Sometimes a car is just more than an oddly-shaped box getting you from one place to the other. Like any other prized possession such as an heirloom necklace or newborn child, car owners often form an indescribable bond with their cars, especially if these owners are petrol heads, and their cars cost an unfathomable price and have blistering speeds.
Cars of nostalgia especially, are every collector’s dream, and because they’re not easy to obtain, car companies are very cleverly dishing out new cars dripping in the legacy of their legends. All these special edition racing makeovers are very endearing, but are they worth the price tag, you might ask. That depends on how much you tear up when you remember what they stand behind, and also how much the manufacturer has done to ensure you get the same exhilaration as the race drivers once did, from the car’s design to the powertrain.
Here, we bring you 5 of our favourites in the market right now. From Aston Martin’s pumped-up AMR Vantage to Lotus’ lighter and sportier road-going Elise 250, these racing makeovers are the ones to covet right now.
There’s a reason why James Bond only drives Astons — the British marque is steeped in racing heritage and so has released a limited edition Vantage, and is its most powerful ever. Equipped with a 595hp V12 powertrain (up from 565hp), the new Vantage AMR will have the option of a seven-speed manual gearbox. While it’s available in four striking AMR colours, choose the ‘Halo Pack’, a direct inspiration from the 2016 World Endurance Championship-winning Vantage GTE which sees a stirling green paint accented by dramatic lime green stripes, with interior colours, alloy wheels and carbon fibre finishing to match.
Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last week, the McLaren P1 LM is a street-legal derivative of the track-only P1 GTR. Thanks to the good guys at Lanzante, the hypercar has been modified for a special group of of speed junkies, with 986hp of power waiting to blast out from the twin-turbo V8 with hybrid assist. Understandably, this car has knocked off Lamborghini’s Huracán Performante off the street-legal record at Nürburgring, beating its lap record by nearly nine seconds. If you’re lucky, you’ll see one of these five steroid-infused cars on the roads soon.
Beyond the plush leather massaging seats and prominent front radiator matrix grille, Bentley’s Continental Supersports is exactly as its name suggests — a sports car. And now that the British marque is returning to the ‘Ring, there’s a new Continental to mark the special occasion. As a limited edition of 24 examples, this Bentley has a powertrain that’s identical to its 700hp W12 namesake. Its exterior pays tribute to the Bentley Team ABT Conti GT3 cars with a unique red or yellow two-tone colourway, which matches the wheels, spokes, brake callipers and interiors.
The Elise is the latest to get Lotus’ highly sought-after Cup treatment, and the result is a souped-up version in a venomous shade of green. The Lotus Cup is a one-make, factory-backed sports car race series which motorsports enthusiasts can drive home after a day at the tracks. Significant weight reduction efforts via a mix of carbon fibre titanium and aluminium shed 40kg off the track-only Elise Race 250. Inside, the 243hp 1.8-litre engine is supercharged and mated with a six-speed manual transmission. Other performance features include a fully independent double wishbone sports suspension, AP Racing brake callipers and aerodynamic enhancements. The rear-wheel drive gets to 100kph in only 3.9 seconds, which is good fun both off and on the tracks.
The Ford GT is an absolutely stunning car, and now that it’s back with a class win at the Le Mans races, Ford celebrates victory and its 50th anniversary with a limited edition road car that’s inspired by the No. 2 GT40 MkII race car, which took the checkered flag back in 1966. The special livery sees a black and exposed carbon fibre body accented by a pair of silver stripes running down the centre. On the one-piece forged aluminium wheels, a gold satin clear coat harkens back to that of the iconic car. Interiors are also blacked out with ebony leather-swathed seats, instrument panel and pillars, with a unique blue webbing on the steering wheel and seat belt, just like the ’66 race legend.