All posts in “SUV”

Ferrari teases Purosangue exhaust note before September 13 debut

We’ve been talking about a Ferrari SUV for more than five years, when ex-CEO Luca de Montezemolo said the Maranello automaker would never build one and then was let go not long after. We’ve known there would be a Ferrari SUV for four years, when the brand’s product road map ID’d what would come to be nicknamed the Ferrari Utility Vehicle. Barring a late switcheroo, we’re betting on the official name to be Purosangue. During a year of teasers and spy videos, at last, we have less than a week to see what all the fuss has been and will be about. On September 13, Ferrari shows its new four-door, four-seat family car, and teased the arrival with a clip of the exhaust note.

Although muted, we expect that sound to be emerging from a naturally aspirated V12, the engine CEO Benedetta Vigna confirmed the Purosangue will offer. It’s possible Ferrari’s twin-turbo V8 will join the options, but we don’t know if or when that happens. With spy videos showing what appears to be a slightly lifted wagon-esque form, the Purosangue’s focus on road manners could vault it to the top of the competitive set in the horsepower column. The company’s 6.5-liter V12 makes 819 horsepower in the 812Superfast, easily besting the 697 in the Aston Martin DBX 707 and the 657 horses in the Lamborghini Urus Performante. Even Ferrari’s twin-snail V8 would clear the bar, that engine producing 711 hp in the F8 Tributo. Or, it’s possible Ferrari could turn the wick way down, aligning the Purosangue with its tourers, the 611-hp Roma and 612-hp Portofino M convertible.

Sounds like no matter the specs, the Purosangue won’t be the easiest Ferrari to get into for reasons beyond the current industrial snarls. A Ferrari presentation during Capital Markets Day this year explained the Purosangue’s “yearly average contribution to shipments will remain below 20% over its lifecycle.” Volume that low indicates a cap enforced by the company; SUVs introduced among other super sports car makers have run directly to the top of the brand’s sales charts. We will not be surprised to see that figure rise in the coming years, or Purosangue’s being flipped for obscene amounts over its entire run.

It’s quite the month for lusty cars, the Pagani C10 debuting the day before the Ferrari, the seventh-gen Ford Mustang arriving the day after. 

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

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

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

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #732

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2022 New York Auto Show Roundup | All the reveals, reviews, pictures

NEW YORK — In case you missed it, the New York Auto Show took place this year after being canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. A lot of manufacturers showed up in force, but not everybody did. No matter, we were there, and we brought you news, photos and scoops from the floor throughout the show. All of our New York-related stories can be found at our central hub here, but if you’d rather just get a small taste of everything in a quick and digestible format, keep scrolling.

Kia revealed the Telluride’s first major refresh at New York, and it makes the three-row crossover a little bit more desirable without screwing up what we liked about it before. There’s a new X-Line and X-Pro trim for someone who might want a little more off-road capability, and a number of tech improvements. Most notably, a newly-designed dash features new and bigger screens.

The Telluride’s sister car from Hyundai was treated to a similar refresh. Like the Telluride, Hyundai gave the Palisade a slightly revised look, a new off-road trim (called XRT in the Palisade’s case), more tech inside and a new dash design with full-width air vents. If we had to choose, we’re a little more impressed with the Telluride’s refresh, as a number of us on staff actually prefer the pre-refresh Palisade styling over the new one.

This one was inevitable. Jeep revealed the longer, roomier versions of its Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer in New York, and they’re designated with an “L” at the end of their names. Total length grows by a foot, and the wheelbase goes up by 7 inches versus the standard Wagoneer models. Jeep has essentially allocated all this extra room to the cargo area, as it now offers a staggering 44.2 cubic-feet of space behind the third row.

Besides the L, Jeep announced that its new Hurricane inline-six engine would find its first home in the Wagoneer. Efficiency gets a small boost, and power is more than sufficient at either 420 horsepower (standard output) or 510 horsepower (high-output version) from the twin-turbo I-6.

The Stellantis party continues with Chrysler and its slightly revised Airflow. Re-styled for the New York market after initially debuting at CES in Las Vegas, the Airflow Concept gets new paint, changed accent colors, a slightly changed interior design and a new interpretation of the Chrysler logo.

This was our first chance to get a good in-person look at the new Kia Niro models headed our way, and we were impressed. It gets a totally new design, massaged powertrains in all three variants and an EV6-inspired interior. We even got to take a little deep dive into the standout Aero Blade design feature seen on all new Niros.

This was one of the minor debuts of the show — Subaru didn’t even hold a press conference. But the Outback was there on the show floor, and it was showing off its new Wilderness-inspired looks. The cladding is much more prominent, it has new lights up front, and Subaru packed it with a number of new tech features.

One year on from the Pathfinder being all-new, and Nissan just added an off-road-focused Rock Creek trim. It gets a slightly revised suspension, more power when run on premium fuel, all-terrain tires and a fairly comprehensive styling package. We liked the looks of it on the show floor, and while it may not be a super-capable SUV, having the option of a more rugged-looking SUV is seemingly a good thing to have in dealers these days.

The Leaf is getting outpaced by EVs with far more range, better tech and more power, but that hasn’t stopped Nissan from giving it a small nip-and-tuck. It gets a new grille, light-up Nissan logo, wild new wheels and a couple of aero enhancements.

This special-edition Ford GT pays tribute to the third-place car at the 1966 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It re-creates that car’s look via matching paint, red accents and a number of other small details. Ford put it on display next to the car that raced at Le Mans back in 1966, making it an excellent display for any racing history geeks.

A collaboration between Williams Engineering, Italdesign and Deus, this electric hypercar is planned for super-low production, but incredibly high performance. Output is meant to be “more than 2,200 horsepower” and it has a claimed 0-62 mph time of 1.99 seconds. Only 99 are meant to be built, but we know that will be a tough, uphill battle to accomplish. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a Deus outside of the N.Y. Auto Show stand one day.

Yes, it’s another Huracán variant. This one steals a lot of the go-fast STO parts, but pairs them with a much more subdued appearance. It does well to make the appearance stand out as different from other Huracáns, and the 631 horsepower being sent to the rear wheels sound like Italian supercar bliss.

2023 BMW X7 M60i

BMW didn’t bring it to the show floor, but we still got to see the refreshed X7 in New York this week. The design both inside and out gets a heavy revamping. Its look certainly isn’t for everyone, but nobody can deny that the car is turning heads. We’re impressed with the new interior, and the base xDrive40i powertrain gets a huge performance boost, giving the entry-level X7 a whopping 375 horsepower.

Debuting alongside the regular X7 was the Alpina XB7 that received its own styling tweaks to keep it current. It also adds 8 horsepower, bringing it up to 621 ponies from the twin-turbo V8.

Genesis X Speedium Coupe

It wasn’t on the show floor, but Genesis still revealed it in New York during auto show time. The X Speedium Coupe Concept is far and away the most beautiful thing there. Its shooting brake/fastback design is long and wide, and its proportions make it a total stunner. The concept is electric, and while Genesis hasn’t committed to putting it into production, we can hope to see it on the roads one day.

Random other musings

Fiat 500 Electric

For whatever reason, Fiat brought the Europe-only electric 500 to N.Y. Our Joel Stocksdale took a close look at it, and made a case for why Stellantis should bring the little EV to America.

Radwood showed up with a large collection of epic cars from the 1980s and 1990s. They were easily the coolest part of the show, and if you’re in town, it may be worth going just to see this group of cars at the Javits Center.

Lastly, Alfa brought the Tonale for us to check out in a gorgeous Montreal Green paint. It’s a sharp little crossover in the flesh, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how this Alfa drives.

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2022 New York Auto Show, and Subaru Solterra driven | Autoblog Podcast #725

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2023 Aston Martin DBX 707 First Drive Review | Supercar SUV

OLBIA, Sardinia – What is the definition of a supercar? It varies from generation to generation, from country to country, and from brand to brand. It’s the type of complex question that could fuel pub talk until the taps run dry. Aston Martin’s supercars have historically been the low-slung two-door kind, but the British firm submitted a different answer by releasing the 2023 Aston Martin DBX 707. It’s an SUV that serves supercar-like power, supercar-like acceleration, and a supercar-like price. Does it deserve a spot in this elite group in spite of its family-friendly proportions? I traveled to the Italian Mediterranean island of Sardinia to find out.

On paper, the 707 is a DBX with a more powerful engine – that’s one way to sum it up but it’s cruelly unfair. Dig deeper and you’ll discover hundreds of changes made to differentiate the two models, both in terms of design and in terms of driving dynamics. The grille is 27% bigger (it’s not just BMW riding this train), the side skirts have been redesigned, there’s a carbon fiber spoiler attached to the top part of the hatch, and the rear bumper is now vented. One of the most striking design cues is the rear diffuser: loosely inspired by the unit fitted to the Valkyrie, it sticks out far beyond the bumper and looks ready to pick a fight with every curb that comes its way. Aston Martin told me you can still fit the 707 with a hitch, so that’s a relief. Wait: tow? With this? Certainly! Bolt that hitch on it and you can pull approximately 6,000 pounds.

While some of these tweaks are purely aesthetic, others allowed Aston Martin to hone the DBX’s aerodynamic profile. Adding splitters to the front bumper stabilizes airflow, for example, and Sam Holgate, Aston Martin’s chief designer for mid-engined models and SUVs, pointed out that the 707 has about 5% less lift than the regular DBX.

“Mainly, that came out from the front of the car by venting air out of the arches, but then we got it back with the rear spoiler, so this car is completely lift-neutral front to rear, regardless of whether you’re traveling at high or low speeds,” he told me.

In a way, the 707 is a laboratory that incorporates some of the feedback that Aston Martin has received about the DBX since production started in 2020. Buyers wanted soft-close doors; it’s got them. And, there is one improvement that Aston Martin’s engineering team is particularly proud of. “We redesigned the cupholders to take a bigger variety of cups,” said Andrew Tokley, Aston Martin’s senior manager of vehicle engineering. Customer feedback, much of it from American buyers directly shaped the new cupholders (no mention of American car reviewers). Scoff if you must, but they were surprisingly useless before.

As in the regular DBX, all of the materials that the passengers see and touch are top-notch, which you’d rightfully expect in a vehicle that goes deep into $200,000 territory. Aston Martin really sweated the details: every stitch is correctly aligned and every switch feels solid. Its heritage is rooted in luxury, after all.

The only disappointment inside – and it’s not an insignificant one – is the infotainment system. Yep, I heard you: “no one buys an Aston Martin to get a fancy touchscreen!” Fair enough, but technology has, for better or worse, become one of the yardsticks used to measure luxury cars and the DBX falls short here. It’s fitted with what’s essentially an older Mercedes-Benz infotainment system, meaning one controlled by a touchpad and a dial rather than a touchscreen. It’s bulky and unintuitive; the DBX deserves better, especially since there are some cool features and menus stuffed into the software.

Power comes from a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8. It’s the familiar eight-cylinder that Aston Martin borrowed from Mercedes-AMG to drop into several of its models, including the regular DBX, but here it’s tuned to develop 697 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (or 707 pferdestärke – hence the name) and 663 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. Enthusiasts familiar with AMG’s V8 cookbook will recognize that no in-house recipe yields these numbers, and that’s because this is a British recipe, not a German one.

“The Mercedes-Benz technology transfer agreement is very important for us, and this is one of the outcomes. We were able to make several refinements to the engine. The agreement also gives us the leverage to be much quicker to the market,” said Aston Martin boss Tobias Moers. Importantly, and this is not a coincidence, his last job was running the very company that designed the engine: AMG. His gravitational pull was strong enough to bring a few key people with him to England, including Ralph Illenberger. He’s now Aston Martin’s head of powertrain having previously been AMG’s head of engine development.

Tokley explained that some of the changes made in-house include fitting turbochargers equipped with ball bearings instead of journal bearings. Software and calibration tweaks entered the equation as well.

From the crankshaft, the V8’s cavalry reaches the four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission linked to beefy shift paddles, an active transfer case, an upsized carbon fiber driveshaft (which doesn’t have a center bearing in order to save weight), and an electronic limited-slip rear differential with a final drive ratio that’s 7% shorter than the standard DBX’s. Hitting 60 mph from a stop consequently takes 3.1 seconds, a number that becomes even more impressive when you take into account the 4,940-pound mass that the engine needs to lug around. The nine-speed automatic keeps up with the pace by delivering quick, crisp shifts, either on its own or manually. The shift paddles are even larger than those in the regular DBX, and are made of carbon fiber rather than metal. 

Aston Martin lets you choose how loudly the DBX 707 comes to life. For the standard exhaust note, simply push the “engine start/stop” button located on the dashboard, between the buttons used to put the transmission in gear. To turn it up, which I highly recommend, keep the left shift paddle pulled as you push the ignition button. The difference in decibels is perceptible, both inside and out. The V8’s song is worth turning down the audio system for, and Aston Martin spent a great deal of time fine-tuning it. Moers, a man whose love of great-sounding engines is well documented, personally weighed in on it.

Unless you’re a current Aston Martin owner, the brand’s long-standing automatic shifter location takes a little bit of time to get used to; your hand instinctively reaches for the center console. But, once you’re off, you’re off. The DBX’s acceleration is nearly instantaneous, which is surprising because the engine’s full horsepower and torque outputs aren’t available until 6,000 and 4,500 rpm, respectively. There is so much of both under your right foot that the engine curve matters far less than it does in a car with, say, 150 horsepower. At full throttle, the DBX delivers the type of gut-twisting acceleration associated with a supercar. Try launch control once, and I’ll bet the cost of my test car’s optional 23-inch wheels (that’s $5,100, by the way) that you’ll immediately stop to do it again.

The chassis improvements came to life on twisty Sardinian roads. This is not a light car, and it never feels like one, but dialing in a 52% front and 48% rear weight distribution ensures it’s not as front-heavy as you’d expect. It’s reasonably well balanced, especially considering the segment that it competes in. The air suspension and 48-volt anti-roll control keep body motions in check, and the massive tires unlock a reassuring (and almost supernatural!) level of grip. Bend after bend, the DBX 707 delights with precise, well-weighted steering … until I come out of a sharp right-hander, foot half-buried in the throttle, and realize I’m barreling towards a group of goats chilling in the middle of the road. That’s where the standard carbon ceramic braking system comes in. Rest assured: the DBX passed the goat avoidance test with flying colors.

On straighter, faster roads where the odds of encountering cheese-producing livestock are lower, the DBX 707 is a pleasant and comfortable car to cruise in. Like the regular DBX, actually, the 707’s wild side is entertaining, but it knows how to be calm when the occasion calls for it. It’s also quiet thanks in part to remarkably thick windows. Only the V8’s song permeates the cabin. Some of it comes from the speakers, though Tokley stresses that the actual exhaust note is being piped through rather than a fake sound emitted by a synthesizer. For the braver souls among us, there’s an off-road mode that increases the ground clearance.

Due out in the second quarter of 2022, the 2023 Aston Martin DBX 707 starts at $239,086 including a massive $3,086 destination charge, and the $300,000 threshold is effortlessly reached when you begin ticking option boxes – my tester cost $291,586. At this stage, what are you really cross-shopping the DBX 707 with? Any of the other family haulers that cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars, sure, but you could also get a used Cessna or buy a cabin in a picturesque part of the Alps and a four-wheel-drive Dacia Duster to get there. That’s the point: the heart crushes the brain in this equation. No one needs a 697-horsepower SUV, but the acceleration, the sound, the design, and the luxury make you want one. Cast in this light, ground clearance and seat count be damned: the DBX 707 is a modern supercar.

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NHRA’s drag racing rules now allow faster street-legal cars

Up until now, rules laid out by the National Hot Rod Association required any car that was capable of running the quarter mile in less than 10 seconds to have a roll cage. That means a sturdy set of metal tubes welded together to internally brace the interior of a vehicle, thereby making it safer in the event of a serious crash. As of today, however, that rule has been altered to allow for faster street-legal cars to compete.

Vehicles like the Dodge Demon, Tesla’s Model S and X Plaid, Chevy Corvette ZR1, Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 and possibly some other Hellcat-badged or supercar competitors may have been too fast to legally compete at NHRA-sanctioned drag racing events, depending on the driver’s ability and determination. The revised NHRA rules state:

2014 and newer OEM model-year production cars to run as quick as 9.00-seconds and/or 150-mph (5.65-eighth mile). In addition, racers with 2008-2013 OEM model-year cars will still be permitted to run as quickly as 10.00-seconds and/or 135-mph (6.40-eighth mile).

The rules do stipulate that the car’s factory safety equipment has to be installed and operational, including things like the brakes and airbags, and that DOT-approved tires are fitted. Drivers will have to have the appropriate competition license to race, and convertibles and cars with T-tops have different regulations. Stickers celebrating the racing accomplishments will be offered.

“At NHRA, we very much support their commitment to performance and recognize that there is still a very large market for performance cars,” Lonnie Grim, NHRA National Tech Director, said in a statement. “At the same time, we acknowledge that NHRA needs to keep pace with the current trends, which is why we’ve announced these rules adjustments.”

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2022 Kia EV6 and Acura NSX Type S driven | Autoblog Podcast #715

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. The car chat begins this week with a review of the 2022 Kia EV6, followed by Zac’s drive of the 2022 Acura NSX Type-S. Then they discuss Autoblog’s new long-term loan, a 2022 BMW 330e xDrive. They’ve also been driving the Ford Explorer Timberline and Kia Sorento Hybrid.

In the news, they discuss the soon-to-be-revealed Alfa Romeo Tonale, as well as the recently unveiled Aston Martin DBX707. Finally, Greg talks about a historical Detroit landmark, the old American Motors Company headquarters, which is set to be demolished.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #715

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Zombie cars: Discontinued vehicles that aren’t dead yet

Car models come and go, but as revealed by monthly sales data, once a car is discontinued, it doesn’t just disappear instantly. And in the case of some models, vanishing into obscurity can be a slow, tedious process.

That’s the case with the 12 cars we have here. All of them have been discontinued, but car companies keep racking up “new” sales with them.

There are actually more discontinued cars that are still registering new sales than what we decided to include here. We kept this list to the oldest or otherwise most interesting vehicles still being sold as new, including a supercar. We’ll run the list in alphabetical order, starting with *drumroll* …

BMW 6 Series: 55 total sales

BMW quietly removed the 6 Series from the U.S. market during the 2019 model year. It had been available in three configurations, a hardtop coupe, a convertible and a sleek four-door coupe-like shape.

BMW i8: 18 total sales

We’ve always had a soft spot for the BMW i8, despite the fact that it never quite fit into a particular category. It was sporty, but nowhere near as fast as similarly-priced competitors. It looked very high-tech and boasted a unique carbon fiber chassis design and a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but wasn’t really designed for maximum efficiency or maximum performance. Still, the in-betweener was very cool too look at and drive, and 18 buyers took one home over the course of 2021.

Chevy Impala: 750 total sales

The Impala represented classic American tastes at a time when American tastes were shifting away from soft-riding sedans with big interior room and trunk space and into higher-riding crossovers. A total of 750 sales were inked last year.

Chrysler 200: 15 total sales

The Chrysler 200 was actually a pretty nice sedan, with good looks and decent driving dynamics let down by a lack of roominess, particularly in the back seat. Of course, as we said regarding the Chevy Impala, the number of Americans in the market for sedans is rapidly winding down, and other automakers are following Chrysler’s footsteps in canceling their slow-selling four-doors.

Even if Chrysler never really found its footing in the ultra-competitive midsize sedan segment, apparently dealerships have a few leftover 2017 200s floating around. And for some reason, 15 buyers decided to sign the dotted line to take one of these aging sedans home last year. Interestingly, Chrysler sold nine 200s over the course of the 2020 sales year, so sales were actually up in 2021 for a sedan that ended production in 2017.

Chrysler Town & Country: 4 total sales

We’re not sure how Chrysler dealers were able to log four Town & Country minivan sales last year, but here we are. Chrysler pulled the plug on its long-running minivan way back in 2016 when it was replaced by the sleek Pacifica. We hope those buyers got really solid deals.

Dodge Dart: 10 total sales

Dodge discontinued the compact Dart back in 2016, just three years after its launch. The automaker just wasn’t able to compete with the segment leaders like the Honda Civic or the sales juggernaut that is the Toyota Corolla. Despite the fact that it’s been dead for several years, Dodge managed to sell 10 Darts in 2021. A year ago, Dodge managed to move seven of ’em, so again, that’s improvement!

Dodge Viper: 4 total sales

Dodge discontinued the rip-roaring Viper after the 2017 model year, but there are still a few left in dealerships around the country. Over the course of 2021, Dodge managed to sell four SRT Vipers.

It’s interesting to think that these buyers had the option of driving home in a brand-new mid-engine Corvette, but chose to go in an entirely different direction. Something tells us they won’t be disappointed with its 640-horsepower naturally aspirated V10 engine, even if it’s mounted way out in front of the driver instead of the preferable sportscar location behind the passenger compartment.

Fiat 500: 51 total sales

Fiat hasn’t exactly pulled itself entirely out of the U.S. market, but it’s close. A quick glance at the Fiat USA website shows only one vehicle, the 500X crossover. Gone are the original 500, pumped-up 500L and 124 Spider. Let’s all collectively hope the 51 500 buyers last year opted for Abarth models.

Infiniti QX30: 1 total sale

The Infiniti QX30, a collaboration designed and built with Mercedes-Benz, ended production after the 2019 model year. Still, one single solitary little crossover was sold to a new buyer in 2021. Odd choice; we hope they got a good deal.

Jeep Patriot: 16 total sales

Jeep discontinued the Patriot in 2017 when it introduced the latest version of its compact Compass crossover. Despite the fact that it’s three full model years old, there are still some Patriots milling about on Jeep dealerships across America. In total, Jeep sold 16 Patriots in 2021, which somehow is 13 more than they sold in 2020.

Nissan 370Z: 36 total sales

Nissan axed the 370Z Roadster after the 2019 model year, with the replacement Z coming in 2023 with a twin-turbo V6 engine that spins out 400 horsepower. Earlier this year, Nissan confirmed in a statement to Autoblog that there were still a few 370Z stragglers sitting on dealership lots in 2021, with the total tally standing at 36 sales.

Toyota FJ Cruiser: 1 total sale

And now we come to the final, and oldest, new sale made by any automaker over the course of 2021. Somehow, some way, a lone Toyota dealership held on to an FJ Cruiser, a model that ended production in 2014, and sold it to a new buyer in 2021. To them we say: Congratulations. You bought the oldest new car in America (that we know of), and it’s a cool one. Enjoy.

Up close with the 2022 Range Rover

Remember we talked about the brand new 2022 model year Range Rover a while ago here on Supercars.net? Well, you can’t drive one yet as the first customer cars will only be available in the Spring of 2022, but there are pre-production prototypes around already, and it seems YouTuber Doug deMuro managed to find one to get close and personal to and talk about ‘all the quirks and features’ of it, unfortunately being a prototype he wasn’t allowed to drive it, but she’s a beauty, so let’s take a look at his 24-minute video before we talk details on this new full-size SUV from the famous Range Rover brand:

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Prof Gerry McGovern OBE, Chief Creative Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “The New Range Rover is a vehicle with a peerless character, from the impeccable restraint of its exterior to the flawless tranquil sanctuary of its cabin. Informed by creative intellect and a desire for perfection, it doesn’t follow fashion or trend, but by a modernist design philosophy, combined with over 50 years of evolution, it is quite simply the most desirable Range Rover ever created.”

The MY2022 Range Rover is the first completely new model since 2014, and while it deliberately looks familiar, a lot is actually different compared to the outgoing model, base pricing starts at $105,000, but if you know anything about previous Range Rovers, you understand that’s just the start, and the massive options list and the possibility to create your bespoke model can skyrocket that price very quickly.

Wheels are a nice 21-inch as standard, but for the first time on a Range Rover you can opt for massive 23-inch tall wheels like the ones seen on the Autobiography LWB version of the above video, and another first for the MY22 Range Rover is the third row of seats, two additional units, only available on the Long Wheel Base model, but still, it’s possible now, but you can also opt to have your special Range Rover come with just four seats, and those rear ones are just absolutely stunning and immensely comfortable while that central console houses all kinds of amenities.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “The New Range Rover combines supreme on-road and all-terrain capability with electrified propulsion and new levels of connected capability. In the quest for comfort, we have been obsessed with human science and understanding brain activity to minimize cognitive impact and ensure these advanced technologies work in absolute harmony, creating a truly effortless driving experience. It’s an engineer’s duty to make people’s lives better, and that’s exactly what the New Range Rover will do for you.”

For the 2023 model year a PHEV will join the two petrol engines we’ll see in 2022, the extended-range plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will come with the inline 6-cylinder Ingenium engine coupled to a 105kW electric motor integrated with the transmission, power for this motor will come from a 38.2kWh lithium-ion battery, this setup will allow up to 62 miles of near-silent pure-electric driving, total power output will be 434 hp and this PHEV will be able to reach 87 mph on electric power only.

2022 Genesis GV70, raging at VW ID.4 tech and thoughts on a new Lexus LFA | Autoblog Podcast #696

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor James Riswick. This week, they talk about driving the Genesis GV70, VW ID.4 and VW Taos. They talk about ways Chevy could “fix” the Camaro. James ranked all the James Bond films based solely on their starring cars. Next, they reach in the mailbag and discuss the question, “Do you think Lexus will make a successor to the LFA and, if so, what do you guys think it would be like?” After ruminating on that query, they dip into the mailbag a second time to recommend a sporty crossover to a listener in this week’s Spend My Money segment.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Autoblog Podcast #696

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Autoblog is now live on your smart speakers and voice assistants with the audio Autoblog Daily Digest. Say “Hey Google, play the news from Autoblog” or “Alexa, open Autoblog” to get your favorite car website in audio form every day. A narrator will take you through the biggest stories or break down one of our comprehensive test drives.

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Virtually attend ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’ via our high-res photo gallery

While the description of the yearly “Motorsports Gathering” at the Quail may sound a bit odd to many of our readers at first blush — it’s basically a huge garden party for wealthy automotive enthusiasts to get a look at vintage and newly available vehicles targeted at their healthy checking accounts — there’s no arguing that the vehicles on display are worthy of attention. And since most of us either weren’t invited or couldn’t afford to attend (or both), the next best thing to being there is scrolling through our high-res gallery of live photos taken at the event.

Visitors to this year’s event were treated to the usual grade of high-end machinery that we’ve come to expect, which is to say the best, most desirable and most expensive in the world. Our gallery is filled with vintage racers from Ford, Ferrari and Jaguar, classic Trans Am competitors and even a gaggle of Volkswagen-based dune buggies. More modern machinery was also on display from Lotus, Pagani, Koenigsegg, Pininfarina and Acura.

Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace at high-end events, and this year’s gathering at The Quail was no exception. In addition to a strong showing from Rimac and Lotus we mentioned earlier, Lucid was in attendance as was Gateway Bronco (see here for more on that). We also got shots of things you may never have heard of like the Delage D12 and Radford Type 62-2. Oh, and the return of the Lamborghini Countach, too.

For those who keep track of such things, this year’s Best of Show winner was a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. You’ll see all that and more in our high-res gallery above. Enjoy!

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The ABT SQ7, 500hp and 7 seats

As a family man you’ll need a big car for the school run and those groceries over the weekend … a Lamborghini Urus might not fit into the budget and an Audi RSQ8 isn’t what you’re looking for … in that case another option from the Audi stable might be just what you need, the $85,000 Audi SQ7.

Considered a mid-size SUV in the United States, over in Europe this is a large car, nonetheless with 500 hp from a V8 engine, this 2.3-tonne beast still takes only 4.1 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill … something a base model Porsche 911 barely manages too.

But a nicely optioned factory spec Audi SQ7 might just be too easy for some customers, in that case ABT can help you out, they are still developing a custom ECU tune to pull more power from the V8 engine, but for now you can already make your Audi SQ7 look more aggressive with a stylish wide-body kit from this German tuner.

Abt is the world’s largest automotive aftermarket and performance parts specialist for Audi and VW, and they offer a new, aggressively designed front bumper add-on, wider wheel arch extensions, side sills, a rear diffuser fin and a set of massive tailpipe covers to fit over the standard ones.

If you’re not into wide body kits, you can also order the ‘narrow’ version that doesn’t include the fender flares. Additional options are possible in the form of a rear wing or fender inserts in either ABS or carbon fiber.

The Audi SQ7 can already come with large 21-inch wheels from the factory, but we wouldn’t be talking about ABT if they didn’t offer bigger, 22-inch replacement units for their customer, a choice between the ABT Sport GR, the ABT HR Aero, or the impressive flow-forming ABT High PerformanceHR-F.

Additional touches of carbon fiber can be added to the interior while some illuminated ABT logo can be fitted for that ‘personal’ touch to your very own ABT SQ7 SUV, I’m sure this will make dropping of the kids at school a lot more interesting …

Looking for a deal? Check out your nearest Acura dealer

For the fourth time in the last year, an Aston Martin out-discounts all other automakers by offering the largest monetary savings off the retail price of an automobile in America. This time, though, the discount isn’t on the aging (though still beautiful) Rapide sedan or range-topping DBS Superleggera, it’s for the DB11 sports car. For those keeping track, the DB11 also led this discount list back in May of 2020.

This time, though, the price is even lower than before. Right now, buyers of the Aston Martin DB11 are seeing discounts of $24,330. That’s a 12.1% cut off the car’s average retail price of $201,820 and it means buyers are paying an average transaction price of $177,490. Still expensive, but really not bad for a drop-dead gorgeous machine with as much as 630 horsepower.

Next in line is a familiar face, the Acura NSX. As impressive as the Japanese hybrid supercar may be, Acura has been running big rebates on the NSX for as long as we’ve been running these lists. This month, the NSX buyers are seeing discounts of nearly 14% for an average transaction price of $138,648.

The third biggest discount this month shows up on the most expensive vehicle on the list. The Rolls-Royce Phantom carries an average sticker price of $537,500. But buyers are getting about 4% off that for an average transaction price of $516,333. It may not be a massive discount when measured by percentage, but when the asking price is so high, even a small discount equals big bucks.

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Henrik Fisker interview, and driving the Polestar 2 | Autoblog Podcast #643

In this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. They’ve been driving the updated 2021 Honda Odyssey, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and the new Polestar 2 electric sedan. After reviewing those, they talk about how the Chrysler 300 appears to be withering on the vine. Next, they take time to talk to legendary automotive designer and eponymous Chairman & CEO of Fisker Inc., Mr. Henrik Fisker himself, about jeans, horses and, of course, electric cars. Finally, they help a listener pick a $100,000 supercar in the “Spend My Money” segment.

Autoblog Podcast #643

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The Rolls-Royce Dawn leads this month’s list of discounts

If you’re one of the few readers of this site who is in the market for a $350,000 Rolls-Royce Dawn, well, first of all, good for you. And you should be prepared to keep some extra money in your pocket, too, as the drop-top Roller leads this month’s list of the largest monetary discounts with an average of $14,733 taken off the machine’s $359,250 sticker price. That means buyers are paying an average transaction price of $344,517 for the 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn this month, according to data provided to Autoblog by TrueCar.

An intriguing pair of supercars land in second and third positions this month. The 2019 Acura NSX is selling for an average of $145,174 this month, which represents a 9% discount, or $14,373. With an eerily similar 9% discount of $14,079 comes the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage, which has an average transaction price of $142,002 this month. The Maserati Quattroporte is up next with an average discount of $13,634.

Another Rolls-Royce model lands in the fifth spot, but instead of the aging Dawn it’s the brand-new Cullinan SUV. Although the luxury ‘ute boasts a large discount of $12,427, its staggeringly high retail price of $332,750 means buyers are getting a little less than 4% off the sticker. More interesting to most buyers will be the 2019 Lincoln Navigator, which is one of our favorite full-size SUVs in America. Buyers of Lincoln’s range-topping vehicle are getting average discounts of $11,761. That represents a 13.4% savings for a final price of $75,940.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

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Maserati switching to in-house twin-turbo V6 and turbo four

Automotive News has been able to put some output figures to the two primary engines that will power Maserati’s renaissance. Last year the Italian luxury brand sent notice that it would terminate its deal to with Ferrari to use the Maranello-sourced F160 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and F154 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8. As new Maserati models appear and current models are overhauled, the brand will begin installing either Maserati’s own 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, or an FCA-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The V6 will greet the world from the middle of the MC20 supercar poised for debut in September, assuming nothing goes worse with the world than it already has.

Rumor from Mopar Insiders and Allpar forums is that Maserati began building its V6 based on Alfa Romeo’s 690T V6. Alfa Romeo puts the 690T in the Stelvio and Giulia Quadrifoglio, the engine’s development having started seven years ago with Ferrari’s F154 V8 as its heart. Tuned for speed, peak output could reach 542 horsepower. After making its home in the racy coupe, the V6 will also serve a new midsize Maserati crossover coming next year, as well as the next GranTurismo coupe and GranCabrio convertible. In the crossover, power is apparently limited to no more than 523 horses.

In Maserati’s new V6, one piece of technology that permits such high output and emissions friendliness is turbulent jet ignition (TJI). German supplier Mahle has been developing the technology for at least 10 years, and put it to use in Ferrari’s Formula 1 engine about five years ago, after which Japan’s Super GT manufacturers picked it up. Instead of a spark plug igniting fuel directly in the combustion chamber, TJI places the spark plug and an injector nozzle at the top of a “jet ignition pre-chamber assembly.” The injector shoots a mist of gasoline into the pre-chamber, the spark plug fires, and the force of ignition in the pre-chamber sprays the combustion through tiny holes at the bottom of the pre-chamber into the cylinder as the piston rises. Mahle says the shorter burn and improved combustion spread means cleaner-burning gas engines that emit fewer emissions.  

AN says that the “new V-6 engine will be ‘electrified’ in some form.” It’s not clear if that means all versions of the V6 will get some sort of hybrid assistance, or if — as had been thought — there will be a non-hybrid unit. The last report we got on motivation for the MC20 strongly suggested a non-hybrid V6 at launch making around 600 hp, followed by a hybridized V6 with all-wheel drive good for 700 horsepower. The hybrid form is said to eventually replace the TT V8 in the upper-tier Ghibli and Quattroporte, but not before the Ferrari-sourced engine steps up to 582 hp later this year.

When AN writes that “Electrified versions of new V-6 eventually will replace 3.8-liter Ferrari-built turbocharged V8 in Maserati Levante, in two versions with 523 hp and 572 hp,” the opening adjective and the higher output lead us to believe in the chances of a non-electrified V6. 

The second engine will be the Global Medium Engine (GME) 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. That engine does duty right now in other group products such as the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, and Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, topping out at 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The mill makes its Maserati debut in the Ghibli hybrid that launches online on July 15.

2020 Lamborghini Urus Luggage Test | Loading the bull

A Lamborghini was recently at my house, which is sort of like the queen dropping in. And though I assiduously avoided carrying anything that could spill, splash, smudge or muss, one aspect of the 2020 Lamborghini Urus we wanted to check was just how much luggage it can carry considering the limitations imposed by the SUV’s extremely sloped roofline.

So I hopped onto the Lamborghini Store’s website to order up just the right stuff, co-branded by Lamborghini and TecknoMonster — hmm, perhaps the carbon-fiber small trolley case for $4,904, or the carbon-fiber Bynomio big trolley case for $7,874, or the Bynomio Hold Maxi carbon-fiber suitcase for $17,388. Perhaps the whole set. Now you might be saying to yourself, “That’s sure an expensive way to haul my clean underwear.” But rest assured these suitcases emerge from the autoclave after a cutting-edge aerospace process that merges two different types of carbon fiber and ensures “top performance and excellent mechanical properties, requiring extreme accuracy in all manufacturing steps.” Pity the fool who has a suitcase that’s anything less.

But tragically, there’s at least a 20-day lead time in ordering, and the Urus was only here for the weekend. So I guess that fool is me, having to resort to the same old world-weary, beat-up suitcases I usually use, which share space in the garage with the lawn tractor and cat litter box.

Six suitcases were at my disposal. Three would need to be checked at the airport, and one of those is particularly ungainly (29x19x11 inches, 26x17x10, 25x16x10). Three others would be small enough to carry on (24x14x10, 23x14x11, 22x14x9), if we were getting on airplanes anymore. Several of these bags have four wheels that jut out and were counted in the dimensions. It’s a shame not to have Riswick’s wife’s fancy bag for such a fancy car.

The Lamborghini Urus is pretty big. At 201 inches long and 79 inches wide, it is 2 inches longer than a Ford Explorer, and the same width. It’s 4 inches shorter than the big Mercedes-Benz GLS, but 2 inches wider. Plus, those are vehicles with third-row seating; the Urus has two rows and seats five. (Four if you get the backseat buckets and console.) Yet its cargo hold is 21.75 cubic feet, which is only about 3 cubic feet bigger than the others’ space behind the third row. It’s also much less than various five-seat, midsize SUVs.

We’re told it is wide enough to fit a couple bags of golf clubs, which looks feasible. In fact, it’s a pretty square space, and a set of clubs might even fit longitudinally. The problem is not the footprint. The volume is so little thanks to the sloped roof. Nothing boxy is ever going to fit in the back of the Urus.

By the way, that black bag contains Lamborghini roof racks.

Here’s what the cargo space is like with the package shelf removed (it easily slides out) and the second row dropped. Long cargo would fit well. It just can’t be tall.

OK, let’s try some luggage. Here’s the first attempt. Getting all six bags in is probably not in the cards. The hatch wouldn’t close on this, coming in contact with both of the upright red bags. Furthermore, there is a small, secondary section of package shelf that’s attached to the inside of the hatch and would need to be removed. But do that, and tilt the second-row seats upright, and you might jam this in. Just don’t expect to see anything.

This next arrangement is slightly less overburdened, and the hatch will definitely close if you remove that section of package shelf and nudge the seat up a little. The three biggest bags make the cut, with the biggest on its side, and two smaller ones to boot. Shift the smaller ones into the middle, and you’d preserve a sliver of rear view, though smaller than the sliver that you normally get. It’s not ideal, though.

Here’s a closer look at the accent-stitched Alcantara cargo shelf, which slides out easily. Ooh, soft …

Finally, in this configuration, you get to keep the cargo shelf, thereby denying the riffraff a chance to size up your fancy luggage. Four suitcases will fit this way — two large and two carry-ons. And thanks to an indent in the left cargo-bay wall, the Lambo roof racks fit, too. Or, leave those in the garage and you can get a small bag on its side, and all five passengers will be able to dress up for whatever fancy rich-people party they’re going to.

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GFG Style evolves Giugiaro design in the Bandini Dora and Vision 2030 Desert Raid

Fabrizio and Giorgetto Giugiaro, the father-son duo who paired up to create automotive company GFG Style, have been swept up in the wave of the times and gone all-in on electric. In the past four months, GFG Style unveiled three new concept vehicles, all of which use batteries and electric motors for propulsion. The Vision 2030 and Vision 2030 Desert Raid offer new perspectives on off-road-ready supercars, and the Bandini Dora evokes Italian history in a stylish barchetta.

GFG Style started in 2015 and has been hard at work envisioning the future of the automobile. Since opening its doors, the design and consultation firm has crafted seven concept cars, including the Kangaroo, an electric all-terrain supercar that was one of the coolest and most interesting vehicles at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. It seems Fabrizio and Giorgetto couldn’t get the core conceptual nature of the Kangaroo out of their minds, as they debuted another all-terrain EV called the Vision 2030 in November 2019 at the Riyadh Motor Show in Saudi Arabia.

Vision 2030

Pegged as a zero-emission all-wheel-drive hypercar designed for Saudi Arabian roads, the Vision 2030 is named after Saudi Vision 2030, a plan to help the country diversify its core businesses and move away from an independence on oil. “Saudi Arabia asked us to design a model that would perfectly adapt to their region, made up of completely new and decidedly wide roads, but also of deserts with dunes and rough terrains,” Fabrizio said in a press release. Fabrizio continued that the point of the car was a design study in wheels and suspension, which largely dictated the shape of the carbon fiber and aluminum car.

To accommodate the multiple types of terrain, the car’s suspension automatically adjusts based on driving conditions. The Vision 2030 also offers three driving modes, Race, Road and Off-Road, which change the ground clearance between 5.5 to 8.7 inches. Inside, six different digital screens ensure the car is properly connected and the driver is properly informed.

GFG Style says the two-seater Vision 2030 has a 90-kWh battery pack and a single-charge electric range of more than 280 miles. It makes a claimed 510 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0-62-mph sprint in 3.8 seconds. 

Vision 2030 Desert Raid

The Desert Raid is one of two concepts that were originally intended to debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show before it was canceled due to precautions surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. As indicated by the name, the Desert Raid is an alternate variation of the Vision 2030. GFG Style says the Desert Raid underlines “the true capacity of this project: not to become a hypercar but a hyperSUV.” 

The Desert Raid has the same battery, power, and general performance specifications as the Vision 2030, as they share the same electric powertrain setup. The bodywork, save for the rear, is also the same, but small tweaks make this vehicle specialized for off-roading. Whereas the Vision 2030 had multiple driving modes, this version only has one setup skewed toward handling rough terrain. Thus, it remains at 8.7 inches of ground clearance at all times. It also has a wider track, smaller wheels, new carbon fiber mudguards, and a visible spare tire integrated into the top rear portion of the car. 

Bandini Dora

The second prototype meant for Geneva is the Bandini Dora. Like the other prototypes, it has a space frame aluminum chassis, carbon fiber bodywork, and a 90-kWh battery pack that provides a claimed range of more than 280 miles per full charge. Compared to the Vision 2030 cars, however, the Dora is slightly more amped up. Two electric motors, one on each axle, account for 536 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with all-wheel drive, the Dora has a claimed 0-62-mph time of 3.3 seconds.

Riding on 21-inch wheels, the Dora is the work of a collaboration with Bandini, an Italian manufacturer founded by Ilario Bandini that originally ran from 1946 until 1992. The company was resurrected as Bandini Automobili s.r.l, thanks to Ilario’s great grandson Michele, and this car is meant to be an ode to Bandini barchetta race cars of decades past. GFG Style’s Geneva stand was planned to include a Bandini 750 Sport Internazionale from the Mille Miglia Museum.

The Bandini Dora is an open-top two-seater, but its clever design is unlike anything of the past or present. Look closely, and the lines reveal that the windshield and encapsulated cockpit are entirely separate from the car’s roof arches. This was the result of blending old design with new safety standards.

“Today, it is difficult to conceive a Barchetta without considering the evolution there has been in the car concerning safety,” Giugiaro was quoted in the press release. “Inspired by the Halo of Formula One, we thought about creating a car that had a clean windshield as it used to be used with no reinforcements, thus being as linear and light as possible. To solve this need, I thought of an out-and-out superstructure that would integrate into the style with an accentuated structural and protective function for both the driver and passenger.” 

To properly appreciate the affect this design has on the car, it must be looked at from all angles. The prominent lines extends from the front bumper, curve over the front wheels, and swoop inward toward the rear to become part of the active aerodynamics. Because they don’t connect with the glass at any point, they creates all types of negative spaces, intersections, and design features that you just don’t see on normal cars. From the front, it almost looks as if one car has overtaken another car that lives beneath it.

For now, all three vehicles are just prototypes. The video below shows a press conference in which GFG Style announced the new designs.

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Adventum Coupe is the two-door Range Rover that never was

At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Land Rover surprised us with the Range Rover SV Coupe, a two-door Range Rover produced by Special Vehicle Operations. The automaker planned to build 999 of them for $295,000 a pop, which would have made the SV Coupe the most expensive from-the-factory Range Rover ever. Not even a year later, after dismal financial returns for Jaguar Land Rover in 2018, Land Rover canceled the SV Coupe, knocking back customers who had already specced units with $60,000 in additional options. Niels van Roij Design came to the rescue not long after, promising its own two-door coachbuilt Range Rover called the Adventum Coupe. The sketches released at the time had us hopeful for the real thing. Now that the first production example has been completed for a buyer, we’re glad to report that the Adventum Coupe is just what we wanted.

Niels van Roij made a few departures from the two-door designed by Land Rover’s SVO. The Adventum goes without frameless windows, the side vents on the doors, and 23-inch wheels. SVO reworked everything but the hood and lower tailgate compared to the standard Range Rover, van Roij also left the fenders and upper tailgate alone. Everything else from the A-pillar back is reshaped to fit true SUV coupe lines. The SVO version was powered by the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 taken from the SVAutobiography Dynamic trim, making 557 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. This particular Adventum uses the slightly less angry supercharged V8 from the Autobiography trim, with 518 hp and 443 lb-ft. .

Dutch coachbuilder Bas van Roomen handles the actual construction, the aluminum D7 architecture strengthened to retain its stiffness and integrity, each body panel worked up in hand-beaten aluminum. The Arctic White exterior pairs with an interior covered in yards of red and black Nappa leather and the sheen of black piano lacquer. This being a coachbuilt design, the minimalist exterior is contrasted by the finely detailed interior. The new door cards get red leather pockets and different door pulls for front and rear passengers. Those rear-seaters get powered captain’s chairs. The floor, from the front footrests to the cargo area, is hand-finished teak with white caulking to match the exterior. A red leather pull handle lifts the cargo area floor, and two matching red and black umbrellas sit in branded Adventum closures on the cargo wall.

Van Roij will build just 100 examples of the Adventum Coupe, each one starting at €270,000 ($299,835 U.S.); choosing a different Range Rover platform to build on could change the price. It takes a €50,000 deposit ($55,525 U.S.) to secure one, the build needing “at least six months.” Our only question about buying the Adventum Coupe, aimed at anyone who’d paid to reserve an SVO-sourced Range Rover SV Coupe, is: Why would you not?

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Automobili Pininfarina unveils its next vehicle (sort of)

TURIN, Italy — Today, at its headquarters near Turin, Automobili Pininfarina unveiled for an exclusive group of reporters’ eyes only, a concept that very firmly presages its next production vehicle.

The boutique electric automotive subsidiary of famed coachbuilder and design consultancy Pininfarina Spa wowed attendees at the Geneva Motor Show last year with its $2.5 million, battery-powered hypercar, the Battista, and promised, back then, that more models were forthcoming. This concept, the Pura Vision, is an ultra-luxury, ultra-potent, four- or five-passenger SUV that is meant to combine the sportiness of the Lamborghini Urus with the five-door grand-touring shooting-brake practicality of the Porsche Panamera SportTurismo at a price that slots in above both of them but below that of more extortionate high-riders like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It thus has in its competitive SUV sights on offerings like the forthcoming Aston Martin DBX and Ferrari Purosange. Pricing wasn’t revealed, but we’re expecting something in the mid- to high- $200,000s range.

The Pininfarina’s unique selling proposition is two-fisted. First, as one would expect from an Italian company that spent many decades as the designers for Ferrari, is design. Though we were strictly forbidden from sharing images of the vehicle, we can attest to its stunning and unique shape. More than 16.5 feet long, and quite broad, the aluminum-skinned SUV features a blunt and grille-less front end, minatory slits of narrow headlamp, a surprisingly long hood given its engineless-ness, tucked-in Coke bottle flanks, rear-hinged “suicide” rear doors, extremely muscular haunches that mimic the flared and spatted rear wheels of the Battista, a fastback rear, and protruding razor thin taillights.

“We wanted to get rid of designs that are messy, and go back to basics with great proportions,” says Automobili Pininfarina head of design Luca Borgogno, referring to the elongated GT-inspired dash-to-axle ratio and short rear overhang of this sporting form. “And the SUV shape is great because, when you think of the EV platform, with the battery pack down low, it’s simpler to integrate in a higher riding vehicle. You can still be super-fast, and deliver some all-terrain capability with the ride height. It’s a perfect mixture.”

True to the second half of its name, the Pura Vision also has a fully glass roof, inspired in part by the bubble-topped Superflow concepts Pininfarina created for Alfa Romeo in the middle of the past century. Of course, in the contemporary case, the glass is ultra strong, undergridded by supports, and self-darkening. “It encloses you so much while surrounding you in this glass teardrop,” Borgogno tells us. “It links you with the environment, connecting you with the idea of sustainability.”

In fact, sustainability, or something like it, is the Pura Vision’s other significant attribute. Built on a new platform that will also underpin future Pininfarina automobiles, it hosts a battery pack large enough to produce 1,000 hp, powering what promises to be a hefty chunk of vehicle from 0-60 mph in fewer than 3 seconds on the way to a top speed of over 180 mph, whilst providing a claimed 550 km (340 miles) of range. Putting all of this power to the Pura’s Pirelli P-Zeros — mounted, to stunning effect, on gigantic 26-inch wheels — is accomplished with a quartet of torque vectoring electric motors. And, in case you were still wondering about its sporting, go-anywhere, grand touring intentions, it has carbon ceramic brakes and a 46/54 front/rear weight distribution, just like the Ferrari GTC4Lusso.

The vehicle’s interior also shines with distinctive materials and material usage. A wooden prow surrounds occupants above and along the dash and along the tops of the doors, kind of like in a Riva speedboat. Echoing this Italian nautical heritage, the fully flat floors can also be spec’d in unvarnished wood. This trim, though probably not the floors (?) can alternately be ordered in carbon fiber for a more technical effect. The rear seat can be configured in a two-place, first-class-esque arrangement with the de rigueur recline feature, or as a more conventional bench. Either way, the passenger compartment is sealed off from the cargo area, and the seat doesn’t seem to fold flat, so don’t plan on carting home sheets of plywood. Not that you’d want to risk getting splinters in all the sustainably tanned leathers, processed with (what else?) olive oil.

Pininfarina plans to build at least three other vehicles on this same platform, and some veiled, ghost-like images in the presentation the executives showed us suggested to our eyes that these would be: a smaller SUV-like thing; a grand-touring coupe of indeterminate number of doors; and a two-door convertible. The Battista hypercar is going to be hand-assembled in an atelier, so in order to build these slightly higher-volume exclusive supercars, Pininfarina is seeking out an existing factory nearby to their headquarters in Italy’s famed Motor Valley that they can convert to a production facility. In addition to vehicle assembly, it will also host prototype, product development, purchasing, supply chain management, testing, training, customer experience, and delivery services. Fortunately, one of the areas into which the Italian design house has recently expanded has been architecture, so they’ll handle the conversion of said factory in-house.

Borgagno warns us that the concept that we saw was not precisely production ready, but that it is “very close.” He says that we should expect to see the wheels decrease in diameter to “just” 24 inches, and the rear suicide doors to be replaced with traditional front-hinged ones, but didn’t specify much else that would change. We don’t typically get too worked up about SUVs, but this one promises to be a bit different, should it retain its current form. “It’s almost romantic,” Borgogno says wistfully, glancing again at the Pura Vision’s glass bubble-top. “To look around at the sky, the sun.” 

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