All posts in “luxury”

Watch (and listen to!) the Bugatti Bolide go flat-out on an airstrip

Development of the track-only Bugatti Bolide has reached a significant milestone. After finalizing the hypercar’s design and building the first prototypes, the French brand has started testing the model on an airstrip to fine-tune parameters like the amount of downforce it generates.

Power for the Bolide comes from an 8.0-liter W16 engine that’s quad-turbocharged to 1,578 horsepower — you know we’re talking serious power when the horsepower figure includes a comma. While this is the same basic engine that powers the Chiron, among other models, the major similarities between the two models stop there. Bugatti didn’t design the Bolide for street use so its engineers were unfettered by the regulations that shaped your daily driver. They focused on keeping weight as low as possible while designers created a race car-like body.

So far, the tests have confirmed what months of computer simulation predicted: the 3,200-pound Bolide can handle up to 2.5 Gs of lateral forces, meaning it can take a corner really, really, fast, and it generates up to three metric tons of downforce (that’s about 6,600 pounds) depending on the speed it’s traveling at. Bugatti explains the car’s front splitter helps achieve this downforce: air hitting the car gets compressed under the splitter and expands under the diffuser to create the suction that helps pin the Bolide to the pavement. There’s much more to it, and all of the aerodynamic add-ons are functional. The shape of the passenger compartment, which is narrow compared to the Chiron’s, was selected in part to maximize airflow to the side-mounted intercoolers. The door mirrors channel air to the intercoolers as well.

While the mirrors add drag, Bugatti explained that they make more sense than cameras because they give the driver a better idea of where they’re positioned compared to other cars. “Every technical consideration has been translated directly into an aesthetic design,” said Frank Heyl, the company’s deputy design director, in a statement. “Design and technology flow into one another in the Bolide,” he added.

Bugatti will continue testing the Bolide on race tracks around the world in the coming months, and it plans to begin delivering the car in 2024. If you’re not already on the waiting list, it’s too late: production is limited to 40 units and they’re all spoken for in spite of a base price pegged at €4 million (about $4.29 million at the current conversion rate). Alternatively, there’s a 905-piece Lego kit that’s not sold out and that only costs about $50 excluding tax. It doesn’t need to be tested on a race track, but we can’t guarantee it will provide three tons of downforce.

In addition to bringing the Bolide to production, Bugatti is busily developing the yet-unnamed model that will replace the Chiron. Details are vague, but Autoblog learned the model will use a plug-in hybrid powertrain and feature many new components, including the monocoque.

Goodbye Chevy Bolt, hello baby Ram and electric Chrysler 300 replacement? | Autoblog Podcast # 779

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski. They kick things off this week with some news. The Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV will be discontinued. The McLaren 750S gets revealed and a four-door new flagship McLaren are rumored. Did Chrysler show dealers an electric 300 replacement, did we spy a new compact Ram, and are we closer to a production version of the Genesis X Convertible? Also, Greg recently visited Michigan Central Station, which Ford is revitalizing.

In this week’s fleet, your hosts discuss driving the Genesis Electrified GV70, Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Edition and the Polaris RZR XP. Finally, they take to Reddit for this week’s “Spend My Money” segment.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at:

Autoblog Podcast # 779

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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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Lamborghini Revuelto gets its closeup, makes some noise

Lamborghini revealed the successor to the Aventador at the end of March. The new biggest, baddest bull from Sant’Agata is called the Revuelto, powered by a hybrid V12 designed to celebrate the most feral side of Lamborghini’s take on internal combustion while also providing everyday hybrid manners in the city and meeting global emissions regulations. The first public viewing happened at Auto Shanghai in April, the Revuelto taking its first European bow late in the month at Milan Fashion Week, where Lamborghini also showed versions of the 60th Anniversary Huracan models. Now we’re getting more details on the new V12 in Lamborghini’s own words, thanks a seven-minute video called “The Challenge.”

Most importantly, we’re getting a taste of the Revuelto’s sounds. A leaked trademark application in Europe from earlier this year put a clip of the Revuelto’s pure EV mode on YouTube. That video’s been banished, but at 3:10 in this new vid there’s a sample that sounds similar to the leak. It opens up a discussion of techniques the sound engineers used to represent the new frontier for the brand, that section ending with a short blast of V12 noise.

Technical officer Reuven Mohr runs through some of the special numbers defining the Revuelto: The carbon fiber “monofuselage” is composed of RTM, pre-preg, and forged carbon fiber and weighs 10% less than the previous carbon tub while being 25% stiffer; and the V12 makes 30% more power than the final Aventador while producing 30% fewer emissions. There’s also an animation of the new eight-speed double-clutch gearbox that houses an electric motor. Replacing the former longitudinal transmission placed between the cabin seats with a compact unit mounted behind the engine meant being able to move the engine forward. Mohr gives the impression the relocation enabled designers to add a proper, deep diffuser. However, the 2017 Centenario gave us a taste of what we have now, including the visible chunk of rear tire.

There’s so much more we’re still waiting to find out about the new Italian flagship, but you can start your studies with the video above.

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Lamborghini shows off 2023 Huracan 60th Anniversary models at Fashion Week

As promised, Lamborghini pulled back the covers on its run of 60th anniversary Huracans. The three trims, Super Trofeo Omologata (STO), Tecnica, and EVO Spyder each come in two fashion-influenced colorways, and each will come in a run of 60 units for a total of 180 produced. The STO is inspired by sportwear and the athletic team kit. The first version comes in various shades of blue over black, the second version in gray over black. The Huracán Tecnica looks to motorsports liveries and the Italian flag, one variant in gray over black and red, the other in white with green stripes over black. The droptop EVO Spyder is a remix of the other two, available in either blue and white over black, or green with white strips over black.

Of note, CEO Stephan Winkelmann said “The special editions of the Huracán not only celebrate the 60th anniversary of our brand, but also give our customers maybe the last chance to purchase an otherwise sold-out V10-powered Lamborghini.” We think “maybe” is an important word in this sentence. The high-riding Sterrato only got 1,499 units that disappeared faster than wet cotton candy. The standard Huracan is sold out through 2024, as is everything else coming out the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory. Yet the Huracan successor isn’t due until the end of 2024, according to a Road & Track report. Eighteen months that will include the afterglow of a huge birthday year is a long time to go without one-third of the lineup, especially at a company that loves — and succeeds so well at — special editions.

As for that successor, about the only agreement among rumors is that the chassis be a modified version of the platform created for the flagship Revuelto. Car magazine says the hybrid V12’s carbon-heavy “monofuselage” will be reworked with aluminum to lower the price. As recently as last November, some pubs said they expected Lamborghini to stick with a V10, Auto Express writing about Lamborghini technical officer Rouven Mohr saying, “[the new car is] not a range-oriented hybrid and there will be no kind of downsizing,” the mag saying Mohr conveyed the sentiment “that it’s against Lamborghini’s philosophy to reduce the engine size and then ‘compensate’ with electrification as some rivals have done.” 

A twin-turbo hybrid V8 has come up more recently, this engine being of Lamborghini’s design. No longer having a corporate sibling in the Volkswagen Group stable to share V10 hybrid costs and upkeep with, a hybrid V8 makes much more sense. The Group is awash in V8s and will be using hybridized versions in models from several brands. The scuttlebutt on this engine alleges about 850 horsepower of total output, turbos that don’t spool up until 7,000 rpm, and a 10,000-rpm redline. 

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McLaren 720S successor teased with startup sound, rear view

A report from February this year pegged April as the official reveal date for the McLaren 720S’ successor, and it’s proven true. McLaren released a teaser on Twitter today, saying that the reveal of a new “benchmark supercar” is coming at 7 p.m. ET tomorrow, April 25.

This vehicle will undoubtedly be the 720S successor, which is currently rumored to be named the 750S. The teaser video associated with the news is a video clip in which the soon-to-be-revealed supercar is started up. You can hear the engine of the 750S fire up and idle for a few seconds before the audio is cut. Listen below.

The report about this new supercar suggested that the 750S will receive an updated version of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 used in the 720S. However, power will be raised to approximately 740 horsepower instead of the previous car’s 710 horsepower. The teaser footage isn’t very revealing, but we can see some red LED taillights appear out of the darkness in the video. They look similar in shape and size to the taillights on the 720S, but we don’t know what the rest of the vehicle will look like.

Make sure to tune in tomorrow evening to see what McLaren has in store for us with its next supercar that is following hot on the heels of the PHEV Artura.

Kimera EVO37 Martini 7 celebrates Martini Racing’s seven WRC trophies

Two years ago, Kimera launched its EVO37, a modern and thoroughly gorgeous tribute to the 1983 Lancia 037 World Rally Championship car. When Kimera put its EVO37 on the start line of the Sardinia Rally last year, the coupe wore the same Martini Racing Team colors used by the 1983 car. This year, Kimera is using a different Martini Racing livery to debut an evolution of the Kimera EVO37 that’s even closer to the original and celebrates the seven Lancia-powered Martini Racing Team World Rally Championship titles. The 037 won a single title, the last two-wheel-drive WRC entry to do so. The Lancia Delta S4 and its variations won the remainder. Company boss Luca Betti again worked with Miki Biasion, who won back-to-back WRC Driver’s Championships piloting the Lancia Delta, and Lancia engineers of the time to lighten and sharpen the EVO37 into the Martini 7.

Starting with the performance mods, the supercharged and turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder now makes 550 horsepower instead of 505 hp, and 406 pound-feet of torque. Power heads to the rear axle via a standard manual or optional sequential transmission, but the gears have shorter, more rally-like ratios. Gawkers are invited to further appreciate what lies behind the cockpit thanks to the new quick-release lower bumper as was found on the Lancia 037 Evo 2. Undoing the clips shows quad pipes in a white ceramic coating matching the new paintwork that runs all the way up the exhaust runners.

The new carbon fiber aero package adds intakes behind the front doors, vents on the tops of the fenders, and additional descending steps in the engine cover surround. The new wheels recall the Delta Evoluzione, as does the passenger compartment, now made entirely from carbon fiber and getting the car down to about 2,425 pounds. The seats are inspired by those in the Delta S4, trimmed in blue perforated Alcantara with red stitching that matches accents on the door cards and ceiling. The gauges glow in fluorescent orange, the buttons and knobs laid out just as they were in the 1983 Lancia 037.

The pearl effect white Martini Racing Livery with blue, light blue, and red strips comes most resembles that of the special edition Lancia Delta Martini 5 and Martini 6 cars, produced in the early 1990s to celebrate the Delta’s fifth and sixth WRC trophies. The other obvious indications this is something different are the “World Rally Championship” script along the sides and “Martini Racing” on the rear spoiler. 

As with the first iteration, Kimera will make just 37 of the EVO37 Martini 7. We hope those light bars are part of the package, because it would be criminal to drive this without them. Kimera didn’t release a price, but somewhere north of the 480,000 euros ($533,700 U.S.) of the original is a good place to start dreaming.

$4.4M Bugatti Bolide moves down the track and closer to production

Unveiled in 2020, and approved for production a year later, the Bugatti Bolide is one step closer to hitting the track. The automaker just published photos of the car being put through its paces, and it released details about some of features that differentiate it from the Chiron.

Writing off the Bolide as a rebodied Chiron would be an oversimplification. While the two cars share an 8.0-liter, quad-turbocharged W16 engine, the list of Bolide-specific parts is long. Bugatti explains that its engineers designed the model around a new carbon fiber monocoque, and they were unfettered by the various rules and regulations that shape modern cars because the Bolide isn’t street-legal. It’s exclusively a track car. Changes were made to the cooling system, the suspension system, and the transmission; the suspension is notably three times stiffer than the Chiron’s, and it includes uniball bearings. Several 3D-printed parts, including titanium rockers, will be used to build it.

Even the engine isn’t carried over; not quite. In the Bolide, the four turbochargers always provide boost because the 16-cylinder is expected to spend a lot of time at higher revolutions. In comparison, the Chiron uses a sequential setup: The two smaller turbos generate boost at up to 3,800 rpm, and the two bigger units kick in beyond that. The end result is 1,578 horsepower in a car that tips the scale at 3,196 pounds. 

Slick tires designed by Michelin put the power to the ground, while a carbon-ceramic braking system keeps it in check. Interestingly, Bugatti designed new calipers that generate and absorb heat to help the brakes warm up as quickly as possible (they’re less effective when cold).

Bugatti will begin delivering the Bolide in 2024. Production is limited to 40 units, and the model is sold out in spite of a base price pegged at €4 million excluding taxes, which represents approximately $4.39 million at the current conversion rate. If that’s too much, or if you missed your chance to buy one, one alternative is a 905-piece Lego Technic kit that stretches about a foot long and that costs about $50.

It’s too early to tell what’s next. We know that the Bolide is one of the last W16-powered Bugatti models along with the Mistral convertible and the final examples of the Chiron. The 16-cylinder chapter is about to end, and Bugatti confirmed that the Chiron’s replacement (which hasn’t been shown or given a name yet) will use a plug-in hybrid powertrain and feature a design described as “leaner and more athletic.”

2023 Lamborghini Huracan celebrates 60 years with 180 special-edition cars

A person’s 60th birthday is the diamond jubilee, considered one’s entry into the golden years and the autumn of life. Lamborghini’s blowing out its 60 candles this year, the new Revuelto proving the Sant’Agata Bolognese automaker plans no such dissolution. The next phase of the party involves the 2023 Huracán 60th Anniversary Edition, three limited-run specials numbering 60 examples each put together with custom color combinations and badging. Dicing matters further, each limited edition comes in two color configurations, making a total of six across the range, all embellished with “1 of 60” plaques in carbon fiber and the “60th” on the bodywork and seats. 

Both versions of the hardcore Huracán Super Trofeo Omologata (STO) are said to be inspired by vibrant sportwear and the iconic two-tones of athletic team kit. The first version is all kinds of blue, something like the Squadra Azzurri Italian national soccer team. This one gets Blu Aegeus bodywork with Blu Astraeus contrasts, and can hit the hat trick with exposed carbon fiber trim in Blu Mira. The interior is in Nero Cosmus (black) and Grigio Octans (gray) Alcantara, offset by Nero Ade (another black) trim and Blu Amon (another blue) embroidery. The second Huracán STO does its showing off inside. It goes for a muted Grigio Telesto (gray) and Nero Noctis (yet another black) with traditional carbon fiber accents. This cabin comes in Nero Cosmus and Grigio Octans Alcantara, the leather accents and stitching in Rosso Alala (red). A set of 20-inch forged aluminum Hek rims in matte black complete both.

The Huracán Tecnica looks to motorsports liveries and the Italian flag, called the Tricolore. One variant wears Grigio Telesto (another gray) bodywork with Nero Noctis and Rosso Mars (another red) details. Opening the door reveals a Nero Ade Alcantara cabin with Rosso Alala accents. The other variant comes in Bianco Asopo (white) bodywork with double stripes in Verde Viper (green), the cabin in Nero Ade Alcantara and more Verde Viper. 

Finally, the Huracán EVO Spyder remixes the arrangements on the other cars. Going back to the blue well, one version’s dressed in Blu Le Mans bodywork adorned with Bianco Isi (another white) details. The cockpit sticks with the popular Nero Ade Alcantara, this time punctuated by Blu Amon embroidery and piping in Bianco Leda (another white). The alternative is a Verde Viper droptop with Bianco Isi stripes, its interior lashed up with Nero Ade Alcantara plus Rosso Alala and Bianco Leda accents.

The Tecnica and EVO Spyder both sit on 20-inch Damiso shiny black rims.

All three cars will be unveiled in full on Friday, April 21, at the Segheria in Milan.

Lamborghini reveals more details about the Aventador’s hybrid successor

Lamborghini has released additional details about the Aventador’s long-awaited successor. Called LB744 internally, the model will stand out as the company’s first series-produced hybrid car, and the latest teaser gives us a better idea how the system is set up to behave.

Quick recap: Power comes from a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain rated at about 1,001 horsepower and made up of a new, 6.5-liter V12, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and three electric motors. This configuration allowed Lamborghini to dial in a 44% front and 56% rear weight distribution; engineers also fitted stiffer anti-roll bars and reduced the steering ratio by 10% compared to the Aventador Ultimae

Enthusiasts will have four driving modes called Città, Strada, Sport, and Corsa, respectively, to choose from. They’ll also be able to select one of three powertrain modes named Recharge, Hybrid, and Performance. As its name implies, Recharge relies on the V12 to charge the lithium-ion battery pack in a couple of minutes, for example. The LB744 is also capable of driving on electricity alone for short distances.

Selecting Strada (“road” in Italian) caps the drivetrain’s output at about 873 horsepower. Sport mode unlocks 894 horsepower and brings with it profile-specific settings for the transmission, the suspension system, and the active aerodynamic parts. Finally, selecting Corsa (“race” in Italian) unleashes the drivetrain’s full potential and configures the drivetrain’s electrified components for maximum performance. Drivers will also have the option of disabling the electronic stability control system, and the LB744 will come with a launch control function.

Going hybrid allowed Lamborghini to add electric torque vectoring to the front axle. We’re told that slowing down the front wheel that’s on the inside part of a corner makes the LB744 more agile while improving stability during high-speed driving. This technology works hand-in-hand with the four-wheel steering and brake-energy recuperation systems; it sounds like there’s a lot of electronic wizardry happening here.

Details such as the car’s weight haven’t been released yet. All we know at this stage is that Lamborghini designed the LB744 around a new carbon fiber monofuselage that includes a carbon fiber front structure (in contrast, the Aventador used an aluminum front structure). The active aerodynamic parts increase aerodynamic efficiency and downforce by 61% and 66%, respectively, in high-load situations, while a carbon-ceramic braking system that includes huge, 10-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers keeps the power in check.

Lamborghini will fully unveil the LB744 in “just a few days.”

Lamborghini highlights Aventador successor’s carbon fiber chassis

Earlier in March 2023, Lamborghini detailed the gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain that will power the Aventador’s successor. We still don’t know what the model (which is called LB744 internally) looks like, but the firm revealed one way it kept the hybrid system’s weight in check.

Lamborghini built the LB744 around a new chassis called a “monofuselage” that consists of a carbon-fiber monocoque and a front structure made with Forged Composites, an innovative material the company has used since 2008. While the now-retired Aventador featured a carbon-fiber monocoque as well, its front structure was made with aluminum. Switching to a composite structure unlocks many advantages: It’s 20% lighter than the Aventador’s front structure, and it helps make the overall monofuselage 10% lighter than the Aventador’s chassis.

Out back, the structure that the engine, the transmission, and parts of the hybrid system are mounted on is built with high-strength aluminum alloys. It incorporates a pair of hollow castings that the rear suspension system’s shock towers and the powertrain’s suspension system are integrated into. Here again, this layout saves weight by reducing the number of parts that need to come together to assemble the car.

Power for the LB744 comes from a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain that consists of a new, 6.5-liter V12 engine located directly behind the passenger compartment, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission mounted transversally behind the engine, a small electric motor integrated into the transmission, two electric motors on the front axle (one per wheel), and a 3.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack housed in what was previously the transmission tunnel. The system’s total output checks in at 1,001 horsepower. This layout delivers through-the-road all-wheel-drive, meaning that there’s no mechanical connection between the front and rear axles.

Lamborghini will unveil the LB744 in “a few weeks.”

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Atelier Jalaper’s new watch made from Lamborghini Miura bulkhead

Last August, French watchmaker Atelier Jalaper announced itself with an automatic timepiece whose dial was cut from the hood of an Aston Martin DB5. The next collection is ready, this one with an Italian flavor. After another lengthy search, the company located a burned-out Lamborghini Miura P400S in Avignon, France. We’re told a section of the aluminum bulkhead between the engine and the trunk escaped the fire, and with this, Atelier Jalaper created the AJ-P400.

Instead of the Miyota automatic movement used in the DB5’s AJ-001 and AJ-002 watches, the AJ-P400 is based around a Sellita SW200-1 manual caliber. Anyone without a watch winder will need to restore the power reserve after about 45 hours. The oval-shaped 39.5-millimeter satin-finished steel case shows off the first Miura connection: An oval outer bezel surrounding a circular dial, recalling the oval “eyelash” treatment around the Miura headlights. The chapter ring around the bezel comes in four colorways close to original Miura hues of Azzuro Cielo (blue), Verde Miura (green), Arancio Miura (orange) and Nero Cangiante (black). The Miura wreck provides the aluminum dial, its face textured and anodized matte black. The lengthy hash marks and somewhat crowded numbers are inspired by the Miura’s speedometer. At bottom, instead of a Lamborghini logo and unit indicator, the watch shows the power reserve meter. And the band makes a callback to Miura seats.

Last year’s Aston Martin watch was produced in a run of 1,200, costing from €800 ($852 U.S.) to €1,150 ($1,225 U.S.). The Miura timepiece will be more rare and more dear, coming in a run of 400 examples, each costing $2,000. Orders are open now, the first samples to be delivered in July.

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2024 Ford Mustang interior, and we drive the BMW X7 M60i | Autoblog Podcast #771

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They kick things off with a discussion about the 2024 Ford Mustang’s interior that Zac got to spend time in this week. Then, in the news, the pair run through news of a CT5-V Blackwing refresh by way of spy shots, the reveal of a new AC Cobra, rumors of the 911 GT2 RS going hybrid for its next generation and hit on the start of the Formula 1 season. Next, they discuss the cars they’ve been driving as of late, including our long-term 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line, the 2023 BMW X7 M60i and the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross. Finally, our hosts field a Spend My Money question for someone looking to go electric for their next vehicle purchase.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at:

Autoblog Podcast #771

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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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Ferrari previews a mysterious new model due out on March 16

Lamborghini isn’t the only Italian supercar manufacturer preparing to unveil a new model. Arch nemesis Ferrari published a brief preview video on its social media channels to announce that an enigmatic new car is scheduled to make its global debut in March 2023.

The 16-second flick asks more questions than it answers. It shows a steering wheel with what looks like leather upholstery on the sides of the rim and carbon fiber trim on the top and bottom parts. The upper part of the rim features a little screen that might display the engine’s revolutions, though keep in mind this is pure speculation. We also see an ignition button and big shift paddles made out of carbon fiber.

At first glance, this looks a lot like the steering wheel that Ferrari puts in the 296 GTB and the 296 GTS. Both cars are already out, however, so there’s no sense in previewing either on social media. Could we be looking at an evolution of the firm’s entry-level model? It’s not unfathomable, but that’s not the only plausible answer. The new Purosangue SUV is equipped with a similar-looking steering wheel. How about the Roma Spider? Our spies spotted it testing at night in September 2022 and the model hasn’t been unveiled yet. They weren’t able to take photos of the interior, but the Roma coupe is yet another Ferrari model whose steering wheel looks like the one shown in the video.

Of course, Ferrari might be giving us a preview of an entirely new model that’s not related to or based on any of the cars in its current line-up. We won’t have to wait long to find out what Ferrari has up its sleeve. It’s planning on unveiling the mysterious car on March 16, 2023.

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Ferrari Purosangue starts at $398,350, give or take

When we got hands on with the Ferrari Purosangue last September, the Italian automaker hinted their newest and unlikeliest toy would be graced with “a starting sticker price of €390,000, or around $400,000.” Ferrari stuck the landing with that one, telling Car and Driver the Purosangue will cost $393,350 before a $5,000 destination charge, which comes to a subtotal of $398,350. We write “subtotal” not because there are the inevitable taxes and fees to be appended, but because that price leaves out a potential gas guzzler tax. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t concluded its determination about fuel economy, nor has the U.S. government concluded its determination as to classifying the four-seater as a station wagon or an SUV, both of which affect whether the tax is applied.

What gets taxed and what doesn’t isn’t a matter of consistency we can follow. The Aston Martin DBX, Bentley Bentayga, and Lamborghini Urus don’t charge a gas-guzzler tax, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan does. Of note, the Ferrari FF paid a gas guzzler taxes of $3,700. 

Anyone who can get past the price isn’t going to care about a 1% or 2% fee. There have been so many crates of unmarked bills airdropped into Maranello that Purosangue production’s been sponged up for two years and Ferrari had to close the airspace. The destination charge isn’t outrageous, either, considering the source. Ferrari charged a $3,750 destination fee for an 812 Superfast, the coupe also hit with a $3,000 gas guzzler tax, and currently charges a $3,950 destination fee for the SF90 Stradale.

Rolls-Royce usually leads the pack in series production MSRPs among the superluxury brands, the Cullinan formerly the leader by costing about $355,000 after a $2,500 destination charge and a $2,600 gas guzzler tax. Ferrari’s not only outdone that, the Purosangue costs nearly double the Lamborghini Urus, almost exactly double the Bentley Bentagya V8, and more than double the Aston Martin DBX. The price is so high it seems like a flex or an attempt to limit demand to prevent an SUV becoming the most common Ferrari on the road, both of which are entirely possible. It’s stll quite a bit less expensive than the $511,250 SF90 Stradale, proving anything can be a bargain with the right context.

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Lamborghini Invencible and Autentica are its final NA V12 cars

A few months ago, we wrote that the final production units of the Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae represented the end of the reign of the naturally aspirated V12 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, and the last Aventador Ultimae meant the end of an NA V12 Aventador. Seems we were mistaken. Lamborghini now tells us these two one-offs are the proper and (maybe) final end of the NA V12. Created for a customer who worked with Lamborghini Centro Stile from inception, the duo are the Invencible (the Spanish spelling of “Invincible”) coupe and Auténtica roadster.

They’re not only farewells, they are greatest-hits compilations said to combine design features from the Reventón from 2008, the Sesto Elemento from 2010, the Veneno from 2013, and the 830-horsepower Essenza SCV12 track-only coupe from 2020. Lamborghini didn’t mention the Sián FKP 37, but the headlights are a match, and the side vents are a mix between the Sián and the Sesto Elemento.  

Both are based on the Aventador’s carbon fiber tub, and both feature a 6.5-liter V12 making 769 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque.

The Invencible wears carbon fiber panels in Rosso Efesto, which is Hephaestus Red, Hephaestus being the Greek god of things like fire and volcanoes. The paint’s accented with carbon-look elements that glint with red flakes, brake calipers in Rosso Mars, and pure carbon. The hexagonal Tricolore on the door fits in with numerous other six-sided elements like the DRLs, three-part taillights, and exhaust. A tidy, angular swan-neck wing hovers over the rear fascia, its stanchions anchored beside the backlight.   

Inside is a mix of Rosso Alala leather, Nero Cosmus Alcantara, and contrast stitching in Rosso Alala and Nero Ade. Rosso Efesto is used on the steering wheel and for the shift paddles. Designers removed the Aventador’s infotainment screen, moving all readouts to the digital gauge display and leaving twin hexagonal vents to dominate the open space over a pocket trimmed in red.

The Auténtica roadster is painted in Grigio Titans with details in Giallo Auge (Yellow Peak) and Matte Black. Instead of the Invencible’s rear wing, a pair of fins highlighted by a yellow line channel air over the rear spoiler. Inside, occupants sit on Nero Ade leather and Giallo Taurus stitching, and can ogle two-tone Nero Cosmus and Grigio Octans Alcantara.

This is really it for the V12. We think. The next engine out of the Sant’Agata gates will be the Aventador’s V12 hybrid successor, which Lamborghini says it only a few weeks away.

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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.”

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray prices top out at $122,245 before options

GM Authority dug up the price list for the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray. As with the performance specs and base price we reported earlier, the trim walk stays in sight of the enthusiast special Z06, but the MSRP gap grows the further one climbs the six-figure ladder. The spec recap is: A 6.2-liter V8 powering the rear wheels with 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and an e-motor turning the front wheels with 160 hp and 125 lb-ft. Combined output hits 655 hp, a tiny stable shy of the 670-hp Z06, combined torque around 595 lb-ft, at least 100 lb-ft more than the Z06. Instant torque, an E-Ray-specific tune for the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and four scrabbling tires mean the E-Ray beats the Z06 to 60 miles per hour by 0.1 second, doing the deed in 2.5 seconds.  The E-Ray’s quarter-mile takes 10.5 seconds at 130 mph, another 0.1-second improvement over the Z06.

We’re not sure which tires GM used for the tests, but the differences could be larger even though the E-Ray weighs 274 pounds more than the Z06. Both cars get the same sizes of rubber, the Z06 coming on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the E-Ray coming on Michelin Pilot Sports, with the 4S versions optional. 

MSRP’s for the E-Ray including the $1,395 destination charge applied to all 2023 Corvettes is:

  • 1LZ Coupe: $104,295
  • 1LZ Convertible: $111,295
  • 2LZ Coupe: $109,795
  • 2LZ Convertible: $116,795
  • 3LZ Coupe: $115,245
  • 3LZ Convertible: $122,245

The same bracket for the 2023 Z06 starts at $106,695 for the 1LZ Coupe and maxes out at $127,545 for the 3LZ Convertible before options. As the marketers would say, the more you spend on an E-Ray, the more you save compared to the Z06. 

Yet, consider what might be a better example of Corvette progress: When we tested the then-new C6 Corvette ZR1 in 2009, that car’s base price after destination was $102,450, which paid for a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 638 hp and 604 pound-feet of torque that could hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and do the quarter in 11.3. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator tells us that $102,450 in May of 2009 is $142,309 today. The bad news is that the inflation figure is the most upsetting stat in this post. The good news is that for the equivalent of $38,000 less, a Corvette buyer can get an all-wheel drive coupe that is quite a bit better in every way than the 2009 ZR1, and when considering the interior, massively better than any previous Corvette. It’s good times for those who can afford it.   

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Lamborghini’s upcoming V12 hybrid leaked in patent images

Varryx and Wilco Block are two Euro-based car enthusiasts we’ve come to know mostly for their ability to get spy video and images of coming treats. They’ve both done it again, both on Instagram, and both with the same car, publishing a series of design patent drawings. Lamborghini Automobili SpA submitted figures of its hybrid V12 successor to the Aventador to the North Macedonian bureau of the World Intellectual Property Office, perhaps hoping the out-of-the-way geographic location would translate to an out-of-the-way digital sequestration before the reveal this spring. But the Internet hates keeping secrets, so here we are. What we’re privy to are every major angle of a coupe that looks like it has the design of the Aventador as its foundation, bookended by fascias from a couple of Aventador-based specials. Varryx provided the colors for the image above. 

Lamborghini said design of the Sián FKP 37 “is just for the Sián.” Fundamentally, perhaps, yes. But in the patent images, the tall, horizontal-y-shaped lighting DRL that welcomes the sharp, pincer-like curve of the front fenders, and the lower intake outlines make clear connection to the Sián. The Huracán Tecnica is the bridge, the V10-powered coupe adopting another take on the Sian’s style. The vertical spat behind the front wheels could also trace its lineage from the limited edition super sports car. The rest of the middle is all Aventador, a swelling body and large side intakes embracing the low cabin and naturally aspirated V12. In back, it’s the Centennario, a special edition introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The six long strakes on the immense diffuser mimic the number on the Centennario, the difference being the coming production car moves its exhaust up high, where two Centennario taillights flank with two large hexagonal ports instead of the show car’s three small tips down low.

That engine will be an all-new V12 unit in a new drivetrain, we’ve been told, aided by a small battery and some supercapacitor tech that’s another nod to the Sián. Total output’s a mystery, but the Aventador Ultimae clocked 769 horses, the Countach 800 horses, and those not only didn’t have hybrid help, they were lighter. Fear not about the weight, automaker CEO Stephan Winkelmann says drivers won’t feel the additional weight. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear a number higher than 800. The transmission adds a clutch to the Aventador’s one, sending power through a dual-clutch system that will eliminate the Aventador’s characteristic tidal motion especially at low speeds. Preliminary performance specs outed by the chief estimate a 0-62 time under 2.9 seconds and a top speed beyond 218 mph.

The interior will carry on with a digital gauge cluster and add another screen to the center console. A City driving mode will activate pure-electric driving.

Expect a debut in March. Lamborghini says there are already 3,000 buyers in line, so set your sights on the second model year.

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Aston Martin DBS 770 Ultimate is a little more powerful, different looking

Aston Martin is bringing this iteration of the DBS sports car to a close, so of course it’s doing so with one more special edition: the DBS 770 Ultimate. It is one of the most powerful versions of the car, and has a selection of unique features. And like so many other special high-end sports cars, every example has been sold.

The headlining feature of the 770 is its extra power. It makes 759 horsepower, 44 more than the standard version, and basically the same as the DBS GT Zagato. Torque remains the same, though. A tweaked intake and ignition system plus 7% more boost pressure is responsible for the extra power. Top speed has not increased, though, sticking to 211 mph.

There are other light upgrades both performance-wise and design-wise. Additional vents have been added to the hood and a new splitter added to the front; both modifications are meant to improve cooling. More carbon fiber trim on the outside along with side sills, a diffuser, and unique wheels make it look more aggressive. The steering column has solid mounts for better steering feel. The front end is 25% stiffer than before, and the whole car is stiffer by 3% thanks to a redesigned front subframe and rear undertray. The transmission and adaptive suspension have been retuned, too. But it has the same carbon ceramic brakes and mechanical limited-slip differential as the regular car.

The interior gets some attention, too. The standard seats are Sports Plus units with more aggressive ones available. A special strap and buckle have been added to the center console. Of course, the interior and the exterior can be further customized with different colors, materials, graphics and more.

As previously mentioned, every DBS 770 Ultimate has already been sold. Only 499 will be built, 300 of which are coupes and 199 are convertibles. Aston didn’t give a price, which is understandable when it’s not even really on sale in a traditional way. But we’re sure each one will go for a fair premium over a standard model. Production starts soon, with deliveries coming in the third quarter of this year.

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