Geneva Motor Show - These are the stars of Palexpo, the cars that make shutters click, flashguns pop, little boys of all ages fantasise and sexy girls weak at the knees. They cost a small (or in some cases, medium-sized) fortune and most offer a level of performance that is usable only on a closed circuit, and not always then.
These automotive porn stars, each and every one cooler than a polar bear's paws, are our pick of this year's Geneva Motor Show, in no particular order, to fuel our fantasies just for a moment, before we go back to the real world of family hatchbacks and compact SUV's.
Bugatti Chiron Sport
The Sport’s engine is unchanged from standard Chiron (four turbos, eight litres, 16 cylinders, 1103 kilowatts and 1600Nm are insane enough, thank you very much) as is the estimated top speed of 463km/h, but the rear differential has been upgraded, the steering is quicker and the adaptive suspension damping is 10 percent stiffer all round.
The Sport is also 18 kilograms lighter, mostly due to new lightweight wheels (the best possible place to shave weight off a car), thinner glass in the rear window, a new, lighter exhaust deflector and increased use of carbon-fibre componentry.
Yours for €2.65 million (R38.58 million) ex works. More here.
Croatian boutique carmaker Rimac Automobili’s second-generation pure electric supercar has nearly double the output of the C_One at 1417kW and 2300Nm from four electric motors (one at each wheel, each with its own gearbox) and a 120kWh lithium/manganese/nickel battery pack, controlled by a computer with processing power equivalent to 11 Macbook Pros.
Since electric motors deliver peak torque at zero revs, that’s good enough for 0-100km/h in two seconds flat and a terminal velocity of 415km/h. Best of all, this is not a concept; Rimac will build up to 150 examples to order.
Price? The C_Two will be “more powerful, more luxurious and more expensive” than the million-dollar (R12 million) C_One.
The latest iteration of the Great Dane of supercars - a street version of the track-only TSR - has a 5.8-litre flat-plane petrol V8 with dual superchargers rated at 878kW and more than 1100Nm, good for 0-100 in 2.8 seconds and and electronically limited 323km/h flat out, driving via a seven speed constant-mesh gearbox that can switch between conventional paddle-shift and brutally direct sequential racing shifts.
A centripetal wing that’s self-adjusting in two planes (an industry first, say the Danes) gives it three times the downforce of the road-going TSR GT - but note that this is a pure performance car, trimmed almost entirely in carbon-fibre, with no sound system, navigation system, air conditioning or airbags.
Zenvo plans to build five a year and, if you have to ask… More here.
Techrules Ren RS
With two electric motors on the front axle and four on the rear, powered by two 79kW diesel-fuelled gas turbines, each coupled to a generator, and a 28.4-kWh high-density lithium-ion battery pack, it delivers a claimed total of 973kW and 2345Nm (yes, two thousand, three hundred and forty-five Newton metres) for a 0-100km/h sprint in three seconds and 328km/h flat out.
Techrules is taking orders for the RS, to be delivered within two years to “an exclusive band of customers”. They’ll be told what it costs: you and I won’t.
Italdesign Zerouno Duerta
The second inhouse supercar from Italdesign - now wholly owned by Audi - is a targa-top version of 2017’s inaugural Zeroune berlinetta, with a removable carbon-fibre roof for sunny days (Duerta means ‘open’ in the Piedmontese dialect).
Built on the Lamborghini Huracan platform with the same 455kW 5.2-litre V10 and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but with unique handmade carbon-fibre coachwork and bespoke interior trim, it’s good for 0-100km/h in less than three seconds and 310km/h flat out.
Italdesign plans to build just five, at a reported €2 million (R29.5 million) each, two of which are already spoken for.
Zagato IsoRivolta Vision Gran Turismo
This over-the-top supercar looks like a refugee from a video game - because it is. Conceived by Zagato for Sony PlayStation’s Gran Turismo Sport with dramatically sweeping bodywork and huge wheel wells, it has been recreated for the real world with Corvette V8 power and darkened glass all round.
Five bidders with more cash than taste - the opening ante is at least €1.5 million (R22 million) - will get the chance to give entirely new meaning to the term ‘virtual reality’.
McLaren Senna GTR
The track-only, non street legal version of the Senna supercar extracts an extra 20kW (up from 580 to at least 600) from its four-litre biturbo V8, and as much as a ton (1000kg) of downforce from its aero-kitted carbon-fibre body.
All 500 planned examples of the McLaren Senna have already been sold; Woking is now taking “expressions of interest" for up to a maximum of 75 GTR’s, with prices starting at £1 million (R16.5 million) each. More here.
Ferrari 488 Pista
It’s nominally street-legal, but the name says it all - the 488 Pista is intended for track days, its 3.9-litre twin turbo flat-plane V8 upgraded with parts from the 488 GT3 programme from 492kW and 760Nm to 530kW and 770Nm, while shedding 90kg in weight, for 0-100km/h in 2.85 seconds and 340km/h flat out.
A whole new front end with the sexiest jawline this side of Kate Moss and an integrated rear spoiler/wing give it 20 percent more downforce than the GTB, and an inconel sports exhaust gives it eight more decibels. Yes please.
Base price in Italy is €296 000 (R4.37 million) ex works. More here.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Whoever said “Old school is cool” was talking about this car. A naturally aspirated four-litre flat six sends 383kW (15kW more than the engine it replaces) at a screaming 9000rpm to the rear wheels only, via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, for 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds and 312km/h on the autobahn.
A massive fixed rear wing helps prevent it from swopping ends when you back off the loud pedal and a racing package including a roll cage, six-point safety harness and fire extinguisher is a no-cost option.
Available in Germany from April, with prices starting at €195 137 (R2.88 million). More here.
Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder
In this company the topless version of Lamborghini’s hopped-up Huracan seems almost ordinary and, at €220 000 (R3.63 million) ex works, relatively affordable.
It weighs in at 1510 kg, 35 kilograms less than the previous all-wheel drive Spyder, and only 125kg more than the Performante coupé, and its 5.2-litre V10 is tuned to Performante spec - 470kW and 600Nm - good enough for 0-100km/h in 3.1 seconds (two tenths slower than the coupé) and the same 323km/h top speed.
As we said, almost ordinary. Almost.