All posts in “Cars”

Mazzanti Automobili: The New Evantra Pura

In the world of supercars and hypercars, it has become a bit of a gimmick that manufacturers will release a car, and then, a year or two down the road, release a special, limited, or track-only version of that car. This has happened with many manufacturers from all countries, around the world. There are a few manufacturers, however, that stay dedicated to a tight model line, and each car from that model line is the absolute best it can be at the time it was built.

Mazzanti Automobili, a specialist hypercar coachbuilder and producer in Italy, is one such company. In fact, their model line is exactly three cars: The Evantra Classic, the Evantra 781, and the Evantra Millecavalli R. That is, it was three cars until October 2021, when their latest hypercar, the Evantra Pura, was unveiled to the world. Designed and manufactured without compromise, this car is set to become the next great Italian limited edition collector’s hypercar, as you will soon see.

The History Of The Evantra

The Evantra model has always been at the core of Mazzanti Automobili’s design and engineering concepts, due to the fact that the initial boxed steel frame and chrome-molybdenum cage of the 2012 prototype proved to be extremely strong. Structural rigidity was key, due to the fact that the Evantra was always meant to be a comfortable but agile and sporty two seater coupe. After testing and proving, the base model, now known as the Evantra Classic, went on sale in 2013.

As part of the whole concept of a coachbuilt hypercar, each and every vehicle was built precisely to customer specifications. The bodywork could be made out of carbon fiber, hand-wrought aluminum, or pretty much any combination of both. Each interior was made to measure, with the driver’s seat made to fit the customer’s own unique body shape, in essence making each interior a one-off, one of the core values of being coachbuilt.

Evantra (Evantra Classic)

Mazzanti Evantra Classic

The original engine for the 2013 Evantra was a GM-supplied 7.0L V8 that was stripped down to the block and rebuilt by Mazzanti’s in-house engineering department. What resulted was a 701 HP V8 that sat directly behind the cabin in a mid-mount longitudinal position, passing power through a 6-speed sequential transmission. During prototyping and testing, however, those same Mazzanti engineers were able to extract a further 50 HP from the engine, meaning the 2013 production cars left the factory with 751 horses going to the rear wheels.

With a limited production run of five cars per year, this allowed each engine to undergo stress testing and fine tuning, making each engine, like the car, a one-off in terms of its tune and timings. As such, if you were to test an Evantra Classic on a dynamometer, you would get a number close to 751 HP, but each and every car would give you a different result.

Evantra Millecavalli

Mazzanti Evantra Millecavalli

With the success of the original Evantra, Mazzanti introduced the Millecavalli, a more hardcore version of the base car, in 2016. The 7.0L GM V8 was not only stripped down to the block again, this time it was bored out to 7.2L, had new pistons to match the boring made, and just for power’s sake, had two turbochargers bolted to it. The result is the 7.2L Mazzanti Twin Turbo V8, which produces a net 1,000 HP, with 885 lb-ft, or dead on 1,200 Newton-meters, of torque. 

This new engine was the basis of the Evantra Millecavalli’s name, as in Italian, Mille is “One thousand” and Cavalli is “horses,” meaning the car is literally named the Evantra One Thousand Horses. Its interior is again customized to each customer, but features a more track oriented setup, including a bespoke 6-speed sequential built only for the Millecavalli. This means that the dash provides only necessary information, and the materials are more suited to letting the driver focus on speed and handling, instead of out and out luxury.

Evantra 771

Mazzanti Evantra 771

In 2016, the next Evantra was revealed, the 771. This version was displayed at the 2016 Bologna Motor Show, and gained immediate attention. It shared the same basic lines of the Evantra, yet somehow flexed a bit more, was that little bit more aggressive, and spoke of the extra 20 HP from its 7.0 Mazzanti-reworked V8, so that it produced 771 HP. 

Mazzanti Evantra 771 Engine closeup
The engine of the 771, with its direct feed air shaft from the roof scoop

Special features of the Evantra 771 are that it came with special, Mazzanti-only lightweight wheels from OZ Racing, shod with 255/30R20 fronts and 325/23R20 rears Pirelli P Zero tires. MacPherson struts were installed in all four corners, giving the car exceptional responsiveness and ride comfort without diluting the hypercar experience.

Brakes were increased in diameter from the Evantra, with a 380mm rotor with 6-piston calipers in the front, and 360mm rotors with 4-piston calipers in the rear. The 771 was also the first Mazzanti to offer second generation carbon-ceramic brakes, offering fade-free performance without the grabby, jerky nature of the first generation carbon-ceramics offered by many supercar manufacturers in the mid-2000s.

Evantra 781

Rear view of the Mazzanti Evantra 781

As the Evantra 771 became more and more desirable as a hypercar, and due to the limited production of only five cars per year, the decision was made to switch the engine from the 7.0L Mazzanti-fettled V8 to another GM-supplied V8, this one being a 6.2L V8 based on the widely known LT2 Corvette engine. Of course, this engine was stripped down to the block and extensively reworked by skilled Italian engineers, and ended up producing 781 HP.

As well, the Evantra 781 changed the suspension from MacPherson struts to fully adjustable, independent double wishbone suspension at each wheel. This was done to give the 781 a more aggressive handling profile and increasing high speed stability in response to road surface imperfections.

Evantra Millecavalli R

Rear view of the Mazzanti Evantra Millecavalli R

The most recent Evantra, the Millecavalli R takes the already insane performance and handling of the Millecavalli and turns all the dials up to maximum. The 7.2L V8 was taken back to the Mazzanti engineers, and with a further boring and reworking of the tuning, is now a 7.4L Mazzanti V8 with a nigh unbelievable 1,121 HP and 892 lb-ft of torque. 

The biggest difference over its brother model is that the R receives a full aerodynamic package. This is meant to be the track-only version of the Evantra, yet because of it keeping the boxed steel and chrome-molybdenum frame and cage, it is fully road legal. Also, as part of the track-oriented nature of the car, special Michelin Sport tires are made for the car.

The New 2021 Evantra Pura

Front view of the 2021 Mazzanti Evantra PuraA totally reworked front aero package increases downforce without introducing any increased drag.

In Italian, the word Pura means “pure.” For Luca Mazzanti, the man behind the name of the company, it is something he has been searching for in his cars from day one. Not purity in the sense of design or shape, but purity in the way that the car feels around the driver. Let us remember that each and every Evantra is almost a one-off due to being customized to each client, and Luca wanted something for those that remember the days of three pedals, a manual shifter, and the connection that gave, the pure exhilaration, of being completely one with the machine.

The core of this search for the purest driving experience comes with the all-new 7-speed manual transmission designed for the Evantra Pura alone. Left behind are the sequential 6- and 7-speed transmissions of the other models, as they don’t give the same connection as a gated transmission, each shift accompanied by that mechanical feeling of the lever sliding home. The clutch has also been redesigned for the car, to give superb feel and allow the driver to slip it perfectly, with a move from a dual-plate clutch package to a triple-plate clutch.

Close up of the 2021 Mazzanti Evantra Pura badgeThe Mazzanti Automobili badge, denoting a handbuilt carbon fiber hypercar

The engine is borrowed from the Evantra 781, yet as with each model, has taken a trip through Mazzanti’s in-house engineering and tuning department. What has emerged is a 6.2L V8 with a bespoke supercharger, which feeds the dual-injection-per-cylinder engine with compressed air from even the lowest revs. This, in turn, helps the V8 produce 761 HP, but more importantly, 970 Nm of torque (about 715 lbs-ft). 

Close up of OZ Racing wheels for the 2021 Mazzanti Evantra PuraBespoke OZ Racing wheels made just for the Evantra Pura

This pursuit of driving purity is not only down to the engine and clutch, however. The body has been extensively lightened, and the aerodynamics have been reworked with the use of computer-aided fluid dynamic simulation. These simulations were carried out by both Mazzanti and their strategic partners who help design Formula 1 and Le Mans racing cars, giving highly detailed results that let the aerodynamics be optimized for the power and speed of the car.

Rear view of the 2021 Mazzanti Evantra Pura showcasing the spoiler and diffuserThe reworked spoiler and diffuser at the rear of the Evantra Pura. Also note the visible elements of the chrome-molybdenum engine support frame

The Pura is also the first Evantra that will not include any aluminum body parts at all in its construction. In pursuit of that pure driving experience, the car will be made of a special weave of carbon fiber composite that has immense torsional and structural rigidity, yet is so lightweight that this Evantra produces another first, that being its dry weight of 1,280 kg (2,822 lbs), the first car weighing under 1,300 kg.

2021 Mazzanti Evantra Pura headlights and front endHood vents both cool the radiators and create a flow of air over the windshield and roof of the Evantra Pura, helping feed the hungry supercharger and create a smooth pressure layer over the aerodynamics of the car

It is this combination of factors that has led to Luca Mazzanti bestowing the name Pura onto this model. The control of a light, single clutch with three plates. A gated 7-speed manual shifter with positive and solid feel. A lighter weight body, tuned aerodynamically to provide the possible handling and high speed experience. A V8 engine with a Mazzanti-designed supercharger giving the best sound and power, a bellow of 8 cylinders matching with the soprano scream of the twin screws in the supercharger housing.

Closeup of the Mazzanti Pura exhaustWe can just imagine what the bellow of the 6.2L supercharged V8 will sound like out of those exhausts, placed so that they help increase the Venturi effect of both the diffuser and spoiler to increase downforce

The result is the most pure Evantra made. It bolts to 100 KPH (62 MPH) in 2.9 seconds and pulls strongly to a top speed in excess of 360 KPH (224 MPH). It also carries the purest of partner parts, among them Brembo second-generation carbon-ceramic discs and calipers, Tractive Suspension shocks within adjustable MacPherson struts with spherical bearings, and a Brembo-Mazzanti ABS system that, on customer request, can have an ABS deactivation button fitted to the interior.

Of course, no interior will be the same, and Luca Mazzanti, with a little knowing smile, has no intention of showing the newly redesigned interior. This is because, as with all other Mazzanti’s, there will only be five cars made per year, and he wants to have something that only clients will see, which is their own customized interior. We can’t blame him, really, as that is part of what makes Mazzanti Automobili special: Each car is bespoke to its owner, and really, it’s up to that owner to choose what they like around them as they drive without having to share it with anyone.

2021 Evantra Pura Technical Specifications

Model 2021 Evantra Pura
Top speed >360kph / 224mph
0 – 60mph 2.9 seconds
Measurements  4325*1955*1225 mm
Wheelbase 2550 mm
Chassis

Boxed steel cradle + roll bar and engine and gearbox

support frame in chromium-molybdenum trellis

Weight distribution 43% front and 57% rear
Weight (dry) 1280 kg
Car body Carbon fibre
Engine (GM Block) 6200 cc V8 Supercharged
Power HP and Nm 761 hp – 970 Nm
Engine layout Rear / mid
Gearbox 7-speed manual (Mazzanti)
Clutch Single – 3 discs
Brake discs (Brembo) Carbon ceramic 380mm front + 360 mm rear
Brake calipers (Brembo) 6-piston brakes front + 4-piston rear
Suspension

McPherson – adjustable option

Suspension fitted with Spherical bearings

Shock absorbers  Tractive Suspensions
Tyre size 255/35/19 + 315/30/20
Traction Rear wheel drive
Seating 2 seats
Tank capacity 70L
Fuel consumption Combined cycle 12.4 lt per 100 km / 22.7 MPG

The Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept

Do you remember the 2013 Lamborghini Egoista? That very futuristic-looking single-seater V10 powered supercar, finished in jet fighter grey with an orange canopy that tilted upward, hinged at the front to unveil a cockpit-style seating possible with a very special steering wheel, only one of these Egoista was ever built, and it seems Nissan kept that idea in mind when they created their latest concept car: the Ariya Single Seater.

We’ve already seen images of the Nissan Ariya, an all-electric SUV based on the EV platform shared between Nissan, Mitsubishi, and the French-based Renault (remember the Nissan Qashqai is called the Rogue in the USA, but it’s a Renault Kadjar in Europe with some different styling), the Ariya will be available with either one or with two electric motors, hence in either 2WD or 4WD version, with the top of the line bringing a total power output of nearly 400 hp, but still have a range of 400 km (250 miles), there is a 243 hp version with an extended range of 500 km (310 miles).

Sadly, due to the shortage of semi-conductors, the launch of the new Nissan Ariya SUV in Europe and the United States has been postponed into 2022, but that didn’t keep Nissan from unveiling this exciting Ariya Single Seater Concept, taking the SUV’s powertrain and fitting it into a race-derived chassis, turning the family SUV into a monospace performance prototype.

Presented at the Nissan Futures event, the senior VP for global design Alfonso Albaisa was joined by Juan Manuel Hoyos, Nissan global marketing
divisional general manager for brand and engagement to show what the future of Nissan could look like in terms of all-electric performance cars, and while some design queues from the SUV can be found on this low and wide supercar, you won’t be able to fit a child seat inside this gold and black finished concept.

“We are delighted to present the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept from our Nissan Futures event,” said Hoyos. “At Nissan, we dare to do what others don’t. With this concept, we want to showcase the high-performance potential of the Ariya’s powertrain in a motorsports-inspired package that not only hints at the design and styling of the road car that inspired it, but that also demonstrates a new and efficient EV performance language. Acting as a testbed for future technological evolution, this project can help bring excitement from the road to the race track, and also demonstrate Nissan’s expertise in transferring knowledge and technology from the race track to the road.”

The front design of the Ariya Single Seater Concept nicely integrates the ‘V’ shape found on the current road car design, but this time it’s illuminated, while the sides, which emphasize the use of carbon fiber, take the overall panel design of the Ariya SUV to the extreme, overall this concept seems to be ultra-aerodynamic, almost shaped by the wind itself.

Nissan sits at the cutting edge of EV research and design, their entry into the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship does help as an inspiration of cars like this Single Seater Concept, and while no specifications have been published on this concept, they do state it’s the two-motor setup, so let’s assume they have taken the most powerful variant, the 395 hp one, with the all-wheel-drive inside a lightweight, single-seater design … this one-off will be quick off the line, and utterly fast on the straight-line.

“Nissan competes in Formula E not only to race on the track but also to support the development of compelling electric vehicles for customers,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan’s global motorsports director. “Our EV programs inform our Formula E program and vice versa, allowing for road-to-track technology transfer as well as track-to-road. The Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept explores the combination of the all-electric powertrain, dual motors, and revolutionary all-wheel-drive system of the Ariya with a pure single-seat racing chassis – a powerful demonstration of just how thrilling electric vehicles could be.”

Lamborghini Countach: Future Is Our Legacy Exhibit Announced

Automobili Lamborghini recently announced the “Lamborghini Countach: Future Is Our Legacy” exhibition at the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in partnership with the Consulate General of Italy during the Art Basel Miami. Right in the middle of the Art Deco District in Miami Beach, the second-floor gallery of the Museum has been transformed so that guests can experience the marque’s holistic approach to sustainability as well as their design evolution through the iconic Lamborghini Countach.

At the heart of the gallery will be a 1986 Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 QV. Guests will go through the exhibition starting with a history of the Countach models. The vintage sketches can then be seen, then the path to sustainability. The imagery of the new Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 will be the finale.

After the release of the Lamborghini Sian, the Countach LPI 800-4 is their next step towards hybridization. As part of the ambitious goals of Direzione Cor Tauri, they aim to lower their CO2 emissions by half by 2025 through a fully plug-in hybrid model lineup. A fully battery electric Lamborghini will be released in the second half of the decade.

Again, Lamborghini is stepping out of their comfort zone and challenging the status quo. On the 50th anniversary of the original LP 500, Lamborghini released the hybrid-powered Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4. It is another proof of the continuing impact of the first super sports car in the world. It is again another success for Lamborghini’s quest towards electrification. The LPI 800-4 was engineered for the modern era and it embodies Lamborghini’s innovations in hybrid technology as it worked with the car’s V12 heart.

Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Winkelmann shared, “Bringing the past to the present, this exhibition demonstrates how Lamborghini has consistently pushed beyond what is possible and still does so today with an ambitious plan for electrification,” states Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini. “With ground-breaking design and modern aesthetic being integral to Lamborghini’s DNA, Art Basel Miami is the perfect environment in which to illustrate this journey and we are privileged to exhibit within such a prestigious museum as The Wolfsonian-FIU.”

Consul General of Italy in Miami Cristiano Musilla stated, “It is indeed a pleasure to renew the partnership between the Consulate General of Italy in Miami and Lamborghini, showcasing the iconic vintage Countach. Lamborghini has longstanding experience in manufacturing timeless cars in the heart of Italy’s Motor Valley. Its motoring legends encompass both tradition and innovation with distinctive design. Alongside its core business, the company has committed to an all-round environmental policy that includes CO2 emission reduction and an intensive recycling of waste materials. Through the display of Italian design objects, this exhibition presents innovative eco-friendly industrial design, created through conservation of energy and recycling of used materials.”

The exhibit and the 1986 Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 QV will be on display until December 5, 2021.

Aria FXE Hypercar Specs and Pricing

This is the new Aria FXE hypercar which will be limited to only 400 cars globally. It will sit alongside the FE model in the future Aria model range. Both variants will be fully bespoke to each client.

The FE and FXE are inspired by the American driving roads, the FE is a super grand tourer built for the modern driver whereas the FXE is a true hypercar for the road.

Aria FE and FXE Specs and Pricing

  Aria FXE Hypercar Aria FE Grand Tourer
Engine 6.3L Supercharged V8 6.3L Supercharged V8
Layout Mid Engine Mid Engine
Electric Motors 2 at the Front Axle Nil
Horsepower 1050bhp 740bhp
Torque 1340 LB/FT 700 LB/FT
0-60mph 3.1s 2.9s
Top Speed 243mph 215mph
Gearbox 7-Speed DCT 7-Speed DCT
Weight 3,350 LB (1,520KG) 2,998 LB (1,360KG)
Price $1 million plus $1 million plus

The defining feature of the FE is its long sleek silhouette, with the cabin positioned more to the central than its other counterpart. The FE has also been equipped with a unique leaning forward side intake inspired by the F22 Raptor fighter jet.

The Aria FXE on the other hand has been fitted with unique gull-wing style doors. The interior features pressure padded seats, head-up display inspired by modern F1 vehicles and adjustable steering wheel and pedals.

Additionally, the pressure padded seats are sunken into a large piece of super-form titanium that stretches to the length and width of the cabin and the seats are attached with a/c vents and switch lasers. The head-up display with laser technology projects key information on the windshield thus minimizing the time spent looking down at the instrument cluster.

The FE is powered by a supercharged V8 engine generating a maximum output power of 740 bhp as standard. The FXE is powered by a combination of the same engine from the FE model with a twin electric front axle. The FXE delivers an output power of 1150 bhp and over 1340 ft/lb of torque.

The FXE weighs 3350 lb and the weight balance is a perfect 50/50.

1 of 3 Bugatti EB112 super-sedans built is for sale

Bugatti has never strived to achieve volume, but some of its cars are rarer than others. One is the EB112, an obscure fastback-like sedan envisioned as a follow-up to the EB110, canned when the firm collapsed in 1995, and resurrected by a third-party company in the late 1990s. Historians agree that three examples of the EB112 were built, and the second one has been listed for sale by a dealer in Germany.

Presented as a concept at the 1993 edition of the Geneva auto show, the EB112 represented one of the ways that Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli hoped to breathe new life into the storied French carmaker. It took the form of a large, four-door super-sedan with an aluminum body and a naturally-aspirated, 6.0-liter V12 tuned to send about 460 horsepower to the four wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. It offered passengers an interior that was luxurious without being over-the-top. In short, the modern-day Royale had arrived.

Bugatti quoted a 0-62-mph time of 4.3 seconds, which was remarkable considering the era and the car’s weight, and a top speed of 186 mph. Orders started coming in, but Bugatti filed for bankruptcy in September 1995 and the project was canceled. It closed its factory in Campogalliano, Italy, leaving behind 128 examples of the EB110 and one EB112, but the story doesn’t end there: two additional EB112s were left partially assembled inside the so-called Blue Factory. Gildo Pallanca Pastor bought some of the company’s assets and asked the Monaco Racing Team to complete the unfinished cars, according to dealer Schaltkulisse. The car that it’s selling is the first one of those.

Schaltkulisse notes that chassis number 39002 was ordered on April 27, 1993, by Bugatti’s Swiss importer and delivered in February 2000. It has been registered in Geneva since 2003 and its odometer displays around 3,900 kilometers, which represents approximately 2,500 miles. It’s presented as a one-owner car that’s still powered by a front-mid-mounted 6.0-liter V12. Pricing is only available upon request, but don’t expect this fascinating part of Bugatti’s multi-faceted history to come cheap. We wouldn’t be surprised if it costs more than a new Chiron.

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Best New 4-Door Sporty Saloons ($50K–$100K USD)

Long gone are the days when the 2-door coupe had a monopoly on the best performance an automaker had on tap. In modern times, the 4-door saloon has become an increasingly popular platform for companies to showcase their greatest technologies, in a more utilitarian and family-friendly package to boot.

As a matter of fact, today’s market has demanded more versatility from products as consumers look to maximize the overall value of each and every purchase they make—automobiles are no exception.

This shift in philosophy has led to the creation of some incredible performance saloons over the years, and this now-very-competitive space has also fostered plenty of innovation as automakers dedicate significant resources towards the research, production and marketing of their sporty 4-door models.

Let’s also be clear that ‘sporty’ in this context doesn’t translate to some sort of watered-down or muted rendition of a company’s best offerings; rather, these cars are all contemporaries of their respective product line’s flagship models, if not already in that camp themselves.

Here are the Best New 4-Door Sporty Saloons you can purchase today, between $50K–$100K USD.

BMW M3 Competition

2021 BMW M3 on mountain road

Price: $69,900 USD

BMW has refreshed the M3 sedan and M4 coupe for 2021, and the 6th-gen siblings remain as driver-focused as ever. By not caving in to conventional wisdom—and in doing so, honoring the wishes of its enthusiast fanbase—BMW is offering the base versions of the cars with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard.

By all important metrics, the M3/M4 are superior cars to their predecessors in every regard; a bump in power, a better chassis, fresh styling, and more luxuries all coming together in a very formidable looking and high-performing package.

The Competition version of the incoming generation is going to be my pick of the lot. Besides the notable increase in power and torque (503 hp and 479 lb-ft in total) over the regular M3/M4, the Competition models will exclusively have the option of adding xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW has promised that the rear-biased system will offer all of the traction benefits, without any drawbacks on the thrill-o-meter.

Inevitably, the potent power plant was decidedly a better match for the 8-speed M Steptronic transmission. While this may not be the purists’ first choice, the Competition models are better equipped for those who find lap times to be the more pressing matter at hand.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Tesla Model 3 Performance on road

Price: $58,990 USD

The Tesla Model 3 itself is a pretty revolutionary car, offering a currently unrivaled combination of performance, utility, range, and price. While the sub-$50k range restricts us to the Rear-Wheel Drive model (which uses a single electric motor), upgrading to the Long Range ($50,990) and Performance ($58,990) models would only take you just over the $50K mark, so they are certainly worth mentioning as well.

Aside from their dual-motor electric drivetrains offering better performance, these cars offer better range as well. The Long Range and Performance models offer well over 300 miles of range, while the Rear-wheel Drive is good for around 272 miles.

The Performance model would obviously be our pick of the lot, with its 450 hp and all-wheel drive allowing the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in an impressive 3.1 seconds. It also benefits from a more sporty suspension, better better brakes, stickier tires, and a selectable Track Mode.

Kia Stinger GT2

Orange Kia Stinger GT2 on country road

Price: $50,390 USD

While the Kia Stinger hasn’t uprooted the market like some thought it would, it is still one of the most attractive buys in the luxury small car class. It looks impressive, performs well, and is priced about the same as most non-luxury brands’ comparable offerings.

It has been widely praised by the automotive press and generally receives high marks in all categories. That is what you would expect from luxury cars that command luxury prices, but you can get into a Kia Stinger for as low as $33,090.

That’ll get you the peppy 255 hp 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 GT-Line model, but stepping up to the GT, GT1 and GT2 trims will unlock the 3.3L twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which produces 365 hp. This transforms the Stinger from sporty 4-door to athletic sports sedan, with the performance-oriented models also benefiting from a more robust suspension and bigger brakes.

The range-topping GT2 would be our pick of the lot, and it also happens to be the only trim that crests into the $50K range before options.

Porsche Taycan (Base Models)

Porsche Taycan RWD Base Model in showroom

Price: $79,900 USD (Sedan), $90,900 USD (Cross Turismo)

Porsche’s first EV was the statement car of 2020, proving that a future with electrification can still embody the soul of a true sports car in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S.

Shortly after their release, Porsche added a slightly detuned version of the Taycan in a trim level known as the Taycan 4S. The company has since expanded the Taycan sports sedan lineup with even more versions, including a rear-wheel drive base model, with a GTS version just recently unveiled.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models in 2021, we’ve now entered the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover/estate.

What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack).

Our focus for this list is on the base Taycan models. Our first choice is the RWD Sedan, which features the aforementioned smaller 79.2 kWh battery and is the only rear-wheel drive Taycan model in the range.

The second would be the sub-$100K Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, which costs more than the base Sedan, but does come standard with the 93.4 kWh battery and all-wheel drive (in addition to the crossover body-style).

Mercedes-AMG C 63 / C 63 S Sedan

Blue Mercedes-AMG C 63 on country road

Price: $68,600 USD (C 63), $76,200 USD (C 63 S)

The C 63-series cars are the first step into “true” AMG territory, being the lowest point of entry in order to get one of those highly-coveted handcrafted AMG engines. The C 63 is the beneficiary of a 4.0L biturbo V8 mated to paddle-shifted multiclutch 9-speed, outputting 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.

Standard Adaptive AMG RIDE CONTROL and a limited-slip differential make it quick on its feet. An exquisitely detailed cabin completes that “total package” feeling, which the C 63 provides in spades.

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is the top model in this range, equipped with the same handcrafted biturbo V8 as the C 63, but now unleashing 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in this guise. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies, and from the cabin, drivers are immersed in innovation and superb build quality.

Both the C 63 and C 63 S are available in coupe, sedan and convertible configurations, meaning that buyers don’t need to fuss over how much (or how little) they can fit in their new AMG car.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia on city street

Price: $75,250 USD

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s legitimate performance cred starts with its engine, which is upgraded to a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 with over 500 hp.

It has the handling to match, with substantive upgrades, which allow the Quadrifoglio to negotiate turns on the racetrack or back country roads with aplomb. In fact, everything is turned up a few notches in the sportiness department, with aggressive styling and a fantastic sounding exhaust to boot.

There were several changes in 2020 that also carry over into 2021, including a new driver-focused cockpit and impressive technology including available Level 2 autonomy features and an 8.8 inch touchscreen.

BMW i4 M50 xDrive

Blue BMW i4 M50 xDrive at charging station

Price: $66,895 USD

The BMW i4 M50 xDrive is one of a number of fully electric BMW vehicles set to debut in the short term. The M50 has the distinction of being the very first (and only, for now) BMW EV to part of the M family. With that said, you can be confident that this car will have all of the performance credentials required for it to be a contemporary within this distinguished group of automobiles.

The easiest comparison that can be made with the sporty sedan is that it offers M3-like performance with an all-electric drivetrain. An 84 kWh battery pack and two electric motors (through which 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque can be produced) certainly backs up those claims, while putting it in direct competition (power-wise) with the Porsche Taycan 4S and Audi e-tron GT.

BMW has also claimed range figures of around 250 miles, compared to 300 miles that the more tame and economical i4 eDrive40 (the platform on which the M50 is based) is capable of.

The BMW i4 M50 xDrive is not on public roads yet, but you can certainly order one today. The base price of the M50 is around $4,000 less than the entry-level M3–something to ponder, while we wait for deliveries to begin early in 2022.

The Bentley GT Mulliner Blackline

Numbers prove that about 38 percent of new orders for a Bentley Continental GT come with the option of black bright ware, instead of having bright chrome on the outside of this luxurious Gran Turismo model from Crewe, it seems that just shy of half of the customer base prefer to see black details on their new Bentley, and until now this wasn’t an option for the special GT Mulliner edition.

That has changed now, with the introduction of the GT Mulliner Blackline, a handbuilt car that comes with a myriad of changes compared to the regular GT Mulliner, and as of now this new Blackline option is offered on both the coupe and the convertible version, imagine this on a deep black metallic car, that must look so intimidating given the size of the Bentley GT, and while the press car is presented in a very dark metallic violet shade which looks great too, personally I would go all blacked out.

Having the otherwise chrome details on the outside of these Bentley GT Mulliner Blackline makes them look even more contemporary, while chrome oozes class, black trim completely transforms this high-performance four-seater GT into something completely different, more menacing, and surely appealing to a wide audience given the number of GT that are ordered this way already, now you can have it on your new GT Mulliner too.

On the special GT Mulliner Blackline, just about the only thing kept bright is the Bentley Winged B badge at the front and rear, but the radiator grille bezel goes black, the typical satin silver upper mirror caps on the regular GT Mulliner turn to Beluga Black on the Blackline version, while another Mulliner signature, the matrix wing vents go dark too with bright Mulliner branding. On the other hand, the radiator grille stays black with bright edges for a 3D look, and the grille insets in the lower bumper turn black too.

Massive 22-inch black wheels are standard on the GT Mulliner Blackline, naturally, these come with the self-leveling badge on the center cap, but as an option, you can go for a black wheel with contrast polished insets, personally, I would keep the all-black rims if I’m honest, they just suit this Blackline version perfectly, and that big B on the center is enough contrast to keep it interesting and luxurious looking, no need for more brightwork on these wheels.

If you think you’ll have a hard time selecting an exterior color from the vast palette Mulliner offers, you’ll be in for a surprise when you start looking at the endless list of possibilities for the interior. If you take the easy way out you can opt for one of eight three-color combinations, but where’s the fun in that, so you’ll have to specify something really bespoke for your new GT Mulliner Blackline.

The press release states: “As part of the standard Mulliner Driving Specification, the interior incorporates Bentley’s unique “Diamond in Diamond” quilting for the seats, doors, and rear quarter panels, featuring both contrast and accent stitching running through the diamond layout. With almost 400,000 stitches in the cabin of each car, each diamond contains exactly 712 individual stitches, all precisely aligned to point to the center of the diamond it creates. A true mark of unrivaled automotive craftsmanship.” So you’ll even have to specify the color for the stitching next to just about any panel on the dashboard and central console, the time of just walnut wood is long gone at Bentley Mulliner.

Some might state you’ll just have to go for the largest engine possible, which in this case on the Bentley GT is the iconic W12 twin-turbo 6-Liter engine that delivers 635 PS, but some state the lighter 4-Liter V8 with ‘just’ 550 PS is the better option for this car, I’ve been told it is more agile compared to the more lazy W12 engine, while the latter does offer effortless performance.

New Bugatti Riyadh showroom

When the Bugatti Veyron was introduced back in 2005, it quickly became obvious there were a large number of potential clients to be found in Saudi Arabia, luxury, performance, and more importantly, exclusivity are very highly appreciated in the Middle East, and it didn’t take long before Saudi Arabia became one of the largest markets for Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., and in a partnership with SAMACO Automotive, we now see the launch of Bugatti Riyadh.

Located in one of Riyadh’s most highly sought-after regions, this new showroom is one of the largest in the world where visitors can emerge into the world of Bugatti, much in the same way they would when visiting the brand’s HQ in Molsheim, France. For the opening ceremony in mid-November no less than two of Bugatti’s latest and bravest were present, the stunning Chiron Pur Sport and the beautiful Chiron Super Sport.

Hendrik Malinowski, Bugatti’s Managing Director for Sales and Marketing said: “Saudi Arabia has historically been one of the strongest markets for us. So, to be able to establish a magnificent presence in Riyadh, with the help of our partners at SAMACO Automotive, is a remarkable milestone that we have been looking forward to. Saudi Arabia will only grow in importance as a hub for international trade and as a vibrant, prosperous society. And as it grows, we too will continue to thrive.”

Sheikh Mohammed Raffa, CEO of SAMACO Automotive, commented: “Bugatti’s creations are without equal. I am thrilled to welcome the brand to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and our capital city, Riyadh, which is already home to many of Bugatti’s passionate enthusiasts and customers. I have no doubt that this is the beginning of a long and prosperous partnership between us, and we have many exciting plans to instill the magic of Bugatti across the region which will see the brand’s presence grow significantly.”

Over the next weeks, Bugatti Riyadh will be inviting customers, possible clients, and dignitaries of the Kingdom to enjoy some of the best the French hypercar makes has to offer, making it possible to take a seat behind the wheel of both the Chiron Pur Sport or the Chiron Super Sport, both models will be available for the foreseeable future at this new showroom.

Copyright GF Williams

While the Bugatti Riyadh showroom might have just been officially opened, they have been in action already, more specifically during the famous Riyadh Car Show, where an even more impressive array of hypercars was shown, not only the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport and the Chiron Pur Sport, but also a Chiron Sport, and the magnificent Bolide … talking about coming in hot and in force, it’s clear this is a very important market for Bugatti.

Copyright GF Williams

Automobili Pininfarina Battista Is “Hyper GT of the Year”

Automobili Pininfarina’s pure-electric Battista was awarded the ‘Hyper GT of the Year’ at the 2021 TopGear.com awards. The title’s expert panel of writers chose this year’s winners, and the judges were all praises for the Battista for its exhilarating performance and gorgeous design.

The ‘Hyper GT of the Year’ is the latest accolade it has received after just being awarded the prestigious Design Award at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in October. A production-ready hyper GT with a unique specification made its debut at Lake Como in Italy for the exclusive event. The example had an exquisite Verde Paradiso finish matched with a tan leather interior.

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Top Gear magazine editor Jack Rix stated, “The Battista is a triumph given what it set out to achieve. It’s beautiful inside and out, and violently fast. Mark my words, you will never get used to the Battista’s club-round-the-head acceleration, because the human body is simply not equipped to. At this stratospheric performance level, it’s all about conjuring up an experience that lodges in your brain and gets the adrenaline flowing. And it is impossible to drive this car and not be mesmerized.”

“The Automobili Pininfarina family is honored that the Battista has been named ‘Hyper GT of the Year,’ by Top Gear. It’s an award that captures exactly what the Battista is about: the very pinnacle of sustainable luxury and electrified performance combined with sensational design,” Automobili Pininfarina Chief Executive Officer Per Svantesson added. “We are now ready to begin handcrafting customer cars at the Battista Atelier in Cambiano, Italy. Every Battista will be bespoke to the taste of its owner, yet each will offer the sublime blend of exquisite design and incredible performance that are now recognized by the BBC Top Gear team. This award is a perfect reward for the team that has worked so hard to bring Battista to life.”

There will only be a maximum of 150 hand-built Battistas that will be produced and this already includes the five extremely exclusive Battista Anniversario models. The Battista already made its debut in the US and Europe and the powerful 1,900 hp and 2,360 Nm torque hypercar blew the clients away with its performance in a series of test events held weeks afterwards.

The Battista is nearing its final phase of development with customer deliveries expected in the near horizon – around early 2022. Since the start of the Battista development program, the engineers of Automobili Pininfarina worked hand in hand with former Formula One and Formula E driver Nick Heidfeld. The Automobili Pininfarina Test and Development Driver recently talked about the most powerful Italian sports car ever created both on the road and on track.

Nick Heidfeld driving the Battista

“It has been a real privilege to play a part in developing Battista, which represents a significant evolution in the world of hyper and luxury cars. From the first time I experienced Battista’s performance in 2019 in an advanced simulator, to today on road and track, I believe the Automobili Pininfarina team has successfully developed a unique hyper GT that is enormous fun, as well as incredibly fast.” Heidfeld shared.

Throughout the development process, engineering excellence has been of paramount importance as the Battista is currently the most powerful Italian production car. The advanced e-powertrain and bespoke driving dynamics gives the Battista its tailored driving experience which has impressed Heidfeld during the whole process.

In the Furiosa mode, you’ll experience the full 1,900 hp of the Battista as it also uses the full torque available from the four independent electric motors. The Battista can go from 0 to 100 kph in less than two seconds and it also has a recorded top speed of 350 kph. The original projection of the Battista was that it will be able to produce 2,300 Nm of torque, but in reality the great engineers were able to increase it to 2,360 Nm. The power comes from the two 250 kW and two 450 kW motors from the front and rear, respectively. Each front motor has 280 Nm of torque while the rear motors have 900 Nm.

Pininfarina Battista
Photo: James Lipman

“In this test I was able to drive Battista with full power available. The effect under acceleration is completely mind-bending – drivers will never bore of the experience, no matter how many times they feel it. This road car sprints faster than a Formula 1 car, and in Furiosa mode, I was left with a huge grin on my face every time. Every client that experienced Battista with me was positively overwhelmed by the experience – there is simply nothing like it.”

Heidfeld continued, “Battista is a beautiful piece of design, and its formidable presence is now enhanced by its unique exterior sound. With Battista in Furiosa mode, the exterior sound is at its most audible setting and it instantly made me smile on approach. You hear Battista before you see it – the car appears ‘alive’, and it helps develop an emotional connection that I honestly did not expect. The team had a tough target to hit here, and I believe this strategy is now proving a success.”

Using the Battista’s advanced torque vectoring system, the four independent high-performance electric permanent-magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) independently share the power to each wheel. This allows the Battista to deliver accurate and efficient shift of torque compared to torque vectoring by braking.

A beautiful rotary dial provides control of the driving experience. It is placed strategically next to the driver to easily allow for quick changes between driving modes settings namely: Pura, Energica, Calma, Crattere, and Furiosa. Each of them gives a unique character to the Battista’s drive, adapting perfectly to a variety of driving conditions.

“The handling on open roads – even on unpredictable surfaces – proved Battista to be beautifully balanced. Just how a hyper GT should feel. Battista’s performance on track had already surprised and impressed me after I experienced it in Nardo earlier this year, so my expectations on this occasion were set high. This test however confirmed that the team has achieved its target of creating a new type of hyper GT which is rewarding on all surfaces. The ride quality and damping both feel excellent, and the steering feels natural and the perfect fit for what we want to achieve in Battista. I am very sensitive to steering feel as a racing driver, and the sweet spot here is for it to feel light yet connected, and direct yet smooth,” Heidfeld shared.

The Battista went though thousands of miles of software simulation for calibration before it was even introduced to development. The driving modes enable the driver to fine-tune the driving experience and to unleash the full potential of the advanced torque vectoring system as well as the hyper GT characteristics of the Battista.

“Our cooperation with Nick Heidfeld started in 2019, when he participated in the first physical ergonomic test of the Battista interior model; evaluating the driving position and the proposed HMI system. This was followed by him ‘virtually’ testing Battista in an advanced driving simulator where we started to tune the hyper GT’s bespoke chassis dynamics set-up. Nick has been a brilliant partner throughout the whole development program, not only for his driving skills and unique experience in both Formula 1 and Formula E, but also for his ability to evaluate and improve the program in its various stages of development by delivering the anticipated view of our customers,” shared Automobili Pininfarina Chief Product and Engineering Officer Paolo Dellacha.

“This input was essential as we aimed to combine the extreme performance of a hypercar with a much wider spectra of usability in Battista, where outstanding power and torque are always accessible, safe and enjoyable on roads every day. Battista now has incredibly refined body and axle balance, perfect integration of e-powertrain and chassis domain controls, and optimum specific calibrations of its five Drive Modes. Coupled with its highly-connected User Interface and unique Sound Experience, Battista is now redefining the essence of Granturismo.”

BATTISTA TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

PERFORMANCE
• Range: up to 500 km
• Acceleration 0-100 km/h: Under 2.0 seconds
• Acceleration 0-300 km/h: Under 12.0 seconds
• Power output: 1,900 hp
• torque: 2,360 Nm
• Top speed: 350 km/h
• Drive: All-wheel drive with full torque vectoring
• Driving modes:
o Calma
o Pura
o Energica
o Furiosa
o Carattere (The option drivers may select to modify Battista performance and dynamics to their own preference)
BRAKES
• Brembo CCMR carbon-ceramic 390 mm discs with six-piston calipers front and rear
WHEELS
• Standard: 20-inch forged aluminium front and rear ‘Prezioso’ wheels, or:
• Optional: 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminium ‘Impulso’ wheels
TIRES
• Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R
BODY
• Full-carbon fiber monocoque with carbon fiber body panels Aluminium crash structure front and rear
BATTERY PACK
• Layout: T-shaped liquid-cooled lithium-ion
• Supplier: Rimac Automobili
• Battery energy: 120 kWh
CHARGING
• DC fast charging capability at up to 250 kW

Aston Martin V12 Vantage shows off sound, will return in 2022

According to Aristotle’s fourth-century History of Animals, swans “are musical, and sing chiefly at the approach of death.” Scientists still debate the accuracy of this statement, but we don’t think anybody is going to argue with the melodic tones of the swan song that is Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage. Listen for yourself in the video up above.

We’ve been expecting this. We saw spy shots in August of a hardcore Vantage mule out testing on the Nürburgring that was fitted with all manner of enhancements that led us to believe a twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12 may be under its vented hood. Later, the rumormill was aflutter with reports that the British marque was planning to bestow its smallest car with big power courtesy of a V12 tuned to deliver a reported 670 horsepower. That’s 20 ponies fewer than the Speedster’s twelve-cylinder, which spins out 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque.

We don’t know much more than that, for now. Aston Martin’s teaser says the V12 Vantage returns in 2022, we’d guess as a 2023 model, and that it will be labeled a Final Edition. We’re certain the number produced will be limited, so if this is the beautiful swan song you’ve been waiting for, now would be a good time to get your finances in order.

Related video:

Why the Gemballa Marsien Is Billed as the Ultimate Adventure Sportscar

Marc Phillip Gemballa, son of the late Uwe Gemballa, has channelled his father’s spirit into a sports car unlike anything else on the road today. He is only 27, but his company, a tuning house called Marc Phillip Gemballa GMBH, has already given us its first creation. It is called the Gemballa Marsien, a performance machine that blends everyday utility and off-road capabilities into one package.

1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar Rally CarVia Carscoops.

The Marsien draws its inspiration from the 1980s Porsche 959 rally monsters, arguably some of the greatest race cars to have ever competed at the famous Paris-Dakar rallies. What Marc has done is to take a 992 Generation Porsche 911 Turbo S and infuse it with serious off-roading DNA, resulting in what might be described as an all-terrain supercar.

Powertrain and Transmission

At the heart of the Gemballa Marsien is the same twin-turbo flax-six that powers the 911 Turbo S. In this case, though, the powerplant has been tuned by German powerhouse RUF to produce 750-hp—about 100-hp more than the 911 Turbo S.

There is a second stage upgrade that further bumps this output to 830 horses with enhanced turbochargers, a revised ECU mapping and transmission setting.​ Akrapovic was contracted to develop a custom-made titanium exhaust system that not only delivers a unique note but also helps boost the engine power output.

Gemballa Marsien kicking up a dust trailVia Marc Philipp Gembala.

This power is fed to all four wheels via an 8-speed PDK transmission. When equipped with road tires, Marc claims his car can sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) in a scant 2.6 seconds and continue on to a 208 mph top speed. In off-road mode, the Gemballa Marsien is restricted to a still-impressive 130 mph maximum speed.

Chassis and Suspension

The Gemballa Marsien sports a bespoke suspension system that was developed in partnership with KW Automotive, a leader in aftermarket suspension system technology. It features significant changes from the stock 911 Turbo S chassis, including a brand new double-wishbone front suspension. The setup also incorporates an intelligent active damper control and adjustable ride height system, perfect for the Marsien’s dual nature.

Gemballa Marsien showing impressive ground clearanceVia Marc Philipp Gembala

At the touch of a button, a hydraulic lift system can raise the Gemballa Marsien from 4.7 inches to 9.8 inches. The increased ground clearance ensures that the off-road supercar can venture off paved surfaces and tackle more challenging surfaces with relative ease.

In addition, the suspension was remapped and now supports Gravel, Mud, Snow and Sand driving modes. The Gemballa Marsien is offered with two sets of specially designed forged aluminum wheels. There is a set shod with Michelin Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires for road use and another with All-Terrain tires for when the Marsien is driven off-road.

Exterior and Interior Design

It might be based on the 911 Turbo S, but the Gemballa Marsien boasts an ultra-modern and timeless design that immediately sets it apart. First, all of the bodywork is made from lightweight F1-grade carbon fibre that can either be painted over or presented in its raw exposed form, depending on the customer’s request.

Apart from the Marsien’s overall beefy profile, other notable elements of the exterior design include massive wheel arches and prominent vents on the hood and along the sides of the car. You also have a huge spoiler and custom tail-lights, which contribute to the Marsien’s unique appearance.

Gemballa Marsien interiorVia Marc Philipp Gembala.

In Gemballa’s own words, the interior design ‘echoes the elegance of the exterior.’ An extensive suite of customization options is available, affording the client the opportunity to create a truly personalized feel for the cabin.

You can opt for a full leather or Alcantara interior, finished with materials of the highest quality. The raised middle console is inspired by the Carrera GT and offers easy access to various infotainment features and other vehicle control functions.

The bucket seats are specially designed with carbon fibre trim to reduce weight without compromising too much in the way of comfort. There are also other notable interior details, like the carbon fibre door sills with bright yellow entry guards and GT-style door lashes.

The Gemballa Marsien Is Only the Beginning

Gembala Marsien kicking up dust in desertVia Marc Philipp Gembala.

The marketing ad campaign shows the Gemballa Marsien strutting its stuff on the endless sand dunes of the Al Faya desert, located just outside Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The location is a sensible choice for the company. It is not out of place to expect that a good chunk of Marc’s clients will come from the oil-rich region—bored billionaires seeking the ultimate thrill in the form of a dune-bashing desert toy just like this one.

Unsurprisingly, the Gemballa Marsien does not come cheap. Interested clients can expect to part with around $600,000 for the complete build, and that does not include the price of the donor Porsche 911 Turbo S sportscar. It is clearly not for everyone, something Marc knows only too well. The production run is limited to forty units, including ten special launch edition models, and more than half of them have already been sold according to the company.

It took two years of intense research and development to come up with the Gemballa Marsien, and Marc hopes this will mark the start of an epic journey for his young company. To be clear, Marc Gemballa is in no way associated with his late father’s company, Gemballa GmbH, which still exists. He is intent on carving his own path, starting with his vision of what an off-road capable supercar should look like. Marc Phillip Gemballa is confident that there is a market out there for specially designed vehicles like the Marsien, limited series cars with a fresh new design and cutting-edge technology.

These are early days yet, and the jury is still out on whether Marc’s company will stand the test of time. That will partly depend on whether the Gemballa Marsien can deliver on its promise as the ultimate adventure sportscar.

Renault Reveals their First Flying Car

Renault and TheArsenale have collaborated together to unveil the new AIR4, a reinterpretation of the 4L that can fly.

The original Renault 4 was built between 1961 and 1992, the model sold over 8 million units across more than 100 countries in a span of 30 years.

The Air4 has been built entirely from carbon fibre materials, its design is a modern reinterpretation of the original icon although re-engineered to accommodate the concept of thrust and lift.

The Air4 has been fitted with four two blade propellers one at each corner of the vehicle and the body has been fitted in the middle of the rota frame.

The Air4 is powered by 22,000mAh lithium-polymer batteries delivering a total power of 90,000mAh. The total power is sufficient for a horizontal top speed of 26m/s with a 45 degree inclination during flights up to a maximum inclination of 70 degrees.

The Air4 can fly as high as 700m with a take off speed of 14m/s although restricted to 4m/s with landing velocity of 3m/s for safety reasons. The propellers generate 95 kgs of vertical thrust each for a total of 380kg.

The Air4 will officially be unveiled to the public in the centre of Paris at the Atelier Renault on the Champs Elysees from next Monday until the end of the year alongside other historic versions of the Renault 4.

The Air4 will travel to Miami then New York before stopping in Macau.

Porsche Riding Giddy Heights With the Wildly Successful Taycan

In the first nine months of 2021, Porsche sold 28,640 Taycan units, about 13.2% of the carmaker’s total volume and a massive year-on-year increase of over 160%. More impressive is the fact that the EV outsold Porsche’s iconic 911 for the first time over the same period.

It is worth mentioning here that the Porsche Taycan is only in its 2nd full year of production, having been launched at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales likely would have been even higher, were it not for the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the global chip shortage ravaging the automobile sector. The sales volume paints a pretty upbeat picture when you remember that the Taycan’s prices range from $81,000 to $185,000, depending on the model variant.

2020 Porsche TaycanVia Motor1.

Today, the Taycan ranks only behind the Cayenne and Macan (both SUVs) in global sales. Clearly, Porsche has hit a home run with its sole EV offering.

The Taycan’s remarkable achievement, in such a short period, perfectly sets the stage for Porsche’s electrification drive as the carmaker looks to expand its EV offering to other vehicle types in its lineup.

The Porsche Taycan: Sowing the Seeds

It is possible Porsche might not have anticipated the runaway success of what is currently the only all-electric vehicle in its lineup. However, that does not mean the carmaker did not put in the work needed to ensure the Taycan had a smooth introduction into the market. The launch of the Taycan was the result of several years of research and development rather than a quickfire ‘bandwagon’ approach.

Interestingly, you would have to go back to the roots of the carmaker’s history to establish Porsche’s connection with electrification. Ferdinand Porsche, the company’s founder, was always fascinated by electricity.

In 1893, Porsche was able to successfully install an electric system at his parent’s house. Four years later, he was Head of Testing at an electrical engineering firm called Vereinigte Elektrizitäts-AG Béla Egger in Austria, and the first vehicles he designed had electric drives.

In 1900, Porsche was responsible for the world’s first functional hybrid car, dubbed the ‘Semper Vivus,’ Latin for ‘always alive.’ a year later, the production version of the vehicle, known as the Lohner-Porsche Mixte, was ready.

Lohner Porsche Semper VivusVia Cartype.

The Mixte was far ahead of the technology at the time, which ultimately proved to be its undoing. The available infrastructure just was not ready for any form of large-scale electromobility research and development.

The dream, though, never really died. The idea of electrification was finally revived at Porsche AG, about a century later, buoyed by advancements in the development of lithium-ion batteries.

2010 Porsche Cayenne S HybridVia netcarshow.

First, there was the 2010 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, followed by the 2012 Panamera S Hybrid. Porsche also conducted tests with three all-electric Porsche 911s in 2011.

Other cars, like the 918 Spyder and 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car followed, with each breakthrough allowing Porsche to gain valuable experience to develop its first all-electric vehicle. There were no cutting corners with the Taycan. By the time the production spec was ready, Porsche had invested about $1 billion with over 1,000 employees involved during the development process at one point or the other.

From Mission E to the Porsche Taycan

Porsche Mission E ConceptVia Porsche Newsroom.

One of the highlights at the 2015 Frankfurt International Auto Show was the Mission E, a concept car showcased by Porsche. The EV concept had an 800-volt drive system, boasted more than 600-hp and a battery range in excess of 300 miles.

The Mission E was very fast too, with the ability to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds. The interior featured innovative technology with instruments controlled via eye-tracking and hand gestures. Porsche, with the board’s full support, were clear about their intentions to bring the car into production before the end of the decade.

By June 2018, the name of the planned production all-electric sports car was revealed as the Taycan. Picking the name was an elaborate process that involved whittling down a selection of over six hundred ideas.

Taycan is a blend of two Turkish terms that roughly translates to ‘soul of a spirited young horse.’ Interest continued to build up in the launch of the Porsche Taycan, and reservations hit 30,000 deposits by July 2019, forcing Porsche to revise initial production estimates of 20,000 units in the first production year.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto ShowVia Our Auto Expert.

Finally, in September 2019, after four years of hard, relentless work, the German carmaker debuted the production version of the Taycan. It was the first production all-electric vehicle to utilize a two-speed transmission and an 800-volt architecture for quicker acceleration and faster charging times.

Porsche tried as much as possible to stick to the design language of the Mission E, but there were differences—like the wider intakes and a deployable rear wing on the Taycan. The Taycan also ditched the suicide doors of the concept and adopted a flatter roofline to create more headspace for rear passengers.

Model Variants: Milking the Porsche Taycan

2020 Porsche Taycan TurboVia Motor Authority.

Porsche took advantage of the strong interest surrounding the Taycan and made the car available in two variants at launch. There was the Taycan Turbo and the more potent Taycan Turbo S version.

Both variants generate a restricted 616-hp to protect the drivetrain from overheating. Still, there’s an ‘overboost’ function that can briefly push this number out to 670-hp for the Turbo and a thumping 750-hp for the Turbo S.

The Taycan Turbo S, making full use of its instant torque and all-wheel-drive, could fly to 60 mph in a scant 2.4 seconds, matching the time set by the Tesla Model S in Cheetah mode. The Turbo version wasn’t far behind, with a 0 to 60 mph sprint clocked at 3 seconds flat.

Green Porsche Taycan 4SVia Top Gear.

The launch models were quickly followed by the Taycan 4S, offered with a choice of two battery packs for different performance levels. The lower capacity 71 KwH battery pack was good for 522-hp, and the 83.7 KwH pushed up to 562-hp to all four wheels. They were not as quick as the Taycan Turbo models, but they cost less and allowed Porsche to capture more of the market.

In 2021, Porsche went further and introduced an even cheaper new base Taycan model that was rear-wheel-drive only. This one came with a standard 79.2-kWh battery and a rear permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor that made 402-hp. It cost over $20,000 less than the Taycan 4S and helped keep up the sales momentum for the Taycan brand.

Two Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carsVia Guide Auto Web.

Today, a quick visit to the Porsche website will show that you can now purchase the Taycan in eight different model variants. In addition to the ones earlier mentioned, there is now a Taycan Cross Turismo that can be obtained in four different variants—the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, Taycan 4S Cross Turismo, Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo and the Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.

Apart from introducing new models, Porsche has also continued to tweak the architecture of the existing lineup, making the Taycan an even more capable performance EV. For example, the 2022 models feature better thermal management setups, an improved operating system, and can now be parked remotely using a smartphone.

The Journey Ahead for the Porsche Taycan

Porsche’s 2021 performance for the first three quarters shows a 13% increase year on year. SUVs like the Macan drive this growth, but the Taycan has also played a significant role with a nearly three-fold increase in deliveries, even though the Taycan generally costs significantly more than rivals in the same segment.

For example, the Taycan Turbo S costs about $80,000 more than the Tesla Model S Performance. Porsche executives will be undoubtedly pleased by this as it tells them their customers are quite receptive to their EVs. It bodes well for the carmaker, especially as an all-electric Macan is expected to join the Taycan next year.

2022 Porsche Taycan GTSVia Motortrend.

The Taycan’s success is still on an upward trajectory, judging by recent happenings. There might be eight Taycan models currently available in the market, but Porsche is not done yet, and who can blame them?

The carmaker just unveiled the 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS and the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo at the 2021 L.A. Auto Show. The Taycan GTS boasts a 504km (313 miles) driving range, the first Taycan model to crack the 500km barrier. The new additions will roll out to dealers in the Spring of 2022.

2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport TurismoVia netcarshow.

Prior to the announcement of the new additions to the Taycan family, Porsche CEO Oliver Brume gave another indication of how well the Taycan was performing during a September 2021 interview with Reuters.

Brume confirmed there’s now a six-month waiting list for a new Taycan. That’s up from the usual four-month wait. He added that the planned 2021 production limit was 20,000 Taycans, but the carmaker sold that amount in the first half of the year alone.

The challenge now would be for Porsche to find a way to ramp up production in the face of the automobile sector’s current challenges. It is a ‘good’ problem to have, but resolving it will be vital for preventing the Taycan from becoming a victim of its own success.

That may yet turn out to be an extreme scenario, though, and I wouldn’t bet against the German carmaker finding a way to turn things around as far as production capacities are concerned. For now, they can continue to bask in the Taycan’s success.

Up close with the 2022 Range Rover

Remember we talked about the brand new 2022 model year Range Rover a while ago here on Supercars.net? Well, you can’t drive one yet as the first customer cars will only be available in the Spring of 2022, but there are pre-production prototypes around already, and it seems YouTuber Doug deMuro managed to find one to get close and personal to and talk about ‘all the quirks and features’ of it, unfortunately being a prototype he wasn’t allowed to drive it, but she’s a beauty, so let’s take a look at his 24-minute video before we talk details on this new full-size SUV from the famous Range Rover brand:

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Prof Gerry McGovern OBE, Chief Creative Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “The New Range Rover is a vehicle with a peerless character, from the impeccable restraint of its exterior to the flawless tranquil sanctuary of its cabin. Informed by creative intellect and a desire for perfection, it doesn’t follow fashion or trend, but by a modernist design philosophy, combined with over 50 years of evolution, it is quite simply the most desirable Range Rover ever created.”

The MY2022 Range Rover is the first completely new model since 2014, and while it deliberately looks familiar, a lot is actually different compared to the outgoing model, base pricing starts at $105,000, but if you know anything about previous Range Rovers, you understand that’s just the start, and the massive options list and the possibility to create your bespoke model can skyrocket that price very quickly.

Wheels are a nice 21-inch as standard, but for the first time on a Range Rover you can opt for massive 23-inch tall wheels like the ones seen on the Autobiography LWB version of the above video, and another first for the MY22 Range Rover is the third row of seats, two additional units, only available on the Long Wheel Base model, but still, it’s possible now, but you can also opt to have your special Range Rover come with just four seats, and those rear ones are just absolutely stunning and immensely comfortable while that central console houses all kinds of amenities.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “The New Range Rover combines supreme on-road and all-terrain capability with electrified propulsion and new levels of connected capability. In the quest for comfort, we have been obsessed with human science and understanding brain activity to minimize cognitive impact and ensure these advanced technologies work in absolute harmony, creating a truly effortless driving experience. It’s an engineer’s duty to make people’s lives better, and that’s exactly what the New Range Rover will do for you.”

For the 2023 model year a PHEV will join the two petrol engines we’ll see in 2022, the extended-range plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will come with the inline 6-cylinder Ingenium engine coupled to a 105kW electric motor integrated with the transmission, power for this motor will come from a 38.2kWh lithium-ion battery, this setup will allow up to 62 miles of near-silent pure-electric driving, total power output will be 434 hp and this PHEV will be able to reach 87 mph on electric power only.

2022 BMW XM Specs and Pricing – Most Powerful SUV in the World

BMW M GmbH presented the new BMW Concept XM at the Art Basel 2021 Miami Beach Show in Munich. The new BMW Concept XM looks forward to being the most powerful BMW M car to go into series production and also shines the spotlight on stand out aspects of the M brand. Meet the latest Super SUV from BMW.

The new concept model will be built at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the USA from the end of 2022. It will be the first standalone vehicle from BMW M since BMW M1 and will be available in plug-in hybrid form only and exclusively as an M model.

BMW XM Specs and Pricing

Powertrain V8 Twin-Turbo Hybrid (V8 engine + electric motor)
Output HP 750 nm
Output Torque 1,000 nm
0-62 mph (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 177mph est. (284km/h)
Price $150,000 est.

A new M Hybrid drive system installed in the XM combines a V8 engine and a high-performance electric motor to generate a maximum output of 750 hp and 1000 Nm of peak torque. The vehicle also features an all-electric range of up to 80km.

The front end of the new XM concept features a new progressive design for BMW’s luxury class model which will be seen for the first time in 2022 as part of the BMW model offensive in the luxury segment. The headlights have been split into two separate modules, the horizontal grille has been fitted between the headlights and tapers and the black kidney grille elements are enclosed within a surround that appears to be floating within a High-gloss Black surface.

The front end also features M-style double bars within the grille, unique contour lighting that ensures the kidneys and the daytime driving lights are recognizable in the dark as well and new XM logo on the kidney grille and on the large air intakes.

Additionally, the color of the roof contrasts with the black finish of the A-pillars, the windscreen has a heavier rake for injecting modern dynamism into the front end, Slim LED searchlights have been fitted on the roof above the A-pillars, the sculpted bonnet extend to the kidney grilles in the form of two domes and a pair of air intakes fitted in the bonnet mimics the appearance of the LED searchlights on the roof.

Furthermore, the clean-cut black surfaces of the front apron frame the statuesque body at its lower edge whereas the triangular blades on the outer edges accentuate the vertical air intakes while emphasizing on the sporty stance of the vehicle.

The new concept model has been finished in a two-tone paint finish, the upper section is in matt-gold bronze while the lower section is finished in Space Grey metallic. The two exterior colors have been separated by a high-gloss Black line known as ‘Black Belt’.

The rear exterior of the vehicle features L shaped rear lights extended into the car’s flanks, black cladding above the wheels and on the side skirts gives the body an elevated appearance and the elongated body has been mounted on 23 inch light-alloy wheels. The rear apron also features a dual-branch, twin-tailpipe exhaust system for reducing the backpressure of the engine and generating an M-typical soundtrack.

The interior design features powerful geometry and high quality materials on the instrument panel, door trim, centre console and on the seats. The cabin consists of brown vintage-look leather, copper and carbon fibre elements to create a bridge between luxury and motor sport.

The spacious and luxurious M Lounge features black tinted rear side windows for maximum privacy, large rear seat bench with deep seat recess and while the cockpit is dominated by brown leather, the rear is finished in a rich Petrol color shade. The lower section of the seats offer high comfort and an exclusive couch with luxurious velvet upholstery and diamond quilting.

The new BMW Curved display with M-specific user interface is based on the latest generation of BMW iDrive system. The user interface is showcased in three familiar M colors and provides the perfect stage for showing off the bespoke design of the vehicle.

Once more, the new BMW XM will be the first electrified high-performance model in the BMW M portfolio and will be available as an M hybrid only.

Low Mileage 1998 Acura NSX-T 6-Speed On Offer At Bring A Trailer

The Acura NSX hype is real and if you’re itching to get your hands on one of these rare examples, then you’re in luck as a low-mileage 1998 Acura NSX-T is currently on offer at Bring A Trailer.

This NSX is only one of the 55 examples that were given a Formula Red (R-77) finish for the 1998 model year with a matching removable roof panel. The example has pop-up headlights and an integrated rear wing. It was also given 16- and 17-inch wheels with Kumho Ecsta XS tires, with the front tires measuring 215/45 while the rear measures 245/40. There is some curb rash on the wheels, with the tires have a mix of 2015 and 2013 date codes.

The interior is finished in black leather upholstery, and it extends up to the console, door panel inserts, and the dashboard. It is also equipped with power-adjustable seats, cruise control, automatic climate control, and a Bose cassette stereo.

The dashboard features a 180-mph speedometer, a tachometer with 8k rpm redline, speedometer, and gauges for fuel, oil pressure, coolant temperature, and voltage. The mechanical speedometer shows 21k miles with roughly 50 miles added by the selling dealer.

Under the hood is a 3.2-liter C23B V6 that uses VTEC variable valve timing matched to a six-speed manual transaxle with a Torsen limited-slip differential that gives power to the rear wheels. The NSX is factory rated at 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque.

As of writing the 1998 Acura NSX-T has a bid of $98,000 with the bidding ending in less than 19 hours.

Porsche brings back classic paint colors with Paint to Sample

Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur is bringing back historic color shades on all Porsche models with the new Paint to Sample and Paint to Sample Plus option: “Unusual paint finishes have been familiar throughout the history of our brand and are an important differentiating feature,” says Alexander Fabig, Head of Individualisation and Classic. “With this offer, we are reviving cult-classic colors and expanding the extensive range of standard and special colors across all the model series by more than 160 shades.”

Custom-painted Porsches have been gaining popularity over the years, customers want to have a bespoke paint on their brand new car from Zuffenhausen, something that Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur is playing into with their Paint to Sample option, to accomplish this they’ve installed a brand new color-mixing system at the factory, allowing specialists to mix up the exact shade a client requested, from combining dozens of ingredients with milligram precision.

Each batch of paint is made for two paint pots, one that will be used for the bodywork of the new Porsche while the second one will be applied to the add-on parts, because the mix of aluminum parts, plastics, and carbon fiberglass, the mixture to be applied has to be slightly different depending on the surface that has to be coated … they even paint a comparison plate to reference against the finished car as a final inspection.

But Paint to Sample not only covers custom colors on special demand, but they also resurrected some classic shades from the 90s, color mixtures that are already known by Porsche’s paint specialists, like Maritime Blue as seen on the Porsche Panamera below, a deep, not too dark shade of blue that gives a classic but luxurious look to this four-door model, if you want to stand out even more a set of gold-painted wheels would do the trick.

Or how about Rubystar Red, a rather special shade of red with a more pink hue to it, which looks amazing on this Porsche Taycan, at least it’s something different from the large amount of white Taycans I usually see driving around over here, it seems some markets only order black, dark grey, and white, while other markets have a much more diverse taste in colors on their luxury cars.

And let’s not forget about Mint Green, I remember seeing a 911 in this shade with color-coded leather seats, very special looking and perfect in tune with the Nineties, perhaps today a more subtle interior shade might be a better idea, but I still think black seats with their centers in matching Mint Green would look killer on this car:

The number of different paint color options largely depends on the specific Porsche model and where they are actually built, when looking at the 911 and the 718 model the list of paint colors goes beyond 100, while on the Panamera, Macan, and Cayenne, the list contains a little over 50 options, while a further 65 colors complete the palette on the all-electric Porsche Taycan.

While it is possible to order your ‘Paint to Sample’ specific shade for your new car right at the local Porsche Centre, you’ll have to keep in mind an additional three-month delivery time compared to the basic color options, and if you really want something unique, you can opt for the ‘Paint to Sample Plus’ finish, which is limited to the Porsche 911, 718, and Taycan … but here there is just about no limit whatsoever on which shade you want, it all begins with the customer supplying a sample of his or her color to a Porsche Center.

And this doesn’t need to be a piece of painted metal, how about a bottle of nail varnish, or a pair of shoes to match, a handbag, or a piece of clothing … anything goes, as it is sent out to Porsche AG for an initial feasibility check, which can take a few months, before Porsche’s color wizards create the magic formula to be tested on a car body and add-on parts … but that’s not the customer’s car yet, the first application of this custom shade is done onto a test-body, at Porsche’s expense, and only if all tests are good and they’ve determined the details, such as layer thickness, will the customer’s Porsche be painted in this bespoke shade.

Such individual vehicles can only be ordered through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, and not every Porsche Center will be a partner, at the time of writing about 100 Exclusive Manufaktur partners are present globally, these are specifically selected Porsche Centers who are specially equipped and have trained specialists able to provide advice on the Exclusive Manufaktur product range if you really want to get the best-of-the-best you can always travel to the heart of the brand in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, but you’ll need a commission number before you are able to visit the HQ.

Just in case you are wondering about just how much something like this would set you back, here are some indications of price, the Paint to Sample will set you back between €8,806 and €9,877 depending on the exact model, while the even more intricate Paint to Sample Plus goes from €17,612 to 19,754, note that all prices are MSRP for Germany including 19% VAT, if you want to know the exact cost in your case you should really visit a local Porsche Center and inquire about this when ordering your brand new, bespoke build Porsche supercar.

Mercedes-Benz X 350D 6-Wheeler “Black Edition”

Does anyone need an off-road Mercedes-Benz pickup truck capable of tackling any object in its path? The answer to that is probably not… especially when it has three axles, six wheels, and was almost completely…

The post Mercedes-Benz X 350D 6-Wheeler “Black Edition” first appeared on Cool Material.

Finali Mondiali Ferrari 2021

The most awaited Ferrari event of the year has finally concluded at the Mugello circuit. Finali Mondiali Ferrari 2021 took place as scheduled but still with a closed door format as last year, due to Covid restrictions, although with attendance of Media, Ferrari Fan Clubs and Ferrari employees.

The thick morning Fog didn’t stop the show, final round of Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell took place crowning Finnish Luka Nurmi and Ernst Kirchmayr as winners respectively. On Saturday evening the awards ceremony for the European and North American Ferrari Challenge series winners took place, with the announcement of the venue for the 2022 Finali Mondiali, which will be held from 26 to 31 October at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola.

The gala evening was a chance to celebrate the extraordinary sporting results of the 2021 season, starting with the WEC world titles the Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Spa triumphs. During the evening, alongside Antonello Coletta, Head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT, speakers included Chairman John Elkann, Chief Executive Officer Benedetto Vigna, Vice Chairman Piero Ferrari, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Enrico Galliera.

Oh yeah, Ferrari means also road supercars, FFM was also the venue chosen to unveil to the public the New Icona Series Ferrari Daytona SP3 supercar as well as the new 812 Competizione and Competizione A.

Sunday, as final act of the event, it’s Ferrari Show time! This year, introduced by the flag bearers of Castel San Barnaba, symbolising Ferrari’s bond with the local area, the Mugello public could admire the evolutions of the Formula 1 F60 and SF70-H single-seaters, driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta, and the 488 GTEs and 488 GT3 Evo 2020s, the stars of the WEC, GT World Challenge Europe and DTM to celebrate one of Ferrari’s most successful seasons in GT championships.

The final part of the programme was met by enthusiastic applause, with the new Ferrari Daytona SP3, escorted by two ladies-in-waiting, the 330 P4 and a 412 P. Mission accomplished, well done Ferrari! And see you next year!

Photos and Words by Yaron Esposito

Sir Frank Williams Passes Away At 79

Those of us that follow Formula 1 woke up to the news today that Frank Williams, the namesake of the Williams Grand Prix Engineering Formula 1 team, has passed away at the age of 79.

Frank WIlliams and Patrick Head
Frank WIlliams and Patrick Head Patrick Head (L) and Frank Williams at the carpet warehouse that became the first HQ of Williams Grand Prix Engineering

Working out of a former carpet warehouse, Williams Grand Prix Engineering was born in 1978 after the financial struggles and near bankruptcy of his first attempt at Formula 1, Frank Williams Racing Cars. After being bought out by Candian Walter Worf in 1976, he left the team in 1977 with Patrick Head, his chief engineer, and formed the now legendary team with little more than a bank loan and promises to pay from winnings and sponsorships to cover the loan. Less than a year later, Clay Regazzoni drove an FW07 to victory at the 1979 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

A young Frank Williams during the FWRC days
A young Frank Williams during the FWRC days Frank Williams with the plight of a team owner in the 1970s

1980 saw the team win the drivers and constructors’ titles, supporting Alan Jones in a modified FW07. Between 1981 and 1997, WGPE went on to field some of the most technically advanced cars the sport had ever seen, such as the FW14B which introduced computer-controlled active suspension, in doing so powering six more drivers to the drivers’ championship and winning the constructors championship eight more times. However, not everything would go to plan during these wild years of success, as tt was during this time period that the day that changed Frank Williams’ life forever occurred.

On the 8th of March, 1986, Williams had been at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France to watch the FW11 chassis undergo high-speed testing, but was registered to run in the London Half Marathon on the 9th of March. As such, after the testing had finished, Williams, with team sponsorship manager Peter Windsor, drove a Ford Sierra 1600 car at speed to get to the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport when he lost control on a left-hand bend, went over a low stone retaining wall, and landed in a field 8 feet below the road on the driver’s side. Williams suffered a spinal fracture just below his neck and partially severed his spinal cord, rendering him a tetraplegic. He nearly died a few times in the tense 48 hours after the accident, but after urgent repatriation and an emergency tracheotomy in the UK, he survived.

Frank Williams and Nigel Mansell, 1986
Frank Williams and Nigel Mansell, 1986 After recovering from his accident, Frank Williams was right back in the paddock before the season was over. Seen here with future champion Nigel Mansell

Frank Williams ultimately oversaw 114 grand prix wins as team principal. He was active with both the F1 team and the business side of Williams until 2012, when he stepped down from the board of directors and nominated his daughter Claire for the vacancy. From 2013 to 2020, he was a co-team principal with Claire, running more of the engineering side of things while his daughter oversaw the drivers and business delivery side. When Williams Grand Prix Engineering was bought out by Dorilton Capital Group in 2020, both Frank and Claire stepped down, ending the Williams family tenure of the team.

Ultimately, Frank Williams oversaw 50 years of competition as a team principal, and his team and company dominated the sport for nearly two decades. He survived bankruptcy, he navigated the politics of Formula 1 with skill, grace, and determination, and he didn’t let the fact that he was tetraplegic get in the way of his desire to push for every win, and have the best of the best drive and engineer for him and the team. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1986 after his recovery from his accident, and was made a Knight Commander of the OBE in 1999.

Sir Francis Owen Garbett Williams, CBE, born April 16 1942, will be sorely missed, and left a lasting legacy in the sport he loved so dearly.

Comments and Honours by teams and drivers on hearing of his passing:

Official Formula 1:

Williams Racing:

George Russell, the last driver personally signed to the team by Frank Williams:

Nico Hulkenberg (the Hulk), signed to Williams Racing in 2009: