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Autocar’s hive mind has chosen the best bits from its favourite motors to create this year’s Frankencar

This year’s nonsensical Frankencar is a paean to performance – performance of the sledgehammer variety, rather than the fairy dust type that’s epitomised by delicate playthings such as the Alpine A110.

That said, with its track dayleaning but road-ready set-up, our car should be every bit as rewarding and precise to drive as it is desirable on the spec sheet alone. It has an atmospheric engine and one of the most feelsome EPAS systems around. A rear-drive layout with the engine halfway back beneath the dashboard, DTM-style, also gives it innate agility, yet a saloon wheelbase imbues it with stability and predictability on the limit. We hope.

Our unholy creation looks epic and sounds even better – but alas could never actually exist. To create such an utterly perfect machine, you would need to spend £1.95 million on seven cars, then butcher them. Would it work in practice? Who truly knows? Probably best the Frankencar stays within these pages, as a product of our dreams and your nightmares. 

Gearbox

Ferrari 812 Competizione​: I haven’t experienced this particular application of Ferrari’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, but I have it on the very highest authority – a text message from Matt Prior – that the thing is ridiculously good. Of course, it also comes with the biggest and best shift paddles in the business.

Wheels

BMW M5 CS: ‘Goldbronze’ seems to be the latest design fad in the car world, with everyone from Land Rover to Cupra to BMW M applying it for added, er, swankiness. We’re not particularly fond of the M5 CS’s grille treatment, but the car’s 20in wheels are plain delicious. They’re forged, too, and the Y-spoke design strikes an agreeable balance between elegance and motorsporty undertones. Best of all, they allow for a generous slab of sidewall, which looks so much nicer than many modern-day elastic-band tyre profiles. All hail the wheel of the year.

Materials

McLaren 720s GT3X: The 720S GT3X isn’t road-legal, or even homologated for racing. It’s every bit as pointless as our Frankencar, but that only makes it a shoo-in for inclusion. Carbonfibre and Kevlar abound in this unhinged vision of what the McLaren 720S racer would be if not emasculated by petty rules. With help from a Ti exhaust, this big car’s kerb weight is just 1210kg – and that’s DIN, not dry. 

Engine

Lamborghini Huracan STO: Lamborghini’s much-loved – nay, worshipped – 631bhp V10 was first seen in the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, and don’t let the riveting noise it makes distract you from just what an excellent companion it is for serious driving. It has precision enough to allow one to make the very finest adjustments to our car’s mid-corner angle of attack and a turbo-free linearity that’s not only enjoyable but also helps engender confidence, even in the sopping wet. Only Ferrari’s latest V12 runs it close, but here we’re going for the more compact V10 for our front-mid-engine layout.

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Chassis

Porsche 911 GT3: The chassis for our chimera comes from the winner of this year’s Handling Day. Now, obviously even Andreas Preuninger – the jovial-genius frontman of Porsche’s fabled GT division – would struggle to make something with a colossal front-mounted V10 handle with the same idiosyncratic panache as the new 911 GT3, but this Frankencar is an exercise in pure whimsy, so who cares about feasibility? The brilliance of the Porsche is in the way it loves to help you rotate it through any bend, right from the get-go. It makes direction changes a seamless process and is blissfully happy in the twilight zone just beyond the tyres’ limits of perfect traction. To thrash a GT3 is to love it, and we want some of that here.

Body

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm: When Alfa’s Marco Tencone styled the Giulia, he had little idea just how brutish its aesthetic would become, courtesy of the GTAm. This two-seat wild child has the kind of raison d’être that appeals deeply to our road testers, but the magic is that, despite this persona, it remains an elegant saloon – beautiful, even. And you certainly can’t say that about the BMW M3 now, can you?

Cabin

BMW M3 Competition: In 2021, no other car’s cabin has bestrode the line between ‘hardcore’ and ‘comfy’ so sweetly as that of the M3 with its optional M Carbon Sports seats and their peculiar, er, holsters. For one thing, the driving ergonomics are faultless, but this is a brand of sportiness that also feels very plush over distance. The infotainment is excellent, too. 

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Peter Cavellini 28 December 2021

A bit of ba humbug there maybe?, it's the festive season so we're told, and Autocar have done this for yonks, and yes, an EV wet dream would've been a salve for some, it would be an itch you couldn't scratch for others, I'm in both Camps though, if they work , look and we can afford the quickest ( which most of us can't, but still think we have the right to deride the pro ICE car Army) then lead on Mac Duff!

HiPo 289 28 December 2021

Maybe Autocar should just change its name to Luddism in Action.  Only a backward-looking mentality can explain choosing a car with pollution pipes in 2021.  Have they even noticed that internal combustion is dying?  That the market is shifting?  That there are huge waiting lists for EVs or that petrochemicals are cursed by the twin millstones of pollution and dodgy undemocratic regimes in charge of the supply chain?  When are we going to hear the penny drop?   Worst of all, it just looks like an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of gullible consumers who are ignorant of the imminent death of combustion in new vehicles.  Autocar clearly doesn’t care if you waste all your money on shortly to become socially unacceptable vehicles.  

 

scrap 29 December 2021

This piece has clearly gone right over your head, so I hesitate to respond, but the fact is that the single most important factor in tackling the climate crisis is to stop burning fossil fuels.

Guess what currently requires lots of fossil fuels to manufacture? Electric vehicles. Guess who has done a deal with Glencore to exploit even more resources from the DRC? Tesla.

I hate to burst your smug bubble, but buying a new EV will not save the planet. Stopping the use of fossil fuels is the answer. EVs are compelling and clearly the future, but the issue is much more complex and nuanced than your rant suggests.

 

Jeremy 29 December 2021
scrap wrote:

This piece has clearly gone right over your head, so I hesitate to respond, but the fact is that the single most important factor in tackling the climate crisis is to stop burning fossil fuels.

Guess what currently requires lots of fossil fuels to manufacture? Electric vehicles. Guess who has done a deal with Glencore to exploit even more resources from the DRC? Tesla.

I hate to burst your smug bubble, but buying a new EV will not save the planet. Stopping the use of fossil fuels is the answer. EVs are compelling and clearly the future, but the issue is much more complex and nuanced than your rant suggests.

 

 

+ 1 (sadly!)

Citytiger 28 December 2021

Sorrry but if you think the M3 has the best interior, you need to give up your day job. 

scrap 28 December 2021

Please tell us, based on your extensive testing, which alternative cabin you would choose.