This month's Cholmondeley Pageant of Power sees the return of the Autocar Supercar paddock. It's the best chance to see some of the world’s most incredible sports cars and supercars.
As always, the paddock features some of Autocar’s favourite exotica. Here’s a full rundown of the exhibits.
Aston Martin Centenary Vanquish
One of just 100 to be produced in celebration of Aston Martin’s monumental 100th anniversary this year, the Centenary-spec Vanquish maintains everything we love about the Vanquish, with detailing flourishes marking its status, including sterling silver Aston Martin badges and a subtly revised paint finish.
You can usually tell how happy a manufacturer is with how a car's performing in its market come facelift time. If the maker gives a car major surgery, you can usually assume it's not doing its job properly. The Audi R8, however, has been given a relatively mild update, reflecting Audi’s confidence. Besides new lights, exhausts and equipment upgrades, the major change is the option of a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, allowing the R8 V10 Plus to sprint from 0-62mph in 3.5sec.
Bentley Continental GT Speed
The Bentley Continental GT Speed is the fastest road car the firm has ever built. The Speed’s twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 gets an extra 49bhp and 74lb ft of torque over the standard car, along with myriad interior and exterior upgrades. With 616bhp at 6000rpm and 590lb ft of torque from 1700rpm it’s magnificently fast. Acceleration from 0-60mph takes a mere 4.0sec and its top speed is 205mph - impressive considering it weighs an imperious 2320kg.
Bentley Ice Record Car
Something of a motoring celebrity is also to make an appearance: the bioethanol-fuelled Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, which powered Juha Kankkunen into becoming the fastest man on ice — a title later snatched away by an Audi RS6. After achieving a record-breaking speed of 205.43mph on the ice flats of the Baltic Sea, Kankkunen’s record run saw Bentley seize the opportunity to celebrate, almost immediately launching a limited-run Supersports ‘Ice Speed Record’ convertible.
Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse
As powerful as it is wordy, the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse’s 1,184 horses ensure that it keeps the title of world’s fastest- and world’s most powerful convertible on sale. Its top speed of 254mph is provided by that gargantuan 8.0-litre W16 engine and aerodynamic tweaks over the ‘standard’ Veyron.
Infiniti FX Vettel
One of just 15 Infiniti FX Vettel editions built in right-hand drive (only 150 will be built in total) will feature at Cholmondeley. The range-topping SUV has been produced and performance tuned under the guidance of Formula 1 wunderkind and Infiniti’s brand ambassador, Sebastian Vettel. Producing 414bhp from its tuned 5.0-litre V8 engine, the FX Vettel reaches a limited top speed of 155mph, attaining 62mph in a mere 5.6sec.
Jaguar F-type V8S
The fastest, most powerful, most expensive model within the new Jaguar F-type range costs a whopping £79,950. And despite looking all but identical to lesser versions, it’s a proper old-school hotrod. Jaguar reckons it’ll do 0-100mph in 8.9sec, thanks to its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine. But the way it thunders towards the horizon at the merest prod of throttle in any of the first five gears makes it feel quicker, even, than such a number would suggest.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera
The LP570-4 incarnation of the Gallardo Superleggera is the lighter, more powerful version of the LP560-4. At 1340kg it weighs 70kg less than a normal Gallardo, thanks to extensive use of carbonfibre. Its 570bhp 5.2-litre V10 can fire the Lambo from 0-62mph in 3.4sec. With the pedal nailed down it’ll hit 202mph. Power is transferred to the road by a permanent four-wheel drive system. The Superleggera isn’t just faster, it’s also more efficient – Lamborghini claims a 20.5 per cent reduction in CO2.
The McLaren 12C is a precisely engineered alternative to the Ferrari 458, based around a carbonfibre tub, aluminium and composite panels and a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, mid-mounted. With 616bhp on tap, and a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission driving the rear wheels, the McLaren can sprint from 0-62mph in 3.1sec, but more impressively still, it’s capable of getting from 0-124mph in 8.8sec. Couple that performance to an advanced suspension system, powerful brakes and first-rate steering, there’s little that will be able to keep up with a 12C.
Morgan Aero Supersports
With a bonded aluminium chassis, ‘superformed’ alloy body panels and a 4.8-litre BMW-sourced engine, the Aero Supersports is a thoroughly modern car. Effectively a targa-roofed version of the previous Aeromax coupé, the Morgan’s V8 generates 367bhp and 370lb ft, channelled to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual gearbox. With a kerb weight of only 1180kg, and that boisterous V8 in the nose, the Morgan can get from 0-62mph in 4.5sec and hit a 170mph v-max.
The Noble M600 is a car few might recognise, but when Autocar tested this hand-built British supercar, we found it faster than a McLaren F1 in almost every in-gear increment from 20-160mph. The M600 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 producing 640bhp and 604lb ft, and thanks to a sub-1200kg kerb weight it can accelerate from 0-120mph in just 8.9sec and reach an estimated 225mph. Despite this performance, the M600 is a comfortable and usable car - an achievement in itself.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
The ubiquitous Porsche 911 makes an appearance in the Autocar paddock in Carrera 4S guise. Now in its sixth generation, this particular 911 Carrera 4S is remarkable for sending the engine’s 394bhp to all four wheels, powering it to 62mph in 4.5sec and onwards to an impressive top speed of 185mph. The Porsche’s rich history leads to a thoroughly modern turn of economy; returning 28.5mpg in addition to the adrenaline-pumping performance figures.
Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer
Nicknamed ‘the thunder from down under’ in standard guise, the Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer lives up to its reputation of being a more practical version of the sledgehammer which is Vauxhall’s rebadged HSV. Its 425bhp 6.2-litre V8 is perhaps only overshadowed by its title as the most capacious estate car on sale today.
The Pageant of Power is held between 14-16 June. Tickets are available from cpop.co.uk
Lewis Kingston/Jimi Beckwith