All posts in “Rides”

Defender by Himalaya 110 Review: The O.G. Land Rover, Resurrected

Understanding Land Rover Defender restoration firm Himalaya nomenclature can be a tad confusing, so let’s clear it up right here at the start: Himalaya is the name of a South Carolina-based company that specializes in high-end restorations of the boxy Land Rover from the late ’80s and early ’90s. That company builds two types of Land Rovers: super-high-end versions with modernized interiors and powerful aftermarket engines, which are called “Himalayas;” and more basic versions that hew closer to the original Defenders in spec and spirit, each of which is called a “Defender by Himalaya.”

Or, to sum up: If a Himalaya has “Defender” in its formal name, it’s basically the closest thing you can buy to a brand-new version of Land Rover’s iconic four-wheel-drive box here in the United States. Jaguar Land Rover, after all, hasn’t sold the Defender 90 or 110 in America since new episodes of Seinfeld were the backbone of Must-See TV Thursdays — or anywhere else since early 2016, for that matter. (Not counting the limited-run Defender Works V8 models of 2018, which were as much a part of the regular production run as Aston Martin’s DB5 James Bond “continuation cars” were made for Goldfinger.)

While they’re generally made to order, Himalaya brought one of its lovingly-recrafted Defender 110 models up to New York earlier this summer for us to take a spin in — not just on the streets, but on the gnarly off-road trails hiding in the woods behind Monticello Motor Club.

The Good: The Defender by Himalaya is, in almost every way that matters, simply a new Defender — not a New Defender, mind you, but a new copy of the classic Land Rover whose basic shape can be traced directly back to the Series I of 1948. As such, it delivers all the joys that come with a simple, all-conquering Landie: simple, mechanically-based off-road capability that humbles most modern SUVs; an open-air driving experience that puts you closer to Nature (and, admittedly, the diesel exhaust belching from the tailpipe) than current vehicles; and a design that even people who know zilch about automobiles can identify.

Who It’s For: Die-hard Land Rover enthusiasts who will happily put up with the sacrifices of an old vehicle to gain driving purity.

Watch Out For: Any car designed in the early ’80s bears its share of quirks and peccadillos by modern standards, but the Defender is a whole different story. After all, it wasn’t designed to be a comfortable road vehicle; it was designed as a tool, off-road equipment made for the likes of farmers and soldiers. Seating is tight — my admittedly-long limbs had to take on a mantis-like fold in order to squeeze behind the wheel and work the controls. The engine’s specs seem laughable in this day and age. . The steering is downright nautical, both in feel and speed. And while it can clean the clock of practically any passenger vehicle off the beaten path, once you hit dry pavement, it feels shockingly out of place by modern standards.

Alternatives: Arkonik D110, East Coast Defender ECD 110, a used Land Rover Defender on Bring a Trailer.

Review: Reviewing a refreshed, improved version of the most iconic Land Rover ever isn’t like reviewing a regular car. The people considering buying one won’t be cross-shopping it against similarly-priced new SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class or the Porsche Cayenne; they likely won’t be looking at other capable four-by-fours like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or Toyota Land Cruiser. The folks interested in a restored or resto-modded Land Rover Defender know exactly what they want: a restored or resto-modded Defender.

The Defender by Himalaya 110 won’t disappoint those folks. While it’s very clearly a vintage Landie, it boasts just enough modern touches to make it more respectable to modern audiences. The LED headlamps slotted into those familiar sockets are the most apparent, but the changes go far deeper. The company builds its Defenders by melding older chassis to new bodies, but adds onto them with newer pieces. Those door handles may look original, but they’re better than new; they’re metal, where the old ones were plastic. And good luck finding any original Defender with upholstery as nice as the leather wrapping all eight seats in this long-wheelbase three-door.

Of course, there are the occasional anachronistic touches; the giant aftermarket screen mounted inside is hardly 1997-spec, and looks every bit as awkward in the militant interior as seventh graders at a Sadie Hawkins dance. But that’s a small price to pay for the added convenience of a modern-day infotainment system that delivers Bluetooth and other handy features.

And you won’t give a damn about any of that once you’re plowing through the rough stuff beyond the asphalt. The little turbodiesel’s 107 horsepower seems more appropriate for a lawnmower than an off-roader these days, but that engine is more than capable of pushing the SUV around with confidence. Drop it into low range, keep the loooooong stick shift bopping between first and second gears, and the Defender will crawl up and/or over just about anything in its path — including nearly three feet of water. Which, for the record, is doubly entertaining when doing it in a Land Rover with a canvas top rolled up, making the water lapping around the sides feel even closer than it actually is.

Verdict: If you’ve already sucked down the Defender Kool-Aid, a Defender by Himalaya is probably exactly what you’re looking for: the classic Land Rover, made better. It’s not as wildly revisionist as, say, a Singer-customized 911; if you’re seeking Bentley-esque refinement, AMG-like power or even modern Toyota Corolla creature comforts, keep on looking. But if the first thing you’d do with a time-traveling DeLorean is zip back to the ’90s and snap up a D90 or 110 from the local dealership, the Defender by Himalaya’s probably the right rig for you.

Defender by Himalaya 110: Key Specs

Powertrain: 2.5-liter turbodiesel inline-four; five-speed manual transmission; four-wheel-drive
Horsepower: 107
Torque: 188 pound-feet
Claimed Seating Capacity: Eight
Actual Seating Capacity: Four to five, depending on how long the legs of the people in back are

Himalaya provided this product for review.

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Audi’s Coolest Car Is Coming to America for the First Time

Langston Hughes once wrote, “A dream deferred is a dream denied.” Well, Hughes may have been one of America’s greatest poets, but he certainly wasn’t much of an automotive prognosticator, because after decades of looking on fondly from afar, U.S. buyers will soon finally be able to buy one of the coolest station wagons — nay, coolest cars — never officially sold Stateside: the Audi RS 6 Avant.

More specifically, the latest and greatest RS 6 Avant: a 592-horsepower two-box so quick it ought to steal the “speedwagon” name back from those Illinois dad rockers.

Granted, we Americans will probably be more impressed by the new RS 6 Avant than the lucky folks overseas who’ve had access to it for years. After all, its specs aren’t a massive jump over the previous model that dates back to 2013; it still uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and an eight-speed torque converter automatic. (Indeed, the new model’s 592-hp output is actually lower than the Performance sub-model of four years ago.) Still, there’s enough power that, when combined with the all-wheel-drive system’s traction, can launch the car from 0 to 62 miles per hour in a claimed 3.6 seconds en route to a governed 155-mph top speed.

Every RS model needs to handle as well as it hauls ass, however, so the RS 6 Avant offers an available torque-vectoring sport differential out back and a choice of two suspensions: a specially-tuned adaptive air suspension as standard, and an available sport model with Dynamic Ride Control, which uses hydraulic lines between kitty-corner dampers to push oil back and forth to reduce body roll.

Something the new model brings that people all around the world are sure to appreciate, however: One hell of an angry face. The latest addition to the Audi Sport performance line’s front end is the sort of lantern-jawed mug that could prompt the occasional Code Brown amongst slow-moving autobahn drivers when they see it bearing down on them at a closing speed of 90 miles per hour; the wide, trapezoidal front grille is accentuated by a pair of LED light strips on either side that jut down like Smilodon fangs, while the bulging hood seems to be straining to keep the power inside contained, and the narrow LED headlights bring a squint that would impress Clint Eastwood. Out back, there’s a new bumper to contain the thicc oval tailpipes and a small new fixed spoiler atop the rear hatch.

Of course, it’s an Audi, so the new RS 6 comes with an interior every bit as technical and glamorous as the exterior is fast and furious. The black-panel dashboard and infotainment system uses a pair of touchscreens in lieu of most conventional controls, a feature sure to impress often and infuriate occasionally. There’s a flat-bottomed steering wheel that connects to a progressive rack that builds boost as the yoke winds (and also can steer all four wheels, should you check the right option box). Behind that sits a new version of the VW Group’s “virtual cockpit” all-digital instrument panel, which brings new RS-specific gauges that reveal info like g-force, boost pressure and how much of the 590 pound-feet of torque you’re using at any given moment.

And of course, go past the rear seats, and you’ll find a capacious cargo bay that can put plenty of crossovers to shame. Not that they’ll be able to stick to that rear you long enough to turn envious.

The Jeep Wrangler Has a Secret Discount, But There’s a Catch

Jeep rarely offers cash incentives to buy a Wrangler. There’s never a need, since it usually sells so well. But today’s your lucky day: Right now, Jeep is offering a secret, unadvertised $1,000 dealer cash incentive on the Wrangler through Labor Day. Is now the time to buy? Potentially. There’s a catch.

The incentive, it turns out, is only on Wranglers that have the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the eTorque mild hybrid system. It wipes out the $1,000 premium buyers would pay for that more efficient engine over the standard-issue naturally-aspirated V6.

But here’s the aforementioned catch: The turbo engine only comes with an eight-speed automatic, which adds an additional $2,000 to the pricetag.

If you’re thinking about buying a Wrangler with an automatic, this is a good deal. It eliminates one of the big primary reason to stick with the V6. But if you’re one of the ever-decreasing number of people looking to stick with a stick, it’s still cheaper to forego the incentive, buy the V6 and row your own gears.

One other caveat: The $1,000 also a dealer cash incentive, not a manufacturer incentive. In other words, there’s no obligation for dealers to pass that incentive on to customers; a dealer having no trouble selling Wranglers may well pocket the cash. So, you might have to hop around looking for a dealer looking to move some inventory in order to make the most of this bargain.

5 Cars Under $35,000 That Prove Excitement Is Not Expensive – Read Our Reviews Now

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Aston Martin Unveils New Automotive Galleries And Lairs Service

Relying on brand recognition alone, we’re seeing upscale marques selling anything from champagne chests, consumers electronics, and a lot more. In the meantime, Aston Martin is dabbling with architecture to fulfill the desires of anyone for whom money is no object. The Automotive Galleries and Lairs is a project to create lavish spaces for your equally-expensive vehicles. This service is just one of the many exciting announcements at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.

Ideally, automakers stick to what they do best. This means that consumers will probably just see various vehicle models and their annual refresh every time. However, some have developed into icons of style and luxury that encourage these companies to branch out into new fields.

On the other hand, the British automotive company is making a bold move by offering something extraordinary on the menu. It might seem overkill by normal standards, but the rich and famous are no strangers to extreme opulence.

Just like any other structure, plans need to be made before work can even begin. Thus, clients will meet with the Aston Martin Design Team and work out the details alongside top-notch architects. This makes each project unique, which is exactly how people with money to burn want it to be.

Aston Martin’s Automotive Galleries and Lairs is an insane way to flaunt your wealth. As far as we know, the only limit here is your imagination as the team will gladly comply to turn your ideas into reality. For inspiration, there are a few examples on display that range from spaces with swimming pools, aquariums, and panoramic views.

Discover more about it here

Images courtesy of Aston Martin

Only 100 Units Of The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series Car Will See Production

Three years after its debut at the North American International Auto Show, Lexus is finally releasing its showstopper to the public. Only 100 examples of the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series Car will be available and it won’t take long to sell out. The month of August is all about automobiles and you will be seeing more of it here on Men’s Gear. So let’s check all the good stuff that makes this luxury coupe an enticing option for your next ride.

First of all, the form factor of this vehicle is sleek and sexy in every way. Lexus will be offering it in an exclusive Nori Green colorway that actually looks as appetizing as it sounds. The familiar spindle grille dominates the front end as it extends to the tip of the hood down to the bumper.

Its curves are all in the right places and give it an essence of speed even while at a standstill. Furthermore, the 20-inch forged aluminum wheels on the LC 500 Inspiration Series are like the icing to this exquisite cake.

The attractive aerodynamic exterior will become a beautiful blur as it zips by from 0-60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. This is possible thanks to the 5.0-liter V8 engine that pumps out 467 horsepower. The powertrain comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission to move all that power to the rear wheels.

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Car flaunts a lavish interior to match its alluring aesthetics outside. There’s a mix of Black Amber leather and Saddle Tan leather for a two-tone effect with Alcantara elements within. Pricing is currently unavailable but don’t it let it stop you from reserving one ASAP.

Reserve one now

Images courtesy of Lexus

The McLaren F1 LM-Spec Sold for $19.8 Million at Auction

That’s Slightly Less Than the Estimates

The McLaren F1 LM-Spec that went up for auction at the Monterey Car Week in California sold for $19.8 million, making it the most expensive McLaren F1 to ever be sold. This impressive number, however, was still slightly below estimates, according to The Supercar Blog

The RM Sotheby’s auction was expected to see somewhere between $21 million and $23 million for the car, but the bidding never quite climbed that high. The car is the real deal. It has the production number 18 and an immaculate service record and record of ownership. 

The car’s first owner had it in Midnight Blue Pearl with a black interior. When the car sold, its second owner decided they wanted to have the car altered. So, it was sent to Surrey to the McLaren facility there to be restored and reworked. What it looked like at the auction at the Monterey Car Week is how the second owner wanted the car. 

It has a Platinum Silver exterior, cream-colored leather-clad interior, and a large rear wing was added. The owner also had McLaren work on the enigne, adding new radiators and cooling elements as well as a tune. The V12 engine now makes 680 hp over the original 627 hp. Despite the fact that the car didn’t get what the estimates expected at auction, this is still the most expensive F1 ever sold. 

The Ugliest Crossovers and SUVs Ever Made

In recent years, SUVs and crossovers have consumed the automotive market. That dramatic sea change over the past couple of decades has put some strain on automakers: some companies rushed vehicles to market before they might have been ready; others converted cars into crossovers with a lift and a bit of cladding; a few incorporated bold design elements to distinguish their crossover from the school parking lot masses. Sometimes it worked

It took a while for companies to get things right. In the interim, however, carmakers were cranking out some spectacularly ugly vehicles. Here are five of the worst. (And you had to know which one would come first.)

Pontiac Aztek (2001-05)

Dunking on the Aztek for being ugly is like labeling Jimi Hendrix a great guitarist: It feels too obvious to mention, but it’s so apparent, it still warrants further discussion. The Aztek foresaw what would be popular with SUVs — family-friendly practicality, the appearance of off-road readiness, and even the rakish sloping roofline. Trouble was, it was just hideous. The front end looks like one Pontiac’s front end collapsed on top of another. And cheap gray plastic cladding took up approximately half the surface area of the first version.

Infiniti QX56 (2004-10)

The QX56 was Nissan’s first attempt at a luxury full-size SUV. One uninspiring SUV would have been fine, but the QX56 looked like three uninspiring SUVs Photoshopped together. It had a weird sloping front end — perhaps to soften its overall look and hide that it was riding on a truck frame? Then there’s the middle part, with the humped roof. The rear of the vehicle then flattens out into a boxy, standard SUV backside. Bonus points for the rear door handles on the C-pillar to make it look sporty?

Isuzu VehiCross (1997-01)

Idiosyncratic capitalization rarely portends well in the automotive world. The Isuzu VehiCROSS, as the company styled the car’s name, had two distinct visual features. First, it had a downright obscene amount of cladding covering the entire lower half of the vehicle. Second, it had a tiny bat-face grille, replete with fangs. True enthusiasts opted for the “Ironman” edition, which said IRONMAN on the hood — complete with a stylized “M” to look like a man. It’s best driven while sporting some period-appropriate frosted tips.

Jeep Compass (2007-10)

The current Compass is one of Jeep’s more attractive vehicles. It’s come a long way from the first generation pre-facelift version. Where to begin? The front end looks like a robot with jowls getting electroshocked. Towards the rear, Jeep threw in some sweet C-pillar door handles and weird, triangular D-pillar. The “COMPASS” badging etched into the rear bumper with an actual compass as the “O” ties the whole unfortunate look together.

Honda Crosstour (2007-15)

Honda inflicted the Crosstour on the world beginning in the 2010 model year. Initially named the “Accord Crosstour,” Honda removed the “Accord” to deemphasize the fact it was just a lifted Honda Accord. It’s sort of like Honda couldn’t decide whether this should be a wagon, a hatchback or a crossover — and met in the precise middle between the three. Also, clearly every Honda exec who signed off only saw the one front three-quarter shot where the car looks nothing like an echidna.

This Meyers Manx Is The Actual Dune Buggy From The Thomas Crown Affair

Fans of Steve McQueen are in for a wild ride as Bonhams teases a spectacular must-have item for collectors. You’re looking at the one and only dune buggy from The Thomas Crown Affair. That’s right, this vintage beauty right here is the Meyers Manx that the King of Cool and Faye Dunaway rode in the 1968 movie.

It’s clear that any automobile that McQueen gets his hands on becomes a legend of its own. There’s still enough time to scrounge up all your savings because this bad boy is hitting the auction block next year.

This radical off-road ride will be one of the premium items on offer at the 2020 Amelia Island auction. Being the gearhead that he is, McQueen sought the skills of off-road legend Pete Condos. Together, the duo began working on the dune buggy that will eventually become a star of its own.

The project is a mix of a Volkswagen chassis, a fiberglass body, mag wheels with huge tires and a Chevrolet Corvair engine. The power plant generates about 230 horsepower, which was enough to swiftly move the thousand-pound ride along with its two passengers.

Being in the movie alone is enough to make the Meyers Manx an instant hit. However, this one is the ultimate movie prop thanks to Steve McQueen’s personal involvement with its construction. Bonhams actually has a gem on its hands. Meanwhile, another dune buggy is likewise generating a big buzz. It’s thanks to its modern tribute to another one of McQueen’s machines – the Baja Boot. The Boot Buggy from Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus looks like it’s going to be a huge hit as well.

Check out Bonhams for more

Images courtesy of Bonhams

2019 Monterey Car Week Mega Photo Gallery | The best of old, new, on-road and off-road

MONTEREY, Calif. – Once again, we hit nearly every major event of Monterey Car Week from the Quail to the Pebble Beach Concours. This year’s highlights included an interesting mix of upcoming supercars and some more attainable future models, as well as some highly historic cars at auction such as a James Bond Aston Martin and an ill-fated Porsche prototype. See these cars and more in our collection of galleries below.

McCall’s Motorworks Revival

Pebble Beach Tour

Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Pebble Beach Details

Pebble Beach Concept Car Lawn

RM Sotheby’s Auction

Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction

Gooding Pebble Beach Auction

2020 Acura NSX

Acura Type S Concept

Aston Martin Valhalla

Bugatti Centodieci

De Tomaso P72 

2020 Drako GTE

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Ferrari P80/C

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster

Lamborghini Huracan Evo GT Celebration

2020 Lexus LC Inspiration 

Lotus Evija

McLaren F1s at the Quail

Pagani Huayra BC Roadster

2020 Rezvani Beast

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus Baja Boot

SSC Tuatara

The Drako Motors GTE Is a 1,200 Horsepower Electric Supercar

A Powerful Electric Based on a Fisker Karma

The Silicon Valley startup called Drako Motors has a new all-electric supercar called the GTE. The car is based on the old Fisker Karma chassis, according to Top Gear. Unlike the Karma, the GTE isn’t some high-end luxury hybrid. It’s a bonafide electric supercar with 1,200 hp. It also comes with an absolutely insane 6,500 lb-ft of torque.

the GTE can run all the way up to 206 mph before not being able to go any further. The car comes with a 90kWh battery pack, which is similar in size to the batteries used in Tesla’s machines. Drako has not stated a range, but we’d expect it to be similar to Tesla’s cars. 

The car comes with Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes as well as a special torque vectoring system, so it should ride, corner, and stop properly for a supercar. The company claims it will be a fatastic car on the twisties, by saying “cornering precision unlike any other supercar on the road today.” That is yet to be seen. However, the car certainly looks the part, and we’d expect the company not to be bragging too much. 

The car comes with four electric motors to produce all of that power. There’s a motor for each wheel. There are various drive modes, too, including a drift mode. The company is calling its system Quattro Manettino, which as Top Gear points out will probably annoy both Audi and Ferrari. 

Drako Motors has a fully functional prototype right now and is taking orders from customers. The company plans to build only 25 of the cars. Each one will cost $1.25 million. 

Lamborghini Reveals the Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster

A Special Roadster

At The Quail in Monterey, California, Lamborghini unveiled a special 63 edition roadster of the Aventador SVJ. Only 63 of the cars will be made. The 63 is significant to Lamborghini due to the fact that the company started in 1963. The car is special not only because of the fact that so few will be made, but also because there will be eight different designs used for the paint and exterior and interior elements. 

The car that was shown at The Quail featured a matt grey Grigio Acheso paint job and orange Arancio Dac accents. The 63 Roadster comes with a slew of carbon fiber accents and components inside and out. The cabin is fitted with plenty of Alcantara and Lamborghini’s patented CarbonSkin. 

The roof, engine cover, air vents, rim around the windscreen, and the side mirrors are all made of carbon fiber, according to GTSpirit. Other than the unique exterior and interior components, the car is an SVJ Roadster. It gets Lamborghini’s V12 engine that puts out 770 hp and about 531 lb-ft of torque. This makes the car good for a 0-60 mph time of just 2.9 seconds. It has a top speed of over 217 mph. 

2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Lamborghini has gifted the world a new Huracán, and it’s way smarter than the other supercars. The new Huracán Evo jacks up the aerodynamics and power, yes — but its real magic trick is the introduction of a new centralized computer that replaces the multitude of separate units for each vehicle system found in the previous model. The result is a car that works to anticipate what the driver is about to do, whether on the track or the street, creating a harmonious man/machine interface.

The Good: Well, it’s a Huracán, so the starting point is already good. The mid-engined, two-seat supercar receives a power bump to 640 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, some revised aerodynamics to enhance grip and stability at speed, and four-wheel-steering to carve through turns more precisely. Meanwhile, the new Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI) computer consolidates all the dynamic inputs and sensor data and metes out instructions for the car’s systems by the millisecond.

TL;DR: It’s fast, so you can go faster.

Who It’s For: Anyone with an affinity for the highest-tech enhancements to the driving experience. This is not an analog machine; it’s got a computerized dual-clutch transmission, the aforementioned digital central nervous system, and enough processing power on board to send Apollo 11 to the moon and back a million times over. In short, it’s a tech-nerd’s supercar fantasy.

Watch Out For: The system does require a bit of mental adaptation. As the car works to anticipate your moves, it can behave somewhat squirrely until your brain syncs up with what its brain is doing. (This is particularly true of the four-wheel-steering.) You have to get to know each other. This is true with any car, of course, but the Evo brings a lot of new things to the table, so it takes a few laps to get your head around it all.

Alternatives: In this universe, the competition is rare. There’s the Ferrari 488 GTB, of course — another mid-engine supercar, but with a twin-turbo 3.9-liter V8 instead of the naturally aspirated V10 in the Lamborghini. There’s also the McLaren 720S, which clocks in with even more extreme performance stats than the Ferrari.

Review: When reviewing cars like the Lamborghini Huracán Evo at a track like Willow Springs International Raceway, where journalists tried it out, you kind of have to think fast. Not because of the speeds you’re attacking the turns in — though that’s part of it — but to the brevity of the experience as a whole. Every second counts, and you need to compress your learnings into what invariably ends up being just a few hot laps.

This Huracán, with its newly-rewired digital control technology, makes that process simultaneously easy and impossible. Easy because the differences between this car and its conventional predecessors tend to stand out in relief — the four-wheel-steering, the anticipatory aligning of car and corner — but also impossible because there’s so much more to explore than in most cars.

That’s all due to the LDVI system. In short, the thinking is this: Most cars collect dynamic data from dozens of sensors and systems (brakes, suspension, engine, steering, etc.), and they all respond to one another. Lamborghini’s engineers have turned that thinking on its head. Instead of multiple computers taking input from other computers and commanding their own systems, all the data in the Huracán — supplemented by three accelerometers and three gyroscopes tucked into the car at its precise center of gravity — goes straight to a single computer, which commands all the other systems in harmony. If a regular car’s computers are jazz musicians riffing off one another, LDVI is a maestro conducting an orchestra.

All that means the Evo can analyze the road, the vehicle’s position and the driver’s movements — including the speed and intensity of those movements—and make an educated guess about what’s coming next and set up the car for each coming challenge, requiring the driver to make fewer corrective inputs.

At Willow, that proved the recipe for an exhilarating drive. The Huracán smoothed out turns brilliantly — at least, once I figured out what it was up to and stopped trying to fight it. While the computer was doing its thing (every 20 milliseconds, it should be noted), I also had the benefit of the new rear-wheel-steering system, which can pivot the back in sync with the front at higher speeds and opposite at lower ones.

Aerodynamically, there’s a new front splitter with an integrated wing and a newly redesigned rear spoiler, both conspiring to ratchet up the downforce. The car is more slippery, too, thanks to improved airflow through the front vents and past the wheels and a rear diffuser to even further clean up the air and enhance adhesion.

The full package makes the Evo far more than a mere refresh; these are serious upgrades to the Huracán. They’re also absolutely worth the price of entry. Once I’d completed my laps at Willow, now fully aware of how much the car is able to prime itself for each millisecond of drive time, I pulled into the pit and thought, for the first time, Yeah, this car gets me.

Verdict: Once you wriggle through a few introductory laps and learn the machine’s modus operandi, the Lamborghini Huracán Evo is fantastic. There’s no other car on the road that has made this profound a leap — both conceptual and practical — in vehicle dynamic control theory. In a few years, all cars will use this centralized strategy, and everything else will feel laughably archaic.

2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo Key Specs

Powertrain: 5.2-liter V10, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive
Horsepower: 631
Torque: 443 pound-feet
0-62 MPH: 2.9 seconds
Top Speed: 202 mph

Lamborghini hosted us and provided this product for review.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

First SSC Tuatara reportedly delivered to customer at The Quail

At the end of last month, SSC issued a press release saying the first customer delivery of its Tuatara would take place August 16 at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering. Coronation day has come and gone, yet we’ve not heard news nor seen photos of the handover. No matter, a complete Tuatara did grace the Quail lawn, alongside a naked version stripped to its carbon fiber superstructure. We secured plenty of photos of the production hypercar hailing from the Pacific Northwest, and of its engine marked by the label, “1.3 Megawatts.” That refers to the 1,750 horsepower available from the angry 5.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 when run on E85. Regular premium fuel will “only” get a driver 1,350 horses. At some point in the future, those performance figures are meant to add up to a 300-mile-per-hour top-speed run.

SSC’s release also said, “future customers and members of the press have had the opportunity to experience its extreme performance and track-level handling, hailing it for its comfort, drivability, and driving experience unlike any other car on the market.” Said reviews of the knee-high coupe are, like the first customer and key handover, M.I.A. at the moment. We look forward to seeing all of them sometime this quarter. Until then, enjoy the high-res gallery. We really do wish SSC would have more fun with the color choices, though; the Tuatara on Pebble Beach duty last year was bathed in a light, matte gray, and was sensational.

Lotus Evija whirs onto Quail lawn to tempt 130 prospective customers

At last, we’ve met the Lotus Evija in its compact, electric-charged glory. The carbon-fiber-bodied electric supercar looks like liquid metal poured over some skeletal biologic form. The coupe represents the first all-new Lotus since the ten-year-old Evora went on sale, the first Lotus developed wholly under Geely ownership, the first in-house all-electric vehicle from Hethel, the first Lotus with a one-piece carbon fiber monocoque tub, and the first one Hethel HQ will send to the Nürburgring to break a lap record. Lotus announced that lap record tilt saying it should be “comfortably quicker” than the all-electric NIO EP9 road-legal EV that ran a 6:45. That has since been broken by the 6:05 figure Volkswagen achieved with its ID.R, a purpose-built electric race car. The ‘Ring doesn’t yet divide EV times into classes, so we’d still like to see Lotus go for outright honors.

That is indeed unfair, but the Evija has the numbers to at least make a go of it. The four electric motors in the ID.R produce a combined 680 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque to move a car weighing 2,500 pounds. The Evija’s 50 percent heavier at 3,700 pounds, but has almost triple the horses and more than double the torque, its two motors making a combined 2,000 horsepower and 1,254 pound-feet of torque. It does have active aerodynamics, including a moving rear wing, but it’s still short a bunch of race aero, a giant front splitter, and a DRS button.

No matter how the German caper turns out, we expect Lotus will be able to find homes for all the Evijas it offers for sale. Only 130 will be made, each one starting at around $2.1 million.

The EB110 Gets A Thrilling Tribute With The Bugatti Centodieci

As the festivities are winding down at the 2019 Monterey Car Week, big announcements are popping up like crazy. Take for instance the debut of the Acura Type S Concept celebrates the model’s return after a decade. Moreover, Rolls-Royce is making a heartfelt gesture with the Ghost Zenith Collection to mark the end of the lineup. These are the things that keep us on our toes during this time of year. Another big name manufacturer makes a splash with the reveal of the Bugatti Centodieci and it will knock your socks off.

The brand is already a global icon that’s synonymous with extreme performance. The Centodieci, as the name implies, is 110 in Italian. We believe that it’s a great choice knowing that Bugatti is marking its 110th anniversary this year. According to the French automaker, it will be a limited edition release with only 10 examples in the works.

Furthermore, this coupe is a thrilling tribute to the iconic EB110 that debuted in 1991. We’re thinking that the luxury marque is crafting the Centodieci to show us what the EB110 looks like if it was a new model.

The Bugatti Centodieci is clearly another insane machine with 1,600 horsepower at its disposal. This originates from the 8.0-liter W16 engine that likewise allows it to hit a top speed of 236 miles per hour. This is electronically limited, so this means that it is capable of more than that. Meanwhile, testing shows that it can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 2.4 seconds and reach 186 mph in a little over 13 seconds.

More details from Bugatti

Images courtesy of Bugatti

Lamborghini unveils Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster and Huracan EVO GT Celebration

Lamborghini didn’t stop at removing the roof of the limited edition Aventador SVJ in order to create the Aventador SVJ Roadster. Instead, the Italian carmaker puts its Centro Stile design division in a room with the Ad Personam customization division, and they came up with colored-keyed takes on what’s called the Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster. The “63” refers to both the year Ferruccio Lamborghini founded his car company, and the number of open-topped SVJs that will be made. The eight exterior themes that will be exclusive to this car start with the one shown on the Pebble Beach concept lawn, in matte Grigio Acheso with details like the “SVJ” and “63” graphics in Arancio Dac. Matte Titanium center-lock wheels get Arancio locking plates. 

The interior will offer three themes in the SVJ’s usual materials, Alcantara and Lamborghini’s CarbonSkin. A badge on the steering wheel plays off the “63” logo inscribed on the back wall in lasered Alcantara and CarbonSkin. The show car’s cabin rocks it up with Grigio Octans, Grigio Cronus, and Arancio Dryope (orange), with the carbon fiber seats finished with white Q-Citura cross-stitching. The news about this car is little more than a public service announcement, though, since all 63 examples are already sold.

Lamborghini put two more surprises in its Monterey trailer, the first being the Huracán EVO GT Celebration. Thanks to the Grasser Racing Team and Paul Miller Racing, Lamborghini’s won both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row. Limited to 36 units — the combined race durations in hours — the Huracán EVO GT Celebration plucks the GRT livery motif for its street version. The display version wears Verde Egeria and Arancio Aten, but there are nine combinations possible by combining the three available primary body colors and three available secondary colors.

The Huracán’s hexagon design motif is used to frame the “11,” the number of the GRT racer that won Daytona and Sebring this year. Badges on the sides read “Daytona 24” and “Sebring 12,” and the driver’s B-pillar is adorned with a carbon fiber plate inscribed with “X of 36.” Race fans who want to go all the way can order a Lamborghini Squadra Corse shield placed on the roof between Italian and U.S. flags, and laurel wreaths on the rear fenders.

The interior borrows the primary exterior color for cross-stitching on the new racing seats introduced on this car. The Huracán EVO GT Celebration will only be offered to North American buyers, and if it isn’t sold out already, it can’t last much longer.

The final thrill comes from the Urus, which will expand its color palette for 2020. Lamborghini brought one of them to the Peninsula in Arancio Borealis, “a four-layer paint emphasizing the depth of the color.” Because no one wants a shallow orange.

The Rezvani Tank X Is The Badass SUV We’ve Always Wanted

The rich and famous normally travel in style. Its either first-class accommodations on ships and planes or via private and luxurious modes of transportation. For the most part, when you’re not sailing or flying, a fancy automobile is always ready to provide service. Have a chauffeur drive you around in your luxury vehicle or take the wheel in one of your exotic supercars. If you don’t find any of these appealing, then something like the Rezvani Tank X might be what you’re looking for.

In fact, we would rather pick this beast of a machine over any upscale ride. Perhaps it is the way that this SUV just exudes a confident vibe that makes it so attractive from all angles. Nevertheless, looks along just won’t do. Thus, Rezvani knows what its discerning clientele need and probably want as well. With some fine-tuning in the hands of experts, the Tank X is a luxury-tier 1,000-horsepower overlanding juggernaut that knows no equal. Producing all that power is a 6.2-liter supercharged Demon V8 engine.

Strength is not the only thing going for it. Starting off with a Jeep Wrangler chassis, the Rezvani Tank X is purpose-built to perform even in the roughest of off-road adventures. Each one sports top-of-the-line FOX suspension systems and GRID off-road wheels with all-terrain tires for heavy-duty gripping power. When you need a protection package with your 4×4, go for the Military Edition. This is a comprehensive version of the Tank with a tactical set of upgrades that’s on par with most combat-grade vehicles.

Get it here

Images courtesy of Rezvani

Aston Martin DB3S Up For Auction

When you hear Golden Age of Racing Cars, what do you think of? Probably the ‘50s. This era birthed what seems like countless hand-built cars designed from scratch by some of the most phenomenally talented people in automotive history. One such car is the Aston Martin DB3S, now up for auction at RM Sotheby’s.

These care were so excellent and ahead of their time their drivers had to be equally exemplary behind the wheel to wield their full potential. Recalling it now, it’s funny how tracks like Le Mans, the Mille Miglia, and the Green Hell of the Nurburgring seemed no more than just public roadways closed off for racing. Which is to say it pushed pilots to great heights, and also great dangers.

The Aston Martin DBS3 represents this time, this milieu, this particular moment of time. Pundits considered it a radical upgrade over the DB3 in 1953. W.O. Bentley and professor Robert Eberan von Eberhorst of Auto Union shed some significant weight off the car. Lightening the load gave way to maximize the potential of its three-liter inline-six engine.

The Aston Martin DB3S above you see is perhaps one of the most significant Aston Martin rides in recorded history, and if you want it, expect to pay a pretty penny. It’s up for grabs now over at RM Sotheby’s, only takers worthy of this historical treasure welcome. Offered with a spare race-prepared engine, by the way. Make sure to hit the link below to get more information.


Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Aston Martin Valhalla In Action on the Racetrack For the First Time

Aston’s Vallhalla Takes On Silverstone

To celebrate Aston’s debut of the Valhalla in North America, the company decided to showcase a video of its new car tearing around Silverstone. The video was shown at The Quail. In the video, the Valhall and the Valkyrie both shoot around the track looking like they’re right where they belong. 

The video is less than a minute long and goes by way too quickly. We could sit around a watch these things on the racetrack all day long. Still, it’s nice to see the Valhalla and Valkyrie doing their thing. The Valhalla in the video is what the company calls a dynamic concept. That means they’re still tweaking the car as it gets closer to the end of development. 

The Valhalla and Valkyrie are similar cars in many ways, but the Valhalla is designed to be a bit more livable day-to-day whereas the Valkyrie is a hardcore track monster. This is evident just by looking at them. The Valhalla is smoother and softer. It’s door entry and egress is a little easier to handle, and the interior is a little more spacious and comfortable. 

While Aston hasn’t said exactly what the car’s performance will be, it has said the vehicle will get a turbocharged V6 engine that should put power out to all four wheels. The power number is supposed to be around 1,000 hp. This should make the car good for a 0-60 mph time of about 2.5 seconds. 

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