All posts in “coupe”

Ferrari 296 GTB new hybrid V6 sports car plugs you in to 819 horsepower

Ferrari’s new V6-powered sports car is here. Although it’s not just V6-powered. This new Ferrari 296 GTB also features a pair of turbos and a plug-in hybrid system to generate power. It actually makes more power than either the F8 or the Roma. Neither car has to worry about being replaced, though, as this is just another addition to the Ferrari line.

Of course the highlight of this car is the powertrain, a Ferrari first, and it actually gives the car its name, with the 29 standing for the displacement and the 6 for the number of cylinders. It’s not quite accurate, though, since the displacement rounds up to 3.0 liters. The engine is a super wide 120 degrees, and nestled in the “V” are the turbochargers. Between the engine and the transmission is the electric motor. The V6 on its own makes 654 horsepower, and the electric motor makes 165 horsepower. Total output is 819 horsepower with 546 pound-feet of torque. The engine can also rev to 8,500 rpm. Power goes solely to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s all packaged in a car that has a 2-inch shorter wheelbase than the F8.

The results of this engine are impressive. It will hit 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and 124 mph in 7.3 seconds. Top speed is 205 mph. And with a full charge, the 296 can drive 15.5 miles entirely on electricity.

Ferrari is also offering a higher-performance variant of the 296 called the Assetto Fiorano. It adds some aerodynamic aids to the nose, and it lighter by about 26 pounds. It can be made lighter still with the addition of a Lexan rear window. Suspension is bolstered with Multimatic spool-valve shocks (like those used by the Ford GT and Chevy Colorado ZR2). Ferrari also offers stripes as an option to make it stand out visually.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS with Manthey kit sets Nurburgring production car lap record

Porsche is claiming the Nürburgring lap record for a production car once more, and it’s doing so with a 911 GT2 RS. However, there’s the slightest bit of gray area with this particular record. The 911 GT2 RS that broke the record is fitted with a Manthey Performance Kit. That screams “modified” at first blush, but Porsche skirts around that issue by saying that it offers this Manthey Performance Kit as a Porsche Tequipment option and sells it via Porsche Centers. This satisfies the “production” requirements, so the lap record is filed thusly.

Mercedes-AMG might be a little chuffed, though. This Manthey Performance Kit-equipped GT2 RS beat its AMG GT Black Series (previous record holder) around the ‘Ring by just 0.316 second. As Dominic Toretto says in “The Fast and the Furious” though, “It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.”

Porsche’s official time set by development driver Lars Kern is 6:43.300 minutes. Versus a non-Manthey GT2 RS, it’s 4.747 seconds quicker. Modifications were made to the chassis, brakes and aero components to make the lap faster.

The new dampers in front have three different settings, while the rears have four. A new pad compound is paired with Porsche’s carbon ceramic rotors that is even more aggressive than standard. And the aero improvements include added flaps on the front spoiler, a new rear spoiler, modified diffuser, additional underbody coverings and aero discs on the rear wheels. Downforce in front at 124 mph increases from 108 pounds to 154 pounds. In the rear, it goes up from 205 pounds to 441 pounds. Kern cites the additional downforce as the main additive that allowed the lap to be nearly five seconds quicker than a normal GT2 RS.

Manthey’s last change includes an additional water tank for spray cooling of the intercoolers. The extra tank allows for fewer fill-ups, which is perfect for those who buy the track-focused Manthey kit. Porsche says European owners of the GT2 RS can order the kit now from a Porsche Center. It all comes with a Porsche warranty, and Porsche promises the kit will come to other markets in time.

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2021 Lamborghini Huracán Evo RWD First Drive | One smart, well-groomed bull

LE CASTELLET, France — Growing up in the 1990s, the Italian supercars I read about sounded like the automotive equivalent of kayaking over a waterfall — thrilling, unforgettable, and potentially very hazardous. The industry’s elites were often described as cramped, unpredictable, and generally finicky but extremely rewarding for the few skilled enough to tame them.

It’s a stigma that still hovers above the supercar segment like a dark cloud in 2021, yet with a handful of notable exceptions, it hasn’t been accurate in many years. It takes little more than a lively jaunt in a 2021 Lamborghini Huracán Evo RWD to spot how Italy’s unique breed of road weapon has evolved over the past few decades.

Autoblog has spent time in the Huracán Evo before, but it was in an all-wheel-drive model that we put through its paces on the Willow Springs track in Southern California. Fast-forward to 2021, and I’m in a rear-wheel-drive coupe on the picturesque winding roads surrounding the Paul Ricard circuit in Southern France. I couldn’t sneak my way onto the track for a few laps because Super Trofeo and GT3-spec variants of the Huracán hogged it all weekend.

Several carmakers positioned all over the automotive spectrum have used the Evo designation. In Lamborghini-speak, it denotes not a rally-bred sports sedan but an evolution of the Huracán with subtle design tweaks that add downforce and increase the amount of cooling air channeled to the engine bay. It still looks like a Huracán, but you don’t need a magnifying glass to tell the updated model apart from its predecessor, especially from the back.

Lamborghini saves scissor doors for its V12-powered models, like the Aventador S, so the Huracán’s swing out like in a normal car’s. Once inside, the first thing you notice is that it feels like a proper luxury car. The cabin is dominated by Alcantara, leather, and a type of carbon fiber called Forged Composites (which was developed in-house by the brand). It’s all very well put together; the fit and finish is excellent. In the driver’s seat, you face a digital instrument cluster whose layout changes depending on the driving mode selected (they’re called Strada, Sport, and Corsa, respectively) and a three-spoke steering wheel with a switch that lets you select the three aforementioned profiles.

Even a supercar needs technology in 2021. Stuffing a mammoth engine in a lightweight chassis hidden under an attention-grabbing body is no longer enough to lure enthusiasts. Lamborghini knows this, so one of the tricks it taught the Huracán before assigning it the Evo nameplate is a new infotainment system displayed on an 8.4-inch touchscreen. This is a major update, because the original Huracán released in 2014 didn’t have a touchscreen. Its infotainment system was displayed in the instrument cluster. Specific to Lamborghini, the software is quick, straightforward to navigate, and the screen’s graphics are almost as sharp as the exterior design. Better yet for technophiles, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is programmed directly into the system.

Embedding a tablet-like screen into the center console allowed Lamborghini to send a variety of buttons back to the parts bin, including the volume knob, but there’s one that hasn’t been dethroned yet: the ignition switch. It’s located under a red flap, fighter jet-style, and pushing it fires off a naturally-aspirated, 5.2-liter V10 tuned to deliver 602 horsepower at a screaming 8,000 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque at a slightly less riotous 6,500 rpm. It’s mounted directly behind the driver, where you’d find booster seats and/or a load of suitcases in more pedestrian sports cars, and it spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive is this version of the Huracán’s party trick: it swaps four-wheel grip for oversteer and loses about 70 pounds by relinquishing its front axle and the all-wheel-drive model’s rear-wheel steering system. It also lets 29 horses escape from its cavalry.

We know the Huracán is capable of great things on the track — there’s a good reason Lamborghini makes no major chassis modifications to the cars it builds for its Super Trofeo one-make series — but it lives up to the hype even if you prefer not to don a racing suit. It whooshes off the line with a soft brutality that makes you immediately understand the definition of a supercar as its exhaust system trumpets out an addicting racecar-like tune. The 29-horsepower difference between the rear- and all-wheel-drive Huracán isn’t instantly perceptible, there is plenty of power to go around, and hitting 60 mph from a stop takes about 3.1 seconds. Having less weight over the front axle also makes a difference in terms of handling, especially in Sport mode. Corsa mode kills all electronics and is best saved for the track.

Sport is the sweet spot in the driving mode hierarchy, then. It makes Lamborghini’s smallest bull high-strung without turning it into a beast that can’t be tamed (or, worse, one that tames its driver), and it unlocks just the right amount of aggression to make twisty roads feel like a roller coaster. With your foot buried in the throttle, and your right hand on the carbon fiber shift paddle, ready for a split-second upshift, the Huracán displays a level of agility that’s more natural than what you get in the all-wheel-drive model with its trick four-wheel steering system. It’s not better or worse; it’s a different breed of supercar. The steering is direct and accurate, the suspension keeps body roll at bay, and brake rotors the size of a medium pizza slow the Huracán at least as quickly as it accelerates.

Don’t get the wrong idea: Grip is phenomenal, even without the front wheels receiving power. That’s partly due to the electronic wizardry happening behind the scenes, and to styling revisions that increase downforce on the front axle.

On a track, the fun only ends when the safety car comes out, or when the checkered flag stretches its threads. On the street, motorists routinely encounter situations that are tedious, annoying, or plain bland. The V10 is as bored as I am humming behind a Citroën C15 — a simple, do-it-all van with a life expectancy that rivals a red dwarf star’s — on a narrow road with too many oak tree-lined blind corners to pass, but it doesn’t show it. Flick the steering-wheel-mounted switch to engage Strada mode (which numbs most chassis settings and hushes the exhaust), crank up the radio, and comfortably follow along as the air conditioning keeps you cool. This compliance shows another facet of the Huracán, and it’s part of what sets this car apart from its less docile predecessors.

Drawbacks? Yep, even in a Lamborghini, you’ll find a couple. Cargo capacity is largely symbolic, so you’ll need to get creative if you plan to spend a week on the road. I don’t think anyone makes a trailer hitch for a Huracán, but several aftermarket vendors sell roof boxes that look really cool. And, it goes without saying that subtlety isn’t available from Sant’Agata Bolognese. While the Huracán can make you feel like you’re flying, it’s never under the radar. These quirks have been passed down from generation to generation; the V12-powered Miura was hardly a role model in the realm of practicality.

Configured with rear-wheel-drive, the Lamborghini Huracán Evo is one of the purest expressions of the supercar ethos money can buy. It’s quick, head-turning, loud, expensive, and unapologetically rowdy, which is exactly what it should be. Anything less would be a monstrous insult to the Italian gods of motoring, especially coming from one of the companies that laid the foundations of the segment as we know it in 2021. On a secondary level, it’s relatively easy to live with thanks to a luxurious interior and just the right amount of in-car technology. Sure, it falls short in nearly every category when compared to the all-wheel-drive model on paper, but its character can’t be quantified.

Supercars have never been merely about numbers, after all.

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Rimac reportedly planning stock IPO as it draws closer to Bugatti

FRANKFURT — Croatian electric hypercar maker Rimac is exploring several options for its future, a spokesperson for the group said in response to a report outlining plans for an initial public offering next year.

Germany’s Manager Magazin reported that Rimac, in which Volkswagen’s Porsche unit owns a 24% stake, was planning an IPO in 2022 at a valuation of 5 billion euros ($6.1 billion), without disclosing where it obtained the information.

“As for going public, we’re considering different options, but it hasn’t been decided which direction we’ll go in,” the Rimac spokesperson said.

Rimac has developed an electric supercar platform which it supplies to other carmakers, including Automobili Pininfarina.

It is currently working on a strategic partnership with Volkswagen unit Bugatti, which will likely result in a joint venture between Porsche and Rimac, with Porsche as a minority partner, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said in March.

“The future of Bugatti is an issue that will be decided on a group level,” Porsche said in a statement, declining to comment further.

Porsche boss Oliver Blume earlier this year said intense discussions on Bugatti’s future were ongoing and that Rimac could play a role as the brands were a good technological fit, adding that a decision was expected in the first half of 2021.

Earlier this month, Rimac revealed the 1,914-horsepower Rimac Nevera.

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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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Corvette IMSA special edition pays tribute to the C8.R race cars

Chevrolet is making news today with its 2022 Corvette. There are two big items to look into. One is the announcement of a special edition model, which we’ll cover, here. The second batch of news concerns 2022 model year changes for the Corvette, of which there are a few significant ones. You can learn more about that by clicking here.

This special edition model is formally named the 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition. That’s one hell of a mouthful. In simpler terms, it’s a Corvette with a unique appearance package meant to pay tribute to the Corvette C8.R’s inaugural season. The Corvette Racing team won everything it could in the IMSA sports car championship series last year with the C8.Rs snagging the manufacturers’, drivers’ and team titles.

Chevy used those winning race cars as the inspiration for its road car special edition appearance package. You can get two color combinations, and each comes with Corvette Racing graphics packages on them. Accelerate Yellow models (No. 3) have gray graphics, while Hypersonic Gray cars (No. 4) have yellow accents. Every special edition will be based on the top-line 3LT trim and be fitted with the Z51 Performance Package.

All of them get the larger rear wing and mirrors done in Carbon Flash, yellow brake calipers, Black Trident design wheels (with “Jake” logo on the center caps) and black rockers and splash guards. The interior follows the exterior in its colors and design. You get a Strike Yellow and Sky Cool Gray two-tone look, along with yellow seat belts and a C8.R Special Edition numbered plaque. The Corvette’s GT2 seats come standard, but you can option the super aggressive Competition Sport buckets, too.

This special edition comes with its own indoor car cover that is matched to the spec of your version. The package’s price is $6,595 on top of the 3LT Z51 pack car. Chevy is only going to produce 1,000 of these, so if you want one, it’d be wise to speak up quickly to a dealer

If you want to know all the changes Chevy made to the 2022 model year Corvette, make sure to check this post out.

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Bugatti Chiron Super Sport revealed a long-tail, high-speed grand tourer

Bugatti is done setting speed records, but it’s proud of what it accomplished in the years it spent chasing the crown. It channeled some of the lessons it learned into a new, high-speed-focused Chiron variant called Super Sport.

While the Super Sport is instantly recognizable as a member of the Chiron family, it wears a more streamlined body than other variants (like the handling-focused Chiron Pur Sport) characterized by a redesigned front splitter, air curtains on either side of the front bumper, and a rear end that has been extended by nearly 10 inches. The rear air diffuser has a new look, too. These changes improve aerodynamic efficiency while creating the high level of downforce required to keep the Chiron firmly planted to the ground at the triple-digit speeds it’s designed to reach.

Even the smaller tweaks seen on the Super Sport weren’t made strictly in the name of design. Bugatti explained the nine holes above each front wheel create downforce by releasing air pressure from the wheel wells. On a secondary level, they also create a visual link between the EB110 (which also wore the Super Sport designation) and the limited-edition Centodieci. Model-specific five-spoke wheels add a finishing touch to the function-over-form design. 

Bugatti developed the Super Sport as a grand tourer, so giving it a stripped-out, race car-like interior was out of the question. The cabin blends timeless materials, like leather and aluminum, with carbon fiber components that hint at the car’s lightweight construction. Buyers can customize nearly everything inside, including the upholstery.

Power for the Super Sport comes from Bugatti’s prestigious W16 engine, an 8.0-liter unit fitted with four turbos. It develops 1,577 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque in this application. Engineers made changes to the turbos, to the engine oil pump, and to the cylinder head in order to increase the 16-cylinder’s redline to 7,100 rpm (a 300-rpm bump) and to make the full torque output available across a much broader spectrum. The engine still spins the four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, though the seventh gear is longer. 

Helped by a 50-pound weight reduction, the Super Sport takes 5.8 seconds to reach 124 mph (200 kph) from a stop. Keep it floored, and the speedometer shows 186 mph (300 kph) in 12.1 seconds. Its top speed lies in the vicinity of 273 mph. Bugatti also added a tighter steering system and firmer springs to improve high-speed stability, and it retuned the electronically-controlled chassis system. None of these changes would mean much without proper tires, however.

Michelin developed Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires specifically for the Super Sport. They’re rated for speeds of up 310 mph (500 kph) thanks to reinforced belts. Interestingly, they developed using a test bench originally designed for the Space Shuttle, and Michelin puts each tire in an x-ray machine to check for even the tiniest irregularities.

Bugatti will begin building the Chiron Super Sport in the coming months, and deliveries are scheduled to start in early 2022. Pricing starts at 3.2 million euros (around $3.9 million) before taxes and options are factored in. 

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Bugatti reveals the final version of the one-off La Voiture Noire

Bugatti is ready to deliver the La Voiture Noire, a one-of-a-kind model introduced at the 2019 edition of the Geneva auto show. Based on the Chiron, the coachbuilt coupe meets the same quality standards as a series-produced car.

Making the La Voiture Noire a reality took two years because it underwent a long list of tests before Bugatti signed it off. As we’ve previously reported, it was blasted with thousands of gallons of water to ensure it’s watertight and was driven flat-out on a track, among other evaluations. Over 65,000 engineering hours were invested into the project, a number that underlines the significant differences between the La Voiture Noire and the Chiron it’s related to. And yet, Bugatti managed to keep the show car’s lines and finer design details intact during development.

While the quad-turbocharged, 1,479-horsepower 8.0-liter W16 engine comes from the Chiron, all of the carbon fiber exterior panels are new and the wheelbase is slightly longer. Bugatti also notes each headlight features 25 individually-milled elements, and that the grille was 3D-printed. Overall, the La Voiture Noire wears a purer, more touring-oriented design than the aforementioned Chiron and the Divo. It’s not fitted with a rear wing, for example.

Interior photos haven’t been released, but we’re told the seats are upholstered in Havana Brown leather. It creates a classic ambience that matches the turned aluminum inlays scattered across the cabin, like on the center console.

There is but a single example of the La Voiture Noire, and Bugatti’s not taking bids. The coupe is already sold to an anonymous collector, who paid 11 million euros (about $13.4 million at the current conversion rate) for it before taxes enter the equation. Time will tell if the new owner reveals his or her identity, drives the car, or keeps it tucked away in a private collection. In the meantime, the French firm will work on bringing the Centodieci to production.

Perhaps inspired by Bugatti’s success, some of the other luxury carmakers have started breathing new life into the long-lost tradition of coachbuilding during the past few years. Rolls-Royce notably created a yacht-inspired, one-of-a-kind convertible called Boat Tail for an anonymous couple that reportedly paid approximately $28 million for it.

What’s in a name?

La Voiture Noire literally translates to “The Black Car” in French. It’s entirely black, but there’s more to it than paint and trim. Bugatti design boss Achim Anscheidt explained his team drew inspiration from one of the four examples of the Type 57 SC Atlantic built; it was driven by Jean Bugatti, the son of company founder Ettore Bugatti, and nicknamed La Voiture Noire. It enigmatically disappeared before World War II, and it hasn’t been found since. It could have been destroyed during the conflict, but there’s a sliver of a chance that it’s hidden in a barn somewhere in a remote part of France; crazier things have happened. If found, it would be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Rimac C_Two morphs into the 1,914-hp Nevera electric hypercar

Rimac has introduced the production version of the C_Two concept unveiled in 2018. Called Nevera, it’s an electric hypercar with four motors that join forces to deliver 1,914 horsepower and a 1.85-second zero-to-60-mph sprint.

“This is it. This is the car I had in mind when I embarked on the ‘impossible’ journey 10 years ago. All of our hard work has resulted in the Nevera, our record-breaking hypercar,” company founder Mate Rimac said proudly.

Most of the Nevera’s key components were developed in-house in spite of high-profile partnerships with Porsche and with Hyundai, among other big carmakers, and nearly every part of the car has been improved since it made its debut as the C_Two at the 2018 edition of the Geneva auto show. Its 440-pound monocoque is the largest single piece of carbon fiber used in the car industry, Rimac claims, and it plays a significant role in increasing structural rigidity. It’s in this frame that engineers embedded an H-shaped, liquid-cooled lithium-manganese-nickel battery pack. Integrating the battery into the structure unlocks a near-perfect 48/52 front-rear weight distribution. 

Four individual motors (one per wheel) linked to single-speed gearboxes join forces to develop 1,914 horsepower and 1,740 pound-feet of torque. Rimac pegs the Nevera’s zero-to-60-mph time at 1.85 seconds, a figure which makes it one of the quickest production cars on the planet, and its top speed at 258 mph. On a drag strip, the Nevera reportedly posts an 8.6-second quarter-mile time. It’s even quicker across the board than Rimac expected.

The 120-kilowatt-hour, 6,960-cell battery stores enough electricity to deliver up to 350 miles of driving range on the WLTP testing cycle used in Europe. Charging it from zero to 80% takes 19 minutes when using a 500-kilowatt quick-charger. It’s presumably heavy, but the Nevera’s weight hasn’t been revealed. Rimac pointed out bringing this mammoth amount of power to a stop required developing a complex braking system that includes an electro-hydraulic booster, a pedal feel simulator, Brembo carbon-ceramic rotors, and a 300-kilowatt regenerative function.  

Designers made small but meaningful visual tweaks as the C_Two transitioned into the Nevera. Aerodynamic efficiency increased by 34%, while the revised body kit channels more cooling air to the brakes and the powertrain. Data fed to algorithms allows the Nevera to adjust its various active aerodynamic parts (like the underbody flap and the rear wing) independently for maximum downforce, low drag, or a balance of the two, depending on the situation.

Interestingly, the Nevera is not fitted with electronic stability and traction control systems. Engineers instead developed a technology called Rimac All-Wheel Torque Vectoring 2 (R-AWTV 2) that optimizes grip by calculating the amount of torque each wheel needs to receive. It can make the drivetrain front- or rear-biased, for example.

Rimac will make 150 units of the Nevera, it told Autoblog there are still build slots available, and each one will be personally tested and signed off by Mate Rimac before it’s sent to its new home. Pricing starts at €2 million, which represents about $2.4 million at the current conversion rate, before options enter the equation. Built in Croatia, it’s homologated for road use globally, which is an impressive feat for such a small company. Many limited-production supercars are show-and-display-only due to cost and time constraints; Rimac chose not to cut corners.

Buyers who sign the dotted line will be invited to travel to Croatia to configure their car. Several styling packages will be available, including GT, Signature, and Timeless, and customers will also have the option of starting from scratch. Regardless of the option chosen, Rimac stresses that it won’t make two identical versions of the Nevera.

One point that shouldn’t be understated is the leap the Nevera represents for Rimac. Its first car, the 1,224-horsepower Concept_One, was limited to eight units, though one was destroyed after former Top Gear host Richard Hammond accidently drove it off a mountain road. Going from a run of eight cars to one of 150 unit requires a massive operational expansion. Rimac recently hired its 1,000th employee, and it hopes to increase that number to 2,500 in the coming years as it invests nearly $250 million into building what it calls a Rimac Campus.

What’s in a name?

The name “Nevera” reflects the car’s Croatian roots. According to Rimac, locals know and fear the nevera as a quick, unexpected, and mighty Mediterranean storm that races across the open sea off the coast of Croatia.

SSC Tuatara adds Striker and Aggressor variants, offering up to 2,200 horsepower

We’ve only ever seen one production SSC Tuatara in photos, but SSC is announcing two additional variants of the Tuatara today to make a total of three versions you can buy. The new models are named the Tuatara Striker and the Tuatara Aggressor, the latter being a track-only build that won’t be legal on any streets.

Starting with the Striker, this Tuatara is still fully streetable, but is essentially a high downforce version of the standard Tuatara. It adds a new fixed wing to the rear and an active rear wing. There’s a new diffuser in the back, too. Up front, SSC adds a bigger splitter and integrated dive planes. Then on the side, you get new vaned side rockers. All of the above results in three times as much downforce as the standard Tuatara at 160 mph, which comes out to 1,100 pounds. Of course, the standard Tuatara is designed for high speed runs, so it’s not unexpected that a track build could produce this much additional downforce.

You still get the same 5.9-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 1,750 horsepower (when run on E85), and it’s shifted via a 7-speed transmission. The interior is modified for the Striker with an exposed carbon fiber dash, and there is an extensive list of Alcantara options to choose from when building your vehicle.

As for the Aggressor (no photos available), this Tuatara makes no attempt at being road legal. Engine output is optionally raised to a ridiculous 2,200 horsepower. You can change your exhaust system to be as loud or quiet as you want, and you might want to take into consideration noise restrictions at the tracks you plan to go to before asking for an especially loud exhaust.

SSC doesn’t go into detail about it, but suggests that customers will have “nearly limitless performance, appearance, and experience options not possible in the street legal versions of the Tuatara.” It sounds like you can mostly do as you please, but SSC isn’t providing any examples yet. 

What we do know is that the Aggressor will feature a carbon dash, roll structure and five-point race harnesses with custom race seats. There will also only be 10 total made. The Striker will be much easier to attain, as that car is limited to 100 units. Pricing wasn’t made available, but it’ll be contingent on how you spec each car. The standard Tuatara starts at about $1.6 million, so expect it to only go up from there.

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Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport Review | It’s the slowest but the quickest

Apparently, even some Bugatti owners consider the real-world ramifications of a $3.6-million, 1,500-horsepower car. The Chiron Pur Sport is proof. Somewhere, perhaps between the helipad and the superyacht, Bugatti prospects are realizing they’ll never have the opportunity or skill to reach 300 mph, or 261 mph — the respective top speeds of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ and standard Chiron.

The Pur Sport squeezes a mere 217 mph from its own 8.0-liter, 16-cylinder, quad-turbo engine. But Bugatti says the Pur Sport is the quickest Chiron at any speed between zero and 217 mph. It’s also the lightest, sharpest-cornering, least-insulated version — optimized for a driver’s sensory stimulation, versus the largely psychological bragging rights of top speed. Consider it the high-performance version of one of history’s highest-performing cars.

After driving the Pur Sport in Connecticut, with three-time 24 Hours of Daytona-winner Butch Leitzinger riding shotgun, I’ll say it’s definitely the one you want. “You” here would refer to Powerball winners, a payback-minded Melinda Gates, or silver-spooners who scoop up one of 60 Pur Sports, among 500 Chirons scheduled for production through about 2023.

Leitzinger explains how it all works, as we walk around a Pur Sport in striking Atlantic Blue paint. Tasteful copper trim adorns the Bugatti’s signature C-shaped line that shelters doors ahead of the side inlets for turbo air and their intercooler radiators. Front wheel-arch vents extract more air. Less-tasteful is the optional number “16” emblazoned on the Pur Sport’s widened horseshoe grille, as if anyone could forget the unsurpassed cylinder count. Ditto for giant “Bugatti” lettering on the Pur Sport’s angled, 74-inch-wide rear wing. Add a Bugatti pillow, and it could double as a sunbathing deck. (As with everything Bugatti, the jersey
number and lettering are entirely a matter of choice.)

The fixed wing is tasked solely with downforce, replacing the electro-hydraulic wing/air-brake on other Chirons that adjusts to trim drag for record-setting acceleration runs. Its stanchion and a massive diffuser form a cool X-shape, atop an artfully thin-walled, 3D-printed titanium exhaust, its temperature-resistant outlets seemingly large enough to service a nuclear reactor.

The view-blocking wing saves 22 pounds, among 110 pounds of total weight savings versus a Chiron. That includes magnesium wheels that save a critical 36 pounds of unsprung weight, with optional carbon-fiber aero blades to aid brake cooling and reduce turbulence. There’s less interior sound dampening and slimmer seats. Four driven wheels are wrapped in staggered Michelin Pilot Sport 2R tires, including 355/25/21s at the rear. Since the tires don’t have to withstand gyroscopic torture and heat above 260 or even 300 mph, Bugatti specced a softer, more aggressive rubber compound that delivers sharper turn-in and 10% more grip. The same trade-off allows more negative wheel camber front and rear, boosting agility over pure velocity. Handling gets another upgrade with 65% stiffer springs up front, 33% firmer at the rear, with re-tuned dampers, stiffer top mounts and new carbon-fiber anti-roll bars.

I hop into the driver’s seat, press the start button, and hear the improbable, 8.0-liter W16 chuff to life. There’s Alcantara everywhere, replacing the Holy Cow leather of other Chirons. That includes a flat-bottomed steering wheel and door panels with a laser-scored pattern. The nubby material underlines the Pur Sport’s raw functionality, but to me, doesn’t exactly scream seven-figure car. I’m not sure what would help. A Chinchilla headliner? A Patek Philippe tourbillon in the dash? Either way, this wannabe Bugatti buyer wants his leather back. Black-anodized aluminum and titanium switchgear replace the usual aluminum finish. There’s no cupholder, center navigation screen, or the Audi-based Virtual Cockpit you might expect in this VW Group halo car; but the enormous, 300-mph center speedometer is certainly an invitation to play.

We ease out of Bugatti of Greenwich, the showroom that took possession of America’s first Pur Sport back in January. Leitzinger points the way to the winding Merritt Parkway, one of my favorite impromptu test spots in the area, where I’ve lately rocked the new 228-horsepower Volkswagen GTI, a 473-hp BMW M4 and a 650-horsepower Porsche 911 Turbo S. The Bugatti has more horsepower than those three cars combined, and nearly as much torque, at 1,180 pound-feet, peaking at just 2,000 rpm.

From stoplight to roughly 60 or 80 mph, the Pur Sport accelerates like that Porsche Turbo or a Tesla Model S P100D: insanely fast, yet familiar. Then things change, quickly. All previous points of comparison are blurred and elided. An opening in traffic lets me snap off a few paddle shifts through the seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. The next thing I know, we’re brushing 140 mph. Even that 911 Turbo S, or a Lamborghini Huracan Performante, feels like it’s starting to work for speed by that point. Not the Bugatti, which feels determined to show off its “reduced” 217-mph apogee. “It’s a rocket that doesn’t slow down,” Leitzinger says.

The Pur Sport’s seven forward gear ratios are all shortened by 15 percent, keeping the engine in its Wonka-level sweet spot and helping the car burst from corner exits. About 80 percent of the transmission components are new. Engine redline rises by 200 rpm, to 6,900 rpm. And where the Chiron’s whistling turbos and pleasurable gasps from its wastegates still dominate the soundtrack, reduced cabin insulation here admits more of the engine’s 64-valve mechanical symphony.

Bugatti cites a 0-60 mph sprint in less than 2.3 seconds, 0 to 124 (200 kph) in 5.9 seconds, and 0 to 186 (300 kph) in 12.4 seconds. That 0-to-124-mph run shaves a significant 0.6 second from the Chiron’s time, with 186 arriving 1.1 seconds quicker. A quarter-mile takes 9.4 seconds at a silly 158 mph. The Bugatti made every car I drove before and after seem slow. Leitzinger concurs, recalling the time he drove his father’s Mercedes just after the Bugatti and was convinced something on it was broken.

Brakes are as strong as you’d pray for in a car this powerful, thanks to the Pur Sport’s enlarged rotors and titanium base pad. Reeling in cars ahead and squeezing the brakes at 125 mph, I’m back down to 55 before the Prius cohort even knows what hit them.

But it’s the Bugatti’s newfound agility that may be most remarkable. I didn’t get to detour the Pur Sport to the tight-radius mountain roads north of New York City, but the Merritt’s triple-digit sweepers were still telling. The Bugatti’s re-tuned steering feels as natural and engaging as any electric rack in the industry, including from Ferrari or Porsche. Weight and feedback build in beautiful tandem with rising g forces. The poise and handling is all the more remarkable considering the Pur Sport’s AWD and a still-chunky curb weight above 4,300 pounds. To take full advantage, a new ESC Sport Plus mode loosens the electronic leash for skilled drivers, with delayed intervention from the traction control.

Punching up financial numbers on this Bugatti seems pointless — dollars being as fungible as Dogecoins to its buyers and collectors — but I can’t resist a few. For just $220,000, about the base price of a Ferrari Roma, Bugatti offers a “split” body option that renders the Pur Sport’s lower third in exposed carbon fiber. That’s right, $220,000 to not paint the entire body. (Bugatti would surely prefer some half-full description of the paint treatment). And a new Skyview option, with two fixed glass panels astride the Chiron’s roof fin, is an easy skip for $60,000, especially because there’s no roller shade or electrochromic tint to tame the sun. With that Skyview (but no split paint) and a surprisingly short options list, including a $60,000 Interior Package (don’t ask), this Pur Sport checked out at $3,788,900. And here I thought a Porsche Boxster GTS 4.0 was a dream car, at precisely $100,000 with options and a stick.

Ultimately, the craziest part isn’t how much a Chiron costs, or fast it goes — that’s all crazy enough — but how easygoing it feels. Where some hypercars feel like stressed-out animals on the street, the Chiron trundles as happily as a Lexus GT in the construction traffic we encounter and when rolling through country-estate Connecticut. At that mellow pace, only the ongoing freak-out from fellow drivers reminds us how singular and sublime the Bugatti must appear.

“There are many sports-car owners who have a 600-horsepower car that’s already trying to kill them,” Leitzinger says. Instead, 60 of them will enjoy a 1,500-hp Bugatti, the most Jekyll-and-Hyde automobile in human history, and live to tell the tale.

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Bugatti Centodieci prototype caught running the ‘Ring in new spy photos

Bugatti’s Centodieci prototype is evidently ready for the Nürburgring. Spies caught the development vehicle for the upcoming EB110 tribute being put through its paces on the Nordschleife and surrounding public roads.

The 1,600-horsepower Centodieci supercar has been in development for a couple of years. It was originally announced at Pebble Beach in 2019, and Bugatti announced earlier this year that it had completed work on the first full-body prototype. Here it is. Bugatti hasn’t bothered to disguise the Centodieci, so we can plainly see how faithful it is to the concept. 

That said, there are signs that this prototype is still a long way from being showroom-ready. The body may be complete, but up close, it’s a bit rough around the edges. The side blade inserts lack the more dramatic depth of the parts that were fitted to the concept, and may well be placeholders for testing purposes. Tape and wire is visible on elements of the front and rear bumpers and exhaust finishers, suggesting the presence of sensors sending telemetry to the prototype’s data recorder. 

The Centodieci’s 16-cylinder sends its power to all four wheels through a seven-speed DCT. The EB110 it honors made do with a quad-turbo, 3.5-liter V12 making “just” 560 horsepower and putting that to the ground with a simple six-speed manual and permanent all-wheel drive. Bugatti claims a 0-60 time of approximately 2.4 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 236 mph. That may seem low, especially since this is ostensibly a Chiron successor, but Bugatti is no longer in the top-speed-record game.

All 10 examples of Bugatti’s new Chiron-topping exotic are reportedly spoken for. 

McLaren dresses in Gulf livery, reveals 720S and F1 car in orange and blue

If you’re a Gulf livery fan, McLaren has your back this week. McLaren revealed a 720S Gulf livery creation, and a Gulf livery for its Formula One cars to run around in for the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.

Starting with the road car, this Gulf livery is no sticker package. Mclaren’s MSO team spent 20 days painstakingly painting this design onto a 720S in an effort to make a callback to the McLaren F1 GTR raced by the Gulf GTC team. Both the blue and orange were perfectly matched, and the details are impressive. You’ll notice orange brake calipers, blue and orange interior stitching, Gulf logos on the headrests and side sills and an orange center stripe on the steering wheel with blue spokes.

McLaren worked directly with Gulf on this entire build, too, having just renewed the relationship between the companies last year — that deal makes Gulf the preferred oil and gasoline supplier for McLaren cars, and they’re filled with both from the factory. If you want a 720S that looks like this, McLaren says that “a limited number of customers will exclusively have the opportunity to have their McLaren supercars hand-painted by MSO in Gulf livery.” That means not many, so raise your hand if you want one.

As for the F1 cars, this Gulf livery is perhaps even more exciting. We never get to see the Gulf livery in F1, so McLaren’s one-off cars this year are going to be somewhat of a spectacle. Both Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will race in this get-up while wearing matching racing suits and helmets. The cars look superb in photos, and we can’t wait to see them on track this coming weekend.

“This will be McLaren’s homage to Gulf’s celebrated race car design,” says McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. “We’re enormous fans of brave and bold design, and the striking Gulf blue is among the most loved liveries in racing, a celebrated piece of culture which transcends the world of motorsport.”

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Mercedes-AMG One caught looking road-ready in new spy photos

The Mercedes-AMG One hypercar was caught on public roads looking about as production-ready as a prototype can get. The new electrified flagship is expected to produce at least 1,100 horsepower thanks to a hybrid powertrain based on a turbocharged, 1.6-liter V6 engine capable of turning 11,000 RPM. 

Shown here in its tamer, low-speed mode (wing retracted, front aero elements closed), this prototype has most of the bits necessary to make it road legal, such as what appear to be its final lighting elements and body work. Underneath, the One packs a hybrid powertrain similar (but not identical) to that found under the cowling of a Formula One car. It has been scaled back from race spec for cost, emissions and durability reasons, but it’s nonetheless a jaw-dropping piece of engineering.

This is a car that boasts a lot of big numbers, but there’s one that isn’t so impressive: 275. That’s the number of Ones that Mercedes-AMG will build. They’ve reportedly all been spoken for at this point, too, so if you’re not already in line (hey, we’re just guessing here), you’ll have to appreciate this one from afar. We expect Mercedes-Benz to announce an official delivery schedule sometime soon. 

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Rimac’s next electric hypercar is going to be blindingly quick

From a rather inauspicious start in 2011, Rimac Automobili quickly made a name for itself with its first production car, the Concept One. The extremely limited all-wheel-drive Concept One pushed out a whopping 1,224 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. It had a range of 205 miles and cost a million euros when it was new. As impressive as that debut effort may have been, Rimac’s next electric hypercar is set to blow those benchmarks out of the water.

Company founder Mate Rimac posted a video on YouTube showing off a preproduction version of the Concept Two (also known as the C_Two). It will carry a different name when it goes into production later this year, and it will also be even quicker than the blindingly rapid version that stars in the video. As you’ll see when you click the play button, Rimac takes his creation down a deserted runway and manages to run the 1/4 mile in 8.94 seconds at 155.1 miles per hour.

A few points to consider: This preproduction model is running at about 85% torque capacity as the automaker continues tuning its motors and electronics. It’s also not equipped with the launch control programming that the 1,914-horsepower production model will feature. Put simply, the upcoming Rimac will very likely be the quickest production vehicle ever sold.

To put its acceleration into perspective, Rimac brought along a Porsche Taycan Turbo S and lined ’em up for a little race. See the results for yourself up above.

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