Cars nowadays are quite heavy, even though lightweight materials are used. Air conditioners, stereo systems, and safety equipment all add to the weight of the car; ultimately, this affects its performance negatively.
These cars are built with the same philosophy in mind: to put the driver back in touch with the driving experience. No fancy electronic equipment, lightweight parts, all mated with powerful engines to deliver a car that performs at its best. With these cars, you’re lucky if you even get air conditioning.
Unleash these cars on a track or on an empty, challenging stretch of road; either way, it makes driving all about the driving, and not fancy GPS/computer systems or practicality.
Porsche 911 GT3
Ferrari F430 Scuderia
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
A British-made car, the A10 is a powerful beast. It uses a BMW 5.0 litre V8 engine that produces a massive 625 horsepower. This was made with racing in mind, and the chassis is made from carbon fiber to keep the weight at a low 1280 kilograms.
The car design and the engine pair up to provide 0-60 mph times of 2.8 seconds, and topping out at a ridiculous 215 mph. Comes complete with rollcage and fire-suppression system, and no soundproofing or air conditioning.
The 911 Turbo is one of the world’s most famous and easily recognizable sports cars. Porsche has made the rear-engine design their own and have made the 911 even more astounding with each generation.
The 911 GT3 is a very focused car; soundproofing, air conditioning (although is available as an option), and seats have been removed to keep the weight at a slim 1419 kilograms, and 1375 kilograms for the even lighter GT3 RS (pictured here).
In what must be some clever engineering, Porsche have managed to squeeze out 415 horsepower from a naturally-aspirated flat-six engine. Acceleration from 0-60 is 3.9 seconds with a top speed approaching 200 mph.
It’s not really a car; it’s more of a go-kart on steroids. Also built by the British, the Atom is all about putting the fun back into driving. As you can see, it doesn’t have much in terms of a body, nor is it a very practical machine. Practicality isn’t the concern here, though.
A variety of engine options are available, with the most powerful being a supercharged 2.0 liter, 300 horsepower engine. The weight is an anorexic 456 kilograms, and as a result the 0-60 times are 3 seconds or less.
This unique design was meant for a track; it’s astonishingly clever.
How can any list of great cars be complete without a mad Italian stallion?
The Scuderia improves upon the standard F430 by lowering the weight from 1450 kilograms to 1350, and increasing the horsepower of the 4.3 liter V8 from 483 to 503.
These improvements undoubtedly make an already awesome car even better. 0-60 timesare claimed to be less than 3.6 seconds; the normal F430 has achieved 0-60 times of 3.5 seconds, so it’s safe to say the Scuderia can go even faster. 0-100 should take around 11 seconds, and top out at 198 mph.
In terms of style and power, it looks as if Ferrari have been quite conservative…
The other Italian animal manufacturer has come up with a car that is in direct competition with the F430 Scuderia.
The Gallardo Superleggera is 70kg lighter than the standard model, sitting at 1360 kilograms. Engine power is only increased by 10 to total 530 horsepower. The end result, though, is much like the Ferrari: 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, and styling which makes it look like the fastest car on the road – even when it’s parked.
Again, like the F430, the Gallardo is not exactly radical for the supercar maker: it’s something a bit more conservative from the Germans that now own Lamborghini.
These cars are all designed to look and go fast; if you want to put the fun back into driving, this would be the way. The problem with all of these cars is the price and practicality. I’ll leave that for you to think about, though.