All posts in “News”

2022 Special Edition Corvette Stingray

Chevrolet revealed a limited edition model for the 2022 model year, the Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition, only 1,000 units will be available on LHD markets with styling to mimic the championship dominating No. 3 and No. 4 Corvette C8.R race cars that took the IMSA’s sports car championship series in the 2020 season, taking the Manufacturers, Drivers, and Team titles!

During the unveiling at the Belle Isle Park Raceway, Corvette Racing’s team Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia arrived in the coupe and convertible No. 3 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Editions on the track. Teammate Nick Tandy led on track in a Corvette Stingray convertible, the official pace car of the 2021 Detroit Grand Prix while Corvette Racing’s driver Tommy Milner was behind the inspiration for the 2022 special edition, the actual No. 4 Corvette C8.R race car.

The limited-edition Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition is available in two colors, either Accelerate Yellow inspired by the No.3 race car, or Hypersonic Grey for the No.4 edition, both come with Corvette Racing team graphics package, either grey or yellow depending on the body color. The Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition is based on the 3LT trim with the Z51 Performance package, depending on the market the car is destined for, these come with the High-wing spoiler in carbon fiber, yellow brake calipers, Black Trident design wheels complete with “Jake” logo on the center caps, and black lug nuts, Carbon Flash finished exterior mirrors, black side sills and splash guards.

For the inside the standard seats for the IMSA GTLM Championship Edition are the GT2 seats, the Competition Sport seats are also possible, but the upholstery is always a combination of Strike Yellow and Sky Cool Gray to correspond with the exterior yellow and grey theme, yellow seat belts are standard as is a special, individually numbered C8.R plaque between the seats.

But it’s not only the special C8.R edition that’s new for the 2022 model year, on the regular Corvette you are now able to specify three new exterior shades, Hypersonic Gray, Caffeine, and an optional Amplify Orange Tintcoat that comes at a premium, if you’re not a fan of the High-wing spoiler at the rear, you can now opt for a new, low-profile rear wing too, even the Z51 front splitter can now be ticked on the options list without adding the entire Z51 performance package.

The Chevrolet Corvette is available as a coupe with a removable roof panel and as a convertible with a retractable hardtop, in either 1LT, 2LT, or 3LT trim level on both variants, the Z51 Performance Package can be added to all trim levels, the MY2022 Corvette Stingray is available from local dealerships from July 1st on, starting at $62,195, including destination freight charge, for coupe models and $69,695, including DFC, for the convertible, production of the MY2020 at the Bowling Green  Assembly plant is scheduled for late Q3 2021.

The first ever BMW iX

All-electric vehicles are the future in the automotive world it seems, and just about every manufacturer out there is already offering an EV or is gearing up to offer one, we’ve just published an article on the amazing Rimac Nevera, the trend-setting all-electric hypercar with stupendous performance that comes with an equally impressive price tag, Lamborghini will give us a brand new, fully battery-powered model by 2025 and you can now order a Bentley Bentayga Hybrid, with full EV models in the pipeline, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see an electric Sports Activity Vehicle from BMW … meet the brand new iX.

The BMW iX is a technology flagship for sure, the worldwide launch is set for November 2021, and the impressive BMW iX will come in two versions initially, starting with the Drive40 with a combined output of 240 kW/326 hp and a range of up to 425 km (264 miles) that offers an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds.

A more powerful model will be available as the BMW iX xDrive50 will offer a power output of 385 kW/523 hp and a range of up to 630 km with an impressive acceleration figure of 4.6 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill. Later on, we’ll be seeing the very first electric BMW M model in the iX xDrive M60 with a massive power output of over 440 kW/600 hp and combined electric power consumption of 21.6 kWh per 100 km (62 miles).

The new BMW iX will be assembled at the BMW Group Plant Dingolfing in Lower Bavaria, on a flexible assembly line combining models from the
BMW 5 Series, the 7 Series, and even the 8 Series ranges, this is also the first factory in BMW’s production network that will build all-electric, plug-in hybrid and combustion-engined models on a single assembly line, this required a massive investment of €400,000,000 to accomplish, it is clear BMW is ready for the future now, over the next years we’ll be seeing all-electric BMW 5 Series and 7 Series being build in this plant.

The new BMW iX will come with lift-related dampers as standard fitment, these offer extra hydraulic damping to be incorporated into the damper, which adjusts the damper firmness progressively according to the changing spring travel, as an option you can have an adaptive suspension fitted that includes electronically controlled dampers and two-axle air suspension with automatic self-leveling that offers a range of settings and adjustable ride heights to select a comfortable, softer ride, or go for the more sporty, harsher ride.

The BMW iX series will come with four-wheel steering, so the rear wheels can turn to some degree to help make the turning circle smaller but also help to overtake at higher speeds, the optional Integral Active Steering offers amazing straight-line stability together with better agility, the standard electric steering system combines Servotronic speed-sensitive power assistance with a variable rack ratio as a first for BMW in the iX.

The BMW iX comes with an electric all-wheel-drive system, but depending on conditions the car can be turned into a rear-wheel-drive only SAV, the iX also comes with near-actuator wheel slip limitation technology developed specifically for the brand’s electrically powered models and now fitted in tandem with all-wheel drive for the first time while the driver can opt for either adaptive or adjustable Brake Energy Regeneration.

Standard fitment on the BMW iX will be 20-inch alloy wheels with either a 21-inch or even a 22-inch option, on the latter two, the tires have been specifically designed for the iX to have integral noise dampening in the shape of a layer of foam on the tire’s inner surface to absorb noise produced by vibrations, inside the iX you’ll hear less tire noise, the new Tyre Pressure Monitor system for the BMW iX not only measures tire pressure but also individual tire temperature and it even keeps track of tire manufacturer, this offers the option in the iDrive to enter the load you are carrying to get the ideal tire pressure you should use.

The high-voltage batteries in the BMW iX are cased in aluminum and positioned low down on the vehicle floor as an integral component of the body, the volumetric energy density on a cell level is around 40 % higher than in the high-voltage battery of the 2020 BMW i3, these batteries are covered by a warranty for eight years or up to 160,000 km (99,400 miles). The BMW iX features two high-voltage batteries positioned low in the
vehicle floor. In the BMW iX xDrive40 the high-voltage batteries are made up of ten modules, each with 18 cells. Their net energy content is 71 kWh (gross energy content: 76.6 kWh). The high-voltage batteries in the BMW iX xDrive50 consist of six modules (each with 50 cells) and five modules (each with 40 cells) respectively.

The Combined Charging Unit (CCU) used in the BMW iX offers tremendous flexibility when it comes to charging the high-voltage batteries, also note the combined heating and cooling system for the occupants, the drive system, and the batteries will make sure to keep the high-voltage batteries at the ideal operating temperature while using the generated heat for the passengers on cold days. If the navigation system knows about a stop during the trip to charge the batteries, the system will prepare these by heating them to the perfect temperature for fast charging.

But the BMW iX can also be plugged into your plug at home, offering a charge rate of 11kW, it would take 11 hours to fully charge the xDrive50 while 8 hours would suffice on the xDrive40, naturally, a DC fast-charging station would be a lot quicker as it could charge up to 200 kW (in the xDrive50, in the xDrive40 the maximum is 150 kW), in this case, you can add about 150 km of range to the high-voltage batteries in only 10 minutes, going from 10 % to 80 % charge in the xDrive50 would take approximately 35 minutes with a 200 kW charger.

I am sure the styling of this new BMW iX will cause some controversy again, it’s a departure from the models we know today, and yes, that massive front grille is there, but also flush-fitted door handles very thin exterior mirrors, and sharp edges everywhere to keep the drag coefficient as low as possible, the design of the front, the rear and the use of these wheels alone extend the range of the BMW iX by 65 km, both the BMW kidney grille and the air intakes at the bottom of the front bumper are totally closed, but air flaps can be opened if needed for cooling.

In fact, the famous kidney grille consists of integrated sensors, a camera, and even radar technology for the advanced driver assistance systems on the BMW iX, underneath the BMW logo at the front you’ll find a filler neck for the windscreen washer fluid, the door windows are frameless and underneath the BMW logo at the rear, they fitted the rear-view camera system, complete with a cleaning mechanism so you’ll always have a perfect view when backing up this SAV from Germany.

And all this innovation continues on the inside of the new BMW iX, where a lot of emphases was put on dialogue-based interaction using natural language and on touch operation for the next generation iDrive, the system is now running BMW Operating System 8 with an extremely high level of computing power with special sensors and 5G capability.

Behind the hexagon steering wheel, a massive, curved display is angled towards the driver, there is even a Head-Up display projector integrated into the surface of this instrument panel, but the fun really starts with the Augmented Reality Video as an addition to the navigation maps, this system shows a live stream video on the display with information as an overlay on top of the images, showing an indication on where to turn into right on the actual view of the driver.

The BMW iX receives a newly designed gear selector that looks absolutely amazing, a polished crystal finish has been applied to the controls, the base upholstery is a combination of high-quality textiles with microfiber fabrics called ‘Dinamica microfibre’, which contains 50% recycled polyester, while the speakers have been integrated out of sight in the headrests … the inner structure of the doors is made from 100% recycled material while the visible parts still contain 30% recycled material.

As an option, you can get a leather interior inside the new BMW iX, but this time the leather is tanned with olive leaves, and the wood you find on the control panel comes from FSC-certified wood, the floor fabric, and the mats under your feet … all made from 100% recycled nylon, the BMW iX is all about sustainability.

Clients have the choice of three different interior treatments, the Standard Atelier specification includes surfaces in the familiar Sensatec with a striking stitch pattern and perforated areas. It is available in Black, Oyster, and Mocha. When you go for the optional Loft trim, the surfaces are adorned with a diagonal pattern of materials and colors combining high-quality textile and microfibre fabrics. The asymmetric styling and quilting composed of triangular, square and pentagonal sections give the seats their very modern appeal.

Contrast stitching on the seat surfaces adds a further highly distinctive touch. The instrument panel with printed color gradient breaks new ground for car interiors. Also available is Suite, which comes with surfaces in Exclusive Natural leather in the color shades Castanea and Amido, The newly developed seats for the driver and front passenger have integral head restraints for a distinctly sporty appearance. For the first time in a model from the BMW Group, there is the option of integrating speakers into the seat structure.

The BMW iX is comparable with the BMW X5 in length and width and is almost the same height as the BMW X6 on account of its flowing roofline. The size of its wheels, meanwhile, brings to mind the BMW X7. A wheelbase measuring exactly 3,000 millimeters and wide tracks at both the front and rear axle provides the ideal platform for chassis tuning which reconciles luxurious long-distance comfort and sporty cornering characteristics.

You can specify your BMW iX with the largest panoramic glass roof BMW ever installed on one of their cars and doesn’t have any cross struts breaking up your view of the sky, and there is no interior liner or shade, instead, this is the only one of its kind in the automotive industry to employ PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) technology for shading the interior … an electric current will keep the liquid crystals aligned so light can pass through, but when switched off, or the iX is parked, these crystals are distributed in such a disorderly pattern they turn the glass roof opaque to create the effect of shade.

I wonder how this rather large SAV will handle on the road, it should be capable of seating five occupants in silence and luxury, with a comfortable drive over long distances, and is this BMW iX a preview of the design styling for the upcoming models, using thin headlights and taillights, very narrow exterior mirrors … only the future will tell.

The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport

We already covered the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, the limited edition $3.9 million hypercar of which only 30 units were built, but now Stephan Winkelmann unveiled the latest Chiron evolution, the fourth iteration of the famous Super Sport moniker, the Chiron Super Sport has been created for top speed while still being luxurious and comfortable, while the Pur Sport counterpart was created for cornering and lateral agility.

It seems the term ‘longtail’ is no longer just for those special McLaren models, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport also comes with an extended rear section to optimize aerodynamics at speeds of 440 Km/h, when compared to a regular Bugatti Chiron, this Super Sport evolution is about 25cm longer, and this includes a different rear diffuser to reduce drag because the rear diffuser sits higher compared to the regular version, the Super Sport looks even wider and lower than ever.

At the rear we can admire a completely new exhaust system, the massive pipes are no longer located in the center, but come vertically stacked on either side of the diffuser, there is a rear wing on the Chiron Super Sport, but for a top speed run it will be completely lowered into the tail section to have the least amount of drag possible.

With the heavily modified rear section, the front of the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport had to be changed too so overall balance would remain, so there are now vertical winglets to direct the air as close as possible to the car onto the radiators, the inclined headlights and updated design are a testament to the aggressive character of the Super Sport variant of the Bugatti Chiron.

If you remember the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, you might remember the round holes behind the side windows … as an homage to that design element, this new Chiron Super Sport comes with nine air vents on top of the front fenders to release air pressure from the front wheel wells, as this also increases downforce on the front axle, this styling detail is also functional, the new Chiron Super Sport is an uncompromising reincarnation of the Bugatti design mantra, ‘form follows performance’.

The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport comes with brand new, bespoke five-Y-spoke design wheels that won’t be available on other models, the client can opt for a diamond-cut finish on these wheels, or go for the Chiron Pur Sport’s iconic magnesium wheels to save even more weight on the Super Sport, every single weight-saving effort can be made to reach the top speed of 440 Km/h, the overall weight of the Super Sport is 23 kg less already.

The engine inside the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport is still the well-known W16 unit, 8.0-Liter of displacement, but it has been seriously modified compared to the other Chiron models, power has been increased to 1,600 PS (1,176 kW) by modifying the turbochargers, the oil pump, the cylinder heads … the result is an increase in rpm to 7,100, the massive 1,600 Nm of torque is now available from 2,000 rpm right op to 7,000 rpm! The Chiron Super Sport accelerates from 0 to 200 km/h in 5.8 seconds and to 300 km/h in 12.1 seconds, an acceleration from standstill to 400 km/h is seven percent quicker than a Chiron.

The Chiron Super Sport comes with a new chassis from Bugatti, with more rigid dampers and steering system to stabilize this hypercar at the mind-blowing speeds she is capable of, there is a choice of four driving modes: EB, Handling, Autobahn, and Top Speed. Jachin Schwalbe, Head of Chassis Development at Bugatti states: “This unwavering directional stability together with the quietness and rigidity of the steering and noticeably increased performance make the Chiron Super Sport unique.”

While the Chiron Pur Sport came with grip-optimized wheels, the Chiron Super Sport receives newly developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, these are the only tires that can sustain speeds up to 500 Km/h for a longer period of time … possibly until you run out of fuel at top speed.

The Super Sport has been a rare edition during the Bugatti production since the early 1900s, and this new Chiron Super Sport is only the fourth model ever to receive this amazing suffix, the first time Bugatti used this term was in 1931, on their Type 55 Super Sport unveiled at the Paris Motor Show of that year, a two-seater with a 2.3-liter eight-cylinder engine using a compressor to deliver up to 160 PS to offer a top speed of over 180 km/h … in 1931! A total of only 38 units were built up to 1935.

The next iteration of the Super Sport name would yield only 39 cars, and didn’t come around until 1993 with the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, which was again about weight reduction and performance combined with luxury and exclusivity, the V12 engine with four turbochargers delivered over 610 PS and set multiple records, including a record speed of 351 km/h.

It would take another 15 years for the third generation of Bugatti Super Sport to be unveiled, this time on the 2010 Veyron 16.4 Super Sport with a massive 1,200 PS, this car broke the speed record in 2010 with a speed of 431.2 km/h that set it firmly in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s fastest road-legal series sports car for many years to come.

In 2019 the Super Sport name revived on the Chiron Super Sport 300+, with the record-breaking vehicle hitting an incredible speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/h), this wasn’t a production model but a special top-speed prototype, Bugatti did however built 30 units for customers featuring a similar design and color elements as the record-breaking car … but today we get a real Chiron Super Sport, there is no mention about a limited production run, but the price has been set at €3,200,000 before taxes, which converts into $3,900,000 at the current exchange rate … which happens to be the same amount they asked for the Chiron Super Sport 300+ limited edition model, the first Bugatti Chiron Super Sport will be delivered to it’s fortunate owner in early 2022.

The Everrati Signature

We all know the world is changing, hybrids and electric cars are taking over the future of supercars and hypercars, makes like Lamborghini with their legendary V12 will be going hybrid within two years, Bentley is already offering hybrid versions of their cars and Ferrari is on the path to electrification too … but what with the decades of automotive masterpieces we already have parked in our garages today?

Will we still be able to drive muscle cars from the past with that growling V8? Or enjoy the raw sound of a V12 from a Ferrari 250 GTO, or a Lamborghini Countach … I sure hope so, and there seems to be another option today, we’ve seen it before where people take a petrol-powered car and install an electric motor and batteries into the original bodyshell.

Everrati Automotive Limited (EverratiTM) is such a company, founded in 2019, they specialize in integrating EV powertrains into classic cars to future-proof these four-wheeled icons, their first product was the electrified Mercedes-Benz SL Pagod, but now they also offer a Porsche 911 (964) both in Coupe and in Targa version, a 911 (964) Gulf Signature Edition and a Land Rover Series IIA available in Traditional, Safari or Modern Top Canvas guises.

Located in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, the United Kingdom, Everrati now unveils their Signature Wide Body, based on the stunning Porsche 911 (964) wide body, they took a fully restored 1991 model and fitted lightweight carbon-fiber body panels and a state-of-the-art EV powertrain mated to a 53kWh battery pack and battery management system, the result is a 500bhp, 500Nm, sub-4-second 0-62mph acceleration electric supercar that offers a +150 mile range.

Justin Lunny, Founder & CEO of Everrati Automotive Limited said: “After releasing details of the car last week, we’re delighted to give the ‘Signature’ wide body its global public debut at London Concours, one of the world’s most prestigious motoring events, held in the center of a megacity that is fully moving towards an electric future. The team’s hard work, expertise, and dedication to their craft truly are unmistakable when the car is seen in the metal.”

One-off McLaren 765LT

Buying a McLaren sports car is the dream of many aspiring car enthusiasts, a dream that comes true for some, but there are still clients out there that won’t settle for a factory original car with some standard options, even if you’re talking about a McLaren 765LT, which in itself is already a limited edition model and the final chapter in the ‘Longtail’ story for McLaren, with 755 bhp from the 4.0-Liter twin-turbocharged V8 M840T engine, this is McLaren’s most powerful model to date.

With only 765 units, each with an MSRP of $358,000 before options, the McLaren 765LT is already sold-out when you read this, by the summer of 2021 all of the cars will have been delivered to their lucky, and usually fortunate owners, as McLaren states over 25% of the production for this model was ordered with major personalization from MSO, the McLaren Special Operations department, and rest assured, this will raise the original $358,000 list price considerably, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these high-spec McLaren 765LT would come at a price well over $500,000.

And the one we are presenting here might be among those ‘half a million dollar’ units, this car is a showcase of what MSO can create for the more discerning client, with a color-shifting paint called MSO Cerberus Pearl that shows hues of blue, purple, gold, and orange depending on the angle of view and the light … a truly amazing looking paint for sure that has previously been seen on the McLaren Senna and the McLaren P1.

The McLaren 765LT is about 80 kg lighter than the 720S, and this has been achieved by using a lot of carbon fiber parts, and to emphasize the lightweight design of this LT, the customer of this MSO custom opted to have all the visible carbon fiber on his car finished in high gloss, this includes the front splitter, the rear bumper, the side skirts, as well as the mirror housings and the large air intakes.

This specific McLaren 765LT was also ordered with the extremely expensive, functional roof scoop, naturally also finished in clear carbon fiber, while the car rolls on glossy black, 10-spoke ultra-light wheels covering orange brake calipers that match the interior trim inside this one-off 765LT.

On the inside, the carbon fiber craze continues, but this time with a satin finish to avoid glare when driving in bright sunlight, while the door panels, speaker rings, and seatbelts come in bespoke McLaren Orange as a reminder of McLaren’s racing legacy, the 765LT is part of the Longtail story that started with the McLaren F1 GTR race car in the 1990s, this 765LT also comes with the MSO titanium harness bar behind the seats and track-inspired six-point harness for the driver and passenger.

The future of McLaren and sports and hypercars, in general, is full electrification, Lamborghini has recently released a statement that in a matter of two or three years all their models will be hybrids, and after 2025 we will even see an all-electric Raging Bull, McLaren has already taken that route with their new Artura, the first McLaren to use the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) to spearhead the brand’s electrified future.

The Bugatti La Voiture Noire

There are valuable cars out there, usually, the older, classic masterpieces that tend to be worth millions, for instance, a Ferrari 250 GTO is in the $100,000,000 bracket these days, but there is one illustrious car that is even more valuable … if you could find it that is.

In the 1930s Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean developed and drove one of only four Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic ever built, a 1936 Bugatti Aero Coupe (which was the original name), with chassis 57453 was the fastest car on the road at that time, and Jean called it ‘La Voiture Noire’, being a black car, the name suited the car … sadly this car is now a mystery, we could say an urban legend maybe, but as history tells the story, this rather unique Atlantic went missing just before World War II broke out in 1940, and she hasn’t been seen since … but if this very special Bugatti would ever be found, it would literally be priceless, in 2019 Hemmings estimated the value for this ‘lost’ Bugatti at $114,000,000, today we should add several million on top of that with the current market for supercars.

Fast forward to about 20 years ago today, when Bugatti’s Design Director Achim Anscheidt came up with the idea to create an homage to the illustrious ‘La Voiture Noire’ from the Thirties, to celebrate the fame of the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic but designed for the 21st century, this would have to become a one-off for one very fortunate client, designed on the current flagship model, but clearly showing the influence from Jean Bugatti’s design on the Type 57 SC … this homage would come with massive historical responsibility and respect for Bugatti’s values.

It would take many years before Bugatti was ready to recreate Jean’s La Voiture Noire for the modern world, the original car was a masterpiece, the three remaining ones are still considered some of the best to ever be built in Molsheim in the late Thirties, the flair of original La Voiture Noire had to captured in a brand new, hypercar design … the task for the designers was easy: try to understand how Jean Bugatti designed his La Voiture Noire back in 1935 and translate this into a 21st-century design … easier said than done probably.

The 2021 Bugatti La Voiture Noire had to become a minimalist design, much like the 1935 car was, reduced to the essentials of a hypercar, clean and simple lines, and most importantly … no massive rear wing, and one design element was a requirement right from the start … the dorsal seam down the centerline, that one just had to be present on this homage car no matter what.

The resulting design was made from a uniquely finished material, La Voiture Noire is made from carbon fiber naturally, but Bugatti gave this one a ‘Black Carbon Glossy’ clearcoat … the result is nearly no reflections, but it still shows all the beauty of the visible carbon fiber, both front, and rear bumper are perfectly integrated into the body while the windshield is almost a ‘wrap-around’ style as seen on motorcycle helmets.

And the new Bugatti La Voiture Noire comes with some amazing details, like the fact the headlights consist of 25 individually milled lights, the front grille is made from 3D-Printed cells that had to be honed and examined into perfection, the taillight is made from a single-piece surround and no less than six exhaust tips come from the rear diffuser, the body parts might seem to be sealed, but in fact, they are air-permeable … that’s just incredible.

To complement the black carbon fiber exterior, the Bugatti La Voiture Noire comes with a warm Havanna Brown leather interior, inspired by historical Bugatti models, brought into the 21st century by the use of polished and turned aluminum inlays on the center console, the center spine and the doors, a special rosewood switch allows the setting of drive modes … this isn’t a harsh hypercar, the Bugatti La Voiture Noire is a beautiful and fast dream car that’s perfectly suited for long road trips … imagine driving this lady over the German Autobahn where there is no speed limit (for now) and then driving down to Monaco.

It would take Bugatti two years to create the La Voiture Noire from start to finish, every part had to be developed and undergo rigorous testing before they would release it for use on this one-off special, they even extended the wheelbase for this unique model to make sure the balance was just perfect.

“Although the La Voiture Noire is a one-off, we spent two years using a test vehicle to develop and test it in all areas like handling and driving safety so that it can be approved,” says Pierre Rommelfanger, who is the Head of Coachbuilding Projects at Bugatti.

If you like the sound of this La Voiture Noire homage from Bugatti and would be interested in owning this amazing grand tourer handling powerful, fast, and exceptionally comfortable car that has been built to pay respect to a long tradition, to France, and to Jean Bugatti’s creative work … you’re too late, this one-of-a-kind Bugatti La Voiture Noire has already been sold for €11,000,000 before taxes, that is about $13,500,000 at today’s conversion rate … but that’s still about $10,000,000 less than the Rolls Royce Boat Tail … and honestly, I would opt for this Bugatti instead.

Mate Rimac introduces the Nevera

“This is it. This is the car I had in mind when I embarked on the ‘impossible’ journey ten years ago. All our hard work has resulted in the Nevera – our record-breaking hypercar. This car was born to outperform, and to raise the bar, redefining the norm for performance cars. And not only in performance but as an all-around package. When we first revealed the C_Two, we set our targets extremely high. There was nothing else that could even come close to matching the car’s cutting-edge electric powertrain and extreme performance. But for us, that was only the starting point,” explains Mate Rimac, Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili.

Take a look at the 19-minute video where Mate Rimac explains how the Rimac C_Two was developed into the Nevera we can admire, and buy, today:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

Rimac reveals the Nevera

Rimac Automobili, located in Zagreb, Croatia, has finally unveiled their production-ready hypercar that will set the scene for the future, the 1,914hp all-electric concept from 2018 only known as the C_Two up to today has received her name … Nevera, a name inspired by the mighty and unexpected Mediterranean storm that races across the open sea off Croatia according to Rimac Automobili Founder and CEO Mate Rimac.

It took the engineers at Rimac about three years of development to arrive at this stage,  finally, the €2,000,000 limited production Rimac Nevera is ready to be sold, only 150 units will be made in Zagreb, but these will come with four electric motors for a combined power output of 1,914 hp and a massive 2,360 Nm of torque.

This kind of power comes with some amazing performance figures in the Rimac Nevera, a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph) and an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds, now that’s not fast, that’s blindingly fast … after only 8.6 seconds you have traveled a quarter-mile in the Nevera, and thanks to the 500 kW battery, the range is an impressive 550 km or 340 miles, and if you run low on battery power, it only takes 19 minutes to go from 0% to 80% charge, do note that these electric cars never really deplete the battery to 0%.

Mate Rimac has been inspired by fellow-Croatian Nikola Tesla when he converted his personal BMW E30 to battery power in 2008, Mate performed this conversion in his own garage, before he founded Rimac Automobili in 2009, by 2020 he was developing a trend-setting electric hypercar with a team of 1,000 employees, things have moved fast for Rimac Automobili, and this new Nevera is possibly even faster, a nice touch is the fact that each of the 150 Rimac Nevera that will be built, will have been tested and signed-off on by Mate Rimac himself.

But this isn’t the only electric car Rimac is making, in fact, Rimac Automobili has been creating electric drivetrains for high-end carmakers like Aston Martin, Porsche, Pininfarina, Hyundai, Kia, Koenigsegg, Renault, and Cupra to name a few, but the Nevera will be the fastest of them all, just like the Mediterranean storm her name was derived from, a storm that’s extremely powerful and charged by lightning, a perfect name for this electric hypercar.

During development since the 2018 concept prototype, Rimac managed to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the design by 34% by modifying the profile of the bonnet, the pillars, and even the design on the diffuser, the splitters, and the radiators, all effort has been made to create the optimum airflow and downforce for the cooling channels. Rimac developed an innovative active aerodynamics system for the new Nevera, while many cars settle for an adjustable front splitter and rear wing, Rimac also installs flaps on the undertray and adds an adjustable rear diffuser … and all of these aero parts can be altered independently from each other. Switching from ‘high downforce’ to ‘low drag’ mode reduces aerodynamic drag by 17.5 % to create a 0.3 coefficient of drag. Changing back into ‘high downforce’ mode increases downforce by 326 %.

The Nevera monocoque has been developed by the former C_Two Chief Engineer Daniele Giachi, it is made up of a bonded carbon roof with an integrated structural battery pack and rear carbon subframe … this combined is the largest single carbon-fiber piece in the automotive industry. With an overall weight below 200kg, the monocoque is made up of 2200 carbon fiber plys and 222 aluminum inserts, to create an incredibly strong structure with a torsional stiffness of 70.000 Nm/degree, this is the most rigid structure of any car ever made, I do hope they do a convertible version in the future too.

The Rimac Nevera comes with a liquid-cooled, H-shaped 6,960-cell battery with a capacity of 120kWh, being an integral part of the monocoque structure, the battery has an optimum position low in the chassis, and in the center, weight distribution in the Nevera is an impressive 48/52% front to rear for an amazing handling balance.

Everything about the Nevera has been further developed since the C_Two concept, the battery is capable of producing 1.4MW of power, and the four bespoke surface-mounted permanent magnet motors drive are coupled to each wheel individually, they can deliver more power for a longer period of time, combined these enable 1914hp and 2360Nm of torque, the front and rear wheels are each connected to a pair of single-speed gearboxes, you just press the pedal … and go … and keep going, no gear changes.

Nevera’s impressive stopping power comes from 390 mm Brembo CCMR carbon-ceramic brake discs and six-piston calipers called friction brakes by Rimac, but being an all-electric car, the Nevera also has regenerative braking through the electric motors, hence a maximum range-enhancing regenerative braking of 300 kW is provided by these electric motors.

The Nevera also comes with Rimac’s All-Wheel Torque Vectoring 2 (R-AWTV 2) system which completely replaces traditional ESP and Traction Control systems, the Nevera’s R-AWTV 2 system enables infinitely variable dynamic responses to road and track conditions by calibrating the amount of torque supplied to each wheel, this allows the Nevera to be drifted sideways or provide optimum levels of all-wheel-drive grip, traction, and safety … this is a luxury GT car, a sportscar, and a hypercar all in one.

This GT approach is further emphasized by the use of a double-wishbone suspension with electronically controlled dampers together with active ride height adjustment, to offer both a smooth and comfortable ride, but at the same time, amazing body control and ultra-agile handling by the ‘steer-by-wire’ electric power steering system … this Rimac system also helps with the ‘Driver Coach’ mode where the Nevera to demonstrate optimum racing lines and vehicle control to the driver.

The Rimac Nevera comes with seven different driving modes pre-programmed into the system, SPORT, DRIFT, COMFORT, RANGE, TRACK, and two more custom modes for the owner to set their own preferences for various options on the performance characteristics like throttle response, brakes, suspension, steering, and torque split front to rear.

We know not all owners will be F1 pilots, but from 2022 on Rimac has the perfect solution to allow every driver to get the most out of their Nevera, the innovative Driving Coach can access 12 ultrasonic sensors, 13 cameras, 6 radars, and uses the very latest NVIDIA Pegasus operating system, to offer the most immersive experience behind the wheel. The Driving Coach can overlay race circuits in real-time, adds clear and precise audio and visual guidance, so every driver can train to perfect their racing lines, braking and acceleration points, and steering inputs.

The Rimac Nevera only offers room for two occupants, but that’s complete with luggage and race equipment if needed, all the information is shown on three different TFT displays, which can be configured for Race mode or Comfort mode … in Race mode, only a minimum of information is shown so the screens don’t attract unwanted attention, while in Comfort mode they show a lot more information that could be useful during that relaxing drive … in a 2,000 hp hypercar.

Chances of two of the 150 Rimac Nevera looking the same are slim to non-existent as customers will be able to choose from a massive range of bespoke trim and materials, this flagship is available in different editions by the way: GT, Signature, Timeless, and Bespoke … with a €2,000,000 MSRP I wonder how much some of these Nevera will add up to once the client is finished with his, or her options.

Each client is invited by Rimac to visit the HQ in Croatia so their Nevera can be perfectly matched to their demands, the cars are exclusively available through Rimac’s global dealer partners network, taking in 19 sites and many of the world’s major cities across Europe, North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

I for one can’t wait to see the first Rimac Nevera on the streets being filmed and photographed ‘in the wild’, I think this will be a hypercar that many future cars will be measured against, the Rimac Nevera will most likely become a reference in this domain … if this is what electric cars look like, and how they perform, I think we are good … still nothing beats the raw sound of a V12 naturally aspirated Lamborghini for me, but that’s personal, the automotive world is changing, and we’ll have to change with it I guess.

Bugatti Chiron Sport meets Dassault Rafale

What do you do when you have a car that’s called the ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’, ‘The Legends of the sky’, in your lineup, and it’s in France as we’re talking about a special edition of the Bugatti Chiron?

Well, you make it race against a navy jet fighter on an airplane strip, in this case, a Dassault Rafale Mirage and the strip is at Landivisiau, in the north-west region of France, a 1,500 PS car takes on a 5,727 PS (58,550 newtons of trust) airplane, both being the pinnacle of their respective fields and the result of decades of development their segment.

Behind the wheel of the Bugatti Chiron Sport we’ll see their ‘pilote officiel’ Pierre-Henri Raphanel while the Rafale jet will be piloted by frigate captain Etienne, in an event that took weeks of planning to get both amazing machines lined up together on the same day at the same venue, the Bugatti Chiron Sport ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ is a limited edition version, only 20 will be made, at €2.880.000 each, while the Dassault Rafale Marine is a €60,000,000 jet fighter.

Bugatti has had a link to aviation for over 110 years, their drivers like Albert Divo, Robert Benoist, and Bartolomeo “Meo” Costantini were also pilots in the French Air Force, and in 1915 Ettore Bugatti even developed airplane engines, by 1937 Ettore even built a complete aircraft … and a record-setting one at that too, sadly things came to an end when WWII broke out a few years later.

The Chiron Sport ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ forges a link between the past and the present, the 20 limited edition models are finished in a Gris Serpent matte grey shade with the blue, white, and red Tricolor at the front of the side skirts made from black visible carbon fiber. The fins in the front grille are made from laser-cut, deep-drawn aluminum and look like a series of planes in a flyby formation. The brushed aluminum door sill panel with the lettering ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ clearly distinguishes this very special commemorative edition.

On the interior of this Chiron, we find Gaucho tinted leather that looks like the natural leather found in airplanes of the past. A contrast with aluminum trims and an aluminum inlay featuring the ‘Les Légendes du Ciel’ logo works perfectly, while the same logo is also featured on both headrests. The door panels show a stunning sketch of a racing scene between the Nieuport 17 airplane and a Bugatti Type 13 that represents the two historical links commemorated by the limited edition hyper sports car.

Keep in mind this has been done before, by Lamborghini with their limited edition Reventón taking on a Tornado fighter jet, and by Bugatti themselves back in 2007 when the Veyron 16.4 was set against a Eurofighter Typhoon for a similar drag race, but as France stepped out of the Eurofighter program, the French company Dassault developed its own aircraft; one which was uncompromisingly tailored to the requirements of the French army, and that Rafale Marine now goes head to head with the new Chiron.

The encounter between these two masterpieces has been perfectly described in the press release:

“The Bugatti Chiron Sport takes the lead soon after setting off. The hyper sports car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.4 seconds and to 200 km/h in 6.1 seconds. It takes 13.1 seconds to hit a speed of 300 km/h and 32.6 seconds to accelerate to 400 km/h, a speed at which pilot, Etienne, and the Rafale Marine look to match to take off.

The aircraft hits 165 km/h after 150 meters and 210 km/h after 250 meters and takes off after 450 meters at around 260 km/h. “I pulled away from the Rafale over the first few hundred meters, but after a few hundred meters more it was around 20 meters above and alongside me in the air. An incredible and fantastic sight,” says Pierre-Henri Raphanel later. To be on the safe side, the Bugatti driver initiates his braking maneuver after approximately 1.5 kilometers and over 350 km/h – by which time the Rafale has disappeared into the horizon.”

I couldn’t have put it any better, and in the end, the comparison of these two ultimate technical models is declared a draw, both in terms of technology and driving/flying behavior, but also emotionally … seeing both pulling away from a standstill is just an amazing sight, which you can experience in the official Bugatti video below:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

Rimac C_Two gets its name

Introduced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the Rimac C_Two, also referred to as the Concept Two, boasted some really impressive figures: 1,914 hp with a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph). Rimac calls it the new breed of hypercar, with acceleration figures of 1.85 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, this might be the closest thing to launching a jet fighter from an aircraft carrier on the road.

But it seems we will finally be seeing the actual production version on June 1, 2021, when Rimac will also unveil their name for this amazing new hypercar, Rimac Automobili released a 40-seconds teaser on YouTube with the caption More extreme performance, new official name, immersive features, extraordinary technology, and exceptional engineering in its final form.” … so will there be even more power for the final production version?

Rimac has been talking about figures like 1,914 hp already for years now, with a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph), they call their C_Two a new breed of hypercar, with acceleration figures of 1.85 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill … have they used the additional year of development since their intention to unveil the car at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show to up these statistics even more?

We’ll have to wait and see what the official release will be on June 1, but until then we can check out their teaser below:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

Would Lamborghini be sold for $11.5 billion?

Last week we found an article stating a Swiss investment group called Quantum Group AG made VAG, the VW Group, an offer of €7.5 billion ($9.2 billion at today’s currency conversion) to buy Automobili Lamborghini SpA, and they did mean business, as they wanted everything, the HQ in Sant’Agata in its entirety … but the VW Group denied the offer and officially stated Lamborghini is not for sale.

If the Quantum Group came up with this offer a while ago, when we had the ‘Dieselgate’ going on, they might have had a chance to make a deal, as VAG was looking for money at that point, and there was a rumor they were looking at selling some of their ‘other’ makes like Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, and Lamborghini.

At one point there was even a rumor of Automobili Lamborghini SpA ‘going public’, there was an intention to offer shares of Lamborghini on the stock exchange, VAG, or more precisely Audi AG, would still keep a controlling amount of shares, but people like you and me could buy a part of the company … but that never materialized either.

Quantum Group’s representative, Rea Stark mentioned to Reuters that they are still interested in buying Automobili Lamborghini SpA from Audi AG, and to make their point even more interesting, they would add up to €2 billion more for a total amount of €9.5 billion (about $11.5 billion) to cover future investments and even go as far as offering a guarantee for all employees currently under contract at Lamborghini for the next five years … if the VW Group is open to negotiations, they are even considering to go further up.

Quantum Group AG would not only buy the rights to the name Lamborghini, but also the entire factory at Sant’Agata, including the Squadra Corse department, for the first five years they would like to keep a supply chain from Audi open to be able to keep the current models in production, but the goal is to share battery development between them and Audi well into the future.

And electrification is the future, Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Automobili Lamborghini SpA made that clear in his latest presentation, we already knew the Aventador and Huracán successors would become hybrids for sure, but Lamborghini will be investing a total of €1.5 billion over the next years to have a fully electric fourth model in the lineup by 2025, while the Aventador successor that will be available by 2023 will most likely keep a V12 engine, but get electric motors added to become the first hybrid production model from Sant’Agata.

After the first offer from Quantum Group AG, the spokesman for the VW Group made it very clear there was no intention of selling Automobili Lamborghini SpA … at that time, might an increase of more than 25% be enticing now? Only the future will tell, but Lamborghini has been making money and had a healthy production figure for the last several years, so what would make the VW Group want to sell a successful company at this point in time?

The McLaren Elva ‘Windscreen’ edition

we’ve all seen the 2020 McLaren Elva before, either in photos or in a YouTube video, the roofless supercar from McLaren with a 4.0-Liter twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 804 hp, but with no windshield … a car McLaren lists as ‘The McLaren Elva is born to heighten every sense and build the closest connection between driver, car and the elements. ‘

And that’s certainly the case, as the only attempt at making the driver’s life any easier at speed is a ‘flap’ that changes its angle so the wind gets deflected over the cockpit, officially it’s called the McLaren’s Active Air Management system, and it helps, but still, with more power than a McLaren Senna GTR and a modified exhaust to get ‘the right sound’, some might argue practicality might be an issue on some markets driving the limited edition McLaren Elva.

Once McLaren completed the production of the Speedtail, they started building the 399 Elva speedster, each with a base price of £1.4million ($1.9 million) before options, as this is a McLaren MSO car to begin with, you can be sure many customers will request even more bespoke MSO options, raising the price well beyond the $2 million mark.

Today McLaren showed the first Elva with a windshield … apparently McLaren found out there are customers in countries that actually require a car to have a windscreen (mandated in some states of the USA), and some customers even requested one. Now don’t get excited too quickly, you’ll get a windshield complete with wipers and rain detection, but you still don’t get a roof on the McLaren Elva ‘Windscreen edition’, that would be sacrilege I guess.

The McLaren Elva windscreen variant won’t have any side windows either, it’s a pure Roadster according to Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive, and the Elva is still a Super-lightweight and extremely powerful car created to celebrate the pure joy of driving, and that can only be experienced if you ‘feel’ the speed and are exposed to the elements … note that the intention from McLaren is to build most of the 399 units as ‘screenless’ versions, only a handful would come from the factory with the added windshield, making the latter the rarest McLaren in modern history.

While the McLaren Elva is the lightest car they ever made with a weight of less than 1,300 kg, adding the windshield, wipers and other necessary extras will raise the overall weight by 20 kg, but by removing the unnecessary Active Air Management System (AAMS) and using carbon fiber to surround the heated glass, they managed to keep the added weight at only 20 kg, still, both versions of the Elva will reach 100 km/h from 0 in 2.8 seconds, 200 km/h comes around in 6.8 seconds, do note that if you specify your Elva as a ‘windscreen version’ you can’t remove it to enjoy screenless driving, once it’s fitted, it’s a permanent fixture.

Created as an homage to Bruce McLaren’s legendary race cars, heritage liveries like that of the Satin Casa Blue windscreen model prototype pictured have captured the imagination of Elva owners. Demand for bespoke customization of this kind by McLaren Special Operations (MSO) has produced a series of dramatic and unique cars that stand out even among one of the rarest of McLarens, but they have decided that there is a limit to the number of bespoke Elva builds, only 149 units of the Elva will be specified and built to customer order.

SSC reveals a 2,200 hp Tuatara Aggressor

It hasn’t been an easy time for SSC lately, first, they declare to have set a world speed record with their Tuatara hypercar in October 2020 when they published a top speed of 316 mph (508.73 km/h) over two runs in opposite directions, on a stretch of the State Route 160 outside of Las Vegas near Pahrump, where the Agera RS made history in November 2017, race driver Oliver Webb took the wheel of the SSC Tuatara to pulverize the world record for the fastest street-legal production car.

But that record quickly got questioned by just about everybody, especially on YouTube, and it forced SSC to do a second attempt to put all the rumors to rest, but they weren’t going back to Texas again, for this second run the Tuatara was taken to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility, and they would make sure to have every kind of measurement system and witnesses to make their point, the SSC Tuatara will be the fastest car in the world.

The second go at the record was performed on January 17, 2021, but this time by the owner of the car. Dr. Larry Caplin, as required by regulations, to qualify for an official world record the car has to travel the same track twice, once in one direction, and once in the opposite direction … this time the SSC Tuatara managed to get to 279.7 mph (450.1 km/h) in the northbound direction and subsequently reached 286.1 mph (460.4 km/h) on the southbound way, for the record this came down to an average speed of 282.9 mph (455.2 km/h) … the current world record for production cars.

But things turned for the worse when the transporter that was carrying the rare #001 record-setting car was involved in an accident, it appears a strong gust of wind flipped the trailer with the car inside on the I-15 while the car was heading to Florida for a second record-setting run mid-April because at the second attempt described above they didn’t reach the magical 300 mph barrier, so they wanted to try again … sadly the car never made it to Florida in one piece. SSC did release a statement after the incident they will still do a second attempt, and possibly even with this very car, as the damage is purely cosmetic according to Shelby, the chassis, drivetrain, and suspension are perfectly fine.

The SSC Tuatara is powered by a Nelson Racing Engines, twin-turbo 5.9-Liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine that develops 1,750 horsepower on E85 and 1,350 hp on 91 octane, but if you would expect SSC to simply repair their crashed Tuatara, or perhaps build another one, you are sadly mistaking … they just released information on ‘the next step’, it seems they deem 1,750hp isn’t enough, and now intend to release two new Tuatara variants.

The SSC Tuatara Striker will come with improved aerodynamics, their release states an increase of 300% compared to the original car at 160 mph, thanks to a massive rear wing together with a vertical stabilizer and a new diffuser, at the front the splitter and dive plate further push down the car, the split is to be 45.4% to the front and 54.6% for the rear, adding even more carbon fiber and Alcantara on the interior will reduce weight … even with the current 1,750 hp (1,305 kW) this should mean the Tuatara Striker is even faster.

But that’s not all SSC has in the pipeline … how about 2,200 hp (1,641 kW)? That’s right, the SSC Tuatara Aggressor will come with the same modified aero and weight savings as the Striker, but with a massive power increase, the latter one will not be street legal it seems. The Tuatara Aggressor can also be customized with special exhaust tuning, performance options, and bespoke aesthetics … but there is a catch, SSC only builds a very limited number of these cars.

The intention is to build 100 units of the SSC Tuatara, now they will add 100 units of the new SSC Tuatara Striker … but only 10 of the SSC Tuatara Aggressor will be available, no official pricing has been published by SSC for either of these new evolutions, but I guess the clientele for these hypercars doesn’t care for a million more or less, it’s all about having the fastest, most exclusive hypercar for these customers.

Rolls-Royce Coachbuild

Back in the early day of the automobile, we weren’t talking about cars yet in the early 1900s, the art of coachbuilding was just about the only way people could get an automobile, manufacturers would build a rolling chassis and have it shipped to a coachbuilder who would create a bespoke body for the client, back in those days it was only the superrich that could afford an automobile anyway, so these were a very exclusive mode of transportation, and usually, the result was a one-off or a few-off at most.

Rolls Royce states back in 1904 there were 8,000 automobiles in the UK, compared to 500,000 horse carriages, but things quickly changed, and we hardly see any horse-drawn vehicles these days, albeit used or romantic city tours or during weddings, instead we now have millions of cars on the road, and we wouldn’t be talking about Rolls Royce, the ultimate luxury car builder, if they weren’t trying to go back to the good old days of building bespoke, unique cars for the ultra-high net worth individuals in the world today, those that have no problem taking a $600,000 base car from Goodwood and having it turned into their ultimate expression of individuality … at whatever cost.

Keep in mind we are talking about people that usually already have a massive amount of cars all over the world anyway, including several factory original Rolls Royce cars and most likely a super, or mega yacht … if you think about the fact such a water toy will cost more than $10,000,000 per year just in staff costs and maintenance, the idea of a multi-million, one-off Rolls Royce isn’t so far fetched, because make no mistake, to have a bespoke Rolls Royce coachbuilt just for you won’t just double the base price … it will grow several times over, and I’m sure people like this will still ask ‘how much?’, but I highly doubt they will even blink when they receive the invoice.

While real coachbuilding has been a very niche market for decades, the trend is making a comeback, and let’s not forget Rolls Royce is perfectly suited up for this task, we might have expected the art to die out when Rolls Royce replaced the Silver Cloud series with the Silver Shadow in October 1965, but don’t forget that until 1993 they were still building the classic Phantom VI, still using a separate chassis with coachwork supplied by Rolls-Royce subsidiary H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd.

When the Rolls Royce production moved to Goodwood in 2003, they incorporated the Bespoke option right from the start, but the requests a client could make were still limited by the base car, even with 44,000 different shades available, you can rest assured there will be one client that wants a different shade, and that was possible, but a completely different shape for ‘their’ Rolls Royce wasn’t really possible until recently when the current Phantom model was introduced.

For the first time in history they used their own, proprietary structure, it came down to the fact the chassis only had to have four fixing points at each corner … what’s between those points is customizable, which they made abundantly clear with the 2019 Cullinan and the 2020 new Ghost, and this flexibility with the chassis has opened the doors for further customization … or in Rolls Royce terms, coachbuilding, beyond what was already possible with the Bespoke department.

It would take Rolls Royce four years to have their first coachbuilt car ready for the new chassis, a request came from a client in 2013 to create a two-seater coupé with a massive panoramic roof, much in style with the coachbuilt models from the 1920s and 30s … four years later, in 2017, the world finally saw the Sweptail, with a raked real profile, the roof-line tapering in a sweeping gesture to a bullet tip that houses the center brake light. The coachbuilt bodywork wraps under the car with no visible boundary to the surfaces like the hull of a racing yacht. The underside of the motor car describes a progressive upward arc at the rear departure angle, producing the swept tail that gives the car its name.

Today Rolls Royce proudly presented the new Boat Tail, a unique coachbuilt commission, that clearly shows they intend to keep the option of a one-of-a-kind motorcar an option at Rolls Royce in the modern age, coachbuilding is back for good it seems, the Boat Tail is the result of a four-year partnership between Rolls Royce and three of their most ‘special’ customers.

Rolls Royce Coachbuild doesn’t just receive an order and starts working, each of their clients is closely involved in every step along the way to the creation of ‘their’ car, or a stated in the press release:

“Only the House of Rolls-Royce can offer its Coachbuild clients the inimitable opportunity to commission a product of future historical significance, that is as fundamentally unique as they are, and then participate in every detail of its creation. This is an authentic luxury. This is contemporary patronage in its truest form. This is Rolls-Royce Coachbuild.”

When you want to have some special options or a one-off color for your new Rolls Royce, you turn to their Bespoke department, but this new Coachbuild department takes things several steps further, if we look at the new Boat Tail, this means a total of 1,813 new parts had to be created, just for this car, it took eight months to create the aluminum spaceframe structure to support the large Boat Tail, just for the rear section five new ECU had to be made, taking another nine months of development so the aft deck lids to open to an appropriate 67-degree angle, incorporate a highly secure locking mechanism and integrate a total climate control system to the rear hosting suite to preserve any cuisine stowed on board.

And this new Rolls Royce Coachbuild Boat Tail isn’t a concept car, it is completely street legal with full homologation, she underwent rigorous testing just like a normal ‘production’ Rolls Royce, even high-speed testing, the car was tested at temperatures as high as 80°C to as low as -20°c, just to make sure the occupants and that special hosting suite would live up to the customer’s expectations … all of them insisted they intend to drive their Boat Tail once they receive her.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, concluded, “Boat Tail is the culmination of collaboration, ambition, endeavour, and time. It was born from a desire to celebrate success and create a lasting legacy. In its remarkable realisation, Rolls-Royce Boat Tail forges a pivotal moment in our marque’s history and in the contemporary luxury landscape.”

Bentley releases the Bentayga S

We already had the impressive Bentley Bentayga Speed from Crewe, a 625 hp W12 beast that tries to compete with the 650 hp Lamborghini Urus Super SUV, but on a more luxury playing field, where the Lamborghini is the more ‘sportscar’ version of an SUV, but now Bentley introduces another version in their fleet of Bentayga models.

Next to the Hybrid, the V8, and the Speed, Bentley now also offers the ‘S’, based around the 4.0-Liter V8 twin-turbo engine, the Bentayga S intends to move Bentley’s SUV onto the sportscar playing ground, a direct competitor for the likes of a Lamborghini Urus, an Audi RSQ8, or the Porsche Cayenne Turbo … but the Bentley Bentayga S only has the same power as the Cayenne Turbo, at 542 hp, the Audi RQS8 adds 49 hp on top of that, while the Urus crushes them all with 650 hp … if you want to get near the Urus power you’ll still have to go for the considerably more expensive Bentayga Speed with her 626 hp.

But unlike the Bentayga Speed, this new Bentayga S comes without chrome, Bentley calls it ‘Black brightware’, but that’s just saying the window trim, the headlight trim, mirror housing, and other parts that are usually a ‘bright’ chrome on a Bentley Bentayga are now finished in gloss black, for that ‘sports’ touch, they even go as far as using tinted glass on the lights …

For this Bentayga Sport, the engineers in Crewe came up with an enhanced Sport chassis mode, and the Dynamic Ride active anti-roll system is standard on the S, they even improved the sound from that big V8 at the front thanks to a more open exhaust system … a free-flowing sports exhaust on a luxury SUV from Bentley, imagine that.

As already mentioned, the Bentayga S comes with the Blackline Specifications as standard, but you can also recognize the Sport version from the bespoke 22-inch wheels and S badging found on the lower edge of the front doors, but also a large rear spoiler is fitted in Crewe while the sports exhaust comes with a pair of black oval tailpipes at either end.

To add that sports feel to the interior, Bentley opted to use leather and Alcantara split between the seats and parts of the interior, the Sport also comes with new seats and a unique stitching pattern, Special color accents on the instrument panel, center console, door pads, and seat bolsters further distinguish this model from the ‘regular’ V8 version, while S badges are fitted on the panel in front of the passenger,  new graphics in the driver’s instrument panel and illuminated treadplates.

The ABT SQ8

Renowned German tuner ABT has already created a special version of the Audi RSQ8 SUV, but that was their ABT RSQ8-R, but that car was created to celebrate their 125th anniversary, so only 125 units of the RSQ8-R were built, if you are looking for the next best thing, at a considerably lower cost, ABT now also offers their magic on the Audi SQ8 version.

The Audi RSQ8 comes from the factory with 600 hp and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h, if you opt for the less costly AUDI SQ8 and have it modified by ABT you’ll end up with a 650 hp Sports SUV that will go up to 270 km/h … the ABT SQ8 as a complete car can be yours for €130,795 including VAT.

If you already own an Audi SQ8 and would like to get the 4-liter V8 bi-turbo petrol engine boosted from the factory original 507 hp (which isn’t bad already) to the ABT SQ8’s 650 hp thanks to the ABT Power S performance upgrade, add the stunning GR23 wheels and that impressive looking aero package … you’ll have to leave €22,900 in Kempten, Germany, and that’s without the €3,445 cost for installation and paint matching to the rest of the body.

The massive wheels are available in either satin, matt, or glossy black, all in 23-inch size, but I’m sure you will be able to convince ABT to paint these wheels in other shades too. The Aero Package is a front bumper add-on part, a rear diffuser, and a rear wing … there doesn’t seem to be a set of side skirts in this kit, however, but if you would like to get a bespoke interior inside your Sport SUV ABT SQ8, that is also an option, just get in touch with ABT and I’m sure you’ll be able to figure something out with their artisans.

Up close with the Huayra R

Horacio Pagani and his team are hard at work to put together the first customer car for their limited series Huayra R, the track-only version for the stunning Pagani Huayra, but for now, they only put together a 1 on 1 scale mockup vehicle so they can evaluate the modifications done from the 3D computer designed model, over at least two 1/5 scale models, into real-life proportions … no interior yet, and no engine fitted either, but this satin silver metallic Huayra R with the famous orange stripe just looks so impressive, even standing still inside a studio.

There will be 30 units of this stunning Pagani Huayra R available for clients, but these can only be used on a closed track, heavily inspired by one of Horatio’s favorite classic race cars, the Porsche 917, the design for the Huayra R has been radically modified from the regular street-legal version, in the end only very few parts are the same … rumor has it only the exterior rearview mirrors and some screws on the chassis are the same as those found on the streetcar, that’s impressive for a limited production run of only 30 units.

The new Pagani Huayra R will come with a new V12 engine too, codename ‘R’, this engine will be naturally aspirated instead of the turbocharged V12 found in the streetcar, but this beast will come with 850 hp and 750 Nm of torque, inside a car that comes with a dry weight of only 1,050 kg … imagine the acceleration this Huayra R will be capable of.

Because the Pagani Huayra R does not have to comply with legislation for road use, Horatio could go all-out when designing this car, but he did still restrict himself to FIA regulations for GT cars, might a career in racing be on the horizon for these cars? The Huayra R does come with its own, bespoke carbon-fiber monocoque, instead of adding a roll cage to the existing Huayra monocoque, Pagani just created a new one with an integrated roll-over cage.

Take a look at the video Shmee150 was allowed to make featuring this satin silver metallic 1/1 mockup for the Huayra R:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

The 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC

Mercedes has a reputation for luxury sedans, the E-class is a very nice car with a great track record, but the S-Class takes even more credit for being a top-of-the-line limousine, even in its factory form, the S-Class is a chauffeur-driven car, and many high-net-worth individuals have an S-Class in their fleet, for when the Rolls is a little over the top, but there is one step above this model from Mercedes … a Maybach.

For the 2022 model year, we will be seeing a majestic Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC sedan in U.S. dealerships, a luxury car as advanced as Mercedes can deliver, a beautiful design combined with the utmost refinement and craftmanship, offering driving comfort together with performance to satisfy just about every owner you can imagine.

This Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC will be the most powerful model in the Maybach line-up, a hand-built 6.0-Liter V12 engine with two turbos delivers 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque … even with the massive weight of this S680, acceleration to 60 mph takes only 4.4 seconds, and thanks to its 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system (31% front and 69% rear torque) she doesn’t lose traction and keeps this mammoth car stable while thundering down the road.

This is a sedan from the upper-class echelons, and that comes with active road noise compensation, just like your gaming headset, this system reduces unwanted low-frequency noises using counter-phased sound waves, the active road noise compensation is a function of the new Burmester® High-End 4D Surround Sound System.

On the road, you will recognize the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC sedan immediately from the distinctive front bumper and radiator grille, featuring bespoke Maybach lettering, when looking closer you’ll notice the seamless, illuminated door handles, and as an option, the client can select that typical Maybach two-tone paint finish, complete with probably a hand-painted dividing line, the Mercedes-Maybach paint chart offers ten different combinations.

On the inside, you’ll find hand-selected Nappa leather everywhere, including the headliner, but also on the dashboard, the armrests, around the window frames, and even on the sun visors. Naturally, the seats show the stunning, quilted stitching pattern, that returns on the two leather cushions for the rear passengers, a contrast color for the piping and stitching is available, as is a Mercedes-Maybach emblem and the scent system for the airconditioning, which comes with bespoke Maybach perfume naturally.

The rear of the front seats is finished in a designo backrest, made from wood, which looks like it was picked from a luxury yacht, or a Riva boat, very nice indeed, and a touch of luxury like none other, and just in case you are transporting someone very important, the rear doors can be opened … and closed by the touch of a button on the dashboard, or just with a hand gesture, you wave to the door, and it opens, how cool is that?

The Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC sedan is a large car, but driving her is surprisingly easy thanks to rear-wheel steering, even in narrow streets, the advantages are clear thanks to a reduced turning circle, while at speed the opposite is true thanks to a virtual lengthening of the wheelbase with this system.

It is clear the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC sedan is meant for people to be driven in, not drive themselves, and that shows with the fact the rear seats ‘detect’ a passenger, if you take place in these sumptuous fauteuils, the headrest automatically extends, you can make a gesture to open or close the sunshades, even the one inside the massive panoramic sunroof above you.

And you won’t be bored sitting in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC sedan either, thanks to a pair of 11.6-inch display screens in front of you, not only can you access the car’s functions thanks to the MBUX High-end Rear Seat Entertainment system, but you can also watch a movie (headsets are hidden for you, so you don’t disturb the other occupants) and even browse the internet from the comfort of the rear seats.

And to really make the experience one to remember, the new Maybach comes with a refrigerator that holds a pair of silver-plated champagne flutes and your favorite bottle of bubbles, matching holders on the central console back there will hold the flutes in place, even while being driven around … it doesn’t get any better than this.

There is no official pricing released yet, but this car is intended as a direct competitor to cars like the Rolls Royce Ghost and the Bentley Flying Spur, so don’t expect the Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC sedan to come at a bargain … you know what they say: ‘if you have to ask the price …’

The Bugatti Chiron 4-005 prototype

When a carmaker is preparing to release a new model, they usually have test mules or prototypes built to perform tests with, these days a lot of the preparation is done virtually, many thousands of miles are ‘driven’ on a computer before a working prototype is made, and more often than not, this prototype will hide underneath a modified body of an existing model, you’ll have to look at details like front and rear track, the position of the exhausts and other stuff like that to notice something is off, and you are actually looking at a test mule.

When it was time to create a successor for the Veyron, it took Bugatti a total of eight prototypes to develop the Chiron for production, and each of these prototypes is hand-built and get bespoke parts created just for that unit, the fifth prototype in the development actually still exists after eight years, called the 4-005, this was the car that got used to developing the Chiron’s software, which is used in a about 30 ‘computers’ found scattered around underneath the beautiful Chiron bodywork.

Rüdiger Warda was responsible for the Chiron’s infotainment and audio system, and it took him and a team of 13 engineers, computer scientists, and physicists to develop these systems for the new Bugatti Chiron, they spent weeks inside the 4-005 for stress-testing the system until everything was exactly as they wanted … this team was responsible for the way the headlights, taillights and turn signals perform their ‘show’ when the owner approaches the Chiron.

This was also the car to be driven in the USA, perform drifts in the snow in Scandinavia, complete laps on the high-speed ring in Nardò, and pass heat tests in South Africa … this 4-005 prototype had a rough life, and all of that had to happen before the global launch in 2016, being protected from spy shots all the time.

When Mark Schröder had difficulty reading the menu navigation writing during a test-drive in Arizona, USA, he came up with a solution right away – like the electronic paper display of an e-book reader, the display background now changes from black to white and the writing from white to black when signaled to do so by a sun sensor.

During all these undercover testing, the team sometimes did stress tests for as long as 10 hours straight, and still got out of the car without backpain or fatigue from driving, after eight years of hard driving conditions, this Bugatti Chiron 4-005 covered over 74,000 km, arguably the highest mileage Bugatti Chiron in the world, and if you look at the interior, the seats, and the electronics … they look essentially wear-free … what a testament to the quality of this hypercar.

Finally, in 2021, the Bugatti Chiron 4-005 development prototype is being retired, it will no longer be used to further develop any of the electronics, there will be no more equipment mounted in the interior or on the matte black bodywork for measuring or monitoring … it’s over for this prototype, it’s harsh life is no more and she will probably get a nice spot inside the museum now.

Carfection Covers the Ultimate Trilogy of 90s Icons

As far as YouTube videos go, a 15-minute video can seem like such a chore. People these days want information and speed all at once, then onto the next task. But this episode of Carfection is well worth the watch – in 4K resolution if I may add. Henry Catchpole from Carfection, a YouTube channel with almost a million subscribers, has the pleasure of teaming up with DK Engineering to compare a holy trinity of iconic supercars. He starts off the three-part series to review the legendary McLaren F1 while the Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR wait in the stable for their turn in the YouTube spotlight.

[embedded content] [embedded content]

The F1 featured in the episode is one of the few McLaren F1’s to maintain its original color and material combo. And this is the only one to have a full Alcantara interior. The owners over the years used towels and seat covers to maintain its pristine condition. The originality of an F1 is the deciding factor in the resale value – not just its mileage. McLaren-F1-Chassis-37

McLaren-F1-Chassis-37

Just over half of the 106 F1’s produced hit roads as legal road-going supercars. This example is number 37, and with only 64 road cars, it not just a special icon of the 90s but a rare one. 

McLaren-F1-Chassis-37The McLaren F1 featured a 6.1-liter V12 BMW-built engine that put down 627bhp and 479ft-lbs of torque. It was able to hit 60mph in just 3.2 sec and achieve a top speed of 240mph. Not only did McLaren design and build a legendary road car, but they also dominated on the track by notably beating Ferrari’s F40’s in the BPR Global GT Championship in ‘95 and ‘96 in addition to winning Le Mans in 1995 by taking 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place – not bad for McLaren’s first kick at the Le Mans can. 

Carfection’s series will continue on with the other two legends one by one and highlight their major significance in the supercar world as we know it today.