Sunday, January 17, 2010

The League Of Great Supercars

I thought I'd write a post on 10 of the greatest supercars, in my opinion, that the world has seen.

Porsche 911 Turbo: Quite possibly the most recognizable supercar, the 911 Turbo is an everyday supercar and a benchmark in its class since its introduction in 1974. The latest iteration, the 997 uses a brand-new 500HP flat-6 3.8-litre twin turbo engine mated to a 6-speed twin-clutch Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe gearbox, or PDK for short (a 6-speed manual is also available), which gives it a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 312 km/h.

Porsche Carrera GT: Said to be Porsche's best supercar to date (bar the racing models), the Carrera GT is Porsche showcase of best technological know-how. Power comes from a 5.7-litre V10 engine, producing 650HP and has it transferred to the ground in the form of a traditional 6-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is 3.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 330 km/h. Production of the Carrera GT stopped in 2006.

Nissan GT-R: The Nissan GT-R is Japan's answer to Porsche's 911 Turbo. It comes in a long line of Nissan's infamous Skyline GT-R line of supercars, starting with the 1969 4-door PGC10 and ended with the powerful BNR34 in 2002. Launched in 2009, the latest model (also known by its codename CBA-R35) dropped the 'Skyline' name, as Nissan wants to differentiate the more powerful GT-R from the rest of the range. Powered by a 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 powerplant, this new GT-R has what is possibly the most-advanced all-wheel-drive system in a road car, driven by a 6-speed twin-clutch semi-automatic gearbox. 0-100 km/h time is 3.5-seconds and acceleration stops at the top-end of 310 km/h. It's impressive performance allows it to beat the Porsche at the Nurburgring Nordschleife curcuit.

Ferrari FXX Prototype: This prototype car makes it into my list simply because this could be Ferrari's best supercar ever. The FXX cars are used as a test-bed by Ferrari to provide data and information for their next-generation hypercar. This car is basically a highly-tuned Ferrari Enzo, which sees the base car's 6.0-litre V12 engine being uprated to 6.3-litre and producing 860HP. All this modifications allows it to grab the 'Power Lap' track time record crown in the hit British automotive television series "Top Gear", but was later disqualified for using slick tyres. The rules to qualify for a 'Power Lap' record is cars must be road-worthy, commercially available and be able to negotiate a speed bump.

Dodge Viper: This could be the car that changes the world's perception that American cars are only about big-blocks, straight-line accelerationand handling no better than a shopping cart, the Dodge Viper has seen great success in the world of drift racing. Featuring one of the biggest engines ever seen in a production American car, a 8.4-litre V10 putting out 600HP to the rear-wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox. Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h takes 3.6 seconds, maxxing out at 325 km/h. A hardcore road-going version of the Viper, the SRT/10 ACR was introduced with more aerodynamic aid parts such as a rear spoiler, front splitter and canards for more downforce.

Honda NSX: Japan's best supercar, the Honda NSX is christened with impressive handling and track performance. It is one of the most advanced cars on earth during its launch in1990, thanks to its lightweight aluminium chasis and body. Power comes from a naturally-aspirated 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 276HP in the first generation NA1 model while the second generation NA2 gets a 3.2-litre V6 producing 290HP. It's light kerb weight allows an impressive 0-100 km/h time of 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 280 km/h. Honda stopped the production of the NSX in 2005.

Audi R8: Audi's Porsche 911 Turbo beater, the R8 is first introduced to the public as the Le Mans Quattro Concept in 2003. It's 4.2-litre V8 engine makes 420HP and 0-100 km/h acceleration takes 4.4 seconds. Top speed is 300 km/h. A V10 version was introduced in 2009, dubbed the Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro. As the name suggests, its 525HP engine is of 5.2-litre and is shared with its 'sister' car, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. Transmission for both engine variants are a 6-speed manual or R-Tronic semi-automatic gearbox, driving all four wheels.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Mercedes-Benz's latest supercar is the SLR replacement. The German company claims that the SLS AMG is the spiritual succesor to the breath-takingly beautiful 300SL Gullwing of the 1954. The SLS is developed by Mercedes-Benz's in-house high-performance department AMG and features a 571HP 6.2-litre V8 engine capable of catapulting the aluminium bodied SLS AMG from 0-100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds and stopping at a electronically-limited 317 km/h.

Koenigsegg CCX: Koenigsegg, a Swedish supercar manufacturer introduced the CCX model in 2006 as a follow-up model to the 2004 CCR. Featuring a twin supercharger 4.7-litre V8 engine, it has all its 806HP transferred to the rear-wheels via a twin-clutch 6-speed sequential manual gearbox. The usual 0-100 km/h takes only 3.4 seconds and top speed is a blisteringly-quick 394 km/h. In 2007, Koenigsegg introduced the CCXR, a 'greener' and more powerful version of the standard CCX. Running on bio-fuel, the CCXR produces a colossal 1018HP. This green supercar has an even faster 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 3 seconds compared to the stock CCX and can hit a claimed top speed of 400+ km/h.

Pagani Zonda F: Pagani Automobili S.p.A was founded by Mr. Horacio Pagani, a visionary Italian who formerly managed Lamborghini's composite department. Mr. Pagani established his company in 1992 with the introduction of the Zonda C12. The latest model, the Zonda F is the more powerful version of the C12 and has a Mercedes-Benz's AMG-tuned naturally-aspirated 7.3-litre V12 engine with 644HP. Accelerating from 0-100 km/h takes 3.5 seconds and top speed is 346 km/h.

No comments: