Monday, 26 December 2011

Exotic Cars and Their Everyday Equivalents

Exotic Cars and Their Everyday Equivalents

Rather than fawning over often unobtainable beauties, we've picked five modern-day exotics & matched them with their more affordable stand-ins

It goes without saying that most people wouldn't mind parking a six-figure exotic sports car in their garage. But it also goes without saying that most people don't have a checkbook capable of making that happen. With the average supercar able to crack a quarter of a million dollars with ease, not having one parked in your driveway is nothing to be ashamed of. So instead of simply fawning over these often-unobtainable beauties, we decided to mix it up: We've picked five modern-day exotics and matched them up with something that offers a similar experience for a fraction of the price. Sure, there's no replacement for the real deal, and a lot of subjectivity is involved, but we've tried to match the spirit of the cars as closely as possible.
Dream of this …

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport | Price: $2.25 million

The Bugatti Veyron is arguably the current pinnacle of exotic cars. Five years after its introduction, the Veyron SS is still the most, well, everything. It's the most expensive, the quickest, the most powerful and the most complicated. With its 8-liter 16-cylinder engine with four turbochargers, the Veyron SS produces an insane 1,183 horsepower with 1,106 lb-ft of torque and is capable of an absurd 268 mph top speed — the fastest production car in the world, by a large margin. This thing is closer to a land jet than a passenger car, yet it's still luxurious and could be driven daily in comfor
Consider this …

2012 Nissan GT-R | Price: $89,950

It would take something like the Veyron to put the indomitable Nissan GT-R in the "lesser" position in one of these pairings, considering that it's also one of the fastest cars ever made. Like the Veyron, the GT-R formula is deceptively simple: Use tons of technology to be absurdly, unexpectedly quick in all situations. Thanks to a brilliantly grippy all-wheel-drive system and loads of stability-control wizardry, driving the 545-horsepower GT-R is actually feasible for less than professional hands. Despite their similar approach toward performance, the Nissan doesn't come close to touching the Bugatti's rarified air of exclusivity and sophistication. But who cares? There's no question that the GT-R offers better bang for the buck.
Dream of this …

2011 Aston Martin One-77 | Price: $1.87 million

Designed as a "halo car" for the historic British automaker, the One-77 is an ultraexclusive supercar that packs a whopping 750-horsepower V12 engine and an even more whopping price tag of close to $2 million. Holding one of the highest top speeds of any production car, the One-77 is capable of cracking 220 mph. Fortunately for trigger-happy shopaholics out there, the model was limited to just 77 examples, all of which were promptly snatched up by well-heeled enthusiasts worldwide.
Consider this …

2012 Jaguar XK | Price: $84,500

The modern sports cars from Aston Martin and Jaguar share a similar shape and layout, as well as a uniquely British character and air of elegance. While the XK-Series now includes a scorching high-performance XKR-S variant complete with 550 horsepower, it's still not in the same league as the One-77. Luckily, its price tag isn't either. The V8-powered luxury sports car starts at $84,500 — peanuts compared with the Aston Martin. In the stable alongside the new XKR-S are the base XK with its 5-liter 385-horsepower V8 engine and the midlevel XKR with a supercharged V8 good for 510 horsepower.
Dream of this …

McLaren MP4-12C | Price: $229,000

Yes, this is the very same McLaren that created the F1 supercar of the '90s, which many still consider the greatest sports car ever made. Now back for a second round, the low-production automaker and racing specialist has set its sights on more "common" exotics from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. The result is the stunning MP4-12C. Sporting a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 engine made entirely in-house and good for a breathtaking 592 horsepower at 8,500 rpm, the MP4-12C is no slouch. On top of that, many have hailed it as one of the best-handling sports cars ever made.
Consider this …

2011 Lotus Evora | Price: $64,000

Also from England, the Lotus Evora is, in many ways, a baby MP4-12C. It's not as explosively fast, but the svelte Evora is the answer for those who want world-class performance and style, but don't want to feel as if they're constantly in a race car. And believe it when we say the Evora is a purebred sports car. It's incredibly balanced and handles like a dream. Now available with a supercharger that boosts the Toyota-based V6 engine's output from 276 to 345 horsepower, it's even faster in the twisties.
Dream of this …

2011 Ferrari 458 Italia | Price: $225,325

Thrilling and precise, the midengine 458 Italia is Ferrari's current superstar. Its 4.5-liter V8 does what Ferrari engines do best: make insane power at even more insane engine speeds. In this case, you're looking at a shrieking 570 horsepower — that's nearly 127 horsepower per liter, naturally aspirated, an incredible achievement — occurring at a mind-boggling 9,000 rpm. And this raw power resides in one of the most technologically advanced sports cars ever made, with a lightning-quick dual-clutch gearbox and a brilliant chassis and suspension to match.
Consider this …

2011 Lotus Exige | Price: $65,690

It may have half the cylinders and none of the luxury or Italian pizzazz of the Ferrari, but it has the same focus on driver feedback and surgical handling precision. While its Toyota-sourced engine doesn't exactly send chills up the spine like the Ferrari's howling V8, its supercharged 240 horsepower is more than enough to propel the ultrastiff, featherweight sports car in seriously quick fashion. The result is a sports car that produces ear-to-ear grins big enough to make you forget the rattled teeth and cramps caused by riding in the comically small, Spartan cabin.
Dream of this …

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster | Price: $196,100

The crown jewel of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, the SLS AMG represents the pinnacle of the automaker's sports-car engineering. While AMG has long played a role in massaging standard Mercedes models for greater performance, this is the only model developed exclusively as a stand-alone AMG. With a rip-snorting V8 engine, good for 563 horsepower, and a classic long-nose profile that harks back to the original historic SL 500 supercars of the 1950s, the SLS AMG is the ultimate Mercedes-Benz sports car, blending exclusivity with warp speed; it can sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds
Consider this …

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class | Price: $54,800

Fully redesigned for 2012, the Mercedes-Benz SLK continues to do what it always has, which is to do everything well. It is luxurious, gadget-laden, comfortable, reasonably quick and decent looking. It's a prototypical Mercedes, through and through. Its new direct-injection V6 engine is good for 302 horsepower and a 5.6-second romp to 60 mph. Those pining for something a bit closer to the flagship SLS AMG Roadster can opt for the 415-horsepower SLK55 AMG, the top-tier SLK variant equipped for performance duty by the very same gurus at AMG.

For more information on any vehicle in this slideshow, click the links below:

- Nissan GT-R
- Jaguar XK
- Lotus Evora
- Ferrari 458 Italia
- Lotus Exige
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
- 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

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