All posts in “Convertible”

Virtually attend ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’ via our high-res photo gallery

While the description of the yearly “Motorsports Gathering” at the Quail may sound a bit odd to many of our readers at first blush — it’s basically a huge garden party for wealthy automotive enthusiasts to get a look at vintage and newly available vehicles targeted at their healthy checking accounts — there’s no arguing that the vehicles on display are worthy of attention. And since most of us either weren’t invited or couldn’t afford to attend (or both), the next best thing to being there is scrolling through our high-res gallery of live photos taken at the event.

Visitors to this year’s event were treated to the usual grade of high-end machinery that we’ve come to expect, which is to say the best, most desirable and most expensive in the world. Our gallery is filled with vintage racers from Ford, Ferrari and Jaguar, classic Trans Am competitors and even a gaggle of Volkswagen-based dune buggies. More modern machinery was also on display from Lotus, Pagani, Koenigsegg, Pininfarina and Acura.

Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace at high-end events, and this year’s gathering at The Quail was no exception. In addition to a strong showing from Rimac and Lotus we mentioned earlier, Lucid was in attendance as was Gateway Bronco (see here for more on that). We also got shots of things you may never have heard of like the Delage D12 and Radford Type 62-2. Oh, and the return of the Lamborghini Countach, too.

For those who keep track of such things, this year’s Best of Show winner was a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. You’ll see all that and more in our high-res gallery above. Enjoy!

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McCall Motorworks Revival Photos | Monterey kicks off with fancy airport party

Yesterday, the McCall’s Motorworks Revival happened, for the 30th time no less, kicking off Monterey Car Week. Which is another way of saying it happened before most people showed up. 

So what is it? Fancy cars parked among fancy planes while fancy people walk about with fancy food and cocktails. This differs from other Monterey events, such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, in that it takes place at an airport rather than a golf course. It’s also more of an evening affair than a garden party, complete with a DJ, a band and dancing. Oh, and the cars are less impressive. That, admittedly, says more about the prime metal displayed elsewhere, especially at Pebble. There’s still a lot to ogle, even if you didn’t get to enjoy the fancy food and cocktails. We dispatched ace photographer Drew Phillips to take it all in and to put down an offer for us on that Citation Longitude. 

Amongst the new cars on display, most brought there by their manufacturers, we see a Corvette Stingray, Lucid Air, Aston Martin DBX, Land Rover Defender, Polestar 1, Hennessey Venom F5, Ruf 911s, and a big showing by Ford with a GT500, a Mustang Mach-E, a Bronco and multiple GTs. Two were done up to match an original parked alongside it, while the Bronco flanked an original prototype from 1966. Neat. Hopefully no one spilled Perrier Jouet on it. 

Classics? There were aplenty, but frankly, we’re most fond of the two VW buses: one towing the No. 22 1957 Denzel 1300SS Roadster in front of that Citation Longitude and another from Meyers Manx supporting an adorable flying boat with “Smiles for Miles” written on the side. Now that’s the kind of private plane I could get behind.  

Aston Martin Valkyrie is set to lose its roof at Pebble Beach with roadster variant

Aston Martin is coming to Monterey Car Week with a new car reveal. The specific model name isn’t explicitly mentioned by Aston, but one look at the “teaser” gives us all the information we might need to suss it out.

The Valkyrie is losing its roof for a new Roadster variant that will join the existing hardtop and racing-only AMR Pro model. You must look rather closely at the roof area of the teaser, but upon inspection, the roof of the Valkyrie shown here is missing. Additionally, the doors have a new design to accommodate the missing roof. Instead of opening via the roof in gullwing fashion, they appear to be scissor doors. Beyond these details, we’re left to guess at the rest. The car looks similar to the standard coupe up front, and the convertible appears to keep the roof scoop, too.

Aston says the wraps will officially be taken off this new model on Thursday, August 12. After being revealed at a private event, the car will be available to see by invitation-only beginning the following day at the Aston Martin Club 1913. All Aston will say about the model so far is that it’s “a new product from the brand which extends the company’s performance credentials a step further.”

In addition to the new Valkyrie, Aston is also bringing the Valhalla supercar to North America for the first time. You can read all about that mid-engine car here, and then go check it out on Pebble Beach’s 18th fairway. If you want one, Aston just made its production run official — only 999 Valhallas will be built over the next two years.

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McLaren 765LT Spider drops the roof on the 755-horsepower supercar

The McLaren 765LT Spider is here, and just like the coupe, it’s a total monster. In fact, it’s a near carbon copy of the 765LT coupe in every way that it could be.

We’ll start with what’s new and different about the Spider. The power retractable roof is a single slab of carbon fiber. McLaren says it completes the opening or closing procedure in just 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. The roof mechanism is also far more refined than McLaren Spiders of the past, as McLaren promises the mechanism produces half as much noise as the 675LT Spider’s roof does.

McLaren LT cars are known for shedding pounds, and this 765LT Spider is no different. It weighs 176 pounds less than the 720S Spider it’s based on. This weight savings is accomplished through a variety of means. The LT’s forged wheels drop 49 pounds. The carbon fiber seats shed another 40 pounds. A lightweight battery drops 6.6 pounds. All the new carbon bodywork offers 11 pounds of weight savings. Deleting the floor carpet loses another 5.3 pounds. The titanium exhaust weighs 40% less than the standard stainless steel system. And lastly, McLaren deletes the air conditioning and radio as standard, dropping another 22 pounds and 3.3 pounds respectively. You can option both A/C and the radio back on as no-cost options, which is something we’d recommend you do.

Of course, making a removable roof version of the coupe means adding weight back. McLaren says the Spider is 108 pounds heavier than the coupe, a relatively light penalty for losing the roof. McLaren says the inherent stiffness of its carbon monocoque is enough that it didn’t need to add in a bunch of additional stiffening to keep the car rigid. Acceleration times are hardly diminished with the added weight. It has an identical 0-60 time as the coupe at 2.7 seconds. Unfortunately, the 0-124 time is reduced by 0.2 second to an agonizingly long 7.2 seconds (/sarcasm). Top speed is a coupe-matching 205 miles per hour.

Those bonkers acceleration capabilities come courtesy of the same mega powerful engine used in the coupe. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 755 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. You can listen to the exhaust via the powered rear window that brings you closer to the noise even if the top is up.

Just like the coupe, the Spider gets bespoke wheels, tires and brakes to add performance. All the aero enhancements for increased downforce are impossible to miss on the car’s heavily modified exterior — it makes 25% more downforce than the 720S Spider. Plus, the suspension is enhanced with more bespoke LT parts for the springs and dampers. It also gets a wider front track, lower ride height and unique suspension tuning above and beyond the 720S Spider. 

Getting your hands on a 765LT Spider coupe prove difficult due to the low production run McLaren is setting. Only 765 will be sold around the world, and McLaren says one-third of the production will come to the U.S. The starting price is $382,500. That’s $24,500 more than the coupe for those who are keeping track.

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Aston Martin makes the DB11 and its configurator more powerful

Aston Martin sold 4,150 cars last year, but the luxury automaker said its configurator served up more than two million specification sessions. Going with the overwhelming numbers, for 2022 Aston Martin has focused on “the customer journey” for imminent and aspirational buyers by rolling out a new and highly featured configurator. At last, the firm greets potential customers and the merely curious with the kind of luxury one expects of the brand. This is especially important for a company working through its Project Horizon turnaround, and also because, as the official Safety Car and Medical Car sponsor of Formula 1, traffic to Aston Martin’s web site spikes every time its Vantage and DBX are called out on track during races.  

The configurator’s been built using Epic Game’s Unreal engine, a digital creation tool building portals for everything from real estate to fashion, supplemented by Nvidia GTX graphics. In the present Phase One, visitors can place their chosen model in studio or outdoor environments, with daytime or nighttime lighting, and get high-res, zoomed-in beauty shots of their their vehicle details. Yet while Aston Martin poured new features into the configurator, it has reorganized and simplified the site’s use. For instance, individual elements such as exterior paint are broken into six color groupings like Blacks & Greys and Bronzes & Oranges, providing users a glimpse at the range of hues on offer without overwhelming them into analysis paralysis.

The surfeit of choice carries on inside, naturally — there are eleven carpet colors on offer and 12 shades of headliner. The simplifying rationalization carries on in the cabin, too, with three themes available to establish a quick baseline for personalization. The starter theme is called Create, showcasing ornate stitching on the seat bolsters, perforated, patterned seatbacks, door cards, and arm rest. Next up is Accelerate, which “will appeal to customers who wish for a more focused interior.” This one puts Alcantara all over, notably on the entire seat faces and bolsters, with leather trimming the seat sides and headrests. Create and Accelerate can be had in ten colors in monotone and duotone arrangements. Inspire, the topmost theme and “the epitome of luxury,” can be had in 38 colors and in monotone, duotone, and light duotone. This one comes with “the very best of material and color choices,” even more ornate stitching and broguing, trim inlays, and — get this — seatback veneers for anyone diminutive enough to curl into the back seat of one of the coupes to enjoy them. 

As to the objects of configuration, Aston Martin has made a few tweaks to next year’s lineup. The DBX, which has provided half of the company’s sales so far this year, adds wireless charging and a new 23-inch wheel. The coupe formerly known as the DBS Superleggera becomes just DBS, and the V12 DB11 AMR sheds its AMR suffix, but nothing else. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in the DB11 gets a 24-horsepower boost to 527 hp, and a higher 192-mph top speed. Drivers intending to use all of that puissance should option the new Sport Plus Seats which provide more shoulder, torso, and leg support. Finally, the DBS and DB11 can be had with new 21-inch wheel designs. 

The configurator is live now and has reported for service. Enjoy.

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Lamborghini’s Aventador replacement will receive a new V12 engine

Lamborghini is about to close one of the longest and most significant chapters in its history.

It announced the Aventador Ultimae unveiled in July 2021 is the last non-electrified, V12-powered street-legal model it will build. The car’s successor, whose name hasn’t been revealed yet, will inaugurate a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain built around a new V12 engine. Company boss Stephan Winkelmann filled us in on some of the details.

Sending off the non-electrified, V12-powered supercar is a big deal for Lamborghini, so a lot of time and resources went into increasing the engine’s output for the grand finale. It develops 770 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 531 pound-feet of torque at 6,750 rpm, figures that eclipse both the Aventador S and the Aventador SVJ. Winkelmann told Autoblog that 770 horses was “the best possible power output we could get” out of the 6.5-liter engine.

It’s the end of the road for this V12, because the Aventador’s replacement will receive a new engine. Winkelmann said it’s too early to reveal specific details, like its displacement, but he stressed it’s not something we’ve seen before. And the hybrid system is notably not related to the technology that powered the limited-edition Sián.

“The technology is different, it’s a completely new engine, a completely new drivetrain, a new battery, everything is completely new. There’s nothing out of the Sián or out of the Aventador [in the next flagship],” he said.

Some things won’t change. Winkelmann cited carbon fiber construction, four-wheel-drive, active aerodynamic technology, and a four-wheel steering system as attributes from the Aventador that are worth keeping. And, adding a turbo (or two, or three, or four) to the new V12 was never considered — forced induction adds weight and puts unnecessary stress on an engine. Besides, the V12 has “horsepower en masse.” Natural aspiration is here to stay.

Regulatory hurdles are part of what’s driving Lamborghini towards electrification, so the Ultimae truly is the last of its kind. However, the non-electrified V12 could live on in some few-off models built for track use, like the Essenza SCV12.

“For homologated cars, it’s a no. For the others, we will see. It’s not planned so far, but there could be an opportunity,” Winkelmann replied when asked if future V12-powered race cars could eschew a hybrid system.

This is it, then. Lamborghini will build 600 units of the Aventador Ultimae, a number split 350-250 between coupes and roadsters. One will join the firm’s museum at its headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, but officials haven’t decided how they will configure it, or which one they’ll keep. It won’t necessarily be the last Aventador. In the meantime, there are still build slots left if you want to add a slice of Lamborghini history to your collection.

Looking ahead, the Raging Bull isn’t out of ideas. Winkelmann told us its 2022 books are full of projects that need to reach production (either limited or series), so there’s a lot to come from the company in the next few years. 

“You have to always give the maximum to succeed in the market. The effort is never enough,” he said. “You have to start working when the others stop. This is one of the things that’s part of Lamborghini’s way of thinking.”

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Dallara EXP is a track-only toy based on the Stradale road car

Dallara just revealed a new sports car, but this one is for the track, unlike the road-focused Stradale. It’s called the Dallara EXP, and it’s what happens when you remove all road-going intentions from the Stradale.

You can see that there is no roof, and there isn’t a windshield either. Its design is heavily modified with high downforce in mind. There’s still a little Stradale in there, but most of the bodywork is modified to make it stick to the ground through corners. Visually, we can see a massive rear wing, a totally new front end and an enormous diffuser among many other added elements. Dallara says it produces 2,756 pounds of downforce at its top speed of 178 mph.

The neat thing about this Stradale-to-EXP exterior turnabout is that the entire package is modular. You can transform the EXP into the Stradale and back again if you so choose. Buyers in the U.S. are better off just sticking with the EXP configuration, though, because the Stradale is not federalized. That means the EXP will be for track-use-only here.

The Ford 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is still being used as the power source, but it’s making significantly more power than it does in the Stradale. Output is raised to 492 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and the 0-62 mph time is now 3.2 seconds. Shifting is done via a six-speed sequential gearbox. Dallara claims a dry weight of only 1,962 pounds, the true key to making the EXP as good as it is.

And that’s all Dallara is saying for now. Dallara claims its car laps Mugello in Italy quicker than GT3 competition cars, so there’s no doubt it’s a serious performer. Pricing isn’t out yet, and timing isn’t either. For some perspective, though, the street Stradale sells for about $200,000 (approximate U.S. dollar equivalent) in the places where you can buy it.

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2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet Road Test Review | The supercar as defined by the 911

If you can afford a supercar, do you want it to be a Porsche 911? That’s the question you ask yourself when considering the merits of the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. Do you want one of the highest evolutions of the 911 as opposed to a loaded Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan Evo or something else exotic? It’s a lot for the fortunate to consider.

Short of the race-bred GT3 line, the Turbos are as much Porsche 911 as anyone could ever desire. As one of my colleagues notes, the Turbos themselves are basically racecars, though he only tested the “regular” Turbo. I spent a week blasting around town top down (mostly) in the Turbo S. With 640 hp and a sprint to 60 time of 2.7 seconds, it’s the variant you simply can’t catch.

The high performance efficacy of the Turbo S comes from the 3.7-liter boxer six-cylinder, which produces a stunning 60 hp more than the previous generation. Torque is up 37 lb-ft to 590, helping the S shave 0.2 seconds off its 60-mph run. The Cabriolet is only a tenth slower. They both have top speeds of 205 mph. Additionally, Porsche’s Traction Management All-Wheel Drive system can send 368 lb-ft to the front wheels, depending on conditions. 

The unit is part of a new family of Porsche engines, and it has a new air intake system, larger intercoolers and larger symmetrical turbochargers than found in the old Turbo S. The intercoolers were moved from the rear fenders to right behind the engine to increase cooling 13%. The air filters are now in the fenders and there are two more air vents underneath the deck wing. The direct-injection system has Piezo injectors, which Porsche says increase output and responsiveness. The engine’s bones are found in the 3.0-liter 911 and a lesser-powered version is under the hood of the 911 Turbo (572 hp, 554 lb-ft). The Turbo S powerplant teams with the eight-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission, and the lofty top speed is reached in sixth gear.

The 2021 Turbo S features evolutionary new looks based on functionality. There’s a new rear wing, new front end and LED matrix-style headlights. The Turbo S isn’t a dramatic departure from its predecessor, but it’s 1.65 inches wider up front and 0.39 inches wider in back, with wider tires and front air vents, creating a more defined stance.

The Turbo S is now considerably more capable, and its looks reflect those chops. Still, our test car casts a subtle vibe, clad in Gentian Blue Metallic paint with a black cloth roof. The forged center-lock black wheels (20 inches in front, 21 in rear) have a polished gray 10-spoke design, and even the brake calipers are polished black, lending an understated feel to the aesthetic. Similarly, the truffle brown leather interior with chalk-colored stitching has a mellow feel with patterns that Porsche says recall the 930 Turbo. The optional Burmeister sound system ($3,980) with silver speaker covers accents the cabin and produces a dulcet sound.

Driving the Turbo S Cabrio is a mix of emotional and mechanical impulses. Porsches demand and reciprocate precision through engagement, and the steering immediately communicates a sense of the car’s exacting nature. Same with the brakes, which are carbon ceramic composite and 0.39 inches larger than the previous model. Rear-axle steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control are standard. The Porsche Active Suspension Management ($1,510 option) lowers ride height 0.39 inches and is offered as a factory option for the first time with improved shock absorbers and software calibrated for the Turbo S that adjusts damping continuously — allowing the car to be sportier and more comfortable. Our model also has the optional front axle lift feature that can raise the front of the car 1.6 inches and adds $2,770 to the sticker.

The Turbo S offers a formidable array of performance tools. Everything has its purpose, logically added for an assigned task. The emotions are stirred when these tools are put into use. Twisting the steering wheel drive mode selector to Sport, we enter a winding road lined with the summer’s complement of greenery. The exhaust grows louder, angrier, throatier. It already barks at shift points in the Normal setting, but Sport has the effect of poking the Turbo S with something sharp. This car has the Sport exhaust, a $3,490-option that’s worth it. Porsches, Jaguars, Ferraris and a few select Corvettes and Mustangs summon this kind of pulse-quickening sound that few others can match. Simply lifting off the throttle or downshifting produces a growl or a pop that’s better than some sports cars make at full roar.

Pausing under an overpass, the top comes down in seconds. Launching hard, we’re pulled back in our seats as we weave through the twists and turns leading through to Woodward Avenue. A hard right turn onto M-1 and we’re heading north. The sun breaks through and the temperatures sit around 65 degrees making this an idyllic summer day with echoes of fall. It’s cool for late June, but perfect convertible weather.

When caught in a downpour, Wet Mode detects water on the road and tunes the stability control and anti-lock brakes accordingly. Stating the obvious, the 911 then warns us to drive cautiously, which is appreciated. Plodding around town we notice the little things the car offers. The leather-covered steering wheel is large, fairly thin and has grips at 10 and 2 o’clock. The infotainment system is simple enough to use; contemporary and customizable but not too layered. In total, the 911 provides a flexible experience. For instance, you can drive in Normal or Wet and still turn on the Sport exhaust via a button or touchscreen. We drove in Normal with the exhaust pipes up — and Sport with the spoiler down, just to try different things. Obviously, it’s enjoyable to play around, but it’s logical to want to keep the Turbo S performance at heel yet still announce your arrival with an exhaust note. 

With the brown leather, sport exhaust, fancy speakers and a few other options, our test model stickers for $234,570, including destination and a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax. As noted in our 911 Turbo review, the 911 is already more car than you’ll ever need. Perhaps that’s the smart play, as the additional power isn’t necessary and the performance increases the S brings to the table are too small for mere mortals to notice. 

Enthusiasts with this kind of buying power often stop thinking metrically around $100,000. It becomes an object of uber prestige. They want the car because it’s the most expensive and the most powerful. Assuming the GT3 is simply too raw, this is the Porsche 911 in its highest form and you’re approaching future collector status. It’s living in the moment and investing in the future, and using that logic, there’s simply no substitute for the Turbo S. The convertible? Well that just makes it even more fun in the summer.

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The new Porsche 911 GTS

It has been 12 years since Porsche unveiled the first 911 GTS version, the ‘Sport’ version so to say of the already incredible Porsche 911, and today they added this more dynamic version to the latest incarnation of the 911 supercar from Germany, and it comes with more power and visual styling to set it apart from the regular 911 Carrera, compared to the current 911 Carrera S and the previous-generation 911 GTS, this new version adds 30 PS to the glorious six-cylinder boxer engine for a grand total of 480 PS (353 kW).

Starting at €140,981, the new Porsche 911 GTS is available in five different versions, either as a Carrera or Carrera 4 in both closed Coupé version as well as a breathtaking Cabriolet, but also as a 911 Targa 4 GTS … yes, you’ve seen that correct, the Targa is only available as a four-wheel-drive variant, but you can get them all in either an eight-speed PDK transmission or as a seven-speed manual, the PASM, or Porsche Active Suspension Management has been fine-tuned specifically for this GTS version.

The impressive brake system from the Porsche 911 Turbo is fitted onto the GTS too, but if you really want to get the maximum out of the special 911 GTS edition you’ll have to opt for the Lightweight Design Package that is now available on this GTS for the first time, and that takes 25 kgs off the overall weight of this supercar that can be distinguished from the other 911 models by the elaborate use of black on the exterior and black Race-Tex microfibre on the interior.

Don’t let the GTS name fool you into thinking there is no turbo on this Porsche 911 version, the 3-Liter flat-six engine is still turbocharged and delivers 480 PS as mentioned above, torque comes with a maximum of 570 Nm, the resulting acceleration figures are 3.3 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h with the PDK transmission, and getting back to a full stop comes courtesy of the high-performance braking system from the Porsche 911 Turbo hiding behind center-lock wheels, 20-inch for the front with a larger 21-inch wheel for the rear.

All of the Porsche 911 GTS models come with the Sport Design package as standard, showing distinctive trim for the front bumper, rear diffuser, and on the side sills. When looking at the trim around the headlight, including the daytime running light surrounds, these are darkened for the GTS, while the LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus) are standard too, however, the GTS does come with unique taillights.

When you would prefer lightweight carbon-fiber bucket seats, lighter glass on the side windows and the rear window, a lightweight battery, and the removal of the, mostly useless rear seats to get rid of about 25 kg of weight … go for the optional Lightweight Design Package, which also happens to come with rear-wheel-steering and some very nice aerodynamic touches.

If you don’t go for the more track-oriented Lightweight Design Package, the Porsche 911 GTS comes with Sport Seats Plus for the occupants with electric four-way adjustments, in front of the driver you’ll find a very nice GT Sport steering wheel and the famous Sport Chrono package, if you opt for the manual seven-speed gearbox, Porsche cuts 10 mm from the gear lever to allow faster gear changes … and just so you get the full acoustic experience, Porsche removed some insulation from the cabin so you can enjoy the sound from the sports exhaust better.

To make the experience complete, the central part of the seats, the steering wheel rim, the door handles and armrests, the storage compartment lid, and the gear lever all get the Race-Tex treatment, a very nice microfibre material inspired by racing, if you go for the GTS interior package you’ll get either Carmine Red or Crayon contrasted stitching, with this option you also get color-matched seat belts, GTS embroidery on the headrest, and the same shade used on the rev counter and Chrono face.

If you are looking to add one of these new Porsche 911 GTS versions to your garage, expect the first deliveries by November 2021.

Unleash your inner race car driver in this super-rare 2017 BAC Mono

Getting an open-wheel single-seater race car titled for street use in America is nearly impossible. Unless you’re in line for a Mercedes-AMG One, the next best thing is the BAC Mono, which is manufactured in strictly limited numbers in England. Finding one is difficult, but there’s a 3,000-mile example listed for sale on Cars & Bids.

BAC stands for Briggs Automotive Company, and it’s not a household name unless you’re well-versed in small, obscure car manufacturers based across the pond. Formed by two brothers in 2009, its goal was to create what it describes as “a road vehicle that offers the most authentic and pure driving experience possible while implementing the very latest racing technology.” Using an existing chassis was out of the question. BAC developed the Mono in-house on a blank slate, and it enlists the help of over 100 suppliers (95% of them British) to secure parts.

Carbon fiber keeps the Mono’s weight down to about 1,200 pounds, while a pushrod-style suspension system on both axles helps it deliver the kind of handling only race car pilots are normally acquainted with. If it rains, drive faster or wait it out in a dry spot; there are no wipers because there is no windshield, and a roof isn’t available.

The Mono’s engine comes from Ford, though it takes a trip through the Cosworth workshop before settling in ahead of the rear axle. It’s a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that provides around 280 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, and it’s bolted to a six-speed sequential gearbox that the driver must shift manually using paddles on the steering wheel. Note newer models use a different 2.3-liter Ford four that’s turbocharged to comply with emissions standards.

The example currently live on auction platform Cars & Bids was manufactured in 2014, shipped to the United States, and finally completed in 2017, which is the year listed on the title. It shows about 3,000 miles on a digital instrument cluster embedded into the steering wheel, and it’s unmodified with the exception of a red exterior wrap. Built for serious track use, it’s equipped with AP Racing brake calipers gripping carbon ceramic rotors, an adjustable suspension system, an exhaust system made with Inconel, and a five-point harness provided by Williams. It’s the opposite of a regular road car: its seat is fixed, but its braking bias can be adjusted by the driver.

Bidding is up to $42,068 as of writing with about five days left on the clock (four days as of publishing). We suggest adding this Mono to your watch list if you’re in the market for one; a little over 100 have been made since production started in 2011 so used examples rarely come up for sale, especially with an American title that’s ready to be transferred to the next owner. Bust out the measuring tape before placing a bid, though. The seat was made for a driver that measures between 5’7″ and 5’10” with an inseam of 32 inches or less. If you’re tall, or if your legs are long, you might not fit. BAC has never crowed itself a champion of practicality, but it released a variant of the Mono that’s a few inches wider in 2016.

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Corvette changes for 2022 include engine tweaks, higher price

Details for the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray are officially out. We already knew it was getting three new colors: Hypersonic Gray, Caffeine and Amplify Orange Tintcoat. But now Chevy has given us some other juicy details.

The big news concerns changes made to the 6.2-liter small block V8. Chevy says it upgraded the fuel injection system and “improved” the engine calibration. We chatted with Chief Engineer Josh Holder to dig into this and other changes on a deeper level. Essentially, the injection system operates at a higher pressure now, and Holder says that helps to lower emissions and provides greater stability at idle. That said, the engine keeps its 490 horsepower rating in base trim and 495 horsepower rating with the performance exhaust system. The 0-60 mph time for the Z51 car remains at 2.9 seconds, too. Holder noted that it took some work to both lower emissions and keep the power levels where they stand currently.

The last powertrain tweak is an “enhanced” Active Fuel Management range. Holder says that the engine will now deactivate cylinders over a broader range of rpms and in lower gears now. Engineers aren’t claiming that the EPA ratings will inch upward yet (we’re told to wait and see on that front), but they’re certain that real world fuel economy will see a noticeable improvement.

A few lesser changes include the addition of some aero options. There’s a new low-profile rear spoiler and a new front splitter available. Both will only be optional on the non-Z51 models.

Lastly, we come to the price. The 2022 Corvette will start at $62,195, including the destination charge. That’s a $1,200 increase over the 2021 model and $2,200 higher than the original 2020 model year price that started at $59,995. It’s never fun to see prices go up, but even with this price increase, it remains a performance bargain. 

If you were thinking about going Convertible, the price went up on this model, too. It’ll start at $69,695, which amounts to the same $1,200 price increase year-over-year as the coupe. Production for the 2022 model year (in all configurations) is currently slated to begin late in the third quarter this year.

Also see: 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition

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Bussink GT R Speedlegend is an extra-open Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster

The number of roofless (and windshield-less) supercars continues to grow, and now even the aftermarket is getting into making wildly expensive rockets without a roof. The particular rocket we’re referring to here is the Bussink GT R Speedlegend. Who or what is Bussink? Well, Bussink is the last name of Ronald A. Bussink — a product designer who made his money in amusement rides and leisure facilities — and he’s the man responsible for the car you’re looking at here.

This intriguing contraption is based on the new Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster, a model that is limited to just 750 units worldwide. What you see is basically what you get. Bussink sought engineering help from the HWA AG team in Affalterbach to build this extra-open version of the GT R Roadster. The “Speedbow” that travels from the hood back to the rear of the car is what gives the Speedlegend its defining look. It’s inspired by the Formula 1 protective halo, and the car as a whole is meant to emulate the roofless SLR Stirling Moss. The bow incorporates lights and necessary sensors that might’ve been removed when the top and windshield went away.

To execute this design, the convertible top is completely removed, and the A-pillars and windows are shortened. Bussink claims this drops 220 pounds and lowers the car’s center of gravity. Bussink added styled louvers, body-color-painted carbon fiber throughout and even more power than what Mercedes-AMG offers from the factory. It’s an optional item, but you can have Bussink increase output to 850 horsepower, which is far more than the 577 horses you get stock. 

Bussink GT R Speedlegend

If downforce is what you want, Bussink says it has the ability to fit the AMG GT R Pro’s front. Driving around will require use of a helmet — there is technically a windshield, but it looks too small to be useful. Each car comes with a helmet that is color-matched to the car’s paint. Owners had the ability to modify the interior with body-color-painted accents, decorative stitching or a new carbon fiber steering wheel with LED shift lights. It comes with a fancy Armin Strom watch, too.

Bussink limited build slots to just five cars, and all of them are already spoken for. A price wasn’t provided, but it’s surely very expensive — the car had an MSRP of $189,750 from Mercedes. With the help of AMG-entwined HWA, we suspect this car’s engineering and performance won’t disappoint. Seeing the instant sales success, Bussink says there will be more cars like this one coming down the road.

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Aston Martin V12 Speedster DBR1 specification pays homage to a beautiful race car

Aston Martin debuted the limited-run V12 Speedster over a year ago, and today it’s introducing a special edition version of the roofless and windshield-less supercar. It’s called the DBR1 specification, as it takes after the DBR1 race car from the 1950s. 

You’ll immediately see the resemblance between the two in the gorgeous photos above. The V12 Speedster is finished in the same Aston Martin Racing Green paint, and features the same Clubsport White pinstripe and roundels. A Satin Silver anodized finish is applied to the grille to match, and a Clubsport lipstick graphic caps off the front. You also get 21-inch center-lock wheels finished in a Satin Black paint — Aston says each Speedster in this spec spends over 50 hours in the painting process alone.

You’ll get Conker saddle leather on the inside that is complemented by Viridian Green textile and Caithness leather. The interior also features glossy carbon fiber trim and satin silver brushed aluminum switchgear. Aston says this combo is its modern interpretation of the DBR1’s interior. And do remember that there is no roof — we have a feeling that you don’t want this interior getting wet.

In case you were curious as to why Aston Martin is using the DBR1 as inspiration here, you should know that the car has a rather commendable history in racing. It won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, is a three-time winner of the 1,000-km of Nürburgring and also took the World Sportscar Championship the year it won Le Mans. On top of that, it’s just flat-out gorgeous.

“Creating a bespoke specification that nods to the glory of the DBR1 has been a huge privilege for my team and I, and I very much look forward to seeing these cars being driven with the same enthusiasm that we have applied to their design,” says Marek Reichman, Aston’s chief creative officer.

This DBR1 specification features the same vitals as the standard V12 Speedster. That means it has a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 under its hood that makes 700 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. It’ll do 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds on its way to a 198 mph top speed. Have fun doing that without a windshield.

Aston says you can order a V12 Speedster in this spec now and expect delivery in mid-2021. No price for the DBR1 was given, but the car starts at about $950,000. We suspect this one is a good bit more, likely arcing past the $1 million mark.

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The Continental GT Speed Convertible

In late March 2021, Bentley unveiled the impressive Continental GT Speed edition, the top of the line version in terms of performance and driver-focused in the Bentley model range, but I’m more of an open-top kind of driver, so I was really happy to see Bentley now adds their Convertible model to the ‘Speed’ range too, with the new Continental GT Speed Convertible.

Usually, the open-top version of the Bentley Continental GT gets the GTC denomination, but for the Speed version they keep it at GT Speed Convertible, strange, but that’s marketing I guess, still, this new gran tourer now offers everything we’ve seen on the Speed coupe, but with the added bonus of having your hair in the wind, enjoying the sun with the impressive burble of the massive, 6.0-liter W12 TSI engine emitting from the large exhaust at the rear.

The Continental GT Speed Convertible still comes with 650 bhp and 900 nM (664 lb-ft) of torque to deliver an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in only 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph (335 km/h) … with the top down, I guess a trip to the hairdresser will be required after testing that top speed.

Every Bentley convertible has been known for being as quiet as the coupe once the roof comes up, and on this Continental GT Speed Convertible that is no different, Bentley proudly states: “Roof improvements deliver a convertible as quiet inside as the previous generation coupe”, which isn’t bad, to be honest, and to make things even more interesting, you have to choice of seven different roof colors … including tweed. The Z-Fold roof only takes 19 seconds to change this car from a luxurious coupe to an open GT, fully automated naturally.

Naturally, the new GT Speed Convertible comes with enhanced chassis technology, including All-Wheel Steering, an electronic rear differential, and optional carbon-ceramic disks, but also with the special Speed sport sills, dark tint grilles, and Speed badging, while three different finished are possible on the bespoke 22-inch forged Speed wheels.

Chris Craft, Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing at Bentley Motors, comments: “The new Speed is the most driver-focused Continental GT Convertible available and unique in its ability to offer extremely refined, all-season open-top Grand Touring with the added edge of astonishing performance and dynamism. Combined with exquisite, handcrafted interior details, the Continental GT Speed Convertible exemplifies all Bentley knows about creating the world’s most stylish and elegant cars for roof-down motoring.”

Being a convertible, this new Bentley requires additional commodities compared to the Continental GT Speed coupe, a neckwarmer is seamlessly integrated into the heated and vented Comfort Seats, optimizing efficiency and airflow around the electrically adjustable headrests. The styling highlight of the new neckwarmer is a chrome center vane that stretches the full width of the duct, echoing Bentley’s famous “bullseye” vents. Combined with a heated steering wheel and heated armrests, these sophisticated comfort features create a luxurious driving experience in all
environments.

Our extensive image gallery on the new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible:

2021 Chevy Corvette loses its sub-$60,000 base price in mid-model year increase

The C8 Chevrolet Corvette snuck into its second model year without a price increase, but it’s not going to stay that way for the 2021 edition. A new report from CorvetteActionCenter.com confirms that GM is raising the base price of the C8 by $1,000 starting today, March 1.

That means the new base price for a Corvette is $60,995. It also means the days of Chevy advertising the C8 as a sub-$60,000 sports car are over. A report back in 2019 predicted that the $59,995 price wouldn’t last too long, and it’s proven to be at least partially correct.

We contacted GM to confirm the news, and received this statement — the same provided to CorvetteActionCenter.com — in response:

The MSRP of the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible at all trim levels will increase by $1,000 beginning March 1. Customers who have event code 1100 sold orders and beyond by March 2 will not be impacted by the price increase on the 2021 Corvette Stingray. We monitor and adjust pricing on all our products regularly, and we’re confident the Corvette remains a winning formula of performance and attainability.

This confirms that it’s not just the base-level car getting more expensive. The price increase is applied evenly across the entire lineup. Those who have already ordered their 2021 Corvettes are the lucky ones. Anybody who was waiting will be on the hook for the extra $1,000.

Price increases are never fun, but this is one that we can stomach without much complaint. The Corvette overshoots its price by wide margins in every facet. Basically, it drives and presents itself as a car worth far more than the original $59,995 asking price. Adding $1,000 doesn’t do so much as to even dent its status as the bargain supercar that it is. That said, we’ll be watching out for continued price creep over the years. The C7 increased its price by $5,000 from start to finish. At this rate, the C8 is tracking along a similar path.

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Porsche 930 Turbo SE G50 ‘Flachbau’ Cabriolet

Anyone who followed the ‘World Championship of Makes’ (essentially an International championship for long-distance Sports Car racing), will remember their surprise at the shape of the new Porsche 935 when it first appeared at Mugello in March 1976. Subsequently, these ‘Flatnose’ 935s and 936s (in Group 6) were to prove very competitive in the hands of Ickx, Mass and Stommelen and during the next two seasons managed four victories in eight World Championship races and a triumph at Le Mans in each year.

However, Porsche began to worry that all these victories by the works Flatnose cars might alienate the vast number of private clients who were investing their own money in conventionally-shaped competition 911s, and decided to restrict their efforts for 1978 to an entry at Le Mans.

The distinctive look of the “Flachbau” (literally translated as Low Build) obviously retained its appeal in the minds of their road car customers and, from 1981 until early 1989, Porsche 930 Turbo buyers could specify their car in this style to special order. Just 50 ‘C16’ cars were manufactured for the UK-market, initially equipped with an uprated engine of 330bhp (from 300) mated to a 4-speed transmission. However, at the end of 1988, the uprated 5-Speed G50 gearbox was introduced, dramatically easing the peaks in power delivery by reducing the effects of ‘turbo-lag’. The factory SE also benefited from a dual-exit exhaust system, limited-slip differential, heated front seats and a sunroof.

This example is a genuine, factory-produced, C-16, Porsche 930 Turbo SE G50 Cabriolet built in 1989 under the ‘Sonderwunchprogramm’ (Special Wishes Programme). It’s superbly finished in White Pearl with a matching leather interior and has covered just 33,168 miles in the hands of three private owners prior to spending time in two of the highest-profile exclusive collections in the UK since 2014.

It’s supplied with an extensive history file detailing expenditure of over £45,000 lavished on this stunning Porsche during 2017 to ensure that it presents today in the best possible condition for an enthusiast or collector alike. The history file also contains all its previous MOTs and the service book displays sixteen service stamps helping to corroborate the indicated mileage.

With only seven C-16 examples of this specific model produced in 1989, this really is the ‘Holy Grail’ when considering a 930 and we would welcome any inspection of this rather special Porsche.

The Right Hand Drive on this specific Porsche might limit the possible market for it, but I still think Silverstone Auctions will find a buyer for this one, I personally really love this generation of Porsche, and a Slantnose Convertible is just the ultimate one … I even had a 1/18 scale model of this exact spec, white on white … but it was a LHD.

Bentley starts testing the sold-out, 200-mph Bacalar roadster

Bentley took the limited-edition Bacalar from a sketch to a 200-plus-mph roadster in nine months, a shockingly short amount of time. Its engineers are now putting the first car through its paces at the same break-neck speed.

Although the Bacalar is based on the Continental GT, the British firm explained nearly everything the driver will see and feel is specific to the car. Bentley developed over 750 new parts for it, including 40 built with carbon fiber, and the roadster shares no body panels with other members of the company’s range. All of these components have to meet the same stringent quality standards as those created for regular-production models.

Bentley gave its team 20 weeks to fine-tune the first prototype (pictured), which it calls car zero. Testing started earlier in 2020, so the car has already been put through a wind tunnel and pushed to the limit at triple-digit speeds — it’s as stable and quiet as customers expect. Next, test drivers will pile on the miles to see how it holds up over time. They’ll then test it at up to 176 degrees, and the final step will be validating the electrical system.

Power for the Bacalar comes from a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine, which produces 650 horsepower and 667 pound-feet of torque. It spins the four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Bentley hasn’t revealed what it will do with car zero at the end of the testing phase. Production is scheduled to start in 2021, and the 12 examples planned have already been spoken for. Each one will be unique; buyers will be invited to work directly with the company’s design department to configure the interior and the exterior.

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Pagani Huayra Tricolore celebrates Italian Air Force aerobatic team with aeronautic features

The Italian Air Force’s aerobatic team, known as the Frecce Tricolori, is celebrating its 60th anniversary next year. To celebrate, Pagani has created the Huayra Tricolore, a very limited-edition variant of the open-top Huayra supercar. Only three will be built, and each features design inspiration from the Aermacchi MB-339A P.A.N. jets flown by the Frecce Tricolori, plus performance upgrades from the Huayra Imola. It all makes for one impressive machine.

The first and most obvious connection between the Huayra and the jets that inspired it is the color scheme. It has a blue translucent carbon fiber finish with bright green, white and red stripes along the sides. Other details tying the vehicles together are the rear wing with supports modeled after the plane tail fins (also, it’s a wing), turbine-style wheels, and billet aluminum parts inside and out in a blue anodized finish. Each car gets a number representing a member of the team, too, with 0 for the team commander, 1 for the lead formation pilot, and 10 for the solo flyer. The aeronautic showpiece, though, is the pitot tube on the nose that is fully functional and measures air speed. This is then displayed on a meter in the cabin with information in knots and mach speed.

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There are other changes to the Huayra Tricolore that aren’t quite as obsessed with the idea of being a land plane. The car gets a deeper front splitter and a revised front bumper with new air vents to increase intercooler efficiency. A new roof scoop is fitted for better airflow to the engine bay. The interior also gets blue and white seats with green, white and red inserts that are similar to the Zonda Tricolores built for the Frecce Tricolori’s 50th anniversary. The seats and the four-point harness buckles also feature the emblem of the aerobatic team.

Backing up the bold design are engine and chassis upgrades from the Huayra Imola track car. The engine is the same twin-turbocharged AMG-developed V12 making 829 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. The stiffer chassis comes from the track car, as does the interlinked electronically controlled suspension. So in many ways it’s a roadster version of the Imola.

It also happens to be more expensive than the Imola. The price is 5.5 million Euros, which comes to $6.75 million at current exchange rates. That doesn’t include tax, either.

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