All posts in “Special and Limited Editions”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Glickenhaus SCG004CS passes last hurdle, ready for deliveries

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

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

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

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

Gordon Murray Automotive torture tests the T.50 hypercar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut gets its first prototype

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

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

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

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

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

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

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European dealer working with Koenigsegg on a CC12 secret project

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

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

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

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

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Koenigsegg Jesko gets its turn to throw snow

Yes, it’s a tad bizarre to be posting winter testing videos in the middle of April, the same way it’s a little strange for it to be 38 degrees in parts of the Midwest this week. We can do without the weather, but we’ll take the videos, and here’s another — a counterpoint to a vid from a week ago. Rimac provided our last trip to northern Sweden, the Croatian hypercar maker there to test the Nevera in temperatures well colder than 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Two hours east of that, turns out Swedish hypercar maker Koenigsegg was testing its Jesko in the frozen stuff. The Swedes called their video Egg Hunt for obvious reasons, but there wasn’t much of a hunt, just a guy gathering giant neon eggs in the forest until the trail leads him to the Jesko. Seems the Swedish Easter Bunny might be way cooler than ours.

What’s cool about these two videos is they ask, “How do you like your ice dancing?” With four motors producing 1,914 horsepower and 1,741 pound-feet of torque to move 4,960 pounds, and emitting a gentle whine that can be barely heard above the soundtrack? Or with a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 1,600 hp and 1,107 lb-ft to motivate 3,130 pounds and a Battlestar Galactica wing, emitting a roar that would have had the Easter Bunny apologizing to every hibernating bear and rethinking his egg hunt strategy? Take your time deciding, there’s no wrong answer. By the way, that wing and the power figure mark this as the standard Jesko on E85. The Jesko on standard gasoline makes ‘just’ 1,200 horsepower.  

The Jesko and Nevera should be finding their way to the first customers shortly. Maybe next time they both vacation in northern Sweden, they’ll go together. That would be a video.

Deus Vayanne EV hypercar reaches for 2,200 horsepower

The Deus Vayanne has touched down at the New York Auto Show. Despite a word salad press release about timelessness and infinity and symmetry and divinity, the battery-electric hypercar from an Austrian-led consortium looks like courtly but pretty standard stuff. We’re told that with “a ground clearance of 4.7 inches and useable storage space, the car integrates performance and practicality” and “truly deserves the title of master of versatility.” Hmmm. Perhaps the definition of “versatility” has changed recently.

The coupe is built on an EV platform created by Williams Advanced Engineering and Italdesign, the bodywork penned by Italdesign according to Deus’ ambitions. The front and rear grilles are abstractions of the infinity symbol. Between them is the undeniable shape of a mid-engined ICE super sports car, and since everyone’s going to pick another car or cars to compare this to, we’ll go with the silhouette of a McLaren 720S from the side. The interior checks all the hypercar boxes—sleek design, stitched leather, toggle switches, chunky shifter. It’s perfectly fine.

The wild side of the Vayanne is its target performance figures; the company wants to make this the first production EV with more than 2,200 horsepower. The Aspark Owl already touted a pony count of up to 2,012, the the Lotus Evija, Rimac C Two, and Pininfarina Battista are at or above 1,900 hp, so if Deus succeeds, it will put daylight between itself and the competition. Combined with 1,475 pound-feet of torque, Deus says it expects a teleport from zero to 62 miles per hour in under 1.99 seconds and a top speed beyond 248 miles per hour. Two vital caveats here: Deus didn’t mention any powertrain specs, and all of these stats and figures are derived from computer simulations.

We’re told there will be just 99 Vayannes produced, the first one reaching customers in 2025 for an as-yet-undisclosed price. However, the version on display in New York at the moment is still a “production-oriented concept,” so anyone reaching for their wallet might want to hold off to see what changes may come in the next three years. Until then, we’re going to go find a dictionary and look up some words that start with “V.”

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Deus Automobiles’ Vayanne electric hypercar headed to NYC

It feels a smidge heretical to say, “Oh man, another electric hypercar. From what country this time? (Sigh…)” But here we are, and here’s another electric hypercar hailing from Vienna, Austria — a first-time national entry in the segment that will offer more choice above six figures than there are cars costing less than $20,000 in the States. The company is called Deus Automobiles, not to be confused with the Australian motorcycle and cafe brand. In this case, the name is because it wants customers to anticipate “divinity,” and the first of its planned “ultra-limited” and “timeless” products is called the Vayanne, pronounced vy-ahn. Deus claims it is “an exclusive brand born from the unique technical partnership with Italdesign and Williams Advanced Engineering, ready to shape the future of 100% electric and luxury hypercars.”

We don’t know what that means, but we’ll see the first fruits at the New York Auto Show next month. Based on the 13-second video and a few teaser shots, the Vayanne bears quite a few traits one would expect of a mid-engined super sports car, like a trio of mesh-filled intakes in front, mesh-filled rear fender intakes, and a rear fascia with even more mesh. The photo gallery below includes three shots from Deus, two of which have been brightened for a better view of the details. Our guess is that the intakes mainly serve aero purposes, especially in front; the hood looks like little more than a vent to usher that front intake air over the body in a clean sweep.

We also don’t know who’s behind Deus, but other outlets have reported that Deus was “part of a group of businesses with more than 30 years success in industries ranging from publishing to packaging.” This would make sense, as the Vayanne looks like a packaging exercise. A year ago, Williams Advanced Engineering announced a modular electric vehicle platform called EVX it created with Italdesign to be a “complete, high-performance EV solution.” According to WAE, after buying the platform, it “is ready for customization by the Italdesign styling team who will shape the final vehicle to match the brand’s requirements in terms of marketing positioning, design direction etc.”

The EVX architecture can fit batteries of 104, 120, or 160 kWh and power motors of up to 1,341 horsepower, or a round 1,000 kilowatts. We expect to find out which battery has gone underneath the Vayanne’s bodywork and how much power comes on tap when the debut takes place at 1 p.m. EDT April 13.

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Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series is basically a 778-hp race car

Whenever we think we’ve seen the most hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT, the German automaker one-ups itself. That’s the case with the GT Track Series. It’s a track-only special edition that’s lighter, more powerful and more outrageous than the Black Series that preceded it.

The seriousness is pretty obvious from the outside. It has even more aggressive splitters and wings than before, much of which is adjustable either for more downforce or less drag. Carbon fiber makes up much of the body including the hood, fenders, side skirts, trunk lid and rear bumper.

On top of that, the car has been stripped as bare as possible, all to get the weight down to 3,086 pounds. There are hardly any comfort items to speak of in the single-seat cabin save for air conditioning, and the optional ventilated helmet and seat system as well as a drink system. In place of all that is a custom racing wheel, carbon fiber seat, five-point harness, roll cage, multifunction instrument screen, safety nets, excape hatch and a fire suppression system, all meeting FIA standards.

Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series

The carbon-intensive body hides the most powerful version of the Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo V8 yet. Like the Black Series, it features a flat-plane crankshaft, but it has “motorsports” injectors and a new tune that brings output up to 778 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Power goes down a carbon fiber torque tube to the six-speed sequential transaxle at the back.

The suspension and brakes are motorsport-quality, too. It features four-way adjustable suspension with adjustment for rebound, damping and ride height. The anti-roll bars are adjustable, too. The brakes use steel rotors measuring 15.4 inches up front, and 14 inches at the back. The front calipers have six pistons while the rears have four. It all rides on 18-inch forged wheels with tires that measure 325-mm wide. Additionally, brake bias, traction control and ABS are all adjustable.

Mercedes is only building 55 examples of the Track Series, as it’s a celebration of AMG’s 55th anniversary. Each car starts at 369,000 euros, or about $406,000. In addition to the car, owners will receive training on how to use the car, along with a support line, and the availability of an engineer for track events for help setting up and running the car.

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Aston Martin V12 Vantage revealed as the last of the line

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage is here, and it’s a wild sendoff to the littlest 12-cylinder, front-engine sports car in the company’s lineup. Yes, this will be the last Vantage to get the twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12. As such, it’s going to be produced in very limited numbers with a whole bunch of special features to make the most of the beefy engine under the hood.

That V12 is a familiar unit, as it has also appeared in DB11 and DBS variants, as well as the Vantage-based V12 Speedster. The engine is tuned to the V12 Speedster’s specifications with 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque, the latter of which is available from between 1,800 to 6,000 rpm. It’s paired to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission in the middle and a mechanical limited-slip differential at the rear. Aston says the powertrain will propel the V12 Vantage to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds on the way to a 200 mph top speed.

Surrounding the engine is a thoroughly revised body. It’s about 1.6 inches wider overall to accommodate the wider track and fat tires (275-mm front and 315-mm rear). The front grille is 25% larger than on a normal Vantage to provide more cooling, and the hood has a scalloped vent for the same reason. Many of the body components are made of carbon fiber for weight savings including the bumpers, side skirts, fenders, hood and trunk lid. Adding both visual excitement and additional downforce are the front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser and wing. They provide 450 pounds of downforce at top speed. If a buyer finds the wing to be a bit much, though, it can be deleted, though downforce would be reduced. The V12 Vantage also gets a special center-exit exhaust that weighs nearly 16 pounds less than the standard Vantage exhaust.

Naturally, the chassis gets upgrades to handle the V12 Vantage’s power. In addition to being wider, the V12 Vantage’s chassis is stiffer thanks to added sheer panels, a rear shock tower brace and fuel tank bracing. The adaptive suspension features stiffer springs are stiffer, as are various bushings and the front anti-roll bar. The rear anti-roll bar is actually softer, though. Carbon ceramic brakes are standard with six-piston front calipers and 4-piston rear calipers.

On the inside, the V12 Vantage is pretty similar to a regular model, but it gets standard Sports Plus Seats with semi-aniline leather with quilted stitching and perforations. Lightweight carbon fiber seats are also available, and Aston Martin’s Q division offers all kinds of special ways to personalize a model for extra fees both inside and out from color anodized knobs to custom graphics and tinted carbon fiber.

Aston is only building 333 examples of the V12 Vantage, and that’s for the whole world. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but it also doesn’t matter much, as every example is spoken for. Production begins this year, and deliveries will start in the second quarter of next year

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Aston Martin teases V12 Vantage twice more ahead of debut

If you can handle another tease of the coming Aston Martin V12 Vantage, here are two. The first is a photo of what will certainly be a riotous super coupe under a partially opaque Union Jack. We can’t spot anything on the obscured car that we don’t know about from prototypes (or suspect from reports); the headlights, side mirrors, fender vents, and wheels are all there. Phew!. Out back, the drapery hangs high, pulled over a high wing that will be part of the V12 Vantage’s numerous aerodynamic accoutrements. The test vehicles we’ve seen have been wingless, fitting nothing more than a Gurney flap to the Vantage’s tidy ducktail, so we’ll have to find out if the wing is standard fit or an option. 

Behind the extra large grille, everyone is expecting the brand’s 5.2-liter V12. In the limited edition Speedster, which married the Vantage’s chassis to the Superleggera’s front end, that 12-cylinder made 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. Predictions for V12 Vantage out range from about 600, roughly in line with the DB11, to about 670, which would be a massive hoot while leaving room enough not to fluster Speedster owners.

The second teaser is a brief Twitter video mood board with the admonition to “Never leave quietly.”

We’ll hear the supercar’s noise and find out about its backside on March 16, when the reveal happens. We should also find out then how many Aston Martin plans to make. A previous rumor put that production number at 299. The vehicle itself is expected to arrive for the 2023 model year as part of the standard Vantage’s model update, sources saying there will only be 299 made. The standard 2023 Vantage will be part of an overhaul of the front-engined Aston Martins that result in more power, better dynamics, and better interiors.

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De Tomaso P72 sounds glorious while winter testing

Tis the season of ESC calibrations on ice and throwing snowflake roostertails, otherwise known as winter testing. Audi likes to throw walls of white in northern Sweden, as it’s doing now with the 2023 E-Tron electric crossover. De Tomaso Automobili seems to prefer Switzerland, having taken its coming P72 coupe to an alpine valley for wintertime exercises. The best thing about what is essentially another snowy drifting video is the sound of the engine. The P72’s curves drove straight out of 1965 and some enthusiasts might not harbor any nostalgia for them. The rumble from the mid-mounted, supercharged Ford 5.0-liter Coyote V8 that De Tomaso and Roush Performance further tuned into something vintage and cantankerous, well, that should get near-unanimous approval.

De Tomaso said the supercar and hypercar trend of massive engine output is “irrelevant to the ethos of this project and what we are trying to achieve.” It’s clear that the noise is very relevant. You wouldn’t suspect the Coyote breathed through a Roots-type supercharger, but such is the case. Roush tweaked the blower for faster operation, better airflow and thermal efficiency, and less noise and vibration, that latter bit in order to stress an “old-school American V8 soundtrack” and the naturally aspirated spirit of the Sixties. Assuming the A/V crew didn’t play with the supercharger sound levels when editing the vid, the P72 has become a lot more attractive having learned it will bellow some old-school commotion through its top-mounted exhaust. We’ve been told final output will coast somewhere north of 700 horsepower and 608 pound-feet of torque, the planned redline beyond 7,500 rpm. 

The P in the coupe’s alphanumeric name represents Prototipo in the name of the original De Tomaso race car from the 1960s, the 72 representing how many of these will be made. They were priced at 700,000 euros apiece ($763,000 U.S.) last year, but many things have happened since then, so that might be revised upward. Not that the target demo will care much.

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2022 Ford GT Holman & Moody Heritage Edition teased

The Ford GT is reportedly ending production this year with the full allotment of 1,350 cars built. The automaker is loading up on special editions for the run to the finish, revealing the 1964 Prototype Heritage Edition last August, the Alan Mann Racing Heritage Edition last month, and now teasing a Holman & Moody Heritage Edition. This throwback celebrates one of the major partners in Ford’s Le Mans effort, the North Carolina shop Holman & Moody Racing that prepped NASCAR racers for Ford teams. The outfit gets less publicity than Shelby — the fate of just about every other collaborator once Shelby shows up — but the tuners helped develop GT40 MkII vitals like the 427-cubic-inch engine and the braking system. Their entry, the #5 driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, finished third at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans behind the Shelby American cars. 

The teased GT only gives away the traditional Holman & Moody livery colors of gold and red, and a roundel bearing the number 5. We expect the formula for this coupe won’t change from previous the previous retro treats, with colors and special accents inside being the extent of the changes.

What’s wild about this heritage edition appearing at this time is that not even two weeks ago, an owner listed his personal 2020 GT done up in a Holman & Moody tribute livery for sale on Collector’s Garage. The owner had asked Camilo Pardo, who designed the 2004 Ford GT, to create the design, then had the car painted in Atomic Gold with white and pink accents, finished with a set of custom green HRE wheels. And yes, it was painted, not wrapped. It’s still for sale for $1.2 million.

The official 2022 GT Holman Moody Heritage Edition will be less than half that, for those who can get it. Ford says the debut comes this spring, which isn’t far away.

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RML Short Wheelbase restomod is ready for testing

Eight months ago, English motorsports firm RML released renders of its first venture into customer cars, the RML Short Wheelbase. The restomod turns a Ferrari 550 Maranello into a reboot of the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Short Wheelbase, dressing the Maranello’s chassis and engine in a carbon fiber body and bespoke cabin, then employing RML’s motorsports expertise to perfect the driving manners. Car Zero, the first pre-production model, is finally ready for “an intensive durability program” in the UK. Its maker didn’t skimp on getting Car Zero ready for the spotlight, either. No mere collection of glued and bolted parts, this one wears a multi-layer paint job with a carbon primer, regular primer and silver base coat under its luscious metallic blue overcoat.

The 550’s 5.5-liter atmospheric V12 makes the transfer with no change to power, putting out 485 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. It’s been tuned to “emulate the exhaust note of a classic V12 road racer,” the classic 250 family known for just such exploits. The modern coupe’s six-speed manual is along for the ride, too, worked through an open-gate shifter. A slightly lower curb weight thanks to the lighter body improves a performance a skosh, the RML claimed to hit 62 miles per hour in about four seconds and reach a top speed of 185 mph. Maintaining high-speed, long-distance composure in a vehicle designed to “drive from [England] to Le Mans and get out and still be able to walk at the other end” is the job of custom Ohlins dampers, as well as subtle bodywork mods to dismiss unsettling aero effects the vintage silhouette would otherwise allow. For a personal tour of the Short Wheelbase, check out the video with RML CEO Michael Mallock explaining what the designers and engineers wanted to achieve, and how they did so.  

RML will only build 30 of these, deliveries beginning this year. We’ll be happy to see one in person, but we’re also happy that not many 550 Maranellos will need to be sacrificed for the cause. Each Short Wheelbase takes about six months to make, pricing estimated to be around £1.5 million ($2.04M U.S.). Head designer Jonathon Bowen said, there will be a “a variety of exterior trims to choose from,” and that his team is “developing some period-correct graphics, such as door roundels and parallel stripes, which suit the car’s design and remit perfectly.”

Ford GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition revealed, celebrates lightweight pioneer

Of the six Heritage Editions Ford has released to celebrate the newest Ford GT, two have commemorated original GT40s from 1966. Here is the third, the Alan Mann Heritage Edition. It recalls the lightweight Ford GT40 experimental prototypes that Alan Mann Racing (AMR) created in England in 1966, referred to at the time as AM GT-1 and AM GT-2. Mann’s team reskinned the GT40 in aluminum and made a small number of mechanical changes to the MkI GT40 powered by the 289-cubic-inch V8, aiming at Le Mans that year. Of the five his crew ordered, he received just two before Ford shifted its attention to the GT40 MkII that used the 427-ci V8. AMR campaigned his two cars in Europe anyway. Although the pair never won a major race, Ford learned important lessons from what Mann had done, hence this carbon-fiber-bodied tip of the hat.

In December, the automaker teased a few lustrous red angles of the new GT accented with gold and Frozen White stripes, AMR’s signature colors. The revealed coupe is just as pretty as we suspected, those dual gold stripes running from tip to extendable tail. AM 1 raced with the number 16 in its roundel, reproduced here on the doors and hood as with the original, and again on the underside of the rear wing instead of on the top corner of the rear fender. Glistening black accents come in the exposed carbon fiber front splitter, mirrors, side sills, engine louvers and rear diffuser, and 20-inch wheels hiding lacquered black Brembo brake calipers.  

Inside, more carbon fiber in places like the center console and vents mixes with Ebony Alcantara surfacing for the instrument panel, steering wheel, headliner and carbon seats. Contrast stitching in gold and red ties the cockpit to the exterior, as do gold appliques on the instrument panel, vent bezels and seat X-brace. The paddle shifters can’t be missed in Alan Mann Racing’s hot red.

Those heading to the Chicago Auto Show that runs from February 12-21 will get to see the original 1966 Alan Mann Racing AM GT-1 next to the 2022 GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition. Those who want to get even closer to the modern special in this final year of GT production are free to order the GT Heritage Edition from Ford after securing the necessary approval to be a GT customer. First deliveries happen this quarter. For folks with too much money parked in the Caymans, AM GT-1 crossed the block at Gooding & Co’s 2021 Pebble Beach auction, given a pre-sale estimate of $7 to $9 million but not selling, so there could still be an opportunity there.

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Hennessey Venom F5 continues high-speed stability testing

Having just posted about Hennessey putting its Venom F5 “Fury” engine on the dyno, we wondered when the total package would be showed on test. Well, here you go. The Lone Star manufacturer of gangbuster machines took a Venom F5 to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds on Merritt Island, Florida, for high-speed stability and vehicle dynamics testing, with ex-GM engineer John Heinricy on piloting duties.

This follows other speed runs in places like Hennessey’s Sealy, Texas, home base, the UK’s Silverstone Circuit, and a runway at an ex-U.S. Air Force base in Arkansas. The day had nothing to do with testing the upper limits of the car’s velocity, merely how the Venom felt as it approached those limits. Having said that, Hennessey tells us that when Heinricy chose the F5 driving mode, he made it past 250 miles per hour at least once. 

That F5 setting unlocks the entire 1,817-horsepower potential of the 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged pushrod V8 nicknamed “Fury” when the tank is filled with E85. When not in that mode, the redline comes down by 300 rpm, to 8,200 rpm. 

It’s said there’s a proper top speed run planned for the not-too-distant future, again on Merritt Island, along with testing runs at Texas’ Circuit of the Americas and California’s Laguna Seca. Before the year is out, we should know if the Venom will be equal to the purpose it was created for: hitting 311 miles per hour. With a hotspur goading it on, the Venom F5 certainly does make a sweet noise on the way up there.

Spyker is back again, maybe

The motto of Dutch car company Spyker was, “Nulla tenaci invia est via.” That’s Latin for, “For the tenacious, no road is impassable.” If nothing else, no other outfit has lived its motto more fully than the outfit still headed by Victor Muller. After buying Saab in 2010 and foundering under the purchase, going bankrupt in 2014, being bought by private equity in 2015 and foundering again, declaring new investors in 2020 before going bankrupt again in 2021, we have another new announcement that Spyker is back. The investors this time are the same as in 2020 — when funds never came through and Spyker went bust again — Russian businessmen Boris Rotenberg and Michail Pessis. According to a press release, a new round of meetings last month led to new agreement between all parties about the direction of the company, so hands will finally get to work building new cars.

Rotenberg owns SMP Bank in Russia, title sponsor of SMP Racing that Rotenberg co-owns with Pessis. He also co-owns energy company SGM Group and runs BR Engineering, which entered the BR Engineering BR1 in the World Endurance Championship. Pessis owns luxury firm Milan Morady out of Luxembourg and the automotive tuner R-Company in Germany. Both are Spyker owners, Pessis saying in August 2020, “Since Boris Rotenberg and I ordered our first Spyker almost a decade ago, we passionately fell in love with the beauty and craftsmanship of these hand-built sportscars. As of 2015, the cooperation with Spyker intensified through Milan Morady, which now culminates in the collaboration agreement announced today. Moreover BR Engineering and Milan Morady have for the past few years already been involved in the development and production of a number of Spyker C8 Ailerons in so-called Limited Edition BR configuration in our German facilities.” 

Muller wants to pick up where Spyker left off years ago, building the C8 Preliator (pictured) and B6 Venator cars, and D8 Peking-to-Paris crossover starting this year. The Preliator debuted in 2016 as the most recent version of Spyker’s core C8 model in production since 2000, powered by a supercharged version of the 4.2-liter Audi-sourced V8 that was Spyker’s favorite engine. The Venator was from 2013, powered by a V6 to provide a lower cost of entry to the range. The D8 was from 2009, once touted to employ a V12, then rumored with that Audi V8. The brand wants to go racing again, too. That could be down the line, but backing from SMP Racing could make such a venture much easier.

We don’t know which cars will come to life this year, if any, but we’ve been promised that any which do come will use internal combustion engines. They’ll also employ an international workforce; Germany and Russia will lead model development, Russia will supply carbon fiber bodies, the hand-built workforce will toil in a new production facility in the Netherlands, Luxembourg accountants will attend to Spyker’s finances, and there will be new service centers in the South of France and somewhere around the Benelux area.  

The caveat to all of this is that the presser informs us, “As soon as a written agreement is reached and the use of trademark rights secured, activities can restart.” Spyker has taught us that anything can happen on the way to the finish line, so perhaps hold off on sending deposits to the Netherlands just yet.