We’re Billionaires, Now What? Introducing the Sub5zero Fantasy Collection
“If you won the lottery, what would you buy?” Car fanatics have no doubt heard this question, and the second you tell someone you’re a journalist it seems like it’s a requirment to find out what we lust after. Maybe people hope we’ll say, “Your car!” thus validating their purchase of a 2002 PT Cruiser. We won’t, because we don’t. But dreaming is certainly a big part of who we are, because until we pick those magical 6 numbers, this is how we can get close to our very expensive dreams.
That question got the office thinking about what would we all buy. If we had all the money in the world, and a big enough garage, what would we fill it with? Some people’s dream garage has a nice sports car, a comfy sedan and maybe a strong SUV for the snowy months. Not ours. Ours has rows, and rows, and rows of 4-wheeled dreams. You know those people that think Jay Leno’s car collection is “reasonable”? That’s us. So we’re starting a new list for everyone, of the cars that are worthy to be in our stable if/when we become billionaires. We’re calling it The Sub5Zero Fantasy Collection. As soon as we figure out how to turn this site into the next Facebook, it’ll become a reality, but until then, here’s the first 10 cars we’d buy, and why.
Koenigsegg Agera – A Prettier Heir to the Bug’s Throne.
The Koenigsegg Agera isn’t available yet, but it’s been the talk of the hyper-car town since its concept showed up at the Geneva Motor Show. It looks like a Koenigsegg, which is good. And it has lots of shiny new parts and special illuminations inside, which is also good. But if that’s all it took to get into our timeless collection, our hangar would be stuffed with Jaguar E-Types and strobe lights. The Agera is going to be fast as ****. Click here if you need proof. I’ll keep it short: V8. Twin-turbo. 910hp. 250+mph. Its sound is in the dictionary under, “terrifying.” Grips like a gecko in tar. If it’s not faster than a Bug, it will be damn close. Collectible? Oh yeah.
Jaguar C-X75- The first green rocket ship.
What makes this car worthy? Well, for starters, the night before the LA Auto Show it was shown at Jay Leno’s garage. So its debut was inside a car collection. Like the Porsche 918 Spyder, this is a landmark car. It has crazy “green” technology, it’s fuel efficient, it’s very fast (10 second 1/4 mile), its turbines are innovative (not to mention super cool looking) and its design is nothing short of spectacular. How many other cars give you the abillity to tell that hot yoga chick “I have a hybrid” and tell your friends “It has gas turbines like a jet fighter.” It almost looks like it can fly, and who knows, maybe they will add that feature after the first production run. Innovative. Smart. Gorgeous. Fast? Yes.
Shelby Daytona Coupe – Seriously? You have to ask?
Fine. I’ll entertain your stupid question. There are only 6 in the world. In 1965 this car beat Ferraris like an Irish father, taking away the manufacturer’s championship from Enzo himself. If Ford had had their way all the cars would have been scrapped, because it was too expensive to have them shipped back from France. It set a land speed record. It’s fast anywhere, it looks amazing and has a cinderella story to boot. This is the quintessential example of a collector’s car.
MTM Audi R8 – A lot of everything we like
There’s lot of things I could say to explain why there is a special, red-carpeted parking space in the sub5 bat-cave for this car. I could go on about the power and the handling. I could tell you about the special carbon bits that are on, or the fancy springs MTM added. I could say it hits 60mph in x.x seconds and it will go faster than a solid-fuel rocket.
But those words mean nothing when there is a perfectly good video available to let you see and hear exactly why we love this car. While every company short of Johnson & Johnson has a modified R8 available, the MTM R8 was one of the first, and its supercharged greeting stuck with me since.
McLaren F1 – It set the bar.
The BMW S70 Engine makes 627hp. Back in 1992, that much power from a naturally aspirated engine was an incredible feat. In fact, you’d have trouble finding production cars today with that much power without using forced induction. A lot of people might say, “The F1 was amazing for its time, but there’s plenty of cars with more power than that for way less money.” They might be right, but as the horsepower wars have gone nuclear, peak horsepower isn’t the end-all be-all of a car’s performance. Lately the comparison of choice has been a car’s power to weight ratio. For example, the Ferrari Enzo makes 434hp/ton, or 4.6lbs per hp. The Veyron, the first car to finally beat the F1’s top speed record, has a ratio of 4.1lb/hp. Well, the aging, retired, still-has-a-CD-player McLaren F1 has a power-to-weight ratio of 3.6lb/hp. Not bad for a 20 year old with no fancy compressor wheels, right?
Modern supercars and fans alike owe so much to the F1. It was the first road car to use a carbon fiber monocoque frame. Like the Veyron, it was designed to be the ultimate car, and nothing less. Nothing was sacrificed or skimped on in the building of this car. This was, basically, the best car humans could build in 1992. Need more proof? Although it was designed as a road car, a lightly modified version raced at Le Mans in 1995, and won, beating purpose-built race cars. It was designed as the ultimate driver’s car. That’s why the driver sits in the middle, why it s got a manual gear box, and why it was naturally aspirated. Other cars may go faster, or have more gizmos, but none will be as iconic because it took them 20 years to catch up.
Audi E-Tron Spyder – Shutting up Al.
We have no idea who is going to win the fuel wars. It could be hydrogen, it could be electricity, it could be algae (seriously, they’re working on this) or maybe we’ll just burn reality TV stars. We’re not sure, but right now electricity is in the lead and diesel is making a comeback. So the Audi E-tron Spyder is an easy choice. Electric motors drive the front wheels, a TT V6 boiler drives the back, and it’s all put in a body that looks like it could julienne slice a mindless pedestrian (That feature will come in handy in 2012 when the zombies take over).
Porsche 918 Spyder – The Bringer of Hope.
If you don’t know what this car is, not only are you not a car fan, you are likely a shut-in who still uses a rotary phone and has a basement filled with canned soup and munitions. When the Porsche 918 Spyder made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show it set the world on electronically-simulated fire. This was the first step by a major automaker to make a hybrid that couldn’t also double as a sedative. It was also proof that companies known for making performance cars had accepted the ecologically-minded future of the car but weren’t content building pill-shaped boxes of boredom. It goes 200mph. It gets 78mpg. It’s the best looking Porsche since the CGT and it was the trend-setter for high-performance hybrids.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sports – The Last Samurai.
This is probably the pinnacle of the gas-powered automobile. It is highly unlikely we will ever see another car built that has the same engineering and faultless execution of such a bad ass idea. It is the T-Rex of gasoline-powered cars. Some of you may ask, “What about the SSC Ultimate Aero or upcoming Zenvo ST1 or Agera?” Those are all great cars that are so fast they can change your sex, but the Veyron is on another level. Let’s move past its 267MPH top speed or its awesome new “smokey launch” button and talk about the how and why.
No expense was spared. It wasn’t just built to be the fastest car ever, it was to be the fastest road car ever. That means it can be civil, quiet, comfortable and (relatively) safe. It has AWD, plenty of leather, sound-deadening and all the creature comforts. But it’s not just what it has, it’s how it has those things. Every part of this car is done as perfectly as possible. Bugatti had a goal, and let nothing get in the way. Just as the McLaren was the best we could do in 1992, the Veyron SS is the best we can do now. And with oil drying up and everyone looking to a more efficient future, we believe this is the pinnacle of the gas-powered automobile. It will be a historic car for decades.
Alfa Romeo 8C – It doesn’t turn that well or go that fast, and its trunk is the size of my front pocket. Don’t care.
As soon as I laid eyes on the Alfa Romeo 8c I fell in love, and the rest of the S5Z office agrees. Judging looks alone, it is my favorite car ever. I’ve seen them at shows, pictures, and re-watched reviews of the 8c countless times. And the magical day I got to start one up and drive it (admittedly slowly) the 8c was welded into my heart. There are plenty of cars that have more grip, better handling, or a more comfortable interior. But this car has so much soul, so much charm, so much of that “X” factor that lifts it above all the statistics and lap times. It’s beautiful, it sounds incredible, and as soon as you sink into the wafer-thin carbon seat there is a sense of magic and occasion. Even though the Sub5 garage would have dozens of cars, this one would be drafted in the first round.
The twin-R1 powered mini from Z cars – All the power of a leading running back in a body the size of a flea. Fun x 10000.
It’s a wide-bodied MINI with 345hp. That’s not a ton of power, but when the source is two Yamaha R1 engines the cool factor hits the limiter. And since the car weighs less than 2000lbs, it’s not slow. Not by a long shot. Think Tazmanian Devil mated with the Road Runner. Turns on a dime, and accelerates like a beam of light.
Well hey, that’s our first list. And they’ll be more to come… If you have some faves of your own feel free to drop them in the comments… And stay tuned as we stock The Sub5Zero Fantasy Collection.