All posts in “Cars”

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae Roadster ends non-hybrid V12 production

To quote Hall & Oates: “She’s gone,” the “she” here being the Lamborghini Aventador. The last of the scissor-doored supercars with a naturally-aspirated V12 rolled off the line in LP 780-4 Ultimae Roadster form colored an Ad Personam light blue, headed for a quiet life in Switzerland. That also closed the chapter on the 350 coupes and 250 roadsters made in Ultimae spec. This is a belated end-of-life, the Italian concern restarting production lines after 85 Lamborghinis, 15 of them Aventador Ultimaes destined for the U.S. market, got torched on the cargo ship Felicity Ace in March of this year. The final tally for the latest V12 spreadsheet counts 11,465 cars delivered in 11 years, more than doubling the entire sales count of its predecessor, the Murcielago, and exceeding the combined sales of every one of Lamborghini’s V12 models since the 3.5-liter V12 in the 350 GT in 1964. 

What began with the 6.5-liter 12-cylinder with 691-horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque in 2022 ended with that engine making 760 hp and 531 lb-ft in the Ultimae. The official 0-to-62 mile per hour dash came down a tenth of a second in that time, depending on where you look, from 2.9 seconds to 2.8. Top speed rose from 217 mph to 220. Plenty fast then, plenty fast now. Between those yardposts there have been more than 10 one-offs and limited editions. The former group includes the Jota, SVJ Xago, and the SC18 Alston track car. The latter group counts the Anniversario, Veneno, Centenario, and Sian FKP 37. There were also innovations like the enclosed carbon fiber monocoque supported by “flying doctors” that traveled the world to help diagnose and repair damage that benefited owners. There was the pushrod suspension that turned a heavyweight into a flickable canyon runner, benefiting all drivers. There was the Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) single-shift transmission, which Lamborghini says was “chosen for lightweight compactness and the most emotive shift.” Given its tidal shifting motion and occasionally clumsy changes under partial throttle or when trying to figure out what the driver wanted in changing conditions, we never figured out who that benefited.

What comes next will be a hybrid V12 powertrain wrapped in looks that, based on spy shots, will evolve the latest design language with details like new lights, bladed B-pillars, and high-rise exhaust. Shouldn’t be long to wait now. But no matter what comes, to paraphrase Hall & Oates on the Aventador again: There can never be what she was to us.

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Ferrari SP51 is a V12 roadster with gorgeous paint based on the 812 GTS Spider

Ferrari says it spends an average of two years on its one-off Special Project cars such as the SP48 Unica from earlier this year, which was based on the F8 Tributo. Here’s another before the year is out, the SP51 that rides on the bones of the 812 GTS convertible. A Taiwan-based client and collector had the idea and the funds to make it happen, working with the Ferrari Styling Center on a highly advanced and proper roofless roadster that nods to historical Ferrari roadsters as well. A reshaped front fascia houses a black, carbon fiber insert below smaller headlights. Another large section of exposed carbon fiber piece below the windshield reaches forward to the hood vents, framing the center of the hood. Along the flanks, the 812’s upswept sculpting is redirected, scalloped sides rising gently to the middle of the door then descending toward the rear wheels. Above that, a pair of flying-buttress-like cowls help shape the dark lines of rear intakes behind the cabin. A carbon fiber wing runs across the car above the cowls, concealing the roll hoops.

A custom set of rims are set off by carbon fiber wing profiles in the front fenders. In back, the quad taillights peek out from below the decklid spoiler and above the deep, layered diffuser. Ferrari said it took a heap of “CFD simulations, wind tunnel and dynamic testing” in order to imbue the “ultimate in comfort in the cabin, but also the same standard of acoustic comfort and wind feel as the car that inspired it.”

That color seen outside and in is Rosso Passionale, a custom hue applied in three layers. The blue and white stripes running over the body and through the cabin pay tribute to the blue and white livery inspired by a 1955 Ferrari 410 S, an early race car powered by a 5.0-liter V12. A 410 S with chassis number 0592CM shows off that paint scheme, the roadster driven by Carroll Shelby to wins in Palm Springs the year it was delivered to owner Tony Parravano.

The cabin continues the blue and red theme, with Rosso Passionale offset by blue striping and white cross stitching on the instrument panel lower, seats, center tunnel, and doors. It can’t be bought so the price doesn’t matter, making the only real question: Would you have this, or the Ferrari Special Projects roadster from 2014, the F12 TRS

Delage D12 gets two new open-top treatments, Speedster and F1

Delage spent a long, hot American summer showing its D12 to local audiences. The reborn French brand wants to sell nine cars here and one in Canada, and it seems the job is nearly done, with CEO Laurent Tapie saying seven of the U.S. offerings have been spoken for. Unlike in other parts of the world, American owners will need to import their cars under the Show and Display exemption. Tapie said his company has already starting filling out the forms on behalf of future owners that will compel their D12s to be driven no more than 2,500 miles per year and to be stored in secure locations when not in use. We suspect those prohibitions won’t be difficult for any supercar owner to obey.

It’s possible that Delage’s stirring up the model mix helped move a few more cars. We knew there would be GT and Club versions, a 7.6-liter naturally aspirated V12 sitting behind the tandem cockpit in both. In the 3,086-pound GT, it makes 990 horsepower by itself and is aided by a 110-hp electric motor, sending the combined 1,100 hp through an eight-speed single-clutch automatic to the rear wheels. The Club’s electric motor only adds 20 horses, but the Clubsport is 200 pounds lighter than the GT and faster around a track, its e-motor for street driving, reversing, and parking. A more relevant stat for the Cars and Coffee crowd is a claimed 0-to-60 mph time of 2.4 seconds thanks in part to carbon fiber wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R rubber.

The new variation is that the roof can come in three treatments. There’s the standard coupe that’s been shown, joined by two open-top versions. The D12 Speedster turns into a targa, losing the portion of its roof aft of the windshield. The D12 F1 option (pictured) sheds even that full windshield, making do with a wind deflector and a fancy helmet, which will be required when driving. Those options cost $190,000 apiece, but they are modular, so they can be bundled for the low, low price of $260,000. 

Delage still plans on production commencing before the end of this year, deliveries to start in the last quarter of next year. Each of the 30 examples Delage will make for global consumption will cost €2 million ($1.94M U.S.). It’s possible that before delivery, Delage will make the Nurburgring passenger car lap record attempt we’ve been hearing about. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS wears the crown now with a time of 6:43.300. Tapie said he wants the D12 to stop the clock at 6:40.

An assortment of emblematic supercars is headed to auction

Auction house RM Sotheby’s is giving enthusiasts the chance to bid on the supercars that they had posters of when they were kids. It’s organizing a live sale in Miami, Florida, in December 2022 that’s limited to 60 high-end models built between the 1970s and the 2010s.

The oldest car in the catalog is a V12-powered 1974 Jaguar E-Type, though keep in mind that only 20 of the 60 available slots have been filled so far. At the other end of the spectrum, the newest model is currently a 2014 BMW M5. If your automotive tastes are firmly anchored in the 1980s, there’s a wide selection of cars to choose from such as a 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition and a 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo with a flat-nose conversion. If your heart belongs in the 1990s, RM’s sale includes a 1990 Lamborghini LM 002, a 1995 Ferrari 512 M, and a 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo. Bentley models and a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR are among the newer classics.

Carmakers weren’t alone in pursuing speed, style, and extravagance in the 1980s; tuners fought hard for a piece of the pie as well, and RM’s sale reflects that. Collectors will get the rare opportunity to bid on a number of pre-merger AMG models like a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL 5.0 (R107), a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC 6.0 (C126) with a wide-body kit, and a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL 6.0 (W126). BMW-based Alpina models are well represented, too: RM accepted a pair of 6 Series-based 1987 B7 coupes and a 3 Series-based B6 2.8. 

There are several slots left so it’s not too late to submit your car. If you’re a buyer, plan on being in Miami on December 9 and 10, 2022. We suggest clearing up space in your garage first: every car is offered with no reserve, so the selling price will be the highest bid.

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Pagani Utopia takes things back to basics: V12, manual

Pagani’s latest supercar and successor to the Huayra is here, and its name is Utopia. And everything about it is about getting back to basics and focusing on the driving experience. But don’t take our word for it, that’s what Pagani said its clients wanted: “simplicity, lightness and the pleasure of driving.” So it’s delivering a light car with a big V12 and a manual transmission.

In the middle of the Utopia is a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 from Mercedes-AMG, and it makes 852 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Power goes into an Xtrac-designed seven-speed manual transmission (or automated manual as an option) to a limited-slip differential and the rear wheels. Pagani also seemed to take a dig at Koenigsegg and its manually-shiftable automatic in the CC850: “Moreover, in order to best match the wishes expressed by Pagani enthusiasts, its aficionados, a virtual manual would not be acceptable so a real seven-speed manual transmission has been developed.”

The chassis is a blend of carbon-titanium fiber for the body and passenger compartment with chromoly tube subframes front and rear. Suspension is double-wishbone at all four corners with forged aluminum components. The wheels are also forged aluminum and feature carbon fiber turbine covers that extract hot air. Six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers stop the supercar.

Design-wise, the Utopia looks like a blend of the Huayra and Zonda. It’s very curvy like the Huayra, but the low center section and raised front fenders are reminiscent of that original Zonda. It does of course have many unique cues, particularly the side mirrors that hang off their mounts and the floating taillights. Inside, Pagani has focused on a more traditional look with just a single small screen in the instrument cluster, and analog dials for nearly every other instrument. The manual shifter is fully exposed and sits prominently between the seats. It also features a steering wheel and pedals that have all been milled as single pieces from aluminum.

Pagani will build just 99 Utopias in the initial run, and they’ve all been sold. No price was given, but it was surely astonishingly high.

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Williams Advanced Engineering reveals EVR electric hypercar platform

Deus announced its Vayanne electric hypercar earlier this year as conceived in Austria, designed in Italy, and electrified in the UK. That last bit refers to the battery-electric powertrain sourced from Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), which we now have more information on. WAE took its new EVR turnkey electric vehicle platform to the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Show for a full reveal. Designed specifically for hypercars, the targets were versatility, lightness, power and speedy recharging. It appears the only fixed element for the time being is the 85-kWh battery set into a carbon housing between the wheels, and two motors. WAE says it can be refilled in less than 20 minutes, and powers a range of up to 279 miles. After that, OEMs and boutique makers can choose rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, hardtop or targa body styles, and road-legal or track-only configurations.    

Peak output is 2,213 horsepower from the dual motors, explaining Deus’ publicized target of more than 2,200 horsepower for the Vayanne earlier this year. Depending on body style and aero, WAE believes the platform could push a hypercar to 248 miles per hour given an ideal form. We’re told it will be possible to build a finished product with such specs that weighs less than 3,637 pounds, carbon being used for everything from the pack enclosure to the double wishbone suspension. For comparison, the 640-hp Porsche 911 Turbo S weighs 3,636 pounds.

The list of in-house innovations on the EVR chassis includes a Scalable Battery Module that opens up flexibility for custom packs and sub-pack systems, controlled by battery management software that rationalizes the amount of electronics needed to run the powertrain. The company says each module has a capacity of 1.08 kWh at 50 volts maximum or 43 volts nominal, and an energy density greater than 240 Wh/kg. The individual cells are wrapped in carbon fiber, too, claimed to improve crash resistance. Battery cooling is run through the energy-absorbing side sills.

Theoretically, a purchaser could cut prototype development time to 12 months, and entire vehicle development time to 24 months. The Vayenne will provide the first test, Deus having said it will go into production in 2025. WAE has a hydrogen fuel cell version of the EVR on the way next.

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Ferrari teases Purosangue exhaust note before September 13 debut

We’ve been talking about a Ferrari SUV for more than five years, when ex-CEO Luca de Montezemolo said the Maranello automaker would never build one and then was let go not long after. We’ve known there would be a Ferrari SUV for four years, when the brand’s product road map ID’d what would come to be nicknamed the Ferrari Utility Vehicle. Barring a late switcheroo, we’re betting on the official name to be Purosangue. During a year of teasers and spy videos, at last, we have less than a week to see what all the fuss has been and will be about. On September 13, Ferrari shows its new four-door, four-seat family car, and teased the arrival with a clip of the exhaust note.

Although muted, we expect that sound to be emerging from a naturally aspirated V12, the engine CEO Benedetta Vigna confirmed the Purosangue will offer. It’s possible Ferrari’s twin-turbo V8 will join the options, but we don’t know if or when that happens. With spy videos showing what appears to be a slightly lifted wagon-esque form, the Purosangue’s focus on road manners could vault it to the top of the competitive set in the horsepower column. The company’s 6.5-liter V12 makes 819 horsepower in the 812Superfast, easily besting the 697 in the Aston Martin DBX 707 and the 657 horses in the Lamborghini Urus Performante. Even Ferrari’s twin-snail V8 would clear the bar, that engine producing 711 hp in the F8 Tributo. Or, it’s possible Ferrari could turn the wick way down, aligning the Purosangue with its tourers, the 611-hp Roma and 612-hp Portofino M convertible.

Sounds like no matter the specs, the Purosangue won’t be the easiest Ferrari to get into for reasons beyond the current industrial snarls. A Ferrari presentation during Capital Markets Day this year explained the Purosangue’s “yearly average contribution to shipments will remain below 20% over its lifecycle.” Volume that low indicates a cap enforced by the company; SUVs introduced among other super sports car makers have run directly to the top of the brand’s sales charts. We will not be surprised to see that figure rise in the coming years, or Purosangue’s being flipped for obscene amounts over its entire run.

It’s quite the month for lusty cars, the Pagani C10 debuting the day before the Ferrari, the seventh-gen Ford Mustang arriving the day after. 

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Pagani C10 teased before September 12 debut

The third movement in Pagani’s symphony of supercars is headed our way in an online debut from Milan come September 12. It’s called the C10 for now, which could be a provisional name, its full final name, or a portion of the final name; the Zonda that put the Modena manufacturer on the map launched as the Zonda C10, the codename for the Huayra during development was C9. Pagani posted another teaser of the coupe to Facebook, finally giving us hints of the thing in the, er, carbon fiber. The only surprise we can make out so far is the headlight treatment. Previous products have placed each light element in its own pod, the Zonda boasting three, the Huayra two. The C10 tucks its two headlight beams together under a clear cover. 

The good news beyond that is the return of the manual transmission, which wasn’t available on the Huayra. Eponymous founder Horacio Pagani is said to have discovered that some customers passed on buying a Huayra because of the omission. The C10 tease shows the six-speed row-your-own perched between the front seats, its linkage exposed like we used to see on Spykers. Note, the Huayra shifter featured an exposed linkage, but its rods and springs connected to an Xtrac seven-speed sequential gearbox. The C10 will offer a sequential transmission for those who want it.

Another AMG-sourced 6.0-liter V12 sits behind the cockpit, said to have been upgraded from the unit in the Huayra. The former car made 730 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The special edition Pagani Codalunga made 840 hp and 811 lb-ft. The C10 is expected to produce in the area of 880 horsepower and about as much torque. 

The rest we’ll find out about next week. Spy shots of prototypes show what looks like a tasty blend of Zonda-specific cues within the overall flowing shape that recalls the Huayra. The front intake looks more like a Zonda, as do the scoop-less rear fenders and the triple taillights set at an angle in the rear fascia. The almost uninterrupted flow from front to rear, and the tailless rear end are all Huayra. The return of side view mirrors looking like lazy leaves and quad exhaust tips inset in a round opening establish more continuity. It’s possible the car goes back to the traditional door openings of the Zonda, forsaking the gullwing apertures of the Huayra. Pagani said the focus of this car has been weight reduction and handling, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see a curb weight below the 2,976 pounds of the Huayra.    

There are only going to be about 300 C10s among all variants — coupe, convertible, and special editions — and every one has been sold. As if that weren’t the case with just about every seven-figure car nowadays, those of means will be especially keen to get in here since it’s thought to be the last pure combustion Pagani before the firm moves into electrification.

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Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini is a two-wheeled Italian mashup

Ducati has revealed its new two-wheeled mashup with parent manufacturer Lamborghini. The Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini follows in the footsteps of the 1260 Diavel, this time drawing on the Huracán STO, bringing together two Italian icons with common stylistic elements for a limited run of bikes designed for those who need as many romantic ponies as possible in their garage. 

For the latest tie-up, Ducati says it applied its well-known “Fight Formula” to the existing Panigale V4 S (the latest Streetfighter makes 208 horsepower and 90 pound feet of torque) and then took it a step further, integrating styling elements that are “unmistakably Lamborghini.” Depending on which generation of Lamborghini you grew up with, that could mean just about anything. Remember the ’80s? Like, all of them? But in this case, Ducati and Lamborghini settled on a mix of modern styling and heritage inspiration. 

Just about every part on the bike was at least breathed on if not outright redesigned. From the wheels, which are bespoke to this model, to the fender design meant to evoke the STO’s air intakes, virtually everything you see is unique. Many of the smaller bits are made from carbon fiber (including the tail, tank cover and toe caps) and the STO emblem is displayed subtly (believe it or not) on its flanks. 

The livery includes the #63 (as on the Diavel) in a nod to the year of Automobili Lamborghini’s founding. That’s also the number Ducati used to determine the number of units it would produce: divide 630 by 10 and voila. Ducati says it will also offer an even more-limited series of one-off designs for (you guessed it!) 63 lucky Lamborghini customers who will get the opportunity to match their bikes to their existing (or forthcoming) cars. 

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Ariel Hipercar is battery-electric, 1,180-hp madness we love

Five years ago, English motorbike- and speedster-maker Ariel showed a new concept chassis called, at the time, the Hipercar. It was planned for sale in 2020 with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain built around a small turbine sending electricity to a lithium-ion battery pack and then on to in-wheel motors. Development was more challenging than expected, and the world hit a few rocks in the road as well. But at last, the first production-intent Hipercar prototype is here, still named Hipercar — which stands for “High Performance Carbon Reduction.” The powertrain is easier to explain than the looks, so let’s start there. Base spec would be a liquid-cooled 62.2-kWh battery supplied by Cosworth powering two radial, inboard Equipmake APM motors fitted to the rear axle. Each motor produces 295 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque with total output being 590 hp and 664 pound-feet of torque.

An all-wheel-drive version slots two more radial e-motors into the front axle, doubling output to 1,180 hp and 1,328 lb-ft. Range on battery charge alone is said to be 150 miles. On track, Ariel says a full charge should last for about 20 minutes of full-on circuit driving. If desired, buyers can opt for the miniature turbine range extender also sourced from Cosworth. The catalytic generator (CatGen) turbine makes another 47 horsepower and can accept pump fuel, racing fuel and synthetic fuel. Ariel says it’s targeting a 0-60 mph time of 2.09 seconds with this powertrain.

What sits atop all of that is a laser-cut and CNC-folded aluminum tub attached to aluminum subframes front and rear, with aluminum wishbones supporting a Bilstein adjustable suspension. The 20-inch forged or composite staggered wheels wear Michelin Cup2 or Cup2R rubber in the widest spec ever fitted to an Ariel, at 265/35 in front and 325/30 in back. Behind them are 14.5-inch composite brake discs on the front hubs with six-piston AP Racing calipers, and 12.9-inch discs in back with four-piston calipers. An on-off switch controls the regenerative braking system.

As for the body, the prototype wears 3D-printed panels, production models will get a carbon fiber skin. Company boss Simon Saunders said “An enormous amount of aerodynamic work has been carried out for both drag and downforce, and cooling.” The cabin contains rollover protection. The dual-level wing in the front fascia adds downforce, the fins on the front fenders direct air around the side mirrors, the roof scoop sends air to the microturbine, and the fins on the rear fender aid stability. Its long front, stubby back and central fin, and canopy entrance make it reminiscent of the McMurtry Speirling. Total vehicle weight is said to be 3,186 pounds. 

The Hipercar’s gestation is almost as wild as the coupe itself. The UK government has thrown huge money behind EV development in an effort to reach its Net Zero goal for carbon emissions by 2050. Obviously, this will require affordable zero-emissions vehicles for the populace, not seven-figure track-day specialists shrink-wrapped to fit two people, so the Hipercar could come off as dumping public money on a fun little lark. However, this is about getting the big guys and the little guys in a room together to figure out how to produce innovations that work on a mass scale. Saunders explained it well to Autocar, saying, “So on one side you’ve got Mr. Boffin who has a high concept for a widget. On the other side, you’ve got, say, Ford Motor Company. They’re never going to talk to him and he’s too scared to talk to them. So Innovate UK is putting money into Ford but it’s also putting money into Mr Boffin, who takes his idea up to the next level, then the next level, and then goes into low-volume widget production. He sells us 100, he sells Caterham 400, he sells 1000 to a coach manufacturer. He’s now making a few thousand. And then Ford might say, “Could you do 10,000 for a low-volume Transit?”

Saunders gave another example of how the Hipercar has challenged the much larger partners in the various groups Ariel is a part of. “I said to Dave Greenwood, the guy running the project for the Warwick Manufacturing Group, that I felt a bit out of place and he said: ‘No, you’re brilliant because you’re the worst case scenario; you want most performance, least weight, highest range, you haven’t got any money for tooling and you want it really cheap, so if we can satisfy you….’

“Eventually, the aim is that we all win. Before then, the Hipercar is about two years away, aimed at a monied few for a price no more precise at the moment than “under £1 million” ($1.2M U.S.). That will be “excellent value for money” in Saunder’s words, considering the expected performance. Perhaps better for future owners, Ariel has focused on reliability. “With the [Ariel] Atom and Nomad we give you the keys and say bye-bye,” Saunders said. “We don’t want to see it again until it’s time for service. The same has to be true for Hipercar.”

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Aston Martin Valhalla interior debuted in Monterey

Aston Martin began releasing estimated specs for the Valhalla supercar last summer. The figures described the thoroughly overhauled car, redrawn with just as dramatic yet smoother lines than the original concept from 2019, and repowered with a plug-in hybrid V8 sourced from technical partner Mercedes-Benz instead of the in-house straight-6. The quick summary describes a mid-mounted 740-horsepower flat-plane-crank V8 with an e-motor in back and another in front contributing 201 horsepower. The front electric motor can pull the coupe for up to eight miles of pure electric running, reversing is also done under electric power, not via the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Curb weight of 3,417 pounds pairs with a top speed of 217 miles per hour, the firm hoping its charge can lap the ‘Ring in 6:30, which would be a record for a production car. Deliveries are expected to commence toward the end of next year.

We still hadn’t seen the inside of the car last summer, though. Aston Martin finally lifted the dihedral doors on the show inside during the recent Monterey Car Week. Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman described the cockpit as being “pure,” “about driver focus” and “concentration,” and “dedicated to the mastery of driving.” So despite an exterior update that injected “a more mature” road-going road ambience into the Valhalla’s silhouette, the cabin makes strong ties to the F1-inspired and track-consuming Valkyrie. These are seats that emphasize the “bucket” in “bucket seats,” supporting driver and passenger such that their heels lie above the level of their hips. The driver grabs a square wheel that’s jettisoned the central display in the Valkyrie’s square wheel. In fact, for those decrying the explosion of screens lately, here is your safe space. A slim rectangle ahead of the driver serves as dash display, and the infotainment screen can be hidden away, which it is in the short Twitter vid. We can see it staying stowed more often than not, in fact. Even if the V8 doesn’t pour its 7,200-rpm flat-plane note into the cabin — along with roof scoop inhalations and rubber-band-thin Michelin thrumming — the passenger quarters cannot be the kindest space to design a stereo for.

We’d been wondering about the production run, Autocar suspects Aston Martin won’t make more than 1,000 examples of the Valhalla. The potential good news for the few who’ll get to own it is that the carmaker might have reduced the price; Autocar heard that instead of costing somewhere around £1 million ($1.3M U.S.), MSRP could fall somewhere between £600,000 ($725,866 U.S.) and £700,000 ($846,844 U.S.).

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Rimac engineer says 0-60 ‘below one second’ is possible

Monterey Car Week encourages all kinds of questions that are answered with outrageous numbers. How much is the Pebble Beach lawn worth? How many metric tons of palm fronds were sacrificed to make the toquilla straw that make the numberless Panama hats? And how fast can a fast car go? The Drive spoke to Rimac Nevera Chief Program Engineer Matija Renić at The Quail about that last question, wondering what Renić believes is possible for a 0-60 time. His answer: “Below one second.” There aren’t many things humans can complete in less than a second other than say three-word sentences like “Below one second.” The idea of being at rest as one’s lips purse for the “B,” and traveling 60 miles per hour by the time the tongue comes off upper alveolar ridge to finish the “d” is, frankly, absurd.

Regrettably, either The Drive didn’t probe Renić as to what technologies will make the feat possible, or it decided not to repeat Renić’s words. All we have is the oracular pronouncement and little way to conceive of how it could happen, along with lots of questions about tires.

See, people like Engineering Explained who do math for a living have figured that, for a street vehicle on street tires on a regular street, about 2.05 seconds is the lower limit of the stoplight drag. When the Tesla Model S Plaid ripped off a 1.85-second teleport to 60 mph for Motor Trend, that was on “the super sticky VHT-coated surface of Auto Club Famoso Raceway.” On a non-prepped surface, Motor Trend got that down to 2.28 seconds, Car and Driver pruned it to 2.1 seconds. But C/D bettered the Tesla’s time in a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, hitting 0-60 in 2.0 seconds flat.

Rimac claims the Nevera will hit 60 miles per hour in 1.85 seconds, a time also achieved on a prepped drag strip, but we haven’t seen instrumented proof of that yet. Among YouTube videos of the Nevera running the quarter mile, one dedicated thrill seeker pulled off a 2.13-second rip to 60 mph.

Speaking of drag strips, top fuel dragsters are the go-to monsters for hitting 60 miles per hour in under one second, doing the deed in roughly 0.7 to 0.9 seconds. In 2019, Jalopnik tried to figure out the G forces involved in such dashes, the math concluding that getting from zero to 60 in 0.86 seconds put a 5.3-G strain on the body. Having that potential in your street car would be like having your own roller coaster, and what we imagine would be a monumental bill for tires. Until we see such things possible for the regular (rather wealthy) driver, we’ll be paying even closer attention to what what Rimac has coming.

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Koenigsegg building more CC850s because it sold out fast

The Koenigsegg CC850 is sold out. That’s completely unsurprising, as these special supercars are snapped up almost as fast as a Jesko’s transmission can shift. But what’s interesting is that the company sold the 50-unit run so quickly, it ended up deciding to expand the production run by almost half.

Instead of just 50 cars, Koenigsegg announced it would expand the run by another 20. According to the company, that initial allocation sold fast enough that a number of long-time Koenigsegg customers missed out on a chance at the supercar. It ended up going back to some early order holders to check if they would be all right with the expansion, and obviously it must’ve gone over fine.

The 50-unit run was based on founder and owner Christian von Koenigsegg’s 50th birthday. The extra 20 was based on the 20th anniversary of the company’s first production car, the CC8S. That’s also the same car that the CC850 is celebrating with its manual-ized version of the nine-speed automatic Light Speed Transmission and more than 1,000 horsepower.

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Bugatti plots PHEV Chiron successor with more athletic proportions

Bugatti is ready to close the W16 chapter of its history; the Mistral roadster it unveiled in August 2022 is the final street-legal car powered by the quad-turbocharged engine. What’s next remains shrouded in secrecy, but the French firm gave Autoblog a few hints of what to expect.

First, let’s dispel a myth: The Chiron’s successor will not be electric. Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti’s design director, confirmed that the model — whose name hasn’t been announced yet — will be powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Rimac has previously described the drivetrain as “heavily electrified,” but precise technical details such as horsepower and layout haven’t been made public. All we know for sure at this stage is that the W16 won’t return and that many key components under the body (including the monocoque and the subframes) will be new.

In terms of design, it sounds like Anscheidt instructed his team to balance evolutionary and revolutionary approaches.

“[The car] will certainly be tailored to one or the other aspect of a hybrid. We see the potential to improve the overall automotive gesture of the car,” he said.

Dialing in new proportions is something his team wasn’t able to do when it designed the Chiron, because parts like the monocoque and the doors were carried over from the Veyron. Beyond the overall shape, Anscheidt noted he’d like to see Bugatti’s design language get leaner and more athletic, but there’s a limit to this stretch. Regardless of what the Chiron’s successor looks like, it needs to stay true to the ambivalent character of “the automotive Beauty and Beast” and be instantly recognizable as a Bugatti

“In comparison to other hyper-sports cars, Bugatti always created its own sovereign segment. It was always slightly different, never trying to be a race car for the road. It is the ultimate GT. That should not change from one day to the other. We don’t want to become somebody else, but we’re opening a new tech chapter which is a challenge as well as an opportunity,” he clarified.

The cabin will evolve as well, but it won’t necessarily follow the industry’s ongoing shift toward wall-to-wall screens.

“When you look at today’s cars, it becomes very apparent that there are screens everywhere. Where is this leading us? Yes, I think that customers deserve to have full entertainment in their daily driver. This is the [interior design trend] of the automotive industry, and we don’t want to question that. However, I wonder: who still has an iPhone 3? Nobody, and you probably don’t want to have one anymore. It likely doesn’t work. What happens to those cars when they are 20 or 30 years old? Do those screens still work? Did one do all of the updates?”

Anscheidt and his team actively debate what this means for Bugatti and its customers as they shape the Chiron’s successor. Not all companies worry about whether the technology they put in their cars will work in two or more decades, but Bugatti is in a unique position: its cars are instant collectibles. They’re rolling works of art created to be enjoyed and admired by enthusiasts who aren’t born yet.

“Bugatti models need to sit on the lawn at Pebble Beach in 50 years and work. Just like we see pre-war luxury automobiles that still work. What a disaster it would be if a Bugatti would sit there and there are only black screens [inside].” We’ll need to be patient to find out the solution that Anscheidt comes up with. “We’re carefully thinking about this. I’m not saying that we have the ultimate answer, but I’m saying there is something that makes precious cars and precious brands worth thinking about for the sake of future generations,” he summed up.

Performance doesn’t matter anymore, it’s all about the feel

We’ve just had a week of supercars and high-end EVs revealed. Many of them boast outrageous performance specs. There were multiple vehicles with horsepower in the four-figure range, and not just sports cars, but SUVs with 0-60 mph times under 3.5 seconds. And it’s not just a rarified set of supercar builders, comparatively small tuners are also building this stuff. Going fast is easy nowadays and getting easier. So what will distinguish the greats from the wannabes? It’s all about how a car feels.

This may seem obvious. “Of course it matters that a car should have good steering feel and a playful chassis!” you say. “Why are you being paid for this stuff?” But a lot of automakers have missed the memo. This past week I spent some time in a BMW M4 Competition convertible, and it’s a perfect example of prioritizing performance over experience. It boggles my mind how a company can create such dead and disconnected steering; the weight never changes, there’s no feel whatsoever. The chassis is inflappable, but to a fault, because it doesn’t feel like anything you’re doing is difficult or exciting. The car is astoundingly fast and capable, but it feels less like driving a car and more like tapping in a heading on the Enterprise-D.

I also happened to drive something of comparable performance that was much more enjoyable: a Mercedes-AMG GT. It was a basic model with the Stealth Edition blackout package, and even though it had a twin-turbo V8 instead of a six-cylinder, it only made 20 more horsepower. The power wasn’t the big differentiator, it was (say it with me) the feel. While not the best example, the steering builds resistance as you dial in lock, giving you a better idea of what’s happening up front. Pulses and vibrations come back to you as you move over bumpy pavement in corners. The chassis isn’t quite as buttoned down, either, providing a little bit of body roll that tells you you’re pushing it. It’s also easier to feel when the car is wanting to understeer or oversteer, and how your throttle and steering inputs are affecting it. The whole thing is much more involving, exciting and fun.

That’s also to say nothing of the Merc’s sounds. That V8 is maybe not the best sounding engine, but its urgent churn through the opened-up exhaust gets your heart racing. It also seems like it’s vibrating the whole cabin, so you feel it as much as you hear it. Though the BMW’s six is also a special sounding unit, too with a melodious howl and a smattering of pops on shifts. So BMW isn’t a total lost cause.

But I digress. The point is, given two cars with similar performance, one is more entertaining. It’s the one car enthusiasts will want to come away with, and as an added benefit, a car with a fun feel is enjoyable even when it’s not being driven at full force. The Mercedes was more entertaining even on public roads when following traffic laws. Many of these new hypercars and electric cars are offering performance that can’t even be used most of the time. But if they’re not fun the whole time, what’s the point?

Thankfully, people in the industry are figuring this out. I spoke with Lamborghini Chief Technical Officer Rouven Mohr about the newly revealed Lamborghini Urus Performante. While the faster Urus seemed to be another vehicle that’s about the numbers, Mohr explained that wasn’t the goal. Many of the decisions about the SUV’s upgrades were to make it more fun and more like a sports car. The engineers went to steel springs instead of air for more response and linear, controllable reactions. The Rally drive mode isn’t so much for speed, but for tail-happy shenanigans on loose surfaces. He said a focus on feel and experience is what the company is working on, about making cars that have “good feedback and emotional involvement.” Mohr said a car like the Huracan STO is popular because it “makes you feel like a hero.” I think he nailed it.

Other reveals this past week show a renewed focus on involvement. The Dodge Charger Daytona EV is more than just another fast electric car concept. Attention was given to the experience, with a piped exhaust to make noise under acceleration. It even has a multi-speed transmission, not for efficiency or performance, but to deliver the feeling of gas-powered muscle cars that Challenger and Charger owners clearly love.

Speaking of transmissions, take a look at the Koenigsegg CC850. It turned its hyper-advanced nine-speed automatic transmission into a gated manual transmission — with a functioning clutch pedal. Partly it’s a tribute to the CC8S, but it’s also to provide extra engagement. Koenigsegg even fitted smaller turbos that produce less power to optimize manual driving feel. This is good to hear from a company that just launched yet another four-figure horsepower supercar.

So the future is actually looking fairly bright, with big names in the car industry recognizing that the quest for more raw performance is less important than the driving experience. This is just a request for other manufacturers to follow suit. Cars aren’t all about the numbers.

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South Australia proposes special license requirement for high-powered cars

Lawmakers in South Australia have big plans in store for owners of high-powered sports cars, but they likely won’t be received with open arms. The Premier wants to require drivers to complete additional training and will push for a ban on disabling safety tech like traction control.

The proposed shift in policy comes after a Lamborghini Huracán driver killed a teenager in 2019. The driver was acquitted of the pedestrian’s death but pled guilty to a lesser charge. Peter Malinauskas, the South Australian Premier, visited with the girl’s family after the crash and promised the state would take action.

The South Australian Premier’s proposal also aims to ban drivers responsible for a deadly crash from holding a license until their case has worked its way through the courts. Other reforms relate to the penalties and rules around deaths that occur from irresponsible driving. The government aims to have the issues before Parliament by the end of 2022.

While it’s easy to bemoan yet another restriction on car enthusiasts, this might be one area where more, rather than less, regulation is a good thing. Think about it: Most young drivers take their licensing test in a more modest sedan, SUV or minivan and have had no formal training on how to handle a car with several times the horsepower. Couple that with a healthy dose of attention-seeking behavior, and it’s easy to see how things can go sideways — literally.

The Premier is calling for a special licensing requirement, not for a ban on supercars. Sure, more laws feel bad to most people, but making sure that money isn’t the only thing required to drive a Lamborghini isn’t such an awful thing.

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Woodward Dream Cruise Photo Gallery | Exotics and foreign cars

While the Woodward Dream Cruise may be best known for its American muscle and classic cars, the car community as a whole shows up for this single day of epic cruising. That means we get our fair share of foreign cars and exotics from all over, and frankly anything else you can think of.

This year’s cruise saw folks cruising in their Porsches, BMWs, Hondas and plenty more. We also saw our fair share of exotics. McLarens were practically everywhere, but tons of Ferraris and Lamborghinis showed up, too.

If you’re new to this whole Dream Cruise thing, know that it’s an annual event that takes place on Woodward Avenue in southeast Michigan. The cruise runs between Ferndale, Mich., and Pontiac, meaning hundreds of thousands of people line the roadway for miles on end. Traffic moves at a crawl, so the Dream Cruise ends up being a massive, slow-moving car show.

If you want to see more than the foreign and exotic cars of the show, make sure to check out our other galleries. Classics and American muscle can be found here. All the trucks you could ever want to look at are here. And lastly, we have a gallery showcasing all the weird stuff, dogs, motorcycles and more.

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Czinger 21C gets a V Max variant with new bodywork for top speeds

Even salesmen with delicious cuts of meat to offer know that you sell the sizzle, not the steak. That’s what Czinger went to Monterey Car Week to do with a third version of its tandem two-seater 21C and its planned Hyper GT. We’ll start with the 21C, which, remember, launched with two body styles. There was a road version and a track version whose aero accoutrements provided three times the downforce of the road car. The 21C V Max takes the road car in the opposite direction of the track car, streamlining and elongating the bodywork to trade drag for velocity.

The package should make more speed from the 2.88-liter twin-turbo V8 that sits behind the cabin in all 21Cs, aided by the two electric motors on the front axle. Founder Kevin Czinger said in Monterey the 1,233-horsepower powerplant enables the same sub-two-second 0-60 time as the other variants. Having reworked everything from the front splitter to the rear diffuser, the Vmax should be even faster than the claimed 27-second sprint from zero to 250 miles per hour and back to zero for the regular 21C. Claimed quarter-mile time is 8.1 seconds, claimed top speed is 253 miles per hour.

The V Max will be part of the 80-unit build of the 21C, giving buyers three flavors to choose from at a cost of $1.7 million per. First deliveries are planned for the end of next year.

At some point after the 21C begins deliveries, Czinger plans to have its second vehicle headed to production, known for now as the Hyper GT. It’s powered by the same hybrid setup as the 21C but with the ICE put up front and — we assume — the e-motors in back. Czinger says this will be “the most powerful grand tourer ever produced” and “by far, the top performing GT ever built and ever put out on the street” that also happens to have room for four adults and their luggage; those occupants will enter via gullwing doors, because you can’t see the wow factor of 1,233 hp at the valet stand.

Being so far out from production, we’re not sure what the interior will hold. But the company plans to produce 1,000 of the Hyper GT at its Los Angeles headquarters, each costing between $750,000 and $1 million, and then follow it up with a battery-electric model sometime before 2030. Czinger told Autocar, “The original conception of Czinger was to produce that ultimate road-track car [the 21C] that could set all of the records.” After the reception to the 21C and breaking the Laguna Seca lap record, he said, “Then the idea was ‘This could be a really, really cool brand,’ with the father-son combination [referring to his son and co-founder Lukas], that creates a whole series of the most off-the-hook vehicles in each of the categories.” 

Bentley Mulliner Batur celebrates the W12, previews EV style

Bentley has revealed its second special Mulliner coach-built model, and it represents a crossroads for the brand. It’s called the Bentley Mulliner Batur, and it’s a sendoff for the core engine for Bentley, the twin-turbo W12. It’s also a sign of things to come. The styling you see here will be adapted for Bentley’s future electric cars.

The car is clearly Bentley right from the get-go. It has the long front end, the prominent, rounded rectangular grille, rearward placed cabin and wide, flowing rear fenders. But it has a more aggressive look than some recent Bentleys. The grille looks as though it’s leaning more forward. Instead of round headlights, it has sweptback units that look like eagle eyes. The rear glass, instead of kicking up, stays low along the belt line. The tail has almost a boattail look and has slender taillights. It’s Bentley, but it’s also new.

The inside is clearly closely related to the Continental GT, which is no bad thing. But it can be set apart with special materials. Buyers of the Batur will have the ability to customize almost every aspect of the car with different leathers from different locations, different interior trimmings and upholstery designs. Bentley is offering some very unique materials, too. Metal pieces such as the organ stop vent switches can be made from titanium or even 3D-printed 18-karat gold. Some of the interior trim can be made from a natural fiber composite, which is like carbon fiber, but made from naturally occurring fibers rather than synthetically created carbon. The natural fiber can be used for the front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser as well. And of course the exterior can be customized with just about any paint and graphics imaginable.

Bentley says that the Batur is powered by the most powerful iteration of the twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 yet. It makes 730 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with adaptive air suspension, active anti-roll bars, all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, an electronic limited-slip differential and torque vectoring to help it handle as well as it can go in a straight line. Stopping it are a set of carbon silicon carbide brakes with 10-piston front brake calipers and four-piston rears.

Only 18 Baturs will be built, and they’re all spoken for. Pricing started at 1.65 million British pounds, or $1.95 million. Though there will only be a few of these Baturs, keep an eye out for its design to show up in the Bentley EVs that are coming starting in 2025.

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McLaren Solus screams into Monterey Car Week with 5.2L V10

Say hi to the McLaren Solus, a track-only supercar transformed from the virtual gaming world and into reality. McLaren just revealed this winged and wildly-shaped beast at Monterey Car Week in California — there will only be 25, and every last one of them is spoken for.

The most unique part of this McLaren is its powertrain, as it’s propelled by a unique 5.2-liter V10 (not a twin-turbo V8!). We didn’t see that one coming. McLaren says the engine makes 829 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque on its way to a redline somewhere above 10,000 rpm. It’s going to scream, and before you ask, McLaren makes clear that it’s nowhere near street legal. Claimed 0-62 mph acceleration is 2.5 seconds, and the top speed is simply listed as greater than 200 mph. 

For the first time in any McLaren, the engine is an integral part of the chassis, removing the need for additional structures or subframes outside the car’s carbon fiber monocoque. The engine is hooked up to a bespoke 7-speed sequential shift gearbox with straight cut gears that you won’t find in any other McLaren, too. 3-D printed titanium is used throughout the car for items like the halo cockpit protection structure. The suspension is a double wishbone design with the front damping being inboard with a pushrod design. The rear suspension is mounted to the gearbox casing — yes, this is some serious stuff . It features 18-inch center-locking wheels, is fitted with LeMans Prototype spec tires and braking is handled by 6-piston monoblock calipers with carbon discs.

This Solus originally saw the light of day as a virtual gaming concept of a hypercar in the Gran Turismo Sport video game. Now, McLaren says it’s the closest thing it’s built to the sensation of driving a Formula 1 car. Curb weight is a miniscule 2,205 pounds, and all of that wild aero — including ground effect tunnels in the full structural floor — is capable of producing “more than” 2,645 pounds of downforce.

It’s a single seater with an aircraft style sliding canopy that opens, allowing you to pop in and out of the car. Each Solus will get a driving seat molded to the owner’s body shape, along with a full race suit, gear and racing coaching to go with. As you’d expect, the Solus can be customized in every way imaginable via McLaren’s MSO program. Deliveries are meant to start in 2023, and no price was provided by McLaren.

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