All posts in “Rides”

Lamborghini Invencible and Autentica are its final NA V12 cars

A few months ago, we wrote that the final production units of the Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae represented the end of the reign of the naturally aspirated V12 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, and the last Aventador Ultimae meant the end of an NA V12 Aventador. Seems we were mistaken. Lamborghini now tells us these two one-offs are the proper and (maybe) final end of the NA V12. Created for a customer who worked with Lamborghini Centro Stile from inception, the duo are the Invencible (the Spanish spelling of “Invincible”) coupe and Auténtica roadster.

They’re not only farewells, they are greatest-hits compilations said to combine design features from the Reventón from 2008, the Sesto Elemento from 2010, the Veneno from 2013, and the 830-horsepower Essenza SCV12 track-only coupe from 2020. Lamborghini didn’t mention the Sián FKP 37, but the headlights are a match, and the side vents are a mix between the Sián and the Sesto Elemento.  

Both are based on the Aventador’s carbon fiber tub, and both feature a 6.5-liter V12 making 769 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.

The Invencible wears carbon fiber panels in Rosso Efesto, which is Hephaestus Red, Hephaestus being the Greek god of things like fire and volcanoes. The paint’s accented with carbon-look elements that glint with red flakes, brake calipers in Rosso Mars, and pure carbon. The hexagonal Tricolore on the door fits in with numerous other six-sided elements like the DRLs, three-part taillights, and exhaust. A tidy, angular swan-neck wing hovers over the rear fascia, its stanchions anchored beside the backlight.   

Inside is a mix of Rosso Alala leather, Nero Cosmus Alcantara, and contrast stitching in Rosso Alala and Nero Ade. Rosso Efesto is used on the steering wheel and for the shift paddles. Designers removed the Aventador’s infotainment screen, moving all readouts to the digital gauge display and leaving twin hexagonal vents to dominate the open space over a pocket trimmed in red.

The Auténtica roadster is painted in Grigio Titans with details in Giallo Auge (Yellow Peak) and Matte Black. Instead of the Invencible’s rear wing, a pair of fins highlighted by a yellow line channel air over the rear spoiler. Inside, occupants sit on Nero Ade leather and Giallo Taurus stitching, and can ogle two-tone Nero Cosmus and Grigio Octans Alcantara.

This is really it for the V12. We think. The next engine out of the Sant’Agata gates will be the Aventador’s V12 hybrid successor, which Lamborghini says it only a few weeks away.

Related video:

Lamborghini applies to trademark V12 hybrid sounds in EV mode

Lamborghini is sprinkling various European intellectual property offices with bits of its future V12 super sports car it wants to protect. The internet continues to dig those bits up. After a couple of spy specialists found line drawings of the hybrid V12 coupe filed with the World Intellectual Property Office in North Macedonia, CarBuzz dredged up a sound clip of the V12 in pure electric mode filed with the European Intellectual Property Office. Spy shots have showed the car will come with a City Mode that’s expected to enable battery-only motivation. The audio clip appears to present three modes of the electric driving sounds required of all electric-capable vehicles to warn pedestrians of the EV’s approach.

CarBuzz believes the first sample was made under steady-state driving. It sounds a little like dark ambient ASMR with some wind in the background, like something from Atrium Carceri or Metatron Omega. The second would be under acceleration, the sinister electric symphony rising in pitch then fading as the unheard V12 internal combustion engine takes over. The last clip would be the reverse, as the V12 gives way to the battery again.

There’s nothing amiss in any of the sounds, but we find ourselves thinking there’s nothing especially Lamborghini about them, either. That’s not a slight against the crew from Sant’ Agata, that’s a statement about what the future of hybrid and electric supercars could mean to us everywhere outside of a highway or Cars and Coffee. It could make Dodge’s Fratzonic Exhaust that much more interesting assuming the production sonics match what we’ve been told, and a recent Ferrari patent shows a rival group of Italians trying to forestall roads full of computer monitor noises with a “sonority current.”

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray prices top out at $122,245 before options

GM Authority dug up the price list for the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray. As with the performance specs and base price we reported earlier, the trim walk stays in sight of the enthusiast special Z06, but the MSRP gap grows the further one climbs the six-figure ladder. The spec recap is: A 6.2-liter V8 powering the rear wheels with 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and an e-motor turning the front wheels with 160 hp and 125 lb-ft. Combined output hits 655 hp, a tiny stable shy of the 670-hp Z06, combined torque around 595 lb-ft, at least 100 lb-ft more than the Z06. Instant torque, an E-Ray-specific tune for the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and four scrabbling tires mean the E-Ray beats the Z06 to 60 miles per hour by 0.1 second, doing the deed in 2.5 seconds.  The E-Ray’s quarter-mile takes 10.5 seconds at 130 mph, another 0.1-second improvement over the Z06.

We’re not sure which tires GM used for the tests, but the differences could be larger even though the E-Ray weighs 274 pounds more than the Z06. Both cars get the same sizes of rubber, the Z06 coming on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the E-Ray coming on Michelin Pilot Sports, with the 4S versions optional. 

MSRP’s for the E-Ray including the $1,395 destination charge applied to all 2023 Corvettes is:

  • 1LZ Coupe: $104,295
  • 1LZ Convertible: $111,295
  • 2LZ Coupe: $109,795
  • 2LZ Convertible: $116,795
  • 3LZ Coupe: $115,245
  • 3LZ Convertible: $122,245

The same bracket for the 2023 Z06 starts at $106,695 for the 1LZ Coupe and maxes out at $127,545 for the 3LZ Convertible before options. As the marketers would say, the more you spend on an E-Ray, the more you save compared to the Z06. 

Yet, consider what might be a better example of Corvette progress: When we tested the then-new C6 Corvette ZR1 in 2009, that car’s base price after destination was $102,450, which paid for a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 638 hp and 604 pound-feet of torque that could hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and do the quarter in 11.3. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator tells us that $102,450 in May of 2009 is $142,309 today. The bad news is that the inflation figure is the most upsetting stat in this post. The good news is that for the equivalent of $38,000 less, a Corvette buyer can get an all-wheel drive coupe that is quite a bit better in every way than the 2009 ZR1, and when considering the interior, massively better than any previous Corvette. It’s good times for those who can afford it.   

Related video:

Lamborghini’s upcoming V12 hybrid leaked in patent images

Varryx and Wilco Block are two Euro-based car enthusiasts we’ve come to know mostly for their ability to get spy video and images of coming treats. They’ve both done it again, both on Instagram, and both with the same car, publishing a series of design patent drawings. Lamborghini Automobili SpA submitted figures of its hybrid V12 successor to the Aventador to the North Macedonian bureau of the World Intellectual Property Office, perhaps hoping the out-of-the-way geographic location would translate to an out-of-the-way digital sequestration before the reveal this spring. But the Internet hates keeping secrets, so here we are. What we’re privy to are every major angle of a coupe that looks like it has the design of the Aventador as its foundation, bookended by fascias from a couple of Aventador-based specials. Varryx provided the colors for the image above. 

Lamborghini said design of the Sián FKP 37 “is just for the Sián.” Fundamentally, perhaps, yes. But in the patent images, the tall, horizontal-y-shaped lighting DRL that welcomes the sharp, pincer-like curve of the front fenders, and the lower intake outlines make clear connection to the Sián. The Huracán Tecnica is the bridge, the V10-powered coupe adopting another take on the Sian’s style. The vertical spat behind the front wheels could also trace its lineage from the limited edition super sports car. The rest of the middle is all Aventador, a swelling body and large side intakes embracing the low cabin and naturally aspirated V12. In back, it’s the Centennario, a special edition introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The six long strakes on the immense diffuser mimic the number on the Centennario, the difference being the coming production car moves its exhaust up high, where two Centennario taillights flank with two large hexagonal ports instead of the show car’s three small tips down low.

That engine will be an all-new V12 unit in a new drivetrain, we’ve been told, aided by a small battery and some supercapacitor tech that’s another nod to the Sián. Total output’s a mystery, but the Aventador Ultimae clocked 769 horses, the Countach 800 horses, and those not only didn’t have hybrid help, they were lighter. Fear not about the weight, automaker CEO Stephan Winkelmann says drivers won’t feel the additional weight. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear a number higher than 800. The transmission adds a clutch to the Aventador’s one, sending power through a dual-clutch system that will eliminate the Aventador’s characteristic tidal motion especially at low speeds. Preliminary performance specs outed by the chief estimate a 0-62 time under 2.9 seconds and a top speed beyond 218 mph.

The interior will carry on with a digital gauge cluster and add another screen to the center console. A City driving mode will activate pure-electric driving.

Expect a debut in March. Lamborghini says there are already 3,000 buyers in line, so set your sights on the second model year.

Related video:

Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate is a little more powerful, different looking

Aston Martin is bringing this iteration of the DBS sports car to a close, so of course it’s doing so with one more special edition: the DBS 770 Ultimate. It is one of the most powerful versions of the car, and has a selection of unique features. And like so many other special high-end sports cars, every example has been sold.

The headlining feature of the 770 is its extra power. It makes 759 horsepower, 44 more than the standard version, and basically the same as the DBS GT Zagato. Torque remains the same, though. A tweaked intake and ignition system plus 7% more boost pressure is responsible for the extra power. Top speed has not increased, though, sticking to 211 mph.

There are other light upgrades both performance-wise and design-wise. Additional vents have been added to the hood and a new splitter added to the front; both modifications are meant to improve cooling. More carbon fiber trim on the outside along with side sills, a diffuser, and unique wheels make it look more aggressive. The steering column has solid mounts for better steering feel. The front end is 25% stiffer than before, and the whole car is stiffer by 3% thanks to a redesigned front subframe and rear undertray. The transmission and adaptive suspension have been retuned, too. But it has the same carbon ceramic brakes and mechanical limited-slip differential as the regular car.

The interior gets some attention, too. The standard seats are Sports Plus units with more aggressive ones available. A special strap and buckle have been added to the center console. Of course, the interior and the exterior can be further customized with different colors, materials, graphics and more.

As previously mentioned, every DBS 770 Ultimate has already been sold. Only 499 will be built, 300 of which are coupes and 199 are convertibles. Aston didn’t give a price, which is understandable when it’s not even really on sale in a traditional way. But we’re sure each one will go for a fair premium over a standard model. Production starts soon, with deliveries coming in the third quarter of this year.

Related video:

Refreshed Aston Martin DB11 appears in spy photos

At nearly 7 years old, the Aston Martin DB11 is starting to show its age, so it makes sense that we’d see at least an updated version like the one in these spy photos. They show a thinly disguised coupe, and the design revisions are pretty minimal, too. But they should come with some useful upgrades under the new body.

The front fascia is really about all that’s changed on this car. The front grille is much larger, extending farther down and farther to each side than on the current DB11. The old slatted grille is gone, too, in favor of a very large egg-crate mesh. It looks as though the headlights may be updated, too, but it’s a bit difficult to tell for sure. As for the rest of the car, it’s pretty much identical to the current car.

This is all in keeping with the report last February that the entire Aston Martin lineup would be updated, and not just stylistically. Powertrain updates are apparently coming, with hybrids on the horizon. Nothing on this car indicates it’s a hybrid, though, and the hybrids are probably another year out. Odds are, we’ll see more powerful versions of the base AMG twin-turbo 4.0L V8 and the Aston twin-turbo 5.2L V12 first. Additionally, updated infotainment systems and interior upgrades will be reportedly be part of the refresh.

Last year’s report said the updated Astons would be launching this year. This prototype does look very close to production-ready, so that timeline still seems likely. And with it being Aston’s 110th anniversary, it’s a great time to start rolling out fresher product.

Related video:

Aston Martin will celebrate 110 years with a special car

Aston Martin turns 110 this year, and of course it’s going to celebrate the way any car company would: creating a special car. But this is, presumably, not the Aston Martin DBS 770 that was teased just recently.

Unfortunately, what this special Aston is, is wide open for speculation. With Aston’s anniversary announcement, it gave absolutely no details nor even a shaded teaser image. And the time frame is “later this year.”

So let’s speculate. Certainly a way to really wow fans and wealthy customers with a special anniversary car would be to do a version of the company’s halo car, the Valkyrie. After all, it’s so important that Aston used it in the anniversary announcement photos along with the 1923 Razor Blade race car. Maybe it’ll be a higher-output Valkyrie with extra slippery body work as a throwback to the Razor Blade. Or not! Like we said, it could be almost anything.

And in trying to narrow down a reveal date, there are a few key events for supercar builders to reveal machinery. The first would be the Geneva Motor Show, which is sort of happening this year. It’s being run by the same organizers, but the location is in Qatar. Then in the summer is the Goodwood Festival of Speed. If the car hasn’t been revealed before then or during, it would be a great opportunity for Aston to run a camouflaged version of the car up the hill.

At the very least, we’re sure we’ll see this special Aston no later than the Pebble Beach Concours. And with how the show effectively turned into the successor to the Geneva show last year, it would be a great location, as well as about the last big wealthy car show of the year, if it isn’t shown sooner.

Related video:

McLaren 720S is officially dead

Reports of the McLaren 720S‘s death are not greatly exaggerated. In fact, they are completely correct. Following a report from Automotive News, we reached out to McLaren directly, and a representative confirmed that the supercar is no longer in production. The official statement is as follows:

“We are not taking further customer-specified build orders for 720S, but cars are available through our retailer network.”

With the discontinuation of the 720S, the remaining car in the “Supercar” line, as McLaren calls it, is the recently introduced Artura hybrid. It makes 671 horsepower, a fair bit less than the 710 of the 720S. But it seems the Artura will not be a de facto successor, as there’s something else coming.

The McLaren representative couldn’t say anything about that new car, but the Automotive News report went into some detail, citing McLaren’s president of the Americas region. He makes it sound like the follow-up will still be somewhat derived from the outgoing 720S. We’ll be curious if it utilizes the Artura’s hybrid system, but coupled to a more powerful gas engine. We’ve actually seen 720S testers specifically labeled as hybrid test cars, so it seems quite likely.

Related video:

Hybrid Corvette E-Ray teased in ‘Stealth’ mode, will debut January 17

It’s almost time for the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray to be revealed! Chevy just released its first teaser for the hybrid Corvette, allowing us a few glimpses of the exterior styling and revealing that it’ll feature a new “Stealth” mode. The official reveal date is set for January 17, which is one week from today.

The exterior shots do a decent job of confirming what we already knew about the changes from the configurator leak last month. Body-colored panels replace some of the regular C8’s contrast-painted bits, and we get a super-quick partial view of the E-Ray badge on the side of the car.

What’s most interesting in this teaser (above), though, is the presence of a “Stealth” mode. In Chevy’s video, the mode switcher is being used to swap between “Normal” and “Stealth” startup modes. This suggests that you’ll be able to put the E-Ray into a friendly neighbor mode of sorts to start the car up and leave the neighborhood in the morning. We don’t expect the E-Ray to be a plug-in hybrid with any extensive electric range, but like a typical hybrid, there should be enough battery power to back out of the driveway and get far enough away from the windows of your sleeping neighbor before the V8 is required to fire up.

Footage of the E-Ray driving around the city making a whirring electric sound suggests you may be able to put it into Stealth mode for brief periods of time when you want to drive on electric power, too. If it’s anything like the hybrid Acura NSX, this electric motoring will be a brief and neat party trick for the hybrid Corvette.

The last few bits of info we picked up from the video is the presence of what looks like a regenerative braking mode button on the interior, carbon ceramic brakes, and of course, snow. The E-Ray is confirmed to have all-wheel drive, which will make it the first production Corvette to send power to all four wheels. We’ll learn everything there is to know about the E-Ray in a week’s time, so buckle up for January 17.

Related video:

Hennessey Venom F5 Revolution Coupe coming to a track near you

Hennessey isn’t finished milking the Venom. The Texas performance shop revealed the Venom F5 Coupe in December 2020, the Venom F5 Roadster in August of last year, and is kicking off 2023 with the Venom F5 Revolution Coupe. In Hennessey’s hierarchy of speeds, the original car was engineered to reach the highest production-car top velocity; the Roadster that followed was engineered to provide the most visceral experience; this F5 Revolution was made to master the track. Worked up from the initial F5 Coupe, the F5 Revolution gets the same basic goodies — carbon tub, 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 pound-feet of torque, seven-speed automated single-clutch sequential transmission, carbon ceramic brakes. Hennessey says “the engineering team focused on reducing mass” so that the newest trim is the lightest Venom model and “tips the scales below 3,000 pounds.” However, the the F5 Coupe is already less than 3,000 pounds and company didn’t specify a new weight.

There are plenty of verifiable changes, though. A reshaped carbon fiber front splitter pairs with dive planes at the leading corners. A roof scoop shoves air into the mid-engine bay for enhanced cooling. The stand-up, adjustable carbon rear wing with endplates is claimed to shove more than 800 pounds of downforce on the rear axle at 186 miles per hour and more than 1,400 pounds of downforce at 249 mph. For those keeping track of the high-speed testing, Hennessey said the standard coupe hit 271.6 mph in March at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Ground. This one will be a touch less alacritous because of the appendages, but few owners will reach even 249 mph unless they end up at a Spa-Francorchamps track day.  

Internal changes include a new transmission calibration, a more aggressive suspension setup, adjustable dampers, and wider forged alloy wheels making a larger contact patch. An available telemetry package displays and records circuit data including lap times, splits, and G-force.

The cost: $2.7 million, which is $600,000 more than the coupe, $300,000 less than the Roadster. We’re told it’s limited to 24 units, but our Spidey sense tells us that Hennessey calling this the Venom F5 Revolution Coupe points to a Venom F5 Revolution Roadster heading this way at around 250 mph. Anyone in southern Florida next week can see this family member make its debut at the Miami Motorcar Cavalcade Concours d’Elegance on January 15, 2023.

Related video:

Alfa Romeo teases 6C supercar taillight

Alfa Romeo’s latest reboot takes its next steps this year with the arrival of the refreshed Giulia and Stelvio to the U.S. market, and the debut of the new Tonale. The Italians primed the pump with an Instagram video celebrating 2022 and asking if we’re ready for 2023. At the end of the vid, Alfa Romeo answers its own question with, “We Are.” And as it’s clear to see, the first “e” is a brand new font we’ve not seen Alfa use before. Everyone expects this is a taillight from the supercar that brand chief Jean-Philippe Imperato starting hinting about last year, intel coalescing around the name 6C. If that ends up being the name, the new supercar would complete the trilogy of 2007’s 8C and 2015’s 4C.

If Evo can be believed, the 6C will borrow much of its tech spec from the Maserati MC20. Even more unexpected, Evo says Alfa Romeo will advertise the halo as a bridge between its internal combustion era and its electric era, so the supercar will be offered with ICE and EV powertrains. An electric MC20 is on the way, so the plan won’t be a tough jump. The most unexpected bit is when Evo says the Alfa Romeo supercar will use Maserati’s in-house Nettuno V6 designed for the MC20, whereas most believe Alfa plans to go with the 2.9-liter V6 used throughout its lineup and in other halos like the Giula GTA/Am. If Evo is correct, this is sounding like another 8C, that car based on the Maserati GranTurismo and using Maserati’s Ferrari-based engine of the time. 

It’s a bit of a challenge to reconcile Evo’s report with some aspects of what Imperato said in an interview with Autocar. The honcho told Autocar, “It’s 1969 [the Spider] since the last time Alfa Romeo was stamped on a chassis” and it would be “a cool thing” to see again under his watch. We don’t envision that happening to the Dallara carbon fiber monocoque chassis designed for the MC20. Imperato also said the automaker’s still fine tuning the business case and that “the positioning is ongoing.” If Alfa Romeo were nabbing the $260,000 MC20 practically wholesale, the only positions are super spendy supercar and wildly spendy supercar. Lastly, the all-electric MC20 Folgore isn’t expected until 2024, the Alfa supercar at the end of 2023. It’s hardly believable Alfa Romeo would be allowed to electrify that chassis before Maserati had a chance to get it out and crow about it.  

Whatever Alfa’s new halo ends up being, Imperarto said he’d like to tell the world about it in March. 

Back with the regular range, Autocar said that from this year, every year that Alfa posts good numbers will unlock the ability to introduce a new model on top of the ones already planned through 2027. The current product plan includes the crossover below the Tonale in 2024, otherwise known as Alfa’s version of the European-market Jeep Avenger, as well as a larger SUV thought to replace the Stelvio in 2026. and a new-generation Giulia in 2025. For the boss, annual success means the chance to please Alfisti with products like a new Spider or Duetto — although they’d be all-electric. 

Related video:

Lego Technic’s 1/12-scale Ford GT kit is surprisingly detailed

Lego Technic has added the Ford GT to its catalog of 1/12-scale cars. Designed for adult builders, the scaled-down supercar features several life-like features, like a V6 engine with moving pistons, an adjustable rear spoiler, and even an independent suspension system.

The kit consists of 1,466 pieces that come together to make a GT that’s over 15 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 3.5 inches tall. This isn’t the kind of Lego set you can build on your lunch break; it will likely take several evenings’ worth of work to put together. The tradeoff is that the GT is stunningly realistic: finished in blue with white stripes, the coupe features relatively accurate proportions and moving parts.

Like the real GT, the Lego version is equipped with a V6 engine that spins the rear wheels via a differential, a functioning steering system, and doors that swing up rather than out. The rear spoiler is adjustable, and Lego even re-created the air vents positioned behind the doors. The wheels are fairly generic, however; they feature the same design as the ones that come with Lego Technic’s Porsche 911 RSR kit.

Retailers online and around the world will begin receiving Lego Technic’s Ford GT in March 2023, and suggested pricing is set at $120 excluding tax. If the Ford GT isn’t your cup of tea, the Danish company has plenty of other cars in the pipeline for 2023. It teamed up with Bugatti to make a 905-piece Bolide kit and it will add five cars, including the McLaren F1 LM, to its Speed Champions collection.

Join us for a closer look at the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato

Unveiled in November 2022, the Sterrato is the final and arguably wildest evolution of the Lamborghini Huracán. The limited-edition coupe isn’t scheduled to enter production until February 2023, but Autoblog got to check it out in the flesh at a preview event held in Denmark.

The first all-terrain variant of the Huracán looks just as cool in person as it does in Lamborghini’s official photos. Seeing it up close reveals some of the finer design details that the press shots didn’t show, like the subtle “Sterrato” logo on both roof rails and the exposed bolts that hold on the wheel arch flares. I also got to take a peek in the engine bay for a look at the other side of the roof-mounted intake system.

While the Huracán STO also features a roof-mounted scoop, it’s used to channel cooling air into the engine bay. Rouven Mohr, the head of Lamborghini’s research and development department, told Autoblog that his team re-imagined the scoop as the intake system’s inlet after realizing that dust clogs the air filters via the stock, side-mounted intake system. While that’s not a huge deal in Los Angeles traffic, it’s important off the pavement because the Sterrato’s purpose isn’t to crawl over boulders; it was designed to go very fast on unpaved surfaces.

“Its purpose is fast off-roading,” Mohr told me. “In my mind, off-road you’re always going a little bit slow and climbing up somewhere. This is not the intention; this car can also climb but its intention is going sideways on gravel, rally-style.”

Zooming out, the Sterrato is a racing livery away from looking like a rally car. It’s considerably taller than the other Huracán variants, and it looks even higher in person than it does in photos. If you see it in the right light you can spot some of the underbody hardware between the wheels and the arches in spite of the meaty tires. The side skirts and rear diffuser have been given a more off-road-ready design as well.

We’ll need to be patient to find out what the Sterrato is like to drive, but it’s a recipe for fun on paper. It’s powered by a version of the STO’s naturally-aspirated, 5.2-liter V10 engine that develops 610 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 417 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm; the revised intake system is to blame for the 21-horse drop. Lamborghini quotes a 3.4-second sprint from zero to 62 mph and a top speed of 162 mph.

Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato production is limited to 1,499 units globally and once they’re gone, they’re gone; Mohr confirmed that a convertible version of the car isn’t in the pipeline. Act fast if you want one: I’m betting that the full run will be spoken for quickly.

Related Video

McMurtry Speirling blitzes the (metric) quarter-mile in 7.97 seconds

In August, the McMurtry Automotive Spéirling set a new overall record up the 1.16-mile hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a time of 39.14 seconds. McMurtry took that Goodwood car in its Goodwood spec to one of Carwow’s open-air studios, this one at the Millbrook Proving Ground, so the YouTube channel could climb all over the single-seater and run its trademark acceleration tests. The Millbrook runs yielded a 0-60 run of 2.09 seconds and a standing quarter-mile time of 8.64 seconds using an independent GPS measurement device. But the strip was wet, leaving presenter Mat Watson unsatisfied. To get his satisfaction, Carwow transported the Speirling to the Silverstone circuit, hiring the track and a jet-powered dryer truck to lay a grippy line down the Hangar Straight. Those finer conditions allowed the Speirling, in the video above, to blitz the 0-60 in 1.4 seconds and the quarter-mile in 7.97 seconds.

Those are both record times for Carwow, displacing the Rimac Nevera from first place. Watson previously ran the Croatian battery-electric hypercar to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds and the quarter in 8.6 seconds. The Pininfarina Battista claimed the production-car record for 0-60 acceleration at 1.79 seconds. 

There’s a few hundredths worth of gray area in the comparison for now. The Nevera is a production car, the Speirling most definitely is not. McMurtry is developing a road-legal production version that’s likely a couple of years away. Watson set his Speirling times with the fan car’s custom slick tires, the rear pushers being 240-section. So far as we can tell, the all-wheel drive Nevera travels the world setting times on its production tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, 275-section in front, 315-section in back.

The Speirling’s waiting to spring a big surprise, though, since its Goodwood gearing limits top speed to 150 mph. Watson said the Speirling sat at 150 mph for “approximately three seconds” of that blazing quarter-mile time. Fyi, the English quarter-mile is 400 meters, or 1,312.3 feet compared to our 1,320-foot quarter-mile. At 150 mph, it would take the Speirling about another 0.04 second to do the U.S.A. drag. Drag Times ran the Nevera to an 8.582 quarter on a prepped track in the U.S. in August. 

Although we wouldn’t expect a different finishing order than Carwow established, getting the street-legal Speirling and a Nevera on the same track on the same day on production tires would tell us how close the two cars are. 

Before the runs, Watson gets instruction in the Speirling’s methods from chief engineer Kevin Ukoko-Rongione and company test driver Max Chilton. For instance, two fans provide the roughly 4,400 pounds of downforce, but it’s a redundant system; Ukoko-Rongione said that although both fans runs together, a single fan can provide most of the car’s downforce. It’s worth watching the buildup because this is a fascinating car.  

2023 McLaren Artura recalled for fuel leak-related fire risk

McLaren has issued a recall that applies to more than 150 units of the Artura, its new hybrid supercar. The vehicles included in the campaign are fitted with high-pressure fuel lines that can loosen, leak, and ultimately cause a fire because they’re not secured with the right hardware.

Assigned recall number 22V-908 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign includes 164 examples of the Artura built from October 8, 2021, to November 14, 2022. Affected VINs range from SBM16AEA3PW000177 to SBM16AEA1PW000372.

McLaren explained that the recalled cars were built with high-pressure fuel lines held on by cold-formed nuts; the examples that are not part of the recall were manufactured with fully-machined nuts. It added that cold-formed nuts can loosen from the fuel pump over time, especially “during dynamic driving maneuvers commonly associated with track running.” In turn, this can create a fuel leak which increases the risk of a fire. McLaren noted that two cars developed a fuel leak on a track but adds that there are no injuries or accidents related to the defect.

Owners of affected cars will need to take their Artura to the nearest McLaren dealership to get the fuel pipes replaced free of charge. As for the root of the problem, the British company stated it switched to cold-formed nuts in March 2021 due to a shortage of fully-machined parts.

Related Video:

Bertone GB110 opens a new chapter in the coachbuilder’s history

Bertone, one of the oldest and most respected Italian coachbuilders, wants a seat at the automaker table. The company followed arch rival Pininfarina into the supercar segment with a head-turning limited-edition coupe called GB110 that’s powered by a 1,100-horsepower engine.

Computer-generated images released by Bertone depict a wedge-shaped car that’s wide, low, and fairly pure in terms of design; it doesn’t look like a race car made just street-legal enough to wear license plates. Giovanni Sapio, the GB110’s project manager, points out that the overall design draws inspiration from past Bertone-penned concepts like the 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero and the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo.

Interior images haven’t been released yet. Similarly, technical details are few and far between. Bertone merely notes that the GB110’s chassis “is based on components from a German manufacturer” and that its mysterious engine develops about 1,100 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. It spins the four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. While we’re not going to fan the speculation flames, we should point out that the only German supercar with a mid-mounted engine, a seven-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive is the Audi R8.

Regardless of what it’s powered by or based on, the GB110 is intriguingly configured to burn what Bertone refers to as “fuel made from plastic waste.” It joined forces with Select Fuel, which has reportedly developed and patented a technology capable of converting polycarbonate materials into renewable fuel. Feeding the engine what pretty much sounds like an alchemized and liquefied blend of plastic trash sends the coupe from zero to 62 mph in 2.79 seconds, from zero to 124 mph in 6.79 seconds, and on to a top speed of over 236 mph.

Bertone plans to make 33 units of the GB110 available globally. Pricing information hasn’t been announced, but it seems like the company already has big plans for the future. It announced that the new coupe is the first model in an upcoming series of limited-edition vehicles.

Related Video

2023 Ford GT Mk IV is a more powerful, track-only GT

Ford is wrapping up the run of this GT supercar generation with a wild final model. It’s the 2023 Ford GT Mk IV, named after the Mk IV versions of the original GT40 that raced in 1967. Like those ’60s racers, the new GT Mk IV gets massively changed and lengthened bodywork. It also packs suspension and powertrain changes.

Compared to the last special track version of this GT generation, the Mk II, the Mk IV has a longer wheelbase and a unique body with a longer tail, all in the service of better aerodynamics. It also has different fenders, hood and front bumper. It loses the full headlights of other GT models and has truly enormous radiator intakes on each side, as well.

The GT Mk IV also gets a beefier twin-turbo V6. It has a larger displacement (which Ford did not share, unfortunately) and will make more than 800 horsepower. That should be at least 100 more than the GT Mk II had.

Ford also says it has bestowed a “racing transmission” and updated suspension to the Mk IV, but it didn’t go into any detail about what distinguished those parts from the Mk II, regular GT or even the GT race cars. It didn’t say anything about the exact weight of the car, either. Hopefully we’ll have more details in the future.

Ford did share pricing and how to get one. Only 67 will be built, and the base price will be $1.7 million. That’s actually more examples than the Mk II, and also a few hundred thousand dollars more in cost. Prospective buyers can apply at this website, and Ford will determine who will get the cars in the first quarter of next year. Deliveries will come in the spring.

Related video:

McLaren sells historic cars to raise cash to fund Artura upgrades

Cash-strapped McLaren Holdings Ltd. has recently sold some of its prized heritage car collection to Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat Holding Co. to raise capital. 

The supercar maker was forced to seek an injection of funds after identifying “certain technical upgrades” on its Artura hybrid supercar that triggered delivery delays, McLaren said earlier this week during its third-quarter earnings. Its main shareholder — with Mumtalakat owning a near 60% stake — agreed to support the company with an additional £100 million ($123 million), the company said. 

A McLaren spokesman confirmed the sale of some heritage vehicles to the company’s main shareholder in return for the cash infusion, without elaborating on the details of the cars sold. 

McLaren’s heritage vehicles count 54 rare Formula 1 racing cars and F1 supercars, according to its 2021 annual report. The same report states that the company sells cars from its collection from time to time. 

“We are in active talks with all shareholders regarding a recapitalization of the group,” McLaren said on the call, indicating the additional funds won’t be enough. It’s also continuing talks for potential partnerships. 

McLaren reported a loss of £203 million in the nine months through September, compared with a £69 million loss a year ago. Liquidity at the end of the third quarter declined to £87 million, down from £171 million. 

The British marque has sought emergency financing multiple times over the past few years from shareholders amid long delays in the launch of the Artura. The latest round of fundraising comes just months after its shareholders — which also include investment firm Ares Management Corporation and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — gave £125 million through convertible preference shares.

Related video:

De Tomaso P900 uses synthetic fuel to spin past 12,000 rpm

It’s not a trendy electric hyper car. The Italian-built De Tomaso P900 is another kind of anomaly in the automotive upper strata where it lives: The P900 is propelled by a V12 engine that runs solely on synthetic fuel, all the way to 12,300 rpm.

Priced at about $3 million and limited to a production run of only 18 examples, the carbon-bodied P900 weights just less that 2,000 pounds.  Its 6.2-liter powerplant accounts for about a quarter of that weight.

Although De Tomaso is hedging the full specs on the car except to customers who have ordered one, the engine is expected to generate about 900 horsepower; it’s still in development until 2024, although the model is set to be revealed officially in the spring.

For customers clamoring to show off their P900s, it will be available prior to 2024 using De Tomaso’s F1-derived V10 engine. The design of the two-seater is pure science fiction, adapted from the De Tomaso P72, which used a carbon fiber monocoque chassis constructed to LMP1 standards and a 5.0-liter supercharged Ford Coyote V8.

“As a passionate automotive enthusiast, it is difficult for me to accept a silent EV-driven future,” said Norman Choi, De Tomaso CEO, in a statement. “We believe that alternatives do exist, and the development of our new platform, driven by synthetic fuels, is our solution for keeping this shared passion for the theatre of combustion engines alive.”

In pursuit of zero-emissions mobility, Choi says this new venture doesn’t envision a future that sacrifices “the crucial element which we all hold so dear — the soul and symphony of an engine.” 

Bertone wants to make wedges great again

Of all the unheard-of brands being resurrected every day, here’s one we’re interested in. Bertone is on the way back after a couple of decades of rough going. Giovanni Bertone founded the Italian design house in 1912, but it was the postwar years while being run by Nuccio Bertone that the company penned one legend after another. Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Miura and Countach, Ferrari Dino 308 GT4, Fiat X1/9, and so on. A 2014 bankruptcy led to being bought by Mauro and Jean-Frank Ricci, brothers who own an auto industry consultancy called Akka that’s worked with Aston Martin, Ford, and the Volkswagen Group. Their only public showcase with Bertone so far was the 2016 Smart Bertone, an electric two-seater with more than three times the horsepower of the standard Smart Electric Drive. We don’t know what the Ricci brothers are planning, but a video at Bertone’s new website and an Instagram account tell us, “The timeless icon is reborn.”

The Bertone Nuccio was the firm’s final concept before bankruptcy, a 100th anniversary celebration that attempted to combine Bertone’s hallmark flourishes into a wedgy berlinetta without much success. This new effort looks more promising. Based on the coupe in the teased image, we’ll expect something supercar-ish. Based on the rear diffuser design in the teaser video and what could be two elongated exhaust ports, it’s possible there’s an internal combustion engine behind the cockpit. The arrowhead side vent recalls the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo and 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero concepts, both just as important as any of the roadgoing cars. And the video reveals a ton of detailing, especially around the LED headlights and taillights and the wheels. 

This year being Bertone’s 110th anniversary and “110” featuring prominently in the teasers, it shouldn’t be long before we find out what “The dawn of a new era for contemporary Bertone” means.