Most tenth-birthday parties involve cakes and party hats, and possibly a clown, but when you’re a supercar importer you celebrate by rolling out some exotic multi-million buck hardware.
At a party held at its Sandton premises last week, the Daytona Group – South Africa’s official Aston Martin, McLaren and Rolls-Royce importer – hauled out the big guns to celebrate its decade in the business. Star of the show was the McLaren P1, a R15-million mid-engined supercar that, as successor to the legendary McLaren F1 road car, is billed as the quickest and most technologically advanced car ever to hail from the UK.
Being a child of the eco age, the supercar is powered by a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain but makes no compromises on the performance front. Its mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 is mated to an electric motor to give the car astonishing outputs of 674kW and 900Nm – which should shunt it from 0-100km/h in less than three seconds and on to a top speed of 350km/h.
In case you were about to rush to Daytona’s showroom to buy one, we have to burst your bubble by announcing that all 375 units that will ever be built have already been sold – including two to South African buyers. The P1 shown at the birthday celebration was a demonstration unit doing a whistle-stop tour around the world in a “you-can-look-but-you-can’t-buy” teaser campaign.
However, also making their South African debuts at the Daytona party were a pair of Aston Martins – the Vanquish Volante and the V12 Vantage S – and a Rolls-Royce Wraith, and for these the order books are wide open.
The Volante is the topless version of the Vanquish grand tourer while the Vantage S is the flagship model of Aston’s sportiest range, and they’re the latest models from a British brand which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary. Both will get you from A to B very briskly by means of a 421kW/610Nm 5.9-litre V12 engine.
The Rolls-Royce Wraith is now available to order in SA at around R8-million (depending on options fitted) following its world debut at this year’s Geneva motor show in March.
Dubbed the “ultimate gentleman’s gran turismo”, it comes with the brand’s traditional luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but is infused with a more extrovert and athletic personality with its very un-Rolls-Royce-like fastback design.
The car flexes V12 muscles in the form of a 6.6-litre twin turbo wielding 465kW and 800Nm married to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which powers this mega-roller from rest to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds. -Star Motoring