No, it’s not New York, Shanghai, Geneva, or even Toronto, but the Edmonton Motorshow is in town this weekend (April 15-17 at the Northlands Expo) and it’s worth attending for the following 10 reasons, all of which have four wheels.
Chris Harris should be no stranger to you by now; he’s a British journalist who is as engaging as Jeremy Clarkson, with the added bonus of having genuine driving skill. To top it off, we can see his videos more regularly online than we can BBC’s Top Gear. This makes Harris’ video reviews more accessible for online auto enthusiasts like us. You may also recall that “Monkey” Harris drove in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in a near-stock 911 GT3 RS with the indefatigable Walter Röhrl as a co-driver. Now, he has taken the two hottest supercars of 2010 and given them a proper thrashing.
Personally, while I appreciate the technical genius and well-rounded ability of the 458, its looks to absolutely nothing for me. The three tailpipes are the ultimate offense, although these are minor gripes – it’s still the best mid-engined V8 Ferrari ever. Although I much preferred the 430 Scuderia.
The 911 GT3 RS is another car that has be enraptured and enthralled. While the 911 is hardly a new model for Porsche, each generation grows in size to accomodate its fatter occupants desiring more luxury accoutrements. The 997.5 is no different. But while the normal models gain weight, the performance models gain horsepower, focus, and are actually lighter than their predecessors due to a Type A obsessiveness within Porsche to save grams wherever possible.
So let’s see what the thinks of the two hottest cars of year have to offer!
The Ferrari 458 Italia is the company’s latest V8 marvel. While the rest of the F-car line-up plod along with weightier 12-cylinder engines, the mid-engined Italia remains the paring knife in a family of bayonets. But unlike its predecessor, the F430, the 458 works harder than ever before to differentiate it from the increasingly crowded $2-300,000 supercar bracket that now includes the LP560, SLS, and MP4-12C. As you may be aware, the Italia places its turn signal and windshield wiper buttons on the steering wheel, so you never have to move your hands from 9 and 3. But it is he aerodynamic engineers in Maranello who deserve particular notoriety for their development of the 458’s aero-elastic winglets, the black pieces of rubberized plastic seen on either side of the Prancing Horse above. These winglets deform at high speeds to generate downforce by reducing the section of the radiator inlets and cutting drag. Nifty.
But what would the company’s now-deceased founder think of the aerodynamic trickery were he still alive today?
“Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.” -Enzo Ferrari
Oh, ok then. I guess that pretty much sums it up. Good thing the 458 “Giant Boot” has 562 hp coming from its 4.5L motor. Or else a certain someone would be turning over in their graves.
Since CarEnvy.ca hasn’t finalized its 2009 Cars of the Year, the second best publication around, Top Gear Magazine, will have to do for now. Their criteria are a little different than ours, and so are their categories, but we still value their opinion. Why? Because we have a subscription and the 1.5 centimetre thick, $13 magazines are worth it every penny, believe it or not. Also, unlike our awards, car companies actually care if they win the TG honours. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a CarEnvy award plastered on an advertisement. TG award? Definitely.
Don’t let the title fool you, this is an Autocar UK review. CarEnvy’s review should be up sometime in the next… 10 years?
In the meantime, we have this, the first video review of the 458 Italia. While hardly the most entertaining review (it sounds disturbingly like a press release), it’s still great to hear the new Ferrari V8 howl and burble seemingly without inertia. And the way the new 7-speed DSG gearbox rips off millisecond upshifts and rev-matched downshifts is glorious to behold. In terms of aesthetics, I’m not convinced that the 458 Italia is as gorgeous and revolutionary as everyone, Autocar included, is claiming. As LeVar Burton always said at the end of The Reading Rainbow, but you don’t have to take my word for it.
As you have hopefully noticed by now, I write about cars, and thusly probably like cars quite a bit. You’re an astute little bugger aren’t you? Anyway, in accordance with my being a petrol-head, I had a Hot-Wheels collection as a child. On many weekends I’d take over the entire living room with tracks and attach the starting point to the second floor banister. Luckily, my mother likes to read and that doesn’t require much space, so I was free to claim vast tracts of prime lounging real-estate for the sake of my races. How this hobby has defined how I view cars after the jump.
The Frankfurt Motor Show 2009 is taking place as we speak. Unfortunately, our German correspondent isn’t feeling well so she couldn’t make it herself. As such, we’ve compiled a list of the most important reveals from Day 1 in her absence. Frankfurt is the first major show of the Fall season and manufacturers like Audi, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maserati, VW, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, BMW, and Mercedes have pulled out all the stops. So you’d better follow the jump because there are no less than 17 very interesting reveals.
“Miss me?” McLaren asks, coyly unwrapping the sports-car-shaped present. “You bet!”, we enthusiastically reply.
Well, it’s been 16 years since McLaren single-handedly defined the meaning of the word “hypercar” with the F1. Today, McLaren is picking an altogether different and more crowded battle. Set to fight the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2, and the Porsche 911 GT2, the McLaren MP4-12c is finally here. Née the P11, the MP4-whatever has is mid-engined, RWD, and very, very light. It is expected to be about 1,320 kg when production starts in 2011, which is 60kg lighter than its identically-weighted Italian competition and fully 80kg lighter than the GT2.
How did it get to be so light? Find out that, and power output details below.