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Overdrive: SCG 003S is set to smash Nürburgring record

Car maker James Glickenhaus is clearly after blood — more specifically, that of the Porsche 918 Spyder. His latest and first-ever official road car, the SCG 003S, is looking to not only take the top spot on the Nürburgring Hall of Fame for fastest production car, but also smash its record of 6min 57sec by a cool 30 seconds.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
The SCG 003S will take on the Porsche 918 Spyder for fastest production car. Image: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus

But it’s hard to think of him as a car maker with a vengeance, because the former film director with a passion for sports cars and endurance racing is actually widely-known for being chatty and likeable.

His SCG 003S (S for Stradale, Italian for ‘road-going’) brainchild, however, looks more ready to tear the hybrid freak apart. Unlike the conventional road-to-race car evolution, this car originated from a racing car — the SCG 003C (C for Competizione) — that was built to compete in the Nürburgring 24 hours race. That alien-looking car took a 35th-place finish in 2015.

2006 Ferrari P4/5 - Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003S
Glickenhaus commissioned the creation of the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione with the help of Paolo Garella.

And this feat called for the expertise of engineer Paolo Garella, whose portfolio included stints such as the 2006 Ferrari P4/5 one-off at Pininfarina’s Special Projects division. While the company, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) is headquartered in New York, the car was assembled in Turin under the watchful eye of Garella’s bespoke manufacturer Manifattura Automobili Torino.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
The SCG 003S is a brilliant amalgamation of race car design and road-going usability. Image: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus

Taking over the ‘Ring requires a lot of brawn, and so the SCG 003S is kitted with a heavily-reworked BMW M6 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, tweaked with SCG’s own electronics.

Without the restrains of racing regulations, the 003S’ V8 has even more muscle than the 003C’s V6. Horsepower sees a surge from 550 to 800, and torque from 600Nm to 850Nm. If that’s not enough power to make your heart flutter, Glickenhaus has a perfectly sound explanation. “We could have 1,000 horsepower, but you can’t use all that power effectively. It’s not about numbers for the sake of numbers,” he said.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
Be prepared to experience 2G around the corners in the SCG 003S. Image: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus

With advanced aerodynamics, you’ll be able to sneak into Le-Mans Prototype (LMP) downforce territory of more than 700kg when exceeding 250kph, and 2G around the corners. Its carbon fibre chassis and bodywork means a lighter and hence, faster vehicle.

Going from nought too 100kph will take less than three seconds and top speed will see 349kph. In comparison, the Porsche 918 Spyder’s 4.6-litre V8 plus two electric motors has 887hp on tap, accelerating to 100kph takes 2.6 seconds, and it tops out at around 340kph.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
The SCG 003S will not be easy to negotiate over speed humps. Image: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus

In other words, if you lack both the skill and guts, stay the hell away from Glickenhaus’ new car. You’ll also want to go over speed humps very, very slowly. “I wanted it to be very low – our objective was something like LMP2 or LMP1 – and you see there is no other car of this kind that has this kind of floor. All the engineers and mechanics were mad at me,” he mused.

But don’t expect navigating services from the SCG 003S. Glickenhaus argued that OEM systems generally — and we quote — “suck”, so you’ll have to link your iPhone to the digital instrument panel, which clones to the screen.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
The rear of the menacing-looking SCG 003S. Image: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus didn’t build this car to be a private exhibit for billionaire collectors. While the car is an extreme road-going one with roots firmly planted in race tracks, the firm wants buyers to use it properly and give them feedback for improvement.

The American manufacturer only has plans to build around four of these cars a year at a cost of US$1.8 million (S$2.5million) each, so you might want to get in line right about now.

Shatricia Nair
Managing Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.
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