PDA

View Full Version : Jay Leno's views on the CGT, SLR, and some Enzo and GT40


Gamite
09-01-2004, 11:42 PM
http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=100642

There aren’t very many of us who could ever hope to own a supercar, especially a new supercar. The number of people who could buy three of them at once—the Mercedes SLR, Porsche Carrera GT and Ford GT—is even smaller. But of that group, those who will actually drive them, and happily talk to you about the experience, it comes down to one guy—Jay Leno. ¡ At one point Leno was supposed to take delivery of all three of those cars on the same September day. What a day that would have been. Which one do you drive? The Ford came early, though, and as of press time the Carrera GT and SLR are still on their way. ¡ Leno has already driven all three at various venues around the world. Mercedes let him loose with an SLR on the (unfortunately named) Idiada test track in Spain, Ford had him driving the GT at Laguna Seca, and Porsche gave him a Carrera GT for a few days in Los Angeles. We spoke to him recently by phone.

Q: What, no Enzo?

A: It doesn’t interest me. I don’t like the paddle shifter. I like to
shift myself.

Q: You still have the Carrera GT loaner, how do you like that?

A: I put 500 miles on it. I bought it because of the clutch. What is it, a 60,000-mile clutch? The McLaren clutch [Leno also owns a McLaren F1] is 3000 or 4000 miles. I love the fact that [the Carrera GT] has no paddle shifter. I have not met anyone who loves paddle shifters. I think there’s a great deal of satisfaction in mastering the proper shift of a car. If it’s going to shift for you, get the video.

Q: Wasn’t the Carrera GT clutch difficult to get used to?

A: I didn’t have any problems. I read one road test that said, "Oh, it’ll really build up your thigh muscles." Well, how lazy are we getting? I have a Hispano-Suiza and that thing has a clutch—you operate that for a few blocks and you’re sweating. But this car, it’s like, "Oh shut up, are you really mentally and physically exhausted from shifting?"

The real trick to driving the car is you put it in gear, don’t give it any gas, release the clutch and it goes. I find it’s one of those things that gives a car character. Just as it was mastering the earlier 911’s handling characteristics.

I have a number of W.O. Bentleys and that is a hard car to shift. You grind gears. I called the guy I bought the first one from and he says, "You’ll get the hang of it," and he was right. You just feel a great amount of satisfaction from learning and performing the mechanical process of shifting.

Q: You really love that carbon clutch, don’t you?

A: It doesn’t smoke, it doesn’t smell. Any other car, you do a burnout and, "Sniff, sniff, uh oh." Let’s face it, if you’ve got a Countach and some kid comes up to you in a ’57 Chevy, you say, "Yeah, I could beat this kid but it’ll cost me $4,700 in clutch repairs." With the Porsche it’s not like that.

Q: How’s it handle?

A: It’s rear-drive, you give it a little gas on an on-ramp or someplace and the tail end comes around. You’re not endangering anyone, you’re just having fun.


Q: Have you had other Porsches?

A: This is the first Porsche I’ve ever bought. I didn’t come to it as this huge Porsche enthusiast and, "Let’s help the home team."Most supercars are sort of old-fashioned, they have a tube frame and a big engine. And this is a [with dramatic, newscaster tone] technological tour de force.

Q: How does it compare to the Mercedes SLR?

A: The Porsche is a sports car. With the Porsche you can go from point A to point B, assuming you have a locked garage at each point. With the Mercedes you can drive it as you would any Mercedes. The SLR is 95 percent sports car. With that extra 5 percent you can park it, you can get in and out of it, you can drive down the street. With the GT you can’t park, you can’t see and you don’t want to scrape the wheels on the curb.

The Porsche is extremely rewarding. Getting in and out of the Porsche is not as easy as the other cars. On a racetrack the Porsche would probably win. The SLR would be an all-around road car. You could give the valet the SLR. You couldn’t give the valet the Porsche.

Q: How was it to drive the SLR?

A: It feels very much like a sports car. I drove the SLR at over 200 mph in Spain and you couldn’t break it. We had 12 guys there beating the s*** out of it; you’d be going 212, 213 mph on the speedometer and you’re thinking, "Hmmm, let me turn the air conditioning down."

One of the guys pulled into the pits and the brakes were on fire. The Germans were like, [Schwarzenegger voice] "That is okay, that is normal, they will cool down."

The SLR is probably the more real-world, everyday driver car, [though] I commuted every day with the Carrera.


Q: How’s the Ford GT?

A: The Ford GT, to me, is just like an emotional experience. I am not a big sports guy, and I am told the greatest moment in sports history is when the U.S. team beat the Russians in hockey at the Olympics. For me [the greatest moment] was the Ford GT40 winning Le Mans. The idea that my mom’s Fairlane had the same DNA as the car that just won Le Mans was amazing.

I think they’ve done a wonderful job. It’s what, 13 percent bigger than the original? Hey, I’d like to be 13 percent bigger than I was in 1966; that’d be fine with me.

When I look at the three of them, emotionally the [Ford] GT has the strongest pull.

It was the last car you could drive at Le Mans and also, possibly, drive on the street. I think it’s the bargain of the century. Look, $150,000 is a lot of money, but when you realize that the Ford GT is within, what is it, a tenth of a second of the Enzo? And it’s a Ford! So you could fix it yourself if you had to.

Q: Anything else?

A: Do me a favor and don’t make me seem like some sort of rich-guy, showbiz a******, okay? I just like cars.

DbIiRrTdY
09-02-2004, 12:04 AM
good article

WhadUpp
09-02-2004, 12:07 AM
heres another good one from Jay*th-up*

3,000-mile road trip. Pick the vehicle and your co-pilot - it can be anyone, from any time or era."

Quote »
Jay Leno's response:
"I would probably take the McLaren F1, because that's the greatest car there is! It's unbelievable - the top speed is 241 miles per hour and it's extremely comfortable. The thing that people don't know about the F1, is that unlike an Enzo or some other exotic, the McLaren F1 is totally drivable. It's a road car - it was designed to be a road car from the get-go.

I mean, it's smaller than a Corvette, yet I can hold three people in it and still have room for luggage. It weighs less than a Miata, and it has 627 horsepower. You sit in the center and because you sit in the center, there's enough legroom for drivers or passengers that are seven feet and taller.

It's actually one of the only cars that I drive where I find myself moving the seat a little bit forward before I take off. It's so comfortable, and I find it to be the perfect vehicle because people who know what it is see it and tend to go nuts, and people who don't know about it just don't know about it and leave you alone.

It isn't like the Enzo with a big long nose, where as soon as you're seen it in, you're labeled as the middle-aged guy with "that problem" in his life. The car just looks right, and it drives perfectly - everything about it is just right. There's no wing, there's no spoilers, it just does what it's supposed to do. It has normal road clearance, so when you go over a speed bump or come to a driveway, you're not tearing off half of the spoilers.

You know, I remember someone lent me a new Lamborghini Diablo back in the mid-90s, and I'm leaving my driveway really slowly and I go "scccccrrrrrrrrthhhh" [makes a scraping noise] and I rip off the front spoiler. I'm going, "You know, I'm not supposed to be doing this to people's cars, I don't beat them up, I don't wreck them," but it was so embarrassing because the thing is so low and the nose is so long that as soon as you hit a pebble, you're ripping the thing up. That's not for me.

The only criticism that I have about the McLaren, and it's not really a fair criticism, but you have to be so darn careful with your speed. I mean, going 100 mph in that thing is like going 30 [mph] in any other car, and if I'm not careful, I'll look down and be like, "Oh crap, I'm going 175! I'm not an irresponsible idiot!" It's the exact opposite of the Morgan, where 35 [mph] feels like 100 [mph].

I mean, it sounds dumb, but the thing gathers speed like nothing - you put your foot in it for a second to pass someone and you're doing 140 miles an hour. It's ridiculous, but it is an absolute joy to drive, you're just going, "What the hell am I doing?"

My co-pilot...hmm, that's a great question. It would have to be someone that was interesting to talk to - I don't know. I think I'd want to take along a true automotive engineer, someone whom I'd like to ask a lot of questions of, like W.O. Bentley or Mark Birkett [our apologies if this is not the correct spelling], people who know things that I don't know are very interesting to me. I find designers, engineers, and mechanics to be very interesting.

Phil Hill would be another great guy to take along - he's an old friend of mine and would be an absolute blast to go on a road trip with.




You know - I just love Jay Leno!! He's like my automotive idol!!

Ryousuke
09-02-2004, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by WhadUpp
The only criticism that I have about the McLaren, and it's not really a fair criticism, but you have to be so darn careful with your speed. I mean, going 100 mph in that thing is like going 30 [mph] in any other car, and if I'm not careful, I'll look down and be like, "Oh crap, I'm going 175! I'm not an irresponsible idiot!" It's the exact opposite of the Morgan, where 35 [mph] feels like 100 [mph].

I mean, it sounds dumb, but the thing gathers speed like nothing - you put your foot in it for a second to pass someone and you're doing 140 miles an hour. It's ridiculous, but it is an absolute joy to drive, you're just going, "What the hell am I doing?"

this has got to be the best part of the article *sad* *sad* *love* *love* one day I want me to own one of thses... but I need to win a lottery cuz I don't see the value of that car EVER dropping :\ unless its a roll over :D or better yet... waste like 30+ years of my life making exact replica

WhadUpp
09-02-2004, 12:35 AM
The Enzo was made to throw the F1 over the top spot of ultimate supercar but many say that it did not quite accomplish this.

Heres an article about this:

The current issue of Autocar magazine (23 April) features as its cover story an acceleration test at Fiorano to determine whether the new Enzo is quicker than the 10-year old McLaren F1.

Driven by factory test driver Dario Benuzzi, and apparently on a slight downhill gradient, it didn't quite make it:



0 - 60 mph 0 - 100 mph 0 - 150 mph
McLaren F1 3.2 sec 6.3 sec 12.8 sec
Enzo 3.5 sec 6.6 sec 13.1 sec
Ford Mondeo 1.8 10.4 sec 31.0 sec -


The article makes interesting reading, no less because it contains the saga of how Autocar allegedly have so far been thwarted in their attempts at borrowing an Enzo for an independent road and performance test.

Ryousuke
09-02-2004, 12:39 AM
McLaren > Enzo get over it already omg ><

///Milk
09-03-2004, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by Gamite
Q: You still have the Carrera GT loaner, how do you like that?

A: I put 500 miles on it. I bought it because of the clutch. What is it, a 60,000-mile clutch? The McLaren clutch [Leno also owns a McLaren F1] is 3000 or 4000 miles. I love the fact that [the Carrera GT] has no paddle shifter. I have not met anyone who loves paddle shifters. I think there’s a great deal of satisfaction in mastering the proper shift of a car. If it’s going to shift for you, get the video.
holy crap, i saw Leno in his GT in like late June-early July time...and i talked to him for about 1 minute...i got to hold his bread tray :D (he was eating dinner with his wife)
at first i thought it was some riced out MR2 when i saw it (at the corner of my eye) cause there was some ricer infront of him :D
anyways amazing car...it even roars down the street not even going 15 MPH