PH BLOG: THE DEATH OF THE SCARY SUPERCAR
Garlick's impressed by the SLS's usability but bemoans the loss of the fear factor
a Gallardo with E-gear and it was ... easy. Too easy. Audi climate control kept the screen clear, I could see out of the large mirrors, the ’box was simple to use and it was all rather pleasant. Within 30 minutes I was listening to Radio 2 with relaxed posture and that was that. Sure it would go fast but it was happy playing the role of cruiser. Try that in a Countach. It seems the modern mainstream supercar has become a very simple tool to use; there are exceptions of course but I’m speaking broadly.
SLS Roadster sitting in the PH car park which has 571hp from a rather vocal V8, it can travel at 197mph and gets to 60mph in 3.8 seconds. If I handed the keys to my nan (who has an automatic only licence) she could drive it home happily holding up queues of traffic at 22mph as she peers over the wheel. It’s that easy to drive. I love the SLS with all my heart and scariness is merely a few button presses away, but this is a genuine supercar you could drive with one arm on the armrest, at 30mph listening to The Archers without breaking a sweat. (Or go to the ’ring and lap in 7:40, same as a 911 GT3 – Ed.)
A few weeks prior I was in a Caterham for the commute. It was hot, it was loud, the clutch hated traffic and the harnesses ruined my shirt. When I finally managed to prise myself out of it my clothes smelt of exhaust fumes. You were left in no doubt as to the fact that you were driving something made for track use before road use. Same goes for the TVR in a way, the clutch gets a bit upset with too much crawling traffic, the cabin gets hot and it still commands my respect in damp corners to this day. But, if I want to travel any distance in comfort I’ll take the Lexus, the TVR isn’t owned as a do-it-all car.