Saturday, December 25, 2010

Remembering Time Part 2

Welcome back, this time we’ll review the automotive in this last decade. The technology advancement introduces many breakthroughs in designs and car productions. The processing power of computers have been faster and faster ever since, carbon-fibre and lightweight materials are widely used, and new segments are created.

Hypercars is born, the fighting between mighty car manufacturer and the small or private-backyard team never been so this close, man like Horacio Pagani created the Zonda in the late 99’ rocketed the company to became a major player in hypercar stratosphere joined established names such as Porsche and Ferrari. The supercar segments however is a vital segments for every sports cars manufacturer, success in the road and racing could bring millions to their bank accounts. The peak of supercars battles could be seen in fierce GT3 class in FIA GT or LeMans, with machines like Ferrari 430, Jaguar XKR, Porsche 911 GT3, Ascari KZ1R, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3, Aston Martin V8, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, and also tuners like Alpina challenge each other for superiority because with every wins their road car sells. With the increasing popularity in the segments, many road equivalent machines are prepared by factory backed teams such as BMW with their Z4 GT3, Audi R8 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Newer machines are introduces each seasons to stay on top of their game, introducing technology that can be brag and became major sales points, even though publics aren’t aware of it.

Somehow supercars segments are join with car with no intentions to join the racing scene but packed with punches that can even severed the big car makers ego. Car like Spyker C8, Morgan Aero, TVR Sagaris, Bentley Continental GT, Noble M600 and etc. The cars in this segments always want to top each other in terms of performance, build quality and radical designs. Later in the decades, we’ll see the introductions of McLaren new toys the MP4-12C pitch against Ferrari new track weapon the 458 Italia, and yes we will see them racing too. The builds of the machines in this segments are constantly mindblowing, the excessive use of carbon-fibre, the perfectly calculated electronics, lightweight materials are showing in places where it’s not supposed to appeared, and not to mention the countless times the R&D team spends in wind tunnel, all in the names of performances! Then the pilgrimage of the developed concepts to the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, to perfectly set-up the machines for the road use and track day, because the circuit similarity in terms of road surfaces they use it as a test bed in calibrating suspensions set-up and transmission ratios.

Meanwhile the races to the horizon isn’t over yet, I assume the only limitation for the car to going any faster is the one behind the steering wheel, the human being. The decade saw cars with extreme innovations unveiled, the very extent of car makers prides and the masterpiece with all the resources that the world can offer. The hypercar itself is the reincarnation of man absurd chase of madness revolutions in the 90’s that we can see in those years supercars. This decade (2000-2011) introduced us The Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari Enzo, the absurd Lamborghini Reventon, Ford GT, Pagani Zonda F, Aston Martin One-77, Mercedes-Benz SLR AMG, the Zenvo ST1, the mindboggling Hennessey Venom GT, the ambitious SSC Ultimate Aero, Maserati MC12, the monumental Bugatti Veyron, Saleen S7, the epic Koenigsegg CCX (soon will be replaced with Agera), Gumpert Apollo, Mosler GTR, and soon to be unveiled the mad TranStar Dagger GT.

The craftsmanship and the build of the hypercars is performance oriented, whether the purpose is to achieve highest top speed or to be the king of the street. To be road legal is the challenge for the makers, because some hypercars are made from a defunct race projects, and some needed to appear it can accommodate normal people, some only includes an air-conditioner and some airbags and some top of the bin luxuries. But the price tag and the rarity is the obvious thing that can put the car status to hypercars, as it can only be owned with people who have deep pockets and have to be “someone”. Some Hypercar can’t make into full scale production such as Cadillac CIEN, Chrysler ME 4-12, GM EcoJet, and few merely a concept. The economic meltdown in 2001 put every major manufacturer on guard, many potential sketches and concept just sitting in the dust.

These were the times when public really cared for environment, the huge power hungers and thirst for petrols apperently contribute to the global warming. Some car makers are moving toward greener approaches and performances of their machines aren’t measure in BHP or km/h instead Co/g and mpg. Will this be the end of the wars for supreme hypercars? No, I don’t think so… people strive to better themselves and of course we will see in future fast cars with no internal combustions engines and with renewable energy, will it be exciting? It depends, some of us like the sound of the engines and exhausts, selecting speed through gears, and the smell of unburned fuel. It’s a life cycle, old things were replace with better one no doubt about it, it just the way it is. When we look back and remembering times, we’ll saw the world were fascinated with these beautiful or hardcore machines, an artifacts of the past power wars, speed wars, and stuff that made them legends. It will never be the same…..

prepared by: ALIen


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