Thursday, March 13, 2014

Modern Super Cars That Can Outrun Their Legendary Predecessors

Progress, the desire to always be better, faster and stronger is a brilliant thing. It gives us better cars every single generation and family sedans running to 60 under 6 seconds. Progress is particularly amazing when it comes to halo cars as the latest crop from Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Porsche are ready to blow our minds. However a more telling sign of progress is how each brand's "regular" super cars are now just as quick as their legends of yesterday.

Mercedes SLS AMG vs. Mercedes SLR McLaren

The SLR has a supercharger and more power than the SLS (617 vs. 516) but the SLS responds with two extra gears and double clutches. The end result is a tie through the quarter mile with both completing the sprint in 11.6 seconds @ 125. At less than half the price (200K vs. 455k) the SLS is a relative bargain. The only caveat is if you give the SLR a break because it was more of a GT than an all out super car but the identical acceleration is telling sign of progress. The halo SLS Black Series improves things further with an 11.1 @ 130 quarter mile.

Porsche 911 Turbo S vs. Porsche Carrera GT

Here we have Porsche's last generation halo car geared for track duty versus a turbo 911 with backseats and all. Thanks to all wheel drive, a twin clutch gearbox and turbo torque the 911 Turbo S is nearly a second quicker in the hole shot to 60, quicker to 100 and even through the quarter mile even if the better power to weight of the Carrera GT gives it a higher trap speed. The final tally, 10.8 @ 129 for the Turbo S (not even the latest generation) vs. an 11.2 @ 132 for the Carrera GT all for barely a third of the price.

Ferrari F12 vs. Ferrari Enzo Ferrari

Perhaps the ultimate comparison considering that both feature the familiar Ferrari V12. The F12 benefits from engine development to deliver more horsepower per liter and more power overall with 731 horsepower to Enzo's only 650. This time the F12 is the GT in the pairing and it shows with its 4,000 pound curb is 750 pounds on the Enzo. The extra weight holds back the F12 but it nearly matches the Enzo through the quarter with an 11.3 @ 132 pass vs. 11.2 @ 136 for the Enzo.

McLaren MP4-12C vs, McLaren F1

It's a given that twenty years later the McLaren P1 would shatter the F1's performance benchmarks but it's amazing how close to the famed F1 the MP4-12C gets. As with the 911 Turbo S, the MP4-12C's turbos and super quick gearbox lets it outgun the F1 through 60 and even up to 100 mph. The F1 nearly catches up at the quarter mile and pulls ahead as speed climbs. The final tally is a 10.7 @ 134 quarter mile for the MP4-12C to F1's 11.1 @ 138.

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