The high-pitched wail of an Italian V12 echoes off of the buildings in downtown Monterey, California, not an uncommon occurrence during Monterey Car Week. I look down the road, expecting to see a low, brightly-colored supercar, but instead I am greeted by a monstrous black Humvee-looking thing with massive tires… this is a Lamborghini LM002. He accelerates again and barrels past me with that Bizzarrini V12 howling.
It is difficult to place that sort of supercar-esque sound into the context of an off-road behemoth. Most such vehicles have huge thundering V8s or loud, clattering diesel engines, but the LM002 has a V12 that just screams. This was the first time I’d ever seen one in traffic, and heard its engine opened up. Despite being a different sort of Lamborghini, the LM002 definitely still has the same sort of shocking impact as a Countach or a Diablo. It is huge, it is menacing, and it will gladly feast on your children, so best move your Prius to the side.
Mclaren released their one off X1 at the Quail motorsports gathering in Monterey this past weekend. It is the culmination of “3 years of hard work” they said, and I have to ask for what? I find the X1 unappealing; it looks like its design is trying to hard to be extreme, and real supercar beauty usually comes from function and purity of design. There is also the obvious influence of elegant 1930’s French cars, and that sort of Cruella de Vil look does not work well on a supercar. The covered rear wheels take the car’s aggressive stance away as well, leaving us with an appearance that is just plain awkward. On top of this, that 3 years of work has only gotten the customer a normal 12C with an ugly body kit, so again I have to ask, why?
Looking at all the supercar news sources I can see the usual amount of oogling over this car. Most people only like this car, and cars like it, because they are rare, expensive, or just stigmatized as a “supercar”. That, to me, is mindless dribble. I will give credit where credit is due (like the Ferrari P4/5), but I am at a personal point now where I don’t care at all about a car being a status symbol. It must have its own legitimate merits to get my good graces, and this Mclaren falls way short. I saw a normal 12C go by tonight, and it looked brilliant. So why bother making this ugly thing if not only to use as another soulless status symbol by someone with far more money than self security?
Different is not always a good thing, and I could care less if the owner locks the X1 away for eternity. In fact, I kind of hope he or she does.
Today is a special day for Mind Over Motor. Exactly one year ago our domain name was activated, and our site went live. In the past year we have gone from having no audience whatsoever to a consistent few hundred views per day, a rate that continues to climb as the site grows. The site has done many things for us, including receiving press credentials last years Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, where we saw and drove some really incredible cars. However, much of what we do are things most people can do, such as test driving cars, but it is the site that gives doing such things a true, functional purpose. We enjoy running the site because it is a fantastic outlet for our insights, and has helped us expand our perspective on cars, and the auto industry immensely; and it has only been a year! While we love doing the site, it also is not yet a money making venture for us. It remains a productive hobby at this point, and must still come after our jobs and schooling on our list of priorities, so just know we are doing the best we can to expand the site with the time we are able to give it. We have a lot planned for Mind Over Motor, ways to expand, events to be covered, content from new partners and readers, and new segments, so stay tuned. We send a big thank you out to all of our readers. It has been a fantastic year, and we are hoping for another to come.
The TZ3 Stradale is a limited production model that is actually a Dodge Viper ACR in Alfa Romeo clothes. It was built to showcase a collaboration between Chrysler and Fiat as a kickoff for future models. Mechanically it is all Viper with the same 640hp V10 as the Viper ACR-X, but with the sort of performance that Viper achieved I don’t hear anyone complaining. The design, done by Zagato, are a clear nod back to the legendary Alfa TZ and TZ2 racing cars of old. Just nine of these TZ3 Stradales will be produced making this one of the more exotic cars in the world. While at Pebble Beach this past summer we were surprised by this car while looking at a lineup of Bugatti Veyrons. All of a sudden there was this earthshaking rumble and then this astonishing car rolled out of the parking deck. It is an incredible machine to behold, and I think this Italian-American collaboration is just right. I must also say that the TZ3 Stradale is among the best looking cars I’ve ever seen. More pictures of the car below. Read the rest of this entry »
Pebble Beach offers smaller publications like us a rare chance to try out some cars we would never be able to do at a dealership. The Mercedes CLS 63 AMG is such a car to be sure; with a price tag around $100 grand, 518hp on tap, and looks that could kill. It is one of those cars that is usually kept locked in showrooms and most require a large deposit to show genuine interest before they will allow a test drive. Knowing this when I signed up for a drive in the king of the CLS line, I felt both excited and privileged to be able to get behind the wheel. Read the rest of this entry »
The Porsche Cayman has been heralded as one of the best handling cars money can buy. Sure it is the “baby” Porsche, but these days even the little ones have gotten pretty serious. The Cayman R is to the Cayman line as the GT3 is to the 911 series, so solid performance is a given. Porsche was offering test drives of various models during Concours Weekend, but once I saw the Cayman R on the list I knew where to place my priorities (Video after the jump).
I have never really been the Rolls Royce type as far as my outlook on both cars and life are concerned. I don’t like snooty, I’m better than you attitudes, and I don’t like relying on other people for getting around. Traditionally, Rolls Royces were the absolute embodiment stuck up, high society who were above having to drive themselves places. Maybe that is why I never really liked the Phantom, especially after I drove it. It is built more for the person riding in the back than for the person at the wheel, and to me that is all wrong. With the Rolls Ghost though, BMW has had more influence in the design, so the result is a car that is both knocked for sharing parts with lesser machines, but is also much better to drive. Read the rest of this entry »
Ever since I heard Lotus added some much needed power to the Evora I have been itching to try it out. The only real universal complaint about the standard Evora was that it was very underpowered. Lotus has added a supercharger to the Toyota V6 and power is now up to 345hp, in a car that weighs just 2700lbs. Needless to say, I knew this was going to be a lot of fun going in. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a submission from our friend Drake who we met while out in California for this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance. He found some great cars, many of which we did not catch out there. There is also some solid footage from the Quail event. It is a bit long, but you will be drooling the whole time. Solid spotting. Subscribe to Drake’s Youtube profile for more videos like this.
Spotted by- Drake
This is the Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, it is hard to even say it’s name without sneering a bit. It’s big, it’s expensive, and it tells you right away that it’s better than you. This car has always been peculiar to me for a variety of reasons because it is just so over the top, and lacks any tangible point in its existence. Needless to say though, when I was handed the keys to this half-million dollar land yacht I was beyond thrilled to be given the privilege to take it for a spin. Read the rest of this entry »
We got into the Monterey area much later than we had hoped on Thursday the 18th of August, thanks to some air travel incompetence. However, once we got there we were greeted with some fantastic sites and sounds on the streets of both Monterey and Carmel. Read the rest of this entry »
It is hard not to be excited when you find out you are going to drive a supercar. When I got to the Mercedes booth at Pebble Beach and found out they were indeed doing SLS test drives excitement would put the feeling lightly. The new Gullwing is a car I have seen in magazines and videos all over, but now it would be me behind the wheel. When you approach the car with its glorious doors lifted to the sky you know you are about to get into something very special. The Gullwing takes the usual right leg first, then ass in seat, then left leg approach to entry over its wide door sill, but once you are in the car everything is very comfortable, well spaced, and supportive. Once situated, I reach up, pull the door down and get ready to go. Read the rest of this entry »