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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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SSC will make a hybrid, all-wheel-drive hypercar alongside the Tuatara

Washington-based SSC announced it will expand its range of hypercars with a hybrid, all-wheel-drive model in the next few years. The limited-edition car is currently being developed, and it’s one of two new models that the firm plans to launch in the not-too-distant future.

Speaking to Motor Authority, company founder and CEO Jerod Shelby hinted that the hybrid model won’t necessarily be part of the Tuatara line. It’s too early to tell how many units will be made, but they won’t be part of the 125-car run that SSC is planning for the Tuatara. And, the gasoline-electric car might not even wear the Tuatara nameplate; SSC could use another name to dial in a further degree of differentiation.

Power will come from a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a gasoline-powered engine mounted behind the passenger compartment and a pair of motors integrated into the front hubs. This setup will give the car through-the-road all-wheel-drive, meaning that there won’t be a mechanical connection between the front and rear axles. SSC has chased speed records in recent months, but electrification isn’t a way to go faster.

“The electrification of the car will make it a more well-rounded vehicle,” Shelby told Motor Authority. He added that going hybrid will notably improve acceleration, on-track performance, and lower-speed characteristics. There’s no word yet on how powerful the model will be, but we’re expecting a significant amount of power: the Tuatara is powered by a 5.9-liter V8 that’s twin-turbocharged to 1,750 horsepower.

Meanwhile, the carmaker also hopes to open a bigger factory in about 2025 to manufacture a smaller (and presumably more volume-oriented) model that Shelby envisions as “a little brother” to the Tuatara. It sounds like SSC has its work cut out for the 2020s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2023 BMW X7 M60i

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

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

Genesis X Speedium Coupe

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

Random other musings

Fiat 500 Electric

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

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

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

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

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Deus Vayanne EV hypercar reaches for 2,200 horsepower

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

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

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

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

Related video:

Deus Automobiles’ Vayanne electric hypercar headed to NYC

It feels a smidge heretical to say, “Oh man, another electric hypercar. From what country this time? (Sigh…)” But here we are, and here’s another electric hypercar hailing from Vienna, Austria — a first-time national entry in the segment that will offer more choice above six figures than there are cars costing less than $20,000 in the States. The company is called Deus Automobiles, not to be confused with the Australian motorcycle and cafe brand. In this case, the name is because it wants customers to anticipate “divinity,” and the first of its planned “ultra-limited” and “timeless” products is called the Vayanne, pronounced vy-ahn. Deus claims it is “an exclusive brand born from the unique technical partnership with Italdesign and Williams Advanced Engineering, ready to shape the future of 100% electric and luxury hypercars.”

We don’t know what that means, but we’ll see the first fruits at the New York Auto Show next month. Based on the 13-second video and a few teaser shots, the Vayanne bears quite a few traits one would expect of a mid-engined super sports car, like a trio of mesh-filled intakes in front, mesh-filled rear fender intakes, and a rear fascia with even more mesh. The photo gallery below includes three shots from Deus, two of which have been brightened for a better view of the details. Our guess is that the intakes mainly serve aero purposes, especially in front; the hood looks like little more than a vent to usher that front intake air over the body in a clean sweep.

We also don’t know who’s behind Deus, but other outlets have reported that Deus was “part of a group of businesses with more than 30 years success in industries ranging from publishing to packaging.” This would make sense, as the Vayanne looks like a packaging exercise. A year ago, Williams Advanced Engineering announced a modular electric vehicle platform called EVX it created with Italdesign to be a “complete, high-performance EV solution.” According to WAE, after buying the platform, it “is ready for customization by the Italdesign styling team who will shape the final vehicle to match the brand’s requirements in terms of marketing positioning, design direction etc.”

The EVX architecture can fit batteries of 104, 120, or 160 kWh and power motors of up to 1,341 horsepower, or a round 1,000 kilowatts. We expect to find out which battery has gone underneath the Vayanne’s bodywork and how much power comes on tap when the debut takes place at 1 p.m. EDT April 13.

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Alpine hydrogen supercar teased ahead of March 18 reveal

Despite the great EV rush across the auto industry, some are still exploring designs that use alternative fuels like hydrogen. Alpine, in a project with the Istituto Europeo di Design, one of the top transportation design schools in the world, has created a hydrogen-powered supercar that will be revealed on March 18. For now, it’s being teased.

Alpine has revealed precious little about the car so far. Called the Alpine A4810, it was designed in collaboration with 28 IED students as part of their Master in Transportation Design program’s thesis project. As such, the emphasis is going to be on design, with a low, rounded prow carrying on Alpine tradition. The brand’s signature quad headlamps take on a hexagonal shape rather than the typical round units, and a new LED lighting signature spans the width of the front.

Beyond that, we can see bulging wheel arches front and rear, a fighter jet canopy-style greenhouse and taillights that appear to extend from the rear bodywork. Oh, and the Alpine logo on the nose glows, too.

The stated goal of the project was to develop something as extreme as a supercar but with sustainability in mind. Interestingly, rather than a battery-electric setup, the IED’s description specifically calls out a hydrogen powertrain. It doesn’t, however, specify if that’s a fuel cell or a combustion engine that uses hydrogen fuel. The latter, as an example, would be something like Toyota’s Corolla-based hydrogen race car.

In the grand scheme of things it probably won’t matter too much, as this is primarily a design study. Alpine has also made moves to develop an all-electric sports car. It has about as much chance of making it into production as the Suzuki Misano Concept that IED previously designed. Still, it may serve as a visual guidepost for the company’s future vehicles. The Alpine A4810 will be revealed online on Thursday, March 18.

2022 Kia EV6 and Acura NSX Type S driven | Autoblog Podcast #715

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. The car chat begins this week with a review of the 2022 Kia EV6, followed by Zac’s drive of the 2022 Acura NSX Type-S. Then they discuss Autoblog’s new long-term loan, a 2022 BMW 330e xDrive. They’ve also been driving the Ford Explorer Timberline and Kia Sorento Hybrid.

In the news, they discuss the soon-to-be-revealed Alfa Romeo Tonale, as well as the recently unveiled Aston Martin DBX707. Finally, Greg talks about a historical Detroit landmark, the old American Motors Company headquarters, which is set to be demolished.

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

Autoblog Podcast #715

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  • Cars we’re driving
  • In the news

Feedback

Autoblog is now live on your smart speakers and voice assistants with the audio Autoblog Daily Digest. Say “Hey Google, play the news from Autoblog” or “Alexa, open Autoblog” to get your favorite car website in audio form every day. A narrator will take you through the biggest stories or break down one of our comprehensive test drives.

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McLaren Artura hybrid supercar delayed until second half of 2022

The new hybrid McLaren Artura is officially delayed. A report from Automotive News broke the news on the electrified supercar.

When McLaren officially revealed the Artura, it promised that deliveries would begin in the third quarter of 2021. The third quarter of this year has long since gone, and we’re about to head into 2022, and there are still no Artura deliveries taking place. The new target date for initial deliveries is set for July 2022. 

Automotive News heard confirmation of the delay from a McLaren spokesperson.

“We held on longer than everybody else in terms of stopping production, but unfortunately, our semiconductor supply dried up,” the spokesperson said. “That made us have to reduce production across the board.”

So, there’s your reason for the delay, too. McLaren is blaming the chip shortage that is currently plaguing the entire automotive industry. It’s unfortunate, because McLaren could certainly use the new Artura to freshen up its lineup. Automotive News reports that McLaren originally meant the Artura to make up 40% of its deliveries in 2022. With the delay until July next year, that’s going to be a difficult number to approach.

In case you needed a reminder, the Artura is a totally new McLaren from the ground up, as it’s sporting a new platform, new twin-turbo V6 engine and a plug-in hybrid electric system for purely electric motoring — 19 miles with a full battery pack. The engine and electric motor combined produce 671 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, sending it to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. Base price for the Artura is $225,000.

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James Bond’s latest Aston Martin is coming to ‘Rocket League’

It wouldn’t be a new James Bond movie without a few tie-ins, and No Time to Die is clearly sticking to that rule. Psyonix and Epic Games have revealed that Bond‘s Aston Martin Valhalla, the first hybrid car in the game, will be available in Rocket League (complete with matching audio, decal and wheels) for 1100 Credits starting October 7th. You’ll also find three in-game challenges to unlock a Bond-themed avatar border, banner and player title.

Completists will have the option of buying a Bond 007 Collection between October 7th and October 13th that includes both the Valhalla and the classic DB5 for 2,000 Credits. The DB5 was released in July, but this could represent a better deal for Bond aficionados.

The expansion isn’t a surprise when Epic has lots of money to throw at promotional deals. This could boost interest in Rocket League among either diehard Bond fans or newcomers looking for more real-world cars. If nothing else, it should be amusing to watch 007 score a flying, upside-down goal or two.

Reporting by J. Fingas for Engadget.

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Rimac CEO on Porsche-Bugatti deal: ‘I am not somebody to play it safe’

Mate Rimac is used to being the underdog. At the Geneva auto show in 2009, the then-21-year-old Croat walked to the Koenigsegg booth looking for his idol, Christian von Koenigsegg. In those pre-YouTube-saturation years, Rimac didn’t know what the namesake of his favorite car brand looked like. And no one knew him. So he approached “the most serious-looking guy” at the stand and went on to befriend his idol, Rimac said in an interview on Aug. 13 in Carmel, Calif.

Twelve years on, Rimac, now 33, has more than leveled the playing field with his Swedish friend. On July 5 his Rimac Automobili — the tech and supercar company he founded in his garage — announced a joint venture with Porsche AG to take control of Bugatti. The 112-year-old French crown jewel in parent company Volkswagen AG’s crown, Bugatti sells cars like the 1,480-horsepower Chiron Pur Sport, which gets 8 mpg in city driving. The brand traditionally does not disclose specific sales results but is known to deliver roughly 80 vehicles globally each year. Rimac has characterized the acquisition as “removing some distractions” from VW.

According to the terms of the deal, Rimac holds a 55% stake in Bugatti-Rimac while Porsche owns the remaining 45%. Earlier this year, Porsche had also separately increased its stake in Rimac to 24%.

Rimac himself will take the helm of Bugatti-Rimac, while Porsche’s Oliver Blume and Lutz Meschke will join a supervisory board for the company. It’s all quite a change of view for a guy used to working behind the scenes.

“The stakes are getting bigger,” Rimac said. “But I am not somebody to play it safe. Never. Not even close. So if there is going to be some friction with our shareholders and more experienced people that come into the company, it’s going to be that.”

The arrangement marks the first time Volkswagen has ceded control over one of its brands to a company and a person so young. It also signals a subtle stratification of the company’s premium marques, dividing those aligned with Rimac, which includes Porsche and Bugatti, from those such as Audi and Bentley that are likely to continue using VW’s own electric components.

“We are already developing stuff that will be soon in high-volume Porsches,” Rimac says. “Not special projects, but the mainstream.” The company provides EV tech such as batteries for carmakers including Koenigsegg and Pininfarina.

At this point, Rimac admits that his 1,000-person, decade-old operation is far from an underdog. Porsche just paid the company $70 million, he says, and Rimac’s $2.4 million Nevera supercar recently turned in the quickest quarter-mile time ever for a production car. The Bugatti-Rimac venture will retain both Bugatti’s headquarters in Molsheim, France, and Rimac’s headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia.

“It feels really interesting when you think where we came from — this country has never had an automotive industry,” Rimac says of Croatia. “We had absolutely no idea what we were doing. And now our tech is in so many cars, and with Bugatti this whole thing is a huge responsibility.”

He is used to the pressure by now. Call it discipline à la automaker.

“I was told by our big OEM customers, if you screw up, the next day we send 30 trucks, they pick up everything, you are dead,” Rimac says. “If you screw up and you don’t deliver, everything stands still, and then you are dead. You are dead.”

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

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

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

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

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

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2022 Acura NSX Type S is revealed as the most powerful NSX ever

The 2022 Acura NSX Type S is here, and it’s the most impressive NSX the company has created. It now makes 600 horsepower and 492 pound-feet of torque, increases of 27 ponies and 16 pound-feet. But that’s only the tip of the many little changes Acura has done to make this the ultimate NSX.

Gaining that extra power involved quite a few little changes. The engine now gets larger turbochargers borrowed from the GT3 race car. The various intakes have been changed for improved cooling and airflow. The main front grille has been enlarged to allow more air into the radiators, and the outboard grilles now feature ducting for air curtains that help direct air to the side intakes. Those intakes feed more efficient intercoolers. The batteries even feature greater capacity.

Power isn’t the only area to receive upgrades. The Type S gets a carbon fiber roof for slightly less weight and a lower center of gravity. The aerodynamics have been tweaked with a new carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, rear spoiler and a GT3 race car-inspired rear diffuser, all of which help with downforce. The adjustable suspension, all-wheel-drive system and transmission have all been retuned for sportier driving. The latter shifts faster now and has a Rapid Downshift mode that allows you to shift to the lowest possible gear with one half-second paddle pull. Even the tires are stickier Pirelli P-Zeroes designed specifically for the NSX Type S. All of these improvements mean that the Type S is a full two seconds faster around Suzuka than a regular NSX.

And if you need just that little bit more in the performance department, there is a Lightweight Package. It costs an extra $13,000 and adds carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon fiber engine cover and carbon fiber interior parts. Total weight savings is 58 pounds.

Acura did pay some attention to styling, too. On top of the more aggressive aerodynamic bits, the grille has a new shape that has hints of the corporate pentagonal grille. The grille mesh is even steel instead of plastic now. The lights get dark lenses, and all the badging, mirrors and door handles are finished in black. Type S decals adorn the rear fenders. Inside, there’s an Alcantara headliner and NSX and Type S logos embroidered in the seats and dashboard. One of the cars in the gallery at top is painted in an exclusive Gotham Gray matte metallic color, which will only be applied to 70 cars.

To get into an NSX Type S, you’ll need to be ready to fork over $171,495 including destination charge. Acura is taking orders now. You’ll want to be quick: 350 units are on offer, and 300 of those are for the U.S. You can put in your order at this link.

Related video:

Pininfarina Battista production car revealed to kick off Monterey Car Week

The Pininfarina Battista is officially here in production form. Pininfarina released the first images and video of the production car today, tooling around Southern California roads ahead of it being displayed during Monterey Car Week.

There are no additional specs or figures available beyond what has already been announced. The Battista will produce 1,900 horsepower from its four electric motors, have a range of about 280 miles on a full charge and hit 60 mph in “under 2 seconds.” Those in Monterey will have a chance to see the exposed carbon bodywork in person for the first time. Plus, potential clients will be provided the opportunity to go for a ride.

It’s not just this single Battista that will be shown, either. Pininfarina says it will also be debuting a Battista Anniversario. This special edition of the Battista will have “aerodynamic enhancements and tailored detailing producing a uniquely dynamic personality.” It will also be limited to just five total vehicles worldwide. Seeing it at Monterey may be the first and last chance you get to ever lay eyes on one.

The one nugget of information Pininfarina gave us today besides the new photos is detail on the Battista’s sound. It takes after a sound philosophy conceived by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Any multiple of 432 Hz is said to be a “pure sound” according to Verdi, so Pininfarina used 54 Hz (a multiplier of 432) as the core frequency of noise for the Battista. As you accelerate, the frequency will continue to increase in multiples of 54 Hz to keep the in-cabin sound pure and consistent with Verdi’s principles. How very Italian.

“Every driver has an emotional bond with a car, and the sound of Battista will nurture this connection, not by replicating a familiar car sound, but with one that radiates the beauty of Battista’s design both inside and out,” says René Wollmann, product platform director for sports cars at Automobili Pininfarina. “This way, the Battista will not only impress with its aesthetic appeal and performance, but also on a new emotional level enhanced through the sound. We look forward to the input we will receive from clients in the U.S. as we fine-tune Battista’s sonic experience.”

We’ll look forward to hearing the sound ourselves one day. For now, the wait is on to see the ultra-exclusive Battista Anniversario. Look out for more Pininfarina news soon as Monterey Car Week revs up.

Related video:

Here’s the first Pininfarina Battista customer car

Pininfarina continues its slow drip of news about the electric Battista hypercar today with details about the personalization program and photos of the first Battista commissioned.

Above, you can see the Battista in question. Pininfarina didn’t reveal who the client was, but did say that the car’s appearance is “inspired by New York City.” The dominating exterior element is carbon fiber done in Iconica Blu thread. The carbon fiber is black, of course, but Pininfarina uses the Iconica Blu thread in it to make the car appear blue. It’s a rather dark shade of blue, but you can easily see the black carbon fiber weave underneath the paint, providing an extra pop. It drifts heavily into the ‘Murica theme with the red “Exterior Jewellery Pack” adorning the windows and side sills. Plus it also has hand-painted white stripes, adding some sparkle to the exterior. Pininfarina says the white paint for those stripes is named Bianco Sestiere Metallic.

The wheels are done in Dark Matt Grey and have a black center-lock ring to match the roof, rear diffuser and wing. Its final touch is a light-up Pininfarina logo in front made of brushed and polished anodized aluminum. Just like the owner of this Battista, anybody who orders one will get to personalize it from nose to tail. Pininfarina says its customization program allows for a total of 128 million combinations, so there shouldn’t be any Battistas that are exactly alike. You’ll choose from numerous paint finishes, carbon fiber bodywork, different exterior trims and so on.

Pininfarina didn’t show photos of this car’s interior, but it says the car will have black leather upholstery with Iconica Blu Alcantara inserts to match the exterior’s blue-and-black combo. Iconica Blu stitching is matched with more red and white stitching. Plus, it gets white seatbelts and the same Iconica Blu thread on the back of the carbon fiber seats. 

There are very few stones left unturned — even the chassis plate engravings can be customized to whatever you’d like. Only 150 Battistas will ever be built, says Pininfarina, and every single one of them will have the owner go through a customization process that puts them at the actual location of production — the Cambiano facility — to make all of their build decisions.

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Everrati and Superformance team up to build an all-electric GT40

Britain’s Everrati and America’s Superformance are teaming up to build all-electric continuation models of the iconic GT40 race car. Everrati, which has developed electric overhauls for the Porsche 911 (964), Land Rover Series IIA and Mercedes-Benz SL Pagoda, will take the lead on the powertrain, with Superformance supplying the body. 

Superformance’s licensed replicas may conjure images of America challenging the best from Italy at Le Mans, but that was a trans-Atlantic effort as well; the body for the original was built in Coventry. The roles may be reversed, but the pairing is as old as the idea of dethroning Enzo Ferrari. 

“The Everrati and Superformance partnership will allow enthusiasts to drive an electric-powered GT40, with development of this first model already underway,” the two said in their announcement. “A prototype chassis has been built and is being comprehensively adapted from ICE power to advanced electric propulsion at Everrati’s UK development centre in Upper Heyford, a former U.S. air base in the English Cotswolds.”

Neither provided any details regarding the GT40’s potential powertrain or its ultimate performance, but Superformance has pretty much always left such things up to the end customer, letting them choose from existing vintage and modern powertrains for its licensed replicas. There likely won’t be as many options for the electric GT40, but we sincerely doubt it will be a one-size-fits-all setup. Stay tuned. 

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Aston Martin Valhalla is ready to Ragnarok with 937 plug-in horsepower

The Aston Martin Valhalla is here. The company’s first series-production, mid-engine monster packs 937 plug-in hybrid horsepower in a lightweight carbon fiber chassis. This 217-mph hypercar is expected to run a 6:30 lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Originally, the hopeful Ferrari killer was referred to as Project 003. It was later renamed Valhalla and was on track to make its debut with an in-house, 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 – the first engine Aston developed in-house since a 5.3-liter V8 entered production in 1969. After Daimler increased its stake in the British luxury builder in 2020, those plans went out the window. 

Rather than an in-house V6, the Valhalla will now be powered by a customized AMG Black series V8 plug-in hybrid powertrain. The twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter flat-plane-öcrank V8 makes a respectable 740 horsepower all on its own. Two electric motors combine for an additional 201. That should add up to 941, not 937; we’re assuming a few stray horses drowned crossing the Great Sea of Unit Conversion. 

The engine and motors are paired to a unique eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that has no physical reverse gear. Instead, the electric motors are run the opposite direction to simulate a backward gear, saving both weight and complexity in the gearbox. This is mated to an advanced torque vectoring all-wheel drive system can send 100% of available electric power to either the front or rear axles.

Aston Martin says it will do 0-60 in just 2.5 seconds on the way to a 217 mph top speed. Around town, it can also cruise in electric-only mode for up to 9 miles up to a speed of 80 mph, but we suspect you’ll deplete the battery much more quickly than that if you floor it up to its top EV speed. 

“Preserving the essence of an exceptional concept car is vital when meeting the challenge of bringing it into production,” said CEO Tobias Moers. “With Valhalla not only have we stayed true to our commitment to build a world-beating supercar, but we have exceeded our original aims. The result is a pure driving machine — one which exists right at the cutting edge of performance and technology yet allows the driver to feel the emotion and thrill of complete connection and control.”

Its carbon fiber body construction makes it ultra-light (just 3,417 pounds, which is nothing for a PHEV) and super rigid. Its adaptive spring and damper suspension was developed with Multimatic, and like most modern supercars it offers adjustable ride height and a front-axle lift system for clearing troublesome obstacles. The aero was inspired by (and in some ways borrowed from) F1 and produces 600 kg (1,322 pounds) of downforce at 150 mph. 

While this may be a series-production model, don’t expect to see too many of them around town. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all already spoken for. Stay tuned for more details as Aston Martin ramps toward production and reveals more details about the Valhalla’s driving experience. 

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Rimac inks deal to purchase 55% of Bugatti from VW Group

ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatian electric supercar builder Rimac is taking over the iconic French manufacturer Bugatti in a deal that is reported to be worth millions of euros.

Rimac said Germany’s Volkswagen Group, including the Porsche division — which owns a majority stake in Bugatti — plans to create a new joint venture. The new company will be called Bugatti-Rimac.

Rimac Automobili announced Monday that it will be combining forces with Bugatti to “create a new automotive and technological powerhouse.”

Rimac has progressed in 10 years from a one-man garage startup to a successful company that produces electric supercars. Mate Rimac, who founded the company in 2009, says the venture is an “exciting moment” and calls the combination of the companies “a perfect match for each other.”

Porsche will own 45% of Bugatti-Rimac while Rimac Automobili will hold the remaining 55% stake, according to Croatian media reports. Financial details of the deal were not published.

Bugattis will continue to be assembled in eastern France, where the company was established in 1909. The vehicles will use engines developed and made in Croatia.

“In an industry evolving at ever-increasing speed, flexibility, innovation and sustainability remain at the very core of Rimac’s operations,” the company said. “Uniting Rimac’s technical expertise and lean operations with Bugatti’s 110-year heritage of design and engineering prowess represents a fusion of leading automotive minds.”

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.

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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