It’s a new day and time for four new World Cup matches. A few games look to be blow-outs, since neither Algeria nor Ghana is known as an automotive superpower. As the American team found out last week, anything can happen in a World Cup match, so no outcome is certain in advance.
Slovenia vs. England
Slovenia fields the Renault Clio Renaultsport 200, manufactured in Renault’s Novo Mesto plant. Featuring a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four, the Clio Renaultsport 200 puts out 200 horsepower but weighs only 2,649 pounds. Zero to sixty comes up in about 6.7 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 141 miles per hour. If Slovenia were up against Serbia, the Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 would be kicking ass and taking names.
Not to be outdone by France, England fields the tired and true McLaren F1. A timeless Gordon Murray design, the McLaren F1 looks as good today as it did when it was introduced in 1992. There are faster cars today, but the McLaren F1 remains the fastest normally aspirated car ever built. The BMW sourced 6.1 liter V12 is good for 627 horsepower, enough to propel the 2,513 pound car to sixty in 3.2 seconds. The top speed of the F1, with the rev limiter on, is 231 miles per hour.
The victory goes to England, in a bloodbath against Slovenia. With a deficit of 427 horsepower and a higher curb weight, the valiant Slovenian built Renault never stood a chance.
USA vs. Algeria
The USA fields the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, with its 6.2 liter, supercharged V8 good for 638 horsepower. The Corvette, despite it’s track day aspirations, is no light weight at 3,340 pounds. Like most of its countrymen, it could stand to lose a few pounds; despite this, the ZR1 can kick off a 0 to 60 sprint in 3.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 205 miles per hour. Top Gear, who traditionally hates all things Corvette, even awarded the ZR1 the 2009 Performance Car of the Year award.
Algeria, sadly, had no car to field. As of this writing, there are no cars manufactured in the North African country, although globalization of the automotive industry may soon change that. Not in time for this year’s World Cup, but certainly in time for 2014.
The USA wins by forfeit, despite being given a penalty that the referee refused to clarify.
Ghana vs. Germany
Ghana is a poor but proud country, and can field an SUV of their own design and construction: the Kantanka Obrempon I. Not quite ready for international competition, the Obrempon I is the brainchild of inventor Apostle Kwadwo Safo, a welder turned inventor turned preacher known for his philanthropy. I’d like to tell you what’s under the hood of the Obrempon, but virtually no information is available on it. Let’s call it a V6 and give it 150 horsepower. Since I don’t know the weight of the Obrempon, I can’t even begin to estimate performance, but let’s be realistic: it isn’t going to be faster than the best that Germany has to offer, is it?
Germany, as expected, fields the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. With a water cooled, twin-turbo boxer six motor that puts out 620 horsepower to the rear wheels, the 911 GT2 is not a car for inexperienced drivers. It will hit sixty miles per hour in 3.3 seconds and tops out at 206 miles per hour. It’s time around the Nürburgring is a mind-blowing 7:18, faster than a Ferrari Enzo, a Pagani Zonda F Clubsport and a Chevy Corvette ZR1.
While we salute Ghana for their valiant effort, this match was over before it even began. Victory, Germany, who faces much stiffer competition in the coming rounds.
Australia vs. Serbia
Australia fields the HSV W427, a four door sedan (based on the Holden Commodore) that shoehorns in the 7.0 liter V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The motor puts out 503 horsepower, enough to get the rear-drive sedan to sixty miles per hour in about 4.5 seconds, making it the fastest Australian production car. Other technology borrowed from the Corvette includes Magnetic Ride Control, so the HSV 427 can take a corner almost as well as it goes in a straight line.
Serbia fields the Zastava 10, now called the Fiat Punto Mark 2b. Not exactly a performance car, the Punto 2b features a 1.2 liter, inline four motor good for 59 horsepower. Zero to sixty eventually occurs, but it takes about 14 seconds to get there. Top speed, if you could find someone brave enough to drop the hammer and keep it there, is 96 miles per hour. On the plus side, it’s low weight (1,895 pounds) and small motor give it good fuel mileage.
Once again, we have a disappointing matchup. Serbia never stood a chance fielding a twelve year old Fiat design with an anemic four-banger against the Australian entry from Holden Specialty Vehicles. Australia faces some tough future matches, as the HSV W427 doesn’t stand a chance against the best from Germany, France, the U.K., or the U.S.
Check back tomorrow, when we pair Paraguay vs. New Zealand, Slovakia vs. Italy, Cameroon vs. Netherlands and Denmark vs. Japan.