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Top Gear's Top 9

Top Gear's Top 9: geekiest weight saving in fast cars

If we're going to make cars lighter, this is the kinda thinking the world needs...

Aston Martin Valkyrie
  1. Porsche GT3 RS sticker badge

    Porsche GT3 RS sticker badge

    5g saved

    A 992 GT3 RS weighs 1,525kg – 165kg more than the original 996 GT3 RS, which did without stuff like active aero, DRS and adaptive suspension. Still, in a sop to lightweighting you’ll find no enamel badge at the end of the bonnet: the Stuttgart crest is replaced by a lacquered sticker.

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  2. Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 pedals

    Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 pedals

    300g saved

    One of the delightful lightweight details on Gordon Murray’s T.50 is the spindly pedal setup. By using the sharpened edges as the anti-slip surface, Gordon managed to shave 300g from the mass of the pedals in his iconic McLaren F1, which were already works of titanium art.

  3. Honda NSX Type R gear gaiter

    Honda NSX Type R gear gaiter

    10g saved

    Honda’s engineers turned to weight saving to up the performance of the most extreme NSX. One measure was to replace the leather gear gaiter with a sort of chainmail technomesh. You wouldn’t want to mash crumbs into it, but Honda would rather you didn’t eat in it anyway.

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  4. Alpine A110 rear brake caliper

    Alpine A110 rear brake caliper

    2.5kg saved

    Normally an electronic parking brake uses its own tiny caliper to grip the disc. Brembo saved 2.5kg here by integrating the handbrake into the main brake caliper. Alpine also used the bare minimum of brackets to hold the brake lines. Each deleted bracket saved a further 20g.

  5. Lotus Elise electric windows

    Lotus Elise electric windows

    Not many g saved

    When Lotus began offering a Touring pack for the S2 Elise, it claimed the electric window motors it was using to move the Elise’s tiny side windows were so small, the system actually represented a marginal saving versus the manually wound windows with their chunky alloy handles.

  6. Porsche Spyder RS bimini top

    Porsche Spyder RS bimini top

    7.6kg saved

    The hardcore RS Spyder needed a new roof design versus the standard Boxster Spyder. Porsche dutifully redesigned it, saving 7.6kg, but added a new feature: a yacht-like ‘bimini top’, whereby you can keep the roof in place but leave the unzipped rear windows behind.

  7. Mercedes SLR McLaren roof latch

    Mercedes SLR McLaren roof latch

    6kg saved

    The McMerc SLR was an unhappy marriage: Mercedes wanted a deluxe ultra-GT and McLaren a featherweight road racer. McLaren insisted the roof mechanism should have a manual latch, to save 6kg from being placed at the top of the windscreen, spoiling the centre of gravity.

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  8. McLaren 750S fixed instruments

    McLaren 750S fixed instruments

    1.9kg saved

    In the McLaren 720S, the instrument screen folds alway leaving an LCD sliver showing only your speed, revs and current gear when in Track mode. McLaren saw an opportunity to save some weight here in the 750S, and the hinged dash has been replaced by a 1.9kg lighter fixed binnacle.

  9. Aston Martin Valkyrie paint

    Aston Martin Valkyrie paint

    700g saved

    Like the T.50, this is another supercar that took weight-saving into desperate measures, including optional lightweight paint. Yep, Aston developed three low-mass paints for the Valkyrie which save a grand total of 700 grammes over the entire body, versus the ‘standard’ colours.

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