Are Electric Cars REALLY the Future for Driving Enthusiasts?

Watching the first episode of the new season of Top Gear, and Chris Harris made a comment about the Ferrari FXX K possibly being the last gasp of the combustion engine. It’s a comment we’ve heard before, and I’m sure it’s a comment many will continue to make. But I don’t buy it for a number of reasons.

Sure, I do think electric cars, specifically self-driven electric cars, are the future for mass independent transportation. I think so many people out there have so little interest in driving that they’re a danger to themselves and everyone around them when they get behind the wheel. Those folks should leave the driving to the machines, the world will be a much happier place.

But what about those of us who live to drive for recreation, just because driving is so much fun? Obviously you can totally forget the self-driving cars, but are electric cars even that desirable to us?

Continue reading Are Electric Cars REALLY the Future for Driving Enthusiasts?

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An Albino Hennessey Venom GT at the Quail

Hennessey Venom GT Quail 2

I think white is an especially menacing color on the Hennessey Venom GT. It’s like an angry ghost, ready to possess you with an insatiable desire for speed.

This one was on display at The Quail, just after the Venom GT had made its 270mph run. This is definitely one of the most insane machines you’ll find on the road.

Continue reading An Albino Hennessey Venom GT at the Quail

That time I saw Sir Stirling Moss driving the 300 SLR 722 at Pebble Beach

Mercedes 300 SLR 722 Stirling Moss

Taking a trip down memory lane, looking through the photos I’ve taken over the years, I stumbled across this gem from Pebble Beach in 2011. It’s none other than Sir Stirling Moss, and he’s driving the legendary Mercedes 300 SLR 722 in which he won the 1955 Mille Miglia. He set the all-time speed record for the Mille Miglia that year, and it has never been beaten.  I realized I hadn’t shared it yet, and it definitely needed to be published.

Sir Stirling Moss is a gentleman about as epic as they come. His wit is hysterical in conversation, and he’s an absolutely fearless driver. Stirling didn’t just put-put the SLR around at the event either. No, after I snapped the shot above, he took the 722 down to the shoreline for a quick photo-op, and then proceeded to absolutely flog the car up the side road behind the lodge. The crowd had moved on while Sir Stirling was having his photo-op, and everyone was astonished and surprised as the SLR’s racing-spec straight-six was fully unleashed, tires screeched, and we all saw a silver flash pass between the openings between buildings. The sound was delicious to our ears, and I was beyond thrilled to see the man himself give it the beans for old time’s sake.

Sure, the 300 SLR 722 is about as valuable as a car can be, easily worth $50 million + if it ever went to auction, but who better to let it rip than the man who still know’s it best? It’s a moment I will surely never forget.

More photos of the car from Pebble Beach below, as well as two videos about Sir Stirling Moss and this most-insane Mercedes racecar.

Mercedes 300 SLR 722 Stirling Moss 2Mercedes 300 SLR 722 Pebble Beach 1 Mercedes 300 SLR 722 Pebble Beach  2

Petrolicious on the 1955 Milli Miglia:

My video from a press conference Sir Stirling held at Lime Rock:

My take on the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

The Geneva Motor Show happened this week, and every year it’s like Christmas has come for the car industry.

Here are the highlights for me, and my thoughts on each…

Ferrari 812 Superfast

The front-engine V12 Ferraris are by far my favorite Ferraris. They have always been the ultimate expression of what a grand touring car can be, and their lineage goes all the way back to the beginning of Ferrari road cars in the early 1950s.

The 812 Superfast takes the insanity of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and takes it up yet another notch. With damn near 800hp on tap from its still-naturally-aspirated-V12 engine, the 812 Superfast is now the ultimate GT car (really more of a supercar) that money can buy. I also think it looks absolutely manic, yet somehow still in an elegant sort of way.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Do you think anyone ever imagined this when the Toyota Prius first came out? Hybrids were once pathetic little econo-boxes, but here is a 680hp Porsche Panamera with a hybrid system developed from the 918 hypercar. This is exactly how hybrid technology should be used. I want a 680hp bullet that can still get decent MPG when I’m not thrashing it. If nothing else, isn’t technology all about having your cake and eating it too?

Continue reading My take on the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

What will the new 4.0L Porsche 991.2 GT3 do to the 911 Market?

porsche-911_gt3-2018-1280-01

Porsche has finally done it, they’ve brought back the manual GT3 and have given it the 4.0L engine to boot. It’s basically the Porsche we’ve all been dreaming about, and it’s the car Porsche once said they’d never build again. Right after Porsche said the days of manual GT3s were over, values of 997 GT3s immediately went through the roof. It became abundantly clear that Porsche was making a mistake, and this new 991.2 GT3 is here to set things right.

But what’s going to happen to the values of all of those 997 GT3 models that skyrocketed in the last few years? This new 4.0L GT3 with a manual is pretty much an attainable version of the coveted 997 GT3 RS 4.0 or the mighty 911 R, and with PDK it’s a little too similar to the much-inflated 991 GT3 RS.

With pricing starting from $144,650, and surely going up to cross $200,000, loaded with options, why on earth would you want to buy a 997 GT3 or RS for the same money? And can the PDK-only 991 GT3 even have a prayer? How about the 991 GT3 RS?

The 991.2 GT3 is about to make things very interesting in the Porsche market, and not everyone is going to be thrilled about it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be the guy who just dropped $200,000 on a 997 GT3 RS, or $175,000 on a 991.1 GT3.

Continue reading What will the new 4.0L Porsche 991.2 GT3 do to the 911 Market?

That Time BMW Put a Le Mans-Winning V12 Into an X5 SUV

BMW X5 LM V12 Amelia 1

This is the BMW X5 LM. It’s a prototype from the era before the super-SUVs of today, powered by the same V12 that propelled the BMW V12 LMR to victory at Le Mans. That’s 700hp and 531ft/lbs under the hood that made this the first sub-8-minute SUV around the Nurburgring. And this was all in 2000, years before Porsche made the Cayenne Turbo and set the SUV world ablaze with performance. However, as it turned out, the V12 from a Le Mans racecar didn’t make a very good production engine, so BMW never produced the X5 LM. Woe is us, but at least the prototype still exists.

-Nick

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