Subscribe:
Chilton’s Repair:
Sponsored Ads:
Car Charger:
Sponsored Ads:
AutoBarn.com:
Auto Europe:
SuperTune Auto Parts:
B&M 80642 Universal Auto / Automatic Trans T-Handle Shift Knob (BLACK)
$24.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 19:29:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $24.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Fitting Adapter NPT 1/8" Female Metric M12X1.5 Male Replace auto meter 2277 _5P
$8.98
End Date: Thursday Dec-7-2017 9:46:15 PST
Buy It Now for only: $8.98
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

MOTORCYCLE AND AUTO VALVE LAPPING COMPOUND 600 GRIT
$8.95
End Date: Thursday Dec-7-2017 10:07:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $8.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Auto Meter Pro control Vertex mag magneto rev limiter Dragster Funny Car enderle
$115.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 10:44:43 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

Pyrotect Pro Airflow Duckbill Auto Racing Helmet Snell SA2015 - Rebel Graphic
$499.00
End Date: Saturday Dec-2-2017 12:05:22 PST
Buy It Now for only: $499.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Oakley - Race Mid FR Auto Racing Shoes - SFI/FIA - SFI-5 Rated Boot Black - Shoe
$169.95
End Date: Monday Dec-18-2017 7:02:27 PST
Buy It Now for only: $169.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Royal Purple 01320 Max ATF Synthetic Auto Transmission Fluid 1 Quart
$17.74
End Date: Monday Dec-18-2017 21:18:29 PST
Buy It Now for only: $17.74
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Auto Meter 6187 Gauge Shift Light, Level 1 Blue indicators
$215.95
End Date: Tuesday Dec-5-2017 9:18:06 PST
Buy It Now for only: $215.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
$175.00
End Date: Sunday Dec-17-2017 15:38:35 PST
Buy It Now for only: $175.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Bell HP7 Carbon Duckbill Auto Racing Helmet - Snell SA2015 & FIA8860 (Free Bag)
$3,399.95
End Date: Friday Dec-8-2017 5:03:21 PST
Buy It Now for only: $3,399.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Archive for the ‘comparisons’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster – New vs. Old

Tesla just unveiled the second-generation Roadster and launched a big shock wave around the world. It’s not the Roadster’s return that took us by surprise, but the incredible specs that the car comes with. Not only set to become the quickest production vehicle ever with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 1.9 seconds, it also has a 250-mph top speed. The latter is downright spectacular for gasoline-powered supercar and I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see a production EV hit that much. But before we get overly excited, we must remember that the second-gen Roadster won’t become available until 2020. And given Tesla’s habit of delaying production, it may take a bit longer than that.

Many details are still under wraps, but Tesla made sure that all the new Roadster’s spectacular features hit the news. So we now have quite a few figures to compare with the first-generation Roadster. It takes just a quick glance to notice that Tesla made tremendous progress since 2008, and this is exactly why we need to put the numbers next to each other. While the first Roadster marked Tesla’s debut on the market and the beginning of a spectacular career for the California-based brand (albeit sprinkled with plenty of issues), the second Roadster could take Elon Musk’s firm to new heights. If all goes according to plan of course, because it may happen the other way around too.

This comparison is far from complete given that the latest Roadster is far from being a production model, but the aim is to look at Tesla’s progress rather than provide an comprehensive comparo.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster ”

The design features of the two Roadsters are the easiest to compare, because Tesla released shots of the new car from every angle and the renderings appears to be pretty close to the actual things. The design is definitely doable, includes many of the company’s trademark cues, and I can’t spot too many features that wouldn’t make in on the production model. Speaking of which, have you seen our rendering of the rumored Tesla supercar? We almost nailed it!

The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster. The first-gen car was pretty appealing when it was launched in 2008, but the new design is definitely more spectacular. But that’s far from surprising. The first Roadster had a unique design that did not carry over to the Model S, the company’s second car. It was the Model S that actually inspired the Model X and Model 3, a quick look at the new Roadster reveals quite a few familiar details.

“The new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders”

Also, while the the first Roadster had looks that usually define lightweight sports cars, the new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders, a wider stance, and overall more aggressive fascias. The light units are particularly interesting, sporting a thin, sleek design that’s different than anything else Tesla used so far.

Much like it’s predecessor, the new Roadster ha a targa-type roof layout. But instead of a canvas top, it has a glass roof that can be stowed in the trunk.

Interior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746105

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233851

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“As you'd expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future, the differences are huge”

As you’d expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future (almost 15 years apart), the differences are huge. Again, the first Roadster looked pretty fresh when launched, but it was also rather spartan, mostly because Tesla was aiming at the lightweight sports car segment. The new Roadster is just a rendering for now, but it’s pretty obvious that it will compete in a more premium market. The design is still plain and simple overall, but all that brutshed aluminum, the leather on the seats, and the massive screen in the center stack suggest a higher quality cabin.

The new Roadster will also come with heavily bolstered, modern looking front seats, as well as a pair of second-row seats. The latter is what makes it different compared to the first-gen car, which was a two-seater. This also makes the new Roadster a significantly different vehicle. Instead of an actual successor, this new sports car plays in a different league, offering space for two more passengers and more convenience. The renderings also show carbon-fiber dash and panels, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel with no buttons and no upper rim, but it remains to be seen if these features make it on the production.

Drivetrain


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745806

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103581

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin”

Based on Tesla’s preliminary specs, the upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin. The first thing that sets them apart the platform. While the first-gen car was built on the same underpinnings as the Lotus Elise and Exige, the second-gen model will ride on a newer platform. There’s no word on whether it will be based on the Model S, but chances are it will be brand-new.

Tesla had nothing to say about the upcoming car’s electric motors, but it did mention all-wheel-drive, which means it will have at least one for each axle. The first Roadster was a rear-wheel-drive car. The new two-door will also be significantly more powerful. No word on output either, but Tesla mentions wheel torque of 7,375 pound-feet. It also claims that the car will be able to hit 60 mph in an incredible 1.9 seconds. That’s two seconds quicker than the standard Roadster (248 horsepower) and 1.8 clicks quicker than the Roadster Sport (288 horsepower). The sprint to 100 mph will be achieved in only 4.2 seconds, just three tenths slower than the first Roadster from 0 to 60 mph!

“At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world”

At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world. Assuming that a quicker vehicle from another automaker won’t be launched until then, but it’s very unlikely to be honest.

Tesla also claims that the new Roadster will have a top speed of 250 mph. That’s nearly as fast as the Bugatti Veyron and faster than any Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini out there. And exactly twice as fast compared to the first-generation Roadster. The quarter mile will be achieved in 8.8 seconds, almost four seconds quicker than the old model. Want more juicy bits? The estimate range for the upcoming car is of 620 miles per charge, compared to up to 244 miles delivered by the old model. I guess it’s goodbye range anxiety in 2020!

Pricing


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745804

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103575

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

The first Roadster was pretty expensive when it was launched in 2008, retailing from around $100,000 (with preorders set at $50,000). But the second-gen car will cost twice as much. Tesla is asking $50,000 for reservations, but the second-gen model will cost $200,000 before options. There will also be a launched edition priced from a whopping $250,000. That’s Ferrari money right there, but somewhat justified given the incredible performance. And despite the high sticker, the second-gen Roadster will definitely sell better than its predecessor, which moved about 2,500 units in almost five years on the market.

Conclusion


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

It’s definitely too early to draw a conclusion in the absence of a production model for the second-gen car, but it’s safe to say that the new Roadster will be a massive improvement over its predecessor. Big improvements are visible in just about any department and the extra comfort features and the two additional seats could finally give Tesla a shot at the supercar market dominated by Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. And we may even see a host of new world records in the performance and range departments.

PostHeaderIcon In-Depth Comparison – Corvette ZR1 Vs. Europe’s Supercars

Chevy just unveiled its incredible new Corvette ZR1 over the weekend, and while we have yet to get every single nitty gritty detail, our first look at the spec sheet reveals that yes, this thing is indeed a complete and utter monster. It’s a bit like the Z06 – that is, if the Z06 trained like it had the Superbowl on Sunday and a championship MMA fight on Monday. All told, the ZR1 is the fastest, most powerful production car Chevy has ever created, with all the right equipment needed to make it a full-fledged supercar. And when you consider that, it makes sense Chevy first pulled the sheets in a private event in Dubai, a town that could very well lay claim to the title of supercar capital of the world (seriously, just check out the Dubai police force!). So then, the question is this – how does the ZR1 fair when challenged by Europe’s idea of a supercar?

To find out, we’ve put together the following comparison, which will dive into the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and chassis specs of the ZR1 to see how it lines up. Playing the part of the rivals is the McLaren 570S, Porsche 911 Turbo S, and Mercedes-AMG GT S, each of which carries some serious weight in the world of top-shelf performance (not to mention a top-shelf price tag as well). Can the ‘Vette rebuff the European onslaught? Read on to find out.

Continue reading for an in-depth comparison between the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and Europe’s supercars.

Exterior

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651521

As expected, the McLaren of the group looks to be the closest to a “traditional” supercar in terms of exterior styling. It’s got the same proportions and cues as the brand’s halo hybrid, the world-beating, highly venerated P1. Granted, the 570S is a bit more understated, but the DNA is obvious.

In front, we find lower aero blades in the fascia, as well as teardrop-shaped, LED headlights up top. The doors open in a dihedral fashion, while a “floating tendon” design in the flanks helps to divert atmosphere into the side pod intakes, keeping it cool while also finding a good balance between max downforce and minimal drag. In back you’ll find a flying buttresses design, with the aero shaped to help extract hot air from the engine bay, while also keeping the tail planted at speed.

McLaren 570S – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 105.1
Length (Inches) 178.3
Width (Inches) 82.5
Height (Inches) 47.3

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658139

Not much surprise here – the 911 Turbo S looks like just about every other 911 on the road, save for a few unique touches here and there. The differences between the Turbo and Turbo S are even harder to pick out. However, if extra style and aero stick are what you’re after, then you can get yours with a factory body kit that adds a new wing element in the rear, new side skirts, and a few new front lip spoilers in the corners of the fascia.

The S also gets unique center-locking wheels, with a motorsport-inspired design and a 20-inch diameter. Full LED headlights come as standard, while narrow LED daytime running lights are in the lower corners of the front bumper. In back are 3D brake lights, as well as standard black exhaust tips. The latest model year also gets specialty colors like Miami Blue and Lava Orange.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 96.5
Length (Inches) 177.4
Width (Inches) 74
Height (Inches) 51

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567786

Out of all the entries on this list, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is undoubtedly the most elegant. While aggressive and sporty, the Merc balances out with a good bit of refinement as well, looking more luxurious and comfort-oriented than most other modern exotics.

Regardless, the Merc still uses plenty of carbon fiber, and incorporates styling cues from arguably the world’s first supercar, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The means it gets an extended hood line and cab-back proportions, with long, straight lines that give it that rocket sled sort of feeling. The headlights stretch back into the fenders, while the front fascia gets a rounded central intake and a thinner lower intake. The side intakes cool the brakes, while thin taillights take up a spot in the rear. The rear glass also extends down into the trunk, once again enhancing the car’s sense of length. Just ahead of those large wheels up front are the requisite fender cutouts, which are just for show, but look quite good all the same.

Mercedes-AMG GT S – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 103.5
Length (Inches) 179
Width (Inches) 76.3
Height (Inches) 50.7

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744658

From refined elegance, to shock and awe – the Corvette ZR1 is a rather striking thing to behold. It’s like a great white shark with more downforce, an apex predator that’s very, very hungry. Chevy pulled no punches with the styling, equipping the ‘Vette with an all-new front fascia. In fact, the whole front clip is new, including the sharpened intakes and wider fenders.

Of course, the ZR1’s new exterior isn’t just for looks – this thing is effective at speed as well, with extensive wind tunnel testing yielding some pretty impressive results in terms of aero. A variety of packages are offered to give buyers a choice of downforce levels, with the ZTK Performance Pack throwing in something called the High Wing that’ll make as much as 950 pounds of extra stick at speed, roughly 60 percent more than a modern Z06 equipped with the Z07 Performance Package. The wing is also adjustable, with up to 5 degrees of tunability to better suit the driver’s preferences on the track. In addition, the ZTK pack adds a more effective front splitter, which is made from carbon fiber and sandwiched by vertical end plates. A Low Wing configuration is also on deck, which is less aggressive, but still manages to produce 70 percent more downforce than the base model Z06.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744523
“Of course, the ZR1’s new exterior isn’t just for looks – this thing is effective at speed as well, with extensive wind tunnel testing yielding some pretty impressive results in terms of aero.”

In fact, the wings are so effective, Chevy had to mount them directly to the chassis, similar to the C7.R racing machine. The wing uses a cast aluminum truss structure that hooks up to the bumper beam, which is necessary because otherwise, all that downforce would deform the trunk. Impressive.

Up front, you’ll find a redesigned hood to accommodate the new supercharger, offering more clearance while also keeping the powerplant cool with carbon fiber louvers. The wheels are staggered at 19 inches in front and 20 inches in back. More eye-catching styling can be had with the Sebring Orange Design Package, which adds a searing shade of carrot color to the body panels, brake calipers, side skirts, and splitter, not to mention select interior components like the stitching and seat belts. Extra bronze aluminum trim was added as well.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 106.7
Length (Inches) 176.9
Width (Inches) 77.4
Height (Inches) 48.6

Interior

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 624316

As part of McLaren’s Sport Series line, the 570S was designed specifically to offer more space and greater usability as compared to the rest of the brand’s more hardcore models. A full infotainment system is equipped, with info relayed to the driver via a new digital instrument cluster behind the flat-bottom steering wheel and a 7.0-inch touchscreen in the dash. There’s integrated climate control, Bluetooth support, and either digital or satellite radio for aural diversions. Leather upholstery was added to the seats, dash, and steering wheel, with further customization options offered with Alcantara, Nappa leather, and carbon fiber trim. A Bowers & Wilkins stereo with 12 speakers is also on the options list.

And while it’s a bit more comfortable than other McLarens, the 570S is still very much driver focused and performance oriented, a characteristic that’s complemented by the option for racing bucket seats.

McLaren 570S – interior dimensions

Cargo room 5.3 cubic feet

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658190

Like the exterior, the interior of the 911 Turbo S is more or less a carryover from years before. There are carbon inlays added to the dash, center console, and the central transmission tunnel, while a 360 mm (14.2-inch) diameter steering wheel offers influences from Stuttgart’s hybrid halo car, the 918 Spyder. Equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, the 911 Turbo S also gets an analog clock mounted high on the dash. A variety of buttons and mode switches are spread out just about everywhere, including on the steering wheel and central tunnel, offering inputs for the various performance systems and infotainment features.

Speaking of infotainment, the 911 offers Porsche’s Communication Management with Online Navigation, plus a standard Connect Plus module, Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth support, and USB connections for your smartphone. A small touchscreen is mounted in the center console. Standard spec is a Bose stereo system, while upgrades include a Burmester stereo system.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – interior dimensions

Cargo room 5.1 cubic feet

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567801

One look is all you need to confirm just how lovely it is inside the Mercedes-AMG GT S. This handsome interior layout draws its inspiration from various aviation and motorsport themes, while never ignoring Merc’s commitment to luxury. The center console is broad and comes studded with controls set in a glossy surround that’s meant to mimic the shape of the engine’s “vee” configuration. The flat-bottom steering wheel is covered in Alcantara and gets a top center mark, while the broad dash wraps around the occupants, continuing the lines of the concave doors to give it an enhanced sense of volume. High-end materials abound, with leather upholstery and trim made from both aluminum and carbon fiber. Red contrast stitching rounds it out.

Mercedes-AMG GT S – interior dimensions

Headroom 39.5 inches
Cargo room 10.1 cubic feet

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744535

Inside the Corvette ZR1, the look and layout is once again reminiscent of the Z06, offering the same driver-focused layout as before, but with a few extra premium touches here are there. Overall, The ZR1 looks and feels like a high-powered GT car, rather than a stripped-down track car, with leather upholstery for the seats, suede microfiber inserts, and the option for Napa leather upholstery. The flat-bottom steering wheel also gets a good deal of carbon fiber trim, while options include a Bose audio system. A performance data recorder provides numbers to back your tales of on-track heroics. Funny enough, this thing even gets 15 cubic feet of cargo room – talk about practical!

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – interior dimensions

Headroom (Inches) 38
Legroom (Inches) 43
Shoulder Room (Inches) 55
Hip Room (Inches) 54
EPA passenger volume (cu. ft. ) 52
Cargo volume (cu. ft.) 15

Drivetrain

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651841

Mounted behind the cabin of the McLaren is a detuned version of the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 you get in the 650S and P1, this time around rocking 562 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 443 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Routing it all to the rear wheels is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Properly applied, the 570S can hit 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and 124 mph in 9.5 seconds, continuing on to a top speed of 204 mph.

McLaren 570S – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8
Horsepower 562 HP @ 7,400 RPM
Torque 443 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
0 to 60 mph 3.2 seconds
Top Speed 204 mph

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658189

Per tradition, the 911 Turbo S mounts its engine in the rear, with a flat-six configuration for the cylinder banks. Displacement is rated at 3.8 liters, which gets boosted by two new turbos to produce as much as 580 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque at 2,250 rpm. A seven-speed PDK transmission sends the muscle to the ground, where all four wheels get fed for a dollop of AWD grip. Put it in all the right settings, and the 911 Turbo S will hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, while continuing on to a top speed of 205 mph.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 4.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 580 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 553 LB-FT @ 2,250 RPM
0 to 60 mph 2.9 seconds
Top Speed 205 mph

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567803

Under that long hood line on the Mercedes is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. Thanks to its Piezo fuel injectors, indirect intercooling, and Nanoslide coating for the cylinder walls and piston rings, output comes to 515 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 479 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. The 0-to-60 mph run is done in 3.7 seconds, while top speed of 193 mph. Made from all aluminum, the V-8 is also relatively lightweight, while a “Hot Vee” configuration for the turbo placement yields faster spool time. Finally, a dry-sump oil system offers better high-G lubrication and a lower engine mounting position.

Mercedes-AMG GT S – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 4.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 515 HP @ 6,250 RPM
Torque 479 LB-FT @ 1,750 RPM
0 to 60 mph 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 193 mph

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744533

I’d be lying if I said the Corvette ZR1’s most enticing feature was anything other than the outrageous monster powerplant lying in wait in the nose. Dubbed the LT5, this supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 uses an aluminum block and head, similar to the Z06. However, the LT5 is unique to the ZR1 (for now at least) and offers much more than a little tune-up. The entire power and torque curve is fatter, with as much as 105 extra horses and 65 extra pound-feet compared to the C7 Z06. That means the ZR1 maxes out at an impressive 755 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 715 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm.

Hitting the pavement through outrageously wide rear tires, all that go should translate into a 0-to-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. Chevy didn’t give us an exact figure on the benchmark, but did say the ZR1 should eclipse 210 mph at the top end.

“The ZR1 maxes out at an impressive 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, which we expect to translate into 2.5 seconds to 60 mph. 210 mph is possible at the top end.”

To keep it cool, the ZR1 equips two intercoolers and four extra radiators, bringing the total number of heat exchangers to 13, which is critical when considering the overheating issues that have plagued the new Z06. The ZR1’s Eaton supercharger is also new, offering a 52-percent increase in displacement compared to the LT4 ‘Vette, standing nearly 3 inches taller as well (hence the new hood). There’s also a 4-inch diameter throttle body engineered specifically for the ZR1, which is the biggest throttle body ever added to a ‘Vette from the factory. Keeping the thirsty ‘eight topped off is a dual fuel-injection system, with both direct injection and port injection used to keep those pony juices flowing. A seven-speed manual gearbox with rev match comes as standard, while an eight-speed automatic with paddles is optional.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine LT5 6.2L Supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection
Horsepower 755 HP @ 6,300 RPM (SAE certified)
Torque 715 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM (SAE certified)
Transmission 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match
8-speed paddle-shaft automatic
0 to 60 mph 2.5 seconds
Top Speed 210 mph

Chassis And Handling

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651842

Under the skin of the McLaren is an all-carbon chassis dubbed the MonoCell II, which was revised in order to better suit the rigors of daily driving duty. However, McLaren still managed to keep off the heft, as the whole chassis weighs just 176 pounds.

That concern for lightness was extended to the rest of the car as well, and the result is a curb weight of just 2,895 pounds. That means it’s got an impressive power-to-weight ratio too, with 428 horsepower per metric tonne. The weight is distributed 42 percent in the front and 58 percent in the rear, and is managed by unique suspension tuning with adaptive dampers and dual wishbones. Multiple drive modes offer some flexibility, while carbon ceramic brakes make it stop and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires make it grip.

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658185

Like all 911’s, the Turbo S benefits from its unique engine configuration to offer drivers a distinctive experience behind the wheel, and even though it’s AWD, the rear-engine should provide some decent rotation if properly provoked. It’ll stop real good as well, coming equipped from the factory with Porsche’s carbon ceramic brake package, mounting larger discs than the standard Turbo (up to 410 mm, or 16.1 inches, in the S). Six-piston calipers are used up front, while four-pots are in the rear. Finally, the front wheels are 9 inches wide, while the rears are 11.5 inches wide, an increase of half an inch overall.

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567780

While it might look like a bit of a luxury bruiser, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is actually surprisingly lightweight, tipping the scales at roughly 3,600 pounds. To keep it planted, there are double wishbones in the front and rear, with lots of aluminum used for the construction. The AMG also gets electronically controlled damping as standard on the S model, plus multiple drive modes adjustable inside the cabin if desired. Speed-sensitive steering is also standard, while high-performance composite brakes can be swapped for carbon ceramic units if desired. The wheels are staggered at 19 inches in front and 20 inches in the rear, and three-stage stability control lets you pick how much electronic intervention you’d like.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744532

If it’s just straight-line speed and power that you’re after, there are cheaper options than the ZR1 (did someone say Dodge Demon?). Instead, the ZR1 mates its prodigious output with the chassis and suspension pieces required to put them to use on a track with corners.

While it’s got basically the same suspension set-up as the Z06 (magnetorheological dampers, front and rear get double wishbones, etc.), the ZR1 stands outs thanks to unique tuning for greater performance. The ZTK Performance Pack enhances this with further tweaks to the Magnetic Ride Control components and chassis, as well as Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires. Additional features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control, a variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering set-up with electric assist, and an electronic limited-slip differential.

“While it’s got basically the same suspension set-up as the Z06, the ZR1 stands outs thanks to unique tuning for greater performance. Carbon fiber offsets the weight of the bigger blower.”

In terms of weight, the ZR1’s bigger blower and cooling bits undoubtedly add quite a bit of heft, but it was offset thanks to the inclusion of additional carbon fiber components. For example, the hood, engine cover, rear quarter panel, roof, front splitter, side rail, and intake are all made from the stuff, which results in a final curb weight of 3,524 pounds.

There’s also more than plenty of meaty tire in the corners, with the ZR1 adding a full half-inch of width to each wheel. That means you get 10.5 inches of rubber per side in front and an astonishing 12 inches per side in the rear. Yep, you read that right – 2 full feet of tire in back. Sizing for the stuff is measured at 285/30 in front and 335/25 in back. Making it stop are carbon ceramic rotors, measured at 15.5 inches in front and 15.3 inches in rear, with fixed six-pot front calipers and four-pot rear calipers.

Prices

McLaren 570S $188,600
Porsche 911 Turbo S $188,100
Mercedes-AMG GT S $132,400
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 $120,000 (estimate, market debut scheduled for next spring)

Conclusion


In-Depth Comparison – Corvette ZR1 Vs. Europe's Supercars - image 745415

Lined up against the McLaren 570S, Porsche 911 Turbo S, and Mercedes-AMG GT S, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 has a few glaringly obvious deficiencies. First off, let’s talk about styling – while the ‘Vette looks like some kind of overwrought tuner special, the other three entries have style and panache, turning heads like a passing celebrity. By contrast, the ZR1 turns heads like a lion chowing down on a gazelle.

Unfortunately, the same goes for the interior specs. Once again, the European supercars offer luxury and opulence, with well-crafted layouts and superlative comfort. Meanwhile, the ‘Vette screams cost cutting.

“Depending on what kind of enthusiast you are, hyper-aggressive exterior styling and a cheap-o interior might not matter. What really matters is what happens when you put your foot down or take a corner.”

But here’s the thing – depending on what kind of enthusiast you are, all the above might not matter. What really matters is what happens when you put your foot down or take a corner, and by those measurements, the ZR1 is absolutely worthy of keeping company with Europe’s supercars.

Granted, the way the ‘Vette goes about making its speed is a bit… let’s say simplistic. Maybe old school would be the more appropriate term. Either way here’s the formula – huge tires, huge wing, huge engine. Sure, the ‘Vette has fancy adaptive suspension and an electronic diff, but compared to the other three entries examined here, there’s no denying that the ZR1 is a bit of a blunt instrument.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744531
“Yes, the ZR1 is a bit of a blunt instrument, but when you put it all together, what you get is top-shelf supercar performance.”

But again, that just doesn’t matter, because when you put it all together, what you get is top-shelf supercar performance. Yes, it’s a brute force approach to going fast, but it’s also brutally effective. Long story short, we’d pit the ZR1 against any of the above-mentioned European supercars on the track, and Chevy should be proud of that. Throw in the fact the Chevy should be significantly easier on the bank account, and the bad taste left by that wing-tastic exterior and plastic-heavy interior starts to fade.

The ZR1 won’t be sold in Europe, and rightfully so. This thing isn’t subtle. It isn’t refined. It isn’t luxurious. But that’s not the point. Folks aren’t gonna buy the ZR1 because of the quality of the seat stitching. They’ll buy it because it’ll hang with the best of the best from Europe for far less outlay, and that’s the point.

References

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651283

Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 570S.

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658178

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567791

Read our full article on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT S.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

PostHeaderIcon Potent Poison – Hennessey Venom F5 Vs. Hennessey Venom GT

On October 31st, Hennessey Performance Engineering unveiled the Venom F5 hypercar at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Based out of Houston, Texas, the tuner shop flies by the motto “Making Fast Cars Faster Since 1991,” and specializes in adding huge output to sports cars that already tout impressive power numbers from the factory. However, with the Venom F5, HPE takes a step towards full-blown manufacturer territory. As a follow-up to the preceding Lotus-based Venom GT, the Venom F5 took four years to develop, and it’s essentially a brand-new vehicle. Outside, the F5 enjoys a fresh look and new aerodynamics, while under the skin is a bespoke carbon fiber chassis and an updated engine with more displacement and more power. Like the Venom GT before it, the F5 is in the running for fastest car on the planet, challenging the world’s best with claims of 300 mph at the top end. So then – how does it stack up against its forerunner?

To find out, we put together the following comparison piece, analyzing the exteriors, interiors, drivetrain, chassis, and pricing for both. Read on to see how Hennessey made its Venom even more potent.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

Exterior


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 672244
“While easier to produce, the Venom GT’s Exige roots constrained Hennessey in terms of aerodynamics.”

Right from the off, the Lotus roots of the Venom GT are obvious. The styling up front and in back are quite similar to what you’d find on the diminutive British sports car – for example, the front end uses long, drawn-out, diamond-shaped housings for the headlights, which are laid high on the plumped-up fenders and draw the eye rearwards while simultaneously enhancing the car’s natural visual width. The greenhouse brings the side panels inwards before once again curving back out towards the flared rear fenders, giving the car an hourglass shape when viewed from above. In back is a curvaceous tail and short overhang, with a quartet of rounded taillights.

However, while the styling is similar, the Venom GT stands out in a variety of ways. First and foremost are the vastly expanded exterior dimensions, with the Hennessey measured at 183.3 inches in length and 77 inches in width. That’s an increase of 33.8 inches and 9.2 inches respectively compared to the Lotus’ 149.5-inch length and 68-inch width. Height is nearly identical at 44.7 inches for the Hennessey and 45.6 inches for the Exige.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742052
“The F5 works around this with a totally clean-sheet design approach, creating its own aero solutions with a brand-new chassis.”

It’s almost as if the Venom GT is a tuner version of the Lotus, albeit with extreme modifications. However, while easier to produce, the Venom GT’s Exige roots constrained Hennessey in terms of aerodynamics – the company had to work around the Lotus design, which wasn’t necessarily ready for the incredible top speeds Hennessey had planned.

The F5 works around this with a totally clean-sheet design approach. Rather than adapting to the bones of the Exige, Hennessey managed to create its own aero solutions with a brand-new chassis. Utilizing modern technology like computational fluid dynamics programs, the Venom F5 gets a lower coefficient of drag, down to 0.33 compared to the Venom GT’s 0.44. That’s a major step forward for a car that’s so focused on maximizing top speed, and it’s achieved thanks to a flat underbody and active downforce elements.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742053
“Venom F5 gets a lower coefficient of drag, down to 0.33 compared to the Venom GT’s 0.44.”

What’s more, we think the carbon fiber body panels of the F5 look great. It definitely looks like an evolution of the GT’s aesthetic, but it’s also got it’s own thing going on, with tons of aggression befitting of such a vehicle.

Nice one, Hennessey.

Interior


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 744610
“All told, the Venom GT does a good job in enhancing the Lotus’ barebones approach to cabin design.”

Much like its exterior spec, the Venom GT’s cabin is heavily based on the Lotus Exige. The layout is practically identical, with a small dash, rounded air vents, matching door panels, and minimal infotainment options. The analog gauge cluster
is also the same in the Venom GT.

However, the Hennessey product still stands out thanks to a select number of upgrades. The materials in the GT are nicer, with quilted upholstery added to the top of the dash, the door panel inserts, and the seats. Leather and Alcantara are in ample supply, while contrast stitching adds a little extra flair. The seats themselves were swapped for more supportive bucket units, while the steering wheel is a unique three-spoke unit covered in soft stuff. The floors are also carpeted, and a custom roll cage wrapped in quilted upholstery keeps it safe. Carbon fiber for the central tunnel, instrumentation shroud, and HVAC control pod rounds it off.


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 744611
“Although we have yet to get an official look at the Venom F5’s cabin, we’d naturally expect even more comfort and amenities.”

All told, the Venom GT does a good job in enhancing the Lotus’ barebones approach to cabin design. And although we have yet to get an official look at the Venom F5’s cabin, we’d naturally expect even more comfort and amenities. At this price range, a high degree of customizability is expected, with even more Alcantara and leather throughout. Carbon fiber will once again play a major role, while aluminum and brushed metal will add to the premium feel. Further infotainment features are a must, with a large touchscreen for the dash, plus smartphone connectivity. Finally, the cabin space should be a bit larger, while we’d also like it if the doors open up in a dramatic gullwing fashion.

Drivetrain


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 654419
“The Venom GT uses a twin-turbo 7.0-liter LSX V-8 that delivers 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque”

While aero performance is key and interior comfort is nice, the true heart of Hennessey’s vehicles is in the engine spec. For the Venom GT, that means a twin-turbo 7.0-liter LSX V-8, with the GM-sourced powerplant boosted to 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque. Impressive, no doubt, but the last of the GT’s (2016) got even more of the go-stuff thanks to a tune to make it run on E85 Flexfuel. That meant even more boost, up to 26 psi from the previous 19 psi, with the last Venom GT managing to pump out as much as 1,451 horsepower at 7,200 rpm. Routing the muscle rearwards is a Ricardo six-speed manual transmission.

With proper application of the long skinny pedal, the Venom GT manages to hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, 100 mph in 4.4 seconds, and 200 mph in 12.8 seconds. The quarter mile is dispatched in 9.4 seconds at 167 mph. To help put that in perspective with the European competition, the Venom GT can sprint to 300 km/h (186 mph) in 10.9 seconds and 400 km/h (249 mph) in 18.1 seconds. Top speed is rated at an astounding 280 mph.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742060
“The configuration is the same, but peak output and displacement both see a bump. As a result, acceleration figures take a tumble.”

Of course, any follow-up to the Venom GT would need even more, and the Venom F5 delivers – big time. The configuration is the same (mid-mounted twin-turbo V-8), but displacement rises to 7.4 liters. Peak output is also up, with as much as 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shifter transmission.

We’re still waiting for Hennessey to put the F5 through some public real-world testing, but predictions for the speed and acceleration potential are impressive, to say the least. The run to 300 km/h (186 mph) should take less than 10 seconds, which would make the F5 quicker than a modern F1 car in the test. The run to 400 km/h (249 mph) and back down to 0 will take less than 30 seconds, which would beat such performance heavyweights as the Bugatti Chiron and Koenigsegg Agera RS. Finally, and most importantly, Hennessey is claiming a top speed of 300 mph.

Incredible stuff.

Engine, drivetrain, and performance specs

Hennessey Venom GT Hennessey Venom F5
Engine configuration mid-mounted twin-turbo 7.0-liter V-8 mid-mounted twin-turbo 7.4-liter V-8
Drive wheels rear rear
Transmission six-speed manual seven-speed paddle-shift
Peak horsepower 1,244 HP
(1,451 H P
on E85)
1,600 HP
Peak torque 1,155 LB-FT 1,300 LB-FT
0-to-186 mph 10.9 seconds Less than 10 seconds
0-to-249 mph 18.1 seconds Less than 30 seconds seconds
Top speed 280 mph 300 mph

Chassis And Handling


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 672245

With its much larger exterior dimensions and enormous turbo powerplant, it should come as no surprise that the Hennessey Venom GT weighs a good deal more than its standard Exige counterpart, tipping the scales at 2,743 pounds. That’s a whopping 728 pounds more than the 2,015-pound Lotus.

However, the Venom F5 is even portlier than the GT, most likely due to its larger engine, paddle-shift transmission, and potentially upgraded interior spec. Curb weight is up to 2,950 pounds, making it a little over 200 pounds heavier than the GT.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742065
“The Venom F5 is heavier than the GT, most likely due to its larger engine, paddle-shift transmission, and potentially upgraded interior spec.”

Still, that ain’t bad. The F5 has just 1.84 pounds for every horsepower to push around, as opposed to 1.89 pounds per horsepower for the GT.

Finally, both cars get Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for grip.

Prices


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742063

Both the Venom GT and the Venom F5 offer very limited production numbers and seven-figure price tags. The GT’s asking price comes to $1.2 million, while the F5 costs a bit more at $1.6 million.

Conclusion


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742058

All told, the Venom F5 is absolutely a worthy successor to the Venom GT. Everything about it is more impressive, and I especially like how Hennessey decided to do its own thing in terms of exterior styling, aerodynamics, and the carbon fiber chassis. With a product like this, the Texas tuner has a real shot at taking out the best of the best from the world of boutique hypercars.

Now it just has to prove it in the real world.

References

Hennessey Venom


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 653487

Read our full review on the 2016 Hennessey Venom GT.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742051

Read our full review on the 2019 Hennessey Venom F5.

Lotus Exige


2017 Lotus Exige Sport 380 - image 697541

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Exige.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparison – Hennessey Venom F5 Vs. Bugatti Chiron Vs. Koenigsegg Agera RS

Let’s say you want a car that’s fast – like, world-beating fast. The kind of fast that’ll get you thrown in jail quicker than most cars can reach the 60-mph mark. The kind of fast usually reserved for aircraft. We’re talking the bleeding edge of speed here, the cream of the crop in terms of moving across the face of the Earth on four wheels. Incredibly, there’s actually several options to choose from, assuming you’ve got the bank account to back it. Up here, at the peak of the mountain, you’ll find the Henessey Venom F5, the Bugatti Chiron, and the Koenigsegg Agera RS going head-to-head-to-head, each a top trump in modern street-legal performance. But which is the best?

The Hennessey Venom F5 is the newcomer of the group, with a recent debut at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Offered as a follow-up to the Lotus-based Venom GT, the F5 builds on the successes of its forerunner with all new everything, including a fresh chassis, revised aero, and a tuned-up engine, each of which was built from the ground up to conquer all challengers. Chief amongst those challengers is the Bugatti Chiron, the standard-bearer when it comes to ultimate high-dollar speed, rocking 8 liters of quad-boosted internal combustion and a reputation for superlative performance. Finally, we have the Koenigsegg Agera RS, which just set a new world record by going 277.9 mph on a closed road in the Nevada desert.

But while top speed is obviously a major factor here, what about the rest of the car? What about the way it looks, the interior, and the chassis? In this quick comparison, we’ll take a brief, but well-rounded look at each of these amazing vehicles and go beyond V-max to find out how they stack up.

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the Hennessey Venom F5, the Bugatti Chiron, and the Koenigsegg Agera RS.

Exterior

Hennessey Venom F5


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742052

At first blush, we were delighted to see the Venom F5’s new exterior design. It’s a seriously good-looking piece of kit, breaking from the old Lotus-look of the preceding Venom GT to create something totally new. The aesthetic is simple, but effective, with a traditional super car stance that hugs the ground with wide hips and a broad nose. The fenders rise high over the tall wheels, while the various aero elements are finished in black under the brightly colored body panels. The headlights are long and thin, stretching towards the rear in drawn-out strips that lead the eye towards a slim waistline. In back is a large rear wing, below which is a trio of exhaust pipes.

With body panels made from carbon fiber, the Venom F5 cuts substantial weight, a vital element to its performance. However, Hennessey also sought to find a balance between reducing the coefficient of drag for high-speed record-breaking, while also maintaining enough downforce to keep the machine planted while traveling at hypersonic velocity. Helping it to achieve that juggling act are active wing elements and a flat underbody, which help to bring the Cd down to 0.33, making the F5 much more slippery than the preceding Venom GT.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 730338

Placed next to the competition, the Bugatti Chiron has a rather, eh, unique look to it. The whole thing is much more bubbly and rounded than the other two, with a bulbous nose and tear drop-like proportions in the profile. A set of horizontal LED headlights frame the front fascia, complemented by a duo of horizontal intakes closer to the pavement. In all, the Chiron continues the look originally set forth by the Bugatti Veyron and developed by the Gran Turismo Concept, and sports classic Bugatti features like a C-shaped Bugatti line in the flanks and an upside-down U-shaped intake in front.

However, don’t think for a second the shape of the Chiron is anything other than highly functional. When dealing with speeds and power at this level, every tiny detail can have a huge impact on overall performance. For example, those C-lines in the sides help to funnel air into the side intakes, force-feeding the radiators with a blast of cool air to keep the engine running in top form. The rear wing is active as well, tucking in down the straights and going vertical in the braking zones. And while some may deride its unconventional style, there’s no doubt that the Chiron is instantly recognizable because of it.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619945

If we had to characterize the Agera RS when viewing it alongside the other two entries in this comparison, we’d actually call it a bit “understated.” Granted, that statement is highly, highly relative, as on its own the Agera RS is an extremely exciting car to look at. It’s just that compared to the Hennessey Venom F5 and Bugatti Chiron, it’s not quite as exciting. The angles and details are simpler, straighter, and uncluttered, without the ultra-pointy sharpness of the Venom, or the rounded muscle bulges of the Chiron. Instead, what you get is more of a traditional “speed wedge” design, with a broad, flat nose, central greenhouse, and flat rear end.

The whole thing is made from carbon kevlar, and improves on the aero set-up of the preceding Agera R and One:1 thanks to revisions like a new front fascia, an extended front splitter, and a seriously curvaceous rear wing. You’ll also find active wing elements front and back, with electronic adjustability for a more tunable package. The net result is a ton of extra stick at speed, with that rear wing making as much as a half-ton of downforce at 155 mph.

Interior

Hennessey Venom F5


2011 Hennessey Venom GT - image 413008

Note: Hennessey Venom GT pictured here.

As of this writing, Hennessey has elected not to provide in-depth details on what the Venom F5 is offering in terms of interior appointment. That said, we can still speculate based on what we’ve seen from Hennessey in the past.

For example, take the preceding Exige-based Venom GT, which spruced up the barebones Lotus platform with nicer upholstery, carpets, aluminum surrounds, and high-end carbon fiber trim pieces. We’d expect something even nicer from the F5, with leather and Alcantara coverings, digital instrumentation, and maybe even some basic infotainment gear as well. Racing harnesses will keep passengers in one spot, while a central touch screen will provide the interface for the various onboard systems. Long story short, the Venom F5 won’t go over the top with luxury, but it won’t be totally stripped down, either.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 727472

One look at the Chiron’s cabin is all you need to confirm that yes, Bugatti does indeed know what it’s doing when it comes to making an interior. The whole thing looks cohesive and well put together, with flowing lines that resonate with confidence and elegance. The layout includes a central divider that mimics the C-shaped Bugatti line seen outside, while the central console swoops down from the dash in a single piece of carbon, studded with polished aluminum switches. Behind the gorgeous three-spoke steering wheel is a central analog speedometer flanked by a pair of digital readouts, while a high-end stereo system provides an alternative soundtrack to the burbling exhaust note.

All told, the Bugatti Chiron’s interior is an absolute masterpiece, and it’s definitely in the running for best-looking interior for a production car in the world.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619946

Like its exterior styling, the Koenigsegg Agera RS gets a rather simple layout for the cabin. Bare carbon is once again the material of choice, with prominent sheets of the stuff laid across the door panels, central console, and dash. Rounded air vents are placed at the appropriate locations, while a digital display in the dash relays pertinent performance info. Below the screen is a series of buttons and knobs arranged in a circular layout, complementing the car’s naturally clean aesthetic. Carbon-backed bucket seats provide a place to sit.

It’s a straightforward approach to interior design, and should be well appreciated by minimalists. In fact, compared to the Bugatti, we’d almost call it antiseptic.

Drivetrain

Hennessey Venom F5


2011 Hennessey Venom GT - image 412995

Note: Hennessey Venom GT pictured here.

While we have yet to get a clear shot of what it looks like, we do know all about the important numbers tagged to the Venom F5’s party piece. Making the noise is a newly developed 7.4-liter V-8, which gets stuffed by a double-dose of turbocharging to produce a whopping 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque, all of which routs to the rear by way of a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shift gearbox.

All told, it’s a surprisingly old school approach to the question of going fast, especially lined up against the modern mega-hybrids of the world. That lack of extra gear once again helps the Venom save weight, and the net result is blisteringly quick acceleration numbers. While real world confirmation is still forthcoming, Hennessey claims a run from 0 to 186 mph (300 km/h) in less than 10 seconds, quicker than a modern Formula 1 car. The run to 249 mph (400 km/h) and back to a standstill should take less than 30 seconds. Finally, the big number – Hennessey says the Venom F5 will do 300 mph at the top end, which should beat the other two entries on this list. That is, of course, assuming Hennessey actually follows through on that claim.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 732100

While the Chiron certainly stands out thanks to its unique exterior styling and magnificent interior, the Bug’s biggest headline is what its got going on just behind the driver’s seat. Mounted longitudinally at the mid-ship position is an 8.0-liter W-16 engine, which gets boosted by no less than four turbochargers to produce a meaty 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, 296 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque more than the preceding Veyron SuperSport. All of it hits the ground through a high-performance Haldex AWD system, which is fed by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Put your foot down, and you’ll hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, while 120 mph arrives in 6.5 seconds. The sprint to 190 mph takes 13.6 seconds, while 250 mph takes 32.6 seconds. Top speed is limited at 261 mph, as the heavyweight Chiron creates enormous strain on the tires at higher speeds. However, if equipped with rubber robust enough to handle the forces at play, the Chiron could theoretically reach 288 mph.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 622407

Unlike the Bugatti’s exotic, quad-turbo, infinity cylinder powerplant, the engine in the Agera RS is much closer in layout and set-up to the Hennessey Venom F5. The spec includes a 5.0-liter V-8 plumbed with just two turbos. Output is rated at 1,160 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and 940 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Impressive stuff, no doubt, but if desired, buyers can throw on the 1 Megawatt package to boost their RS up to 1,341 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 1,000 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm when drinking an E85 ethanol fuel blend.

On its own, that’s an absurd amount of muscle on tap, but in company like this, the Koenigsegg RS might look a little, well, underpowered. Luckily, all those ponies translate into world-beating speed all the same with the 0-to-60 mph sprint done in less than 3 seconds and the run to 124 mph done in less than 7 seconds. What’s more, the RS currently claims the title for fastest production car in the world, recently topping out at an astonishing average of 277.9 mph. And while both of the rivals listed here could theoretically beat that figure, it don’t mean a thing until it actually happens.

Chassis And Handling

Hennessey Venom F5


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742069

One of the Venom F5’s most important characteristics is its low curb weight, a feature that Hennessey sought to maximize (or minimize, as the case may be) throughout the vehicle’s development. Thanks to the carbon fiber chassis underneath, the carbon fiber body panels outside, and all the other composite details in between, the Venom F5 tips the scales at just under 3,000 pounds, or 2,950 pounds to be exact.

That makes a big difference for a variety of reasons. Not only does it allow the F5 to run standard Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires, but it should also make the car somewhat lively in the corners, assisted by standard carbon ceramics for stopping

power. We’ll have to wait for confirmation of that (no one has actually driven one yet outside the Hennessey development crew), but either way, we’re hoping this thing won’t be a one-trick pony.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667485

Under the skin, the Chiron is similar to its Veyron predecessor, but updated to meet the rigors of modern hypercardom. Improvements include a new carbon fiber monocoque chassis, with a carbon rear subframe for even greater torsional rigidity. The suspension was also redesigned, while the electric power steering gets a few new tweaks as well. Carbon silicon carbide brakes make for lighter discs, with eight-pots in front and six-pots in the back.

Despite the extensive use of exotic materials like carbon fiber and titanium, the Chiron is still extremely heavy, weighing in a concrete-crushing 4,400 pounds. As such, pricey Michelin tires are required to keep it planted, with a staggered diameter at 20 inches in front and 21 inches rear, sized at 285/30 and 355/25 respectively.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 622395

Unsurprisingly, the Koenigsegg Agera RS also utilizes a monocoque construction, with carbon fiber laid over an aluminum honeycomb core. The suspension is composed of double-wishbones in front and carbon fiber upper wishbones in back, plus two-way electronically adjustable gas shocks, and pushrod-operated Triplex dampers in the rear. The ride height is electronically adjustable, while a rack and pinion system helps it steer. Koenigsegg’s very own hallow carbon fiber wheels take their place in the corners. These rollers are super lightweight, yet appropriately large, with 19 inches of diameter and 9.5 inches of width in front, plus 20 inches of diameter and 12.5 inches of width in the rear. Michelin’s Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 are once again used for performance, while ceramic brakes are fore and aft, with branded 6-pot calipers in front and branded 4-pots in back.

All told, the Agera RS is relatively sprightly, tipping the scales at 3,075 pounds. Throw in multiple settings for the electronic handling aides, and this Koenigsegg is a beast on the track, whether you’re storming down a straight or attacking a corner.

Prices

Hennessey Venom F5


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742063

Pricing for the Venom F5 starts at $1.6 million, and should include a wide array of customization options. Just 24 will be made, with the owner’s list hand-selected by Mr. Hennessey himself.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667486

If you fancy the Chiron, you can pick one up for about $2.8 million. Production is a slow process, but not limited like the Hennessey, and customization options are even more plentiful.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 620259

Finding an exact price for the Agera RS is a bit trickier, but considering the standard Agera costs $2.1 million, expect the RS to be, well, more. Just 25 are slated for production.

Conclusion


Quick Comparison – Hennessey Venom F5 Vs. Bugatti Chiron Vs. Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 743250

So then, after looking at each of these three amazing cars, where do we stand?

Let’s take it section by section. First up, the exterior. Each of these cars is, without a doubt, a very striking thing to behold. Each is also absurdly aerodynamic, folding the air around it with the dexterity of a jet fighter. However, the key is finding a balance between beauty and aero trickery, and in that respect, the Hennessey Venom gets the nod. We think it simply looks better than the other two, while still managing to stick at speed, and that gives it the win in our book.

Next up, the interior. The Chiron takes the win here, hands down. I mean, seriously, just look at the picture below and bask in the absurd awesomeness that is the Chiron’s cabin. The other two are fine, but next to the Bugatti, they look like cut-rate commuter sedans from the ‘90s.


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667493
“If you need a high-end cabin to go with your absurd speed, then the Chiron has you covered.”

But what about the engine and drivetrain? While all three offer insane levels of output, we’re once again partial to the Chiron. We love the unusual cylinder arrangement, high-tech turbo system, and beefy AWD, and although the Hennessey has it beat in terms of raw power and the Koenigsegg wins out in terms of weight, the Bug’s otherworldly 8.0-liter W-16 is what really gets our juices flowing.

Speaking of weight, let’s not forget how important the chassis and handling are to keeping these things well-rounded in the long run. While power is great, the ability to apply it properly can make all the difference, and in that respect, the Koenigsegg Agera RS takes the win. This thing was made for the track, and its evident that the Swedes paid close attention to making it much more than just a straight-line superstar.


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 736455

Finally, there’s the price. At just $1.6 million, the Venom F5 looks like an absolute bargain against the Bugatti and Koenigsegg, especially if it really can do all the things Hennessey claims it can do.

“At the end of the day, we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge the fact that the top speed is still the spec that matters most in this space.”

Of course, at the end of the day, we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge the fact that the top speed is still the spec that matters most in this space. Bragging rights are paramount, and as such, the Koenigsegg Agera RS is the current king. That said, it’s unlikely to stay at the top for the long, as the battle continues for dominance in high-dollar velocity.

Will Hennessey prove its 300-mph claims? Will Bugatti recover the title it originally held with the Veyron? Will Koenigsegg go back to Nevada with something even faster?

Rest assured – we’ll be watching.

References

Hennessey Venom GT


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742051

Read our full review on the 2019 Hennessey Venom F5.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 685581

Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.

Koenigsegg Agera


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 736447

Read our full review on the 2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK

Jeep Wrangler JK vs JL

The wait is finally over! Jeep has released photos of the next-generation Wrangler. Unfortunately, Jeep only dropped three photos with zero information, but the soft debut confirms much of the speculation, rumors, and spy shots we’ve been pouring over the last year. Yes, the 2018 Wrangler JL’s windshield folds down. Yes, the doors come off. And Yes, the top is removable. Yet beyond these carryover features that have come to define the Wrangler, this new Jeep is heavily updated in all the right ways.
Check out our visual comparison below to learn all about the new Wrangler JL


Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742106

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742108

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742107

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742109

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742105

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 741966

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.

PostHeaderIcon The Polestar 1: A Repurposed Volvo Concept from 2013

It hasn’t been a month since Polestar quit being a performance tuner for Volvo and branched off as its own “performance car company.” Now, this is good news for a number of reasons, with the most important being that the company can make its own cars, completely independent of anything Volvo is offering. But, that’s also where the problem arises, as the companies first stand-alone car is expensive and lazy, at best. Word that Polestar was on its own filled me joy. Just thinking about what Polestar, without limitations, could do with its new-found independence was enough to give any self-respecting man a stiffy. Yet, three weeks later and Polestar gives us the biggest disappointment since Michael Jordan’s second comeback.

Of course, auto show season is on the horizon, so I can understand the want to rush the first model out the door in time for SEMA or even the L.A. Auto Show, but this thing is pretty much a two-door Volvo S90. In fact, it’s almost like Volvo was planning a two-door S90, decided to scrap the idea, and the polestar engineer in the next studio over dug through the trash and found the disc with the AutoCAD file on it. Oh, wait… they did…..Volvo called it the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe…

So, what did Polestar do to make this car their own? Well, let’s go take a look.

The Old Switcheroo

left
right
“This is a Volvo S90 with the rear doors cut off and excessive fender gaps.”

The other night I was sitting around looking at the Polestar and thought to myself, “This is a Volvo S90 with the rear doors cut off and excessive fender gaps. I mean, after all, it really does look like that right? Take a look:

Well, then I started browsing our Volvo page here on TopSpeed.com and as I was scrolling what did I find? The freaking Polestar 1 with a Volvo grille on it. Wait.. did I really just see that? Well, yes I did – I even asked my wife to make sure she didn’t try to kill me by poisoning dinner (it was really good, by the way) and she verified that I wasn’t hallucinating. So, let me point out to all of you just how lazy the Polestar 1 really is – you’ve seen it before, and it hasn’t changed the slightest bit:

left
right
“The disappointment is unbearable, and you can bet that Volvo and Polestar were both hoping that we would all forget about the concept from four years ago”

The disappointment is unbearable, and you can bet that Volvo and Polestar were both hoping that we would all forget about the concept from four years ago. Well, sorry guys, but the cat is out of the bag. You seriously took a four-year-old concept, slapped a new grille on it and called it the Polestar 1. That’s lazier than BMW and Audi are every time they “facelift” one of their vehicles. Maybe the interior offers something different?

Original is Not the Word You’re Looking for


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738877

2017 Volvo S90 - image 658267
“It’s an S90 interior with a Polestar logo on the steering wheel hub and a chrome shifter handle”

Ok, so now that I’ve called Polestar out for the exterior, I thought maybe the interior would look different. Well, no – it really doesn’t. It’s an S90 interior with a Polestar logo on the steering wheel hub and a chrome shifter handle. The rest of the interior is identical to the S90, all the way down to the infotainment display, dash design, center console, and even the HVAC controls. And, keep in mind, the Concept from 2013 sported a similar cabin and was the basis for the design used on the S90. It’s like they just walked into the office, dropped a bunch of concept blueprints into a bin and picked one to go with for Polestar’s first car. Note: the S90 has wood trim, the Polestar 1 has carbon fiber

Under the Hood


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738876
“Polestar 1 will hit 93 mph on electric power.”

Here’s where the Polestar 1 does differ from anything that Volvo has, and that’s because it has 600 horsepower under the hood. It also claims that it can deliver as much as 738 pound-feet of torque. How it does so is still under wraps, but it’s safe to assume that Polestar went with the T9 Plug-in hybrid setup from Volvo. It probably tuned the 2.0-liter to deliver as much horsepower and torque as reliably possible while dumping in a bigger battery pack and some high-performance motors. No performance numbers are available to go by, but we do know the Polestar 1 will hit 93 mph on electric power. But, it’s the price point and acquisition process that really gets me…

Bend Over and Take it Up the Tailpipe


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738881
“On this side of the pond, that converts to between $154,000 and $178,000”

Okay, so Polestar takes an old concept, rebrands it, and calls it the “1,” so, how much are you expected to pay for this “new” sports coupe? Well, nobody knows for sure outside of Polestar, yet. But, word has it that the price will be around €130,000 to €150,000. On this side of the pond, that converts to between $154,000 and $178,000 – Ouch. So, we can’t really compare that cost the Concept that was displayed in 2013 by Volvo, but we can compare it to the S90 sedan – you know; since it is pretty much an S90 with a section cut out of the middle.

So, the Volvo S90 starts out at $48,100 and while the Inscription trim comes in at $58,600. So, we’re talking about a difference of $100,000. When you consider the S90 with the T8 – likely what you’ll find in the Polestar 1 with high-performance motors – comes with 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, the Polestar one delivers just 200 ponies and 266 pound-feet more. That breaks down to a cost of $500 per pony. Let me say that again: $500 per pony! and to top that off, you get less interior room and an exterior that looks almost identical to the S90.

“Polestar 1 is going to be sold under a subscription service only, which is basically Volvo’s “Care by Volvo” program”

But, that’s not all, as apparently, you may not even get to really own the Polestar 1. Word around the campfire is that the Polestar 1 is going to be sold under a subscription service only, which is basically Volvo’s “Care by Volvo” program – pretty much an extensive leasing service, if you will.
You can read all the details about it in Kirby’s news memo, but let me just point out what it really means. Basically, the Polestar 1 will be given to you on a subscription that you’ll probably have to turn back end at the end of a certain period. Polestar will cover most of the basic costs for your regular monthly payment, but the chances are that you won’t be allowed to do anything to the car as far as modification or customization. On top of that, you’re going to shell out six figures for a car you don’t even really own – and a car that is nothing more than a rebadged concept from 2013 that Volvo shit canned because it was too afraid to build and sell a true-to-life coupe.

Final Thoughts


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738872

Sorry, Volvo and Polestar. I like you both as a brand, but you have just maxed out my bullshit-o-meter and moved to the top of my lazy-bastards list. This is just uncalled for and lazy, and everyone who wears a tie while working for either of these companies should be ashamed. In fact, somebody should be fired — $100,000 price hike on a four-year-old design because it offers 2 doors and 200 extra ponies over an S90…. Oh, and because it wears a Polestar badge instead of a Volvo badge??? What did you spend on R&D? $.45 and a BIC pen? You’re officially worse than BMW overcharging the Chinese for those lazy, special edition cars that feature special paint and new wheel designs.

References

Polestar 1


2018 Polestar 1 - image 739271

Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.

Volvo S90 Sedan


2017 Volvo S90 - image 658241

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S90.


2013 Volvo Concept Coupe - image 520468

Read our full review on the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace

Volvo has recently introduced their compact, premium SUV, the XC40, in Milan, Italy. It happens to be the third vehicle to join Volvo’s SUV lineup and has a lot of work to do in a crowded segment. The Compact SUV also happens to be Volvo’s first vehicle to be underpinned by their new modular vehicle architecture (CMA) platform. This platform will also support Volvo’s fully electric vehicles of the future as the brand continues to evolve. All told, the XC40 sits below the XC60 in the lineup and competes with some other recently unveiled smaller premium SUVs like the Jaguar E-Pace.

The E-Pace borrows some of its design formulas from the flagship F-Pace Crossover, much like the XC40 borrows some DNA from its larger brethren. Surprisingly, both of these SUV’s seem to have inherited all their technologies from the bigger SUV of their lineup. Both the Volvo XC40 and the Jaguar E-Pace will be available with a thirst for diesel or petrol at the time of launch (and, depending on the market) and can be optioned with four-wheel drive as well.

Don’t be disappointed if you cannot afford the Big Daddy

The XC40 looks sophisticated compared to the E-Pace


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 733019

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723226

The XC40 may not be as muscular as its rival but it makes up for that elsewhere…


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 733018

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723230

The E-Pace gets muscular styling yet manages to look sporty at the same time all thanks to its unique design


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733083

Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 723285

Both Offer Exquisite Luxury and Comfort

Premium accessories and high-end technology are the name of the game inside both models — a tough decision, indeed


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733045

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723252

With a luxurious rear, even the kids will be happy regardless of your decision


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733051

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723257

In the end, both models are a good choice, so which one calls your name? Let us know in the comments section below

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733077

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo XC40

Jaguar E-Pace


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 723280

Read our full review on the 2018 Jauguar E-Pace

PostHeaderIcon The Bugatti Chiron’s Tires Are Actually Cheaper Than The Veyrons

It’s a well-known thing in automotive circles that if you own a Bugatti Veyron, the costs of maintaining it over time could be just as expensive as buying it. Annual maintenance for the almighty machine costs $20,000. If you happen to live in a state that charges car property tax, then the cost of simply owning a Veyron will set you back close to $50,000 a year. That’s like buying a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 every year just because. Then again, none of those costs compare to the ridiculous price of the Veyron’s tires. A fresh set will set you back as much as $40,000, and you’ll only be able to drive them for 2,500 miles because they’ll have to be replaced after that. I bring all of this up because, in a recent interview with CarBuzz, Bugatti Principal Engineer Martin Grabowski revealed that the set of tires on the new Bugatti Chiron is actually much cheaper than the Veyrons. Of course, the Chiron costs three times as much as the Veyron, but I’m not worried about that. It’s those tires that matter!

To put into context, Grabowski said that the Chiron doesn’t use the specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires that the Veyron used. Instead, Bugatti’s new supercar uses a standard rim geometry and standard mounting process, which means that according to Grabowski, “the tires can be mounted and changed anywhere.” Even better, the tires that the Chiron uses have been reportedly been tested to handle the supercar’s incredible 261-mph top speed, and quite possibly more given that Bugatti is still “testing them to see how far they can go.” And as far as the price goes, it’s expected to be “much cheaper,” according to Grabowski. He didn’t specify the actual price, but don’t be surprised if a set goes for around $20,000, which would make Grabowski’s statement technically true.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Bugatti Chiron’s Tires Are Actually Cheaper Than The Veyrons

It’s a well-known thing in automotive circles that if you own a Bugatti Veyron, the costs of maintaining it over time could be just as expensive as buying it. Annual maintenance for the almighty machine costs $20,000. If you happen to live in a state that charges car property tax, then the cost of simply owning a Veyron will set you back close to $50,000 a year. That’s like buying a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 every year just because. Then again, none of those costs compare to the ridiculous price of the Veyron’s tires. A fresh set will set you back as much as $40,000, and you’ll only be able to drive them for 2,500 miles because they’ll have to be replaced after that. I bring all of this up because, in a recent interview with CarBuzz, Bugatti Principal Engineer Martin Grabowski revealed that the set of tires on the new Bugatti Chiron is actually much cheaper than the Veyrons. Of course, the Chiron costs three times as much as the Veyron, but I’m not worried about that. It’s those tires that matter!

To put into context, Grabowski said that the Chiron doesn’t use the specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires that the Veyron used. Instead, Bugatti’s new supercar uses a standard rim geometry and standard mounting process, which means that according to Grabowski, “the tires can be mounted and changed anywhere.” Even better, the tires that the Chiron uses have been reportedly been tested to handle the supercar’s incredible 261-mph top speed, and quite possibly more given that Bugatti is still “testing them to see how far they can go.” And as far as the price goes, it’s expected to be “much cheaper,” according to Grabowski. He didn’t specify the actual price, but don’t be surprised if a set goes for around $20,000, which would make Grabowski’s statement technically true.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparison – BMW M5 Vs. Cadillac CTS-V

The new BMW M5 has arrived, boasting a boatload of power, oodles of luxury, the traditional German refinement, and even a performance AWD system that’ll go full Gymkhana-RWD-smoke-machine at the touch of a button. Sweet. So then, it seems like all the stuff you’d expect, plus a ‘lil extra on top, right? Should be about right for anyone looking for superlative performance in a high-status package – a.k.a., the standard M5 owner. But here’s the thing – the Bavarians aren’t alone anymore. The luxury performance four-door segment has more than a few tempting options on hand at the moment – take, for example, the Cadillac CTS-V, a tire-shredding monster with every intention of toppling the Teutonic status quo. Both rock sports car specs, plus acres of hide and top-shelf opulence. So how do they line up?

To find out, we dug into the info sheets and laid it all on the table. In this quick comparison, we take a look at the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and prices for both, drawing a few conclusions on the way. Is the Caddy the new king, or can Bimmer reassert its dominance?

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the BMW M5 and Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparison – BMW M5 Vs. Cadillac CTS-V

The new BMW M5 has arrived, boasting a boatload of power, oodles of luxury, the traditional German refinement, and even a performance AWD system that’ll go full Gymkhana-RWD-smoke-machine at the touch of a button. Sweet. So then, it seems like all the stuff you’d expect, plus a ‘lil extra on top, right? Should be about right for anyone looking for superlative performance in a high-status package – a.k.a., the standard M5 owner. But here’s the thing – the Bavarians aren’t alone anymore. The luxury performance four-door segment has more than a few tempting options on hand at the moment – take, for example, the Cadillac CTS-V, a tire-shredding monster with every intention of toppling the Teutonic status quo. Both rock sports car specs, plus acres of hide and top-shelf opulence. So how do they line up?

To find out, we dug into the info sheets and laid it all on the table. In this quick comparison, we take a look at the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and prices for both, drawing a few conclusions on the way. Is the Caddy the new king, or can Bimmer reassert its dominance?

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the BMW M5 and Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon Why I’d Skip the BMW M5 For The M550i

Hopefully you’ve read my thoughts on the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive I recently spent a week with. If not, you should. Hopefully you’ve also read the opinions of our fearless editor, Robert Moore, on whether the new 2018 BMW M5 is a waste of money compared to the M550i. If not, again, you should. But having spent time with BMW’s slightly less M-ified 5 Series, I wanted to chime in on the topic. Buckle your seatbelts, you might not like my answer.

My confession wouldn’t feel out-of-place in an AA-style meeting: “Hi, I’m Mark and I love horsepower and speed. Oh, and find comfort in tire smoke and going 140 mph down the back straight at Monticello with a V-8 screaming in my ear.” Yeah, I’m that guy. So, it might come as a surprise to hear that I’d buy the M550i over the M5 nine times out of 10. Why? It’s simple: The M550i is a better all-round daily driver that looks just as good as the M5 and has just as much usable horsepower for public roads. See, here’s the thing. I’m not the guy who needs the ultimate version of something to feel self-worth and gratification. My ego would be just fine not having that M5 badge affixed to my BMW. I’m also a realist with a strong suspicion I wouldn’t be autocrossing my five-passenger, full-size sedan every weekend. That’s what Miatas and Corvettes are for. And with the money I’m not spending in the M5, I can buy a mint Miata and throw speed parts at it. And let’s face it, two cars are better than one.

Continue reading for more ramblings.

PostHeaderIcon Why I’d Skip the BMW M5 For The M550i

Hopefully you’ve read my thoughts on the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive I recently spent a week with. If not, you should. Hopefully you’ve also read the opinions of our fearless editor, Robert Moore, on whether the new 2018 BMW M5 is a waste of money compared to the M550i. If not, again, you should. But having spent time with BMW’s slightly less M-ified 5 Series, I wanted to chime in on the topic. Buckle your seatbelts, you might not like my answer.

My confession wouldn’t feel out-of-place in an AA-style meeting: “Hi, I’m Mark and I love horsepower and speed. Oh, and find comfort in tire smoke and going 140 mph down the back straight at Monticello with a V-8 screaming in my ear.” Yeah, I’m that guy. So, it might come as a surprise to hear that I’d buy the M550i over the M5 nine times out of 10. Why? It’s simple: The M550i is a better all-round daily driver that looks just as good as the M5 and has just as much usable horsepower for public roads. See, here’s the thing. I’m not the guy who needs the ultimate version of something to feel self-worth and gratification. My ego would be just fine not having that M5 badge affixed to my BMW. I’m also a realist with a strong suspicion I wouldn’t be autocrossing my five-passenger, full-size sedan every weekend. That’s what Miatas and Corvettes are for. And with the money I’m not spending in the M5, I can buy a mint Miata and throw speed parts at it. And let’s face it, two cars are better than one.

Continue reading for more ramblings.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: BMW M5

The new BMW M5 has finally made its debut, but how new is it really? Well, we decided to throw together a quick visual comparison to look at just how much it has changed over the last couple of generations. Then, to add in that little extra everyone loves, we show you what it looks like next to its primary competition. So, check out what we’ve got below, then let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the article.

PostHeaderIcon Is the new BMW M5 a Waste of Money? Why not Just Get the M550i?

We’re fortunate enough to live in a world where brands like BMW take pride in their performance arms and like to apply M-power to just about everything. But, is it for everyone? Probably not. M-cars are typically much more expensive than the model that sits below them, but the tradeoff is usually lots of extra power and slightly more aggressive looks. Unless you’re one of those people that needs to have the best of everything, you could find yourself questioning whether or not the M5 is really for you, and I honestly can’t blame you. The new M5 comes just a year after the 5 Series transitioned into its seventh generation. With this transition, the 5 Series lost some weight (as much as 137 pounds) and came complete with some updated engine options that deliver better fuel economy and performance. On top of that, BMW finally decided to give the M5 all-wheel drive (standard in the U.S. but optional everywhere else) which is enough to bring it up to par with the competition from Audi and Mercedes. But, with a car like the BMW M550i xDrive resting just below the M5 in the lineup, do you really need to pony up for the M5?

Well, that’s not something I can answer directly, but I would be lying if I told you that the M550i didn’t have some intriguing points to back up why it just might be a better candidate. After all, the M550i is a gorgeous car with attractive and aggressive looks that make it stand out among its brethren, and it does have enough balls to compete on its own in most cases. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why the M550i may be a better option for you and talk a little more about it.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz X-Class VS Nissan Navara

Well, Mercedes-Benz has officially debuted its first metric-ton (mid-size) pickup truck, the X-Class. But the truck isn’t a ground-up creation from Mercedes – rather the X-Class is based on the current Nissan Navara NP300. Mercedes has been forthright with its partnership with Nissan, saying it’s leveraging Nissan’s experience in the segment. But Thankfully, the X-Class isn’t a Navara with a Mercedes star slapped on – or so Mercedes says. In fact, the two trucks are rather closely related, though there are major differences between them. Let’s dive in and see what’s up.

Nissan has been building trucks since 1933, but it was the 1980s that brought iconic Hardbody the U.S. In 1997, Nissan changed the name to Frontier, while everywhere else in the world, the Navara name was used. The latest version debuted for the 2015 model year, marking the Navara’s third generation. As a traditional truck, it rides on a fully boxed ladder frame while power is sent to the solid rear axle or all four wheels via a part-time 4WD system. However, Nissan chose a five-link, coil-spring setup for the rear suspension, giving the pickup a smoother ride with a slight trade-off in payload and towing capacity versus its competition. American truck enthusiasts will spot same thinking within the Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups’ rear ends. Not surprisingly, this setup translates well to a pickup billed as “premium,” so naturally, the X-Class borrows the design. But you won’t find a Nissan engine under the X-Class’ hood – and that’s just the beginning of the changes. Keep reading for more.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

Mercedes-Benz just made quite the splash when it dropped the new X-Class. Framed as the first truly “upscale” pickup truck, the X-Class intends on redefining the midsize segment with unprecedented levels of luxury and refinement. It might seem like a strange combination to mate luxury with pickups, but as Mercedes points out, “the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses.” As such, the X-Class aims to broaden the pickup’s buyer appeal, seeking out folks like “land owners and farmers in Argentina, business owners and building contractors in Australia, families with an affinity for premium products in Brazil, trend-conscious individualists in South Africa and Great Britain as well as sporty adventurers in New Zealand and Germany.” Sounds like quite the collection of buyers. But here’s the thing – is the X-Class really all that revolutionary?

To find out, we placed it alongside some of its biggest competition, including the Toyota Hilux, the Volkswagen Amarok, and the Ford Ranger. And, since its possible Merc might bring the X-Class stateside eventually, we threw in the GMC Canyon Denali as well. Read on for all the specs and info you need, and let us know in the comments how you think the X-Class stacks up.

Continue reading to learn more about how the Mercedes-Benz X-Class compares to the competition.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 GT2 RS – From 444 to 700 Horsepower

Porsche has been offering high-performance versions of the 911 since the early 1970s, with the most iconic model being the Carrera 2.7 RS. But once the Germans adopted turbocharging, the traditional RS stepped down, making room for a new range-topping sports car, the 911 GT2. First introduced in 1993, the GT2 is now in its fourth generation, which is based on the 991.2 model. It’s faster, more powerful, and more aerodynamic than its predecessor, while also boasting more technology than ever. Thenew GT2 RS is a massive departure from the first GT2 from more than two decades ago under the skin, and we’re going to look at those changes in a drivetrain comparison for all four generations.

The GT2 was born out of the 993-generation 911 as a homologation vehicle for motorsport purpose. Built to meet GT2 class regulations, the road cars were named accordingly and the nameplate survived to this day. The first GT2 was discontinued in 1998, but Porsche revived the badge in 2002 for the 996 model. After three years, it was again discontinued, only to return as the 997 GT2 in 2008. The 997 was also the first GT2 to get an RS designation, which was offered in very limited numbers from 2010 to 2012. Come 2017 and the GT2 returns to the market as an RS model only. Since 1993, the drivetrain not only swapped air-cooled for water-cooled engines, but also gained more displacement a lot more power. Let’s find out more about that below.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Six of America’s Baddest Muscle Machines

Cue the band, Mr. Copland; today is Independence Day! It’s the day American celebrates her declaration of independence from Britain amid the bloody Revolutionary War, which lasted from 1775 to 1783. Now some 234 years after the battle’s end, America can celebrate something else, too – the laundry list of high-horsepower vehicles that out-class nearly everything on the world’s roads. These cars, trucks, and SUVs represent the best-of-the-best, the most lust-worthy iron ever to transport humans.

These vehicles hail from American brand rich with history. We’ve included only late-model vehicles that represent the peak of their segment, and each will easily outgun nearly anything from outside our borders. Brands like Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge are not only a cornerstone in the automotive industry, they are icons to the American way of life and our never-ending pursuit of happiness. So stand by for 4,295 horsepower of American Freedom!

Continue reading for TopSpeed’s list.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 GT2 RS – New Vs Old

The GT2 has been the range-topping model of the 911 range for nearly 25 years now, having been introduced in 1993. However, Porsche’s hardcore sports car hasn’t been around for every model year, with each generation discontinued after a short while on the market. So while the GT2 nameplate turns 24 in 2017, it was actually in production for some 12 years before the fourth-generation model arrived. Not only that, but it was also built in limited numbers that sold out extremely quickly, especially in recent years. All told, it’s not surprising that the latest GT2 RS was so anticipated and that its unveiling at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed created so much fuss.

But is the new 911 GT2 a significant improvement over its predecessor? Given that it’s based on the latest-generation 911, it’s safe to assume that the answer is yes, but is it notably different or are wee looking at a revised design with a more powerful engine? We will find out just that in the comparison below, where the 997- and 991-generation GT2 are going head to head for the ultimate 911 face-off.

Continue reading for the full story.

TiresDirect
SuperTune Kit:
Auto Auctions:
2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS 6-SPD CLIMATE LEATHER NAV HUD 10K #105858 Texas Direct
$15,000.00 (40 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $39,980.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2014 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2014 FORD MUSTANG 5.0 GT PREMIUM AUTO LEATHER NAV 17K #306107 Texas Direct Auto
$3.25 (2 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 14:49:01 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,480.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 1LZ Z07 S/C 7-SPD NAV HUD 3K MI #607562 Texas Direct
$1.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:05:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $66,980.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2017 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 6-SPEED RECARO NAV 2K MI #520888 Texas Direct
$36,100.00 (26 Bids)
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 15:19:20 PST
Buy It Now for only: $56,250.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Convertible 2-Door 2015 FORD MUSTANG 5.0 GT PREMIUM CONVERTIBLE NAV 18K MI #369098 Texas Direct
$10,600.00 (19 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:15:55 PST
Buy It Now for only: $29,230.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 6-SPEED 650HP KRYPTON GREEN 1K MI #203550 Texas Direct
$61,230.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:04:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $61,230.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1951 Chevy 3100 pickup truck
$5,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 21:24:12 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS RS AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 27K #280186 Texas Direct Auto
$10,188.00 (27 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,230.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY 3LT 7-SPEED NAV HUD 19K MI #112622 Texas Direct
$28,100.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:35:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: $41,780.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro RS Yenko 427 12 Bolt Posi PS PDB Disc Brakes Replica
$20,400.00 (8 Bids)
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 13:09:03 PST
Buy It Now for only: $59,995.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO SS RS AUTOMATIC 20" WHEELS 20K MILES #105619 Texas Direct Auto
$26,530.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 15:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,530.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 5K #521566 Texas Direct
$1.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:20:32 PST
Buy It Now for only: $51,480.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

1966 Ford Mustang Convertible 1966 Ford Mustang GT Real
$5,100.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 20:21:06 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ Z07 S/C 7-SPD NAV HUD 5K MI #601154 Texas Direct
$73,230.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $73,230.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 S/C AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 29K #800633 Texas Direct
$37,480.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $37,480.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1932 Ford Other Sport coupe 1932 Ford Sport coupe
$3,600.00 (24 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 19:00:22 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY CONV 2LT 7-SPD NAV HUD 6K #128702 Texas Direct Auto
$49,480.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 18:33:26 PST
Buy It Now for only: $49,480.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro X11 SS Z28 454 Rockcrusher 4 speed
$37,500.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 16:33:58 PST
Buy It Now for only: $37,500.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1968 Ford Mustang Restored 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback
$48,000.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 16:58:52 PST
Buy It Now for only: $48,000.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2016 Chevy Camaro 2SS "Chicago Blackhawks Edition"
$49,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-21-2017 13:34:35 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 CONVERTIBLE AUTO 8K MI #119209 Texas Direct
$44,230.00
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT RED LEATHER NAV 1K #101720 Texas Direct Auto
$43,100.00 (111 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 14:32:37 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64,880.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

1967 Chevrolet Camaro 1967 Chevy Camaro Convertible 350 Four Wheel Power Disc Brakes 350 Turbo
$11,300.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 13:55:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $39,995.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Ford F-150 2015 FORD F150 XLT SPORT CREW ECOBOOST REAR CAM 17K MI #C26765 Texas Direct Auto
$32,675.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:28:40 PST
Buy It Now for only: $32,675.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
$5,100.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6 speed FAST AND FURIOUS,no reserve
$22,600.00 (37 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 18:46:57 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups Deluxe 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup truck, Patina Deluxe Cab Original Survivor
$10,300.00 (28 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 9:19:33 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

1952 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1952 Chevy Pickup Truck
$14,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:13:36 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

2004 Chevrolet Other Pickups 2004 Chevy Colorado truck 5 speed manual transmission
$1,900.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 13:58:19 PST
Buy It Now for only: $1,900.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 1967 Vette, Silver Pearl/Teal, L79 350/327, 4-Speed, Coupe
$25,655.55 (10 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-30-2017 16:20:36 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

Dietrich Web Consulting