The NCAA Tournament for car guys is brought to you by CarBuzz, the #1 application for automotive news. Words by Phillip Harbor.
The 82nd Annual Geneva Motor Show is currently underway and last week we saw some incredible debuts and the introduction of some truly unique cars and concepts alike. The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has just kicked off as well and the CarBuzz team is, in true automotive nerd fashion, carrying out the tournament ourselves - except instead of college teams we are using cars that made their debuts at the Swiss show.
If you're familiar with the NCAA tourney, then you know the deal - 32 teams/cars (instead of 68 with play-in games), single elimination knock-out tournament, seeded teams based on amount of coverage generated, power, performance and relevance and two brackets: the Powerhouse bracket consisting of cars with exceptional performance and luxury and the Mid-Major bracket, consisting of economy and the more pedestrian production cars. The NCAA isn't as transparent about their selection process as the BUZZ is, though we will say that two divisions are much more representative of the models themselves.
The tournament provides more balance in the competition for best debut or model at the Geneva Motor Show. Like any good tourney, there are several upsets and a Cinderella story, so stay tuned for CarBuzz's version of Christmas/the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Each day we will bring you four matchups from the tourney as part of our 7-part series. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you BUZZ Car Madness.
Powerhouse Bracket (Seeds in order from #1-16): Ferrari F12berlinetta, Koenigsegg Agera R, Lamborghini Aventador J, Bugatti Vitesse Roadster, Gumpert Apollo R, Brabus C-Class Coupe, GTA Spano, Gumpert Enraged, Pagani Huayra Carbon Edition, 2013 BMW M6, Lotus Exige S Roadster, AC 378 GT Zagato, Artega GT, Roding Roadster, Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II, Bentley Exp 9F Concept. Powerhouse Bracket - Game 1: #1 Seed Ferrari F12berlinetta vs. #16 Seed Bentley Exp 9F Concept To start off our competition we have a classic #1 vs. #16 and as history has proven in the NCAA Tourney, no #16 seed has ever knocked off a #1.
The exceedingly handsome Ferrari F12berlinetta packs a 7.0-liter V12 engine rated at 730hp and utilizes an F1-style Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for a short-time power boost. The Bentley Exp 9F Concept is the British brand's failed foray into the luxury SUV market. Motivation in the form of a 6.0-liter bi-turbo 12-cylinder with 599hp and 590 lb-ft of torque doesn't dispel the fact that aesthetic beauty counts when rating cars. Bentley's was so ugly that the British company is redesigning the whole thing. The F12berlinetta blows out the Bentley and advances to the second round. Winner: #1 Seed Ferrari F12berlinetta
Powerhouse Bracket - Game 2: #8 Seed Gumpert Apollo Enraged vs. #9 Seed Pagani Huayra Carbon Edition The Gumpert Apollo Enraged is basically the street-legal version of the Apollo R. The brutish supercar packs a 780hp 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine which, when coupled with its 2,590lbs and unique swing doors, makes the Enraged a formidable opponent. The Pagani Huayra Carbon Edition is an also sub-3,000lbs model with ridiculous good looks and a 0-60mph time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 230mph thanks to a 700hp AMG 6.0-liter bi-turbo V12.
The Gumpert Enraged dusts the Huayra with a 2.9-second 0-62mph sprint but can only reach a top speed of 205mph. Advantage for looks, performance and coverage all go to the Huayra in a buzzer-beater. Winner: #9 Seed Pagani Huayra Carbon Edition
Powerhouse Bracket - Game 3: #5 Seed Gumpert Apollo R vs. #12 Seed AC 378 GT Zagato The 2,425lbs Gumpert Apollo R is the track version of the Enraged, with the latter's 4.2-liter bi-turbo V8 engine tuned to the beat of 860hp. Top speed for the Apollo R is estimated at just shy of 200mph. The AC 378 GT Zagato is a gorgeous Italian creation that features an Aston-esque front grille and an even more Aston-esque price tag. Running on the Corvette C6's naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8, it puts out 434hp and 430 lb-ft good for a top speed of 185mph.
The Apollo R is Gumpert's evolutionary next step and gained plenty of attention on the Geneva showroom floor as well as all around the internet. Where the Apollo R loses out on styling, it makes up for in aggressive performance, power and signaling Gumpert's step up in supercar building. Winner: #5 Seed Gumpert Apollo R
Powerhouse Bracket - Game 4: #4 Seed Bugatti Vitesse Roadster vs. #13 Artega GT Roadster The Artega GT Roadster combines supercar looks with sports car performance for a terrific blend of style and substance in an open-top model. It runs on a Volkswagen-sourced 3.6-liter V6 rated at 295hp for a top speed of 167mph. The Bugatti Vitesse Roadster combines supercar looks with the fastest-ever speed for an open-top production model. The Grand Sport Vitesse utilizes the 'Holy Ghost' 7.9-liter W16 SuperSport engine with 1,200hp and 1,106 lb-ft of torque for a top speed of 255mph.
Sure, the Artega GT's removable panoramic glass roof is slick, but don't kid yourself, this is Wisconsin putting Montana in its place (NCAA East Bracket reference right there). Winner: #4 Seed Bugatti Vitesse Roadster Stay tuned for Part 2 of BUZZ Car Madness