More Supercar Insanity: Venom, Quimera and Tuatara

August 24th, 2011

2011 Hennessey Venom

There is no end to the madness of supercars, those sometimes gorgeous, sometimes grotesque, hyperpowered exotics that exist only to trigger the fantasies of car fanatics. Buyers are the very, very few with piles of money. Those without drool and exercise their daydreams while driving Focus SVTs (if they’re lucky) to work.

It’s the latter group that I’m concerned about. These are the guys who think Ken Block is really something else, who think it’s cool to drop a Corvette engine in a redesigned Lotus (the Venom, above) and charge close to a million dollars for it, who burble about the Veyron’s speed record.

Car flacks encourage this sort of response with their unending applause. Regurgitating John Hennessey’s comments (founder and president of the company producing the Venom), one self-effacing writer said, “With 1,200HP on tap from the twin-turbocharged, Corvette-sourced V8 and a Veyron-humbling 0-200 km/h (0-125 mph) time of 7.0 seconds flat, we wouldn’t dare ask for more.”

There is a lot of negative comment out on the Web regarding Hennessey and the Venom cars.

Quimera AEGTThe Quimera AEGT (right), another 3.0-second 0-60-mph car, is a three-motor, fully electric race car developed by a business-university consortium in Spain. These guys have a problem: There is no class for the car to compete in. But the group is giving its all for sustainability.

Sustainability for racing, that is. The company chairman says, “Anybody willing to test the car will be more than welcome to join the official test to be organized.” All hot-shoe Focus drivers, step right up.

Shelby TuataraThere is a lot of “buyer beware” in this business. Shelby SuperCars (no relation to Carroll) built the Ultimate Aero EV a few years ago (again to beat the Veyron, which it didn’t), advertising that it could recharge from a 110-volt outlet in 10 minutes. The claim was since retracted. Would you buy a car from anyone who said that?

The company recently showed off its newest offering at Pebble Beach, the Tuatara (right), styled by Ferrari-Bertone-Maserati designer Jason Castrioti. It’s quite beautiful (minus the dorky rear-view mirrors), and the company claims 1,350 horsepower from “an in-house twin-turbocharged V-8.”

Well, they finally came up with their own (non-Corvette) engine. Price is “just in excess of one million dollars,” and if that’s a bit much, check out your other supercar custom options at this site (scroll to bottom). You can buy Lambo-type vertical doors to put on your Escalade, believe it or not.

Are you a supercar fan? Why so?

—jgoods

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  1. panayoti
    August 24th, 2011 at 19:56 | #1

    Hell no! Senor, you’ve already said it all.

    “There is no end to the madness of supercars, those sometimes gorgeous, sometimes grotesque, hyperpowered exotics that exist only to trigger the fantasies of car fanatics. Buyers are the very, very few with piles of money. Those without, drool and exercise their daydreams while driving Focus STVs (if they’re lucky) to work”.

    The only good that comes from these fantasies is that it gives you auto scribes something to write about. And you and TG continue falling into that trap. I personally could give a rat’s behind. Cheers!

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