Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Forza Motorsport 7: Stars at 70

The year 2018 will be remembered as three car companies celebrating their 70th anniversary this year; Land Rover, Lotus, and Porsche, and today, we shall see which one will be the shining star for the next seven decades and to do that, I found a venue that fits to the timeline of these carmakers; Silverstone.

Ah, Silverstone. Born in 1948 from the remnants of an RAF airfield, this track hosted their first grand prix in 1950 and it was forever known as a battleground for the British Grand Prix for many years and beyond. This venue makes it the perfect battleground for three of the most iconic carmakers celebrating their 70th birthday this year. Representing Land Rover is the Range Rover Sport SVR, then for Lotus, it's the Exige S, and for Porsche, the 911 GT3 RS.

Before pitting these three for a one-lap shootout, I took some sighting laps to get to know these machines. Starting on the SVR, Land Rover managed to transform the Range Rover Sport into something else no SUV has ever done before. Known to be one of the fastest SUVs to lap round the Nurburgring, it sets the bar for SUVs everywhere and despite its weight, the raw power of its supercharged V8 and its sporty dynamics mean that this SUV is not afraid to take on corners and upon driving this machine several times, I'm already familiar with its behavior.

The Exige S has gone through several upgrades but rest assured, this hardcore V6-powered track toy remains something that shouldn't be underlooked. It may have defined the philosophy of what a Lotus should be, value aerodynamics over performance, but despite the added supercharged V6 engine on the middle, the Exige remains what a Lotus should be, to be fast elsewhere on the track. A long time ago, I tested it against a hardcore Mustang somewhere and I was amazed that it managed to outrun a GT350 in a rather close margin. This Exige became one of my favorite Lotuses to drive in the game ever since I laid my hands on one.

The 911 GT3 RS is the result of what happens when you give supercar levels to a sportscar that is so brilliant everywhere. Taking a break from all that yelling and exploding things, driving the 911 GT3 RS is all about getting yourselves back at where you're good at, driving the stuff you love and by being as old-school as an 80's superhero show and as hardcore as an extreme track toy, it's becoming the best 911 ever made for purists elsewhere, despite the gearbox woes. You can really clear your mind with everything that doesn't involve driving and enjoy it until you are satisfied.

So, now that I'm familiar with these machines, these representatives are ready to find out which carmaker feels great after 70 years and since Silverstone was been with us for 70 years now, this will be a shootout to remember so let's grab some beer and nachos because it's time for these stars at 70 to show the world what they can do. Roll the tape.

After all three cars showcasing the best that their makers can do, here are the results:

SVR - 2:40.165
Exige - 2:33.704
991 GT3 RS - 2:21.353

Which means, the best carmaker that feels good after 70 years is none other than...Porsche!

Like the city of Rome, Silverstone wasn't built on a day and the same goes for these cars because they took several man hours trying to perfect these machines before emerging them on the roads and tracks at the hands of their potential owners. Land Rover perfected at the art of going places while Lotus remains sticking to the simple recipe that impresses the owners over their lightness principles and Porsche catered different kinds of customers with their offerings inspired by the sportiness of the 911.

Sharing same ages, their differences are what made these carmakers great. So here's for another seventy good years of perfecting such machines for such purposes. You deserve this year to shine, gentlemen.

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