Performance is a finicky thing. It is somewhat subjective to the users taste. Take, for example a muscle car, they have incredible torque and sound like the devil. Burnouts galore and a lot of fun at a quarter mile track. However, if you ask a muscle car to turn a corner or stop things will fall apart rather quickly. A Porsche will devour corners, turns and performs flawless at top speeds but the sound they produce? Ho-hum. Even a Toyota Prius is “geared” for performance… in the fuel economy department.
I recently spent time with what are arguably the highest performance cars from the land of pizza, pasta and whine and from the land of freedom, country music, and apple pie. They produce a combined 1,338 horsepower between them… 1,338 Horsepower between 2 cars!!!
The 2014 Lamborghini Aventador is arguably the sexiest/scariest car sold today. It has 700 horsepower coming from a 6.5 liter V12 and 508 pound feet of torque. This monster puts the power to all 4 wheels via a 7 speed automated manual. Only the highest end materials are used on this car. Carbon Fiber, Aluminum, titanium and alcantara can all be found in this car. it is so sinister that it has a safety switch you have to flip in order to turn it on…. Performance is stunning and very controllable thanks to all the electrical nanny’s that tell you what you can, and can’t get away with. This is the ballistic missile that you can take to the track, to the night club and to a fancy dinner and pretty well guarantee that you have everyone’s attention and praise. It is easy to drive and will turn a ridiculous lap time on a race track with relative ease. This car costs more than the average condo in the greater Vancouver/Toronto area (north of $500,000). I will not pilot this missile; I cannot afford to replace it.
The Corvette ZR-1 is a different beast altogether. This is America’s answer to all the fancy-dancy exotic toys from Italy / Germany / Japan. Yes it has the obligatory carbon fiber and features like adaptive suspension, carbon fiber and a heads up display, but it also has some uniquely American features like cup holders, a cargo net (you know, for when you are picking up groceries) and On Star so you can find out where the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken is. The Corvette ZR-1 also has something very rare in a 638 horsepower car… IT HAS A CLUTCH!!! Let me explain what happens when you take your foot off the clutch while stepping down on the gas pedal in a rear wheel drive car with 604 pound feet of torque… first nothing, the car is thinking “do you really want to do this, bud?” then everything happens. You propel forward so fast that your entire life flashes before your eyes. I remembered my first kiss as I was hitting 1.03 G’s (yes it has a G-force meter). Then reality kicks in and you get off the “go” pedal very quickly, this is about the most fun you can have with pants on. It will also turn a wicked lap on a race track (faster than the 911 turbo it was designed to beat). It will make you work for the lap time in a rewarding fashion with down shifting, rev matching and heal-toe maneuvers all with no assistance from electrical nannies (traction control and ABS are standard but can be disarmed). The Corvette is the car you buy when you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You buy this to go fast, have fun and blend in. True car aficionados will instantly recognize it and give you lots of respect. Everyone else will think it is a run-of-the-mill Corvette.
These cars are both silly fast. You will laugh like a 5 year old who has just devoured a pound of Pixie Sticks. If you have the means, I recommend either of them. If neither of these are your cup of tea, that’s fine too! AT Auto One We specialize in all kinds of performance.