Many enthusiasts, particularly this one, some time ago realised the pointlessness of 700bhp supercars in the modern world and instead either backtracked to classics (or at least modern classics) or fell in love with new cars that have usable performance, such as the Alpine A110.
I suspect that we will lose a few players over the next few years. I can’t see McLaren making it through and I have severe doubts about Aston Martin. Even if the DBX is a sales success, I can’t imagine that there’s enough profit in the SUV to fund the development of electrified supercars.
It’s also quite possible that there will be the double-whammy of the Greta Thunberg effect and the economic fallout from this pandemic. How will extravagant flaunting of wealth go down among populations struggling to house and feed themselves? Will thrashing a Lambo past Harrods in first gear trigger not admiration but hatred? Will the supercar die? I don’t think so.
The supercar should become more usable – Steve Cropley
If defining the supercar of the future, my plan would be to combine the views of Ferrari doyen Luca di Montezemolo and McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray. When di Montezemolo took the reins of Ferrari in the early 1990s, he made it clear that the people who bought such cars needed to be able to get in and out of them easily, to see out of them and to use them day to day. He changed Ferraris so that they afforded better access, driving positions and visibility. When the rest of the Ferrari recipe was added, they made wonderful cars.
Murray adds the vital threads of compactness, a perfect driving position and extreme lightness. He also believes his owners will know and care enough about cars’ internals to understand the smallest nuances of his cars’ design and engineering. Not every supercar owner is like this, but a high proportion of them are.
The big debate – which isn’t really a debate at all – is about the powertrain. We know that we’re ultimately going electric. Personally, I want more supercars in the BMW i8 mould, with a small but exotic engine assisting the latest and best in electric motors. We punters must learn to understand the internal workings better and better so that we can know, in effect, which electric motor is the notional V16 and which is the pushrod four-pot. The same goes for batteries. Given that any supercar’s reputation has always depended on how well it’s understood, we have some learning to do.
No more engines means no more supercars – Matt Prior
The next decade of the supercar will be mixed. There will be old-school V12s making the most of the opportunity and there will be an influx of electric cars offering 0-60mph in 2.0sec, until we’re bored by them.
What will be more interesting is the 10 or 20 years after that: will the ultimate driver’s car redefine itself as something that offers maximum involvement? Will there be limited-production exemptions, alternative or synthetic fuels or other ways to circumvent the outlawing of engines? Because if we know anything about the definition of supercar, it’s that an engine is the nub of it. Either we will need new engines or we will need a new definition of ‘supercar’.