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From terrifying brakes to laser beams: how far car tech has come

Then – 100hp was pretty hot

Car Tech

Back in the 1970s, you were lucky if your sports car had 100hp. If you bought a standard MGB, it didn't even have that much. Anything capable of hitting 60mph in under 10 seconds or cracking 100mph was considered quick.

Meanwhile, a 70s supercar like the Ferrari Daytona cranked out a claimed 350hp (probably a lot less, in reality) and would very likely be blown away by a basic Porsche Boxster today - thanks to new technological advances.

Now - 400hp hot hatchbacks

Car Tech

If there's any class of car that captures the incredible gains in performance, it's probably the hot hatchback.

It's actually hard to get one's head around the fact that Mercedes now sells the A45 AMG, a hatchback with 380hp and significantly more performance than a 70s supercar.

That's what technology does for you - it takes a tiny 2.0-litre engine, adds a turbo, computer-controlled engine management and some traction-control algorithms to create a genuine supercar killer.

Meanwhile, supercars themselves have morphed into 1,500hp, 267mph hypercars like the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. For the future, the all-electric Tesla Model S points the way.

That's a conventional four-door car capable of hitting 60mph in 2.8 seconds. 'Ludicrous Mode' indeed.