We look under the skin of 9 supercars from different eras

Because we're geeks like that
by Ollie Kew | May 10, 2020
CAR MODELS IN THIS ARTICLE

1) Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini was so proud of its Aventador rolling chassis, it chose to reveal images of the car’s carbon tub, pushrod suspension, and 694hp V12 all bolted together without bodywork on top first. Which is a bit like sending a naked selfie ahead of the first date. Bold move. Takes confidence. Lamborghini pulled it off. Your mileage may vary. Maybe send flowers instead.

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2) Icon Engineering Porsche 917

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This 917 replica faithfully recreates the iconic shape of Porsche’s Le Mans icon, as well as the sense of terror when you see this 230mph turbocharged monster is held together by an intricate spaceframe that looks about as crash-proof as a spider’s web. 

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3) Lexus LFA

Peeling off an LFA’s bodywork gives you a sense of how tightly packaged this carbon-tubbed V10 superstar was. Lexus even routed the window-washer bottle to the bowels of the car, next to the fuel tank, so it didn’t compromise the balance. Be nice to nerds in school, kids. They’re the ones who come up with genius like that.

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4) Apollo IE

This is the carbon tub, suspension, brakes, and exhaust of the Apollo Intensa Emozione. If you’re under the age of 18 please leave this page immediately. 

5) Porsche Carrera GT

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More carbon-tub and pushrod-suspension pornography, this time from Porsche’s V10 legend, the Carrera GT. We were going to use a photograph of the back of the car, showing how the carbon subframe cradles the 602hp Le Mans-derived 5.7-liter engine like some sort of pregnant alien robot, but our lawyers said this gallery is already too risqué for a family website. Sorry.

6) Lamborghini Miura

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See, even the original supercar can still pull off a no-clothes routine. But there’s more to this rolling chassis than simply showing off. Lamborghini developed the mid-engined Miura as a secret out-of-hours project, but needed expression of financial interest to keep the project going—and prove its worth to the more traditional, front-engined-cars-thank-you-very-much boss, Ferruccio Lamborghini.

So, the transverse V12-engined chassis, completely free of bodywork, was exhibited at the 1965 Turin motor show, where interested buyers placed orders even before the stunning bodywork had been sketched. The completed car was finally displayed at the 1966 Geneva International Motor Show, where the gamblers who’d presumed the Miura’s beauty would be more than skin-deep were presumably rather smug. 

7) Pagani Zonda R

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The Zonda R was basically a racing car, except it was too extreme for any GT racing series. Still, because it was built with track mayhem in mind, it was fitted with quick-release clamshell body panels front and rear, which could be removed in the pits to access the suspension for adjustment, and the ear-melting 6.0-liter AMG V12, for ogling. The result is views like the one above, which is less a car, more of a Playboy centerfold for Autobots.

8) Porsche 918 Spyder

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Even for Porsche, the company’s approach to creating, testing, and perfecting the fiendishly complicated 918 Spyder hybrid was insanely German. You’d imagine that building a plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric 4x4 hypercar with a 9,000rpm V8 and three electric motors would be the sort of exercise hidden away at test tracks and in secret bunkers. But not for Porsche. Instead, the company openly published information about this mutant test bed for the car, which looked like a Mad Max-universe 911 Turbo, but actually earned its crust as a test mule for the spectacular LaFerrari and McLaren P1 rival. 

9) McLaren MP4-12C

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Woking was rightly proud of its debut turbo supercar’s carbon tub and hydraulically cross-linked suspension, so it showed it off with what looks to us to be the world’s most tempting go-kart. Secondhand 12Cs are starting to get ‘cheap’ now—and we’ve just had a superb idea for a new one-make race series. McKarts, anyone?

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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