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The Smoking Tire podcast this week featured the designer of the Tautara but the interview was recorded before the news broke. The run had already been completed so the designer Jason Castriota broke the news to Matt. Pretty funny to hear their reaction audibly which was what I had silently. Some interesting notes I remember

  • If a company is selling 100 limited edition cars like the Tautara, it's really only like 30 dudes buying them. At that level, it's not like they have to choose between a P1 and LaFerrari, its more like how many copies of each special trim do they have. Wild
  • He designed the car 10 years ago. Took all that time to bring it to market. And he's another rich Greenwich kid like Matt.
  • The record breaking car is car #1 for an owner from Philly.

Castriota designed tons of cool stuff:
  • Maserati Birdcage 75th
  • Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina
  • Ferrari 612 Kappa
  • Ferrari 599
  • Maserati GranTurismo
  • Rolls-Royce Hyperion
  • Bertone Mantide
  • SSC Tuatara
  • Saab PhoeniX


 

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You're not just calling them for what they are, you're insulting them for what you think they are and dismissing them out of hand, which is hypocritical on a car board. Bringing it to a personal level, you might as well say the same thing in RVAE34s thread about his AMG wagon, which is just a rich man's plaything out of reach of most of us. I dare you to go over there and insult him and his car using the same logic you're using here.

No. There’s a world of a difference between a highly optioned E63 wagon and a limited run, multi-million dollar hypercar.

Similar to how there’s a world of a difference between someone pulling in enough money with enough investments to trigger NIIT and a billionaire or multi-billionaire, ‘self made’ or inherited.


There is no hypocrisy here. There is nuance... and critique. Similar to how I will not view a business owner making high six figures with the same ire as I view billionaires, I will not regard every car with blind enthusiasm just because I am a ‘car guy’ on a car forum.
 

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Lol @ Reisner.

The criticism isn’t about American anti-nationalism (which, for the record, is a -good thing-).. it’s that this effort doesn’t push any meaningful boundaries that will benefit society.

It’s a rich man’s fantasy, built out in small numbers for other rich men to brag about but never personally achieve.

For the record, I also think the Veyron (and Chiron, and frankly any hypercar) are fundamentally frivolous. But at least you can try to make the argument that cars like the 918 had engineering ‘trickle down’ effects into more plebeian models like electrified Panameras and Cayennes, where now people can have big power with relatively improved emissions and fuel efficiency.

At this point in history, every quest for engineering superlatives should be directed at something with a net positive effect on our existence. No matter who built it, this dumb car with a dumb name is a one-off flight of fancy for billionaires and has no meaningful impact on the world. That is the criticism.
The whole point of making these record breaking cars is to be frivolous. Its to see just how far you can push technology.

They push the boundaries, and then sell for millions because that is the only way the companies can make a profit off of them, unless you pull a Porsche and sell the 959 for far under what it took to produce, which nearly tanked the company back then.

You seem to be judging these cars solely on the people who buy them and the extravagant sums of money the spend on them, rather than what the cars represent on a whole.
 

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This is like the people that argue about how useless space exploration or travel is. It's not. The tech ACTUALLY does trickle down.

Why build a supersonic jet? Because.

Okay so how build a supersonic jet? Need cool materials.

Research, develop, etc, etc.

Carbon Fiber becomes a thing.

Aerospace, F1, road racing, factory cars, now prosthetics.

I guess nobody has given any thought to the fact that tire technology (you know the...only thing that connects the car to the road) is making breakthroughs as these records climb. They're reaching insane temperatures and G-forces. Climate change is actually happening, so there may be a need for rubber that needs to sustain much higher temps, etc.

It all seems frivolous until you trace the tech back in 10 years and see that it had an impact.
 

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They are pushing automotive engineering to new levels. No one, not even them, knows where that could lead. That is the magic of science. The applications may be more than hypercars.
Are they though? Or are they just taking bigger risks and playing Russian roulette with their customers lives and those who share the same public roads? I’ve seen nothing extraordinary about the SSC in terms of engineering marvel or breakthrough. There most likely isn’t going to be any “trickle down” tech courtesy of SSC. It’s just a flight of fantasy for people that are too damn rich.
 

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No. There’s a world of a difference between a highly optioned E63 wagon and a limited run, multi-million dollar hypercar.

Similar to how there’s a world of a difference between someone pulling in enough money with enough investments to trigger NIIT and a billionaire or multi-billionaire, ‘self made’ or inherited.


There is no hypocrisy here. There is nuance... and critique. Similar to how I will not view a business owner making high six figures with the same ire as I view billionaires, I will not regard every car with blind enthusiasm just because I am a ‘car guy’ on a car forum.
Thank you! This man gets it. There is nuance and a wide gap between small business owners worth a few million keeping the local economy going and the oligarchy ruining society.
 

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You seem to be judging these cars solely on the people who buy them and the extravagant sums of money the spend on them, rather than what the cars represent on a whole.
The SSC is a decidedly 20th century supercar in a world that needs 22nd century thinking. ICE are passé. A street car that can go 300mph is reckless. Build a damn race car if you want instead. Or try to solve more important transportation problems.
 

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The SSC is a decidedly 20th century supercar in a world that needs 22nd century thinking. ICE are passé. A street car that can go 300mph is reckless. Build a damn race car if you want instead.
Where do you draw the line which is considered 'reckless'?

Is it what the law considers reckless?

Is it 155 mph which many German cars are limited to?

Is it the 176 mph top speed of the Lotus Carlton, which was at the time so daunting that many tried to get it banned from the roads altogether?

Is it flying through the sky in a hollow tube?

Anything is reckless if you want it to be. But saying a 300 mph car shouldn't be built just because its too fast is a very abstentious way of thinking. Why hold back?
 

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This is like the people that argue about how useless space exploration or travel is. It's not. The tech ACTUALLY does trickle down.

Why build a supersonic jet? Because.

Okay so how build a supersonic jet? Need cool materials.

Research, develop, etc, etc.

Carbon Fiber becomes a thing.

Aerospace, F1, road racing, factory cars, now prosthetics.

I guess nobody has given any thought to the fact that tire technology (you know the...only thing that connects the car to the road) is making breakthroughs as these records climb. They're reaching insane temperatures and G-forces. Climate change is actually happening, so there may be a need for rubber that needs to sustain much higher temps, etc.

It all seems frivolous until you trace the tech back in 10 years and see that it had an impact.
This is extremely true, but I am not convinced it applies to the situation. I searched SAE and JSTOR and could not find any publications from Jerod or SSC. If someone has seen any, I would honestly love to read them.
 

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Where do you draw the line which is considered 'reckless'?

Is it what the law considers reckless?

Is it 155 mph which many German cars are limited to?

Is it the 176 mph top speed of the Lotus Carlton, which was at the time so daunting that many tried to get it banned from the roads altogether?

Is it flying through the sky in a hollow tube?

Anything is reckless if you want it to be. But saying a 300 mph car shouldn't be built just because its too fast is a very abstentious way of thinking. Why hold back?
In the USA, I’d say anything with vmax capability above 90mph is reckless. Just because you can go that fast, doesn’t mean one should. And if one shouldn’t ever go that fast on public roads, then why have the wasted capability? Street cars make terrible race cars, so I don’t buy the closed course/ dual purpose argument, either. Yes I know people can die in 5mph crashes, too. But there’s a big difference between a Volvo XC90 crashing at 35mph deltaV and a McLaren 650S crash with a deltaV of 140mph.

Clearly, the safety equipment in most cars was never intended to offer protection for such high speeds. Occupants and the general public are at exponentially higher risk of injury or death at such high speeds. The dirty little secret of the supercar world is how many people have been killed in absolutely horrific crashes where excessive speed was a primary causal factor. They make the news but people have short memories or think c’est la vie there’s nothing that can be done or it won’t happen to me.

In a decade, most new cars will be geofenced and electronically limited to lawful speeds anyways. Manufacturers will have liability for allowing customers to violate speed limits when the technology to prohibit such flagrant violations is ubiquitous.
 

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In the USA, I’d say anything with vmax capability above 90mph is reckless.
I remember listening to Car Talk on NPR one morning, and the older brother declared that the national speed limit should be 35mph. The other brother rebutted by asking how long it would take to get from Boston to New York and it would be totally impractical. He responded with something along the lines of "You just wouldn't go! How easy is that?" :laugh:
 

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No. There’s a world of a difference between a highly optioned E63 wagon and a limited run, multi-million dollar hypercar.
Not to the people that can't afford either one. Brandon's car might as well be a million dollar hypercar to my bank account. And I love both of them.
 

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In the USA, I’d say anything with vmax capability above 90mph is reckless. Just because you can go that fast, doesn’t mean one should. And if one shouldn’t ever go that fast on public roads, then why have the wasted capability? Street cars make terrible race cars, so I don’t buy the closed course/ dual purpose argument, either. Yes I know people can die in 5mph crashes, too. But there’s a big difference between a Volvo XC90 crashing at 35mph deltaV and a McLaren 650S crash with a deltaV of 140mph.

Clearly, the safety equipment in most cars was never intended to offer protection for such high speeds. Occupants and the general public are at exponentially higher risk of injury or death at such high speeds. The dirty little secret of the supercar world is how many people have been killed in absolutely horrific crashes where excessive speed was a primary causal factor. They make the news but people have short memories or think c’est la vie there’s nothing that can be done or it won’t happen to me.

In a decade, most new cars will be geofenced and electronically limited to lawful speeds anyways. Manufacturers will have liability for allowing customers to violate speed limits when the technology to prohibit such flagrant violations is ubiquitous.
By your logic, which does hold weight, then we should all limit ourselves to driving Toyota Matrix's. That sounds wholly unreasonable to me.

From my perspective, this really feels like you're "that guy" in any given conversation where someone brings something interesting, or some oddity up, and the only talking point on the subject for you is to shoot it down.

You may certainly have a point, and there may be valid reasoning to it, but at the end of the day, you're the one with your arms crossed in the corner whilst others are indulging in fun because there doesn't necessarily *need* to be a reason for why something exists, rather than it simply does for the sake of it.

The SSC does not exist for some billionaire with excess time and money, it exists and hits an excess of 300 mph because it is the culmination of hundreds of hours of R&D, testing and human ingenuity. It exists to push the limits of ICE, and if it's the last hurrah, than sobeit. The billionaires willing to pay for it are simply a means to an end.

:beer:
 

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By your logic, which does hold weight, then we should all limit ourselves to driving Toyota Matrix's. That sounds wholly unreasonable to me.

From my perspective, this really feels like you're "that guy" in any given conversation where someone brings something interesting, or some oddity up, and the only talking point on the subject for you is to shoot it down.

You may certainly have a point, and there may be valid reasoning to it, but at the end of the day, you're the one with your arms crossed in the corner whilst others are indulging in fun because there doesn't necessarily *need* to be a reason for why something exists, rather than it simply does for the sake of it.

The SSC does not exist for some billionaire with excess time and money, it exists and hits an excess of 300 mph because it is the culmination of hundreds of hours of R&D, testing and human ingenuity. It exists to push the limits of ICE, and if it's the last hurrah, than sobeit. The billionaires willing to pay for it are simply a means to an end.

:beer:
Agreed.
 

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It should be insulting. We fought the Cold War for a reason and socialism should be a dead idea from a bygone era, along with eugenics and colonialism, amongst others. But, no. The diehards look fondly at such times, forgetting the millions of deaths and misery it caused while the young (and stupid) ponder its theoretical capabilities or just find it cool because of the fringe politicians that continue to hawk it. Some people just never learn and are hellbent on repeating the mistakes of the past.

We live in a free society. If someone wants to build such cars and is willing to put up his/her money, time and effort, I say good for them. If someone wants to buy it, good for them as well. You and I may disagree on the utility of such projects but no one person should dictate to another what they can and cannot do. Moreover, these people are not reselling rocks as luxury items. They are not reinventing the wheel. They are pushing automotive engineering to new levels. No one, not even them, knows where that could lead. That is the magic of science. The applications may be more than hypercars.
You're confusing socialism with communism.

Yes there is a trickle down effect from all these projects but I always wonder why all these brilliant people don't just focus directly on improving other things.
 

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others are indulging in fun because there doesn't necessarily *need* to be a reason for why something exists, rather than it simply does for the sake of it.
“Because it’s there....” The rallying cry of people like George Mallory and the Wright brothers. But also the same ethos that propelled countless wars and human tragedies to benefit the oligarchy.

The mega-rich people who are choosing this fun indulgence aren’t bearing all the costs and responsibility of their actions. Their choices have consequences that negatively impact others. They simply don’t care. They want more for themselves and to hell with everybody else. That’s not exceptional, at least not in a good way. I’d rather see people pouring their everything into better ventures that might actually save our species instead of doom it.
 
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