driving experience – Michmutters

Rodin FZero V10 hybrid supercar: faster than F1

From the land that brought the world McLaren comes another crazy supercar with mind-boggling power.

The Kiwi-built Rodin FZERO will be powered by a lightweight 4.0-litre twin-turbo hybrid V10 that puts out a combined 877kW of power and 1026Nm of torque.

Those numbers are more impressive when you consider the extremely light weight of the car, which tips the scales at just under 700kg.

Rodin plans to build only 27 of the track weapons, which cannot be registered for the road.

The maker doesn’t quote a 0-100km/h acceleration time but does claim it will be faster than current F1 cars on a lap of a racetrack.

“The singular goal of the Rodin FZERO is to be the fastest car around a track, without exception,” a media release says.

The car is the brainchild of Aussie tech tycoon, David Dicker, who has developed the car as a passion project.

“The Rodin FZERO is the physical representation of the ultimate heights in vehicle performance. Without the restrictions of building to a set of rules, we are able to make the car lighter, more powerful, and produce significantly more downforce. The only real restrictions we face are the laws of physics and we have even pushed those to the absolute limit. We look forward to bringing the most intense driving experience conceivable to tracks around the world,” Dicker says.

Prospective buyers, who are expected to part with well in excess of $1 million for the car, will be offered vehicle storage, delivery and driver training at private racetracks in the New Zealand countryside.

Dicker, who is based in New Zealand, has a remote 550-hectare property on the South Island that has a manufacturing plant and three test tracks.

The first of the cars will come off the assembly line in the middle of next year.

The FZERO’s chassis is made entirely of carbon fiber composite and the compact V10 has been engineered to rev all the way to 10,000rpm.

Carbon brakes have titanium calipers with six pistons at the front and four at the back, while the electric motor provides additional stopping power and feeds charge back into the battery.

Dicker plans to eventually build a road-going version of the car and hopes to have an electric race car up and running some time next year.



2022 Genesis GV80 Luxury review

Hyundai is one of a horde of makers trying to ruffle the feathers of the German establishment by creating its own luxury brand.

We sample the top flight Genesis GV80 SUV that is packed with luxury features.

There’s a different level of customer service

Genesis is in its infancy as a brand. The luxury arm of Hyundai can’t match the badge appeal of a BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz, so it differentiates itself by offering more ownership perks.

The first five scheduled services are free and Genesis will pick up and drop off your car when a service is due, provided you live within 70km of a Genesis studio.

They’ll also leave you a courtesy vehicle while the service is completed.

A complimentary five-year roadside assistance program provides some icing on the cake.

The cabin feels plush

Our test vehicle had the optional six-seater luxury package, which costs an extra $13,000 over the GV80 starting price of $92,000 plus on-roads. More seats costs less – the seven-seat version’s luxury pack is only $10,000.

For the extra spend, there’s quality Nappa leather throughout, a big 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver, suede finishes on the roof and pillars, heated and ventilated seats in the first and second rows and power adjustable seats and sunshades in the back.

The extra $3000 in the six-seat version buys individual, reclining second-row seats with airline-style winged headrests, a center console with a wireless charger and twin 9.2-inch rear entertainment screens.

It feels like business class.

Some of the tech feels like overkill

Genesis isn’t alone in having electric adjustment of all three rows of seats, but you’re left wondering if a simple manual lever to fold the seats would be a better solution.

It certainly would be quicker.

The automatic parking function is also something you tend to use only once to show off to the neighbours. The massaging seats switch on automatically after a certain time, which can be disconcerting if you’re not expecting it.

It’s a genuine luxury brand

The attention to detail and quality of materials in the cabin is up there with German rivals and there’s more bling for the buck in terms of gadgets and luxury items.

Highlights include the blind-spot alert that shows you a video feed of the road behind you when you flick the indicator. The ambient lighting adds an air of sophistication after dark, as do the puddle lamps that light the road when you open the door at night.

Genesis finished top of all the luxury brands in the respected JD Power quality and dependability survey.

The driving experience is a little off the pace, though

There are three engine choices for the GV80. It kicks off with a turbo four-cylinder putting out a healthy 224kW and 422Nm, then there’s a 3.0-liter diesel with 204kW and 588Nm and a 3.5-liter turbo V6 pumping out 279kW and 530Nm.

We had the diesel, which delivers an impressive blend of grunt and refinement. A silky 8-speed auto manages to pluck the right gear for maximum thrust and it’s reasonably efficient for its size.

The driving experience is let down, though, by suspension that struggles for composure on rougher roads. It tends to float a little over bigger bumps, while the big 22-inch wheels with low-profile rubber get fidgety on pockmarked bitumen.

The steering feels sharp but through corners you can feel the weight of the car as it pitches and leans. It’s fine for family freeway motoring, but lacks the poise of a BMW X5 or Audi Q8.