Nine cars that look better wearing skis
Alpine’s SportsX isn’t the first cool car to be strapped with planks
Alpine A110 SportsX
Last week, Alpine surprised us all with its fantastic A110 SportsX. If you’ve been in Coronavirus quarantine for the last few days and missed it, it’s an 80mm wider, jacked-up adventure-spec A110 that instantly had our office dribbling.
Being a concept (for now) it still uses the standard 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 249bhp and 239lb ft. Which, if we're honest, is a bit of a shame, as 500bhp would really suit it. But, if you haven’t noticed, it also has two pairs of skis lashed to the roof. This proved a most fruitful distraction. See, a few lunatics in the office like to throw themselves down mountains in their spare time, so this might be the dream machine.
In fact, over the years, we’ve strapped a fair few sets of skis to silly cars. From McLarens to G-Wagens, Rolls-Royces to R8s, it's safe to say we’ve done a fair few...Advertisement - Page continues below
Fit a Nissan GT-R with a set of winter tyres and you have one hell of a machine. Thanks to intelligent 4WD and great balance (front-mounted V6 and a rear transaxle) even in blizzard conditions Godzilla just ploughs on. But if you then put some skis on the roof, you have one hell of a machine that’ll go anywhere AND do numbers on Instagram.
Brainy folks in Woking worked very hard on the McLaren 720S’ aerodynamics. See that panel ahead of the front wheels? That evacuates turbulent high-pressure air away and along the side to increase downforce. Actually, the 720S generates 50 per cent more downforce than the 650S managed at full tilt, has double the overall aerodynamic efficiency, and is 15 per cent more efficient in its cooling. Want to undo all that hard work? Just sucker some skis onto the roof.Advertisement - Page continues below
There are many techniques for controlled avalanches in the Alps; bombing from a helicopter, shelling with a small howitzer – that kind of thing. Well, a few years ago we found another: unleashing the full rev-range and magnificence of an Audi R8's 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10.
No one had ever dared to drill a ski rack through the boot of a Rolls-Royce before. So that's exactly what we did. Not just any ski rack though, a ski rack made of gold... then stuffed with Foil Oro-Nero skis made from 8,000-year-old Chinese bog-oak complete with 14-karat gold-plated poles and bindings. All £50ks worth. On a Phantom. Now that's ballin’.
In For Your Eyes Only, James Bond drives a Lotus with skis on the roof. So, in true TG style (utterly unimaginative), a few years ago we went to Cortina d’Ampezzo to follow in the film’s footsteps in a red Lotus that had skis on the roof. Well, you just would, wouldn't you?
The weather changes quickly and frequently in the mountains. So much so, when we scaled Mount Ventoux with an Ariel Nomad we didn't know whether to take our bike or skis up it. So we took both.Advertisement - Page continues below
Porsche 911 Turbo
Skis are great for getting down a ski slope, but what's the best way to get up one? A 911 Turbo of course.
Bentley Continental GT
It's amazing, you wait years for manufacturers to cotton on to the idea that putting skis on cars is a good idea and then two come along in the same week. Yep, it wasn't just Alpine who got in on the action last week, Bentley also released this Ice Race special. With skis, lightbars and a big W12, is this the ultimate luxurious winter weapon?Advertisement - Page continues below