All posts in “concept cars”

Electric Lamborghini concept headed to Monterey Car Week: Think ‘spaceships’

In a press release tracing the history of Lamborghini concept cars, the Sant’Agata Bolognese automaker let us know it will debut “the prototype” of its coming battery-electric car during Monterey Car Week. The word “prototype” is interesting here because Lamborghini touched on the transition from one-offs and concept cars to “few-offs” — those being “a limited run of cars for the most loyal customers that pre-empt or enhance the most advanced technical solutions that will be used on production cars in later years.” We’re told, “The same formula will be repeated in just a few days,” suggesting that whatever goes on show could end up in a few driveways before long.

We’re still not sure what’s coming, though. Autocar reports the EV is “expected to draw light inspiration from the Estoque saloon concept,” pictured above from its reveal at the Paris Auto Show in 2008. The same report also throws “high-riding,” “2+2 seating and GT proportions,” the idea the car might have two doors, and a tip from head designer Mitja Borkert that future products will “look like spaceships.”

That’s quite the combo. Most modern cars considered 2+2 have two doors and diminished rear quarters; the Estoque was a proper sedan with four proper seats. Know what was a 2+2? The hybrid Asterion LPI-910 from 2014, which could be considered a coupe-ified Estoque, design-wise.      

The automaker says the EV is “due to enter production by the end of the decade.” It’s anticipated that by then, the EV will join the battery-electric successor to the Urus, creating an electrified lineup for four cars when counting the hybrid Revuelto and the hybrid Huracán successor. It’s then we’ll find out what electrification the Lamborghini way really means, the brand still coming up with those answers.

CEO Stephan Winkelmann said, “There are definitions that I think no electric car in our sector has yet resolved sufficiently: not just acceleration and handling behavior but also responsiveness, braking feel and multiple acceleration protocols. These are unproven in high-performance EVs and things we must spend the next years working out.”

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Porsche Mission X concept points at brand’s next hypercar

Frequent interviews with Porsche CEO Oliver Blume include a question as to when we’ll see another Porsche hypercar. He once answered the queries with some version of “not until the middle of the decade at the earliest least.” His most recent answer, from April of this year, pushed that back toward the end of the decade; Blume and R&D chief Michael Steiner say current battery technology isn’t prepared to satisfy the demands a Porsche hypercar would make on it, so everyone will need to wait for next-gen cells due in four or five years. So the car you see here, the Porsche Mission X concept, isn’t the next Porsche hypercar and at the moment isn’t planned for sale. However, the battery-electric two-seater with the “ultra high-performance” powertrain is full of indicators about what might be down the road.

Dressed a specially created Rocket Metallic with satin carbon fiber accents, dimensions 177 inches in length and 78.7 inches in width fit the concept into same rough footprint as the 2003 Carrera GT and 2013 918 Spyder. The 20-inch wheels in front and 21-inchers in back eat up nearly half the two-seater’s 47.2-inch height. Since this concept counts as one of the brand’s 75th birthday presents to itself, historic cues mix with modern ones. The illuminated DRLs in the photos rework the four-point signature seen on the automaker’s road cars. At the same time, the DRLs and the four LED main beams buried in the lattice support structure call back to the stacked double headlights that sat inches off the ground on Le Mans racers like the 906 and 908. Passengers enter through doors that swing up and forward like those on top-class Le Mans prototypes going back decades, then sit under a glass dome built around a skeleton of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. And the Mission X marks the debut of Porsche’s new crest.

It’s all modern in back. A horizontal lattice supports thin, ornate LED taillights that bracket floating, illuminated Porsche logotype. When charging, the “E” pulses in white. 

The cabin begs even onlookers to hit top speed. The carbon-backed seats and their six-point harnesses appear largely built into the tub. Both feature Andalusia Brown lowers, the driver’s throne additionally signified by the Kalahari Gray upper. There are four paddles behind the steering yoke — we’re not sure what they control other than the obvious guess of regen braking. The ornate stopwatch in front of the passenger is a removable unit clipped into a bayonet system on the instrument panel, created by Porsche Design. At the track, the stopwatch could be used in conjunction with the multiple built-in cameras. One imagines other accessories, like a screen, could go here when not on the track.   

Porsche calls it a “reinterpretation of a hypercar,” but we don’t know enough about the Mission X yet to understand what that means. Drivetrain and output specs weren’t included with the reveal. We’ve been told the battery sits behind the cockpit in a way that mimics mid-engined dynamics, the setup called “e-core.” The automaker said that were the street-legal coupe to get a production run, it would aim to “be the fastest road-legal vehicle around the Nürburgring Nordschleife; have a power-to-weight ratio of roughly one hp per 2.2 lbs.; achieve downforce values that are well in excess of those delivered by the current 911 GT3 RS; offer significantly improved charging performance with its 900-volt system architecture and charge roughly twice as quickly as the current Porsche frontrunner, the Taycan Turbo S.”

Starting from the top, the Mission X has the Mercedes-AMG One in its sights, the other Stuttgart hypercar maker owning the Nordschleife record with a time of 6:35.18. That’s about 22 seconds faster than the 918 Spyder ran the lap, the 918 the first production car to break the seven-minute barrier

The power-to-weight ratio is measured in metric horsepower, so 0.986 of our American ponies per kilogram. The 918 Spyder weighed about 3,650 pounds, or 1,656 kilograms. Given the weight of an electric hypercar — the Rimac Nevera weighs about 5,070 pounds or 2,300 kg — we might think a Mission X comes in at 1,700 hp on the extreme low end to as much as 2,300 hp.

The GT3 RS produces as much as 860 kg (1,896 pounds) of downforce but uses a giant wing and other aero addenda to do it, meaning the undisturbed Mission X concept’s glasshouse and upper surfaces are hiding an underbody full of chicanery.

And the Taycan Turbo S maxes out at 270-kilowatt charging to go from 5% to 80% state of charge in a little more than 20 minutes. Read: The Mission X concept should fill-up quick.

As for the chances of a version you can buy, Porsche says Mission X “production to be decided in due time.” We have no doubt the phones at HQ have been ringing with “name-your-price” offers all day. We don’t see why Porsche would miss the chance to celebrate its birthday with a cool new concept, some treats for its best clients, some icons for posterity and a stupendous haul of loot.   

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aston Martin DBR22 is a retro roadster for the lucky few

It’s Pebble Beach Concours week, and you know what that means: high-end automakers showing new exotic machinery. Kicking things off is the Aston Martin DBR22. Aston calls it a concept, but that’s more of a stretch than Honda with its “prototype” car reveals. The company has said it will build some. The exact number hasn’t been given, but don’t expect many. The company highlighted a couple of its previous special models such as the Vulcan and V600, each of which were made in numbers below 30 units.

The car is more specifically from Aston’s “bespoke” division, Q, and it’s a celebration of the division’s tenth anniversary. It takes its design inspiration from far longer ago, though. The DBR22’s dramatic curves, lack of a windshield and towering cowls are all based on the company’s 1950s race cars, particularly the DB3S and DBR1 (which already inspired another low-production Aston). The grille is even based on the latter’s. The entire exterior is unique to the DBR22, down to the headlights and full-width tail light bar. It’s all made of carbon fiber, too. The interior is also unique with leather wrapping most surfaces including the carbon seats. And being a product of the Q division, the handful of buyers will be able to customize pretty much every facet of the exterior and interior to their preferences.

No matter how an individual’s DBR22 looks, they should be the same under the skin. Aston’s twin-turbo 5.2-liter V8 sits below the vented hood and makes 705 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. It sends power through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels. Top speed is 198 mph, and it will hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. No mention was made of what platform the DBR22 is built on, but it likely shares similarities with the DB11 and DBS. It boasts upgrades, though, such as shear panels front and rear for greater rigidity, plus unique tuning for the adaptive shocks. Most interesting is the rear subframe. It’s made of multiple 3D-printed aluminum parts that have been bonded together. It’s a preview of future Aston Martin production techniques and the company says it has allowed them to make a lighter subframe than normal with the same rigidity. It also lets the company more easily produce custom parts for low-production models.

Aston Martin made no mention of when it will start building customer DBR22 models or when it will take orders. We wouldn’t be surprised if the company has already lined up buyers. And if not, well, potential buyers surely know whom to contact. For everyone else, the DBR22 will be on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this weekend.

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2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed Mega Gallery

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Buick Wildcat and Electra concepts, Ford Maverick | Autoblog Podcast #732

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They lead off with a discussion of the news. This section touches on the DeLorean Alpha5, Buick Wildcat EV Concept reveal, revival of the Buick Electra name, production reveal of the Mercedes-AMG One and some scuttle about Volkswagen’s recently-bought Scout brand. After that, they move on to the cars they’ve been driving, including the Ford Maverick and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

After the pair finish with what they’ve been driving, the podcast transitions to an interview between Greg Migliore and former Car and Driver Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman. Finally, Greg and Zac wrap things up with some more spring and summer beer recommendations.

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Autoblog Podcast #732

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2023 BMW X7 M60i

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

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

Genesis X Speedium Coupe

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

Random other musings

Fiat 500 Electric

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

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

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

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

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Deus Vayanne EV hypercar reaches for 2,200 horsepower

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

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

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

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

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Father of Disco’s Cizeta-Moroder had ’80s looks, double pop-up lights and a V16

Auction house RM Sotheby’s is giving collectors with a penchant for obscure Italian supercars from the 1980s a rare opportunity. One of the classics it will offer during its January 2022 sale is the original Cizeta-Moroder V16T prototype that was displayed at several car shows.

Cizeta-Moroder isn’t a household name. When you think “Italian wedge,” odds are you imagine a Lamborghini Countach (or maybe a slice of parmesan). The short-lived company was founded by former Lamborghini test driver and engineer Claudio Zampolli with funding from music producer and composer Giorgo Moroder, who is also known as the Father of Disco. Bertone’s Marcello Gandini was commissioned to design the car, and Zampolli decided to power it with a 6.0-liter V16 engine in order to one-up better established supercar firms like Ferrari.

Mounted transversally behind the passenger compartment, the naturally-aspirated 16-cylinder engine sent about 520 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. These numbers were huge for the late 1980s when Lamborghini’s Countach put 449 horses under your right foot and a BMW M3 was rated at 220 horsepower. Zampolli and Moroder worked together long enough to build a running and driving prototype but the relationship between the two men quickly soured. The car was consequently renamed Cizeta V16T, and Zampolli built nine additional examples before his company filed for bankruptcy in 1994.

The original prototype is the only example built with “Cizeta-Moroder” badging, and it’s still owned by Moroder. RM Sotheby’s explains that the prototype was unveiled in December 1988 at an upscale gathering held in Los Angeles and hosted by Jay Leno. It was also displayed at the 1989 editions of the Los Angeles and Geneva auto shows. Several key details differentiate it from the production versions: the air intakes on both sides are bigger, and parts like the turn signals, the door mirrors, and nearly everything inside are specific to chassis number 001.

Moroder reportedly had the car refurbished by California-based Bruce Canepa in 2018 after keeping it in storage for many years. It’s said to be in running and driving condition and its odometer displays 322 kilometers, which represents approximately 200 miles.

If you think this V16T belongs in your collection, you’re in luck: it’s scheduled to cross the auction block during an RM Sotheby’s sale taking place in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 27, 2022. We don’t have a pre-auction estimate yet, but nothing suggests that the winning bidder will score the deal of a lifetime. In 2021, RM Sotheby’s sold a 1993 model (chassis number 101) for $665,000. We’re guessing that the original prototype will sell for considerably more money considering its historical significance and the fact that it’s a documented one-owner car.

Several other classic cars shaped like a door stop will be looking for their next home in Phoenix in January 2022. RM’s catalog also includes a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider, a 1995 Ferrari 512 M, a 1978 Maserati Bora 4.9, and a no-reserve 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. 

1980 Aston Martin Bulldog concept will reattempt to break the 200-mph barrier

Aston Martin’s 1980 Bulldog concept will receive a second chance to break the 200-mph barrier after it emerges from a complete, 18-month restoration. It was developed with all-out speed in mind — the British company had hoped the coupe would become the fastest car in the world, but it missed its target before getting shelved.

Had things gone as planned, car-crazed kids in the 1980s would have grown up with a picture of the Bulldog on their bedroom wall. Aston Martin wanted to hoist itself up the exotic car pecking order by building the fastest car in the world, though it didn’t envision more than a limited production run of 15 to 25 cars. Penned by William Towns, who also drew the Lagonda, the Bulldog looked like nothing else on the road (let alone in the Aston Range) due in part to its five center-mounted lights, and it broke with tradition by adopting a mid-mounted engine.

Engineers floated a top speed of 237 mph, according to The Drive, but the Bulldog ran out of breath at 191 mph. Victor Gauntlett axed the project shortly after taking the top job at Aston Martin in 1981 because the numbers didn’t add up; the firm wasn’t in a position to chase speed records. Now, 40 years later, it’s almost time to try again.

Classic Motor Cars began the lengthy process of restoring the Bulldog on behalf of a private owner in 2020, and it enlisted the help of Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner to see if it can break the 200-mph barrier once it’s back in one piece. Richard Gauntlett, the son of the company’s former boss, is overseeing the project. We don’t know precisely when or where the speed run will take place, but Classic Motor Cars aims to have the Bulldog running by the end of 2021. In a statement, it said that the car is “well on the way to being restored.”

Restoring any exotic car from the early 1980s is a meticulous, expensive, and time-consuming process, and bringing a one-off concept car back to life increases the number of challenges exponentially. Classic Motor Cars can’t order parts from Aston Martin, for example, and it’s not able to study another example to find out how a specific panel is welded. It helps that the Bulldog hasn’t been significantly modified over the past four decades, though some parts (like the door mirrors) were added later, and that it was complete when it arrived at the shop.

Power for the Bulldog comes from a 5.3-liter V8 that’s twin-turbocharged to 600 horsepower, figures that are still respectable in 2021. Classic Motor Cars won’t make any major mechanical modifications to the drivetrain, so the Bulldog will need to attempt to reach the 200-mph mark in its original configuration, but the shop is sidestepping originality in the name of safety by adding an internal roll bar that it plans to conceal under the sheetmetal.

“What has been revealed is that the basic structure showed a lack of torsional rigidity by today’s standards, and a complete lack of rollover protection. For a vehicle with such enormous performance, we felt this was an essential safety improvement to allow the car to be driven in the manner for which it was designed,” the shop wrote.

Reaching the 200-mph mark will be an impressive feat for the Bulldog and for the folks giving it a new lease on life, but it will no longer be enough to claim the world’s top-speed crown. That honor ostensibly goes to the SSC Tuatara, which averaged 316 mph in October 2020. YouTubers called the record into question after noticing irregularities in the video, and SSC aborted its second attempt in December 2020 due to mechanical issues but plans to try again.

Nissan Design America GT-R (X) 2050 Concept

There are more than a few prototype cars we always wished would be constructed, but for one reason or another, would never see the light of day. Nissan Design America was so enthralled with the…

The post Nissan Design America GT-R (X) 2050 Concept first appeared on Cool Material.

Nissan GT-R (X) 2050 envisions what a GT-R of the future could look like

Most of our Nissan GT-R thinking energy these days goes toward wondering about what the R36 has in store. Nissan is out here thinking about what the GT-R will be like in 2050. If we continue along at the R35’s production timeline pace, it might still be the R36 then. We kid, but hey, the R35’s been out for over a decade now with no end in sight.

As an answer for what the future of Nissan performance looks like, Nissan has brought an intern’s thesis project to life. It’s called GT-R (X) 2050, and it’s a fresh take on our dystopian future of sports cars. Jaebum Choi, a former student at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., set forth to design a vehicle for car enthusiasts in the age of self-driving cars (whenever that may be). Instead of leaving the project on paper and computer renderings, Nissan Design America decided to bring it to life in the form of an official Nissan concept vehicle.

The GT-R (X) 2050 is a tiny car — two feet high and 10 feet long — meant for just one person, and most of the details require some stretching of the imagination. For starters, the operator “sits” in the car in a prone position, laying on their stomach with their limbs in an X position. The exterior design is meant to mimic the body in this position, which explains why it looks like an X from an aerial perspective. Of course, there are some GT-R elements tossed in there, too. The distinctive quad circle taillights sit in back. It uses a very broad, slab-sided design like the R35, and the V-Motion front end style is noticeable from head-on. The rest of the vehicle has a very tenuous grip on what we might typically envision a vehicle to be.

The driver “sees” out via a special VR helmet that you connect to the car’s extensive camera system. There is one window, but it’s at the top and doesn’t provide a view forward. It’s not a fully autonomous vehicle either. Choi told media in a presentation that he envisions drivers steering via controls operated by moving your hands and arms that are splayed outward. You’re meant to “wear” the car to the extent that it feels like an extension of the body.

“Exo-skeletons today make people stronger by wearing mechanical structures. I tried to fit the size of a person’s body as much as I could, as if I were wearing a car,” Choi explains.

As for what makes it go, Choi says he took inspiration from Iron Man when he envisioned an “arc reactor” type of power source. This would create electricity for the motors. Nissan didn’t provide performance figures, likely because the powertrain is far too nebulous to even make any predictions. Being a GT-R concept, though, it’s meant to be extremely quick. Choi says it’s meant to be more supportive than a superbike, but not much more than that. All design priorities go toward making it a pleasing and fun time for the operator after all.

You might be wondering about the wild looking wheels, and Choi has an answer for those, too. The wheel/tire combo is a one-piece unit that, due to its shape, allows the car to turn 360 degrees. Its design is meant to help the wheel cool down quickly when driven hard. It even has an active wing that pops up to promote more downforce.

We turn further to fantasy land with Nissan’s Brain-to-Vehicle technology it showcased at CES a few years ago. Choi believes that the GT-R (X) 2050 would use this technology that interprets signals from a human’s brain to make the vehicle an even better self-driving car than ordinary computer-controlled ones. But you wouldn’t be forced to use the autonomous mode all the time.

“Choi has essentially envisioned a new mode of transportation that people could experience like clothes, “wearable,” instead of a traditional vehicle “carriage,” says David Woodhouse, Nissan Design America (NDA) VP. “It is the kind of breaking-the-mold thinking that has always been encouraged here at NDA. We’ve been honored to help bring Choi’s vision to life.”

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New images show Bugatti’s 1,824-hp Bolide track car in real life

Bugatti introduced a one-off track car named Bolide in October 2020, but the images it sent us were computed-generated renderings. It released a batch of fresh photos that finally show the model in real life.

In a normal year, there is a good chance we would have caught up with the latest addition to the Bugatti family tree at an auto show on either side of the pond. 2020 is different because all of the events we normally cover are canceled, so the images give us a much-welcomed second look at the Bolide. It’s just as stunning in photos as it is in the computer-generated graphics, and the new gallery proves this track monster is not merely a figment of some designer’s imagination. It exists, you can look at it and sit in it. Odds are you’ll want to drive it, too.

It’s built around a quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter W16 that’s related to the engine that powers the Chiron and tuned to develop 1,824 horsepower when it’s slurping 110-octane race fuel. While that’s an impressive figure on its own, it’s even more mind-boggling when you take into account the Bolide’s 2,734-pound dry weight. It weighs about 166 pounds less than the new, second-generation 2022 Subaru BRZ yet it has eight times the power.

Nils Sajonz, Bugatti’s recently-appointed head of special projects, shed light on one of the Bolide’s design themes. He explained the x-shaped lights on both ends are a reference to the tape that race car drivers used to put over their headlights to ensure the glass didn’t spread on the tarmac if it broke. Racing is a significant part of the Bugatti heritage, cars like the Type 35 were hugely successful, and the Bolide is the newest torch bearer.

Will it race? It’s too early to tell. As of writing, it’s a one-off model that hasn’t been approved for production. Bugatti notes that simulation testing reveals the Bolide can lap the Nürburgring in 5:23:01, a figure that makes it nearly as fast as the record-holding Porsche 919 Hybrid, and it takes 3:07:01 to go around Le Mans. The firm is done chasing speed records, but we’re hoping it gives the Bolide the chance to prove its mettle on the track.

Armortruck Futuristic Armored SUV Concept

We’ve seen plenty of futuristic, apocalypse-ready vehicles over the years. Few of them compare to the share absurdity of the Armortruck Futuristic Armored SUV Concept from Bulgarian designer Milen Ivanov. Ivanov is concept designer /…

The Quail joins the Pebble Beach Concours, cancels for this August

Another of the major Monterey Car Week events has announced it’s canceling this year’s festivities. The latest is The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, which is a show and road rally that precedes the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (also canceled) each summer. While classic cars are featured, the show also highlights high-end sports cars and supercars, helping do differentiate itself from the Pebble Beach Concours. Previous notable debuts at the event include the Bugatti Divo.

The rally, which would have taken place Aug. 10-12 and the show on August 14, will not happen. Like with the Pebble Beach Concours, The Quail will simply run this year’s event next year, letting participants keep their spots and not have to pay additional fees. The same goes for visitors with tickets to this year’s show. Anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to attend the event next year also has the option to get a full refund. Next year’s rally will run Aug. 9-11, and the show will be on Aug. 13.

Closely related to The Quail is the Bonhams auction that would be held there. That auction was held on the grounds of The Quail starting the day before the main show. While it won’t be held in the same place, Bonhams will have an auction of its planned cars somewhere else in California with details to come, and Bonhams will return to The Quail next year. Meanwhile, Gooding and Company announced that it would postpone its Pebble Beach auction to next year alongside the concours.

With The Quail and Pebble Beach postponing their events, only one major pillar of Monterey Car Week is left, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion held at Laguna Seca. The event hasn’t announced plans to postpone yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

Koenigsegg bringing a new hybrid 2+2 to Geneva?

Koenigsegg hosted its global dealer network for a shindig at its Angelholm, Sweden, headquarters last month. During the event, the hypercar maker tweeted an image of employees standing next to five Koenigsegg models under black sheets. It was thought these represented the cars Koenigsegg will bring to next month’s Geneva Motor Show. At least one of those five is rumored to be the Jesko-based Mission 500 concept, the rocket that CEO Christian Koenigsegg will use to challenge the top speed record. The Supercar Blog credits sources for information on another of the five, it supposedly being a hybrid 2+2 called the KG12. 

If the rumors are close to true, the extra two seats — and we use the words “seats” generously — wouldn’t be the only break with Koenigsegg tradition. TSB‘s insider says the heart of the KG12’s hybrid powerplant will be a 2.0-liter, three-cylinder engine engineered with the carmaker’s camless FreeValve system. Combined with an electric motor or motors, total output is thought to be around 1,500 horsepower. If such a thing shows up at Geneva, predicted to be on display under a glass engine cover, it will be in the running for the wildest and most innovative propulsion system at the show.

Design standards like the wraparound windshield and dihedral synchro-helix doors are expected to make the cut, but those doors might be longer than usual so as to provide better access to whatever fits in the back seat. TSB writes that the KG12 will cost around €1.4 million ($1.5 million U.S.), with deliveries to begin in 2022 and production limited to 300 units. 

One big question is whether the KG12 is, or has anything to do with, the affordable Koenigsegg supercar that’s been on simmer in the background for a few years. A year ago, reports said the car would come to this year’s Geneva show. However, the least expensive Koenigsegg has been imagined with the firm’s naturally-aspirated V8 paired with hybrid assistance, getting something like 1,050 hp, and a price tag of anywhere from €600,000 to €800,000 ($650,000-$850,000). We’ll have an answer in two weeks.

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Koenigsegg reportedly bringing ‘Mission 500’ concept to Geneva

Koenigsegg has a thing for the Geneva Motor Show, introducing its first customer car there, the CC82, in 2002. Since then, the Swedish carmaker has trucked wares like the CCX and CCXR, Agera, Regera, and Jesko from Angelholm to greet the world in the Romandy region of Switzerland. According to a report in The Supercar Blog, the ritual takes place again this year, with Koenigsegg supposedly debuting a concept called Mission 500. The concept, so the story goes, will preview the vehicle the hypercar maker plans to use to crack the 300-mile-per-hour barrier. The “500” in the name refers to 500 kilometers per hour, which equates to 310.6 miles per hour. There are rumors of two more cars on display, but the Mission 500 concept is the centerpiece.

Getting any production car to reach 300 miles per hour is a stellar feat, one accomplished last September by the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+. The task is so difficult that every extra mile per hour beyond 300 could be considered its own Herculean conquest of several categories of physics. The Molsheim coupe ran 304.77 mph (490.48 kilometers per hour) at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien track. If Koenigsegg can hit the magic 500, that additional 6 mph represents a gargantuan achievement.

It’s not clear if the Mission 500 concept is a new vehicle or based on the Jesko. Company boss Christian von Koenigsegg has said he has a 300-mph variant of the Jesko in mind that only needs some extreme aero to manage the task. The CEO has practical math to work with for his claim, his company having got the Agera RS up to 277.87 mph in 2017 — that speed averaged after runs in both directions, unlike the Chiron Super Sport run that was timed in one direction only. If the Mission 500 is Jesko-based, we’d expect to see the 5.0-liter V8 amidships that makes 1,577 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque on E85, or “just” 1,262 hp and 941 kW on 95-octane pump gas.

Top Fuel NHRA racer Brittany Force set a national record last year at 338.17 mph through the speed trap, using a 500-cubic inch (8.19-liter) supercharged V8 with 10,000 horsepower to do it. The idea that we could see a passenger car with navigation and two cupholders get within 30 mph of that speed is outstanding. Even better is the idea that, assuming the Swedes pull it off, Hennessey or SSC might attempt to beat it. Come on, Geneva.

2019 SEMA Show Mega Photo Gallery | Wild West show

LAS VEGAS — Car shows across the planet are struggling, as automakers look for fresh ways to reach the buying public. But out in Las Vegas at the SEMA show (SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, in case you didn’t know), things have seemingly never been better. This year’s show has 2,400 exhibiting companies with 3,000 products on display, filling five halls. Off-road, performance, racing, hot-rods, coolness, weirdness — there’s something different around every corner.

The show ends Friday, so unless you’re about to hop a plane, you might just miss it. But here, from the comfort of your own home or cubicle, are the highlights — 45 cars that caught our eye. So sit back, crack a Zima and SEMA it up:

2020 Acura RDX with Concept A-Spec AccessoriesAcura shows off RDX accessories and 2020 NSX at SEMA

B is for Build Twin-Turbo V8 Huracan Widebody2015 Lamborghini Huracan is getting twin-turbo Chevy power for SEMA

Button Built Ferrari BB355TTToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition – The Force is with you in this one-off Chevy COPO Camaro

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Dusk Edition – 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Editions to debut at SEMA

Chevrolet Performance E-10 ConceptChevy truck transformed from farm work to 450-horsepower electric hot rod

2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD Carhartt Special EditionYou’ll know the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Carhartt Special Edition when you see it

2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak comes solely with supercharged power

Factory Five Romulan V12 SupercarFactory Five developing new supercar with 755-hp LS V12

Foose Jaguar E-Type Chip Foose cooks up a custom 1974 Jaguar E-Type for SEMA

Jay Leno’s GT500-powered 1968 Ford BroncoThis classic Ford Bronco has a modern GT500 engine and a manual

Ford F-Series CustomsFord previews custom F-150s and Mustangs for SEMA

Ford F-Series Super Duty CustomsCheck out the Ford Super Duty lineup rolling into SEMA 2019

Ford Mustang CustomsFord previews custom F-150s and Mustangs for SEMA

Ford Mustang LithiumLithium Mustang EV from Ford and Webasto is lightning in an bottle for SEMA

Ford Ranger Customs2019 Ford SEMA builds feature off-road-ready Rangers and wild Transit Vans

2020 Ford Ranger RTR 2019 Ford SEMA builds feature off-road-ready Rangers and wild Transit Vans

Ford SUV CustomsFord will bring more than 50 tricked-out vehicles to SEMA: Here’s a preview

Hennessey Jeep Gladiator Maximus Hennessey Maximus turns 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a 1,000-horsepower monster

Honda Civic Si Formula Drift CarHonda to show custom 1968 S800 Coupe, three Civic Si builds at SEMA

Honda CR-V CustomsHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Rally PassportHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Ridgeline HFP ConceptHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Vintage VehiclesHonda to show custom 1968 S800 Coupe, three Civic Si builds at SEMA

Hyundai Kona Ultimate ConceptHyundai Veloster N ‘Type R Killer’ and lifted Kona on their way to SEMA

Hyundai Veloster N Performance Concept2020 Hyundai Veloster N Performance Concept gets an aftermarket makeover

Hyundai VelosterRaptor N ConceptHyundai Veloster N ‘Type R Killer’ and lifted Kona on their way to SEMA

Jack Roush Edition Mustang Jack Roush Edition Mustang brings 775 horses to Ford’s pony car

Mopar Lowliner Concept1968 Dodge D200 ‘Lowliner’ adds low-down diesel torque to a lowrider

Moparized Jeep Wrangler RubiconRam 1500 diesel overlander, off-road Jeep Wrangler show present and future of Mopar

Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Frontier Desert Runner ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Kicks Street Sport ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

2020 Nissan Titan with Genuine Nissan AccessoriesNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Titan XD Dually Project

1958 Plymouth Fury ‘Christine’ Tribute 1958 Plymouth Fury ‘Christine’ tribute has a 1,000-hp Hemi crate engine

Quintin Brothers Dodge ChallengerThis Dodge Challenger was stolen, used in police chases and recovered all in the week before its SEMA debut

Ram 1500 Rebel OTGRam 1500 diesel overlander, off-road Jeep Wrangler show present and future of Mopar

Ring Brothers 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ValkyrjaRingbrothers 1969 Chevy Camaro ‘Valkyrja’ ready to take SEMA to Belgium

Ruffian Ford MustangToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

Russell Built Porsche 911 BajaToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

Shelby GT500 Dragon SnakeShelby brings Dragon Snake GT500, Super Snake F-150 truck to SEMA

Speedkore AWD Twin-Turbo Dodge Charger WidebodySpeedkore AWD twin-turbo Carbon Charger, best birthday gift ever

Toyota Avalon TRD Pro ConceptToyota floods SEMA with a slew of Supra concepts

Toyota GR Supra CustomsToyota floods SEMA with a slew of Supra concepts