Only two cars can match it, and they're years from being ready.
James Glickenhaus has a lot of opinions about the current state of the supercar scene. That makes sense as his company, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG), is preparing to break onto said scene with the 750-horsepower SCG003S. As such the former Hollywood producer and avid gearhead pays a lot of attention to what the likes of Koenigsegg, Pagani, McLaren, Ferrari and others are up to. We recently sat down with Glickenhaus to discuss what makes his car different from its many competitors.
The SCG003S is a street-legal version of a race car. But unlike other track cars dumbed down for use on the road, this one is meant to be raced all day, if you so desire. This was the first point Glickenhaus stressed to us when he drew the line between the SCG003S and its competitors. “The one thing that you find, if you try to take your Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bugatti, Pagani or Koenigsegg to the track and have a track day—they’re not suited to run at track speeds all day. And you will do some damage to them and whatnot. But our car will be able to do it,” he said. The idea is to have a car that can go from road-legal to track-ready quickly and easily.
How quickly are we talking here? Try a new set of tires and a steering wheel swap, the latter of which allows drivers to tweak the settings of both the traction control and ABS. This ease of conversion and ability to run all day under grueling track conditions will certainly set it apart from the crowd. But one area in which it will pale in comparison to its fellow supercars is in horsepower. Yeah, 750 horses from a 4.4-liter V8 engine isn’t bad at all, but that is nowhere close to the numbers other automakers are putting up nowadays. But Glickenhaus isn’t about parading high power numbers around to impress the press. He actually spoke with disdain about the high horsepower being made by hybrid hypercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder.
“There is no road wheel and tire that can put down more than 700 horsepower on the street, period. It can’t be done,” he declared. “If you have a LaFerrari with 1,000+ horsepower, or a P1 or a 918, all you’re doing is creating horsepower that is basically regulated out by traction control. So I’m not so sure of what the advantage of having more horsepower than 700 horsepower is. The car will not be quicker.” In addition to what he sees as gratuitous horsepower, Glickenhaus is also tweaked by the downforce generated by today’s supercars. Specifically, he has a problem with companies not advertising net downforce.
“You can read from Ferrari, and McLaren and Porsche what kind of downforce they have. It’s completely bullshit, meaningless numbers because it’s not net [downforce],” he proclaimed. He told us the SCG003S will be able to make four pounds of downforce for every one pound of lift generated (its net downforce). To put it in plain English, the car is expected to make 1,500 pounds of downforce. For reference, the Dodge Viper ACR makes 1,763 pounds of peak downforce. You might have noticed, as we did, that the head of SCG doesn’t seem to be a big fan of hybrid hypercars. This is for practical reasons, such as the fact that they are heavier, more complex and harder to maintain than cars with more traditional powertrains.
“All this stuff about the hybrid hypercars, it made nice press, but it had nothing to do with making a car that was more fun to drive,” he told us. After hearing all this it seemed like the SCG003S would have no competition whatsoever. But as it turns out there are two cars that James Glickenhaus thinks will match up well with his creation. “The Red Bull car and the Mercedes are the only cars on the planet that are in the same space as us: race cars for the road and race technology for the road,” he stated. All three share a racing background. SCG honed its road cars during grueling endurance races at the Nurburgring. Adrian Newey, CTO of Red Bull’s F1 team, is behind the AM-RB001, and Mercedes’ F1 team is working with AMG on the R50.
While the SCG003S may have roots similar to the AM-RB001 and R50, the company’s story is more similar to the likes of Koenigsegg and Pagani. But Glickenhaus doesn’t see those two as competitors, and here’s why. “I can say with confidence that neither Pagani nor Koenigsegg are ever going to make a race version of their cars that is going to do anything like an SCG would do. I mean that’s just fact. They’re not going in that direction and they don’t want to go in that direction,” he explained. “I have great respect for what they [Christian von Koenigsegg and Horacio Pagani] have done. But neither of them make a car that could run with us on the Nurburgring for 10 laps.”
After speaking with James Glickenhaus it’s impossible not to get excited about the SCG003S. If everything falls into place this will be a supercar that can go all day at the track and not be a nightmare to drive in city traffic. Yes, in addition to dominating lap times Glickenhaus also wants his creation to be (somewhat) livable. Only time will tell whether or not that perfect picture is painted, and whether or not the SCG003S will be able to back up its creator’s bold claims out on the track.