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  •   Adam Towler reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    CAR Audi R8 Spyder V10 END OF TERM

    / #Audi-R8-Spyder / #Audi-R8-Spyder-V10-Plus / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Mk2 / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Mk2 / #Audi-R8

    It’s farewell to our drop-top supercar – and its magnificent #V10 . But will we miss having an R8 as a daily driver?

    Knocking about in a drop-top supercar for half a year is likely to sit pretty high up on any petrolhead’s bucket-list. Running an R8 Spyder was, of course, a brilliant experience – one I may never be lucky enough to repeat. And with the Spyder’s £129,990 base price taken up to £167,740 by options such as carbonceramic brakes (£7700), the gloss carbon exterior styling pack (£4900) and the Sport Plus Pack (bringing Audi’s three-mode magnetic adaptive dampers, Dynamic Steering and a sports exhaust, for £3500), this R8 really was deep into supercar territory. But before I get into the many reasons why it was such fun, there are a few (decidedly first-world) irritations I want to air.

    My first complaint relates to the attention a car like the Spyder gets out on the road. Mostly the waves and the thumbs-ups and the friendly comments are all quite fun, but what I could have done without was the steady stream of morons who were determined to lure me into a street-race on motorways and dual carriageways. I’m no saint, and there will be drivers out there who’ll have vivid memories of a bright red projectile firing off into the distance, but mostly I just let them go.

    You could spot these bargain-bin Brian O’Conners a mile off. They’d approach at speed, then suddenly stand on the brakes when they clocked the R8’s extra-wide rump. They’d sit behind for a little while, too close for comfort, before pulling alongside. I never looked over to make eye contact, instead fixing my stare on the road ahead. From here they might circulate the car once or twice, or sit in front of it, or even flash their lights to try to get my attention. After a short while, once they’d realised there was no sport to be had, they’d disappear, probably to recount to their mates the time they roasted an R8 on the A43.

    Then there was the fact that a car such as this one stands out wherever it’s parked. I was always nervous about leaving it out on the street overnight (living in a city, I had no other choice), a concern that was realised one morning when I found the driver’s window had been smashed. Unless you happen to have secure parking wherever you go, I suspect that underlying nervousness is, sadly, part of the supercar ownership experience.

    There were a few annoyances relating specifically to the R8, too, notably the fixed-back bucket seats (a £3000 option), which I’ve written about far too often already, and the width of the thing, which made certain car parks hell to navigate. It also needed a quiet-start function, as my poor neighbours will attest. Does this all sound a bit moany?

    Perhaps it does. Regardless, in just about every other sense, running the Spyder was utterly brilliant.

    How could it not be? I always smiled to myself when I caught a glimpse of it. I made a point of dropping the little window behind the seats on every single journey, no matter how tedious, and stretching the magnificent engine all the way around to the 8500rpm red line, with the exhaust in sport mode, just to let the V10 howl flood into the cabin. There’s no better way to start the day. Or finish it, for that matter. I suggested when the car arrived that this exercise would be more a case of living with a whacking great V10 engine than running a particular car, and it’s certainly true that the motor dominated the entire R8 experience.

    Once the weather improved, sometime in March, I could actually use the car as its maker intended by getting the roof down. I found that quite a calming experience. I wouldn’t drive the car particularly hard with the hood lowered, but instead would stroke it along and enjoy the sounds and the smells and the fresh air. It isn’t often you can use 533 wild horses to their full potential on the road, so having something to enjoy about the R8 at moderate speeds was a massive boon.

    The car averaged around 23mpg, with high-20s just about achievable on a long, steady run. It didn’t need a service during its time with us, but it did need a fresh set of Pirelli P Zeros (just over £1000 fitted) soon before it went back to Audi. Smashed window aside, the R8 didn’t once let me down in any way – which, of course, is how it should be.

    One final thought. Having run a bona fide supercar as my everyday car, I’m not certain I’d be in a hurry to do it again. Not because the R8 was in any way taxing – given its massive performance and handling ability, it was actually very easy to use – but because I wouldn’t want to normalise what is actually a very special thing. I think I’d keep the supercar for weekends and driving holidays. After all, eating steak every night would soon wear thin.

    Date acquired November #2016
    Duration of test 6 months
    Total test mileage 9667
    Overall mpg 22.8
    Costs £1048 four tyres
    Purchase price £167,740
    Value today £120,000-135,000

    Left: Prosser took the R8 to north Wales for a farewell drive. Where better to enjoy that mighty, 533bhp V10 one last time?

    ‘There will be drivers out there who’ll have vivid memories of a bright red projectile firing off into the distance’
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  •   votren911 reacted to this post about 2 years ago
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  •   votren911 reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Bang, not a whimper / #2017 / #Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental / #Bentley / IGNITION / New Cars / #2017-Bentley-Continental-GT / #Bentley-Continental-Supersports / #Bentley-Continental-GT-Supersports /
    The new Continental GT looms. So Bentley has powered-up the old one… Words Dan Prosser

    Having been launched way back in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT is due for replacement next year. With close to 60,000 cars sold during those 14 years the heavyweight coupé has been a huge success for Bentley so, rather than let the model fade away with a whimper, Crewe has instead produced the fastest and most powerful version yet. In fact, the new Continental Supersports is the most potent roadgoing Bentley full stop, its twin-turbocharged #W12 engine having been wound up to a titanic 700bhp. The Supersports badge was revived in 2009 for a run of 1800 special edition models, but this latest version will be more exclusive still, with only 710 set to be built across coupé and convertible body styles. With a list price of £212,500 the Supersports coupé, tested here, costs £43,600 more than the erstwhile range-topping model, the W12 Speed.

    In keeping with its king-of-the-swingers status the Supersports is the most aggressivelooking Continental GT yet, its new front splitter and rear diffuser, both in carbonfibre, lending a more menacing look. The ungainly rear spoiler can, thankfully, be deleted.

    The 6.0-litre W12 has been reworked for the Supersports with new intake and exhaust systems, bigger turbochargers and strengthened main and conrod bearings. The 750lb ft torque figure is available from 2000rpm, giving a vast, tabletop torque curve and enormous straightline performance: Bentley quotes 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and a 209mph top speed. There’s so much power and torque at your disposal that the force of acceleration seems to be entirely unrelated to engine or road speed, gear, incline, load or any other of the variables that normally impede a car’s performance. The Supersports just fires itself at the horizon regardless.

    As amusing as that trick might be, it isn’t what makes this the best #12-cylinder Continental GT yet. Instead, it’s the combination of gargantuan performance, longdistance refinement and the surprisingly fleetfooted agility that make it such an outstanding Bentley. The four-wheel drive system and chassis settings are carried over from the Speed and, despite its 2280kg kerbweight, the Supersports is very good to drive on a twisting road, with its light, direct steering, very taut body control and a neutral chassis balance.

    Some of that weight-defying agility can be attributed to the car’s torque-vectoring-by-braking system, borrowed from the 2014 GT3-R special edition, which shuffles torque between the four wheels to where it can be used most effectively. Without it, the Supersports would feel heavier and flat-footed.

    What’s harder to reconcile with the winged ‘B’ on its nose is the Supersport’s raucous titanium exhaust system, which emits such violent pops and cracks on downshifts that you wonder if the entire thing isn’t being dragged along the road behind you.

    There isn’t anything subtle about the Continental Supersports and some will doubtless find its styling and soundtrack crass, but, thanks to its vast turn of speed and total indomitability in all conditions, this is a high-performance Bentley of the highest order.
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  •   Robert Coucher reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    / #2017 / #Jaguar-F-Type-SVR-Convertible / #Jaguar-F-Type-SVR / #Jaguar-F-Type / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-F-Type-Convertible / #Jaguar-Convertible /

    Proper drop-top supercar or a grotesque caricature that seems a bit confused? Test location: B660, Cambridgeshire GPS: 52.401677, -0.373068 Photography: Aston Parrott.

    The Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible’s exhaust system is made of such exotic materials that it almost seems like a shame to blast noxious gases through it. The titanium and Inconel pipework saves 16kg compared with the F-type r’s exhaust, which is a very good thing. Jaguar says it emits a ‘distinctive rumble’, which is a lie.

    The serrated, tuneless blare – like a woodpecker digging directly into your skull – that fires from those four exhaust tips is no more a rumble than Eric Pickles’ post-vindaloo flatulence is a pitch-perfect aria. From inside the cabin the SVR’s soundtrack under full throttle has the offensive, irritating quality of a distant leaf blower or quad-bike engine, with no musicality or variation through the rev range. That’s true when the roof is down, at least, because with the canvas hood – or better still, the Coupe’s fixed metal roof – protecting your eardrums from the worst of the din, the SVR’s soundtrack can be quite fun, albeit in an unsophisticated, attention-seeking sort of way.

    There’s also something uncouth about the tacked-on rear wing that’s specific to the range-topping SVR models. Again, the spoiler works better on the Coupe, but on this Convertible it looks more like a pram handle than an aerodynamic device. Thankfully it can be deleted, and the standard deployable rear spoiler installed instead, for no cost.

    Aside from the revised bodykit and new exhaust, the SVR also gets a touch more power from its supercharged V8 (567bhp plays the F-type r’s 542bhp) and bespoke chassis tuning, too. The modifications to the all-wheel-drive system are detailed rather than comprehensive, though, the result being that it takes a forensic understanding of both versions to identify the handling differences out on the road.

    What’s immediately apparent, though, is that the SVR is rampantly fast. It accelerates with such force (matching the Coupe to 60mph, at 3.5sec) that your first instinct is to lift back off the throttle pedal, which, incidentally, elicits an immediate and precise response. The eight-speed auto ’box is generally very good, but in terms of shift speed it’s outpaced by the latest twin-clutch transmissions.

    Dynamically, this is a complicated car to both understand and describe. There’s enough agility and grip to carry huge speed, but on a tricky and bumpy road the SVR needs to be wrestled rather than tickled along. The suspension feels stiff over lumps and bumps, particularly at lower speeds, which hints at rock-solid body control, but in reality the body movements during cornering, braking and even under acceleration are very pronounced. The car also hunts ruts and cambers enthusiastically.

    There’s a slight instability under heavy braking, too. Enough to drag the steering wheel through your fingers if you’re not grasping it firmly. All this means the SVR is rather busy across a typical British country road. you had better be holding on to it.
    You should be deliberate with your inputs, too, committing fully to the throttle early and relying on the AWD to deploy the torque rather than hovering over the pedal hesitantly at corner exit. On the approach to a bend you also need to turn in hard enough to make the car sit down heavily in the corner – if you’re too timid you won’t compress the springs enough to push through the sloppy, slightly woolly initial phase of travel.

    Driving the SVR quickly is a bit like learning to parallel turn on skis – you can try to build up to it all you like, but there comes a point where you have to take a small leap of faith and really commit to the turn with confidence. The trouble, though, is that the massive straight-line performance, aloof yet hyper-responsive steering, exaggerated body movements and the fact that it fidgets over the road surface mean the SVR is not a car that inspires confidence right away. That comes with time – perhaps more time, we’d suggest, than the typical driver will be able to tolerate that infernal soundtrack.

    Dan Prosser
    ‘The SVR is rather busy across a typical country road. You had better be holding on’

    + huge performance, rigid body, drama
    - Contrived soundtrack, unsettled handling on bumpy roads

    Specification
    Engine V8, 5000cc, supercharger
    CO2 269g/km
    Power 567bhp @ 6500rpm
    Torque 516lb ft @ 3500-5000rpm
    0-60mph 3.5sec (claimed)
    Top speed 195mph (claimed)
    Weight 1720kg (335bhp/ton)
    Price £115,485
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  • Dan Prosser created a new group

    Bentley Continental GT Second generation

    Bentley Continental GT Second generation 2011 - 2018
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  •   Andy Everett commented on this post about 3 years ago
    FIRST LOOK by DAN PROSSER / #Pagani-Huayra-Roadster / #Pagani-Huayra / #Pagani / #Mercedes-AMG-M158 / #2017 / #V12

    More power and less weight for Pagani’s new topless hypercar. Six years after launching the Huayra hypercar, Pagani has shown off the new Roadster at the Geneva motor show. The Pagani Huayra Roadster will launch with a substantial set of upgrades over the hardtop including a more powerful V12 engine and revised gearbox.

    Perhaps most surprisingly, however, the Roadster actually represents an 80kg weight saving over the coupe, achieved through the refinement of its #Carbo-Titanium tub and a significant 25 per cent weight reduction in the glorious suspension. As such the new Roadster should outperform its hardtop sibling whilst dramatically improving on its posing ability.

    Featuring an uprated version of the #Mercedes-AMG sourced M158 twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 engine, the Huayra Roadster produces 562kW and “over” 1000Nm. The turbochargers have been re-engineered to provide more immediate throttle response, while dry sump lubrication should keep the motor happy even under extreme lateral loads.

    Pagani has paired their upgraded engine to a new #X-Trac developed 7-speed automated manual gearbox, improving refinement and response, while still undercutting an equivalent dual-clutch gearbox in weight by as much as 40 percent. Pagani says that this is the ideal solution for the Roadster, especially as it was the will of Mr Pagani himself for the Roadster to undercut the coupe’s kerb weight.

    Featuring two different roof systems, the carbonfibre and glass hardtop is supplemented by a folding fabric soft roof, which can be stored in the car to ensure a passing rainstorm doesn’t soil the glorious interior. Speaking of which, Pagani has largely left the interior intact, although a notable change is the inclusion of a red starter button in place of the previous Huayra shaped keyhole, which incidentally made it look like a tiny Pagani had crashed into your dashboard.

    “The pursuit of beauty as a fundamental concept, an unbridled work of art, intelligence and open-air passion.” Horatio Pagani

    The Pagani Huayra Roadster is priced from 2.28 million (or around $3.2 million Australia dollars), but even if you have a spare few million lying around you are too late as all 100 Roadsters have already been sold. Customer deliveries are expected to kick off later this year.

    AT A GLANCE

    1 INTERIOR Compared to the coupe, only minimal changes were made to the customisable interior. If you can dream it up, and have the pocket depth to cover it, Pagani will oblige. Ostrich leather in any cover and diamondencrusting are available.

    2 ROOF The glass and carbon hardtop is supplemented by a fabric roof. Despite chopping off the lid, the Roadster is actually both lighter and more torsionally rigid than the Huayra coupe. In fact, it's 52 per cent more rigid than the Zonda Roadster.

    3 ENGINE #AMG builds the #M158 6.0-litre twin-tubrocharged #V12 to Pagani's specifications. For the Roadster, the mighty engine produces 562kW at 6200rpm and more than 1000Nm from just 2400rpm. New turbos mean sharper response times.
    • Gorgeous. It took a few years but the updates Pagani made to the front fascia along with the almost dragon looking engine cover and humps behind theGorgeous. It took a few years but the updates Pagani made to the front fascia along with the almost dragon looking engine cover and humps behind the seats makes such a huge difference. I wasn't crazy about the way the first gen Huayra looked after the outgoing Zonda had been so aggressive looking. Now, we're getting back into that angry Zonda look and I like it.  More ...
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  • Dan Prosser updated the cover photo for Pagani
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  • Dan Prosser created a new group

    Pagani

    Pagani Automobili S.p.A
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