All posts in “Rides”

Germany criticizes Czech tycoon’s 257-mph Autobahn ride

BERLIN — Germany’s Transport Ministry has criticized a stunt that saw a Czech millionaire drive his high-powered sports car along a public highway at speeds of up to 414 kilometers per hour (257 mph).

A video posted online this month shows Radim Passer pushing his Bugatti Chiron to extreme speeds on a stretch of Germany’s A2 Autobahn between Berlin and Hannover.

Beneath the video, Passer wrote that the stunt was filmed last year on a 10-kilometer (6-mile) straight section with three lanes and “visibility along the whole stretch.”

“Safety was a priority, so the circumstances had to be safe to go,” he said.

But the car can be seen passing several other vehicles on the highway and the light in the video suggests it was at twilight.

While much of Germany’s Autobahn network famously has no speed limit, the Transport Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that it “rejects any behavior in road traffic that leads or can lead to endangering road users.”

“All road users must abide by the rules of the road traffic regulations,” it added, citing the first clause of Germany’s road traffic law, which states that “anyone participating in traffic must behave in such a way that no other person is harmed, endangered or obstructed or inconvenienced more than is unavoidable under the circumstances.”

The ministry noted that the law also requires drivers to “only drive so fast that the vehicle is constantly under control.”

Passer, who according to Forbes is the Czech Republic’s 33rd-richest person with a wealth of 6.6 billion Czech crowns ($308 million), suggested beneath the video that he placed his faith in more than just his driving skills during the stunt.

“We thank God for the safety and good circumstances, as we were able to reach the speed of 414 km/h!” he wrote.

The Green party, now a junior partner in Germany’s coalition government, called for a 130 kph (80 mph) speed limit across the Autobahn network in last year’s election campaign, as part of efforts to cut the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. But that idea was ditched during talks to form the new government.

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Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato prototype spied testing in the snow

Back in the summer of 2019, which seems like so much longer than two and a half years ago at this point, Lamborghini showed an interesting concept called the Huracán Sterrato. It was a lifted, widebody version of the mid-engine supercar, and its name literally translated to dirt. It was quite cool, and surprisingly grounded. And it must’ve been received well not just by us, but possibly customers, because these spy photos seem to indicate Lamborghini is working on a production model.

There are a few indicators, but the most clear is the fact this test car has a noticeably taller ride height than its pavement-pounding predecessors. The concept, for reference, had an extra 1.85-inches of ground clearance. Furthermore, the prototype is sporting roof rails like those seen on the concept. Some other interesting additions that may or may not indicate plans for the production car include the skid plate up front, the additional lighting on the hood, and a new roof scoop up top. They’re all clearly temporary additions, but the concept had bodywork that suggested some sort of skid plate, as well as auxiliary lighting. The roof scoop is a bit of a head-scratcher, though. We’re not one to turn down a sweet mid-engine supercar scoop, but roof rails would seem to suggest carrying stuff on the roof, which would seem to directly block said scoop. On the other hand, that scoop could provide cleaner air when out in the dirt.

Missing from the concept are the fat fender flares, but that’s not too much of a surprise. We would expect the powertrain is basically the same as that of the Huracán Evo with a naturally aspirated V10 and all-wheel drive. It will probably have specific driving modes that adjust the traction and stability control systems for sporty, slippery driving conditions. We could also see the car being shown sometime either this year or next year, since it will likely be based on the current Huracán.

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2023 Chevy Corvette, including Z06, reportedly a few months away

After getting eyes on a memo General Motors sent to Chevy dealers, the Corvette Action Center site has posted some key dates and information concerning the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette. We’re not sure if it’s because of the new generation or “the new normal” in the state of world affairs, but the coming model transition won’t be like those in recent memory.

First, the dealer order guide for the 2023 Corvette is two months away, coming out on March 21. Three days later, on March 24, dealers will be able to begin placing orders for next year’s coupe and convertible. CAC says the online configurator for keyboard tire kickers will launch that day, too. On March 31, dealers will be able to begin pairing orders with their Corvette allocations.

Six weeks later, on May 6, 2022 Corvette production is expected to end. 

Here’s the first departure from the norm: Instead of Bowling Green Assembly Plant taking the traditional one- or two-week gap between model years, 2023 Corvette production is slated to begin on May 9, three days after the last 2022 leaves the line. That May 9 date matches the date Corvette Blogger and GM Authority posted as the commencement of 2023 Corvette production in November 2021.

That brings us to the second switchup in Corvette production. In previous years, GM kept allocations of standard Corvettes separate from the Z06. For the C8, Corvette allocations won’t be separated. This suggests that 2023 Corvette Z06 production will begin on May 9, the same day as the standard car. Furthermore, with the C7 Corvette Z06, GM based dealer allocations on how many Z06s the dealer had sold the previous year. With the C8, GM will use a dealer’s Average Daily Supply to gauge how quickly that dealer is selling Corvettes, then determine how many of each Corvette the dealer gets.  

If all of these dates hold, the 2022 Corvette would have spent just eight months in production, having started down the lines on September 6, 2021. With the 2023 Corvette Z06 having sucked all the air out of the room — in part to power its brand new and massively powerful V8 — we don’t expect much beyond small cosmetic and option changes for the standard Corvette for the coming model year.

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2020 Audi R8 Decennium gets six-speed manual conversion

One of the best manual transmissions ever put on the market was the gated six-speed in the first-generation Audi R8. That silken, row-your-own warrior departed to the afterlife with the introduction of the second-gen car in 2015, replaced by a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. But if money can resurrect whole and long-dead car brands, it shouldn’t have any problem with a few hunks of metal in a bell housing, no? It won’t, so long as there’s a well-heeled customer on one side, Underground Racing on the other, and a 2020 Audi R8 Decennium in the middle. Oh yeah, and a couple of turbos.

The Dallas-based customer owned one of the 222 R8 Decennium special editions that Audi produced to commemorate a decade of the 5.2-liter V10 and motorsports success — only 50 of the cars came to America, each producing 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. He requested a twin-turbo kit from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Underground Racing, the shop specializing in R8 and Lamborghini builds. While they were toiling in back of the car, he also requested they swap that dual-clutch for a manual. The result is a riotously double-boosted V10 with 1,500 horsepower and six forward ratios chosen by hand. Underground Racing told Road & Track they started with the gearbox from a 2012 Audi R8 and reworked it with custom parts to make it fit, manage the power, and be daily-drivable. The task also involved installing a JRR engine management system to shepherd the reconfigured drivetrain.   

In the cabin, UR removed the square section that houses the seven-speed dual-clutch shifter, replacing it with what looks like a custom fabbed gate giving off Ferrari vibes. It’s quite nice. Intriguingly, the R8 retains its paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. UR says these paddles have been equipped with “rolling antilag,” plus “launch control, drift mode, and more.” Curiouser and curiouser. The R8 Decennium was finished off with tweaks like a custom billet intake and custom-finished, center-lock wheels mimicking those on the Huracán Performante,  

With one six-speed conversion done, UR says it’s ready to do the same for any other manual-craving R8 owners, but the swap can only be added onto a twin-turbo kit. That means spending at least $49,000 for the Base Twin Turbo System that takes an R8 up to 800 wheel horsepower on 93 pump gas, before adding the cost of the manual transmission work. Underground Racing says it will release pricing for the six-speed manual kit soon, and we assume the new gearbox will be included in UR’s two-year, 24,000-mile warranty for peace of mind along with power and proper shifting. 

Hennessey Venom F5 continues high-speed stability testing

Having just posted about Hennessey putting its Venom F5 “Fury” engine on the dyno, we wondered when the total package would be showed on test. Well, here you go. The Lone Star manufacturer of gangbuster machines took a Venom F5 to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds on Merritt Island, Florida, for high-speed stability and vehicle dynamics testing, with ex-GM engineer John Heinricy on piloting duties.

This follows other speed runs in places like Hennessey’s Sealy, Texas, home base, the UK’s Silverstone Circuit, and a runway at an ex-U.S. Air Force base in Arkansas. The day had nothing to do with testing the upper limits of the car’s velocity, merely how the Venom felt as it approached those limits. Having said that, Hennessey tells us that when Heinricy chose the F5 driving mode, he made it past 250 miles per hour at least once. 

That F5 setting unlocks the entire 1,817-horsepower potential of the 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged pushrod V8 nicknamed “Fury” when the tank is filled with E85. When not in that mode, the redline comes down by 300 rpm, to 8,200 rpm. 

It’s said there’s a proper top speed run planned for the not-too-distant future, again on Merritt Island, along with testing runs at Texas’ Circuit of the Americas and California’s Laguna Seca. Before the year is out, we should know if the Venom will be equal to the purpose it was created for: hitting 311 miles per hour. With a hotspur goading it on, the Venom F5 certainly does make a sweet noise on the way up there.

First 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to be auctioned

We expect the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to break at least one record before the coming super-coupe has been objectively timed and tested. Barrett-Jackson will auction the first retail example of what should be the most amazing Z06 the world has ever seen during the auction house’s annual Scottsdale, Arizona, event on January 29 at around 8:30 p.m. The last charity Corvette the auction house sold was the first 2020 C8 Corvette, which NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick bought for $3 million. With his winning bid, Hendrick set the benchmark hammer price for a Barrett-Jackson charity car, and eclipsed the $2.9 million paid for the last front-engined Corvette in 2019. Although not assured, it doesn’t take much imagination to conceive of bidding for the 2023 Z06 cruising right past $3 million to a new record.  

Whatever the final tally is, every cent of the hammer price for lot #3009 will be donated to a charity called Operation Homefront, Barrett-Jackson forgoing its usual fees. The 20-year-old nonprofit Operation Homefront exists to help the post-9/11 wounded, military families, and veterans with financial assistance and housing support.

The car on the block will be a stand-in hardtop, not convertible, the Z06 not scheduled to enter production until September of this year. It sounds unlikely the winning car will be VIN 001, with language noting the coupe could be “subject to a state-issued VIN and/or other state requirements” depending on where the owner hails from. After winning, the buyer will be invited to configure what will be the first retail example of the production line, meaning choosing one of 12 exterior colors and seven interior and wheel treatments, then making the even bigger choice of whether to append the Z07 Performance Package that adds frills like a big rear wing, canards, and carbon fiber wheels.

And with two more powerful Corvette versions thought to be on the way — the ZR1 and the performance hybrid perhaps called Zora or E-Ray — the Z06 likely won’t hold for long the benchmark among its kind for price at the gavel.

As for the everyday buyer, it’s going to require a few trips around the sun to take delivery of a new Z06 even for those who put reservations in months ago. Buyers in one thread on the C8Z06 forum talked about making $2,000 refundable deposits with one dealer as soon as the reservations system opened, then being told they were as far back as between 4,000 and 5,000 on the waiting list. And that’s just one dealer. Might not be too soon to start thinking about putting money aside and making friends at a dealership to get a good shot at the C9.

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Gordon Murray Automotive’s next supercar teased

Gordon Murray Automotive has posted to social media a teaser of its next supercar. It will be the second car to emerge from the company founded by the legendary race car engineer who created the McLaren F1. The follow-up to the incredible T.50 and T.50s is scheduled for a release in three weeks. So far all we have is a name, the T.33, which the teaser shows us as an emblem in yellow.

Notably, however, GMA refers to it as a “supercar GT” indicating that it’ll be more of a grand tourer than the hard-core sports-oriented T.50. As such, it may be a tad more relaxed than the manual-shift, 654-horsepower, 344-pound-foot T.50.

Given Murray’s fondness for mid-mounted V12s, we think it’s likely that the T.33 will be powered by some version of the 3.9-liter Cosworth V12 developed for the T.50. As a GT, though, perhaps the T.50’s 1+2 seating position will give way to a more relaxed side-by-side configuration.

One thing we do know for sure is that the T.33 will be the first car to emerge from GMA’s new $68 million global headquarters in Windlesham, Surrey, U.K. The facility will also house an R&D center, museum, manufacturing and service hub, and test track.

In a statement, Murray said, “We will have many important milestones for our new headquarters over the next two years. But one of the most important will be on 27 January when we reveal the first Gordon Murray Automotive vehicle to be manufactured there. We’re all extremely excited to be revealing such a significant car to the world in just three weeks from now.”

We’ll be tuning in at 12 p.m. Eastern on January 27.

Zombie cars: Discontinued vehicles that aren’t dead yet

Car models come and go, but as revealed by monthly sales data, once a car is discontinued, it doesn’t just disappear instantly. And in the case of some models, vanishing into obscurity can be a slow, tedious process.

That’s the case with the 12 cars we have here. All of them have been discontinued, but car companies keep racking up “new” sales with them.

There are actually more discontinued cars that are still registering new sales than what we decided to include here. We kept this list to the oldest or otherwise most interesting vehicles still being sold as new, including a supercar. We’ll run the list in alphabetical order, starting with *drumroll* …

BMW 6 Series: 55 total sales

BMW quietly removed the 6 Series from the U.S. market during the 2019 model year. It had been available in three configurations, a hardtop coupe, a convertible and a sleek four-door coupe-like shape.

BMW i8: 18 total sales

We’ve always had a soft spot for the BMW i8, despite the fact that it never quite fit into a particular category. It was sporty, but nowhere near as fast as similarly-priced competitors. It looked very high-tech and boasted a unique carbon fiber chassis design and a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but wasn’t really designed for maximum efficiency or maximum performance. Still, the in-betweener was very cool too look at and drive, and 18 buyers took one home over the course of 2021.

Chevy Impala: 750 total sales

The Impala represented classic American tastes at a time when American tastes were shifting away from soft-riding sedans with big interior room and trunk space and into higher-riding crossovers. A total of 750 sales were inked last year.

Chrysler 200: 15 total sales

The Chrysler 200 was actually a pretty nice sedan, with good looks and decent driving dynamics let down by a lack of roominess, particularly in the back seat. Of course, as we said regarding the Chevy Impala, the number of Americans in the market for sedans is rapidly winding down, and other automakers are following Chrysler’s footsteps in canceling their slow-selling four-doors.

Even if Chrysler never really found its footing in the ultra-competitive midsize sedan segment, apparently dealerships have a few leftover 2017 200s floating around. And for some reason, 15 buyers decided to sign the dotted line to take one of these aging sedans home last year. Interestingly, Chrysler sold nine 200s over the course of the 2020 sales year, so sales were actually up in 2021 for a sedan that ended production in 2017.

Chrysler Town & Country: 4 total sales

We’re not sure how Chrysler dealers were able to log four Town & Country minivan sales last year, but here we are. Chrysler pulled the plug on its long-running minivan way back in 2016 when it was replaced by the sleek Pacifica. We hope those buyers got really solid deals.

Dodge Dart: 10 total sales

Dodge discontinued the compact Dart back in 2016, just three years after its launch. The automaker just wasn’t able to compete with the segment leaders like the Honda Civic or the sales juggernaut that is the Toyota Corolla. Despite the fact that it’s been dead for several years, Dodge managed to sell 10 Darts in 2021. A year ago, Dodge managed to move seven of ’em, so again, that’s improvement!

Dodge Viper: 4 total sales

Dodge discontinued the rip-roaring Viper after the 2017 model year, but there are still a few left in dealerships around the country. Over the course of 2021, Dodge managed to sell four SRT Vipers.

It’s interesting to think that these buyers had the option of driving home in a brand-new mid-engine Corvette, but chose to go in an entirely different direction. Something tells us they won’t be disappointed with its 640-horsepower naturally aspirated V10 engine, even if it’s mounted way out in front of the driver instead of the preferable sportscar location behind the passenger compartment.

Fiat 500: 51 total sales

Fiat hasn’t exactly pulled itself entirely out of the U.S. market, but it’s close. A quick glance at the Fiat USA website shows only one vehicle, the 500X crossover. Gone are the original 500, pumped-up 500L and 124 Spider. Let’s all collectively hope the 51 500 buyers last year opted for Abarth models.

Infiniti QX30: 1 total sale

The Infiniti QX30, a collaboration designed and built with Mercedes-Benz, ended production after the 2019 model year. Still, one single solitary little crossover was sold to a new buyer in 2021. Odd choice; we hope they got a good deal.

Jeep Patriot: 16 total sales

Jeep discontinued the Patriot in 2017 when it introduced the latest version of its compact Compass crossover. Despite the fact that it’s three full model years old, there are still some Patriots milling about on Jeep dealerships across America. In total, Jeep sold 16 Patriots in 2021, which somehow is 13 more than they sold in 2020.

Nissan 370Z: 36 total sales

Nissan axed the 370Z Roadster after the 2019 model year, with the replacement Z coming in 2023 with a twin-turbo V6 engine that spins out 400 horsepower. Earlier this year, Nissan confirmed in a statement to Autoblog that there were still a few 370Z stragglers sitting on dealership lots in 2021, with the total tally standing at 36 sales.

Toyota FJ Cruiser: 1 total sale

And now we come to the final, and oldest, new sale made by any automaker over the course of 2021. Somehow, some way, a lone Toyota dealership held on to an FJ Cruiser, a model that ended production in 2014, and sold it to a new buyer in 2021. To them we say: Congratulations. You bought the oldest new car in America (that we know of), and it’s a cool one. Enjoy.

Spyker is back again, maybe

The motto of Dutch car company Spyker was, “Nulla tenaci invia est via.” That’s Latin for, “For the tenacious, no road is impassable.” If nothing else, no other outfit has lived its motto more fully than the outfit still headed by Victor Muller. After buying Saab in 2010 and foundering under the purchase, going bankrupt in 2014, being bought by private equity in 2015 and foundering again, declaring new investors in 2020 before going bankrupt again in 2021, we have another new announcement that Spyker is back. The investors this time are the same as in 2020 — when funds never came through and Spyker went bust again — Russian businessmen Boris Rotenberg and Michail Pessis. According to a press release, a new round of meetings last month led to new agreement between all parties about the direction of the company, so hands will finally get to work building new cars.

Rotenberg owns SMP Bank in Russia, title sponsor of SMP Racing that Rotenberg co-owns with Pessis. He also co-owns energy company SGM Group and runs BR Engineering, which entered the BR Engineering BR1 in the World Endurance Championship. Pessis owns luxury firm Milan Morady out of Luxembourg and the automotive tuner R-Company in Germany. Both are Spyker owners, Pessis saying in August 2020, “Since Boris Rotenberg and I ordered our first Spyker almost a decade ago, we passionately fell in love with the beauty and craftsmanship of these hand-built sportscars. As of 2015, the cooperation with Spyker intensified through Milan Morady, which now culminates in the collaboration agreement announced today. Moreover BR Engineering and Milan Morady have for the past few years already been involved in the development and production of a number of Spyker C8 Ailerons in so-called Limited Edition BR configuration in our German facilities.” 

Muller wants to pick up where Spyker left off years ago, building the C8 Preliator (pictured) and B6 Venator cars, and D8 Peking-to-Paris crossover starting this year. The Preliator debuted in 2016 as the most recent version of Spyker’s core C8 model in production since 2000, powered by a supercharged version of the 4.2-liter Audi-sourced V8 that was Spyker’s favorite engine. The Venator was from 2013, powered by a V6 to provide a lower cost of entry to the range. The D8 was from 2009, once touted to employ a V12, then rumored with that Audi V8. The brand wants to go racing again, too. That could be down the line, but backing from SMP Racing could make such a venture much easier.

We don’t know which cars will come to life this year, if any, but we’ve been promised that any which do come will use internal combustion engines. They’ll also employ an international workforce; Germany and Russia will lead model development, Russia will supply carbon fiber bodies, the hand-built workforce will toil in a new production facility in the Netherlands, Luxembourg accountants will attend to Spyker’s finances, and there will be new service centers in the South of France and somewhere around the Benelux area.  

The caveat to all of this is that the presser informs us, “As soon as a written agreement is reached and the use of trademark rights secured, activities can restart.” Spyker has taught us that anything can happen on the way to the finish line, so perhaps hold off on sending deposits to the Netherlands just yet.

Koenigsegg’s resolution for 2022 is to launch a new hypercar

Koenigsegg’s resolution for 2022 is one that most enthusiasts can agree with: “more ultimate performance.” While details are few and far between, the Swedish firm published a dark preview image on its social media channels that gives us an early look at a new hypercar.

As is often the case, the photo asks more questions than it answers. What’s intriguing is that the model seems to wear a far more angular exterior design than the 1,600-horsepower Jesko, which is characterized by curved lines. Even the Agera RS was more rounded. We won’t go as far as calling the new car retro, but it’s certainly worth noting that Koenigsegg’s early models (like the CC8S) were also rather square.

Another point worth bringing up is that throwback design cues sell well in the supercar and hypercar segments. Bugatti had no trouble selling 10 examples of the Chiron-derived Centodieci, which is a tribute to the EB110 built in the 1990s. And, the born-again Lamborghini Countach was sold out before its unveiling in 2021; it’s limited to 112 units. Koenigsegg’s CC8S is turning 20 in 2022, if you catch our drift.

We’re told that Koenigsegg will deliver more ultimate performance through “clever engineering and optimal design,” so the new model likely has a few tech tricks up its sleeve. It won’t be the kind of technology that’s dominating CES 2022: Koenigsegg has made it clear that its customers want to drive themselves and that an autonomous car isn’t in its pipeline. However, the company is experimenting with extremely innovative ideas in the powertrain department (its four-seater Gemera is powered by a 1,700-horsepower gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain built around a camless three-cylinder engine) so it’s reasonable to assume that the new model’s specifications sheet will surprise us.

Color us intrigued, then. More information about the next Koenigsegg model will emerge in the coming months.

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Father of Disco’s Cizeta-Moroder had ’80s looks, double pop-up lights and a V16

Auction house RM Sotheby’s is giving collectors with a penchant for obscure Italian supercars from the 1980s a rare opportunity. One of the classics it will offer during its January 2022 sale is the original Cizeta-Moroder V16T prototype that was displayed at several car shows.

Cizeta-Moroder isn’t a household name. When you think “Italian wedge,” odds are you imagine a Lamborghini Countach (or maybe a slice of parmesan). The short-lived company was founded by former Lamborghini test driver and engineer Claudio Zampolli with funding from music producer and composer Giorgo Moroder, who is also known as the Father of Disco. Bertone’s Marcello Gandini was commissioned to design the car, and Zampolli decided to power it with a 6.0-liter V16 engine in order to one-up better established supercar firms like Ferrari.

Mounted transversally behind the passenger compartment, the naturally-aspirated 16-cylinder engine sent about 520 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. These numbers were huge for the late 1980s when Lamborghini’s Countach put 449 horses under your right foot and a BMW M3 was rated at 220 horsepower. Zampolli and Moroder worked together long enough to build a running and driving prototype but the relationship between the two men quickly soured. The car was consequently renamed Cizeta V16T, and Zampolli built nine additional examples before his company filed for bankruptcy in 1994.

The original prototype is the only example built with “Cizeta-Moroder” badging, and it’s still owned by Moroder. RM Sotheby’s explains that the prototype was unveiled in December 1988 at an upscale gathering held in Los Angeles and hosted by Jay Leno. It was also displayed at the 1989 editions of the Los Angeles and Geneva auto shows. Several key details differentiate it from the production versions: the air intakes on both sides are bigger, and parts like the turn signals, the door mirrors, and nearly everything inside are specific to chassis number 001.

Moroder reportedly had the car refurbished by California-based Bruce Canepa in 2018 after keeping it in storage for many years. It’s said to be in running and driving condition and its odometer displays 322 kilometers, which represents approximately 200 miles.

If you think this V16T belongs in your collection, you’re in luck: it’s scheduled to cross the auction block during an RM Sotheby’s sale taking place in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 27, 2022. We don’t have a pre-auction estimate yet, but nothing suggests that the winning bidder will score the deal of a lifetime. In 2021, RM Sotheby’s sold a 1993 model (chassis number 101) for $665,000. We’re guessing that the original prototype will sell for considerably more money considering its historical significance and the fact that it’s a documented one-owner car.

Several other classic cars shaped like a door stop will be looking for their next home in Phoenix in January 2022. RM’s catalog also includes a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider, a 1995 Ferrari 512 M, a 1978 Maserati Bora 4.9, and a no-reserve 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. 

McLaren Artura hybrid supercar delayed until second half of 2022

The new hybrid McLaren Artura is officially delayed. A report from Automotive News broke the news on the electrified supercar.

When McLaren officially revealed the Artura, it promised that deliveries would begin in the third quarter of 2021. The third quarter of this year has long since gone, and we’re about to head into 2022, and there are still no Artura deliveries taking place. The new target date for initial deliveries is set for July 2022. 

Automotive News heard confirmation of the delay from a McLaren spokesperson.

“We held on longer than everybody else in terms of stopping production, but unfortunately, our semiconductor supply dried up,” the spokesperson said. “That made us have to reduce production across the board.”

So, there’s your reason for the delay, too. McLaren is blaming the chip shortage that is currently plaguing the entire automotive industry. It’s unfortunate, because McLaren could certainly use the new Artura to freshen up its lineup. Automotive News reports that McLaren originally meant the Artura to make up 40% of its deliveries in 2022. With the delay until July next year, that’s going to be a difficult number to approach.

In case you needed a reminder, the Artura is a totally new McLaren from the ground up, as it’s sporting a new platform, new twin-turbo V6 engine and a plug-in hybrid electric system for purely electric motoring — 19 miles with a full battery pack. The engine and electric motor combined produce 671 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, sending it to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. Base price for the Artura is $225,000.

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10 things you didn´t know about Hispano Suiza

Hispano Suiza Fábrica de Automóvil S.A. is a company that dates back to the ‘old days’ of automotive history, between 1904 and 1946 they not only created a total of 12,000 luxury high-performance cars but also 50,000 aircraft engines in Spain, sadly after 1946 this glorious name became somewhat dormant … until 2000, when the HS21 supercar was shown in Geneva, followed by the K8 in 2001 and the HS21-GTS in 2002 as evolutions of the HS21 version.

The 2001 Hispano Suiza K8

But there is a lot more to know about the history of this glamorous car builder, so take a look at the 10 things you might not know about them is the extract from their latest press release below:

1 – More than 100 years of history
Hispano Suiza was founded on June 14, 1904, by Damián Mateu together with Francisco Seix and Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt, who had worked for two companies that had preceded Hispano Suiza: La Cuadra and J. Castro. Birkigt’s experience in the industry was key in laying the foundations for Hispano Suiza.

In 1905, Hispano Suiza created their first vehicle, the Armored Type Birkigt System, which was equipped with a four-cylinder engine and 20 CV of power, and which reached a top speed of 87 km/h. It was followed, a year later, by what would be the first car with a six-cylinder engine built in Spain, a model delivering 75 HP of power that completed the Perpignan-to-Paris route in 22 hours, a feat which received great media attention at the time.

2 – Hispano Suiza did not just produce cars throughout its history
During World War I, Hispano Suiza went from producing cars to manufacturing aircraft engines. It was a period of great success for the company: they applied their technological know-how in the manufacture and development of automotive engines to a new field, which brought them great benefits.

Georges Guynemer and his fighter plane

Birkigt built an aircraft engine that was based on a racing car engine, following the “direct drive” principle, with a V8 layout and aluminum alloy blocks to reduce weight. Hispano Suiza began to receive numerous orders, so many that they had to sell licenses to other manufacturers in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Japan and even Russia… In total, more than 50,000 Hispano Suiza engines were built.

Hispano Suiza aviation engines also found their place at sea. The most spectacular engine, a V12 delivering 1,300 HP, was mounted on a series of racing boats, including the so-called Aurora, built in 1935. Birkigt collaborated in the assembly of this boat, which was auctioned a few years ago for a figure close to a million euros.

3 – King Alfonso XIII

King Alfonso XIII played an important role in the early days of Hispano Suiza. The monarch was a car enthusiast, who instantly fell in love with the 20CV Hispano Suiza that he drove in in 1905. So much so that in 1910 he became a shareholder, purchasing 8% of the company shares. King Alfonso XIII also had a car named in his honor, a two-seater sports car, with a 3,619 cc four-cylinder engine, delivering 60 HP, with a top speed of 120 km / h. It was the Hispano-Suiza T45, better known as Hispano Suiza Alfonso XIII.

King Alfonso XIII of Spain with Hispano Suiza

4 – A car for the elite
Thanks to the performance of its vehicles, which combined speed with lightness and amazing driving sensations, thanks to its luxury materials, the handcrafted to the highest quality standards, Hispano Suiza immediately rose to fame.

In addition to King Alfonso XIII, the vehicles of the Spanish brand were chosen by aristocrats, intellectuals, and the most renowned artists in the world, such as Gustavo V of Sweden, Carlos II of Romania, Louis II of Monaco, Pablo Picasso, André Citroën, Coco Chanel, René Lacoste, Paul McCartney or Albert Einstein.

The history of Hispano Suiza cars has always been closely linked to clients with high purchasing power, an exquisite taste for luxury and an incalculable passion for the automotive world. Today, classic Hispano Suiza cars are preserved with great care in museums and private collections around the world.

5 – Hispano Suiza, not just a car but an asset of cultural interest
The Hispano Suiza 30-40 HP was an important model in the history of the brand, developed by Birkigt as a replacement for the 20-30 HP. Of all those produced, there was a very special unit custom-built for the Marquis of Zayas and bodied by Francisco Capella.

This model used noble woods and materials such as ivory and silver. The steering wheel was positioned to the right, as it was customary then, and featured mahogany details, ivory handles, beveled glass, automatic blinds, fine cushioned upholstered seats, a perfume diffuser, vases, and numerous details that underlined the elegance and exclusivity of the car. It was a Hispano Suiza made to measure.

The model, after all cars once belonging to the Marquis of Zayas were auctioned, was acquired by the Spanish Home Office which declared it an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1988, being the first car to achieve this status,  which is normally granted to monuments and works of art. The vehicle was then displayed in the Museum of Automotive History located in Salamanca (Spain).

6 – The stork
Hispano Suiza’s emblem, the stork, is a nod to the company’s heritage as a manufacturer of aircraft engines. The brand decided to feature it in all its models to pay tribute to Georges Guynemer, a French fighter ace, who had a stork painted on the fuselage of its fighter jet during World War I, powered by a Hispano Suiza engine.

In 1919, the silver stork accompanied the new Hispano Suiza H6B in its presentation at the Geneva Motor Show and, since then, it featured in all the brand’s models, accompanied by the flags of Spain and Switzerland. 100 years later, the stork flew again at Carmen’s presentation, once again at the Geneva Motorshow.

7 – Carmen
Carmen is the name that Hispano Suiza has given to the vehicle with which it made its comeback to the world of automotive manufacturing. It is a model that has already made history; the most technologically advanced that has been designed, manufactured, and developed in Spain. The choice of the name is not a mere coincidence: it is a tribute to Mrs. Carmen Mateu, granddaughter of Damián Mateu – founder of the company – and mother of the current president of Hispano Suiza, Miguel Suqué Mateu.

“The name Carmen is a tribute to our mother. When we were debating what to name the new vehicle, we immediately thought of Carmen and the family loved it ”, declared Miguel Suqué Mateu. “She always told me that she wanted to see Hispano Suiza roaring on the streets again, and I am sure that she would be very proud of it. The signature on the back of the vehicle is her original signature.”

The ‘last name’ Boulogne, which is used for the more powerful version of Carmen, is not a coincidence either. It is a tribute to the victories achieved by the Hispano Suiza H6 Coupé in the Georges Boillot Cup, held in the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer a century ago.

8 – A car made to race
The Hispano Suiza Carmen and Carmen Boulogne have been developed on the racing circuits. For the creation of this very special model, which was presented at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Hispano Suiza had the backing of QEV Technologies, a motorsport company that built the first car that went on to win the drivers’ title in the Formula E championship.

Thus the Hispano Suiza Carmen´s dream performance, typical of a racing car. Its 1,019 CV of power – 1,114 CV in the Boulogne version – and its less than three seconds of acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h, make it one of the most powerful and fastest road cars in the world.

9 – Hispano Suiza has a former F1 driver in their team
After completing the design and manufacturing process, Hispano Suiza handed over the steering wheel to a former Formula 1 driver: Luis Pérez-Sala. Pérez-Sala has been in charge of developing the model on the track and on the road since the Hispano Suiza comeback was announced, and has worked to ensure that the select group of owners of the new Hispano Suiza feel like racing drivers.

In addition to Pérez Sala, Pablo Suárez, an experienced rally and rallycross driver with training as a motorsport engineer, also participated in the development process, bearing witness to the creation of an authentic work of art on wheels.

10 – The opportunity to create the car of your dreams
Each Hispano Suiza Carmen is unique. Thanks to the brand’s Unique Tailormade program, customers have access to a wide variety of options to create the model they have dreamed of all their life. There are 1,904 possible combinations, so no two Hispano Suiza are alike.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne

Clients can choose between three main configurations that reflect the key values ​​of the brand’s DNA – Elegance, Heritage and Sport – and, based on these, they can choose different colors and materials for the interior and exterior of their car, to add a personal touch to the design and adapt it to their individual tastes. Colors have been chosen and named in a tribute to the history of the brand, and include Peralada Green, Swiss Red, Xenia Gray, Birkigt White, or Begur Blue, among others.

Hispano Suiza is part of the Peralada Group, which represents the pinnacle of luxury in gastronomy and entertainment through its global portfolio of casinos, restaurants, hotels, golf courses, vineyards, music festivals, and marinas.

Maserati testing an MC20 Convertible

I guess it was only a matter of time before Maserati would create a topless version of their latest supercar, the MC20, and that time has come now, the first prototype test mule for an MC20C, or Cabrio has been seen on the road during initial trial runs, covered under a cloud-style camouflage wrap, complete with Maserati scripts and tridents, but we might be able to order this new supercar with a removable top from Maserati soon it seems.

Naturally, the wrap is there to avoid us from seeing just how Maserati plans to offer their MC20 as a convertible, but chances are they will be taking inspiration from Ferrari’s mid-engine Spider models, so most likely we’ll be seeing a hardtop that folds down behind the two seats under a rigid cover, I would be very surprised if Maserati would opt for a canvas roof on their supercar, we’re not talking about the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster with the terrible ‘toupet’ that took ages to fit over the frame, and limited top speed to 180 km/h, this is a 21st-century supercar from Maserati after all.

The Maserati MC20 was the first model of their new era, combining performance with luxury, the MC20 comes with their in-house developed Nettuno V6, twin-turbocharged, mid-mounted engine, a 630 hp beauty with Formula One sourced technology that pushes the new supercar to 62 mph from a standstill in just 2.88 seconds, while a top speed of more than 202 mph is listed in the specifications, but those are the figures for the coupe, I wonder if they needed to add additional weight to reinforce the base to cope with the absence of a roof structure.

From these initial test mule photos, we can see the overall looks of the Maserati MC20 Convertible will be very close to the Coupe lines, the front bumper looks the same, the side sills look similar too, and while there isn’t a view from the rear of this prototype, I think it will be safe to say that the rear fascia and lower diffuser are just about identical between the two. Even the vents next to the front lid, the headlights, and the air intakes on the rear fenders behind the door all look very close, if not the same between the Coupe and the Convertible, but the big difference will be the roof most likely.

If you look at photos of the Maserati MC20 with the doors open, you’ll notice they open like butterfly wings, and while Aston Martin had to redesign the doors when they went from the Valkyrie to the Valkyrie Spider, it seems Maserati will be able to keep the Coupe doors when converting her into a Convertible, the hinges aren’t on the windshield surround nor on part of the roof, so the Modena based Trident might have dodged a bullet there.

With the camouflaged prototype rolling on the standard fitment 20-inch Birdcage Design Alloy wheels, I used those for my first render on how I think the new 2022 Maserati MC20C would look, I went with a classic Bianco Audace body with an added touch of color on the brake calipers in gloss blue which ties in with the interior where I opted for the Nero upholstery with Blu Cielo insets … a classic Maserati color combination.

Personally, I would opt for a slightly more aggressive styling by fitting the 20″ Corsa Design Forged wheels in a Matte Dark Miron Finish over red brake calipers together with a touch of Rosso on the seats too, all red seats would look even better, but that option doesn’t seem to exist from Maserati … yet. Add a classic blue bodywork and the exterior carbon fiber package, and I think you’ll end up with a great-looking Maserati MC20 Convertible.

Note that the name MC20C is just how I think this Convertible might be called, it’s not an official name, neither are the side view I’ve created for SUPERCARS.NET, they are virtual renders of how this new Maserati MC20 Convertible might look, with a rigid roof that folds down in sections underneath a hard tonneau cover behind the seats I think the style seen on the above renders will be very close to the real car.

2022 Lamborghini V12 hybrid test mule sighted

Did Automobili Lamborghini SpA drop the ball and accidentally drive the new V12 Hybrid model inside the factory compound, right in front of a camera lens with just a loose cover and some camouflage decals on the door, the new model we’ll only be seeing towards the end of 2022 or early 2023 as the replacement for the current flagship model, the Lamborghini Aventador … or is Lamborghini playing tricks to stir up interest even more?

Via MOTOR1.com

I will post a video shot by YouTuber Varryx at the bottom of this article, it shows the car driving right in front of his camera, and I have to admit, she sounds great, but first let’s go over some details we noticed on the video and the subsequent photos that appeared online earlier today, the obvious elephant in the room are those exhausts:

Via MOTOR1.com

Check out the placement of those four tailpipes, grouped by two inside a hexagon tip, so far no big deal, the Aventador LP700-4 also had four exhausts, grouped inside one large tip, by the time the SVJ came around we saw two larger diameter exhaust tips moved a little higher onto the rear fascia, arguably to make the distance in piping shorter, but now those dual twin pipes sit really high at the rear, almost as high as on the Sesto Elemento we’ve seen years ago … the question is: are these real?

Via MOTOR1.com

Is Lamborghini test driving the Aventador successor with a totally new exhaust that exits this high up, or is this a smokescreen to make us believe these are the actual exhausts, while in real life there are still two big pipes at about the same position as seen on the SVJ because the cover does show something in that area too? My guess is they took an old cover from an Aventador SVJ to keep most of this test mule out of sight and just cut a hole at the top for these new exhausts … at least I hope so, I love this look.

Judging from the area above the exhausts, it seems there is something above these tailpipes, could be a rear wing, could be bodywork with an air intake, remember the Aventador SVJ also had a center-mounted intake behind the engine cover, or it’s just a fake impression from using an SVJ cover as that model had a fixed rear wing, and this test mule actually has nothing there, but a wrapped-together oversized cover.

Via MOTOR1.com

Now let’s look at the front, that’s not an Aventador front bumper, that’s for sure, not even the front fenders look like the current flagship, especially not the section at the front of the doors, there seems to be a vertical air vent present that will open with the doors, in traditional Lamborghini fashion, going up, as they have done since the Countach, a Lamborghini trademark by now, so I’m sure the new MY2023 top of the line from Sant’Agata will keep that style of doors.

The twirly camouflage makes it hard to distinguish details on the styling of this test mule, but let’s give it a try anyway: it looks like the typical Lamborghini design line … one uninterrupted line from the front bumper all the way to the rear fascia is kept alive for the upcoming model too, while there is a ‘swooping’ line from the bumper going up over the wheel arch only to go down a little again around the exterior rearview mirror before going up again into an air intake behind the side windows.

Via MOTOR1.com

From what we can see on these photos, it looks like the side air intake behind the doors has a steep angle going down from the ‘hip-line’ before going forward about halfway down. And what’s going on at the top … it seems the cover is either catching a lot of air while driving this slowly, or there is a roof-mounted air intake hiding under that grey fabric … personally I think it’s another trick from Lamborghini making us believe there is an intake, perhaps later, on a performance version, but I doubt the initial release will have something as aggressive as that right from the start.

One thing that’s for sure, this test mule is not sitting on an Aventador chassis, or even an Aventador drivetrain … take a closer look at those wheels, both front, and rear. Apart from the fact that these are five-bolt style ones and not the center-lock wheels we’ve been seeing on the SVJ and Ultimae, take a closer look at the calipers, these are not in the same position as the ones on the Aventador. At the front the latter has the calipers hanging several degrees lower onto the disk, while at the rear we notice the inverse, this car has the brake caliper hanging lower compared to the Aventador, and the hand brake caliper is even in a completely different position … this is a new chassis, with a new drivetrain, and most likely already holding the brand new V12 engine.

I sure wouldn’t mind if the Lamborghini Aventador successor would look something like this when we finally see it in 2023

We already knew that Lamborghini was developing a completely new V12 engine for the Aventador successor, it seems the 780 hp found inside the Aventador Ultimae was about the maximum power they could get from the current unit without stretching it too far, and adding electric motors onto the existing ICE V12 wasn’t an option apart from a supercapacitor and a 34hp unit for the Sián and Countach LPI 800-4 … so it was back to the drawing board to build a V12 from scratch.

So by 2023, we will be seeing a Lamborghini model come to market with a brand new V12 hybrid powerplant, how many electric motors and how much battery power will be helping the V12 propel the new car to speed isn’t published yet, and come to think about it, I’m not so sure we’ll be seeing a 6.5-Liter V12 again this time around, why would they, it is perfectly possible to have a smaller displacement V12 in the successor and still have a similar power output, think about it, 700 hp from the V12 with 4 to 5-liter of displacement, and an additional 300 hp from two 150hp electric motors … power from the V12 to the rear wheels, electric power to the front wheels, and we still have four-wheel drive, and we get 1,000 hp or more.

If you look closely at the photos of the test mule that were captured, it does look like the side profile might look similar to this render.

Sources state the Aventador will be replaced by 2023, and while that might be accurate, I think we’ll be seeing the last of the Aventador coming off the assembly line in Sant’Agata by August 2022 already. Lamborghini needs time to covert the current Linea Aventador for the new model, which is a hybrid, will require some serious modifications to the line, and what better time than to start during the summer holidays of 2022, when the factory is closed anyway, and as we’ve seen with the Linea Huracán, they just fence off an entire section of the factory during the construction.

Let’s do some math here … the Aventador SVJ Coupe and Roadster are very close to being finished, there are just a few more Sián and Sián Roadster to complete, production of the Countach LPI 800-4 is about to start, and they will only make 112 of them anyway, and I’m sure the first units of the Ultimae and Ultimae Roadster are already being built as we speak, and with 350 Coupe and 250 Roadster, all of which are sold out already, this adds up to less than 750 cars to be finished on Linea Aventador before it becomes obsolete … if you think about the fact they finished nearly 600 units in the first months of 2021, all of the remaining V12 models, be it NA or with the supercapacitor, will be completed by August 2021.

I did one more render of the rear of the upcoming model, at least how I think the new Lamborghini V12 Ibrido will look if they keep those amazing exhaust pipes, which I for one really like, and even the entire look and feel of the above render works for me, it’s clearly a Lamborghini, low, wide, and brutal … but for now, check out the video below, and hear the thunder of the Raging Bull, courtesy of Varryx:

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11 Best Electric Dirt Bikes For Your Next Outdoor Adventure

This electric dirt bike is easy for anyone to use, whether you’re a beginner or experienced dirt bike rider. It can reach top speeds of 85 mph, which is pretty cool. This is the highest speed of any electric dirt bike on our list.

It can reach top speeds of 85 mph, which is pretty cool. This is the highest speed of any electric dirt bike on our list. This is a tough electric dirt bike, thanks to its strong Z-Force powertrain, dual-sport equipment, and long-legged suspension.

It has a 100-percent electric powertrain, which means it doesn’t require much maintenance. It has an Eco mode that reduces its violent throttle. When you’re riding on the road, you will gain more energy whenever you slow down your speed.

What’s great about this electric dirt bike is that it has excellent acceleration to make you go fast, but its low frame weight makes it easy to ride. The bike has an attractive blue LCD dashboard so you can view a lot of useful information such as its power output, battery level, and other data.

It’s ideal for beginners, thanks to its one-speed, direct-drive clutchless drivetrain. This makes the bike easy to use, no matter your skill level. Its controller makes use of regenerative deceleration to save energy as well as harness it better so it doesn’t go to waste.

There is a potential drawback associated with its one-speed clutchless transmission – it can make it difficult to control and manage the throttle power output, and this can result in over-throttling. Another drawback is that it will take about five hours to charge this bike’s battery to 100 percent.

Pros

  • checkIt’s ideal for beginners
  • checkEco mode reduces its violent throttle
  • checkAttractive blue LCD dashboard

Cons

  • cross-altDifficult to control one-speed clutchless transmission
  • cross-altIt will take about five hours to charge

Specs

  • Speed: 85mph
  • Battery: N/A
  • Weight: 105.8 lbs

2022 Ford GT Heritage Edition celebrates Alan Mann Racing

2022 will be the last model year for the Ford GT, the craftsmen at Multimatic turning out the last of the 1,350-unit production run. We already knew there’d be one more Heritage Edition coming, Ford using this year’s Monterey Car Week to reveal models that would honor the original 1964 prototypes. Now Ford Performance has teased a second Heritage Edition for next year, this one a nod to England’s Alan Mann Racing. The Surrey-based race shop prepped Fords for races like the Monte Carlo Rally and Tour de France Automobile before becoming a European factory team in 1964. AMR ordered five GT40 MkI racers with the small block 289-ci V8, intent on honing them to win Le Mans. Ford sent just two of the five before changing focus to the GT40 MKII powered by the 427-ci big block, believing the 289s couldn’t get the job done.

Mann had his way with the two cars anyway, reskinning them in aluminum, designing a new coil-spring suspension, an oil fill tube accessed through the clamshell rear end, and Phil Remington’s quick-change braking system. Called the AM 1 and AM 2, Mann entered both lightweight GT40s wearing his trademark Monaco Red, gold, and white livery in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, leading the race for a brief spell before having to retire both cars. Ford then had Holman Moody convert the car to into a 427 MkII B model, but never homologated nor raced it, then had Holman Moody revert AM 1 to its Weber-carbed 289-ci spec. That original coupe has made a few appearances at Pebble Beach recently, owner Rex Meyers pulling it onto the lawn for judging and a sound check in 2019 — the first time it had been on display since 1968. Now Gooding & Company has put AM 1 up for auction this year with a pre-sale estimate of $7 to $9 million.

On a side note, Ford’s factory team won Le Mans twice with the 427-ci GT40s, retiring immediately after the win in 1967. John Wyer then created his own lightweight GT40 racers known as the Mirage cars, powered by the 289-cubic-incher, and won Le Mans in 1968 and 1969. 

AM 1 wore the #16 in its roundel, and this is the car the new Ford GT Heritage Edition references by having “16” painted on the underside of the rear wing. Yes, it would be awesome if Ford went all the way with the AM 1 honor and rolled out a lightweight GT, but here’s to dreaming. Back on Earth, expect a lively paint job and a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 660 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, akin to the previous GT Heritage Editions. Production will start sometime early next year, we await word on how many of the Alan Mann units are on the way.

Related video:

Low Mileage 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder At Collecting Cars

Collecting Cars recently offered a practically new 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder in their global online auction platform.

The plug-in hybrid hypercar is one of only 918 units built. Under the hood of this gorgeous Porsche hypercar is a 4.6-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine with an electric motor for each axle. It can produce a total of 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque. The engine and rear e-drive motor are matched to a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch paddle shift transmission. The front axle is connected to the front e-motor with an electric clutch coupling, so it makes the hypercar an all-wheel drive.

Marketing materials claim that the 918 Spyder is said to run from 0 to 100 kph – roughly 62 mph – in just 2.6 seconds, and it can go from 0 to 200 kph – roughly 124 mph – in just 7.2 seconds. It has a top speed of only 345 kph or 214 mph. However, independent media tests that was made showed that it was even quicker, where a magazine even claimed that they were able to record the Spyder going from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.2 seconds.

The 918 Spyder has five driving modes including the E-Drive where the car only uses the front and rear electric motors so that it’ll have a ‘zero emission’ driving range of roughly 30 km or 18 miles.

The hypercar was delivered with a Platinum Silver Metallic finish, matched with an Onyx Black leather interior with Acid Green piping. The leather can also be seen on the door cards and steering wheel, and both also have the vibrant contrast color accent. The seat headrests have an Acid Green embroidery, matching with the color of the brake calipers.

As standard, the 918 comes with a two-piece CFRP roadster panel tops, Porsche Communication Management (CRM) with navigation and Bluetooth, and lightweight full LED headlights.

There is no known bodywork damage, nor is there any electrical or mechanical faults. No significant wear was seen on the black leather upholstery although there is some very slight wrinkling on the driver’s seat lower outer bolster. The paintwork is in exquisite condition.

It was during the recall when the example had its most recent documented service which was back in November 2018.

The sale would come with an original battery charger, spare reflectors, and indoor car cover.

The best part of this Spyder is that is has a very low mileage of only 966 miles from new, so the lucky winning bidder will get to drive home a practically new hypercar.

As of writing, the Porsche 918 Spyder has a bid of C$1,000,501 with the auction ending on Thursday, December 23.

Manthey Racing Reveals Performance Kit for 992 GT3

Tuning company and Porsche Motorsport affiliate, Manthey-Racing GmbH, have just revealed their first upgrade package for the new 992-gen Porsche 911 GT3 road car. Known more amicably as ‘Manthey Racing‘, the world renown P-car specialists have grown their reputation and fine-tuned their products on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where their ‘MR’-equipped performance cars undergo the most rigorous of quality assurance benchmarks available on the planet.

With a proven track record (pun intended) over many years of providing measurable improvements, even to Porsche’s most impressive factory road cars, this latest iteration of the 911 GT3 MR is an amalgamation of all that experience in combination with Porsche’s best interpretation of the car to date. Needless to say, Manthey Racing isn’t your typical tuning company—in fact, Porsche AG owns a 51% stake in the company and have also recently incorporated Manthey products into their own Porsche Tequipment catalogue. Other recent works include the 991.2 GT3 RS MR, GT4 MR and GT4 Clubsport.

Now on to the good stuff; the newest MR car follows a similar formula to recent models, with a Manthey/KW suspension system, lightweight wheels, a brake upgrade kit and aerodynamic enhancements bringing the car to new heights both emotionally and quantifiably. Faster lap times, better performance, an enhanced connection between driver and machine, and the confidence to push the car harder than ever before, are some of the expected side effects of the MR package.

Arguably the most notable MR signatures on the car are the carbon fiber rear-wheel Aerodiscs—fitted exclusively to the Manthey OM-1 wheels—which help direct airflow more efficiently to the rear wing while providing the car with a truly distinctive appearance. First seen on the 991.2 GT3 RS MR, Aerodiscs are becoming an increasingly popular item in both the tuning and broader enthusiast communities as they are something that can make a car more distinguishable just on their own. A reimagined front splitter, rear wing assembly and diffuser (plus the addition of front dive planes) make up the remaining aerodynamic elements.

While the most apparent reason for giving any Porsche automobile the ‘Manthey Racing treatment’, is to push the performance envelope of the car, the company has been unequivocal in maintaining (if not enhancing) the factory car’s more road-going qualities. This means that owners of a GT3 MR can continue to enjoy the car as much on the public roads as they would on the race track, with the company going on to recommend doing it all on the same day to boot—race it at the circuit, then drive it to the opera, if you will.

“The team at Porsche in Weissach presented us with a big challenge when they produced the new GT3. Our goal of improving the performance of the Porsche GT models even further for track use, without making too many changes to the car’s essential DNA, and, at the same time, coming up with an attractive package for customers who love to drive on the track, has meant a lot of work for us with the new model. Alongside the performance, I’m also really pleased with the car’s appearance.” – Stefan Mages, Manthey Racing Head of Development

The company has promised that their 992 GT3 MR performance kit will be available for purchase in early 2022, although there is no word yet on pricing. As a Porsche-endorsed product, adding it on to the car will not void the warranty either. So, only one question remains for owners of the new GT3: “When are you ordering yours?”

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Ken Block’s Audi S1 Hoonitron

I am sure we all remember the legendary Audi Sport Quattro S1 we’ve seen attacking the Pikes Peak Hill Climb event, also known as the ‘Race to the Clouds’ as the finish line is so high up on the mountain it is usually above the cloud deck, and it is that very special car that inspired the looks of the latest development from Audi, the S1 e-tron specifically created for drift artist Ken Block … so this car is called the Hoonitron.

This is a one-off creation from Audi that will be featured in the upcoming video Ken Block is producing over the next few months, and being basically an S1 e-tron, we are looking at an all-electric car, powered by two electric motors, the Quattro name reveals it already, this is an all-wheel-drive car with oodles of power sitting on a lightweight carbon fiber chassis.

The Audi S1 Hoonitron is built to full FIA safety standards while the designers still managed to translate the raw design style of the classic Sport Quattro into the present day for the exterior styling of this 21st century S1 Hoonitron, note that development of this one-off was conducted at Neckarsulm by Audi Sport themselves, keep in mind the impressive Audi RS e-tron GT is built at that location too.

“Audi gave me the opportunity to test it for a few days in Germany,” says Ken Block. “I’m familiar with a wide variety of cars using internal combustion engines and transmissions, but there were a lot of new things for me to learn here. Spinning into a doughnut at 150 km/h directly from a standstill – just using my right foot – is an all-new experience for me. Our work was focused on getting the car and I used to each other. My thanks go to the whole Audi Sport squad for their outstanding teamwork.”

The futuristic design with a clear inspiration from the classic Sport Quattro was created by Audi Design in Ingolstadt, Marc Lichte, Audi’s chief designer, and his team commented: “When we first heard about this project, the whole team was thrilled immediately: we had the opportunity to develop a car that combines an icon of our brand with the future, the challenges were tremendous: “It was about creating a modern, all-electric interpretation of the S1 Pikes Peak. The timeline was extremely tight: while our design process normally takes one to one-and-a-half years, we only had four weeks from the first drawing to the final design. We were constantly in touch with Ken Block and his team and engaged in intensive exchanges.”

Back in the day, it was Audi that motived Ken Block to get into rallying in the first place, so having the brand you admire from the start create a bespoke car just for you is simply magic, so Block and his team will be creating a new episode in his Gymkhana series, this time using the S1 Hoonitron … therefore the working title for his latest video currently is ‘Elektrikhana’.

Ken Block: “The S1 Hoonitron combines a lot of what Audi was already famous for in the nineteen-eighties, for instance, the car’s spectacular aerodynamics have now been translated into a totally modern form. I think it’s cool that the Audi designers have been inspired by their own past and uniquely transferred the car’s technologies and appearance into the present.”

I for one am looking forward to checking out Elektrikhana when it’s published online, I’m sure it will be as least as impressive as Block’s previous work …