by Douglas Black, enerficiency On The Road, March 8, 2013
Lines are blurred between the traditional fast low to the ground sportscar, the plug in hybrid sportscar, and the very limited, or extremely limited production one-offs in the supercar field.
So we are mixing them up, and in fact throwing in a very noteworthy gentleman’s ultimate luxury gran tourismo afternoon cruiser.
The Rolls-Royce marque has always been synonymous with luxury. Now the British icon has elevated the bar by bringing back the Wraith nameplate, the ultimate gentleman’s road trip car of 1939, and they have given it a twenty-first century “old money” look.
Reviving the fastback look, this most technically advance Rolls-Royce ever built is also the fastest ever. The Wraith delivers 563hp and 575 foot-pounds of torque from a 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12 power plant.
Cruising the open road in the Rolls-Royce Wraith is an experience in luxury. Behind the wheel, the driver not only experiences superior handling and acceleration response, he also enjoys the embedded intelligent assistance offered by state-of-the-art technology.
This means the Wraith will hit 62mph in just 4.6 seconds and go on to an electronically governed top speed of 155mph. The power is routed through an eight speed, automatic ZF transmission to the rear wheels.
The accelerator pedal is fitted with a feature that Rolls-Royce refers to as “multi-shift”. A sensor in the accelerator recognizes when the driver is fully depressing the pedal. It then moves down a few gears for optimum performance.
The gearbox also makes use of a feature called “Satellite Aided Transmission” which uses GPS to determine the driver’s next moves and plan for them accordingly.
And now for the white knuckles on four wheels sportscar porn…
Lamborghini Veneno .
This car bears the name of an icon in Italian folklore, a god-like monicar.
Veneno the Bull. Strong, cunning, fast. Mythical. His name became popular in 1914, when he gored do death José Sánchez Rodríguez during the bullfight in the arena Sanlúcar de Barrameda’s.
The car is expected to accelerate from rest to 60mph in under 3 seconds. As I said, god-like.
Only four cars are to be produced – the gray seen in Geneva and three others each representing a color of the Italian flag. I get chills just writing this.
The three cars sold to customers compose a trilogy in green, white and red accents, each of one featuring a single color of the Italian national flag, thus representing a unique piece: ‘The trilogy of three unique vehicles will be produced in the course of the year 2013 and handed over to their future owners,’ says a spokesman for the 50 year old carmaker.
A fourth car called ‘number 0’ and created as a test vehicle for the other three is the only one being shown at Geneva and will also be the only Veneno displaying all three colours of the Italian flag.
Lamborghini said: ‘Its future has not been determined yet, but it will allow Lamborghini to continue its activity of testing and innovation, both on the road and on the race track.’
Built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary automaker.
The two-seater Veneno is powered by a massive 6.5 litre 12 cylinder petrol engine developing 750 horse-power – equivalent to seven Ford Fiestas – linked to a seven speed manual gear-box with five different driving modes and permanent all-wheel drive, which Lamborghini says delivers ‘a thrilling combination of absolute high-revving frenzy and phenomenal pulling power’.
La Ferrari – Hybrid Hypercar of the Year
2013 is shaping up to be the year of the Hypercar. Joining the entries from Lamborghini and McLaren, Ferrari also wowed crowds in Geneva this week with the release of the LaFerrari.
Ferrari chose the slightly curious name for the project because the new car is the “maximum expression” of what defines the company.
Built to be the follow-up to the legendary Enzo, the LaFerrari’s wind tunnel-sculpted body and chassis are built using four different types of carbon fiber and weight distribution comes in at 41-59.
It’s powered by 6.3 liter V12 that makes 789 horsepower, but that’s not everything. There’s also an additional 160 horsepower electric motor developed from the use of KERS on Ferrari’s F1 team.
Ferrari plans to build just 499 LaFerraris, and I’d be willing to bet that getting one won’t be easy.
McLaren P1 (another hybrid hypercar)
(from MoterTrend). When you read “plug-in hybrid,” you think of Volts, Prii, and the like. You don’t think about 900-hp supercars. Or didn’t, as that’s going to change thanks to the McLaren P1, which was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
We’ve known for some time now that the McLaren P1 would be as wildly powerful as it is wild-looking, but now we have the facts. Combined system output for the plug-in hybrid hypercar will be 903 hp and 664 lb-ft. According to McLaren, 727 hp and 531 lb-ft will be provided by a twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8, an upgraded version of the 12C’s engine running an additional 3 psi of boost.
Additional thrust will be donated to the accelerative cause by a McLaren-built electric motor mounted to the back of the engine and producing up to 176 hp and 192 lb-ft. All that power is shunted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
All said and done, McLaren says the P1 will hit 62 mph in less than three seconds, 124 mph in less than seven seconds and 186 mph in less than 17 seconds (that’s 5 seconds faster than the McLaren F1).
Its top speed is electronically limited to 217 mph, because, McLaren says, they’re after all-out street and track performance, not top speed.
2014 Alfa Romeo 4C
The name 4C follows the lineage of two infamous Alfas from the 1930s and ‘40s, the 8C and 6C. Both revolutionized automotive engine technology at the time, powered by innovative eight and six cylinders, respectively. Alfa hopes the 4C will have a similar affect on the automotive market.
Powered by an engine Alfa calls the “1750 Turbo Petrol.” The inventive all-aluminum four-cylinder features direct injection and a revolutionary “scavenging” control system that eliminates turbo lag. Alfa engineers have mounted the engine mid-car and have sent the power to the rear wheels,
making it a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car, much like today’s supercars. Bolted to the all-aluminum four-cylinder is a “TCT” twin dry clutch transmission. Drivers shift the transmission with two paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel.
With what Alfa calls its “Alfa DNA Selector,” drivers can choose from four driving modes: Dynamic, Neutral, Weather, and Race, the latter of which is said to improve the race track experience and more.
Though this agile two-seater was designed by primarily by Alfa Romeo, Maserati’s engineering team had a hand in the design. In fact, the 4C will be built in Maserati’s Modena assembly plant.
Alfa Romeo has not made pricing available yet but with its U.S. launch set for sometime in the fall of 2013, official pricing can’t be too far off. As soon as we know more about the 4C’s Stateside debut, we’ll be sure to update you. (SportscarNation)
Koenigsegg hasn’t been around nearly as long as those sports car staples, but it is celebrating its 10th year of production with a one-off Agera special edition. called the Hundra (one hundredth).
For a short time boasting title as Worlds Fastest Production car, this car is truly spectacular.
Aston Martin Bertone
A stationwagon,….wait, what??? WTF. Well leave it to coachbuilder Bertone who always have something interesting to display, and the Geneva Motor Show 2013 is no different.
They have bought the Bertone Jet 2+2, an Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake built to celebrate the British auto manufacturer’s 100th Anniversary! We sent a photographer for a closer look.
The one-off Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake was created by Italian design and coachbuilding firm Bertone, hence the name Bertone Jet 2+2. It has been designed to celebrate Aston Martin’s 100th anniversary, as well as the 60th anniversary of the collaboration between Aston Martin and Bertone.
The car utilizes the same powerhouse as the base Aston Martin Rapide, a 5.9-litre V12 with 470bhp as opposed to the more powerful 550bhp in the Rapide S.
Bertone says the C-pillars are bent forwards and connected to the tall, muscular wheel arches to create a perception of movement even when the car is stationary.
A sharply raked tailgate and pronounced rear end with a full-length LED light strip run through to help complete the transformation from saloon to shooting brake.
The interior is finished in a special wood, aluminum and two-tone leather trim. The 2+2 cabin has four individual seats.
The two rear seats fold flat and can be covered by a sliding cover to create a sizable luggage space, access to which is aided by a wide loading area when the tailgate is lifted.
A sexy, let’s take the dogs for a ride kind of sportscar.
Porsche 918 Spyder
And then there is the Porsche 918 Spyder – only 918 will be made – one car, one number. we would like to see the actual performance numbers, but it’s still at the concept stage.
Apparently still working on it, all indicators say this will be something worth waiting for.
About Douglas Black
Douglas Black is a photojournalist and
green technologies analyst out of Chicago,
and is currently Managing Producer for
Earlier Douglas promoted greentech in Detroit as
Senior Marketing Strategist and Architect.
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