Posts Tagged ‘mclaren p1’

The 83rd Geneva Motor Show opened on the 7th March to the general public and as is usual for this particular auto show in the calendar many manufacturers chose to use this event as the launch pad for their new models and design concepts.

This year was no exception and these for us were the cars (in alphabetical order) that stole the limelight or made a damn good attempt to impress The Car Spy:-

Alfa Romeo 4C – A prettyish looking two-seater that almost looks like a Lotus Evora from certain angles (which is not a bad thing). Unlike the beautiful 8C, Alfa are making noises about producing a lot more 4C’s after the first 400 ‘launch models’ sell through. Pricing is around £52000 in the UK which seems a little steep for a four-cylinder 1750cc powered sports car but it is an Alfa after all and we can’t wait to drive one.

Aston Martin Rapide S – AM seem determined to keep a four-door saloon in their product line-up and so some minor tweaks to the current model have resulted in the ‘S’ moniker being added. Whether you are a fan of the ‘family’ Aston or not it is still arguably one of the best-looking super-saloons you can buy today.

Bentley Flying Spur – The outgoing Flying Spur was often criticised for looking too bland and nondescript for a Bentley and so a re-design has been on the cards for some time. The more pronounced ‘coke-bottle’ design and Conti GT front-end lends the model some serious road presence now so that should help convert some new customers for the company especially as there will be a V8 option in the near future too. Just not too keen on those ellipsoid-shaped LED brake lights – they look at odds with the squarish treatment of the rear-end.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Roadster – There will probably never be another Stingray to compare with the original model from the 50’s and 60’s but at least today’s models are raw, loud and best of all handle well enough to compete with the best from Europe. When the latest ‘Vette coupe was announced the jury was out on the overall design of the car but only after a few weeks it is starting to look a bit tasty. The convertible version has actually managed to tone-down the looks of the coupe but can you imagine the glorious soundtrack as you go looking for tunnels?

Ferrari LaFerrari – The so-called Enzo replacement was always going to be epic in every sense but these days Ferrari has a lot more able competition that can do the business around a track. At this level manufacturers can only trade blows with numbers so until this car can be pitched against the P1, Huayra, Veyron, Gumpert, Koenigsegg etc etc it is anyone’s guess as to actually how good the car is from an engineering point of view. However, in the looks department it may have one first prize. Ferrari could have got this car horribly wrong but they did the opposite and got it dead right. What they may have got wrong though is the name – LaFerrari – really? Literally translated it means The Ferrari as in ‘the definitive Ferrari’. Just wished they had stuck with F150 or F70. Anyway they have sold the whole production run now so the name hasn’t put anybody off.

Honda NSX – This NSX replacement concept has been shown so many times over the last few years it is in danger of becoming an old model even before it has been launched. Come on Honda what are you waiting for? The looks great and you have finally got an interior for it. Stick it on sale for around £50k and you have a winner on your hands!

Gloria by Alfa Romeo – Apart from the truly daft name (at least to a Brit’s ears) the car looks a beauty. The leather fake bonnet straps are the only blot on an otherwise very attractive proposition for a new Alfa saloon. Here’s a prediction – they won’t make it – sadly.

KIA Provo – The South Korean manufacturers are making serious headway in the European market with their bread-and-butter cars but this design concept shows that they also have the potential to cut the mustard with a radical attitude to car design. Make this car KIA and you might just start tempting a few of the badge snobs out there.

Lamborghini Veneno – First of all you can’t have one because they have sold all three especially made for people with truly deep pockets. Secondly, why would you want one anyway? Lambo has gone so totally over the top with this car they have ruined it. The car is a hotchpotch of curves, angles, wings, air dams, air scoops and spoilers that it is impossible to see the car underneath! Please don’t make another guys – the Aventador and Sesto Elemento are your best efforts to date and they look seriously cool – sorry, the Veneno is not.

McLaren P1 – All of the pre-launch hype surrounding the P1 unfortunately turned the official public launch of the car into a bit of an anti-climax. That does not mean the P1 is a bad car of course but you can blame McLaren’s over-enthusiastic PR and marketing bods for turning the launch into a bit of a damp squib at the end. Again the P1 is about to rub shoulders with a bunch of cars for which it all about the numbers. McLaren claim it is not about straight-line speed but how you deal with the curvy bits of road and track. We shall certainly find out over the coming weeks and months – looking forward to that very much.

Nissan Resonance – Nissan are determined to make their mark on the automotive world with models like the lairy GTR, Juke and Nismo variants and now the Resonance (which is tipped to be the new Murano) shows that the in-house designers are ready to let their hair down and push some boundaries to make us all sit up and take notice. Just don’t change the concept too much guys!

Pininfarina Sergio – Pininfarina, the company, wanted to celebrate the life of their most-famous designer with a car that would provide a fitting tribute and called it – The Sergio. The car they came up with is bold, daring, svelte and mental all at the same time. Sergio must be smiling in heaven right now.

Rolls Royce Wraith – With the Wraith Rolls Royce has created its most powerful car to date. It might look like a Ghost Coupé but the company has sprinkled a little bit of technology star dust to make their new car a tad special. Any car that can obey a command like ‘get me home’ or ‘take me to the casino in Monaco’ and then automatically set itself up for the journey has to be cool.

Spyker B6 Venator – Spyker is a survivor. The company has risen from the grave more times than a vampire. Bullish leadership and extra cash in the bank means that we can expect even more zany designs from a company that dares to be different. We wish them the best of luck – they deserve it!

Toyota i-Road – This is not a car it is a Personal Mobility Vehicle – they definitely got that bit right. Whether you would be seen driving one is another matter but you cannot help but admire the way Toyota has gone about creating what looks like a bike with four wheels. It looks like it would fall over when it is parked up but it won’t. All credit to a company that is looking for imaginative ways to get us mobile.

Volkswagen XL1 – This is possibly another car that you might not want to be seen piloting but it is very brave of VW to try to tempt us to rethink the way we look at getting around on four wheels. It might turn out to be a lemon for the company not because the XL1 has little appeal but it looks like it will cost over £100k – ouch!

Other credit-worthy mentions are the Giugiaro Parcour, Toyota FT-86 and the Touring Disco Volante. In the meantime, take a look at our gallery of show images below.

So many motor shows turn out to be an anti-climax. So much anticipation from the pre-show hype and then all you get is a headache from the bright lights, noise and bruises from other people’s elbows while trying to take a shot of the latest ‘new improved’ version of a car that should never have been launched in the first place.

Not so Paris this year. Being a lot more glamorous than Frankfurt (which swaps every other year with Paris) it is a very pleasant town to visit anyway so you could forgive it for running a rubbish motor show if that were the case. In 2012 however there were some real gems amongst the usual dross (that is if you like cars that are interesting and not just a means for popping down to Tesco).

If you lived on Mars you might have missed the fact that McLaren were to be unveiling their new P1 ‘hypercar’ at the show and if ever there was an opportunity to be underwhelmed it was going to be this one. However McLaren pulled it off by presenting a car that truly did make the audience gasp. Firstly it looked a little ungainly from certain angles then suddenly it looked beautiful. Either way it made you want to keep staring at it to find another quirky piece of the car’s design detail. This car will be talked about for some time yet.

If the P1 hadn’t stole the show this time around then the Onyx design concept from Peugeot would have made the headlines. Like most concepts there were too many impractical design elements including large swathes of copper (yes, copper) running down each flank of the car and a rear lighting arrangement that just couldn’t possibly work. But it was stunning. What a shame that there are some very talented designers working at Peugeot who won’t ever have a chance to see there creations signed off by the bean-counters at a corporate monolith that insists on producing some dreadful cars. Sorry Peugeot but you lost the plot years ago.

The F-Type Jaguar and 2013 Range Rover were part of a joint presentation by JLR and if initial reactions are anything to go by it seems that both cars will be bringing home the bacon big time for the company. The F-Type inspired a lot of ‘but it looks like a…’ comments but a walk around the car a few times tells you that it will stand out from the crowd. The back end of the car is particularly attractive which sounds like a back-handed compliment but it’s true.

Porsche showed off their Sport Turismo concept which is basically a Panamera shooting brake and a lot of sense it makes too. Best of all is that Porsche has somehow managed to create a handsome car out of its ugly-duckling saloon which is no mean feat. The car looks great from every angle now and the company should waste no time at all in getting this concept into production. He here is a better idea – delete the existing saloon and call this car the new Panamera!

So what else was new at the show? Bentley presented the GT3 version of the Continental GT and if there was a prize for the biggest rear wing spolier at the show this car won it no question. It was impossible to look at the car without the eyes being drawn to this huge appendage at the back in spite of the floor-scraping body-kit, big wheels and fancy paintwork. One thing is for sure if Bentley are serious about entering this car into major competitions then we can’t wait to see this thing tearing up the track and dwarfing the other contestants!

Biggest diappointment? That has to be Maserati’s insistence on launching a car they really don’t need in their range – the Levante. Thankfully the name ‘Kubang’ has been dropped but it’s a bit like sprinkling glitter on poo. It’s still poo. Maserati, please stick with cars like the beautiful GranCabrio MC which is what you are really good at.

Audi showed of their new S3, RS5 Cabriolet and a strange thing called a Crosslane Coupe concept which we assume was trying to prove their is a market for vehicles that people just don’t need – sorry guys, we don’t get it.

Rolls Royce went all ‘Art Deco’ and used the theme to show off a bespoke option for the Phantom Saloon, Coupe and Drophead. Why buy the standard car when for so much more money you can buy the same car but with arty bits of trim. Having said that the Drophead Phantom on the stand looked stuuning with an ice blue paint job with contrating ice white interior – just don’t let the kids get in the back with their chocolate ice-creams!

Mercedes seems to have found its mojo again if the proposed design for the new S-Class goes ahead. Really nice swoopy design that is far from conservative and will hopefully set the scene for their new models in the future. There was an electric version of the SLS which produces almost identical performance figures as the V8 petrol version but for nearly twice the price of that car. Erm, we’ll pass on that one.

Other cars worth stopping to have a peek at included the new MINI GP, Paceman and Countryman JCW. Note to BMW: please stop releasing new versions of the MINI it is starting to get a tad confusing. The 2013 Gallardo made an appearance and while the car is still gorgeous it is starting to look like it needs a major makeover and not just a tidy-up. We gather a totally new model is under way so can’t wait for that – hopefully it will be a mini-Aventador!

Of course we could tell you about the myriad of other ‘new’ cars from the likes of Kia, Toyota, Ford, Peugeot, Renault, Citroen etc etc but the chances are you will soon be deluged with TV adverts from the respective companies telling you how their cars have changed the world and how your life will be so much better with one of their products. No thanks.

In the meantime will Frankfurt 2013 be as good as Paris 2012? Can’t wait to find out!

Enjoy the slide show of Paris 2012……….

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So the car that has been codenamed ‘P12’ is to be officially released as the P1. It must have been the shortest marketing brain-storming session to name a car in living memory. Which is a good thing because the MP4-12C is a bit of a mouthful and ends up being shortened to MP4 or 12C anyway. So P1 it is and kind of pays homage to the F1 which was probably the best badge to stick on just about any supercar never mind a Mclaren.

McLaren has been promising us something special with its new hypercar and the pre-launch blurb has gone to great lengths to make sure we should expect to be blown away. Having seen the first official images today they may well have pulled it off.

There are only three images available so far so it would be unfair on the car to make any subjective comment on how it looks and it is one of those shapes that will undoubtedly look better in 3D using your own eyeballs. Nonetheless the shape does look mental and wouldn’t look out of place on the set of Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’. In fact it would probably be the car that the creature would choose to drive off in.

The P1 almost seems to have an organic form – particularly at the rear end assuming that this is the version that will make into production at the end of this year. It looks quite animal-like in a curvy, muscular way and is the antithesis of Lamborghini’s sharp, linear, stealth forms. The P1 is likely to draw gasps but for different reasons to an Aventador.

Not much has been revealed about the powertrain and chassis but McLaren is making it clear that this car is not designed to break world speed records a la Veyron but it will outrun anything this side of a Formula One car around a track. In the real world that counts for a lot more than sheer straight-line speed.

A figure of 850 plus BHP has been quoted in the press today but the company is staying tight-lipped at the moment and we are unlikely to hear any more detail until the official unveiling on Thursday 27th September at the Paris Motor Show. Can’t wait!

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