KOENIGSEGG AGERA & AGERA R…WORTH EVERY PENNY!

My views of Swedish cars usually don’t include hypercars or even sports car for that matter.  I usually envision a happy nuclear family safely motoring down the road on their way to apple picking.  There is a car company however that may very well change my opinion.

Koeniggsegg Agera

Koeniggsegg Agera

Koeniggsegg has been around for a while, since first coming on to the scene in 1994 with their CCX model.  I’ve seen the car from time-to-time, showing up in random B-list movies and rap videos, although I never really took an interest in learning more about it.  I thought it was one of those boutique car companies that would soon fizzle away after the rich owner got bored and moved on to the next thing to check off his bucket list.

Koenigsegg Agera

Koenigsegg Agera

Well 17 years later founder Christan von Koeniggsegg is still as passionate as ever dreaming up the impossible and making it a reality.  His latest creations, the Agera and Agera R (2012), are nothing short of technical masterpieces.  While I could literally write novels about the cars’ technical feats I thought I’d touch upon some of the more distinctive characteristics that make the Agera so special.

Koenigsegg Agera R -1100 BHP

Koenigsegg Agera R -1100 bhp

The name Agera means, “to take action” in Swedish and also comes from the Greek word Ageratos or “ageless”.  Deemed as impossible or too expensive, Koeniggseg is among the very few, if any, boutique car companies that actually develop and produce their own engine in-house.  The 5.0-liter V8 twin turbo engine is considered the lightest and most compact hypercar engine in the world producing 940 bhp and 1100 bhp for their ‘R’ model.  This is quite an accomplishment considering the cars fuel consumption is 16 mpg and has emissions of 310g/C02.  What really impressed me was the specially designed carbon-fiber monocoque chassis that embodies a built-in 21-gallon fuel tank as to evenly distribute the weight of the fuel throughout the car.  The chassis design is not only physically brilliant it proved to be extremely safe thus allowing it to pass the U.S. crash test on the first try.  While I have only found unofficial 0-60 mph times (3.0 and 2.7 for the ‘R’) I did manage to find an official 0-200 mph time; 17.68 seconds! We are living in mad times when car companies no longer provide 0-60 mph times but rather 0-200 mph.  I love it!

Koenigsegg Agera R -1100 BHP

Koenigsegg Agera R -1100 bhp

Aside from the impressive technical attributes the Agera represents, I find this car to be strikingly sexy and aesthetically pleasing.  Scissor doors, removable roof, turbine wheels, ghost-lite dash the list goes on and on! I have often dreamt of starting my own sports car company and too be honest I don’t feel the need to do so knowing the Koeniggsegg Agera is out there.  It’s pretty much exactly the way I would want my car to look, sound and perform!  This car is very special and while I have no idea what the price tag is, I can already say it’s worth every penny.

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LAMBORGHINI SESTO ELEMENTO…NERDS RULE!

The word nerd and Lamborghini never worked very well in the same sentence together however, the sensational Italian automaker has become quite the whiz kid in recent years.  With some help from their friends at Boeing Aerospace Lamborghini is quickly being considered an authority figure on carbon-fiber hyper-machines.  So savvy indeed I felt quite intelligent just by reading up on the Sesto Elemento.  The name alone suggests a degree of scientific pedigree as it means “Sixth Element” in Italian or moreover the Sixth Element on the Periodic Table aka Carbon.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Debuted for the first time at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, the Sesto Elemento was introduced to the world as a technological demonstration piece by Lamborghini, a little flex of their muscle if you will.  Well that little flex raised a lot of eyebrows and generated quite a buzz.  With the excellent feedback and numerous requests received about the Sesto Elemento, Lamborghini had been convinced to embark on the challenge of producing a vehicle with the unique characteristics demonstrated at the Paris Auto Show.  One year later voila’, you have a very limited (20 units), track-only, extreme masterpiece of lightweight engineering that delivers unparalleled performance.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

How unparalleled you ask?  The 5.2-liter V10 borrowed from the Gallardo produces 570 hp but that’s not what raises your heart rate.  The Sesto Elemento weighs in at 2202 lbs enabling this car to rocket from 0-62 mph in a ridiculous 2.5 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph.  While its all-wheel-drive system and 6-speed paddle shift, semi-automatic transmission certainly aid the car in achieving those staggering numbers, it’s the cars impressive horsepower-to-weight ratio (.26hp/lbs) that plays the major role.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

The Sesto Elemento’s lightweight is due largely to the chassis, body, driveshaft, and suspension components all being made of carbon-fiber.  Aside from being the lightest car Lamborghini has ever produced, it also embodies some very unique design features.  The sharp and stealthy lines resemble a snap shot of speed and velocity captured in one frame.  As you peer towards the back there lays 10 hexagonal holes in the engine cover placed there strictly to release perspired air from the engine bay.  That’s right people the car actually sweats!  Two hexagonal intakes provide the Sesto Elemento with enough air to help cool down the hard working Italian.  All 20 of these bad boys have already been spoken for and pricing rumors are all over the map ranging from $1.4M to as much as $2.6M.  It’s safe to say however, if you have to ask you probably can’t afford it.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Among the numerous attributes and accomplishments Lamborghini has accomplished over the years, I would have to say that most notably is their latest, making it so cool be a nerd.

Also be sure to check out my Bugatti Veyron Super Sport post as it weights twice as much as the Sesto Elemento and has the same 0-62 time.

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LAMBORGHINI LP-700-4 AVENTADOR…HOLY SHIT!

Lamborghini LP-700-4 Aventador

Lamborghini LP-700-4 Aventador

The word “Countach” has been described by Italians as the reaction you have when you see an extremely beautiful woman; also known as ”Holy Shit”!

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

Thankfully that name stuck when Nuccio Bertone yelped out “Countach” once he laid eyes on the Lamborghini LP-400 prototype (Project 112) for the first time.  After hearing that story I’ve often wondered if I would ever be as surprised and astonished as Nuccio was while seeing an amazing car.  Well I am happy to report that during my visit to the Orange County International Auto Show, I had a Nuccio reaction and yelped out “Holy Shit” after laying eyes on the new Lamborghini LP-700-4 Aventado for the first time.  There is really no other way to describe this masterpiece.  David Ortiz from Lamborghini Newport Beach was kind enough to invite me behind the ropes and give me a private tour of this amazing hypercar.

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

Named after a bull that entered into battle on October 1993, the righteously titled hypercar boasts some of the most sharp and aggressive lines I have ever seen on a Lamborghini.  Air ducts open and close while the rear tail rises and retracts automatically, like a transformer, as the Aventador hits certain speeds.  It almost looks like the car is taking in a deep breath and flexing before launching itself into hyperspeed.  The interior is strikingly similar to what you would see in a pimped out fighter jet complete with beautiful leather/suede seats and metal switches.  According to Stephan Winklemann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, the Aventador is a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology.  Make no mistake about it, the Aventador is definitely Lamborghini’s baby as 99.9% of the hypercar is made from all Lamborghini parts, steering clear of an Audi legacy.

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

The Aventador’s one-piece passenger cell is made entirely of new-generation reinforced carbon fiber formulated with the help from Beoing Aerospace.  It’s high tech body is complimented with an earth shattering 6.5 liter V12 that produces 700hp and goes 0-62 in 2.9 seconds.  Did you get that? 2.9 seconds! That is the same speed as dropping a penny from your hands to the ground.

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4-Cockipt

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4-Cockipt

About 110 units have been produced, 10 of which have been allocated to Lamborghini Newport Beach, and all have been spoken for.  That’s right, you’ll have to wait for 2013 if you want to get your hands on this $370K+ hypercar.

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4

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TESLA ROADSTER SPORT…IT AIN’T YOUR FATHER’S ELECTRIC CAR!

Ok I’ll admit I’ve often been curious about the Tesla after seeing it all over LA so when I was invited to take it on a test drive I didn’t hesitate.  I visited one of Tesla’s new Modular Stores which has the same feel as say an Apple store and the same size as a small retail clothing store.

Michael Lahalih sitting in the floor model Tesla Roadster Sport

I’ve often thought of the Tesla as a Lotus with an electric motor however I’ve come to find there’s a lot more than that to this advanced sports car.  For beginners, the Tesla is about 5” wider and 5” longer than the Lotus Elise.  This may not sound like much at first, but if you’ve ever sat in an Elise before the additional space is much welcomed.  Also, the Tesla has some great appointments that the Lotus is lacking like sound dampening and leather, which actually makes a huge difference in those smaller confines.

The stats of the Tesla is what really impressed me; the monocoque chassis, constructed of resin-bonded & riveted extruded aluminum, is wrapped entirely in Carbon Fiber and powered by a 288HP electric motor with 100% torque.  It goes from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and actually feels like 510HP due to having a single gear and high torque ratio.

Once I sat in the car, the interior immediately reminded me of the iconic Ferrari’s like the 308GTS or the Dino 246GTS because of the gauge cluster, sport seat positioning, and targa top.  There is no power steering which I really enjoyed and the controls were very easy to use.  I buckled up, pushed the “D” button for “drive”, and was on my way.  I floored the car to see what it could do and it took off like a rocket!  I’ve never experienced going that fast so quickly with absolutely no engine noise or screeching tires, it was a very surreal feeling.  After driving the Tesla, I had a new-found respect for the company and their vision.  There were a few downsides to the car like having a 245 mile range on one charge and a 3 hour wait-time for a full recharge, which are definitely things you would need to seriously consider before investing $100K+ into this very cool sports car.

Michael Lahalih before his test drive