Monday, April 20, 2009

Current and Concepts

Mclaren P11 Supercar

One of the world’s best Formula One teams is set to unveil its latest creation: an environmentally friendly supercar. McLaren says the P11, which will feature a regenerative breaking system and v8 diesel-powered engine with a scorching top speed of over 200mph, will be the greenest vehicle in its class. But we can’t help but wonder, will it really live up to the eco hype?

McLaren is pitting its P11 against the likes of the Ferrari F430 Scuderia and the Porsche GT2. The ultra lightweight supercar is expected to accelerate from 0-60mph in less than four seconds, and come equipped with increased safety equipment. Now, these are all big claims, but is it truly accurate to call this vehicle ‘green’? Sure, the P11 may seem that way when compared to its supercar competitors. But when you consider its price tag—150,000 pounds, or roughly $218,000—and the other cars available on the market right now (the Tesla Roadster, for instance), one does have to wonder whether the P11 is the best McLaren could come up with.

Bertone Mantide Supercar

If Darth Vader drove a supercar, the Bertone Mantide would surely be it! This shocking one-off is the creation of Italian design house Bertone, who stunned the Chinese crowds when it threw off the covers at the Shanghai Show this week.

Peel back the slashed and vented carbon-fibre bodywork and you’ll find a Corvette ZR1 underneath. But the Origami-inspired panels aren’t just to draw attention – its designers claim the new shape reduces air resistance and produces more downforce at high speed.

Sensibly, Bertone has left the ZR1’s incredible engine well alone - it’s still a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 producing 631bhp. But thanks to the extensive use of super light carbon-fibre in the bodyshell, performance has increased. The mantide’s 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds shades two tenths off the standard Corvette, while the top speed climbs by 12mph to 217mph.

Although there’s no word on price, this unique vehicle will be available to buy, and Bertone has confirmed that replicas can be produced if demand is sufficiently high.

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