Friday 21 November 2014

The near ultimate comparison

A few weeks ago you may have read that I was lucky enough to try the Aston V12 Vantage at Millbrook, a car I thought was all shout and little finesse really and I still suspect much of that sound is artificially created too. It was nimble enough but not 911 competent and for that reason alone, despite being a great pale blue in colour there won't be one near my house in the future. DG rating out of 10? A safe 6 I think.

Stroll on a few weeks and I was in the 458 Speciale coupe on the full GP circuit at Silverstone as well as some road work on the roads nearby. This car is immense, amazing on track as I passed everything that day including Ferrari race cars ( well maybe because it was a loan car and I know the circuit very well!) It was so agile, the brakes just amazing and I got out desperately wanting one. I love the looks, the aero and it is a car actually with few parts similar to the normal 458 and you can really feel that in the drive. On the road it was compliant but on a road test drive a few weeks later the bare floors and road noise above 50 mph meant you needed ear cans for any long run, not that practical then. However DG rating out of 10 a very sound 10, supported fully by Evo who voted it a clear winner in the CoTY.

I thought it would therefore be appropriate to then try the 458 spider on track at Silverstone. Certainly noticeably softer roof up and down but no slouch, again safely passing older full race cars. Having a vested interest in its safe return the driving was more gentle anyway but it gets a 9 out of 10 that day with oodles of power compared to my race car. I can see why a Speciale A would get 11 out of 10 though.

So with the chance then to try the Huracan at Millbrook was one I had to do. Now this is the Gallardo replacement and it's very well built, shut lines and quality are German everywhere which in some ways is a shame. Gone is the Gallardo hit you in the back gear change and mechanical grunt, replaced now with a super smooth, great everyday supercar coupe. 4WD traction control etc to keep you safe at silly speeds but the feeling was not unlike my old turbo S, stupidly fast, very capable but slightly bland. It will sell well though. At least the Aventador remains suitably bonkers! DG score out of 10 is 8.5, I liked it but the 458 still edges it.

So roll on a few more weeks and I am back at Millbrook again to try the McLaren 650s spider on an atrocious day weather wise. First impressions, I like the new styling, the old MP12C now look very dated and depending on colour, louder the better in my view as it's dull everywhere else, it's a big improvement. I struggle with the doors though and big cill to get over, there must be a knack but I don't have it, so ease of entry and exit aren't great.

Out on the track it's quick, slick and well put together. Again being 4WD all is well although it couldn't get the power down on the one mile straight and we only got to 95mph! The instructor was more keen on a tour rather that trying the performance so overall then, not as nice as the Lambo, so an 8 out of 10 for this one.

That leaves one pretender to still try which is the new GT3, I am very excited about this and the drive is just before Xmas on track. One of our followers here just collected his last weekend and in pictures alone, it looks 11 out of 10 already. Now what about the RS? Love the new spy pics.

Any thoughts on what else to compare please let me know

In summary

1st place is the 458 Speciale
2nd place the Huracan
3rd place the 650s
4th place the Aston V12 vantage

I would hazard that the GT3 is going to take second

The 458 spider remains though the car of the moment when that sun shines though!

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