Wednesday, 20 March 2013

GUEST - The next generation of supercars is here

One area of motoring which never fails to move with the times is the world of supercars. These creations are always on the very edge of cutting technology; showing the rest of the world the true possibilities with car making. It's one of the many reasons they excite us so greatly. So where are we at currently? What can we look forward to in the near future? Well, Brad Credit sheds some light on the situation...

"Welcome to the Next-Generation" - Brad Credit

It seems like forever. It seems like forever the entirety of the globe’s car enthusiast population has eagerly been awaiting the arrival of two specific speed freak machines - the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari. And, with their unveilings at Geneva having come and gone, we’re now faced to come to grips on what these two cars mean (and a certain Porsche 918 Spyder, mind you), and what they could possibly represent in the future. With all three next-gen supercars pairing an already extremely high-powered engine with electric motors to give it just that extra bit of kick, it seems that the next generation of supercars is one that is of unbelievable power and a touch of eco-friendliness.

Hybrids are definitely nothing new to the automotive world. We’ve seen examples of these world-hugging cars around for years, in the forms of automobiles such as the Civic Hybrid, the Fusion Hybrid, and, unfortunately, the Toyota Prius. However, when a company like Porsche not only says that they’re making a hybrid, but a hybrid supercar, there’s a good reason of why the world needs to stop turning. And when Ferrari and McLaren come out stating that they also have hybrid supercars in the works, hybrids with the intent of following the likes of the Enzo and the F1, well the world might as well just cancel everything and pay attention.

But it’s when Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren came out with the specifications sheets for their cars that the world was really impressed. With the maximum combined output for the Porsche being 798 bhp, and the Ferrari and McLaren having 963 bhp and 903 bhp respectively, it would be hard to not shock the world. However, with these cars all going into production later this year, two questions should soon emerge: what does this mean for the supercar, and the future of all sports cars?

With gas prices continuously rising like a mountain climber headed towards a tall peak, there is a growing demand for cars that are fuel efficient, cars that are not constantly begging for fuel. However, we as enthusiasts demand something more than just a wallet-friendly car. Instead, we want something that is fun, exciting and sporty, a proper sports car to thrash around on the twistiest of roads and the fastest of racetracks, while at the same time being kind to our wallets.

While the one-percenters that we are ever so envious of pay little to no mind to the concern of rising gas prices, car manufacturers - such as Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren - that tend to appeal to these rich folk are still making cars that only the richest of the rich can enjoy (Porsche’s 918 Spyder costs waywards of $800,000 while the LaFerrari and P1 will both set you back more than $1 million). But how can these cars affect the average enthusiast’s respectably priced sports car? Possibly a lot more than you might think.

As Ferrari stated when the LaFerrari (which I’d much rather call the Enzo 2.0) was unveiled at Geneva, the car is to be the benchmark for performance, as all Ferrari’s have been. But what else have all Ferrari’s been? Influential. This car, along with the 918 and P1, could eventually trickle down into the drivetrains of sports cars as we know of today, resulting in some pretty spectacular possibilities.

You see, Ferrari’s intent with the electric motors was not to make the car more eco-friendly, instead it was for the purpose of adding power which, in the long run, will help the earth stay at a nice, comfortable temperature. And who says this can’t happen with the average sports car? Providing the driver with more money in his wallet from all the gas money saved, reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, and providing more power than just a gas engine alone, hybrid sports cars could prove extremely successful. If done right, of course.

With the unveiling of two new hybrid supercars to accompany one other hybrid speed demon, the comparison tests and reviews will be some of the best in years, good enough to leave enthusiasts salivating at the mouth. However, this new tech could one day trickle down into the average enthusiasts excited palms as they grip the steering wheel to their new hybrid sports car. With more money, more excitement, and more power, there should be some pretty big enthusiast smiles.

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