All posts in “prototype”

10 things you didn´t know about Hispano Suiza

Hispano Suiza Fábrica de Automóvil S.A. is a company that dates back to the ‘old days’ of automotive history, between 1904 and 1946 they not only created a total of 12,000 luxury high-performance cars but also 50,000 aircraft engines in Spain, sadly after 1946 this glorious name became somewhat dormant … until 2000, when the HS21 supercar was shown in Geneva, followed by the K8 in 2001 and the HS21-GTS in 2002 as evolutions of the HS21 version.

The 2001 Hispano Suiza K8

But there is a lot more to know about the history of this glamorous car builder, so take a look at the 10 things you might not know about them is the extract from their latest press release below:

1 – More than 100 years of history
Hispano Suiza was founded on June 14, 1904, by Damián Mateu together with Francisco Seix and Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt, who had worked for two companies that had preceded Hispano Suiza: La Cuadra and J. Castro. Birkigt’s experience in the industry was key in laying the foundations for Hispano Suiza.

In 1905, Hispano Suiza created their first vehicle, the Armored Type Birkigt System, which was equipped with a four-cylinder engine and 20 CV of power, and which reached a top speed of 87 km/h. It was followed, a year later, by what would be the first car with a six-cylinder engine built in Spain, a model delivering 75 HP of power that completed the Perpignan-to-Paris route in 22 hours, a feat which received great media attention at the time.

2 – Hispano Suiza did not just produce cars throughout its history
During World War I, Hispano Suiza went from producing cars to manufacturing aircraft engines. It was a period of great success for the company: they applied their technological know-how in the manufacture and development of automotive engines to a new field, which brought them great benefits.

Georges Guynemer and his fighter plane

Birkigt built an aircraft engine that was based on a racing car engine, following the “direct drive” principle, with a V8 layout and aluminum alloy blocks to reduce weight. Hispano Suiza began to receive numerous orders, so many that they had to sell licenses to other manufacturers in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Japan and even Russia… In total, more than 50,000 Hispano Suiza engines were built.

Hispano Suiza aviation engines also found their place at sea. The most spectacular engine, a V12 delivering 1,300 HP, was mounted on a series of racing boats, including the so-called Aurora, built in 1935. Birkigt collaborated in the assembly of this boat, which was auctioned a few years ago for a figure close to a million euros.

3 – King Alfonso XIII

King Alfonso XIII played an important role in the early days of Hispano Suiza. The monarch was a car enthusiast, who instantly fell in love with the 20CV Hispano Suiza that he drove in in 1905. So much so that in 1910 he became a shareholder, purchasing 8% of the company shares. King Alfonso XIII also had a car named in his honor, a two-seater sports car, with a 3,619 cc four-cylinder engine, delivering 60 HP, with a top speed of 120 km / h. It was the Hispano-Suiza T45, better known as Hispano Suiza Alfonso XIII.

King Alfonso XIII of Spain with Hispano Suiza

4 – A car for the elite
Thanks to the performance of its vehicles, which combined speed with lightness and amazing driving sensations, thanks to its luxury materials, the handcrafted to the highest quality standards, Hispano Suiza immediately rose to fame.

In addition to King Alfonso XIII, the vehicles of the Spanish brand were chosen by aristocrats, intellectuals, and the most renowned artists in the world, such as Gustavo V of Sweden, Carlos II of Romania, Louis II of Monaco, Pablo Picasso, André Citroën, Coco Chanel, René Lacoste, Paul McCartney or Albert Einstein.

The history of Hispano Suiza cars has always been closely linked to clients with high purchasing power, an exquisite taste for luxury and an incalculable passion for the automotive world. Today, classic Hispano Suiza cars are preserved with great care in museums and private collections around the world.

5 – Hispano Suiza, not just a car but an asset of cultural interest
The Hispano Suiza 30-40 HP was an important model in the history of the brand, developed by Birkigt as a replacement for the 20-30 HP. Of all those produced, there was a very special unit custom-built for the Marquis of Zayas and bodied by Francisco Capella.

This model used noble woods and materials such as ivory and silver. The steering wheel was positioned to the right, as it was customary then, and featured mahogany details, ivory handles, beveled glass, automatic blinds, fine cushioned upholstered seats, a perfume diffuser, vases, and numerous details that underlined the elegance and exclusivity of the car. It was a Hispano Suiza made to measure.

The model, after all cars once belonging to the Marquis of Zayas were auctioned, was acquired by the Spanish Home Office which declared it an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1988, being the first car to achieve this status,  which is normally granted to monuments and works of art. The vehicle was then displayed in the Museum of Automotive History located in Salamanca (Spain).

6 – The stork
Hispano Suiza’s emblem, the stork, is a nod to the company’s heritage as a manufacturer of aircraft engines. The brand decided to feature it in all its models to pay tribute to Georges Guynemer, a French fighter ace, who had a stork painted on the fuselage of its fighter jet during World War I, powered by a Hispano Suiza engine.

In 1919, the silver stork accompanied the new Hispano Suiza H6B in its presentation at the Geneva Motor Show and, since then, it featured in all the brand’s models, accompanied by the flags of Spain and Switzerland. 100 years later, the stork flew again at Carmen’s presentation, once again at the Geneva Motorshow.

7 – Carmen
Carmen is the name that Hispano Suiza has given to the vehicle with which it made its comeback to the world of automotive manufacturing. It is a model that has already made history; the most technologically advanced that has been designed, manufactured, and developed in Spain. The choice of the name is not a mere coincidence: it is a tribute to Mrs. Carmen Mateu, granddaughter of Damián Mateu – founder of the company – and mother of the current president of Hispano Suiza, Miguel Suqué Mateu.

“The name Carmen is a tribute to our mother. When we were debating what to name the new vehicle, we immediately thought of Carmen and the family loved it ”, declared Miguel Suqué Mateu. “She always told me that she wanted to see Hispano Suiza roaring on the streets again, and I am sure that she would be very proud of it. The signature on the back of the vehicle is her original signature.”

The ‘last name’ Boulogne, which is used for the more powerful version of Carmen, is not a coincidence either. It is a tribute to the victories achieved by the Hispano Suiza H6 Coupé in the Georges Boillot Cup, held in the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer a century ago.

8 – A car made to race
The Hispano Suiza Carmen and Carmen Boulogne have been developed on the racing circuits. For the creation of this very special model, which was presented at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Hispano Suiza had the backing of QEV Technologies, a motorsport company that built the first car that went on to win the drivers’ title in the Formula E championship.

Thus the Hispano Suiza Carmen´s dream performance, typical of a racing car. Its 1,019 CV of power – 1,114 CV in the Boulogne version – and its less than three seconds of acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h, make it one of the most powerful and fastest road cars in the world.

9 – Hispano Suiza has a former F1 driver in their team
After completing the design and manufacturing process, Hispano Suiza handed over the steering wheel to a former Formula 1 driver: Luis Pérez-Sala. Pérez-Sala has been in charge of developing the model on the track and on the road since the Hispano Suiza comeback was announced, and has worked to ensure that the select group of owners of the new Hispano Suiza feel like racing drivers.

In addition to Pérez Sala, Pablo Suárez, an experienced rally and rallycross driver with training as a motorsport engineer, also participated in the development process, bearing witness to the creation of an authentic work of art on wheels.

10 – The opportunity to create the car of your dreams
Each Hispano Suiza Carmen is unique. Thanks to the brand’s Unique Tailormade program, customers have access to a wide variety of options to create the model they have dreamed of all their life. There are 1,904 possible combinations, so no two Hispano Suiza are alike.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne

Clients can choose between three main configurations that reflect the key values ​​of the brand’s DNA – Elegance, Heritage and Sport – and, based on these, they can choose different colors and materials for the interior and exterior of their car, to add a personal touch to the design and adapt it to their individual tastes. Colors have been chosen and named in a tribute to the history of the brand, and include Peralada Green, Swiss Red, Xenia Gray, Birkigt White, or Begur Blue, among others.

Hispano Suiza is part of the Peralada Group, which represents the pinnacle of luxury in gastronomy and entertainment through its global portfolio of casinos, restaurants, hotels, golf courses, vineyards, music festivals, and marinas.

Maserati testing an MC20 Convertible

I guess it was only a matter of time before Maserati would create a topless version of their latest supercar, the MC20, and that time has come now, the first prototype test mule for an MC20C, or Cabrio has been seen on the road during initial trial runs, covered under a cloud-style camouflage wrap, complete with Maserati scripts and tridents, but we might be able to order this new supercar with a removable top from Maserati soon it seems.

Naturally, the wrap is there to avoid us from seeing just how Maserati plans to offer their MC20 as a convertible, but chances are they will be taking inspiration from Ferrari’s mid-engine Spider models, so most likely we’ll be seeing a hardtop that folds down behind the two seats under a rigid cover, I would be very surprised if Maserati would opt for a canvas roof on their supercar, we’re not talking about the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster with the terrible ‘toupet’ that took ages to fit over the frame, and limited top speed to 180 km/h, this is a 21st-century supercar from Maserati after all.

The Maserati MC20 was the first model of their new era, combining performance with luxury, the MC20 comes with their in-house developed Nettuno V6, twin-turbocharged, mid-mounted engine, a 630 hp beauty with Formula One sourced technology that pushes the new supercar to 62 mph from a standstill in just 2.88 seconds, while a top speed of more than 202 mph is listed in the specifications, but those are the figures for the coupe, I wonder if they needed to add additional weight to reinforce the base to cope with the absence of a roof structure.

From these initial test mule photos, we can see the overall looks of the Maserati MC20 Convertible will be very close to the Coupe lines, the front bumper looks the same, the side sills look similar too, and while there isn’t a view from the rear of this prototype, I think it will be safe to say that the rear fascia and lower diffuser are just about identical between the two. Even the vents next to the front lid, the headlights, and the air intakes on the rear fenders behind the door all look very close, if not the same between the Coupe and the Convertible, but the big difference will be the roof most likely.

If you look at photos of the Maserati MC20 with the doors open, you’ll notice they open like butterfly wings, and while Aston Martin had to redesign the doors when they went from the Valkyrie to the Valkyrie Spider, it seems Maserati will be able to keep the Coupe doors when converting her into a Convertible, the hinges aren’t on the windshield surround nor on part of the roof, so the Modena based Trident might have dodged a bullet there.

With the camouflaged prototype rolling on the standard fitment 20-inch Birdcage Design Alloy wheels, I used those for my first render on how I think the new 2022 Maserati MC20C would look, I went with a classic Bianco Audace body with an added touch of color on the brake calipers in gloss blue which ties in with the interior where I opted for the Nero upholstery with Blu Cielo insets … a classic Maserati color combination.

Personally, I would opt for a slightly more aggressive styling by fitting the 20″ Corsa Design Forged wheels in a Matte Dark Miron Finish over red brake calipers together with a touch of Rosso on the seats too, all red seats would look even better, but that option doesn’t seem to exist from Maserati … yet. Add a classic blue bodywork and the exterior carbon fiber package, and I think you’ll end up with a great-looking Maserati MC20 Convertible.

Note that the name MC20C is just how I think this Convertible might be called, it’s not an official name, neither are the side view I’ve created for SUPERCARS.NET, they are virtual renders of how this new Maserati MC20 Convertible might look, with a rigid roof that folds down in sections underneath a hard tonneau cover behind the seats I think the style seen on the above renders will be very close to the real car.

2022 Lamborghini V12 hybrid test mule sighted

Did Automobili Lamborghini SpA drop the ball and accidentally drive the new V12 Hybrid model inside the factory compound, right in front of a camera lens with just a loose cover and some camouflage decals on the door, the new model we’ll only be seeing towards the end of 2022 or early 2023 as the replacement for the current flagship model, the Lamborghini Aventador … or is Lamborghini playing tricks to stir up interest even more?


I will post a video shot by YouTuber Varryx at the bottom of this article, it shows the car driving right in front of his camera, and I have to admit, she sounds great, but first let’s go over some details we noticed on the video and the subsequent photos that appeared online earlier today, the obvious elephant in the room are those exhausts:


Check out the placement of those four tailpipes, grouped by two inside a hexagon tip, so far no big deal, the Aventador LP700-4 also had four exhausts, grouped inside one large tip, by the time the SVJ came around we saw two larger diameter exhaust tips moved a little higher onto the rear fascia, arguably to make the distance in piping shorter, but now those dual twin pipes sit really high at the rear, almost as high as on the Sesto Elemento we’ve seen years ago … the question is: are these real?


Is Lamborghini test driving the Aventador successor with a totally new exhaust that exits this high up, or is this a smokescreen to make us believe these are the actual exhausts, while in real life there are still two big pipes at about the same position as seen on the SVJ because the cover does show something in that area too? My guess is they took an old cover from an Aventador SVJ to keep most of this test mule out of sight and just cut a hole at the top for these new exhausts … at least I hope so, I love this look.

Judging from the area above the exhausts, it seems there is something above these tailpipes, could be a rear wing, could be bodywork with an air intake, remember the Aventador SVJ also had a center-mounted intake behind the engine cover, or it’s just a fake impression from using an SVJ cover as that model had a fixed rear wing, and this test mule actually has nothing there, but a wrapped-together oversized cover.


Now let’s look at the front, that’s not an Aventador front bumper, that’s for sure, not even the front fenders look like the current flagship, especially not the section at the front of the doors, there seems to be a vertical air vent present that will open with the doors, in traditional Lamborghini fashion, going up, as they have done since the Countach, a Lamborghini trademark by now, so I’m sure the new MY2023 top of the line from Sant’Agata will keep that style of doors.

The twirly camouflage makes it hard to distinguish details on the styling of this test mule, but let’s give it a try anyway: it looks like the typical Lamborghini design line … one uninterrupted line from the front bumper all the way to the rear fascia is kept alive for the upcoming model too, while there is a ‘swooping’ line from the bumper going up over the wheel arch only to go down a little again around the exterior rearview mirror before going up again into an air intake behind the side windows.


From what we can see on these photos, it looks like the side air intake behind the doors has a steep angle going down from the ‘hip-line’ before going forward about halfway down. And what’s going on at the top … it seems the cover is either catching a lot of air while driving this slowly, or there is a roof-mounted air intake hiding under that grey fabric … personally I think it’s another trick from Lamborghini making us believe there is an intake, perhaps later, on a performance version, but I doubt the initial release will have something as aggressive as that right from the start.

One thing that’s for sure, this test mule is not sitting on an Aventador chassis, or even an Aventador drivetrain … take a closer look at those wheels, both front, and rear. Apart from the fact that these are five-bolt style ones and not the center-lock wheels we’ve been seeing on the SVJ and Ultimae, take a closer look at the calipers, these are not in the same position as the ones on the Aventador. At the front the latter has the calipers hanging several degrees lower onto the disk, while at the rear we notice the inverse, this car has the brake caliper hanging lower compared to the Aventador, and the hand brake caliper is even in a completely different position … this is a new chassis, with a new drivetrain, and most likely already holding the brand new V12 engine.

I sure wouldn’t mind if the Lamborghini Aventador successor would look something like this when we finally see it in 2023

We already knew that Lamborghini was developing a completely new V12 engine for the Aventador successor, it seems the 780 hp found inside the Aventador Ultimae was about the maximum power they could get from the current unit without stretching it too far, and adding electric motors onto the existing ICE V12 wasn’t an option apart from a supercapacitor and a 34hp unit for the Sián and Countach LPI 800-4 … so it was back to the drawing board to build a V12 from scratch.

So by 2023, we will be seeing a Lamborghini model come to market with a brand new V12 hybrid powerplant, how many electric motors and how much battery power will be helping the V12 propel the new car to speed isn’t published yet, and come to think about it, I’m not so sure we’ll be seeing a 6.5-Liter V12 again this time around, why would they, it is perfectly possible to have a smaller displacement V12 in the successor and still have a similar power output, think about it, 700 hp from the V12 with 4 to 5-liter of displacement, and an additional 300 hp from two 150hp electric motors … power from the V12 to the rear wheels, electric power to the front wheels, and we still have four-wheel drive, and we get 1,000 hp or more.

If you look closely at the photos of the test mule that were captured, it does look like the side profile might look similar to this render.

Sources state the Aventador will be replaced by 2023, and while that might be accurate, I think we’ll be seeing the last of the Aventador coming off the assembly line in Sant’Agata by August 2022 already. Lamborghini needs time to covert the current Linea Aventador for the new model, which is a hybrid, will require some serious modifications to the line, and what better time than to start during the summer holidays of 2022, when the factory is closed anyway, and as we’ve seen with the Linea Huracán, they just fence off an entire section of the factory during the construction.

Let’s do some math here … the Aventador SVJ Coupe and Roadster are very close to being finished, there are just a few more Sián and Sián Roadster to complete, production of the Countach LPI 800-4 is about to start, and they will only make 112 of them anyway, and I’m sure the first units of the Ultimae and Ultimae Roadster are already being built as we speak, and with 350 Coupe and 250 Roadster, all of which are sold out already, this adds up to less than 750 cars to be finished on Linea Aventador before it becomes obsolete … if you think about the fact they finished nearly 600 units in the first months of 2021, all of the remaining V12 models, be it NA or with the supercapacitor, will be completed by August 2021.

I did one more render of the rear of the upcoming model, at least how I think the new Lamborghini V12 Ibrido will look if they keep those amazing exhaust pipes, which I for one really like, and even the entire look and feel of the above render works for me, it’s clearly a Lamborghini, low, wide, and brutal … but for now, check out the video below, and hear the thunder of the Raging Bull, courtesy of Varryx:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

The Cizeta-Moroder V16T prototype is for sale

If history was just a little off back in the Nineties we would have seen a totally different Lamborghini Diablo on the road at that time, but with Chrysler taking over the Sant’Agata company, the original Marcello Gandini design for the Lamborghini Countach successor was rejected and a small sidestep was taken with a Zagato design until the design studio from Chrysler in the US together with Gandini created the Lamborghini Diablo we know today … but Marcello’s original design wouldn’t be lost in the archives.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Claudio Zampolli, a former Lamborghini test driver and development engineer moved to the United States in the eighties to start an exotic car service point, but his dream was to build an exotic car himself, long story short, Zampoli teamed up with Giorgio Moroder, a famous music composer, and producer, in the late eighties to build a car the likes the world had never seen before … a 6-Liter, V16 supercar.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

As usual in business deals that involve a lot of money or the creation of a brand new car maker with their first model being built from scratch, problems came up during the build, and due to delays in building the first prototype, Giorgio Moroder pulled out of the deal before the first customer car was ever finished, only a prototype show car was completed, which is the only one in the world that comes with the Cizeta Moroder name tag, the subsequent production cars were just called the Cizeta V16T.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The world hadn’t seen many V16 cars, and that’s exactly why Claudio Zampolli wanted his supercar to come with this exotic engine, he actually combined two V-8 engines to achieve a 6-Liter V16 engine coupled to a five-speed gearbox, and while no horsepower figures were ever published, the Cizeta V16T should reach 328 km/h (204 mph) and accelerate to 60 mph in 4 seconds … naturally, such an exotic car needed a bespoke body design that would be equally impressive as the engine itself.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The design of the Cizeta V16T was clearly inspired by Gandini’s original design for the Lamborghini Diablo, but Zampoli did ask to drop the famous upward-opening doors, on the Cizeta the doors open in a regular fashion, to the side, but you have to admire the way the Cizeta headlights work … remember we’re talking late eighties, early nineties, and pop-up headlights were in style at that time, and with a V16 engine behind the seats, why not go for a total of four pop-up pods holding lights at the front.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This Cizeta Moroder V16T prototype, chassis 001, was the official show car at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show, but it would take two more years before the first production car was sold to a customer, in 1991, with an MSRP of $650,000 (compare that to a Lamborghini Diablo that was $290,000 back in 1991), and while the Cizeta V16T was an incredible looking car, in the end only 9 customer cars were ever made, at an auction held by RM Sotheby’s back in January 2021 one of the RHD production models was sold for $668,000, but the car we are looking at in this article is even more exclusive.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

For one this is the actual prototype, the only car that is called the Cizeta Moroder V16T and the one with a large number of horizontal slats on the side intake, the production cars came with vertical slots, apart from the special RHD model at the 1993 Geneva Show that also came with horizontal slats, 6 in total, this prototype has seven in total. This prototype is also the only model with this dashboard and steering wheel, both were changed for the nine production cars, in fact just about the entire interior was altered before the first customer car left the assembly line.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Chassis number 001 was unveiled in Los Angeles on December 5, 1988, during an event hosted by none other than Jay Leno, later the car would be shipped to Los Angeles for the Auto Show and all the way to Switzerland for the March 1989 Geneva Motor Show, finished in pearl-white metallic over a bright red leather interior, the car would remain in this color combination throughout its entire life, and more importantly, the car was owned by Giorgio Moroder ever since, he kept her in storage for all these years.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

However, we are talking about a 30-year-old prototype car here, so over time there are bound to be some issues, being in storage for decades isn’t necessarily a good thing, so in 2018 Moroder decided to have Canepa Design do a full mechanical restoration, the latter found that this functional prototype needed some improvements made to make sure it could be used on the open road like for instance extra heat shielding around the fuel tanks. After the team at Canepa Design was happy with the mechanicals they took the car on a road test to make sure she was completely sorted before returning her to Mr. Moroder.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Today Giorgio Moroder decided it was time to part with this illustrious prototype, the one and only Cizeta Moroder V16T in the world, chassis 001 of less than 15 cars ever made, one single Cizeta Moroder V16T and 12 or 13 Cizeta V16T, the opportunity to obtain an actual show car prototype rarely comes around in a lifetime, and this one is looking you right into the eyes, the RM Sotheby’s auction listing isn’t even showing an estimate on this one for their Arizona action on January 27, 2022, but with the 1993 model sold in January 2021 for $665,000, my guess is this one will go over the $1,000,000 mark in a few months.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T Patrick Ernzen ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

You have super cars, hyper cars, and then there is an ultra car

We’ve seen new car building companies being founded almost every day of the year, and some come up with some amazing concepts, usually either as drawings, some as real 3D renders, but barely with a driveable concept or prototype, and most of these companies disappear into oblivion just about as fast as they were created, and Spyros Panopoulos Automotive that is the author of the car we’re discussing today might have fallen into that trap of being a ‘one-day celebrity too, as the only thing we’ve been able to find about this car is a Youtube video … from about a year ago, since then, no update, no rolling concept, no driveable production prototype … but we still wanted to share this car with you.

The no update might have been a little exaggerated, as SP Automotive, based in Greece, was planning to unveil their ‘Chaos’ Ultra Car at the 2022 Geneva Motor Show in March next year, but once again this famous European car show has been canceled, and at this point in time a four-minute teaser video is the only tangible thing we have on Chaos (you can check it out at the end of this article).

The intention by Spyros Panopoulos, when he started SP Automotive in 2019, was to build the most extreme production car in the world, with the best technology possible and as always with these new car builders, it would be the fastest in the world, very limited, built in a unique way … which translates into them charging a small fortune for a car from a manufacturer that has no pedigree, and that nobody heard from before … a perfect business plan, right?

The latest info we received states SP Automotive will be unveiling their Chaos in the very near future, with no Geneva Motor Show to go to, they intend to do a private unveiling party soon, from the video it is unclear if we are looking at some nice 3D renders, or if they actually managed to show a real car, but if we have to believe the scarce information we did find on this car, it looks really, and I mean really interesting nonetheless.

Some really expensive materials have been mentioned on the build sheet for the Chaos, how about using titanium combined with carbon fiber and kevlar for the chassis, while the body would be made from Zylon, which is a high-strength synthetic polymer with an extremely impressive tensile strength. Zylon is a lot stronger compared to carbon fiber, and it even boasts a tensile strength 1.6 times better than Kevlar, it is in fact the strongest manmade organic fiber, about 10 times stronger than steel, those are some pretty impressive figures … but with that kind of strength comes a high price tag too.

And those exotic materials aren’t even the best part, the piece-de-resistance is the engine SP Automotive is telling us about: a twin-turbo V10 with a 4-liter displacement, now I know that doesn’t sound impressive … but get this: power output in the ‘base’ configuration is said to be 2,000 hp, and it gets even better, the top-of-the-line Chaos will come with no less than 3,000 hp with a redline set at 12,000 rpm … that’s Formula One screaming if you ask me, the sound from the Inconel exhaust must be breathtaking.

This translates into some rather amazing performance figures too, a 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 1.8 seconds, those tires will be having a hard time getting enough grip to put down that impressive acceleration, while SP Automotive claims a top speed of … wait for it … 500 Km/h or 310 mph! I wonder who is delivering the tires that can cope with that, Bugatti is playing with the 400 km/h barrier on their special Chiron versions, but this new company from Greece adds another 100 km/h on top of that.

[embedded content] [embedded content]

SP Automotive intends to build between 15 to 20 cars each year until the limited production number of 100 units for their Chaos is reached, so they intend to build these over a span of 5 to 6 years then it seems, and the planned to unveil date is set for November 1, 2021 … let’s see what this looks like in real life. Do you really want to know the price of this Chaos … the Base spec with 2,000 hp should be €5,500,000 or about US$6,500,000 … but that impressive 3,000 hp version will set you back a massive €12,400,000, that’s roughly $14,500,000, personally I would buy an entire garage full of Lamborghinis for that kind of money, but that might just be me.

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!

The Marc Philipp Gemballa Marsien

I can’t help myself, but when I look at these photos of the new Marc Philipp Gemballa Marsien, I’m thinking about the legendary Paris Dakar rally where Porsche entered a few of their rare 959 models, complete with a raised suspension to be able to cope with the desert racing … and then I read in the official press release the Project Sandbox as this concept was initially called, took inspiration from that rally, so my feeling was correct.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

This is Gemballa’s first production-ready car, do note Marc Philipp Gemballa is a separate company from Gemballa GmbH, this bespoke off-road capable supercar is a combination of a comfortable contemporary supercar and an off-road sand eating monster, a development with partners like Akrapovič,  KW Automotive, and RUF Automobile.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

We published the early renders on this car a while ago in our ‘The return of Gemballa‘ article, but today Project Sandbox is ready for production, albeit very limited and all bespoke builds, and more importantly the car is now named Marsien, at the 27, this young entrepreneur and son of late Uwe Gemballa launched his very first production-ready supercar, starting a new era in 2021, Marc Philipp quickly realized if he wanted to build a successful company for the future and not just toss the next imitator product onto the market, he needed to come up with something very special for his clients.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

After two years of design and perfecting the initial renders to put into production, a new concept is now introduced, in fact, we’re looking at a completely new supercar segment, a modern supercar with the comfort we’ve come to expect in this day and age, with daily driver practicality that can go off-road, at high speed, and bringing the latest technology into the mix … something only an SUV like the Lamborghini Urus or Bentley Bentayga could offer, but every customer is tempted by an SUV, they want an off-road supercar … like this Marsien.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

At this early stage, Marc Philipp Gemballa’s new company is not ready for a new car built entirely in-house, unlike Rimac who designed, developed, and is building their Nevera from scratch with every single piece being built in their own factory, Marc Philipp is taken a well-proven, respected supercar from Porsche and turns it into his Marsien, and the all-wheel-drive Porsche 992 Turbo S is just what he needed with its state-of-the-art technology on a cutting-edge platform.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

Only 40 units of the Marc Philipp Gemballa Marsien will be built, and while you are reading this, over 20 have already been sold, so if you want to add this ‘made in Germany’ off-road supercar to your collection you might want to act quick, the car will be available globally and has been thoroughly tested on the sand dunes of the Arabian desert as can clearly be seen in the official launch video at the end of this article.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

From the press release: During the intense test phase in the beautiful Al Faya desert, the development team was amazed by the stunning red desert sand in combination with the sharp fossil rocks and mountain backdrops shaping the landscape of the desert making it very special and unlike any other. “We felt like as if we were in an entirely different universe,” says Marc Philipp Gemballa. The Al Faya desert located in the emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates has been famous ever since for its unique and extremely red desert sand and Mars-like environment visually. “Since it looked and felt like we were on Mars paired with the futuristic design and the vehicle’s off-road capabilities, we couldn’t think of a more fitting name for our first project.” The name ‘MARSIEN’ was born – derived from the French word ‘Martian’ or ‘from Mars’.

As we would expect, the body for this Marsien is made entirely from lightweight but strong carbon fiber and comes from the same German company that produces carbon fiber parts as an OEM to leading supercar manufacturers, but also to Formula One teams, for the sleek design Marc Philipp turned to Porsche aficionado Alan Derosier, known for his beautiful Porsche 908 design study while the bespoke LED taillights have been developed together with GERG Lighthouse.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

The German-based technical service provider FAKT is currently working on road homologation for the Marc Philipp Gemballa Marsien, together with Gemballa’s technical team they are working on getting the Marsien street-legal in Europe, including the more stringent Switzerland, but also for the Middle-East, probably one of their biggest market. The Marsien will also be imported into the United States of America … and if possible into any other market in the world later on.

The car in these photos is the first completed car from Marc Philipp Gemballa, it’s the official launch vehicle, and it’s finished in a stunning, triple-layer pearl metallic white with bespoke metallic flakes, as this is an off-road supercar, they also applied a though ceramic coat for added protection to this expensive paint job, on customer cars the color palette is vast, a state-of-the-art certified paint shop will be able to create the exact shade and finish the future owner requests, or you can opt for an exposed carbon fiber body … now that would be my choice, to be honest.

The Marsien comes with a special engine upgrade POWERED BY RUF, and while the six-cylinder boxer engine is still compliant with EOR 6 emissions, power output is raised to more than 750 hp … but it gets even better, RUF offers a Stage II power upgrade with modified VTG turbochargers and different EVU mapping that bumps power to 830 hp, in this case, you’ll also need some revised PDK transmission settings to cope with that much power.

To ensure the Marsien was as capable on the road as off the road, Marc Philipp together with KW Automotive developed a new double-wishbone front suspension with solid piston damper technology with intelligent active dampers and adjustable ride height, there is an electronically controlled hydraulic lift system that can raise the Marsien from normal road level up to a ground clearance of 250 mm!

The driver of the Marsien has several driving modes at his, or her disposal through the knob on the steering wheel, in addition to the standard Porsche modes, this Gemballa comes with bespoke off-road modes like gravel, mud, sand, and even snow … also note the entire underbody of the Marsien is protected from debris by a solid aluminum guard plate.

© MARC PHILIPP GEMBALLA GmbH / Oskar Bakke & Victor Goico

The MARSIEN is delivered with two different, bespoke forged aluminum wheel sets, both with track-inspired center locking bolts, the first set comes with Michelin Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires for road use, while the second set is shod with All-Terrain tires for off-road use. If you really want to go crazy on the sand, there is the option of a Reiger Suspension rally-spec off-road dampers further enhancing the suspension travel and increasing the ground clearance to a fixed off-road ride height.

The interior is another fine balance between form and function, fitted with either a leather or an Alcantara upholstery, the overall look and feel is inspired by the magnificent Porsche Carrera GT, with a ‘flying’ carbon fiber central console and custom ‘ribbons’ to pull the door shut. There are handstitched Gemballa logos on the headrests, and the logo is also embedded on the armrest.

Also note there is a special plaque fitted to the interior with the serial number of that specific car, one of only 40, with the 10 ‘Launch Edition’ models being sold out long ago, only a handful of the 40 units are still available while production of the Marsien will start in late 2021, each with a starting price of €495,000 before taxes (about US$586,000), and you’ll have to add duties, shipping, custom requests or options … and your base, that Porsche 992 Turbo S … yes, that price tag of almost $600,000 is just for the conversion alone … exclusivity doesn’t come cheap.


Base vehicle: Porsche 911 Turbo S (992 Series)
Engine: RUF upgraded twin-turbocharged flat-six engine
Power (hp): 750 up to 830 hp (Series: 650 hp)
Power (kW): 552 kW (Series: 478 kW)
Max. torque: 930 Nm torque (Series: 800 Nm torque)
Vmax: 330 km/h (with on-road tire set only)
0-100 km/h: 2.6 seconds (with on-road tIre set only)

Exhaust: Bespoke Akrapovič titanium exhaust system
Suspension: Double wishbone front suspension Multi-link rear suspension KW Automotive solid piston dampers with two electronic valves and semi-active Dynamic Damper and Chassis Control (KW DDCC) and adjustable ride height via Hydraulic Lift System (HLS)

Ground clearance: 250 mm in off-road mode / 120 mm in on-road mode
Dimensions: L 4714 / W 2030 / H 1450 (in off-road mode)

Wheels & Tyres:
On-road wheels
Bespoke 20″/21″ forged aluminum wheels with center lock
system in with Michelin Ultra High-Performance tires
Off-road wheels
Bespoke 19″/20″ MPG forged aluminum wheels with center lock
system in with All-Terrain tires (Vmax 210 km/h)

Exterior: Full carbon fiber body
Interior: Fully bespoke full leather / Alcantara interior with carbon fibeR accents

The official launch video:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

The RML Short Wheelbase interior

Remember the RLM SWB, which stands for Short Wheelbase we posted a while ago? Don’t worry, it’s still in the concept stage at this time, but it seems we’ll be seeing the first actual cars being delivered by Q1 2022, and if the renders are anything to go by, this might be a great looking, classic GT inspired by some of the greatest cars of the Fifties and Sixties.

A quick recap: RML Group located in Wellingborough, UK, will be building their “Short Wheelbase” as it is fully called, inspired by the legendary 250GT SWB from 1959, but while on one hand, the RLM SWB looks like a car from the Fifties, on the other hand, she will feature all the 21st-century amenities we’ve come to expect from a modern GT.

The RLM SWB will be using a genuine Ferrari engine, front-mounted, V12 with a displacement of 5474cc and a power output of 478 hp and 568 Nm of torque, all going to the rear wheels only, through a six-speed manual gearbox, the RML Short Wheelbase will not be available with an automatic paddle shifter for this modern-day classic GT, naturally the gearshift lever is mounted in an open-gated grid, just like in the good old days, and today RML finally reveals how the interior for this limited edition SWB will look like.

The body of the RML SWB is made from modern carbon fiber but still looks classic, that same idea has been taken into the interior too, it all looks classic and analog, but make no mistake, this is a very modern cabin that can easily fit drivers up to 6 ft 6 … the roofline for this amazing looking SWB was actually dictated by putting RML’s tallest employee inside the car, with a helmet on, none other than CEO Michael Mallock.

While an adjustable steering column was unheard of back in the Fifties, the RML SWB comes with both reach and rake adjustment of the stylish steering wheel, the seats inside this beautiful modern-day classic can be finished in either smooth leather or gripping Alcantara, but whatever upholstery the client requests, these seats offer so much adjustability just about any driver should be able to sit behind the wheel in the utmost comfort.

Some companies shop around for the more mundane items found inside the cockpit of their low-volume limited-edition car, but RML went the opposite route and spend a small fortune to make sure every little switch, every dial, and every stalk is a bespoke RML item, the stunning dials in front of the driver remind us of an expensive watch, and every surface on the inside of the RML SWB is either made from leather, Alcantara, aluminum, or glass … not a single piece of plastic will be found inside this GT.

The RML SWB really is a modern car with classic looks, and this means a good working airconditioning system will be installed to keep both the driver and passenger cool, no matter what the climate is on the outside, this car even comes with cupholders, electric windows, electric seats, and electrically adjustable mirrors.

But how do you install a decent infotainment system in such a classically inspired car, both for the bodywork and for the interior, clients that are putting down this much money for a car these days expect to get the best of the best, not only in a pure driving experience but also in infotainment … so the RML SWB comes with a ‘hidden’ infotainment screen that only ‘pops up’ from the central console when needed. And it isn’t just a small, limited system either, it incorporates everything a customer expects these days from a high-end modern vehicle: Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and mobile phone connectivity.

Rimac C_Two gets its name

Introduced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the Rimac C_Two, also referred to as the Concept Two, boasted some really impressive figures: 1,914 hp with a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph). Rimac calls it the new breed of hypercar, with acceleration figures of 1.85 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, this might be the closest thing to launching a jet fighter from an aircraft carrier on the road.

But it seems we will finally be seeing the actual production version on June 1, 2021, when Rimac will also unveil their name for this amazing new hypercar, Rimac Automobili released a 40-seconds teaser on YouTube with the caption More extreme performance, new official name, immersive features, extraordinary technology, and exceptional engineering in its final form.” … so will there be even more power for the final production version?

Rimac has been talking about figures like 1,914 hp already for years now, with a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph), they call their C_Two a new breed of hypercar, with acceleration figures of 1.85 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill … have they used the additional year of development since their intention to unveil the car at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show to up these statistics even more?

We’ll have to wait and see what the official release will be on June 1, but until then we can check out their teaser below:

[embedded content] [embedded content]

SSC reveals a 2,200 hp Tuatara Aggressor

It hasn’t been an easy time for SSC lately, first, they declare to have set a world speed record with their Tuatara hypercar in October 2020 when they published a top speed of 316 mph (508.73 km/h) over two runs in opposite directions, on a stretch of the State Route 160 outside of Las Vegas near Pahrump, where the Agera RS made history in November 2017, race driver Oliver Webb took the wheel of the SSC Tuatara to pulverize the world record for the fastest street-legal production car.

But that record quickly got questioned by just about everybody, especially on YouTube, and it forced SSC to do a second attempt to put all the rumors to rest, but they weren’t going back to Texas again, for this second run the Tuatara was taken to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility, and they would make sure to have every kind of measurement system and witnesses to make their point, the SSC Tuatara will be the fastest car in the world.

The second go at the record was performed on January 17, 2021, but this time by the owner of the car. Dr. Larry Caplin, as required by regulations, to qualify for an official world record the car has to travel the same track twice, once in one direction, and once in the opposite direction … this time the SSC Tuatara managed to get to 279.7 mph (450.1 km/h) in the northbound direction and subsequently reached 286.1 mph (460.4 km/h) on the southbound way, for the record this came down to an average speed of 282.9 mph (455.2 km/h) … the current world record for production cars.

But things turned for the worse when the transporter that was carrying the rare #001 record-setting car was involved in an accident, it appears a strong gust of wind flipped the trailer with the car inside on the I-15 while the car was heading to Florida for a second record-setting run mid-April because at the second attempt described above they didn’t reach the magical 300 mph barrier, so they wanted to try again … sadly the car never made it to Florida in one piece. SSC did release a statement after the incident they will still do a second attempt, and possibly even with this very car, as the damage is purely cosmetic according to Shelby, the chassis, drivetrain, and suspension are perfectly fine.

The SSC Tuatara is powered by a Nelson Racing Engines, twin-turbo 5.9-Liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine that develops 1,750 horsepower on E85 and 1,350 hp on 91 octane, but if you would expect SSC to simply repair their crashed Tuatara, or perhaps build another one, you are sadly mistaking … they just released information on ‘the next step’, it seems they deem 1,750hp isn’t enough, and now intend to release two new Tuatara variants.

The SSC Tuatara Striker will come with improved aerodynamics, their release states an increase of 300% compared to the original car at 160 mph, thanks to a massive rear wing together with a vertical stabilizer and a new diffuser, at the front the splitter and dive plate further push down the car, the split is to be 45.4% to the front and 54.6% for the rear, adding even more carbon fiber and Alcantara on the interior will reduce weight … even with the current 1,750 hp (1,305 kW) this should mean the Tuatara Striker is even faster.

But that’s not all SSC has in the pipeline … how about 2,200 hp (1,641 kW)? That’s right, the SSC Tuatara Aggressor will come with the same modified aero and weight savings as the Striker, but with a massive power increase, the latter one will not be street legal it seems. The Tuatara Aggressor can also be customized with special exhaust tuning, performance options, and bespoke aesthetics … but there is a catch, SSC only builds a very limited number of these cars.

The intention is to build 100 units of the SSC Tuatara, now they will add 100 units of the new SSC Tuatara Striker … but only 10 of the SSC Tuatara Aggressor will be available, no official pricing has been published by SSC for either of these new evolutions, but I guess the clientele for these hypercars doesn’t care for a million more or less, it’s all about having the fastest, most exclusive hypercar for these customers.

The Bugatti Chiron 4-005 prototype

When a carmaker is preparing to release a new model, they usually have test mules or prototypes built to perform tests with, these days a lot of the preparation is done virtually, many thousands of miles are ‘driven’ on a computer before a working prototype is made, and more often than not, this prototype will hide underneath a modified body of an existing model, you’ll have to look at details like front and rear track, the position of the exhausts and other stuff like that to notice something is off, and you are actually looking at a test mule.

When it was time to create a successor for the Veyron, it took Bugatti a total of eight prototypes to develop the Chiron for production, and each of these prototypes is hand-built and get bespoke parts created just for that unit, the fifth prototype in the development actually still exists after eight years, called the 4-005, this was the car that got used to developing the Chiron’s software, which is used in a about 30 ‘computers’ found scattered around underneath the beautiful Chiron bodywork.

Rüdiger Warda was responsible for the Chiron’s infotainment and audio system, and it took him and a team of 13 engineers, computer scientists, and physicists to develop these systems for the new Bugatti Chiron, they spent weeks inside the 4-005 for stress-testing the system until everything was exactly as they wanted … this team was responsible for the way the headlights, taillights and turn signals perform their ‘show’ when the owner approaches the Chiron.

This was also the car to be driven in the USA, perform drifts in the snow in Scandinavia, complete laps on the high-speed ring in Nardò, and pass heat tests in South Africa … this 4-005 prototype had a rough life, and all of that had to happen before the global launch in 2016, being protected from spy shots all the time.

When Mark Schröder had difficulty reading the menu navigation writing during a test-drive in Arizona, USA, he came up with a solution right away – like the electronic paper display of an e-book reader, the display background now changes from black to white and the writing from white to black when signaled to do so by a sun sensor.

During all these undercover testing, the team sometimes did stress tests for as long as 10 hours straight, and still got out of the car without backpain or fatigue from driving, after eight years of hard driving conditions, this Bugatti Chiron 4-005 covered over 74,000 km, arguably the highest mileage Bugatti Chiron in the world, and if you look at the interior, the seats, and the electronics … they look essentially wear-free … what a testament to the quality of this hypercar.

Finally, in 2021, the Bugatti Chiron 4-005 development prototype is being retired, it will no longer be used to further develop any of the electronics, there will be no more equipment mounted in the interior or on the matte black bodywork for measuring or monitoring … it’s over for this prototype, it’s harsh life is no more and she will probably get a nice spot inside the museum now.

Mercedes AMG One on the track

We are all eagerly awaiting the official, public unveil of the new Mercedes-AMG One hypercar, but at the moment we’ll have to be content with watching one of their latest prototypes hurdling down the famous Nürburgrin Nordschleife in Germany, taking corners while remaining virtually flat, this will be an amazing car once available, I for one can’t wait to encounter one on the road.

[embedded content] [embedded content]

Some rumors mention a power output close to 1,200 hp from an F1 derived 1.6-Liter V6 engine, with Hybrid added naturally, I wonder if they are going to create a Roadster version of this one, as they did with the extremely rare CLK GTR, after they made the initial 20 units, the intention was to create 5 CLK GTR Roadsters, but six of the latter were built, one in Black, one in dark silver and the remaining four in the classic silver paint …

The latest information we have is that customers should be taking delivery of their Mercedes-AMG One in 2021, but there are only a few months left this year, and they are still testing prototypes on a closed track … if Mercedes-AMG still wants to have their One in a customer’s garage before the end of the year, they might want to speed things up … no pun intented.

FV Frangivento Sorpasso

We all think about Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini when someone mentions ‘Italian supercar’, but there are many more car builders in Italy, like FV Frangivento, located in Turin, and they just introduced their latest creation, the FV Frangivento Sorpasso, and while the ‘base’ model is called the Stradale, they also have a GTXX model, and it’s this one that comes with an interesting option.

As a special customization option, you can opt for the FV Frangivento Sorpasso GTXX to come with your choice of numbers for the ‘XX’ in the name, so you could have it as GT40, or GT63, or whatever number you like, and that’s not even the best part … there is also Programma Sviluppo and Programma Ego, this will give you 30-day access to the stylists at FV Frangivento to actually design you very own Sorpasso Stradale or Sorpasso GTXX.

The car in these press renders is in fact the FV Frangivento Sorpasso Stradale, the more elegant supercar, in this case, finished in ‘Grigio Hermes’, the Sorpasso GTXX will come with a GT3 inspired, more aggressive design and boast two-tone paint finish, for the interior a combination of Alcantara and leather is possible, and FV Frangivento lists an optional Avatar Driving Assistant. Which should become an AI technology-based co-pilot or travel assistant.

The FV Frangivento Sorpasso comes with four-wheel drive and a V10 engine, while the Stradala makes do with 610 hp, the GTXX will get a supercharger installed to raise the power output to 850 hp, the latter will be able to reach 100 km/h from a standstill in 2.9 seconds and won’t run out of breath until her maximum speed of 345 km/h (215 Mph) is reached.

No pricing yet, but FV Frangivento already has orders in, and plans to have the first of their latest Sorpasso delivered to their clients by July …

Gordon Murray Automotive’s T.50 XP2 Prototype First Drive

The Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 XP2 prototype with limited revs was driven for the first time at the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold, Surrey, UK, and just meters from where the T.50 will begin full production in 2022. Its first test drive was personally undertaken by Professor Gordon Murray.

[embedded content]

Gordon Murray Automotive’s T.50 supercar has had its first development test drive, marking a major milestone for the world’s most driver-centric supercar.

Professor Gordon Murray CBE: “The XP2 prototype is currently running at considerably less revs than its 12,100rpm limit, yet the T.50 felt fantastic on my first drive. The car was responsive, agile and rewarding to drive. It was a fantastic experience to be sitting in the centre of the car once again with great all-round visibility and I can see how much the owners will enjoy this experience. Obviously, there’s still a lot of development miles to be completed and many more prototypes to build. But the trajectory of the T.50 development is where we want it to be.”

The new T.50 supercar will be the most driver-centric supercar ever built. It will be powered by the world’s highest-revving, lightest, naturally aspirated road car V12 engine, developing 663ps. It weighs just 986kg, a third lighter than most typical supercars and features the most advanced and effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car. Just 100 will be made and the first customer deliveries will be in 2022.

Maserati MC20 cold weather testing

Only a few days ago we reported Maserati taking one of their late prototypes onto the race track for high-speed testing and fine-tuning, and now we find out they are taking another one of their MC20 test cars into a totally different environment … not so many high speeds this time, but a test of driveability in ice-cold conditions.

Maserati took a bright yellow MC20 with very little camouflage onto the snow-covered roads of the Valtellina and at the Ghiacciodromo Livigno (Sondrio), Italy’s most notable snow and ice circuit, for final cold-weather trials to make sure the car is ready for just about any customer later this year as the first cars become available worldwide.

Cold-weather testing is a perfect way to check how the components of the car handle extreme cold, things like the battery, suspension, and brakes might perform unexpectedly in these conditions, and you really want to make sure the heating for the driver and passenger can handle freezing outside temperatures, contrary to test runs in the desert to verify the climate control’s cooling capabilities.

It seems the Maserati MC20 handled herself very well on cold and low-grip asphalt during these trials, they have enhanced the opposing personalities of this car, born from the Brand’s racing DNA but designed for series production.

Those upward-opening doors really emphasize we are looking at a Maserati supercar, they might have required extensive engineering and add an additional cost to building the MC20, but they just look so cool it’s totally worth it.

The first production prototype of the Bugatti Centodiece is currently being assembled

At “The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering” in California back in 2019, Bugatti unveiled an extremely special project … the Centodiece as an homage to the legendary Bugatti EB110 from the Nineties, created by Romano Artioli and Giampaolo Benedini, the EB110 was responsible for the revival of Bugatti as a hypercar manufacturer.

30 years later the Centodiece wants to evoke that same sentiment again, but in a brand-new, contemporary design … the angular styling of the EB110 just wouldn’t work today, but Bugatti only wants to build 10 units of the Centodiece and with a price tag of €8,000,000 (which is $9,700,00 at today’s exchange rate), this very exclusive car is destined for a select few customers, still, they sold all ten units in a matter of hours.

The Bugatti Centodiece is being created by the one-off and few-off projects department at Molsheim, but it has to meet very stringent requirements just like the normal (of you can call any Bugatti ‘normal’) production cars, probably the Centodiece customers even expect their car to exceed every single Bugatti known today, so the pressure is on at Bugatti to build the best EB110 tribute possible.

The time has come at Molsheim to build the first production prototype for the new Bugatti Centodiece, Andre Kullig, who was involved in cars like the Divo and La Voiture Noire, was looking forward to finally build the first Centodiece after more than a year of calculations, simulating, designing, and testing the new design.

Recently the development team at Bugatti was able to put the first rolling chassis to work in their in-house dynamometer to make sure the drivetrain is up to specs, after all, we are talking about a W16 engine that will deliver 1,600 hp in the end … the next step is to build the actual bodywork now …

The challenges are enormous: taking an 8-liter engine capable of 1,600 hp gets extremely hot, and as an homage to the EB110, the engine cover is made of glass so you can admire this powerplant, so they need a large air vent and optimized airflow to make sure the engine gets enough cooling. Inspiration from the EB110 Super Sport was taken for the five, oval air intake behind the side window, but also for the fixed rear wing.

The first customer deliveries for the Bugatti Centodiece will only happen by 2022, first, they have to complete this production prototype, and then take it to the track for many miles to perfectly finetune the engine, suspension, cooling, and chassis setup … only after every single parameter is perfected will the first owner be able to take delivery of his ‘one of ten’ Bugatti Centodiece.

Rimac C_Two wind tunnel test shows a 34% improvement on aerodynamic efficiency

It has been three years since Rimac unveiled their electric hypercar, still known as the Rimac C_Two concept, and at the moment we still haven’t seen any deliveries, or even plans for a customer car yet, we’re still in the prototype stage. But things are shaping up, and Rimac has been continuously tweaking the C_Two, making it better, and more importantly, more aerodynamic.

During recent wind tunnel testing of the third generation of the C_Two prototypes, they managed an impressive 34% improvement of aerodynamic efficiency compared to the initial prototype from 2018. As this is a fully electric hypercar, aerodynamic efficiency is extremely important, not only to offer the best possible performance figures in terms of acceleration and top speed but also in terms of range … the less drag directly converts into more range from the batteries.

Rimac has been doing simulations over the last three years too, but CFD simulations only go so far, even when each simulation model holds between 120 to 180 million elements on heat transfer … only real-time testing shows the results, either expected or unexpected, but engineers can learn a lot from wind tunnel testing, or actual track testing.

Let’s not forget the Rimac C_Two comes with active aero parts, the front splitter is adjustable, there are moveable flaps on the undertray of this car, while an adaptable air brake rear wing completes the setup for pure performance.

If you are looking to add your name to the order list for the Rimac C_Two, prepare to have about $ 2,000,000 ready, as mentioned in our earlier article.

The Rimac C_Two could be yours for about $2 million

Introduced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the Rimac C_Two, also referred to as the Concept Two, boasted some really impressive figures: 1,914 hp with a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph). Rimac calls it the new breed of hypercar, with acceleration figures of 1.85 seconds to reach 60 mph from standstill, this might be the closest thing to launching a jet fighter from an aircraft carrier on the road.

Using butterfly doors Rimac avoids having wide sills, getting into the C_Two, which will not be the name used for the production version, is made a lot easier by a cut out in the roof too, this might be a very practical ultra-high-performance car when customers finally receive their cars.

And this is where things get complicated it seems, some sources state the limited production run of 150 units sold out quickly, but Rimac’s CEO and founder Mate Rimac recently put an interesting post on is social media. It seems only the first year of production is actually sold, not all 150 cars, and furthermore, most of the cars that are on the books will go to dealers, not customers.

Mate Rimac clarifies that while many people are extremely interested in this fully electric hypercar, not many are willing to commit to the $2,000,000 price that has been mentioned, before being able to actually test drive the car. That’s right, there isn’t a Rimac C_Two available at this time, a few hand-built prototypes are finished and have been going through intensive testing … but there isn’t a single car ready for possible customers to touch, feel, and drive.

And this is where according the Mate Rimac the big issue comes from, and anybody who wants to put a Rimac C_Two in his garage is still able to get his name into the order book, probably even on the pages for the first year of production, so don’t worry, it isn’t too late … yet.

One of one Isdera Commendatore 112i goes to auction

Renowned RM – Sotheby’s will host a very special auction on February 13 2021 in Paris that has some amazing super and hyper cars already listed at this moment. How about six different Lamborghini from the time when Ferruccio was still running the company from Sant’Agata, or a 2015 Spania GTA Spano, one of 12 ever made, and the only one from the 2nd series production, interested in a 2008 Gumpert Apollo? It’s entered into the auction next month too, don’t miss it.

But for me personally the most interesting car is the silver metallic, 1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i … only one was ever built, and it comes with the same V12 Mercedes-Benz M120 engine as a Pagani Zonda! But the story of the Isdera Commendatore 112i begins in the Seventies, when Eberhard Schulz joined forces with B&B in Frankfurt to develop the CW311 prototype unveiled at the local 1978 IAA.

Mercedes-Benz even allowed B&B to put the famous star on the front of their CW311, but Schulz left B&B four years later and started his own company, Isdera, an abbreviation for Ingenieurbüro fur Styling, DEsign und RAcing. His first car was the Isdera Spyder 036i in 1982, a very rare car today as only 17 would be built, but Schulz really wanted to create a road-going version of that CW311 prototype … which became the Isdera Imperator 108i in 1983.

The Isdera Imperator 108i was powered by a 5-Liter V8 engine from Mercedes, the M117, and it came with real gullwing doors just like the Mercedes 300 SL, between 1983 and 1991 only 20 units would be made, all bespoke to order … but Schulz wasn’t satisfied yet, so he continued the development of a real boutique super car.

1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i Rémi Dargegen © 2020 RM Sothebys

In 1993 Isdera unveiled the next step in design and performance … the Commendatore 112i, a car named in honor of Enzo Ferrari himself, this new model took the Imperator idea to the extreme. Installing a V12 engine underneath two gullwing-style engine covers, delivering 400 hp from its 6-Liter displacement, dual overhead camshafts and coupled to a manual gearbox through a bespoke flywheel (Mercedes only had developed an automatic gearbox for this engine). RUF delivered the Porsche gearbox for the Commendatore with an additional sixth gear … which resulted in a theoretical top speed of 340km/h (211 mph), during wind tunnel testing this one-off prototype reached the magical 200 mph speed (322 km/h) … in 1993!

1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i Rémi Dargegen © 2020 RM Sothebys

Over the lightweight spaceframe chassis, Schulz mounted a body made from GRP, a Porsche 928 suspension was modified with BBS/Bilstein developed active dampers … the Commendatore would lower itself three inches at speed to reduce drag, which was only 0.306 when tested. The car came with the Isdera trademark gullwing doors, their own windshield wiper system to avoid drag, and the Commendatore didn’t even have traditional rear view mirrors on the fenders … there was a glass panel in the roof and a periscope style mirror was fitted on top of the roof.

1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i Rémi Dargegen © 2020 RM Sothebys

Massive BBS racing wheels were used and Schulz had every intention to build a few road-legal cars and have a racing variant enter the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France … but in 1993 a major economic downfall occurred in Japan. And unfortunately most of Isdera’s funding came from Japan, so the company was forced into a restructuring and the Commendatore 112i project was halted. No entries into Le Mans, and the one-and-only car built was put aside, only to be unveiled again at the 1999 IAA in Frankfurt. Renamed into the ‘Silver Arrow’, a Swiss consortium had removed the BBS wheels, the periscope mirror and installed five-spoke wheels and ‘normal’ wing mirrors, have a look at those modifications in our earlier article on this car.

1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i Rémi Dargegen © 2020 RM Sothebys

But things had turned around for Isdera by 2016, and they managed to buy this unique prototype back from the new owner, with only 10,500 km on the counter, it was rebuilt for road use and even had a license plate and registration now. Isdera did return their Commendatore 112i back to 1993 specs with those stunning, gold finished, multi-piece BBS Racing wheels. But also blue and black upholstered Recaro seats and the correct Porsche Arctic Silver paint.

1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i Rémi Dargegen © 2020 RM Sothebys

This Commendatore 112i comes with a certificate if authenticity from Isdera themselves confirming this is the only one in existence, ever. This very special Nineties car will draw attention, even when parked next to a Koenigsegg or a Pagina from the same era … or newer, the Commendatore 112i is a very unique car that aged extremely well.

The ARES Design S1 Project

ARES Design is based in Modena, Italy, and you might know them for the reïncarnation of the De Tomaso Pantera, which they call the Panther Progettouno, a stunning, 21st-century remake of that amazing Lamborghini Countach competitor from the Eighties (the Pantara was built between 1971 and 1993 by the way).

But ARES Design also created a very impressive concept car, the S1 Project, a mix between the looks of a hypercar, the speed of a supercar with the accessibility of a sportscar. All while taking inspiration from racecars from the Sixties and Seventies. ARES Desing’s Centro Stile made extensive use of CFD studies to create the best possible aerodynamic body, naturally made from carbon fiber, with a very low front splitter, stylish wheel arches that hold massive, bespoke wheels. The rear spoiler on the S1 Project is adjusted dynamically, while the exhausts come out of the engine cover, this way the entire tail section is extremely clean looking and boasts one single taillight design from left to right.

The side profile of the S1 clearly shows how far forward the cockpit sits in this design, creating an aggressive look, while still maintaining a very ‘flowing’ style and offering the maximum downforce possible with the least possible drag coefficient

A concept design like the ARES S1 Project wouldn’t be complete without a bespoke, futuristic interior. A central console that runs from the top of the dashboard all the way down between the two seats, containing the HMI naturally, it seems the dashboard cluster will be made out of LCD displays anyway. Luxurious Alcantara will be combined with the finest Italian leather to create a perfect match with the carbon fiber used on various panels, there’s even an LCD in front of the passenger in the S1.

At this moment there isn’t a price set yet, and as far as we know, the S1 is still in the project stage, not even in the prototype stage … but it does look amazing nonetheless.

Some more photos of this amazing concept: