Nevermind all the talk of fuel efficiency mandates. Judging by product rollouts at recent auto shows, some consumers still want racy, stylish cars. And automakers aren't hesitating to build them.
Call them dream cars. Chevrolet launched one at the North American International Auto Show in January: Its powerful new 2014 Corvette Stingray. Not to be outdone, McLaren Automotive rolled out the new hybrid P1, and Lamborghini introduced the high-powered Veneno at this week's Geneva Motor Show.
We call them dream cars for good reason. The 2014 Stingray is rumored to have an expected pricetag of $55,000, which is dreamy enough. But the McLaren P1 -- with only 375 units in production -- will run $1.15 million. And the Veneno -- possibly the ultimate in automotive exclusivity -- will cost $3.9 million. Only three will be built.
We've put together a few facts and photos of the Stingray, Veneno, and P1, the better to feed consumer fantasies. Click on the photo to begin dreaming ...
The $3.9M Lamborghini Veneno features a 6.5-liter, 12-cylinder engine. Working with a seven-speed transmission, it produces 750 HP and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds. (Source: Automobili Lamborghini)
In 1970 Pontiac GTO had a very short lived option similiar to the Stingray exhaust option shown on slide 17. Back in the day you could get a vacuum operated exhaust for the GTO. You pull the lever and valves in the muffler would open up and reduce the back pressure and up the coolness sound of the V8. I even think that you can purchase this system as a reproduction today!
So what sounds like a new design idea for a stock car (I know racers have done this for years), it is nothing new. $55K for the Stingray, or $1.5million for the other, or 3.9 million for one of the three. Not sure which one to get?
The article said that these expensive cars appearing at car shows indicates customers want them, and that is not true.
Car show presentations are what makers want to sell, not what consumers want to buy. Consumers want 80 mpg car that are simple, light, and easy to maintain. It is just that car makers don't want to sell them that, because there is not as much profit margin on them.
Chuck, Thanks for the slideshow and we can sense your enthusiasm for dream car designs and new technologies. Even given the most frugal approach to efficiency and practicality, there will always be a place for dream cars in the automotive landscape. Thanks.
Simple , 80 mpg, light, .. sure people want these things but after all the manufacturers make cars that meet these simple requirements.. they will want safety, power , handling, excitement for only $5K!
Otherwise , what is will differentiate one car from the next? or do you think we should all have brown shoes?
The automotive industry pays big bucks to to find what will sell. And they haven't found a single solution for all mankind... they compromise and produce multiple solutions with the technology they currently have.
I like the idea there is a place in the world for exotics.. on one thinks they will work for the masses.. and that is OK.
Dang! I think 26 mpg , 0-60 in 4 seconds, 1G side load.. addresses a lot of compromises.
Yes there will always be a place and interest in high end performance.
But the article said this prototype showed consumer interest, and that is not true. It shows manufacturer interest.
And no one in this country is making $10 brown shoes yet when it comes to cars. Asia and Europe are, but we won't let them import those 80 mpg cars here, and the US makers refuse to produce our own domestic ones. That is making the customers more and more unhappy. These cars are nice, but all they are making are $500 shoes. Where are the $10 brown shoes? Hybrids are not $10 brown shoes.
I agree that consumers don't want to pay a price anywhere near what's mentioned here, Rigby5. That said, these articles always seem to pique reader interest, so I assume that somewhere deep inside, some consumers are interested, By the way, the three Lamborghinis have already been sold. Who buys them, I don't know.
Three times now gasoline prices have soared and US automakers had to be bailed out because they made expensive cars with low mpg. It happens about every decade. It will likely happen again soon as the conflict with Iran continues. I like these cars, but the dessert does not replace the potatoes in a meal.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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