Top Gear comes back on Sunday, after being gone for
ten years a whole year. But Sunday’s still three huge days away. Until then we’re stuck, bored, under this oppressive winter skyhood, which hasn’t even given us any snow, at least not here in Kansas City.
It’s just that part of the year- that great, sucking void of hour-counting, when you rewatch all the trailers for the movies coming out this summer and dream of all the things you won’t do with the pitifully small tax refund you’ve applied for but haven’t gotten yet. The Dakar is over, the Detroit Auto Show came and went, and it’s too cold to even pretend that I’m enjoying my daily bike rides.
Days like this need to be shaken up. They need to chomp down on a dried habanera, stem and all. They need a 250 hp quad bike bolted to a V8. You know, something like that. Something that bleeds crazy from every orifice.
Thankfully, French company and lisp aficionados Lazareth have developed just such a meal: the Wazuma V8F. Full disclosure, here, but the V8F has been around for over a year. Somehow it slid under my radar, which, for the price, should have certainly picked this up.
Speaking of price…wait…were we talking about prices or bleeding crazy? It doesn’t matter, I guess, because the V8F will set you back $268,000. That’s more than a quarter-million little green pieces of federal linen. For a four-wheeler. That you need to be marginally insane to ride.
It occurs to me at this point that Lazareth has a pretty limited customer base.
Most projects like this use a donor drive train. A tiny company like Lazareth doesn’t engineer and build their own engines. The simplest answer is to drop in an SBC, right? A good old American Chevy 350. But remember who we’re dealing with, here. Crazy people. Lazareth decided to source their engines from 30 year old Ferrari 308s. Not a problem. I’m sure they just take the truck down to their local Ferrari junk yard and pull a few of the 3.0s every trip.
Negotiating the V8’s 250 hp to the rear wheels is a six speed manual sequential gearbox out of a BMW M3. Because they needed a few more expensive parts. Speaking of expensive parts, (actually, this complete package is starting to sound like more and more of a bargain), all four wheels wear racing slicks and have been filled with Brembo brakes. A pair of Yamaha sport bike injection systems manage the spray, and EMC handles the suspension.
But the Wazuma V8F won’t liven up my day. It’s too pedestrian. A Camry. The V8F was easy for Lazareth. It’s a mainstream product, a people’s car.
The previous Wazuma had a supercharged BMW V12 worth about 500 hp.
So that ought to hold us over until Top Gear hits the illegal download mirrors airwaves this Sunday. And if it doesn’t, there is no hope. Wake up in April and try again.