Reprinted from Forbes.com, Copyright 2017 - Larry Olmstead, Contributor
Remember when 300 horsepower was a lot? Today you can take the wheel with twice as much raw power and no fear of law enforcement. It’s been over a year since SpeedVegas opened in the Nevada desert, and in that time, the attraction has changed the fantasy automotive dreams of thousands of visitors into a thrilling, high speed reality. For car enthusiasts, it’s nothing less than a way to test the limits of the world’s finest performance vehicles and check off Bucket List “test drives” in a way no regular dealer - or state trooper - would approve of, at speeds well in excess of 100MPH.
Built from scratch purely for the purpose of showcasing exotics, supercars and ultra-high-performance muscle cars and wooing car-loving customers, SpeedVegas is a $30 million facility with a 1.5 mile racetrack design inspired by Formula One that includes a dozen banked turns and a pedal to the metal 2,650 foot straightaway.
I previously wrote about SpeedVegas here at Forbes when it opened last April, and since then it has garnered rave reviews and thrilled visitors from all around the world. For 2017 the facility just added five all new models to an already impressive stable of options that include rarities like a quarter million-dollar Lamborghini Gallardo LP 610 Huracan with V-10 610 horsepower engine and blazing 2.9 second 0-60 acceleration. At the slightly more attainable but not significantly less powerful end of the spectrum are the impressive contemporary breed of domestic muscle including the souped-up Dodge Charger SRT8 and Mustang Shelby GT500.
The new additions include a drool worthy $200,000 2017 McLaren 570S in just its second year of production (with 562-hp twin-turbo V-8); a 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB, the latest of several Ferrari models at SpeedVegas and another quarter million dollar fantasy beauty that upgraded the company’s “regular” V8 with twin turbos to make it even faster; a 2017 Audi R8 V10; a 2017 Nissan GT-R, the newest version of Japan’s most iconic muscle car and a personal favorite of mine (SpeedVegas had the previous GT-R incarnation already); and a 2016 BMW i8. These newcomers join a fleet already laden with speed and style, including models from Lamborghini, Porsche, and Corvette. Theme packages combine laps in multiple cars, or you can simply create your own fantasy day of mind-boggling test drives. Like playing golf, taking a helicopter sightseeing flight or experiencing some of the city’s elaborate shooting facilities, one of the beauties of Las Vegas attractions like SpeedVegas is that you can fully enjoy them by day and still do all the to other things people visit Vegas for, gaming, fine dining, cocktails and shows, improving your vacation experience without sacrificing anything.
SpeedVegas also has a 22,000-square-foot clubhouse with indoor and outdoor observation decks and a full-service eatery. It is very accessible, just 10 minutes from the lower Strip.
Don’t forget to buckle up.