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The Rise And Rise Of The Super Car

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The Rise And Rise Of The Super Car

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
September 9, 2013


Mercedes SLR McLaren Mercedes SLR McLaren
Over the past couple of years the green press have been hinting at the demise of the hypercar and indeed high powered sports cars generally. They have been saying that we must all look forward to a brave new world of economy, twin-air engines and the noiseless advance of alternative technologies. Endless streams of verbal and written bureaucracy seem to support this.

Well, it turns out that car makers haven’t been listening and it appears that rumours of the death of supercars has been greatly exaggerated. It is clear that many manufacturers see an on-going market for these great and powerful machines - at least for those who can afford it.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black is a case in point. It has gull-wing doors, gulps fuel and causes cracks in the time-space continuum under acceleration and is, on the face of it, completely daft. So why do Mercedes insist on making it and why do we really, really want one - even if it means paying a quarter of a million pounds?

Porsche’s eminently useable 911 is fantastic but the company believes that what drivers truly want is a racing car for the road, which is why the 911 GT3 continues to be available in all its awesome awesomeness. In the same vein, Jaguar have been content - until now - to rest its history on the E-Type from years ago so why, in these times of financial woe, did they even consider building and selling the new F-Type V8 S?

For around a reasonable £80k enthusiasts can buy this future classic which in its way is as good looking as the ancestor.

The Italians of course do not concern themselves with trivialities like global warming and the like, they much prefer to watch the girls on the Via Veneto and drive cars from Lamborghini. There’s the new Veneno - a snip at £3.1 million - or for those less flush with Euros, an Aventador. It is also why Ferrari’s idea of a family hatchback is the FF and for a million quid will sell you LaFerrari, the replacement for the legendary Enzo.

The list goes on. Rolls Royce have raised the bar with the truly magnificent Wraith and Bentley are producing the Continental GT V8 S. If you don’t like two doors then the Bentley Flying Spur is the answer which has the same W12 engine and offers similar scorching performance.

All this hot metal suggests that the furore surrounding climate issues and the need for eco-cars is settling down as manufacturers choose to give their customers cars that they want as well as cars that they should have. Great strides have been made in engine technology, so much so that the above mentioned SLS only produces 321g/km of the nasty stuff. Obviously that’s quite a lot but is way superior to what it would have been just a few short years ago.

If you still believe in alternative power sources but want an SLS they can do you a fully electric version for only one hundred thousand pounds more. It has a battery the size of a house coupled to four electric motors but thanks to something called the ‘SLS eSound’, makes noises like a proper car. The trouble is, most of us like meat with our potatoes. Which is why the true supercar will live on for a while yet and thank goodness for that.



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