Piech Wants More Power
A few years ago, if I had told you that there would be a production car available with 1000 horses, you’d have probably said “Get lost, Cammy!” Well, in this age of electric cars, hybrids, clean diesels and climate change (it’s a crock of what, Mr Lutz?), what if I were to tell you that there is a production car with 1200 hp on the horizon? What would you say, then? Hold the straight-jacket …
The Austrian site Motorline (that’s Austrian?) reports that Volkswagen Chairman and everyone’s favorite megalomaniac, Ferdinand Piech, made an off-the-cuff remark during a lecture at the TU in Vienna, Austria. He said that back home, there is an all new car with 1200 hp. As a Polo with that power is unlikely, this will be the next evolution of the Bugatti Veyron, the one with 1001 hp (987 bhp). Koenigsegg tried to upstage the Veyron, such as with the flex fuel CCXR (1079 hp.) As we all know, Herr Piech doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone. Just ask Wendelin Wiedeking. When more details of the arms race become available, we’ll report them. And if Edward Niedermeyer is reading this, I’ll happily test drive this for TTAC. Piech said he had already driven the car and that he can vouch for its qualities as a daily driver. Honestly, he said that, according to Motorline. (Some Austrian required.)
(Possible insect in the ointment: Motorline says Bugatti would “increase power by 2 percent.” According to Motorline’s calculation, 2 percent added to 1000 horses equals 1,200. A case of Austrian math? But then, would a Piech mention piteous 20 ponies?)
Why not just get a Gulfstream V and go really fast expensively? With a little study and hard work, you can even drive it yourself. And, you can take a few friends along for the ride to an actual destination rather than out into the desert and back to Dubai.
Well, the only market segment Piech can show his talent and dominance are the one no other car marker would like to be in (due to financial calculations). If you have some engineering background, you would know it's not hard to make a 1000hp car losing money. It's much much harder to produce a 200hp car and still make money. If Toyota/Honda/Nissan/GM/Ford intend to lose as much money, they can build equally good or even better super cars. As a matter of fact, the LF-A would be just as fast for 99% of the buyers and light years more reliable at 15% of the cost.
Actually, the LF-A is overpriced and slow. It makes a pathetic amount of horsepower for its price, and can just barely beat a GT-R in a straight line. Its gotta hurt to spend $400K on a super Lexus and lose off the line to a Corvette or 911.
An optimal clutch drop on a powerful RWD car is not that high, and automatics become the better option for drag racing as power increases. Torque converters can make for very quick launches. The six speed auto Corvette is within a couple tenths of the manual version for 0-60.