HK’s ‘fast and furious’ that are a delight on racetracks
BAC Mono, ROC Edition, Huayra BC, Mercedes-Benz’s AMG GT S and Tesla Model S P100D are the ultimate weekend track toys
There are some very fast cars in Hong Kong. Few will reach their top speeds here, but most could delight on racetracks or fast-lane flits across the border.
The Briggs Automotive Co (BAC) Mono is a single-seater and one of the fastest, rarest cars in town. Made in Liverpool, the BAC Mono can be bought for £171,000 (HK$1.66 million), but before Hong Kong’s first registration tax, however. Built to race, the 3.953-metre Mono is probably the ultimate weekend track toy. It weighs just 589kg and has a 2.5-litre, 305-horsepower engine that can reach 100km/h in less than three seconds and top at 272km/h, and via an F-3-spec six-speed sequential gearbox. The interior is only 10cm off the ground but includes waterproof leather and suede, FIA-compliant safety restraints, a colour display system and a touch-sensitive starter button.
In November, Evo magazine reported the Mono outperformed McLaren’s P1, P1 GTR and 675LT; the Ferrari 458 Speciale; and Porsche’s 918 Spyder and 911 GT3 RS on a Welsh circuit. Hong Kong demand for the Mono has seemed high. The Liverpool Echo reported that eight of the Speke marque’s 12 cars were sold at the December 2015 opening of its Kowloon Bay showroom. BAC Hong Kong supplies Mono in Greater China, “and will continue to do so on 12- and 24-car deals until the end of 2018”, the marque says. BAC Taiwan opened in December with bases close to racing tracks in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Watch out too for the Mexican supercar maker VUHL (for Vehicles of Ultra High-performance and Lightweight), whose nearest dealership to Hong Kong seems to be the Middle East. VUHL’s only made supercars since mid-2015, but its 05 ROC Edition impressed at last month’s Race Of Champions in Miami, where the marque also reportedly sold three cars. The 675kg carbon fibre and aluminium car has 5kg carbon fibre wheels and a two-litre Ford EcoBoost engine promising 100km/h in about 3.2 seconds. VUHL says it is stepping up production this quarter, and might be the collectible-racer marque to watch.
Pagani opened its Hong Kong base and regional “flying doctor” service in Wong Chuk Hang, in November. Its 730hp, 5,930cc Huayra, the 350km/h Zonda R and the 678hp Cinque are all well-known here, but watch out for the Pagani Huayra BC its most advanced Huayra coupé. Initialled after Benny Caiola, the Horacio Pagani’s mentor and first customer, the Huayra BC has a 5,980cc Mercedes-Benz AMG V12 and an AMT seven-speed gearbox with an electronic mechanical differential. The 1,218kg supercar produces 1,000Nm of torque, and Top Gear in February 2016 said its “€2.3 million” (HK$19.05 million) test car was tuned to deliver “789bhp”. Pagani also has bases in Macau, Shanghai and in Kaohsiung.
Mercedes-Benz’s performance marque Mercedes-AMG celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, and on January 9 announced the production of the new Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupé, alongside existing AMG GT C Roadster. “Positioned between the AMG GT S and AMG GT R, the new vehicle will initially be available exclusively as a special Edition 50 model,” the marque says. Watch out too for the new top of the AMG GT range, the 585hp AMG GT R. It’s already being sold in Europe, and could arrive here soon in Mercedes-AMG’s golden anniversary year. However, collectors might watch the current AMG GT S (about HK$2.4 million), and for two reasons. First, the front mid-engined two-seater looks stunning on double-wishbone suspension and belts 510hp from a specially developed four-litre V8 twin-turbo engine. The handbuilt V8 also generates 650Nm of torque; races the 1,540kg car to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds; and tops at 310km/h via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Second, the marque’s planning to upgrade this model’s V8 in anniversary year, to 533hp and 670Nm, but for similar sprint and top-speed performance as the current car. It might be a bargain if collectors rush to the upgraded model.
The 585hp Ferrari California T (HK$2.98 million) with an HS package (HK$137,170) is also worth a look as the tourer has a “higher, sharper engine sound on ignition and in shifts”, says Auto Italia spokeswoman Elaine Fong. The retractible hard-topped 2+2’s V8 toques 755Nm; sprints to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds, and tops at 316km/h. However, look out for the Tesla Model S P100D, HK$1,087,600 with Ludicrous Speed Upgrade and Smart Air Suspension). Motor Trend reportedly took to 60mph in 2.28 seconds on February 7, says Tesla’s Sei Liu. Tesla’s website still states 2.7 seconds, however 250km/h, along with 613km range for its 100 kWh Battery. Liu (she does name western style) also says the new Tesla Model X test drive vehicles have just arrived in Hong Kong. The gull-winged Tesla X is also marketed as the “safest, fastest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history”. The top-of-the-range P100D version (from HK$1,088,200) arrives with all-wheel drive and a 100 kWh battery promising 542km range and 100km/h in 3.1 seconds.