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Lamborghini Huracan STO First Drive Review | No shortage of show

Malibu, Calif — There’s no shortage of show in LA. From studio moguls rolling in ultraluxe sedans to wannabe racers using freeways as their own personal circuits, the city of Angels explodes with vehicular energy— much of it, inauthentic.

And then there’s the 2022 Lamborghini Huracan STO.

Slathered in scoops, spoilers, and ducts, the Huracan STO looks like every go-fast visual cliché brought to life, a caricature of real deal racecars. This one is even finished in blue and orange, a sort of flamboyant take on Gulf livery. But the STO’s story is actually authentic.

The last Huracan variant approaching this level of hardcore was the Huracan Performante (2017-2019), which many (including this author) credited as the brand’s first credible track weapon. The subsequent Huracan EVO was launched at Bahrain’s F1 circuit and loaded with ambitious tech. However, its chassis setup, which combined four-wheel steering and a variable steering ratio, lacked the consistency and edge needed for serious track driving. 

This time around, the STO draws legitimate inspiration from Lambo’s Super Trofeo and GT3 race cars, which have helped the brand claim more than 100 GT3 wins and three outright Daytona 24 Hours victories in a row. Not a bad starting ground in a bid for relevancy. The STO’s intricate skin is 75% carbon fiber, helping shed some 95 pounds over the Performante. And while it claims 37% more aerodynamic efficiency over its predecessor, the STO’s massive, three-way adjustable rear wing manages a staggering 926 lbs of downforce at 174 mph, which is 53% more than the Performante. Aiding the effort are magnesium wheels and a 20% lighter windshield. Though Lamborghini only publishes dry weight figures (and the STO claims a mere 2,950 lbs without fluids), it’s fair to say that featherweighting has been aggressively pursued. The suspension is more aggressive due to stiffened bushings, revised stabilizer bars, and an updated magnetic adaptive damper setup. Oh, and the frunk? In yet another motorsports nod, it’s designed to accommodate a full-face helmet.

The STO’s 5.2-liter V10 produces the same 640 metric horsepower as the Huracan EVO (that would be 631 in the horsepower you’re more familiar with). For reference, that figure is actually more than Lamborghini’s GT3 and Super Trofeo race cars, which are both rated at 620 metric horsepower — though the GT3’s engine is limited to 550 metric hp in order to conform to the FIA’s balance of power regulations. The STO’s torque drops from the EVO’s 443 pound-feet to 417 lb-ft, with the upside of greater throttle response and quicker shift times from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The torque reduction is also counteracted by ditching the all-wheel-drive powertrain for a rear-drive configuration, saving valuable weight.

Special six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo CCM-R brakes borrow F1 tech for quadruple the amount of thermal conductivity over standard carbon ceramic stoppers. Maximum braking power also improves by 25%, and a dashboard display offers a brake temperature monitoring readout. Interestingly, the Pirelli P-Zero’s sidewalls were deemed too soft for the STO’s elevated downforce and cornering loads, which led Lamborghini to develop a special street and track compound with Bridgestone tires.

Our tester’s optional trim packages lend it an extravagantly customized feel inside, with contrasting black and white blocks of leather and Alcantara. This particular example flaunts a laundry list of trim options including “Full Livery Exterior Pack” ($37,800), “Contrast Pack” ($4,000), “Full Exterior Carbon Pack” ($21,600), and “Dark Chrome and Carbon” ($8,600). And that’s just for starters. In fact, the options list is so lengthy on our borrowed sled that already had the hefty starting price of $327,838 balloons to a remarkable $442,033 thanks to the sky-high pile of extras.

Ameliorating the dizzying expense is the heady blast of the naturally aspirated V10, which alerts neighbors and friends blocks away that there’s a braggadocious bad boy in town. There’s still nothing quite like sitting in a Lamborghini and firing up a big naturally aspirated V10, even if its doors open this way –>, not that ^^ way. The Huracan’s seats still sit surprisingly tall within the cabin, but the lack of floormats and bare carbon fiber door panels drive home the racecar theme. The digital dashboard and centrally positioned touchscreen add a techy touch. That said, the extreme reductionism annoyingly removes the volume knob. You have to dig into the touchscreen to adjust the sound level.

As before, drive modes are controlled via a small red toggle at 6 o’clock on the steering wheel, managing the behavior of the engine, transmission, traction control, stability control, rear-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and ABS. In this case, the modes are named STO, Trofeo, and Pioggia— street, race, and rain— and each delivers a palpably different character. Pull away in Pioggia, and the STO plays docile and soft, responding to inputs like a purring pussycat. Tap into Trofeo, and the Lamborghini turns into an easily angered predator, with a razor throttle response and sharp immediacy to steering inputs. This is the mode that makes the STO feel most consistent with its aggro looks: it begs you to jam the throttle, which in turn can kick the tail out with dramatic tirespin. Trofeo isn’t the mode you want if you’re seeking the quickest lap times, but it’s arguably the most fun, uncorking the fiery personality of the STO’s sonorous V10, and its disarming effects on yaw angle. While it’s not the torquiest at lower rpm, the engine winds itself up to produce a satisfying rush of power as the virtual tach climbs to a satisfying 8,500 rpm redline. STO mode minimizes the drama in the interest of lap times, trading tire spin for forward motion and curtailing slides in order to more effectively clip apexes. It’s a less fun, but more effective way to maximize this Lamborghini’s elevated abilities.

Piloting the STO through Malibu’s most challenging canyon roads reveals staggering reserves of performance beneath its (mostly) carbon fiber skin. Unlike the EVO, there’s no second guessing the intentions of the chassis, just a direct, linear relationship between driver inputs and vehicle dynamics. The STO meets and exceeds speed limits with staggering ease. And its outrageous appearance would make pleading your cause to an officer of the law all but impossible. This is a supercar that looks fast, and goes even faster— especially when delving towards its indicated 8,500 rpm redline, where the cabin is blasted with the brain rattling roar of the V10.

Despite the considerable sound and fury, there isn’t much learning curve needed to manage the STO’s capabilities, primarily because its machinery feels more analog than digital. Credit the linearity of the naturally aspirated engine, which lacks a turbocharger’s ramp-up under boost. However, the bigger differentiator here is the chassis: the steering, with its fixed ratio in the STO, feels intuitive and offers good feel, the connection to the road yields (mostly) predictable results. The exception is when the throttle is mashed and the sticky Bridgestones are overcome, and at higher speeds it feels like the aero’s considerable downforce is helping keep the wedgy two-seater in contact with tarmac. Brakes? We barely tapped into their capacity on the road despite heavy application, lending credibility to Lamborghini’s claims of their trackworthiness.

If anything, experiencing the Huracan STO on public roads reveals the striking difference between its stratospheric performance envelope, and the stifling limitations of the real world. The STO can have your license yanked quicker than you can say Super Trofeo Omologata, its namesake which indicates its homologation from racing. But what a way to go: this latest Lamborghini samples the best of what its winning race cars have to offer, while offering navigation, Bluetooth, and a sound system that’s almost decent enough to overpower the plaintive wail of its V10. In spite of the creature comforts, the roadgoing STO manages to lap the Hockenheim circuit in 1:48.86, a mere 2 seconds behind its racecar counterpart, which wears slicks.

Its maker calls this Huracan a “celebration of the combustion engine,” which couldn’t be a truer statement since all Lamborghini model lines will be hybridized by 2024. Until then, savor the STO, which achieves its mission of putting a racecar on the road with stunning totality.

Lamborghini Countach LP 500 prototype reconstruction baptized on track

After making a static debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the reconstructed 1971 Lamborghini Countach LP 500 prototype has met the track for a proper shakedown. A banner day for all involved, no doubt, Pirelli loaned its Vizzola Ticino test track to Lamborghini, collector Albert Spiess from Germany and the contributors who helped create the car from scratch.

Spiess said he saw the original prototype at the Geneva Motor Show and then put a Countach poster on his wall as a kid, determined like so many other children for the next 15 years to have one. With the Geneva show car destroyed during crash testing, Spiess eventually determined to convince Lamborghini to build one anew. It likely didn’t take him more than 25,000 hours of cajoling to get a “Si” from the principals in Sant’Agata Bolognese, but that’s how long the carmaker’s historic division, Polo Storico, spent on the reconstruction. Polo Storico chief Stefano Castricini said it took “mad and desperate” research through archival materials, on top of the interviews with original workers and help from suppliers like Pirelli and PPG.  

It doesn’t look like they worked the LP 500 too hard on track, but it’s not like they needed to. In a world awash in seven-figure customs and restomods from manufacturers, and smaller makers putting out cars with specs to make your eyes go googly — there will probably be three more announced next week — this one is special at any speed. For any who’d like to see it for themselves, this very item will be on display at Lamborghini’s MUDETEC Museum of Technologies in Sant’Agata Bolognese until November 15, alongside the bare tubular chassis of the production LP 400 (the customer cars got a more reliable 4.0-liter 12-cylinder instead of the prototype’s 5.0-liter unit), the second production LP 400 to go down the line, and a Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole.

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Production Of The Mercedes-AMG One Hybrid Hypercar Finally Slated For 2022

Automotive enthusiasts around the globe have been eagerly waiting for updates regarding the Mercedes-AMG One. The hybrid hypercar was unveiled in 2017 to commemorate the badge’s 50th anniversary. None other Lewis Hamilton was on hand to show off what was deemed a concept at the time. After missing the original production schedule in 2019, it’s finally on track for 2022.

We can only imagine what it’s like to be one of the privileged clients who reserved a unit back then. After years of virtually no news regarding progress, you finally receive an email from the renowned German marque. Sources reveal the correspondence was to let them know about plans to fire up the assembly line by the middle of next year.

Hamilton was the face behind the launch for a good reason. Mercedes-AMG is borrowing technology from its Formula 1 division for this machine. The hypercar will pack a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine augmented with a powerful electric motor. The manufacturer says output should be north of 1,000 horsepower.

This hybrid setup endows the One with race-ready capabilities in a road-legal form. Regular track tests show staggering performance such as a breakneck 0-124 mph in less than six seconds. Meanwhile, the top speed should be around 217 mph. Take note that these numbers are not yet final as Mercedes-AMG engineers are likely to add upgrades.

If you were among the many who were still on the fence when reservations were open, too bad! All 275 examples of the Mercedes-AMG One are already spoken for. Currently, it’s not clear if more slots will open in the future given its exclusivity.

Learn more about it: here

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Images courtesy of Mercedes-AMG

Bugatti’s EB110-inspired Centodieci is one hot step closer to production

Bugatti’s heritage-inspired Centodieci is related to the Chiron, but it’s different enough to require its own set of validation tests. After taking on the Nürburgring, the limited-edition hypercar was put through its paces in the scorching heat of the American Southwest’s deserts.

“Testing in the hot, dry desert is a huge help for us in the development process,” explained Stefan Schmidt, an engineer in Bugatti’s overall vehicle development department. “Every model has to run flawlessly in all weather and in all traffic conditions,” he added.

With no less than 27 engineers in tow, the Bugatti team started the hot-weather test in California and meandered east for about 500 miles until it reached Arizona, where temperatures sometimes climb to over 120 degrees. The convoy included eight cars: a Centodieci prototype, three examples of the Chiron Pur Sport, and four examples of the Chiron Super Sport. Each one was fitted with approximately 200 sensors that record various parameters that get sent to the engineers traveling with the convoy and to the development team in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Heat takes a toll on cars in normal driving conditions, but Bugatti went the extra mile to torture its prototypes. It subjected them to low-speed stop-and-go traffic, it reached nearly 200 mph (on a closed track, of course), and it left them sitting in the sun with the air conditioning on. The aim is to see how different components (ranging from the fuel delivery system to the materials used to build the cabin) hold up to extreme heat. The data gathered during the tests was compared to the numbers obtained through simulations to identify areas of concern.

Taking the Centodieci to the American desert was important; it’s notably fitted with an additional air intake near the oil cooler.

“The Centodieci’s newly-developed bodywork, airflow changes, and its engine bay cover manufactured from glass mean the temperature behavior is quite different, especially in such extreme heat conditions,” said André Kullig, the manager of few-off projects at Bugatti.

The firm notes that the Centodieci passed the hot-weather tests with flying colors. It has one final hurdle to clear before it enters production: nearly 20,000 miles of high-speed and endurance testing in Europe. When that’s over and everything checks out, the project will be signed off and production of the 10 examples planned will begin in Molsheim, France. Deliveries should start in 2022, and the model is sold out.

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Officine Fioravanti Testarossa is subtle and sensational

In May, Swiss design and engineering outfit Officine Fioravanti showed its work-in-progress, a camouflaged Ferrari Testarossa restomod. Shy about giving too much away at the time, all we learned was that there was more horsepower and torque from the 4.9-liter flat-12, and a top speed of something like 200 miles per hour. All of those figures were healthy improvements on the original 1984 icon. The people behind the project are finally ready to show it off, and by all appearances, they’ve pulled off a special piece of art. 

Part of what’s special is that you’d have to be a Testarossa connoisseur to tell anything has been done from the outside. The most apparent change is the larger wheels, the first-gen 16-inchers replaced with a set of staggered center-lock alloys, 17 inches in front, 18 inches in back, shod in Michelin Pilot Sport rubber. The first few years on sale, the original Testarossa sat on magnesium center-lock wheels that were either 16 or 16.33 inches in diameter, a little too exotic for then, but not now. Behind those wheels sit Brembo brakes, six-piston calipers in front, four-piston in back. The other tell is the quartet of titanium exhaust tips poking out the back. The rest is by the book, down to the pop-up headlights and high-mounted driver’s side flying mirror. That mirror was the ultimate in cool for anyone who didn’t need to drive the car.

Upgrades are hidden under that stock-standard skin from stem to stern. The 12-cylinder puts out 500 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, a bonus of about 120 horses and 96 pound-feet. That’s thanks to changes like an improved block, new intake and exhaust systems, a new fuel injection system developed in-house, and a redline that’s been raised from 6,800 rpm to 9,000. Officine Fioravanti worked with Ohlins to develop an electronic adaptive suspension with remote reservoirs and six-way adjustable roll bars, then went further with a front-lift system to get up unkind inclines. The exhaust, traction control, and ABS are also adjustable, and those latter two driver aids can be turned off. These tricks, plus a flat floor and a 267-pound diet compared to the original, increase top speed to 201 miles per hour, which is 16 mph more than Road & Track managed in 1987.

No one would accuse a stock Ferrari Testarossa interior of not being nice, but this one is much nicer. Officine Fioravanti replaced a lot of plastic with aluminum, added a lot more stitched leather, and kept the built-in Gordon Gecko phone but turned it into a Bluetooth unit. Ferrari’s car in the 1980s could be optioned with a six-piece set of Schedoni lugguage, the Swiss restomodders made their own. And, yes, there’s a premium audio system that works with Apple CarPlay, and built-in navigation.

Officine Fioravanti says there will be an official debut later this year. When that happens, perhaps we’ll find out where this outfit sprang from. It appears to be connected to Leonardo Fioravanti, the longtime Pininfarina designer who penned so many legendary Ferraris that it would be fair to suspect he made a deal with the devil, including the 1984 Testarossa. That Leonardo maintains an office in Milan and works with automaker clients, whereas Officine lists its HQ in Coldrerio, a town 40 miles away from Milan just over the Swiss border. We should find out how much this jewel is going to cost and how many will be made, our guess as to the answers being, “A lot, and a few.”

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Elevate Your Gym With the Dior x TechnoGym “Dior Vibe” Line

Luxury brand Dior collaborates with TechnoGym for a limited-edition range of fitness products geared to motivate and make people happy. Calling it the “Dior Vibe,” the line consists of a treadmill, a multifunctional weight bench, and a wellness ball.

If you’ve got money to burn, then you may want to add the line to your home gym. It comes with a “stylish, compact, and quiet” treadmill that comes with state-of-the-art electronic features from TechnoGym, one of the world’s leading providers of high-end sports equipment and digital technologies. You can easily connect it to your tablet for an interactive workout. 

Meanwhile, the weight bench comes with accessories for muscle and strength building including dumbbells in various weights and resistance bands. It also has knuckles that are compatible with over 200 exercises on the app. Then the Technogym Ball is more than just a wellness ball as it looks comfy enough to sit on. 

The “Dior Vibe” line would not be complete without the Italian brand’s signature white design centered around the Dior star. It has the five horizontal blue stripes motif and the iconic “Christian Dior” logo.

“This shared goal of excellence gives life to a limited series of innovative Technogym products interpreted with the Maison Dior’s unique allure. Created to inspire the concept of wellness with new generations, it also offers people the opportunity to live a unique and irresistible experience,” Nerio Alessandri, Founder of Technogym and Wellness Designer said of the upcoming line available exclusively in Dior boutiques worldwide starting January 2022. 

The “Dior Vibe” line certainly adds a touch of luxury to any home gym setup. It makes any couch potato get up and start working up a sweat.

Learn More Here

Tour the Venom F5 with Hennessey’s design director

We’ve watched the Hennessey Performance Venom story for 14 years now. When the Lotus Elise-based Venom GT ran an unofficial 270.49 miles an hour at the Kennedy Space Center and that wasn’t enough to convince the Guinness Book of World Records, Hennessey decided to start over on a speedster built on an in-house platform. That turned into the Venom F5, the F5 designation taken from the Fujita Scale used U.S. from 1971 to 2007 to measure the strength of tornadoes. The strongest twisters were designated F5, with winds estimated at anywhere between 261 and 318 miles per hour. The one-word descriptive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used for such phenomena applies equally to the weather and the car: Incredible.

Hennessey design director Nathan Malinick takes us on a tour of everything the Texas car builder has done with the F5 in an attempt to reach the speed of the fastest tornado winds. Without giving everything away, there are fine engineering details like the badge at the front of the car, a slice a aluminum just eight microns thick. There are aesthetic details like headlights designed to mimic the shape of an F. There are combined engineering and aesthetic flourishes like the rear spoiler, its sinuous bends a pleasure to behold at the same time as it channels air into the turbos and over the rear of the car. And there are engineering firsts like the rear bumper, which Malinick says is the largest single piece of molded and milled carbon fiber in the car industry.

There are plenty more whats and whys in the video, so check it out. All 24 examples of the Venom F5 planned for production have been sold, so this could be the closest you ever get to it.

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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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All of the Bond cars of ‘No Time To Die’ (caution for spoilers)

Note: The following overview of the cars in No Time To Die contains spoilers. Read at your own risk, or come back after seeing the film to make sure you caught everything.

No Time To Die picks up right around where Spectre leaves us. James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) are driving along in Bond’s restored and iconic DB5 in Matera, Italy. Things don’t stay all that cheery for long in picturesque Matera, though. As is tradition in Bond films, the first car chase hits us with an explosion of action in what’s a super-long opening scene.

Fourth-gen Maserati Quattroporte: The baddies in the beginning are driving a Maserati and chasing after Bond in the DB5. Specifically, they’re in a fourth-gen Quattroporte, which feels right for a chase scene in Italy. Its squared-off looks are mean enough, and its Italian growl is a good background soundtrack to the DB5’s inline-six.

In addition to the Quattroporte, the chase scene in Matera is home to a couple of the best stunts of the entire movie, including the arch jump done with a Triumph motorcycle seen in trailers — Matera is extremely hilly.

Eventually, Bond and Swann find themselves in the DB5 again together, which is where the famous gatling gun scene from the trailer commences, but not before the bulletproof windows and body of the DB5 are thoroughly tested. RIP to the first-gen Range Rover Classics and Jaguar XFs that joined the Maserati in pursuit of Bond (here’s a list of other Bond cars over the years).

As the DB5 escape scene concludes, we catch a glimpse of what appears to be a Ferrari from the 1970s. However, the view was far enough away that we’ll need a second look to be sure of the exact model.

Land Rover Series III: Next time we see Bond, he’s fishing in Jamaica and driving around a blue Land Rover Series III. It’s yet another of the many Land Rover products featured throughout the film, and unlike most of Bond’s Aston Martins, this one doesn’t seem to have any unique features. The other intriguing vehicle out of Jamaica? An old Chevrolet Bel-Air expertly and effectively piloted by Bond newcomer, Ana de Armas.

Next up, we get a few shots of the new and still-not-for-sale Aston Martin Valhalla mid-engine supercar (also seen in trailers). Bond’s old boss M is in the scene which appears to have been shot in some secret wind tunnel of sorts. Much to our dismay, nobody ends up driving the Valhalla in the film. Could it be a teaser for what the next 007’s car is? There’s a decent chance of that, considering the Valhalla played such a small role in this Bond film.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage: Boy were we happy to see the original V8 Vantage from the late 1970s and 1980s make an appearance. In fact, it made multiple appearances throughout the film. It’s difficult to get a more badass combo than Daniel Craig behind the wheel of a blacked-out Aston Martin Mustang.

Off-road vehicles aplenty: As seen on several trailers, things take a turn to the off-road side of things with flying Land Rover Defenders — Land Rover even made special James Bond versions of the SUV. Bond wasn’t behind the wheel of any of these Defenders, though. Instead, he pilots a Toyota Land Cruiser in the Norway portion of the film as he’s pursued by Range Rover Sport SVRs and Defender V8s with double the horsepower. Plus, Triumph motorcycles are back again for the two-wheel enthusiasts in this bumpy chase scene.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera: The stunning and still relatively new DBS Superleggera rocks up to the party in Norway, too, quickly showing everybody its bonkers 715-horsepower V12 is nothing to sneeze at. This two-seat Aston is piloted by Nomi, Bond’s 007 replacement, and she’s clearly gone through the same secret agent driving training that Bond did.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where we’ll leave you without getting too spoiler-heavy. There are plenty of classic Bond gadgets and gizmos throughout the film. Plus, a bizarre plane/submarine combo vehicle makes an appearance at some point. In short, though, the cars of Daniel Craig’s last Bond film don’t disappoint, and neither do the stunts. 

There is plenty for car enthusiasts to ogle at when No Time To Die opens in theaters on October 8.

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James Jean Goes Surreal With The Design Of This Koenigsegg CCX Art Car

Back when we were kids, some of our favorite activities involves art supplies. It’s a great way for children to nurture their creativity and perhaps even discover artistic talents. If you love coloring books, this unique collaboration between Taiwanese-American artist James Jean and Koenigsegg is a tribute to that. However, instead of print on paper, we have the latter’s CCX hypercar.

Following the stunning Agera RS “art car” that debuted earlier in September 2021, the subsequent project is a little more interactive. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Festival of Children Foundation, Koenigsegg and Jean coming up with a fun visual upgrade.

Wrapping around the CCX is a mesmerizing fantasy artwork in black and white. Evidently, this is intentional as guests at the exhibit are encouraged to participate. The same concept applies to a regular coloring book. However, it’s on a bigger scale and with a powerful machine.

Dubbed “Les Forestiers II,” images of flora and fauna adorn the exterior of the Koenigsegg hypercar. Instead of the actual body of the CCX, the graphics are printed on a wrap the covers it. The event was held at the Ghost Squadron at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California.

Koenigsegg is a renowned Swedish carmaker that produces some of the world’s most remarkable high-performance vehicles. The CCX proudly boasts completely in-house construction. The aluminum V8 engine produces 806 horsepower with 693 lb-ft of torque.

This allows the hypercar to go from zero to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds. Track testing also shows a top speed of more than 245 mph. We know discerning clients can practically order their CCX in whatever configuration they want. However, the James Jean tie-in is as bespoke as one can get.

Learn more

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Images courtesy of James Jean/Koenigsegg

Panerai Is Offering Only 100 Examples Of Its Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition

We’re once again at that point when two renowned brands decide to collaborate for an exclusive production run. This time, it’s a luxury creation from Panerai dubbed the Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition. This diver’s watch is for fans of the German aftermarket tuning group with a love for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

The tuner also caters to discerning clients with its lineup of high-performance marine vessels. As such, Panerai holds up its end of the partnership with it an appropriate model to host the BRABUS badge. This is a sophisticated timepiece that embodies elegance within a sleek and stealthy profile.

What gives the Panerai Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition a distinct aesthetic is the material of choice for its construction. Also, the watchmaker’s proprietary carbon fiber-based composite material – Carbotech is the highlight here. It endows the surfaces with an almost damascene pattern people will admire.

You’ll find it on the 47-mm tortuga case, anti-clockwise uni-directional bezel, and crown-guard lever. Beneath the sapphire crystal is an open-work dial with skeleton hands, and applied hour markers. Meanwhile, the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock shares its space with the AM/PM indicator.

Those who frequently travel will benefit from the GMT function of the Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition. Red accents outline the hands, sub-dial indices, and frame the date window at 3 o’clock. Panerai is using a P.4001/S self-winding caliber with a 3-day power reserve.

Low-light visibility won’t be an issue as all crucial elements glow brightly with green/blue lume. Panerai, ships the Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition with two straps. Only 100 examples are pegged for production, so don’t hesitate to reserve yours now.

Check it out: Here

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Images courtesy of Panerai

At 900 Hp With 922 Lb-Ft Of Torque, The BRABUS 900 Rocket Edition Is A Luxe Beast

In our years of regularly featuring some of the most badass rides from BRABUS, it’s always a thrill hearing about its latest projects. Most of you might know the badge for their jaw-dropping armored conversions. What many overlook is the insane work they do with aftermarket tuning. Don’t believe us? Maybe the 900 Rocket Edition will change your mind.

Boasting a highly limited production run of only 25 examples, this souped-up machine is overflowing with extreme upgrades. BRABUS loves working exclusively with an iconic German marque and is not breaking tradition anytime soon. Its latest venture involves the Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 S 4MATIC Coupe.

The donor model is by no means an underwhelming platform when it comes to performance and luxury. However, BRABUS exists to push SUVs like it beyond their limits. The 900 Rocket Edition exceeds whatever the stock powertrain can deliver by a remarkable margin.

Its 4.5-liter BRABUS 900 twin-turbo V8 engine is good for 900 horsepower with a 922 lb-ft of torque. This allows the 900 Rocket Edition to reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.2 seconds. Furthermore, the top speed is around 205 mph.

To give onlookers an idea of what’s in front of them is a sportier and aggressive silhouette. They call the new coat of paint “Superior Gray” which is appropriate given the performance tweaks it received. Carbon fiber elements peek out in all the right places and the set of 24-inch BRABUS Monoblock “Platinum Edition” Z forged wheels.

The 900 Rocket Edition is decked with a multi-tone interior of black, gray, and red elements. Leather and plush Alcantara wrap almost all surfaces of its cabin. Of course, BRABUS will gladly cater to their client’s tastes when it comes to customization.

Learn more

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Images courtesy of BRABUS

Vacheron Constantin Calls For Adventure With The New Overseas Everest Collection

While most high-end timepieces are tough enough to withstand the occasional impact or accidental drops, owners prefer to wear them for more casual activities. There are others that prefer to push beyond the standards many consider when it comes to durability. Vacheron Constantin is doing just that with the latest Overseas collection.

The new lineup is called the “Everest” and consists of two variations: Chronograph and Dual Time. Even though both have a lot in common when it comes to aesthetics, their functionalities and more set them apart. As for which model to get, it entirely depends on your preferences. If it were up to us, one of each should do nicely. 

Overseas Dual Time Everest

First up on our list for the Overseas collection is the Dual Time Everest. It features a 41-mm x 12.8-mm case that houses a matte grayish-blue dial. The outermost minute track ring is in the same shade, while the applied hour markers are a mix of sticks and batons.

You can tell the time back home via the orange hand and day/night indicator at 9 o’clock. Then there’s the date sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Powering the watch is Vacheron Constantin’s 5110 DT/2 self-winding movement with a 60-hour power reserve.

Overseas Chronograph Everest

When you want different timekeeping functions and a bigger silhouette, this is it. The case measures 42.5 mm x 13.7 mm with a similar outline as the other. The dial is still a matte grayish-blue affair but sports a mix of baton, stick, and square hour markers.

You can find a date window right in the middle of 4 and 5 o’clock with three chronograph sub-dials. A total of three hands are in orange to give it much some needed contrast. Inside, Vacheron Constantin equips it with the 5200/2 automatic caliber good for 52 hours on a full wind.

Vacheron Constantin Premium Craftsmanship

The most recent Overseas collection might not look like luxury watches at a glance, but the spec sheets say otherwise. It uses titanium and stainless steel for the case, while the dial boasts 18K gold elements. Moreover, the transparent sapphire crystal of its caseback shows the 22K pink gold oscillating weight.

The intricate designs vary between the two Everest models. Depending on your mood or outfit, swap between the gray rubber or blue Cordura fabric straps. Vacheron Constantin will be offering 150 examples of each adventure-ready Overseas Everest variant. 

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Images courtesy of Vacheron Constantin

In Less Than 24 Hours, Acura Sells Out All 350 Units Of The 2022 NSX Type S

One of the showstoppers at the 2021 Monterey Car Week was Honda’s luxury division’s reveal of the 2022 NSX Type S. Acura plans to produce only 350 examples of this everyday supercar and 300 are heading stateside. The remaining 50 are for the Japanese market. Unfortunately, those who plan to get one are out of luck because all are already spoken for.

Reports reveal that in less than 24 hours the entire fleet of 2022 NSX Type S bound for the United States sold out. This was supposedly confirmed by an Acura insider who also noted that all allocated units have been reserved with deposits. Even before the big reveal, interest surrounding the platform was already at an all-time high.

Perhaps the key factor behind this rush is Acura’s recent announcement regarding the vehicle. This might be the last chance for anyone to own the one since the next model year is apparently the last. Pricing starts at $169,500 for the standard trim and goes up to $182,500 with the lightweight package of automotive upgrades.

Of course, when it comes to the vehicle identification number (VIN), some discerning collectors have their preferences. We heard the unit tagged 001 commanded an insane price. Aside from its exclusive production run, the 2022 NSX Type S is no slouch when it comes to performance.

Acura endows the coupe with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid engine that produces 600 horsepower with 492 lb-ft of torque. Completing the powertrain is a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. It can complete 0-60 mph dash in less than three seconds with a top speed of 191 mph. We think the 2022 NSX Type S is a thrilling ride preview of when Acura finally goes all-electric in the future.

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Images courtesy of Acura

No Two Dials Of The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal Will Ever Be Alike

How bespoke can watchmakers go? This is the question that plagues our affluent friends ask before they shop for their next wrist candy. When the price is not an issue, even the world’s leading brands will gladly build one according to your exact specifications. Hublot answers the call for one-of-a-kind luxury with the Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal.

There are practically endless ways to craft something unique. However, Hublot loves to push the boundaries when it comes to premium craftsmanship. Instead of just taking the easy way out and making a one-off model, they’re settling for cutting-edge methods in metallurgy. Yes, there is scientific wizardry at work here.

You might have already spotted it from the start given the murdered-out profile of the Big Bang Gold Crystal. Giving contrast to the almost all-black theme, are intricate yellow crystalline patterns set on the black backdrop of its dial. It is devoid of any markings save for the Hublot branding and “Swiss Made” text at 6 o’clock.

As the product page explains, to achieve this effect, Hublot dabbles in what many consider alchemy. In a way, it might seem like it, but the process involves 24-carat gold and extreme heat – 1947.52 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact. The precious metal’s vapors eventually merge as the temperature drops to create bespoke structures.

Only the perfect samples make it through a thorough selection, which is only 20% of each batch. Hublot presents the Big Bang Gold Crystal in a 42-mm black ceramic tonneau case. It boasts a combination of polished, satin, and matte finishes. Regulating its timekeeping is the HUB1710 self-winding caliber with a 50-hour power reserve. The timepiece is then paired to a black rubber/alligator leather strap with a deployant buckle clasp closure.

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Images courtesy of Hublot

Bugatti Is Working With Gillette For the Chiron Pur Sport Heated Safety Razor

Aside from building some of the most powerful high-performance vehicles, Bugatti occasionally partners with other companies for cool collaborations. In its latest run, the French luxury automaker is working with a safety razor and shaving supply provider Gillette for the Chiron Pur Sport. Contrary to what you might think, this tie-in involves a grooming tool instead of a ride.

After hearing about it, we were thinking it was a limited-edition trim of the hypercar. Perhaps with a Gillette sponsorship for motorsport. Instead, we’re getting a snazzy and sleek heated safety razor with design elements lifted from its namesake. Quality-wise it should live up to the Macaron badge.

Hey, most of you could call the Chiron Pur Sport a gaudy marketing gimmick, but a lot of automotive enthusiasts will snap these up while supplies last. We’ve been featuring some of Bugatti’s ventures with the likes of Buben & Zorweg, TIDAL, IXO, and Jacob & Co.

Aside from these high-profile projects, the recent one from GilletteLabs is certainly a big surprise. The Chiron Pur Sport is a premium safety razor that embodies the very best of both brands. The handle is even crafted out of aluminum-zinc which you can find on Bugatti’s automobiles.

Moreover, the timing of its announcement is impeccable as temperatures begin to get colder as the autumn season draws closer. Groom like a pro as Gillette invokes that wonderful feeling of a barbershop shave with each use.

The heat opens up your pores much like a hot towel does as each blade gently cuts your facial hair down as close to bare skin. The Chiron Pur Sport features Bugatti’s signature Agile Blue colorway. The bundle includes a wireless charging dock, two replacement blades, and a co-branded cleaning cloth.

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Images courtesy of Bugatti/Gillette

2022 Genesis GV70, raging at VW ID.4 tech and thoughts on a new Lexus LFA | Autoblog Podcast #696

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor James Riswick. This week, they talk about driving the Genesis GV70, VW ID.4 and VW Taos. They talk about ways Chevy could “fix” the Camaro. James ranked all the James Bond films based solely on their starring cars. Next, they reach in the mailbag and discuss the question, “Do you think Lexus will make a successor to the LFA and, if so, what do you guys think it would be like?” After ruminating on that query, they dip into the mailbag a second time to recommend a sporty crossover to a listener in this week’s Spend My Money segment.

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

Autoblog Podcast #696

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Wally Takes A Huge Step Forward With The Luxe 78.7-foot WHY200 Yacht

So far, most of the vessels we featured built by Wally are on the smaller side.It’s not exactly an issue when all you need are yacht tenders for the occasional getaway.This time around, they’re going big! Welcome their first full wide-body yacht – the WHY200. Measuring 78.7 feet long, it’s ready to sail the high seas for your pleasure.

When you love hosting parties or taking family and friends out for an excursion over open water, size matters. The blueprint for this extraordinary ship is provided by Laurent Giles Naval Architects Limited. Their vision showcases a three-deck configuration that is optimized for generous spaces.

This allows the WHY200 to match the area found on larger watercraft. Wally notes that there’s approximately 1,550 sq-ft for the exterior and an impressive 2,153 sq-ft inside. The yacht is already stunning from the outside, but the elegant interior is also curated by Vallicelli Design Studio.

If that’s not enough, how about panoramic views afforded by wrap-around glass panels of the main deck. The owner’s suite at the bow of the WHY200 gets the best seats in the house. Enjoy the breathtaking backdrops as you relax in the comfort of your spacious room.

Head on over to the beach club at the aft section of the lower deck to access the beach club. Take a dip in the sea or take out your personal watercraft to pump up the fun. The fold-out wings can accommodate more people or becoming diving platforms.

The four cabins of the WHY200 can accommodate up to 8 guests, while a crew of 5 is enough to man the vessel. Propulsion comes from four Volvo Penta D-13 IPS 1350 engines at 1,000 horsepower each. The range is 390 nautical miles with a top cruising speed of 21 knots.

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Images courtesy of Wally

Suntory Announces International Release Of It Yamazaki 55 Single Malt Whiskey

As connoisseurs tell it, certain spirits get even better as it ages. Therefore, leading distillers can only offer their best batches in limited quantities. While there are some others who prefer the diverse experience from blended scotch, folks with more discerning tastes swear by single malt only. Still, the release of the Yamazaki 55 is wonderful news for everyone.

This marks a major milestone for fans of Japanese whiskeys as Suntory debuts its oldest single malt ever. This means acquiring one will be very difficult, but you can check with your local suppliers. According to the distiller, the Yamazaki 55 is a “tribute to the passage of time” and we’ll tell you why.

The journey begins in 1960 when the amber spirit was aged in Mizunara casks under the watchful eye of founder Shinjiro Torii. Then, in 1964, the contents made their way into white oak casks. Given that when it comes to whiskey, age statements matter, which is why 55 years here is such a big deal. 

Suntory’s Fifth-generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo and Third-generation Master Blender Shingo Torii are credited for carefully curating this blend. In contrast to Scotch whiskeys, which he likens to perfect Greek sculptures, Fukuyo goes on to describe the Yamazaki 55 as “more like an old Buddhist statue. Calm and mysterious.”

A whiskey this sophisticated deserves to ship in an equally intricate packaging. So Suntory commissions master craftsmen to build a Japanese Mizunara wood box. Finishing it with black lacquer, you’ll be proudly displaying this alongside the Yamazaki 55 it’s holding within. Take a sip, you deserve it.

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Images courtesy of Suntory

Oswald Mill Audio Unveils The Sophisticated K3 Turntable For Discerning Audiophiles

In the way of functionality, the fundamental aspect of turntables has remained the same for over a century. Over the years, even as audio technology evolved from analog to digital, there remains a market for vinyl records. Meanwhile, modern manufacturing gives way to even more attractive aesthetics like the one showcased by the K3 from Oswald Mill Audio.

Although the trend these days is to take a minimalist approach when it comes to design, this high-end turntable is built to draw attention. As such, owners should place the device somewhere with a lot of foot traffic. On the other hand, it’s acceptable to have it in your man cave or entertainment room as well.

Oswald Mill Audio is yet to disclose the pricing, but others claim it’s something north of $200,000. Audiophiles will tell you that the remarkable craftsmanship, outstanding performance, and high-end materials that go into each K3 justifies the cost.

From a manufacturing perspective, there’s a lot going on for this turntable. Unlike others of its kind which have your typical outline, Oswald Mill Audio’s new model is one chunky boy. You’ll also notice the striking structure of its tonearm.

Credit goes to Frank Schroder for the use of a cutting edge SLM (Selective Laser Melting) technology to shape the aerospace-grade aluminum alloy into its intricate form. It also uses a heavy-duty direct drive motor system to spin the platter.

The latter comprises a 25-mm main bearing spindle, an inverted bearing, and a pressurized oil column for unparalleled accuracy. Oswald Mill Audio offers the K3 as a standalone turntable with an outboard Xenon tube rectified power supply. You can also get it with a stylish stand that houses the outboard components.

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Images courtesy of Oswald Mill Audio