2013 Horus Black Bullet GT-L
A front-engined, twin turbo V8 powered monster of a car sporting one of the heftiest doses of luxury on the market
A note from the manufacturer:
"The 2013 Horus Black Bullet.
In the age of Aventadors, Huayras and other precisely engineered
mid-engined track devourers, we at Horus went for something different in
a hypercar, with more of a focus on luxury, comfort and finesse rather
than raw performance. I suppose the ambitious challenge thrown at the
engineering team can be summarized as follows: How much comfort, style
and digital age bells and whistles can you cram into a car before
compromises in performance and price become unbearable?
The answer they've come up is: "well actually, quite a lot!". The
Black Bullet is the result, a car we describe as a Hyper Grand Tourer.
Does it actually work as intended? That's not up to us to decide, that's up to potential buyers."
Unfortunately, Horus' Black Bullet has plenty of room for improvement in drivability. This car achieves a hefty 16.9 PSI of boost at around 2,800 RPM, which is a little bit awkward to deal with in city driving situations. For that amount of boost it's nowhere near as bad as it could be, but it's hard to get around just how much of a punch the twin turbos give you when they spool up. Thankfully, the BB-XPV8 that powers the Black Bullet revs all the way up to 7,800 RPM, so there is a pretty hefty powerband to enjoy once the turbos get up to speed. In addition, the Black Bullet's 7 speed sequential gearbox makes staying on boost no problem at all. Speaking of the BB-XPV8, this thing cranks out 1073 horsepower. That's A LOT of horsepower, even if it is what we've come to expect from a hypercar. There's no need to worry, though. With 355mms of rubber on the rear, 315mms of rubber on the front, a fairly sticky, but still very much streetable tire compound, every driver assist you could ask for, and an all-wheel drivetrain, wheelspin is present, but not as bad as one would assume when they hear "1073 horsepower."
After reading all of that, you might be thinking "Well, that sounds pretty impressive, actually. Why only a 5/10?" Well, while the Black Bullet makes handling 1000+ horsepower very doable, and while it does have A LOT of grip (something we will touch on later in the article), if you fail to respect its limits it will bite you...HARD. The Black Bullet's excellent turn-in abruptly morphs into a horrifying snap of oversteer on the limit at slower speeds. Ideally only professional drivers who, for the most part, know how to treat a car like this would approach the Black Bullet's limits, but I'm sure we're all aware of just how many average joes there are out there that love to drive fast in the most inappropriate conditions. There's no doubt in my mind that the Black Bullet's top-of-the-line grip will inspire a few drivers to push it so hard that they wrap it around a tree before they've even parked it in their garage. Hopefully Horus produces this thing in such few numbers that only one or two fools will get their hands on it. At least the Black Bullet's stopping distance is among the best in it's class, coming to a dead stop from 62 miles per hour in under 100 feet. Provided that the back end of the car isn't pointed in the wrong direction, the brakes should do an excellent job at keeping the driver out of trouble. It's worth mentioning that at higher speeds the car's downforce shifts steering behavior towards understeer, although one would have to be going very fast by public road standards to take advantage of this.
Performance and Sportiness
Now that we have all of that talk of snappy oversteer, turbo lag, and massive power figures out of the way, let's move on to what's good about this car, and there is a staggering amount of good things about the Black Bullet. This car deals with 0-62 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds. Yes. 2.7 seconds. The Black Bullet could've reached 62 miles per hour from a dead stop in the time it took me to type "This car deals with 0-62 mph in 2.7 seconds." That's absurd. In a good way, of course. It should come as no surprise that the Black Bullet destroys the quarter mile in a mere 10.02 seconds with a trap speed of 146 miles per hour. Keep the pedal to the floor for long enough and you will eventually top out at 237 miles per hour. This car's top-tier drivetrain makes sure very little of the 1073 horsepower it produces goes to waste. Horus' hypercar might not be at the very top of the list with these numbers, but it is VERY close.
I've already hinted at what a phenomenal car the Black Bullet is on the track, but now it's time to dive into the details on what a beast of a performer the folks at Horus came up with. The Black Bullet pulls 1.23 gs on both the 20 and 250 meter skid pad at 34.8 and 123 miles per hour respectively. All of that grip is easily taken advantage of with this car's remarkable turn-in at lower speeds. At higher speeds understeer becomes a problem, but there is still plenty of grip available before the front wheels wave the white flag. Our professional driver completed a lap around the Automation Test Track in 2:01.88 after taking some time to familiarize himself with the vehicle. He struggled a bit to find issues with the way the car managed the track. His only major complaints were he disliked how big the Black Bullet was and he felt it could've done even better if it didn't weigh nearly 5,000 pounds. Oh yeah, maybe I forgot to mention that. All of those performance figures we've been throwing out? A 4,756 pound car is achieving those. Just let that sink in. Anyways, our driver concluded the interview by remarking he was confident that the Black Bullet was one of the best handling cars that he had driven that wasn't purely performance focused. That being said, it does fail to keep up with the more track-oriented hypercars of today and customers looking for the absolute pinnacle of road car performance will be left wanting a little more.
We've established a few times now that the Horus Black Bullet was designed with more than just performance in mind, and now it's time to talk about the other areas of the Black Bullet that Horus poured plenty of blood, sweat, and tears into. Not only does this car offer some of the best streetable performance money can buy, but it's also one of the most comfortable rides on four wheels out there. The interior of each and every Horus Black Bullet is assembled by hand using the highest quality materials available to auto manufacturers. While Horus' BB-XPV8 leaves something to be desired in the smoothness department when compared to luxury vehicles of much lower price tags, with the amount of effort they've put into dampening its vibrations you hardly notice it. This car's V8 is pretty reasonably quiet on the exterior, and on the interior even more so. Don't worry, you can still hear the exhaust note on the inside, but it isn't going to rupture your ear drums or even prevent you from holding a conversation at a reasonable volume. The exhaust note is all the exterior noise you will be hearing. Wind and road noise fail to penetrate this car's extensive noise insulation.
Like nearly every modern supercar the Black Bullet's suspension is able to adjusted on the fly, and it's comfort setting is more than up to the task of keeping you cozy for those more leisurely drives; however, we must mention that the Black Bullet's suspension system makes a few compromises in the name of a sportier feel. On top of even the comfiest setting falling a little short compared to cars leaning more towards the GT spectrum, Horus opted for a pushrod suspension configuration on the rear wheels, which may struggle a tad to be as smooth as some multilink set ups. There are smoother suspensions out there for the pickiest of luxury car consumers, but this car is designed to strike a balance between sportiness and comfort, thus the shortcomings in certain areas when compared to more specialized vehicles. If Horus offered a smoother, naturally aspirated engine with this car I am fairly confident it would end up as one of the most, if not THE most, streetable hypercar on the market today. You can easily daily this car or take it on long tours as long as you don't need too much cargo space.
While the Black Bullet's V8 might not be the smoothest, and it's suspension might fall short when compared to pure luxury vehicles, its difficult to find words that describe the craftsmanship on display inside of a Horus Black Bullet. This is an incredibly well put together car inside the cabin. The sound system is sure impress even the snobbiest of audiophiles, and the infotainment system is incredibly easy-to-use and does its job remarkably quickly. The most frequently accessed items, such as suspension adjustments, are at most two taps away. The car's voice recognition rarely fails to interpret a command correctly as well. The seats are highly, and very precisely, adjustable in every way you could want them to be and they provide more support than anyone could ask for. The car's climate control works remarkly well and is actually quite precise according to our measurements. Everything from the dash, to the seats, to the center console, the handles, every last dial and switch, every single part of this car's interior feels rock solid and incredibly well-made. Nothing in here shows any signs of compromise. NOTHING.
After going into detail on just how wonderful the inside of this car is, it pains me to consider that anyone might crash one of these masterpieces. However, I did spend a few sentences earlier discussing just how dangerous the Black Bullet can be at the limit, and as much as it hurts to admit this there is a pretty strong chance that someone will put one of these in a tree if enough of them are produced. So, how does this car handle smacking into a tree? It handles it very well. Remarkably well. It's difficult to find a safer car out there, in fact. Some of the best crash safety technology available is incorporated into the Black Bullet's design, and its aluminum monocoque and body panels can take quite a beating on their own.
I'm going to throw out a number here, and it's going to be what 99% of people would consider ludicrously expensive. You have to keep in mind what you are getting when you buy a car like this to understand why this car got such a good score in this category despite the crazy price tag. This car is very fast, not the fastest, but it is VERY fast. On top of being very fast it's also one of the most luxurious vehicles on the market. Making a car fast can get pretty expensive, making a car cozy can get quite expensive as well, but making a car both fast and cozy? That's going to require A LOT of resources, which is why this car retails for around $667,584. This car is competing with the likes of 800k, 900k, and 1 million dollar cars, though. It's on the cheaper side for a bonkers hypercar as crazy as that seems. The Black Bullet also runs on Premium fuel, which is the lowest octane available in some countries. While it doesn't get the best gas mileage...ok, by anything other than hypercar standards it gets abhorrent gas mileage, 13.1 mpg combined for those of you wondering, the lower octane, cheaper fuel will make things a little easier on your wallet. Gas mileage could stand to be better, though, and after a certain retail price diminishing returns begin to rear their ugly head. You're paying for marginal increases past a certain point, but those marginal increases matter a whole lot to certain customers; however, that doesn't stop a few cheaper cars from being comparable to the Black Bullet in plenty of folks' eyes. It's still quite a bargain for what it is, so don't fret over that statement too much.
This score probably doesn't come as a surprise to many of you. With all of these limits being pushed it's likely that modern tech isn't quite up to the task of handling everything the Horus Black Bullet can ask of it. Dual overhead cams, twin turbos, complex VVL and VVT systems all being revved to the moon, it's not really that much of a surprise that something wants to give. This car isn't threatening to fall apart from someone looking at it, honestly it's about on par with many sports cars, but keep in touch with your Horus dealer and make sure you have enough cash to cover repair costs when you buy this thing.
[No Score for this]
Now, the Black Bullet GT-L isn't a bad looking car by any means, but it may be a little on the plain side compared to other cars in its class. Instead of having the shouty, futuristic, concept car look of many other hypercars it opts for a simpler, understated appearance like that of many luxury cars. The front end of the car, with its massive grill and angular headlights, is the most aggressive and sporty slice of the exterior. The rear of the car, with its sleek, subtle, minimalist fixtures fits the luxury car theme perfectly, or at least it would if it wasn't for that massive wing. The use of chrome on this car is done quite nicely, makes it look pretty without blinding you on sunny days. I'd say it's a pretty good looking car, just maybe not flashy enough for potential buyers looking for that distinct hypercar look that screams "I cost 1 million dollars."
The Horus Black Bullet is among the best road cars of today. While it sports one of the most refined and well crafted interiors of the modern era, its performance leaves just a little bit to be desired for a car of its caliber. Harnessing that performance can also prove to be a little trickier and dangerous than we would like. The Black Bullet may also fall short by a small margin in some areas due to the compromises Horus made in order to make the car as versatile as they could. If you want a better example of performance and luxury blending harmoniously to create one of the most stunning machines to grace public roads, you'd best be prepared to look very hard and cough up a lot of money because it's going to be hard to find a car that does it better than the Horus Black Bullet GT-L.