normal standards is still phenomenally quick – but you’d better have your go-fast synapses all snapping together if you push harder.”

More: Read full review

Autotrader- “…the greatest experience of my entire life.” – DOUGSCORE: 71

Porsche Carrera GTPorsche Carrera GT

It’s easy to forget that Doug DeMuro actually writes his reviews on behalf of Autotrader, as the charismatic – and often quirky – the presenter has transcended into his own form of celebrity through his entertaining video car reviews.

His written review of the Porsche Carrera GT is a loosely based transcript of his video performance, mentioned earlier in my review. There are some things he reveals in his written article which he didn’t on Youtube, such as what was going through his mind before getting into the driver’s seat. “I’ve never felt so much pressure in my entire life. Tom Brady has never felt so much pressure in his entire life,” he remarked.

Doug knew that that car would be impressive, but he noted that “What was a surprise, however, was just how much I didn’t feel intimidated when I was behind the wheel.”, which is a testament to Porsche engineering principles. 

His final word: “My all-time favorite dream car. And the greatest car ever made.”

More: Read full review

My Final Verdict

5/5

The Porsche Carrera GT is one of the most distinguished representatives of an automotive era now concluded. It was the last supercar to be fitted with a true manual transmission. It introduced world-first technologies derived from racing, in a road car. It could very well be the last driver-focused car of its kind, with no successor – spiritually or materially. 

In fact, Michael Hölscher who led the development of the Carrera GT has stated regarding a second iteration, “We don’t want one. We have promised customers that there will be no successor. It would kill the value of the GT overnight. But we will always demonstrate that we are a leader in technology.” 

However, we will continue to see the Carrera GT’s influence in Porsche’s production cars which have – and are yet to – come through the production pipeline. “We have learned from the Carrera GT programme how to work with carbon fiber, ceramics, and magnesium. It’s a technology that will filter down into new products.” Hölscher notes.

This is especially important as the automotive landscape is changing both drastically and exponentially, as time goes on. In a future that looks to be dominated by software and electronics, the Carrera GT will hopefully serve as a reminder for Porsche to continue engineering cars that elicit an emotional connection with their owners/drivers. I am confident that Porsche is well-positioned to be both a leader in technology, while also staying true to its heritage.

The Porsche Carrera GT will always be one of the most incredibly balanced and exquisitely engineered cars ever made. Many years into the future – perhaps when the role of the automobile as we know it, becomes obsolete – the Carrera GT will become the equivalent of scripture for the soul; something for us to deeply reflect on, as we look to rekindle our relationship with the simple and good things in life. 

Rivals

Ferrari Enzo
Pagani Zonda C12S
McLaren Mercedes SLR 
Maserati MC12
Koenigsegg CC8S

Hennessey’s HPE1000 Corvette vs. a Ferrari 488 GTB in a Rolling Drag Race

Yes, the Chevy Wins

This hardly seems like a fair race. Hennessey took the ZR1 Corvette and boosted horsepower to 1,000 and then pitted it up against the Ferrari 488 GTB. It’s clear from the start which car would win. The Ferrari is at a major displacement deficit and down on power. It was bone stock. With that said, it’s still fun to watch in the video below. 

With all of the buzz out there about the new 2020 mid-engine Corvette, Hennessey had to remind people about how insane the C7 Corvette actually is. Also, the Ferrari 488 GTB while down on power compared to the heavily modified Chevy honestly performed very well. The car has a 3.9-liter V8 engine that produces 661 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. That’s down considerably from the HPE1000 Corvette’s 1,000 hp and 966 lb-ft of torque. 

Despite the Ferrari being far down in terms of power and displacement, the car performs admirably. The HPE100 should blow it away, and it does by the end of the strip, but for a split second when they first cross the cones, the Ferrari looks like it’s going to hold on. Then the Corvette begins to stretch its legs and its all over. It’s a short and entertaining video. We highly suggest you check it out. 

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2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Guide: History, Specifications, & Performance

Table of Contents

Introduction

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

Celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, the GT-R moniker has had an undoubtedly storied past. The current iteration of the GT-R, known as the R35, has produced another fine chapter in book of automotive legend. The latest apogee in this ongoing tale is the impending release of the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo, which was unveiled at last year’s New York International Auto Show.

Now entering the 11th year of this golden generation, the R35 has seized the opportunity to become a household name in mainstream motorsport stardom. With that being said, the achievement of so many milestones is also revealing in how long it has been in the scene. 

Therefore, it would be serendipitous if this latest GT-R Nismo also drew the curtains on the R35, ushering an era of fresh ideas, and ultimately the next generation of the GT-R.

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is the first production-spec GT-R to benefit from sharing parts directly from the GT-R GT3 race car. In summary, the new GT-R Nismo is lighter, more responsive, has better aerodynamics, is more efficient at cooling and brakes greater than ever. 

What this should inevitably translate to – likely in the near future, as the release date approaches – is the fastest lap time set by a factory assembled and street-legal GT-R at the Nürburgring.

Each of the changes on their own isn’t particularly notable compared to the 2019 Nissan GT-R Nismo. Both cars look mostly the same, with a keen eye required to spot the changes – such as the vented front fenders, redesigned wheels, lighter-weight exterior components, bigger brakes, and beefier tires

In fact, overall power figures for the 2020 car remain unchanged; the key difference is that this newest version utilizes the same turbocharger hardware used in its GT3 version, which Nissan claims will significantly improve engine response and acceleration.

Over the past 10 years, the Nissan GT-R has been the subject of perpetual tweaking, refining, and perfecting. The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is the culmination of a decade’s worth of experience, knowledge, and mastery of one’s craft. 

It is Nissan’s interpretation of what the quintessential modern supercar needs to be – the perfect balance of refinement for the road and performance for the track. I have no doubt that the latest Nismo will be the most complete representation of this philosophy that we have seen.

Engine & Performance

Specifications:

  • Engine Type & Size: 3.8L Twin-Turbocharged V6
  • Horsepower: 600 hp @ 6,800 rpm
  • Torque: 481 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • O-60 mph: 2.5 seconds

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo employs the same 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6 that has continued to evolve over the life-cycle of the R35. Since its inception, the VR38DETT power plant has undergone numerous stages of updates which have made it more powerful than the version before – the new Nismo is no exception, as the most powerful and advanced version to come out of the Tochigi assembly plant.

Producing 600-horsepower @ 6,800 rpm and 481 ft-lb of torque @ 3,600 rpm, overall output remains unchanged compared to the 2019 Nissan GT-R Nismo – but that’s just on paper. Where it really matters is in the exclusive turbocharger design which is borrowed directly from the GT-R GT3 race car. 

The modified turbine architecture further optimizes flow rates and improves acceleration response by 20% thanks to quicker spooling, even under the same level of boost pressure. A new titanium exhaust provides the finishing touch, enhancing the car with a more pronounced growl and a bit of weight reduction.

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Engine2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Engine

Mated to the engine is a revised version of the evergreen 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, which continues to send power through car’s legendary all-wheel-drive system. It now features a smarter ‘R mode’ which allows for lightning-quick and smoother gear shifts. 

The adaptive shift control program allows the GT-R Nismo to seamlessly transition between a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality – civil manners while on public roads and pure unhinged performance on the racetrack, even without needing to manually switch driving modes.

Nissan claims that the combination of all these improvements will allow the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds. The GT-R in any of its guises is certainly no slouch, but that is absolutely mind-boggling. Those are hypercar numbers.

Chassis & Handling

With how well composed the previous year’s version of GT-R Nismo was, it would be understandable – and to a degree, forgivable – if Nissan had decided to forego any major changes in the handling department. However, in tandem with Nismo, they are on the never-ending quest to continue improving the GT-R in any, and every way possible. 

To complement the car’s overall engine performance improvements, a retuned suspension setup further improves cornering stability along with an enhanced yaw rate response and smoother ride quality, effectively adding refinement without sacrificing its handling capabilities. The steering also feels more linear and is more precise; only the most minimal input corrections are needed at speeds of up to 300 km/h. 

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo also benefits from new Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes which are inspired by the GT3 race car. As part of this setup, larger brake rotors are provided in the front and rear – 16.1” and 15.3” respectively – and provide better stopping performance and weight reduction. 

However, as all things ‘carbon-ceramic’ go, the inevitable costs to replace these consumables will likely be sky-high.

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Tires2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Tires

The redesigned 20-inch wheels are the lightest and most rigid factory-made versions so far, and feature a new 9-spoke face. The wheels are wrapped in Dunlops specially designed for use on the 2020 GT-R Nismo, and provide an 11% increase in contact patch – good for higher cornering forces and improved steering response.

 Design, Styling & Interior

At a cursory glance, the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo looks essentially the same as any of the previous Nismo versions and is certainly not easy to mistake as a GT-R in general. More discerning eyes will immediately be able to distinguish the new vented front fenders, which are a unique feature on the 2020 edition. Aside from being eye-catching, the vents help to cool the engine and contribute help to increase downforce over the front tires. 

Other less-standout-ish changes include a new front and rear bumper, front hood, side sill covers, trunk, and rear wing, all made of carbon fiber (plus an optional roof, made from the same). Compared to the 2019 Nissan GT-R NISMO, the 2020 version manages to shed about 67 pounds thanks in huge part to this carbon fiber diet.

Much fewer considerations were made in re-jigging the interior, although new seats with improved bolstering are provided. The interior layout remains identical to last year’s Nismo model and continues to be based on the GT-R’s most recent interior design refresh which was performed back in 2016. 

Nissan’s collaboration with Polyphony Digital (creators of PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series) continues to ensure that features such as the instrument cluster, infotainment system, and multi-function display continue to stay relevant and inspired.

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Interior2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo Interior

 Pricing

While the Nissan GT-R has been improved upon with every passing year since 2009, so too has its price been increasing accordingly. While it is not unreasonable to expect that a better product should command a higher price tag, the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is still a car based on a chassis that is now entering its 12th year of service. 

The GT-R continues to be relevant with its overall performance capabilities and sufficiently thoughtful refreshes; there is no doubt that this latest model will be the best GT-R yet. In spite of this, however, we may be approaching the ceiling of what buyers find acceptable spending on a design that could be teetering towards an overstayed welcome.

Official pricing has not yet been released by Nissan. With that being said, the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo will inevitably become the most expensive version so far, likely to be priced a smidge higher than the 2019 version, which had an MSRP of $175,540 USD. 

That means you should be prepared to dole out at least $180,000 USD to get your hands on the new GT-R Nismo, and closer to the $200,000 mark with all the option boxes ticked.

Performance & Specifications Summary

Model & Pricing Info

Make Nissan
Model GT-R
Generation R35
Sub-Model Nismo
Car type Coupe
Category Limited Series Production Car
Built At Tochigi, Japan
Introduced 2019
Base Price (US) $280,000 (est.)
Units built TBD

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,744kg (3,844 lbs)
Layout Front-engine, All-wheel Drive
Body / Frame Aluminum-steel composite monocoque, carbon fiber elements
Suspension (F) Independent double wishbone aluminum, integral tube-frame structure, six-point mounting
Suspension (R) Independent multi-link aluminum suspension, integral tube-frame structure, six-point mounting, aluminum upper/lower links (spherical bearing design)
Steering Vehicle-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion, aluminum steering rack, four-point mounting, with stiff insulators
Brakes Carbon Ceramic Discs 16.1” front, 15.3” rear), Brembo Brake Calipers (6-piston front; 4-piston rear)
Tires Dunlop tires (bespoke)
Transmission 6-Speed DCT

Engine, Output & Performance

Engine V6
Displacement (Litres) 3.8L
Position Longitudinal
Aspiration Twin-turbocharged
Power (hp) 600 hp @ 6,800 rpm
Power (hp) / litre 157.9 hp / litre
Power (hp) / weight 0.34 hp / kg
Torque 481 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
0-60 mph time 2.5 seconds
Average Fuel Consumption 19 mpg (combined)

Image Gallery

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo retains the silhouette that makes it undeniably ‘Godzilla’. Though relatively unchanged from last year’s Nismo model, and easy to identify from afar as an R35, new features such as the scalloped vents on the front fenders are identifying features of the Tochigi’s latest rendition.

In my opinion, the 2020 Nissan GT-R continues a tried and trusted recipe of Japan’s ‘everyday supercar’. Some would say that it’s about time Nissan started serving a new dish – but there is no denying that there will always be a palette for the R35, and this is the tastiest concoction yet. While the due date for a new generation of GT-R is certainly approaching, the latest Nismo collaboration is still very much a car to be craved.

Since there have not yet been any journalist reviews of the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo, here is Doug DeMuro’s review of the 2019 model. Although the 2020 Nismo is certainly an improvement, I suspect many of his talking points will carry over for the newer car – most notably its value-for-money when compared to its competitors, and even to the ‘regular’ GT-R.

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A documentary which chronicles the build process from start to finish, of a 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo. The story is told as seen through the eyes of ‘Takumi’ – master technicians who possess special qualifications that allow them to be involved in the assembly of a GT-R. 

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Nissan’s official cinematic for the car.

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Original Press Release

2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO Strengthens Grip On Speed

Racing-inspired upgrades make ultimate performance available to select drivers

2019/04/16

NEW YORK – The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO made its world debut today, with race-car-inspired upgrades and tuning improvements that maximize its exhilarating performance.

The model was showcased alongside the new 50th Anniversary Edition as Nissan celebrated 50 years of GT-R heritage at the New York International Auto Show.

“The 2020 GT-R NISMO has evolved into a balanced, yet extreme, performance car,” said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist for the GT-R. “Pursuing driving pleasure is the most important concept behind GT-R, and the new NISMO’s performance suggests it is a car that belongs on the race track – but is also at home on the open road.”

Designed for a pro, built for everyone.

For the 2020 GT-R NISMO, Nissan engineers set out to take race-proven technology and make it accessible and comfortable for drivers of all skill levels. Vehicle control and predictability were critical in achieving this; thus, they adopted the theme “absolute street and track performance” when developing the car.

Setting the most potent and exclusive of all GT-Rs apart from the rest of the pack is the amount of carbon fiber found throughout the car, including the front and rear bumpers, front fenders, hood, roof, side sill covers, trunk, and rear spoiler. 

Each component has been improved to cut weight, increase downforce and enhance aerodynamics. These exterior parts alone have resulted in a total weight savings of 10.5 kilograms, in addition to nearly 20 kg of reductions from other upgrades and new components.

The front fenders now resemble those on the GT3 GT-R. Scalloped vents help funnel hot air away from the engine bay and provide exceptional downforce onto the front tires, without additional drag. 

They also improve aerodynamics by smoothing out airflow along the body, with special consideration given to avoiding the rear spoiler, promoting high-speed stability. A new compression process gives the carbon fiber roof a lightweight, tight weave.

The 2020 GT-R NISMO’s exclusive 20-inch RAYS forged aluminum wheels are lighter than before and incorporate a nine-spoke design that enhances their rigidity. Newly designed Dunlop tires, with a wider tread and fewer grooves, increase the contact patch by 11%. This results in higher cornering force, enhanced steering response and improved rolling resistance when compared with the previous model.

Inside the cabin, exclusive GT-R NISMO front seats are designed to focus on holding the shoulder blades and lower body points, giving the driver a better sense of car and body as one. 

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo

Transcending perfection

Few cars possess the GT-R’s driving performance. For the 2020 model, the engineers sought to improve what was essentially already mechanical perfection, “making small tweaks to squeeze out as much as possible from the engine and chassis,” according to Tamura.

Nissan’s 3.8-liter V6 24-valve twin-turbocharged engine – each handcrafted by its own takumi technician – remains the heart of the GT-R’s drivetrain. The GT-R NISMO features an exclusive turbocharger design – direct from the GT-R GT3 race car – with modified turbine shape and fewer blades. This optimizes the flow rate and enhances the acceleration response by 20%, without a loss of horsepower.

The car’s revised 6-speed dual-clutch transmission features a refined “R mode” that not only shifts faster but also optimizes gear selection, especially when exiting corners. This enhances the feeling of acceleration and deceleration on both road and track. 

The adaptive shift control has also been programmed to adapt shift schedules to the user’s driving style. This makes it possible to drive in a law-abiding way on public roads and in a highly spirited fashion on a race track, without manually changing modes.

The car’s exhaust note is the product of a revised titanium exhaust with handcrafted burnished blue tips.

When it comes to handling, the 2020 GT-R NISMO has few equals. Its updated suspension tuning improves cornering stability, with enhanced yaw rate response and smoother ride quality. The steering features better linearity and precision than ever, requiring minimal corrections at speeds of up to 300 kph (186 mph).

The absolute performance theme is also fittingly reflected by the addition of a carbon-ceramic brake system. The combination of the Brembo carbon-ceramic rotors — 410 mm upfront and 390 mm at the rear — and Brembo calipers significantly improve reaction time, durability and overall stopping performance. At the same time, their lightweight nature decreases the unsprung weight on each wheel, allowing the car to trace the intended driving line in a highly precise manner. 

The carbon and silica carbide structure of the rotors is nearly as hard as diamonds. When paired with the new material of the brake pads, they generate more friction for an enhanced controlled feeling in all types of braking situations. The new materials also help decrease braking footwork by shortening the brake pedal stroke. The newly developed high-rigidity calipers are dipped in bright yellow paint that can resist temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius.

“We have built the 2020 GT-R NISMO for our customers to be the ultimate track and street vehicle,” Tamura said. “It is about total balance management, not just chasing power figures. The new NISMO has been brought to a new level, with enhanced engine, handling, braking, and aerodynamics.” 

2020 GT-R NISMO specifications (U.S. spec)
Engine VR38DETT, V6 twin-turbo charged DOHC
Displacement 3.8L
Horsepower 600 hp
Torque 481 lb-ft /3600-5600 rpm
Overall length 184.6 in. / 4690 mm
Overall width 74.6 in. / 1895 mm
Overall height 53.9 in. / 1370 mm
Wheelbase 109.4 in. / 2780 mm

Contact

Dan Passe

General Manager, Global Product Communications 

+81-(0)45-523-5549 

[email protected]

Koji Okuda

Deputy General Manager, Japan Communications

+81-(0)45-523-5552

[email protected]

For more information about our products, services, and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit Nissan Global. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

Final Verdict

4.5/5

As the proud owner of a GT-R (2012 Black Edition), the Nismo cars have always garnered from me, a sense of awe, excitement, and fanfare that I’ve come to associate with cars given the blessing by Nissan’s iconic racing division. 

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is no different, and I also have no doubt that it will be the best iteration of the GT-R to come out of the infamous Tochigi factory in Japan.

Aside from being an objectively impressive machine, there are two issues that I predict will arise from one problem – its price.

Likely to start at around $180,000 USD, the new GT-R Nismo is an expensive car, putting it in the same price territory as the exotic cars it was set to hunt down, then defeat, with its superior bang-for-buck. 

This can no longer be the case, as it is now priced very similarly to its main rival – the Porsche 911 Turbo S. This could prove to be a hard sell for a pragmatist, who will also consider that the GT-R is now entering its 12th year based on the same design. 

The second issue is that you can get 95% of the car at 60% of the price, just by looking at another car in the Nissan lineup – namely the good ol’, regular, ‘Plain Jane’ GT-R. With an established aftermarket ecosystem to draw from, it would be easy and relatively inexpensive to wring out that extra 5% of performance to match the Nismo on paper.

But at the end of the day, you and I both know that doing so won’t make it a Nismo, and it never will. Even if one went as far as taking a normal GT-R and fitting it with all of the legitimate Nismo hardware after the fact, it still wouldn’t even be close. That perhaps, is what makes the Nismo an ultimately desirable car. 

The Nismo badge alone, speaks to a heritage and brand power that simply cannot be replicated. In that same light, the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo precludes conventional scrutiny and needs to be appreciated with a more idealistic approach. Only then, could one understand why it is such an amazing car. 

Rivals

Porsche 911 Turbo S
Acura NSX
Audi R8
Nissan GT-R Track Edition
Corvette ZR1

2002 Honda NSX-R Guide: History, Specifications, & Performance

Table of Contents

Introduction

2002 Honda NSX-R Diagram2002 Honda NSX-R Diagram

The best way to introduce the 2002 Honda NSX-R, would be to tell the story of how it came to be.

Birth of a Legend

The Honda NSX – or Acura NSX as it is branded in North America – is a car synonymous with Japanese supercar legacy. When the NSX was first introduced to the world in 1990, it sent shockwaves throughout the automotive dimension, pioneering an unprecedented amalgamation of characteristics and engineering principles. 

This first iteration of the NSX had a 15-year run starting with model year 1991 (NA1), with production ending in 2005 after having undergone several minor changes in between, and a major refresh in 2002 (NA2).

The First Everyday Supercar

Not only was the first Honda NSX undeniably exotic through its appearance, mid-engined layout and performance figures (for the time, at least), it was also purposed with the same amount of thoughtfulness the rest of the Japanese automaker’s product line had received. Ultimately, the NSX was both an affordable and more reliable version of supposed industry equivalents. 

At a time when the words ‘supercar’ and ‘reliability’ couldn’t be spoken in the same sentence, the formula Honda used to create the NSX resulted in a vehicle that was truly unique for its time – it had all of the desirable characteristics of a supercar, but was packaged with the same reliability, build quality and sensibility of a Honda Accord. 

Shaping the Future

In many respects, the NSX became the blueprint from which even the most renowned supercar makers would template their own designs, with Gordon Murray – the principal creator of the McLaren F1 – openly crediting the Honda NSX for being the reference point he used to build what would become, one of the world’s most iconic supercars

Suffice to say, the NSX earned the respect of industry competitors and automotive enthusiasts alike, with its influence remaining apparent even in the supercars of today. After a prolonged sabbatical, Honda released the second generation of the NSX in 2016. Like the original NSX, it set out on a similar mission to ruffle, if not redefine, the automotive landscape. 

Although the newest version was certainly more technologically advanced than its predecessor and had all the attributes to be well regarded in today’s ultra-competitive and crowded supercar space, it was ultimately not well received especially when compared to its debut appearance. 

Perhaps this is because the rest of the major players had caught up, or even surpassed Honda at the game they had created, therefore diluting the new iteration’s overall impact in today’s terms.

Honda NSX-RHonda NSX-R

2002 Honda NSX-R

Shortly after the facelift in 2002, Honda released a Type-R version of the NA2 NSX which was exclusive for MY2002 and for the Japanese market only – just like it did for the NA1 NSX in 1992. By this time, the Type-R moniker had become the official signature of ultimate Honda roadcar performance, and the 2002 Honda NSX Type-R (officially abbreviated to NSX-R on this occasion), certainly lived up to its badge. 

Chief Engineer and Honda Legend, Shigeru Uehara set out with his team to create the most complete version of the NSX the world would see. 

While the main focus was on weight reduction, an abundance of mechanical and chassis refinements were also made to the NSX coupe on which it was based, in order to produce a roadcar that could challenge the best and the brightest of supercars of the era, despite being built on a platform that had already completed over 10 years of service.

And that, it did.

Engine & Performance

Specifications:

  • Engine Type & Size: 3.2L Naturally Aspirated V6
  • Horsepower: 290 hp @ 7,300 rpm
  • Torque: 224 lb-ft @ 5,300 rpm
  • O-60 mph: 4.7 seconds

Since the 2002 Honda NSX-R was based on the NA2 coupe, it was the beneficiary of an enhanced version of the 3.2L DOHC V6 employed in the aforementioned. Also piggybacking on the refresh was the use of a 6-speed manual transmission, as opposed to the 5-speed that was mated to the NA1 version’s 3.0L unit. In typical Honda fashion, the manual gearbox in the NSX-R is about as good as it ever gets with three pedals.

Honda – along with all Japanese automakers at the time – were still hamstrung by an informal, but honorably self-enforced gentlemen’s agreement which limited the horsepower of production cars. 

This meant that the NSX-R’s output was slightly exceeding the boundaries of the rules where no car could produce would have higher than 280-horsepower, apparently in the name of safety. Nevertheless, Honda would find a way to enhance engine performance through means which would avoid infractions – at least on paper, which is all that mattered to regulators.

Honda NSX-R engine testingHonda NSX-R engine testing

For starters, each NSX-R engine was hand-assembled by specially appointed technicians who used special instrumentation and techniques normally reserved for building race car engines. This meant that all rotating components such as the pistons, rods, and crankshaft were precision weighed and matched in order to achieve extremely small weight differential tolerances. 

The full rotating assembly was balanced to a level of accuracy which was ten times that of the regular NSX engine. While not technically increasing power output, this process resulted in significantly better throttle response and a more free-reving and ultimately, a better performing engine. This has led many to speculate that the 2002 Honda NSX-R’s rated 290-horsepower @ 7,300 rpm and 224 lb-ft of torque @ 5,300 rpm, is likely understated in order to satisfy the agreement.

Improved throttle response will typically create the impression of increased power, so Uehara also had the accelerator pedal modified to be much more sensitive to driver inputs, most notably at the beginning of the pedal’s now shorter stroke. 

As a result of all of these changes – along with chassis and handling improvements – the 2002 Honda NSX-R was able to outperform many of the day’s modern supercars, despite being in the 10th year of the same design and often having up to a 3-figure horsepower handicap.

Chassis & Handling

The 2002 Honda NSX-R would reap the benefits of weight reduction and enhanced rigidity over the regular NSX coupe. This was primarily achieved through the generous use of carbon fiber to replace most of the larger aluminum exterior panels, which included the front hood and rear spoiler. 

Carbon fiber was not reserved only for the car’s body, as Recaro carbon-kevlar racing seats replaced the standard leather seats, while lighter and stronger forged versions of the 17” wheels were installed.

The most notable difference between the NSX-R and all of the other trims would be the former’s removal of power steering. Not only did this contribute to the car’s overall weight reduction of around 220 pounds, but it made for a completely transformed driving experience compared to the latter. 

Admittedly, thanks to the addition of firmer suspension setup, this requires extra effort to drive the car at low speeds or on harsh surfaces while traveling at the posted city speed limits.

Honda NSX_RHonda NSX_R

Where, when and how this could be considered an improvement over the regular NSX, is where things really matter. Once at speeds of over 80 km/h – and certainly while driving through road courses with long, winding and sweeping corners – the absence of power steering really starts to make a lot of sense. 

The steering wheel becomes perfectly weighted and the driver’s connection to the road translates to an untethered, unadulterated driving experience – one which has not likely been duplicated to such a degree by any road-legal production car since.

During such spirited driving excursions, the aerodynamics also become noticeable and the feedback the driver receives from the NSX-R provides a sensation of absolute control and a purest connection to the tarmac which can only be described as clairvoyant – the car allows you to feel everything that was, is, and could be happening as you drive it, particularly at the limit.

 Design, Styling & Interior

To the untrained eye, the 2002 Honda NSX-R wouldn’t be overly distinguishable from the regular NA2, or even from the 1992 NSX Type-R NA1. It should be clear by now that the NSX-R is the summation of intricately considered details, so this should come as no surprise. Compared to the previous iteration, its larger 17” wheels, fixed headlights and hood scoop would be the only sure giveaways. 

Much like the car it is based on, the NSX-R has excellent visibility from inside the cockpit and is ergonomically efficient with an ideal seating position and thoughtfully placed instrumentation, buttons, knobs, and switches. 

As is traditional Honda demeanor, there is nothing particularly fancy or outstanding inside, but everything comes together as it needs to. Honda even decided to leave a surprising amount of amenities in the car, with e Bose stereo, air-conditioning and electric windows remaining intact.

Honda NSX-R Inner StylingHonda NSX-R Inner Styling

Actually, that might not be entirely true, as you begin to notice the red Recaro racing buckets you’re now seated in after years of relishing the moment you’d get near one of these legendary cars. They’re bolstered such that they remain comfortable, but are also clearly designed to prevent you from sliding around in your seat during those huge cornering Gs. 

Thanks in large part to the Honda NSX, red Recaros have achieved a cult status of their own, and are extremely popular amongst a wide range of automotive enthusiasts.

 Pricing

Not much is known about what the price of the 2002 Honda NSX-R was when brand new, or even an official number on how many were made. But there are a lot of other things that we do know, or that can be said with confidence.

The first is that it would have cost quite a bit more than the $89,000 USD equivalent it would take to get a regular NSX of the same year. The second is that the prices of all of the NA1 and NA2 NSXs are only going up – and the NSX Type-R and NSX-R will certainly be no exception to that trend.

Coincidentally, earlier in 2019, a 1992 NSX Type-R and 2002 NSX-R went up for auction in Japan. With the auction house claiming that only 140 examples of the NSX-R were made, this pristine example of an incredibly rare and sought after car is estimated to command anywhere between $345,000 – $436,000 USD

That should rule out all but the most dedicated and financially endowed collectors, of which there should be a sufficient number to meet any supply/demand requirements, even at those prices. 

Performance & Specifications Summary

Model & Pricing Info

Make Honda
Model NSX-R
Generation NA2 
Car type Coupe
Category Limited Series Production Car
Built At Tochigi, Japan
Introduced 2002
Base Price (USD) $150,000 (est.)
Units built 140 (est.)

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,270 kg (2,800 lbs)
Layout Mid-engine, Rear-wheel Drive
Body / Frame Aluminum monocoque, carbon fiber elements
Suspension (F) Independent double wishbone suspension with forged control arms
Suspension (R) Independent double wishbone suspension with forged control arms
Steering Rack and Pinion
Brakes Carbon Ceramic Discs 16.1” front, 15.3” rear), Brembo Brake Calipers (6-piston front; 4-piston rear)
Tires 215/40/17 Bridgestone Potenza R070 (front and rear)
Transmission 6-Speed Manual

Engine, Output & Performance

Engine V6
Displacement (Litres) 3.2L
Position Mid-engined, Longitudinal
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Power (hp) 290hp @ 7,300 rpm
Power (hp) / litre 90.7 hp / litre
Power (hp) / weight 0.23 hp / kg
Torque 224 lb-ft @ 5,300 rpm
0-60 mph time 4.7 seconds

Image Gallery

Just by looking at the car, it becomes readily apparent how influential – and now, timeless – the first-generation NSX has become. The NSX-R was the pinnacle of this very special car, which created a movement, and can claim huge credit in how the supercar landscape has evolved to its present state.

In my opinion, the 2002 Honda NSX-R remains a true testament to the purist’s rendition of the original ‘everyday supercar’. During a time when nostalgia is running rampant, and there is a propensity to be charmed by the simpler things in life in this rapidly changing world, this car remains a beacon in the preservation and revisiting of a beautiful and storied past.

I would like to start off by saying how jealous I am of Torque GT, for having the privilege of driving an NA1 and NA2 NSX Type-R / NSX-R back to back. With a thoughtful tribute to the late Aryton Senna and his role as a technical consultant during the development of the NSX, they adequately cover all the bases when it comes to the technical and historical details about how each of the cars came to be.

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Part of my childhood – and a huge influence in my love for cars – was the show Best MOTORing. There was nothing better than watching ‘Dori-Dori’ Keiichi Tsuchiya – the original Drift King – beat the crap out of cars on the race track and provide his opinion on said car, often while driving it. Tsuchiya loved the NSX-R so much that he has one as personal car, which is about the highest compliment an automobile can receive.

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Jethro Bovington from DriveTribe provides some mesmerizing, in-depth video commentary which compares to the NSX-R to the new, second-generation NSX. Anglesey Circuit in the UK provides both the backdrop and proving grounds for this assessment. If you want to find out why he would rather have a Honda NSX-R over a Ferrari F40, you should watch this video.

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Final Verdict

5/5

2002 Honda NSX-R2002 Honda NSX-R

By the turn of the millennium, the 2002 Honda NSX-R was likely the only version of the NSX still able to keep up with the rapidly shifting curve of supercar performance – if only just barely, according to on-paper technical specifications, anyway. 

Afterall, the NSX-R – driven by legendary Japanese race driver Motoharu Kurosawa – lapped the Nürburgring in 7 minutes 56 seconds; a time equal to what a brand new Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale could manage. The NSX-R accomplished this despite a 100-horsepower differential in favour of the prancing horse. In 2002, and perhaps even more so today, the NSX-R is still a very proper representative of exotic car royalty.

This is even more so apparent when looked at in a puristic context, as we see automotive manufacturers competing more for technological superiority – in a ‘numbers mean everything’ game – rather than the less stats-oriented-approach that seems to garner its fandom more through charisma and emotion. 

This is especially interesting after seeing as how the new second-generation NSX – despite its superior technological augmentations – has failed to seduce modern automotive opinion and we’re instead seeing first-generation NSXs skyrocket in value.

It is quite funny how that works; that even in today’s world of sub 3-second 0-60 times, hybrid engines, insane nurburgring lap times, etc. that the nostalgic allure of more fundamental engineering principles cannot sway even the some of the more methodical of automotive enthusiasts. 

I can understand why this is the case, as to achieve the performance stats of today, most modern cars are literally bogged down by electronics. The NSX-R weighed only 2,800 pounds and the idea of a production car without power steering seems so ancient.

When positively describing the characteristics of a car these days, the word ‘balanced’ is probably one that gets thrown around too freely. In my opinion, the NSX-R was the car that truly pioneered and properly defined what that word means when used in this context. 

Today, the NSX-R is undoubtedly not the car you would use to compete on the racetrack with any modern performance vehicles. What it is, however, is one of the last bastions of the purest and most privileged driving experiences we could aspire to have as drivers and automotive enthusiasts.

Supercars.Net’s Comprehensive Guide To The 1997 Nismo 400R

Table of Contents

Introduction

Skyline Heritage

Amongst most inner circles, whether they be of the pop-culture or grassroots variety, the R33 (1993-1996) Nissan Skyline is somewhat considered the ‘blacksheep’ of the Skyline family. Critics often attribute it to being a watered-down version of the R32 which preceded it, and then it just had the tough luck of being followed by the legendary – and probably the most renowned Skyline of all – the R34.

This is definitely more so the case when comparing the more economical, rear-wheel-drive, non-GT-R models across each generation. Afterall, Nissan took the unusual step of downgrading the GTS model with a weaker engine, and discontinued the proven twin-cam engine design that was used in the R32 (and then later reintroduced in the R34 lineup). Popular opinion also finds the appearance of the R33 to be contentious, thanks to its long, awkward overhangs which make it look flabby, despite not weighing in much more, or less, than its stablemates. 

GT-R Lives Up To Its Name

The top model Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 leaves a lot less up for debate and is a brilliantly performing car in its own right. Although its longer wheelbase made it more prone to understeer than the other generations, overall handling was an improvement over its predecessor thanks to the ATTESA E-TS Pro AWD system and improved chassis rigidity. It lapped the Nürburgring faster than any production Skyline before it, clocking an impressive 7 minutes and 59 seconds. The R33 also achieved some success with versions homologated for the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance series, which is what the car I’m supposed to be writing about is an homage to and the reason it exists.

nismo 400r nismo 400r

1997 NISMO 400R

Built by Nissan’s racing division – Nissan Motorsport or more commonly known as, ‘Nismo’ – the 1997 Nismo 400R is a celebration of  the Le Mans racing car, with both aforementioned vehicles based on the Nissan Skyline GT-R R33. Although Nismo had originally planned to produce 100 units of the 400R, only 44 units were made before production of the R33 ended in 1998. Suffice to say, the 400R was a real unicorn car back then, and as time passes, this becomes even more so the case.

Even as a street-legal production car, it is far above merely being a novelty with a catchy paint job, bold racing stripes and a fancy aero package; the Nismo 400R is loaded with radical improvements over the base GT-R model in every department imaginable. In fact, the car’s name is a derivative of rather simple function – the ‘R’ stands for racing, with ‘400’ representing the engine’s output in horsepower. Fitted with all the attributes needed to take on the supercars of the day – which it did – the Nismo 400R was definitely not the R33 that could be picked on for being the oddball middle-child of the Nissan Skyline.  

Engine & Performance

Specifications:

  • Engine Type & Size: Inline-6 2.8L Twin-Turbocharged
  • Horsepower: 400 hp @ 6,800 rpm
  • Torque: 346 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
  • Redline: 9,000 rpm
  • O-60 mph: 4.0 seconds

At the heart of the transformation was a bored and stroked version of the factory R33 GT-R’s RB26DETT engine – dubbed the RBX-GT2 – which was built and engineer by renowned Japanese tuner shop, REIMAX. Most of the engine components had to be upgraded in order to accommodate the roughly 200 cc increase in displacement; a hardier crankshaft, forged 87 mm pistons, stronger rods, polished ports, high-lift camshafts, high-efficient oil system and larger exhaust manifolds were part of the tall order commissioned to the company. Redline was also increased to 9,000 rpm from the standard model’s 8,000 rpm.

NISMO R33 400R engineNISMO R33 400R engine

Nismo provided the finishing touches to the engine overhaul, adding a pair of N1-spec turbochargers, an upgraded exhaust, a new twin-plate clutch and larger intercooler system. All the of these changes culminated in the power plant outputting no less than 400-horsepower @ 6,800 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. Nismo also fitted the 400R with a 5-speed manual with better gear ratios to suit the RBX-GT2, than would have been the case if the standard R33 GT-R’s five-speed manual was used in this application.

This enabled the Nismo 400R to accelerate from 0–60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and a top speed of 186 mph was attainable. Definitely supercar stats for the time.

Chassis & Handling

The Nismo 400R is certainly equipped with a chassis potent enough to keep pace with its engine. Even by today’s standards, the 400R provides a remarkably ideal balance of refinement and raw performance. The Bilstein dampers, despite its stiffer spring rates, are so thoughtfully engineered that the car feels compliant and relaxed when it needs to be – rough surfaces and bumps are thoroughly absorbed – but also never fails to feel planted and grippy in any situation. The 400R could very well have been Nissan’s very first ‘everyday supercar’.

The technologically advanced active limited slip differential and rear-biased ATTESA E-TS Pro AWD system ensure efficient situational power distribution to each wheel resulting in improved turn-in, traction and overall handling. The understeer that seems to plague the other R33 Skyline models – including the GT-R to some degree – seems to be have been dialed to zero thanks to the Nismo treatment.

NISMO R33 400R driveNISMO R33 400R drive

The Nismo 400 R has excellent braking capabilities as well; utilizing the same Brembo calipers from the base R33 GT-R model, but with the addition of specially produced Nismo brake pads – which like the rest of the chassis, are competent in both street and track applications. 18-inch Nismo LM-GT1 wheels – forged, of course – are fitted in all four corners and wrapped in super beefy 275/35/18 high-performance Bridgestone RE710 tires.

Design, Styling & Interior

The Nismo 400R is adorned with a model-exclusive, original Nismo aerodynamic package. Not only did these parts improve downforce and cooling efficiency, but they also gave the 400R a look that set it apart from any other GT-R – past, present or future. 

A more aggressive, wider track is notable thanks to 25mm arch extensions over the front and rear wheel wells which house the much wider Nismo LM-GT1 wheels and tires. The front bonnet and adjustable rear spoiler are made from carbon fiber, while other elements such as a vented front bumper, broad side skirts, and redesigned rear bumper complete the package. ‘400R’ vinyl stripes are seen across each side of the car, while badging on the front grill and trunk lid signify what is ultimately, something very special.

Nismo 400R Nismo 400R

The interior follows a relatively minimalist approach, although that “extra sense of Nismo” continues to be present throughout the cabin. Nismo logos are etched into both reclinable bucket seats, while a ‘400R’ horn button can be found accenting the Nismo leather steering wheel. The gauges and instrument panel are also given the Nismo signature, with their more race-inspired appearances.  A special titanium shift knob also replaces the original leather version.

In a more subtle manner, the 400R’s tachometer goes up to a maxmimum 11,000 rpm – as opposed to the 10,000 rpm maximum in the standard GT-R – likely because the redline was respectively increased to 9,000 rpm in the 400R, from the 8,000 rpm seen in the standard GT-R.

NISMO R33 400R GAUGESNISMO R33 400R GAUGES

 Pricing

Many consider the Nismo 400R as the car that put Nismo on the map. The Playstation racing game – Gran Turismo – is credited for being the primary catalyst for the exposure it has received since the late 90s, and even until now, having featured in every one of the series’ titles over the past 20 years.

The Nismo 400R is more than just a figment of imagination or some bytes in a video game console. It is a very real, and very awesome car. It also fetches very big, and very real currency. One of my contacts – who is a JDM car importer in Canada – has told me that these days, 400Rs typically sell on auction for somewhere between $100,000 USD to $175,000 USD depending on mileage, condition, originality and other factors you would expect.

Information on what pricing was like brand new is a bit more murky – after all there were only 44 sold – with the majority going straight to private collectors, so there aren’t exactly any “sticker prices” for the car lying around anywhere. Most sources seem to indicate that a brand new Nismo 400R cost around $135,000 USD in 1998 (the equivalent of $210,000 USD today). Suffice to say, they’ve held their value very well; which after considering everything there is to know about the car, is no surprise at all.

Performance & Specifications Summary

Model & Pricing Info

Make Nismo
Model 400R
Generation R33
Car Type Coupe
Category Limited Series Production Car
Built At Musashimurayama, Japan
Introduced 1997
Base Price (US) $135,000 (est.)
Units Built 44 (100 originally planned)

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,550kg (3,417 lbs)
Layout Front-engine, All-wheel Drive
Body / Frame Unitary steel monocoque
Suspension (F) Multi Link w/ Bilstein Gas Shocks
Suspension (R) Multi Link w/ Bilstein Gas Shocks
Brakes Brembo calipers w/ ventilated rotors and Nismo brake pads
Wheels & Tires 18”x10” Nismo LM-GT1 forged alloy wheels, Bridgestone RE710 275/35/18 tires (square setup)
Transmission 5-Speed Manual

Engine, Output & Performance

Engine Inline-6
Displacement (Litres) 2.8L
Position Longitudinal
Aspiration Twin-turbocharged
Power (hp) 400 hp @ 6,800 rpm
Power (hp) / litre 142.9 hp / litre
Power (hp) / weight 0.26 hp / kg
Torque 346 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Top speed 186 mph
0 – 60 mph 4.0 s

The Nismo 400R does more than enough to shake off any of the less savory preconceptions that other R33 models would otherwise have brought on. As the first notable production car to have been given the works by Nismo, the 400R was their well-executed debut in every sense possible.

In my opinion, the Nismo 400R set the bar for what future Nismo production cars would become. Elements of the 400R are seen even in today’s Nismo GT-R, with its influence apparent in the overall philosophy of its R35 predecessor. As recognizable as it is rare, the ‘original’ Nismo GT-R is both timeless and pioneering in its approach. 

Video Review Gallery

Jethro Bovingdon of EVO provides a video review of the Nismo 400R, which is probably the most comprehensive you will find on the world wide web. He gives a charming reference to the car’s historic rise to fame through the Gran Turismo series, before going into the technical details as he puts the car through its paces.

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Carfection was lucky enough to take the only Nismo 400R in the UK out for a test drive – at a local race track, no less. They make direct comparisons to a modern R35 GT-R, crediting it as being a more pure and tactile driving experience. As much as it is a collector’s item, it is a car meant to be driven.

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Speaking of the Nismo 400R being driven, how about some in-car footage of a lap around the Nürburgring?

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Final Verdict

5/5

The 1997 Nismo 400R is as every bit iconic as it is a truly capable road racer, and that speaks volumes about a car that is just a Nissan, and only an R33 Skyline. It is certainly both those things – neither of which are bad – but we have Nismo to thank for it being so much more. Achieving cult status in both the virtual and real world, this car would go on to offspring a golden generation of Nissan vehicles, and in particular the GT-R line.

With there being just 44 examples (at most) of the Nismo 400R in the world, each of these hand-built machines are amongst the most rare cars – and certainly the most rare Skylines – ever produced. The former poster boy for the Gran Turismo series will surely command serious money these days, from any current owner who is crazy enough to part with theirs. 

Where agreements are made, the end price would preclude any common sense, as the car transfers from one wealthy private owner to another. Known to go for anywhere between $100,000 USD to $175,000 USD, only the most privileged collectors will have one on their radar. Even with that said, there are probably much more suitors than there are mistresses and for preservation’s sake this is a good thing. I think we’d all rather have that, than having one end up in the average fanboy’s unkempt garage and clumsy hands.

The Nismo badge today is synonymous with the highest echelons of Nissan motorsport fandom. Although more technically superior Nismo successors such as the R34 Skyline and R35 GT-R have taken over the reigns and consecutively driven the brand to the next level, the Nismo 400R will always remain the car that created the very legacy which they continue. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.

Nissan-R33 R35 GTR Nismo duo staticNissan-R33 R35 GTR Nismo duo static

1991 Vector W8 Guide: History, Specifications, Performance, & More

Contents

Introduction

The Old Boys’ Club

Ferrari. Lamborghini. Porsche. These three manufacturers together monopolized the supercar fandom at a time when supercars were still very much an emerging aspect of automotive culture. Then the 1990s arrived, and the rest of the world seemed to have had enough of the status quo and as such, revolutionaries and determined usurpers would follow. 

New Blood

The effort to bring down the establishment appeared to be a concerted effort, as manufacturers from Asia, the U.S., and the rest of Europe looked to shake up the supercar space simultaneously. There were certainly different approaches to this goal, for example, with the Honda pioneering the ‘everyday supercar’ movement with its NSX; producing a high-performance supercar which was also reliable, comfortable and refined – a combination of characteristics simply unheard of at the time. Using the aforementioned as a template, others such as McLaren with its F1 would then take that philosophy to the next level.

An American Tale

Then we have Vector Aeromotive Corporation, who added their relatively lesser-known American flavor to this mix. Founded by industry veteran Gerald Wiegert in Wilmington, California, this company, through the production of its Vector W8 Twin Turbo, would make its entrance into the automotive establishment with a manner which would be fittingly described as “shock and awe”. 

This was probably the only tactic that Wiegert could employ, knowing very well that he could not rely on brand heritage or prestige to make a statement. “The idea is to build a reputation, not ride on one,” said Wiegert, acutely conscientious as to what this journey would entail. 

This message resonated enough to garner some enthusiasm within the right circles – and more importantly some investors – so the company was able to raise more than $13 million USD of capital and expand their operations into a 35,000 square foot facility.

A Leap of Faith

Initially dubbed the W2 in its prototype stage, the W8 Twin Turbo would eventually go on to become a 6.0L, mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, V8 supercar with 625-horsepower, and an extroverted chassis/exterior composed of carbon fiber, kevlar, and aerospace-grade materials. 

Without question, Wiegart and Vector Aeromotive Corporation abstracted the idea of a supercar further, taking it to outer space with certain on-paper specifications that wouldn’t feel out of place in a dialogue about the supercars – or even hypercars – of today. 

The Vector W8 Twin Turbo in many respects was ahead of its time; however, due to the company’s financial troubles and eventual dissolution, the car ultimately fell behind the perpetually shifting curve.

The Legend Lives On

In the end, there were only 17 customer cars builtplus two prototypes – before production was eventually ceased. Today, the W8 Twin Turbo has a small but formidable cult following of whom the nostalgia is not lost on. It is considered a classic unicorn car which is on the radar of many private collectors. Examples come up for sale every now and then and are able to fetch huge money – from $200,000 USD for restoration projects to as much as $1,000,000 USD for mint examples.

Despite things not really taking off for Vector Aeromotive Corporation, Wiegart had still achieved his goal of shaking up the automotive industry, by producing a supercar like no other before it. Some would even argue that the Vector W8 Twin Turbo has forged a distinguishable legacy, putting the U.S. on the map as a serious super(car) power by setting the stage for the production of future supercars with a ‘Made In America’ distinction, such as the Ford GT and Saleen S7.

Engine & Performance

The Vector W8 Twin Turbo had an engine which not only set the precedence of what the car itself was all about but also how future engines would be perceived – particularly in the United States. The sheer abundance of power that the mid-mounted unit produced made for remarkable specs on paper, though its real-world performance in some cases is at best, debatable.

1991 Vector W8 Engine1991 Vector W8 Engine

Specifications:

  • Engine type & size: 6.0L Twin-Turbo V8
  • Horsepower: 625 hp @ 5,700 rpm
  • Torque: 649 lb-ft @ 4,900 rpm
  • O-60 mph: 4.2 seconds
  • Quarter mile: 12 seconds @ 124 mph
  • Top speed: Estimated 218 mph

The engine is a 6.0L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces an advertised 625-horsepower @ 5,700 rpm and 649 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm, operating with 8 pounds of boost. Mounted transversely in the engine bay, the aluminum block-and-head, fuel injected power plant is based on a 5.7L Chevrolet engine which had been strokered, and then provided with forced induction.

Boost pressure through the Garrett turbochargers can be adjusted by the driver up to a maximum of 14 psi, with Vector Aeromotive Corporation claiming that this would allow the engine to output an astronomical 1,200-horsepower. Mated to the engine is a three-speed automatic transmission sourced from the Oldsmobile parts catalog, which is appropriately fortified to withstand the demands of its new taskmaster and then fitted to a Gleason-Torsen differential.

All of these factors contributed to highly impressive performance figures at the time, even by today’s standards. The rear-wheel driven Vector W8 Twin Turbo was capable of achieving 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and could complete the ¼-mile sprint in 12 seconds @ 124 mph. 

By comparison, this meant that it was faster than a Ferrari F40, Bugatti EB 110 GT and Jaguar XJ220 – each of which held the top speed records at one point – in these metrics. It is interesting to note, however, that a top speed test was not officially conducted by Vector Aeromotive Corporation nor any third-party test drivers. Instead, a theoretical top speed was provided – 218 mph, to be exact – by making calculations based on the 3-speed’s gear ratios and the engine’s maximum rpm.

No expenses were spared by Wiegert and Co. to ensure that the engine would be a talking-point in the automotive industry.

Chassis & Handling

To achieve his vision of creating a supercar which would unbalance the oligarchy, Wiegart knew that the W8 Twin Turbo would have to be more than just brawn. Therefore, the suspension was also intricately assembled with a state-of-the-art approach, resulting in an amalgamation of parts which would give the car the dexterity and poise it needed to complement its power.

Over the front wheels, W8 Twin Turbo is equipped with a double-wishbone independent suspension with adjustable Koni shocks, concentric springs and an anti-roll bar. In the rear, a De Dion rear axle with diagonal trailing links, adjustable Koni shocks, concentric springs and an adjustable anti-roll bar complete the package.

W8 Twin Turbo is fitted with a braking setup which matches 13-inch vented rotors to aluminum 4-pot Alcon calipers, in both the front and rear. Allowing the car to meet the tarmac were specially-made Michelin XGT Plus tires (255/45/16 Front, 315/40/16 Rear) mounted to a set of bespoke wheels, forged to the specifications provided by the original buyer when ordering their allocation.

1991 Vector W8 frame1991 Vector W8 frame

Design, Styling & Interior

The two-seater supercar can be accurately described as an even more audacious version of the angular and geometric wedge-shaped Lamborghinis of the time. Although it shares characteristics with the aforementioned – such as a low-flat front and truncated tail – the Vector W8 Twin Turbo is the furthest thing you can get from a kit car/replica. In fact, the design of the W8 was actually inspired by the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo, which was one of the first prototypes to embrace what were then, very futuristic design elements.

1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo

Pictured above: Alfa Romeo Carabo

Utilizing a body made primarily out of carbon fiber combined with the best aerodynamic principles available at the time, the W8 Twin Turbo produced relatively low drag even with its large rear wing. Due to the somewhat bespoke privileges given to each of the initial suitors, the W8 would undergo slight changes throughout its short production run. 

These included the elimination of some gills, a lower front fascia and air splitter, and adjustments of the rear wing, mirror intakes, and front grill. The glass roof which with fitted to early examples, was eventually removed altogether.

Vector W8Vector W8

Wiegart’s appreciation for fast moving vehicles was indiscriminate, as he borrowed cockpit styling queues from fighter jets for the W8 – mostly notably the sort-of-center driver’s seating position (with the shifter on the left) and digital dashboard displays straight from the Top Gun movie set. 

The dashboard consisted of four screens which displayed a variety of information about the car. Although certain conveniences such as power-steering and ABS were foregone in the name of weight savings, the car was otherwise very civil for city driving thanks to a luxurious and overall, comfortable interior.  

Premium leather and suede lined most of the interior panels with the floors given wool carpeting and floor mats. The generously bolstered Recaro leather seats were electrically adjustable, and air-conditioning came standard.

Pricing

Operating a boutique supercar company obviously comes with many challenges. Without the backing, experience, and structure that a large automaker would have provided, many of Vector Aeromotive Corporation’s well-intentioned promises could not be kept – and its price was one of these. 

The Vector W8 Twin Turbo was originally marketed as a $250,000 USD car but in reality, would end of costing customers more than $450,000 USD by the time it was actually delivered. That’s big money now (about $800,000 USD equivalency), and a huge amount of money in the early 90s. 

Being one of the most expensive vehicles one could (or more accurately, couldn’t) purchase, ultimately not many were sold. After running on fumes for a few years after opening its doors, the company eventually closed and with that, the W8 Twin Turbo ended its production run with just 19 examples made, 2 of which were prototypes.

So, with a now-defunct company and a vision which had capitulated, many wouldn’t be questioned in thinking that the story ends here. From a pragmatic point of view, the business was indeed a failure. 

However, the Vector W8 Twin Turbo has continued a life of its own thanks to the cult following it has garnered, in part due to the efforts of Hollywood, or some other version of celebrity. My guess is that social media and the heightening levels of nostalgia in the air these days will only help the car get more attention.

If you wanted to get your hands on a Vector W8 Twin Turbo today, first you would have to wait – possibly indefinitely – for one to come up for sale or auction. Then you would have to be ready to fork out at least $200,000 USD – and that’s for one that demands a restoration project – and up to $1,000,000 USD or more for a mint example. Not bad for a ‘failed’ venture.

Performance & Specifications Summary

Model & Price Info

Make Vector
Model W8 Twin Turbo
Car type 2-Door Coupe
Category Sports Car
Built At Wilmington, California
Introduced 1989
Units built 19

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight 3,320 lbs
Layout Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Body / Frame Carbon fiber, kevlar and fiberglass, tubular steel with aluminum panels and aluminum box sections
Suspension (F) Upper & lower A-arms, coil springs, adjustable tube shocks, anti-roll bar
Suspension (R) De Dion tube, upper & lower trailing links, diagonal link, coil springs, adjustable tube shocks, adjustable anti-roll bar
Steering Rack and pinion
Brakes 13” vented discs (front and rear)
Tires Michelin XGT Plus (255/45/16 front, 315/40/16 rear)
Transmission 3-Speed Automatic, 2.43:1 FDR

Engine & Output

Engine V8
Displacement (Litres) 6.0L
Aspiration Twin-turbocharged
Power (hp) 625 hp @ 5,700 rpm
Power (hp) / litre 104.2 hp / litre
Power (hp) / weight 0.19 hp / lbs
Torque 630 lb-ft @ 4,900 rpm
Average Fuel Consumption 13.5 mpg

Performance, Acceleration & Braking Stats

Top speed 218 mph (est)
0 – 60 mph 4.2 s
0 – 80 mph 5.9 s
0 – 100 mph 8.3 s
¼ mile (standing) 12.0 s @ 124 mph
60 mph – 0  145 ft
80 mph – 0 250 ft

In my opinion, The Vector W8 Twin Turbo is a classic pop-culture interpretation of what the not-so-distant future looked like for those living in the late 80s and early 90s. 

From its extravagant wedge-shape silhouette to its fighter jet display screens and extensive use of aerospace materials, it is no surprise the fanfare that the car generated back then, and even now. The car is fascinating in every sense; its storied past and the journey it has taken to be where it is now, still creating the buzz it set out to make all those years ago. 

Top Gear America does a brief feature on the Vector W8 Twin Turbo, touching base on its history while taking it for a drive on Californian backroads.  

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Here is a video featuring pre-production model #002, uploaded by user ‘vectorfiles’ on YouTube. They show extensive views of the cockpit and exterior and take it for a drive on city streets.

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DtRockstar1 tells the story about what happened to Vector Aeromotive Corporation and their most famous creation, the Vector W8 Twin Turbo.

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Road & Track Review – April 1991 Issue

Road & Track is the only official automotive magazine to have been given exclusive access to cover the Vector W8 Twin Turbo during its release, and is therefore the most credible source to provide a third-party verdict on the car. We have provided their article below, as it was written in 1991, which can also be viewed on their official website.  

Vector W8 Twin Turbo: First Drive

Measuring the magnitude and defining the direction of America’s supercar.

BY DOUGLAS KOTT

MAY 19, 2016

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

From the April 1991 issue of Road & Track

“The idea is to build a reputation, not ride on one.” says Gerald Wiegert in a voice that manages to be both soft-spoken and intense. The president of Vector Aeromotive Corporation hasn’t had the luxury of the latter option, even though he’s been working—since 1971—at his dream of designing and producing the twin-turbocharged Vector, a 625-bhp 2-seat mid-engine supercar built of advanced materials and with aerospace systems technology. 

From sketches to foam models to a full-size mockup, the Vector was displayed for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Expo in 1976. A running prototype was completed two years later, pieced together from components gleaned from junkyards and scoured from parts-supply houses. 

A weak economy and damaging criticism from the automotive press dashed efforts to secure financial backing, he says, and his dream of producing a ground-bound fighter plane for the street seemed destined to remain just a dream.

Wiegert deserves some sort of medal for perseverance, some award for sheer tenacity. Bucking incredible odds and ignoring the wailing ghosts of failed Tucker, DeLorean and Bricklin ventures. Vector Aeromotive Corp. in Wilmington, California is, at long last, staged for producing one car per week. 

Naysayers need only visit the final assembly area, where the two cars we photographed were being prepped for shipment to their new owners in Switzerland (the first production Vector W8 Twin-Turbo was sold to a Saudi Arabian prince, an addition to his 25-car collection, which also contains a Porsche 959 and a Bentley Turbo R). 

Under construction were about eight other Vectors in various stages of completion, from rolling chassis to nearly finished cars.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

The still-unconvinced should know that the company has grown from one building and four employees in 1988 to four buildings totaling more than 35,000 sq. ft. and nearly 80 employees as of this writing. 

And that the Vector has passed DOT crash tests with flying colors (it took just one chassis to complete the 30-mph front and rear impact, door-crush, and roof-crush tests); and emissions testing is well underway. More than $13 million worth of working capital has been raised through two public, over-the-counter stock offerings.

But Wiegert’s ultimate act of faith was obvious under the hot midday sun at the Pomona, California Fairgrounds. A flatbed truck, loaded with two Vector W8 TwinTurbos, made its way across the expanse of asphalt to the drag-strip. 

The two development cars were unloaded, and Road Test Editor Kim Reynolds fitted one of them with our fifth wheel and road-test computer, readying it for the first-ever performance test by an automotive magazine.

David Kostka, Vector’s vice president of engineering since 1981, gave a few pointers on how to achieve the best acceleration times. After a few loping familiarisations runs down the strip, Kim wheeled the Vector around to the staging line and reset the test computer.

Kostka’s face wore a look of concern. It should have. Ten years of 12-hour-a-day, 7-day work weeks, nearly one-third of his waking life—not to mention a sizable chunk of his soul—are invested in the car.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

He needn’t have worried. Kim plants his foot on the brake, selects 1st gear and applies throttle to load the drivetrain. The throb of 6.0 liters of all-aluminum V-8 intensifies and the whistling teakettle sounds of the Garrett turbos sing harmony with the whine of the Gilmer-type accessory belt drives. 

The rear brakes are fighting a losing battle with the V-8’s torque and the car inches forward, sliding locked front ties over the pavement. It’s the automotive analog of an angry pit bull straining at its leash.

The brakes are released and the Vector catapults away with a touch of wheelspin, a wisp of smoke from the fat Michelins and a slight side­ step. In a few eye-blinks—a paltry 4.2 seconds—60 mph is reached, an instant before the 1-2 shift. 

Whooping like a big-bore Can-Am car, the Vector continues its charge down the strip with increasing ferocity; vortices of sand and track debris swirl into the vacuum created as its wedgy form cleaves an opening through the air. Though nearly a quarter-mile away, the sound of the engine is still distinct as the car whistles through the traps. Speed? 124.0 mph, accomplished in just 12.0 sec.

Twelve-point-zero seconds. That figure places the Vector well ahead of such standard-bearers as the Acura NSX (14.0 sec.), Ferrari Testarossa (14.2) and Corvette ZR-1 (13.4). Its acceleration and speed are admission to a far more exclusive club, the charter members be­ ing the Ferrari F40 and yet untested Lamborghini Diablo. 

Membership has its privileges but also its costs; the Vector W8 TwinTurbo retails for a cool $283,750, pricier than the Lamborghini ($211,000) but less than the Ferrari (a U.S.-spec F40 runs about $400,000).

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

So what makes a Vector W8 tick? To answer my every question and provide a guided tour of Vector’s facilities was Mark Bailey, vice president of production, ex-Northrop employee and past Can-Am-series competitor.

Gesturing toward the engine bay of a Vector under construction, he said, “This is not a tiny little motor tweaked to death. It’s a big motor that isn’t working that hard.”

Six liters of all­ aluminum 90-degree pushrod V-8, the block made by Rodeck, the 2-valve cylinder heads by Air Flow Research. The long blocks are assembled and dyno-tested by Shaver Specialties of Torrance, California. 

No expense is spared; the roster of engine parts reads like a circle-track racer’s Christmas list: TRW forged pistons, Carrillo stainless-steel connecting rods, stain­less-steel valves, roller rocker arms, a forged crank, a dry-sump oiling system with three separate filters. Bundles of braided stainless-steel hose, with anodized red and blue fittings, are used to route fluids throughout.

The engine’s crowning glory is its exposed intercooler package, fabricated from aluminum and polished to a blinding sheen. It can be removed from the car in minutes by unclasping four quick-release aerospace clamps. It connects to twin water-cooled Garrett turbos, composed of automotive center sections and aircraft-specific impellers and housings.

Vector W8 Twin Turbo EngineVector W8 Twin Turbo Engine

Ignition is handled by a separate coil for each cylinder, and fuel delivery is by multi­ sequential port injection, using custom-made injectors from Bosch’s research and development group. Spark and fuel are coordinated by a proprietary Vector programmable engine-management system.

As beautifully done as the engine itself are the mounting plates that position it transversely in the bay. Blue anodized and relief-milled from billets of aluminum, one bolts to the accessory side of the block, and the other doubles as an engine/transmission adapter plate. 

The transmission case is a GM Turbo Hydra-matic, the sort used in the Seventies by the V-8-powered front-drive Olds Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado. But virtually every part within the 3-speed gearbox is specially machined by a Vector subcontractor from materials able to withstand the 630 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine generates at 4900 rpm and at 7.0-psi boost.

Mark Bailey’s enthusiasm shows as he leads me through the manufacturing shop, pointing out the massive chrome-moly steel tube frame, the aluminum-honeycomb floor plan, and the aluminum panels that are epoxy-bonded and riveted to the frame to form monocoque crush zones. 

He explains, “If [the structure] is all monocoque, you get a lot of twist to it, and it’s tough to build it accurately. If it’s all space frame, you smack one area and you impact everything else because every tube takes all the load. In the Vector’s case, the energy-absorbing areas are monocoque, because that’s what they do best.” 

The body, made from varying amounts of carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass mat and unidirectional fiberglass, is structurally unstressed.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

A stiff chassis is all the better to take loads from the massive suspension pieces. The Vector uses beefy double A-arms up front and an immense De Dion tube in the rear, located by four trailing arms that stretch all the way forward to the firewall. Koni adjustable shocks, with concentric springs, are used all around. 

Brakes are massive 13-in. vented discs with Alcon aluminum 4-piston calipers. Wheel bearings are similar in design to those used on 3800-lb. NASCAR stock cars, and the hubs’ machined aluminum outer housings look to be about the diameter of a coffee can. There isn’t a piece on the chassis that is substandard, or even merely adequate.

The factory tour has lasted the entire day. There’s so much to see, and Bailey has tirelessly shown me virtually every facet of the operation. I’ll have to come back to drive the car.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

Saturday arrives, and the slate gray development car we tested beckons with an outstretched swing-up door. Getting in is a bit of a task for the uninitiated, with a moderately wide sill and a fairly small space between the seats and the front of the doorjamb. 

David Kostka, with the advantage of muscle memory, slides over the sill and into the passenger seat with the grace of a gymnast; I limbo-dance into the driver’s seat with the wobbliness of a newborn deer.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

The smell of leather hangs in the air because virtually every interior surface is covered with it, save the broad expanse of the dashboard, done in a thin suede-like material. The floor, carpeted with Wilton wool, is completely flat, allowing the electrically adjustable Recaros to be placed within inches of each other. Although the wheel-arch intrusion is considerable, the central seat placement allows the driver’s legs a straight shot to the pedals.

The big engine booms to life at the first twist of the key, settling down to a 900-rpm idle. Vital engine and transmission functions are displayed on what Vector terms an “aircraft-type reconfigurable electroluminescent display”—that means four different screens of information are available. 

Whatever the screen, a gear selection indicator is incorporated along its left side. The instruments—everything from a tachometer to twin exhaust-temperature pyrometers—have a “moving-tape” display that runs vertically past a fixed pointer, as well as a digital display in the window of the pointer. 

Kostka explains how the moving-tape portion gives rate-of-change information that a digital-only display can’t provide. I blip the throttle and see what he means, watching the tape scamper past the pointer to 3000 rpm or so, then back to idle.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

John Konkal

Reaching for the padded shifter handle, sunk deeply into the sill to my left, I engage reverse and tentatively back out onto the street. Drive is selected and we thread through the streets of Wilmington toward the San Diego freeway, en route to the hills above Malibu.

As with most exotics, vision to the rear is just about nonexistent, and the Vector has a blind spot that a Ford Crown Victoria would handily fit into. Craning my neck. I can see little more than windshields and antennas of cars behind me through the narrow louvers of the engine cover. Outside rearview mirrors are small though usefully placed, but it pays to keep up­ dating a mental map of traffic around you. 

Out front, what may be the world’s largest piece of windshield glass stretches out and down to meet the dash, offering an intimate view of the asphalt just a couple of yards ahead of the car.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

The steering, a power-assisted rack-and-pinion arrangement, has moderately light effort and wonderful precision. To its detriment, there’s not much self-centering feel, which makes it difficult for the unaccustomed to be smooth. 

By contrast, the non-assisted brakes take large applications of force—50 lb. for our 0.5g instrumented stops—to haul down the 3320-lb. Vector from speed. Distances of 250 ft. from 80 mph and 145 from 60 best those of the Ferrari Testarossa—though the Redhead scrubs off velocity with about half the pedal pressure. Even without ABS (a system will eventually be offered), the stops are straight and true, the bias set to lock the front tires slightly before the rears.

Kostka motions toward the freeway onramp, I oblige and soon we are in the midst of moderate northbound traffic. Gaps begin to appear between cars, revealing tempting open stretches of the fast lane. On David’s suggestion, risking license and limb. I push the shifter’s handle down about an inch deeper into its recess and tug backward, going from Drive to 2. 

With the engine on the edge of boost, I mash the large aluminum throttle pedal to the front bulkhead.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

Raw, immediate acceleration follows, the kind that forces blood from the tissues of your brain toward the back of your skull; the sort that makes you concentrate on a piece of the road far ahead, because you’ll be there in the time it takes to sneeze. 

The electronically controlled wastegates intervene at about 7 psi, bleeding off boost with a distinct, hollow whoosh. Back on the brakes hard; hope I didn’t spook the guy in the Datsun B210 ahead of me. A shame we couldn’t have been on an unrestricted stretch of Autobahn to repeat the process in top gear, free from fear of police intervention.

Judging from the W8’s impressive acceleration and wedge shape, we’re tempted to believe it’ll top 200 mph. However, Kostka reports that redline in 3rd is reachable—which works out to 218 mph (including tire growth). Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for another day to verify this as the car’s top-speed aerodynamics are still being refined.

Later, as we trundle along Pacific Coast Highway, the Vector’s fairly civilized nature becomes apparent. It feels smaller, more nimble than its great width and rather imposing styling would suggest. 

The suspension soaks up little bumps with ease, larger ones with composure (and more important without bottoming), and has a firm, slightly jiggly ride quality that reminds me of our long-term Nissan 300ZX Turbo with the shock valving set on Tour. Checking the display screens showed all temperatures and pressures to be normal.

Vector W8 Twin TurboVector W8 Twin Turbo

The temperature inside the Vector’s black interior, though, was getting a little high. “Is this car fitted with air conditioning?” I ask in a voice somewhat louder than normal. David nods and pushed a button on the climate control panel. Truly effective a/c in an exotic car is something of a rarity, but a strong blast of cool air issues forth almost immediately from several black-anodized eyeball vents.

Before long, we turn north toward the foot­hills and some challenging canyon roads. During testing the day before, the Vector had generated 0.97g on the Pomona skidpad, the highest number we’ve ever recorded for any­thing other than a race car. On these roads, the massive footprint of the Michelin XGT Plus tires (255/45ZR-16s front, 315/40ZR-16s rear) does much to inspire confidence. Turn-in is immediate and razor sharp, and the flatness of its cornering stance is remarkable. 

The sizable windshield pillars tend to block the view of the apexes of tight-radius corners we encounter, and on these, the 82.0-in.-wide Vector feels a bit like a bull in a china shop. This car yearns for big, sweeping turns where the throttle can be held down and its enormous power and grip can be precisely and confidently used. As we blast through some of these big-radius bends, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine we’re driving an endurance-racing Porsche.

And Peter Schutz, chairman of the board and CEO of Porsche from 1981 through 1988, and member of Vector’s Advisory Board since 1989, wouldn’t shrug off that comparison. “This is really more like doing a 962 or a 956 than it is doing any kind of production car,” he says. “And I think this car goes beyond the technology that went into the race cars that I had anything to do with in the early Eighties.” Hats off to Gerald Wiegert and his team of dedicated engineers, and to all others with the fortitude and determination to have their dreams see the light of day.

Vector W8 Twin Turbo spec sheetVector W8 Twin Turbo spec sheet

Supercars.Net’s Comprehensive Guide To The 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster

Introduction

It has already been a few months since the ascension of the 992 Porsche 911, yet the swan song for the previous-generation 991 is only just beginning its chorus. Starring the 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster, the grand finale for the now outgone iteration is a celebration of both milestones and achievements.

The new Speedster was first unveiled as a concept during the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2018 – a time which also coincided with the 70th anniversary of Porsche sports cars – where they had described the philosophy behind the Speedster as simply, “a pure driving experience”. Fast forward to April 2019, where Porsche had officially green-lighted production of the Speedster at the New York Auto Show.

The Porsche 911 Speedster is the beneficiary of Stuttgart’s latest fixings, while also serving as a throwback to the Porsche 356 – the very first Speedster model. This schematic has forged a 911 with a silhouette based on the 4S Cabriolet body, carbon fibre bits borrowed off the 911 R, and front and rear bumpers from the GT3 Touring. That is not to say that there aren’t any unique offerings on the Speedster, with its shorter, more inclined windshield frame and lower fly-line being amongst its exclusive features.

As originally advertised, the car is powered by the same 4.0L, naturally aspirated, 9000 rpm unit used in the 991.2 GT3; for good measure, Porsche has kindly gone and wrung an extra 10-horsepower out of it too, just for the Speedster. They’ve also done nothing to disappoint the purists, with the same brilliant 6-speed manual transmission – offered in some 991.2 GT3 examples – mated to this legendary flat-6 boxer engine.

With just 1,948* units to be produced, the 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster is a car in its own right. It will be extremely rare. It will be undeniably unique. And with a price starting at $277,000 USD, it will be lavishly expensive.   

But most importantly, the Speedster is everything – that was, is and will be – wonderful about the Porsche 911.

*an homage to the first year that Porsche began to produce sports cars, and hence its 70th anniversary in 2018

Engine & Performance

At the heart of the Porsche 911 Speedster is a slightly tweaked version of the most current 911 GT3 engine, which now produces 502-horsepower @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm.

The Speedster’s engine is able to extract an additional 10-horsepower from the GT3 unit, with the help of bolstered fuel injectors. Specially designed individual throttle bodies improve the engine response of the already pedal-happy 9,000 rpm redline, naturally aspirated power plant. Porsche claims that this engine is the most refined, most efficient and best performing version to come from the GT3 family.

Delivering power to the rear wheels is a 6-speed manual transmission, which like the engine, is also borrowed from the most recent iteration of the 991 GT3. This is the only transmission option available, as the manual gearbox is preferred by Porsche over the technically superior PDK in favour of a more tactile driving experience. While banging through the gears will never be as efficient as what the dual-clutch system delivers, this manual transmission is as precise and smooth as one can get; an absolute pleasure to drive with.

Overall the numbers are ultimately impressive, especially considering the Speedster’s relative lack of modern enhancements that seem to be part and parcel of what is required to make a fast car these days. The Porsche 911 Speedster is able to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds – all in the absence of turbochargers, all-wheel-drive and a dual-clutch transmission.

Chassis & Handling

The Porsche 911 Speedster shares an array of suspension and handling components with the GT3 and 911 R which includes a fine-tuned adjustable sports suspension, torque vectoring system, and four-wheel steering. Overall, the Speedster sits about 5 millimetres higher off the ground than its compatriots and its spring rates offer more refinement and ride quality.

Compared to its donors, the Speedster is clearly and deliberately set up to focus more on driving pleasure rather than Nurburgring (or any other track, for that matter) lap times. The carbon ceramic brakes – 410 mm vented/perforated discs up front, 390 mm in the rear – also utilize softer compounds in favour of more user-friendly modulation and improved urbanity. The car meets the road with a set of 20” Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which provide plenty of street-legal grip.

The first public test-drives of the Speedster took place along the winding country roads in Sardinia. The Speedster negotiated the often rough and uneven Italian terrains with absolute confidence; not only with its performance, but also its comfort and the peace-of-mind it provided the driver. The aforementioned suspension tweaks allowed the car to glide smoothly over imperfections without having to worry about scraping the undercarriage, or chipping a tooth while hopping over jarring surfaces.

Thanks in huge part to the talismanic three-pedal, 6-speed manual transmission, the Speedster feels as raw, connected and spirited as a 911 could possibly be. Minimalism is not lost on the rest of the car either, and to good effect, with a button-free steering wheel, short-shifting gear lever, and relatively spartan interior further emphasizing driving purity at its pinnacle. The Speedster still comes standard with stability control and traction control, but these can be dialed down for drivers who wish to induce a higher degree of rear slip angle, with a simple push of the “ESC OFF” switch.     

The Speedster delivers a masterclass all-around performance of 911-awesomeness, and truly is as Porsche had set it out to be – a “pure driving experience”. At the end of the day, the car should not be mistaken as a docile or watered-down version of a GT-line car, because that is simply not the case. It is just as engaging and visceral as any of the cars it is based on, with just the right amount of elegance added to make it perhaps even more appealing than the others.

Design, Styling & Interior

Aside from the aggregate of undertones which make it undeniably-911, the Speedster was designed to be different from anything else that Porsche has ever made. Most notable is essentially what gives the Speedster its name; the manual-folding, weatherproof soft-top which stores under a distinctive clamshell tonneau behind the driver. To further accommodate the design, the windshield inclines at a sharper angle while the side windows become more stocky at full extension. This gives the Speedster the lower fly-line that is attributed to its previous iterations, which becomes all the more distinguishable once seated inside the cabin.

The interior does nothing to detract from the overall design elements of the Speedster, with simplicity and function taking precedence over luxury and convenience. There is no lack of driver-focused comforts provided by amenities such as the snug, perfectly bolstered sport bucket seats and ideally-located controls; however, normally expected refinements such as door handles and PCM/climate control are replaced with door straps, or in the latter case, nothing at all.

As expected from a limited-edition Porsche, there is hardly a lack of finer details even in a spartan interior. As an option, the standard black leather interior can be complemented with red stitching, as well as having the “Speedster” designation imprinted in the headrests. This option also includes red door straps and the GT Sport steering wheel with a red centre marker. Many of the interior panels are made from carbon fibre.

Buyers who opt for the most extreme option – known as the Heritage Design Package – will get a silver and white two-tone paint job (similar to the concept), and a special livery which includes door numbers and Porsche decals on the side of the car. Also as part of the package, the brake calipers are painted black and the wheels are finished in an exclusive platinum satin finish. Cognac leather also replaces the standard black leather; and to ensure the exclusivity of it all really hits the mark, is a custom Speedster-inspired Porsche Design chronograph made specially for the lucky new owner.

Pricing gets

So here’s where things get a bit crazy but in a less than surprising fashion, really. With production numbers capped at just 1,948, the Speedster will be – for lack of a better term – ‘appropriately priced’.  This means that it won’t come cheap, and with an MSRP starting at $274,500 USD, the Speedster is about twice the cost of the GT3 on which it is based, and nearly the same price as the GT2 RS; and this is without any of the options added, which will send the price well north of $300,000 USD.

Dealers began filling orders on May 7, 2019, and with the entire allocation rumored to be already spoken for, all examples should be in the hands of their new owners by the end of this year.

Performance & Specifications Summary

Model & Price Info

Make Porsche
Model 911
Generation 991
Sub-Model Speedster
Car type Convertible
Category Limited Series Production Car
Built At Zuffenhausen, Germany
Introduced 2019
Base Price (US) $274,500
Units built 1,948

Chassis, Suspension & Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,465 kg (3,230 lbs)
Layout Rear-engined, rear-wheel drive
Body / Frame Aluminum-steel composite monocoque, carbon fiber elements
Suspension (F) MacPherson strut suspension with lightweight springs (including helper springs), anti-roll bar, fully ball-jointed mountings
Suspension (R) Multi-link axle with lightweight springs (including helper springs), anti-roll bar, fully ball-jointed mountings
Steering Electro-hydraulic; power-assisted
Brakes Carbon Ceramic Discs (410 mm front; 390mm rear); Aluminum Calipers (6-piston front; 4-piston rear)
Tires Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
Transmission 6-Speed Manual

Engine & Output

Engine Flat-6
Displacement (Litres) 4.0L
Position Boxer, 90°
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Power (hp) 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm
Power (hp) / litre 125.5 hp / litre
Power (hp) / weight 0.34 hp / kg
Torque 346 lb-ft @ 6,250 rpm
Average Fuel Consumption 13.8 L / 100 km (combined)

Performance, Acceleration & Braking Stats

Top speed 193 mph
0 – 60 mph 3.8 s
0 – 62 mph 4.0 s
0 – 100 mph 8.0 s
0 – 125 mph 12.2 s
¼ mile (standing) 11.7 s
124 mph – 0 TBD
62 mph – 0 TBD

Gallery & Videos

Image Gallery

The Speedster sets itself apart from any other 911 ever made, thanks to Porsche’s modern take on a classic, and sure-to-be timeless design. Reminiscent of the circa 1948 Porsche 356 “No. 1” Roadster, the soft-top compartment lid with its double-bubble shell case is the aesthetic landmark of this very limited edition vehicle.

In my opinion, the Porsche 911 Speedster is an interesting concoction of extroversion, uncanniness and classic design elements – the formula for an ideal balance of function and form – that makes for a car worthy to represent all that is good about the 911 and by extension, the Porsche brand as a whole.

Video Review Gallery

Here are some YouTube video reviews from some of my favorite car reviewers and auto personalities. All of them provide feedback from an “everyday guy” perspective – but aren’t afraid to thrash the car around a racetrack when given the opportunity – providing commentary that is both technical and easy to absorb.

Carfection’s Henry Catchpole provides a wonderful review of the Speedster while driving through the winding roads of Sardinia, starting off with a warm-felt tribute to the 356.

[embedded content]Next, Tony Crawford, Founder of CarAdvice.com, gives his down-under take on the Speedster. Though he admits to not being a 911-phile to begin with, Tony is unapologetically swooning over the Speedster while he rows through its gears throughout the video.

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The team at Netherlands-based AutoWeek, put together this comprehensive vlog chronicling their experience with the Speedster. The subject matter technical, and the imagery is engaging.

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Last but not least is Porsche’s official cinematic for the car.

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Original Press Release

New 911 Speedster goes into production

05/07/2019 | The 911 Speedster already caused a sensation when it was presented as a concept vehicle. Now Porsche is putting the open-top two seater into production.

The 911 Speedster combines the aspiration of a puristic, driver-oriented vehicle with motor sports technology suitable for everyday use. The 911 R (2016) and 911 GT3 served as a basis for development. A high-revving 375 kW (510 PS; Fuel consumption combined 13.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 317 g/km) four-litre naturally aspirated boxer engine delivers an emotive sound experience in the cockpit. The six-speed GT transmission is shifted manually. Visually, the new Speedster establishes a bridge to its own history – to the forebear of all Porsche sports cars, the 356 “No. 1” Roadster from 1948. The limited edition of the new 911 Speedster is also reminiscent of this vehicle. Exactly 1,948 units will be manufactured from mid-2019 at the Porsche plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany.

As a concept vehicle, the 911 Speedster celebrated its world premiere in 2018 at the ceremony for the “70 Years of Porsche Sports Cars” anniversary in Zuffenhausen. Other public appearances followed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Rennsport Reunion VI in Laguna Seca, California as well as the Paris Motor Show in October. Numerous Speedster elements that characterise the concept vehicle can now be found in the same or similar design on the series production model.

Taking centre stage is the aesthetically shaped convertible top compartment lid with its double-bubble streamliners – a quintessential feature of this sports car type ever since the 911 Speedster from 1988. It is the largest and most complex component to date that Porsche has used in a road model made of a single piece of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic. Two trim elements in the double bubbles make room for the roll-over protection system as need, included in the two-seater as a standard feature just like in the 911 Carrera Cabriolet.

A weight-saving roof structure replaces the basic tonneau cover of the concept vehicle. Despite its puristic design, the fabric convertible top is suitable for everyday use. Together with the shortened window frames with their lowered cowl top panels and the smaller side windows, it gives the 911 Speedster its athletic profile. The excitingly low fly line already characterised historic designs such as the Porsche 356 Speedster from 1954.

The convertible top takes no effort to operate: the central locking hook at the windscreen frame and both the side fins of the fabric roof are released at the push of a button. The large rear lid made from lightweight carbon fibre is electrically unlocked and slides back a short distance, is then positioned by hand and makes room for the fabric roof, which folds into a Z shape behind the front seats. The cover can then be closed again effortlessly once the roof has folded into position. The roof is closed again in the same way – only the roof fins on the left and right of the streamliners have to be pressed by hand into their holders until they perceptibly engage.

Rear spoiler and rear apron of the 911 GT3 Touring

Lightweight design also dictates other body components of the Speedster. The carbon-fibre composite bonnet – which weighs in two kilograms lighter than on the 911 GT3 – and the carbon-fibre composite wings are originate from the 911 R. The front apron was borrowed from the GT3, but the front spoiler lip is a completely new development. Instead of the Talbot mirrors used on the concept vehicle, the production version of the new Speedster features electrically adjustable and heated Sport Design exterior mirrors. The extending, aerodynamically tuned rear spoiler and rear apron have been adopted from the 911 GT3 Touring for the Speedster.

The interior is characterised by black leather elements for the side bolsters and head restraints of the carbon-fibre composite full-bucket seats, the armrests in the door trims and the shortened gear lever. The centre panels of the seats are upholstered in perforated leather, while the lightweight door panels with black door pulls and stowage nets reduce the overall weight.

“Speedster” logos adorn the head restraints and the visible carbon door sills as well as the central rev counter. Like the other instruments, it has black dials with white needles as well as green digits and scales – features reminiscent of its famous forebear, the Porsche 356 Speedster. A limited-edition badge on the cross structure behind the front seats shows the serial number of the 911 Speedster, which is limited to just 1,948 units.

Porsche also optionally offers the new 911 Speedster with a Heritage Design package. Created by Style Porsche and implemented by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, this equipment version reinterprets classic elements from the 1950s and 1960s. This includes the interior colour scheme in Black and Cognac with golden details. Special “spears” paintwork in White for the front fascia and front wings is applied to the basic vehicle paintwork in GT Silver Metallic. Historic looking Motor sports decals for the doors and front lid complete the package. Owners can select their own maximum two-digit start numbers like shown in the photos. The Porsche crests and the gold-coloured logos correspond to the designs used in the 50s and 60s.

High-revving engine with 510 PS

The heart of the new Speedster is adopted from the 911 GT3. The naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine with four-litre displacement is a pure GT engine. The peak power of 375 kW (510 PS) is reached at 8,400 rpm, with the maximum engine speed at 9,000 rpm. The engine delivers a maximum torque of 470 newton metres at 6,250 rpm. The new 911 Speedster accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h.

Compared with the previous 911 GT3, the engine in the Speedster is fitted with two gasoline particulate filters (GPF) and complies with the emission standard Euro 6d TEMP EVAP-ISC (EU6 DG). However, the four-valve engine still manages ten PS more. This is due to improvements to detail such as the high-pressure fuel injectors with optimised spray pattern as well as a modified intake system with individual throttle valves, which enable a more spontaneous response to throttle commands. The newly developed lightweight stainless steel sports exhaust system weighs 10 kilograms less – including the two particulate filters.

Befitting its status as a driver’s car, Porsche only offers the 911 with a manual six-speed sports transmission. It features an auto-blip function which precisely and independently compensates differences in engine speed between the gears when downshifting through automatic throttle blips. Auto-blip can be activated at any time, in other words also independently from the chosen PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) variable damping system setting. A mechanical rear differential lock with asymmetric locking action rounds off sporty power transmission.

PORSCHE Infografic 911 Speedster ENPORSCHE Infografic 911 Speedster EN

The GT philosophy behind the new Speedster is also reflected in its chassis. With its sporty rear-axle steering and dynamic engine mounts, the chassis is based on the technology of the 911 GT3 and 911 R. Control systems such as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and PASM with sports tuning and lowering by 25 millimetres have been precisely adapted to the new requirements. The open-top two-seater runs on 20-inch forged Speedster alloy wheels with central locks. The standard equipment includes PCCB brakes (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) with internally vented and perforated ceramic composite brake discs.

Chronograph

Porsche Design Timepieces has also produced special chronographs for the new 911 Speedster, likewise limited in number to 1,948: the Porsche Design “911 Speedster chronograph” and the “911 Speedster Heritage Design chronograph” can be ordered exclusively by future owners of a new Speedster model at Porsche Centres around the world from May 2019.

Consumption data

911 Speedster: Fuel consumption combined 13.8 l/100 km; CO2emissions combined 317 g/km

Final Verdict

As my fellow Supercars.net colleague, Nick Dellis once remarked, “The world is full of armchair commentators when it comes to cars. At Supercars.net we have a number of journalists and automotive publications we rely on when we want to get unbiased opinions from people we admire.”

Below are snippets from some of our favorite car reviewers and automotive personalities regarding the Porsche 911 Speedster As always, we ask that you support the amazing publications they release, so that the automotive community continues to benefit from the hard work and enthusiasm they put into providing us with content that we love.

Autocar – “Porsche’s fabled GT-car division turns out the 991-generation lights in spectacular fashion” – 5/5

2-porsche-911-speedster-2019-fd-hero-side2-porsche-911-speedster-2019-fd-hero-side

Richard Lane from Autocar is well-versed in Porsche nomenclature, and his review of the Speedster is both historically-centric and detail oriented.

Knowing what he knows, the Speedster was almost everything he expected – it didn’t surprise him one iota, as he remarked that “Given the ingredients, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Speedster must be mind-blowing on the road – and it is.”

On that same trajectory, there is no doubt that its price raises his brows somewhat. However, acknowledging all that the Speedster is set out to be, perhaps the perception of what money is gets distorted when in the realm of owning the car.

He ends off his review stating, “Were it our money, we wouldn’t hesitate, because finally Porsche knows exactly what its hip-high Speedster needs to be, and the result is breathtaking.”

The Good

  • Linear power delivery and incredible throttle response
  • Car remains rigid despite no fixed roof
  • Mechanical grip better than expected

The Bad

  • Interior feels smaller than it actually is, some visibility issues
  • Four-wheel steering system could be improved

More: Read full review

Car Magazine – “Icing on the cake” – 5/5

911 speedster911 speedster

Car Magazine’s Kyle Fortune was another one of the lucky journalists to take the Speedster for a drive in Sardinia, remarking that “It’s more about driving, and here it delivers, with mesmerising cross-country pace.”

Kyle is as infatuated as anyone else by the Speedster’s purity, even going as far as saying that “…it’s the sheer joy of the feel and feedback that make the Speedster stand out, even from the exquisite 911 R.”

His final verdict: “I want one”.

The Good

  • Ultimate driver’s car
  • Chassis uncorrupted by being roofless
  • Manual transmission is as precise and quick as they come

The Bad

  • All Speedsters have already been spoken for
  • Heritage Desig/n Pack not really worth the money

More: Read full review

Car Advice – “Does it get any better than this?” – 8.8/10

Porsche 911 SpeedsterPorsche 911 Speedster

Tony Crawford of Australian-based Car Advice is absolutely in love with the Speedster, but his pragmatism prevails when it comes to its price – and this is primarily what prevents him from giving the car closer to a 10-rating.

In his own words he summarises,

“It’s a hugely expensive car that is easily outpaced by lower-priced versions in the 911 range, and yet such a limited production run has ensured that all 1948 cars are already spoken for. And that’s by buyers that haven’t yet driven the car.

It clearly demonstrates just how low on the priority scale outright performance figures can be. In the end, the Speedster is a purebred road car and one of the most accomplished sports cars on the planet, as well as one of the most enjoyable cars ever from behind the wheel.

I never thought I’d ever say that about a 911 soft-top, but this car is a spectacular triumph in every regard bar its sky-high asking price.”

The Good

  • Six-speed manual mated to 4.0 flat-6 is a match made in heaven
  • Huge grip levels
  • Throttle response off the charts

The Bad

  • Huge price bump above a 911 GT3 Coupe
  • Racing-style bucket seats can get tiresome

More: Read full review

My Final Verdict – 4.5/5

Make no mistake that the Speedster is an absolutely fitting conclusion to the 991-generation, which by my accounts, has been the best overall iteration of the 911 so far. It truly does represent everything we have come to love, and will continue to love, about the Porsche 911.

We are now living in a time where emissions regulations heavily influence automakers’ outlooks and decision making. As a result, electric vehicles are beginning to stake claim in mainstream thought. While I am all for change and doing what is right for the future, the Speedster’s homage to how things used to be – and in an ideal world, how they could continue to be – brings a welcome smile to my face. The Speedster is truly a time capsule of what could end up being a defining era in human civilization.

The Porsche 911 Speedster is an ingenious amalgamation of the latest technologies on offer, and the more simple ingredients that have been a principle of driving enjoyment since the invention of automobiles. A 502-horsepower engine, without turbochargers. A modern transmission, with just one clutch. A state-of-the-art suspension and chassis, with an unsullied purity. The list goes on.

Perhaps the only drawback is that the Speedster’s rarity and price precludes any sense of being able to really relate with the car.  It feels like the car inhabits another plane of existence, and that seeing one in person seems unfathomable as I can only imagine them occupying spaces deep underground in private collections, shielded from the real world and the sands of time. Quoting myself earlier, ‘The Speedster is truly a time capsule…’, and this is a bit hard for me to get over.

Rivals

McLaren 600LT Spider

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider

McLaren 720S Spider

Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

Watch the McLaren Senna Do a Blisteringly Fast Top Speed Speed Run

This Car is a Real Rocket

If you’ve been paying attention to the new McLaren Senna, then you probably know that it has a claimed top speed of 208 mph. You want to see the car reach that speed don’t you? Well, in the video below, you’ll see the Senna do a top speed run, but it doesn’t quite reach 208 mph. The car only manages to pull 204 mph. 

There could be many reasons the car didn’t quite get to the top speed that McLaren claims for the Senna. The weather could be a factor, this particular car could have an issue, or McLaren could have fibbed a little on the numbers. No matter what the cause, one thing is for sure, the Senna is wicked quick. Watch it sprint to 180 mph at an alarming rate and you don’t really care much about the fact it came up a few mph short. 

To be fair, this car isn’t much of a straight line speed demon. It was designed to go around a racetrack quickly, and having it out on a long runway like this is taking the car out of its element. The bodywork and wing on the car create so much downforce at speed that near the top end of its speed capabilities it’s hard to increase further. While there are cars out there that could beat it in a straight line, few can rival it around a racing circuit. 

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Jenson Button Rekindles Honda Heritage at Bathurst

Honda Civic Type-R Sets Another FWD Lap Record with Jenson Button at the Wheel

For those who may not know, Jenson Button is a legendary former Honda F1 driver who is synonymous with Honda’s golden years in the Formula 1 scene. This era, many would argue, also coincides with the most prolific years for the Honda brand commercially. Naturally, this made Button the face and poster boy for Honda’s success in the early 2000s.

His relationship with the Japanese motor company remains amicable as ever in Button’s post-retirement, while his driving skills have remained well intact. As the Honda Civic Type-R continues to tour the world, setting (front-wheel drive) lap records at the most famous race tracks, Jenson Button was called up for the latest job – Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia.

Aside from obviously possessing the raw talent required to pilot the car as quickly as possible around the daunting 3.9 mile circuit, the Briton also has the credentials when it comes to this track specifically. While promoting the Australian GP in 2011, he set the all-time lap record of 1:48.8 at Mount Panorama Circuit while driving an F1 car.

Jenson Button Rekindles Honda Heritage at Bathurst Jenson Button Rekindles Honda Heritage at Bathurst

This time around in the Honda Civic Type-R, Button was able to clock a 2:35.2, which was plenty good to be the new front-wheel drive production car lap record. This trip down-under follows a 2018 tour of Europe with the Civic Type-R, where five different drivers set front-wheel drive lap records at five circuits around the continent; with Button being involved with the achievement at Hungaroring.

The Civic Type-R also continues to hold the front-wheel drive production car lap record at the Nürburgring, with a remarkable lap time of 7:43.8 set in April 2017.

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Check Out This 9-Second Audi TT RS

This TT Is Not Like Others

The Audi TT RS is a notable sports car. The standard vehicle makes a strong 400 hp from a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine. That’s pretty impressive, but it pales in comparison to the TT RS in the video below. That car was fitted with a TTE700 Hybrid Turbo, new fuel injectors, a bigger intercooler, and some new software for the engine. The car now puts out 734 hp to all four wheels.

The video below was taken by the YouTube page VeeDubRacing, and shows the car pull a 9.7-second time on the drag strip. According to the video description, the company APR UK built this car. The boss of that company told his team they had three days to turn the regular TT RS into a 9-second car. It’s pretty clear they pulled it off. 

On the car’s 9.7-second run it hit 144 mph. This run took place at the Santa Pod Raceway in the UK. The car did its sub-10-second runs on some sticky Hoosier tires and appears to have a good day for it.

the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the TT RS is known for being an excellent engine and one that you can get impressive power numbers out of with minimal modifications. You can believe it could put out more than 734 hp. It’d be interesting to see just how far this engine and the TT RS, in general, could be pushed. 

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Porsche Reveals Tidbits on 992 Generation 911 GT Models

Porsche Remains Focused on Continued Success of 911 GT Range

We are just a few months into the current generation of the Porsche 911 – dubbed the 992 – which inaugurated itself with the launch of the Carrera S and 4S models.  Yet much of the hype surrounding the new car has been coming from the relative shroud of mystery regarding the inevitable release of the GT models.

As has been the tradition with previous generation 911s, GT models typically begin to appear a couple of years into the cycle, with various other iterations being presented as part of the GT range until the end of the generation. The 992 generation will follow the same template, with Porsche teasing that “many exciting and unexpected” models will be released in the new future.

Never one to rest on its laurels, Porsche has already been seen testing what appeared to be a GT3 prototype at the Nürburgring late last year. We are likely to see more test mules captured on spy shots as Porsche continues to prepare the proposed variety of GT models for production.

While remaining coy on the specifications of the GT cars – such as, whether we will see any naturally aspirated engines in the lineup – purists can breathe easy, with Porsche CEO Oliver Blume underlining that the 911 will retain an internal combustion engine, amid all the fanfare surround EVs as of late. There are no plans anywhere in the near future to divert from this, nor are there any thoughts being given to fully autonomous driving features  – that’s Porsche, recognizing what makes a 911, a 911.
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Top Gear’s Matt LeBlanc Drives the Ferrari 812 Superfast

He Says the Superfast is Too Fast for the Road

How much horsepower and speed do we really need on the road? That’s a question Top Gear’s Matt LeBlanc essentially asks while driving the Ferrari 812 Superfast. He said the 789 hp machine doesn’t really make that great of a grand touring car because it has too much power and too much of a penchant for the racetrack. 

To be fair, he makes a good point. A good grand touring car should be fast and fun, but it should also be supremely comfortable and lovely to drive. While the 812 Superfast appears to check most of those boxes, according to LeBlanc, it’s too hopped-up and race-ready for you to drive comfortably.

The car keeps you on your toes, which is an appealing feature in many cases, but if you were on a long road trip, it’d be the last thing you’d want. Your nerves would be shot after only traveling for a portion of your journey. Of course, you could drive the 812 Superfast like a grandma, but that’s not what this car is about.

LeBlanc also takes the 812 Superfast to the racetrack to prove its prowess there. It’s a killer car, but it’s not truly designed for the racetrack either. That begs the question, where does it really belong? There’s no denying the 812 Superfast is one of the best Ferrari cars yet, but it brings up some fair questions about horsepower, speed, and the true purpose of the grand touring car.

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Watch Chris Harris Have Fun on a Track in the McLaren 600LT

Could This Be The Best McLaren Track Car?

That’s the question Top Gear’s Chris Harris asks in the video below of him driving the McLaren 600LT. The car lacks the insane horsepower and super-techy suspension of other McLaren vehicles, but it offers a more mechanical, analog, and natural driving experience, according to the presenter. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun.

Harris drives the hardened cousin of the 570S at the Circuit De Charade in France. As he does, the sky begins to spit rain, making the drive a whole lot more difficult. With that said, Harris completes the task in entertaining style, spinning the tires and getting sideways a few times.

The McLaren 600LT comes with a 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 592-horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. It’s a revised version of the engine found in the 570S, though it’s not a revolutionary mill by any means. That doesn’t mean it lacks power, though Harris does note a bit of turbo lag.

That doesn’t hurt performance too much though, the car can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, and then continue on to 124 mph in just 8.2 seconds. The top speed for this beautiful supercar is 204 mph. That’s not the fastest car out there, but it’s very, very quick.

What seemed to surprise Harris the most was the playfulness of the car. It’s stiff chassis and suspension setup paired with its open differentials still allows the car to move around, and he seemed very pleased with it overall. Needless to say, McLaren’s 600LT is a car worth owning. 

Mercedes-AMG Project One details revealed in private session with ‘Top Gear’

Mercedes-AMG put “Top Gear‘s” Jack Rix in a private studio with an AMG One, and let the journalist have his way with the static hypercar. Rix turned on the cameras and put on a show, divulging further particulars of Stuttgart’s crouching tiger. The 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 is built in the same British factory that builds the Formula 1 engines for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team. The motor also can also brag about a thermal efficiency of 40 percent, matching the Toyota Prius.

Road manners and emissions requirements mean that instead of the 5,000-rpm idle and 14,000-rpm redline in the F1 car, the One idles at 1,200 rpm and maxes at 11,000 rpm.

Three F1-spec electric motors contribute mojo, one at the crank, one at each front wheel. They spin up to 50,000 rpm and add 160 horsepower apiece to a total figure expected to number at least 1,050 horses. In pure EV mode the front motors do all the work, making the One a front-wheel-drive hypercar for up to 15 miles.

The bodywork’s been shaped and polished so as to aid motivation depending on application. For high-speed reasons, the front badge has been airbrushed on, and the 10-spoke wheels — in aluminum or magnesium — wear carbon inserts to reduce drag. When racing is the reason, flaps atop the front fenders stand up to increase downforce on the front axle, and the electrically-deployed rear wing deploys its wing-in-a-wing.

Check out the video for more minutiae, such as the friendlier-than-a-Valkyrie seating position, the four drive modes, and how the tires limit how much downforce AMG could extract from the rear wing.

Related Video:

VIDEO: Porsche 911 GT3 v McLaren 570S Track Pack

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I am a big fan of Steve Sutcliff’s video reviews. He gets cars and you can tell just how genuinely excited he is to be behind the wheel. In this video he focuses on comparing the GT3 and the McLaren 570S Track Pack. It’s funny because we talk a lot about choosing cars here at Supercars.net and we often struggle with this very choice and whether McLaren can unseat the GT3 as our favorite all round car. Watch this video to find out.

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ full onboard record lap at Nürburgring

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ventador SVJ laps the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6:44:97 minutes under the formal scrutiny of Remak personnel who managed time and GPS certification using VBOX-Racelogic instrumentation. The new king of the ‘Ring’ driver was Marco Mapelli that managed the challenge with Lamborghini’s Research and Development team and the extensive tire support from Pirelli technicians and driver.