I am a dreamer, and I can't help it.
When I'm on the road, driving a canyon, sometimes I feel like I'm fulfilling a dream. I'm in the driver's seat. I've got a machine around me. It's my suit of armor to attack the roads and challenges that lie ahead.
Sometimes, I wish I had the one car that did it all for me; something fun, fast, gripping, aural, reactive, intuitive, and able to bring a few passengers with me. After reading an article about a technician who built his own McLaren F1 from scratch on minimal money, I wonder if it's actually possible.
Here are a few ideas.
- Rear engine.
- All-wheel drive.
- Limited slip rear differential, with a 25:75 ratio, adjustable.
- 2+2 seating.
- Low stance.
- Narrow bodywork.
This is not going to be easy...or cheap!
What would be some cars of inspiration?
- Porsche 911 turbo series with all-wheel drive
- Lotus Evora
- Lotus Elise
- Audi R8
- Nissan GTR
- Renault Gordini
- Toyota GT86
I have split opinion about interiors. A part of me loves the absolute simplicity of a Lotus Elise.
The tachometer and speedometer are easy to read and attractive. The design is neatly laid out. The cowl is low and there are two simple functions; the radio and the HVAC unit. This allows the vehicle to stay lightweight and ergonomic.
Porsche interiors, on the other hand, have come a long way since the 1990's. The functions are all a simple reach away, but the chassis has added sophistication with materials, design, and function.
Navigation systems, a sport chrono package, adjustable suspension, traction control, and other systems are all a finger tip away.
Yet, none of that takes away from the five-dial Porsche layout with the tri-spoke Sport steering wheel.
It's like setting up the functions of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and allowing you to go to warp with you in the cockpit.
With a dream car though, a Lotus-like interior with an alcantara dash and F1-style steering wheel would be perfect.
A basic navigation system with a large screen similar to the Tesla Model S would look fantastic. There's no need for traction control, adjustable suspensions, or sport tailpipes. That should all be standard to a fixed setting. I would love to see a 270* tach similar to a Ferrari 458 or Mazda Rx-8.
Seats can come straight from the Toyota GT86. The sport cloth is great for various weather conditions. The seats are thick enough for lateral support, yet small enough to fit within compact dimensions. The back seat is just for a couple of people needing a ride in a pinch anyway.
In terms of exterior looks, it helps to have something striking to look the part. Porsche's are quite common in Southern California. People are lowering Nissan GT-R's and Ferrari 458s while adding fender flares for a further lowered look. The appearance is definitely more distinct and exotic.
However, I am a fan of the latest Acura/Honda NSX concept. I can't help but think a 1' stretch in the middle wouldn't hurt the lines too much, while still retaining a restrained, sharp look. Since the car will be carrying a small engine with a rear engine layout, it'll help out with making the car a 2+2.
I would love to see a 7-speed Porsche-derived DSG connected to a front and rear diff in order to get the 25:75 torque split.
This leads to a car with a tendency to oversteer, more retain just enough grip in the front for all-weather conditions. No torque vectoring is required. Simple all-wheel-drive layouts have plenty of grip for various conditions while still retaining a sporting character to the drive.
While I like the idea of having the transmission out of a BAC mono, I don't think it would be strong enough for the given application. The car may end up around a theoretical 1400kg with the all-wheel-drive system and additional differentials, so something more robust is necessary.
Power should come through a shrieking F1-style motor. A high-revving diesel from Mazda's Skyactiv technology came to mind, as well as a prototype diesel related to Audi's Le Man race vehicles, but nothing beats the sound a small displacement v8.
A 3.0 litre v8 with a 9,000 rpm redline is quite extreme, but so are my tastes. Luckily the PDK transmission should be able to hold up. Output should be around 400bhp and 300lb.ft. of torque, with larger bores and small strokes to create a linear torque curve.
Essentially, my car dream car is a stretched Acura NSX concept, with a Lotus interior, Tesla navigation system, Toyota GT86 seats, Audi R8 all-wheel-drive system, rear-engined machine with a daily driveable F1 inspired motor. More details can be added, but that is a good start.
Unfortunately, there's nothing that comes close to it in the market. Still, it is fun to dream of something extraordinary, and personalized to my tastes.
Can you imagine what that car would be like on the road? We live in a world where a Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1, with their advanced, sophisticated technologies, exist.
Perhaps my dream car will be made sooner than we think.