All posts in “Supercars”

Koenigsegg made a short film, so you obviously need to go watch it now

Somebody get the Academy Awards on the line. Koenigsegg makes films now

The short film above (which you should absolutely watch) was produced, scripted, cast and made entirely in-house by Koenigsegg employees. Seriously, is there anything these people can’t do? It stars Christian von Koenigsegg (the CEO himself) and a number of other Koenigsegg workers trying their hand at acting.

It’s called “Time to Reign,” and Koenigsegg even came up with a name for their production company: A Spare Time In-House Koenigsegg Production. Frankly, that’s an apt name for everything Koenigsegg does, and it all ends up being stupendous. We’re glad to see Koenigsegg found something to do to keep them all busy during quarantine. It appears to be shot in Angelholm, Sweden.

We won’t spoil the fun, so give the film a watch. Oh, and keep watching to the end, because there is a post-credits scene. 

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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 is the wrong year to launch a car, but Czinger is moving full speed ahead

Los Angeles-based startup Czinger has remained relatively quiet since it unveiled the 21C, a 3D-printed plug-in hybrid hypercar, in February. Its plans to present the model at the 2020 Geneva auto show were derailed when the event was canceled, and it decelerated its operations to comply with California’s COVID-19-related lockdowns, but work never stopped behind the scenes. We caught up with the brand to get a better idea of where it stands.

Jens Sverdrup, the young brand’s chief commercial officer, told Autoblog engineers began testing prototypes on the road and on the track in August 2019. “This is not one of these stories where you see new companies coming out with a mockup or a computer rendering; we have fully functioning cars, and we’ve spent a significant amount of money on them,” he said. Testing abruptly stopped in the spring, fine-tuning a 1,233-horsepower car wasn’t considered an essential activity, but the data gathered in late 2019 and in early 2020 was encouraging.

“We know enough about the car’s performance to say our numbers are conservative,” he explained. “We have a lot of work to do in the area of refinement, but we haven’t experienced any major issues. Our car is well designed and well thought-out. We have test rigs, so the chassis had gone through [about 280,000 miles] of testing before we even started test-driving the car,” he added. Building a car that goes really fast in a straight line and around a bend is relatively easy compared to making it comfortable and docile to drive around town. Czinger wants the 21C to tick the speed and refinement boxes, because the market for bludgeon-like supercars no longer exists.

On-road testing stopped, but development continued. Czinger’s engineers didn’t spend the lock-down period playing Mario Kart on the Wii. Sverdrup revealed the company’s research and development department made several small changes, like improving the 21C’s downforce and shedding weight. It’s too early to tell how these tweaks will affect the car’s zero-to-60-mph time, which is pegged at 1.9 seconds, or its 268-mph top speed. However, he stressed the firm funds product development on its own instead of using deposits to pay for it.

“We’ve not been chasing deposits to fund our R&D. This approach makes us very different from many of the other brands we tend to be compared to. It feels really good not to [rely on deposits]. It means we believe in what we’re doing, we’re not fishing for interest, and we’re committed to doing this. We’ve invested the money up front; this is serious,” he noted.

Czinger should have shown the 21C in motion for the first time at the 2020 edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it had invited a handful of journalists to take it for a spin, but the event was canceled. What’s next depends largely on the pandemic’s evolution, and whether lock-downs are once again enforced around the world. Production likely won’t start in 2021 as planned, Sverdrup told Autoblog 2022 is more likely, and the delay was inevitable considering the circumstances. Rivian — which has the keys to Amazon’s bottomless purse — had to push back R1T and R1S production until 2021 for the same reason, and even established companies like Chevrolet are struggling to deliver products on time. It won’t have time to build every 2020 Corvette ordered.

2020 is the wrong year to launch a car, or really anything that’s not a vaccine or a mask. Czinger takes comfort in the fact that most of the enthusiasts and potential customers who have seen the 21C so far have liked it.

“Response to the 21C has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve seen some skepticism, of course. We’re a new brand. It’s up to us to be consistent, prove ourselves, and keep pushing to deliver good cars,” Sverdrup stated with a dose of realism we’ve rarely heard echoing through the automotive industry’s start-up corner.

Czinger will cap 21C production at 80 examples, but it doesn’t plan to stop there. It’s in the process of recruiting dealers, and they wouldn’t be doing that simply to sell 80 cars. While Sverdrup stopped short of telling us what’s next, he confirmed there are follow-up models in the pipeline. All will be quick, light, and exclusive, though some will be positioned below the 21C, which carries a base price of $1.7 million. “It’s not hypercar pricing, but it’s also not the Ford Mustang,” Sverdrup said.

And, regardless of what the company builds next, it will be manufactured using a 3D-printing technique developed in-house. It saves a tremendous amount of time and money by eliminating the need to design and manufacture tooling before launching production of, say, a suspension arm.

“It’s the future,” Sverdrup said. “I would be very surprised if, in 20 years, this is not the way cars are built.”

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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Mansory Ford GT ‘Le Mansory’ brings extra width and power to the supercar

When it comes to automotive tuners, one of the most infamous is Mansory, a tuning firm based in Germany, which has built a reputation on its many garish, gaudy custom cars. Usually it works on European sports and luxury cars, but this time, it has turned its attention to the Ford GT. It has over-the-top bodywork, some extra power and, to top it off, the company gave it a pun name: “Le Mansory.” Get it? Like, Le Mans, but Le Mans-ory? We know, it’s a terrible name. (Well, at least on of us loves it. —Ed)

Anyway, you’ll notice right away that some drastic changes have been made to Mansory’s GT as it loses the stock headlights for custom units from the tuner. They sit deep within a completely new front fascia. But that’s just the start of the changes that touch every panel on the car. There are additional vents and splitters all around the car. Twin air scoops have sprouted from the roof. Carbon fiber blades run down the doors and connect to the roof pillars. Extra intakes have appeared next to the factory radiator intakes. The air channels in the hood also get carbon fiber pieces with a curious square pattern molded into them, almost giving it an alligator-esque texture. The motorized factory wing has been replaced by an enormous fixed version, a third exhaust tip has been added, and the entire car is now two inches wider. The interior also picks up white, blue and black leather and Alcantara to match the outside.

Mansory did give the modified GT extra performance to help back up the bold design. Power has increased from 647 horsepower to an even 700 and torque is up from 550 pound-feet to 620. Mansory claims that top speed has also increased from 216 mph for the factory Ford GT to 220 for the Le Mansory. Mansory doesn’t say anything about suspension changes, so presumably that all remains stock.

If you’re afraid you’ll start seeing a bunch of Ford GTs given the Mansory treatment, don’t be. The company says there will only be three available worldwide. Apparently it’s building one for each decade that the company has been in business. No price is given, but it’s safe to say it will be extremely expensive considering its rarity and the large amount of expensive materials such as carbon fiber, leather and Alcantara.

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2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Road Test | Finding joy

There is a Ferrari F8 Tributo sitting in my driveway, casting the unmistakable silhouette of a mid-engine supercar. There’s no mistaking the lightness of a hood, nor the fecund swell of the aft. This is no ordinary car.

Not to frame everything around this super-weird era, but things are super weird, right? Irony doesn’t hold up in a world where even a basic connection makes you want to break down and cry.

So what do you hope when you drive a new Ferrari? The answer is joy. Unadulterated, unmitigated, unjaded joy. And if a brand-new Ferrari can’t bring it, I’m pretty sure I’m a zombie inside.

The F8 has a twin-turbocharged V8 making 710 hp and 569 pound-feet of torque, the same powerplant found in the 488 Pista. It replaces the 488GTB in Ferrari’s line of “regular” mid-engine V8s. Price? It starts at $270,530, and as tested comes in at $360,796.

This is hardly my first Ferrari foray, and the mid-engine, V8 configuration is the formula that most tickles my fancy. Keep your Superfasts and Romas and Californias: I’ll have the nimblest of Prancing Horses, thanks.

But a worry nips at me. When the 458 line sunsetted out of showrooms and into the garages of collectors, so too did the halcyon days of the naturally-aspirated V8. The 488 was quicker than the 458, but it was not necessarily better. A measure of that Ferrari joy was diluted when it lost its natural-breathing soundtrack.

Another generation along, can the Tributo bring it back?

My first experience in a mid-engine Ferrari was at the wheel of an F430, experienced at Lime Rock racetrack and the local roads in Connecticut. It was me and another wet-behind-the-ears journalist, and when the 4.3-liter V8 opened up behind our heads, all previous personal expectations about sports cars shattered. I simply didn’t know a car could move along a two-lane road with such motivation and élan. That it did so making that sound from back there? Even better.

We switched seats, and my colleague wound up getting nailed by a local cop as we neared the gates of Lime Rock. I sincerely suggested that he frame the ticket. It’s not every day you get pulled over in a Ferrari.

Later I drove the lighter, livelier version of the F430 on the racetrack — the 430 Scuderia. It set a high mark for me when it comes to track-focused road cars. It went wherever you looked without hesitation, a car linked to your optic nerves. 

Then, the 458 Italia. I tested an early model in Italy, driving it out of factory gates in Maranello. I posited afterward that few mortal, regular drivers could handle a car that transported you so far down the road with a sudden shove of the accelerator. Too fast, maybe. A few years after that, I raced in the Ferrari Challenge series at Watkins Glen in a 458 Challenge car. Add in racing slicks and an even-further-stiffened body and you find yourself testing the limits of both traction and your own bravery.

And finally came the 488. The first forced-induction version of the Platonian ideal. It was faster, colleagues insisted, and they were right. But the noise, no matter how hard the engineers tried (and they did, they told me in that deep and non-ironic Italian sincerity), just wasn’t the same. It was a bridge to a whole new world; one I wasn’t sure I wanted to cross.  

And so, today, finally, the F8 Tributo.

Just sitting inside, you are surprised by the overt simplicity, the low dash, the 1970s-throwback starkness. We’ve become accustomed to the rampant proliferation of digital screens, bulky central tunnels, and cockpit-style seating. By contrast, the Tributo’s sport buckets are low and flat, the area separating driver and passenger uncluttered. It’s an open and even friendly space.

This level of simplicity began in the 458 and continued into the 488, but in the F8, it feels like the interior designers have decluttered even more. All the frippery is gone and it’s just dead simple and gorgeous — a clarion declaration that focus should be paid to what’s happening outside of the vehicle. 

Out onto the network of two-lane byroads that thread throughout the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, the Tributo is pliant enough to skim over pitted asphalt and even — at low speeds, with nose raised — gravel roads. The “bumpy road” suspension setting is brilliant when you’re feeling speedy on less than pristine tarmac.

As befitting its layout, there’s no Normal mode: just Wet and Sport and further ludicrous notches up the Manettino dial. Still, even in Sport, the F8 is surprisingly relaxed when you’re not trying to trammel the pavement. A thumb and two fingers on both hands is enough pressure on the new and smaller steering wheel to guide the F8 along at both around-town and extra-legal speeds.

There’s no induced heaviness, and the twitchiness of the 458 is gone. Turn the wheel too much in the Italia and the Ferrari would take a hard set and jar you in that direction, like an irrepressible hound after a rabbit. By contrast, the F8’s steering is a fine-tuned thing — perfection.

The bated breath of the 488 is gone, too. Engineers of the era worked hard to mimic the gradual build of a naturally aspirated engine, but there was still a moment when the GTB would experience a wallop of power — often more than you expected, and perhaps more than needed, and you’d have to catch up to the steering. 

The intervening years have allowed the minds at Maranello to better integrate the turbo and the suspension. Everyone is playing together beautifully, a reintegrated orchestra. The sound isn’t the thing of old, but it’s a new and vibrant thing, and after about an hour’s drive, I let my previous reservations go. This thing is a mid-engine V8 Ferrari, and it is a joy.

And with that began days and days of driving and giving rides. There’s a bridge out of town that’s been shut down, leaving a long section of road without traffic. That’s the place for launch control and hard braking. The 2.9-second rush to 62 mph is a thing to be experienced, and any long and sustained sprint easily allows you to believe the claimed 211-mph top speed.

Straight-line speed isn’t the F8’s reason for being, though. Rather, it’s the road that coils up a mountain ridge, with decreasing-radius turns and followed by a set of downhill sweepers. There is nothing artificial feeling about this car. There are lines of code running in the background, handling wheel spin and yaw control, of course, but they never pop up their heads from the digital ground to bother you.

There are even days of rain that force me to turn the dial to Wet. I take the Ferrari out anyway, just for the feel of the steering wheel in my hand.

And, lastly, even when it’s just parked in the driveway, I sit on my front steps with a coffee, enjoying the way the light plays on the exterior bodywork. The design is simplified, undiluted.

In all of the heaviness of the world and its recent enforced stillness, the F8 allowed me to reconnect. To be part of the outside world again. That’s as much as you could ask of any car.

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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 720S Le Mans limited edition commemorates 25th anniversary of race win

McLaren made its first appearance as a constructor at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1995, fielding seven McLaren F1 GTRs and taking the checkered flag with a 1-3-4-5 finish. Car #59, driven by JJ Lehto, Yannick Dalmas and Masanori Sekiya was the overall winner. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of that achievement, the company is rolling out a McLaren 720S Le Mans special edition.

The 720S Le Mans is available in Sarthe Grey or McLaren Orange and features a functional gloss-black roof scoop and carbon-fiber louvered front fenders. The lower body sides, lower front bumper, and rear bumper are painted Ueno Grey. The unique five-spoke wheel design is inspired by that of the F1 GTR racer, and gold-painted brake calipers are fitted as well.

The interior is equipped with carbon-fiber racing seats and is finished in black Alcantara with gray or orange accents. Drivers who plan to do some track time themselves can specify six-point seatbelts and a titanium harness bar. Multiple option packages can add more carbon-fiber exterior elements, and the brand’s MSO Defined and MSO Bespoke programs offer further customization.

The 4.0-liter M840T twin-turbo V8 is unchanged and spins out 710 horsepower at 7,500 rpm along with 568 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, it’s good for a top speed of 212 mph and a 0-to-62-mph time of 2.9 seconds.

Just 50 examples worldwide will be produced, with deliveries scheduled to begin in September. U.S. pricing has not been announced, but expect to dig a little deeper than the $299,000 (plus $2,500 destination) for the standard 720S.

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Prototype Ferrari 812 Superfast caught making awesome noises at Fiorano

In January, spy photographers snapped an 812 Superfast prototype testing around Maranello. Bodywork revisions included an open front intake, smoothed-out bumpers, taped-up side sills, covered air extractors behind the rear wheels, and new bodywork around the exhaust outlets with what appeared to be additional venting. The Supercar Blog suspected the prototype was a hardcore version of the 812, possibly earning the hallowed “GTO” appellation. Autoevolution went further with the speculation, writing that a reworked 6.5-liter V12 would produce 850 horsepower, a 61-hp jump over the standard 812, and would rev beyond the 9,000-rpm limit in the Ferrari LaFerrari.

At least one more of these testers has been caught on video around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, giving us a chance to hear what’s going on underneath the patchwork skin. YouTube user Varryx got the footage, doing us the favor of including a regular 812 lapping the circuit for comparison. The differences are clear. The 812 is already praised for its glorious exhaust note. The prototype, which looks to have put on a more finished rear valance, snarls more during downshifts and bellows with a lower, angrier pitch on the flyby. 

We’re still not sure what it is, but perusing Ferrari Chat forums reveals members having a conversation about an “812 VS” for nearly two years now. VS is Italian for Versione Speciale, the thrust here being a track-focused and lighter 812. The Speciale cars began with the one-off 1955 375 MM Berlinetta Speciale — “MM” representing Mille Miglia, another name mooted for the special 812. The denomination has returned a few times throughout the decades, used most recently on the one-off 458 MM Speciale commission shows in 2016.

Keeping in mind that this is all speculation until Ferrari reveals the real thing, one Ferrari Chat poster wrote we’ll get “a somehow more powerful blistering naturally aspirated large V-12 track oriented version of the prodigious 812 Superfast. As one of, if not the last of, its kind this will be a high-priced limited edition. Likely limited to 799 pieces. Probably priced at $750,000 or more and approaching $1 million for Tailor Made cars. Prospective launch date 2020. Confidence level 80%.” That production figure matches the number of F12 TDF units Ferrari built. Another forum member said the 812 VS will make 860 metric horsepower, which comes to 848 of our horsepower.

Supposedly, Ferrari had planned the debut the car at the Geneva Motor Show. As of now, suspicions have settled on Ferrari showing an SF90 Spider in September, and this hardcore 812 VS with “organic and pure” bodywork in October or November. We’re also waiting on the mid-engined hybrid supercar spotted all over Maranello of late, so it could be an especially flouncy year for prancing horses.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S First Drive | Turbo by name, turbo by nature

NEWBURY, England — There are Porsches with turbocharged gasoline engines not badged as such, while electric ones now carry the famous script despite lacking an internal-combustion engine of any sort. There is, thankfully, no such confusion with the new 2021 911 Turbo S and the excesses of power, performance, tech and swagger it stands for.

We were supposed to experience this around Laguna Seca (plus the Central California roads shown in these pictures), where 1,000-plus horsepower turbocharged Porsches of the legendary Can-Am era once prowled. Instead, more modest, localized drives have been arranged. Hence the key to the Turbo S comes wrapped in a Ziploc bag, pushed at arm’s length across a screened counter with firm instructions to be back by 3 p.m. for full decontamination.

With some 200 horsepower and 200 pound-feet more than a 992 Carrera S, the new Turbo S is unequivocal in its superiority over regular 911s, that huge firepower augmented with expanded aero and tech I’d love to have tested at Laguna Seca. Narrow, twisty English lanes don’t hold quite the same romance, but exploring the huge disparity between the Turbo’s abilities and what you can responsibly get away with at road speeds is an interesting challenge in its own right.

There is still plenty to appreciate. The basic format is familiar, given a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six driving all four wheels through a PDK transmission (now an eight-speed), active anti-roll bars, four-wheel steering and more. Up to 368 pound-feet of drive can now go to the front axle, and the car’s footprint has increased, thanks to a 1.8-inch wider front track and bigger wheels, now 20 inches up front and 21 at the rear. The scope and modes of the active aero have also been greatly expanded, with a variable-position rear wing and three-piece, deployable front splitter. To protect the latter, an optional nose-lift system is also available and will, at a later date, gain GPS-enabled actuation to remember locations of steep curbs encountered on regular drives, be that your driveway at home or the entrance to the parking lot of your favorite morning coffee stop.

The engine is new and based on the 3.0-liter in regular 992 Carreras, employing bigger, variable-vane turbos in a new “symmetrical” layout fed by the scoops on the rear fenders and new, additional intakes ahead of the rear wing. Power is up from 580 horsepower to 640 with torque now at 590 pound-feet, the latter increased by 37 pound-feet. Top speed is still 205 mph, but the car gets there quicker, with 0 to 60 mph coming in just 2.6 seconds, while the quarter-mile is demolished three tenths sooner at 10.5 seconds. So, it’s fast. Really, really fast.

You knew that, though. The important thing for the 911 Turbo is not how fast it goes, it’s how it goes fast. And an area Porsche has been working on since the previous 991. In general, the 992 is more refined and GT-like than any 911 that’s gone before. Does the new Turbo follow this path? Or has it been permitted to retain a little of the rawness engineered into its predecessor?

The answer, thankfully, is both. When cruising, you appreciate the improved refinement and reduction in the tire roar that made previous Turbos a bit of a chore on poor surfaces. As in regular 992s, the new PDK is so slick your only notification of a shift is a twitch in the tachometer needle and slight change in tone. The low-slung cabin is comfortable, expensively finished and full of tech.   

Then you turn the little mode selector on the wheel to Sport Plus and realize the $203,500 MSRP is fair, given that you effectively get two cars for the price of one. Increased tech bandwidth puts greater distance between the extremes of the Turbo’s nature, accentuated further by the optional PASM Sport suspension and Sport Exhaust System on our test car. The former drops the car 0.39 inch closer to the ground while the latter unleashes exciting rasps, gargles and whooshes from the engine bay to remind you the Turbo script represents more than just a trim level.

The swell — and sound — of boost is a thrilling appetizer for the explosive rush of acceleration that comes fractions of a second later, this merest hint of lag actually more exciting than the more binary power delivery of older Turbos. Want it even more hardcore? A Lightweight package saving 66 pounds through removal of the rear seats, reduced sound deadening, thinner glass, fixed buckets and a lightweight battery also will be available (at a price yet to be confirmed).

Even without that, there’s a sense of tension and focus in the sportier modes contrasting with the more relaxed vibe in the normal setting. You know everything is synthesized, augmented and filtered. But it feels so seamlessly harmonized. Any slack to the wheel is instantly dialed out, the response sharp but faithful, the extra range of movement in the rear-wheel steering helping to shrink the car around you, no matter that it measures 6 feet 3 inches across the rear.

It’s now nearly as wide at the front but, through the corners, that characteristic 911 weight transfer endures. Even at street speeds, you get a whisper of hip shimmy under braking, a lightness in the nose if you don’t settle it before turning in, the squat and rotation as you nail the throttle and the violent eruption of boost-enhanced acceleration as the wheel unwinds on corner exit. That Porsche has used tech as a means to communicate these sensations even at relatively modest speeds is a relief to those fearing a digitized Turbo experience. And you know it could deliver the same 365 days a year on any road, come rain or shine.

There is nothing revolutionary about the new 911 Turbo S. But that’s not what anyone wants. Based on more than four decades of rich heritage, there is absolutely no confusion about what Turbo stands for.

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McLaren Sports Series model with V6 hybrid delayed to 2021

In the middle of May, the McLaren Group began the hunt for up to $335 million to endure the downturn caused by the coronavirus, with the conglomerate ready to put every sacred asset on the block for collateral. A few days later, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt told Automotive News Europe, “This will have cost us probably two years. [In] 2020, we’re going to do very little. I think it’ll take us the whole of ’21 to climb back [to] where we are.” Even though the Woking firm had already moved to cut supply in anticipation of lower sales, a 67% sales drop in Q1 this year led to McLaren laying off 1,200 employees — a quarter of the workforce — across Automotive, Racing, and Applied Technologies divisions. Another casualty of current events is the timeline for the anticipated plug-in hybrid model reported to replace the 570S in the entry-level Sports Series tier. Chatter had suggested McLaren would debut the car this summer and begin deliveries in some markets before the year ended. But Evo magazine reports the coupe will be on the tardy list, a company spokesperson telling PistonHeads the schedule has slid back “a handful of months.”

The PHEV represents a big step, being a volume model built on a brand new platform, powered by a brand new engine at the heart of a brand new powertrain. The twin-turbocharged V6 said to sit behind the cockpit inaugurates a life beyond the small-displacement V8 that has powered every McLaren Automotive product since a 3.8-liter twin-turbo unit entered service in the MP4-12C. We don’t know much about the V6, but spy shots appear to show that it will rev 500 rpm higher than the V8, to 8,000 rpm, and its peak output with electrical assistance will exceed the 570 horsepower in the 570S. The plug-in hybrid component contributes an Electric driving mode to Comfort and Sport modes, the powertrain supposedly able to go 21 miles on battery power. As for looks, the compact body seems to crib from the 720 S in front, the GT in the midsection, and add a lot of cooling apertures in the rear.

The “little” that Flewitt said McLaren would do this year means focusing on the Elva roadster, 765LT, and Speedtail. A spokesperson said testing and development have resumed, and “dealers are [also] already opening for appointments.” Since we’re still not halfway through 2020, it’s hard to imagine what anything will look like when — hell, if — the dust settles. It’s good bet, though, that McLaren could need to recalibrate the two dozen or so remaining models in its Track 25 strategy that envisions 18 new models by 2025.

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Gordon Murray T.50 beats weight target thanks to ‘Weight Watchers’ meetings

Gordon Murray is staying on the offensive about his T.50 supercar, working the phones recently to let all know that “This car will deliver — and this is a promise — the driving experience of [a McLaren] F1, but better, better in so many ways,” because he and his team have “fixed the things we knew were wrong with the F1.” As they say in the Westerns, them’s big words. Two factors he credited for the T.50’s estimated performance specs are bespoke parts, and the relentless focus on weight savings they enable. The team behind the supercar doesn’t need to restrict any component to parts-bin sourcing, doesn’t need to check with production or accounting departments, and can create or re-engineer any part to serve a single vehicle. Technology improvements since the creation of the McLaren F1 and the use of a bespoke 3.9-liter Cosworth V12 gives the team even more freedom than Murray had with his icon.

This has led to ruthless weight shaving, helped by what Murray described as “Weight Watchers” meetings. The Cosworth V12 comes in at less than 400 pounds, cutting 132 pounds compared to the 6.1-liter V12 in the F1 — the designer citing the S70 BMW engine as part of the reason he overshot his 2,205-pound (1,000-kilogram) target for the 2,579-pound McLaren. Carbon brake technology wasn’t polished enough in the early 1990s to get the units to work on the McLaren, so the F1 used heavier iron brakes, a setback the T.50 won’t suffer. The Xtrac six-speed manual transmission cuts 22 pounds compared to the six-speed sequential box in the F1. The all-carbon moncoque and body panels are less than 330 pounds, the driver’s seat and frame weigh 15 pounds, the twin outboard passenger seats weigh less than seven pounds each. Murray told his team they wouldn’t be able to take any weight out of the pedal box, since he designed it himself. His engineers cut seven ounces. They shaved the windshield glazing to be 28% thinner than what would be standard for this application. The materials analysis team modeled the stress loads for all 900 nuts, bolts, washers, and fasteners in the T50, designing them with just enough material — titanium, of course — to do their jobs. 

This and more is how Gordon Murray Automotive beat the 2,205-pound target for the T.50 by 45 pounds. That will put the T.50 260 pounds above the hardcore 260-horsepower Lotus Elise Cup 260, 180 pounds under the 181-hp MX-5 Mazda Miata Sport. Yet the T.50 has 640 horsepower in everyday guise, which can be cranked up to 690 hp with ram air induction in certain modes. That lower figure is 22 hp more than the F1, for a car weighing more than 419 pounds less, part of what Murray means when he says the T.50 is “the F1 for the next generation, with all the same targets. But of course my toybox is much bigger now.” Backing that up, Murray said about a third of the deposits received so far come from people who own a McLaren F1, another 40% of deposits come from buyers under 45 who had McLaren F1 posters on their walls in their youth, but who’d been priced out of the astronomical F1 market.  

From now until the end of June, the GMA teams are finalizing details, tooling, and working with suppliers on parts. If all goes well, there’ll be a working prototype ready for road testing in September. Production on the 100 road cars and 25 track-only cars begins in late 2021, deliveries to start in early 2022. About 25 slots remain for the road car, so anyone with a $740,000 to put toward the $2.5 million starting price should send word to England.

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ATS Corsa’s 600-hp RR Turbo track car hits production, priced from $146,000

From Italy comes word that ATS Corsa, the new motorsports division of Automobili Turismo e Sport, has launched production of the RR Turbo, its 600-horsepower track car billed as ready to compete in a wide variety of race events. The company has also revealed pricing, which starts at 132,000 euros (about $146,000) for the Clubsport version and 164,900 euros, or $182,367, for the carbon-fiber Serie Carbonio.

First deliveries to customers are expected by the end of summer, and production is targeted at 30 examples per year. The car, first unveiled last year, is FIA-homologated and billed as budget-friendly from a maintenance perspective. It’s eligible for international racing in events including hill climbs, 24-hour series and Clubsport, plus the option of an ATS single-brand championship team. It’s also an option for well-heeled drivers looking for a fun track car. 

The car is comprised of a lightweight composite body engineered to maximize downforce that rests on an 88-pound chromium molybdenum chassis that mixes space frame and monocoque design, with a honeycomb underbody in the carbon-fiber variant. It’s fitted with either a single aluminum rear wing or a try-place carbon-fiber wing and a massive rear diffuser. Other options include a carbo-ceramic braking system with four-piston titanium CNC billet-machined calipers, forged 18-inch wheels, three-way adjustable suspension and quick-lift airjack system. A Winner Techno Package brings features like an electro-actuated paddle-gearbox, traction control system and assisted gearshifts. Both variants of the car use a smartphone interface for accessing engine data.

Power comes from a mid-mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sourced from Honda. It tops out at 600 hp at 8,500 rpm and around 390 pound-feet of torque between 4,000 and 7,000 rpm. It’s linked to a six-speed sequential transmission by a mono block, high-strength aluminum bell housing that also supports the suspension, dampers, wing mount and exhaust. It looks like it’s also available in a less flashy gold livery if the two-tone Italian flag-and-dragon logo motif isn’t your bag.

188,000-mile Lamborghini Huracan from Las Vegas rental fleet listed for sale

If you’re shopping for a Lamborghini Huracán, you’re far more likely to find a low-mileage example than one that has covered the planet’s equatorial circumference nearly five times. There is a notable exception to this rule looking for a new owner in Las Vegas, unsurprisingly, and the seller says nearly 2,000 people have driven it.

Houston Crosta, the seller, told Car & Driver the 2015 Huracán was the first car he bought when he founded a business named Royalty Exotic Cars that specializes in renting high-end, high-horsepower machines to Vegas tourists who want to up their bling. If you’ve visited Sin City recently, you may have seen this wedge-shaped bull racing up and down The Strip. Crosta estimated about 1,900 renters have put an incredible 188,000 miles on the Huracán in five years; that’s 302,000 kilometers, if you’re more comfortable with the metric system. Either way, it’s a lot.

If rental-car miles are the automotive equivalent of dog years, rental supercar miles in Las Vegas are like putting wear-and-tear on fast-forward. And yet, Crosta claims the Huracán has been surprisingly reliable. He had to replace the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission at about 180,000 miles but otherwise did “nothing but oil changes and basic service.” Even the interior seems to have held up.

Crosta’s other exotics haven’t fared as well. He has also owned a Lamborghini Aventador that somehow ended up on fire, a Ferrari 458 which went through seven transmissions, and a McLaren 650S that also met a fiery end.

Speed enthusiasts who want to scratch their gambling itch without traveling to Las Vegas can buy the Huracán, which is listed for $130,000 on eBay, and try to take it beyond the 200,000-mile mark. Whether it’s worth that is debatable; Crosta has received offers in the vicinity of $100,000 and shot them down, according to Car & Driver. In comparison, a 2015 Huracán with under 10,000 miles is worth between $180,000 and $200,000.

Short-tailed Bugatti Chiron Super Sport spied testing

One of our spy photographers has caught a rather odd Bugatti Chiron prototype out testing. It features no camouflage, which reveals that it seems to fuse a regular Chiron with the Chiron Super Sport 300+. And that begs the question, what is this?

The front of the car is all Super Sport 300+. It has the revised air intakes, clusters of round vents in the hood, and big vents in the fenders. But unlike that top speed challenger, this has a normal, truncated tail from the regular Chiron. In fact, everything from the front fenders back appears to be regular Chiron. The one difference is the exhaust, which consists of two oval tips that most resemble the tailpipes of the Chiron Pur Sport. But the rear fascia is definitely regular Chiron, not the revised design of the Pur Sport.

So what is it? It could simply be a mash-up of leftover Chiron parts for some kind of test mule. It could also be shortened Chiron Super Sport 300+ that will share the same 1,600-horsepower engine as the high-speed car, but without the cost of the extra aerodynamics. Whatever it is, Bugatti’s testers evidently weren’t happy about the spy photographer catching the car, as he reports the car was hurried into a trailer and security sent to confront the photographer and stop him from sharing the photos. So it seems Bugatti has something interesting coming, whether it looks exactly like this or just has this car’s underpinnings.

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Maserati teases MC20 prototype again reminiscing about the Targa Florio

Maserati spent its weekend reminiscing about victory in the 1940 Targa Florio, putting an MC20 prototype to work enhancing the gravitas of the anniversary. After winning the Targa in 1937, 1938, and 1939 with the Maserati 6CM and its 1.5-liter supercharged inline-six throwing 175 horsepower, the House of the Trident showed up in 1940 with the brand new 4CL powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder cranking 220 hp. Luigi Villoresi, who’d driven the 6CM to triumph the year before, crossed the line first in the 4CL to close out European racing until the end of World War II.

With a return to racing on the automaker’s mind, Maserati took a camouflaged MC20 to the same Favorita Park roads that hosted the Targa. The soft-focus spy shots were taken in front of the Floriopoli stands, a stretch of bunting and banners not far from the Targa start line as historic competitors headed into the Sicilian mainland.

The MC20 is as photogenic in these shots as all the others, and as mysterious. The automaker seems intent on making everyone wait until the September debut to for any details that the prototype doesn’t put on display. Prime among enthusiast interest is the powerplant. With Ferrari shutting down its supply of engines to the fellow Modenese sports car maker, Maserati says its new mid-engined coupe will be “the first car to use [its] new engine, brimming with innovative technological contents, developed and built by Maserati in-house.” Short odds figure on a molto potente twin-turbo V6 sending power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, the long money isn’t afraid to bet on a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8  to replace the F154 V8 that Ferrari provides.

With race engineers undoubtedly sorting out a version for sports car racing as we speak, Maserati will certainly hope the competitive version matches the exploits of the 4CL. The vintage race car took pole in its first race, earned its first victory two races later, snatched up a bag of silverware before WWII, won the first race held in Europe after the war ended, and continued winning in 4CL and 4CLT trim until 1951 to take 31 total victories — nine more than the MC12 race car.

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Acura NSX, a pair of 2 Series Gran Coupes and a time machine | Autoblog Podcast #628

In this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by West Coast Editor James Riswick and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. This week, they’re driving a 2020 Acura NSX, two versions of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (M235i and 228i) and the updated 2020 Honda Civic Si. Then, the gang gets to talking about what they’d drive in 1975 and 1985, along with plenty of other tangents. Finally, they wrap it up with news about the upcoming 2021 Acura TLX Type S and the fate of this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

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2020 Lamborghini Urus Luggage Test | Loading the bull

A Lamborghini was recently at my house, which is sort of like the queen dropping in. And though I assiduously avoided carrying anything that could spill, splash, smudge or muss, one aspect of the 2020 Lamborghini Urus we wanted to check was just how much luggage it can carry considering the limitations imposed by the SUV’s extremely sloped roofline.

So I hopped onto the Lamborghini Store’s website to order up just the right stuff, co-branded by Lamborghini and TecknoMonster — hmm, perhaps the carbon-fiber small trolley case for $4,904, or the carbon-fiber Bynomio big trolley case for $7,874, or the Bynomio Hold Maxi carbon-fiber suitcase for $17,388. Perhaps the whole set. Now you might be saying to yourself, “That’s sure an expensive way to haul my clean underwear.” But rest assured these suitcases emerge from the autoclave after a cutting-edge aerospace process that merges two different types of carbon fiber and ensures “top performance and excellent mechanical properties, requiring extreme accuracy in all manufacturing steps.” Pity the fool who has a suitcase that’s anything less.

But tragically, there’s at least a 20-day lead time in ordering, and the Urus was only here for the weekend. So I guess that fool is me, having to resort to the same old world-weary, beat-up suitcases I usually use, which share space in the garage with the lawn tractor and cat litter box.

Six suitcases were at my disposal. Three would need to be checked at the airport, and one of those is particularly ungainly (29x19x11 inches, 26x17x10, 25x16x10). Three others would be small enough to carry on (24x14x10, 23x14x11, 22x14x9), if we were getting on airplanes anymore. Several of these bags have four wheels that jut out and were counted in the dimensions. It’s a shame not to have Riswick’s wife’s fancy bag for such a fancy car.

The Lamborghini Urus is pretty big. At 201 inches long and 79 inches wide, it is 2 inches longer than a Ford Explorer, and the same width. It’s 4 inches shorter than the big Mercedes-Benz GLS, but 2 inches wider. Plus, those are vehicles with third-row seating; the Urus has two rows and seats five. (Four if you get the backseat buckets and console.) Yet its cargo hold is 21.75 cubic feet, which is only about 3 cubic feet bigger than the others’ space behind the third row. It’s also much less than various five-seat, midsize SUVs.

We’re told it is wide enough to fit a couple bags of golf clubs, which looks feasible. In fact, it’s a pretty square space, and a set of clubs might even fit longitudinally. The problem is not the footprint. The volume is so little thanks to the sloped roof. Nothing boxy is ever going to fit in the back of the Urus.

By the way, that black bag contains Lamborghini roof racks.

Here’s what the cargo space is like with the package shelf removed (it easily slides out) and the second row dropped. Long cargo would fit well. It just can’t be tall.

OK, let’s try some luggage. Here’s the first attempt. Getting all six bags in is probably not in the cards. The hatch wouldn’t close on this, coming in contact with both of the upright red bags. Furthermore, there is a small, secondary section of package shelf that’s attached to the inside of the hatch and would need to be removed. But do that, and tilt the second-row seats upright, and you might jam this in. Just don’t expect to see anything.

This next arrangement is slightly less overburdened, and the hatch will definitely close if you remove that section of package shelf and nudge the seat up a little. The three biggest bags make the cut, with the biggest on its side, and two smaller ones to boot. Shift the smaller ones into the middle, and you’d preserve a sliver of rear view, though smaller than the sliver that you normally get. It’s not ideal, though.

Here’s a closer look at the accent-stitched Alcantara cargo shelf, which slides out easily. Ooh, soft …

Finally, in this configuration, you get to keep the cargo shelf, thereby denying the riffraff a chance to size up your fancy luggage. Four suitcases will fit this way — two large and two carry-ons. And thanks to an indent in the left cargo-bay wall, the Lambo roof racks fit, too. Or, leave those in the garage and you can get a small bag on its side, and all five passengers will be able to dress up for whatever fancy rich-people party they’re going to.

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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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