P1 Supercar Club

P1 Supercar Club

The supercar world is a fast moving one in all senses of the term- no sooner than one manufacturer sets a performance benchmark their peers begin piling their time and cash into trumping it. This constant model development and the, sometimes misguided, notion that newest is best means that many people are always looking to experience (and be seen experiencing!) the latest supercar thrills.

In the past speculating by getting your name down first on the order books used to damn near guarantee you a profit even after a few months of enjoying the car but now such performance is by no means certain, something which those who banked on the Bentley GTC being in short supply in the secondary market shortly after launch will no doubt attest to. Although bad news for some this is good news for those involved in asset-sharing car programmes as members will get to sample the most recent offerings from the greatest names in motoring without the possibility of having to pay a premium and/or take a big depreciation hit when the next 'must-have' catches their eye.

So what are the cars to be seen in this year? The nominees are, in no particular order...

Ford GT - This must be the quickest point-to-point car I have ever had the pleasure of driving. A two door,two seated car with a high-tech supercharged mid-mounted 5.4 litre,550 horsepower V8 fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox.Top speed is 330 kp/h. o- 100 is less than 4 secs !! Don't worry about booking a fancy hotel at the weekend as you'll be out driving most of the time, just get spot somewhere cheap with decent roads nearby and save the rest for plenty of super-unleaded. Perhaps not as flash as some of it's contemporaries but if you want bling why not take a look at the...

Bentley Continental GTC - You may get the impression from the office know-it-all that the Bentley marque has been diluted since the introduction of the GT but then it's doubtful that he has driven one. Perhaps it is a touch on the brash side especially in this new convertible incarnation but there is no arguing that it still oozes opulence and serious road presence and the W12 twin-turbo is an absolute stormer. One for when the sun is shining and you're heading to the coast. One for the June pilgrimage to Noosa....?

Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder - The standard Gallardo is a stunningly accomplished car but possibly too much so, until you catch sight of your reflection is a shop window or the road opens up and allows you to exploit the potential of the V10 that is. Well, now Lambo have made it a little bit more special, press a button and the hood disappears in a scant 20 seconds meaning that now you can enjoy that engine note even more.

Porsche 911 GT3 - Our third Porsche in the collection but although the GT3 may share the distinctive 911 silhouette it is an altogether different beast. 415 normally aspirated horses and rear wheel drive means it is spiritually closer to the Porsches of old but with the benefit of all those years of chassis development. To coin a cliché it embodies man and machine as one and is a truly superb drive for those who like their cars with added involvement.

Audi R8 - Much has been said about the R8 but unfortunately not by me as I'm not due to get my hands on one until September, but when I do itll be the first one delivered in Australia. This is Audi tossing its hat into the supercar ring and it is probably fair to say that this is one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2007. With chassis and layout based on the Gallardo we know it is going to be good but just how good? If the styling is anything to go by then the answer will be 'very'.

Aston Martin DB9 Volante - The gentleman's choice. Although Italian supercars may chase headline figures with their F1 technology and high revving engines the DB9 goes about its business in a more restrained fashion. 450bhp may not sound like much in today's automotive world but it can still knock on the door of 190mph accompanied by a soundtrack guaranteed to stir your soul. All these things could be said of the coupe version but now there is no pesky roof to stand between you and the aural nirvana provided by its 6.0 V12 powerplant.

Ferrari F430 Spider - This is Ferrari's flagship model, but although the 430 may conjure up images of softly sprung but powerful racers the Spideris as taut and accomplished as we have come to expect from the boys in Marenallo. It sounds like an Italian tenor gargling on honey. Probably best to let the cars own style do the talking on this one-think Megan Gale in a skin-tight Versace dress. Bellisimo.

BMW M5 Touring - A list of the most exciting cars of the year and we have a BMW? Well, BMW's Motorsport range has consistently come up with some supercar baiting versions of their more run-of-the-mill fare over the decades and now they have sprinkled their M-dust on the latest 5-series. Old news? Nope. This is the Touring (don't call it an 'estate', it upsets the Bavarian boys) iteration which means you can make the fastest ever round trip to Ikea thanks to the same 507bhp V10 that powers the saloon.

Aston Martin Vantage Volante - If the DB9 is the more mature yet powerful member of the AM family then the Vantage is it's tenacious younger brother. True to Aston form has a fabulous engine note, although now it's a rich V8 burble at tickover than grows to a snarl under part throttle and a glorious wail at full chat. With the roof down and a tank full of the finest super unleaded there are few more life-affirming ways to while away a day or two. Oh, and we won't tell anyone if you want to be a bit geeky and record the exhaust note as your ring-tone. Promise.

Lamborghini Murcielago - Although it remains a current model the Murcielago is perhaps a bit long in the tooth in the company of the rest of these young upstarts but nevertheless worthy of a mention just because of the sheer occasion it brings to every trip. If stepping out of Lambo with the trademark scissor doors (reserved only for the top of the line V12 models such as this) wasn't enough then you get to drive it in-between getting in and out! Providing proper old school thrills and true 300-kp/h plus performance your supercar year just wouldn't be complete without it.

So, that's it. Our current top 10- subject to change as soon as I finish this sentence. There is no out and out winner apart from the consumer, as for as much as it costs for a set of tyres and a new clutch on just one of them you could sample them all for a few days- check out our complete collection of cars at www.p1international.com.au