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MIKE SPINELLI: Hey, it's Road Testament, I'm Mike Spinelli.
This is Leo Parente here with me today.
And we are not stopping.
We are doing this live, so I don't care what anybody says.
LEO PARENTE: Let me buckle in before we go.
MIKE SPINELLI: Buckle in.
You never know what's going to happen here.
On Road Testament today, we're talking Geneva Auto Show,
where Chris Harris is.
Yes, you love Chris Harris.
Chris is at the auto show with a camera.
And he's doing some stuff.
We're going to see that in a little bit.
LEO PARENTE: I've ran all the comments.
So--
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes.
What comments?
That everybody loves Chris Harris?
LEO PARENTE: No, everyone loves commenting about Chris
Harris stuff.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah.
Because Chris is awesome.
Yes.
And you can comment there @drive on Twitter, just so
you'll know.
We say it every show, but whatever.
I mean, just in case you didn't know that, there it is.
LEO PARENTE: Blood's pretty much coming out of my ears, I
don't know about you guys.
MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly.
LEO PARENTE: Repeat after me, @drive.
MIKE SPINELLI: After the Geneva Auto Show stuff, we're
going to be talking about sports cars, mid-engine sports
cars, and a possible sports car renaissance
happening very shortly.
LEO PARENTE: I like that.
MIKE SPINELLI: Cool.
So The Geneva Auto Show, what's happening there.
And this is happening there.
LEO PARENTE: It begs the question "why?" But go ahead,
what is that?
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
Those Mulsanne-like headlights probably tip you
off that it's a Bentley.
It's the new Bentley EXP9F SUV.
LEO PARENTE: And the F stands for-- not what you think I'm
going to say-- what does it stand for?
MIKE SPINELLI: Falcon.
LEO PARENTE: Falcon.
MIKE SPINELLI: Falcon.
You said Falcon?
LEO PARENTE: I said Falcon.
MIKE SPINELLI: I don't have a Boston
accent, so I say Falcon.
LEO PARENTE: Why is it that?
Why is it Falcon?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, I'm guessing because in the Middle
East falconry is something that people do there.
And a giant market for this will be the Middle East.
LEO PARENTE: There you go.
So this is not a car for America.
MIKE SPINELLI: I'm sure Americans will buy it.
By the way, this is just a prototype for now.
We will see something in production.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] concept.
But--
MIKE SPINELLI: You know it's gonna, yeah.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
What has it got for an engine, do you know?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, they're talking about either the W12
or the new V8 that they're doing, or "wee-8," as they say
in Germany.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
MIKE SPINELLI: But you notice the little interesting
turbine-like intakes or are those running lights?
I actually don't know.
LEO PARENTE: We have no idea.
MIKE SPINELLI: Because this just came out this morning.
Hit the Internet last night I think.
But honestly I--
LEO PARENTE: What's your point here?
MIKE SPINELLI: I don't really have a point.
I really want to hear what you guys have to say about a
Bentley SUV.
I know that hating on SUVs is kind of a cool thing.
LEO PARENTE: It seems Volkswagen group is just bent
on doing SUVs.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes.
LEO PARENTE: With the Volkswagen stuff, the Porsche
stuff, Audi, now this thing.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
LEO PARENTE: I kind of get it.
But--
MIKE SPINELLI: China, Russia, and the Middle East, big, big,
big luxury SUV markets.
So emerging markets, a lot of stuff happening.
LEO PARENTE: I actually read something about some high net
worth guy talking about how when he needs to carry stuff
around the neighborhood, park the sports car
and drive this stuff.
So it may not be for us.
But I guess it's for someone.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
And I think it's going to be way up there.
LEO PARENTE: Does it look like a Bentley to you?
MIKE SPINELLI: It looks like a Bentley, sort of, to me.
LEO PARENTE: So it fits the family.
MIKE SPINELLI: It fits the family.
I mean, this is gonna be a real high-end SUV, I think.
I think this is really going to be maybe the most high-end
SUV out there when this is done.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
I'm gonna get the Chinese comments.
Because I understand the Chinese love chrome and bling
in the cars.
And this thing is full of bling.
Did you see the tailpipes and the turbo inlets?
Oh, my God.
MIKE SPINELLI: It's pretty flashy.
LEO PARENTE: This is home for dinner.
MIKE SPINELLI: All right.
Next thing from Geneva, the Aventador J.
LEO PARENTE: So apparently this is the "let's not be
practical" show.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, it's an Aventador.
You know, the Geneva show is really all about design and
making a statement, being very continental and racy.
And here is what Lamborghini did with that.
It's basically an Ariel Atom with a 700-horsepower engine.
And this sort of carbon fiber meets fiberglass--
LEO PARENTE: So catch me up.
Is this a one-off or are they gonna sell this?
MIKE SPINELLI: It's a one-off.
And as a matter of fact, it was just sold.
$2.8 million this one-off went for.
And Lamborghini's not saying who bought it.
But somebody did.
This guy.
LEO PARENTE: Look at that.
MIKE SPINELLI: Boba Fett.
LEO PARENTE: So the point of this was--
wow, OK.
It's a festival of carbon.
MIKE SPINELLI: The point is two things.
Right, carbon.
So they have this thing called carbon skin on it.
It's like carbon fiber.
It's an epoxy resin over a weaved carbon skin.
LEO PARENTE: Because Lamborghini did some big
technical investment in new carbon technology for
automotives.
MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly.
So this saves a little bit of weight, obviously.
I mean, of course, taking the rest of the
body off saves weight.
But it's about saving weight.
LEO PARENTE: By the way, I think this is the first road
car with the swan-neck race car wing attachment.
MIKE SPINELLI: Ah.
So aside from all that, it's also an
homage to the 1970 Jota.
LEO PARENTE: See, that's why I like Mike Spinelli.
Because there's a Google assignment to go connect the
dots of that old-school Lamborghini and this
new-school--
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, yeah.
It was a version of the Miura, I believe.
LEO PARENTE: Ooh.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah.
LEO PARENTE: Cool.
MIKE SPINELLI: Anyway.
So now, Chris Harris from Geneva.
Let's see what Chris has to say.
Chris, what's up?
CHRIS HARRIS: So this is the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
I think it's a great-looking car, isn't it?
How long have we waited for a Jaguar XF that has got an
estate boot?
Five mil longer than the saloon.
1,675 liters of space with the seats down.
Doesn't mean anything to me either.
But the fact is, it looks good.
But to start with, only comes with diesel engines, two
liters and three liters.
Pricing?
Well, they say in line with current market.
So about two to three grand more than a saloon.
I don't think Jaguar's going to be able to make enough of
these for Europe.
Right.
Now I know there are hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands
of people that want this car.
It's concept at the moment.
It's an Evoque convertible.
To me, it's the chocolate [INAUDIBLE]
of the automotive world.
I don't want a convertible SUV.
What's the bloody point?
Utterly pointless.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's an absolute [BEEP]
box.
So let's go over and look at a proper Land Rover
concept, the DC100.
This is much more like it.
We've seen it around a bit before.
It's been doing the rounds of the motor shows for the last
year or so.
I think it's a cracking concept.
It's a new Defender, in essence.
But hopefully will spawn multiple platforms, really.
So you'll end up with a very utilitarian agricultural car,
but also something that's funky and looks cool
for being on road.
This beats that convertible thing hands down.
The thing I love about Geneva is there are cars that before
you get here that you're quite apathetic about, the
M6 is one of them.
For me, two-door M5, don't see the point, really.
Because the M5 is more practical and just as fast.
The M6 actually looks superb in the flesh.
It's a better proportioned car than the saloon.
552 horsepower, the old carbon roof from the previous car.
So the center of mass is lower.
I think this looks fantastic.
And the gold brake calipers, proper bling.
OK, Leo.
One for you here.
This is the new BMW DTM car.
I know absolutely nothing about it.
I haven't driven it.
I can tell you it looks vaguely like a
three-series coupe.
And I suspect it's gonna be quite good.
[INAUDIBLE] great things about Geneva as a motor show.
The first of which is that it's actually quite small.
So you can get around it without feeling your legs are
gonna break off.
But I love the fact that not all the people represented are
big car manufacturers.
Alpina, for example, have been in this space since I first
came to this show 14, 15 years ago, occupying the same square
meterage with the same wonderful cars.
Behind me here, a B5 Biturbo saloon.
You probably can't see it, but the green paint on this car is
just like liquid.
Alpina are on a resurgence in Europe.
They've got this car called the D5.
It's not quite as potent as an M550D.
But I think it's going to be a big sales hit.
And the cars just look--
they look spot-on.
They have ride comfort.
I quite want to drive one of these.
Oh, dear God.
I'm gonna be a bit of a pussy now.
Because on the one hand, I want to go onto the Mansory
stand and rip the piss out of its ridiculous McLaren MP4-12C
and its Lamborghini Aventador.
But anyone that blings up cars like this, I think has
connections.
And I suspect I might go out in a body bag.
So I'm gonna stand here now with their PR man about a yard
away from me and say I think these cars look fantastic with
a big smile on my face and say they're
actually complete [BEEP].
Oh, look.
There's another special edition Fiat 500.
Have you worked this out?
If you want to have a really unique Fiat 500, just buy a
normal one.
Because they're the ones that seem to be rarest.
190 Euros for some Maserati shoes.
I think on this occasion, no.
Of course, when it comes down to it, new cars are a bit
boring, aren't they?
This is in an original RUF Turbo from the late '70s.
About 300 and something horsepower, a load of torque,
and an RSR wing on the back of it, in a kind of
dark metallic green.
I honestly think if you offered me five cars to drive
out of this hall today, this would be one of them.
It just looks gorgeous.
Because I'm a rigorous journalist, I can't even tell
you what this Honda design concept's called.
But it's absolutely weeny.
And it doesn't have a steering wheel.
It has a couple of sort-of joystick things.
Very, very cool, reminds me of a Beat.
I mean, obviously designed to look like a Beat.
But stuff that and let's go and look at the NSX
concept, come on.
And here it is, the new Audi R-- uh, no, no.
It's an NSX.
Honestly, that was my little joke.
But there are elements of Audi R8 in this
thing, aren't there?
Sleek, low, just build it, would you please, Honda?
Because we get quite a lot of this concept nonsense and they
never reach the street.
This one, it sounds like it's going to reach the street.
So we'll lay off for the moment.
I'm still a bit too raw to talk about that.
Because I drove one for 12 hours yesterday in the snow.
So we'll come back to it.
MIKE SPINELLI: Cool.
Thanks, Chris.
Next year I am going there.
And I'm taking a Morgan roadster.
LEO PARENTE: No, next year you're going there and
you're taking me.
MIKE SPINELLI: Me and you in a Morgan roadster?
LEO PARENTE: That sounds way too road trip.
It's like Ishtar for cars.
MIKE SPINELLI: Wow.
Google Ishtar, right.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
What do you got?
What's next?
MIKE SPINELLI: So next, I'm gonna show you something.
Check this out.
LEO PARENTE: This is not a supercar.
MIKE SPINELLI: No.
It's a Nissan Micra.
But what does this car have to do with this car?
Take a guess?
LEO PARENTE: That's it.
That's the end of it?
MIKE SPINELLI: Oh.
Ian gave it away [INAUDIBLE].
No, no, no.
Leave it.
Ian gave it right away, all right.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, but if you hang around with ADD people,
you really don't have to wait.
OK.
So the bottom line is, this is a Chevy Volt with a better
look using a Nissan engine from the Micra to energize all
the batteries and electricity?
MIKE SPINELLI: And the frame of an Evora.
LEO PARENTE: And the frame of an Evora.
MIKE SPINELLI: Stretched two inches.
What do you think of that?
LEO PARENTE: Wow.
Where was Kevin Bacon in that one?
Six degrees, you know?
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, yeah.
I got it.
I bring this up because you had a lot to say about this
car recently.
LEO PARENTE: Oh, yeah.
Well, I was hoping you weren't going to go there.
Because no one's mentioned that Red Bull Engineering and
Adrian Newey have been involved in this.
Or Red Bull Technology, whatever the right term is.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah.
But it's all UK, by the way.
LEO PARENTE: It is UK.
And so what you're saying is it's really the collaboration
of the engineering side of Nissan Infinity and the Lotus
energy recapture technology.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
Also using a little bit of the frame the Evora.
Right.
LEO PARENTE: And a Micra in the trunk.
MIKE SPINELLI: And a Micra in the trunk to drive the thing.
So this is something that came out of Geneva today.
But we've seen it before.
And there were the patent sketches that came out.
LEO PARENTE: And it's supposed to be fast.
It's supposed to be track quick, not a track car, but
just a fast sports car.
So isn't that cool that a Micra goes fast?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, 0 to 60 in four seconds, right?
402 horsepower.
LEO PARENTE: Lightweight Evora aluminum tub?
MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly.
However, I want to show you what came out last year in
Geneva, was the Essence concept.
So the Essence was the GT car.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
MIKE SPINELLI: Just as the new Emerge is the sports car, the
mid-engine sports car.
LEO PARENTE: Obviously, there's no question that
Infinity is trying to make a design statement.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
LEO PARENTE: The Emerge is an extension of this fluidic
look, the whole brush pen thing.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
LEO PARENTE: But they're moving the technology, not
just making pretty cars.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
And we're going to use this as a jumping off point into what
we think is going to be a renaissance of mid-engine
sports cars.
A lot of it is a little bit of greenwashing.
Because you're going to see a lot of hybrid stuff
mixed in with this.
But at the end of the day--
LEO PARENTE: Take me on the journey, Michael.
MIKE SPINELLI: A lot of new mid-engine stuff coming.
Now this one is about Columbus, Ohio, right?
So we saw this in Detroit.
LEO PARENTE: It's the NSX.
MIKE SPINELLI: The NSX.
It's a concept.
But they've announced that they're going
to build it in Ohio.
So an American-built supercar for the world market.
LEO PARENTE: But it's also the point you're making, this is a
collaboration of supercar and green tech.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
LEO PARENTE: Because it's running just like Emerge.
MIKE SPINELLI: It's right just like Emerge.
LEO PARENTE: Electric in the front?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, it's a little bit more
complicated, right?
So they're using the six-cylinder--
3.5-, 3.7-liter six, right.
LEO PARENTE: And the engine is powering the wheels?
MIKE SPINELLI: The engine is actually powering the wheels,
thank you very much.
LEO PARENTE: Unlike Emerge, OK.
MIKE SPINELLI: Unlike Emerge, which is like the Chevy Volt,
a range-extended hybrid, that the only thing powering the
wheels are the electric motors.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
MIKE SPINELLI: This will have electric motors spinning the
front wheels.
LEO PARENTE: It's the Audi R18 Le Mans car.
So you bring that up, but again, we're going to start
probably seeing more of these cars on the racetrack.
Or cars that have drive trains a lot like these on the
racetrack, because of new rules and that stuff that
you've been talking about on ShakeDown.
LEO PARENTE: Well--
and watch me try to play up to the host--
because I think that in Europe, as Le Mans goes with
this green technology on the race track, and the sporting
mindset of Europeans, having supercars that have that green
language will be more accepted versus maybe Americans that
sometimes seem to be very myopic in our perception of
what should and should not be green and racing, or
sporting and that.
MIKE SPINELLI: If you want to do a sports car, it's got to
have some kind of greenwashing on it right now.
LEO PARENTE: Well, that seems to be the trend.
I mean, Ferrari and the F12 seem to be an exception.
But even they talk about less carbon, more efficient,
lighter weight.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
LEO PARENTE: They just didn't throw in the electrics yet.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah.
And I'm not saying that everybody in America is into
the green stuff--
well, maybe they're into the green stuff, but not exactly
this stuff--
not everybody is into it, it's just that when the media--
LEO PARENTE: My mom's watching.
Don't go there.
MIKE SPINELLI: When the media's on to it.
LEO PARENTE: Oh, I know.
MIKE SPINELLI: You know what I mean?
It's a very trend thing.
LEO PARENTE: What does that have to do with these?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, let's see what's next.
I'll tell you exactly.
Jag.
LEO PARENTE: And honestly, I'm making the statement.
This is my favorite car.
And I got a couple of reasons.
But tell us about it.
MIKE SPINELLI: All right.
So it's the Jag CX75.
Came out where?
Paris, like last year or two years ago.
It's been a long time.
Another range-extended hybrid.
But instead of an internal combustion engine it has a
turbine, or these microturbines.
LEO PARENTE: There's two.
There's two microturbines.
MIKE SPINELLI: Sorry.
Two microturbines.
Originally, when they announced that they were going
to produce this thing, it was going to have a more
traditional drive train range extended by way of--
LEO PARENTE: Some ICE engine, internal combustion.
MIKE SPINELLI: Internal combustion.
LEO PARENTE: But--
MIKE SPINELLI: But you go ahead.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
So they're little microturbines, there are two
of them in the back.
And they were talking about how the technology is getting
close to being production ready.
Then they announced ICE.
But they made improvements.
The tolerances, they got right.
You said it was like how?
MIKE SPINELLI: Like a 20th of a human hair.
LEO PARENTE: Think about that.
MIKE SPINELLI: I mean, seriously.
The tolerances inside the turbine, it's amazing.
LEO PARENTE: So they're going back to a limited run of
turbine-powered electric energy recapture built by
Williams engineering.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes.
LEO PARENTE: How do you not buy this car, go to a
restaurant, try to pick up a girl and say,
want to see my jet?
And all you're doing is going out to the parking lot.
That's cool.
I love this car.
MIKE SPINELLI: This is where tech and racing and sports
cars have to meet.
I don't know.
I'm a little bit less enthusiastic.
Just because--
LEO PARENTE: Oh, by the way.
It's freaking sexy.
MIKE SPINELLI: It is.
LEO PARENTE: Look how cool that is?
MIKE SPINELLI: It is pretty cool.
LEO PARENTE: And it looks like a Jaguar.
MIKE SPINELLI: It does.
Is it central?
No, it's not central.
LEO PARENTE: I'm not sure, I don't think so.
MIKE SPINELLI: No.
Because there are two seats.
And--
LEO PARENTE: But it's got jet engines.
MIKE SPINELLI: It's got jet engines.
It's a sports car with jet engines.
LEO PARENTE: It's got jet engines.
MIKE SPINELLI: But it's going to be made.
They're going to build it.
I mean, 0 to 60 in less than three seconds, with an
electric motor.
LEO PARENTE: It's got jet engines.
MIKE SPINELLI: All right.
Go ahead.
LEO PARENTE: I don't care how fast it goes.
MIKE SPINELLI: So stay on the jet engines.
No, honestly.
This is tech being sexy in the car world.
That's got to happen more than it's happening now.
LEO PARENTE: Is that the only one?
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes, it was.
But here's what we're going to talk about for a second.
So we mentioned the Evora, the Lotus Evora, in talking about
what Infinity was doing.
But Lotus as you know, a few years ago in Paris showed off
a bunch of new cars that they would like to produce.
LEO PARENTE: I met Danny Bahar, we had an interview.
MIKE SPINELLI: You did.
LEO PARENTE: Without sounding arrogant about saying that.
But we talked about all these cars.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right.
LEO PARENTE: And now it's maybe two years later.
MIKE SPINELLI: Two or so years later.
Two-ish, maybe, almost three this year.
The Lotus Esprit--
LEO PARENTE: V8, right?
MIKE SPINELLI: V8 with a KERS hybrid system.
LEO PARENTE: So Mike, let me ask you a question.
You're talking about all these cars, these supercars being
green, having more technology, being more sophisticated.
And Lotus has always been about being simple and
lightweight.
And they're getting hammered for drifting away from that.
But if the world is moving toward a more sophisticated
car, does that help Lotus?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well, I mean, Lotus has to do it.
They have to build awesome cars.
And yes, they're going to get hammered by die-hard fans who
see the company as an extension of Colin Chapman's
simplify it and add lightness thing.
Right, but modern cars can't be simple and they can't be
light, unless they're especially cars like a
Caterham or something.
LEO PARENTE: They can't be simple.
So they're just going where everyone else
is going with them.
MIKE SPINELLI: They're going where they have have to go.
And that's where the 911 is.
And that's where the Lamborghini is, and Ferrari
is, and McLaren now is.
That's what they have to do.
But in this category of sort-of greenish supercars, I
think they had to add the green part of this just to
make sure that they're there where everybody else is too.
And KERS, by the way, is in the F1 world, they're in the
F1 world, that's a tie-in, too.
LEO PARENTE: OK.
MIKE SPINELLI: Ian, go ahead one more.
Oh, we got a couple more.
So just to sort of wrap this up.
Again, Audi e-tron.
Who isn't building a mid-engine supercar, sports
car with some kind of hybrid electronic stuff going on?
LEO PARENTE: This is close from a
production standpoint, right?
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes.
Yes.
LEO PARENTE: A year away?
Two?
MIKE SPINELLI: So I've heard.
Yeah, I mean they'll be made in Neckarsulm in 20--
LEO PARENTE: I did not know that.
MIKE SPINELLI: That's sort of how you pronounce it.
LEO PARENTE: Don't ask me.
MIKE SPINELLI: 2013, '14 kind of thing.
Ian, what's next?
Yes.
Ford GT.
LEO PARENTE: And why are we showing this?
MIKE SPINELLI: Because rumors have been going around for
while that Ford is working on the next GT
and it'll be a hybrid.
An all-wheel drive hybrid, kind of like every car we've
just been talking about.
So my point is that we are entering some kind of
supercar, mid-engine sports car renaissance.
But only this time it's green and electronic and stuff.
LEO PARENTE: Well, that was a wonderful journey.
MIKE SPINELLI: I think it was, wasn't it?
@drive on Twitter.
What do you think?
Did we leave anything out?
Or did we screw it up or something?
Other than me not finishing sentences.
Did I finish all of my sentences when
you wanted me to?
Thanks.
LEO PARENTE: Cool.
Thanks.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah.
Hit us up next week.
LEO PARENTE: And we had Chris Harris.
MIKE SPINELLI: And we had Chris Harris.
LEO PARENTE: From Geneva.
MIKE SPINELLI: What more could you want from us?
Come on.
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Geneva Motor Show, Sports Car Renaissance -- /ROAD TESTAMENT

3662 Folder Collection
稲葉白兎 published on September 9, 2014
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