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BMW Vision M Next concept debuts, shows the way forward for BMW M

Today marks the next step in BMW’s “Next” concept program, previewing the company’s future. It’s the most exciting step, too, because this particular concept is called the BMW Vision M Next. As this “Next” ground is still relatively untrodden, we’ll make it clear that M means the same thing here as it does for every BMW M car. This particular firecracker is meant to give us a taste of what’s coming to BMW’s M division, electrification and all.

The shape and stature of the car instantly screams i8 at us. However, the actual design and styling is new and unique to itself. More than anything, it looks like a worthy evolution of the i8, previewed in concept form. When we get to the powertrain details, it sounds even more like such a vehicle. BMW didn’t make it a fully electric car. Instead, it’s a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged four-cylinder drinking gasoline. We aren’t privy to the engine’s specs, but BMW says the combined system output is 600 horsepower. That’s good for 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. Recalling the i8, that car has a turbocharged three-cylinder combined with an electric motor that makes 369 horsepower in total. The M Next is capable of driving 62 miles electric-only on a full charge, while the i8 is only capable of 18 miles. Needless to say, the M Next is a huge step forward in every way.

BMW likes to use a lot of colorful language to explain and detail its styling decisions, but we can stick to the important stuff. Those kidney grilles are rather eye-catching. Even though it may not look it at first glance, they’re blanked off with a transparent layer of bodywork. The pattern visible in the grille was actually laser-etched in there, and is also illuminated. Fancy stuff. Another interesting bit is the headlight technology. BMW calls it “Laser Wire” lighting. Glass fibers coated with phosphorous are used to produce the elements, which results in an extremely thin form that we see with one stacked on top of each other. BMW used the same tech to create the taillights, and you’ll notice floating BMW roundels floating inside the element, too. The rear “window” design is meant to remind of the BMW M1, which happens to be a glorious car design to take inspiration from. In the M Next’s case, the three-piece louvres are made of glass. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention all the glorious orange used throughout the car. BMW calls it “Thrilling Orange,” and it’s thrilling indeed.

Also worthy of discussion is the rather spartan and technology-infused interior. We’re not so sure about the design from the photos BMW provided us with, but make your own judgments. There are three displays, all directly in front of the driver. Massive infotainment screens need not apply in the M Next. The first display comprises two tiny screens on the steering wheel, followed by a curved glass display where one would expect an instrument cluster. Finally, an AR (augmented reality) head-up display stretches across part of the windshield to offer even more information at a glance. The point here is to make all the displays fall in the driver’s line of sight. Whether that distracts the driver with display overload, or takes pressure away from looking to the center infotainment display is still up to the jury to decide. BMW does point out that it’s opposite the goal of the Vision iNext, which attempts to make the technology accessible to everybody in the car.

One neat interior feature we’d love to see on today’s cars is a gyroscopic cup holder. BMW says it’s able to compensate for strong lateral and longitudinal forces, which would be great when you’re trying to accelerate through an on-ramp with the morning coffee in tow. There’s no indication of when we might see any of the technologies previewed in the M Next, but it could serve as a point of reference for an i8 successor or even a standalone M car.

Pininfarina Battista gets a small redesign, still looks the business

The Pininfarina Battista may be the wildest car revealed this year. It’s an all-electric supercar with 1,900 horsepower that promises a 0-60 mph time of under 2 seconds. Piloting one sounds akin to a jump to hyperspace. The only bad thing we can say about it now is that you can’t buy one yet — even so, a small redesign was revealed at the Turin Motor Show. None of the performance specs have budged, but there are a few styling elements that have been tweaked.

Pininfarina justifies the changes in the name of aerodynamics. Testing done after the car’s initial debut in Geneva showed that things could be improved, so Pininfarina set out to do so. The lower front grille area has been massaged with some reshaping. Additional elements have been added inside the front opening with a couple extra slats framing the honeycomb grille. Also, the side mirrors have been drastically redone, looking far more exotic and slippery than before. It’s safe to say that all these noticeable changes don’t do anything to change our opinion about how fantastic it looks.

Here’s a comparison — the redesigned Battista in blue is on top, the original is below in white.

Pininfarina Battista updateBattista old front end

We’re told to expect the next stages of wind tunnel and road testing to take place this summer in Italy. Will there be further changes to the design after this? Who knows. We do know that the plan for making just 150 of them hasn’t changed, though. The latest from Pininfarina says to expect a driving range of about 280 miles and a top speed of 217 mph. A 0-180 mph time of 12 seconds is quoted as an official acceleration figure, too. Production is supposed to begin in 2020, and we expect that to go on for some time after in order to build all 150 cars.

Gemballa says it’s going to make a supercar

Some of Gemballa’s creations may already take fast Porsches into supercar territory, but its latest project is different. Gemballa intends to make a supercar of its own, separate from any Porsche it’s made thus far.

We get one teaser image of what appears to be a computer rendering of a possible design. Whether or not the Gemballa supercar ends up resembling this is impossible to know, but at least it’s something to go on. Details and goals for the supercar are scarce. Gemballa owner Steffen Korbach says the company is “planning a thoroughbred super sports car with a unique, aggressive design and engine power considerably over 800 horsepower.”

A car with that much power is a lofty goal, but Gemballa has reached those figures before when tuning Porsches. A recent creation based on the 911 Turbo and Turbo S called the GTR 8XX EVO-R Biturbo makes 818 horsepower and 810 pound-feet of torque. Another bit we can take away from the rendering is that it’s probably a mid-engine design, which isn’t surprising at all.

Beyond the power number, we’re told to expect something uncompromising, radical, pure and luxurious. That’s cool and all, but every other supercar in the world gets described with those words, too. Gemballa says it’s in the funding stages, and needs further financing to keep the project moving forward. The company says its first designs will be shown to select clients soon, and that we should see a prototype in 2020. Production is planned for 2022, pending everything going as planned. And we all know that everything goes exactly to plan when a company decides to produce its first standalone car.

If we were to speculate on the powertrain, something from Porsche seems a likely outcome considering the company’s close relationship to the brand and that Gemballa is a German tuner. As of now there are no discussions of electrification, meaning we’re probably looking at a more traditional supercar.

Gordon Murray’s superlight T.50 supercar: 650 hp Cosworth V12, manual transmission

Gordon Murray Automotive, the company bearing the name of the legendary designer, has released official information on its upcoming T.50 supercar. Aimed to be “the last and greatest” analog supercar ever built, the T.50 will have an all-new 3.9-liter Cosworth V12 and a six-speed manual gearbox.

The T.50 should really appeal to fans of the original 1990s McLaren F1 supercar, one of Murray’s greatest works. It will feature the same center-steer, three-seat configuration of the F1, and it has a screamer of a V12 — the 650-horsepower Cosworth unit, shared with no other car, will rev to a staggering 12,100 rpm. But the superlight T.50, said to weigh 2,161 pounds, has a few more tricks up its sleeve.

One of those tricks is its extremely advanced use of aerodynamics. The T.50 will in fact feature a 15.75-inch fan for underbody airflow control, which means the body design can remain uncluttered by wings. The point isn’t to make a mere tribute to the ’90s legend that is the McLaren F1 — the idea is to beat it. “Our experienced team is applying the same uncompromising approach to design and engineering that shaped every facet of the F1, and they are able to deliver substantial improvements over that car in every meaningful way,” says Murray.

The curb weight undercuts the heft of comparable supercars by about a third, and it’s a result of a strict diet extending to every single component. Murray says the T.50 isn’t about top speed or power, but about ultimate lightness. “The reality of chasing top speeds only adds weight, notably through ever-more-powerful engines, which increase the requirement for larger, heavier ancillaries. We are taking a very different approach.” The T.50 will be smaller than a Porsche 911, for instance, at 14.37 feet long and just over 6 feet wide. Still, there is said to be ample comfort and luggage space for three.

While the fan is powered by a 48-volt electrical system, the bespoke engine has no turbo or hybrid assist, just classic naturally aspirated power. Normally, the engine produces 650 horsepower, a McLaren F1-besting figure despite the V12 being far smaller than the BMW-derived 6.1-liter unit of the predecessor, but there’s also a ram-air induction system to raise available power to 700hp. “By working with the team at Cosworth Powertrain, we have created the greatest naturally-aspirated engine ever designed for the road. It is the highest revving, highest power density, lightest and fastest-responding naturally-aspirated V12 ever made for a road car.” It is paired to a H-pattern gearbox developed by Xtrac in the UK, and all of the power goes to the rear wheels.

The T.50 will be built in Surrey, UK, and its price will soar past $3 million. Just 100 units will be made, with production slated for 2022.

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato, the Lamborghini rally car we didn’t know we wanted

Usually, the answer to a question no one asked is a bad thing. But every now and then, it leads to something wonderful, like the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato concept car you see above. It’s Lamborghini’s take on a rally version of the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan EVO, and it’s something we weren’t asking for but now desperately want.

The Sterrato (translation: “dirt”) is mostly a stock Huracan EVO underneath, but that’s not bad with a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 making 640 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. It also retains its all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and torque vectoring, but they’ve all been retuned for dirt and loose surfaces. To get around on rougher surfaces, Lamborghini raised the car by 1.85 inches, which the company says improves the approach angle by 1% and the departure angle by 6.5%.

The Sterrato’s exterior receives huge fender flares that allow for a one-inch wider track front and rear. It wears 20-inch wheels with chunky off-road tires. Aluminum skid plates have been added to the front and rear, and the rear plate doubles as a diffuser. The rocker panels also get aluminum plates for extra protection. Mud guards are fitted, too, as are little deflectors ahead of the intakes to keep rocks from flying in and doing damage. Finally, like any good rally car, it gets huge auxiliary lights with a pair of hexagonal units on the front, and a wide bar on the roof.

Inside the Sterrato are a pair of carbon fiber bucket seats plus four-point racing harnesses. But the real showpiece is a full titanium roll cage.

Lamborghini didn’t say anything about putting the Sterrato into production. But this concept isn’t particularly out there, especially compared with some of Lamborghini’s concepts, so we suspect if the car gets a good enough reaction, Lamborghini might consider production. And if it doesn’t, we’re sure there are some aftermarket companies that would be happy to help wealthy car enthusiasts re-create the car.

Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a 986-horsepower plug-in hybrid

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale has just been revealed, and the most important thing to know is that it’s Ferrari’s most powerful production car yet with 986 horsepower. The next most important thing to know is that it’s a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged V8.

The powertrain features Ferrari’s most powerful V8 yet making 769 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque on its own. It also has three electric motors with two at the front and one in the back, and combined they can provide up to 217 horsepower. This also means that the SF90 Stradale is all-wheel-drive.

Getting power from the internal combustion powertrain to the wheels is an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission that shifts 100 milliseconds faster than the transmission in the 488 Pista, but it also weighs about 22 pounds less than Ferrari’s existing 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This is due in part to not needing a reverse gear, since reverse is handled by the front motors. In total, the SF90 weighs in at 3,461 pounds. And at 155 mph, the aerodynamics add 860 pounds of downforce. When everything is deployed on pavement, it hits 62 mph in just 2.5 seconds. And for Ferraristi, it lapped the Fiorano test track in 1 minute and 19 seconds.

Of course being a plug-in hybrid, it does have a full electric range. It’s a bit short at 15.5 miles. Then again, this isn’t entirely about fuel economy; the electric motors allows for torque vectoring, and provide extra traction on launch and help fill in any throttle lag from the gas engine.

The interior is high-tech, too. The instrument cluster is a huge 16-inch display. The steering wheel now features touch pads for controlling the instrument cluster, too.

Ferrari CEO confirms hybrid model will be revealed this month

Ferrari confirmed it’s going to reveal a hybrid supercar before the month is over in its Q1 2019 financial call. CEO, Louis Camilleri made the statement.

“The second model will be presented at the end of this month, with the world premiere held here in Maranello. As we have stated previously, it will be a top-of-the-line hybrid with supercar performance and a true beauty,” Camilleri said.

The Motley Fool posted a transcript of the entire earnings call online, and Motor1 initially reported the news. We knew a hybrid supercar was on its way, but now we know it’s for sure happening this month from Maranello. The most recent rumors and reports concerning this car was that it would be a twin-turbo V6 with a combined system output of 723 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. A V8 hybrid powertrain in a different model is also expected to be revealed at some point, but that’s reportedly going to come after the V6.

Camilleri went on to say that this car “will be above the 812 Superfast. So it’s not a 488 replacement per se.” The 812 Superfast has supercar performance from its 6.5-liter V12, but it’s more of a grand tourer in the Ferrari lineup. And the F8 Tributo was just released as the 488 GTB’s successor, so it’s more likely to be similar to the 812 with a different powertrain. Sitting above the 812 Superfast is no small chore, though, as that car makes 789 earth-shattering horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque.

Ferrari has dabbled in a hybrid powertrain before with the LaFerrari. That car had a 6.3-liter V12 supplemented by a HY-KERS unit, providing an extra 161 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque from its electric motor for a grand total of 950 ponies and 715 pound-feet of torque. This hybrid Ferrari will certainly be less powerful than that, but we don’t know exact layout or function of the new system Ferrari is going to use yet.

Watch out toward the end of May for this electrified Ferrari to finally make its debut.

2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 from Hennessey makes 1,200 horsepower

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the ultimate Corvette, and now that Chevy is going the mid-engine route, it will forever be the best traditional front-engine Vette you can buy. If you thought 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque would be enough to keep Hennessey from wanting more, you’re sadly mistaken.

These guys tend to be on the extreme side of power, and they’ve managed to extract 1,200(!) horsepower and 1,066 pound-feet of torque out of the Vette’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8. This one is called the HPE1200, and it’s one of three versions of the ZR1 you can upgrade to. The other two are called the HPE850 and HPE1000, with 850 and 1,000 horsepower respectively.

If you decide to go with the 1,200-horsepower monster Corvette, you should know that it requires race fuel to get all 1,200 ponies. You’ll still get 1,100 horsepower running on 93 octane, though. Hennessey does a whole lot of modifications to get the ZR1 up to this power output. They use a ported factory supercharger, lower and upper pulley upgrades, a custom camshaft, ported cylinder heads, upgraded intake and exhaust valves, better valve springs and retainers and a billet high-flow throttle body. All the exhaust gases get pushed out through stainless steel headers and high-flow catalytic converters. Hennessey upgrades the optional automatic transmission to handle the power, but says the stock manual seven-speed doesn’t require any changes. There are no suspension or braking changes, but it’s not as though the ZR1 is lacking in these areas. Lastly, your stupid fast ZR1 gets a 3-year 36,000-mile warranty direct from Hennessey.

Hennessey doesn’t quote acceleration numbers for the 1,200-horsepower car, but the HPE1000 is rated for 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds with the optional drag radials. It does the quarter mile in 9.4 seconds at 147 mph with those same tires. Top speed is a ridiculous 230 mph. The 1,000-horsepower ZR1 has almost all the same upgrades as the HPE1200, but drops the ported supercharger, high flow throttle body and race fuel capability. The HPE850 is mostly just bolt-ons, with no internal engine modifications to speak of.

Pricing and timing is available upon request from Hennessey.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante is coming soon for $329,100

You’ve seen the coupe and read the reviews. You’ve seen the spy shots filtering out of the Nürburgring. And now you’ve finally, digitally and officially, seen the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. It’s exactly what you’d expect — take the DBS Superleggera, keep its twin-tubrocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, ditch its hardtop in favor of a folding convertible mechanism, add a drop of sunshine and a copious extra dose of wailing exhaust note, stir and enjoy.

Aston Martin boasts that the DBS Superleggera Volante’s top speed of 211 miles per hour matches that of the coupe and makes it the fastest convertible ever to roll out of Gaydon. Its quoted 0-62 mph time of 3.6 seconds (.02 seconds behind the coupe) and 0-100 time of 6.7 seconds means it’s no slouch in the acceleration department, either, despite its quoted dry weight of 4,107 pounds. Fortunately, that heft (375 pounds more than the coupe) is distributed equally over the front and rear wheels.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera VolanteAston Martin DBS Superleggera VolanteAston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante

A revised aerodynamics package that includes a front spoiler and airdam, side strakes that are deeper than those of the coupe, a double rear diffuser and a so-called Aeroblade II all combine to deliver 390 pounds of downforce. That’s just 6.6 pounds less than the coupe, despite the inherent aero penalty caused by the removal of the roof.

It takes just 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close the soft top. At 10.2 inches, Aston says the folded roof stack is the smallest in its segment, and the top is offered in eight colors. A twill carbon fiber mesh finish is optional for the windshield surround, as well as the rear tonneau cover.

Want one? You’ll have to wait for the third quarter of 2019 to order the DBS Superleggera Volante in the United States. And you’ll need a check for $329,100.

Bugatti Divo hot weather torture testing for its 40 awaiting customers

The Bugatti Divo was sold out before it was even introduced to the public in Monterey last year, but it looks as though there’s still work to be done. Normally we wouldn’t care to share much about some random vehicle’s hot weather testing, but the Divo is no regular vehicle.

Julia Lemke, a Bugatti development engineer, was the lucky individual performing most of the tests. And the job sounds rather fun. Bugatti says it spent “hours and hours” at 155 mph running around in the hot desert. We’d link to a job application, but we have a feeling that openings are scarce in Molsheim. Sorry, folks. They didn’t expose their secret test location, but temperatures rose above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. One could say they were, whipping it good.

It all serves as a fun reminder about the lengths manufacturers go to test their car’s mettle to make sure they don’t let you down in extreme conditions. The standards for a car that can reach 236 mph (Divo’s top speed) and pull 1.6 g on a skidpad tend to be more than a bit higher than the average bear, too. Running for countless hours at over 155 mph isn’t a likely scenario that anyone would find themselves in, save the German autobahn. But, rest assured that the $5.62 million Bugatti “for the bends” is ready for it.

There are a bunch of new photos to give you another look of the French hypercar, so take a spin through those to see a little behind-the-scenes Bugatti testing action. It looks stunning in the stealth black we’ve seen pictured before, and the interior is a gorgeous display of materials. Bugatti appears to have fitted some aftermarket Sparco seats for the field testing, too.

Aston Martin DBS 59 limited edition celebrates 1959 Le Mans victory

David Brown — the “DB” in Aston Martin model names — first tried to put his company on the top step of Le Mans in 1949 with the DB2. It took 10 years, the DBR1 winning the world’s most prestigious 24-hour race in 1959 with Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori behind the wheel. The second DBR1 came in right after, driven by Paul Frere and Maurice Trintignant. To celebrate the 60-year-old victory, Aston Martin Cambridge commissioned Q by Aston Martin to build a special-edition DBS Superleggera called the DBS 59.

Finished in Aston Martin Racing Green, bronze detailing recalls the classic race car, while carbon fiber calls out to modern ones. The Aston Martin and Superleggera badging, front grille surround, and brake calipers are finished in a burnished yellow hue, the 21-inch forged wheels splashed with a contrasting bronze. A yellow arrow adorns the tire wall, a painted 5 inside a roundel adorns the fender underneath a Q by Aston Martin badge. Behind the rear aeroblade, bronze foil inlay lists the chassis and engine numbers of the DBR1. The roof gets gloss black carbon fiber.

In the Chestnut Tan and Obsidian Black cabin, Q by Aston Martin re-created the original weave on the DBR1 seats to trim the seatbacks and door cards. The shift paddles and 59 Edition embroidery are finished in bronze, the speaker grilles embroidered with a circuit outline. A stitched note on the sun visor lays out the race details. Buyers who wish to go further can purchase a replica open-face racing helmet and goggles, facsimiles of Carroll Shelby’s racing gloves, and a period-correct blue race suit.

Only 24 examples will be created, one to honor each hour of the race. They’ll be available exclusively through Aston Martin Cambridge.

Koenigsegg Jesko gets the scenic photoshoot it deserves

Koenigsegg just opened a new shop in Switzerland, and to mark the occasion, the Jesko was taken out for a proper photoshoot. Koenigsegg had previously only released images from auto shows and the studio.

On March 22, Koenigsegg opened a brand-new facility in Lucerne, Switzerland. It houses Koenigsegg’s newest dealership, which includes a showroom full of stunning vehicles and a workshop. Carage, as it’s called, packed the house for the opening, with cars such as the Koenigsegg Agera R Speed Racer, CC8S, CCXR Edition, Trevita, and the naked carbon Regera. Other makes such as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Maserati, and Porsche help make the place special, but the centerpiece was the Koenigsegg Jesko.

After the Jesko debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, it was also able to breath in some of the fresh high-altitude air during a photoshoot. Eric Griess and Steven Wade set the supercar to a backdrop of gorgeous Swiss mountains, green pastures, and sprawling Lake Lucerne. Yet, the details of the hypercar still stand out.

Take a look at the full gallery above, but try not to fall too deep in love. Remember, all Jeskos are already sold out.

Lego built a full-size McLaren Senna, and it’s glorious

Lego is not slowing down with its forays into the automotive scene. Today we bring you news of a full-size McLaren Senna model, built as a collaboration between Lego and McLaren. This brick supercar is built using 467,854 individual pieces, which if anybody is counting, is about 200,000 pieces more than Lego used to create the life-size 720S from awhile back. It’s still not as complex as the over 1 million-brick Bugatti Chiron project, though.

Construction took 2,725 hours from start to finish, while the design and development took just over 2,000 hours. The car itself is built to an exact 1:1 specification in size, and includes a ton of bits from the actual Senna. Borrowed parts include a seat, steering wheel, pedals and infotainment system. Those in the driver’s seat are able to operate the lights and play around with the big center infotainment screen. When you push the “start button,” an engine simulation plays over the speakers to try and convince you that the twin-turbo V8 is actually behind you.

Real McLaren badges right off its cars are fitted anywhere you’d normally see one. Then the wheels and Pirelli tires from the Senna are mounted to the chassis. Getting in and out through the Lego dihedral doors is apparently a bit difficult, but they’re removable to allow easy access to the seats. In total, the Lego Senna weighs a hefty 3,348 pounds, which McLaren says is 1,102 pounds more than the real Senna weighs. Keep in mind that this one doesn’t even have an engine. It also took nine times longer to produce than a road-going McLaren Senna takes (which is 300 hours if you were wondering).

The details and structures to make this thing stick together are impressive, especially that huge wing hanging out the back. McLaren fitted some properly insane aero to the production Senna, and replicating the shapes and angles with Legos couldn’t have been easy. Sadly, this one doesn’t appear to have any real ability to drive at low speeds like the Chiron does with its electric motor. McLaren plans to show it off at car shows and events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer.

Ferrari P80/C one-off built for 330 P3/P4, 1966 Dino 206 S fanatic

For more than four long years, one person has kept a major secret with Ferrari. The company and the client were working on a project that Ferrari calls its “most extreme one-off design ever.” Inspired by the 330 P3/P4 and the 1966 Dino 206 S, the P80/C is a new-age take on a track-focused sports prototype.

Typically for these types of specialty builds, Ferrari does as they’ve done in the past and reshapes a new exterior over an existing car from the for-sale lineup. But because it is a track car, Ferrari used the 488 GT3 as a starting point, and made “radical changes” to the equipment from there. It not only has a slightly longer (about two inches) wheelbase than the 488 GTB, but it also has a cab-forward design rather than the 488 GTB’s centrally located cabin. Ferrari says this allowed for more creative freedom and played a major part in how the design took shape.

Flavio Manzoni and the Ferrari Styling Center set out to make what they described as a “Hero Car.” The client’s direction was to make a “modern sports prototype” with design cues from the 330 P3/P4 and the 1966 Dino 206 S. These two cars carry significance in Ferrari’s design history, as they impressed on the track but also influenced future road cars such as the Dino 206/246 GT. With heavy involvement from the client during the process, Ferrari has been working on this car since 2015, the longest the company has ever spent on developing a one-off.

Starting from the ground up, aerodynamics played a major part in the appearance of the P80/C. A gigantic front splitter, which is specific to this car, snuggles the ground and extends beyond the dimensions of the body. Visually, it carries on along the flanks with aero skirts, and circles around the rear with a bulky exaggerated diffuser. The lower kit is left in exposed carbon fiber, creating a two-piece look that’s separate from the Rosso Vero body paint. Ferrari says only pieces that were strictly functional were highlighted with bare carbon and that the car has a five percent aerodynamic improvement over the 488 GT3.

For the designers, the P80/C was a safe space of opportunity and experimentation. It is a track car that does not fall under racing regulations, but it’s also a customer production car that is not forced into road-ready restrictions. This allowed for unique features such as the extremely tiny slit headlights, a feature inspired by the air intake housings in the grille of the 330 P3/P4, that are integrated into the car’s catamaran-style nose. The appearance is mimicked in the rear lights for a cohesive design.

The P80/C is robust with dramatic swoops and sharply tucked lines. The diving face, which is largely shaped by two massive radiator cooling vents, grins at the corners over the wheels before dropping back down into the belt line. It has a wraparound greenhouse that bleeds into the rear quarter air vents and creates the look of a floating visor roofline. Whereas the roof typically extends over the engine on Ferrari’s road cars, the P80/C’s roof cuts off behind the cabin, a feature seen on the historic race cars.

A pinched body flows into a wide rear that would make Liberty Walk proud. Another rarity is the dual wing setup. A gargantuan pedestal wing dominates a mostly exposed rear, while a second wing lies just behind the roof above the engine cover. Ferrari notes the concave rear windscreen and the louvres seen on the engine cover are additional references to the 330 P3/P4.

Although the car can only be used in one environment — the track — it has two different setups. One includes the massive rear wing and has 18-inch single-nut wheels, while the other highlights the form the car, removing “aerodynamic appendages,” and adding 21-inch wheels.

The inside reflects the track-focused intentions, as it is specced with carbon fiber paneling, an integrated roll cage, a racing style instrument panel and steering wheel, and blue racing seats. Although a performance machine, Ferrari made no mention of the powertrain in its announcement.

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Lister Knobbly roadster gets green light for production

A new Lister Knobbly is officially on its way to production, says Lister CEO Lawrence Whittaker via Twitter. Not only did he tell us the car is coming, but we have another picture beyond the teaser for the concept released late last month. Lister’s first teaser was of a two-seat open-air roadster, and this new photo depicts the same thing from a different angle. We loved the side profile, and the three-quarter view is just as dashing.

Changes between the first and second teaser photos are minimal. It’s tough to be completely sure, but the wraparound windshield looks less curvy in this concept. A new color scheme is the most obvious difference, and we dig the silver just like we did the grey.

No actual specs or details are being made available at this point. Lister, an old British company, works closely with Jaguar, so a powertrain from that direction wouldn’t be out of the question. It currently uses the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 in its F-Pace LFP SUV, so that solution would be the most obvious one. Lister managed to turn the power all the way up to 670 horsepower through a bevy of modifications. That much power in an open-top roadster would be totally bonkers, especially since the concept barely even has a windshield. A timeframe for when the car will be available and where it will be sold is still MIA, but the concept looks pretty close to a finished product.

For those who love the Knobbly name as much as we do, know that it comes from the original 1958 Lister Knobbly. We’re excited to have it back.

Porsche shows a gorgeous 917 concept marking 50 years since the original racer

Porsche presented the 917 to the world 50 years ago at the Geneva Motor Show. Today it’s celebrating by showing us an absolutely jaw-dropping concept car. Only this single photo is available now, but the concept is due to go on display at the Porsche Museum starting on May 14 this year. Details are scarce, but the car is being presented as a concept study designed by a small team of engineers and designers. It’s meant to be seen as an homage to the first 917 to win Le Mans in 1970. The car is absolutely gorgeous and exactly the thing we needed to wake up on this Monday morning.

The number 23 is proudly displayed on the concept, which is the same number that the first Le Mans-winning 917 wore. It’s also adorned in the red paint and white stripes from the 1970 car — a “Where’s Waldo” paint job never looked so good.

This concept isn’t all Porsche announced today regarding the 917. Porsche has restored the first 917 it ever made to its original 1969 condition, and it will also be displayed in the Porsche Museum next to nine other 917s. The restoration of this 917 has been a year-long undertaking by museum mechanics alongside former technicians and engineers. Porsche says the top priority was to conserve and reuse as many parts of the original car as possible. Body parts from the front and rear sections ended up having to be reproduced, in addition to the rear section of the aluminum space frame.

Porsche never entered this first 917 into a race, but rather kept it as a test and presentation car throughout its lifetime. The car was repainted several times and even worked into a short-tail version in 1970. A white body with a green front section was how Porsche showed it first in Geneva, and it’s how Porsche will be displaying it at the Porsche Museum. It’ll be there with the concept and other 917s in an exhibit until September 15 this year.

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Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept coming for Ferrari F8 Tributo and company

Aston Martin will restore the Vanquish name on a mid-engined supercar due in 2022, previewed by the Vanquish Vision concept. To be powered by a less potent version of the hybrid twin-turbo V6 powertrain also going in the Project 003, the Vanquish will challenge super-coupes like the Ferrari F8 Tributo, as well as the next-generation hybrid successors to the McLaren 720S and Lamborghini Huracán. The Vanquish will be the fourth mid-engined offering from the Gaydon maker, after the Valkyrie, Valkyrie AMR-Pro, and Project 003, but the first to go into series production.

In spite of the fact that it shares clear lineage with the Valkyrie and Project 003, the Vanquish will make some key departures. The chassis will be fashioned from bonded aluminum instead of carbon fiber. The concept is said to be 85 percent of the final form, with only minor changes to come as Aston Martin learns its way around a mid-engined production car for the first time. The forms are fuller, with less of the negative space employed on the hypercars for a “more seductive and less technical appearance.”

Aggressive touches remain, however, as in the fat rear tire leering through a hefty gap between the bodywork and a serious diffuser. And check out those exhaust tips poking McLaren-style out of the bodywork.

Codenamed AM9, the coming coupe departed from Aston Martin’s own expectations in that it got smaller than originally envisioned. Palmer told Autocar, “One of the real learnings with Adrian Newey is obsession with weight and mass, and package size. Our designers are now pushing our engineers; cars were getting bigger but now we’re heading smaller, with cars packaged around the engine. It’s the reversal of a trend.”

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