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Aston Martin DB5 Junior No Time To Die Edition

The latest James Bond movie is about to be released at the time of writing, and while Aston Martin themselves have already started their No Time To Die campaign by putting a 1:1 scale replica of the famous Bond DB5 inside a giant Corgi Toys box, there are others that plan to ride the James Bond wave this new movie will cause, just check out this amazing silver metallic DB5 Convertible ‘No Time To Die Edition’ … but it might not be what you would expect …

What you are looking at here is actually a two-thirds scale replica of the iconic Aston Martin DB5, all-electric by the way, created by ‘The Little Car Company’ together with Aston Martin and EON Production … only 125 units of this very special Aston Martin DB5 Junior No Time To Die Edition will be made worldwide, and it does include some of those famous Bond gadgets.

© 2021. All rights reserved. The Little Car Company. The Ferrari Testa Rossa J is hand-built in the UK under license by The Little Car Company. Use of the Ferarri brand is with permission of Ferrari s.p.a

The Little Car Company has a very interesting catalog of amazing classic cars, downscaled to be enjoyed by not only children but their parents too. How about a 75% reproduction of the legendary Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, called the Testa Rossa J, and limited to 299 units, they even have a complete configurator online to create your bespoke Testa Rossa J in just about any color you like.

But it gets even better, with the Bugatti Baby II, another 75% scale model, but this time of the 1920’s Bugatti Type 35, probably the most successful race car of all time with about 2,000 wins under her belt, but the story gets more interesting when Ettore Bugatti built a half-scale replica for his son Jean’s fourth birthday. Intended as a one-off, customers convinced Ettore to start building this smaller-scale version too, and in the end about 500 units were made almost a century ago.

© 2021. All rights reserved. The Little Car Company. The Bugatti Baby II is hand-built in the UK under license by The Little Car Company. Use of the Bugatti brand is with permission of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

Today you can get a more modern version, which happens to be a little larger too, as a three-quarter Bugatti Baby II model from The Little Car Company, again limited to only 500 units, available in many different colors, this new Bugatti Baby II is a rear-wheel drive, battery-powered car that can reach a top speed of about 20 km/h in ‘novice mode’ but this can be raised to 45 km/h in export mode … the Baby II even comes with a ‘Speed Key’ like the Chiron, which releases 10kW and no speed limiter.

But back to the Aston Martin DB5 Junior now, and while we will discuss this new limited edition ‘No Time To Die’ version next, first let’s take a look at what The Little Car Company offers in their DB5 Junior range too, at a more democratic price. With a battery-powered engine delivering 5kW or 6.7hp from a 1.8kWh battery the base model DB5 Junior is listed at £35,000 (US$ 50,000) before options, but just like the big brothers from Aston Martin, you can opt for a DB5 Vantage Junior which comes with two batteries and doubles the power output to 10kW (13.4 bhp) and even comes with a limited-slip differential … at £45,000 ($62,000).

But we are here for the piece de résistance, the DB5 JUNIOR No Time To Die Edition that starts at £90,000, so about $125,000 … for a toy car … or is it. No, this 2/3rd scale replica is much more than a toy, this very special model is limited to just 112 units and comes with a massive power upgrade compared to the Vantage edition. Now 4 1.8 kWh batteries get installed delivering 16kW of power or 21.5 bhp that pushes this electric car up to 45 mph … this isn’t a toy anymore.

But wait, there is more, we are talking about a James Bond special edition, so that comes with Gatling guns behind the headlights, digital revolving license plates, a smokescreen generator, a hidden switch panel for the gadgets, and even a Skid mode, and while the real Aston Martin DB5 driven in the movie is a coupe, this one comes as a convertible, as this allows the child to be accompanied by an adult sitting side by side.

The paint on this Aston Martin DB5 Junior No Time To Die Edition is the period-correct Silver Birch while for the dashboard the correct Smiths instruments are fitted, being a limited edition, there are individually numbered chassis plates and genuine Aston Martin badges on this two-thirds replica.

Further testament we aren’t talking about an expensive toy here is the fact they did a 3D scan of a real Aston Martin DB5 to create this smaller-scale version, and while it’s electric, the fuel gauge has been replaced by a battery meter, but in their effort to create a safe car for a child to drive, they also fitted Brembo disc brakes, which regenerate when braking while Bilstein dampers and coil-over springs can keep up with the performance.

Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, said: “Regarded as the most famous car in cinematic history, the gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 awed audiences around the world over fifty years ago. Now, that story continues. As part of an exclusive partnership with EON Productions and Aston Martin, we have had the opportunity to create something truly unique for James Bond fans and collectors. We can’t wait to see the adventures these cars take with their owners.”

The Lotus Emira V6 First Edition

The long-awaited Lotus Emira was officially launched in early July 2021, with her official, public unveil during the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed, and this last gas-powered Lotus became an instant hit, people were literally lining up to put their order in, or better yet, to just get their name on the ‘pre-order’ list, as you couldn’t even order your Lotus Emira yet, and the ‘pre-order’ list was for RHD models only … but over the weeks after Goodwood FoS things changed, and at the end of September Lotus finally released both full specifications and the MSRP on the Lotus Emira V6 First Edition … a car loaded with technology, infotainment and comfort features.

Lotus plans to start building the Emira V6 First Edition in the spring, while the ‘i4’, the 4 cylinder version arriving in the autumn, pricing in the UK has been fixed at £75,995 while on the other side of the North Sea this new car will set you back €95,995, the US MSRP hasn’t been released yet, but a quick currency exchange leads to somewhere between $105,000 and $115,000 based on the £ and € pricetag.

The Lotus Emira V6 First Edition will come equipped with the supercharged 3.5-Liter V6 engine delivering 400 hp through either the standard six-speed manual or the optional six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, for the first year of production the customer has a choice of six colors, but Lotus intends to offer more shades a year later, and the First Edition is packed with options that come as standard, including bespoke badging naturally.

Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars, commented: “The Emira is the most accomplished Lotus we’ve ever made, and to celebrate and reward our keenest early customers, we want to make the first cars extra special to own. The features have been carefully selected by our design team to make for a truly special and distinct First Edition.”

Taking the concept started by Elise, Exige, and Evora, the new Lotus Emira is really a giant step into the future, showing the brand signature and core value of the predecessors, but still improve on practicality, comfort, functionality, and technology. The Emira is built on a new lightweight bonded aluminum chassis, pioneered by Lotus and remaining an intrinsic part of their DNA.

This First Edition version comes with diamond-cut 20-inch ultra-lightweight wheels, optionally a silver or a black finish is available at no cost, while Lotus branded calipers are standard fitment too, to keep those expensive wheels safe, there is a TPMS, or Tyre Pressure Monitoring System fitted as First Edition specifications too.

The list of available colors has been deliberately kept very exclussive, from the press launch car in Seneca Blue to Magma Red, Hethel Yellow, Dark Verdant, Shadow Grey, and Nimbus Grey. They all match very nicely with the titanium exhaust and the Lower Black package that includes a gloss black finish on the air blades in the front bumper, front splitter, side sills, and the rear diffuser.

While the exterior is limited to six paint colors, you can choose from seven different shades on the interior, red, black, grey, tan when going for Nappa leather, or black Alcantara with either red, yellow, or grey stitching on the 12-way adjustable, heated seats that even come with a memory setting, that also includes the door mirrors.

Lotus wants to offer a very comfortable ride in their new Emira, so this car comes complete with climate control, cruise control, keyless start and selectable drive modes, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while an integrated satellite navigation system is available on most markets, all available through a 10.25-inch centrally mounted touch-screen and a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster ahead of the multi-function steering wheel.

Apart from the Lower Black Pack, you’ll get three more packs as standard on these First Edition models, the Drivers Pack offers a choice between Tour or Sport suspension with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport tires, or Sport suspension with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, the Design Pack comes with dark tinted glass, sports pedals and painted brake calipers in either black, red, yellow, or silver, and just so you don’t scratch those beautiful bumpers, the Convenience pack adds parking sensors to the front and a camera to the rear among other things.

Just in case, there are still a few options left to tick on that order sheet, but those will come on top of the base price for these Emira V6 First Edition models, like the £1,800 automatic transmission, or the Black Pack which contrasts the roof, cantrails, mirror housings, the Lotus badge and the exhaust tips for £1,200 only.

As already mentioned, production of the Emira V6 First Edition will start in the spring of 2022, while the 4-cylinder version will follow in the autumn of 2022, if you are looking to add a more base-level Lotus Emira to your driveway you’ll have to be patient until 2023 when they intend to release a £59,995 entry-level version with fewer options.

Mecum auction reaches $36.8 Million in sales

The supercar and collector’s car market is still at a massive high at this moment, and that’s reflected in the latest auction results from Mecum when they held their annual auction event at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, a total of 1,101 cars passed the auction block, and they managed to sell 86% of those to happy new owners, in total 946 cars changed hands during this four-day event, reaching $36.8 million.

Mecum Auctions is the world’s largest collector car auction company, as usual, the Dallas auction offered cars for just about any kind of customer, from classic muscle cars over custom-made cars right up to supercars, and this time the best-selling car at the auction was made in Italy, a Verde Scandal over Nero Cosmos 2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ with a mere 3,150 miles on the clock … selling for a massive $660,000, despite the fact she came on custom, non-standard, center-lock wheels.

The runner-up on the sales list went for a little over half as much, at $357,500, a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback changed owners, finished in an amazing looking Grabber Green, this specific Boss had a Concours frame-off restoration by a nationally recognized Boss restoration facility, this amount makes it very clear once again these classic muscle cars are becoming very expensive to add to your garage.

This is also made clear by the third place on the top list for this auction, a 1968 Ford Mustang GT500CR 900C Fastback that changed hands for $335,500, a car from the Triple B Collection, finished in red over black with the traditional white stripes, this one being serial no. SCR-0100 only had 378 miles since completion, this classic shattered her estimate between $250,000 to $275,000.

The complete top 10 collector car sales at the 2021 Dallas auction include:
1. 2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ (Lot S154) at $660,000
2. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback (Lot S138) at $357,500
3. 1968 Ford Mustang GT500CR 900C Fastback (Lot S77.1) at $335,500
4. 1956 Chevrolet 210 Custom (Lot S133) at $253,000
5. 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible (F119.1) at $220,000
6. 2002 BMW Z8 Roadster (S95) at $211,750
7. 1966 RCR Ford GT40 Replica (Lot S126) at $203,500
8. 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith (Lot S193) at $203,500
9. 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro (Lot S116) at $200,750
10. 1999 Shelby Series 1 Roadster (S130.1) at $189,750

One that didn’t make it onto this top ten list is a 427 ci, 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, and while we aren’t allowed to call it after the famous car from the Nicolas Cage remake, one look at the photo and you immediately know what I’m talking about here. The hammer came down at $170,500 on this professional build that took three years to complete, originally a 351 Windsor engine but built to 427 CI by Performance Masters.

Next up is Las Vegas, where Mecum Auctions will be in early October with a 7,000-Mile Ford GT from 2006 as the highlight among 247 cars that will pass the auction block, if you’re in the market for an amazing collector’s item for your garage, make sure to check them out, and if you can’t make it to Vegas at that time, you might miss out on the chance of a lifetime.

New 2021 Nissan GT-R T-Spec – The Last of the R35

A few months ago, Nissan announced the arrival of the GT-R NISMO Special Edition. This was expected to be the last of the iconic R35 GT-R line, and the car has already been axed in several markets worldwide. However, the Japanese giants have one last hurrah in store, and it’s called the ‘T-Spec.’

Nissan has just announced the addition of a GT-R T-Spec that will join the likes of the existing line-up. Visually, this new iteration pays homage to the JDM Nissan Skyline legends of yesteryear; it’s got two new, exclusive color schemes, a wider front end, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, and gold-colored NISMO forged wheels.

A side view of the Nissan GT R R 35 T

A side view of the Nissan GT R R 35 T

According to CarAndDriver, One of the color schemes the T-Spec will be available in is called Midnight Purple. Sounds familiar? It’s the scheme from the R33 Skyline GT-R. The other one, we reckon, is even more iconic. Called the Millennium Jade, this green-ish hue was used on the R34 GT-R V-Spec II Nur, one of the rarest GT-Rs ever made.

Nissan has also made it clear that the T-Spec is more than just a pretty paint job. For starters, there are the forged wheels – these 20-inch units are manufactured by Japanese wheel giants, Rays, and weigh less than the ones on the standard car. Then there’s the addition of carbon-ceramic brakes, courtesy of the GT-R NISMO.

A view of the brake discs connected to the Nissan GT R R 35 T

A view of the brake discs connected to the Nissan GT R R 35 T

The T-Spec isn’t equipped with the same powertrain as the NISMO Edition, but it’s still a monster of an engine that powers the car. The hand-assembled, twin-turbo VR38DETT V6 packs a powerful punch, putting out 565bhp and 467 lb-ft of torque. Helping this power get to the wheels is a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission and the GT-R’s rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system.

A view of the wheels connected to the Nissan GT R R 35 T

A view of the wheels connected to the Nissan GT R R 35 T

The Nissan T-Spec is very likely the last we’ll see of this generation of the mighty Godzilla. The car will be available in limited numbers, along with the NISMO Special Edition, and will go on sale in the US in late 2021. Prices for the GT-R T-Spec and GT-R NISMO Special Edition have been announced at $138,490 and $215,690, respectively.

Nissan also announced that a GT-R Track Edition will also be available soon; however, this car will only be available in its home market of Japan.

 – Submitted by Vishal Venugopal

Tesla Model S Sets Nürburgring Lap Record for Fastest Production EV

The Tesla Model S Plaid now holds the record for being the fastest production EV around the Nürburgring. A time of 7:35.579 meant it was a whole 11.431 seconds quicker than the Porsche Macan Turbo, which previously held the record. The news off Team-BHP.com was first tweeted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and the Nürburgring soon released a statement confirming the same. 

A side view of a Tesla Model S Plaid being tried out on the track

The ‘Plaid’ powertrain has been the most significant update that the Model S has received since its first launch in 2012. It includes a tri-motor electric powertrain producing 1020 hp and 1,050lb-ft of torque – enough to propel the car to a claimed top speed of 200mph with a 0-60mph time of 1.99sec.


Musk mentioned in his tweet that the car that set the record was in complete stock guise and “directly from [the] factory,” leading us to believe that there were no changes or adjustments made to the tires, brakes, or suspension.

A side view of the Tesla Model S Plaid driving on a road with blue sky in the background

A side view of the Tesla Model S Plaid driving on a road with blue sky in the background

He also mentioned that the next target for the Model S Plaid would be to set another lap-record, this time in a track-specced iteration, with additional aerodynamic pieces, carbon-ceramic brakes, and stickier tires. However, this will not be a company effort.

A side view of a Tesla Model S Plaid being tried out on the track

The Nürburgring lap record is an impressive feat for the EV; however, it’s worth mentioning that the 1,914hp quad-motor Rimac Nevera will very likely be quicker around the Nordschleife, if (or when) it does give it a go.

– Submitted by Vishal Venugopal

Radford reveals ultra-exclusive Type 62-2 John Player Special

I might be getting old, but I really love the combination of black and gold on a car, and it will forever remind me of the livery used by the John Player Special formula one car back in the Seventies, the by now legendary black and gold colour scheme was recognisable on the bodywork of the Lotus Type 72D driven by Emerson Fittipaldi, achieving five victories and even the coveted championship victory in the 1972 Formula 1 season.

Lotus would keep using this beautiful black and gold livery on their Formula 1 car right up to the  1986 series, the Lotus 98T driven by legendary Ayrton Senna even boasted this legendary look, the John Player Special livery was the epitome of the most glamourous era of motor racing in the Seventies.

Mark Stubbs comments “The Radford Type 62-2 in John Player Special guise, is a very unique proposition. From a design perspective, the JPS car really stands out as being more extreme than its Classic and Gold Leaf siblings, with larger diffusers, air intakes and wheels. Sporting what is certainly the most iconic racing livery ever to grace a Formula 1 car, gives the car a real presence and sense of occasion. Only 12 of these very special cars will be made, making it a very rare car indeed.”

So while Radford has already limited the production of their Type 62-2 model to 62 units in total, they already announced of those 62 there would be 12 Gold Leaf cars, as presented during Monterey Car Week in August, so only 50 cars remain… and from those another 12 will be even more extreme JPS versions, so only 38 of their Classic version remain.

While the Gold Leaf cars are already very impressive, this new JPS takes the concept even further into the race track segment, being both lighter and faster, with a 600 bhp V6 engine boasting a 3.5-litre displacement and a supercharger, the new John Player Special will be unveiled to the public during the Goodwood Revival in mid-September.

The new John Player Special edition is also the most aggressive looking version of the Type 62-2 Radford is making, the front splitter is more pronounced, providing a race car stance while the side air intakes are larger to cool the more powerful 600 bhp combustion engine, at the rear, the diffuser received a more extreme design compared to the Classic and Gold Leaf cars, extending further out for increased aerodynamic downforce.

And let’s not forget about the bespoke paint on this Radford Type 62-2 JPS, first, they apply a custom gold paint, then they add a total of 10 layers, yes you are reading that correctly, ten layers of Candy Black to get that classic, original JPS color scheme, but in a much more contemporary look, for the show car to be unveiled at Goodwood, Radford even added a hand-painted gold pinstripe before the final clear coat was applied.

No pricing has been published yet, neither any photos on the interior of these Type 62-2 cars while production is scheduled to start within the next few months with the first customer cars ready for delivery in early 2022.

Development of a Limited Production 600 hp Acura Supercar

I have to admit I really liked the original Acura NSX or the Honda NSX as it was called over here in Europe, and I mean the early one with the pop-up headlights, not the later one with the fixed headlights, I wasn’t really a fan of those, but I did like the idea of an NSX with a removable roof panel … this looked like a supercar, I’m sure many mistook it for a Ferrari, especially in red, but it was a Honda, the same make that had the ‘pocket-rocket’ CRX over here, a car that would be tuned to the max … and then you had the NSX, a stunning beauty even in factory original form.

After showing the initial concept, Honda came up with the name NS-X, for New Sportscar eXperimental, eventually, the car was marketed as the Honda NSX, and as the Acura NSX for the North-America market, starting from 1990 powered by a 3-Liter V6 VTEC engine, initially with a 5-speed manual that was joined by a 4-speed automatic in 1993, two years later the NSX T was shown with a removable roof.

The first power upgrade came in 1997 when the displacement of the V6 engine grew to 3.2-Liters while a facelift was executed 12 years after the release, in 2002 the pop-up headlights were replaced with fixed units, sadly three years later, in 2005 production of the Honda/Acura NSX was halted after being in production for 15 years.

The next-generation Acura NSX had been rumored since late 2007, inspiration would be taken from the Acura ASCC, but the entire development was halted in 2010 until late 2011 Honda officially confirmed they were working on a new supercar, which they called the ‘second-generation NSX’, there was even a concept car shown at the 2012 NAIAS, but it would take three more years to unveil the final production model which would become an MY2016 edition, and not built in Japan this time, but designed and engineered in Marysville, Ohio, at Honda’s plant, led by chief engineer Ted Klaus.

The new 2016 Acura NSX still had a V6 engine, but this time a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged evolution with a hybrid addition, three electric motors boost power to 573 hp, this time through a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and while it’s a new, modern sports car, I still feel it lacks the intimidation the original car from the Nineties had … it’s just not that amazing looking, but that’s just my opinion.

Sadly the second-generation Acura NSX didn’t become a sales hit, between 2016 and 2020 only 1,386 were sold in the United States, with 2017 being the top-selling year with 581 units, unfortunately, Europe was even worse with only 215 units, in 2020 only 8 Acura NXS found customers in Europe … but for the final year of production, something new came around.

Production of the Acura NSX will be discontinued in 2022, so as a final farewell Acura came up with the NSX Type S, the most powerful NSX ever with 600 hp, unveiled during the 2021 Monterey Car Week, with a limited production run of only 350 units, and a redesigned look to make this 2022 NSX Type S the most aggressive looking one ever, with larger intakes in the front bumper and a GT3 style rear diffuser.

“Only NSX can go beyond NSX,” said Satoshi Mizukami, chief engineer and NSX Type S development leader. “Power definitely contributes to what we strive for, including the joy of driving, but that alone wouldn’t be enough. We want our customers to feel that performance deep inside, and if we were to enhance performance, we wanted to express the vehicle with designs that represent such performance.”

The 2022 Acura NSX Type S can be ordered in a stunning looking Gotham Gray matte paint that combined perfectly with the gloss black mirrors and door handles and let’s not forget the bespoke forged alloy wheels with their split-five spoke design. “At first glance, people will say it looks completely different,” said exterior designer Dai Hara. “It looks fast.”

The increase in power to an even 600 hp from the previous 573 hp has been achieved by using the larger turbos from the NSX GT3 racecar, to cope with that much power Acura installs stickier Pirelli P-Zero tires on these final edition models, in fact, the entire production for 2022 will be made up of Type S only at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, 350 units are available globally with 300 of those reserved for the US market, this is the very first time an NSX Type S has been sold outside of Japan.

Make sure to take a look at the official ‘development’ video on the 2022 Acura NSX Type S below:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

Enjoy some more detailed shots on this final edition supercar from Acura:

The Radford Gold Leaf Type 62-2

We have already published an article on Radford’s Project 62 a while ago, where we talked about the revival of the UK based, founded by Harold Radford back in 1948 to create bespoke builds for the more wealthy customers in the world,  it would take Harold a few years to unveil his first creation, the 1951 Bentley Countryman, an estate car like the world hadn’t seen yet, with the best of the best in the Fifties, unfortunately, that didn’t keep the company from going into liquidation fifteen years later.

55 years later, car designer Mark Stubbs acquired the Radford name, and he’s working with some interesting names in the automotive scene to unveil a new Radford car, codenamed Project 62 as production will be limited to 62 units worldwide, and during Monterey Car Week in 2021, at The Quail, we finally saw the first completed car … the Radford Gold Leaf Type 62-2 Quail Lodge edition.

But it gets even more interesting, from the 62 units, Radford will only build 12 in this Gold Leaf livery, and six of them are already spoken for, so you’d better hurry if you would like one of these rare cars for your collection. Each of the 62 Radford will be a bespoke build, specified by the client to the littlest detail, next to the Gold Leaf livery, you can also specify the ‘Classic’ and the ‘JPS’ version, more on those below.

The Lotus 62-2 by Radford in the Classic version comes with a Twin-scroll supercharged 3.5 liter V6, 24 valves, dual VVT-i, water-cooled engine delivering 430bhp, in the Gold Leaf this engine gets upgraded piston, con-rods, camshafts, and a different calibration to boost power to 500bhp, but the most powerful version will be the JPS which adds a Harrop TVS1900 Supercharger to increase power even further to a total of 600bhp.

Both the Gold Leaf and the JPS come with a dual ducktail rear wing and hollow driveshafts with center-lock hubs, the Classic has solid driveshafts and a five-bolt hub for her 17 and 18-inch staggered wheel setup, the Gold Leaf comes with 18 and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, while the JPS sets the bar even higher with 18 and 19-inch 2-piece Dymag Carbon Composite & Mag wheels covering Carbon Ceramic disk brakes.

It is obvious the Lotus 62-2 by Radford JPS is the flagship model, it also gets a larger rear diffuser, a large front splitter, and even larger side vents compared to the Classic and Gold Leaf, it does seem however that after the initial press release, they changed the name to the Gold Leaf Type 62-2 Quail Edition, with a bespoke carbon fiber composite front splitter and rear diffuser. It also features AP Monobloc calipers and fully carbon-ceramic brake rotors housed within larger 18-inch front and 19-inch Dymag carbon composite wheels which lower the unsprung mass and improve the nimble handling characteristics of the car, shod in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires… which really resembles the JPS specs from their own ‘Technical Specifications’ sheet.

Mark Stubbs “The Radford Type 62-2 in Gold Leaf guise, is a really special car. From a design perspective, the Gold Leaf car with these bespoke additions really stands out, with larger diffusers, and wheels. And sporting one of the most iconic racing liveries ever to grace a Formula 1 car, gives the car a real presence and sense of occasion. We’re only making 12 of these iconic cars, meaning they are already one of the rarest cars that money can buy. And most of them are already allocated to their owners.”

The Gold Leaf Type 62-2 Quail Edition boasts a contemporary version of the iconic Gold Leaf livery, one of the most famous and important racing car liveries seen on a Formula 1 car. The legendary red, white, and gold color scheme was used after Colin Chapman signed a huge deal with Gold Leaf, and is most well-known on the Type 49B car Graham Hill piloted in the 1968 season, later the same livery was also found on the famous Lotus 72 F1 car raced by Emerson Fittipaldi and Jochen Rindt in the 1970 season.

Ant Anstead “The Gold Leaf Type 62-2 that we’re showing at Quail is at the more extreme end of Type 62-2s that money can buy. It is low, sleek, and powerful and sports one of the most iconic racing liveries ever created, one of the liveries that the heroes of Formula 1 such as Emerson Fittipaldi and Graham Hill used to race with, in the cars that started my passion for cars.”

Lotus 62-2 by Radford was officially unveiled to the public for the first time ever at The Quail, showing this extremely exclusive edition from the outside … the interior remains a mystery for now as it hasn’t been shown yet, and while the styling of this car was inspired by a classic Lotus, the base used to create this low-riding beauty come also from Lotus, but it’s the latest and greatest that’s available.

The Type 62-2 evokes the spirit of Lotus and the original Type 62 as a homage to the marque’s illustrious motorsport history. With support from Radford’s engineers, former FIA Formula OneTM World Champion Jenson Button has fine-honed the dynamic response of the Type 62-2 to ensure a superlative driving experience, production of customer cars is set to start in late 2021 with first deliveries being foreseen in 2022.

No Time To Die campaign by Aston Martin

If you ask people what car James Bond drives, chances are you’ll get Aston Martin as an answer, sure Pierce Brosnan drove a few BMWs in his movies, but Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, now also Daniel Craig, were all driving Aston Martin, with the classic DB5 probably being the most famous one, complete with passenger ejection seat and machine guns behind the lights.

I’m sure many, just like me, once owned the Corgi made toy version of this 1965 Aston Martin DB5, with the small figurine to put on the passenger seats, only to press a lever underneath the model that opens the roof and shoots the guy into the air, mine even came with the bulletproof panel to rise behind the rear window and the retractable machine guns at the front, even the risers on the front bumper came out … I had so much fun with this model, and it all kept working even after I lost the little guy to shoot out the roof.

That specific car has become so important in both Aston Martin history and in movie history, that they decided to create the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation car, complete with a large array of working gadgets that fans will recognize from the classic James Bond film: rotating number plates, a retractable bulletproof rear shield, extending front over-riders and of course pop-out machine guns.

After the original DB5 has been out of production for 55 years, this very special Continuation model will be built only 25 times, all as an authentic reproduction of the classic DB5 used in the Bond movie, and you can only get it in one specific color called Silver Birch, just like the 1965 car, but this modern recreation does come with some mild modifications and enhancements to ensure the highest levels of quality and reliability expected in today’s world.

The original 1965 Corgi Toys are highly sought-after, and very expensive these days, as with all scale models, it is important the car itself is in perfect condition, but also that it comes with the original accessories and it’s still inside the original box, where the plastic window hasn’t turned yellow, back in 1965 the Corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB5 from the movie Goldfinger earned the UK ‘Toy of the Year’ and ‘Best Boys Toy’ titles at the National Association of Toy Retailers Awards … but Corgi is still making this model today, after numerous retooling, but you can still buy one.

Obtaining an original 1965 version of the Corgi toy might be expensive, but one of the 25 Continuation cars will most likely be even more expensive, just as a celebration of the return of 007’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 to the big screen, Aston Martin, and Corgi unveiled a full-size replica of the original 1965 Corgi DB5 model. Shown at The Coaling Jetty, outside Battersea Power Station, this 1:1 model measures 5.66 meters long, 2.7 meters tall, and 2.7 meters deep, and it’s shown inside an original Corgi Toys box … only massively larger.

In about a month the 25th James Bond movie will be released, so it was the perfect timing for Aston Martin to launch their own No Time To Die campaign, complete with a bespoke TV spot, in the movie itself we’ll be recognizing a total of four different Aston Martin models, naturally the famous DB5 will be seen again, but this time the classic Aston Martin V8 will make a return too, while the DBS super GT comes with skis mounted on the rear window … and as a piece de resistance the impressive Valhalla mid-engined hypercar makes an appearance too.

Marek Reichman said “We are really honored to be marking the start of the No Time To Die campaign today with this exciting unveil.  Aston Martin’s relationship with James Bond spans decades and the DB5 is, without question, the most famous car in the world by virtue of its 50-plus year association.  Working with EON Productions and Chris Corbould to build 25 of the DB5 Goldfinger Continuations was a truly unique project for everyone involved at Aston Martin.  Now, to work with Corgi – another quintessentially British brand – and to see James Bond’s most cherished car sitting inside a to-scale toy box in central London is quite outstanding”.

The full-size replica Corgi DB5 box will remain on display at Battersea Power Station in the UK for the general public to admire until 1 October 2021, check out the TV spot below:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

Mercedes-AMG Just Announced Their First Performance Hybrid

Mercedes-AMG is on a bit of a roll these days. Their cars often sound like Thor gargling some gravel, and their cars are seriously, seriously quick. On top of that, the Petronas Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team has been dominant for years in the highest tier of motorsport.

So, today, in a complete blindside, Mercedes-AMG decided that September 1, 2021, would be the perfect day to announce their first official performance hybrid car.

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

This isn’t the first Mercedes-Benz hybrid, far from it. There is a difference between engine-assist hybrid and performance hybrid. One is a technology that is designed to make the famously smooth Mercedes ride even quieter, more comfortable, and for longer ranges. The other is designed to enhance the petrol-swigging twin-turbo V8 performance of an already pretty mad car, and take off its straight jacket.

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

So say hello, everyone, to the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance. Designed with input from the F1 team, this is Mercedes’ answer, albeit a few years late, to performance hybrids that started with the hypercars of McLaren, Ferrari, and Porsche. Then again, this thing comes swinging through the door with the title of “The Most Powerful Production Vehicle From Affalterbach,” and it is carrying one hell of a sledgehammer.

The petrol heart of the beast, that 4.0L bi-turbo V8, sits under the front hood and roars out 639 HP with some serious attitude. Its power goes through a 9-speed MCT 9G dual-clutch gearbox, and is then fed through a complex transfer system as the car is AWD. The rear axle is supported by a 204 HP, two-speed hybrid motor, which can also send its power up to the front if needed.

It’s an incredibly complex system, but the end result is 843 HP, and over 1,400 Nm, or 1,032 lb-ft, of torque at full noise. Take a moment and let those numbers sink in.

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

The batteries that power the hybrid drive are also extremely high tech, as they are based on the ones in the F1 car. Using up-to-the-minute new lithium-ion cell technology, the battery uses extremely conductive intermediary materials to allow for up to 150 kW of power to be instantly available and uses regenerative braking to charge at up to 100 kW, with a power unit capacity of 6.1 kWh. This system weighs in at only 79 kg (174 lbs) and has another innovation that is a production car first, in that it is the first production battery that is actively liquid-cooled. A millimetrically thin sheath surrounds each individual battery in the pack, with the combined system carrying 14 liters of coolant. That coolant then flows through its own dedicated radiator, allowing the battery pack to remain at optimal performance temperatures no matter how hard you push the car.

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

If it sounds complex, believe me, this is the simplified version of what is in the press release. In simple terms, when you’re cruising, you’re tapping both the petrol engine and a constant 94 HP from the hybrid to keep you happily rolling along. When you brake, the electric motor becomes a generator and charges the battery rapidly. If you wanted to plant your foot through the carpet when the light went green, the combined power of those 1,032 plus lb-ft of torque and all 843 German horses at your command would literally catapult you to 60 MPH faster than a McLaren Senna, a dedicated high-performance hypercar.

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Then again, for once, Mercedes have been uncharacteristically non-Germanic in their marketing and tagline for the car. It even points to the fact that the Germans do, in fact, have a sense of humor. That official tagline of the car?

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE

“Everything but quiet.”

Lotus Just Announced Their Future EV Plans

Lotus Cars, famous for the names of everything they make starting with the letter E, and for making some of the best handling sportscars in the world, just went all-in on EVs. Not one, not, two, but a full four more Lotus EV’s will be coming in the next 5 years, after the Lotus Evija hypercar proved that Lotus has some serious credibility in the electric market.

The 2022 Lotus Evija hypercar

In a press release on August 31, 2021, the very not-starting-with-an-E “Type 132” SUV has been announced as arriving next year. In 2023, a “four-door coupe” Type 133 will arrive, followed by a smaller SUV in 2025 named, you guessed it, the Type 134.

The last new EV is probably going to be the most exciting, the Type 135, as it will be a small, light-as-possible two-door sports car that Lotus knows how to make so very well. It will also be the “trickle-down” recipient of all the lessons learned while making the Evija, meaning it should be one hell of a car.

The Lotus Cars electric vehicles range
The Lotus Cars electric vehicles range From left to right: The Evija, the Type 132 SUV, Type 133 four-door coupe, Type 134 mini-SUV/CUV, and the Type 135 two-door sports car

This all-in on electric is being supported by the establishment of a new technology and development center in Wuhan, China, which when completed will become the new Lotus Technology HQ (the header picture for this article). Notably, Lotus is owned by Geely (more properly known as Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd), who also own Volvo (who have the Polestar EV brand) and a few other car brands that serve the European and Asian continents with hybrids (Lync & Co, Proton) and EVs (Geely Cars).

Lotus Cars' technology manufacturing facility
Lotus Cars' technology manufacturing facility The planned Lotus Technology Manufacturing Facility. The Lotus Proving Grounds are to the right of the main buildings, with the “Start line” beside the small water feature

Accompanying this new tech center will be a dedicated EV manufacturing plant, also located in Wuhan. There will also be a 16 turn proving grounds track directly attached to the factory for rapid prototyping of new technologies, and is one of the first in the world that is being designed to provide feedback and data regarding autonomous driving modes for electric vehicles. Adding to the green push by Lotus and other manufacturers in recent years, all charging of test cars and prototypes at the factory will be done via renewable sources, including solar panels installed on the factory grounds, hydro, and wind farms.

The last time a company went all-in on EV and pulled it off was with Audi, who launched the unofficial “Green Promise” by announcing in 2019 that all of their cars, in the next generation across all their model lines, will be electric. They’ve already started with the E-Tron GT as they phase out the R8 supercar, and with Lotus tossing their hat in the ring, we can’t wait to see the Lotus Type 135 vs its Audi competitor in 5 years’ time!

Bond, James Bond … the limited edition Defender

I have to admit, I rather like the Bond movies, I do prefer the older ones with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Pierce Brosnan, and not so much the more recent ones with Daniel Craig, but that’s a personal preference, I love the gadgets that are used in Bond movies, and those haven’t been abundantly present in the later movies, but still, they are all great action movies, and I will catch the new one in the cinema probably when it is finally released.

For me, the ultimate Bond car is still an Aston Martin, despite the side step onto BMW in some movies, but in recent movies, the Land Rover Defender had an important role too, so much so that their SV Bespoke department decided to create a new Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition as a celebration of the latest Bond movie to be released on September 30, 2021, which happens to be the 25th official Bond movie, a total of only 300 Defender V8 Bond Editions will be made, either in 90 or 110 styles, at a price slightly over £105,000 (about US$ 150,000).

This special Defender V8 Bond Edition is inspired by the cars used in the new No Time To Die movie, with their stealth look from the extended Black Pack complete with 22-inch wheels in Gloss Black over signature Xenon Blue brake calipers … and finally a bespoke ‘Defender 007’ badge on the rear, and then you also get ‘007’ puddle lights for visibility when it’s dark, while you open the door, the doorsills are illuminated with … you guessed it ‘007’.

Finbar McFall, Land Rover Brand Director, said: “The Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition is an exclusive take on the most powerful production Defender ever made, inspired by vehicles on screen in No Time To Die. It represents a meeting of two great British brands and is a unique celebration of Land Rover’s 38-year association with James Bond.”

On the central console, you’ll find a specially developed start-up animation for the intuitive Pivi Pro infotainment system touchscreen that honors Land Rover’s long partnership with the James Bond franchise, while the interior boasts a laser-etched ‘one of 300’ detail complete with the special SV Bespoke logo.

And this limited edition 5-Liter V8 with 525 PS from a supercharged petrol engine also delivers 625 Nm of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission, in the Defender V8 90 this results in an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in only 4.9 seconds while a top speed of 149 mph is possible, the larger 110 style is only marginally slower.

With only 300 units built by Land Rover SV Bespoke, this Defender V8 Bond Edition isn’t just limited to the UK market, in fact, only 15 units are available in the UK, 5 in the 90 style body and 10 in the larger, four-door 110 style, the rest will be distributed globally, but each and every single unit will be commissioned by the vehicle personalization experts at SV Bespoke in the UK.

No Time To Die is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and stars Daniel Craig, who returns for his fifth and final film as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007. The film will be released in cinemas from 30 September 2021 in the UK through Universal Pictures International and in the US on 8 October 2021, from Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) via their United Artists Releasing banner.

007 © 1962 Danjaq, LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
007 is a trademark of Danjaq, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Did Lamborghini make a mistake re-releasing the Countach?

During Monterey Car Week, Automobili Lamborghini SpA unveiled the long-awaited Countach homage to the public, there had been a few teasers released before the official presentation, and these created some very high hopes for the car, it seems the homage was put on a pedestal before most of us even saw the car … so when the black silk cover finally came off the car in California the reactions were … let’s keep it polite … mixed.

Let’s get some facts straight first, Automobili Lamborghini SpA was founded in 1963 with the classic 350 GT being their first production car, but things changed considerably when the Lamborghini Miura was introduced a few years later, by many considered to be the first supercar on the road, the Miura is a sensual beauty of Italian automotive art, and currently requires a payment of well into the 7 figures range to obtain, and while the Miura made Lamborghini famous around the world, their next flagship would change the automotive world forever.

We are talking early Seventies now, Lamborghini isn’t even ten years around, still, the Miura is already in her SV evolution, for Spinto Veloce, arguably the best production version (apart from the special SVJ versions), and then you visit the 1971 Geneva Motor Show to discover their next generation of supercars … the game-changing Lamborghini Countach! Think about this one for a second: upward-opening doors in 1971, a massive 5-Liter V12 engine, a thundering sound from quadruple round exhausts, a digital dashboard … the automotive world was shocked, and clients ambushed Ferruccio Lamborghini to put their order in, the Countach was an instant success, people were lining up to buy this spaceship on four wheels.

But the 1971 Lamborghini Countach was a concept car, it was nowhere near ready for production, and that was never the intention either … until after seeing the impact this car had on the Geneva Motor Show visitors, Ferruccio decided not to order additional Miura bodyshells from Bertone hence the production of the Miura SV was halted after only 150 units in December 1972, and all attention was directed to getting the Countach ready for production, initially Ferruccio considered a very limited production of the Countach, but that plan changed along the way of developing into a functional production car.

It would take three years for Lamborghini to get the Countach to a point it could be available for customers, in 1974 the Countach LP400 was unveiled, the upward-opening doors remained and would become a Lamborghini trademark for every V12 flagship model ever since the Countach, but the engine was downsized to 4-Liter, the prototype’s 5-Liter V12 wasn’t reliable and got scrapped only to make a return after being completely redesigned for the 1982 Countach LP500 S with a 4754 cc / 290 ci displacement. The digital dashboard was also replaced with analog dials on the production car and because that V12 needed a lot of cool air, several intakes and vents got added, more specifically the famous NACA duct on the side of the Countach.

The Lamborghini Countach LP400 was a beautiful car, very much ahead of her time in the mid-Seventies and unlike anything else on the open road, while the Miura had a track inspired transverse engine behind the cockpit, the Countach engine was positioned lengthwise with the gearbox directly underneath the gear lever in the wide central tunnel … the Lamborghini Countach was unique, and according to people close to the development in the Seventies, the only thing that limited the performance somewhat were the narrow tires that weren’t up to the task of a 300 Km/h top speed.

Only four years later things changed considerably for the Lamborghini Countach, mainly under the influence of Walter Wolf, a Canadian F1 team owner who requested several custom-made Countach for himself, the S model was developed, and in 1978 Lamborghini revealed the Countach S, or Countach LP400 S, to the public, initially as an option to the original Countach LP400, now with wide wheel arch extensions, revised suspension and massively wide 345mm Pirelli P8 Cinturato tires at the rear … some called it a Countach on steroids, but this even wilder version would become a poster car in many bedrooms during the Eighties.

And while Lamborghini didn’t want to, eventually they had to add the most quintessential option to the list for the Countach S … the rear wing, a very controversial option at the factory because the Countach didn’t need a rear wing, the car was designed with enough downforce, even at 300 km/h, and in all honesty, the rear wing even slowed the car down because of added drag … if you look really closely to the angle of the aerofoil, it does absolutely nothing … no additional downforce whatsoever, the rear wing on a Countach is purely cosmetical … but many owners insisted on adding it to their Raging Bull, to the point a Countach without that massive wing almost looks naked now.

The Lamborghini Countach became an icon, both in Lamborghini’s own history, but also in automotive history, probably the most depicted car on bedroom posters ever, built between 1974 and 1990, when the last ever Countach left the assembly to be added to the official factory museum, this silver metallic (Argento Luna) Lamborghini Countach was the 25th Anniversary edition of which 657 units were built, and while we all agree the Miura changed Lamborghini’s history, the Countach changed the automotive world … this car became more than an icon or a work of art, a Lamborghini Countach is special, but on a whole different level, it might not be perfect, or necessarily beautiful … but it’s a Countach, and that says it all … Countach!

In 2016 Automobili Lamborghini SpA was celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first supercar, the sensual Miura … with an Aventador Miura Homage, merely a special paint scheme, some custom stitching pattern on the interior, and a few bespoke badges. Limited to 50 units worldwide, the Aventador Miura Homage did come in a few Miura classic paint schemes with the gold or silver side sills, but that’s about it, nothing too extensive, so when the rumor got out they were doing a Countach homage in 2021 the reactions were mixed … until more details came out, all unofficial, but things sounded interesting, the 2021 Countach Ommagio would be totally different car to the Miura Homage.

At the 2021 edition of Monterey Car Week in mid-August, we finally got to see the new Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4, the new Countach Ommagio to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Lamborghini Countach … and this is where things started to go in a different direction, both from fans and owners of the original Countach. The bright white Bianco Siderale show car in California is based on the current Lamborghini Aventador and takes the Sián concept into the Countach legacy with slightly more power, a total of 814 hp thanks to the 34 hp from the electric motor with the supercapacitor while the V12 ICE is borrowed from the LP780-4 Ultimae without modifications.

But herein lies the problem, when designing this Countach Ommagio, they had to stay within the Aventador parameters, which let’s face it, is a 10-year old model by now, things have evolved quite considerably, and yes, the Aventador has evolved too from the 2011 LP700-4 to the wild SVJ and now the Ultimae, but still, the carbon fiber tub is determined, the roofline is fixed and while you can play around a little with the front and rear sections, ultimately you are bound by the Aventador basis, and this is where most of the reactions come down to … an homage to a car as legendary as the Lamborghini Countach deserves more than what this LPI 800-4 is.

If we start from the front, the LPI 800-4 had to comply with current regulations, and that just about puts pop-up headlights into an illegal feature, so those typical Countach dual round ‘pods’ that open when in use just couldn’t be resurrected, instead Lamborghini opted for modern LED light units on the fenders in a somewhat similar location … a little bit too high up, but that also might be due to legislation, so I’m not going to complain on their position, on the other hand, the design of the front hood does remind us of the original Countach, as does the script in the air intake, so there are a few links to the design from the Seventies here.

Going onto the rear design choices reveals even more ‘compromises’ to current laws and requirements for airflow on this 2021 edition of the Countach, there are massive air vents on the body section behind the wide rear tires, those are required to draw hot air through, but they do interrupt the clean lines in that area of the original Countach, the area around the taillights does look like the very recognizable units on the classic Countach, but then they decide to use the Sián taillights … shouldn’t a car like the Countach, that meant to much for Lamborghini during her 15 years of production be eligible for bespoke taillights in her homage?

But one of the biggest complaints on the design of the 2021 Countach LPI 800-4 concentrates on the side profile, which shows the Aventador basis a bit too much, with an identical roofline, the basic Aventador rearview mirrors, and a massive, clear carbon fiber air intake that start on the door and goes into the rear fender, where it meets a big ‘fin’ that extends beyond the bodywork to draw even more air into the engine bay. But this is where things get tricky … remember this car is meant to celebrate 50 years of the Countach, so it celebrates the original prototype from 1971 … which didn’t have the NACA duct yet, while many complain this new car tries to mimic that NACA duct but fails … it is not meant to look like a modern version of the NACA duct, it’s just there because of pure necessity, to cool the engine, a problem the Countach prototype also faced back in 1971, hence they cut those NACA ducts into the smooth aluminum body.

Al least those beautiful fins behind the side windows were retained on the Countach LPI 800-4, I like them, and while many prefer to have these in black so the car looks lower and longer as it visually extends the side windows, I don’t mind them being color-coded to the body, but then you notice the wheels on the new car, where they try to mimic the telephone dial style wheels from the Countach … from the Eighties. Wait, what? This car is an homage to the 1971 Countach for her 50th anniversary, so why put wheels that look like the 1978 model on it? Wouldn’t it make more sense to create a modern interpretation of those ’71 wheels, only a lot wider at the rear … that would be more historically correct if you ask me. And while we’re on that topic, I really don’t understand why the show car is white … sure they explain it as the color of Ferruccio’s own Countach S, but we’re celebrating the 1971 Countach … which was yellow … so release the homage car in Giallo Countach at least, I just think it’s wrong to depict the Countach Prototype in white on the official photos … it was yellow, and always has been yellow right up to the day they crash-tested it at MIRA.

Seen from the top there are more design clues from the classic Countach to be found in this 2021 edition, like the design of the ‘periscope’ from the original car, it isn’t a functional rearview mirror tunnel anymore, but the design in there in the glass panel, while the vents on the engine cover are somewhat taken into present-day with those glass louvers, which honestly remind me of those on the Murciélago Super Veloce, what I absolutely love on the new car are those small vents next to the glass louvers on the engine cover, just behind the roof, those were used on the Miura, and on the Countach production version too, so I love that small detail they incorporated into this Countach homage, I doubt they were necessary, but they look the part.

Going into the interior will really take you into the Aventador cockpit, there is a special stitching pattern on the comfort seats (it seems you will not be able to get the lightweight carbon fiber sport seats in this LPI 800-4), but other than that it’s just an Aventador interior with some custom 3D printed air vents on the dashboard and a large touchscreen for the multimedia system … the traditional start/stop button is hiding underneath the red cover as it has been ever since 2011, the switches and controls all look identical to a $500,000 Aventador … while we are talking about a $2,000,000+ limited edition Countach homage here … shouldn’t they have put some more effort into her interior to set her apart more from the base car?

And now we get to another controversial remark often made about the 2021 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 … the rear wing. As already mentioned, the massive rear wing on the Countach S from 1978 on didn’t do anything for downforce and even lowered the top speed, but people loved it anyway, so why didn’t Lamborghini put a large rear wing on this homage then? The answer is complicated … for one, the car doesn’t need a high rear wing for aerodynamics, secondly, the 1971 prototype didn’t have a rear wing either, and thirdly … there is an active rear wing on the LPI 800-4, much like on the original Aventador, the rear wing sits flush with the body but it has three different positions, to be raised when conditions require it … but it isn’t as impressive as the one on the classic Countach, and strangely enough Lamborghini hasn’t released a single photo with the rear wing ‘up’ on this Countach LPI 800-4 yet.

So the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 has stirred up some controversy online, both by Lamborghini enthusiasts and by actual Countach owners, and most of the comments weren’t too positive, calling it a marketing stunt … but in the end, there will be only 112 units of this car built, as a reminder of the LP112 internal designation of the Countach back in the Seventies, all at a rumored starting price well over $2,000,000 before options and taxes … and all of these are sold already, so it’s a marketing success for Automobili Lamborghini SpA, after all, they sold out their Countach homage, whether it has been accepted or not, there were at least 112 people out there who wanted to add this special car to their collection, and let’s not forget this will be the final Lamborghini with the NA V12 engine next to the Aventador Ultimae, but the latter is intended for a totally different customer.

Do you really think the new 2021 Lamborghini Countach should have come with wide wheel arches and that massive, classic rear wing, perhaps even some center-lock wheels inspired by the Eighties versions of the Countach? And how about color-coding that massive side intake, would that make things look better?

Why not head over to LamboCARS where you will find a Virtual Car Configurator that allows you to configure your very own Countach LPI 800-4 virtually, with 121 different exterior shades, 28 interior hues, countless additional options like modern versions of the classic Countach wheels, but also the option to add the wider wheel arches and different rear wings … just so you can see how it looks … and which you prefer, in the end, I think Lamborghini created what is probably the best they could do within the parameters of the base they had to use, but personally, I would have called it a Countach homage, and not use the Countach name for this model, but that’s just my opinion.

Bugatti opens showroom in Singapore

Bugatti is known around the world for being the pinnacle when it comes to automotive design and engineers, together with performance and limited edition hypercars, some of which aren’t even street-legal like their upcoming Bolide, a true race car that can’t be driven on the road, nor be entered into any official races, but she looks absolutely stunning.

Owning a Bugatti is the dream of many car enthusiasts out there, and for a select group of fortunate clients, this dream becomes a reality, therefore Bugatti needs to expand its official dealer network constantly, and this time they opened the first Bugatti showroom in Singapore, an island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia that is known as one of the world’s most successful and stable economies.

The global Covid pandemic actually had an interesting effect on Singapore as many ultra-high net worth individuals have chosen to move and stay in Singapore for lengthy periods or settle permanently, further boosting the regional economy and the demand for luxury goods, and that also goes for buying and owning supercars and hypercars, which is where Bugatti comes into the picture now.

As a joint venture between Bugatti and Wearnes, the latter being a renowned luxury automotive retailer established in 1906, the new Bugatti Southeast Asian showroom is already opened for clients and enthusiasts, located south of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, this new showroom is another spectacular location, finished to the utmost standards required to meet the company’s new visual identity we already described in our Bugatti Global Network article.

At the time of writing the stunning Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport is on display at this new showroom, being the fastest, most powerful production super sports car in their 110-year history, but this white hypercar is probably not for sale, however, the staff at Bugatti Singapore’s showroom will be more than happy to let you touch and feel the sumptuous leather swatches or browse through stunning catalogs before putting together their dream car digitally on the in-house configurator.

Konstantinos Psarris, Bugatti’s Regional Director of the Middle East & Asia, explains: “Singapore’s resilient economy, which has generated an unprecedented number of ultra-high net worth individuals, is the envy of the world. The city state’s energy and ambition are reflected in its remarkable architecture, making it an exciting place to live. Both the timing and location are perfect for Bugatti to establish a new home in Southeast Asia to meet the needs and desires of our growing numbers of customers on the continent. We look forward to enjoying a collaborative partnership with Wearnes, which has unmatched knowledge and experience of the local market.”

2022 Acura NSX Type S Revealed

Acura has just announced that they will be producing a limited-edition NSX Type S variant for the 2022 model year, which will also serve as the swan song for the brand’s halo car (now in its second generation). Officially unveiled during Monterrey Car Week, the Type S will be the “quickest, most powerful and best-handling production NSX ever” according to the automaker, with an enhanced version of the 3.5L twin-turbocharged hybrid engine now producing 600 hp and 492 lb-ft of torque. The 9-speed DCT and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) have also been optimized to get the most out of the car’s improved performance. The NSX Type S will also come standard with a carbon-fiber roof, as part of its weight reduction protocols.

Distinctive design cues and more aggressive aerodynamics are also at the core of the car’s improved driving character, with race car components – such as a GT3-inspired rear diffuser – being among the most easily distinguishable features. The NSX Type S will also come with redesigned front and rear bumpers, unique 5-spoke wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires, and a retuned adaptive suspension system. Optional features such as Gotham Gray exterior paint and an available Lightweight Package – which includes carbon-ceramic brakes and more carbon fiber components – are also exclusive to the Type S.

Limited to a production run of only 350 units (of which 300 will be allocated for U.S. customers), this latest rendition of the NSX further sets itself apart from the regular model with special ‘Type S’ logos and nameplates visible throughout the interior and exterior of the car. The NSX is also the latest model – with the TLX Type S and MDX Type S having already been announced – to partake in the automaker’s image-rebranding project, which through an expanding line-up of Type S variants, looks to establish Acura as a legitimate high-performance marque. It will also mark the first time the ‘Type S’-badged NSX has been sold outside of Japan.

While the new NSX Type S marks the end of an era, Acura said that it “will continue to pursue sports cars,” with Vice President Jon Ikeda noting that the company is “already investigating what the next generation of sports cars should be in the coming electrified era”. It wouldn’t be farfetched to see the return of a new NSX model in the future, though the automaker is already hinting that it would look very different from the cars of the past, should it ever be reintroduced. “NSX is an incredible success story for Acura, leading the reestablishment of Acura as a performance brand and setting the stage for the return of Type S.

The 2022 Acura NSX Type S starts at $169,500 (with the optional Lightweight Package adding another $13,000), which isn’t significantly more than the base model’s MSRP of $157,500 when factoring in all the improvements and considering the rarity of the Type S. Acura is already open for orders via its official website, though prospective buyers will have to fight over the remaining 349 build slots; VIN #001 for the Type S has already been sold, with the rights to being ‘numero uno’ auctioned off to a buyer who would end up paying $1.1 million for that privilege (as part of a charitable event). We understand that the buyer opted for the Lightweight Package, which seemed trivial at that point, but we’re sure he or she is very happy!

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Acura Integra Returns For 2022

…Plus a Brief History of the Iconic Sport Compact Car

At supercars.net, we’re laser-focused (as our name suggests) on creating content that revolves around the world’s greatest supercars. However, the need to include more “regular” cars in the conversation is not lost on us either; after all, so many of these automobiles have contributed significantly to the vast and impressive automotive landscape we now see on history’s canvas.

One such car is the Acura/Honda Integra, and the automaker just revealed that they are bringing it back to their line-up after a 20-year hiatus. It was Acura – Honda’s North American based luxury division – who took the reigns on making this surprise announcement during Monterey Car Week, so there’s nothing definitive just yet on whether the parent company will produce their own take on it as well. Oh, and let’s not forget that they also unveiled the new limited-production Acura NSX Type S.

This is the closest “look” we currently have of the new Acura Integra.

What has been confirmed is that production will begin in 2022, and all media – albeit provided in teaser form – indicates that the new Integra will once again take the form of a 2-door sport compact coupe/hatchback. “The Integra is back,” Jon Ikeda, VP of Acura, said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to say the Integra is returning to the Acura lineup with the same fun-to-drive spirit and DNA of the original, fulfilling our commitment to Precision Crafted Performance in every way—design, performance and the overall driving experience.”

Reintroducing another Type R variant for the new Integra needs to be both the bare minimum and standard bearer, if the brand truly hopes to generate sufficient fanfare and interest; particularly from sports car enthusiasts and the performance-loving community, which will serve as the catalysts in doing so. At this conjecture, giving the green-light on a new Integra Type R feels as natural as it does necessary, with Honda already having a treasure trove of a parts bin to loot from; sharing some DNA with the impressive Honda Civic Type R seems logical, and could only produce positive results.

Proof of this sentiment is already circulating on social media, with this rendering of the new Acura Integra Type R provoking plenty of emotion.

The above rendering (first seen on Instagram) pays some proper homage to the original Integra Type R – a car which would go on to help define the hugely popular sport compact and import car genres in the late ’90s. More on that iconic car, below.

The ‘OG’ ITR

From a North American point of view, the last model year for the Integra was effectively in 2001. After being collaboratively introduced in 1985 by Honda and Acura, the car would live through three generations within that time frame, with the Integra Type R (DC2) – first introduced in Japan in 1995 – eventually becoming its halo model. Exclusively sold under the Acura flag west of the Atlantic, the Type R provided top-of-the-line performance within the Integra roster, and is most famous for its peppy, high-revving and naturally-aspirated 197 hp b18c5 engine. Significant improvements to the chassis also ensured that the front-wheel drive sport compact was just as beloved for its handling capabilities and raw nature.

1997 Acura Integra Type R (DC2)

While the Integra badge would persevere in the post-DC2-era through Honda, the 2001-2006 Honda Integra was produced solely for certain countries in the eastern hemisphere. For the North American markets, the car was ultimately replaced by the RSX while continuing to be branded as an Acura. While both the Integra and RSX shared basically the same underpinnings – and for the most part, the same appearances – it became a lot more difficult for those in the west to consider the Integra and RSX as contemporaries. Here, the RSX felt more like a successor or even a different model altogether, and not necessarily in a good way. The biggest reason for this? There were no Type R models produced for any markets outside of Japan.

Importing the right-hand-drive JDM Honda ITR is the only way to get one outside of Japan.

Today, the Acura Integra Type R has gained a cult-following and is wildly sought-after amongst grassroots motorsports circles, the tuner community and avid car collectors alike. While the original ITR will always occupy a special place in our hearts, we also hope that a modern iteration of the car will breathe new life into the brand and the return of its iconic sport compact model.

1995 McLaren F1 Sold At Monterey Car Week Joins Elite Top 10

Monterey Car Week is all about celebrating motoring, in whatever form it takes. There was the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the art that is the automobile. There was the Monterey Motorsports Reunion to see multiple classic race cars attack the track at Laguna Seca.

However, the biggest news of the week comes from the other half of Pebble Beach that was used for Car Week, the auction block. With the owner represented by renowned auction house Gooding & Company, a very rare McLaren F1 crossed the block.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 is what happened when a revolutionary Formula 1 engineer and designer was given an unlimited budget to develop, quite simply, the world’s greatest supercar. Gordon Murray, that engineer, took four years to design, prototype, evolve and finally build the supercar. He set the strictest of power and weight requirements, was not satisfied until every millimeter of every dimension on the car was perfect, and was still not 100% satisfied with the end result.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Single block titanium suspension spar, gold foil heat lining, titanium exhaust

The engine bay is lined with gold foil, as it is the world’s best heat reflector. The stabilizer spar across the engine bay is carved from a single block of titanium.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The S70/2 V12 engine required the expertise of BMW to make it as light as possible while also being as powerful as possible. The only engine ever since the F1 that required so much careful and technical development is the V10 that sits under the hood of the Lexus LFA.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

Released in 1992, the McLaren F1 was the first car to ever cost $1 Million USD from the factory. Every part except the lightbulbs in the tail lights was bespoke and built only for the F1. It took the concept of a special edition or limited edition supercar and turned it on its head. Those that had come before, such as the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 959, were all exceptional cars, but the Mclaren F1 was the one that broke the mold when it came to the absolute definition of a supercar, and it is still the measuring stick to this day.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

It should be no surprise, then, that chassis number 029, one of only 64 ever built, started bidding already in the millions, and it quickly went up over $10 million.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Only 387 original miles… the engine isn’t even broken in!

The reasoning for this is that while it is a later model in the grand scheme of McLaren F1’s, this is perhaps the lowest mileage F1 ever sold. Technically, in 27 years, it has not even finished its engine break-in, as it has just 387 miles on the clock.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The original owner also bought the optional Facom Tool Cart that has a full set of wrenches and other tools to maintain a McLaren F1, often used by the McLaren technician that would be flown out to your car to perform services.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 Facom optional tool cart specific for the car

The original owner also took the full leather luggage set in tan cowhide and even sprung for the handmade, bespoke to the car TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 watch, which is still working perfectly.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 full cowhide leather luggage kit

With such a collection of the options that one could specify for the car, it was no surprise when the bidding hit $15 million USD.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 owners edition watch

Eyebrows started to raise, however, when it started to approach $20 million. Only ten cars have ever broken $20 million USD (adjusted to the time of their sale) at auction, and two of those are Ferrari 250 GTOs.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Le Mans style pedals for the ultimate supercar

Breaching $20 million would place chassis 029 as the 11th most expensive car ever sold at auction, and that record was reached after much deliberations between three of the remaining bidders.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

Only two kept bidding, and the final competitive bid was $20,500,000 USD.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

This number puts this 1995 McLaren F1, chassis #029, built in January of that year, into tenth place on the list of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction, pushing out a 1955 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans race car that sold for $20.3 million USD (adjusted) in 2016 .

It was also the most expensive car sold at Pebble Beach for the entirety of the 2021 Monterey Car Week, and if any car deserves to take that

Potential First Production Aston Martin Racing Valkyrie Le Mans Hypercar Reavealed?

While the recently announced Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider is the talk of the town, there was one specific image that Aston Martin put on their Twitter that may have dropped a heavy hint about 2022’s plans for the prestigious marque.

If the image or tweet doesn’t load, here is the picture in full:

2021 Aston Martin Valkyrie lineup

2021 Aston Martin Valkyrie lineup

From front to back, you have the beautiful Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider, the original Aston Martin Valkyrie Coupe, and then…. wait, wasn’t the Aston Martin Pro Le Mans Hypercar program originally canceled, and then announced it was delayed until the 2023 season?!

Taking a closer look…

It’s lowered. It has a hypercar-spec shark fin. It has a rear spoiler that is raised and solid. It has aerodynamically shaped wheels, which look to have at least some carbon fiber. It’s a full AMR Valkyrie Pro!

While Aston Martin has not announced anything yet for 2022, the Hypercar class, new for this year with Toyota and SCG running their models, is going to be quite heavily populated in 2022. Peugeot is returning with the 9X8, ByKolles producing the PMC Project LMH, and Ferrari recently announcing their intention to join the class in 2023, based on the successor to the LaFerrari. Aston Martin originally announced they would be producing the Valkyrie Pro LMH for 2023, but almost all pictures so far have been of prototypes or computer renders, and most of them are only about the customer race car program.

This picture, however, is real photographic evidence that they might be moving up a year. Especially considering how much Aston Martin and Ferrari are close competitors on the Formula 1 circuit…

The discussion on this tweet from Aston Martin has, naturally, been focused almost entirely on the race car in the background, so while this is just a rumor right now, could this be the first appearance of a WEC Hypercar class Valkyrie Pro LMH for 2022? Only time will tell!

Leaked: 2021 Lamborghini Countach Photos

You know it’s going to be a good Thursday when you get a notification like this in your inbox. 

Word on the street is that photos of the all-new 2021 Lamborghini Countach’s premiere have been leaked ahead of the big reveal tomorrow evening. 

The report came from AutoExpress – along with the apparent photos in question.

a front image of a leaked photo on the 2021 Lamborghini Countach

a front image of a leaked photo on the 2021 Lamborghini Countach

Take a look at what’s floating around the wide web (and yes, we know the headlights have gone wonky in the image below. All the more reason to place bets on what the darned things will look like – and slap the wrist of whoever did such shoddy media workmanship):

a view of the 2021 Lamborghini Countach

a view of the 2021 Lamborghini Countach

The Countach’s 2021 resurrection was announced via Lamborghini’s social media three days ago, to a surge of excitement. 

It’s been a fast 50 years since the original Countach model debuted at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show as the LP500 prototype. 

a view of an original Lamborghini Countach

a view of an original Lamborghini Countach

18 years later, and the iconic 25th Anniversary edition Countach was selling faster than hotcakes for a very nifty $240,000 USD – a scoff-worthy sum for a supercar from Lambo in today’s inflated market. 

a view of an original Lamborghini Countach

a view of an original Lamborghini Countach

To keep the supercar in line with today’s emission restrictions, the Countach will purportedly go the way of the Sián hypercar, housing a 6.5-liter V12 engine with a supercapacitor to keep the dinosaurs at bay while still allowing more than enough pull to play around in the powerband.

All told, we’re looking at around 800 pretty ponies under the hood – and if the 2021 Countach follows even remotely in the steps of the Sián, we’re also looking at 0-62mph in less than three seconds, with a top speed of nearly 220mph.

a view of two Lamborghini Countach in the driveway of a very well-off Italian house, complete with bubble-ivied bedroom. Lol.

a view of two Lamborghini Countach in the driveway of a very well-off Italian house, complete with bubble-ivied bedroom. Lol.

We’ve dug up some exclusive information from AutoCar, who spoke with President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Stephan Winkelmann, on the matter.

President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Stephan Winkelmann
President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Stephan Winkelmann President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Stephan Winkelmann

The president admits that “a supercapacitor, in our opinion, is a bridge technology which does not fulfill the needs we have for the future to reduce emissions.”

That means we may also see a bit of hybridized technology coming from Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in the coming years, if not in this model then perhaps the next.

Keep a tight hold of your bonnets, and stay tuned for the big reveal!

Skysphere, the electric roadster concept from Audi

The future of cars is electric, we have been told that time and time again, many car builders have already committed to stop building internal combustion engines in the not too distant future, while even supercars and hypercars are going electric, or at least hybrid for the next few years, and while I personally do love the sound of a Lamborghini V12, I know it will be a dying breed within a few years, and despite cars like the Rimac Nevera that is all-electric and would obliterate anything from Sant’Agata or Maranello in an acceleration battle, I’m old-school and would still go for a Raging Bull … but that’s just me I guess.

I do look at cars like the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla S, those are some seriously quick cars that can seat four people, but they just don’t give that same sensation in terms of looks like a Lamborghini Urus (if you really need to seat four or five people) or an Aventador, Bugatti Chiron … and other hypercars … but it seems Audi is evolving into the right direction with their latest Skysphere concept, an all-electric two-seater roadster that looks amazing.

Apart from amazing looks and a futuristic design, the Audi Skysphere comes with something really amazing … to offer the client the option of either a sportscar they drive themselves and a comfortable GT with autonomous driving in one single car, the Audi Skysphere can stretch itself by 250mm … yes, you are reading that correctly, the Skysphere can lengthen her wheelbase at the touch of a button to offer more interior space, complete with body panels that slide on top of each other in the ‘Sport’ setting, only to extend in the ‘Grand Touring’ mode.

If that doesn’t blow your mind, get ready for this one … in the ‘Grand Touring’ autonomous driving mode, both the steering wheel and the pedals disappear … since you don’t need them anyway as the Skysphere drives herself, these items would take up unnecessary space in the cabin, so they are moved into an invisible area to give the passengers the best possible feeling of space while the Audi Skysphere worries about the road ahead and other drivers with multiple sensor systems to safely transport the occupants to their destination … I know about self-driving cars already, but this is another level altogether.

But Audi wants to take this autonomous driving even further, the Skysphere can pick up her passengers completely on her own, keeping track of their individual destinations, and when she dropped off the occupants, the Skysphere will drive herself onto a parking spot and take care of recharging her batteries … all on her own, no more waiting in line at the charging station when someone else has taken your spot and you see the battery level drop in fear.

Since this concept car was conceived and designed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu, we’ll be seeing a public unveiling at the Monterey Car Week later this week, on the legendary fairways of the Pebble Beach golf course to be exact, a really nice anecdote is the fact this Audi Skysphere took inspiration from the Horch 853 roadster, an impressive convertible, that was about 5.20 meters in length that was the definition of modern luxury back in the 1930s, the Horch 853 won the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach in 2009.

But unlike the Horch 5-Liter straight 8-cylinder engine, the Audi Skysphere comes with 465 kilowatts of power and 750Nm of torque from an electric motor to the rear wheels, with an overall weight of 1,800 kg, the acceleration should only take 4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, this is a luxury, convertible GT, not a supercar, with a battery capacity of 80 kWh the Skysphere should come with a 500 km range.

The Audi Skysphere comes with active suspension to offer different handling characteristics, in comfort or Grand Touring mode, the individual wheels are selectively raised or lowered to compensate for unevenness and undulations in the road surface taking information from the navigation system’s digital predictions and the active chassis’ sophisticated control and actuation systems. Fitted with massive, aerodynamically styled 23-inch alloy wheels with 285/30 tires the Skysphere offers both minimal rolling resistance and a sporty, active driving style with high longitudinal and lateral acceleration.

Seen from the side, the rocker panels seem to protrude into the rear wheel arch, a requirement for the varying wheelbase, being attached to the front end of the car, as it moves, the panel slides to the rear under the fixed door, during this process, the wheelbase is reduced from the standard size of an A8 L to the significantly more compact size of the curve-compatible Audi RS 5, a 25 centimetres difference. Also, note the multitude of LED lights both at the front and the rear of this Audi Skysphere change between the Sport and the Grand Touring mode.

Entering the interior is achieved via rear-hinged doors, so-called suicide doors, that unveil a very special Art Deco style design, the comfortable seats look like designer furnishings, upholstered in sustainably produced microfiber fabric, and offer legroom usually only found in first-class airplane seating, other items in the interior are made from environmentally certified eucalyptus wood and synthetically produced imitation leather.