We do it all the time, pit the classic against the modern. Who is the greatest footballer of all time, Pele or Messi?
They both won 11 Oscars, but what’s the better film, Ben-Hur or Lord of The Rings: Return of The King? Who’s the better band, The Beatles or Oasis? So why shouldn’t we do the same thing with Supercars?
The age of the supercar started with Lamborghini’s Miura, the car responsible for the coining of the term. The Miura changed the game forever.
Prior to Miura, performance cars, such as the AC Cobra, E-Type Jaguar, Ferrari 250 GT, were all front-engined. The Miura’s rear mid-engined two-seat layout was revolutionary and spawned a class of cars that extends to present day.
The Miura was a pioneer, it was at the forefront of technology and design. For example, the engine was mounted sideways to cut down the car’s size, and at the time of its release it was the fastest production car ever made with a top speed of what was then a ground-breaking 171mph. It was beautiful too and looked unlike anything that came before it. In essence, all supercars are Miura.
Almost every supercar since has taken its cues from this iconic classic: ground-breaking performance, a mid-rear engine layout, the latest technology and beautiful styling. Thanks to this blueprint we’ve been given many other classic supercars such as the Ford GT40, Lamborghini Countach, Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari 288 GTO to name a few.
The Start of the Modern Supercar
Putting an exact date and time on the start of the modern supercar is a matter for debate. Personally, we believe that the modern supercar was born on 28th May 1992, with the unveiling of the McLaren F1 at The Sporting Club, Monaco. The McLaren F1 raised the standard and took supercar building to a whole new level, much like the Miura had 26 years earlier.
When it debuted, the F1 did so as the fastest, most expensive production car in the world and fulfilled its aim of being “the best road car in the world”. Its top speed record, set in 1994, would not be broken until 2005 by the Koenigsegg CCR. The McLaren F1 managed to be focused and single minded in its pursuit of performance, devastating on track but somehow completely useable on the road. A formula that has been followed ever since.
As technology advances and materials are made lighter, elements of luxury have seeped into the modern supercar. Comfort is no longer sacrificed for performance. And ultimately, it is this factor that most elevates modern supercars over their classic rivals. You can drive a modern supercar such as the Audi R8 on the track and obliterate everything else that shows up. You can also drive it day in day out, with no fear of discomfort or breakdown.
Modern supercars are more accessible than ever. With driver aids, extraordinary levels of comfort and high-tech materials, they can be enjoyed by anyone.
They are also more accessible as ownership is no longer a requirement for getting behind the wheel of one of the world’s best supercars.
One such place to fulfill that dream is Supercar Hire, where you can experience driving a modern supercar whenever you’d like.