Hypercars and Beyond
By: Chris Raymond, ChrisonCars.Com
"Supercars are designed to mess with G-forces. Hypercars are
designed to mess with G-strings. – Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear
In the world of automotive journalism, hyperbole is king. Words like
supercar and hypercar are used to stir up the masses and increase page
views. But neither of these words has an accepted definition, until my
epic post "The Supercar Defined." This week we will consider a more
recent entry into the automotive lexicon, the hypercar.
A hyper person is someone who is overexcited, manic, agitated, hectic,
frenzied, and rabid. A hypercar is exactly the same thing, only worse.
The word hypercar became popular sometime in the early 1990’s, and was
used to describe cars like the Vector W8 and the McLaren F1. The
accepted definition requires the vehicle to meet all the standard
requirements for being a supercar, which includes: possessing a
blistering top speed, having an outrageous price tag, awesome power,
supermodel looks, a miniscule trunk, terrifying maintenance costs and
teeny tiny production numbers…and then go way, way past it. Everything
that a supercar is, the hypercar is…squared.
Depending on your views, cars like the Lamborghini Gallardo, the
458 Italia and the Aston Martin DBS would be considered supercars. But
these are just insane…the hypercar is psychotic. Instead of just being
fast, the hypercar must have the ability to travel in the 240mph PLUS
neighborhood…and that is about as exclusive and expensive a neighborhood
as you can get. The price of a supercar is described as unholy at around
200,000 to 300,000 dollars, but the price of a hypercar is more than
simply profane and can reach over 1 to 2 million dollars.
Where a supercar is designed to be the automotive equivalent of…say,
Gisele Bundchin, the hypercar is Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse and
Adam Lambert all rolled into one. Styling is not just meant to be
groundbreaking, it is meant to reach over, grab you by the throat and
rip out your tonsils. People who own and drive a hypercar live in the
world of the divine…gods beyond the reach of mere mortals.
Which cars actually meet these lofty standards? As I mentioned above,
the Vector W8 (242 mph) and McLaren F1 (240 mph) were probably two of
the first. I would add to that list the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo* (248 mph),
the SSC Ultimate Aero (257 mph), the Hennessey Venom GT (254 mph), the
Koenigsegg Agera (250 mph), and of course the Bugatti Veyron and
Super Sport (253 and 267 mph respectively). There are others that come
close, including some odd little cars made by tiny manufacturers like
Keating, Dauer, and Gumpert, but they are just a little too slow at 230+
Other cars that are considered by some to be hypercars, like the
Mercedes McLaren SLR, are just posers. They may have bought the right
clothes, but they are missing the muscle to really be part of the club.
This is a club where the average member (THE AVERAGE MEMBER!) can easily
reach speeds of 230 mph, and they are getting faster all the time.
Consider that the supercars of old are about as fast as the Honda’s of
today, and you can imagine where this is all heading. So, what’s next on
the horizon…Ultracars? Super-Hypercars? Quantacars?
* Saleen Automotive will be unveiling a new vehicle
at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, August 17, 2013.
Contact email@example.com for more
Fireball Tim Lawrence, who has one foot planted in the
movie industry and the other in autodom, apparently
figures that if filmmakers can use automobile derring-do
to sell their product, he can use movie gossip, lore and
to bring readers to his new online newspaper: The
Fireball Tim Wackadoodle. In his words, it features
"Cars, Movies and Cool." A stunt driver and designer of
vehicles, weaponry and environments for hundreds of
movies, Fireball Tim also writes for three Southern
California editions of Patch. He has published a book of
Wacky Rides for children 4 to 8-years-old and is
working on one for adults to be out in time for
Christmas sale. He also will be the host of the world’s
first Automotive Film Festival to be held in Monterey
August 15-17 co-incident with The Pebble Beach Concours.
Check the Wackadoodle for details.
celebrated producing and airing his one-thousandth video on
The Fast Lane You Tube Channel by launching the
TFLTruck web site and related You Tube channel,
trucks 24/7. The original TFL has attracted 50 million
You Tube viewers and reached a daily high of 173,000
viewers. . . . In addition to its weekly TV and Online
Series, Moto-Man is launching a monthly interview show
live from the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. It will
feature auto world shapers and displays reflecting their
work and will allow a question and answer period from
the audience, which will be admitted at no charge from
those paying admission to the Museum.
Newsletter reports: Motor Trend’s website will merge
with MSN Autos and become Motor Trend on MSN. It is
expected to launch in early 2014. Its existing print,
video, radio, and iPad products will continue…Sharp is a
new Canadian magazine for men. The editorial covers
fashion and style, automobiles, luxury travel,
technology, food, entertainment, celebrities,
investigative journalism and uniquely Canadian topics of
international importance. Web site:
Long Beach Register will launch as a new daily newspaper
on August 19. It will be available on newsstands as well
as bundled with the Orange County Register. The new
paper is hiring additional staff and is currently
seeking a Long Beach-based office.
. . .Irvine World News newspaper, Irvine, CA, will
increase frequency to five-days-a-week Monday thru
Friday, starting July 22. The 43-year old community
newspaper was published previously two days per week,
both on newsstands and inserted into the Orange County
Some contrasts in automotive promotion
Makes you believe it can do the job:
Dodge Brothers Wild Ride
Makes it difficult to deny the possibility of an actuality:
The Future of Transportation
Makes you want to buy . . . . the music:
(Just the song.)
Ryan Beene of Advertising Age reported the top ten auto advertisers
increased their 2012 unmeasured ad spending (search engine marketing,
online videos, social media) by $5.82 billion, an increase of 34% from
the year before and upped their TV spending year-to year by 7.3% to
$6.25 billion. Their combined print advertising for the same years
increased 2 % in 2012. . . .
Reflecting the overall decline in all types of print advertising: The
Tribune Company, following the purchase of 19 television stations, is
rumored to be planning to spin off its newspaper holdings. They include
the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun.
The New York
Times' parent company is reportedly again actively seeking the sale of
The Boston Globe.
The Chicago Sun-Times has changed its title to
the Chicago Sun-Times.com, reflecting its efforts to put digital before
print…The Oregonian newspaper will reduce print delivery to four days a
week. A newly created digitally focused media company, Oregonian Media
Group, will publish the print newspaper and operate its website OregonLive.com. It is also laying off an undisclosed number of staff.
. . .Conde Nast in what Online Media Daily’s Gavin O’Malley describes as
"continuing its leisurely digital transformation"
launched its fourth video channel, Vanity
Fair, that will appear on several platforms, as do its channels for
Glamour and Vogue.
In announcing the closing of 11 Canadian
newspapers and the lay off of 360 employees just two months after
closing two plants and furloughing 500 employees, Sun Media Corp.’s COO,
Julie Tremblay is quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Gerrit De Vynck,
"Digital is more than a strong trend. Young people are getting their
information almost exclusively from digital sources."
Silvio Calabi referred his fellow NEMPA members to a recent
Jaguar interactive news release that is an
example of the trend to digital and unmeasured media in automotive
. . . Lexus is
providing select buff book editors with Kogeto 360 degree "JOEY"
panoramic cameras to provide visuals for their own outlets and for
a Lexus Instagram campaign for its new
IS sports sedan.
awards and events
This Lamborghini’s Aventador LP 700-4 roadster was among the 32 cars on
hand for NEMPA’s 16th annual
"Ragtop Ramble & Crustacean Crawl" July 17-18.
Also included in the drop top and lobster festivities for the first time
was a McLaren Spyder.
The Ford Fiesta 1.0l Eco-Boost was named the "2013 Women’s World Car of the Year" in judging by women auto
writers from around the world.
It also won the Economy Car category to advance to the finals . . . . .
Marketing executives from Land Rover and Audi are among the speakers
scheduled for the Automotive News Marketing Seminar in New York City
Sept. 18. Check www.autonews.com/NYseminar for more details. . . .
was selected one of Dealer Elite’s 10 Most
Interesting and Innovative Automotive Companies of 2013. The input of a
select field of industry leaders named the group of top ten companies
that are growing and innovating in a way that has a significant impact
on the way the industry does business. . . . 1988 Le Mans winner
Jochen Mass has been named
2014 Amelia Island Concours honoree. The dates are March 6 to 9.
Headquarters are the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The program is
. . . And lest you forget, the Concours D’LeMons will be held Saturday,
August 17 at Seaside California’s Laguna Grande Park. Go to
Diesel Engines: Is D-Day Here?
By: Mac Gordon
There's no stopping diesel as a gotta-have car fuel now.
Despite diesel fuel's gradual acceptance on the U.S. market, it remains a rare fuel of choice for seekers of economical engines.
According to R.L. Polk's tabulated registrations, about 6.2 million diesel vehicles were in operation on North American roads in 2012.
Only about 800,000 of these were passenger cars and SUVs, the rest were heavy-duty pickup trucks and SUVs.
Diesel-powered vehicles have escalated in number, but only 0.6 percent of sales have gone to diesel-fuel powerplants, according to Polk data.
The shortfall in the share of vehicle purchases going to diesel fuel is occurring in spite of all-out marketing efforts by the German automakers.
Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, has called for German automakers to lead in sales of electric and hybrid as well as diesels, but the Germans have not fared so well on the hybrid front, while diesel sales have been gaining momentum thanks to Mercedes-Benz global plans to field eight diesel models in the 2014 lineup, including a 4-cylinder C-class entry-level sedan. Driveability is another factor favoring diesels over hybrids.
The electric engine does call for what NY Times critic Lawrence Ulrich in his July 21 review described as a “hassle (or inconvenience) whereas hybrid driving brings tricks including obsessively avoiding the gas pedal.”
Diesel advocate Doug Skorupski, tech strategy manager for VW of America, dismisses hybrid-engine driving as “subnormal,” compared to diesel-engine driving. BMW has other reservations, and will phase out its 4-cylinder turbo-diesel 328d sedan in 2014.
These drivers have found the “turbo” half of “turbodiesel” operations detrimental to the Bavarian automaker's reputation for power smoothness and mileage-per-gallon results.
Just as “turbo” spells power in a Porsche Cayenne supercharged V-6 or in the entry-level range between a 20 MPG Toyota Prius and a 49 MPG Chevrolet Cruze Diesel (yes, that's right) the domestic Big 3 are into diesels big time and all still needs a salute from President Obama
to challenge Chancellor Merkel on an alternative engine race, including
hard-to-get diesel fuel.
Silvio Calabi alerted his fellow NEMPA members to the
re-invention of the wheel – a folding wheel manufactured by
MORPH Wheels that facilitates traveling with a wheelchair – even
in a taxi. For more information, check
(For more on mobility for the handicapped see California
Regional News, this issue).
Calabi also called attention to two articles providing an
overview of computer-controlled cars: Crash Course:
Brain of a Driverless Car by Susan Kuchinskas in Scientific
American and a cover story in The Economist:
Clean, Safe and It
Tom Tom has an opening for a PR Manager in its Boston
Click here for a complete description,
Tickets are on sale for the 2013 IMPA Test Days in Monticello,
NY. Further information can be found at
www.impa.org . . . A
1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi is being offered by the International
Motor Racing Research
Center as its 2013 raffle car. Donated by
Greg Galdi, the car has been driven fewer than 1,500 miles. The
raffle is the Center’s major fund-raiser of the year in support
of its work of preserving the history of motorsports. Raffle
tickets are $60 for one or two for $100. Only 2,308 tickets will
be sold. The drawing will be on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Center
at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen. Ticket holders do not need
to be present to win. Tickets can be purchased by calling (607)
535-9044 or by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org. An order
form is available on the Center’s website
As best we know, U.S. News and World Reports is still in need of
an auto editor who, presumably will be based in Washington, D.C.
Online Autos Editor/Technical Writer, U.S. News &
World Report - Washington, District of Columbia
The Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA)
hosted its first-ever signature event, the 2013 Family Choice
Challenge, at Lake Lanier Islands Resort, near Buford, Georgia.
Automotive press members evaluated 21 models from 15 brands and
selected five class winners plus one top choice, They were:
Choice: Mazda 2014 CX-15; Adventure Choice: 2013 Nissan
Pathfinder; Technology Choice: 2013 Ford Fusion; Luxury Choice:
Audi A8l and GAAMA members named the 2014 Mazda 6 as the
Car Choice for families. The group also elected Robert Palermo
its president for the coming year.
Brett Berk’s Vanity Fair column,
Stick Shift, called attention
to an outstanding
automobile as art exhibit in Nashville’s First Center for the
Visual Arts. Curator for the show was Ken Gross who
automobiles from the art deco era and two
motorcycles for a display he titled "Sensuous Steel." The Bugatti
is one of several models validating the headline. The show lasts through Sept.15.
Automotive design and technology will be a featured session
August 7 at this year’s Car Management Briefing Seminars in
Travis City Michigan. The seminars are organized by the Center
For Automotive Research and annually attract experts from
various areas of the car industry. Check
Roman Mica reports that the Rocky Mountain Press Association’s
series of ten racetrack
performance reviews of new cars proved
popular among readers of The Fast Lane Car and viewers on
RMAP’s next event is the Rocky Mountain 4XFall Sept.13, an
off-road rally from Boulder, CO to the ghost town of Caribou,
CO, and back, we trust. Click here for more info.
In Texas, TAWA members have until July 30 to enter the group’s
annual excellence in craft competition. Prizes are awarded for:
best magazine, best newspaper and best Internet articles in
English and in Spanish and best radio, video and photography
entries. Entry rules are available
The 25th anniversary gala of the Blackhawk
Museum in Danville, Calif., near San Francisco, will be held
Saturday, August 10 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information
and reservations email:
email@example.com . . . Just
about 140 miles east of San Francisco the Ironstone Concours d’
Elegance in Murphys will once again enliven historic California
gold rush territory on Saturday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. to 4:30p.m.
No guarantee of striking gold but the17th annual Ironstone
Concours d'Elegance will feature over 300 antique, classic,
special interest, sports and racecars. For more information go
to www.IronstoneConcours.com. Or, telephone 209-785-4234.
Proceeds support agriculture programs for youth.
Los Angeles area The Palos Verdes Concours d’ Elegance promises
cars in 20 competitive classes on the grounds of the Trump
National Golf Club. September 15. Some of the automotive designs
by event Grand Marshall Peter Brock will be on display as well.
For more information and tickets go to
telephone: 1-866-522-7746. . . . There will be six million
wheelchairs built in the U.S. next year but how many vehicles
will be built or modified to accommodate them is not so certain.
MPG members were told by speakers at its
June luncheon that the demand for mobility vehicles is growing
because veterans who come home disabled need transportation to
get to work and baby boomers are getting older and encountering
disabilities that come with age. Also, information about
vehicles for the disabled is not readily available and different
ailments can require different accommodations. In his piece for
the July issue of MPG’s MilePost Journal, Brad Nelson noted that
automotive media can help get information out on this neglected
Geoff Day, director of communications for
Mercedes-BenzUSA departs that
post in August for parts unknown (or unannounced) . . . Marketer Michelle
St. James (nee Radin) has a new email:
. . . Dale Wickell is no longer writing About.com’s truck column but he
remains active and can be emailed at:
firstname.lastname@example.org . . .
freelancer Lesley Wimbush’s updated email address is:
email@example.com . . .Javier
Moreno has supplanted Mira Sleilati in corporate communications at
New York offices. . . .Cathy Droz is now specializing in automotive
marketing and public relations for small-sized companies and non-profit
agencies in the Phoenix, Ariz. area. Her email remains:
. . . Cam Benty is now Brand Manager, Exhaust
Products at Holley Performance Products . He can be emailed at:
or telephoned at 270-782-2900 ext.1507. . . . Alan Colvin
is founder, publisher and editor of Restoration Highway Magazine. He can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . . .
Roger Hart, long-time AutoWeek
staffer, is now Director of Michigan Photography at the University of
Michigan. He can be reached
at email@example.com . . . . Sherrie Williams Candland former marketing
director for Kindig-It Design hot rod customizer in Salt Lake City, has
opened her own shop there, Bleu Door Marketing with Kindig
a lead client. . . . Automotive News has added two new staffers:
Gardner, formerly with the Detroit Free Press, joins as a news copy
editor and Shiraz Ahmend as a web producer. He is a graduate of
Northwestern University’s school of journalism. Automotive News email
is: first initial last name@Crain.com. . . Brendan Flynn is in the same
lane but with a new title - Sr. Director of Marketing and Communications
for the L.A. Auto Show.
. . . Nic Garcia has moved into Greg Montoya’s spot as editor of
Front Colorado. His email is nic@Outfrontonline.com . . .
is now freelancing and has not been replaced as Tec. Editor for GM-HighTech
Performance. Send material to editor
Scott.Parker@sorc.com. . . .
Joel Arellano also departed Automotive.Com at
Source Media and has not been replaced.
Glenn F. Campbell
Luncheon, Edmunds.com, Proud Bird, Los Angeles, CA
Luncheon, CATA, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, GM
Meeting, New York, NY
Ragtop Ramble, Boston, MA
Meeting, Sparky's Hot Rod Garage, Chrysler
Luncheon, Souka, Miami, FL, Buick
WAPA: Luncheon, Residence
Inn, Arlington Capital View, VA, Chevrolet
CAR Management Briefing Seminars:
Traverse City, MI
Luncheon, CAA Headquarters, Oak Brook, IL, Energy Growth
Saleen Automotive: News
Conference, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca,CA
MPG Trail Day:
SAMA: Luncheon, Location TBA,
APA: Luncheon, Detroit
Athletic Club, Detroit, MI, Toyota
Frankfurt Int'l Auto Show:
Press Days, Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt Int'l Auto Show:
Trade Days, Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt Int'l Auto Show:
Public Days, Frankfurt, Germany
Honda Luncheon, Detroit, MI
Test Days. Monticello, New York
SAMA: Luncheon, Location TBA,
Ironstone Concours d'Elegance:
Future Cars, Future Technology, San Jose, CA
Truck Rodeo, San Antonio, TX
Luncheon, Detroit, MI
Seattle Auto Show:
SAMA: South Florida Dealer
Association Pre-Miami Int'l Auto Show Luncheon
APA: Consumer Reports,
Luncheon, Detroit, MI
AAPEX 2013: Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas, NV
SAMA: Annual Miami Int'l Auto
Show Awards Presentation, Miami beach Convention Center, GM
Lincoln, Luncheon, Detroit, MI
Los Angeles Auto Show:
Press Days, Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA
Tokyo Motor Show:
Press Days, Tokyo, Japan
SAMA: Luncheon. Location TBA,
Tokyo Motor Show:
Special Guest Day, Tokyo, Japan
SAMA: Annual Rides'N Smiles
event, Homestead-Miami Speedway
Tokyo Motor Show: Gen'l Public Days, Tokyo, Japan
N. America Int'l Auto Show: Media
Days, Detroit, MI
N. America Int'l Auto Show:
Industry Preview, Detroit, MI
N. America Int'l Auto Show:
Charity Preview, Detroit, MI
N. America Int'l Auto Show: Public
Show, Detroit, MI
Chicago Auto Show: Media Preview,
Chicago Auto Show: First Look for
Charity, Chicago, IL
Chicago Auto Show: Public Days,
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"Honoring Our Best"
As you may know,
Brock Yates, he of Cannonball, One Lap of
America, and Car and Driver note, has suffered from
Alzheimer’s disease for several years. He is in good
physical health but is no longer the man who served as an
inspiration to so many of us.
Doug Beachem of Atlanta became a friend of
Brock’s, and a friend of mine, during the first One Lap of
America. As an event, the first One Lap was a lot like
Brock: a little off-center at times and great fun. But I
Doug has established the
Brock Yates Tribute Fund within the
framework of the Alzheimer’s Association, and we want your
readers to know about it.
Let me explain the what and the why of the BYTF. First, know
that Brock is taken care of in every way without the Fund.
The Fund exists for two reasons: to help the Alzheimer’s
Association help others and to honor Brock. That’s it.
Now that you know the what and the why, you should know the
how—as in how you can contribute. Access the Alzheimer’s
Association page using
That should work. If it does not, go to
click on "Donate," then click on "Tributes" in the menu on
the left. Next, click "Find a Tribute" and then type "Brock
Yates" in the search box. The rest you can figure out.
When a donation is made, the Association notifies Brock
Yates, Jr., who in turn notifies the family.
Please join us in helping Alzheimer’s sufferers and, in so
doing, give a round of applause to one of our great
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motoring press organizations
The 18 regional automotive press associations provide information
and background not easily found elsewhere. If they are too distant
for you to attend their meetings, belonging usually gives you access
to transcripts or reports of these events and other benefits.
American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.
Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director
Automotive Press Association
Mark Phelan, President
American Racing Press Association
Stan Clinton, President
Eastern Motorsports Press Association
Ballston Spa, NY
Ron Hedger, President
Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Davis Adams, President
International Motor Press Association
Dave Kiley, President
Midwest Automotive Media Association
Kirk Bell, President
Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA
Aaron Gold, President
New England Motor
Keith Griffin, President
Northwest Automotive Press Association
Nik Miles, President
Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix
Cathy Droz, President
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Nathan Adlen, President
Southern Automotive Media Association
Jaimie Flores, President
Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Texas Auto Writers Association
Truck Writers of North America
Tom Kelley, Executive Director
Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA
Washington Automotive Press Association
Melanie Batenchuk, President