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Next week we will we get on to Mad Max facing fun police action for driving his Aston Martin Valkyrie 137km/h too slowly; what F1 recommend you eat in Zandvoort today; corruption at the Leyburn Sprints – how else do you explain the Sultan beating me by two tenths of a second; what car went for $46m at an otherwise crook auction week in Monterey; and how much Clive Palmer’s car is worth.

Today we need to face up to the really big story of this or any other week.

Think two visitors from India landing in the southern polar region of the moon on Wednesday was big? Think Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Legacy 600 business jet plummeting into the ground in North Moscow was huge even though it was a 2007 model and out of warranty and Yevgeny may or may not have been on board?

No. Right here. Right now, we can exclusively reveal, which is why we’re paid the big bucks and you’re not, that just like us, cars are secretly getting bigger!

Take a Porker 911. When the dust sheet was pulled back on a brand-new Porsche model at the 1963 Frankfurt International Motor Show, few could have predicted the huge size gains it would make.

The 2023 Porsche 911 weighs 50 per cent more! And it’s higher and wider.

Take the wonderful Toyota Corolla. When the small crown was launched in November 1966 at the Toyota Corolla Store in Tokyo (and banned from RSL car parks in Australia the next year) few could have predicted it would double in weight and width.

This brings us to this year’s final road test. The Lotus Emira. For a long time if you wanted a sports car that you could drive at the track, drive in a tarmac rally and drive the ankle biters to and from school, the only real choice was a Porsche 911.

Today you can step into a 911 for between $260k and $600k. The same car is from $150K in the US where the government doesn’t shove too many taxes on. But today’s 911 has real competition, including the obscenely beautiful and powerful 2023 Chevrolet Corvette.

Now of course GM has kept supply limited and pushed prices higher after the Corvette’s initial success in Australia. Right now, you should pay $180k for a new car but if you don’t want to wait 40 years, somewhere around $230k might get you one.

And Porsche has real competition from itself. The original cheap Porker, the Boxster, cost less than $110k in 1996. The 2023 Boxster, now complete with roof, like the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, is $340k.

That’s why I’m asking you to try the Lotus Emira at around $200k. The old bloke and I conned Lotus Brisbane’s Craig Rose into renting us one for the 400km drive from Brisbane to Leyburn and back. Craig and I will be donating double the rental, about $2.5k to a Brissie charity (not the local Casino). Tell you more about that later.

Look, the point of the rave about cars getting bigger is that the Emira is just the right size. It’s not light but it feels just right. They got rid of the two seats Lotuses used to have in the back that could only fit Snow White’s seven mates and put a useful luggage shelf there.

They put a boot at the back just in behind the rear-mounted 3.5-litre supercharged Toyota V6 petrol engine. It’s a small boot and the engine makes it very hot so don’t think about putting Fido the cockapooddle in there for the trip to the ice bath and sauna up the road.

I loved it (the Emira, not Fido or the ice bath) even though it was automatic. This is the best touring sports car in the world for the money. The steering is sensational, the brakes are pretty sensational but here’s the really good stuff. At Leyburn the Emira attracted more looks than any of the other 220 cars on the ground.

It looks like a supercar should look. The interior is very un-Lotus which means it matches the $200k price tag, doesn’t make your bum and back fall off on a long drive and has a reasonable sized screen for watching TikTok and Tinder.

But the noise. I can’t say it here in what passes for a family paper, but it’s been a while since the old bloke and I have had the kind of emotional experience Erika Mitchell (better known to you as E. L. James) described in some detail in her text book for university students and young business magnates, Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Emira has three power modes. Tour for cranky old persons. Sport for persons approaching life tentatively and Track for individuals who are keen to emulate Mad Max in his Valkyrie hypercar full tilt through a tunnel on the A8 (connects Merton with Provence) steering with one hand while changing the video on the iPad with the other.

Erika could have been describing the feeling you get when you’re in Track mode, foot flat on the loud pedal, the tacho screaming in pain and the noise coming out the exhaust pipes popping your brain like Wagner does in the Ride of the Valkyries, when the warrior sisters of Brunnhilde bear the heroes/ heroines and others slain in battle to Valhalla.

Erika wrote: “Now I know what all the fuss is about. Two orgasms … coming apart at the seams like the spin cycle of a washing machine, wow.” However, you should know that the soap dodgers at Hethel (what a wonderful British name), have decided to move from the Toyota V6 to a Merc four cylinder to get emissions down.

Clearly the geniuses at the global HQ for sports car and hypercar manufacturing operations want to exit the motor business forever. Step one: move to smaller motors that make less orgasmic sounds. Then move to all electric so no one will ever buy your cars.

Tip of the week: Craig has some of the last Toyota-engined Emiras coming into stock in the next few weeks. Send him a cheque now.



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