The concept of Halo Cars
Halo cars are machines built by brands to exhibit their expertise and competencies while sending a message to the market and their competition. The hype generated by these masterpieces then draws in customers, or at least that’s the objective. From sexy sports cars to extravagant exotics, these cars are figure heads for brands while giving an idea of the direction in which development of future models will take place. In no particular order, below are 10 cars that we at The GPBox think have become the public face for brands, that one car that everybody recognizes and associates to the brand irrespective of their knowledge of cars.
The world’s largest car manufacturer’s first super car. A Japanese masterpiece that took 10 years to develop with a limited run production of just 500 units. The best car that Jeremy Clarkson’s ever driven was powered by a V10 engine, had an F1-worthy exhaust note and generously endowed with carbon fiber. A top speed of 200+ mph, a 9000 RPM redline and 0-62 acceleration time of 3.6 seconds are some of the reasons while some consider the LFA the best car ever.
A true example of a highly successful Halo car. Audi succeeded in creating a super-car for everyday use with all the other bells and whistles commonly associate with this class of cars. The latest generation of the R8 represents a dying breed of naturally aspirated super cars. With a 5.2 litre V10 engine and a Quattro four-wheel drive systems, 0-62mph is dispatched in 3.1 seconds and enables a top speed of 205mph.
First unveiled in 2007, the GT-R R35 was the successor to Nissan’s iconic Skyline series. Powered by a twin-turbo V6 and an ATTESA ETS traction control system, the moniker “Godzilla” was assigned to the car which had both the looks and performance along with an affordable price-tag (by super car standards). With a top-speed of 200+ mph and a 0-62mph time of 2.7 seconds, the GT-R is the poster child for fans of the JDM culture and performance enthusiasts alike.
The NSX or Acura NSX, was Japan’s first super car first born out of the efforts of Honda and Pininfarina with inputs from the late, great Aryton Senna and aimed to provide performance on par with Ferraris at a fraction of the cost. The First generation NSX was nothing like any other car on the market and reminded the world of Honda’s engineering prowess while the current generation NSX is a hybrid sports car powered by twin-turbo engines and three electric motors providing a top-speed of 191mph and a 0-62mph time of sub 3 seconds.
The Centenario, based on the Aventador, was unleashed upon the world to commemorate the 100th birthday of Ferruccio Lamborghini, the company’s founder. The Centenario featured real-wheel steering, a first for the company, and showcased advanced aerodynamic developments undertaken within the company. Only 40 cars were produced and with a top speed of over 215mph and a 0-62mph time of 2.8 seconds, certainly lives up-to the brands reputation for being hyper-exclusive.
Mercedes-Benz: SLS AMG
The spiritual successor to the 300SL Gullwing, the SLS AMG was a 2-seater limited production sports car developed by Mercedes’ AMG division. The SLS AMG was provided with both naturally aspirated and electric powertrains with the gasoline engine being considered the “world’s most powerful naturally aspirated” engine ever produced. With a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 196mph, the SLS AMG’s performance capabilities were complimented by its unique style and design.
BMW’s foray into hybrid cars resulted in a radical looking machine that was fast, agile and great to drive. As a super car of the future, the I8‘s power train and structure are unorthodox, the hybrid power train provides a good balance between mileage and performance with a 4-wheel drive system providing stability and traction. The world’s top selling plug-in electrified sports car can propel itself to a top speed of 155mph and can make the 0-62mph sprint in 4.8 seconds.
Ferrari: La Ferrari
“The Ferrari” is a limited production hybrid sports-car from the Italian manufacturer that many consider is the definitive Ferrari. As the marque’s first hybrid, the car provided the highest power output of any other Ferrari while reducing the fuel consumption by 40%. The LaFerrari’s production run was restricted to 499 while the LaFerrari Aperta was restricted to just 210 units. With a top speed of over 215mph and a 0-60mph time of 2.4 seconds, Ferrari’s claim of the LaFerrari lapping the Fiorano test circuit faster than any of its predecessors, leaves nothing to doubt.
Porsche: Carrera GT
Porsche’s success in Le Mans has laid down its stature in the automotive world on which the brand’s success has been built on. Widely considered by many to be the last of the super cars to offer a “pure” driving experience unadulterated with electronics, the Carrera GT was so stripped from them that it did not even get a stability control system and thus was deemed as a car that could be piloted by skilled enthusiasts. With a top speed of over 205mph and a 0-62 time of 3.5 seconds, the machine was a revelation when it was released in 2004.
Ford: Shelby Mustang
When the Ford Mustang debuted in 1964, it created the “Pony Car” class of American cars distinguishable by their long hoods and short decks. Having enjoyed tremendous success on screen, Lee Lacocca’s meeting with Carrol Shelby resulted in the first mass produced car that was officially ready for the racetrack. In its latest avatar, the performance for the Shelby GT500 is provided by V8 Engines that results in a 0-62 time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 185+ mph.