How Supercars and New Technologies Are Changing the Way We Think about Cars
Technology does not stand still. Today’s high-tech car flagships could easily be superseded by other cars with more innovations. Nevertheless, someone has to be first. And we are going to explore some of the most significant supercars that made a leap forward in the global car industry.
All of the cars, we will look at, made important technological breakthroughs, thereby making their mark on history. The fact that each of them was eventually superseded by something even more fantastic shows just how rapid the pace of automotive evolution is.
Each of these vehicles remains the technological benchmark of its era, and renting supercars in Dubai today provides an opportunity to feel the nowaday’s scientific miracle.
The Miura was not only a radical step forward in car design, it also created the ultimate car category: the supercar.
Many fast, exotic cars already existed in the ’60s, but this Italian legend introduced a template that still inspires many famous company designers today.
The unconventional positioning of the engine transversely (similar to what you find in most modern front-wheel-drive cars) improved weight distribution.
But when the 3.9-liter 350-horsepower V12 engine was installed, there was no room at all. Engineers solved this problem with ease by combining the transmission and differential into one gearbox.
The naked Miura chassis was shown in 1965 at the Turin Motor Show. Between 1966 and 1969 the company successfully built and sold 275 cars, which was no small success since the price per car was $20,000 USD.
The words “BMW” and “supercar” seem to belong together, but the history of the M1 shows that the reality is much more complicated. The car’s technological sophistication, can’t ensure its success.
In the late 1970s, BMW was just beginning to establish itself as a dominant force in the automotive industry, so the company decided to build a supercar.
With no experience, BMW knew a lot about engine design. The 3.5-liter M88 was a clean-sheet design, showing six separate throttle valves, four valves per cylinder, and a Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection. Competing engines from Ferrari and Lamborghini had more power, but they also had twice as many cylinders.
Sounds pretty impressive, but the development process was complicated for the M1. In turmoil, only 456 M1s were built, and these cars were nearly impossible to sell. In the midst of the late ’70s economic downturn, a few people were interested in a supercar from the German sedan manufacturer. Nevertheless, the M1 still has an important legacy.
How can you argue with a car that has an engine compartment covered in pure gold? McLaren said gold is a good conductor of heat and not just a small detail in F1.
Another exotic material was carbon fiber, from which the body and chassis were made. The chassis was designed with an integrated tubular frame. The seating position is in the center of the car, giving the driver a wide view.
The result was recognized as the fastest production car of the 20th century, with a top speed of 400 kilometers per hour.
Sixteen cylinders. Four turbochargers. One thousand and one horsepower. One million dollars. The Bugatti Veyron is one of the few cars that have reached the level of the epochal definition of technical achievement.
In 1998, the Volkswagen Group acquired the Bugatti, and the group’s boss, Ferdinand Pich decided to build the fastest car in the world. The eight-liter, four-turbo W16 engine produced 1,001 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 1,250 Nm of torque and a pre-selective 7-speed transmission.
Engineers had to develop special tires that could handle the potential of this car. But on top of that technology and power, the Veyron had to be comfortable and luxurious, a fitting car that was as expensive as it was fast. Mission accomplished, 408 kilometers per hour seemed to be the limit, but no. In 2010, the Veyron Super Sport raised the bar to 431 kilometers per hour.
Each of these technologies seemed impossible and absurd at first glance. Only madmen were willing to bet on the success of all these ideas. However, it is thanks to the talent and courage of the constructors that we got these pieces of art, which have changed the entire car industry time after time.
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