All posts in “performance”

Red Bull RB17 to be a $6.1M, 1,250-hp track hypercar due in 2025

Following the Mercedes-AMG Project One and the Delage D12, the burgeoning era of Formula 1 cars for the street has another entrant. Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) and head designer for the Oracle Red Bull Racing F1 team Adrian Newey have decided to pick up where they left off with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, announcing the Red Bull RB17. A summary of the design philosophy is: “All the tricks we’ve learned in F1,” “Adrian’s greatest hits,” a combination of the “performance-enhancing technologies that have subsequently been banned in F1.” That means carbon tub, active suspension, side skirts, ground effects tunnels, blown diffuser, hybrid energy recovery system, and around 1,250 horsepower — everything but the fan, really. It also means a limited production run at an F1 price: 50 examples costing £5,000,000 each ($6.1M U.S.).

Here’s the background. In 2016, when Aston Martin was the primary sponsor of the Red Bull F1 team, both parties announced development of the AM-RB 001, which would become the almost-no-holds-barred Valkyrie road car and no-holds-barred Valkyrie AMR Pro track car. In 2020, two years after the Valkyrie was meant to be delivered to customers, Lawrence Stroll’s takeover of Aston Martin had the carmaker cozying up to new partner Mercedes on the road and the track, securing Mercedes engines for passenger cars and the Aston Martin F1 team. Aston Martin and Red Bull separated in the F1 paddock, and although both said they were committed to finishing the Valkyrie, eventually Aston Martin took charge of completing the project.

Six months before the first Valkyries were delivered to customers at the end of last year, Newey was already saying of RBAT, “Yes, absolutely, we would like to do another vehicle. Exactly what that is and what it’s targeted at is subject to debate.” While it could be that the Valkyrie AMR Pro didn’t go as far as Newey wanted, it’s definitely true that the eight-year-old technology arm RBAT was looking for more commercial outlets for its knowledge. Red Bull team principal and CEO Christian Horner said that with the sport’s current budget cap, “If you want to retain resources, there have to be projects that can justify their existence.”

Enter the RB17 to fill all the gaps. The name is a bit of inside baseball; when F1 made rule changes to save money in 2020 during the pandemic, teams used mainly carryover chassis’ in 2021. Red Bull’s naming convention began in 2005 with the RB1, representing the constructor’s first year in the sport. The team’s 2020 car was the RB16, this year’s car is the RB18, the 2021 car should have been the RB17. But because the 2021 car was so similar to the 2020 car, RB called it the RB16B. That left RB17 lurking in limbo like the 13th floor. Here is the alphanumeric’s escape hatch from the ghost world.

All we have are snippets for the moment about a track car said to be in “advanced stages” and due in 2025. Power will come from a twin-turbo V8 of undisclosed displacement, working with that mild hybrid system to develop 1,250 hp. Both are expected to be built by an unnamed third party to RBAT’s specs. This is speculation, but F1’s rumormill has Porsche already paired with Red Bull come 2026, and Porsche is coincidentally running a hybrid twin-turbo V8 in its 963 LMDh car. Newey said the hybrid system won’t just be about filling in the ICE power troughs, as the energy recovery system “also helps in other areas, which I don’t really want to go into at the moment.” Almost everything else about the car will be developed and built in-house at a rate of 15 RB17s per year, meaning a production run of more than four years. The purchase price — which is an estimate, by the way — will also pay for service and maintenance, access to Red Bull simulators, and on-track instruction.

Newey said the only limits will be physics, the need to use standardized tires, and the need to fit two people, “at least one being quite tall.” Otherwise, “it’s effectively a no-rules car” that worships the god of lap times, “which is ultimately all that counts.”

Oh, well, there is one other thing that counts, as Horner said: “It will sound fantastic, like a track car should.” 

2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed Mega Gallery

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This one-off Ferrari Enzo is someone’s white whale

Forgive this blasphemy, but the best color for Ferraris is not red. Rosso Corsa might be the national racing color of Italy but, frankly, these days Mazda has a better red. Drowning in a crimson tide of red ‘Rraris at a car show gets old after a while, and being smothered by a Ferrari store’s retina-searing red is akin to what Jonah suffered while stuck in the belly of a whale. 

There are so many better hues for a Ferrari. Verde Pino on a 250 Lusso, Blu Tour de France on a Daytona. And Bianco Avus, a.k.a. white, on an Enzo. That last one happens to be up for auction at R.M. Sotheby’s in Ontario, Canada next week. It’s also quite likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a white Enzo, because of all the 400 or so that came out of Maranello, only one was only one finished in Bianco Avus.

The auction lists it as THE white Enzo, but that is actually a bit misleading. According to records it is indeed the sole Bianco Avus specimen of the 651-horsepower supercar. To be completely accurate, though, there is another white Enzo out there. That one is finished in a pearl white called Bianco Fuji and located, appropriately, in Japan.

None of that takes away from the fact that the car for sale is a rare and stunning specimen. It was designed as a flagship to link Ferrari road cars with its Formula 1 racers, which finally reclaimed the championship in 2000 after a 20-year absence in the winner’s circle. Its carbon fiber bodywork, carbon-ceramic brakes, and high-revving V12 were derived from Scuderia Ferrari’s warhorses. Simply called Enzo, it was named to honor the prancing horse firm’s founder, and production coincided with Ferrari’s five-year F1 winning streak from 2000-04. 

The Bianco Avus Enzo is one of 20 “extracampionario” cars painted in a color from the off-menu palette. For that privilege, it is said customers would have had to purchase both of the Enzo’s immediate predecessors, the F40 and F50.

Our argument for a white Enzo is based on the theory that if you’re already driving a shouty supercar, there’s no need to also slather it in a shouty color. Some of us enjoy the car for what it is, without all the attention that a bright red sports car would attract. Unique design elements like the floating red taillights would get lost in red as well. 

In any case, at least one unnamed German-Swiss billionaire agrees. The car was finished on May 22, 2003 and sold to that billionaire in Switzerland where it was displayed in the window of a store in Matran, before changing ownership to a collector in Hong Kong in 2011. According to the auction, it was unregistered during its time there because LHD cars aren’t road legal, and is now under temporary import to Canada where it will be presented at auction June 29-30. 

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2022 Bentley Continental GT Mulliner steps to the top of the line

The shifting in the lineups coming out of Crewe continues with the reveal of the Bentley Continental GT Mulliner. The English luxury maker introduced the most recent GT Mulliner two years ago when there were still a 626-horsepower standard W12 and a 650-horsepower GT Speed. With the GT Speed now the only W12, the introduction of the indulgent Azure trim “for those prioritizing wellbeing and on-board comfort,” and the arrival of the coming V8-powered S models, the new Mulliner steps in at the head of the pack. Starting from the bottom, the current Continental Range is the V8, Azure, S, Speed, and Mulliner.

What does a buyer get with the flagship Conti? The GT Speed chassis dressed in Mulliner jewelry and coachwork. The 6.0-liter W12 makes 650 horses and 664 pounds of twist, clocking 3.5 seconds from standstill to 60 miles per hour, acceleration unwilling to relent until 208 miles per hour. Dynamism at less furious speeds benefits from adaptive dampers, an electronic limited-slip differential on the rear axle, all-wheel steering, and brake-based torque vectoring. 

The cosmetic package is effectively handed down from the previous version, which we can’t find fault with. The double diamond matrix grille stands proud up front, wearing either bright chrome or the Mulliner Blackline Specification gloss black. The are also specific 22-inch Mulliner wheels, satin silver mirror caps shrouding Mulliner welcome lamps, and illuminated treadplates.

The interior picks up unique three-way colorways that rearrange the way primary, secondary, and tertiary colors are split throughout the cabin. Mulliner offers eight standard combinations all lashed up with diamond quilting, paired with 88 choices in Piano wood veneers and heaps of thread options for the contrast and accent stitching. Gauges in the digital instrument cluster have been designed with a technical finish to go along with the diamond milling on the center console. Even the occupants’ feet get treated to floor mats edged in complementary piping. Overhead, roofs without the panoramic glass get trimmed with indented hide, roofs with the glass top get smooth hides.

For now, the Continental GT V8 Mulliner remains available. The new model debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed along with the S trim and the first historic Blower Continuation, called Blower Car Zero, and it can all be livestreamed here.

Mercedes-AMG One flexes its active aero at Goodwood

The newly minted Mercedes-AMG One has taken to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to show off some of its tricks. Making its first public showing, the Formula 1-inspired supercar took to the event’s 1.2-mile hillclimb to wow the crowd with its active aero shape-shifting. 

The AMG One is a showcase of the brand’s technology, derived from its 7-year F1 winning streak from 2014-2020 with Lewis Hamilton at the helm. It boasts a combined system horsepower of 1,049 from its 1.6-liter V6 and four electric motors. Even one of its dual turbochargers has its own electric motor. 

On Lord March’s driveway, however, it’s clear that the One is only using a fraction of its abiliities. From the starting gate, it cruises along at a leisurely pace, emitting a UFO-like whine (Mercedes says it can go 11.2 miles on its 8.4-kWh liquid-cooled battery alone). 

Unexpectedly, it comes to a dead stop in the middle of the track. The FoS has hosted its share of embarrassing mishaps, but this isn’t one of them. Instead, the AMG One drops over an inch in ride height, an adaptive suspension stiffening track-only setting called Race Plus that comprises one of six drive modes. Suddenly its bodywork splays out like that dinosaur that killed Newman in “Jurassic Park.” Not only does it deploy a rear wing, but each fender has four individual flaps that open to vent air from the wheel wells. 

The car then continues on at a brisker rate, but still far short of its 2.9-second 0-62 time or the V6’s 11,000 rpm capability (AMG declines to call it a redline, saying instead that the engine’s been designed to spin at that speed). Nevertheless, a high-pitched F1 note can be heard as the car continues up the hill.

Whether we will ever get to see the Mercedes AMG One on U.S. soil is still up in the air. If we do, though, at least now we know what to expect from its Transformer-esque moves.

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Pagani Huayra Codalunga is Italian for ‘longtail’

Have you ever taken a look at the Pagani Huayra in your driveway and wished that it was even more unique and exclusive? No? You say you don’t have one? Ah, well it’s surely because you’ve been waiting for that unique and exclusive version (and felt the other unique ones of late weren’t good enough). And that car is here. The Italian supercar builder has announced a stunning variant called the Huayra Codalunga that will cost $7.34 million and have a production run of just five units.

Codalunga means “longtail” in Italian, and describes perfectly what makes this Huayra unlike the others. Pagani says that it’s a tribute to the speed machines of the 1960s. Starting with the Huayra Coupé, Pagani stretched out the body and gave it some extra-sleek lines inspired by 1960s race cars and aircraft. 

“We drew inspiration from the long tails of the 1960s that raced at Le Mans,” explained Horacio Pagani in a statement. “We have taken away rather than added. Simplifying is not at all straightforward, and this vehicle is, above all, the result of a complex pursuit of simple ideas.”

The Codalunga was developed by Pagani Grandi Complicazioni, their in-house division for special projects. The genesis dates back to 2018, when two unnamed customers asked Pagani to create a long tail version of the Huayra. Since then, the two have worked closely with the company to usher the car into fruition.

Beneath the elegant bodywork, which includes an engine cover that is 14 inches longer than on the Huayra, sits a variant of the 6.0-liter AMG V12. In Codalunga guise, it makes up to 840 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. Despite its increased length, the Codalunga actually weighs less than the Coupé, tipping the scales at just 2,820 pounds. An exposed exhaust system is fabricated from titanium and weighs only 9.7 pounds.

Since only five will be made, and there were two customers who commissioned the car, our rudimentary math skills indicate that there will be three left. Pagani didn’t say how one could go about asking for a quote, but when you’re dealing with this kind of money and exclusivity, it’s probably more of a “we’ll let you know” situation. And really, we wouldn’t be surprised if those other three examples have already been sold.

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McLaren Artura First Drive Review: Twinsies with Ferrari

MALAGA, Spain — Back in the early 2000s, when my mother was still rapidly spending down the proceeds of a profitable divorce from her second husband, she would occasionally send gifts to me and my boyfriend. One Hanukkah, she mailed us a pair of matching flannel robes from L.L. Bean. At least three other male couples we knew received this gift from a mother that holiday season, so perhaps there was some osmotic zeitgeist wafting in the ether, but this did not make it any more appropriate. Not only do I feel about robes the same way I feel about sweatpants — that they epitomize the most tragic abdication of human effort — but, following a one-time visit to Saugatuck, Michigan, a haven for Midwestern queers in matchy-matchy polos and Bermuda shorts, my partner and I had developed a strict policy: No Gay Twinning.

Decades later, Ferrari and McLaren have both released six-figure, mid-engined, entry-level, 180-inch, rear-wheel-drive sports coupes featuring twin-turbocharged 120-degree V6 engines combined with an electric motor and an integrated battery pack that can be plugged in. I just completed a road drive and track time with the McLaren Artura, and it raises the question: Is this some more of that osmotic zeitgeist, or are the companies twinning each other?

I haven’t yet driven the Ferrari 296 GTB, but I can speak to the ways these cars don’t precisely match. Unlike the Ferrari, which is among the Italian brand’s most potent regular production road cars, with a combined ICE/EV output of 818 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, the McLaren Artura makes do with a paltry 671 hp and 531 lb-ft of twist, placing it downrank in the brand’s lineup. But whereas the Ferrari has 3,700 pounds to motivate, the McLaren has just 3,300. This means that their 0-60 times are evenly matched, at around the 3 second mark, and their top speeds are identical at 205 mph.

McLaren achieves this parity the same way it usually does, via a monomaniacal focus on weight saving. This includes such lunatic wizardry as utilizing an all-new carbon fiber and aluminum sub-structure, thinner front windshield glass, an electric motor light enough to wear as a bracelet, and the aforementioned compact V6. It also implements an ethernet-based electrical system to reduce the weight of all the wiring contemporary vehicles require for their innumerable infotainment features.

With its short wheelbase, overall compactness and all that power, the Artura actually feels lithe on its tires — which, by the way, feature Pirelli’s first production iteration of its sensor and Bluetooth-based Smart Tire, allowing the car to instantly know exactly which type of 235/35/ZR19 (front) and 295/35/ZR20 (rear) tires are on the car — street, track or snow — how warm the rubber is inside the sidewall as opposed to at the rim, and precisely how much air is contained within. George Orwell said ignorance was strength, so I’m not certain why we’d want to know all of this, and the one time I actually got to use the feature on the track, the McLaren tech who was present overruled the red warning light and deflated the rubber to a pressure he deemed more appropriate. Progress!

Because of, or despite, all this engineering effort, the Artura accelerates with commanding alacrity, and very little drama, particularly in manual (paddle-shifted) mode. And its combination of a very stiff carbon fiber structure and softer suspension settings, common to the brand’s grand touring-focused vehicles, gives it a compliance that is missing from other more hardcore supercars. Though it lacks the trick hydraulic body control system featured on other McLarens, its hydraulic steering, something of a rarity in modern cars, provides excellent feedback. Or maybe it was the smart tires communicating with the smart steering wheel, which now moves, along with the instrument binnacle, as the one on my 1977 Porsche 928. Progress, again!

In addition, big carbon ceramic discs provide excellent braking, handy when chunks of the local geology appear suddenly in a blind corner on a spaghetti-twisted mountain roadway. However, achieving bite, like getting into the forbidden fruit of a candy apple, requires some initial firmness, followed, oft-unpredictably, by a crunch or a squish.

The Artura’s ability to motivate itself, if only for 11 miles, solely on electric power, provides a kind of “oh, neat” factor, useful for gotcha sneak-ups on pedestrians or silent escapes to or from extramarital trysts after sneaking down the drainpipe. But I couldn’t detect as much of the “infill torque” that the tiny electric motor is meant to provide at very low rpm, particularly, as referenced above, when the transmission was in automatic mode. The Artura, like some other six-figure hybrids, has so much technology baked in that it has a tendency to hunt, meanderingly, for its algorithmically-derived ideal of potency and efficiency, especially in city driving or during aborted highway passing maneuvers — Second gear! Sixth gear! No gear at all! This results in a hiccup here and there, as frustrating as when your phone refuses to take a command, but perhaps a bit more dangerous. (Also, your phone doesn’t cost $233,000.) Shifting the new eight-speed transmission manually, or driving flat-out on the track, cures the car of this issue. So, just do that, whenever possible.

Fortunately, you kind of can with the Artura, because for an exotic supercar, in this age of outrageous power and performance, the whole package felt rather livable, every day. This is a brand attribute for McLaren, and reminded me of the company’s first production road car in its modern iteration, the MP4-12C (from the era when McLaren named cars after their own license plate numbers). It even looks kind of mild for a supercar, walking (or running) the line between anodyne and AI generated. It’s a supercar for those who don’t want to stand out. Is that a market segment?

I’m not going to attempt to answer this question. It’s rhetorical device, like the aforementioned red herring of comparing the McLaren to a car I haven’t driven. I ask that you indulge me, however, even if this piece may resemble the Zen-like sound of one robe flapping.

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Acura Integra to make its racing debut at Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Acura is headed to this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a bevy of race cars. Most notable of all is a Pikes Peak-prepped Acura Integra — yes, Acura is already getting the Integra out there for some racing.

Beyond the new hatchback making its motorsports debut, Acura is also bringing two TLX Type S race cars and two NSX Type S racers. For the icing on the cake, an NSX Type S will be serving as the official pace car for Pikes Peak this year, too. This particular running of Pikes Peak is special, for it’s the 100th running of the event. The first hill climb at Pikes Peak took place all the way back in 1916; the race went on hiatus during the world wars.

As for the cars themselves, Acura provided the greatest detail on the Integra. Modifications include upgraded brakes, new suspension, an HPD differential, wider (and lighter) 18-inch HRE wheels and 245-section-width Pirelli slick tires. The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission remain untouched, so it’ll be heading up the hill with the stock 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. However, we’ll note the this Integra is sporting some extra-large exhaust tips out the rear, so Acura has clearly done something with the exhaust.

The livery for the Integra is an homage to Acura’s first endeavor into motorsports where the first-gen Integra competed in IMSA and won the 1987 and 1988 championships. Pikes Peak rookie Paul Hubers will pilot the Integra up the hill for Acura.

As for the other cars, Acura says that both the NSXs and TLXs are fully prepped for Pikes Peak with plenty of modifications, but doesn’t go into detail about them. The NSX Type S will be trying to beat the previous record set by an NSX in the hybrid fuel class.

All of these Acuras, and the rest of the field, will be running up the hill on June 26.

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Buick Wildcat and Electra concepts, Ford Maverick | Autoblog Podcast #732

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They lead off with a discussion of the news. This section touches on the DeLorean Alpha5, Buick Wildcat EV Concept reveal, revival of the Buick Electra name, production reveal of the Mercedes-AMG One and some scuttle about Volkswagen’s recently-bought Scout brand. After that, they move on to the cars they’ve been driving, including the Ford Maverick and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

After the pair finish with what they’ve been driving, the podcast transitions to an interview between Greg Migliore and former Car and Driver Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman. Finally, Greg and Zac wrap things up with some more spring and summer beer recommendations.

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

Autoblog Podcast #732

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Glickenhaus SCG004CS passes last hurdle, ready for deliveries

After five years of gestation, development, and crash tests for global homologation, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is ready to begin customer deliveries of the 004CS this month. Conceived and developed as a GT3 racer that was then turned into a road car, the New England car company worked with Italy’s Podium Advanced Technologies honing the race version to do well at the Nurburgring. SCG namesake James Glickenhaus took the final ESC calibration prototype to the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and talked to Road & Track about what’s ahead. In the immediate future, the Danbury, Connecticut factory expects to have 25 hand-built cars in customer hands by the end of the year, the three-trim lineup starting at $483,000

There’s the standard road-legal 004S — the only one that can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, the road-and-track 004CS, and the track-only 004C. The first two are powered by a supercharged GM 6.2-liter V8 in 650- or 750-horse tune. The track car drops the supercharger, taking it down to 520 hp in endurance racing trim, but that can be upped to 600 horses if the sanctioning body allows. SCG hasn’t disturbed the small block with insanely complicated engineering, R&T summarizing the SCG philosophy in a way that would make any DIY enthusiast weep: “Glickenhaus believes the moment you’re no longer able to get a supercharged Chevy small-block fixed at the local mechanic, the world as we know it would have ended anyway, and your car wouldn’t matter much.”

The other side of that garagiste credo is hardcore racing performance. Despite a software bug, crashes, and errant holes in some parts, the SCG004C finished last weekend’s Nürburgring 24 Hours race in 12th place overall — and first in its class. The four drivers finished just a lap down on the race-winning Audi Sport Team Phoenix R8 LMS GT3 Evo, same as every runner from seventh to 14th, keeping company with much bigger teams like Falken Motorsports with their Porsche 911 GT3R and Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein in an AMG GT3. 

Despite the team’s entry in the World Endurance Championship, SCG might opt to narrow its focus to the ‘Ring event and Baja, where its off-roaders romp. James Glickenhaus is dubious about how much return on investment the WEC provides, where the disparity between top teams and smaller entries is much larger. “The only question is what we’re going to do going forward with the WEC and what we’re going to do going forward with our hydrogen pickup truck,” he said, in reference to the Baja Boot. “It’s dependent on the capital raise we are in the process of trying to finalize.”

Gordon Murray Automotive torture tests the T.50 hypercar

Prepping the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 for customer deliveries around the world means testing its systems and safety akin to that of a regular production car. For GMA, this mean taking validation prototype XP1 to Automotive Testing Papenburg (ATP) in Germany for a series of torture tests that would be comical if they weren’t so brutal on a real live $2.9 million coupe. As narrator Dario Franchitti explains, many of the tests are to ensure that the airbag deployment systems know how to tell one extreme circumstance from another, so the bag deploys in a crash instead of when the T.50 is launched into a gravel pile. Yep, that’s real. The T.50 was run at nearly 20 miles an hour into — and then up — a seven-foot pile of rocks. We have no idea what the test is meant to simulate but the T.50 aced it, beaching itself over the crest, its airbag un-deployed.

The other challenges drew a more direct line to real-world driving. There’s a 37-mph dash over Belgian cobblestones and another at the same speed over a speed bump, a simulated pothole strike for “anyone who has the misfortune of driving on UK roads,” and a mad dash over a fake railway crossing. The ramp test sends the 2,173-pound, 654-hp coupe flying off a 10-inch ramp at 43 miles per hour. The steel beam test simulates plowing the wheel face into a curb, this experiment breaking a tie rod and damaging a tire. Then there’s washboard at nearly 50 miles per hour, and finally, plowing into a “simulated wild boar” that weighs 180 pounds.

The man behind the machine clearly hasn’t forgotten how to design fast cars that protect their drivers. If Murray had given the T.50 a bit more ground clearance, it might make a decent bug-out ride for anyone who knows how to travel really light.

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Mercedes-AMG One finally here with 1,049 hp of awesome

Dieter Zetsche and Lewis Hamilton presided over the debut of what was then called the Mercedes-AMG Project One at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Back then, “the hottest and coolest car” Mercedes-AMG had ever attempted was going to be released in 2019. Then the 11,000-rpm, 1.6-liter V6 engine and its dislike for low-speed urban driving met increasingly strict emissions regulations, and it took the carmaker’s engineering might five years to overcome that hurdle and others. Five years on, the delay provided AMG the chance to launch what is now the Mercedes-AMG One on the 55th anniversary of AMG’s first building, the foundation stone for which was laid on June 1, 1967. 

Not since the McLaren F1 have we seen a road car work so hard to adhere to Formula 1 principles, and in fact, the AMG One (and the Aston Martin Valkyrie) go further. Much has changed since the show car — Zetsche and Moers are no longer Mercedes execs, for instance — but not the vital hardpoints. The root is the E Performance powertrain, which is that 1.6-liter V6 boosted by two turbochargers. The 121-hp MGU-H turbo works off exhaust gasses but gets help spinning up to speed with an electric motor. The 161-hp MGU-K turbo is connected to the crankshaft via a spur gear. There’s 1,049 system horsepower. AMG declined to peg a torque figure, saying, “Specification not possible due to complex drive train.” AMG also declined to list an actual rev limit; the engine’s been designed to spin to 11,000 rpm, but the engineers decided “for longer durability and use of commercial super plus petrol, [the engine] deliberately stays below the F1 rev limit.” Engine output is marked as 566 horsepower at 9,000 rpm, so owners won’t be walled off far away from the physical limits. 

Output runs through a new seven-speed manual transmission with shift rods and four carbon clutches instead of the eight-speed manual in the Frankfurt show car. The fully locking differential is integrated into the gearbox.

Two more motors each contribute 161 hp to drive the front wheels, providing fully-variable all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. They also provide the car a pure-electric range of 11.2 miles thanks to an 8.4-kWh liquid-cooled lithium battery that mimics the unit from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 car, but with more cells. This being a PHEV, the charge port is on the rear left of the car, opposite the fuel filler cap for the 14.5-gallon tank. 

Getting access to the ICE power means pressing the red start button between the front seats. That activates the electric motors immediately. The driver must then wait for the exhaust aftertreatment subsystem to reach operating temperature. The subsystem consists of four metal catalytic converters, two ceramic catalytic converters, and two gasoline particulate filters, and it was the circuit that pushed engineers to their limits.

Once the engine’s given the okay to commence combustion, and given enough road, the 3,737-pound AMG One gets to 62 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds, 124 mph in seven seconds, 186 mph in 15.6 seconds. Maximum velocity is 219 mph.

There are six driving modes. Race Safe is the default on startup, using the electric motors and on-demand hybrid power once the ICE kicks in. EV mode does just what one would expect. Individual combines the driver’s personal preferences. Race keeps the 1.6-liter running constantly so as to keep the battery charged. Race Plus, only available on the track, lowers the AMG One a little more than an inch and tightens the adaptive suspension. A second track-only mode called Strat 2 is equivalent to qualifying setup, optimizing the active aero and firming up the suspension further. That active aero allows a further three settings depending on mode, either Highway, Track, or Race DRS. ABS and a three-mode ESP come standard, for drivers who favor prudence when finding the limit. 

As standard, the package sits on 10-spoke, 19-inch forged aluminum center-lock wheels in front, 20-inchers in back. They can be swapped for nine-spoke forged magnesium center-lock wheels. Both sets are hidden behind carbon covers, and themselves hide a carbon-ceramic braking system with six-piston fixed calipers in front, four-piston clamps in back. Rubber stock is a quartet of specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2Rs.    

Dimensions are 15.6 feet long, 6.6 feet wide, and a hair over four feet tall. In the middle of all that is a cockpit built for two people and not much more. The seats are built into the monocoque, their backs able to recline at either 25 or 30 degrees, and an electrically adjustable steering wheel and 11-position pedal box are used to find a comfortable position. Mod-cons like air conditioning, power windows, and mini-USB ports are the most occupants will get for luxury. Luggage capacity is limited to the “high quality stowage compartment” atop the center tunnel.

The announced production run of 275 units is sold out at $2.75 million per. The patient owners and the public get the first glimpse of the coupe driven hard at this month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. AMG’s latest will be winding its way through the horde of BMW M cars celebrating M’s 50th anniversary. Customer deliveries are expected to begin sometime after that, before the year is out.

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SSC will make a hybrid, all-wheel-drive hypercar alongside the Tuatara

Washington-based SSC announced it will expand its range of hypercars with a hybrid, all-wheel-drive model in the next few years. The limited-edition car is currently being developed, and it’s one of two new models that the firm plans to launch in the not-too-distant future.

Speaking to Motor Authority, company founder and CEO Jerod Shelby hinted that the hybrid model won’t necessarily be part of the Tuatara line. It’s too early to tell how many units will be made, but they won’t be part of the 125-car run that SSC is planning for the Tuatara. And, the gasoline-electric car might not even wear the Tuatara nameplate; SSC could use another name to dial in a further degree of differentiation.

Power will come from a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a gasoline-powered engine mounted behind the passenger compartment and a pair of motors integrated into the front hubs. This setup will give the car through-the-road all-wheel-drive, meaning that there won’t be a mechanical connection between the front and rear axles. SSC has chased speed records in recent months, but electrification isn’t a way to go faster.

“The electrification of the car will make it a more well-rounded vehicle,” Shelby told Motor Authority. He added that going hybrid will notably improve acceleration, on-track performance, and lower-speed characteristics. There’s no word yet on how powerful the model will be, but we’re expecting a significant amount of power: the Tuatara is powered by a 5.9-liter V8 that’s twin-turbocharged to 1,750 horsepower.

Meanwhile, the carmaker also hopes to open a bigger factory in about 2025 to manufacture a smaller (and presumably more volume-oriented) model that Shelby envisions as “a little brother” to the Tuatara. It sounds like SSC has its work cut out for the 2020s.

Maserati teases MC20 Cielo debut for May 25

A while back, Maserati’s product roadmap penciled in an MC20 Spider to hit the market this year. In December 2021, the Modena automaker teased frontal views of the droptop supercar wearing camouflage full of fluffy clouds. In a series of Instagram posts over the last week, Maserati posted photos from the point of view of someone with an uninterrupted view skyward — the same kind of view one would experience in a convertible, say. One of the captions was, “You will admire the sky in a new way on Wednesday 25 May.” That will be the reveal date for what the automaker is now calling the Maserati MC20 Cielo, with that last word being Italian for “sky.”

Since we got no views of the rear of the camouflaged car, we have no idea what design changes we’ll see in a little more than a week. Looking closely at the photos of the camouflaged prototype, it’s clear there’s are temporary panels between behind the B-pillar all the way to the decklid spoiler. An odd feature on the prototype is a trio of ribs running from the A-pillar to the rear of the car, with the middle protrusion looking like a papered-over roof scoop. That seems like a lot of work to hide a form we’re already familiar with, and a convertible mechanism we don’t expect to hold any surprises, so we’ll see what we see on May 25.

Maserati’s usual Spider formula hasn’t traditionally altered a car’s underpinnings, so the same carbon fiber monocoque should come bolted to the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 making 621 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. The skylight does traditionally jack up the price, so expect to pay more than the coupe’s $210,000 MSRP. We figure the model will arrive in showrooms late this year at the earliest, an appearance in the U.S. likely in 2023. After this, we know there’s an even more powerful electric version on the way that will be the flagship of the range.

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Delage D12 prototype coming to tour the U.S. this summer

We’re sure someone can count how many plans were deranged by Covid over the last two years, but that someone isn’t us. What’s important is that we know the Delage D12 was one of those kicked off the tracks for a bit, but the revived French brand is still here and says its F1 car for the road is shortly headed for production. The outfit finally has a working prototype, and it’s already been sampled by potential European buyers. The wild blue looker was meant to take an honorary lap around the Miami Grand Prix circuit during last weekend’s festivities, but we’re not sure that happened. The south Florida city is home to one of Delage’s two dealers in the U.S., Specialty Car Collection. The other is Southern California Delage in Newport Beach. The D12 runner is planned to make another trip to Monterey Car Week in August this year, the same venue where Delage pre-sold a few units in 2020. 

Picking up where things left off in 2020, CEO Laurent Tapie unveiled the vehicle he wants to break the Nürburgring’s passenger car lap record. There are two D12 trims, both powered by a 7.6-liter naturally aspirated V12 developed in-house, putting out 960 horsepower and shifting through an eight-speed, single-clutch automated manual transmission. In the GT trim, the ICE gets help from a 110-hp electric motor, making a total 1,100 hp. In the track-focused Club trim, the e-motor makes just 20 horses, but the vehicle loses 200 pounds and is faster around a track than the GT. The Club’s electric motor is really just used for street driving, reversing and parking.

And yes, this is a passenger car. Two occupants sit in tandem in the cockpit, the bubble canopy opening like that of a fighter jet — two traits that make the Delage D12 similar to the Czinger 21C, four if you count the carbon fiber body panels and alliteration. Tapie says the D12 separates itself from all other road cars by having a pushrod suspension. French engineer Mauro Biancchi is said to hold the patent on the pushrod design, and gave his blessing to Tapie’s team. When we get a chance to speak to Tapie, we’ll ask how his pushrod design is different than the pushrod setup Lamborghini has used in the Aventador for a decade.

This fall, the two-seater enters a production run of just 30 examples, 10 for the U.S., the remainder for the rest of the world. First deliveries are scheduled for early 2023, and buyers will get the chance to sign up for driving lessons from Delage’s development driver, ex-F1 Driver’s World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. All it will take is €2 million ($2.1M U.S.) for a base D12 before options, and getting on that list of 30 customers. For everyone else, check out Tapie’s lengthy interview with Maxim to know more about how he got the idea for the D12, why he insisted on a naturally aspirated V12, and why he wanted a racing driver over an engineer to tune the dynamics.  

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Pagani C10 spy photos give us a peek at the Huayra successor

It’s been about a decade since the Pagani Huayra entered the supercar market. And since then, we’ve seen myriad variants with and without removable roofs. So it’s high time that a new Pagani supercar show up. That’s exactly what we have here, at least as far as we can tell. And it certainly appears to stick to Pagani styling tradition.

The proportions of this supercar, reportedly codenamed C10, are exactly what we’ve come to expect of the brand’s machines. It has a short nose and long rear. It has a low grille with a support in the middle that blends into a triangular hood section. And the rear is wide with signature quad tailpipes in between the taillights.

Looking closer, we can see some subtle differences from the Huayra. The lower grille opening is, well, lower, looking more like that of the Zonda. The cabin area looks shorter in length. There aren’t any apparent air intakes along the car’s flanks, possibly supplanted by intakes just behind the cabin. The tail looks more Zonda-like, too. Instead of the high-set, more flowing arrangement of lights, this C10 has just two simple lights on each side in square-shaped panels.

This prototype clearly isn’t quite production-ready, based on the large amount of camouflage and prototype components such as the headlights. But we’ll be seeing the production model soon. A previous report said that the car will make its debut this year. It will apparently use a version of the twin-turbo AMG V12 also used in the Huayra, though this time it will be available with a manual transmission.

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Ferrari SF48 Unica one-off is based on the F8 Tributo

Ferrari has unveiled the SF48 Unica, the latest addition to its portfolio of customer-commissioned one-off models. Based on the F8 Tributo, the coupe was created by the Ferrari Styling Center for an anonymous client who participated in every step of the design process.

Nearly every part of the F8 Tributo‘s exterior has been redesigned. Up front, the SF48 Unica features new-look lights, a reshaped bumper with honeycomb-like inserts, and twin vents. Blacked-out a-pillars create the illusion of a wrap-around windshield. Even the door skins are specific to the model, and designers relocated an intercooler to move the engine’s air intakes down. Out back, thin rectangular lights replaced the F8’s quad round units and the rear bumper is new as well. One of the most striking styling cues is the lack of a rear window.

Creating a one-off model requires a tremendous amount of time and resources, especially because many of the changes alter the coupe’s aerodynamic profile. The SF48’s rear overhang is a little longer than the F8’s, and the extra inches increase downforce on the back wheels. Procedural-parametric modeling techniques and 3D prototyping helped the Prancing Horse’s designers make the one-of-a-kind car a reality.

Ferrari notes that the SF48’s cabin looks a lot like the F8’s, though it stopped short of releasing photos. The two cars aren’t exactly identical inside, however: the customer who commissioned the Unica requested black laser-perforated Alcantara upholstery draped over a layer of fabric that matches the body’s color, for example. Matte carbon fiber trim and Grigio Canna di Fucile accents were specified as well.

We’re guessing that no significant mechanical changes were made, meaning that power comes from a 3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. Mid-mounted, it spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.

As is normally the case, Ferrari hasn’t revealed the identity of the SF48 Unica’s owner or how much the car cost to build.

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Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut gets its first prototype

If there is a Koenigsegg that will break through the 300-mph barrier, this is it. If there is a Koenigsegg that will be the fastest car the Swedish automaker builds, this is also it. Not long after watching the bewinged Jesko Attack dash through the snow, Koenigsegg has shown that car’s brother, the wingless and ultimately refined Absolut.

Created to go as fast as possible, company boss Christian von Koenigsegg said: “We spent thousands of hours in CFD calculations. We’ve streamlined this car from not just an aerodynamic and design perspective, but also from a high-speed stability perspective. As a result, the Jesko Absolut has a phenomenally low drag of only 0.278 Cd.”

The development model is done up in Graphite Grey with Tang Orange stripes. Remind us to ask Christian one day if that color really refers to the chemical concoction relentlessly advertised to kids decades ago as the favorite beverage of astronauts. 

To be fair to aerodynamicists around the world, we should clarify that it’s a “phenomenally” low drag figure on a relative scale. After all, cars looking to stretch gallons or kWhs of fuel do better; the Lucid Air claims a drag coefficient of 0.21 Cd, the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class a 0.24. But compared to other hypercars, the Koenigsegg is well ahead. Hennessey says its Venom F5 comes in with a drag coefficient of 0.39, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ in Top Speed mode is 0.33 — 0.02 better than the standard Chiron — and SSC cites a figure of 0.279 for the Tuatara. If these numbers are accurate, Koenigsegg has claimed the hypercar aero crown from SSC by 0.001. Probably just a coincidence.

The Absolut’s internals almost entirely mimic those of the Attack, with a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 1,600 hp and 1,107 lb-ft. Weight savings from changes like the lack of that rear wing mean the Absolut weighs 3,064 pounds compared to the Attack’s 3,131 pounds.

Koenigsegg hasn’t given a timeline for when customer units will be ready, but it shouldn’t be long. The Attack is expected to start reaching customers this quarter.

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European dealer working with Koenigsegg on a CC12 secret project

We tuned into James Walker’s latest episode on YouTube because The Supercar Blog reported there’s a special Koenigsegg on the way called the CC12. There isn’t much known about the coming coupe, just that was supposedly commissioned by a European dealer in ultraluxurious things called Carage. Upon tuning in to the 51-minute video, we discovered that Walker talks about the CC12 for maybe ten seconds (38:47) — he doesn’t even call it by the name written on the wall next to it, and the project is so secret that his host won’t say a word about it. Here’s the thing: The episode is called “The Best Garage in the World?”, and the answer might be “Hell yes.” We showed up for one car, we stayed because of all the amazing car stuff.

We’d never heard of Carage before, a dealer with showrooms in Lucerne, Switzerland and Marbella, Spain that specializes in “modern hypercars [and] unusually sporty vintage cars.” If a line could win an award for Swiss understatement, this is it. Walker tours just some of the Swiss facility, which is five floors and nearly 54,000 feet of luxury architectural space housing many millions of dollars in cars. The Koenigsegg room is designed to create Swedish vibes. The five cars parked inside it include CC8S Chassis #002, the first customer car of the first model Koenigsegg built, one of two Trevita’s with white carbon and clearcoat with diamond dust, and the Agera Prototype Chassis #077 that was not only the development vehicle for every evolution of the Agera, it was customized with a trunk.   

There’s are a few rooms with Aston Martins (12:50) including James Bond’s DB10 (25:15), another with Ferraris, a modern Iso Rivolta (11:30), and the most magnificent tool and replacement parts sets we have ever seen (32:05) created for the Aston Martin DB4GT Continuation. Then there’s the garage, with the obligatory lifts and clean-room appearance. The garage also contains an indoor wash bay, because Carage washes every vehicle before working on it; there’s an exhaust vent on a rail that can be fitted to any vehicle in the garage; there are tire fitting and alignment machines in custom colors to match the garage; and a pump system to send used oil into a large containment tank beneath the garage. Plus the on-site carbon production and CNC machines. And other things. Carage is spectacular.

Back to that Koenigsegg CC12, though. It hasn’t been commissioned by Carage, it’s being built by Carage, CEO Kim Struve saying he’s working with Koenigsegg on the project, but he wants to show potential clientele what Carage can do. The form under the tarp looks like the CC8S that, earlier in the video, Struve says was bought “for a special project that’s going to be released in a year’s time.” But we can’t know if the two are related. What we do know is that Koenigsegg built just six examples of the CC8S, its name partly signifying the modular Ford V8 behind the cockpit. The re-engineered and supercharged 4.7-liter small block produced 646 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The automaker switched to CCR and CCX names after the CC8, never making a CC12. Whatever Carage is up to, we’re looking forward to it, and if the 12 in the name refers to the cylinder count, all the better.

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Lamborghini builds 20,000th Huracan, looks back on eight years of production

Lamborghini is celebrating a significant milestone: It has built 20,000 examples of the Huracán, its entry-level supercar. While that number might not sound impressive, it cements the V10-powered Huracán’s positioning as the Italian firm’s best-selling supercar by a wide margin.

Finished in an eye-catching color called Grigio Acheso Matte, the 20,000th Huracán is an STO model that was built for an anonymous buyer in Monaco, so you won’t find it basking under the spotlights in Lamborghini’s official museum. Reaching the 20,000-unit mark also gives the Raging Bull the opportunity to look back on an eight-year-long production run. As of writing, 71% of Huracán buyers have chosen the coupe while 29% have selected the Spyder. The model’s main market is the United States; that’s where 32% of examples built have been sent.

Lamborghini has gone to significant lengths to keep the Huracán fresh and competitive since it started building the model in 2014. An updated variant called EVO was released for 2020; it’s available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and the aforementioned STO joined the lineup shortly after to bridge the gap between the production model and the cars that Lamborghini builds for various racing series around the world. The range grew again in 2022 with the unveiling of the Huracán Tecnica, which offers a 631-horsepower V10 engine and rear-wheel drive.

Keep in mind that the Huracán remains a niche model made by a small company that used to be even smaller; building 20,000 cars is an impressive feat. Lamborghini manufactured an average of 250 cars annually during the first four decades of its existence. Precisely 1,999 units of the Countach, one of the Raging Bull’s most emblematic models, were built during a production run that lasted for 17 years.

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