Monday, 13 June 2016

Mental Cars Round-Up #1

Everyone loves mental cars. Even if you never get to own one (most of us); even if you never get to drive one (some of us); they're still great to look at pictures of or watch on TV shows like Top Gear. In recent years we've been treated to some of the most insane examples yet. For this first post on the subject, I thought I'd take a look at some of the best to come from the USA. It is the land of excess after all!

Saleen S7

Although they aren't that well known this side of the Atlantic, I had of course still heard of Saleen, mainly because of their awesome Mustangs and other reworked versions of other company's cars. The S7, however - the first all original car Saleen made - only recently came to my attention and the first thing that struck me about it was its amazing looks. Just look at it - it almost looks like one of those sports-prototype racers! It has the performance to match the looks too - the twin-turbo version has a 7.0L V8 producing 750 HP that sends it all the way to 248mph! Check out the highly-limited cherry red version of it too, it looks even better.

Lingenfelter Corvette

The normal Chevvy Corvettes have always been sexy looking things and they've all had a fair bit of grunt too, so imagine what a tuned version might be like. Among the best known of these are the ones produced by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, founded by the now-sadly-deceased John Lingenfelter. This one - a supercharged Z06 - has not only been boosted to produce some 720 HP, but looks even more awesome too. Whether they've improved its build quality or handling remains to be seen though - hope there aren't too many corners on the test track!

Falcon F7

There's an interesting story behind this one which is a bit too long to go into here, but if you haven't heard of the F7 it's really not that surprising. In short, it started in 2009 as the personal project of a guy called Jeff Lemke, a car-enthusiast from Detroit who decided he wanted to build his own supercar. His chosen design is long, very low, mid-engined, sports an aluminium monocoque, and is powered by a 620 HP 7.0L V8 taken from a Corvette Z06 which sends it all the way to 200mph or so. It was certainly an ambitious undertaking but the end result is a tremendous-looking car with blistering performance and, apparently, none of the build-quality issues that often affect these 'home made' projects. Good luck if you fancy buying one though. As well as costing an arm and a leg (as you might expect), Jeff and his team won't be making many of them either...

Trion Nemesis

I'd never even heard of this one prior to looking into a couple of the other cars featured here but it may well be the most impressive of them all. One reason for its obscurity may be how new it is. Trion themselves are new to the supercar business and the Nemesis is their first car, initially unveiled as a concept car and having just entered the production phase. There are several versions of of the car planned with the Nemesis RR - the model pictured - to be the most powerful, coming loaded with a 9.0L V8 engine producing ... wait for it... 2,000 HP! Suffice to say, it's expected to swiftly claim the 'fastest street-legal car' crown, and it doesn't look too shabby either! Look out for more from this one...

Hennessey Venom GT

I've seen this one lurking near the top of various 'fastest cars' lists for a while now but have never really known that much about it. I did think it looked a bit familiar though, and sure enough, having now looked into it a bit more I've realised that it's actually based on the Lotus Exige. As you might imagine, it's been heavily modified, to such an extent that it's apparently the fastest accelerating production car in the world, capable of 0–200 mph in just 14.51 seconds thanks to its immense 7.0L twin-turbo V8, producing 1,244 HP, that pushes it onwards to more than 270mph!



  1. Gotta say that I really don't like the back end of those latest Corvettes, nor the arrangement of the four exhaust pipes...

    The Saleen though is a beautiful car. The closest I've come is one of the Project Gotham Racing games though!

  2. Yeah, that Saleen is my favourite too - what a gorgeous car! I might try and drive one if I go to the US again. You know, on one of those things where you can drive supercars for a few laps of a circuit for... like, £150 or something. I also rather like that Falcon, it has a pretty cool retro vibe.

  3. Nemesis gets my vote for looks, orange is the new red! :)

  4. Haha, yeah, it's a pretty crazy thing isn't it? They really are starting to look like spaceships or something :P