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By Matthew Alexander
Owning a car, any car is a spectacular thing. Your keys are keys to freedom. These beautiful cars aren’t just machines; they’re the aspirations of the human soul.
Shelby Mustang GT500 KR
Carroll Shelby, now recognised as one of the greatest innovators in the automotive industry didn’t start out as the godfather of the Cobra line. Shelby had his humble beginnings as a chicken farmer who found his passion for all things fast. In 1952 when he had his first quarter-mile drag behind the wheel of a hotrod fitted with a Ford engine. Years later he went from racer to team manager to car manufacturer.
The Shelby and Ford relationship began in 1961 when he reached out to Ford to acquire their V8 engine to place into an English car known as the AC. This then was the first Cobra to ever be produced – the GT350.
Years later however, after the success of the first Cobra, Shelby began production of the ultimate Cobra, the Mustang Gt500 KR. The GT500 KR is fitted with a Cobra Jet V8 engine that officially pushes out 335HP, but actually produced 400HP at 400 pounds of torque. Which meant you could easily smoke the tyres and look amazing in the process. Due to the major success of Gone in 60 Seconds, the GT500 or as we like to call her, Eleanor, became the iconic symbol for muscle cars around the world.
Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most recognisable cars out there. She’s also one of the most beautiful. The DB5 made its debut in one of the most iconic film franchises, the 1964 James Bond’s Goldfinger.
Since the appearance of a young and dapper Sean Connery in an Aston Martin DB5 hit the screens, the car became the vehicle to have. Despite production models upsetting consumers by not coming with ejector seats and other gadgets, it still caught the hearts of many.
Most notably, the DB5 was always pitted against the equally beautiful Jaguar E-type, however, the DB5 edged out in the end due to its incredible popularity.
Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole
1. Top Speed
The Lamborghini has been the car plastered on many walls overthe years;their dynamic styling and raw emotion made them feel like wild beasts. They lived up to their emblem of the raging bull.
But it wasn’t always like this. In 1916 Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Northern-Italy where he found the love for all things mechanical while working on his father’s tractor. During World War 2, Lamborghini was enrolled into the Italian Air Force where he was subsequently captured and became a prisoner of war in the British Military. Here, he was placed into their motoring department which gave him first-hand experience on keeping cars on the road. After the war, he returned home to continue with his existing business…but fixing tractors was not enough for him.
As legend has it, Lamborghini experienced clutch problems with his own Ferrari which frustrated him. After approaching Enzo Ferrari and confronting him about the problem, Ferrari refused to speak with him. This altercation lead to the creation of a long lineage of some of the greatest and most beautiful cars ever made.
The Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole made its famous debut in the1985 Geneva motor show, which captivated onlookers with its iconic scissor doors. Besides its bold styling, the car was also incredibly fast for its time, making use of a 445HP Lamborghini V12 engine; this beast blew by most other supercars on the road.
1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda
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The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda is known to be one of the most overlooked muscle cars. After Chrysler’s development of the regal Valiant in 1964, they decided it was time to bring out a sports car of their own – enter, the V8 Hemi Cuda.
Besides its incredible engine, some other noteworthy features include its incredible wrap around rear window and bulky size. Being outmatched by the Mustangs and Corvettes, Plymouth decided it was time to go back to the drawing board. They decided it was time for another Cuda, this second-gen model received new sheet metal and a larger engine such as: Chryslers 7.2L, 440 Commando V8 and the 7L Hemi 426 V8. However, in the 1970’s it was yet again time for a new fish in the sea, this time the third-gen Cuda ditched its valiant roots and opted for a more aggressive feel.
Despite all this, the Barricuda moniker died out during 1974 due to compression ratios having to be reduced. But just before its demise, the Hemi Cuda found its place among the greats.
Alfa Romeo Montreal
1. Top Speed
The beautiful Alfa Romeo Montreal was built with lastminute haste and vigour. During 1967, Alfa Romeo was asked to build a concept car to be featured at the Montreal World Fair. Alfa accepted, and set out creating one of the most underrated Alfa Romeos with the help of magnificent automotive design company, Bertone.
The Montreal is loosely based on the Alfa Giulia, with bodywork designed by Marcello Gandini. Gandini was also the creator behind the Lamborghini Miura and the Lamborghini Espada, so it’s easy to see why the styling of the Montreal is so audacious. The charismatic Montreal was built in six months, just in time for the fair. Even though consumers were raving about the beautiful car, years later it was found that the production vehicles were too expensive, technical and bothersome to maintain. Even so, the Montreal will continue to look incredible even when placed next to most modern cars.
Ferrari La Ferrari
1. Top Speed
This 950HP monster is arguably one of the best and most beautiful cars to have ever been conceived this year. This incredible monster is closer to its F1 brother than you think. The LaFerrari’s elements were conceived by actual F1 racers and of course, Ferrari’s R&D team.
Besides boasting incredible features, the laFerrari is the very first vehicle with hybrid tech to come out of Maranello. Making use of the HY-KERS system, the La Ferrari now has access to an electric motor that produces 150CV as well as 800CV at 9000rpm’s. The LaFerrari is in a class of its own, going from 0-300 in just 15 seconds.
It goes to show, hybrid vehicles do have what it takes to make an incredible super car.
1. Top Speed
Since McLaren’s inception in 1963, their goal has remained constant: combining F1 technology with street prowess”. The result after 52 years – the incredible McLaren P1.
Before the P1 however, McLaren had created the ultimate supercar of its time, which held the record for the fastest road car in the world. The F1 boasted state-of the-art technology that allowed it to push from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, while reaching 160Km/h in 6.3 seconds. That’s enough G-force to send you right through your Honda civic.
However, the P1 goes above and beyond the F1, “In hybrid mode, the EV motor’s ‘brain’ monitors conditions 200 times a second to ensure the P1 strikes the perfect balance of deployment and recharging. But it can also run on electric power alone for up to six miles”, says Top Gear’s Charlie Turner. If McLaren continues on the path they’re on, we might just be saying hello to the world’s next fastest car.
Aston Martin DB10
1. Top Speed
The Aston Martin DB10 is truly one of the rarest cars in the world. With only 10 units being produced, only two are specifically designed for commercial road use. That’s because, Aston Martin have created this grunting beast specifically for the new James Bond movie, Spectre.
The DB10 can be seen speeding through the streets of Rome with its 4.7L V8 that produces 420HP and is capable of reaching speeds of 305KM/h. Even though this Bond-only car isn’t available to the public, the Chief Creative Officer and Design Director, Marek Reichman has assured the public that some of the car’s initial designs will be seen in future Aston Martin models.
Porsche 918 Spyder
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Is the 918 Spyder Porsche’s answer to the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari? , No, the Spyder is in a league of its own.
This plug-in hybrid is impeccably designed with a sound that rivals most muscle cars. Its crackling sound as you climb up the revs, will make you feel like a trumpet player in a jazz band.
Keep in mind, this is a hybrid, cruising around the city in the all-electric drive will give you a comfortably quiet drive as you get 3.3L per 100KM. Meaning, when you want to open up and let her run, you’ll have enough fuel to get you going all day.
The Spyder’s four modes make it an ideal car for almost any situation:
• E Mode – electric power only , for when your neighbour complains you’re revving too loud
• H Mode – Hybrid mode, both the combustion engine and the electric motor work alternately for when you need to get to your girlfriend in Johannesburg without breaking the bank on petrol
• S Mode – Sport hybrid mode, is the ideal mode for outrunning your ex, as the combustion engine becomes the main driving force with the electric motors providing support where needed.
• R Mode – Race hybrid mode further uses the electric motor to significantly increase the boost pushing the combustion engine to its limit, allowing you to reach the top-end even quicker.
1. Top Speed
The Hybrids have done it again. The Koenigsegg Regera has snatched the crown at the Geneva motor show, rightly so, as Regera loosely translates to the Swedish verb meaning “to reign”.
This 1500HP hyper-car is an all-rounder, providing lush comfort and impeccable styling, you wouldn’t think that this car could push you right through its seats as you hit 100KM/h in 2.8 seconds with its single-speed gearbox , while launching you to its top-end of 400km/h in under 20 seconds. I dare you to try and open the throttle from the get-go and watch as you soil yourself.
Not only does the Regera look the regal part, it’s sound booms as if it’s the second-coming, if that’s not really for you, you can cruise in complete silence as you switch to the silent EV mode.
Besides its blistering speed and incredible looks, the Regera is advertised by Koenigsegg as the world’s first “fully robotised car” meaning that with a touch of a button on your phone you can practically do anything from opening the doors to adjusting the rear wing.
With each car costing $1.89 million (R27513675.00 at the time this was written) only 80 cars will be made – talk about exclusive. It seems as though 2015 was the year boundaries were pushed in terms of innovation, imagine what 2016 holds.