All posts in “Ferrari”

Ferrari takes Manhattan

Ferrari hosted a gala for its new charitable educational foundation this week in New York City, at The Shed in the Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. As part of this, the Italian exotic carmaker displayed 14 “game changing” vintage and contemporary vehicles outside the sculptural Vessel structure. These included vehicles from the contemporary Prancing Horse lineup such as the Purosangue and 296 GTB; custom Icona cars like the Monza SP1 and Daytona SP3; vintage supercars like the Enzo, La Ferrari, F40, and F50; and racing cars like the 66M, F1-89, and 333 SP. According to a Ferrari spokesperson, 40,000 people visited the space on the first day it was open.

The brand also hosted screenings of the forthcoming Michael Mann movie, “Ferrari,” for top clients, following its premiere at the New York Film Festival. Adam Driver, who plays Enzo Ferrari in the dramatic biographical film, attended the gala along with Mann, who, in addition to being a Ferrari owner has also shot promotional video for the brand. Actor Nicholas Hoult (“The Great,” “Renfield”) who has been training to race in the Ferrari Challenge Series, also attended. A performance by musician John Legend was the evening’s entertainment.

If this isn’t enough of a big-city presence, Ferrari also runs a very fancy client showroom uptown on Park Avenue, one of just three Tailor Made sites in the world (the others are in Maranello and Hong Kong), constructed to help clients customize their cars with special high-profit leathers, trim bits, paint-to-sample colors, and the like.  

All of this raises the question, why is Ferrari betting so big on New York, the least car-friendly city in America? “We wanted to have also something here in New York, on the East Coast, to be connected with the local community here,” says Enrico Galliera, the Italian marque’s chief marketing officer, as we sit together on the 24th floor of the Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards, overlooking the events in the plaza from on high. (As we stare outside, a Ferrari spokesperson points out that the brand’s first importer in America, Luigi Chinetti, had his dealership just a few blocks south on 11th Avenue.)

As a test driver of high end sport and luxury vehicles for 15 years, a New York resident for over 30 years, and a car lover for far longer, I can attest that seeing a Ferrari driving through the city is an extremely rare experience, unless I am behind the wheel. But apparently, Ferraris are hidden all over town.

“You will be surprised to know how many Ferrari collectors there are in New York and how many big collections there are in Manhattan,” says Galliera. “When I came years ago, I went to visit one of these big collectors that is living in Manhattan, and all his collection is underground in the parking lot of his building. And he was telling me, you know, Enrico, I’m working here. Whenever I get stressed in my work, I take the elevator, I go downstairs in the basement, I decide which one, and then I jump in one, I take it out to drive, I relax, and I go back to work. So in Manhattan, maybe it’s not the best place where you can see Ferraris, but there’s a lot of Ferraris and a lot of big collectors in Manhattan.”

The Tailor Made site has also been a rousing success. “Since the beginning, we understood that there was a huge potential for the client experience. And now it has become an important center of our meetings for clients that visit in New York,” says Galliera. I note that, since it opened in late 2019, Lamborghini and Aston Martin have both opened similar sites in the city. “I didn’t visit them yet,” Galliera says, smiling. “But you know, I keep saying that as far as your competitors, I’m not saying copying. But if they try to do whatever you did before, it means that it was successful.”

At the gala, Ferrari auctioned off a customized one-off 812 Competizione for $5.1 million, as well as other Prancing Horse-branded and -adjacent ephemera, to help fund its educational initiative. The company raised a total of $7 million for the charity. So, at the end of our conversation, I asked Galliera how he would measure success for the event, and its potential continuation: Raising money? Raising awareness? Raising engagement?

“I think all these point that you said,” he said, smiling again. “But I would not measure engagement, because it’s already there.”

Ferrari supercar spy photos may show LaFerrari successor

Ferrari has made big news with the launch of its first ever crossover in the Purosangue, perhaps to the chagrin of the Ferrari faithful. But it seems the supercar builder will have something for traditional fans soon. Spy photos show a serious-looking prototype, and we suspect it’s a successor to the automaker’s last flagship, the LaFerrari.

This prototype does still look like a fairly early prototype, sporting slightly blocky bodywork and parts bin lights. We’re also not expecting the giant fixed rear wing to appear on the final product, especially since it looks like the struts are mounted in slots where a retractable piece would go.

But there’s still plenty to glean. The center section of the body, mainly the cockpit and roofline are probably close to production. That cockpit is particularly narrow, and, like the LaFerrari, features a door panel that goes into the roof, likely to aid entry, and a rear window that tapers toward the rear, boat-tail style. The overall body is also fairly rudimentary, but between the substantial width, aggressive diffuser and giant wing, this car will probably have impressive amounts of downforce.

There’s still a lot that’s unknown about this new supercar. The powertrain is probably the biggest mystery. We’re willing to bet it will be a hybrid of some sort, just as the LaFerrari was and as more modern Ferraris such as the 296 GTB are becoming. The number of cylinders is the question, as well as whether forced induction will be used. It would be nice to see one final top-end application of a Ferrari V12 before emissions and fuel economy regulations make it non-viable.

Also, while this prototype suggests there’s still a decent amount of development remaining, we wouldn’t be surprised if the car is revealed in the next year or so. Ferrari has a rough cadence of 10 years between flagship supercars starting with the F40. That has fluctuated by a year or two either way, but with that in mind, we’re coming up on a decade since the launch of the LaFerrari.

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Ferrari Monza SP1 in life-size built from Lego bricks

Another full-scale Lego Ferrari has been built to awe visitors at the toy company’s theme parks. A low-resolution Ferrari Monza SP1 has been built out of plastic bricks at Legoland Billund Resort, located in the same Danish town as Lego headquarters.

Like other full-size Lego cars before it, the Monza SP1 is built around a steel frame to hold the considerable weight of the blocks. The model tips the scales at 2,954 pounds, almost as much as the actual car, which weighs in at 3,306 pounds.

The Lego version comprises 383,610 pieces and took a team of Lego designers 1,414 hours to complete. Only a few items on the model aren’t made of Lego bricks: the wheels and Pirelli tires, a carbon-fiber steering wheel, and assorted badging. 

This is the second 1:1 scale Lego Ferrari to be installed at a Legoland. A year ago, Legoland California became the first when a life-size Ferrari F40 became part of its Lego Ferrari Build and Race attraction. The Monza SP1 headlines a similar attraction in Denmark, allowing kids to build their own (much smaller) Lego Ferraris.

They can then race the cars on a track at the attraction, or digitally scan their creations and race them virtually on a simulation of Ferrari’s own Fiorano, Italy test course.

The Monza is just the latest life-size car to be constructed out of Legos. There have been many other official and unofficial builds, including a Ferrari F1 car, Lamborghini Sian, Bugatti Chiron, McLaren Senna, Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy Silverado, VW Microbus, Toyota Camry, and even fictional vehicles like the Batmobile. Hopefully the Monza will be one that holds up

Ferrari F40 with Liberty Walk widebody kit slinks through Tokyo

The prolific Japanese customizer Liberty Walk’s latest creation is a wildly modified Ferrari F40. The dramatically lowered and widened supercar will undoubtedly be considered heresy for Ferrari purists, but the car is undeniably staggering.

Liberty Walk has been customizing cars for decades, and each year the base cars get increasingly outrageous. It was all good and fun when founder Wataru Kato was slicing up modern Nissan GT-Rs and Lamborghini Murcielagos. No one really shed a tear about the numerous Mustangs, BMWs, or 360 and F430 Ferraris. The Mitsuoka Orochi was actually an improvement

But the Ferrari F40 is a bona fide classic. It’s one of the most beloved cars on the planet and it’s rare too, with just a hair over 1,300 ever to roll out of Maranello. And no, this isn’t some kind of kit car trickery like when they displayed a jaw-dropping Lamborghini Miura at the Tokyo Auto Salon, later revealed to be a reskinned Ford GT40 replica. Kato has had a white Ferrari F40 kicking around his garage for at least a decade plus.

With nothing more that could top past builds, it seemed that the F40’s time had come. The kit comes with a new nose section that stays true to the original intake pattern but as you move aft aggressive ducting and vents begin to resemble the race-modified F40 LM.

A slammed airbag suspension and an array of canards, diffusers, and a modified wing add to the list of changes. Topping it all off are a set of exposed fastener fenders stuck to the rear haunches. The surgery is irreversible too, with parts of the F40’s original kevlar and carbon fiber body sacrificed for the installation. Watch this Hagerty video for more details on the build.

This kit is something you can actually buy on the Liberty Walk website, for some of the 1,300 or so F40 owners who would like to do this to their own car. No price is listed; one must call to inquire, and it won’t be as cheap or easy as buying stick-on portholes for your V6 Chrysler 300 at Pep Boys

Most Ferrari owners would probably rather take a hacksaw to their own limbs than cut up an F40, so it’ll be a truly niche market. However, there are probably enough F40s in climate controlled garages that one or two modified ones isn’t a big deal. In fact, there are likely more F40s left in pristine condition than Nissan NX2000s or first-gen Chrysler Town & Countrys. 

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Ferrari previews a mysterious new model due out on March 16

Lamborghini isn’t the only Italian supercar manufacturer preparing to unveil a new model. Arch nemesis Ferrari published a brief preview video on its social media channels to announce that an enigmatic new car is scheduled to make its global debut in March 2023.

The 16-second flick asks more questions than it answers. It shows a steering wheel with what looks like leather upholstery on the sides of the rim and carbon fiber trim on the top and bottom parts. The upper part of the rim features a little screen that might display the engine’s revolutions, though keep in mind this is pure speculation. We also see an ignition button and big shift paddles made out of carbon fiber.

At first glance, this looks a lot like the steering wheel that Ferrari puts in the 296 GTB and the 296 GTS. Both cars are already out, however, so there’s no sense in previewing either on social media. Could we be looking at an evolution of the firm’s entry-level model? It’s not unfathomable, but that’s not the only plausible answer. The new Purosangue SUV is equipped with a similar-looking steering wheel. How about the Roma Spider? Our spies spotted it testing at night in September 2022 and the model hasn’t been unveiled yet. They weren’t able to take photos of the interior, but the Roma coupe is yet another Ferrari model whose steering wheel looks like the one shown in the video.

Of course, Ferrari might be giving us a preview of an entirely new model that’s not related to or based on any of the cars in its current line-up. We won’t have to wait long to find out what Ferrari has up its sleeve. It’s planning on unveiling the mysterious car on March 16, 2023.

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Ferrari Purosangue starts at $398,350, give or take

When we got hands on with the Ferrari Purosangue last September, the Italian automaker hinted their newest and unlikeliest toy would be graced with “a starting sticker price of €390,000, or around $400,000.” Ferrari stuck the landing with that one, telling Car and Driver the Purosangue will cost $393,350 before a $5,000 destination charge, which comes to a subtotal of $398,350. We write “subtotal” not because there are the inevitable taxes and fees to be appended, but because that price leaves out a potential gas guzzler tax. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t concluded its determination about fuel economy, nor has the U.S. government concluded its determination as to classifying the four-seater as a station wagon or an SUV, both of which affect whether the tax is applied.

What gets taxed and what doesn’t isn’t a matter of consistency we can follow. The Aston Martin DBX, Bentley Bentayga, and Lamborghini Urus don’t charge a gas-guzzler tax, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan does. Of note, the Ferrari FF paid a gas guzzler taxes of $3,700. 

Anyone who can get past the price isn’t going to care about a 1% or 2% fee. There have been so many crates of unmarked bills airdropped into Maranello that Purosangue production’s been sponged up for two years and Ferrari had to close the airspace. The destination charge isn’t outrageous, either, considering the source. Ferrari charged a $3,750 destination fee for an 812 Superfast, the coupe also hit with a $3,000 gas guzzler tax, and currently charges a $3,950 destination fee for the SF90 Stradale.

Rolls-Royce usually leads the pack in series production MSRPs among the superluxury brands, the Cullinan formerly the leader by costing about $355,000 after a $2,500 destination charge and a $2,600 gas guzzler tax. Ferrari’s not only outdone that, the Purosangue costs nearly double the Lamborghini Urus, almost exactly double the Bentley Bentagya V8, and more than double the Aston Martin DBX. The price is so high it seems like a flex or an attempt to limit demand to prevent an SUV becoming the most common Ferrari on the road, both of which are entirely possible. It’s stll quite a bit less expensive than the $511,250 SF90 Stradale, proving anything can be a bargain with the right context.

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Ferrari lifts profit forecast after strong Q3, keeps cautious stance on margins

MILAN — Luxury sports car maker Ferrari said on Wednesday it was improving its forecasts for full-year results, including for core earnings, after beating expectations in the third quarter, supported by a double-digit increase in shipments.

The company however struck a more cautious tone on the margin on those core earnings, now seen at around 35% for this year, versus a previous guidance of over 35%.

It said industrial costs and research and development expenses increased in the past quarter mainly due to higher depreciation and amortization and cost inflation.

Ferrari said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) would grow this year to over 1.73 billion euros ($1.71 billion), versus an already improved forecast of 1.70-1.73 billion euros it provided three months ago.

After briefly turning positive following the release of the results, Milan listed shares in Ferrari fell as much as 2.4%. By 1235 GMT they were down 1.4%.

In the third quarter, adjusted EBITDA rose 17% to 435 million euros, topping analyst expectations of 418 million euros, according to a Reuters poll.

($1 = 1.0107 euros)

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Keith Weir)

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Buy a Ferrari like the one driven by the Sultan of Brunei. It ain’t cheap

A video featuring a very blond blonde and a very red Ferrari? That’s certainly one way to attract some attention.

We don’t have the skinny on the lady, but the Testarossa Spider is straight out of the annals of wretched excess. It goes on the auction block in London next Saturday with opening bids at $1.6 million. The video is a teaser tweet for the event.

According to documentation offered by the auction house of RM Sotheby’s, this 1990 stunner, a “Special Production” Pininfarina-engineered convertible, was part of a custom lot of Ferraris commissioned by a high-roller in the Brunei royalty household. In 2021, when, according to Sotheby’s, it was “revived from its life-long state of static display,” the car was shuttled to two factories in Italy for “restoration.”  The cost was 94,300 Euros to repair the top’s latch and repaint the machine.  Another 83,170 Euros was budgeted to fiddle with a new clutch and “refresh” the interior. Lay those numbers on your local garage.

It’s believed, the press release goes on to say, that, in the end, Pininfarina made seven almost identical but ultimately unique “Spider” adaptations, “each finished in a different exterior and interior color combination.”  And, in addition to these Brunei cars, a very small number of Testarossa Spiders, like the one to go on auction, were built for important clients, including the current consignor, who ordered his (or hers) in 1989. There are a reported 413 kilometers on the clock.

But wait: apparently maestro Pininfarina — perhaps in the throes of an eccentric mood — rebelled back in the Eighties against the convention of assigning just a common 17-digit vehicle identification numbers to his creations, and so identified the car described above with the VIN of “EFG092.” Go figure.

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One-of-five Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione up for auction

Ferrari doesn’t normally dabble in the mundane, but some of its cars are rarer than others. A perfect example is the 288 GTO Evoluzione, a race car-turned-test bench that the company built five units of in the 1980s. While these rarely come up for sale, one is currently being auctioned.

Many enthusiasts are familiar with the 288 GTO, but the Evoluzione model remains substantially more obscure. Ferrari initially developed it to compete in the Group B rally category’s tarmac events. You didn’t need to be a seasoned car-spotter to tell the Evoluzione apart from the standard 288 GTO: it featured a specific, Pininfarina-designed body made with Kevlar and fiberglass and a carbon fiber rear wing. Power came from a 650-horsepower evolution of the road car’s 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Ferrari quoted a top speed of 230 mph.

Had it raced, the 288 GTO Evoluzione could have given Ferrari’s rivals a serious run for their money. It didn’t get the chance to compete because the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) eliminated the Group B class from international rally events in 1986. Ferrari instead used the 288 GTO Evoluzione to test some of the features it later brought to production in the F40, and it’s not a coincidence that several styling cues link the two cars.

Built in 1987, and assigned chassis number 79888, the 288 GTO Evoluzione listed by RM Sotheby’s is the fourth example built. It was finished in 1988 and sold to Belgian pilot Jean Blaton in December of that year. The selling dealer purchased it in 1992 and kept it until a private collector in the United Kingdom bought it in 2006. The car then went through the hands of current Aston Martin chairman Lawrence Stroll, Rick White, David SK Lee, and David Raisbeck. It’s been housed in a private collection located in Europe since 2019.

RM Sotheby’s notes that Italian dealer and repair center Michelotto recently performed a €133,000 (about $130,000) service on this 288 GTO Evoluzione. The list of parts replaced includes the fuel lines, engine oil lines, brake lines, driveshaft boots, seatbelts and windows. Both turbochargers, the water pump, parts of the suspension syste, and the brake calipers were overhauled as well. And the transmission and clutch were serviced, the tires were changed, and the body was repainted in the original Rosso Corsa color.

Act fast if you want it: the auction closes on October 21, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. Paris time (that’s noon in New York and 9:00 a.m. in California). RM hasn’t provided a pre-auction estimate but this won’t be a bargain. The firm sold a standard 288 GTO for $4.4 million in August 2022.

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Driving the GMC Hummer EV and Mercedes-Benz EQS, EQE, EQS SUV | Autoblog Podcast #750

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. This week, they talk about driving Mercedes‘ fleet of EQ electric vehicles, including the EQE Sedan, the AMG EQS Sedan and the EQS SUV. They also talk about piloting the Acura NSX Type S. Next, they discuss the reveal of the 2024 Maserati GranTurismo, including the all-electric Folgore trim, as well as the Ferrari SP51 roadster. Finally, they talk about some of the best (including some unusual) car features for kids.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at:

Autoblog Podcast #750

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Autoblog is now live on your smart speakers and voice assistants with the audio Autoblog Daily Digest. Say “Hey Google, play the news from Autoblog” or “Alexa, open Autoblog” to get your favorite car website in audio form every day. A narrator will take you through the biggest stories or break down one of our comprehensive test drives.

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

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

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

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

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

An assortment of emblematic supercars is headed to auction

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

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

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

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

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Ferrari teases Purosangue exhaust note before September 13 debut

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

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

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

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

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Ferrari 296 GT3 brings V6 power to Ferrari sports car racing

This is the Ferrari 296 GT3 race car, and it’s here to succeed the 488 GT3 racer in sports car competition. Yes, this means that Ferrari’s mid-engine racer will no longer by powered by a V8. Instead, the 296 GT3 uses a racing version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 found in the road-going 296 GTB.

Since the 296 GT3 is exclusively for racing purposes, Ferrari deleted the plug-in hybrid system, meaning that this 296 is gasoline-powered-only. Balance of Performance (BoP) will dictate how much power this 296 is running in competition, but Ferrari quotes 600 horsepower and 524 pound-feet of torque as the baseline figures. That’s a smidgen down from the road car’s engine-only horsepower figure of 654 ponies. The GT3’s engine is also positioned further forward and lower down versus the road car. Ferrari says its goal was to make an engine with maximum performance, but also provide maximum reliability and driveability — this car will compete in 24-hour races, after all. The engine is connected to a bespoke gearbox developed for this car. It’s a six-speed single-clutch Xtrac system that now features electric clutch actuation via the steering wheel as opposed to a foot pedal.

The 296’s design and the new aero work done for the GT3 result in 20% greater downforce than the outgoing 488 GT3 race car. Ferrari says it worked to make the car more drivable even when in the slipstream of other cars. It’s not the prettiest Ferrari racer we’ve ever seen, but it sure doesn’t look like it’ll be lacking for downforce with the massive wings and appendages protruding every which way from it. If the 296 GT3 is damaged mid-race, Ferrari promises easier replacement of the front and rear aprons to get back on the track quicker.

Ferrari 296 GT3

Ferrari designed a new chassis using learnings from the 488 GT3. It’s made of aluminum, and Ferrari says its lightness will allow for better and more efficient ballast placement for BoP restrictions. The wheelbase is longer than the road-going 296, and the suspension is changed from the 488 GT3 to offer a wider range of adjustment for different styles of driver and different tracks. A new (and larger) braking system is integrated, and shrouding those brakes is a new wheel from Rotiform that was made specifically for the 296 GT3.

The interior is totally new versus the 488 GT3. Drivers will have an easier time getting comfortable with adjustable pedals and an adjustable steering wheel. Most controls have moved to an F1-style steering wheel. Plus, an air conditioning system combined with improved ventilation should help keep drivers cooler.

Ferrari says it’s already put thousands of miles on test cars to prepare for competition. The 296 GT3’s debut race will be next year’s Daytona 24 Hours.

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This one-off Ferrari Enzo is someone’s white whale

Forgive this blasphemy, but the best color for Ferraris is not red. Rosso Corsa might be the national racing color of Italy but, frankly, these days Mazda has a better red. Drowning in a crimson tide of red ‘Rraris at a car show gets old after a while, and being smothered by a Ferrari store’s retina-searing red is akin to what Jonah suffered while stuck in the belly of a whale. 

There are so many better hues for a Ferrari. Verde Pino on a 250 Lusso, Blu Tour de France on a Daytona. And Bianco Avus, a.k.a. white, on an Enzo. That last one happens to be up for auction at R.M. Sotheby’s in Ontario, Canada next week. It’s also quite likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a white Enzo, because of all the 400 or so that came out of Maranello, only one was only one finished in Bianco Avus.

The auction lists it as THE white Enzo, but that is actually a bit misleading. According to records it is indeed the sole Bianco Avus specimen of the 651-horsepower supercar. To be completely accurate, though, there is another white Enzo out there. That one is finished in a pearl white called Bianco Fuji and located, appropriately, in Japan.

None of that takes away from the fact that the car for sale is a rare and stunning specimen. It was designed as a flagship to link Ferrari road cars with its Formula 1 racers, which finally reclaimed the championship in 2000 after a 20-year absence in the winner’s circle. Its carbon fiber bodywork, carbon-ceramic brakes, and high-revving V12 were derived from Scuderia Ferrari’s warhorses. Simply called Enzo, it was named to honor the prancing horse firm’s founder, and production coincided with Ferrari’s five-year F1 winning streak from 2000-04. 

The Bianco Avus Enzo is one of 20 “extracampionario” cars painted in a color from the off-menu palette. For that privilege, it is said customers would have had to purchase both of the Enzo’s immediate predecessors, the F40 and F50.

Our argument for a white Enzo is based on the theory that if you’re already driving a shouty supercar, there’s no need to also slather it in a shouty color. Some of us enjoy the car for what it is, without all the attention that a bright red sports car would attract. Unique design elements like the floating red taillights would get lost in red as well. 

In any case, at least one unnamed German-Swiss billionaire agrees. The car was finished on May 22, 2003 and sold to that billionaire in Switzerland where it was displayed in the window of a store in Matran, before changing ownership to a collector in Hong Kong in 2011. According to the auction, it was unregistered during its time there because LHD cars aren’t road legal, and is now under temporary import to Canada where it will be presented at auction June 29-30. 

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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.

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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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Ferrari 296 GTB First Drive Review | Design and technical showpiece

Seville, Spain – Even when its founder Enzo was a pup, Ferrari was famously wringing maximum performance from miniscule engines. Today, that spirit lives on in the Ferrari 296 GTB plug-in hybrid – the first real V6 road car in Ferrari history – and a blistering track romp and road trip through Andalusia, Spain, proves again that automotive brilliance often comes in bite-sized packages. That talent, now combined with the modern shove and zero tailpipe emissions of electricity (in short distances) is coming in handy as regulators demand gasoline engines be downsized or eliminated entirely. When downtown Rome finally says basta to internal-combustion cars, the 296 GTB will get a free pass and a proud salute from locals.

This Ferrari will draw its share of wolf whistles as well. New tech aside, the 296 GTB is more old-school Ferrari in styling; a swoopy object of lust from its flying buttresses to a carved-out Kamm tail.

Press the haptic e Drive switch on the 296’s exotic steering wheel and it can cover 15.5 miles on pure electricity at up to 84 mph. Its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 is sidelined via an electric clutch, and a ghostly hum emanates from within. No, that’s not the sound of Enzo turning in his grave. Just the opposite, I’d say. That dude loved to win, even (or especially) when people called him crazy, and said his tiny 12-cylinder jewels (Phrasing? -BH) would never work (Oh, it got worse -BH).

So if you assume the 296 GTB is the Ferrari customers must “settle for,” think again. This short-wheelbase, mid-engine Ferrari is gorgeously evocative of classic models like the 250 LM, including roller-coaster haunches that seem extruded from a fast-flowing body. With a ridiculous 819 rear-driven horsepower, the 296 GTB is also faster and more reactive than every larger V8 car in Ferrari’s lineup, including the 488 Tributo and wicked 488 Pista. How fast? Well, this six-cylinder warrior circles the Fiorano factory track in less time than LaFerrari — the seven-figure hybrid wonder of just a few years ago. “But it doesn’t have a V8,” your say? Well, fine: The 488s, Roma coupe and Portofino convertible remain eminently defensible choices. Just get used to the 296 GTB wagging its saucy tail in your face at track days (with its signature, high-mounted single exhaust outlet), while you mumble something about the “Good Old Days.”

I’m mumbling something else after storming through Andalusia on HU 4103, a two-lane, EU-funded fantasy road that resembles a private/public racetrack in the countryside: All mirror-smooth pavement, double-stacked guardrails, helpful bright-blue turn arrows and a dearth of other drivers. The 296 GTB bullets from corner to corner, as fast in full Automatic mode as when using the rabbit-eared, carbon-fiber paddle shifters. Braked with my left foot for balanced pendulum swings against the throttle, the Ferrari’s eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox self-downshifts as low as second gear at roughly 6,000 rpm.

Incredible by-wire brakes create a fierce double-whammy of engine braking and electric regen, and then the Ferrari is off again. On a long ascent and descent, the regen brakes slurp so much energy that the battery remains fully stuffed, even at maximum attack. This is a hybrid that basically never runs out of electric breath, a kind of junior F1 car for the street.

A “Qualifying” mode summons maximum performance for shorter bursts, but also fully recharges the 7.5-kilowatt-hour battery (with 80 lithium-ion cells) in less than 15 minutes in my hands. The 296 is also super-satisfying in Hybrid mode, cruising gasoline-free at a brisk clip, but ready to fire up the engine and lunge ahead with a firmer press of the throttle. After a perspiring 115-mile drive, the all-digital instrument panel, descended from the SF90 hypercar, informs me that I’ve used gasoline for 80% of the trip, electricity for the rest – and saved 1 liter of fuel in the process. Every little bit, si?

Seemingly limitless front-end grip is amplified with joyful, high-pitched 8,500-rpm shrieks from an engine that Ferrari engineers call the “piccolo V12” — “little V12.” That’s not all Italian hyperbole, as I’ll explain later. As for the “first Ferrari V6” claim, recall that the six-cylinder, mid-engine Dinos – sold from 1967 to 1974, named after Enzo’s tragically fated son – were intended as a “son-of” sub-brand, and never wore a Ferrari badge. Ferrari, of course, has enjoyed racing success with V6s in multiple eras, from Mike Hawthorn’s 1958 F1 championship to the 1982 campaign that saw the 126 C2 become F1’s first turbocharged title winner.

These Spanish roads wind through the Rio Tinto (“Red River”) whose mineral-infused waters flash a striking crimson, though our convoy of Ferraris may have created some spillover effect. Regarding red Ferraris, I’ve never been a fan of that too-obvious choice, but the 296 GTB’s Rosso Imola definitely works, a smoldering lipstick shade for this Italian supermodel. And while I do love me some 488 Pista, our long road-and-track day convinces me the 296 GTB is the smarter, better all-around sports car. The 296 – the name combining the 2,992-cc engine, and “6” cylinders – feels even more responsive, less high-strung and demanding, thereby more appealing as a daily driver. And that’s without getting into the electric advantages; including a redesigned electric motor, sandwiched between the engine and gearbox, that supplies 122 kilowatts (165 horsepower) and 232 pound-feet of torque, filling in all the low-rev and shifting gaps until there’s no chink in the armor.

Quicksilver handling recalls a Lotus by way of Maranello, but with double or triple the power. Its electric steering is immediacy personified, with a lightness that underlines the wrongheadedness of sports cars and sedans that confuse burly effort with actual road feel. A highway blast on the Autovia lets the 296 GTB demonstrate its searing pace and stability, surging to 150 mph and more as boggled drivers pull to the right to watch the Ferrari soar past. 

The craziest part is how a sports car can send 819 horsepower to the ground through rear wheels, effortlessly, without ever feeling like a handful of dynamite. Credit in part the specially developed, 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, or the available Pilot Sport Cup 2s that nearly match the dry grip of racing slicks but remain DOT-legal.

Actually, this may be the craziest part: Company executives and engineers define the 296 GTB as the most “fun-to-drive” Ferrari, by intent and design. That may come as a shock to people who plunk down at least $523,000 – $200,000 beyond the GTB’s $323,000 base price – for its philosophical parent, the SF90 AWD plug-in. But Ferrari executives are nothing if not confident, saying there’s a Ferrari for every type of buyer, and obviously big enough garages that some can avoid making a choice altogether. While “fun to drive” has a subjective element, engineers insist there are objective parameters, including lateral/longitudinal response to throttle and steering inputs; shift times and sensations; brake pedal feel and response; and sound level and quality in the cabin. Designers and engineers parsed, mapped and quantified everything that makes a Ferrari “fun” – price tag didn’t make the list – and sought to elevate the 296 GTB to new highs, for owners who prize pure sensation and immediacy.

Sensations begin with a 2.0-inch shorter wheelbase and lower center-of-gravity versus any V8 Ferrari, which helps this sports car shrink around its pilot. The engine trims 66 pounds versus the V8. Dry weight is a commendable 3,234 pounds — 70 more than an F8 Tributo, thanks to the hybrid hardware and battery — but with 108 faster-acting horsepower on tap. That gives the 296 a better weight-to-power ratio than any rival. Meanwhile, the feelsome by-wire braking system, the company insists, lets the 296 GTB brake later and deeper into corners than any other Ferrari, allowing owners to attack apexes and just crush the pedal with no fear of upsetting the car.

Extensive aero work includes a “tea tray” doohickey up front to direct air along the underbody. Hidden headlamp ducts cool brakes, themselves fitted with ventilating “aero” calipers. Underbody height is as low as roadgoing rules allow, allowing reworked vortex generators to boost ground-effect suction and front downforce. Greedy cavities in those blush-worthy rear fenders feed turbo intercoolers. An active aero panel, hidden between taillamps, rises in an instant to generate up to 100 pounds of extra downforce, including under braking. I wasn’t arguing after my track drive at the Monteblanco circuit, where a roughly 165-mph straightaway abruptly ends at a near-hairpin corner. An optional Assetto Fiorano package forms that panel from carbon fiber, with stiffer Multimatic shock absorbers and other bits to further boost downforce and trim 26 pounds.

I’ve barely discussed that masterwork engine, discreetly hidden below dark-tinted, three-dimensional glass. Twin exhaust banks provocatively come together in a long, single central exhaust formed from thin-walled Inconel alloy. “Aluchrome” is used for the cavernous, high-mounted rear outlet, an alloy that maintains shine under extremely high temperatures.

Consider Enzo Ferrari’s first solo effort, the 125S racer of 1947, which made 118 horsepower from 12 dainty cylinders that displaced just 1.5 liters. This V6 alone generates 654 horsepower from just twice the displacement. Its 218 horsepower-per-liter becomes a historic high in specific output for any production automobile. The engine cradles a pair of turbochargers in the “hot-V” cleavage of 120-degree cylinder banks. Those turbos spin up to 180,000 rpm, with a huge 24% jump in performance and boost efficiency versus the V8 turbos. This engine is also a testament to high compression (including 350-bar fuel injection) and low inertia. The whistling turbos and a forged, nitrided crankshaft help reduce rotating masses by 11% versus the 3.9-liter V8.

This first in a new F163 engine family also combines two elements that can seem diametrically opposed: The force of turbocharging with the euphonious revving and trebly wail of a naturally aspirated V-2: Hence, “the piccolo V12.” The crankshaft’s 120-degree geometry, symmetrical cylinder firing order and tuned, equal-length exhaust runners deliver both the pressure pulses and harmonic sound orders of a V12. Those natural, odd-numbered harmonic orders are further amplified via a “hot tube” prior to exhaust treatment that push those sweet frequencies into the cabin, even at low revs. If a Mercedes-AMG V8 is basso profundo, this V6 is a La Scala tenor, sailing to 8,500-rpm peaks with enough force and emotional drama to bring tears to one’s eyes. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would guess there are only six cylinders churning below decks.

To all that, add 165 horses of inverted AC juice from the axial, dual-rotor motor. All told, this V6 Ferrari can shriek to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and to 200 kph (124 mph) in 7.3 seconds. Terminal velocity is 206 mph. That 0-200 kph figure is especially telling. It’s about 0.5 seconds quicker than a V8 McLaren 720S, and 0.9 seconds quicker than a Lamborghini Huracan Evo with a naturally aspirated V10. 

When I first clapped eyes on the 296 GTB and its stand-displayed V6 in early 2021 during an SF90 drive at Fiorano, I assumed it was some kind of “starter model.” That was before I realized what this crew was up to, and definitely before I experienced the car. The 296 GTB is a design and technical showpiece, like an SF90 Jr., but with the advantage of being smaller, lighter and rear-wheel-drive. As ever, there’s no free lunch in Maranello, even at the newly restored Cavallino restaurant where Enzo dined and did business almost daily. So a plug-in, small-engined showboat that’s faster than a V8 Ferrari must also cost more than a V8 Ferrari.

Thus, the 296 GTB starts from $323,000, a solid $42,000 hike over the 488 Tributo at $281,000; but a skosh less than a 488 Pista at $331,000. Some Tifosi will find that difficult choice keeping them up at night, perhaps counting cylinders. Some will rest easy, and buy one of each. 

RML Short Wheelbase restomod is ready for testing

Eight months ago, English motorsports firm RML released renders of its first venture into customer cars, the RML Short Wheelbase. The restomod turns a Ferrari 550 Maranello into a reboot of the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Short Wheelbase, dressing the Maranello’s chassis and engine in a carbon fiber body and bespoke cabin, then employing RML’s motorsports expertise to perfect the driving manners. Car Zero, the first pre-production model, is finally ready for “an intensive durability program” in the UK. Its maker didn’t skimp on getting Car Zero ready for the spotlight, either. No mere collection of glued and bolted parts, this one wears a multi-layer paint job with a carbon primer, regular primer and silver base coat under its luscious metallic blue overcoat.

The 550’s 5.5-liter atmospheric V12 makes the transfer with no change to power, putting out 485 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. It’s been tuned to “emulate the exhaust note of a classic V12 road racer,” the classic 250 family known for just such exploits. The modern coupe’s six-speed manual is along for the ride, too, worked through an open-gate shifter. A slightly lower curb weight thanks to the lighter body improves a performance a skosh, the RML claimed to hit 62 miles per hour in about four seconds and reach a top speed of 185 mph. Maintaining high-speed, long-distance composure in a vehicle designed to “drive from [England] to Le Mans and get out and still be able to walk at the other end” is the job of custom Ohlins dampers, as well as subtle bodywork mods to dismiss unsettling aero effects the vintage silhouette would otherwise allow. For a personal tour of the Short Wheelbase, check out the video with RML CEO Michael Mallock explaining what the designers and engineers wanted to achieve, and how they did so.  

RML will only build 30 of these, deliveries beginning this year. We’ll be happy to see one in person, but we’re also happy that not many 550 Maranellos will need to be sacrificed for the cause. Each Short Wheelbase takes about six months to make, pricing estimated to be around £1.5 million ($2.04M U.S.). Head designer Jonathon Bowen said, there will be a “a variety of exterior trims to choose from,” and that his team is “developing some period-correct graphics, such as door roundels and parallel stripes, which suit the car’s design and remit perfectly.”

Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari 512M and more immortalized as Lego sets

Lego has announced a slew of new Speed Champions sets, the ones based on actual licensed cars, for 2022. The latest batch includes a smorgasbord of supercars, from beloved classics like the Lamborghini Countach to yet-to-be-released promises like the long-awaited Mercedes-AMG One. There are seven cars in total, released in five sets. 

Our favorite is probably the 262-piece Lamborghini Countach, based on a later LP500 variant. Not only does it tick the box of a childhood dream machine, but the angular shape of the real-life Countach lends itself well to being recreated in Lego bricks. Also, it’s modeled in white rather than the typical red.

We also really dig the Ferrari 512M. It marked the last of Ferrari’s V12 endurance racers, and even though it was soundly spanked by the Porsche 917, the cars are undeniably beautiful. The 291-piece Lego set does a great job of capturing its brutal wedge silhouette in brick form.

Rounding out the single-car sets is the 247-piece Lotus Evija. The electric Lotus has a bit of a generic supercar look about it, but that’s not entirely the fault of the Lego kit. Its dramatic vents can’t really be replicated with the limited “resolution” of the Lego bricks. Its rear, with unique taillight-encircled air tunnels, is a bit more distinctive.

In addition to the single car sets, there are two larger sets of two cars each. One is a 592-piece Aston Martin-themed pack that includes the Valkyrie AMR Pro and Vantage GT3. Again, it’s a bit difficult to sculpt the cars’ curvaceous lines out of straight-edged bricks, but the effort is admirable. The Valkyrie is probably the more successful of the two, as the Vantage would resemble a Corvette or Viper if it didn’t have stickers to clarify the details.

Last but not least is a twofer comprised of 564 bricks to build the Mercedes-AMG One and seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton’s W12 racer. In Lego’s official product description the driver is not mentioned by name, but the number 44 gives it away. The model of the One indeed looks like a sharp supercar, but the blocky pieces don’t exactly replicate the lines we’ve seen on camouflaged test mules. The F1 car model looks a bit more like the actual thing, complete with the Petronas livery that graces Hamilton’s steed.

Lego has been doing a great job of immortalizing supercars and classics in brick form in their Speed Champions lineup. Last year saw kits of the McLaren Elva, Koenigsegg Jesko, Toyota GR Supra, Chevrolet Corvette, as well as the Ford GT and Bronco. Their more detailed Technics line has seen vehicles like the Ford Raptor, Volkswagen Camper Van and BMW M1000RR motorcycle

While the kits look entertaining, we wouldn’t mind if they didn’t skew so heavily towards unobtainably expensive, limited-production vehicles. What kid wouldn’t want a kit of their parents’ Chrysler Pacifica, a Ford Transit Connect to replicate a city scene, or a Mazda Miata for some clean, honest fun? The single-car sets will retail for $19.99, the two-packs for $39.99. All five sets are scheduled for a March 2022 release.

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