The Cars Behind The Grand Tour Hill Climb Disaster
Yes yes yes, Hammond crashed. We all know this now. My girlfriend’s sister’s dog knows this now and he is very glad Hammond is okay, but while we were all very concerned about our hamster with nine lives, we missed the three cars behind the action.
There’s the obvious Rimac, but let’s start with what many would expect to be the underdog. This would be, of course, the Honda NSX, or Acura as it’s known as over the pond.
After the turn of the century, Honda’s fleet of production cars looked a bit lacking. Gone were the days of the original NSX, the CRX had also disappeared, and what we were left with was named after a genre of music we’d tap our feet to, but would never listen to when driving hard. Music that was played by the likes of Louis Armstrong – and here’s where the juxtaposition started. The Honda Jazz was far from strong.
Since the days of the original NSX, Honda were yet to produce a proper sports car that lived up to the brands heritage and influences of Ayrton Senna. Yes there was the odd fast Civic, but never something with the performance of a Ferrari and the reliability of a hatchback.
That was until this latest guise of the Japanese super car. However, compared to the original which was loved by most journalists who got their hands on one, this new NSX was a bit of a shock to the system. Why? Because it’s a hybrid for one, but not a hypercar hybrid, a hybrid mated to a V6. Not a V8 like the McLaren P1 or Porsche 918, a piddly six cylinder.
Because of this, on its release I didn’t actually take much notice. That was until I took the time to read the spec sheet and watch it on track. It’s incredible. But it’s incredible because of its torque-vectoring/electric motor black magic, not because of its speed. Although it is bloody fast with a 0-60 time of around 3 seconds depending on where you look.
The 3.5-litre, twin-turbo, hybrid powerplant (that’s a mouthful), creates 573bhp, and alongside its electronic handling trickery, it completed a lap of the Nürburgring in 7:36.00. Not bad at all.
LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR S
Often seen on the roads of Knightsbridge and rarely seen on track. We each have our own opinions on this fact, but it’s safe to say that the Lamborghini has stepped up its game with the latest Aventador.
New to this car is a lighter exhaust, a bit more power from its V12 – a whopping 740bhp meaning a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds – and four wheel steering. Wait, say that again?
Yes, four wheel steering! Seen first on the Centario, it’s now made its way to the Aventador. And good thing too, it may actually help with the understeer problem. The front axle gets Lamborghini’s dynamic steering system, but the rear axle gets two actuators which respond to the driver’s input within 5 milliseconds.
To support the four wheel steering, Lamborghini has had to adjust the suspension and geometry and has added a ‘real time’ damping system. They’ve also sped up the ESC and re-tuned the AWD system to cope with the all-wheel steer and to give it more oversteery behaviour.
As I’m sure you can tell, major changes have been made to the exterior of the car, as well. Don’t go thinking these are all for aesthetics, though! These added fins, splitters and whatever else you see protruding from the bodywork adds 130% more downforce than a standard Aventador.
Seems to me that Lamborghini wants this to be more than a shiny thing for rich men and women to drive around in – and I’m certainly not complaining.
The base price is £225, 995 before tax, which makes it much more expensive than the NSX at the low, low price of £143,000. Now that makes me feel poor.