Supercars past, present and future take center stage at Cholmondeley

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The theme of Cholmondeley Power and Speed 2016 was "supercars: past, present and future"

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Set in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle, in the verdant and rolling landscape of Cheshire, UK, the Cholmondeley Power and Speed (CPAS) show lets visitors see spectacular cars in a spectacular setting. Gizmag went along on Saturday to take in a festival that was fast, furious and fun.

CPAS was formerly the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power (CPOP), where, last year, an American muscle car concours and a Eurofighter Typhoon display were among the highlights. This year, the name of the festival was brought more in-line with the machines on display and, fittingly, the theme was "supercars: past, present and future."

Over 150 cars and bikes took to the 1.2-mi (1.9-km) track over the weekend, with an Ariel Atom driven by Niki Faulkner setting the fastest time of 60.98 seconds. That fell just short of the 58.34-second lap set by Gary Thomas in a Force PC last year.

This year also saw a group of Gumball 3000 cars in residence and on the track, including a Mercedes AMG TG3. Elsewhere, there were scrambler motos in action on a separate off-road track, the Pro Wakeboard Tour on the lake and a number of aerial displays.

Of the latter, we were lucky enough to catch Richard Goodwin's aerobatic performance. Goodwin was flying a modified Pitts Special S25 powered by a six-cylinder 8.5-l Lycoming 540 engine. The modifications are said to provide enhanced acrobatic capabilities, with Goodwin's routine putting them to use to combine "high-energy gyroscopic forces" with aerobatic maneuvers.

Of course, the cars were what we were really there to see. Below we've pulled out a few of those that really stood out.

Headlining the line-up of supercars was a 2008 Ferrari FXX. In the event program, CPAS called its stats "staggering" and with good reason. The FXX boasts a 6.3-l V12 engine that produced a huge 860 bhp (641 kW). That translates to a breathtaking 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) time of 2.5 seconds and an equally rampaging top speed of 211 mph (340 km/h).

Though not one of the newer supercars on display at Cholmondeley, the 1989 Lamborghini Countach driven by Peter Dodson was surely one of the most popular. A special edition to celebrate Lamborghini's 25th anniversary (we're now past the 50th), it has a 5-l V12 engine under the bonnet that produces over 400 bhp (298 kW) and a top speed of 183 mph (295 km/h).

Much more recent was the McLaren MP4-12C – also a special edition, in this instance for the 50th anniversary of McLaren. The same MP4-12C was on display at Cholmondeley last year but with a 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) time of 2.8 seconds, is well worth flagging up as part of this year's supercar-themed festival.

Another car that was here for consecutive years was the BAC Mono. Wheree last year it was a 2004 version on display, this year's was a more recent 2015 version. Described as "a lightweight, ultra high performance, road legal supercar," it was one of the more aesthetically dramatic at CPAS over the weekend.

Another real head-turner on display was the Morgan Aero 8. The Aero 8 has a 4.8-l V8 under the hood, kicking out 367 hp (274 kW) and a top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h). Respectable as that is, it's really the looks of the Morgan that matter. A 2016 5th generation version of the Aero 8, it distills everything that is special about the British marque.

Finally, we can't go without one final mention of the Ariel Atom. It's been around in one guise or other for 20 years now, but the Atom was still the most voracious and track-hungry animal on display at CPAS.

Powered by a 2.0-l, four-cylinder Honda i-VTEC engine, the 2016 model produces 245 bhp (184 kW) and 240 Nm (177 lb.ft) of torque. It's lightweight, stiff, skeleton-like structure gives it both serious acceleration and glue-like road-holding. It really is remarkable to watch in action and was a worthy winner on the track.

You can see more from the show in our gallery.

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