McLaren Automotive has made some bold claims about its flagship supercar, the McLaren P1. At launch, the Woking, U.K.-based company issued a press release titled The McLaren P1: Designed to be the Best Drivers Car in the World. Backing up this statement were some rather astonishing guaranteed performance figures. Now, we feel like we know something about what makes the best drivers car, so we sat down for a chat with Paul Mackenzie, program director for the P1, to see how much was bluff and bluster. MT: Your boss [famed Formula 1 team owner] Ron Dennis made a number of bold claims in his introduction of the P1 [at the Geneva Auto Show.] How do you back them as chief engineer? PM: Our target was to design and build the best driver’s car and that was both on road and track. That was our target. We actually looked back, back in the late 2009s, at what defines the new McLaren super sports car. Bugatti were out with the Veyron — 1000 hp, over two tons of weight, incredibly … [Read more...] about McLaren P1: The Best Driver’s Car in the World?
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Tracing the life of hot-rodding pioneer Ak Miller is sort of like watching a Speed Channel version of Forrest Gump. If something important happened in rodding history, Ak was there. Lakes racing? Yep, before World War II and as the SCTA’s first postwar president. Bonneville? He worked alongside Wally Parks and Bob Petersen to plan the first speed trials on the Salt in 1949. Drag racing? Ak was the NHRA’s first vice president when the association was formed in 1951. Street racing? Ak did his fair share in the day, often humbling flathead-powered iron with a sleeper Chevy roadster packing a Buick straight-eight. Road racing? HOT ROD made legendary his exploits in the Carrera Panamericana road races and on Pikes Peak. Factory performance? For 10 years, Ak worked for Ford as a performance consultant, touring the country with hot-car displays and doing the dirty-fingernail development work that stymied Dearborn engineers. The Gump analogy, though, falls short of giving you the … [Read more...] about Ak Miller History – The Best Hot Rodder in the World
“Where are we going?” asked the video guy somewhat nervously as we peeled off from the highway and headed into a neighborhood full of empty lots and boarded-up windows. “Yeah, how do you know this guy again?” asked the photographer. “Met him at Bonneville,” I answered, and everyone relaxed, because it’s a proven fact that if you share a sunrise with someone on the salt surface of land-speed legend, then that person is solid, and if they give you the address of a strange metal-sided shack in the middle of a very un-gentrified area, you should not only go there, you should prepare for actual time-travel back to when record-breaking cars were built in the corner of dark machine shops as metal chips flew from mills most recently used to win a war. If you know this place, you know that the photos below don’t show half of what hides behind its barbed-wire exterior. The land has been in the same family since the early 1900s. One corner of the … [Read more...] about The Most Amazing (Secret) Machine Shop in the World
This Grabber Blue 1970 Boss 429 is the one and only 1970 Boss 429 to date that has ever won an Authenticity Award in Mustang Club of America judging. That’s the major reason Rick Campbell wanted this car. He was after “the best of the best.” Campbell said, “I first saw the car about eight years ago. Billy Jay [Espich] was having a private show at a private airport.” (Readers might recall the feature we did on Espich’s 1969 Boss 302-powered prototype Shelby G.T. 350 fastback: mustang-360.com/featured-vehicles/mump-0803-1969-gt350-shelby-mustang. “Billy Jay told me, ‘Rick, wait until you see this Boss 429,’” Campbell added. Campbell helped the owner, Jim Cunningham, unload the pristine Boss 429 off its trailer and into his hangar. At the time he could see the Grabber Blue Boss was an unbelievable car, in his words, but he just wasn’t ready to buy such a highly restored Boss, even though he and his wife Peggy had been in … [Read more...] about The Best 1970 Boss 429 Mustang in the World
Ford recently assembled its 350,000,000th vehicle and it is a Ford Focus. The milestone was celebrated in the Blue Oval’s newest global manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand. John Fleming, Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing, said, “Producing 350 million vehicles is equivalent to producing one vehicle every 10 seconds for our 109-year history. If placed end to end, the vehicles would stretch to the moon and back – twice.” He added that the production of the Focus in Thailand is significant, and that it underscores the power of the One Ford catchphrase to deliver profitable growth with valued products built in flexible and efficient facilities worldwide. In addition, according to IHS Automotive, Focus also became the best-selling single car nameplate in the world. Data gathered showed that Ford Focus sold 489,616 units in the first half of the year; the nearest competitor is the Toyota Corolla with 462,187 units sold. Update: It looks … [Read more...] about Ford Focus becomes 350 millionth vehicle to be built by the Blue Oval, also the best selling car in the world
Fernando Alonso says there are two paths to motor racing greatness; eight F1 World titles or winning in different series – he’s trying for the latter. Earlier this week it was announced that Alonso would race in this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500 with the Spaniard sitting out the Monaco Grand Prix to do so. It is, Alonso has already stated, part of his quest to win motor racing’s Triple Crown; Monaco GP, Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours. And that, he says, is the only way he’s going to show the world that he’s the best. “It is something that is not very common,” he said of his decision to race in the Indy 500. “In the past it was about the best drivers in the world, best cars, best races. “Then it became more and more professional and everyone was dedicated to just one series. “This year the possibility was there for us. “If I want to be the best driver in the world I can either win eight F1 World titles, one more … [Read more...] about Alonso: If I want to be the best in the world…
There are very, very few new cars that I would consider branding with the title ‘best car in the world’. Yet I got to thinking about this because I found myself bandying the phrase around more often than ever before in the past year or so, and I started to wonder whether I was being overly generous, or whether the recent crop of star cars really are that good. So the question is this: what makes 'the best car in the world’? Of course, it’s subjective, but I do think there's a formula that works for me and which might apply to a lot of enthusiasts. For the sake of this blog ever ending, we’ll stick to cars that are currently in production. Next, I’m afraid hypercars are out. I would undoubtedly be woozy with delirium if I ever drove a LaFerrari, Porsche 918 or McLaren P1, but for me, that sort of level is too extreme for practical road use and too expensive by half to be remotely viable for being labelled the best car in the world. They may … [Read more...] about What is the best car in the world?
What is the best car in the world? About this time last year (15 September 2015) I wrote about it – or at least, the best car I’d ever driven – because ‘which car is the best?’ is a question people in this game get asked a lot. Not unreasonably. The thing is, people don’t usually want to know what the best car ever created actually is, and will start backing away from you gently if you get too involved in the details, because examination of ‘best’ is a geekfest of the highest order. How would you define, for example, what constitutes the best book ever written? The best meal ever cooked? The best house, beach, sportsperson, restaurant or politician? Books have been written about the subjects, yet questioners want an answer about cars distilled into a make and model. A notable one. Most of the time, people don’t want to know the details, the reckoning; they just want a headline hit. They’re searching for their … [Read more...] about Opinion: what is the best car in the world?
After giving you my monthly World Roundup for November a few days ago, I will now rewind back one month (detailed data by model worldwide takes some time to compile…) to offer you an estimate of the Top 150 best-selling models in the world in October…Had enough of the world and you just want to know which cars sell best in your own backyard? Easy. You can visit 171 countries and territories in my blog in the comfort of your own lounge. Just like that.Back to our the world… VW PassatThe Ford F-Series (+1), VW Golf (-3) and Chevrolet Cruze (-2) follow, while the VW Polo is back in the Top 10 at #9 (+2) and the Ford Fiesta is stable at #10. Best-selling cars in the world – October 2012: You can check out the worldwide Top 150 models ranking here PosModelOctSep10m 2012Pos1Ford Focus88,0961835,32422Hyundai Elantra74,3865641,19853Toyota Corolla73,8332938,50714VW Jetta70,6333610,38095VW Passat70,0639623,47986Ford F-Series66,4887636,39467VW … [Read more...] about Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Toyota Corolla Now #3 In The World!
our 24 Hours of LeMons coverage should be familiar with the harrowing, yearlong tale of the worst car in LeMons racing history (and, perhaps, in human history). Short version, this 1986 Plymouth Reliant-K station wagon crisscrossed the continent in 2013, racking up more than 26,000 road miles, 4678 race miles, and killing eight engines plus the sanity of dozens of racers during the course of the year. The slong tory? Well, that follows.The final, and most punitive, chapter of this saga was the Reliant’s drive from Denver to San Francisco in December, a nightmarish trudge across five states during freakishly cold weather. A 1978 Checker Marathon race car accompanied the K-car, and I decided to join the caravan with a station wagon so advanced— especially compared to Iacocca’s Plymouth— that it appeared to have come from a superior extraterrestrial civilization: the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC Wagon. (Read our full test here—Ed.) The contrast … [Read more...] about The Long, Sordid Tale of Our Road Trip Through Frozen Hell with the Best and Worst Station Wagons in the World