In the Headlights - Mega Horsepower {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

25 Sep 2017

This week we’re all about one thing – big horsepower. You can make a car louder, look better, handle better, all those things but one thing is sure to get a petrolhead excited and that’s raw power. We’re now living in a world where normal is 400hp in a family hatchback, a sports saloon has 600hp, supercars are knocking on the door of 800hp and hypercars have 1000+bhp – the Bugatti Chiron and Koenigsegg Regera both have 1500hp!! So we’re definitely in the golden age of horsepower. Our four cars for this week’s In the Headlights promotion have been chosen by motoring journalist Rory Smith, but before he has his say midweek I’ll see what I think of his choices!

When McLaren relaunched into the supercar scene in 2011 the marketplace already had the big players – the Ferrari 458 and Lamborghini Gallardo – and plenty of supporting roles like the 911 Turbo and the R8 V10. But in came McLaren with the 12C; a stunning supercar that had masses of power, a carbon tub, active aero, great visibility and was absurdly quick. 12C soon morphed into 650S which fixed some of the early teething issues and housed the new corporate nose. Oh, and 650hp. Lest we not forget the 675LT too, the limited run track special that was promptly declared the best car in the world by the motoring press. So where do you go from there? Simple – you rewrite the book, start from scratch if you will with what they call the 720S. So there’s a 4.0 litre twin turbo V8 that is only partially related to the older 3.8, this time putting out 710bhp (720PS, hence the name) in a car weighing just 1400kg. The carbon tub has been refined and tweaked so the sills are lower and the butterfly doors cut into the roof, so getting in and out is incredibly easy while visibility is in a whole new league with the see-through c-pillars and massive glasshouse. There’s no doubt that aerodynamics has driven the whole styling approach, with huge intakes forming the headlight aperture, double-skinned doors that contain the intakes for the engine and channel air over to the rear, and a full-width active aero wing. The 720S really is next level - Supercar v2.0. And you can win one with BOTB – what a time to be alive!

Now we’ve got the genre-redefining supercar out of the way, onto the more reasonable, yet still ridiculous cars. As this is all about power, we’ll start at the bottom and work out way up – starting with the Ford Focus RS FPM375 by Mountune (quite a mouthful – let’s refer to it as the FPM375 herein). The FPM375 takes the standard Focus RS and tweaks the ECU map, adds a different airbox, pipework and other ancillaries and in our case sticks Mountune’s axle-back exhaust on there too, resulting in an RS that is faster, angrier, noisier and just generally better. And lest we forget that as this package was developed alongside Ford, the factory warranty isn’t affected at all. Is there any reason not to have it? Next up we have a car that will undoubtedly divide opinion – the Mercedes-AMG GLC63-S Coupe (what is it with long names this week?) And with good reason too, as it takes a practical SUV and removes the practicality a fair bit by adding a coupe roofline. Then it ditches the usual 2.2 litre diesel engine found in the GLC and replaces it with a ridiculous 4.0 litre twin turbo V8 producing 503bhp. Mad, crazy, bonkers and I love it. Rory’s last choice also features a 4.0 litre twin turbo V8, but this is time it produces a fifth more power at 597bhp, and puts it in an estate car body that has a huge boot and handles like a sports car – yes, it’s the top version of one of BOTB’s most popular cars – the Audi RS6 Performance. It’s loaded with kit as standard but amazingly you can add in the region of £40,000 worth of extras if you want – best tick that £20,000 cash option on your ticket then!

So those are your choices – which will you buy tickets for? All of them? Oh go on then – they’re available right here for one week only…

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