A Quick Run For McLaren

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McLaren, the famed racing group, has quickly integrated itself into making high performance street cars. Starting with the legendary McLaren F1 in the 1990’s, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in the early 2000’s and now the McLaren MP4-12C.

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McLaren has recently announced that the MP4-12C will cease production as of 2014. Don’t worry though- McLaren already has the replacement 650S ready to go and the highly exclusive, million-dollar P1 has begun delivery to some very lucky clients.

The 12C was in production from 2011 to 2014, making it a very quick run. No formal production numbers have been released by the British company, but in 2011 it is estimated that 1,000 vehicles were sold in nineteen different countries, including 500 to the United States.

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McLaren took the super-car world by storm with the release of 12C. The car features stunning angles that only years of wind tunnel testing could produce. McLaren had not put out its own street car since the end of F1 production in 1998 and enthusiasts began to wonder if McLaren’s street days were over. In 2009, Frank Stephenson was hired by the automotive group to head the 12C design team. After years of testing, the 12C was born.

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Sitting on a carbon MonoCell, the chassis weighs just 176 pounds. Extensive Carbon Fiber was used throughout the vehicle to reduce weight. The total product is a car hitting the scale at only 2,868 pounds. In the legendary F1, a three-person seating style was used; the driver in the middle and two passengers slightly behind and off to the side. The 12C went back to the conventional two-seater sports car but the interior is purposely narrower than most cars, bringing the driver closer to the center. McLaren, thoughtfully calls the cockpit of the car the “Driver Zone”.

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Powering the 12C is a 3.8L V8 Twin-Turbo engine that originally produced 592hp. In October of 2013 the company decided to add some extra thrust. Offering free installation for all current McLaren owners the engine was retrofitted to produce a monstrous 616hp. All new models from 2013 on would come standard with the power upgrade. The exotic also features a seven speed dual-cluth automatic transmission. Of course the driver can manually shift gears using the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel. This allows for faster and more precise gear changes.

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With all that horsepower the 12C will sprint to 60mph in just 3.1 seconds and will scream to a top speed of about 207mph. McLaren also offers a spider version of the vehicle which comes with an automatic removable hard top. The coupe version will run the buyer a mere $239,400 while the spider goes for $265,750. A small price to pay for a truly amazing vehicle. You will be hitting the gas station a bit often as the exotic gets just 15mpg city and 22 highway; but hey, it’s a sexy car.

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McLaren certainly did not hold back with this exquisite exotic. Drive around anywhere and you’ll be sure to find yourself the center of attention. When the famous McLaren doors rise up towards the heavens the vehicle will show off it’s beauty. There is truly not one bad angle on this car, and not one bad color choice either. My personnel favorite being Volcano Yellow.

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With the sad news that the MP4-12C will halt production following the 2014 model year, McLaren is not letting anyone down. They have already released the replacement- the 650S. In fact, some are already out on public roads being tested. The replacement offers more power, and other upgrades. The coupe is set start at $265,400 and the spider at $280,225.

The king of super-cars in my opinion will always be the McLaren F1. It is my all time favorite exotic car. Although just 106 were made from 1992 to 1998, this $2 million dollar vehicle tops the list of all street-cars. In tribute to the king, McLaren recently unveiled the P1. At $1.5 million each and top speed of 218mph this is a legend in the making. Only 375 units will be made and all have been sold.

If you or anyone you know happens to drive or see a 12C, F1, SLR, 650S or P1, tweet in your pictures and videos to @CarZachdotCom on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram @carzachdotcom and be sure to subscribe via email on the left hand side of the screen or simply click “follow” in the top left corner.

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Motivation Monday: F430 Style

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Spring has sprung and the exotics are out tearing up the roads here in Long Island, New York. I snapped this photo in the fall of 2013 while attending a massive car show. Over 300 locally owned exotics showed up including this Ferrari F430 and Ferrari F430 Scuderia. The 5.4L engine powers out 490-503 horsepower. The specially tuned exhaust note is music to the ear. Look for the differences in both models (Scuderia on right), different  tail pipes and engine bay. Sadly, the F430 stopped production in 2009, but the beautiful 458 Italia has taken over!

Rev up your week and read more articles right here on CarZach.com and be sure share with friends and family. A new article is in the make, be sure to stay tuned!

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A Thrilling Drive In An Audi R8

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As an exotic car enthusiast who doesn’t own any exotic vehicles, it leaves me with a lot of hopeful dreams for the future. Last year, while on a vacation in Mexico I had an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the exclusive Audi R8. Here in the USA these high-performance vehicles rarely get the chance to have someone really put the pedal down and show off their power. Luckily, I was behind the wheel on a closed track and was able to reach speeds up to 100mph. It was a bit challenging to go over 100mph due to the lay-out of the course, which featured a very small straight away and a few different turns.

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In 1997 Audi purchased the all ready highly regarded exotic car producer Lamborghini. Since then, Audi has put some of its excellent engineering into Lamborghini streetcars. In 2007, Lamborghini returned the favor and put some their engineering into the car that would now be known as the Audi R8. To date, more than 50,000 units have rolled off the production line as the vehicle continues to be a high selling, powerful exotic.

Today a 2014 Audi R8 will set a buyer back anywhere between $124,000-$173,000 (depending what on trim levels). The model I had the privilege of driving was the Audi R8 Base Coupe, which costs $124,000. The vehicle has a 4.2L V8 engine that muscles out 430hp. The car will rocket to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds. As the price increases, the more power becomes available such as the 5.2L V10 that boasts 550hp.

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Besides the sleek exterior, the interior is truly exquisite. The seats were a beautiful red leather and surprising very comfortable for an exotic. The dashboard was clean, well-lit and certainly made the driver know they were in an exclusive vehicle.  Visibility out the front windshield and two side windows was great and would definitely make for easy road driving. I did not have the opportunity to check out how the view out the back, as I did not need to reverse the car for any reason. The steering wheel was light and very easy to maneuver which allows the driver to make those quick turns. The vehicle was an automatic, but did have the option to use paddle shifters (I did not).

Starting up the car was truly music to my ears. The V8 had an extraordinary rumble that not only gets the drivers adrenaline pumping but would certainly let on-lookers know that this baby can go. With my seatbelt fastened and my silly racing helmet on I tapped the gas. Wow. The AWD instantly lurched the car forward. Having to watch out for my friend driving the Ferrari 360 Modena I nervously tapped the breaks and came to instant halt.

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With the go ahead, I put the pedal to the floor and launched onto the track. The V8 screamed as the car accelerated heading into the first ‘S’ curve. With no issue at all the car flew out of the curve and continued to annihilate the open pavement ahead. Through the tighter turns the R8 remained perfectly flat and never gave any sign of over or understeer. It seemed like the tires would never stop hugging the road on every turn.

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Soon enough, my three laps of heaven was over and I was told to slow down and pull over. The R8 handled like a true super-car should. The V8 let out beautiful music but was never too loud that it would be an annoyance to the driver or passenger (I could never get annoyed at that). What Audi had done was put forward their very best in engineering and Lamborghini provided the heart of the beast (the engine). It was an experience of a life time in a car that many only dream of sitting in. When the time comes to buy my first exotic, the R8 would be very high up on my list. It was a great car, with out of this world performance!

Enjoy the video below of my thrilling drive!

Be sure to follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom! As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Stay tuned   as some big features are to come such as a peek at the Ferrari 458 Speciale and a 500hp Dodge Challenger!

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A Red Horse Ready to Pounce!

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IMG_0579Lets roll back to 1999 when the super car company Ferrari stopped production of the beloved 355 and brought to life the 360 Modena. The Modena went on to have a very successful  5 year model run with a production line of about 17,500 units! Ferrari made 3 different models of the 360- the 360 Modena, the Spider and the Challenge Stradale.

The 360 Modena and the 360 Modena Spider were identical except that the Spider was missing its roof. The Challenge Stradale was the most extreme model. This special edition model   was 242 pounds lighter with a bonus 25 horsepower making a total of 425hp, compared to the regular 400hp in the Modena. In the rear of the car lay a 3.6 liter V8 engine which gave off a pitch perfect exhaust note every time.

The super car was named in honor of Modena, Italy– the hometown of the late Mr. Enzo Ferrari. The number 360 represents the supercar’s 3.6 liter engine. The prancing horse is able to launch to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds, making it very difficult for others to catch up.

Unlike most exotics at the time, the 360’s interior was just as striking as the outside. The car’s plush leather seats made long distance rides more enjoyable. The Stradale was completely stripped down of everything except the AC, making this model better off for quick runs. If you’re looking for a car with good rear window visibility then you may want to research another car. All Modena models have a very limited view of what they leave behind in the dust. One of the most notable features on the horse was the F1-like paddle shifters that swiftly change gears in just milliseconds. And of course a manual 6 speed transmission was still available for the old school.

The whole fleet of Ferrari’s had a top speed of around 180mph (the Challenge went 189mph), which for the late 90’s was groundbreaking. At the time, one could become an exclusive Ferrari owner if they dropped around $155,000 on this high-end vehicle. If you just so happened to have an extra $34,000 lying around, then you could obtain the Challenge Stradale. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time at the pump, this car, or any Ferrari for that matter, is not for you… the car gets just 11mpg city and 16mpg highway. Yes, I know that’s enough to drive any Prius driver crazy!

Yes, this is me (below) driving a 360 Modena around the track at speeds over 100mph! Turn up your volume and listen to the music at the bottom of the page!

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