Category Archives: Supercars

Say ‘hello’ to a new Ferrari: the Portofino

That’s right! It’s a new Ferrari! Set to replace the California, the Portofino will feature a host of improvements over its predecessor, along with new styling, a new chassis and more power! The question is: Will it be a “real Ferrari?”

The Ferrari California has remained the “entry-level” Ferrari for nearly ten years. Despite the length of its life, the California was never truly accepted until it was given new turbo-charged life with the California T for 2015. In many ways, it was too soft. The California’s looks were smoothed out; the edges softened, the corners rounded. The engine made a decent noise – when compared to a Mini – but it fell far short when compared to that of the 458 Spider. Its ride was smoother, but its abilities and intensity limited. The California was a great car, but was it a “real Ferrari?” Many felt not, and unfortunately the car went largely unnoticed by much of the Supercar world. Ferrari did manage to essentially remedy the problem in 2014, by adding in a turbo, bringing an additional 101 hp, and picking up some more aggressive styling cues. Now, they have taken that lesson forward to produce an all-new car.

The Portofino, which is set for a September debut in the Frankfurt International Auto Show, will arrive for the 2018 model year as the new Ferrari drop-top GT. While it hasn’t completely lost the downturned nose of the California, it certainly does have significantly more aggressive styling, and brings with it a new color: Rosso Portofino.

Along with better looks, the Portofino features a new, lighter, more rigid chassis to accompany its turbocharged V8. While being significantly lighter than the California T, the Portofino pushes out an additional 40 hp with the help of new pistons, connecting rods, and software. The increase in power and wieght reduction means the Portofino makes it from standstill to 62mph in just 3.5 seconds. Ferrari has also spent some time “enhancing” the sound from the Portofino’s exhaust.

The Portofino has also been fitted with Ferrari’s E-Diff3 electronic rear differential with F1-Trac. Ferrari has also decided to give the Portofino electronic steering, with a steering ratio reduced by seven percent. The damping system has been improved as well, to provide a better ride and performance simultaneously. Just in case you’re not sure what all that means, I’ll tell you. It means the Portofino can corner… aggressively.

Ferrari hasn’t stopped at looks and performance either. The Portofino features a new 10.2″ touchscreen infotainment system, new A/C, new seats (which Ferrari claims “boosts legroom for rear seat passengers,” although you may still have to decapitate them to close the top), a new steering wheel and a new wind deflector.

So it sounds like the Portofino could finally be a winning combination for an “entry-level” Ferrari. It’s fast, it looks good, sounds good (we expect), the top goes down and it might even fit unusually small adults into the rear seats. It sounds like, dare I say it, a “real Ferrari.” Although, I have to say, I’m still not that excited.

Those of you who who know me or have read a lot of my work will know, I love Ferraris. Ferrari is the only brand that consistently makes cars that make me want them more than anything else. I love the looks, the sound, and perhaps most of all, the way they drive. And for some reason, I’m still not that excited about the Portofino. Maybe it is just leftover criticism from the California, or maybe it is the fact that deep down I know Ferrari may never give us what we truly want: a bloodthirsty, drop-top, GT with ALL of the aggressive styling of the 812 and the very same V12 in the front.

 

Is the F430 the new ultimate bargain Ferrari?

For some time, the F355 sat at the perfect price range to be the ultimate bargain Ferrari. Now, however, the F355’s indirect successor – the F430 (following the 360) – has dropped down to the $100,000 price range. Does this make it the new ultimate bargain Ferrari?

While the 355 does certainly have some strong points, such as the absolutely delicious sound it produces with a good exhaust or the fact that finding one with a gated-manual gearbox is slightly less difficult, the performance advantages of the F430 are undeniable. The F430 presents a 108 hp gain over the F355, for a total of 483 hp from its 4.3 liter V8. While the F430 is slightly heavier than the F355, the 430’s performance numbers speak for themselves: 0 to 60 (mph) in just 3.6 seconds, nearly a second faster than the F355; 0 to 100 (mph) in 8.3 seconds, compared to 11.2 in the F355. If you manage to get to top speed, the F430 will also take you 186 mph – a whole 7 mph faster than the F355.

Having said that, we are talking about a bargain here, so of course cost is a factor; it isn’t all about the ultimate performance machine. If it was, we would just pony up the extra $100k and buy a 458, right? While 458 prices remain around the $200,000 mark, F430s have dropped to around half that price, and F355s are anywhere from $65,000 to $115,00. So, you might think well hey, I can save myself $30,000 and get the 355, right? Well, you might want to consider the fact that the F355 is a car (and a Italian one at that) born out of the early nineties. Reliability might be an issue, to say the least, and the maintenance costs are going to be quite high.

Ah, but wait! There is the 360 Modena! Succeeded by the F430, and the F355s successor, it stands to reason that the 360 should sit in the middle as far as prices go. While some can be found for as little as $75,000, the 360 still reaches prices as high as $130,000 for highly spec’d, low-mileage examples. So, unless you are a lucky buyer who has found the highly sought after gated-manual gearbox, why not get the nicer, newer, better-looking F430?

The F430 has all the looks, feels and sounds (included in the video coming soon!) of a proper Ferrari. It is a proper Ferrari. And now… it is a hundred-thousand-dollar-Ferrari. Ultimate bargain Ferrari? I think so.

Supercar Saturday photo gallery

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Here’s a collection of photo’s from the two Supercar Saturday events I have attended so far. Special thanks to MN Exotics and Supercars for hosting the event!

View the slideshow above, or click the thumbnails below to open the photos full size.

And don’t forget to check out the video!

Supercar withdrawls are real… Save yourself with Supercar Saturday

I’ve packed up my gear and headed to another Supercar Saturday in Bloomington, MN to try and stave off the supercar withdrawls for another month.

Unfortunately, I ran out of battery much faster than I anticipated, so I didn’t get to do as much vlog style commentary as I’d hoped. That’s on the agenda for next time. I also haven’t yet gotten a new gimbal, so yeah… sorry about the shakiness.

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New photos and video coming soon!

A determined looking Lamborghini Huracan, hidden behind a Lotus Evora and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage. Front car is an Aston Martin Vantage GT.

The Supercar Saturday meet hosted by MN Exotics and Supercars in Bloomington, MN this past weekend was excellent. Many excellent cars were in attendance, even a few surprises. A full photo gallery and video will be coming soon! 

Until then, here’s a few teasers! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to our Youtube channel to stay up to date on the latest content!

If you haven’t already seen my short video from the very first Supercar Saturday, be sure to check it out!

I got depressed about not owning a P1, so I took one around the Nordschleife… sort of

I’m a bit depressed about not owning a McLaren P1… fortunately, some VR sim-racing can ease the pain.

This is me driving the McLaren P1 around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, on street tires, in Assetto Corsa VR. I wasn’t going for any lap records, just having some fun.

If you would like to see more sim-racing content from TDRO, be sure to like, comment and subscribe!

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TDRO Supercar Saturday Video

Okay, so the camerawork is a bit unfortunate, but we’ve managed to throw together a quick video from Supercar Saturday in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA. Unfortunately, our abilities were somewhat limited by the weather, but there was a great turnout nonetheless.

Special thanks to Minnesota Exotics and Supercars and the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, who hosted the event.

Music by: RW Smith

Be sure to like and subscribe! This is just the beginning!

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What we know so far about the real hypercar of the future: the Aston Martin Valkyrie

Photo Credit: Aston Martin

Okay, so some of us are feeling a bit down about the fact that we aren’t yet flying around in Jetsons-like hovercars – but that’s okay, for soon we will have the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

In fact, cars seem to have gone the opposite direction of our nostalgic cartoon predictions – we try to push them downward into the road rather than making them fly. To some this may sound counterproductive, but since you have found your way here, I suspect that probably isn’t the case. If you are here, that means you probably love cars, and thus prefer them limited as such. However, we may be about to see that limit for road going cars raised… a whole hell of a lot.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie isn’t going to begin being delivered to the first lucky customers until sometime next year, and for many of us that can’t come soon enough. Not that we would be able to buy one, since between only 99 and 150 road cars will be made – including remaining prototypes and 25 track-only cars, but because it represents the next big step in hypercar performance. Not only does it mark the next big step, it does so while holding to the naturally aspirated V12 roots that petrolheads love in a hypercar.

Photo Credit: Aston Martin

The Valkyrie is being created in a collaborated effort by Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, which brings some of the world’s leading Formula 1 and motorsport experience to the project. Details on the car are still few and far between, but based on what we do know there is no doubt the car’s performance will shatter current hypercar standards. The combination of lightweight technologies and materials, aerodynamic performance which will likely exceed that of an F1 car, and a V12 which we can expect to produce somewhere around or north of 1,000 bhp for a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio will undoubtedly make for an unprecedented combination.

So rest easy, we may not be flying, but who the hell wants to fly when you can drift the Valkyrie.

Photo Credit: Aston Martin

Source: Aston Martin

The Lamborghini Huracán Performante: The new king of the ‘Ring?

Lamborghini shocked the motoring world when they released video of a camouflaged Huracán Performante doing an insanely fast 6:52.01 lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Welcome to the new king of the ‘Ring, the 2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante.

The Huracán Performante was welcomed into the world with shock, awe, skepticism, and outright controversy. After the Porsche 918 -which is considerably more powerful and faster in a straight line than the Huracán Performante – set a 6:57.00 around the historic German track, the world expected only an equally revolutionary hypercar would beat the time. To see a supercar – let alone a toned-up Huracán coupé, which set a 7:28.00 – beat the German hypercar seemed improbable, if not impossible.

Some stated their case, laying out evidence which might indicate the lap video to be manufactured or otherwise altered. However strong some of the evidence may have appeared, Lamborghini was able to quickly dispel such claims by releasing GPS data, confirming the record breaking lap time as legitimate. Porsche fans and hypercar fans were forced to accept the painful reality that a lightweight bedroom-poster supercar had taken down the almighty hypercar at the almighty Nordschleife.

“[The Huracán Performante] illustrates the pinnacle of Lamborghini V10 producation car performance to date, on both track and road, and is perfectly exemplified by its name.” – Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and C.E.O.

As expected, the Huracán Performante was finally revealed at the Geneva International Motor Show in full detail… and it certainly begins to explain the, frankly, ridiculous lap time. While other manufacturers in the super-sports car sector may be focused on driver engagement and bringing back manual transmissions or holding to traditions while raising the bar, Lamborghini has gone for maximum technology. The car’s frame is composed of aluminium and carbon fiber, and the body is produced from Lamborghini’s own “Forged Composite.”

The use of these high tech materials make the car extremely light, just 1,382 kg (3,047 lbs) dry. Combine that with the 640 hp 5.2 liter V10, and you get 0 to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds and a top speed over 202 mph. Not only can it go fast, it stops fast too: 62 mph to 0 in just 31 meters.

The real magic, however, comes from the increasingly common practice of manipulating airflow over and under (and through) the vehicle. Lamborghini’s “Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva” creates the ability to have variable downforce and drag through active aerodynamics and electronically controlled air channels. You might think of it as being similar to having a DRS system found in an F1 car, except it works at both front and rear, and uses channels rather than simply stalling the rear wing.

At high throttle, the ALA system is activated to provide maximum acceleration and top speed, reducing drag on the front splitter and the rear spoiler by opening channels directing air under the car and under the rear wing. When the ALA system is deactivated, the channels close, directing air over the wings and splitter to create an amazing 750% more downforce than the Huracán coupé. The ALA system also keeps the driver up to speed on what it is doing through a dedicated display in the dash.

The interior is as you would expect, with alcantara fabric and lightweight materials, however, optional comfort seats are available. The driver displays are configurable “depending on driving mode selected: Strada, Sport or Corsa.” The Huracán Performante also supports Apple CarPlay and the Lamborghini telemetry system.

The first examples of the Huracán Performante will be delivered this summer, with prices starting at $274,390.

What do you think? Are Lamborghini heading in the direction you think they should go?

Source: Automobili Lamborghini

Photo Credit: Automobili Lamborghini 

The ‘Yellow Bird’ is back… and this time it will go 223 mph!

RUF Automobile GmbH have answered our prayers and brought the return of the “Yellow Bird.” Best of all, this time it is all original, nearly all carbon-fiber and propelled by RUF’s own 710 horsepower flat-six.

The RUF CTR “Yellow Bird” made its debut in 1987, and almost instantly became a legend. RUF took the 911, made it lighter, more powerful, integrated a roll-cage and improved the suspension and brakes and more. What resulted was a supercar with the looks and sounds of a 911, but could compete with the likes of the Ferrari Testarossa and the Porsche 959. The 1987 “Yellow Bird” reached an incredible 213 mph during testing, sealing its place in the books of motoring history.

Tuesday at the Geneva International Motor Show, RUF Automobile GmbH revealed the all new 2017 RUF CTR. To anyone familiar with the original CTR “Yellow Bird” (pictured below) the so-called “nods” to the original are immediately obvious. What isn’t quite so obvious, however, is the fact that the car is RUF’s first entirely original car.

The 1987 RUF CTR “Yellow Bird” – Photo Credit – Car & Driver http://www.caranddriver.com/photo-gallery/1987-ruf-ctr-yellowbird-911-turbo-driven-video

The 2017 CTR features a “bespoke carbon-fiber monocoque chassis,” and a weight-to-power ratio of 3.46 lbs per horsepower. The body panels are carbon-fiber too, but don’t worry, the integrated roll-cage is still steel. In total, the car weighs in at only 2,640 lbs (1,200 kg).

In keeping with the original “Yellow Bird,” the new CTR focuses on an analog minimalist design. The interior is lined with alcantara and carbon-fiber, and best of all, you will notice the three aluminium pedals for the driver.

The six-speed manual gearbox connects the rear wheels to the 710 PS 3.6 liter twin-turbo flat-six, made by RUF themselves. The engine produces a mind shredding 649 lb-ft of torque to propel the CTR from 0 to 60 in under 3.5 seconds and to 125 mph in under 9 seconds. In true “Yellow Bird” fashion, the top speed is a blistering 223 mph.

And thus, RUF fans can rejoice, for the “Yellow Bird” has returned, and their hero flies once again.

Source: RUF Automobile GmbH

Photo Credit: RUF Automobile GmbH, Car And Driver