Friday, 8 May 2009

Supercar Mayhem

OK, here's the fact: there won't be any supercars in this post. I mean there will be, just in case someone was to sue me othervise, but this article is all about dreams.

There's a budget crisis going on in the world right now but I'm pretty sure this won't mean the end of supercar-manufacturers. Maybe they will sell one less a year because some businessman got so overwhelmed by the fear that he would lose everything that he chose committing suicide in the meantime. RIP.

Now, us, "normal" people generally just dream of ownership of either of these so we start putting posters on the wall or ridiculous spoilers on our family car in which we normally carry around our relatives, pets, furniture, anger and misery. If we get rid of all these we may step some away from the car closing one eye and start thinking. After around 17 minutes the fortunate ones come up with the conclusion: "Hey, my vehicle IS a supercar!"

Actually this is a personal experience and I am convinced about my hypothesis for about 43% so I am ready to share this revelation with you if you are prepared mentally and spiritually in order to make your life happier not seeing an ugly brick in the parking lot anymore but the shiniest red car ever built... Just like the Hot Wheels or Matchbox models you used to carry around everywhere you went.

Deep breath and here we travel into Zen!

So let's take my car. It's a 1998 Ford Escort CLX. 1.4 liter engine, silver color, completely stock hatchback outfit and front wheel drive. Now, Ford is one of the greatest car company ever, they invented mass production, durability and the color black. They also participate or participated in every motorsport that has been on Earth, just to mention some: Formula 1, NASCAR, WRC, GT car racing, Le Mans, touring car, etc.

Now have a look at my triumphant car: it is just a bloody boring chariot! I mean, no wonder that this was the last year of the Escort and was replaced by the highly exciting Focus. There is just no way to emphasise the designers absoulte lack of ideas any further than this (however this is not 100% true). And it does not have power. 75 bhp with 1100 kgs mass does not sound that tragic, but it feels more like 55. There is no sense of torque inside.

So what is so good about it? Take a closer look. The first two generations of the Escort were a legend in Europe. One of the best handling cars ever produced. Or I should put it this way: the most exciting one, making rally history. You got the same, basic experience as in a Lada just in a much more sophisticated way. But let's return to the current model: "it's an FWD so the thrill is gone for good" you might think, but that is not exactly true. Obviously it's not a race car, but it has quite stiff suspentions, at least it is handier in corners than it's contemporary rivels. Take it into a roundabout or a 180 degree turn and you'll see!

Does it make it a supercar? Yes! Most supercars are known of great handling and grip in corners, the rest of them are called dragsters without appeal.

Moving on to the engine you don't get great sound or exciting power. What you get is much different: the motor inside is called "CVH", which stands for "Compound Valve angle Hemispherical combustion chamber". Said what? Hemispherical? Meaning H-E-M-I? Yes, it's a HEMI, for all holy cows' sake! The perfect muscle car engine! The engine that made American car industry immortal since the 60s. Coming straight from the ovals of NASCAR from Chrysler actually, it dominates all American motorsports. You can find these in NHRA Top Fuels as well. It's all Dodge. Whether it is painted as a Toyota or Chevrolet, it has the Dodge engine underneath. But this one comes from Ford. Half a muscle car engine concerning the size of cylinders, otherwise it would be just one-fourth of it...

And there is more: the 1.6 liter version was put into the Morgan 4/4, which is a classically stylished, handcrafted British luxurious roadster. I mean, the greatest supercars come from Britain and they are all handcrafted.
So a muscle car's engine in a classic roadster still makes the Escort a supercar again. But it's not over yet!

Come closer to the back: what's underneath the window? It is a rear spoiler. A wing! Of course, other cars have these kind of spoilers as well, but which family hatchback has such a beautifully designed rear wing?

It's like you were looking at the rear of the Ford GT or a Mustang Fastback.

Moreover this car has a Cosworth version as well. Cosworth! Engine supplier to WRC and Formula One! How can you top that?

So in the end I have to say, this car is the ultimate supercar ever produced! Starts as a muscle car, ends as a supercar and in between it's a family hatchback, and the hole thing together is one of the greatest rally cars.

Any appeal, Mr. Racer X?

"You are pathetic, kid!"

Oh, shut up!

No comments:

Post a Comment