All posts in “Convertible”

New Ferrari SF90 Spider puts a 211-mph hurricane of wind in your hair

The new Ferrari SF90 Spider has been unveiled as the open-top sibling to the Prancing Horse’s SF90 Stradale. The SF90 Spider thus becomes Ferrari’s first plug-in-hybrid roadster, and with nearly 1000 horsepower on tap and four driven wheels, performance is solidly in the supercar realm. The new Spider maintains the Stradale’s  211-mph top speed, and it rockets from 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds.

Like other Ferrari Spiders dating back to the 458, the SF90 is a retractable hardtop. The top is made of aluminum, which saves a claimed 88 pounds over more traditional materials, although the Spider’s stated dry weight (3,682 pounds) is still 220 more than the Stradale. The retractable roof can be lowered or raised in 14 seconds and can even be operated when the car is moving at low speeds. A power rear window that can be raised even when the top is stowed provides a measure of wind-buffetting protection for the cockpit. Additionally, the center section of the cockpit has been redesigned to help manage airflow: A central trim piece between the seats channels air away from the occupants’ heads and shoulders and into a double-layered trim piece at the top of the tunnel. The rest of the cabin mirrors that of the SF90 Stradale, with a 16-inch curved display screen, a head-up display, and a steering wheel with haptic-touch switches on the spokes.

The SF90’s plug-in-hybrid powertrain is unchanged from that of the SF90, which means a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (which alone makes 769 horsepower), supplemented by a trio of electric motors fed by a 7.9-kWh battery pack. One motor, located between the engine and the gearbox and making 157 horsepower, directly bolsters engine output, while two other 97-hp units each power one front wheel, giving the SF90 all-wheel drive as well as torque vectoring across the front axle. Total output stands at 986 horsepower, and the engine’s grunt is dispatched via Ferrari’s latest 8-speed DCT transmission.

Because the Spider’s roof stows where the engine-heat vents are in the Stradale, Ferrari engineers had to redesign the heat-management system for the powertrain. They introduced transverse louvers in the rear screen to exhaust engine heat. Compared to the coupe, the Spider also has a specially designed rear spoiler with both a fixed and a movable element, which allows it to either minimize drag or maximize downforce.

Impressively, the engine remains visible in the SF90 Spider even when the top is retracted. Ferrari designers also reworked the car’s B-pillars to seamlessly integrate the removable top. 

The Spider, like the SF90 Stradale, can be had with the optional Assetto Fiorano track pack, which includes Multimatic shock absorbers, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, other lightweight carbon fiber and titanium elements that shave 46 pounds, ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and, most critically, an available two-tone livery “that further underscores the car’s racing vocation.”

U.S. pricing has not been announced, but we’re told the Spider command a tariff about 10 percent more than the Stradale, currently $507,300. Besides a shopping bag full of money — or, perhaps, bitcoin — SF90 Spider buyers will also need a good bit of patience. U.S. deliveries aren’t set to begin until about a year from now, at the end of the third quarter 2021.

Limited-edition McLaren Elva receives heritage-laced Gulf livery

McLaren tapped into its vast racing heritage to create a Gulf-themed version of the limited-edition Elva. Its partnership with the Pennsylvania-based oil company began in the 1960s, and it continues to this day.

Like every Gulf-colored car released over the past few decades, the Elva receives light blue paint with orange accents. It’s not the first model to feature this color combination, and it’s undoubtedly not the last, but it wears it particularly well. It’s not fitted with a windshield — it doesn’t need one, according to McLaren — so the separation between the exterior and the interior is blurred, and even the dashboard and the door panels are light blue.

Photos of the interior haven’t been released, but we spot a pair of white seats separated by a Gulf-colored panel. Oddly, the car is not equipped with a rear-view mirror. McLaren Special Operations (MSO) has already applied heritage-inspired paint colors to two examples of the Elva, and both wore a dashboard-mounted mirror.

McLaren announced plans to make 399 units of the Elva, but it dropped that number to 249 after analyzing feedback from its customers. Pricing starts at $1.7 million, and the Gulf-themed model displayed at the SpeedWeek event held on England’s Goodwood track illustrates one way to customize the roadster. MSO’s earlier creations paid homage to Bruce McLaren’s 1964 M1A race car and his 1967 M6A racer, respectively.

Ansar Ali, MSO’s managing director, explained the Gulf-colored Elva celebrates the renewed partnership between McLaren and Gulf. Customers are now able to order the historic blue and orange combination directly from the factory regardless of whether they’re buying an Elva, a 765LT, or another one of the British company’s models.

SpeedWeek starts today and runs through October 18. Spectators are exceptionally banned from the event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but you can catch all of the action online. We’re expecting to see a handful of new car launches, timed supercar laps, a huge auction, and, of course, dozens of race cars going flat-out.

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The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera leads this month’s list of discounts

The average price of a new car in America last year was $35,932. This month, the biggest discount off the retail price of a new car in America is awfully close to that figure at $34,001. For those keeping track (as we do every month with a post like this one), that’s by far the largest discount we’ve seen so far this year, and it means buyers of the 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera are paying an average transaction price of $273,819.

The British automaker calls the DBS “the ultimate production Aston Martin.” With a 715-horsepower V12 engine pulsating underhood, sufficient to push this grand touring coupe from 0-60 in a skosh over 3 seconds and on to a top speed of 211 miles per hour, who are we to argue?

If that’s too rich for your blood — and let’s be honest, it’s still a whole heck of a lotta money — the next biggest discount might be at least a little more attractive. According to data provided by TrueCar, buyers of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT are seeing discounts of $23,103 off the car’s average sticker price of $159,995. That’s a heck of a lot of car for $136,892, though admittedly still expensive. But at 14.4% off retail, it’s a better deal than the $132,122 average transaction price of the 2020 BMW M8. The BMW’s $16,497 discount equals 11.1% off the M8‘s $148,619 sticker.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

Ferrari SP1 and SP2 get faster with Novitec exhaust and tune

Finally, the poor saps who own the Ferrari SP1 and SP2 have an aftermarket solution for more horsepower. The car was just a total dog with the 809-horse 6.5-liter V12 it came with from the factory. 

We jest.

But for real, Novitec just released a tuning and performance package compatible with the SP1 and SP2 that ups the performance to an even higher bug crushing (with your face) 844 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. That’s 34 horsepower and 45 pound-feet more than normal, reducing the 0-62 mph run from 2.9 seconds to 2.8 seconds. Top speed is simply said to be above 186 mph, at which point the bugs and your face become one.

The extra power comes thanks to a full Novitec exhaust system (headers on back) and a Novitec tune. You can select between stainless steel or Inconel (lightweight material used for Formula 1 car exhaust systems) pipes. Additionally, you can have the exhaust plated with fine gold for better heat dissipation — plus you get to say that your exhaust is plated in gold. You’ll be able to choose between a system with electronically controlled exhaust flaps, or a standard one-noise system. Novitec says the one with exhaust flaps can go especially quiet.

If the power isn’t enough, Novitec also offers aftermarket springs that lower the ride height by 1.4 inches to give the car a lower center of gravity. Aftermarket wheels developed with Vossen are also available. They’re wrapped by 275-section-width rubber in front and 335-section-width rubber in back.

And lastly, if the Ferrari interior you chose wasn’t exactly what you wanted (but why wasn’t it?) Novitec will also customize the interior to “any desired color.” Pick your leather and Alcantara, and have at it.

Novitec didn’t release prices, but Ferrari didn’t either when it revealed the SP1 and SP2 originally. Just know that many zeros are involved. For the 500 folks who own an SP1 or SP2, it very likely won’t matter what the price is.

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Revealed: Aston Martin shows first V12 Speedster prototype

The V12 Speedster — Aston Martin’sliving show car” — has moved from the realm of dreams (and digital renderings) to the physical world. Here it is in the metal. In the composite? A bit of both, we’d reckon, but we can say this for certain: it’s definitely not glass.

Aston Martin’s 88-unit, $950,000, topless supercar is officially entering the physical development stage “in earnest,” the company’s spokesperson said, and here are the photos to prove it. Aston Martin had originally planned to start delivering V12 Speedsters in the first quarter of 2021, but whether that’s possible in the world of COVID-19 remains to be seen. 

The company says this prototype is intended for “dynamic development,” meaning it’s going to be used to fine-tune road and track performance. Based on the details Aston Martin has released so far, we’re inclined to believe that it will be a treat in both departments.

Fortunately, we have Aston Martin’s previous renderings.

Aston says the V12 Speedster is powered by a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 making 700 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to the rear wheels by way of a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. The British luxury builder claims this combo is good for a run to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.

The platform itself is made by combining elements of the DBS Superleggera and Vantage. It has 21-inch forged, center-locking wheels, huge carbon ceramic brakes and adaptive dampers.

As you can see from the gallery, Aston Martin did not include any photos of the prototype’s interior, and we suspect that’s because it doesn’t actually have one yet — at least not anything worth showing. That’s just as well. This is a single-purpose toy, not a touring coupe, and anything more than a well-anchored set of seats and intuitive driver controls is just a bonus anyway. 

Toyota GR Super Sport hypercar previewed at 24 Hours of Le Mans

Here’s your yearly reminder that Toyota is building a hypercar. Just like it did in last year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota has provided us a preview of the GR Super Sport. 

This car will run in the hypercar class in the World Endurance Championship, but the regulations require that anyone who enters will also need to produce a minimum of 20 road cars based on the race car. Toyota says the car we’re looking at in photos here is a GR Super Sport development car that is customized as a convertible and wearing the now-recognizable GR camouflage. Remember the same camo on the GR Supra a couple years ago?

Details are scarce on the ground concerning the road car version headed our way, but here’s what Toyota said about it: “The GR Super Sport epitomizes Toyota Gazoo Racing’s commitment to use motorsport to make ever-better road cars for the enjoyment of customers, and it symbolizes the ever-closer relationship between Toyota Gazoo Racing race and road car products.”

From what we’ve witnessed so far, more GR in Toyota road car products is a very good thing. The GR Yaris (that isn’t coming here) is a great example of what Toyota is capable of doing when it harnesses its engineering might. As for this car, it’s likely going to have near (or over) four-digit horsepower and a price tag that’ll buy you many lifetimes of Camrys. Its relation to the now three-time-Le-Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid should help it immensely. And in case you missed it, Toyota just happened to win Le Mans again last weekend.

Chevy Corvette Z06 rumor suggests 9,000 rpm redline from flat-plane crank V8

It’s time to head back to Rumor Town with the Chevrolet Corvette. This time, Motor Trend says it has a scoop on the upcoming Z06 and ZR1 versions of the mid-engine sports car. Although, if what MT claims is true, we might as well just call them supercars.

We’ll start with Z06. Motor Trend’s unnamed source says it will reportedly be packing a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated flat-plane crank V8. And yes, it will be a double-overhead-cam design. Redline will be 9,000 rpm, which would make it one of the highest-revving engines in the world. Chevy has foretold that it would use a road-going version of the C8.R’s engine in a future Corvette variant. Packing it into the Z06 would make perfect sense and bring the Z06 back to its naturally-aspirated roots. There is one aspect of the report we’re skeptical of: the horsepower figures. The source claims this 5.5-liter V8 will make 625 horsepower, which seems mighty high for a naturally aspirated engine. That’s 113.6 horsepower/liter, which is a big step up from the Mustang Shelby GT350’s 101 horsepower/liter. Put simply, it’s Ferrari and Lamborghini territory for a vehicle that will cost a mere fraction of those cars. We’re not saying GM can’t do it, but we sure will be wildly impressed if it can.

The sound of one heavily camouflaged Corvette running around with an exotic scream trailing it is indication enough that GM is cooking something rather devilish up. Torque is rumored to be well over 400 pound-feet, but not more than 500 pound-feet. This will be a high-revving affair, after all. Motor Trend’s source said “it’s going to be a screamer.” The engine in the racecar makes just 500 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, but racing restrictions don’t have to be abided by on the street car. That said, the street car must also pass emissions and run on pump gas, so it’s a two-way street. Previous rumors have suggested that this engine comes aboard the Z06, and they’ve offered even more info including wheel/tire packages, active aero and a possible center-exit exhaust system.

As for the ZR1 also mentioned by Motor Trend, its source says the 5.5-liter V8 will gain a pair of turbochargers. The rumor is approximately 800 horsepower for this version, but we won’t put much stock into this prediction just yet. A hybrid Corvette isn’t out of the question either, with the possibility of adding an electric motor to the ZR1 for an ultimate Corvette. We’re fairly certain this version will have enough power to escape Earth’s gravity. The last bit of info gleaned from this report is on a Grand Sport model. MT’s source claims that there will be no Grand Sport, which is a real shame to hear. The Grand Sport was arguably the best version of the C7 Corvette in many ways.

Timing for all of this is totally up for debate, but we wouldn’t put it past Chevy to introduce the Z06 within a year from now. The rumored 9,000 rpm redline already has us swooning.

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2021 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Xago is all about the hexagons

Every modern-day hypercar needs to have loads of limited-production special editions. Even the most exclusive cars such as the Bugatti Chiron aren’t exclusive enough. And as a result of needing to satiate the demand for special hypercars, there are some odd limited editions. The latest is the 2021 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Xago Edition. It’s special because of hexagons.

Well, it’s not just hexagons. It also celebrates Lamborghini’s Ad Personam customization program and the fact that customers can now participate in the program virtually instead of flying out to Italy. As it so happens, this special Aventador can only be ordered through the virtual version of the program.

So what’s the connection between an online customization program and hexagons? We have no idea. And the connection is more tenuous when you see that Lamborghini says its hexagonal patterns for the car were inspired by the hexagonal clouds on Saturn’s north pole. Yes, you read that right. Oh, and the name? We also don’t know, but it might just be that they’re the middle letters of Lamborghini’s design theme called “hexagonita.”

Among the hexagon details are silver patterns that fade in and out on the paint. The interior upholstery features a hexagonal pattern all the way down, too. Outside of that, the customer gets to pick the paint colors, which will also be reflected by contrast panels on the seats. Otherwise, it’s a regular Aventador SVJ, which is still pretty exciting with a blistering Nürburgring lap time and 770 horsepower.

Only 10 of these hexagonal Aventadors will be built, and that leaves us a bit vexed. Shouldn’t Lamborghini build a number of these cars divisible by six? A very mild hex upon the person that missed the opportunity to sextuple down on the hexagon theme.

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The Rolls-Royce Dawn leads this month’s list of discounts

If you’re one of the few readers of this site who is in the market for a $350,000 Rolls-Royce Dawn, well, first of all, good for you. And you should be prepared to keep some extra money in your pocket, too, as the drop-top Roller leads this month’s list of the largest monetary discounts with an average of $14,733 taken off the machine’s $359,250 sticker price. That means buyers are paying an average transaction price of $344,517 for the 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn this month, according to data provided to Autoblog by TrueCar.

An intriguing pair of supercars land in second and third positions this month. The 2019 Acura NSX is selling for an average of $145,174 this month, which represents a 9% discount, or $14,373. With an eerily similar 9% discount of $14,079 comes the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage, which has an average transaction price of $142,002 this month. The Maserati Quattroporte is up next with an average discount of $13,634.

Another Rolls-Royce model lands in the fifth spot, but instead of the aging Dawn it’s the brand-new Cullinan SUV. Although the luxury ‘ute boasts a large discount of $12,427, its staggeringly high retail price of $332,750 means buyers are getting a little less than 4% off the sticker. More interesting to most buyers will be the 2019 Lincoln Navigator, which is one of our favorite full-size SUVs in America. Buyers of Lincoln’s range-topping vehicle are getting average discounts of $11,761. That represents a 13.4% savings for a final price of $75,940.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

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Hybrid Sián Roadster becomes Lamborghini’s most powerful convertible

Lamborghini chopped off the Sián’s top to create its most powerful convertible model to date. The limited-edition Sián Roadster features an innovative hybrid powertrain and a wide panoply of customization options.

Viewed from the front, the Roadster is nearly identical to the Sián coupe introduced at the 2019 edition of the Frankfurt auto show. Its long, low nose wears a carbon fiber splitter and Y-shaped LED headlights. It’s the same story out back, where the shape of the lights again draws a subtle parallel between the Sián and the Countach built between 1974 and 1990. The engine remains visible through a horizontal wings made with carbon fiber, but they’re flanked by deep scoops that start right behind the occupants and flow into a set of air vents.

Surprisingly, the Roadster is just as aerodynamic as the coupe. Autoblog learned it will not come with any kind of roof.

Technology reigns supreme in the cabin. The driver sits in front of a digital, configurable instrument cluster, and a touchscreen integrated into the slanted center stack displays the infotainment system Lamborghini designed in-house. The air vents are 3D-printed, and buyers can customize them by adding their initials. Nearly every part of the interior can be personalized, including the upholstery and the type of the materials used to make trim pieces.

Mitja Borkert, the head of Lamborghini’s design department, previously promised no two examples of the Sián coupe will be identical. It’s reasonable to assume that every Roadster will be equally unique.

The Sián lost its top without losing any of its mechanical panache. The Roadster is identical to the coupe, meaning it’s equipped with Lamborghini’s first production-bound hybrid system. The powertrain consists of a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated V12 engine and an electric motor integrated into the transmission. It draws electricity from a supercapacitor to inject 34 horses into the driveline, bringing the setup’s total output to 819 horsepower. Lamborghini quotes a 2.9-second sprint from zero to 62 mph, and a 217-mph top speed.

Using a supercapacitor instead of a lithium-ion battery pack is not the easiest or cheapest way to build a hybrid, but engineers claim it’s the best solution. It’s three times more powerful than a battery with a comparable weight; put another way, it’s three times lighter than one with a similar power output. It stores enough electricity to let the motor power the Sián at ultra-low speeds, like when parking or backing up. More important, the jolt of electricity it sends to the wheels ensures the car continues to accelerate even when the transmission is changing gears.

Engineers found ingenious ways to cool the drivetrain. For example, the cooling vanes integrated into the rear end are made with a patented material that reacts to heat. They gradually rotate open as the exhaust gets hotter.

Lamborghini will make 19 examples of the Sián Roadster, and they’re all spoken for. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the coupe model (which is sold out, too) allegedly starts at $2 million before options. Enthusiasts who want to add the Sián to their collection will need to wait until a used example comes up for sale. In the meantime, they can pick up a 23-inch long, 3,696-piece Lego Technic replica, or they can spend $3 million on one of the 63 Sián-inspired, 4,000-horsepower yachts an Italian shipbuilder named Tecnomar will launch starting in 2021.

2020 Ferrari F8 Spider First Drive | Al fresco driving without compromise

LOS ANGELES — Humanity may be hermetically sealed off by facemasks and lockdowns, but the 2020 Ferrari F8 Spider is ferociously gulping gallons of atmosphere into the cabin as I dice through Malibu’s canyon roads. At least the al fresco exotic can button up in a pinch: Give it 14 seconds at speeds up to 28 mph, and the two-piece hardtop envelops the cockpit, shielding the Giallo Modena two-seater from breathy bystanders.

Microbes were the last thing on my mind while piloting Maranello’s roadster du jour, especially in the remote confines of the coastal Santa Monica mountain range. With a 710-horsepower twin-turbo V8 tucked behind me, it’s easy to see why: this $396,994 prancing horse absolutely rips, ticking off a claimed 62-mph time of 2.9 seconds (figure around 2.7 clicks to 60 mph). With a long enough leash, it should whisk to 211 mph.

Ferrari says Spider customers are more likely to have a passenger and less likely to visit a race track. Sounds about right. In this application, emotion does hold more sway than outright performance stats, especially when you’re traversing the perfect road with sunlight kissing you and your co-pilot. When behind the Spider’s steering wheel —  which, like an F1 car, crams buttons, switches and dials for turn signals, wipers, high beams into a concentrated space — the sense of occasion is palpable. The Spider still manages 0-60 mph and top speed numbers identical to the coupe (though .4 seconds are sacrificed on the sprint to 124 mph). But some stats still matter: The open-air model is 154 pounds heavier (though 44 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the 488 Spider), and any convertible is inevitably flexier and less responsive than its closed-roof counterpart. For those keeping score at home, there are also some nitpicky stylistic concessions that come with the cabrio. For instance, the juncture of the C-pillar to the rooftop isn’t quite as fluid, and the gorgeous, red-headed engine isn’t on display like it is in the coupe, but rather is relegated to visual anonymity.

At least the powerplant is still raucous, though its acoustic imprint is less clear in this form since the folding hardtop mechanism is nestled above it like baffled layer cake. Though the 3.9-liter V8’s thrum is still loud enough to broadcast its presence for miles, the effect is incrementally less intoxicating within the cockpit. However, the mill does become more vocal when the centrally positioned tachometer gets within sneezing distance of the 8,000-rpm redline. In both coupe and convertible form, the F8’s twin-turbo power is inarguably engaging, even if you miss the wonderfully aural experience of the late, great 458’s naturally aspirated V8. While the old model had a sensory advantage, it can’t compete with the F8’s power production, which peaks with 710 hp at 8,000 rpm and 568 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,250 rpm. Not bad for its relatively diminutive, 3.9-liter displacement.

Clicking the small, steering wheel-mounted manettino alters your driving experience dramatically. Sport, the mildest setting next to Wet, curtails power quite a bit, and keeps the F8’s tail tucked in through corners. While straight-line acceleration is breathtaking — especially when the tires are warm enough to properly hook up — in Sport mode, one could quickly forget that the mid-mounted V8 churns over 700 horsepower. It’s even easier to be deceived in the corners since the electronic aids subtly curtail engine output in order to keep things tidy. But dial the clicker up to Race, or especially TC Off (which disables traction control), and the powerplant’s furious energy unleashes with tire-spinning gusto. Despite the considerable 58.5% of weight over the rear axle, the drivetrain is simply more tenacious than the rubber, yielding easily modulated slides when the throttle is goosed. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports are exceptionally sticky, but they’re simply no match for the monster power of the blown V8.

But it’s not all mechanical grip and rear-drive brawn: this Ferrari has a few electronic tricks up its sleeve, among them a brake vectoring system that was first introduced in the 488 Pista. By braking individual wheels when necessary, the F8 feels light on its feet, ready to juke its way through the twistiest of corners with eye-opening agility. Surprisingly little of my tester’s $94,494 worth of optional equipment is dedicated to performance, though the carbon fiber steering wheel (part of a $7,593 package) does impart a feeling of steering precision by reducing rotational inertia, and the optional carbon racing buckets ($9,112) convey a more direct link between my seat-of-the-pants and the road. These are incremental (and arguably aesthetic) improvements. But hey, if you’re already window shopping a sports car that starts at $297,250 (before the $3,950 destination fee and $1,300 gas guzzler tax), what’s another $100k for bits and baubles?

Getting into a high-speed rhythm proves surprisingly easy once you’ve acclimated to the F8’s sense of athleticism and immediacy. Though not quite as manic as special performance variants like the 488 Pista (or dialed-to-11 spinoffs like the F12 TDF), you’re best off managing this bad boy with a heightened attitude of mindfulness. Velocity accumulates nearly instantaneously, especially since the tachometer needle seems to find the 8,000-rpm redline quicker than you expect. The rev limiter feels surprisingly soft, but if you’ve decided the smooth, quick-shifting, dual-clutch seven-speed transmission isn’t for you, you’d better keep an eye open for those rapidly approaching revs. At least the LED-equipped steering wheel (part of the aforementioned $7,593 package) flashes red and blue to alert you of the impending power crescendo — and perhaps a subtle nod to law enforcement eventualities? Every Ferrari on the market comes equipped with standard carbon ceramic brakes, and the Spider’s operate with a bit of pedal effort, but outstanding feel and stopping power. At least they feel easier to modulate once they’re properly warmed up. And speaking of temperature, my F8 was spec’d without creature comforts like cooled/heated seats, though it did, thankfully, come with a $4,219 (!) Apple CarPlay option, which displays phone mirroring on the small dashboard-mounted screen next to the big, yellow tach.

If you’re obsessing over the skimpy standard equipment list and moaning about the real estate-like cost of entry, allow me to state the painfully obvious: The Ferrari F8 Spider probably isn’t for you. But if you’re a zealous (and spendy) driver with a hunger for stunning Italians, meandering roads, and healthy doses of Vitamin D, this open-air Ferrari just might be what the doctor ordered.

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Maserati switching to in-house twin-turbo V6 and turbo four

Automotive News has been able to put some output figures to the two primary engines that will power Maserati’s renaissance. Last year the Italian luxury brand sent notice that it would terminate its deal to with Ferrari to use the Maranello-sourced F160 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and F154 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8. As new Maserati models appear and current models are overhauled, the brand will begin installing either Maserati’s own 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, or an FCA-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The V6 will greet the world from the middle of the MC20 supercar poised for debut in September, assuming nothing goes worse with the world than it already has.

Rumor from Mopar Insiders and Allpar forums is that Maserati began building its V6 based on Alfa Romeo’s 690T V6. Alfa Romeo puts the 690T in the Stelvio and Giulia Quadrifoglio, the engine’s development having started seven years ago with Ferrari’s F154 V8 as its heart. Tuned for speed, peak output could reach 542 horsepower. After making its home in the racy coupe, the V6 will also serve a new midsize Maserati crossover coming next year, as well as the next GranTurismo coupe and GranCabrio convertible. In the crossover, power is apparently limited to no more than 523 horses.

In Maserati’s new V6, one piece of technology that permits such high output and emissions friendliness is turbulent jet ignition (TJI). German supplier Mahle has been developing the technology for at least 10 years, and put it to use in Ferrari’s Formula 1 engine about five years ago, after which Japan’s Super GT manufacturers picked it up. Instead of a spark plug igniting fuel directly in the combustion chamber, TJI places the spark plug and an injector nozzle at the top of a “jet ignition pre-chamber assembly.” The injector shoots a mist of gasoline into the pre-chamber, the spark plug fires, and the force of ignition in the pre-chamber sprays the combustion through tiny holes at the bottom of the pre-chamber into the cylinder as the piston rises. Mahle says the shorter burn and improved combustion spread means cleaner-burning gas engines that emit fewer emissions.  

AN says that the “new V-6 engine will be ‘electrified’ in some form.” It’s not clear if that means all versions of the V6 will get some sort of hybrid assistance, or if — as had been thought — there will be a non-hybrid unit. The last report we got on motivation for the MC20 strongly suggested a non-hybrid V6 at launch making around 600 hp, followed by a hybridized V6 with all-wheel drive good for 700 horsepower. The hybrid form is said to eventually replace the TT V8 in the upper-tier Ghibli and Quattroporte, but not before the Ferrari-sourced engine steps up to 582 hp later this year.

When AN writes that “Electrified versions of new V-6 eventually will replace 3.8-liter Ferrari-built turbocharged V8 in Maserati Levante, in two versions with 523 hp and 572 hp,” the opening adjective and the higher output lead us to believe in the chances of a non-electrified V6. 

The second engine will be the Global Medium Engine (GME) 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. That engine does duty right now in other group products such as the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, and Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, topping out at 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The mill makes its Maserati debut in the Ghibli hybrid that launches online on July 15.

McLaren 600LT Spider Segestria Borealis is a spider edition of a Spider

It’s been a year and change since we drove the McLaren 600LT Spider, and McLaren has just wrapped up building the last few of this car’s run for North America. To celebrate, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) put together 12 Segestria Borealis special edition 600LT Spiders. They will be the last 12 available for sale in the U.S.

As a quick reminder, the 600LT Spider is at the very top of McLaren’s Sports Series. At its heart is a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. That’s good for a 0-60 mph time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph. The 600LT Spider turns heads without a wild paint scheme, and the Segestria Borealis just makes this car stick out even more. McLaren says the design was inspired by the Segestria Florentina, a venomous spider pictured below for your nightmares. Since it’s a spider edition of a Spider, McLaren jokingly named this car the “Spider Spider.” How fitting.

The twin Napier Green stripes that run from the nose of the car to the top-exit exhaust are meant to symbolize the spider’s fangs. The spider it’s based on is black, which the Borealis Black paint is meant to represent. It’s a fairly special black that features deep green and purple undertones depending on the light. Yeah, sounds intimidating to us. There’s Napier Green pinstriping found all over the car, most of which can be seen lining the aero bits to make them stand out. The Napier Green paint also covers the brake calipers hiding inside the forged, gloss black wheels.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a spider-themed car without webbing. McLaren has used a web motif on the rear wing, side mirrors, seat headrests and the seats themselves. Yes, it is slightly childish, but it fits the theme. There are additional Napier Green accents found throughout the cabin, as well.

McLaren says each of the Segestria Borealis cars are equipped with the MSO Clubsport Pack, which includes carbon fiber racing seats, carbon fiber interior trim, titanium wheel bolts and glossy carbon fiber fender louvers. McLaren also threw in (for free!) the Bowers and Wilkins audio system, McLaren track telemetry, nose lift system, parking sensors and an alarm system upgrade. Fancy.

All of this will cost you $275,500. The Segestria Borealis 600LT Spiders should be arriving to a few McLaren dealers soon where they’ll be made available to purchase.

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Lamborghini turns the Huracán EVO into a tail-wagging rear-wheel-drive roadster

The latest evolution of the Lamborghini Huracán Evo loses its top and its front axle to deliver a wind-in-your-hair driving experience whether it’s going forward or sideways. The company proudly explained the newest addition to its line-up relies on hardware — not software — to make driving as engaging and thrilling as possible.

Lamborghini added Amazon Alexa integration to the Huracán earlier in 2020, but there’s no guarantee the digital assistant will hear your voice commands when you’re driving flat-out with the roof down. The two passengers sit low in the Huracán, and they’re merely inches away from a naturally-aspirated, 5.2-liter V10 that screams and shouts as it develops 610 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. These figures are a little bit lower than the ones posted by the 10-cylinder when it powers the all-wheel drive Huracán Evo.

The rev-happy V10 spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that’s quick when it needs to be, and docile when the occasion calls for it. Hitting 62 mph from a stop takes 3.5 seconds, meaning it’s there before you’ve reached the end of this sentence, and its top speed checks in at 201 mph.

Lamborghini re-tuned the Performance Traction Control System (P-TCS) to give the driver as much grip as possible in a wide variety of situations. If you don’t want grip, however, the Huracán Evo is more than happy to go sideways thanks to clever, gyroscope-based technology that allows its rear end to break loose and limits the engine’s torque output if it detects the oversteer angle crosses a pre-determined threshold. This function works when the driver selects Sport mode using a steering wheel-mounted switch; it’s off in Strada (or street) mode.

Even supercar manufacturers need to inject a generous dose of connectivity into their cars, and Lamborghini is no exception. There’s an 8.4-inch touchscreen in the center stack that displays an infotainment system the firm developed in-house. It allows the front passengers to browse the internet on-the-go, make hands-free phone calls, and load Apple CarPlay. Android Auto isn’t available, so motorists without an Apple device are out of luck.

The 3,326-pound rear-wheel drive model stands out from its all-wheel drive counterpart thanks to model-specific front and rear ends shared with the hardtop variant. Lowering or raising its power-operated soft top takes 17 seconds, even at speeds of up to 30 mph. The rear window can be lowered to better hear the V10, too.

On sale now, the Lamborghini Huracán Evo Rear-Wheel Drive Spyder (yes, that’s its full name) carries a base price of $229,428 in the United States before taxes enter the equation. Deliveries will begin in the summer of 2020. Enthusiasts can work directly with Lamborghini’s Ad Personam program to personalize their car.

Lamborghini resumed production in its historic Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, factory after a brief coronavirus-related hiatus, and 2020 is nonetheless going to be a busy year for the firm. It’s preparing to introduce a track-only, V12-powered supercar with 830 horsepower on tap, and it told Autoblog it will take the Urus — its only SUV — racing before the end of the year. Meanwhile, another team within its research and development department is busily working on a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid variant of the Urus due out sooner rather than later.

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Ferrari SF90 Stradale Spider spied out testing for the first time

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is the most powerful and most tech-forward road car to come out of Maranello ever. It’s a plug-in hybrid that puts out a combined 986 horsepower between the boosted V8 and three electric motors. So, of course it’s getting a convertible variant.

These spy shots are our first look at what is likely the SF90 Spider. It’s not exactly clear that this heavily covered up Ferrari is a convertible at a glance. However, the shark fin antenna has been moved from the roof to the rear deck, indicating to us that it might not work on the roof anymore. The bump for the new location is around where we’d expect the engine cover to be. As for the rest of the car, Ferrari does a hell of a job making this supercar look like a shapeless blob. The dual exhaust exits in the same place as the coupe, mounted high up on the rear fascia. Its big, scalloped side air intakes are also semi-visible.

We can’t see the taillights, but Ferrari has left part of the headlight element uncovered. These closely resemble the look of the standard SF90 Stradale. They’re relatively small, horizontal in shape and have small, powerful-looking LED beams.

Expect the Spider to be nearly as quick as the coupe that’s rated to go 0-62 mph in just 2.5 seconds. The all-wheel drive Ferrari is equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Ferrari estimates an electric range of 15.5 miles when the battery is fully charged, so it’ll only be useful for short trips. Deliveries for the coupe are expected to begin this year. We haven’t heard any hard timing for a convertible yet, but expect a reveal sometime in the next year or two.

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2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo has the biggest price discount in America

Right now, buyers of the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo are paying an average of $248,000 to drive the brand-new supercar off the dealer lot. That’s a hefty chunk of change, but it represents $16,269 off the car’s average $264,969 retail price, according to data provided to Autoblog by Truecar. That’s the largest discount in America on a new vehicle for the month of April, 2020 when judged by the dollar amount in savings off the sticker.

It’s not all that uncommon to see a lot of money taken off the sticker price of expensive luxury cars. This month, right behind the Lamborghini sits the 2019 BMW 8 Series with a few bucks shy of $11,000 in savings, which is hardly surprising. Though it’s a very sleek and entertaining car in some of its various incarnations, it hasn’t exactly proven to be a hot seller for the German automaker. The fact that there are a total of 15 (!) possible configurations probably doesn’t help. Two other BMWs, the 2020 7 Series ($10,164 in savings) and the 2019 i8 ($10,145) are also on the top 10 biggest discounts list.

In between that BMW sandwich are the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Acura NSX. It doesn’t really matter which one a buyer chooses to drive off the lot, either way lopping off more than $10,000 off the sticker price means the electrified supercar will cost just under $150k.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

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McLaren Elva production cut from 399 units to 249

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt revealed the production quota for the new Elva speedster will drop from 399 units to 249. The boss explained lopping volume by 38% with, “the feedback from our customers is that they think the car should be more exclusive than that, so we’ve capped it at 249.”

While it’s to be expected that owners investing $1.7 million in a specialized road car would promote exclusivity — and thereby residual values — it seems dubious that McLaren would return 150 down payments if the automaker had 399 orders. More likely, the global market for windscreen-less roadsters, no matter how technologically advanced, couldn’t absorb all 399 Elvas on top of 500 total Ferrari SP1 and SP2 Monzas, 88 Aston Martin V12 Speedsters, 40 Pagani Huayra BC Roadsters, and 12 Bentley Bacalars.   

The production revision puts the Elva in company with the McLaren F1. Ron Dennis would have built more F1 road cars, but the market (just 20 years ago!) wasn’t ready for a supercar that cost $810,000 before special requests, so production ended after 106 road and racing chassis’ and a complete set of parts for another. The Elva represents technical high points for McLaren, too, being the company’s lightest-ever car outside the F1, able to hit 62 miles per hour in under three seconds, and announcing its presence with the dual-exit “Nirvana” titanium exhaust. The handling, designed to be less intense than that of the Senna but more supple than that of the Speedtail, kept engineers up late due to the Elva being lighter than the Senna yet more powerful.

Nevertheless, even without sharing its rear lights with an Italian bus, as the F1 did, the Elva may have had a hard time convincing shoppers it deserved to be the second-most-expensive model in the carmaker’s Ultimate Series range, at the same time as being the least practical. The Elva runs about $700,000 more than the Senna and $500,000 less than the Speedtail. A lightly used P1 can be had for as low as $1.2 million.

Autocar writes that build slots are still open for the model Flewitt called “a uniquely modern car that delivers the ultimate connection between driver, car and the elements,” and if you’re in the market, their values just went up. McLaren will begin building Elvas when Speedtail production ends later this year or early next.

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Bentley designers show off how custom the custom coachbuilt Bentley Mulliner Bacalar can be

One of the draws of the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, besides its gorgeous two-seat roadster style, is that it’s a unique custom coachbuilt car. The company touts the fact that not a single piece of the exterior is shared with another Bentley. It will always be particularly rare, too, since only 12 will be built. But the unique, custom nature of the car extends beyond that to giving customers nearly free rein with interior components and colors. To show this off, Bentley designers created six gorgeous example models that have us wishing the company would make a few more than 12 Bacalars.

Speaking broadly, customers will get to choose unique exterior paint, but the interior is perhaps the most interesting, as choices will include bespoke fabrics, piping, stitching and dash materials. The first of these shown in the gallery is one of our favorites, named Clerkenwell. It features two shades of green leather, and some contrasting green tweed fabric on the seats and the dash, and it’s matched with huge swaths of a light wood veneer that stretches from the dash to the doors. The Greenwich interior that follows is also eye-catching with its oxblood leather, gray tweed, and two kinds of 5,000-year-old Riverwood veneer, part of it left as open pore, and the other part given a gloss finish.

The other trims in order of appearance are Fulton, Menlo, Brickell, and Randwick. These show additional variations on leather color, and some of them swap the wood veneer for carbon fiber, or the tweed for Alcantara. And of course, all six of these cars get their own corresponding paint colors. Let us know in the comments which ones you like the best, and here’s hoping Bacalar buyers get really creative with their cars.

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McLaren Elva gets another retro paint scheme from McLaren Special Operations

You may have noticed that McLaren’s official brand color is a bright shade of orange. That dates back to Bruce McLaren’s M6A Can-Am race car of 1967, the first to feature the all-orange paint scheme and the car that helped him win his first Can-Am championship that year. So what better way to honor a wild open-top race car than by painting the wild open-top McLaren Elva supercar in the same color?

The McLaren Elva M6A Theme is the second race car-themed Elva to come from McLaren Special Operations (MSO). The group offers customization services to McLaren customers, particularly unique paint and carbon fiber finishes. The special was revealed on Twitter, and it is quite faithful to the 1967 car. It’s finished in a unique orange that looks a little less bold with more of a pearl finish than the glowing solid orange of the race car. It’s paired with big simple number circles featuring the number “4” like one of the race cars. On the sides, a metallic stripe is added to mimic the chrome divider between the top and bottom sections of the Can-Am car. It also gets the same “McLaren Cars” logo and Bruce McLaren’s signature down the side. As cool as this is from a historical standpoint, the orange really shows off how the body blends right into the interior, something McLaren did to evoke the feeling of being outside and exposed to the world, rather than hidden inside the car’s cabin. The dark launch color was far less effective at conveying that feeling.

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As previously mentioned, MSO did another race car-themed Elva, a black and white car inspired by an older 1964 McLaren M1A race car. Clearly there will be one of each, but McLaren hasn’t put any limits on the designs, so it’s possible there may be multiple examples in the car’s 399-unit run. We also wouldn’t be surprised if McLaren rolls out some other motorsports-inspired liveries in the future, as it has many famous racecars to pull from. The reddish-orange and white Honda-powered Marlboro F1 cars of the late 1980s and the black and silver Mercedes-powered F1 cars of the early 2000s both seem like strong choices. Or if McLaren doesn’t do it themselves, maybe a rich reader could commission one painted as such. Though we wouldn’t want to tell that person how to spend their $1.69 million (or more) on their car.

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2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S dressed up with Exclusive Manufaktur parts

The last time the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur overhauled a 911 Turbo S, the result was a more powerful limited edition called the Exclusive Series, with carbon fiber racing stripes and carbon wheels. Stuttgart’s couturier is at it again with the 2021 911 Turbo S, this time to show off what’s possible with off-the-shelf Exclusive Manufaktur components, the same way it did recently with the Taycan’s SportDesign Package Carbon.

The makeover begins with a coat of Indian Red paint. As far as we can tell from perusing Porsche forums, Indian Red has a long and convoluted history with, but little difference from, Guards Red. The naming seems dependent on international market, model year, and which Porsche factory built the car. We make the point because the Porsche USA configurator offers Guards Red but not Indian Red. 

The configurator does, however, present the choice of the staggered, center-lock Exclusive Manufaktur wheels that were fitted to that low-volume 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. The rims add $2,490 to the price. Normally painted Platinum Silver, for this application the wheels receive a silver and black finish that could cost more. The exterior comes with additional alterations including black-rimmed LED Matrix Design headlights for $970, clear taillights for $990, and rear side air intakes in high gloss black for $600.

Plenty of Indian Red has bled into the cabin, the hue running along the doors, the length of the instrument panel, and around the center console. That is a no-cost option, which is pretty special from a carmaker that charges $370 for a rear windshield wiper and considers the $900 painted black brake calipers an exterior performance option. There are no such gimmies for the extended red accents in the tachometer ($420) and dash-mounted Sport Chrono clock (also $420). Deleting the “S” logo on the seat headrests in order to put the Porsche crest there requires $290. In case that switcheroo causes occupants to forget the particular model they left the garage with, embossing the center console lid with the Turbo S logo can be done for $340.

Those aren’t the only upgrades being prepared for the new GT. CarBuzz found early photos of a new SportDesign Package and Aerokit designed for the Turbo S. On the Carrera Coupe, the optional SportDesign Kit costs $4,890 to add a new lower front bumper and splitter, deeper, body-colored side sills, and new rear bumper with a matte black diffuser. Carrera buyers can also get just the SportDesign front fascia for $3,240, while the Aerokit includes all of that and adds a fixed, high-rise rear wing for $6,910. We don’t have detailed info yet on the breakdown of the Turbo S packages, but combined, they install the new lower front fascia, sharp side sill extensions, new rear fascia with a reshaped diffuser, two large oval exhaust pipes instead of the four square pipes, and a new active rear wing design with curled-up edges.

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