Which side of the Atlantic builds the best feel-good performance cars? That’s the question occupying Car magazine for its latest February issue, headlined ‘Days of Thunder’, out this week.
They go to some lengths to get the answer: a five-day loop from Los Angeles to Las Vegas involving a pair of the latest good ole boys, two Euro sophisticates and, as they say, an awful lot of petrol money.
The cars – Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT (all 707bhp of it), new Ford Mustang V8, Lamborghini Huracan and BMW i8 – make an odd group test but thankfully the 26-page special is more than just a comparison test.
People, burgers, places, burgers, and plenty of car culture – from Bob’s Big Boy Diner in LA to the Street Car Super Nats at Vegas Motor Speedway (where incidentally they didn’t have the bottle to take part) – all combine to make this a car lover’s odyssey.
We don’t learn much about the cars to be honest, but it’s fun to be along with them for the ride. And their conclusions? The i8’s more impressive than ever (and 34mpg against the others’ 17mpg), the Huracan’s edgy as can be, the Mustang’s the best all-rounder… and the Hellcat’s the car they want most to bring back to the UK. But they are not going to. As they say, ‘it was the classic holiday romance’.
Elsewhere in the issue? They savour a tour in a 911 Targa around the old Targa Florio course in Sicily, get the latest on the Zenos ‘new Elise’ project from the former Caterham duo Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, and have a go in the ‘world’s best rally car’, aka Sebastien Ogier’s WRC VW Polo. ‘It’s an amazing car. After my four laps I want to jump on the roof and spray champagne at bystanders.’
Stephen Bayley, rather predictably, is the writer chosen to wax lyrical about the Citroën DS (‘the most avant-garde car of all time’) on the occasion of its 60th birthday. Predictably, too, his piece is a compelling read for its thoroughness and absence of designer pretension.
Nice quote: ‘The first DS (built when Michelin owned Citroën) was designed not merely to get you from A to B but, more importantly, from lunch to dinner.’ We’d drink to that.
Then there’s the knotty problem of which V12 limo to buy. We know, like us you have probably agonised over this long and hard. Thankfully Car has the answer. So which is top of the heap, Rolls-Royce Ghost SII, Mercedes S600 or Bentley Flying Spur W12?
The Rolls, of course: ‘The best of the best.’
GRR Read Test verdict
Car, February 2015
Bit of a motoring travelogue but at least a supercharged one, and good for a cold January night in