All posts in “Special and Limited Editions”

Ford Mustang GTD heads to Europe for testing prior to Le Mans

The new Mustang GTD was forged to be the weapon with which Ford intends to conquer international road racing. On the quest to elevate its high-performance pony car, Ford is taking the GTD on a European tour to coincide with its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 21. To commemorate it all, Ford is kicking off a new digital series that documents the GTD’s development. The CGI images comprising the gallery above are the first components of that online narrative. 

“These images and videos show high-performance equipment in ways that match the high-performance nature of the Mustang GTD,” Ford’s announcement said. They will be released via various social media channels, including YouTube and TikTok, suggesting that the campaign will likely progress beyond still CGI images to video content. 

“We’ve tested the Mustang GTD in North America extensively, including laps at Sebring International Raceway and Virginia International Raceway. This has all been in service of engineering a car that can lap the Nürburgring in under seven minutes,” said Mustang GTD Chief Program Engineer Greg Goodall. “Moving onto European roads and dedicated test sessions at the Nürburgring is the next step, ahead of a timed run later this year.”

And by later this year, Goodall means Q4, following the GTD’s appearances at the 24 Hours of Spa and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ford’s hype engine is coming online just in time for European customers to start requesting reservations for the GTD; details of that are to follow in June. More than 7,500 customers raised their hands for allocations of 2025 and 2026 GTDs; how European enthusiasts will respond to the opportunity remains to be seen. 

Ford Mustang Information

Pininfarina whips up a Batman-inspired Battista and B95 speedster

Albert, Harry, Jack, and Sam Warner founded Warner Bros. Pictures Incorporated in April 1923, 101 years ago. Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger first put Batman into Gotham in an issue of Detective Comics (DC) on March 30, 1939, 75 years ago. Warner Bros., which owns DC Comics (and Discovery owns Warner), has gifted the ageless Dark Knight a mighty present for his diamond jubilee year: special editions of the Pininfarina Battista coupe and Pininfarina B95 speedster. Two trims of each, in Gotham and Dark Knight trims, make four cars in total. Every one of them gets the Battista’s standard powertrain, a 120-kWh battery charging four motors that make a combined 1,877 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque good for getting to 60 miles per hour in under two seconds and rated at 300 miles on a charge in the U.S.

The Italian automaker debuted the B95 Barchetta last year, a speedster in the mold of the Aston Martin V12 Speedster and Ferrari Monza SP1. At the time, the company said deliveries would begin in 2025 for the ten units it planned to produce. We’re not sure if these Batman editions are part of the ten or added to the ten.   

The Gotham variants reflect Bruce Wayne’s sophisticated side. Fronted by backlit Pininfarina badges, they’re painted Argento Vittorio Gloss paint with contrasts in Nero Torino Gloss and a Goccia roof. A redesigned roof and door junction on the coupe adds more curved glass, letting more light into the cabin, while new louvers in the wheel arches pass more air out of aerodynamically sensitive areas. The staggered wheels on the coupe get Prezioso Evoluzione Gloss Black faces with a matte black rim. The B95 Gotham is differentiated by having a matte black inner ring and and gloss black outer ring. Cabins in both cars are dressed in tan leather and tan stitching with quilted center panels in the seats.

The Dark Knight flavors express Bruce’s tech-intense side, enabled by the boffins at Wayne Enterprises. These come in Nero Profondo Black paint with a Nero Torino Goccia roof and rims in Glorioso, over a cockpit in black leather and Alcantara.

Special touches include a new skin for the infotainment system, voiced by Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth, as well as discreet Wayne Enterprises badging inside and out.

The cars are part of a real-life lifestyle division called Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, which is rolling out a range of branded products for living the Bruce Wayne life, from these vehicles to luxury residences and “rarely seen, life-enhancing technologies and limited edition products.” You read that right. You can find out all about it at www.BruceWayneX.com, and apply for an allocation of any of these four cars right now. Pricing:

Lamborghini applies to trademark ‘Huracan STJ’ for another limited edition

When Lamborghini showed the 60th anniversary Huracans at Milan Fashion Week last April, automaker CEO Stephan Winkelmann said “The special editions of the Huracán not only celebrate the 60th anniversary of our brand, but also give our customers maybe the last chance to purchase an otherwise sold-out V10-powered Lamborghini.” We wrote at the time that we thought “maybe” was a vital qualifier. The Huracan’s twin-turbo V8 hybrid-powered successor isn’t due until the end of this year; 18 months is a long time for the Sant’ Agata brand to go without a special edition for the growing legion of buyers ready with six or seven figures sight-unseen. CarBuzz might have restored order to the world and proved us right, finding a couple of trademark applications with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for a vehicle called the Huracan STJ.

The J is for “Jota,” the Spanish pronunciation of the letter “J,” representative of the FIA rule book’s Appendix J detailing sports car racing and homologation regulations (a connection that might or might not be true), and of Lamborghini’s most focused road-going models for retail customers going back to the Miura Jota prototype in 1970. Since then, there’s been a Miura SVJ, Diablo SE30 Jota, Aventador J one-off speedster and the Aventador SVJ.  

The short money says this is a turned-up version of the Huracan STO, itself the most raucous version of the Huracan that sold out through the end of production more than a year ago. The long money says this could be a track-only coupe, despite every previous J designation being legal for the street. The fans of all things bully at Lamborghini Talk say there will only be ten made, one for each of the automaker’s global regions, and all are sold out. One poster wrote that in December and January, Lamborghini approached prospective buyers with the chance to purchase the sole unit for their region. Our bet is that nary a “No” was heard. 

It’s possible the public will get its first and perhaps only look at the Huracan STO — outside of Pebble Beach or an RM Sotheby’s auction — at Lamborghini’s takeover of Italy’s Imola Circuit on April 6 and 7. The festival is called Lamborghini Arena, the automaker calling it “The most extraordinary event in our brand’s history.” Could make a worthy entrance for an extraordinary new J.

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Brabham Automotive and the BT62 track car dead for now

Brabham Automotive, maker of the BT62 track car, was formed through a partnership between two Australian enterprises. Private equity firm Fusion Capital, with decades of involvement in Australia’s transportation industry, worked out a deal with Brabham Group to license the Brabham name. As the “majority shareholder, sole funder, and operator of the Automotive company that bears the famous Brabham name,” Fusion Capital bankrolled the operation, with David Brabham — youngest son of three-time Formula 1 champion Sir Jack Brabham and a Le Mans winner himself — the face and soul of the brand. Sportscar 365 reports the collaboration is officially over due to differences of opinion about the “strategic direction” of Brabham Automotive.

David Brabham said in written statement, “The decision to end the relationship was made after careful consideration and what was in the best interests of all parties and the brand.” Mat Fitch, chairman of Fusion Capital, said in his own written statement that the investment firm is “committed to projects that push the limits and defy convention in the motorsport and automotive sectors.”

The breakup seems to have been a slow burn. In July last year, Australian outlet Car Expert spoke to David about what he called “a reboot” for the company, wanting to build more units of the $1.8M AUD ($1.2M U.S.) BT62 and develop a more affordable variant. At the time, Brabham said in response to detailed questions, “Some of the answers are points of discussion at the moment, so we prefer to wait till these have been sorted.”   

Looks like that’s happened. Neither man stated the source of the disagreement, but other Fitch comments as well as Fusion Capital investments suggest a major difference was over electrification. Fitch’s statement also included the line, “Powertrains are evolving, and the opportunity to challenge the mainstream OEMs has never been greater.” The company owns Australia’s Bustech, a maker of municipal buses for Australian cities that is heavily engaged in the transition to electric powertrains and clean fuels. As an offshoot, it’s reportedly looking at developing robotaxis.

Brabham Automotive had big plans for the BT62, planning to sell 70 examples of the track version, create a roadgoing variant that would enable entry into racing series’ like the World Endurance Championship, contest Le Mans, and develop a tech-heavy, one-on-one driver coaching operation. We don’t know how many ended up in private hands. It sounds like the BT62’s story isn’t necessarily over, but whatever the BT62 potentially morphs into won’t bear the Brabham name and might not be powered by a naturally aspirated, 700-horsepower, 5.4-liter Ford V8. Yet another Fitch line was, “My family and I have invested in automotive and manufacturing for over 40 years and … what we have created provides the perfect platform for the future.”  

Given more time and that road-going version, the BT62 might have been able to make more of a name for itself. The track version set a lap record at Australia’s Mount Panorama circuit, and scored a race win plus a few podiums in the GT2 European Series.

We undoubtedly haven’t heard the last of the Brabham name, either. The scion wrote, “While it is regrettable that our relationship with Fusion Capital has come to an end, the collaboration helped further evolve Brabham to a new and exciting future. … With the brand license for Automotive ended, it opens the doors for future business ventures in the Motorsport, Automotive and Heritage sectors. I would like to personally thank everyone who contributed and supported to this project over the years.”

Red Bull RB17 due in 2024, makes 1,250 hp, weighs 1,984 lbs

In 2022, Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) announced the development of a new hypercar, the RB17. RBAT is the commercial technology arm for the Oracle Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team — akin to Williams Advanced Engineering, it’s a place to market technologies developed for F1 and to employ engineers cut from the F1 team when the sport introduced a cost cap. The track-only car’s rough specs in the announcement were a twin-turbocharged V8 hybrid powertrain making 1,250 horsepower, bodywork incorporating every useful F1 performance aid both legal and banned, a price of five million pounds ($6.4M U.S.) plus taxes and options, and a market launch in 2025. Evo magazine, via an interview Red Bull team principal Christian Horner gave to Sky Sports, revealed the debut’s been pushed up to this year instead of 2025 and provided a few more details on what’s inbound.

An unnamed third party is building the twin-turbo V8 engine and, if not the entire transmission, the gearsets inside. Red Bull still isn’t ready to disclose the engine maker, so we’re going to put two placeholder possibilities here. First, Red Bull announced the RB17 in June 2022, stating that the coupe was in the “advanced stages of development.” Porsche began making noises about joining F1 in 2021, then announced it would pair with Red Bull in July 2022, one month after the RB17 news. And Porsche knows all about hybridized twin-turbo V8s and racy track cars. The collaboration process went far enough to reveal that Porsche planned a ten-year project that involved taking a 50% stake in Red Bull F1. In March 2023, both parties deep-sixed the deal over a disagreement about a controlling stake, but there’s no reason the breakup would need to end a potential powertrain partnership for the RB17.

Second, the placeholder we’d love to see: A Ford engine in the RB17. One month before Red Bull and Porsche officially hit the rocks, Ford announced it would return to F1 with Red Bull in 2026. We have no idea what engine sits behind the RB17’s cockpit, and suspect the chance of it wearing a Blue Oval badge (for due cause, not badge engineering) are close enough to zero to be considered zero, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking it would be great to see.

Horner said the RB17’s target weight is 900 kilograms (1,984 pounds). Top Gear, which drove Red Bull’s most recent track-only hypercar project, the non-hybrid, V12-powered Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, said it weighs 1,009 kg (2,225 lbs). The track-only version of the road-legal Gordon Murray Automotive T.50, called the T.50s, weighs 851 kg (1,878 pounds). For comparison, last year’s minimum weight for an F1 car was 798 kg (1,759 pounds).

Red Bull’s targeting a lower center of gravity for its 900 kg than found on the Valkyrie AMR Pro. The RB17’s said to have a longer wheelbase than that of the 124-inch span on the Aston Martin, the Pro’s wheelbase itself stretched 15 inches beyond the wheelbase of the regular road Valkyrie. The RB17’s also expected with larger wheels, too, meaning hoops larger than 18 inches, a bit surprising seeing that would outdo the spec sizes for F1 and LMP1 cars as well. 

Motorsports fans have long mused on what Red Bull chief technology officer Adrian Newey could create without restrictions; Red Bull has done the same, creating virtual concepts like the X1 for Gran Turismo in 2010. The RB17 will be the first real-world demonstration, originally described with phrases like “All the tricks we’ve learned in F1” and “Adrian’s greatest hits.” 

Production begins in RBAT facilities later this year, the division capping assembly at no more than 15 per year. With a planned production run of 50 cars, that’s more than three years for builds. The multi-million-pound purchase price is said to pay for service and maintenance, access to Red Bull simulators, and on-track instruction. And Christian Horner wants everyone to know, “It will sound fantastic, like a track car should.” 

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Koenigsegg details the madness of his Light Speed Tourbillon Transmission

We always tune in when Christian von Koenigsegg steps in front of the camera for another tour of his car company’s new technology and facilities. He’s obviously enthusiastic about what’s being designed and built in Angelholm, Sweden, but not overly so (not in his videos, at least), he’s talks about technology in simple terms, and, best of all, the stuff coming out of those factory machines is not only innovative, it’s beautiful. The fearless leader checks all the boxes again with this quick look at the new transmission and twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 block going in the two-seater Jesko and available for the four-seater Gemera.

A quick refresher on the LSTT, or Light Speed Tourbillon Transmission. During Gemera development, engineers wondered if the Gemera could fit the TTV8 and Light Speed Transmission (LST) from the Jesko into an engine bay designed for the Tiny Friendly Giant (TFG) three-cylinder engine and Direct Drive transmission from the Koenigsegg Regera. The engineers answered that question in the affirmative with what’s now called the LSTT, the addition of “tourbillon” referring to a mechanical feature that makes a wristwatch more accurate. On top of giving the Gemera a huge boost in available output, reworking the LST for its new employment made it smaller, lighter, and better. It’s super compact form fits nine gears and weighs just 198 pounds including the attached starter motor; the eight-speed dual-clutch Tremec TR-9090 for the Chevrolet Corvette weighs 307 pounds empty in its lightest configuration.

A tour of the 5.0-liter V8’s rotating assembly shows Koenigsegg doesn’t skimp on artwork. The ceramic coating on the top surfaces of the forged pistons is etched with the Koenigsegg logo, the connecting rods are etched with the Koenigsegg name, as are the anodized timing chain guides. Christian says the entire engine is “under 200 kilos,” or 441 pounds. That’s not far off the 445-pound weight of Ford’s Gen 3 5.0-liter V8, but the Koenigsegg carries two turbos and their ancillaries. He also shows off bits like the 3D-printed thermostat, intake plenum, and Inconel exhaust manifold, all of it art.

After that, a trip to the dyno to see what the motor can do on E85 and on our own 91 octane. If you like mechanical bits and what they can do when cost is no object, you should have a watch.

Lamborghini Huracan STO SC 10 Anniversario won’t race, but should

Lamborghini’s one-make Super Trofeo racing series waved its first green flag in 2009. Installing the season-ending World Finals as a cap to the series didn’t start until 2013, the same year the Italian automaker created its Squadra Corse motorsports division, making this year the 10th anniversary of both. In honor of that, and perhaps to the benefit of a client or clients, Lamborghini’s Ad Personam custom division created the Huracán STO SC 10 Anniversario, a roadgoing Huracán with a special livery and aero package tweaked by the Squadra Corse racing division.

And since the Huracán is also headed into retirement after 10 years on sale, this racing-themed special model repeats history: Lamborghini sold a run of 50 Gallardo LP-570 Squadra Corse coupes for the 2014 model year on the eve of that model concluding its 10-year production run.    

The Verde Mantis and Nero Noctis livery shouts out to the SC63 hybrid endurance racer that will compete in the IMSA’s Le Mans Daytona Hybrid class starting next year. The Huracán’s flourished in the lower classes, having won the GTD class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona three years in a row. Unique touches include the Tricolore band running down the center, “Squadra Corse 10° Anniversario” logos on the sides and rear fin, plus Rosso Mars accents along the carbon fiber package pieces. Inside, a Nero Ade seats are contrasted by Verde Fauns stitching, four-point seat belts, a roll bar, and a carbon fiber floor. 

The company says this is the first time the Squadra Corse division has fiddled with a road car. The performance and aero changes count four-way adjustable racing-derived dampers replacing the adaptive shocks, specially developed Bridgestone tires, an Akrapovic titanium exhaust, new carbon fiber flics at the leading edges of the front cover vents, and a rear wing canted an additional three degrees for more rear downforce. The Gallardo Squadra Corse coupes got more downforce from a special rear wing, too, but the racing arm wasn’t in charge of that back then.

Chief technical officer Rouven Mohr described this as “a concrete demonstration of how experience gained in motorsport can be effectively transferred to the road product, enhancing performance and driving pleasure. We firmly believe that motorsport is the most technically sophisticated and challenging test bed, and Squadra Corse’s know-how is a valuable asset that deserves to be highlighted on unique models and limited road series with a racing vocation.” Lamborghini didn’t say whether there’d be more than one of these, nor mention a price, though, so perhaps give your dealer a call and a blank check to pass along if you’re interested. 

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Bugatti Rimac signs exclusive distribution deal with VW of America

Volkswagen Group of America (VGoA) has only just announced a deal it signed with Bugatti Rimac during Monterey Car Week last month. The deal gives VGoA exclusive rights to import and distribute Bugatti and Rimac products in the United States, and puts the COO of Bugatti America, Sascha Doering, in charge of the Rimac’s American outpost as well.

Mate Rimac, CEO of what’s now called the Rimac Group, said, “For both the Bugatti and Rimac brands, the U.S. is the strongest single market in the world, so it’s important that we curate a sales and ownership experience befitting the extraordinary cars that we’re delivering to customers. The alignment and cooperation with Volkswagen Group of America will allow a new dealer network in the States to evolve with the enormous experience and resources available to them, allowing us to combine all the best bits of a mass-market sales operation with the bespoke, customer-centric special touches that have become a hallmark of both Bugatti and Rimac brands.”

We suspect the news will have more effect on Bugatti dealers than Rimac dealers, but neither company explained what the new arrangement will mean. Rimac’s retailer map shows seven stores in the U.S. Three of those seven also sell Bugatti, one assumes they’ll only need to deal with paperwork and potential new showroom dictates. Of the remaining four, two sell numerous additional brands that include VW nameplates other than Bugatti, one appears to only sell Rimac and Koenigsegg, and one appears to sell just Rimac. Those latter two could be cut off from the herd.

However, it’s more likely that all of the dealers saw this coming once Rimac turned into Bugatti Rimac in 2021. For anyone interested in minutiae, Bugatti Rimac is a joint venture between Porsche and Rimac, the German sports car company owning a 45% stake, the Rimac Group owning 55%. The Rimac Group is the carmaking division and Rimac Technology, which engineers electric powertrains for other automakers like Pininfarina and is separate from the production cars, is 100% owned by Rimac Group.

No matter all that. By the time Bugatti’s new hybrid debuts next year, eager buyers should be clear on who they’ll need to call to place a deposit.

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Aston Martin Valkyrie could fulfill destiny as Le Mans Hypercar in 2025

Media reports have paired the Aston Martin Valkyrie with a potential entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019, 2021 and 2022. We’re doing it again thanks to a report in Autosport. The outlet alleges that Florida-based race team Heart of Racing is trying to expand its relationship with the English carmaker to include a Valkyrie in the Hypercar-class of the World Endurance Championship. Heart of Racing runs eight cars in five series in 2023, seven of those cars being Aston Martins. Aston Martin co-owner Lawrence Stroll has regularly mentioned his interest in racing, saying last year that the automaker would eventually find its way back to Le Mans “in whichever category aligns with the message we are trying to deliver.”

All the automaker would say to Autosport in response to this latest report is, “We are encouraged by the growth of the Hypercar class, and the hugely successful centenary Le Mans 24 Hours was a shining example of this … Motorsport is an ever changing landscape, so of course as a global hypercar brand we continue to play close attention to the class.” That class, by the way, currently counts entries from Ferrari, Peugeot and Toyota.

Aston Martin had been working on a Valkyrie LMH racer with Canada’s Multimatic before Stroll’s consortium took over, but the arrival of IMSA’s budget-capped LMDh class killed the Valkyrie LMH program. The intelligence gained during development went into the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro. If the LMH program gets revived, changes to the automaker’s racing division in the meantime could get development quickly reestablished. Aston Martin is finishing its racing headquarters in Silverstone, England. Those facilities now include the Aston Martin Performance Technologies (AMPT) division, set up with the cost savings realized when Formula 1 introduced its budget cap. AMPT will work with the Aston Martin production car division on coming mid-engined products. Meanwhile, AMPT could resume collaboration with Multimatic on a new Valkyrie LMH. It’s said that AMPT brought on ex-Williams F1 engineering director Adam Carter earlier this year to oversee the initiative, and suppliers are already being queried. 

Heart of Racing team principal Ian James told Motorsport.com, “Our ambition to ascend to the pinnacle of international sportscar racing is no secret. But currently, no formal agreement is in place.” The outfit was set up in 2020 to run Aston Martin GT cars in IMSA and is backed by Gabe Newell, co-founder and CEO of gaming company Valve Corp. Last year, the team topped the standings in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship’s GTD class, this year it’s in second place with two races remaining. Its WEC entry is the #98 in the GTE AM class, but that’s a car the Heart of Racing team took over from Northwest AMR in April of this year.  

An endurance racer would keep the 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 in every Valkyrie but shed the hybrid component driving the rear axle in the Valkyrie road car. If this all comes true, don’t expect it to join the rolling start at La Sarthe until 2025, when it would certainly try to emulate Ferrari and win on its return after a lengthy hiatus. It’s also possible the car comes to race Stateside.

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Woodward Dream Cruise 2003: Mega gallery of classics, off-roaders and more

We just spent the entire day in and around the Motor City enjoying the automotive sights and sounds of the Woodward Dream Cruise. According to the event’s website, the Dream Cruise attracts over a million people every year to see a collection of “more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles.” That’s a lot of people and a lot of vehicles. And if you couldn’t be there this year in person, perhaps our galleries from this year’s festivities are the next best thing.

We kicked things off up above with muscle cars, classics and hot rods, since those make up the largest part of the collection. But below you’ll see galleries of modern performance vehicles, trucks and off-roaders and, finally, the strangest sights we were able to point our camera lenses at. Enjoy!

Electric Lamborghini concept headed to Monterey Car Week: Think ‘spaceships’

In a press release tracing the history of Lamborghini concept cars, the Sant’Agata Bolognese automaker let us know it will debut “the prototype” of its coming battery-electric car during Monterey Car Week. The word “prototype” is interesting here because Lamborghini touched on the transition from one-offs and concept cars to “few-offs” — those being “a limited run of cars for the most loyal customers that pre-empt or enhance the most advanced technical solutions that will be used on production cars in later years.” We’re told, “The same formula will be repeated in just a few days,” suggesting that whatever goes on show could end up in a few driveways before long.

We’re still not sure what’s coming, though. Autocar reports the EV is “expected to draw light inspiration from the Estoque saloon concept,” pictured above from its reveal at the Paris Auto Show in 2008. The same report also throws “high-riding,” “2+2 seating and GT proportions,” the idea the car might have two doors, and a tip from head designer Mitja Borkert that future products will “look like spaceships.”

That’s quite the combo. Most modern cars considered 2+2 have two doors and diminished rear quarters; the Estoque was a proper sedan with four proper seats. Know what was a 2+2? The hybrid Asterion LPI-910 from 2014, which could be considered a coupe-ified Estoque, design-wise.      

The automaker says the EV is “due to enter production by the end of the decade.” It’s anticipated that by then, the EV will join the battery-electric successor to the Urus, creating an electrified lineup for four cars when counting the hybrid Revuelto and the hybrid Huracán successor. It’s then we’ll find out what electrification the Lamborghini way really means, the brand still coming up with those answers.

CEO Stephan Winkelmann said, “There are definitions that I think no electric car in our sector has yet resolved sufficiently: not just acceleration and handling behavior but also responsiveness, braking feel and multiple acceleration protocols. These are unproven in high-performance EVs and things we must spend the next years working out.”

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Zenvo Aurora to run with quad-turbo 6.6-liter V12 hybrid powertrain

This year’s edition of The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering is going to be a sort of royal running. It’s the 20th anniversary of the event, the 25th anniversary of the Quail Rally, and two-wheelers get their 13th showcase. The show plans four featured classes and 20 debuts, one of those reveals the Zenvo Aurora. The Danish hypercar maker closed its TS model chapter last year with a TSR-GT that a driver ran up to 263 miles per hour. As with every Zenvo up to that point, motivation for that speed run came from a GM-based LS-series V8 bearing some amount of both turbocharging and supercharging. The Aurora writes at least two new chapters for the company, introducing Zenvo’s first in-house engine as well — and not just any engine, a quad-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12.

Those are larger specs than Zenvo announced earlier this year when it said the Aurora would run with a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12. The Danes are working with the German boffins at Mahle Powertrain on the unit, seems one of the parties realized they had a lot more potential in their design.

Named Mjoner, the name of Thor’s hammer, the engine’s heart is a new aluminum block in a modular design so Zenvo can break off V8 and V6 mills to power Aurora offshoots. The heads hide Mahle’s Jet Ignition tech. This is the same pre-chamber ignition design Maserati uses in the twin-turbo 3.0-liter Nettuno V6; the Italians also worked with Mahle after watching sister brand Ferrari use Jet Ignition in the Ferrari F1 cars. The integration isn’t about bragging, it’s for emissions. The coming Euro 7 regulations place limits on an engine’s fuel-use trickery, Jet Ignition keeps Mjolner within regulation for the European and U.S. markets. Compatibility with synthetic fuels lends another measure of future-proofing — for the near future, at least.     

Internal combustion horsepower comes to 1,232 (1,250 ps) at 8,000 rpm on the way to a 9,800-rpm redline, leading Zenvo to say this will be the most powerful road-legal V12 in the world. Electrical assistance will add another 592 hp (600 ps), taking matters to 1,824 hp. The company says the hybrid unit’s being tuned for drivability and usability. We know the combined sources will grant the Aurora all-wheel drive. It’s not clear which motor powers which axle, but our guess is that there will be a short electric-only range to satisfy stricter urban demands in Europe.

All-carbon chassis construction means a carbon tub and front and rear subframes. There are going to be two trims, Tur the slicker GT variant ready to cross Germany at more than 249 miles per hour, Agil the higher-drag and higher-aero track variant. Zenvo plans to make no more than 100 cars in total, split between the two trims. We’ll find out what they look like on August 18 during Monterey Car Week.

New Alfa Romeo supercar teaser mentions ‘6 weeks’ and ‘792 hours’

Alfa Romeo got on Instagram again to tease the coming supercar that will debut on August 30. The image is a bit funky, and so is the caption. The picture shows the steering wheel, shot from underneath. The hub center is the first unusual bit, being a monochrome Alfa Romeo logo. The Italian brand’s steering wheels usually feature a full-color logo except in the Quadrifoglio trims that bear a black and silver design. Vintage Alfas like the GT Junior models of the 1960s and 1970s were known for silver logos. They were also known for drilled steering wheel spokes, which might be featured in the teaser as well. No current Alfas we know of use metal-looking steering wheels spokes, and none contain what look like dials set into the bottom spoke. Even the limited-edition Giulia GTAm that started at about $225,000 in Europe took the Giulia’s regular wheel and replaced plastic with carbon fiber for the lower spoke.

Then there’s the caption, “792hours and less than #6weeks left to ignite your spirit with #AlfaRomeo. Witness history unfold on August 30th, as #Courage and passion #Converge to give birth to a visionary #Creation. Save the date!”

That’s an oddball number of hours for a countdown timer. The guess is that this is a reference to the horsepower figure engineers coaxed from the twin-turbo 3.0-liter Nettuno V6 poached from the Maserati MC20. In the MC20, the engine produces 621 horsepower. Rumors out of Europe have said the Maserati mill is going to share the Alfa Romeo’s engine bay with at least one electric motor and make about 800 horsepower — close enough to 792 not to quibble over. Since that would be a metric horsepower rating, converting PS to U.S. HP gives 781 hp, a tidy 160 horses more than the MC20 and totally achievable with a single flux capacitor.

Unless the Italians are taking a MacGuffin from Hitchcock’s playbook, six weeks away could foreshadow the 6C name instead of the 33 name that’s worked its way into the conversation. The livestreamed debut from the Alfa Romeo museum in Arese, Italy is a month away.

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Alfa Romeo teases million-dollar supercar debut for August 30

The long-rumored and limited-edition Alfa Romeo supercar will see its debut August 30. The brand teased an intake grille on Twitter with the line, “The courage to dream. It’s time to seize a game-changing moment with more passion than ever. Be prepared to enter the dream.”

We’re also informed that the happening will be livestreamed from the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Italy. The location was foreshadowed by brand CEO Philippe Imparato in February, when he said, “We are working on something that I could put aside the 8C in the museum of Arese, being proud of our contribution to the history of Alfa Romeo. That is what we want.”

Reports say the something could be called either the 33, a call to the original Tipo 33 race car and Stradale of 1967. Both versions of the T33 are legendary in the brand’s history, although both were powered by the 2.0-liter V8 in the competition variant. The 6C name that’s been bandied for years would recall six-cylinder Alfas from the late 1920s to the early 1950s, and slot between the here-and-gone 8C Competizione supercar and 4C sports car.      

This new beast will be a V6, that much we know. Reporting agrees that the Maserati MC20 Cielo roadster will provide the bones. Maserati’s flagship is built on a carbon tub sprouting front and rear aluminum subframes, same as the 4C’s construction, the Maserati built in the same Modena facility as the retired 4C. The Alfa Romeo-branded Formula 1 team might be contributing chassis tweaking suggestions; the supercar reveal happens the same weekend as the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, making for a natural crossover showcase.

Sources differ on the engine. Some believe the entire MC20 Cielo package makes the jump, including the twin-turbo 3.0-liter Nettuno V6 making 621 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It’s said engineers will add at least one electric motor to bump output to around 800 hp. Others believe it’ll be the twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 from the Giulia Quadrifoglio, tuned up to 539 hp and 443 lb-ft in the limited-edition GTAm.

Production and price guesses are all over the map. Autocar says only 33 examples are coming out of Modena. Autocar believes each will cost more than 1 million euros ($1.1M U.S.), and each will reach a top speed of 333 kilometers per hour (206 mph) — although the supposed name will be 6C. Italian mag Quattroroute thinks “a few dozen” will see life. Either way, the run is gone, a state of affairs the CEO warned everyone of in February when admitting the automaker was taking deposits before the car got the green light, saying, “It will be sold out before I unveil the car.”

Koenigsegg details outrageous new Gemera specs with Dark Matter e-motor

Koenigsegg recently held an event to celebrate an expansion of its campus headquarters in Angelholm, Sweden. We got some initial bits out of it from Koenigsegg Registry, focusing on changes to the production-spec Gemera such as the option to swap the turbocharged 2.0-liter three-cylinder engine for the 5.0 TTV8 from the Jesko. It looks like the Swedes saved the juiciest details for now. Coming straight from founder and boss Christian von Koenigsegg, the Gemera hasn’t only been improved by a lot, it’s got some outstanding new tech that started with the question of an engine and transmission swap.

Engineers had developed a nine-speed gearbox called the Light Speed Transmission (LST) for the Jesko’s TTV8. The LST dispenses with a flywheel and clutch or hydraulic coupling, making the TTV8 engine’s output shaft the LST’s input shaft. At some point during Gemera development, someone wondered if the Gemera could fit the TTV8 and LST instead of the planned Direct Drive transmission from the Koenigsegg Regera. The short story is the engineers answered that question in the affirmative with what’s now called the LSTT, the Light Speed Tourbillon Transmission. In the lingo of jewel-like Swiss watch internals, a “tourbillon” is a mechanical feature that makes a watch more accurate. Reworking the LST for its new employment made it smaller, lighter, and better.

Alongside that, engineers created a new six-phase e-motor to replace the three, three-phase Quark e-motors that had been paired with the 2.0-liter Tiny Friendly Giant (TFG) engine. The one motor to rule them all is called Dark Matter, designed as a blend of radial flux and axial flux topologies called “raxial.” In the original powertrain, two of the Quark motors on the rear axle could each make a maximum 500 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, the third Quark on the crankshaft made 400 hp and 369 lb-ft. transmission. Their combined output in operation came to 1,100 hp. 

The Dark Matter makes 800 hp and 922 lb-ft. Pairing a single Dark Matter with the LSTT makes the TFG powertrain lighter and smaller, improving acceleration and performance. New control logic means the Dark Matter can drive the Gemera on its own, the TFG can power the car, or both can be called to action. When operating together, max output comes to 1,400 horsepower and 1,365 pound-feet of torque. The Gemera retains its all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, and torque vectoring.

Thanks to the more compact transmission and single e-motor, the TTV8 could find a home in the Gemera’s engine bay. That required more development, mostly changing the turbo setup to a hot vee, putting the exhaust into the valley between the cylinders. Note the more pronounced pipes emerging from beside the rear window.

Previous info said going to the V8 would add $400K to the Gemera’s price. It also makes a huge difference to output. With 1,500 hp coming from the TTV8 and 800 hp coming from the Dark Matter, final output is rated at 2,300 hp and 2,028 lb-ft. of torque. Well then. 

This Gemera iteration is called the Client Specification. It’s what those who managed to get on the Germera reservation list will fly to Sweden to configure in the new extension called the Gripen Atelier. Production begins toward the end of next year, first deliveries planned for early 2025.

Koenigsegg shows production Gemera with TTV8 option

The Koenigsegg Gemera is taking the scenic route to production, making stops along the way that buyers will appreciate. Koenigsegg Registry attended an event to inaugurate a new production line for the Gemera, company boss Christian von Koenigsegg telling the audience the mid-engined four-seat hypercar can be optioned with the 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that powers the Koenigsegg Jesko. The V8 adds $400,000 to the price and about 500 horsepower to the spec sheet, while decreasing torque by about 500 pound-feet, the announced figures being 2,300 hp and 2,028 pound-feet of torque on E85. The TTV8 makes 1,280 hp and 738 lb-ft by itself on premium fuel, 1,600 hp on E85. The remaining output comes from the Gemera’s three electric motors. The nine-speed Light Speed Transmission (LST) would also make the jump from the Jesko. 

The Gemera debuted in 2020, the original spec sheet boasting 1,700 horsepower and 2,583 pound-feet of torque from a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that could get the four-seater from 0-60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds. A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline three-cylinder called the Tiny Friendly Giant (TFG) sends 600 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque to the front axle. It’s frugal enough that the company lists gas-powered range as 590 miles. Three Quark electric motors turn the rear axle, two motors for each wheel, another between the crankshaft and the Hydracoup direct-drive transmission. The axle motors each produce 500 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, the crankshaft e-motor makes 400 bhp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Their combined output in the powertrain comes to 1,100 bhp.

The Gemera shown on stage at the event sported physical side mirrors instead of the cameras on the concept car. Those will be a necessity for markets like the U.S. that haven’t approved digital outside mirrors yet. It’s not clear if the camera system will be offered in places like Europe that do allow such. 

The options sheet grows again with the addition of a Ghost Package. This installs a larger front splitter, an S-duct in place of the traditional hood, and a rear wing. Aggression and downforce get amped up, but practicality diminishes since the S-duct front end replaces the frunk. That would be a shame considering the four-season, nuclear family potential of the car. The Gemera comes with all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering and torque vectoring on both axles. The 16.6-kWh battery can power up to 31 miles of all-electric range on the WLTP cycle. The interior’s been designed with four heated seats, tri-zone climate control, infotainment screens for front and rear passengers, wireless chargers front and rear, and a few climate-controlled cupholders among the beverage receptacles. 

After production begins, 300 Gemeras will come off the line. As part of the improved headquarters, customers visiting Sweden to configure their cars will find a new showroom, lounge, experience center and retail space. 

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McMurtry Speirling Pure track car starts at $1M, preorders now open

With the release of a production version of the McMurtry Speirling, the England-based company has taken the next step in its goal to become “one of the world’s most prestigious and long-standing automotive brands, founded on motorsport innovation.” This version for sale is called the Speirling Pure and is only for track use; a road-legal variant is reportedly in development. This one’s also slightly different than the prototype used to break the record up the 1.16-mile hill at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. That one was said to clock a time of 39.14 on the day, a benchmark soon revised downward to an even more impressive 39.081 seconds, eclipsing the time set by the Volkswagen ID.R by nearly a full second. That’s a ridiculous delta to achieve in little more than one mile.

When we say this one’s a little different, that means it’s better. There’s a new skirted fan system that weighs 14% less, is 15% more efficient, and is less affected by airflow variation. A new battery weighs 3% less, the battery casing weighs 15.5% less, and the new e-axle that uses two motors to power the rear wheels is 0.5% more efficient. Weight savings continue everywhere from the chassis to the steering and brake systems, wiring loom, and pedal box. The front tires and rear tires are each 60 millimeters wider, wrapped around lighter 19-inch wheels instead of 18-inchers, and tucked under reshaped wheel arches. Buyers can spec antilock braking if they desire, and new gearing takes the top speed from 150 miles per hour to 190.

The changes add about 10 inches to the overall length, but the single-seater is still just 135.8 inches long, roughly 18 inches shorter than a Mazda Miata. We’re told the diminutive dimensions are still able to swallow an occupant up to 6’7″ and more than 300 pounds.

With the weight reduction, output from the motors has come down to an even 999 horsepower. The company says the 60-kwH Molicell battery lasts long enough to power the Speirling Pure to 10 laps of England’s Silverstone track at record pace, then can be fast-charged back to full in just 20 minutes. We still haven’t been given charging specs. The driver would want the rest, the Speirling able to hit peak lateral forces of 3G when that fan kicks in with more than 4,000 pounds of downforce for a car that weighs about half that.

Preorders are open now for the 100 units McMurtry said it will make. The first validation prototype is going on display at next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Pricing starts at £820,000 before taxes, or $1.04M U.S. at current exchange rates. The firm will spend 2024 completing a testing program, first deliveries anticipated in early 2025.

Porsche Mission X concept points at brand’s next hypercar

Frequent interviews with Porsche CEO Oliver Blume include a question as to when we’ll see another Porsche hypercar. He once answered the queries with some version of “not until the middle of the decade at the earliest least.” His most recent answer, from April of this year, pushed that back toward the end of the decade; Blume and R&D chief Michael Steiner say current battery technology isn’t prepared to satisfy the demands a Porsche hypercar would make on it, so everyone will need to wait for next-gen cells due in four or five years. So the car you see here, the Porsche Mission X concept, isn’t the next Porsche hypercar and at the moment isn’t planned for sale. However, the battery-electric two-seater with the “ultra high-performance” powertrain is full of indicators about what might be down the road.

Dressed a specially created Rocket Metallic with satin carbon fiber accents, dimensions 177 inches in length and 78.7 inches in width fit the concept into same rough footprint as the 2003 Carrera GT and 2013 918 Spyder. The 20-inch wheels in front and 21-inchers in back eat up nearly half the two-seater’s 47.2-inch height. Since this concept counts as one of the brand’s 75th birthday presents to itself, historic cues mix with modern ones. The illuminated DRLs in the photos rework the four-point signature seen on the automaker’s road cars. At the same time, the DRLs and the four LED main beams buried in the lattice support structure call back to the stacked double headlights that sat inches off the ground on Le Mans racers like the 906 and 908. Passengers enter through doors that swing up and forward like those on top-class Le Mans prototypes going back decades, then sit under a glass dome built around a skeleton of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. And the Mission X marks the debut of Porsche’s new crest.

It’s all modern in back. A horizontal lattice supports thin, ornate LED taillights that bracket floating, illuminated Porsche logotype. When charging, the “E” pulses in white. 

The cabin begs even onlookers to hit top speed. The carbon-backed seats and their six-point harnesses appear largely built into the tub. Both feature Andalusia Brown lowers, the driver’s throne additionally signified by the Kalahari Gray upper. There are four paddles behind the steering yoke — we’re not sure what they control other than the obvious guess of regen braking. The ornate stopwatch in front of the passenger is a removable unit clipped into a bayonet system on the instrument panel, created by Porsche Design. At the track, the stopwatch could be used in conjunction with the multiple built-in cameras. One imagines other accessories, like a screen, could go here when not on the track.   

Porsche calls it a “reinterpretation of a hypercar,” but we don’t know enough about the Mission X yet to understand what that means. Drivetrain and output specs weren’t included with the reveal. We’ve been told the battery sits behind the cockpit in a way that mimics mid-engined dynamics, the setup called “e-core.” The automaker said that were the street-legal coupe to get a production run, it would aim to “be the fastest road-legal vehicle around the Nürburgring Nordschleife; have a power-to-weight ratio of roughly one hp per 2.2 lbs.; achieve downforce values that are well in excess of those delivered by the current 911 GT3 RS; offer significantly improved charging performance with its 900-volt system architecture and charge roughly twice as quickly as the current Porsche frontrunner, the Taycan Turbo S.”

Starting from the top, the Mission X has the Mercedes-AMG One in its sights, the other Stuttgart hypercar maker owning the Nordschleife record with a time of 6:35.18. That’s about 22 seconds faster than the 918 Spyder ran the lap, the 918 the first production car to break the seven-minute barrier

The power-to-weight ratio is measured in metric horsepower, so 0.986 of our American ponies per kilogram. The 918 Spyder weighed about 3,650 pounds, or 1,656 kilograms. Given the weight of an electric hypercar — the Rimac Nevera weighs about 5,070 pounds or 2,300 kg — we might think a Mission X comes in at 1,700 hp on the extreme low end to as much as 2,300 hp.

The GT3 RS produces as much as 860 kg (1,896 pounds) of downforce but uses a giant wing and other aero addenda to do it, meaning the undisturbed Mission X concept’s glasshouse and upper surfaces are hiding an underbody full of chicanery.

And the Taycan Turbo S maxes out at 270-kilowatt charging to go from 5% to 80% state of charge in a little more than 20 minutes. Read: The Mission X concept should fill-up quick.

As for the chances of a version you can buy, Porsche says Mission X “production to be decided in due time.” We have no doubt the phones at HQ have been ringing with “name-your-price” offers all day. We don’t see why Porsche would miss the chance to celebrate its birthday with a cool new concept, some treats for its best clients, some icons for posterity and a stupendous haul of loot.   

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Kode61 Birdcage unveiled at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

As the man who penned contemporary masterpieces such as the Ferrari Enzo and Maserati Quattroporte V, Ken Okuyama knows a thing or two about modernizng the classics. As such his latest creation, the Kode61 Birdcage, is a tribute to one of the most innovative race cars in Maserati’s storied history.

Debuting at the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este show on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, the Kode61 pays homage to the Maserati Tipo 61, built from 1959-61, nicknamed the Birdcage. Its unofficial name derived from the fact that its frame was built from approximately 200 tiny steel tubes, sections of which were exposed in the cockpit, rather than a conventional undercarriage.

Without a heavy chassis, the Tipo 61 was about four minutes faster at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans than its main rival, Ferrari. Unfortunately, issues with the drivetrain and its low windshield during a rainy race denied it a victory.  

The Kode61 references the Tipo 61’s unique architecture with elements such as a trellis-like center console. The low-slung open-top two-seater also features arched fenders like the original, though the new car’s body is shaped by carbon fiber. Beneath those tall arcs are three-spoke wheels that appear to be borrowed from the Maserati MC20 supercar. The Kode61’s blue-on-white paint scheme is a nod to American racing team Camerodi, known for campaigning the Birdcages (the Maserati MC12‘s paint scheme is a tribute to the same team).

This isn’t the first time the Tipo 61 was honored. Back in 2005, the Maserati Birdcage 75th concept was shown at the Geneva Motor Show to celebrate both the race cars and Pininfarina’s 75th anniversary. As it happens, that concept was also overseen by Okuyama, who headed Pininfarina at the time. 

Technical details have not been disclosed, but Okuyama says he will produce the Kode61 in limited numbers from his coachworks in Yamagata, Japan