During my “Roads, Passion & Motoring” event, I was surprised by the statement that I could keep the Dallara Stradale with me for the coming week in addition to the event, so that I could drive a few kilometers on top with it. I didn't need to be told twice. I've already booked hotels with two colleagues for the upcoming days, since we were going on a road trip anyway.
Well said and done. We're chasing down some curves. Toyota Switzerland equips us with a wrapped Toyota GR Supra MK5 and, via the Autobau Erlebniswelt and Rent a Classic, probably the most radical driving machine for our project: the Dallara Stradale. Two sports cars that could hardly be more different. But this couple fits perfectly for our crazy ideas. Because both vehicles have similar driving characteristics and performance. The performance deficit in the Toyota can be skilfully compensated for by the dual-clutch transmission to the manual Dallara. It also serves as a transporter for our luggage. So what more could you ask for?
That's right, if possible no rain and enough sunscreen. Both available. cars full of fuel. Let's go!
Day 1 - Monday
Well rested, we leave in the morning towards Germany. More precisely, to the Black Forest, across the border near Koblenz, to Todtmoos, to enjoy a delicious lunch there. Of course we have to enjoy the way to the fullest, choosing secluded, winding side streets where we can approach the driving potential of the vehicles undisturbed. It's not surprising that the Dallara has unbeatable handling. Due to the optics, extreme driving characteristics were to be expected. But as an experienced and sporty driver, you don't want to push the physical limits to the full on any public road. The car can do more than I could have ever imagined. With the right tire, the manufacturer advertises that the Dallara Stradale is able to achieve up to 2G of lateral acceleration. A value that many normal passenger cars do not even reach with an emergency brake! Speaking of emergency braking; If you, as a driver, really get on your irons, or have to get on, you're happy if a colleague can collect your eyeballs that have been thrown out. The brakes bite so hard that the stability of the road surface is soon called into question. The middle pedal of the handset requires a lot of feeling and practice.
At most, the first 150km were pure pleasure. After lunch we drive via Freiburg im Breisgau to Mulhouse in France, where we spend the first night. Mondays can definitely be worse.
Day 2 - Tuesday
After breakfast we drove to the Cité d'Automobiles in Mulhouse to have a look at the gigantic collection of vehicles there. In 1957, the Schlumpf brothers (Hans and Fritz) bought a former wool spinning mill, in which they housed their secret collection a few years later and continued to expand it until 1976. After bankruptcy during the oil crisis, the Schlumpf brothers had to hand over their vehicle collection to the "Association du Musée National de l'Automobile", which is still responsible for the administration of the collection and the museum that opened in 1982. Today's exhibition includes over 450 vehicles. The main attraction is undoubtedly the number of 87 Bugatti models.
It is interesting that during the demolition of the old Parisian market halls "Quartier des Halles", the brothers acquired most of the columns (with attached lights) that supported the roof structure of the market hall. In the museum they are used to support the timbers of the large shed roof in the museum. A visit to the once controversial warehouses is definitely worthwhile even as an automotive layman.
After lunch we move on to the next stage. The rule is: catching up our delay. From Mulhouse we drove on the autobahn through Basel, Bern, to Thun and from there to the Bernese Oberland. A small pillow as a kind of lumbar support is recommended for long motorway journeys in the Italian nutshell, since bucket seats tend to come from the unergonomic side of life. Looking back, I was very grateful for that. To be honest, there are many more pleasant things than sitting out in a strong wind for two hours under the scorching sun. I highly recommend a helmet for the Autobahn. Additionally, the neck muscles are challenged by the headwind so that the head does not do somersaults. On country roads, sunglasses and a cap are sufficient if you are not taller than 1.85 meters. The small windbreaker in front of the driver and co-driver plays a big part in preventing flies from slamming into your face while driving.
Our route takes us over the Jaun Pass and the Route des Mosses. In my opinion one of the most diverse roads in Switzerland. It is recommended to make a stop to have a look into the deep gorges. We continue to Aigle, across the national border to get to Evian-les-Bains on Lake Geneva.
Day 3 – Wednesday
We start our third and unfortunately last day at a local bakery to strengthen ourselves for an intensive day. "Cars & Croissants" in front of the bakery led to a small gathering. Our duo attracts people everywhere, stares, thumbs, smiles while driving as well as interested petrolheads and intrigued kids at gas stations and in parking lots aren't rare.
We return to Switzerland along Lake Geneva and drive through the Valais to Obergoms. From there we climb the Grimsel Pass and let the two sports cars off the leash. Pedal to the metal, throttle valves wide open, from second to third gear with a crisp shift, 4000rpm, let go of the gas pedal, brake, the wastegate blows, the turbo whispers, double-declutching, engage the clutch, around the curve and full throttle again from 30 to 80km/h, pure background noise. Again and again. Smiles per gallon is more than just the order of the day here.
Arrived at the top of the pass, bright sun, cool wind, breathtaking view, a cool drink and local salsiz with fries and good colleagues complete a perfect lunch. Who does not know it; one would prefer to remain seated.
But a Dallara Stradale and Toyota Supra are enough arguments to escape the real dream, throw yourself into the bucket seat and continue driving. Down the Grimsel Pass, along the reservoirs and rugged rock faces to Innertkirchen, we reach the foot of the Susten Pass. One of my top 3 passes in Switzerland. A road made up and put together of what feels like the best corner of any race track in the world puts a smile on every car fan's face. Added is an incredibly diverse topography of canyons, tunnels, rock faces and viewpoints. A true happy-place for us! Heaven on earth to be exact.
The Dallara is like a nimble weasel with the lurking and tense power of a cheetah, always ready for the next sprint.
The gas response is incredibly sharp and builds up the boost pressure in the 2.3 liter four-cylinder within a short time. It doesn't matter whether the sprint is done in second or fourth gear. The Dallara Stradale is unstoppable. Eats every curve without hesitation. Power steering; none. That's a good thing. The steering is extremely direct and responsive, so every second of distraction could end up being unfavorable. The physical limits can hardly be reached. The car can be controlled as precisely as if it gets driven on rail tracks. Our route continues over the Klausen Pass to Glarus. A pass that is known for its enormously deep gorges and bumpy roads, but amazing views, too.
We'll end our crazy tour with a cool drink on Lake Zurich before heading home for good.
400hp, 850kg curb weight and a handling to die for. That distinguishes the Dallara Stradale. No doors, no roof and no windshield; After all, it would just be unnecessary weight. Which is ultimately true and Colin Chapman once preached: "Adding power makes you faster on the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere."
And although the Dallara might be able to drive a lot quicker compared to the Toyota Supra, both couldn't match better together. It was an amazing experience like no other. Who has ever thought we might get that far with an age of 23-24 years.
And the best and most surprising part of our roadtrip to end this review: The Dallara Stradale has an average fuel consumption of approximately 6.5-7.0 Liters on 100 kilometers. Impressive, but makes sense due to the low weight and the flat silhouette. Impressive in any perspective.
Thank you to the ones who made this adventure possible!