Which Is Your Favorite Top Gear Supercar?

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Everyone’s favorite car show has featured some amazing supercars in its recent revamp, with each one trying to one-up the next.

Supercars are out of reach for the majority of us, but we can live vicariously through car shows like that of  Top Gear. Two notable things have happened in Top Gear recently, namely the changing of hosts, but also in the rapid advancement of supercar performance.

Hanging on to the old guard of performance are the coupes with long hoods, engines in front, and drive wheels at the rear. It’s how Ferrari started, and how Ferrari formulated the 812 Superfast. Making 800 horsepower purely on displacement and technology, the Superfast is almost too powerful for its own good, but it does appeal in the way of excess.

Top Gear supercars

AMG loves excess as well, as signaled by the matte green paint of their AMG GT R. Power is “only” 580 horses, but Matt LeBlanc says “I don’t know what it’s so upset about, but it seems really really mad!” And that’s been AMG’s ethos from day one.

Top Gear supercars

As fun as we know those cars are, we know, deep down, their performance is compromised. Mid engine layouts are better in every way. Weight is lower and centralized, noses of cars can be made more aerodynamic, and, they simply look amazing. Ford’s GT broke new ground for the brand, as it took that mid engine packaging to new levels. Working with a V6 twin-turbo engine allowed the package to be put in a stunning body, with gaping holes that nearly made each rear wheel look like a wholly separate part of the body.

 

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It’s truly groundbreaking for Ford, but right along side them in terms of performance is McLaren. McLaren’s 720S has more “traditional” supercar design compare to the Ford’s wild proportions, but it does contain 710 horsepower. Host Chris Harris says, “it really is very very sharp – racing car like. It’s an animal, it’s a proper animal.”

At the most forward-looking end of the spectrum, you have McLaren’s P1 on a technological road worthy tour-de-force, and Ferrari’s FXX-K lifting all barriers on what a car can do for performance. At the wheel of the FXX-K, Harris notes how the car is an evolution of the V12 hybrid LaFerrari, saying “the speed is preposterous! If you can believe it, it has 1,050 horsepower. Sensational, addictive, mighty, corrupting power.” And he’s right. Once you experience a car like this, there’s no way to go back. But if going back means going back home after a day at the track, you can’t do so with the FXX-K. You can with the P1.

Top Gear supercars

Being able to drive on the road is a clear advantage for McLaren’s ultimate supercar. While the FXX-K takes a page directly from Formula 1 for its hybrid tech, the P1 takes a wholly different approach. It can run as a full EV, meaning it can be quiet and comfortable, and when paired with the V8 turbo motor, generates over 900 horsepower.

So that begs the question; are you a fan of the old guard of front-engine, ever powerful, rear wheel drive behemoths, or is the new technological era winning you over?

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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