All posts in “Green”

Lamborghini applies to trademark V12 hybrid sounds in EV mode

Lamborghini is sprinkling various European intellectual property offices with bits of its future V12 super sports car it wants to protect. The internet continues to dig those bits up. After a couple of spy specialists found line drawings of the hybrid V12 coupe filed with the World Intellectual Property Office in North Macedonia, CarBuzz dredged up a sound clip of the V12 in pure electric mode filed with the European Intellectual Property Office. Spy shots have showed the car will come with a City Mode that’s expected to enable battery-only motivation. The audio clip appears to present three modes of the electric driving sounds required of all electric-capable vehicles to warn pedestrians of the EV’s approach.

CarBuzz believes the first sample was made under steady-state driving. It sounds a little like dark ambient ASMR with some wind in the background, like something from Atrium Carceri or Metatron Omega. The second would be under acceleration, the sinister electric symphony rising in pitch then fading as the unheard V12 internal combustion engine takes over. The last clip would be the reverse, as the V12 gives way to the battery again.

There’s nothing amiss in any of the sounds, but we find ourselves thinking there’s nothing especially Lamborghini about them, either. That’s not a slight against the crew from Sant’ Agata, that’s a statement about what the future of hybrid and electric supercars could mean to us everywhere outside of a highway or Cars and Coffee. It could make Dodge’s Fratzonic Exhaust that much more interesting assuming the production sonics match what we’ve been told, and a recent Ferrari patent shows a rival group of Italians trying to forestall roads full of computer monitor noises with a “sonority current.”

Hybrid Corvette E-Ray teased in ‘Stealth’ mode, will debut January 17

It’s almost time for the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray to be revealed! Chevy just released its first teaser for the hybrid Corvette, allowing us a few glimpses of the exterior styling and revealing that it’ll feature a new “Stealth” mode. The official reveal date is set for January 17, which is one week from today.

The exterior shots do a decent job of confirming what we already knew about the changes from the configurator leak last month. Body-colored panels replace some of the regular C8’s contrast-painted bits, and we get a super-quick partial view of the E-Ray badge on the side of the car.

What’s most interesting in this teaser (above), though, is the presence of a “Stealth” mode. In Chevy’s video, the mode switcher is being used to swap between “Normal” and “Stealth” startup modes. This suggests that you’ll be able to put the E-Ray into a friendly neighbor mode of sorts to start the car up and leave the neighborhood in the morning. We don’t expect the E-Ray to be a plug-in hybrid with any extensive electric range, but like a typical hybrid, there should be enough battery power to back out of the driveway and get far enough away from the windows of your sleeping neighbor before the V8 is required to fire up.

Footage of the E-Ray driving around the city making a whirring electric sound suggests you may be able to put it into Stealth mode for brief periods of time when you want to drive on electric power, too. If it’s anything like the hybrid Acura NSX, this electric motoring will be a brief and neat party trick for the hybrid Corvette.

The last few bits of info we picked up from the video is the presence of what looks like a regenerative braking mode button on the interior, carbon ceramic brakes, and of course, snow. The E-Ray is confirmed to have all-wheel drive, which will make it the first production Corvette to send power to all four wheels. We’ll learn everything there is to know about the E-Ray in a week’s time, so buckle up for January 17.

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McMurtry Speirling blitzes the (metric) quarter-mile in 7.97 seconds

In August, the McMurtry Automotive Spéirling set a new overall record up the 1.16-mile hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a time of 39.14 seconds. McMurtry took that Goodwood car in its Goodwood spec to one of Carwow’s open-air studios, this one at the Millbrook Proving Ground, so the YouTube channel could climb all over the single-seater and run its trademark acceleration tests. The Millbrook runs yielded a 0-60 run of 2.09 seconds and a standing quarter-mile time of 8.64 seconds using an independent GPS measurement device. But the strip was wet, leaving presenter Mat Watson unsatisfied. To get his satisfaction, Carwow transported the Speirling to the Silverstone circuit, hiring the track and a jet-powered dryer truck to lay a grippy line down the Hangar Straight. Those finer conditions allowed the Speirling, in the video above, to blitz the 0-60 in 1.4 seconds and the quarter-mile in 7.97 seconds.

Those are both record times for Carwow, displacing the Rimac Nevera from first place. Watson previously ran the Croatian battery-electric hypercar to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds and the quarter in 8.6 seconds. The Pininfarina Battista claimed the production-car record for 0-60 acceleration at 1.79 seconds. 

There’s a few hundredths worth of gray area in the comparison for now. The Nevera is a production car, the Speirling most definitely is not. McMurtry is developing a road-legal production version that’s likely a couple of years away. Watson set his Speirling times with the fan car’s custom slick tires, the rear pushers being 240-section. So far as we can tell, the all-wheel drive Nevera travels the world setting times on its production tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, 275-section in front, 315-section in back.

The Speirling’s waiting to spring a big surprise, though, since its Goodwood gearing limits top speed to 150 mph. Watson said the Speirling sat at 150 mph for “approximately three seconds” of that blazing quarter-mile time. Fyi, the English quarter-mile is 400 meters, or 1,312.3 feet compared to our 1,320-foot quarter-mile. At 150 mph, it would take the Speirling about another 0.04 second to do the U.S.A. drag. Drag Times ran the Nevera to an 8.582 quarter on a prepped track in the U.S. in August. 

Although we wouldn’t expect a different finishing order than Carwow established, getting the street-legal Speirling and a Nevera on the same track on the same day on production tires would tell us how close the two cars are. 

Before the runs, Watson gets instruction in the Speirling’s methods from chief engineer Kevin Ukoko-Rongione and company test driver Max Chilton. For instance, two fans provide the roughly 4,400 pounds of downforce, but it’s a redundant system; Ukoko-Rongione said that although both fans runs together, a single fan can provide most of the car’s downforce. It’s worth watching the buildup because this is a fascinating car.  

2023 McLaren Artura recalled for fuel leak-related fire risk

McLaren has issued a recall that applies to more than 150 units of the Artura, its new hybrid supercar. The vehicles included in the campaign are fitted with high-pressure fuel lines that can loosen, leak, and ultimately cause a fire because they’re not secured with the right hardware.

Assigned recall number 22V-908 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign includes 164 examples of the Artura built from October 8, 2021, to November 14, 2022. Affected VINs range from SBM16AEA3PW000177 to SBM16AEA1PW000372.

McLaren explained that the recalled cars were built with high-pressure fuel lines held on by cold-formed nuts; the examples that are not part of the recall were manufactured with fully-machined nuts. It added that cold-formed nuts can loosen from the fuel pump over time, especially “during dynamic driving maneuvers commonly associated with track running.” In turn, this can create a fuel leak which increases the risk of a fire. McLaren noted that two cars developed a fuel leak on a track but adds that there are no injuries or accidents related to the defect.

Owners of affected cars will need to take their Artura to the nearest McLaren dealership to get the fuel pipes replaced free of charge. As for the root of the problem, the British company stated it switched to cold-formed nuts in March 2021 due to a shortage of fully-machined parts.

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Bertone GB110 opens a new chapter in the coachbuilder’s history

Bertone, one of the oldest and most respected Italian coachbuilders, wants a seat at the automaker table. The company followed arch rival Pininfarina into the supercar segment with a head-turning limited-edition coupe called GB110 that’s powered by a 1,100-horsepower engine.

Computer-generated images released by Bertone depict a wedge-shaped car that’s wide, low, and fairly pure in terms of design; it doesn’t look like a race car made just street-legal enough to wear license plates. Giovanni Sapio, the GB110’s project manager, points out that the overall design draws inspiration from past Bertone-penned concepts like the 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero and the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo.

Interior images haven’t been released yet. Similarly, technical details are few and far between. Bertone merely notes that the GB110’s chassis “is based on components from a German manufacturer” and that its mysterious engine develops about 1,100 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. It spins the four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. While we’re not going to fan the speculation flames, we should point out that the only German supercar with a mid-mounted engine, a seven-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive is the Audi R8.

Regardless of what it’s powered by or based on, the GB110 is intriguingly configured to burn what Bertone refers to as “fuel made from plastic waste.” It joined forces with Select Fuel, which has reportedly developed and patented a technology capable of converting polycarbonate materials into renewable fuel. Feeding the engine what pretty much sounds like an alchemized and liquefied blend of plastic trash sends the coupe from zero to 62 mph in 2.79 seconds, from zero to 124 mph in 6.79 seconds, and on to a top speed of over 236 mph.

Bertone plans to make 33 units of the GB110 available globally. Pricing information hasn’t been announced, but it seems like the company already has big plans for the future. It announced that the new coupe is the first model in an upcoming series of limited-edition vehicles.

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De Tomaso P900 uses synthetic fuel to spin past 12,000 rpm

It’s not a trendy electric hyper car. The Italian-built De Tomaso P900 is another kind of anomaly in the automotive upper strata where it lives: The P900 is propelled by a V12 engine that runs solely on synthetic fuel, all the way to 12,300 rpm.

Priced at about $3 million and limited to a production run of only 18 examples, the carbon-bodied P900 weights just less that 2,000 pounds.  Its 6.2-liter powerplant accounts for about a quarter of that weight.

Although De Tomaso is hedging the full specs on the car except to customers who have ordered one, the engine is expected to generate about 900 horsepower; it’s still in development until 2024, although the model is set to be revealed officially in the spring.

For customers clamoring to show off their P900s, it will be available prior to 2024 using De Tomaso’s F1-derived V10 engine. The design of the two-seater is pure science fiction, adapted from the De Tomaso P72, which used a carbon fiber monocoque chassis constructed to LMP1 standards and a 5.0-liter supercharged Ford Coyote V8.

“As a passionate automotive enthusiast, it is difficult for me to accept a silent EV-driven future,” said Norman Choi, De Tomaso CEO, in a statement. “We believe that alternatives do exist, and the development of our new platform, driven by synthetic fuels, is our solution for keeping this shared passion for the theatre of combustion engines alive.”

In pursuit of zero-emissions mobility, Choi says this new venture doesn’t envision a future that sacrifices “the crucial element which we all hold so dear — the soul and symphony of an engine.” 

Corvette-based Chevrolet with ‘incredible performance’ coming in 2025

GM President Mark Reuss’ Investor Day presentation has been a font of information. Most of it’s been pretty straightforward, like the info about GM service centers working on Teslas and the GMC Acadia getting larger for its third generation. This one lives at the mysterious end of the foreshadowing pool. When discussing what’s in store for the Corvette, Reuss mentioned two vehicles. As reported by Fox News, the first is a straight-up Corvette trim, “the next version of the C8,” the “next-step in performance for Chevrolet” supposedly so good “you won’t be able to imagine it from a performance standpoint.” Since Reuss’ was reportedly talking about new vehicles due in 2024, he wouldn’t have been referring to the hybrid, all-wheel drive Corvette coming in 2023. The AWD hybrid could have been the trim referred to as the Corvette Grand Sport in a potentially leaked GM document from 2020. The powertrain in that coupe will be the 6.2-liter LT2 V8 from the base Stingray combined with electric motors driving the front axle to make somewhere around a combined 600 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.    

The images in Reuss’ presentation were obscured for media viewers, but we suspect he meant the ZR1. That supposed leaked doc said its due in 2024 with 850 hp and 825 lb-ft. Output will come from an LT7 engine that’s already on the testing bench if a recent clue found at the National Corvette Museum can be believed.

What will follow that is a car Reuss called an “incredible performance car” that he expects to “put the world on notice” as to what GM is capable of and “set the standard of the world for performance for Chevrolet.” Based on the trim cadence we’ve been covering for years, this sounds like the Corvette rumored to be called the Zora, which would pair the twin-turbo LT7 V8 with electric motors for more than 1,000 hp. However, Reuss didn’t call this car a Corvette; he only said it would be based on the C8 architecture. Back to that 2020 GM document, it had the ZR1 coming in 2025. That’s a year later than this mystery offering, and we can’t imagine why Reuss wouldn’t call a Corvette a Corvette.

In a LinkedIn post from April that provided video of next years AWD Corvette, Reuss wrote, “we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future.” On that note, the only unaccounted for Corvette family vehicles we’re aware of in the rumor pipeline are the electric Corvette-inspired crossover as part of Project R, and the electric Corvette sedan said to be coming mid-decade. So stay tuned, big electric things are coming from Chevrolet.

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Pininfarina Battista hypercar’s output specified at 1,873 horsepower

Even in a galaxy far, far away, the Pininfarina Battista would stand out.

After a delay of about three years, the official specifications of the all-electric hypercar have been revealed:

  • Full power is rated at 1,873 horsepower, outputting 1,697 foot-pounds of torque.
  • Sixty-two miles per hour arrives in 1.86 seconds, with 124 mph coming in 4.75 seconds.
  • 217 mph is the estimated top speed. (The Rimac Nevera recently hit 258.)
  • The 120kWh battery pack should enable a range of about 280 miles from a single charge.

A pair of electric motors are mounted to each axle, each motor powering a specific wheel and giving the Battista full torque vectoring capability.

Pricing — and this is one of those cars that, if one has to ask, just move on — is about $2.2 million, which places it in the territory of the Bugatti Chiron. For those customers considering an upsell, a limited “anniversario” edition will comprise five of the expected 150-unit build run. It differs from the standard version by some cosmetic alterations, which lifts the price by some $70,000-plus. 0r you could buy a BMW M3 as a chase car.

The two-seater Battista is named for Battista “Pinin” Farina, who founded Carrozzeria Pininfarina in 1930. A lot of its battery, carbon-fiber chassis and motor components come from Rimac, the nascent Croatian electric supercar maker that recently paired with Porsche to take over Bugatti

Many more details about the car’s development, several photos and our driving impressions can be found in this Autoblog post from August.

Lotus Eletre electric SUV will rock close to 900 horsepower

Eight hundred and ninety-three.

That’s the announced horsepower of the Lotus Eletre, from the venerable British house of Lotus, and it’s not attached to a difficult-to-climb-into sports car, but a “hyper” all-electric SUV. Other notable numbers: 726 pound-feet of torque, 0-to-62 mph in a hair under 3 seconds, and a top speed of 165 mph.

Due to arrive next summer, the flagship Eletre R is a wild departure from a company that regularly built featherweight cars with no more than 100 horsepower. According to Britain’s Autocar, the most powerful Eletre will cost 120,000 pounds (about $140,000) when goes on sale in the U.K. next summer.  It will likely be exported to the U.S. and China as well.

Standard equipment includes active air suspension, torque vectoring, an active front grille, LED headlights and a set of 22-inch wheels. Inside, all Eletres are fitted with electrically adjustable seats, wireless phone charging and four-zone climate control. 

Among the Eletre versions are a base model and the Eletre S making 603 horsepower and using a single-speed gearbox. The Eletre R will be the only model with a Track Mode, which lowers the ride height and gives it more aggressive damping.

Lotus, which is owned by the China-based Geely group, was founded 74 years ago by Colin Chapman. Under his direction, Lotus won seven F1 constructors’ titles and six Drivers Championships.

Looking to reserve an Eletre? The Lotus website suggests you contact your local dealer (and offers a dealer locator). Lotus says that the R model is to be the first of four that are to come from the company by 2025,

Apollo shows off rolling electric supercar prototype

Apollo is known for building wild supercars with powerful engines and massive acceleration numbers, but the company is making a shift. Apollo just showed off a rolling engineering prototype of a new electric performance car that it says will offer performance and luxury.

The G2J Engineering Prototype has been in development for more than two years, and Apollo says it has teams from across Germany and Japan working on the project, with the German R&D team leading the effort. Apollo is focused on lightweight and composite materials and uses carbon fiber in many parts of the prototype.

Though impressive, Apollo says the prototype does not indicate how its first electric vehicle will look. Instead, the company uses the model to develop aerodynamics and test dimensions for its first electric sports car. Future vehicles will draw inspiration from other Apollo models, like the IE and Project EVO.

Roland Gumpert, the name behind the Gumpert Apollo car that debuted in the early 2000s, formerly owned Apollo before his departure in late 2016. The company has shown several impressive supercars over the years, including the Apollo Arrow and Intensa Emozione shown at Goodwood in 2017. The latter car was built in partnership with the same company that helped Mercedes build the CLK-GTR, HWA AG.

Apollo says it will reveal its first electric sports car concept in the fourth quarter of 2022 but has not given any other details. As far as costs go, the company’s cars have so far not been anywhere near affordable. The Arrow, for example, costs around $1 million, so an all-new electrified supercar won’t be cheap.

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

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

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #750

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Williams Advanced Engineering reveals EVR electric hypercar platform

Deus announced its Vayanne electric hypercar earlier this year as conceived in Austria, designed in Italy, and electrified in the UK. That last bit refers to the battery-electric powertrain sourced from Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), which we now have more information on. WAE took its new EVR turnkey electric vehicle platform to the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Show for a full reveal. Designed specifically for hypercars, the targets were versatility, lightness, power and speedy recharging. It appears the only fixed element for the time being is the 85-kWh battery set into a carbon housing between the wheels, and two motors. WAE says it can be refilled in less than 20 minutes, and powers a range of up to 279 miles. After that, OEMs and boutique makers can choose rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, hardtop or targa body styles, and road-legal or track-only configurations.    

Peak output is 2,213 horsepower from the dual motors, explaining Deus’ publicized target of more than 2,200 horsepower for the Vayanne earlier this year. Depending on body style and aero, WAE believes the platform could push a hypercar to 248 miles per hour given an ideal form. We’re told it will be possible to build a finished product with such specs that weighs less than 3,637 pounds, carbon being used for everything from the pack enclosure to the double wishbone suspension. For comparison, the 640-hp Porsche 911 Turbo S weighs 3,636 pounds.

The list of in-house innovations on the EVR chassis includes a Scalable Battery Module that opens up flexibility for custom packs and sub-pack systems, controlled by battery management software that rationalizes the amount of electronics needed to run the powertrain. The company says each module has a capacity of 1.08 kWh at 50 volts maximum or 43 volts nominal, and an energy density greater than 240 Wh/kg. The individual cells are wrapped in carbon fiber, too, claimed to improve crash resistance. Battery cooling is run through the energy-absorbing side sills.

Theoretically, a purchaser could cut prototype development time to 12 months, and entire vehicle development time to 24 months. The Vayenne will provide the first test, Deus having said it will go into production in 2025. WAE has a hydrogen fuel cell version of the EVR on the way next.

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Ariel Hipercar is battery-electric, 1,180-hp madness we love

Five years ago, English motorbike- and speedster-maker Ariel showed a new concept chassis called, at the time, the Hipercar. It was planned for sale in 2020 with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain built around a small turbine sending electricity to a lithium-ion battery pack and then on to in-wheel motors. Development was more challenging than expected, and the world hit a few rocks in the road as well. But at last, the first production-intent Hipercar prototype is here, still named Hipercar — which stands for “High Performance Carbon Reduction.” The powertrain is easier to explain than the looks, so let’s start there. Base spec would be a liquid-cooled 62.2-kWh battery supplied by Cosworth powering two radial, inboard Equipmake APM motors fitted to the rear axle. Each motor produces 295 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque with total output being 590 hp and 664 pound-feet of torque.

An all-wheel-drive version slots two more radial e-motors into the front axle, doubling output to 1,180 hp and 1,328 lb-ft. Range on battery charge alone is said to be 150 miles. On track, Ariel says a full charge should last for about 20 minutes of full-on circuit driving. If desired, buyers can opt for the miniature turbine range extender also sourced from Cosworth. The catalytic generator (CatGen) turbine makes another 47 horsepower and can accept pump fuel, racing fuel and synthetic fuel. Ariel says it’s targeting a 0-60 mph time of 2.09 seconds with this powertrain.

What sits atop all of that is a laser-cut and CNC-folded aluminum tub attached to aluminum subframes front and rear, with aluminum wishbones supporting a Bilstein adjustable suspension. The 20-inch forged or composite staggered wheels wear Michelin Cup2 or Cup2R rubber in the widest spec ever fitted to an Ariel, at 265/35 in front and 325/30 in back. Behind them are 14.5-inch composite brake discs on the front hubs with six-piston AP Racing calipers, and 12.9-inch discs in back with four-piston calipers. An on-off switch controls the regenerative braking system.

As for the body, the prototype wears 3D-printed panels, production models will get a carbon fiber skin. Company boss Simon Saunders said “An enormous amount of aerodynamic work has been carried out for both drag and downforce, and cooling.” The cabin contains rollover protection. The dual-level wing in the front fascia adds downforce, the fins on the front fenders direct air around the side mirrors, the roof scoop sends air to the microturbine, and the fins on the rear fender aid stability. Its long front, stubby back and central fin, and canopy entrance make it reminiscent of the McMurtry Speirling. Total vehicle weight is said to be 3,186 pounds. 

The Hipercar’s gestation is almost as wild as the coupe itself. The UK government has thrown huge money behind EV development in an effort to reach its Net Zero goal for carbon emissions by 2050. Obviously, this will require affordable zero-emissions vehicles for the populace, not seven-figure track-day specialists shrink-wrapped to fit two people, so the Hipercar could come off as dumping public money on a fun little lark. However, this is about getting the big guys and the little guys in a room together to figure out how to produce innovations that work on a mass scale. Saunders explained it well to Autocar, saying, “So on one side you’ve got Mr. Boffin who has a high concept for a widget. On the other side, you’ve got, say, Ford Motor Company. They’re never going to talk to him and he’s too scared to talk to them. So Innovate UK is putting money into Ford but it’s also putting money into Mr Boffin, who takes his idea up to the next level, then the next level, and then goes into low-volume widget production. He sells us 100, he sells Caterham 400, he sells 1000 to a coach manufacturer. He’s now making a few thousand. And then Ford might say, “Could you do 10,000 for a low-volume Transit?”

Saunders gave another example of how the Hipercar has challenged the much larger partners in the various groups Ariel is a part of. “I said to Dave Greenwood, the guy running the project for the Warwick Manufacturing Group, that I felt a bit out of place and he said: ‘No, you’re brilliant because you’re the worst case scenario; you want most performance, least weight, highest range, you haven’t got any money for tooling and you want it really cheap, so if we can satisfy you….’

“Eventually, the aim is that we all win. Before then, the Hipercar is about two years away, aimed at a monied few for a price no more precise at the moment than “under £1 million” ($1.2M U.S.). That will be “excellent value for money” in Saunder’s words, considering the expected performance. Perhaps better for future owners, Ariel has focused on reliability. “With the [Ariel] Atom and Nomad we give you the keys and say bye-bye,” Saunders said. “We don’t want to see it again until it’s time for service. The same has to be true for Hipercar.”

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Aston Martin Valhalla interior debuted in Monterey

Aston Martin began releasing estimated specs for the Valhalla supercar last summer. The figures described the thoroughly overhauled car, redrawn with just as dramatic yet smoother lines than the original concept from 2019, and repowered with a plug-in hybrid V8 sourced from technical partner Mercedes-Benz instead of the in-house straight-6. The quick summary describes a mid-mounted 740-horsepower flat-plane-crank V8 with an e-motor in back and another in front contributing 201 horsepower. The front electric motor can pull the coupe for up to eight miles of pure electric running, reversing is also done under electric power, not via the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Curb weight of 3,417 pounds pairs with a top speed of 217 miles per hour, the firm hoping its charge can lap the ‘Ring in 6:30, which would be a record for a production car. Deliveries are expected to commence toward the end of next year.

We still hadn’t seen the inside of the car last summer, though. Aston Martin finally lifted the dihedral doors on the show inside during the recent Monterey Car Week. Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman described the cockpit as being “pure,” “about driver focus” and “concentration,” and “dedicated to the mastery of driving.” So despite an exterior update that injected “a more mature” road-going road ambience into the Valhalla’s silhouette, the cabin makes strong ties to the F1-inspired and track-consuming Valkyrie. These are seats that emphasize the “bucket” in “bucket seats,” supporting driver and passenger such that their heels lie above the level of their hips. The driver grabs a square wheel that’s jettisoned the central display in the Valkyrie’s square wheel. In fact, for those decrying the explosion of screens lately, here is your safe space. A slim rectangle ahead of the driver serves as dash display, and the infotainment screen can be hidden away, which it is in the short Twitter vid. We can see it staying stowed more often than not, in fact. Even if the V8 doesn’t pour its 7,200-rpm flat-plane note into the cabin — along with roof scoop inhalations and rubber-band-thin Michelin thrumming — the passenger quarters cannot be the kindest space to design a stereo for.

We’d been wondering about the production run, Autocar suspects Aston Martin won’t make more than 1,000 examples of the Valhalla. The potential good news for the few who’ll get to own it is that the carmaker might have reduced the price; Autocar heard that instead of costing somewhere around £1 million ($1.3M U.S.), MSRP could fall somewhere between £600,000 ($725,866 U.S.) and £700,000 ($846,844 U.S.).

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Rimac engineer says 0-60 ‘below one second’ is possible

Monterey Car Week encourages all kinds of questions that are answered with outrageous numbers. How much is the Pebble Beach lawn worth? How many metric tons of palm fronds were sacrificed to make the toquilla straw that make the numberless Panama hats? And how fast can a fast car go? The Drive spoke to Rimac Nevera Chief Program Engineer Matija Renić at The Quail about that last question, wondering what Renić believes is possible for a 0-60 time. His answer: “Below one second.” There aren’t many things humans can complete in less than a second other than say three-word sentences like “Below one second.” The idea of being at rest as one’s lips purse for the “B,” and traveling 60 miles per hour by the time the tongue comes off upper alveolar ridge to finish the “d” is, frankly, absurd.

Regrettably, either The Drive didn’t probe Renić as to what technologies will make the feat possible, or it decided not to repeat Renić’s words. All we have is the oracular pronouncement and little way to conceive of how it could happen, along with lots of questions about tires.

See, people like Engineering Explained who do math for a living have figured that, for a street vehicle on street tires on a regular street, about 2.05 seconds is the lower limit of the stoplight drag. When the Tesla Model S Plaid ripped off a 1.85-second teleport to 60 mph for Motor Trend, that was on “the super sticky VHT-coated surface of Auto Club Famoso Raceway.” On a non-prepped surface, Motor Trend got that down to 2.28 seconds, Car and Driver pruned it to 2.1 seconds. But C/D bettered the Tesla’s time in a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, hitting 0-60 in 2.0 seconds flat.

Rimac claims the Nevera will hit 60 miles per hour in 1.85 seconds, a time also achieved on a prepped drag strip, but we haven’t seen instrumented proof of that yet. Among YouTube videos of the Nevera running the quarter mile, one dedicated thrill seeker pulled off a 2.13-second rip to 60 mph.

Speaking of drag strips, top fuel dragsters are the go-to monsters for hitting 60 miles per hour in under one second, doing the deed in roughly 0.7 to 0.9 seconds. In 2019, Jalopnik tried to figure out the G forces involved in such dashes, the math concluding that getting from zero to 60 in 0.86 seconds put a 5.3-G strain on the body. Having that potential in your street car would be like having your own roller coaster, and what we imagine would be a monumental bill for tires. Until we see such things possible for the regular (rather wealthy) driver, we’ll be paying even closer attention to what what Rimac has coming.

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Pininfarina Battista First Drive: Meet the 1,900-hp electric hypercar

MALIBU, Calif. — The all-electric Pininfarina Battista throws around some impressive numbers. Power output in the 1,900-horsepower neighborhood. A 0-to-60 time of less than 2 seconds. A range estimated to be 300 miles. A starting price of $2.2 million. All of that might invite the names hypercar or supercar, but that would imply it’s harsh and unforgiving. Instead, Pininfarina defines the Battista as a hyper GT, giving it the otherworldly power and performance of a hypercar while remaining comfortable enough to take on a road trip.

That’s a tall order for any vehicle, let alone the first car produced by a new manufacturer. After spending an afternoon with the Battista on some of our favorite roads above Malibu, we can definitively say that their boldness has paid off.

Automobili Pininfarina is the new manufacturing offshoot of the Carrozzeria Pininfarina design firm that has penned some of the most iconic cars in history. These include the 1947 Cisitalia 202, which is regarded as the first car that integrated fenders into the rest of the bodywork. Then there are icons such as the Fiat and Alfa Romeo Spiders (above right) along with the nouveau-classic Cadillac Allante. But it’s Pininfarina’s association with Ferrari that is most notable, including most of the 250 GT line (above left), Daytona, 512 BB, and wild 1980s Testarossa.

The Battista is named for Battista “Pinin” Farina, who founded Carrozzeria Pininfarina in 1930. A lot of its battery, chassis and motor componentry comes from Rimac, the nascent Croatian electric supercar maker that recently paired with Porsche to take over Bugatti.

The Battista’s exterior styling certainly has echoes of Ferrari, and really, can you think of a better compliment? As an all-electric vehicle, it doesn’t have the same kind of cooling and air intake needs as the gasoline-powered Ferraris and results in a cleaner and more elemental shape. The design is still aggressive as hell, but less shouty, and that plays well with the hyper GT positioning.

Once you pop the dihedral driver’s door, you’re greeted by a rather narrow passage between the dash and seat. Getting in takes a bit more stooping and maneuvering compared to conventional sports cars, but there are certainly exotics that are more difficult to access. Pulling the door down doesn’t take much effort, but you have to give it a strong slam to get it to fully shut, making it a strong candidate for soft-close doors.

The seats are firm and have excellent side bolstering to keep you in place when cornering. There are also more aggressive racing shell-type seats available, but in our estimation, unnecessary. Your feet can extend mostly straight ahead since front wheelwell intrusion is minimized. We haven’t even moved yet and the Battista is already fulfilling part of its hyper GT promise.

The cockpit is modern and minimal, with two horizontal touchscreens flanking the steering wheel and a phone-like display in the middle that displays speed and other primary information. Off to the sides, at the 5- and 7-o’clock positions, are two dials. The left selects drive modes and the right is the start button and gear selector. The cabin is cozy but not confining, and has a good amount of lateral space.

The Battista is already activated as we get in, a fact indicated by the subtle high-pitched whine and fan noises, much like a jetliner running on its auxiliary power unit as you find your seat. Foot on the brake and a quick spin of the right dial puts it in drive. A little pressure on the throttle and the Battista starts to roll forward on the gravel valet circle. Once on the broad, sweeping roads in the Santa Monica Mountains, it’s striking how well-mannered a 1,900-hp car can be.

We’re in the Pura (Pure) drive mode, which seems equivalent to a default comfort mode. It’s easy to drive, with no fear that you’ll accidentally overdo it and spin into a ditch. At the same time, it’s way more potent than most drivers will ever need. In this way, it’s as approachable as a 911 Carrrera 4S and we fantasize about an alternate reality where this is our daily driver.

The ride is stiff, but not punishing. There’s a lot of jostling over the pavement’s undulations, but the smart suspension keeps potholes from sending sharp jolts into your backside. You also hear every tire impact and slap over seams, along with the frequent ricochets of pebbles and debris off the undertray. There’s just enough harshness to remind you of its sporting potential and just enough compliance to consider driving it six hours somewhere.

Now that we’re acclimated, it’s time to turn up the performance. We skip the Calma (Calm) and Carattere (Character) drive modes, which equate to eco and individual modes, respectively. The Energica (Energetic) mode is what can be considered the sport mode. The ride gets firmer, the throttle response more immediate and the steering seems livelier. The synthetic driveline noises also get louder as you muster enough courage to give that pedal a proper stomp.

The Battista instantaneously obeys, launching forward with unstoppable determination. In a time when sub 3-second acceleration to 60 mph is considered increasingly normal, the all-wheel-drive Pininfarina still manages to impress as it’s estimated to hit 60 a whole second earlier. On the rougher sections of winding pavement, the suspension is just a bit too stiff. Mid-corner bumps will keep you alert and the larger whoops will have you thanking your racing school coaches.

Selecting Furiosa activates an equivalent race or track mode, unleashing the full power output and relaxing the driver assists. It’s every driving trope wrapped up in one. It goes to 11; face-warping acceleration; you’ll see the grim reaper and he’ll give you a thumbs up; pick your favorite exaggeration and it applies here. Off the line, the Battista launches hard enough that your vision gets blurry. There’s a slight side-to-side squirm that also indicates you have indeed found a limit and you should proceed at your own peril. It’s unyielding and unforgiving when provoked, and that’s precisely what we wanted on the high end.

The range of comfort and performance afforded by these drive modes is vast. The Battista does indeed warrant the new hyper GT classification. But it’s also so much more. The details could keep us yammering on for days, but we’ll try to pare it down to a few paragraphs.

The interior features an abundance of impeccable leather surfaces, and those hides are sourced close to the Cambiano, Italy, factory. They’re tanned using more environmentally friendly methods that somehow involve local olive leaves. There aren’t any vegan alternatives as Pininfarina says production of those materials have their own chemical drawbacks. The aluminum trim elements aren’t cast, they’re machined from solid billets. They’re attractive while not going as over-the-top as in a Pagani.

On the outside, the charge port is at the center of the tail, a move that Chief Design Officer Dave Amantea lobbied for and won. It keeps charging cables from being draped over the carbon fiber bodywork and is easily accessible. A Pf logo between that port and the trunk (yes, there’s a trunk) illuminates when charging and the outer frame of the badge shows the charge state so you can know with a quick glance how much juice is left.

The glass trunk lid is power deployed and closed. Its stepped floor makes it difficult to load even a paper bag full of groceries, but Pinifarina offers a custom set of luggage that fits perfectly and can be upholstered to match the rest of the cabin. The price? Try $20,000, or the equivalent of a new Nissan Sentra.

There’s even a pragmatic side to the Battista, as you can add a five- or 10-year maintenance program and extend the warranty coverage for the massive 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack to 10 years. Then there’s the Eterna program that offers a replacement body parts kit that is painted at the same time as your Battista. Take a moment to let that soak in because we’re already imagining the most amazing garage wall art.

As Paolo Dellachà, Pininfarina’s Chief Product and Engineering Officer was eager to point out, these programs enhance the ownership experience and also increase the value of the Battista. Considering production is capped at 150 examples and no two will be allowed to be identical (unless, we suppose, you buy two!), there’s no doubt it’s an instant collectible that should only increase in price. As a fully electric hyper GT, may also be more future proof than the current raft of internal-combustion supercars.

Trying to remain impartial and objective during this review is a challenge, but with a sub-orbital price of $2.2 million, most normal sensibilities are obliterated. This is one of those cars that have you questioning past life choices or pondering how much you could sell a kidney for (you can’t, it turns out). The few nitpicks are limited to the hard-to-shut doors, a distracting reflection from the dash top in the windshield, and the tedious infotainment screens that you have to use to even adjust the seats. These drawbacks are as easily dispatched as any vehicle trying to keep up with the Battista.

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Corvette electric sedan rumored for C9 generation

GM President Mark Reuss already said that a battery-electric Chevrolet Corvette is on the way, telling CNBC in April, “In addition to the amazing new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and other gas-powered variants coming, we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future. In fact, we will offer an electrified Corvette as early as next year. Details and names to come at a later date.” The next big question is when. Muscle Cars & Trucks thinks a battery-only Corvette won’t arrive during the current C8’s generation, as the Y2 platform might need too much tinkering for an ideal conversion. Instead, MCT believes “the C9 Corvette EV feels more or less like an inevitability.” The outlet also figures that electrification will induce expansion of the Corvette nameplate that’s been water cooler talk for years, especially with the example of the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Which is to say, they’re talking about an electric Corvette sedan. In MCT‘s words, “Here’s what we understand to be happening: GM is indeed making an electric performance sedan, but it’s with a Corvette badge, and it will be in showrooms by mid-decade.” Same as with every two-door Corvette for the past few decades, the electric family car would target Porsche, which means putting the Taycan in its sights. By then, though, the segment will be home to new performance-focused electric four-seaters from a gaggle of makers not in the segment now, such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Dodge and Maserati. The Cadillac Celestiq would provide its bones for this sedan, built at the Lansing Grand River Assembly facility instead of the Warren Technical Center. Were that true, it would also mean the expansion of Corvette production beyond the Bowling Green, Kentucky home that’s been the sole source of ‘Vette manufacture since June 1, 1981

The expectation is that there’d be an electric Corvette SUV further down the road, which we’d guess is a challenger for the Macan or Cayenne. And if this is how everything plays out, MCT believes it eliminates any chance of the electric Camaro sedan that some predicted could arise from the ashes of the current Camaro’s retirement in 2024.

Until then, the thinking goes, the market will make do with electrified Corvettes. That means the E-Ray hybrid due next year, expected to introduce a 650-horsepower all-wheel-drive powertrain to the Corvette lineup, and a small electric range. After that, the full-fat Zora hybrid lurks in the mist, some suspecting the homage to the father of the Corvette will make near 1,000 horsepower.

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Lamborghini Huracan could become an 850-hp PHEV next year

So far, Lamborghini is celebrating 2022 with record sales and odes to the internal combustion engine thanks to a raft of special editions. The Italian automaker’s plunge into electrification starts next year with the next-generation Huracán and its plug-in hybrid powertrain. Lamborghini’s head of research and development said, “The engine will be bespoke for Lamborghini. On the final details we can’t yet communicate this, but I would say more than six and less than 12 cylinders for the combustion engine.” The easy (well, easier…) option would be to tweak one of the Volkswagen Group’s twin-turbo V8s to work with a pair or trio of electric motors. Auto Express says its sources suggest two bits of intel on that engine, the first being that it could be an in-house design “not sourced from VW Group,” the second that combined output might exceed 850 horsepower. Such a theoretical coupe would be 169 horses more potent than the Huracán STO and easily satisfy Mohr’s assertion that the new generation “from the performance point of view … will again be a big step.”

Lamborghini is spending $1.8 billion on its path to an electric future. It’s possible the firm could take part of that money to develop a V8 for itself, instantly setting itself apart from the other high-dollar brands in the VW Group. Naturally, we’d love to see that, or even a hybrid V10; what a monster that could be, although heavy, and engineers have been clear about waging a war against weight. The Wolfsburg parent is known to be a huge fan of scale, though, and a V8 or V10 that only serves two vehicles — the Aventador will continue with a V12 even as a plug-in hybrid — seems like a stretch to get approval. Parsing this also depends on how the automaker could define “in-house design.” We’ve seen massively revised engines built around an existing block considered “all-new.”

The Huracán could debut as soon as next year, one year ahead of the automaker’s commitment to electrifying the whole three-car lineup. Autocar says that looking ahead from there, we’ll finally get eyes on the battery-electric Lamborghini in 2028. Last year, the predicted window was sometime between 2025 and 2027, and an interview with Lamborghini chief Stephan Winkelmann has clarified a few bits. Autocar says the EV will “be an all-new, radically styled 2+2 crossover” that looks back to the 2008 Estoque concept for “light inspiration” but “significantly more dramatic styling” than anything else in the range so it’s understood as an EV on sight. Within two years of its launch, Lamborghini will introduce a battery-electric Urus.

If things stay as they are, that would mean a four-vehicle lineup consisting of two PHEV-only models, one electric-only model, and the Urus offering both.

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Rimac Nevera gets EPA and CARB certification

The Rimac Nevera has got its visas to come to the U.S. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board certified the battery-electric hypercar from the newly minted Bugatti Rimac corporation for use on American roads, automaker CEO Mate Rimac posting the papwerwork on his Facebook page. The CARB paperwork shows the Croatian coupe with 287.28 miles on a charge, slightly down on the 342 miles of range the Nevera makes on the European WLTP cycle. Among the reputable electric hypercars we know of right now, Rimac’s range figures beat all thanks to the Nevera’s 130-kilowatt-hour gross battery. The Aspark Owl makes do with 69 kWh, the Lotus Evija packs 70 kWh, the Pininfarina Battista has a 120-kWh pack.

There are a number of reasons we’d love to sample the Nevera, beyond its specs and the company founder’s impressive mix of nous and enthusiasm. One is to experience real-world range of this particular electric hypercar, which Mate says “makes the highest use of regenerative braking of any other car on the market now.” When regeneration isn’t enough, considering the 258-mph top speed thanks to 1,914 horsepower and 1,741 pound-feet of torque, six-piston Brembos clamp 15.3-inch carbon-ceramic discs. Another is the “AI driving coach,” a software-driven mode to help a driver improve lap times on the track thanks to “clear and precise visual guidance” about the racing line, as well as braking and acceleration points.

Mate also said that Production Car #002 is undergoing pre-delivery testing around the company’s base in Zagreb, Croatia now. We take that to mean the first production model is already in customer hands, usually a signal that public sightings are headed for social media. However, based on the few Rimac Ones photographed in the wild, the owner group seems to be a discreet bunch. Bugatti Rimac will manufacture 150 Neveras total at €2 million apiece ($2.1M U.S.), some tiny sliver of that cleared to pass Customs in the U.S. We suppose they’re headed to climate controlled garages where they’ll be parked next to a Rimac One.

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

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

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

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #732

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