2018 World Cup Semi-Finals_If Teams were Cars

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FRANCE - Alpine A110

Alpine A110. Ph: Alessandro Renesis

I thought about using a Bugatti, of course. That would have been the exotic choice, and the wrong one, too. Volkswagen acquired the Bugatti brand in 1998 so nowadays Bugatti is as French as my American smartphone. I picked the Alpine A110 instead.

Introduced at the 87th Geneva Motor Show in March this year, the Alpine A110 is a little bit more than just a simple marketing operation fuelled by nostalgia. It has a 1.8L turbocharged engine coupled with a 7-speed double clutch gearbox, good enough for 249 bhp. The car weighs nothing which means that 0-60 is dealt with in 4.5 seconds and then it keeps on accelerating to a top speed of 155 mph. James May bought one, apparently.

BELGIUM - Gillet Vertigo

Gillet Vertigo. Ph: Catawiki

This car is mostly known for being featured in the Gran Turismo series for Play Station. It looked funny, went like the clappers (0-60 in 3.85 seconds in 1990, briefly a world record at the time) and it felt special because it was rare. And it still is because you probably won't find one of these on the road.

Gillet, has a brand, had a lot of talent but never quite delivered. Let's see if Belgium can change that.

CROATIA - Rimac C_Two

Rimac C_Two. Ph: Alessandro Renesis

This isn't the car that somersaulted into the ditch with Hammond at the wheel, this is something else. Rimac introduced their brand new C_Two in Geneva last March and, so they say, it's now Hammond-proof.

Quite apart from anything else, it's its power that boggles the mind. Hang tight, sit down perhaps, because the C_Two has 1,914 PS (1888 hp). They say it will reach 415 kph with an astonishing 0-60 time of 1.85 seconds.

ENGLAND - Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie. Ph: Alessandro Renesis

This is the new stuff. They got rid of the old ways, stopped reminiscing the "good ol' days" and came out with fresh faces and a new approach. Faster, better, in tune with the times.

Yeah, and Aston Martin did the same, by the way. The Valkyrie is a hybrid electric hypercar built in collaboration with Red Bull Racing and it's a far cry from your classic Aston. It has a 6.5 L Cosworth naturally-aspirated V12 with a Rimac-built KERS hybrid battery system. In plain English, this means 1,130 hp. That's a lot, especially when you consider the fact that this car weighs just over a ton. Because it's a hybrid, the engine will make an actual noise which you can enjoy and, because it looks magnificent, you can stand back and behold.

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