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Revealed: the true cost of owning a supercar

Revealed: the true cost of owning a supercar

Revealed: the true cost of owning a supercar

Ever wondered how much supercar owners fork out on repairs? Wonder no more: an aftermarket warranty company has revealed its biggest ever payouts – with a whopping £15,000 forked out for engine work on a Lamborghini Murcielago.

WarrantyWise also had claims for more than £10,000 on engine repairs for a Porsche 911 and a Maserati 4200, while a Nissan GT-R gearbox replacement set the company back £9,500.

Plugging the firm’s warranty cover, which starts at £19 a month, CEO Lawrence Whittaker said: “When you lay out all the repair payouts WarrantyWise makes, you can see why so many of our customers swear by our service – especially on an exotic car where the bills are rarely cheap.

“But the fact that we also have the likes of Renault and Volkswagen in our largest ever payouts just goes to show that all cars have the potential to go very badly wrong – and the resulting repair bill can be large enough to really disrupt your life.”

Supercars in need of relatively minor work can easily run up bills of thousands of pounds – with replacement wheel bearings on a Ferrari 355 costing nearly £2,000, while an air-con fix on a Maserati GranTurismo resulted in a £1,885 payout.

It’s not just exotics that attract big bills, though. The company says it paid out more than £5,000 each for both the Renault Grand Espace and Volkswagen Passat.

WarrantyWise’s top 10 most expensive repairs

MakeModelIssueAmount Paid
LamborghiniMurcielagoEngine (Major Mechanical)£15,000
Porsche911Engine (Major Mechanical)£10,051.63
Maserati4200Engine (Major Mechanical)£10,000
Ferrari550Electrical (major)£9996.52
NissanGT-RReplace Gearbox£9,500
NissanGT-RGearbox (selector)£9,500
Aston MartinVanquishGearbox Auto£8,057.56
Aston MartinDB9Gearbox (auto)£7315.45
LamborghiniGallardoF1 Actuator£6437.27
Ferrari575Gearbox (selector)£6161.21
Aston Martin No. 8 Dover St

‘Aston Martin World’ opens in London

Aston Martin No. 8 Dover StAston Martin has opened its first ‘brand experience centre’ in London’s posh Mayfair, which will showcase how the famous car company is becoming a luxury brand in its own right.

The site at no.8 Dover Street will showcase Aston Martin cars, but plenty more besides; it’s a curation of Aston Martin experiences, brand collaborations plus other luxury products that “embody the Aston Martin spirit”.

Indeed, it’s being called “the ultimate Aston Martin destination”.

Designed by chief creative officer Marek Reichman’s team, the new shop is to show off the ‘Art of Living by Aston Martin’ concept and will feature products from brand partners such as:

  • Hackett London (clothes)
  • Marma London (spectacles)
  • Quintessence Yachts
  • Emilia Burano (linen)
  • Silver Cross (pushchairs)
  • FPM

It will also host art exhibitions, design masterclasses, dinner experiences and other suitably luxurious events. It will be open to the public seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm in the week or 11am to 5pm at weekends.

“Dover Street mixes art, culture, shopping, luxury and elegance,” explained Reichman.

“We are surrounded by art, design and beauty and want to feature the ideas that inspire us and share them with a wider audience.

“No. 8 Dover Street is a place where existing customers, admirers of the brand and people new to the marque can understand our design philosophies and experience the spirit of Aston Martin.”

Why has Aston Martin opened No. 8 Dover St?

Aston Martin No. 8 Dover St

There will often be a car at No. 8 Dover St, but not always, says Aston Martin. It’s not a car dealer and will not actually be selling cars. Instead, it’s packed with things that showcase luxury lifestyle items that may be of interest to Aston Martin customers.

The objective is to offer an Aston Martin brand experience in a convenient location to target customers – the sort of people who may visit the Victoria Beckham shop up the road.

Aston wants to be considered alongside other luxury brands; as such, it felt it had to be represented alongside their Mayfair boutiques.

It’s a different approach to other luxury brands, who are expanding away from regular car dealers by opening outlets in the Westfield shopping centre. “We’re not interested in that,” said Reichman. “We’d rather chase the height of luxury in Mayfair.”

There is, however, a ‘Q by Aston Martin’ customisation area where bespoke Aston Martins can be specced. The AM37 speedboat can also be customised there.

“Marek and Andy can also drop down if a customer wants to meet here and chat about, say, an AM-RB 001, but can’t make it to Gaydon,” said a spokesman.

Aston Martin No. 8 Dover St

'Aston Martin World' opens in London

Aston Martin No. 8 Dover StAston Martin has opened its first ‘brand experience centre’ in London’s posh Mayfair, which will showcase how the famous car company is becoming a luxury brand in its own right.

The site at no.8 Dover Street will showcase Aston Martin cars, but plenty more besides; it’s a curation of Aston Martin experiences, brand collaborations plus other luxury products that “embody the Aston Martin spirit”.

Indeed, it’s being called “the ultimate Aston Martin destination”.

Designed by chief creative officer Marek Reichman’s team, the new shop is to show off the ‘Art of Living by Aston Martin’ concept and will feature products from brand partners such as:

  • Hackett London (clothes)
  • Marma London (spectacles)
  • Quintessence Yachts
  • Emilia Burano (linen)
  • Silver Cross (pushchairs)
  • FPM

It will also host art exhibitions, design masterclasses, dinner experiences and other suitably luxurious events. It will be open to the public seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm in the week or 11am to 5pm at weekends.

“Dover Street mixes art, culture, shopping, luxury and elegance,” explained Reichman.

“We are surrounded by art, design and beauty and want to feature the ideas that inspire us and share them with a wider audience.

“No. 8 Dover Street is a place where existing customers, admirers of the brand and people new to the marque can understand our design philosophies and experience the spirit of Aston Martin.”

Why has Aston Martin opened No. 8 Dover St?

Aston Martin No. 8 Dover St

There will often be a car at No. 8 Dover St, but not always, says Aston Martin. It’s not a car dealer and will not actually be selling cars. Instead, it’s packed with things that showcase luxury lifestyle items that may be of interest to Aston Martin customers.

The objective is to offer an Aston Martin brand experience in a convenient location to target customers – the sort of people who may visit the Victoria Beckham shop up the road.

Aston wants to be considered alongside other luxury brands; as such, it felt it had to be represented alongside their Mayfair boutiques.

It’s a different approach to other luxury brands, who are expanding away from regular car dealers by opening outlets in the Westfield shopping centre. “We’re not interested in that,” said Reichman. “We’d rather chase the height of luxury in Mayfair.”

There is, however, a ‘Q by Aston Martin’ customisation area where bespoke Aston Martins can be specced. The AM37 speedboat can also be customised there.

“Marek and Andy can also drop down if a customer wants to meet here and chat about, say, an AM-RB 001, but can’t make it to Gaydon,” said a spokesman.

Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 previewSalon Privé is billed as ‘the UK’s most exclusive automotive garden party, as well as one of the most glamorous social occasions on the calendar’. Set in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, this is a distinctly well-dressed car show. So grab a glass of champers and wipe the lobster thermidor from your chin as we take you through what you can expect.

‘See it, test it, drive it’Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

The big news for 2016 is the introduction of an all-new ‘see it, test it, drive it’ programme. It allows guests to get behind the wheel of some of the world’s most luxurious and prestigious cars, including Abarth, Bentley, BMW, Lamborghini, Lexus, Morgan, Overfinch and Tesla.

Test drives and passenger ridesSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Alongside the Lamborghini Huracan, Tesla Model S, BMW i8 and Abarth 124 Spider will be the new Bentley Bentayga. In standard ‘if your name’s not down…’ style, test drives are open to those who have bought a hospitality ticket, something that will cost in the region of £300. Bentley will be hoping to add ‘buy it’ to ‘see it, test it, drive it’.

Best concours show field ever?Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Of course, the main focus of Salon Privé is the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elegance, with the event organisers claiming it could be ‘its best concours show field ever’. A standout entry is a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico. This car was shown on the Pininfarina stand at the 1962 Turin Auto Show.

Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe AerodinamicoSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Later in 1962 it was sold to American racing driver Erwin Goldschmidt, who added a leather bolster between the front seats for his children, along with a grab handle for his wife. Other Ferraris on show at Salon Privé include a 250 Europa Short Chassis Prototype, 250 GT Series II Pininfarina Cabriolet, 275 GTB/4 and a 365 GTB/4.

Maserati A6 GCS BerlinettaSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

This 1954 Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta is the third of just four cars built and the only one remaining in authentic, original condition. This very car was exhibited at the 1954 Paris Motor Show and competed in the Mille Miglia in 1955. To add to its provenance, it was awarded Best of Show at the 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza, Villa D’Este.

BMW 507Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Elvis Presley famously owned a BMW 507 while on military service in Germany and that very car – fresh from restoration – was on display at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Meanwhile, at Salon Privé, BMW UK will be displaying a 507 of its own, which was also treated to a full restoration.

Concours d’EleganceSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

The Concours d’Elegance is split into a number of classes, including ‘European Grand Tourers’, ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘80s Dream Machines’ and ‘The Great V12 Ferraris’. Eighteen of the world’s foremost automotive professionals will be judging the entries, headed by chief judge and five-time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell.

50 Years of the Lamborghini MiuraSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Salon Privé will also celebrate 50 years of the Lamborghini Miura with a special class in the Concours d’Elegance. On display will be the original Miura SV shown at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, along with two other Miuras. The event organisers will be advising drivers to avoid tunnels, whilst giving bulldozers a wide berth.

Lamborghini Centenario CoupeSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

The Lamborghini Centenario Coupe will make its UK public debut at Salon Privé. Built to mark what would have been Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday, only 20 examples will be built, along with 20 roadster versions. The Centenario features the most powerful V12 engine in the firm’s history and can sprint to 62mph in just 2.8 seconds.

Bristol BulletSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Another car making its UK public debut is the new Bristol Bullet. The V8-engined roadster marks 70 years since the birth of Bristol Cars in 1947 and only 70 will be made. The 375hp Bullet weighs just 1,250kg and has a top speed of 155mph. Expect to part with around £250,000 if you fancy getting your hands on a Bristol.

Morgan 1909 Edition EV3Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

The Morgan 1909 Edition EV3 will make its global debut at Salon Prive. Just 19 of these bespoke electric three-wheelers will be available, each one fitted with a bespoke driving kit from Alexander McQueen, Dents and Belstaff. Launched in conjunction with Selfridges, the name signifies the birth years of both brands.

Pirelli Prestige and Performance CompetitionSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

The Pirelli Prestige and Performance Competition features 80 different models from 25 automotive brands. Acting as a centrepiece to the Supercar Show on Saturday 3rd September, the event is a modern-day twist on a Concours d’Elegance, with a range of different classes. These include ‘The Best of Group B Rallying’, ‘To the Track and Back’ and ‘How Fast is Fast Enough?’.

Tribute to the Lamborghini DiabloSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Ten of Sant’Agata’s finest vehicles will line up in the Tribute to the Lamborghini Diablo, including a 6.0 VT Final Edition, limited edition SE30 and the chassis number 001 SVR.

The Best of Group B RallyingSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Lining up in ‘The Best of Group B Rallying’ class will be two Lancia 037s, two Ferrari 308 GTBs, an Audi Sport Quattro and an MG Metro 6R4. Meanwhile, in the ‘Rival Supercars from the 80 and 90s’ class, you can expect to find the likes of the McLaren F1, Jaguar XJ220, Lamborghini Countach and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Combined ticket availableSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Judges include Quentin Willson, automotive designer Matthew Humphries, journalist Steve Cropley and Pirelli’s Matteo Barbieri. Visitors wishing to take in the Pirelli Prestige and Performance Competition and the full range of supercars, hypercars and classic cars within Salon Privé can buy a special combined ticket for £114. This allows guests access to Salon Prive from 14.30 onwards.

Koenigsegg Agera RSSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

A rather special Koenigsegg Agera RS will make an appearance at Salon Prive. Not only is it the first European car, it also features a host of modifications, including a carbonfibre tub chassis painted in the same finish as the exterior. You’ll also find blue Alcantara and gold highlights in the cabin. Alongside the Agera RS (pictured here at the Geneva Motor Show), you can expect to see the last ever Agera R and a One:1.

Citroen D Super 5Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

Not to be confused with a Citroen DS, the D Super was actually a rebadged version of the lower-spec ID and was introduced in 1970. This 1973 Super 5 is one of the star lots at the Silverstone Auctions Salon Privé Sale and is expected to fetch between £75,000 and £90,000.

Other highlightsSalon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

If that’s not enough, Tesla will showcase its Model X in P100D guise, while JLR will be exhibiting SVR versions of the Range Rover Sport and Jaguar F-Type. But in truth, the main attraction is the Concours d’Elegance, where you’ll find anything from a Ferrari F40 to a BSA Gold Star, or a Bentley Streamliner to a Porsche 911 2.7 RS Touring.

Tickets still available…Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance 2016 preview

At the time of writing, tickets are still available online. Thursday is the Concours d’Elegance judging day, Friday is Ladies’ Day, while Saturday is Supercar Show Day. Guests are advised to ‘dress smartly’, with ladies asked to wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator ‘if you want to be considered for a prize’ on Ladies’ Day. Remember, the event kicks off on 1st September 2016.

Teenage owner of seized gold Maserati: 'I'll use my Roller instead'

Teenage owner of seized gold Maserati: "I'll use my Roller instead"

Teenage owner of seized gold Maserati: 'I'll use my Roller instead'

The billionaire teenage owner of a gold Maserati GranCabrio that was seized by police earlier this month for not being insured has said it wasn’t a big deal – as he just drove his Rolls-Royce instead.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, 19-year-old Hamza Sheikh bragged that he’d just have to fit L-plates to his Rolls-Royce.

He said: “I was informed by my staff that the police were watching my car for more than an hour. I have security with me wherever I go and I’m very happy that I’ve got my car back, but I was not without a car — I drove my Rolls-Royce with my security.

“I am the golden child of my family, that’s why my car is gold. I was just coming from completing my theory test when I was stopped.”

A Pakastani immigrant, Sheikh has earned his money working as a property developer while studying as business management student at Regent’s University.

He blames the insurance issue on an admin error, saying his ‘busy lifestyle’ meant he missed a letter from the insurance company – leaving the gold Maserati GranCabrio uninsured.

Sheikh has since handed over a release fee to recover his Maserati from the police compound, but is yet to go to court – where he could be hit with a fine of at least £300 and points on his provisional driving licence.

He also has a Range Rover in his garage and is waiting for his new gold Lamborghini to be delivered.

Driving gold supercars around Central London with L-plates, the teenager is no stranger to controversy.

He added: “I am a billionaire and when learning to drive in my Maserati I get a lot of jealousy, but if I have the money why not? Everything I have is because of my mother’s prayers and Allah.

“Jealousy is a mental cancer, please get treated.”

Teenage owner of seized gold Maserati: 'I'll use my Roller instead'

Teenage owner of seized gold Maserati: “I’ll use my Roller instead”

Teenage owner of seized gold Maserati: 'I'll use my Roller instead'

The billionaire teenage owner of a gold Maserati GranCabrio that was seized by police earlier this month for not being insured has said it wasn’t a big deal – as he just drove his Rolls-Royce instead.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, 19-year-old Hamza Sheikh bragged that he’d just have to fit L-plates to his Rolls-Royce.

He said: “I was informed by my staff that the police were watching my car for more than an hour. I have security with me wherever I go and I’m very happy that I’ve got my car back, but I was not without a car — I drove my Rolls-Royce with my security.

“I am the golden child of my family, that’s why my car is gold. I was just coming from completing my theory test when I was stopped.”

A Pakastani immigrant, Sheikh has earned his money working as a property developer while studying as business management student at Regent’s University.

He blames the insurance issue on an admin error, saying his ‘busy lifestyle’ meant he missed a letter from the insurance company – leaving the gold Maserati GranCabrio uninsured.

Sheikh has since handed over a release fee to recover his Maserati from the police compound, but is yet to go to court – where he could be hit with a fine of at least £300 and points on his provisional driving licence.

He also has a Range Rover in his garage and is waiting for his new gold Lamborghini to be delivered.

Driving gold supercars around Central London with L-plates, the teenager is no stranger to controversy.

He added: “I am a billionaire and when learning to drive in my Maserati I get a lot of jealousy, but if I have the money why not? Everything I have is because of my mother’s prayers and Allah.

“Jealousy is a mental cancer, please get treated.”

2016’s fastest accelerating production cars

2016’s fastest accelerating production cars

2016’s fastest accelerating production cars

Tesla has launched what it’s describing as ‘the fastest volume production car in the world’ – the Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds. That’s extraordinarily quick for a family saloon (especially with eco credentials). But how does it stack up against the fastest accelerating cars, full stop..?

For the sake of this feature, we’ll enforce a rule that a car has to be capable of a sub-3.5 seconds 0-62mph time to qualify for inclusion. So, that’s supercars such as the Mercedes-AMG GT S and Aston Martin DB11 eliminated already. We’re taking no prisoners. And, for simplicity’s sake (and to prevent 911 overload), we’ve taken the fastest version of each model.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso – 3.4 seconds

Launched at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Ferrari FF replacement that is the GTC4Lusso boasts a 3.4 second 0-62mph time and a staggering 208mph top speed. That’s in a car capable of carrying four people and gadgets including a new 10-inch infotainment screen.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – 3.4 seconds

While there are more finessed supercars featured here, the Corvette Z06 is one of the cheapest – costing around £90,000. The American brute is stonkingly quick compared to its closest rivals, hitting 62mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 186mph.

Audi R8 Plus – 3.2 seconds

Audi R8 Plus - 3.2 seconds

Audi knows how to produce a quick car – its Audi RS6 Performance estate almost qualifies for inclusion here, hitting 62mph in 3.7 seconds. The R8 supercar has been tempting 911 buyers for 10 years now, with the second-generation model arriving last year and covering the 0-62mph run in 3.5 seconds even in ‘base’ spec. In R8 Plus guise, with power from its V10 engine boosted to 610hp, it’ll 62mph in 3.2 seconds.

Lamborghini Huracan – 3.2 seconds

The Lamborghini Huracan shares a platform and engine with the Audi R8 – but to drive, it feels surprisingly different. The four-wheel-drive LP 610-4 matches the R8 Plus’s 3.2 seconds 0-62mph sprint.

McLaren 570S – 3.2 seconds

Until the watered-down 540C came along, the 570S was an entry-level McLaren. An entry-level McLaren with a revised version of the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the the McLaren 650S and P1. It hits 62mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 204mph.

Noble M600 – 3.0 seconds

Noble M600 - 3.0 seconds

Built in a shed in Leicestershire, the M600 uses a twin-turbocharged Volvo V8 to produce up to 659hp – a hefty amount of power for a lightweight sports car made of a mixture of stainless steel and carbonfibre. It’ll hit 62mph in 3.0 seconds flat.

Ferrari 488 – 3.0 seconds

The old naturally-aspirated Ferrari 458 wouldn’t have qualified for this feature in standard form, but its turbocharged successor hits 62mph in 3.0 seconds flat. Both the GTB coupe and soft-top Spider versions take the same amount of time to accelerate to 62mph, while top speed is in excess of 200mph.

McLaren 650S – 3.0 seconds

A carbonfibre tub combined with a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 makes for a Ferrari-baiting 0-62mph time in the McLaren 650S. Hitting 62mph takes 3.0 seconds in both the Spider and coupe variants. That’s 0.3 seconds quicker than its short-lived 12C predecessor.

Ferrari F12 TDF – 2.9 seconds

Ferrari F12 TDF - 2.9 seconds

While the regular Ferrari F12 Berlinetta doesn’t cut the mustard in performance terms (in our harsh sub-3.5 sec requirements, anyway), the track-ready F12 TDF hits 62mph in 2.9 seconds. That’s thanks to a 39hp power boost from its V12 engine (taking the total to 780hp), while 110kg has been shaved off the total weight. To help deploy such performance, an incredible 230kg of downforce is created using some trick aero.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – 2.9 seconds

The Porsche 911 Turbo S is arguably the 911 nobody needs. Lesser models (now turbocharged, too) offer easily plentiful performance for even the most enthusiastic of Autobahn drivers, but for bragging rights the Turbo S is the one to have. The latest incarnation hits 62mph in 2.9 seconds, a top speed of 205mph and has lapped the Nürburgring in 7min 18sec.

McLaren 675LT – 2.9 seconds

This is the result of McLaren’s engineers taking a 650S, improving as many bits as they possibly could, and producing a car that’s almost as fast as its flagship P1 hypercar. The McLaren 675LT shares many components with the P1, while 100kg has been shaved of the 650S’ weight. No wonder it can hit 62mph in 2.9 seconds.

BAC Mono – 2.8 seconds

BAC Mono - 2.8 seconds

Jeremy Clarkson described it as ‘amazing’. Yet another bonkers car from a small-time Brit, the BAC Mono boasts a power to weight ratio of around 525hp per tonne. No wonder it’ll hit 62mph in comfortably less than 3.0 seconds.

Lamborghini Centenario – 2.8 seconds

Revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Centenario is Lambo’s Aventador-based supercar launched to commemorate Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. A tweaked version of the Aventador’s 6.5-litre V12 produces 770hp. Unfortunately, all 40 examples (20 coupes and 20 Roadsters) are sold out.

Lamborghini Aventador SV – 2.8 seconds

Sharing the Centenario’s engine, the performance-spec Aventador SV packs 750hp from its naturally-aspirated V12. Carbonfibre body panels and a stripped-out interior means it packs a dry weight of 1,525kg – 50kg less than the regular Aventador. It hits 62mph 0.1 seconds quicker than the standard model.

Nissan GT-R – 2.8 seconds

Nissan GT-R - 2.8 seconds

Nissan. The firm that once made the Bluebird, but now better known for its popular Qashqai crossover. It also makes the GT-R Skyline successor, launched in 2007 and getting ever-faster nearly a decade later. Top Gear magazine described the 2.8 second 0-62mph time of the latest GT-R as ‘frankly violent’. We won’t disagree.

Koenigsegg Regera – 2.8 seconds

The most bonkers thing to come out of Sweden, Koenigsegg describes its Regera as a ‘megacar’. We’ll go with that. At lower speeds, the Regera is powered by three electric motors, while a mid-mounted twin-turbo 5.0-litre V8 kicks in when you ask more from it.

Caterham Seven 620R – 2.8 seconds

If you’re going to accelerate from standstill to 62mph in less than 3.0 seconds, you probably want to be doing it in something fairly substantial. But the tiny, flimsy, ancient Caterham Seven can hit 62mph in 2.8 seconds in flagship 620R spec. The firm’s fastest ever road car, it’ll take serious guts to give it full whack on the commute – but you’ll probably giggle more than any other car featured here.

Radical SR8 RX – 2.7 seconds

Radical SR8 RX - 2.7 seconds

The Peterborough-built Radical SR8 is essentially a race car, but it can be registered as a road-legal vehicle. It holds the Nurburgring lap record, completing the legendary German circuit in 6 minutes, 48 seconds. Powered by a 2.7-litre V8 producing 430hp, the Radical will hit 62mph in 2.7 seconds and a top speed of 178mph.

Ariel Atom – 2.7 seconds

Put a 2.0-litre Honda VTEC engine into a car that weighs around half a tonne and you get a car that is seriously quick. With its exoskeleton frame, the Ariel Atom is guaranteed to be one of the fastest cars on a track day but, like the Caterham, we’d be a bit nervous about high-speed Autobahn runs.

Hennessey Venom GT – 2.7 seconds

The Hennessey Venom GT might look a bit like a Lotus Exige… that’s because it’s based on a heavily modified Lotus Exige. The car, tweaked by American firm Hennessy, set a Guinness World Record in 2013 for the fastest production car from 0–186 mph. It completed the run in an average 13.63 seconds.

Tesla Model S – 2.5 seconds

Tesla Model S - 2.5 seconds

And this is where the Tesla slots in. There is a caveat – the 2.5 seconds time Tesla’s bragging about is 0-60mph, not 0-62mph. In reality, that extra 2mph is unlikely to take more than a tenth of a second, as the Tesla’s electric powertrain means there’s no chance of a gear change fluffing up the 0-62mph sprint. But are Tesla’s ‘fastest car’ claims correct..?

Porsche 918/LaFerrari/McLaren P1

Technically, the Porsche 918/LaFerrari/McLaren P1 hypercar trio have no right to appear here as they’re no longer in production. But for comparison sakes, we thought we’d chuck them in. The LaFerrari covers it in ‘less than’ 3.0 seconds, while the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 take 2.5 seconds. Yup, the Tesla is almost as fast as these three to 62mph.

Bugatti Chiron – sub-2.5 seconds

So this is the only road-going car currently on sale that’ll hit 62mph a fraction of a second quicker than the Tesla. Bugatti says its Chiron, the Veyron-successor, will reach 62mph in ‘less than’ 2.5 seconds. You’d kind of hope so, with an incredible 1,500hp from its 8.0-litre W16 quad-turbocharged engine. It’s limited to 261mph. But with just 500 Chirons expected to be sold, and a £1.9 million price tag, it’s still fair to describe the Tesla as ‘the fastest volume production car in the world’. Now click back and remind yourself of all the supercars the Tesla beats!

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster: 770hp, 1 of 20, £2 million…

Lamborghini Centenario RoadsterThe Lamborghini Centenario Roadster is the open-top version of Sant’Agata’s tribute to founder Ferriccio’s centenary – and despite costing £2.06 million, the firm has both announced it and announced it has sold out in the same breath.

Just as dramatic as the 770hp Centenario coupe, the Centenario Roadster boasts a carbon fibre moncoque and body, wild aerodynamics and fancy rear-wheel steering.

It uses the same V12 (Lamborghini’s most powerful ever) that revs to 8,600rpm, good here for 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of more than 217mph. It will also brake from 62mph to rest in 31 metres.

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

The shape is all about clean surfaces and “superb” reflections, reckons Lamborghini: this represents its new design direction of form following function, perhaps justifying the firm cryptically calling it a “next level Roadster”.

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

“This unique engineering achievement is a befitting tribute to Lamborghini’s extraordinary past and a preview of its brilliant future,” said Lamborrghini CEO Stefano Domenicali (seen speaking here with F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart).

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

That amazing colour? Argento Centenario, a special silver created especially for the Centenario Roadster. It has a unique matt finish created, describes Lamborghini, by “dissolving the metal while diluting and diminishing the appeared of the metal grain, giving it a silky and rich finish”.

On the move, further drama is provided by a deployable rear wing, which extends by up to 150mm and rotates up to 15 degrees, depending on dynamic conditions and driving mode.

Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

And Lamborghini hasn’t forgotten the passengers of each of the 20 Centenario Roadster owners either. The windscreen has been shaped to reduce turbulence for passengers with the roof down, deflecting air around and above their heads. Behind the headrest, the rear wall has a channel that aids this air deflection and also, cannily, directs air onto the rear wing to improve rear downforce.

Oh, and the rear wheel steering acts on wheels fully 21 inches in diameter, paired with 20-inch rims on the front. Like all aspects of the £2.1 million Centenario Roadster, they’re extreme and amazing.

And now fully sold out.

In pictures: Lamborghini Centenario Roadster

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante uncovered

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato VolanteAston Martin has revealed a new open-top Volante version of the limited-to-99, now-sold-out Vanquish Zagato at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The Vanquish Zagato Volante will also be limited to 99 units and deliveries will begin in 2017. It is likely to cost upwards of £500,000.

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante

Aston Martin says it’s “overwhelming customer interest” for the coupe that encouraged it to take the logical step of launching an open-top version: it’s a trick McLaren also used with the 675LT. Expect the Vanquish Zagato Volante to sell out similarly swiftly.

The roof has been Zagato-ised: the soft-top is a bespoke hood derived from the regular Vanquish Volante, that drops beneath twin cowls on the rear deck.

Generally though, it’s the same car as the striking, stunning Vanquish Zagato, which designer Marek Reichman says has emphasised surfaces changes and intersections to make it look more muscular.

“We’ve endeavoured to create an elegant, flowing shape that really works to emphasis the car’s sculpted rear haunches”.

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante

Inside, there’s plenty of Zagato ‘Z’ logos; Z quilt patent stitch on the seats and the door sections is complemented by embossed ‘Z’ logos on the headrests and, rather snazzily, stitched into the centre console.

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante

Under the bonnet, sitting behind those distinctive LED running lights, is a pumped up version of the 6.0-litre Aston Martin V12 (the normally aspirated one, rather than the latest 5.2-litre twin-turbo in the new DB11); this produces 592hp for 0-62mph in a predicted 3.7 seconds.

Aston Martin has been working with Zagato for six decades and this is not the first Zagato convertible the Gaydon-based firm has made. The V8 Vantage Volante was launched in 1987 and the wonderful DB AR1, a Zagato version of the DB7, was launched in 2003 (and created for the North American market).

“The Vanquish Zagato Volante illustrates the ways in which Aston Martin design can evolve in collaboration with such a trusted and long-standing partner,” said Reichman, “strengthening the association between these great automotive marques in the process.”

Ford Gamescom 2016

Ford gamers set new racing world endurance record

Ford Gamescom 2016Five gamers have set a new Guinness World Record by racing a Ford GT in Forza Motorsport 6 for more than two days solid.

The new Guinness World Record holders for ‘longest video marathon on a racing game’ raced the virtual Ford GT for 48 hours 29 minutes and 21 seconds, getting through industrial-level supplies of sweets and energy drinks in the process.

One of them, Cara Scott, was a Brit: also driving were Helene Cressot from France, Johannes Knapp from Germany, Italian Andrea Lorenzo Facchinetti and Spain’s Jesus Sicilia Sanchez, who all survived the two-day marathon by taking power naps (oh, and drinking 32 energy drinks, 146 bottles of water and 47 bottles of soft drinks).

The marathon challenge took place at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, and saw the gamers each drove 603 laps of the simulated Le Mans 24 Hours circuit. Compare that to Ford GT racer Stefan Mucke, who waved off the race: he drove for ‘just’ 9 hours 5 minutes and 136 laps at the real Le Mans 24 Hours this year.

But the gamers haven’t had it easy, he said. “Just like driving at the real Le Mans, this achievement required extreme levels of concentration, attention to detail, and most importantly endurance – because they had to keep going for twice as long as we did.”

“Two days of racing is a superlative effort,” agreed Guinness World Records official adjudicator Lena Kuhlmann. “The endurance of the gamers is remarkable. They were engaged, concentrating and having fun even after the record was broken.”

Neatly, Ford also stationed a real GT in view, which Kuhlmann reckoned was an important touch: it helped “keep the gamers from getting completely immersed in the virtual world”.

We’re also sure the 3kg of sweets the gamers munched through helped keep them alert, although we don’t envy the comedown from the sugar rush…