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Lamborghini confirms 800-hp V8 for hybrid Huracán successor

Lamborghini went to significant lengths to keep the naturally-aspirated V12 engine alive, but its naturally-aspirated V10 has nearly reached the end of its life cycle. Instead, the yet-unnamed model that will replace the Huracán will downsize, adopt forced induction, and electrify.

Code-named 634 internally, the Huracán’s successor will get a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 rated at about 800 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque and linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. For context, the 10-year-old Huracán uses a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 tuned to develop 631 horsepower and 441 pound-feet of torque in its most powerful state of tune and the Revuelto’s V12 makes 814 horsepower. The hybrid part of the drivetrain will consist of three electric motors and a battery pack whose capacity and chemistry haven’t been announced. The system’s total output also hasn’t been revealed, but it should check in well above 800 horsepower. 

Before rumors begin to fly, let’s get an important detail out of the way. Lamborghini is part of the Volkswagen Group, and several of its sister companies — including Porsche — offer a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, but this is not what you’ll find in the Huracán’s successor’s engine bay. The brand claims that the eight-cylinder is new; it was developed in-house on a blank slate. Its delivers its peak horsepower output between 9,000 and 9,750 rpm, it provides its peak torque output over a broad range that stretches from 4,000 to 7,000 rpm, and it revs to an un-turbo-like 10,000 rpm. The pistons are linked to flat-plane crankshaft, too. On paper, it sounds like Lamborghini developed a racing engine. 

The dual-clutch automatic is a version of the transmission developed for the Revuelto, which made its debut in 2023 as Lamborghini’s first series-produced plug-in hybrid super-sports car. Details about the electrified part of the drivetrain remain relatively vague: all we know at this stage is that one of the three motors is sandwiched between the V8 and the eight-speed transmission. Fear not, the model won’t sound like the average hybrid. It will likely be capable of driving on electricity alone for short distances, but Lamborghini stresses it spent a great deal of time tuning the engine’s exhaust note to ensure it sounds the way a modern supercar with a flat-plane crankshaft and a high redline should.

Lamborghini will unveil the Huracán’s successor later in 2024, and we expect to hear more about it in the coming months. When it lands, it will complete the company’s shift to an all-electrified line-up: it will join the Revuelto and the plug-in hybrid Urus SE unveiled in April 2024.

Lamborghini Information

Rimac says demand for electric hypercars has dropped

Unveiled in 2021, the 1,914-horsepower Rimac Nevera is limited to 150 units, and about 50 of those have already been spoken for. Part of the reason why two-thirds of the planned production run remains available is that demand for electric hypercars has dropped, the brand said.

“We started to develop the Nevera in 2016/2017, when electric was cool,” company founder Mate Rimac explained during the Financial Times Future of the Car conference in London, England. Fast-forward to 2024 and electric technology has become a lot more common; electrification is legally mandated across Europe, and nearly every company regardless of market positioning offers at least one EV.

“The regulators and some OEMs push it so much that the narrative has changed. They’re pushing stuff on us that we don’t want, so people get a little bit repulsed by it, this whole forced application. I’m always against it. I think everything has to be based on merit, so the product has to be better,” he added. Regular motorists don’t have a choice, but those who can afford a hypercar want one with a gasoline engine.

In turn, this shift is driving demand for electric hypercars — like the Nevera, the Pininfarina Battista, and the Lotus Evija — down. They’re more powerful and usually quicker than comparable gasoline-burning models, but companies are realizing that a sub-two-second zero-to-60-mph time isn’t enough to make a car appealing. Buyers with a seven-digit sum to spend on a car want analog technology, Autocar reported.

Rimac used the Apple Watch as an example.

“An Apple Watch can do everything better. It can do 1,000 more things, it’s a lot more precise, and it can measure your heart rate. But nobody would pay $200,000 for an Apple Watch,” he said. He noted that the Nevera remains the best-sold electric hypercar, however.

This realization at least partially explains why the Bugatti Chiron’s successor isn’t electric; it will be powered by a new V16 engine. Rimac, which owns Bugatti, said a battery-powered model’s sales figures would be “nowhere near” what it has planned for the V16-powered car. And, the shift will likely have an effect on Rimac’s product pipeline: it doesn’t expect demand for electric hypercars will go back up.

Rimac remains committed to electrification, it notably has partnerships with several carmakers including BMW and Hyundai, and it’s not about to stuff Bugatti’s new V16 engine in the Nevera to boost sales. Looking ahead, it wants to experiment with other types of drivetrain technologies. “It’s not about being electric; it’s about doing things that other cars can’t do and giving a unique experience,” the CEO said.

One project brewing behind-the-scenes in the brand’s Croatian headquarters is a nanotube-powered drivetrain capable of running on diesel, LPG, or hydrogen. It’s a system that heats “chemically different” liquid fuels to generate the electricity needed to zap a motor into motion.

Pininfarina whips up a Batman-inspired Battista and B95 speedster

Albert, Harry, Jack, and Sam Warner founded Warner Bros. Pictures Incorporated in April 1923, 101 years ago. Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger first put Batman into Gotham in an issue of Detective Comics (DC) on March 30, 1939, 75 years ago. Warner Bros., which owns DC Comics (and Discovery owns Warner), has gifted the ageless Dark Knight a mighty present for his diamond jubilee year: special editions of the Pininfarina Battista coupe and Pininfarina B95 speedster. Two trims of each, in Gotham and Dark Knight trims, make four cars in total. Every one of them gets the Battista’s standard powertrain, a 120-kWh battery charging four motors that make a combined 1,877 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque good for getting to 60 miles per hour in under two seconds and rated at 300 miles on a charge in the U.S.

The Italian automaker debuted the B95 Barchetta last year, a speedster in the mold of the Aston Martin V12 Speedster and Ferrari Monza SP1. At the time, the company said deliveries would begin in 2025 for the ten units it planned to produce. We’re not sure if these Batman editions are part of the ten or added to the ten.   

The Gotham variants reflect Bruce Wayne’s sophisticated side. Fronted by backlit Pininfarina badges, they’re painted Argento Vittorio Gloss paint with contrasts in Nero Torino Gloss and a Goccia roof. A redesigned roof and door junction on the coupe adds more curved glass, letting more light into the cabin, while new louvers in the wheel arches pass more air out of aerodynamically sensitive areas. The staggered wheels on the coupe get Prezioso Evoluzione Gloss Black faces with a matte black rim. The B95 Gotham is differentiated by having a matte black inner ring and and gloss black outer ring. Cabins in both cars are dressed in tan leather and tan stitching with quilted center panels in the seats.

The Dark Knight flavors express Bruce’s tech-intense side, enabled by the boffins at Wayne Enterprises. These come in Nero Profondo Black paint with a Nero Torino Goccia roof and rims in Glorioso, over a cockpit in black leather and Alcantara.

Special touches include a new skin for the infotainment system, voiced by Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth, as well as discreet Wayne Enterprises badging inside and out.

The cars are part of a real-life lifestyle division called Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, which is rolling out a range of branded products for living the Bruce Wayne life, from these vehicles to luxury residences and “rarely seen, life-enhancing technologies and limited edition products.” You read that right. You can find out all about it at www.BruceWayneX.com, and apply for an allocation of any of these four cars right now. Pricing:

Porsche will soon decide whether to build the Mission X hypercar

Porsche hypercars don’t come around very often. In the 21st century, we’ve seen the V10-powered Carrera GT and the plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder. The brand hinted at what a follow-up could look like with the Mission X concept, and executives will soon decide whether to build it.

“With the concept, we have shown the technology we want to put in the car, the performance profile, and the feedback we got at our 75-year celebration was massively positive, so it’s a great motivation for us to do the car,” company boss Oliver Blume told Australian site CarSales.

Of course, putting a car on the path to production takes more than motivation. Feasibility will ultimately play a major role in deciding whether the Mission X will be remembered as a wild-looking concept car or as the 918 Spyder’s successor. It helps that the coupe looks far more realistic than the average design study; it wouldn’t take much tweaking to turn it into a production car, at least from a design perspective. 

Technology is another hurdle the Mission X needs to clear. The concept is electric, and while Porsche didn’t detail the drivetrain it noted that the system offers a power-to-weight ratio of “roughly one horsepower per 2.2 pounds.” It also promised more downforce than the current 911 GT3 RS and quick charging thanks in part to a 900-volt electrical system. However, these claims remain hypothetical, and Blume has previously suggested that the performance his team envisions for an electric hypercar can’t be achieved with the current battery technology.

None of these issues are insurmountable: battery technology is improving at a rapid pace, and we’re sure that a production-bound Mission X would sell out quickly even if it comes with a seven-digit price tag. Porsche has historically done well with limited-edition cars. Blume told CarSales that “the idea is to make the decision this year,” so we should learn more about what the future holds in the coming months.

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Driving the GMC Canyon, and pour one out for the Camaro | Autoblog Podcast #812

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They start by discussing the the cars they’ve been driving, including the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4, ECD Jaguar E-Type EV, ECD Land Rover Defender 110 and the Genesis GV60. Next, they hit the news starting with the Chevrolet Camaro production ending. Rumors about the Hyundai N Vision 74 are bandied about, and then the two discuss the latest McLaren iteration named the GTS, which is a refresh of the GT. Lastly, the pair discuss who they think were the most influential leaders in the automotive industry throughout 2023

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

Autoblog Podcast #812

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President Biden says he took a Porsche up to 171 mph

President Joe Biden went on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” recently, and he had a lot to say about cars. There’s plenty to unpack from the clip that you can watch above, but at one point he mentions that he recently took a Porsche up to 171 mph on the Secret Service’s private test track. Now that’s the kind of gearhead stuff we like to hear from politicians!

“I got a Porsche up to 171 mph,” Biden says while explaining how launch control works to O’Brien. Biden didn’t specify which Porsche model he was driving, but we’d bet it’s likely a 911. Of course, plenty of other Porsches are capable of 171 mph, so we don’t really know, but if any White House correspondents are reading, we wouldn’t mind if you asked Biden next time you see him.

In addition to Biden enjoying a Porsche at high speed, he said that he’s done the same with his 1967 Chevrolet Corvette, reaching 132 mph on the Secret Service airstrip test track. Biden even said that Jay Leno offered to buy his Corvette from him at one point for $144,000, but that he had to turn him down.

“They take me out to the Secret Service test track, which is an old runway. I got my Corvette up to 132 mph. It’s only a 327,” Biden remarks to O’Brien.

And speaking of Corvette news, we’ve already heard Biden spill the beans once on this topic, but yet again he makes the claim that an electric Corvette is on its way, and says it will do the 0-60 mph run in 2.9 seconds. That’s what the gasoline-powered C8 Stingray will do now with the performance exhaust, but we’re betting an electric Corvette would obliterate that time and be somewhere in the 2.0-2.5-second range.

It wasn’t just an electric Vette that Biden took to talking about, though, as he also claims to have driven an electric Ford Bronco.

“Oh and by the way, I drove one of those big Ford Broncos, electric. 4.9 seconds. Mine is 5.2,” Biden says making the comparison to his old Corvette.

We’re not exactly sure what he means by claiming to have driven an electric Ford Bronco. Such a vehicle does not exist from Ford currently, but there are restomods of original Broncos converted to electric power. There’s also the vague possibility that Biden has some inside scoop from Ford execs about future products, but it’s unclear from the interview. Regardless of the product implications, watching President Biden talk cars with O’Brien is an entertaining watch, so make sure you check out the video at the top of this post.

Mercedes-AMG halo EV due in 2025 could make 980 hp from two motors

Mercedes-Benz plans four platforms to carry it into an all-electric future. There’s the Modular Mercedes Architecture (MMA) for entry-level vehicles like the production version of the Concept CLA. Then there are the three EA platforms: MB.EA for midsize and large Mercedes passenger vehicles, VAN.EA for the commercial haulers, and AMG.EA for hyper-potent stuff from the Mercedes-AMG division, the first of which is due in 2025. Engineers in Affalterbach showed what an AMG.EA brainchild could look like with the Mercedes Vision Concept from May of last year, a four-door exuding vibes of a beefier Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept while also clearly in the AMG One family. Autocar reports that the performance vision for the first pure-electric EV developed by AMG could bring close to 1,000 horsepower to the table, if not more.

The potential output comes courtesy of axial flux electric motors developed by UK company Yasa, a startup incorporated in 2009 to commercialize innovations made at Oxford University. In its short life, Yasa’s axial motors have appeared in the Jaguar CX-75 Concept, record-breaking electric racers at Pikes Peak, the Konigsegg Regera and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale. Mercedes bought Yasa two years ago, the company tasked with high-energy motors for AMG. Mercedes hasn’t spoken of figures yet, but Yasa founder and CEO Tim Woolmer has said one motor planned for AMG weighs 53 pounds and is capable of a peak 480 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. This is the “exceptionally powerful and advanced” unit Mercedes hinted at when speaking on the sidelines of the One-Eleven Concept debut.

If Woolmer’s figures are representative of the motor going in the electric AMG, that’s a possible 960 hp and 1,180 lb-ft. assuming AMG restrains itself to just two motors, one on each axle. These aren’t heady numbers for luxury electric carsthe hybrid AMG One makes 1,049 hp, BMW’s quad-motor electric M3 prototype is rumored to be capable of 1,341 hp — and 2025 is a long way away in terms of electric developments, so AMG adding a third or fourth motor won’t raise eyebrows.

Powering those motors will be a pack from U.S. outfit Sila Nanotechnologies that replaces graphite anodes in the typical lithium-ion battery with silicon. The result’s said to be less expensive and more powerful, Mercedes citing a 40% increase in density for the same battery size. Along with the AMG.EA platform’s design, AMG vehicle designers will use the battery’s benefits to draw a car Autocar says will be about as long as the 199-inch AMG GT 4-Door but sit “much lower than … the EVA platform” used by the AMG EQS 53. The lowest point on the AMG GT 4-Door sits 4.6 inches off the ground, the EQS 53 limbos under that by three-tenths of an inch. A car “much lower” than that is going to qualify as a reptile.

The One-Eleven Concept provided clues to tech like a full-width high-def screen in AMG’s electric car. The AR headset necessary to engage with the complete vehicle interface will, hopefully, remain a few more years in the future.

Related video:

Watch Rimac Nevera set a speed record of 171 mph — in reverse

The Rimac Nevera is an absolute beast. This 1,914-horsepower electric hypercar has been setting records left and right, from becoming the world’s fastest electric car, to tackling the Nürburgring in just over 7 minutes, and many more. So the folks at Rimac have had to get creative to find a new challenge, but find one they did. This time, the Rimac Nevera has set a Guinness World Record for the fastest speed in reverse.

This harrowing feat saw the Nevara back up at a top speed of 171.34 miles per hour. In the onboard footage below, you can see the view from the cockpit as the landscape recedes into the distance faster and faster. The vehicle data is interesting to watch, too, with the torque being distributed between the front and rear wheels, and the steering correction as the car drifts ever so slightly off the centerline. It’s all a bit disorienting.

So how did Rimac find itself aiming the rear end of the Nevera toward such a record? “It occurred to us during development that Nevera would probably be the world’s fastest car in reverse, but we kind of laughed it off,” said Nevara chief program engineer Matija Renić. “The aerodynamics, cooling and stability hadn’t been engineered for traveling backwards at speed, after all. But then, we started to talk about how fun it would be to give it a shot. Our simulations showed that we could achieve well over 150 mph, but we didn’t have much of an idea how stable it would be — we were entering unchartered territory.”

It’s hard to imagine driving in reverse at such speeds, and as Rimac test driver Goran Drndak can attest, it’s an odd experience. “On the run itself, it definitely took some getting used to,” Drndak said. “You’re facing straight out backwards watching the scenery flash away from you faster and faster, feeling your neck pulled forwards in almost the same sensation you would normally get under heavy braking. You’re moving the steering wheel so gently, careful not to upset the balance, watching for your course and your braking point out the rear-view mirror, all the while keeping an eye on the speed. Despite it being almost completely unnatural to the way the car was engineered, Nevera breezed through yet another record.”

The $2.2 million Rimac Nevera is powered by four individual motors, giving it a total of 1,914 horsepower and 1,740 pound-feet of torque. Driving forward, it’s capable of 0-60 in just 1.7 seconds, 0-100 in 3.21 seconds and 0-200 in just under 11 seconds. It set a top speed record of 256 mph. Its 120-kilowatt-hour battery is good for 350 miles of driving range on Europe’s WLTP testing cycle.

Autoblog’s Editors’ Picks: The Complete List

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Ride along with Rimac on a flying drone tour of its factory and offices

Croatian automaker Rimac has developed some of the world’s most impressive EVs, and the automaker’s joint venture with Bugatti promises to bolster that innovation with more money and engineering resources. As you might imagine, building mind-blowing cars doesn’t often happen in a makeshift factory, and Rimac recently released a stunning drone-shot tour of its manufacturing facility that shows its home base is as advanced as its cars.

Similar to the all-in-one factories used by Formula 1 teams, Rimac’s factory houses offices and administrative functions in addition to the production lines. That said, we’re not talking about a traditional auto factory here. Rimac’s factory floor is bright and spotless, with more of an operating room vibe than anything to do with auto manufacturing.

Though short, the drone tour gives us a surprising level of access within the facility. Some of the shots bring the drone awfully close to freshly built multi-million-dollar cars, of which a handful were shown in the video. We also get shots of the company’s dynamometer facility and quality control efforts.

Rimac is currently shipping the Nevera, a 1,914-horsepower electric hypercar with two gearboxes and a boatload of performance records that include a 0-62 mph time (100 km/h) of just 1.81 seconds and a top speed of 256 mph. It also set records at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Nürburgring this year, achieving the fastest production EV titles at both locations.

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale revealed, Dodge Challenger Black Ghost driven | Autoblog Podcast #796

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor John Beltz Snyder. John has been driving the 2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, while Greg has been making noise in another last call from Dodge, the 2023 Challenger Black Ghost. John, along with Associate Editor Byron Hurd, recently tested the 2023 Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage hybrids for an upcoming comparison review.

In the news, Felipe Massa seeks to overturn the 2008 F1 Championship in his favor through legal means; Ford might return to the street-performance truck scene with the F-150 Lobo; Volkswagen has been hinting at something interesting at the Munich show by tweeting a mysterious video of a rabbit (the animal); and while the podcast recording was underway, Alfa Romeo unveiled its beautiful 33 Stradale supercar.

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

Autoblog Podcast #796

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Woodward Dream Cruise 2003: Mega gallery of classics, off-roaders and more

We just spent the entire day in and around the Motor City enjoying the automotive sights and sounds of the Woodward Dream Cruise. According to the event’s website, the Dream Cruise attracts over a million people every year to see a collection of “more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles.” That’s a lot of people and a lot of vehicles. And if you couldn’t be there this year in person, perhaps our galleries from this year’s festivities are the next best thing.

We kicked things off up above with muscle cars, classics and hot rods, since those make up the largest part of the collection. But below you’ll see galleries of modern performance vehicles, trucks and off-roaders and, finally, the strangest sights we were able to point our camera lenses at. Enjoy!

Pininfarina B95 revealed, costs $4.8 million, 0-60 in 2 seconds

The art of exaggeration is a highly refined exercise in Italy, especially among those who promote the revered Italian automobile industry. In the case of Automobile Pininfarina and its just-announced B95 “hyper” electric car, the hype is probably deserved.

Francesco Cundari, the brand’s director of interior design, said in a statement that “driving the B95 will be an immersive experience like no other. It will feel like a cross between driving a modern F1 car and piloting a vintage fighter plane.”

See what we mean?

At any rate, the name Pininfarina conjures up the canals of Venice and spaghetti carbonara and peerless automotive design and engineering. And today the Monterey Car Week hosts the world premiere of the pure electric B95, the all-electric “Barchetta” (that’s the “B” in the name) supercar that will put our 1,900 horsepower. 0-60 is specced at less than two seconds, top speed 300 kph (186 mph). It will be a limited edition of 10 units in 2025, each to sell for 4.4 million Euros ($4.8 million). (The 95, btw, refers to the 95th anniversary of the Pininfarina SpA design house.)

And another BTW: “barchetta” means “little boat” in Italian and originated in the Forties with a Ferrari. It often refers to an open-top two-seater.

The B95 is supposed to go on display alongside the recently previewed Pininfarina Pura Vision concept, another element in the company’s agenda to become a full-fledged car company. An early look showed this electric crossover riding on 23-inch wheels and measuring about 205 inches long, 85 inches wide and 65 inches tall.

There will also be on show the Battista Edizione Nino Farina, which made its world dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Britain in July.

In a statement outlining the B95’s design, the company noted that “viewed from above, the Pura design DNA is instantly recognizable. With no vehicle glasshouse, the Automobili Pininfarina design team has defined the cabin space with a surrounding loop, which incorporates the seats.”

Again touching on the fighter jet reference, the car incorporates what Pininfarina says are the first adjustable aero screens and the domes behind each passenger. “Taking inspiration from vintage fighter planes, the clear polycarbonate designs feature intricately engineered and exposed aluminium supports and can be raised and lowered to improve comfort.”

Some other details worth noting about today’s launch car:

  • The main body is finished in metallic Bronzo Superga (how Italian is that?}, “providing a dramatic contrast to the distinctive Giallo Arneis gloss section at the front and atop the driver’s dome,” itself featuring Black Gloss ‘95’ lettering. The body finish features gold metallic flakes
  • B95 has new 20″ front / 21″ rear forged aluminum wheels finished in Matt Black and contrasting with exposed aluminum matt precision-polished outers. The brakes are Brembo carbon-ceramic 390 mm discs with six-piston calipers front and rear.
  • Inside, the dashboard is upholstered in “Tan Sustainable Luxury Leather” with bespoke embossing, which contrasts with the brushed black aluminum anodised finish that features elsewhere. The seats, also finished in the Tan Sustainable Luxury Leather, “are designed to curve around the occupants.” The headrests, with “electro-welded” Pininfarina logos, are finished in a Pied de Poule Houndstooth Luxury Textile.

Said company CEO Paolo Dellachà of the Car Week events, “It is a pivotal period in the evolution of Automobili Pininfarina. Our ambition when we launched the company in 2018 was to become the world’s first creator of purely electric luxury cars. Envisioning, designing, and delivering on the dreams of our clients. I am incredibly proud to now share what we have carefully prepared for our customers and fans in 2023.”

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Lamborghini previews electric concept ahead of Monterey unveiling

Lamborghini will preview its first series-produced electric car (and the fourth member of its range) with a concept scheduled to break cover on August 18. It’s keeping details about the model under wraps, but it published a dark teaser image that hints at what’s in the pipeline.

Posted on the Italian brand’s social media channels, the picture shows what looks like the top of either a low-slung sedan or a big coupe. We’re not 100% sure what we’re looking at yet, but we’re nearly certain that it’s not a crossover. Instead, the silhouette vaguely reminds us of the Estoque, a close-to-production design study that could have morphed into a high-performance sedan but ultimately remained a concept.

Keep in mind that this is pure speculation; Lamborghini’s image doesn’t show shut lines so we don’t know whether the concept — whose name hasn’t been revealed yet — has two or four doors. Officially, company executives have described the car as “a grand tourer with a 2+2 seating layout” developed to fill the gap between super-sport cars like the Revuelto and the Urus SUV. It will offer “comfortable” rear seats.

If it’s a coupe, the fourth model will land in a very small segment. While two-door models with a 2+2 layout were reasonably common in the 1960s and the 1970s, even in the Lamborghini range, they’ve all but disappeared in recent years. Some of the more notable torchbearers left include the second-generation Maserati GranTurismo, which is also offered with an electric powertrain, and the Bentley Continental GT.

As for the drivetrain, we’ll need to be patient to find out how Lamborghini plans to deliver an electric model that’s as engaging to drive as its gasoline-powered cars. The brand has stressed that its fourth model will arrive as a standalone car, so it won’t land as an electrified version of, say, the Huracán’s replacement. We’re betting it will be electric-only; we’re not expecting this Bull will offer several powertrain options.

More details about Lamborghini’s next concept will emerge in the coming days, and its unveiling will take place on August 18. However, note that what you’ll see in Monterey in a couple of days isn’t necessarily what you’ll see in showrooms when production starts later in the 2020s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Zenvo Aurora to run with quad-turbo 6.6-liter V12 hybrid powertrain

This year’s edition of The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering is going to be a sort of royal running. It’s the 20th anniversary of the event, the 25th anniversary of the Quail Rally, and two-wheelers get their 13th showcase. The show plans four featured classes and 20 debuts, one of those reveals the Zenvo Aurora. The Danish hypercar maker closed its TS model chapter last year with a TSR-GT that a driver ran up to 263 miles per hour. As with every Zenvo up to that point, motivation for that speed run came from a GM-based LS-series V8 bearing some amount of both turbocharging and supercharging. The Aurora writes at least two new chapters for the company, introducing Zenvo’s first in-house engine as well — and not just any engine, a quad-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12.

Those are larger specs than Zenvo announced earlier this year when it said the Aurora would run with a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12. The Danes are working with the German boffins at Mahle Powertrain on the unit, seems one of the parties realized they had a lot more potential in their design.

Named Mjoner, the name of Thor’s hammer, the engine’s heart is a new aluminum block in a modular design so Zenvo can break off V8 and V6 mills to power Aurora offshoots. The heads hide Mahle’s Jet Ignition tech. This is the same pre-chamber ignition design Maserati uses in the twin-turbo 3.0-liter Nettuno V6; the Italians also worked with Mahle after watching sister brand Ferrari use Jet Ignition in the Ferrari F1 cars. The integration isn’t about bragging, it’s for emissions. The coming Euro 7 regulations place limits on an engine’s fuel-use trickery, Jet Ignition keeps Mjolner within regulation for the European and U.S. markets. Compatibility with synthetic fuels lends another measure of future-proofing — for the near future, at least.     

Internal combustion horsepower comes to 1,232 (1,250 ps) at 8,000 rpm on the way to a 9,800-rpm redline, leading Zenvo to say this will be the most powerful road-legal V12 in the world. Electrical assistance will add another 592 hp (600 ps), taking matters to 1,824 hp. The company says the hybrid unit’s being tuned for drivability and usability. We know the combined sources will grant the Aurora all-wheel drive. It’s not clear which motor powers which axle, but our guess is that there will be a short electric-only range to satisfy stricter urban demands in Europe.

All-carbon chassis construction means a carbon tub and front and rear subframes. There are going to be two trims, Tur the slicker GT variant ready to cross Germany at more than 249 miles per hour, Agil the higher-drag and higher-aero track variant. Zenvo plans to make no more than 100 cars in total, split between the two trims. We’ll find out what they look like on August 18 during Monterey Car Week.

Pininfarina Battista Edizione Nino Farina honors the first F1 champion

Design house-turned-carmaker Pininfarina took a trip to the heritage well to create its latest limited-edition model. Named after Giuseppe Farina, the first Formula One champion, the Battista Edizione Nino Farina stands out with several edition-specific styling cues inside and out.

Giuseppe “Nino” Farina’s ties to the Italian automotive industry aren’t limited to winning the first Formula One Driver’s Championship in 1950. He’s also the nephew of Battista “Pinin” Farina, who founded the design house that bears his name. Pininfarina honored the driver by giving the Battista edition-specific Rosso Nino paint with contrasting Bianco Sestriere and Iconica Blu accents, wheels finished in Glorioso Gold, and “01” graphics on both sides. The Furiosa Pack, which adds carbon fiber exterior trim pieces, comes standard.

The interior is characterized by a two-tone design. The driver’s seat is upholstered in black leather and has the “01” logo embroidered into the headrest. The passenger’s seat gets beige leather and the Pininfarina logo embroidered into the headrest. Production is limited to five examples, and each one will receive a specific aluminum door sill plate engraved with a date that commemorates Farina’s life and career; 1906 celebrates the year he was born, for example, and 1950 corresponds to the year he won the Formula One Driver’s Championship.

Mechanically, the Edizione Nino Farina is identical to the regular Battista, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing; few could argue that it needs a higher output. Power comes from four electric motors (one per wheel) that jointly develop 1,900 horsepower and 1,726 pound-feet of torque. The company quotes a zero-to-62-mph time of 1.86 seconds, a top speed of 217 mph, and up to 300 miles of driving range.

Pininfarina will present the Battista Edizione Nino Farina at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed that opens in England on July 13. Pricing information hasn’t been announced, but keep in mind that the standard Battista (which is limited to 150 units) starts at about $2.2 million.

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Koenigsegg shows production Gemera with TTV8 option

The Koenigsegg Gemera is taking the scenic route to production, making stops along the way that buyers will appreciate. Koenigsegg Registry attended an event to inaugurate a new production line for the Gemera, company boss Christian von Koenigsegg telling the audience the mid-engined four-seat hypercar can be optioned with the 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that powers the Koenigsegg Jesko. The V8 adds $400,000 to the price and about 500 horsepower to the spec sheet, while decreasing torque by about 500 pound-feet, the announced figures being 2,300 hp and 2,028 pound-feet of torque on E85. The TTV8 makes 1,280 hp and 738 lb-ft by itself on premium fuel, 1,600 hp on E85. The remaining output comes from the Gemera’s three electric motors. The nine-speed Light Speed Transmission (LST) would also make the jump from the Jesko. 

The Gemera debuted in 2020, the original spec sheet boasting 1,700 horsepower and 2,583 pound-feet of torque from a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that could get the four-seater from 0-60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds. A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline three-cylinder called the Tiny Friendly Giant (TFG) sends 600 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque to the front axle. It’s frugal enough that the company lists gas-powered range as 590 miles. Three Quark electric motors turn the rear axle, two motors for each wheel, another between the crankshaft and the Hydracoup direct-drive transmission. The axle motors each produce 500 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, the crankshaft e-motor makes 400 bhp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Their combined output in the powertrain comes to 1,100 bhp.

The Gemera shown on stage at the event sported physical side mirrors instead of the cameras on the concept car. Those will be a necessity for markets like the U.S. that haven’t approved digital outside mirrors yet. It’s not clear if the camera system will be offered in places like Europe that do allow such. 

The options sheet grows again with the addition of a Ghost Package. This installs a larger front splitter, an S-duct in place of the traditional hood, and a rear wing. Aggression and downforce get amped up, but practicality diminishes since the S-duct front end replaces the frunk. That would be a shame considering the four-season, nuclear family potential of the car. The Gemera comes with all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering and torque vectoring on both axles. The 16.6-kWh battery can power up to 31 miles of all-electric range on the WLTP cycle. The interior’s been designed with four heated seats, tri-zone climate control, infotainment screens for front and rear passengers, wireless chargers front and rear, and a few climate-controlled cupholders among the beverage receptacles. 

After production begins, 300 Gemeras will come off the line. As part of the improved headquarters, customers visiting Sweden to configure their cars will find a new showroom, lounge, experience center and retail space. 

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Volkswagen’s SSP vehicle architecture back on track for 2026 debut

Volkswagen execs would tell you some very unfunny things happened on the way to electrification: Design decisions wrought years of damage, vehicle platform and software catastrophes scotched launch timelines for not just one but at least three brands, and chaos piled high enough to unseat a CEO. Those execs might not be correct about that middle one, though, if Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume is telling the truth. During a presentation laying out the conglomerate’s ten-year plan at the annual capital markets day, Blume said the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) will launch on time, in 2026. This counters recent reporting as well as complaints from individual brands late last year and this year. Due to ongoing problems with the software needed to make the SSP work, Automotive News Europe reported last July that Audi’s first vehicle with the new software had been delayed up to three years, to 2027. A few months later, Autocar reported that Porsche updated its IPO prospectus with a warning that software holdups might delay the battery-electric 718 twins and Cayenne

We don’t know how the company got things back on track, but investors will be pleased and customers should be, too. Blume’s presentation made clear that VW expects to launch a platform even more potent than the one we were told about two years ago. Previous CEO Herbert Diess gave a similar presentation in 2021 explaining that the SSP would serve every group brand, and serve every kind of vehicle from city cars with as little as 114 horsepower to supercars with as much as 1,140 hp. Blume, however, said the SSP will be able to power drivetrains making as much as 1,700 hp — 560 hp more than the last projection.

But wait, there’s more. SSP development will break down into three paths: Urban city cars for Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Cupra; compact and mid-size vehicles for VW, Audi, Porsche and Skoda; and large vehicles for Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini. Note the absence of Bugatti.

This one skateboard chassis will eventually replace the current MQB, MLB, MSB and MMB internal combustion platforms, the present MEB, PPE and J1 electric platforms, and the MEB+ arriving in 2025. It will be powered by new “unified” batteries of various chemistries developed in-house and running on an 800-volt electrical architecture. The charging time to take the batteries from 10% to 80% SOC will be 12 minutes, compared to the 35 minutes needed for the current MEB battery-electric platform; the interim MEB+ platform will lower that time to 21 minutes. The fleshed-out software dubbed 2.0 will enable Level 4 hands-free driving. 

To get a sense of scale and return on investment when this is all put together, the current MEB platform sits under about ten models total, from the ID.3 to the Audi E-tron GT. The large SSP will support 14 models from Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche by itself. According to Blume, those 14 SSP-based models are predicted to sell about 1.14 million units between debut and 2038, netting the group more than 150 billion in revenue, with profit margins above 20%. For comparison, Porsche’s 2022 operating profit was 18%. 

It’s not clear which vehicle will introduce the world to the SSP in 2026, but we do know the second-generation all-electric Audi Q8 E-Tron, Audi’s Project Artemis and Volkswagen’s Project Trinity have all been penciled in around that time. If Blume’s assertions still hold weight at that time, then a line from Herbert Diess’ 2021 presentation could still come true: That come 2030, VW will make more money in the EV business than the ICE business.

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2025 Lamborghini Urus to drop gas-only model, go PHEV-only

After introducing the first hybrid to the brand this year in the Revuelto, Lamborghini’s transformation takes two more big steps next year. Autocar reports that toward the end of 2024, the Urus will switch to a PHEV-only powertrain. We’ve known for a while there was an electrical cord headed to the Urus’ flanks, but we didn’t expect Lamborghini would give up the pure ICE variant. Brand honcho Stephan Winkelmann confirmed to Autocar the engine will be a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, but didn’t give output figures. A 2021 report in Car magazine — back when the purported Urus PowerHybrid was due in 2022 — predicted the engine in question is coming from Porsche and would produce about 660 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque. The horse count would rise with help from a 168-hp electric motor in the transmission. However, the gearbox’s internals wouldn’t allow any more than 660 lb-ft. That’s still a perfectly fine number; the 6.5-liter V12 and three electric motors in the new Revuelto “only” throw a combined 783 lb-ft.

Today’s Urus romps with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 657 horsepower and 627 lb-ft. in both S and track-focused Performante trims. Theoretically, the Urus PHEV could crank that to about 830 hp and 660 lb-ft. The additional power would be partially offset by additional weight, as much as 551 pounds if Car is correct. This SUV would carry on until 2029, when an all-electric version ushers in a second generation.

The Lamborghini Huracan successor is expected to debut before the PHEV Urus but go on sale about the same time as the Urus. Since that successor will use an adapted version of the engine headed to the Urus mated to the transmission in the Revuelto, we expect the release of vital details to begin as soon as the new baby coupe makes its introduction, thought to be around next spring. 

To hear Winkelmann talk, we’re ruminating now on the last hurrah of old-school, visceral, ICE-powered Lamborghinis. The brand has a high-riding battery-electric 2+2 GT penned in to debut in 2028 with about 300 miles of range. That will be the next big sign of things to come. He told Autocar, “You go with the most difficult legislation, which is the US, and is really California. Other states adopt California’s rules — typically big cities and that’s where we sell cars. …

Even if it [legislation] is not banning EVs, taxation will be a killing factor. Then mega-cities are talking of abolishing non-EVs before 2035 regardless.” And despite the work of sister brand and collaborator Porsche, Winkelmann’s not sold on synthetic fuels yet. For him, they’re “more about keeping alive the current car parc,” not creating new ICE-powered models using said fuels.

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