The last month or so has been a busy time for the automotive world, as a variety of notable reveals and bits of news have surfaced. We at Oh So Lofty try to stay on top of these matters and cover them to the best of our ability. However, this website is run completely by full-time college students with other part-time jobs. Finding time to cover every major automotive reveal can become a bit of a balancing act for our small team, especially with other matters like finals to worry about. Since a few important announcements have not yet been covered here at OSL, we thought it would be a good idea to give some input on these, rather than just presenting information you might've already read elsewhere. Thank you for your patience and continued support of our website, and we look forward to bringing you more content now that classes are concluding for the year. Now let's get to the cars!
There are few cars in 2017 that have generated anywhere near as much controversy as McLaren's newly-revealed hypercar, the Senna. As you may already know, this car's name pays homage to the late Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest formula one drivers of all time. Going along with Senna's history of track performance, the McLaren Senna is the most track-focused road car the marque has ever produced. McLaren divides its cars into three segments, the sports series, super series, and ultimate series. The Senna sits alongside the P1 in the ultimate series, representing the current peak of their performance range. I find that last statement particularly interesting because the Senna is NOT the replacement for the P1. That will come next year with the reveal of the 3-seat hypercar currently codenamed "BP23."
The reason why the Senna is so controversial is its styling. While it's not what I would consider an ugly car, it is far from beautiful. Many others on the internet have been less kind. Its raw, performance-driven ethos is brought to life through the angular and aggressive styling. So while I may not be in love with it based on looks, I have a feeling myself (and many others) will respect the car much more once we see what the 800 hp monster can do on a track. It ditches the hybrid assists of the P1 in an effort to be the lightest current McLaren model. Light weight, huge aerodynamic figures, and a very powerful engine make the Senna a car to watch in 2018.
BMW i8 Roadster
Better late than never on this one. While the original i8 Spyder concept was revealed to the public all the way back in 2012, it took until late 2017 for us to finally see a production version. So, has BMW made some major changes in that time? Unfortunately, not really. The i8, with its curvaceous, futuristic styling, still looks fantastic. Heck, I personally thinks it looks better as a drop-top. The styling is, as ever, a high point for the i8. But there's one looming problem that makes me worry about the car.
That worry is the performance. Despite the i8's dramatic, supercar looks, it really isn't as fast as many people think it is. Don't get me wrong, it's still a sports car that does 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and hits a limited top speed of 155 mph. The BMW i8 is not a slow car. However, when you can buy an M3 or M4 that's faster and more practical for around half the money, the i8 doesn't exactly scream value. Admittedly, i8 buyers probably aren't the most performance-focused individuals on the planet, and the i8 is more than quick enough for most drivers. But when you're paying upwards of $150,000 for your mid-engined sports car, do you really like the fact that you can buy a whole range of faster family cars from the same manufacturer? BMW representatives have stated that their "i" and "M" divisions are created for different purposes and will not be working together on cars. I think that is a missed opportunity. While the i8 Roadster is a cool car, and I'd be overjoyed to get behind the wheel of one, I think an M-powered version would properly re-establish Bimmer as a supercar manufacturer.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible
About a month ago, we brought you the news of the brand new, 750-horsepower Corvette ZR1. The fastest, most performance-oriented car GM had ever produced was finally here, and it brought a gigantic aero kit with it. While I'm not the biggest Corvette fan in the world, I can't deny I have a soft spot for that car. I think it looks good, sounds like thunder, and seems to be a weapon on a race track. I totally get the appeal, and I'm looking forward to seeing it on the street.
The ZR1 Convertible, on the other hand, is not my cup of tea. I'm aware Chevy has a number of body styles for their flagship sports car, and that giving customers the variety will ultimately let them customize their perfect Corvette. Porsche has exemplified this strategy for years with the 911. However, when was the last time you saw a convertible GT3 or GT2? Yeah, didn't think so. I can't lie and say I'm not a fan of convertible supercars, but that doesn't mean I like all of them. Some make a lot more sense than others. In the case of the ZR1, the normal ZR1 coupe actually has removable roof panels, while retaining the more attractive body lines of the coupe. It's essentially already a targa-top sports car. Therefore, all you're getting with the convertible is a weight penalty and a less attractive car. Neither of these, I hope you agree, are good things.
These were a few important cars we wanted to make sure we covered before the end of this very busy year. 2017 has been full of crazy new cars and automotive trends. For more year-end recap and highlights, make sure to stay tuned to Oh So Lofty in the coming weeks.