All posts in “Cars”

Maserati teases MC20 Cielo debut for May 25

A while back, Maserati’s product roadmap penciled in an MC20 Spider to hit the market this year. In December 2021, the Modena automaker teased frontal views of the droptop supercar wearing camouflage full of fluffy clouds. In a series of Instagram posts over the last week, Maserati posted photos from the point of view of someone with an uninterrupted view skyward — the same kind of view one would experience in a convertible, say. One of the captions was, “You will admire the sky in a new way on Wednesday 25 May.” That will be the reveal date for what the automaker is now calling the Maserati MC20 Cielo, with that last word being Italian for “sky.”

Since we got no views of the rear of the camouflaged car, we have no idea what design changes we’ll see in a little more than a week. Looking closely at the photos of the camouflaged prototype, it’s clear there’s are temporary panels between behind the B-pillar all the way to the decklid spoiler. An odd feature on the prototype is a trio of ribs running from the A-pillar to the rear of the car, with the middle protrusion looking like a papered-over roof scoop. That seems like a lot of work to hide a form we’re already familiar with, and a convertible mechanism we don’t expect to hold any surprises, so we’ll see what we see on May 25.

Maserati’s usual Spider formula hasn’t traditionally altered a car’s underpinnings, so the same carbon fiber monocoque should come bolted to the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 making 621 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. The skylight does traditionally jack up the price, so expect to pay more than the coupe’s $210,000 MSRP. We figure the model will arrive in showrooms late this year at the earliest, an appearance in the U.S. likely in 2023. After this, we know there’s an even more powerful electric version on the way that will be the flagship of the range.

Related video:

Ferrari Builds 1 of 1 Ferrari F8 Tributo Called SP48 Unica

Meet the new Ferrari SP48 Unica, this new model is the latest addition to the Prancing Horse’s One-Off series, the most exclusive group in Maranello’s entire production.

The new SP48 Unica is a two-seater sports berlinetta developed on the F8 Tributo platform and designed by the Ferrari Styling Center under the Chief Design officer Flavio Manzoni.

The design of the new Ferrari features an arrow shaped front profile, re-designed headlights, relocated brake air intakes and completely redesigned grille and engine air intakes. A pivotal aspect of the design is the extensive use of procedural-parametric modeling techniques and 3D prototyping which resulted in perfect 3D grilles that seem curved from a solid volume.

In addition to the design, the vehicle has been transitioned from black to the body color which includes the windows, roof and engine cover, the visor effect has been heightened by reducing the size of the side windows and eliminating the rear screen and the central section of the roof includes a graphic representation of the air intakes on the rear carbon-fibre engine cover.

The thermal-fluid-dynamic design delivers different aerodynamic balance and guarantees all cooling requirements are met. The air intakes for cooling flows for the engine on the front bumper and beneath the rear spoiler are among the biggest changes compared to the F8 tributo’s styling and the intercooler intake behind the side window enables the engineers to reduce the dimension of the intakes on the flanks.

Additionally, the longer rear overhang reduces suction from the roof area which in return boosts the rear downforce. The interior of the new model features a specially developed black laser-perforated Alcantara on the seats and most of the cabin trim, polished sill covers with leather-embossed hexagonal motif and matte carbon-fibre cockpit complimented with Grigio Canna di Fucile accents.

Delage D12 prototype coming to tour the U.S. this summer

We’re sure someone can count how many plans were deranged by Covid over the last two years, but that someone isn’t us. What’s important is that we know the Delage D12 was one of those kicked off the tracks for a bit, but the revived French brand is still here and says its F1 car for the road is shortly headed for production. The outfit finally has a working prototype, and it’s already been sampled by potential European buyers. The wild blue looker was meant to take an honorary lap around the Miami Grand Prix circuit during last weekend’s festivities, but we’re not sure that happened. The south Florida city is home to one of Delage’s two dealers in the U.S., Specialty Car Collection. The other is Southern California Delage in Newport Beach. The D12 runner is planned to make another trip to Monterey Car Week in August this year, the same venue where Delage pre-sold a few units in 2020. 

Picking up where things left off in 2020, CEO Laurent Tapie unveiled the vehicle he wants to break the Nürburgring’s passenger car lap record. There are two D12 trims, both powered by a 7.6-liter naturally aspirated V12 developed in-house, putting out 960 horsepower and shifting through an eight-speed, single-clutch automated manual transmission. In the GT trim, the ICE gets help from a 110-hp electric motor, making a total 1,100 hp. In the track-focused Club trim, the e-motor makes just 20 horses, but the vehicle loses 200 pounds and is faster around a track than the GT. The Club’s electric motor is really just used for street driving, reversing and parking.

And yes, this is a passenger car. Two occupants sit in tandem in the cockpit, the bubble canopy opening like that of a fighter jet — two traits that make the Delage D12 similar to the Czinger 21C, four if you count the carbon fiber body panels and alliteration. Tapie says the D12 separates itself from all other road cars by having a pushrod suspension. French engineer Mauro Biancchi is said to hold the patent on the pushrod design, and gave his blessing to Tapie’s team. When we get a chance to speak to Tapie, we’ll ask how his pushrod design is different than the pushrod setup Lamborghini has used in the Aventador for a decade.

This fall, the two-seater enters a production run of just 30 examples, 10 for the U.S., the remainder for the rest of the world. First deliveries are scheduled for early 2023, and buyers will get the chance to sign up for driving lessons from Delage’s development driver, ex-F1 Driver’s World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. All it will take is €2 million ($2.1M U.S.) for a base D12 before options, and getting on that list of 30 customers. For everyone else, check out Tapie’s lengthy interview with Maxim to know more about how he got the idea for the D12, why he insisted on a naturally aspirated V12, and why he wanted a racing driver over an engineer to tune the dynamics.  

Related video:

Official: 2022 Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheel Base

Bentley is hoping to stretch its reach further into the realms of luxury with the 2022 Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheel Base. The Bentley Bentayga EWB is based on the second generation of Bentayga, extending the wheelbase and rear cabin space by an extra 180mm. The changes to the underfloor, side panels, door and roof were worked on by Bentley’s design team to ensure the sharp lines and proportions of the Bentayga remain elegant and stylish. The increased length results in the wheelbase of the car being stretched from 2995 to 3175mm brining the total length to 5322mm. All of the increase in in the rear door panel highlighting the focus in the creating an even more sumptuous rear cabin with an emphasis on comfort and wellness. This is reflected in the introduction of the world’s first auto climate and advanced postural adjustment rear seat.

The new cabin space allows for the new Bentley Airline Seat which Bentley claims to be the ‘most advanced seat ever fitted to a car, with 22-ways of adjustment’. Having attended to the preview of the car earlier this year, I can confirm that the rear seats in this configuration are sublime, with ample room and endless adjustability.

The front passenger seat can be pushed forward and a leather-trimmed footrest can be deployed whilst rear passenger seats sense the occupant’s temperature and determine whether to apply heat, ventilation or both simultaneously whilst the postural adjustment system automatically makes micro adjustments to the occupant’s seating position pressure points by measuring pressure across the seats surface: clever stuff! Elsewhere in the cabin, there is a more advanced stitching design, Bentley Diamond Illumination on the door sills and a total of 24 billion(!) trim combinations that can be chosen from. 

Bentley predicts that the EWB model will account for 45% of Bentayga sales, but for many the two Airline Seats in the rear may not be the most desirable set up. No problem, a standard 4+1 seating layout is offered with the two outer rear seats featuring 16 ways of adjustment, heating, ventilation and five massage programmes. 

Visually the 2022 Bentley Bentayga EWB can be spotted from its new ‘Vertical Vane Grille’ design, new 22 inch 10-spoke wheel, repositioned sunroof and, of course, that elongated rear door. 

Mechanically the car is identical to the V8 offering in the Bentayga range with the exception of the rear-wheel-steer system that is new to the EWB. It allows the turning radius to be reduced by up to 7% helping compensate for the additional length of the Extended Wheel Base.

Expect to see the 2022 Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheel Base on the road soon knowing that the occupants are enjoying levels of comfort never previously experience in a Bentley SUV.

Pagani C10 spy photos give us a peek at the Huayra successor

It’s been about a decade since the Pagani Huayra entered the supercar market. And since then, we’ve seen myriad variants with and without removable roofs. So it’s high time that a new Pagani supercar show up. That’s exactly what we have here, at least as far as we can tell. And it certainly appears to stick to Pagani styling tradition.

The proportions of this supercar, reportedly codenamed C10, are exactly what we’ve come to expect of the brand’s machines. It has a short nose and long rear. It has a low grille with a support in the middle that blends into a triangular hood section. And the rear is wide with signature quad tailpipes in between the taillights.

Looking closer, we can see some subtle differences from the Huayra. The lower grille opening is, well, lower, looking more like that of the Zonda. The cabin area looks shorter in length. There aren’t any apparent air intakes along the car’s flanks, possibly supplanted by intakes just behind the cabin. The tail looks more Zonda-like, too. Instead of the high-set, more flowing arrangement of lights, this C10 has just two simple lights on each side in square-shaped panels.

This prototype clearly isn’t quite production-ready, based on the large amount of camouflage and prototype components such as the headlights. But we’ll be seeing the production model soon. A previous report said that the car will make its debut this year. It will apparently use a version of the twin-turbo AMG V12 also used in the Huayra, though this time it will be available with a manual transmission.

Related Video:

Ferrari SF48 Unica one-off is based on the F8 Tributo

Ferrari has unveiled the SF48 Unica, the latest addition to its portfolio of customer-commissioned one-off models. Based on the F8 Tributo, the coupe was created by the Ferrari Styling Center for an anonymous client who participated in every step of the design process.

Nearly every part of the F8 Tributo‘s exterior has been redesigned. Up front, the SF48 Unica features new-look lights, a reshaped bumper with honeycomb-like inserts, and twin vents. Blacked-out a-pillars create the illusion of a wrap-around windshield. Even the door skins are specific to the model, and designers relocated an intercooler to move the engine’s air intakes down. Out back, thin rectangular lights replaced the F8’s quad round units and the rear bumper is new as well. One of the most striking styling cues is the lack of a rear window.

Creating a one-off model requires a tremendous amount of time and resources, especially because many of the changes alter the coupe’s aerodynamic profile. The SF48’s rear overhang is a little longer than the F8’s, and the extra inches increase downforce on the back wheels. Procedural-parametric modeling techniques and 3D prototyping helped the Prancing Horse’s designers make the one-of-a-kind car a reality.

Ferrari notes that the SF48’s cabin looks a lot like the F8’s, though it stopped short of releasing photos. The two cars aren’t exactly identical inside, however: the customer who commissioned the Unica requested black laser-perforated Alcantara upholstery draped over a layer of fabric that matches the body’s color, for example. Matte carbon fiber trim and Grigio Canna di Fucile accents were specified as well.

We’re guessing that no significant mechanical changes were made, meaning that power comes from a 3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Mid-mounted, it spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.

As is normally the case, Ferrari hasn’t revealed the identity of the SF48 Unica’s owner or how much the car cost to build.

Related video:

They Actually Did It! Mercedes EQXX Covers 1,008km on Single Charge, 140km Still Remaining

The new Mercedes Vision EQXX took on the roads of Europe to demonstrate its outstanding range and efficiency. This new model covered over 1000 km in everyday traffic on a single battery charge. On arrival, the battery charge was 15% which mounted to a remaining range of around 140 kms, the average consumption was a record-breaking low of 8.7 kWh per 100 kms.

The Vision EQXX completed the long-distance with the charging socket sealed accompanied by an independent expert from certification body TUV sud. The model is packed with innovations and the software-defined research prototype is part of the technology programme that combines the latest digital technology with Mercedes’s spirit, agility and speed of Formula 1.

The model has also been fitted with Bridgestone tyres with an extremely low rolling-resistance rating of 4.7, the tyres are specifically developed for the EQXX in partnership with Mercedes and also improves the overall efficiency of the vehicle.

Special features in the new EQXX includes comprehensive lightweight construction and design concept, examples of this are carbon-fibre-sugar composite materials also used in Formula 1, BIONEQXX rear floor manufactured using aluminum casting process, light metal structural components, aluminium brake discs and lightweight F1 subframe for the electric chassis.

The Vision EQXX also gets its energy from the fixed solar roof which increases the range by more than 2%. The 117 solar cells charge the 12-volt battery which then supplies power to auxiliary consumers like the navigational system.

In addition, the vehicle has also been fitted with the UI/UX which features a new one-piece display that spans the entire width of the interior.

Start of Trip Sindelfingen, April 5th, 2022, 7:00 a.m.
End of Trip Cassis, April 5th, 2022, 7:02 p.m.
Distance Travelled 1,008 kilometres
Time Travelled 12 hours and 2 minutes
Average speed 87.4 km/h
Max Speed 140km/h
Battery Remaining on Arrival 15% or 140km Range

Win Mother’s Day by giving your mom a 2022 McLaren GT

Unless you’re an only child, there’s no doubt you’ve experienced the competitiveness that Mother’s Day brings. This year you can take it up a notch beating out the bath bombs and brunch that your siblings are bringing to the table with something no one has any chance of topping: the keys to a 2022 McLaren GT.

Here are the specs for the McLaren GT, according to Omaze:

  • Max Seating: 2
  • Powertrain: Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Exterior Color: Ember Orange
  • Interior Color: Black
  • Horsepower: 612 hp
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft
  • Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 203 mph
  • Fuel Consumption: 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined
  • Fuel Capacity: 19 gallons
  • Approximate Retail Value: $243,875.00
  • Cash-Alt: $182,906.25
  • Special features: Dihedral “butterfly” doors; 20″ and 21″ MSO wheels; 12.3″ instrument screen; 7″ portrait infotainment screen; 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system

Here’s what we thought about it, the last time we drove one:

“As the winter settles in, I find myself reflecting on the most memorable cars that I’ve tested this year. Chief among them, the McLaren GT.

“I drove the GT on a damp midsummer evening. After a lengthy heatwave, temperatures dipped into the low 60s and it was raining lightly. Not the ideal time to drive a $263,000 supercar. And yet, it was impossible not to be excited and curious. 

McLaren has come a long way in a short time. With a decade under its belt as a standalone automotive operation, the company is delivering on ambitious growth plans and now counts four product lines in its portfolio, ranging from the Ultimate to this GT.

“It’s a surprising trajectory considering McLaren is best known for making shooting stars, like the 1990s F1 that captured the zeitgeist for supercars of that era. The F1 was followed by the indelible Mercedes-McLaren SLR from 2003-2010. 

“It wasn’t until 2011 that McLaren Automotive — freshly spun off from the racing team — attempted a credible road-going car that could actually be purchased and driven by normal enthusiasts. That car, the 12C, was a first step that ultimately led to proliferation of vehicles and technology for McLaren.

“After a few hours of spirited driving the GT, my conclusion boiled down to one word: maturity. It over-delivered as a grand tourer, though the car is about as much of a GT as the Ford GT, which is to say, not much. My back was a little tight when I returned home, fatigued but not abused. The McLaren GT is a driving workout on par with an Audi R8 or Lamborghini Huracán.

“Performance? It has plenty. But also notable, the fit-and-finish is solid, the looks are striking and it felt like the product of a company that’s been doing this for awhile, which McLaren hasn’t. Certainly competitive with Ferraris and Lamborghis and interesting in its own way. A small shop like McLaren is always going to face challenges achieving scale and consistent prosperity, and the pandemic wreaked havoc on the automaking and racing units. Still, the GT is indicative the company can expand without overreaching.”

According to Omaze, “no donation or payment is necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes.” If you do choose to donate, $10 will get you 100 entries, $50 will get you 1,000 entries, and $100 will get you 2,000 entries. Donations benefit Make-A-Wish. Per Omaze, “Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Not only can these wishes help kids build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness, they also restore hope for families, volunteers, medical teams and entire communities. Right now, for every wish granted, there are three more that need financial support. Your generosity will help Make-A-Wish grant even more life-changing wishes for children when they need it most.”

If you want this head-turning McLaren in your mom’s driveway, enter here. The deadline to enter is July 22, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

Other Omaze sweepstakes:

Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut gets its first prototype

If there is a Koenigsegg that will break through the 300-mph barrier, this is it. If there is a Koenigsegg that will be the fastest car the Swedish automaker builds, this is also it. Not long after watching the bewinged Jesko Attack dash through the snow, Koenigsegg has shown that car’s brother, the wingless and ultimately refined Absolut.

Created to go as fast as possible, company boss Christian von Koenigsegg said: “We spent thousands of hours in CFD calculations. We’ve streamlined this car from not just an aerodynamic and design perspective, but also from a high-speed stability perspective. As a result, the Jesko Absolut has a phenomenally low drag of only 0.278 Cd.”

The development model is done up in Graphite Grey with Tang Orange stripes. Remind us to ask Christian one day if that color really refers to the chemical concoction relentlessly advertised to kids decades ago as the favorite beverage of astronauts. 

To be fair to aerodynamicists around the world, we should clarify that it’s a “phenomenally” low drag figure on a relative scale. After all, cars looking to stretch gallons or kWhs of fuel do better; the Lucid Air claims a drag coefficient of 0.21 Cd, the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class a 0.24. But compared to other hypercars, the Koenigsegg is well ahead. Hennessey says its Venom F5 comes in with a drag coefficient of 0.39, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ in Top Speed mode is 0.33 — 0.02 better than the standard Chiron — and SSC cites a figure of 0.279 for the Tuatara. If these numbers are accurate, Koenigsegg has claimed the hypercar aero crown from SSC by 0.001. Probably just a coincidence.

The Absolut’s internals almost entirely mimic those of the Attack, with a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 1,600 hp and 1,107 lb-ft. Weight savings from changes like the lack of that rear wing mean the Absolut weighs 3,064 pounds compared to the Attack’s 3,131 pounds.

Koenigsegg hasn’t given a timeline for when customer units will be ready, but it shouldn’t be long. The Attack is expected to start reaching customers this quarter.

Related Video:

European dealer working with Koenigsegg on a CC12 secret project

We tuned into James Walker’s latest episode on YouTube because The Supercar Blog reported there’s a special Koenigsegg on the way called the CC12. There isn’t much known about the coming coupe, just that was supposedly commissioned by a European dealer in ultraluxurious things called Carage. Upon tuning in to the 51-minute video, we discovered that Walker talks about the CC12 for maybe ten seconds (38:47) — he doesn’t even call it by the name written on the wall next to it, and the project is so secret that his host won’t say a word about it. Here’s the thing: The episode is called “The Best Garage in the World?”, and the answer might be “Hell yes.” We showed up for one car, we stayed because of all the amazing car stuff.

We’d never heard of Carage before, a dealer with showrooms in Lucerne, Switzerland and Marbella, Spain that specializes in “modern hypercars [and] unusually sporty vintage cars.” If a line could win an award for Swiss understatement, this is it. Walker tours just some of the Swiss facility, which is five floors and nearly 54,000 feet of luxury architectural space housing many millions of dollars in cars. The Koenigsegg room is designed to create Swedish vibes. The five cars parked inside it include CC8S Chassis #002, the first customer car of the first model Koenigsegg built, one of two Trevita’s with white carbon and clearcoat with diamond dust, and the Agera Prototype Chassis #077 that was not only the development vehicle for every evolution of the Agera, it was customized with a trunk.   

There’s are a few rooms with Aston Martins (12:50) including James Bond’s DB10 (25:15), another with Ferraris, a modern Iso Rivolta (11:30), and the most magnificent tool and replacement parts sets we have ever seen (32:05) created for the Aston Martin DB4GT Continuation. Then there’s the garage, with the obligatory lifts and clean-room appearance. The garage also contains an indoor wash bay, because Carage washes every vehicle before working on it; there’s an exhaust vent on a rail that can be fitted to any vehicle in the garage; there are tire fitting and alignment machines in custom colors to match the garage; and a pump system to send used oil into a large containment tank beneath the garage. Plus the on-site carbon production and CNC machines. And other things. Carage is spectacular.

Back to that Koenigsegg CC12, though. It hasn’t been commissioned by Carage, it’s being built by Carage, CEO Kim Struve saying he’s working with Koenigsegg on the project, but he wants to show potential clientele what Carage can do. The form under the tarp looks like the CC8S that, earlier in the video, Struve says was bought “for a special project that’s going to be released in a year’s time.” But we can’t know if the two are related. What we do know is that Koenigsegg built just six examples of the CC8S, its name partly signifying the modular Ford V8 behind the cockpit. The re-engineered and supercharged 4.7-liter small block produced 646 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The automaker switched to CCR and CCX names after the CC8, never making a CC12. Whatever Carage is up to, we’re looking forward to it, and if the 12 in the name refers to the cylinder count, all the better.

Related video:

Lamborghini builds 20,000th Huracan, looks back on eight years of production

Lamborghini is celebrating a significant milestone: It has built 20,000 examples of the Huracán, its entry-level supercar. While that number might not sound impressive, it cements the V10-powered Huracán’s positioning as the Italian firm’s best-selling supercar by a wide margin.

Finished in an eye-catching color called Grigio Acheso Matte, the 20,000th Huracán is an STO model that was built for an anonymous buyer in Monaco, so you won’t find it basking under the spotlights in Lamborghini’s official museum. Reaching the 20,000-unit mark also gives the Raging Bull the opportunity to look back on an eight-year-long production run. As of writing, 71% of Huracán buyers have chosen the coupe while 29% have selected the Spyder. The model’s main market is the United States; that’s where 32% of examples built have been sent.

Lamborghini has gone to significant lengths to keep the Huracán fresh and competitive since it started building the model in 2014. An updated variant called EVO was released for 2020; it’s available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and the aforementioned STO joined the lineup shortly after to bridge the gap between the production model and the cars that Lamborghini builds for various racing series around the world. The range grew again in 2022 with the unveiling of the Huracán Tecnica, which offers a 631-horsepower V10 engine and rear-wheel drive.

Keep in mind that the Huracán remains a niche model made by a small company that used to be even smaller; building 20,000 cars is an impressive feat. Lamborghini manufactured an average of 250 cars annually during the first four decades of its existence. Precisely 1,999 units of the Countach, one of the Raging Bull’s most emblematic models, were built during a production run that lasted for 17 years.

Related video:

Koenigsegg Jesko gets its turn to throw snow

Yes, it’s a tad bizarre to be posting winter testing videos in the middle of April, the same way it’s a little strange for it to be 38 degrees in parts of the Midwest this week. We can do without the weather, but we’ll take the videos, and here’s another — a counterpoint to a vid from a week ago. Rimac provided our last trip to northern Sweden, the Croatian hypercar maker there to test the Nevera in temperatures well colder than 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Two hours east of that, turns out Swedish hypercar maker Koenigsegg was testing its Jesko in the frozen stuff. The Swedes called their video Egg Hunt for obvious reasons, but there wasn’t much of a hunt, just a guy gathering giant neon eggs in the forest until the trail leads him to the Jesko. Seems the Swedish Easter Bunny might be way cooler than ours.

What’s cool about these two videos is they ask, “How do you like your ice dancing?” With four motors producing 1,914 horsepower and 1,741 pound-feet of torque to move 4,960 pounds, and emitting a gentle whine that can be barely heard above the soundtrack? Or with a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 1,600 hp and 1,107 lb-ft to motivate 3,130 pounds and a Battlestar Galactica wing, emitting a roar that would have had the Easter Bunny apologizing to every hibernating bear and rethinking his egg hunt strategy? Take your time deciding, there’s no wrong answer. By the way, that wing and the power figure mark this as the standard Jesko on E85. The Jesko on standard gasoline makes ‘just’ 1,200 horsepower.  

The Jesko and Nevera should be finding their way to the first customers shortly. Maybe next time they both vacation in northern Sweden, they’ll go together. That would be a video.

2022 New York Auto Show Roundup | All the reveals, reviews, pictures

NEW YORK — In case you missed it, the New York Auto Show took place this year after being canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. A lot of manufacturers showed up in force, but not everybody did. No matter, we were there, and we brought you news, photos and scoops from the floor throughout the show. All of our New York-related stories can be found at our central hub here, but if you’d rather just get a small taste of everything in a quick and digestible format, keep scrolling.

Kia revealed the Telluride’s first major refresh at New York, and it makes the three-row crossover a little bit more desirable without screwing up what we liked about it before. There’s a new X-Line and X-Pro trim for someone who might want a little more off-road capability, and a number of tech improvements. Most notably, a newly-designed dash features new and bigger screens.

The Telluride’s sister car from Hyundai was treated to a similar refresh. Like the Telluride, Hyundai gave the Palisade a slightly revised look, a new off-road trim (called XRT in the Palisade’s case), more tech inside and a new dash design with full-width air vents. If we had to choose, we’re a little more impressed with the Telluride’s refresh, as a number of us on staff actually prefer the pre-refresh Palisade styling over the new one.

This one was inevitable. Jeep revealed the longer, roomier versions of its Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer in New York, and they’re designated with an “L” at the end of their names. Total length grows by a foot, and the wheelbase goes up by 7 inches versus the standard Wagoneer models. Jeep has essentially allocated all this extra room to the cargo area, as it now offers a staggering 44.2 cubic-feet of space behind the third row.

Besides the L, Jeep announced that its new Hurricane inline-six engine would find its first home in the Wagoneer. Efficiency gets a small boost, and power is more than sufficient at either 420 horsepower (standard output) or 510 horsepower (high-output version) from the twin-turbo I-6.

The Stellantis party continues with Chrysler and its slightly revised Airflow. Re-styled for the New York market after initially debuting at CES in Las Vegas, the Airflow Concept gets new paint, changed accent colors, a slightly changed interior design and a new interpretation of the Chrysler logo.

This was our first chance to get a good in-person look at the new Kia Niro models headed our way, and we were impressed. It gets a totally new design, massaged powertrains in all three variants and an EV6-inspired interior. We even got to take a little deep dive into the standout Aero Blade design feature seen on all new Niros.

This was one of the minor debuts of the show — Subaru didn’t even hold a press conference. But the Outback was there on the show floor, and it was showing off its new Wilderness-inspired looks. The cladding is much more prominent, it has new lights up front, and Subaru packed it with a number of new tech features.

One year on from the Pathfinder being all-new, and Nissan just added an off-road-focused Rock Creek trim. It gets a slightly revised suspension, more power when run on premium fuel, all-terrain tires and a fairly comprehensive styling package. We liked the looks of it on the show floor, and while it may not be a super-capable SUV, having the option of a more rugged-looking SUV is seemingly a good thing to have in dealers these days.

The Leaf is getting outpaced by EVs with far more range, better tech and more power, but that hasn’t stopped Nissan from giving it a small nip-and-tuck. It gets a new grille, light-up Nissan logo, wild new wheels and a couple of aero enhancements.

This special-edition Ford GT pays tribute to the third-place car at the 1966 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It re-creates that car’s look via matching paint, red accents and a number of other small details. Ford put it on display next to the car that raced at Le Mans back in 1966, making it an excellent display for any racing history geeks.

A collaboration between Williams Engineering, Italdesign and Deus, this electric hypercar is planned for super-low production, but incredibly high performance. Output is meant to be “more than 2,200 horsepower” and it has a claimed 0-62 mph time of 1.99 seconds. Only 99 are meant to be built, but we know that will be a tough, uphill battle to accomplish. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a Deus outside of the N.Y. Auto Show stand one day.

Yes, it’s another Huracán variant. This one steals a lot of the go-fast STO parts, but pairs them with a much more subdued appearance. It does well to make the appearance stand out as different from other Huracáns, and the 631 horsepower being sent to the rear wheels sound like Italian supercar bliss.

2023 BMW X7 M60i

BMW didn’t bring it to the show floor, but we still got to see the refreshed X7 in New York this week. The design both inside and out gets a heavy revamping. Its look certainly isn’t for everyone, but nobody can deny that the car is turning heads. We’re impressed with the new interior, and the base xDrive40i powertrain gets a huge performance boost, giving the entry-level X7 a whopping 375 horsepower.

Debuting alongside the regular X7 was the Alpina XB7 that received its own styling tweaks to keep it current. It also adds 8 horsepower, bringing it up to 621 ponies from the twin-turbo V8.

Genesis X Speedium Coupe

It wasn’t on the show floor, but Genesis still revealed it in New York during auto show time. The X Speedium Coupe Concept is far and away the most beautiful thing there. Its shooting brake/fastback design is long and wide, and its proportions make it a total stunner. The concept is electric, and while Genesis hasn’t committed to putting it into production, we can hope to see it on the roads one day.

Random other musings

Fiat 500 Electric

For whatever reason, Fiat brought the Europe-only electric 500 to N.Y. Our Joel Stocksdale took a close look at it, and made a case for why Stellantis should bring the little EV to America.

Radwood showed up with a large collection of epic cars from the 1980s and 1990s. They were easily the coolest part of the show, and if you’re in town, it may be worth going just to see this group of cars at the Javits Center.

Lastly, Alfa brought the Tonale for us to check out in a gorgeous Montreal Green paint. It’s a sharp little crossover in the flesh, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how this Alfa drives.

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2022 New York Auto Show, and Subaru Solterra driven | Autoblog Podcast #725

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Deus Vayanne EV hypercar reaches for 2,200 horsepower

The Deus Vayanne has touched down at the New York Auto Show. Despite a word salad press release about timelessness and infinity and symmetry and divinity, the battery-electric hypercar from an Austrian-led consortium looks like courtly but pretty standard stuff. We’re told that with “a ground clearance of 4.7 inches and useable storage space, the car integrates performance and practicality” and “truly deserves the title of master of versatility.” Hmmm. Perhaps the definition of “versatility” has changed recently.

The coupe is built on an EV platform created by Williams Advanced Engineering and Italdesign, the bodywork penned by Italdesign according to Deus’ ambitions. The front and rear grilles are abstractions of the infinity symbol. Between them is the undeniable shape of a mid-engined ICE super sports car, and since everyone’s going to pick another car or cars to compare this to, we’ll go with the silhouette of a McLaren 720S from the side. The interior checks all the hypercar boxes—sleek design, stitched leather, toggle switches, chunky shifter. It’s perfectly fine.

The wild side of the Vayanne is its target performance figures; the company wants to make this the first production EV with more than 2,200 horsepower. The Aspark Owl already touted a pony count of up to 2,012, the the Lotus Evija, Rimac C Two, and Pininfarina Battista are at or above 1,900 hp, so if Deus succeeds, it will put daylight between itself and the competition. Combined with 1,475 pound-feet of torque, Deus says it expects a teleport from zero to 62 miles per hour in under 1.99 seconds and a top speed beyond 248 miles per hour. Two vital caveats here: Deus didn’t mention any powertrain specs, and all of these stats and figures are derived from computer simulations.

We’re told there will be just 99 Vayannes produced, the first one reaching customers in 2025 for an as-yet-undisclosed price. However, the version on display in New York at the moment is still a “production-oriented concept,” so anyone reaching for their wallet might want to hold off to see what changes may come in the next three years. Until then, we’re going to go find a dictionary and look up some words that start with “V.”

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2023 Aston Martin DBX 707 First Drive Review | Supercar SUV

OLBIA, Sardinia – What is the definition of a supercar? It varies from generation to generation, from country to country, and from brand to brand. It’s the type of complex question that could fuel pub talk until the taps run dry. Aston Martin’s supercars have historically been the low-slung two-door kind, but the British firm submitted a different answer by releasing the 2023 Aston Martin DBX 707. It’s an SUV that serves supercar-like power, supercar-like acceleration, and a supercar-like price. Does it deserve a spot in this elite group in spite of its family-friendly proportions? I traveled to the Italian Mediterranean island of Sardinia to find out.

On paper, the 707 is a DBX with a more powerful engine – that’s one way to sum it up but it’s cruelly unfair. Dig deeper and you’ll discover hundreds of changes made to differentiate the two models, both in terms of design and in terms of driving dynamics. The grille is 27% bigger (it’s not just BMW riding this train), the side skirts have been redesigned, there’s a carbon fiber spoiler attached to the top part of the hatch, and the rear bumper is now vented. One of the most striking design cues is the rear diffuser: loosely inspired by the unit fitted to the Valkyrie, it sticks out far beyond the bumper and looks ready to pick a fight with every curb that comes its way. Aston Martin told me you can still fit the 707 with a hitch, so that’s a relief. Wait: tow? With this? Certainly! Bolt that hitch on it and you can pull approximately 6,000 pounds.

While some of these tweaks are purely aesthetic, others allowed Aston Martin to hone the DBX’s aerodynamic profile. Adding splitters to the front bumper stabilizes airflow, for example, and Sam Holgate, Aston Martin’s chief designer for mid-engined models and SUVs, pointed out that the 707 has about 5% less lift than the regular DBX.

“Mainly, that came out from the front of the car by venting air out of the arches, but then we got it back with the rear spoiler, so this car is completely lift-neutral front to rear, regardless of whether you’re traveling at high or low speeds,” he told me.

In a way, the 707 is a laboratory that incorporates some of the feedback that Aston Martin has received about the DBX since production started in 2020. Buyers wanted soft-close doors; it’s got them. And, there is one improvement that Aston Martin’s engineering team is particularly proud of. “We redesigned the cupholders to take a bigger variety of cups,” said Andrew Tokley, Aston Martin’s senior manager of vehicle engineering. Customer feedback, much of it from American buyers directly shaped the new cupholders (no mention of American car reviewers). Scoff if you must, but they were surprisingly useless before.

As in the regular DBX, all of the materials that the passengers see and touch are top-notch, which you’d rightfully expect in a vehicle that goes deep into $200,000 territory. Aston Martin really sweated the details: every stitch is correctly aligned and every switch feels solid. Its heritage is rooted in luxury, after all.

The only disappointment inside – and it’s not an insignificant one – is the infotainment system. Yep, I heard you: “no one buys an Aston Martin to get a fancy touchscreen!” Fair enough, but technology has, for better or worse, become one of the yardsticks used to measure luxury cars and the DBX falls short here. It’s fitted with what’s essentially an older Mercedes-Benz infotainment system, meaning one controlled by a touchpad and a dial rather than a touchscreen. It’s bulky and unintuitive; the DBX deserves better, especially since there are some cool features and menus stuffed into the software.

Power comes from a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8. It’s the familiar eight-cylinder that Aston Martin borrowed from Mercedes-AMG to drop into several of its models, including the regular DBX, but here it’s tuned to develop 697 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (or 707 pferdestärke – hence the name) and 663 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. Enthusiasts familiar with AMG’s V8 cookbook will recognize that no in-house recipe yields these numbers, and that’s because this is a British recipe, not a German one.

“The Mercedes-Benz technology transfer agreement is very important for us, and this is one of the outcomes. We were able to make several refinements to the engine. The agreement also gives us the leverage to be much quicker to the market,” said Aston Martin boss Tobias Moers. Importantly, and this is not a coincidence, his last job was running the very company that designed the engine: AMG. His gravitational pull was strong enough to bring a few key people with him to England, including Ralph Illenberger. He’s now Aston Martin’s head of powertrain having previously been AMG’s head of engine development.

Tokley explained that some of the changes made in-house include fitting turbochargers equipped with ball bearings instead of journal bearings. Software and calibration tweaks entered the equation as well.

From the crankshaft, the V8’s cavalry reaches the four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission linked to beefy shift paddles, an active transfer case, an upsized carbon fiber driveshaft (which doesn’t have a center bearing in order to save weight), and an electronic limited-slip rear differential with a final drive ratio that’s 7% shorter than the standard DBX’s. Hitting 60 mph from a stop consequently takes 3.1 seconds, a number that becomes even more impressive when you take into account the 4,940-pound mass that the engine needs to lug around. The nine-speed automatic keeps up with the pace by delivering quick, crisp shifts, either on its own or manually. The shift paddles are even larger than those in the regular DBX, and are made of carbon fiber rather than metal. 

Aston Martin lets you choose how loudly the DBX 707 comes to life. For the standard exhaust note, simply push the “engine start/stop” button located on the dashboard, between the buttons used to put the transmission in gear. To turn it up, which I highly recommend, keep the left shift paddle pulled as you push the ignition button. The difference in decibels is perceptible, both inside and out. The V8’s song is worth turning down the audio system for, and Aston Martin spent a great deal of time fine-tuning it. Moers, a man whose love of great-sounding engines is well documented, personally weighed in on it.

Unless you’re a current Aston Martin owner, the brand’s long-standing automatic shifter location takes a little bit of time to get used to; your hand instinctively reaches for the center console. But, once you’re off, you’re off. The DBX’s acceleration is nearly instantaneous, which is surprising because the engine’s full horsepower and torque outputs aren’t available until 6,000 and 4,500 rpm, respectively. There is so much of both under your right foot that the engine curve matters far less than it does in a car with, say, 150 horsepower. At full throttle, the DBX delivers the type of gut-twisting acceleration associated with a supercar. Try launch control once, and I’ll bet the cost of my test car’s optional 23-inch wheels (that’s $5,100, by the way) that you’ll immediately stop to do it again.

The chassis improvements came to life on twisty Sardinian roads. This is not a light car, and it never feels like one, but dialing in a 52% front and 48% rear weight distribution ensures it’s not as front-heavy as you’d expect. It’s reasonably well balanced, especially considering the segment that it competes in. The air suspension and 48-volt anti-roll control keep body motions in check, and the massive tires unlock a reassuring (and almost supernatural!) level of grip. Bend after bend, the DBX 707 delights with precise, well-weighted steering … until I come out of a sharp right-hander, foot half-buried in the throttle, and realize I’m barreling towards a group of goats chilling in the middle of the road. That’s where the standard carbon ceramic braking system comes in. Rest assured: the DBX passed the goat avoidance test with flying colors.

On straighter, faster roads where the odds of encountering cheese-producing livestock are lower, the DBX 707 is a pleasant and comfortable car to cruise in. Like the regular DBX, actually, the 707’s wild side is entertaining, but it knows how to be calm when the occasion calls for it. It’s also quiet thanks in part to remarkably thick windows. Only the V8’s song permeates the cabin. Some of it comes from the speakers, though Tokley stresses that the actual exhaust note is being piped through rather than a fake sound emitted by a synthesizer. For the braver souls among us, there’s an off-road mode that increases the ground clearance.

Due out in the second quarter of 2022, the 2023 Aston Martin DBX 707 starts at $239,086 including a massive $3,086 destination charge, and the $300,000 threshold is effortlessly reached when you begin ticking option boxes – my tester cost $291,586. At this stage, what are you really cross-shopping the DBX 707 with? Any of the other family haulers that cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars, sure, but you could also get a used Cessna or buy a cabin in a picturesque part of the Alps and a four-wheel-drive Dacia Duster to get there. That’s the point: the heart crushes the brain in this equation. No one needs a 697-horsepower SUV, but the acceleration, the sound, the design, and the luxury make you want one. Cast in this light, ground clearance and seat count be damned: the DBX 707 is a modern supercar.

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2022 Holman Moody Ford GT debuts as 1966 Le Mans tribute

For those who may have forgotten, yes, Ford (along with Multimatic) is still making the GT supercar. The latest iteration is this 2022 Ford GT Holman Moody Edition that pays tribute to Ford’s 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. If you were wondering, the Moody car finished third among the trio of GT40s. As you can tell in the photos, the new GT is meant to replicate the original Holman Moody livery from that race.

To do so, Ford applied that unique gold and red color combo to the new GT and added the number 5 roundels in Oxford White to match the original’s racing number. The number roundels have been modernized, but considering how much exposed carbon fiber this sucker has, that’s small potatoes. Ford uses glossy carbon for the splitter, side sills, rear diffuser and engine louvers. The package also includes the 20-inch carbon fiber wheels that hide Brembo brakes finished in black with silver graphics. 

Holman Moody touches on the interior include a number 5 emblazoned on to the door panels, gold trim on the instrument panel and paddle shifters in gold, as well. The carbon fiber continues inside, too. Ford applies visual carbon to the door sills, console, lower A-pillars and more.

Ford says that the Holman Moody Heritage Edition GT is being made available for approved GT customers and notes that deliveries will begin this spring. No price was provided for this special model. If you want to see it in person, Ford says the Holman Moody GT will be displayed at this year’s New York Auto Show alongside the original third place Holman Moody Ford GT40 MK II, chassis No. P/1016.

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Ferrari F8 Tributo order books already closed

With everything else going on, well, everywhere, it’s easy to forget about that sensational little number known as the Ferrari F8 Tributo. The coupe isn’t even three years old, the Spider barely two, and word has come down they won’t be in production for much more than another year. Automotive News Europe reported last month that Ferrari stopped taking orders for the duo. The folks in Modena didn’t offer any reason, but Ferrari Australasia told Australian outlet Drive that the F8 is off the menu because of “the volume of orders received,” and that “currently there are no plans to recommence orders for either model.”

The automaker’s mid-engined supercar line is without a non-hybrid V8 for the first time in nearly 50 years when the 308 GTB appeared in 1975. The only place to get an unelectrified V8 in Maranello is the Roma or the Portofino M, placed down in front. The powertrain flow chart for mid-engined cars now forks up to the SF90 Stradale PHEV and down to the 296 GTB PHEV. Both outdo the 711-horsepower 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 in the F8 for output, the SF90’s 4.0-liter V8 and three electric motors good for 986 hp, the 296 GTB’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and single electric motor spinning out 819 hp.  

We could consider the 296 GTB the F8’s successor, but Ferrari hasn’t said anything about such positioning. 

With Ferrari CEO CEO Benedetto Vigna telling analysts his firm is working through “the strongest ever order book in its history,” with enough demand to keep lines busy “well into 2023,” it’s unlikely the F8 will get another chance at life. It’s also unlikely the car will get the same kind of hardcore variant that has elevated its predecessors going back to the 360 Challenge Stradale

Although the Australasia spokesperson told Drive “the brand will re-evaluate [F8 production] again at a later date,” we don’t see much coming of it. The Purosangue is due shortly, the new SUV a lock to become Ferrari’s most popular vehicle, perhaps pushing the overall order backlog into 2024.

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Deus Automobiles’ Vayanne electric hypercar headed to NYC

It feels a smidge heretical to say, “Oh man, another electric hypercar. From what country this time? (Sigh…)” But here we are, and here’s another electric hypercar hailing from Vienna, Austria — a first-time national entry in the segment that will offer more choice above six figures than there are cars costing less than $20,000 in the States. The company is called Deus Automobiles, not to be confused with the Australian motorcycle and cafe brand. In this case, the name is because it wants customers to anticipate “divinity,” and the first of its planned “ultra-limited” and “timeless” products is called the Vayanne, pronounced vy-ahn. Deus claims it is “an exclusive brand born from the unique technical partnership with Italdesign and Williams Advanced Engineering, ready to shape the future of 100% electric and luxury hypercars.”

We don’t know what that means, but we’ll see the first fruits at the New York Auto Show next month. Based on the 13-second video and a few teaser shots, the Vayanne bears quite a few traits one would expect of a mid-engined super sports car, like a trio of mesh-filled intakes in front, mesh-filled rear fender intakes, and a rear fascia with even more mesh. The photo gallery below includes three shots from Deus, two of which have been brightened for a better view of the details. Our guess is that the intakes mainly serve aero purposes, especially in front; the hood looks like little more than a vent to usher that front intake air over the body in a clean sweep.

We also don’t know who’s behind Deus, but other outlets have reported that Deus was “part of a group of businesses with more than 30 years success in industries ranging from publishing to packaging.” This would make sense, as the Vayanne looks like a packaging exercise. A year ago, Williams Advanced Engineering announced a modular electric vehicle platform called EVX it created with Italdesign to be a “complete, high-performance EV solution.” According to WAE, after buying the platform, it “is ready for customization by the Italdesign styling team who will shape the final vehicle to match the brand’s requirements in terms of marketing positioning, design direction etc.”

The EVX architecture can fit batteries of 104, 120, or 160 kWh and power motors of up to 1,341 horsepower, or a round 1,000 kilowatts. We expect to find out which battery has gone underneath the Vayanne’s bodywork and how much power comes on tap when the debut takes place at 1 p.m. EDT April 13.

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Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series is basically a 778-hp race car

Whenever we think we’ve seen the most hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT, the German automaker one-ups itself. That’s the case with the GT Track Series. It’s a track-only special edition that’s lighter, more powerful and more outrageous than the Black Series that preceded it.

The seriousness is pretty obvious from the outside. It has even more aggressive splitters and wings than before, much of which is adjustable either for more downforce or less drag. Carbon fiber makes up much of the body including the hood, fenders, side skirts, trunk lid and rear bumper.

On top of that, the car has been stripped as bare as possible, all to get the weight down to 3,086 pounds. There are hardly any comfort items to speak of in the single-seat cabin save for air conditioning, and the optional ventilated helmet and seat system as well as a drink system. In place of all that is a custom racing wheel, carbon fiber seat, five-point harness, roll cage, multifunction instrument screen, safety nets, excape hatch and a fire suppression system, all meeting FIA standards.

Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series

The carbon-intensive body hides the most powerful version of the Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo V8 yet. Like the Black Series, it features a flat-plane crankshaft, but it has “motorsports” injectors and a new tune that brings output up to 778 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Power goes down a carbon fiber torque tube to the six-speed sequential transaxle at the back.

The suspension and brakes are motorsport-quality, too. It features four-way adjustable suspension with adjustment for rebound, damping and ride height. The anti-roll bars are adjustable, too. The brakes use steel rotors measuring 15.4 inches up front, and 14 inches at the back. The front calipers have six pistons while the rears have four. It all rides on 18-inch forged wheels with tires that measure 325-mm wide. Additionally, brake bias, traction control and ABS are all adjustable.

Mercedes is only building 55 examples of the Track Series, as it’s a celebration of AMG’s 55th anniversary. Each car starts at 369,000 euros, or about $406,000. In addition to the car, owners will receive training on how to use the car, along with a support line, and the availability of an engineer for track events for help setting up and running the car.

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