I’ll keep saying it, the best production performance cars in history are going to hit the market between 2018 and 2024 (with 2019-2021 being the best). Right now we have a Superhandling Renaissance occurring, that’s why I want to say the Huracan Performante is simply the first in a loooong wave of cars that will take out the Hybrid Hypercars for a third of the price with 2/3 of the power.
I’ve already made my opinion known about how the 918, P1, and LaFerrari didn’t even need the hybrid tech to get the same performance. Now I will say that every Hyper-handling Car and Super-handling Car — I am going to distinguish this breed from Hypercars and Supercars through the word “handling” — will be like the P1 or LaFerrari in terms of how they use their hybrid systems. Pretty much we are talking about these cars being all crazy engine and the hybrid system is nothing but an assist to keep the motor up. However, let me make it clear that I believe the 918 is nearly a decade ahead in terms of its integrated powertrain and completely held back by the tech available at the time. It will be around 2023 when we realize just how substantial the 918 was and it unanimously joins the similar lists as the McLaren F1 or Saleen S7 in terms of refined performance exceeding its time ahead of age.
*Let me note that a superhandling car is a supercar that laps like a hypercar. So a hyperhandling car will be a hypercar that handles well past the current hypercar metric. A new breed. I’ll expand on this nomenclature in another post.
Now that Ive hopefully covered my butt, let’s get back to what’s going to happen next. The clock “officially” started when the Huracan Performante posted its time (and it doesn’t matter how that time was arrived at because lap times are irrelevant anyways unless you like said car). But let me give you an idea of some cars appearing by the end of the decade that will break 7 minutes outside of the manufacturer’s hands:
6:50 to 6:59
Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS
Nissan GT-R Nismo RS (or special edition if Nissan decides).
Lamborghini Huracan Performante (though I think it’s a 6:56 car).
McLaren 570S higher performance successor (there’s room now).
Lamborghini Aventador S higher performance successor.
Dodge Viper ACR (this was the first of the next generation Superhandling cars)
Corvette ZR-1 (this will be the fastest of the bunch).
*The Koenigsegg Regera is likely in this group somewhere.
6:40 to 6:49
Ferrari 488 higher performance variant (if it’s slower then Ferrari will have a lot of issues).
Porsche 991.2 GT2 RS
McLaren 720S higher performance variant
*This will be an awesome sequel
6:30 to 6:39
Koenigsegg Agera One:1
Aston Martin Valkyrie
6:20 to 6:29
Mercedes-AMG Project One (I think this will be a huge deal).
So what are the big differences that will allow these cars to be so fast even though many are between 600 hp and 900 hp which is less than the hypercars?
Transmissions and electronics, we dont give these two things enough credit. Even in everyday cars these two things are the reason everything accelerates so much faster. Then you look at how crazy engines have gotten. Seriously, take a second look at how much power is coming out of the NA 4-cyl market you avoid like the plague and you’ll notice that the turbochargers add almost no horsepower, it’s all torque.
Next is tires. They were behind the curve when automakers decided all engines would begin making stupid, ridiculous, excessive amounts of torque constantly across the full range. I look at the 660 hp Ferrari Enzo and chuckle about how 484 lb-ft is no longer that impressive of a feat even for an NA engine. I mean a Camaro SS is an air filter and two stickers away from matching that! I have to assume tire manufacturers were thrown off by this and have now caught up mostly due to the fact that consumers don’t seem to care at all about tire wear or pricing right now. In fact I bet most people will spend more on tires within the first 50,000 miles than they ever would for any repairs outside of warranty. Whooo!
Then don’t forget brakes, suspension, and a far better understanding of making these cars steer well finally. Driver’s are more confident right out the gate which allows for more focused and faster times.
Of course all of this is me just making stuff up, however I still think by 2022 we will have production cars entering the 6:10 to 6:19 range and so many vehicles (especially a new segment of “hypersedans”) under 7 minutes that when the SUVs break 7:20 they will still be seen as nearly a minute off the times that “matter.”
It’s going to be a great few years, Oppo. But after this we will have a bit of an Ice Age in terms of relentless excitement because cars will become technology officially and there is an awkward transition in there. Plus science needs to finish inventing magic, it’s close though!