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Supercar, Hypercar, and now Megacar; is a nuclear-powered Gigacar next? Back in the early 1980s, Road & Track magazine published Exotic Cars, a series of special edition magazines reviewing the era’s wildest machines. The cover shots alone were enough to make any warm-blooded teen drool. Rarities like the Lamborghini Countach, RUF Porsche 911 “Yellow Bird” and the Ferrari Testa Rossa all vied for the international “Bad Boy” title and a shot to reach 200 mph. Oh…and remember the Mercedes AMG “Hammer”? Sorry Lewis Hamilton, but that was the original “Hammer Time”! 

Road & Track poster

Road & Track poster
1980’s Road & Track covers fueled the Supercar revolution long before the Internet existed. Their “Exotic Cars” special editions were read cover to cover and often featured cars tuned by RUF, Koenig and AMG. © Road & Track

Fast forward a few decades, and while Pirelli P7 tires and Alpine stereos are long forgotten memories, the feeling of awe you get when looking at one of these machines remains the same; hence the true essence of what defines them, regardless of which prefix you use. I’m here at the Petersen Automobile Museum in Los Angeles to feast my eyes on a number of these exotics that span close to half a century. From the Lamborghini Miura, considered by many to be the first modern supercar, to the Hennessey Venom F5 currently being tuned to exceed the 300-mph barrier, they are all here for a brief moment as part of their Supercar and Hypercar exhibits. So, just what does it take for an automobile to become a chapter in today’s supercar landscape? 

Lamborghini Centenario

Lamborghini Centenario
The Lamborghini “Centenario” is a limited-edition Aventador SVJ celebrating Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday anniversary. The V12 powered all-wheel-drive car is the first Lamborghini to incorporate rear-wheel steering and extensive use of rear aero-splitters. The top speed is 217 MPH. PHOTO © 2021 Rex McAfee

For starters, ridiculous face-deforming acceleration. Remember when 0-60 under 5 seconds was a big deal? Those days are long gone; hell, the babysitter can do that in a beat-up Tesla. Baller status now requires 0-60 between 2 and 3 seconds. Rimac’s Concept One uses all-wheel drive via 4 individual electric motors to achieve its aircraft carrier launch. Be prepared to spend some “quiet time” with your owner’s manual as you will need to figure out how to put your car into launch mode (e.g., high beams on, both pedals down, XM radio turned up, and wallet wide open). And I assume you already know your left foot will be idle during shifts? Get used to those paddles controlling your 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (e.g. Koenigsegg Agera).

Koenigsegg Agera FE

Koenigsegg Agera FE
Founded in 1994 in Sweden by Christian von Koenigsegg, the Koenigsegg Agera was introduced in 2010 and set 5 world speed records throughout its 8-year production run. This Agera FE has a turbocharged V8 engine producing 1300+ hp and boasts a top speed of 284 mph. PHOTO © Rex McAfee

The next requirement is a 200+ mph top speed. How ironic that the fastest “looking” cars of decades past were usually the ones that didn’t make the two-century mark. Put a Countach in a wind tunnel; well…looks can be deceiving. But with the advent of computer modeling, supercar designers can now create something both sexy and slippery. Bugatti’s Veyron

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: World’s Fastest Cars Collide at the Petersen
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Published Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 18:51:33 +0000


2024 Honda XR650L Dual Sport Preview


American Honda maintains its venerable XR650L into 2024, with no notable changes to the stalwart platform. It will remain priced at $6,999 and will only be available in the white color scheme shown below.

“A motorcycle of legendary status, the XR650L continues to stand the test of time, thanks in part to its simple, no-frills design and relentless dependability,” American Honda says in its official press release. “Backed by an incredible record of success in Baja, this dual-sport icon has amassed a loyal following of enthusiasts around the globe since its introduction in 1993.

The 2024 Honda XR650L will remain priced at $6,999.
The 2024 Honda XR650L will remain priced at $6,999. (Honda/)

Related: 1993 – 2007 Honda XR650L | Smart Money

As is evident by the longevity of other dual sport motorcycles, like the KLR650 and DR650S, big single-cylinder machines continue to have appeal. The XR650L is no exception in this case, but it does now stand as one of the most simple of the bunch mechanically, now that Kawasaki has finally given in to fuel injection.

The 644cc mill is air-cooled, features a 42.5 diaphragm-type CV carburetor, and puts power to the ground by way of a five-speed transmission. The bike is ready for some hard time off-road too thanks to the sealed battery, dry-sump design, black spoked rims, and long-travel suspension.

The suspension is actually one area where the XR650L shines among its closest competitors, offering effective Showa kit front and rear. The long-travel, air-adjustable fork has 16-position compression damping and gives riders up to 11.6 inches of travel. The Showa shock comes with spring-preload, 20-position compression, and 20-position rebound-damping adjustability and 11 inches of travel. These specs outshine those of both the Kawi and Suzuki.

Its price tag is also one of the most competitive of the small group of largely-untouched-so-are-now-retro-cool dual sports, beating out the Suzuki and pricing just $100 above the standard trim and S-level KLRs.

2024 Honda XR650L Dual Sport Technical Specifications and Price

Price:$6,999Engine:644cc, SOHC, air-cooled single; 4-valveBore x Stroke:100.0 x 82.0mmCompression Ratio:8.3:1Fuel Delivery:42.5mm diaphragm-type CV carburetorClutch:Wet, multiplate slipper/assistTransmission/Final Drive:5-speed/chainFrame:Semi-double cradle steelFront Suspension:43mm air-adjustable axle Showa cartridge fork, compression damping adjustable; 11.6 in. travelRear Suspension:Pro-Link Showa shock, spring-preload, compression and rebound damping adjustable; 11.0 in. travelFront Brake:2-piston caliper, 256mm discRear Brake:220mm discWheels, Front/Rear:Spoked rims; 21 in. / 18 in.Tires, Front/Rear:21×3.00 / 18×4.60Rake/Trail:27.0°/4.0 in.Wheelbase:57.3 in.Seat Height:37.0 in.Fuel Capacity:2.8 gal.Claimed Curb Weight:346 lb.Available:March

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By: Byron Wilson
Title: 2024 Honda XR650L Dual Sport Preview
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Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 11:00:01 +0000

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Speed Read: A razor-sharp BMW R1300GS from Switzerland and more

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The latest custom motorcycles and bike news.
The Swiss maestros at VTR Customs deliver the first custom BMW R1300GS that we’ve seen, while Radical Speedshop builds a bespoke Moto Guzzi café racer like no other. We also look at a tidy Yamaha XT500 restomod and a stunning 1949 Triumph Speed Twin bobber.

BMW R1300GS by VTR Customs
BMW R1300GS by VTR Customs When BMW announced its new flagship adventure motorcycle, the BMW R1300GS, we knew it was only a matter of time before we saw it customized. Thanks to Switzerland’s VTR Customs, we didn’t have to wait too long.

Big adventure-style bikes with go-fast bits are all the rage right now. Machines like the Ducati Multistrada V4 RS and BMS M1000XR are primed for riders who want adventure bike ergonomics in a performance-orientated road-going package. This is probably what inspired the mad scientists at VTR Customs.

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Speed Read: A razor-sharp BMW R1300GS from Switzerland and more
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Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 19:12:35 +0000

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Audi Tops the Luxury Car Safety Charts in 2023

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Safety is becoming more important to luxury car buyers. Wealthy individuals want vehicles that will protect themselves and their passengers.

However, it isn’t always clear which brand offers the best safety profile. Now, though, figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal a winner – the German automaker Audi.

The NHTSA looked at the rate of crashes per 1,000 drivers and found that Audi had a crash rate of just 0.54, putting it below tech leader Mercedes at 0.55 and far from Subaru which was up at 0.75.

The question on many people’s lips is why Audi is so safe. After all, Mercedes is the manufacturer that tends to bring the latest safety technology to market first.

The main reason appears to be the brand’s heavy investment in safety technology in recent years. The company conducts significant research and development in-house, allowing it to bring technologies to market at a lower price point than its rivals. Drivers benefit from comprehensive safety features across the range instead of solely on high-end models.

re Advanced Safety Features Necessary?

Previously, skeptics scoffed at the value of advanced car safety features, calling them gimmicky. However, the evidence suggests that it is effective, especially in recent years. Advanced driver assistance systems are finally coming of age and having a noticeable impact on the number of insurance claims. Data from LexisNexis Risk Solutions suggests that bodily injury claims are 27 percent lower with these systems, and property damage claims are 19 percent lower. 

These statistics are good news for drivers. It means that they can expect statistically different outcomes driving Audi vehicles than conventional cars. It represents a genuine upgrade. 

Car accident attorney Adam S. Kutcher is at the forefront of the consequences of vehicle collisions. The lawyer has tremendous knowledge of how vehicle accidents can cause harm.

“The people that come to us are real people who are often going through the most challenging time in their life,” he says. “People worry about who will pay their medical bills and lost wages, even if insurers agree to pay to replace vehicles. That’s why this new technology is so exciting for everyone who practices in this area. We don’t want to see people getting hurt. Instead, we want to make sure everyone stays safe and that as many people avoid this harrowing experience as possible.”

Currently, tort law is helpful to victims of car accidents through additional provisions in the legal code. But the reality is that many people never recover from their injuries and can’t go back to work, regardless of the medical care they receive.

“We can sometimes get big rewards for people seriously injured in car accidents, but financial compensation is only ever partial,” says Kutcher. “Money can’t fix a disability or even a tragic death in the family for an auto accident. That’s why car manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and investing in this technology.”

The Components Of Advanced Driver Safety Systems

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Advanced driver safety systems refer to a plethora of technologies car manufacturers are including in their vehicles thanks to advances in software and chip technology.

Automatic emergency braking is one of the most coveted features. Vehicles can now brake independently of drivers if they believe a crash is imminent, preventing rear-end shunts and jackknifes at interchanges.

Manufacturers have gradually increased the range of situations in which this technology will activate over recent years. Previously, it was solely to stop drivers from bumping into the car ahead, but now cameras can detect cross-traffic, even when reversing, and

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By: Wilson Lim
Title: Audi Tops the Luxury Car Safety Charts in 2023
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Published Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2023 07:56:16 +0000

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