This year at the Sydney Motor Show, prestige brands have been a little lacking with the absence of Porsche, Audi, Lotus and BMW amongst others. But the new 'Supercar Central' stand more than satisfies the lust for exotic metal.
There, the delicious Koenigsegg and Pagani sit alongside Elfin, Bolwell, the Gemballa Porsche, Lotus, Bufori, and Morgan supercars; collectively adding up to a total dollar value of just under AUS$8million dollars of exotic automotive style and muscle.
TMR spoke to the owners and distributors of each car to get the low-down.
One of the most sought-after cars in the whole of the Sydney Motor Show display was the rarest of them all: the V8 twin supercharged carbon-fibre bodied Koenigsegg CCX from Sweden. This example, the only one in Australia, had only just made it the day before to the Show - coming straight from from the airport to the stand. It had been air-lifted here from its country of origin, Sweden.
In a special colour named Lava Orange, this individually-specced car is fully Australian road compliant and now ready for sale - if your pockets are deep enough to carry the AUS$2.1million asking price that is.
The fully carbon-fibre bodied shell contains a mid-mounted 4.7 litre V8 with twin superchargers creating a tarmac shreading 610 kw (860hp) of power at 5500 rpm with 920Nm of torque at 5500rpm.
Looking at the car 'in the flesh', it is apparent this is a large scale supercar with a presence similar to that of a Lamborghini Murcielago. Most amazing is that, despite its size, it only weighs in at 1280kgs thanks to its extensive use of carbon fibre.
With this much power and torque, and so little relative weight, the performance figures become staggering: 0-100 kph comes in at 3.2 seconds and 0-300 kph comes in at just under the magic half-minute at 29.2 seconds. To bring this amazing piece of engineering to a halt, huge carbon brake discs are used at all four corners using brake rotor parts shared from a helicopter engine! Who said the Swedes were boring!
The little-known Bolwell car company was formed in Melbourne some 50 years ago by Campbell Bolwell. Producing more than 800 cars since that time (mostly in the late sixties and seventies, including the fabulous original Bolwell Mark 7 and, later, the highly collectable V8-engined Nagari), Bolwell has evolved into a diverse and successful company. Producing the new Nagari prototype is a return to an original passion for Campbell Bolwell. Orders for the new Nagari are now being taken.
Looking at the Bolwell Nagari up close, it is very apparent that this car has been designed to be both simple but practical, while retaining a genuine sports car design and supercar capability. It can also be customised to the owners' specification and requirements. The engine in this prototype is a 3.5 litre Quad cam V6 producing 220kw of power and 340 Nm of torque.
Weighing in at a lightweight 900kgs means that in this display-spec vehicle, the 0-100km/h speed can be attained in 4.0 seconds flat. The Bolwell Nagari 2008 can be ordered with a choice of various drive-train combinations but in the displayed specification will cost $198k.
Lotus Elise S
For the modern approach to ?performance through lightweight?, you cannot look past the masters in this area: Lotus. The current Elise S model on display has sold like hotcakes in Australia during 2007/2008. On display was a Storm Titanium Elise S weighing in at a tiny 860Kgs; it's amazingly compact with its Toyota sourced 1ZZ-FE 1.8 litre VVT-i engine shoe-horned in behind the seats.
What is so impressive about this particular model though is that, for just under $70k, you can be driving away a car that's famous everywhere for its legendary track handling and able to propel you to 100km/h in just 6.1 seconds.
Developing only 100kw of power at 6200rpm and 172nm of torque at 4200 rpm may not sound like exciting numbers, but in this lightweight form, it can give cars twice its price a run for their money. With fuel economy and servicing costs being sensible to your wallet also, no wonder this car is proving so popular.
If there was an award for 'extravagance through luxury' on the Supercar Central stand, then this was the winner. While Bufori may be little known to the casual Motor Show visitor, it makes its presence felt with sheer opulence and build quality ? even the spanners in the supplied tool kit are individually ?Bufori? branded.
This example on display featured ?Gliterati Ruby? duco with 24 carat gold flakes dispersed through the paint to give it that special finish.
Strangely non-apparent from the look and shape of this car, the engine is not in the long-nosed hood, but actually mid-rear mounted behind the seats. Nestled back there is a 2.7 litre V6 with a sequential shift gearbox, the exact suppliers of the engine will not be disclosed by Bufori ?under contract?. What we do know though is that it produces 172hp at 6000rpm and 250Nm of torque at 4000rpm and brings the car comfortably up to a top speed of 200 kph.
Also apparent is that this car is not about raw performance and speed but about quality and style for those who demand top-end luxury in a two-seater traditional roadster. Bufori is an Australian-owned company formed in 1986, sell cars mostly to the Asia and overseas markets. This Mk III model is for sale in Australia for $180,000.
Pagani Zonda C12S Roadster
After a quick whip-around of the admiring onlookers of the Supercar Central display, the winner of the prize for the best-looking car on the stand went to the rare and beautiful Pagani Zonda C12S. In vibrant 'Matt Yellow', this particular car was imported by the Hunter Holden group a year ago. It has remained unique in Australia, being the one-and-only ever to have made it to these shores.
The ultimate in Italian convertible supercars, the Zonda C12S is powered by an AMG Mercedes sourced 7.3 litre V12 producing 487kW of power and 780Nm of thumping torque. Performance equates to a 0-100 km/h time of 3.6 seconds and, on a long-enough road, reaching a top speed of 345 kph.
The interior is adorned with stainless steel and chrome with the kind of attention to detail that 'the fabled' Mr Pagani is famous for in his cars. From polished pedals to beautiful polished metal instrumentation, the interior of the Zonda - like the exterior - is a masterpiece of design. Should you want to bring one of these ultimate Italian supercars home, it will set you back a cool $1.55 million.
Chamonix 550 Spyder
This Australian-built classic based on Ferdinand Porsche?s first racing car from 1953 is a true performer. Coming in at a featherweight 720kgs, its rear mounted four-cylinder 16 valve 2.5 litre engine, lifted from a Subaru, looks right at home here nestled behind the back seats. Although only creating 121kw at 5600rpm, this car manages a very respectable 0-100 km/h dash in 5.7 seconds running to a top speed of 228kph.
Under the classically-designed body sits some modern components for safety and handling - like four wheel disc brakes and multi-link De dion rear suspension. With a simple five-speed manual gearbox deploying its 226Nm of torque to the road, this classic can be snapped up at a very reasonable $57,800.
Morgan Aero 8
Morgan's Aero 8 added a certain modern classic British-ness to Supercar Central with its classic cramped cockpit and Morgan-fronted grille. Hiding under the bonnet though is a thoroughly-modern BMW-sourced 4.8 litre V8 pushing out 270kW of power. Being a V8, torque is substantial for its size at 490Nm and the overall car?s weight is a low 1145kg.
These figures give the Aero 8 a top speed of 260kph and a 0-100 km/h time of 4.5 seconds (both statistics not being exactly what you'd call ?old-world classic?). This supercar however carries the classic Morgan styling into the present day and, offering genuine storming performance, can be purchased here for $240,000.
Elfin Type 5 clubman
This was an exclusively-unveiled car at this year's Sydney Motor Show 2008, as previously reported earlier today by TMR. The Australian light-weight sports car maker, Elfin, has produced this little clubman racer with a 194kw turbocharged 2.0 litre engine capable of propelling the car to 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds!
The secret to the car's success, as well as the serious 195kWs lurking in the engine bay, is the 750kg total weight of the car, a good 100kgs lighter than a current Lotus Elise.
This latest Elfin is a kit-car 'build-your-own' affair with the standard naturally-aspirated engine version costing $56,000. The top-performance model comes with a turbo-charged engine (producing the above performance statistics): it will cost you $75,000 all up.
Gemballa Avalanche GT800 EVO-R
Gemballa, famous in the Porsche-modifying world for creating raw and slightly-crazy versions of already potent Porsches (like the 911 Turbo and 911 GT2), had this Gemballa Avalanche GT800 EVO-R on display. With a whopping 800bhp from the famous Porsche 911?s 3.6 litre engine, Gemballa has taken the 911 platform to the extremes in performance.
With torque lifted to a gut-wrenching 895Nm, coupled with a kerb weight of 1800kg, were talking some serious performance figures here. The 0-100km/h sprint comes about in just 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 325kph! How much will this ultimate tuned 911 cost you? A cool $600k is the answer.