There's something both thrilling, and oddly relaxing, about watching two technological marvels hurtling themselves across the earth at tremendous speeds.
Perhaps that was the draw behind the idea to pit a $2 million supercar against an F-35 fighter jet in a drag race organized by the auto enthusiasts on the "Top Gear" YouTube channel.
In April, the BBC posted a video of journalist and "Top Gear" host Chris Harris behind the wheel of the aforementioned multimillion-dollar car — specifically, a McLaren Speedtail that comes with a starting price of about $2 million and boasts a 1,036-horsepower engine and a top speed of 250 miles per hour.
Harris' goal was to take on an F-35 "Lightning" jet, made by Lockheed Martin and piloted by a member of the U.K.'s Royal Air Force, in a drag race on a closed, triangular race course. Of course, the F-35, with a top speed of roughly 1,200 miles per hour, had a distinct advantage.
"To put it simply, this is the most sophisticated fighter jet the world has ever seen," Paddy McGuinness, the "Top Gear" presenter, says in the YouTube video of the F-35, which costs more than $80 million and weighs more than 29,000 pounds.
However, because the triangular "Top Gear" race course requires the military fighter pilot to bank the plane three times over the course of the race, he tells the presenters beforehand that he'll likely only be able to reach a top speed of 550 miles per hour, while flying roughly 250 feet above the course.
See the results of the race in the YouTube video. (The actual match up starts at about 3:45.)
While Harris and the McLaren Speedtail were able to briefly pull ahead of the fighter jet, in the end the F-35's immense power allowed the jet to easily pull away with an unsurprising victory.
"That is one of the coolest pieces of engineering I've ever seen," Harris says of the F-35 after the race. "If I'm going to lose to anyone, I'm going to lose to that."
This wasn't even the first time "Top Gear" had tried to pit a supercar against a fighter jet. In 2007, former "Top Gear" host Richard Hammond raced a Bugatti Veyron — another multimillion-dollar supercar that reaches top speeds of more than 260 miles per hour with over 1,000 horsepower — against the Royal Air Force's Eurofighter Typhoon. Not surprisingly, the Typhoon fighter jet, which can reach top speeds of over 1,500 miles per hour, also bested Hammond and the Bugatti in that race.
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