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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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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 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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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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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.”

Germany criticizes Czech tycoon’s 257-mph Autobahn ride

BERLIN — Germany’s Transport Ministry has criticized a stunt that saw a Czech millionaire drive his high-powered sports car along a public highway at speeds of up to 414 kilometers per hour (257 mph).

A video posted online this month shows Radim Passer pushing his Bugatti Chiron to extreme speeds on a stretch of Germany’s A2 Autobahn between Berlin and Hannover.

Beneath the video, Passer wrote that the stunt was filmed last year on a 10-kilometer (6-mile) straight section with three lanes and “visibility along the whole stretch.”

“Safety was a priority, so the circumstances had to be safe to go,” he said.

But the car can be seen passing several other vehicles on the highway and the light in the video suggests it was at twilight.

While much of Germany’s Autobahn network famously has no speed limit, the Transport Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that it “rejects any behavior in road traffic that leads or can lead to endangering road users.”

“All road users must abide by the rules of the road traffic regulations,” it added, citing the first clause of Germany’s road traffic law, which states that “anyone participating in traffic must behave in such a way that no other person is harmed, endangered or obstructed or inconvenienced more than is unavoidable under the circumstances.”

The ministry noted that the law also requires drivers to “only drive so fast that the vehicle is constantly under control.”

Passer, who according to Forbes is the Czech Republic’s 33rd-richest person with a wealth of 6.6 billion Czech crowns ($308 million), suggested beneath the video that he placed his faith in more than just his driving skills during the stunt.

“We thank God for the safety and good circumstances, as we were able to reach the speed of 414 km/h!” he wrote.

The Green party, now a junior partner in Germany’s coalition government, called for a 130 kph (80 mph) speed limit across the Autobahn network in last year’s election campaign, as part of efforts to cut the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. But that idea was ditched during talks to form the new government.

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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.

A look at the Rimac Nevera by Doug DeMuro

In his famous style of video, YouTube video creator Doug DeMuro takes us through the ‘quirks and features’ of the impressive Rimac Nevera, one of the most powerful cars in the world, a true hypercar, and it’s all-electric too with a power output of nearly 2,000 hp, and while we’ll be looking at nr 002/150, this is still a pre-production sample, so there are some quirks that don’t work yet, but even this one offers absolutely mindblowing acceleration … from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2 seconds.

Started out as Rimac Automobili, this small car builder from Croatia made some impressive statements all the way back in 2018 when Mate Rimac unveiled the C_Two at the Geneva Motor Show, for Concept Two, let’s go over the figures again: total power output from four electric motors at 1,914 hp, delivering a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph) and acceleration figures of 1.85 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, this would be the start of a new breed of hypercars.

No other car builder came even close to these numbers, not any of the large companies, nor any of the more exclusive makes like Pagani, Koenigsegg … or even Bugatti, which makes the next detail even more interesting, today Porsche owns a controlling interest in Rimac, but on the other hand, Rimac now owns an interest in Bugatti. It seems the technology on electric hypercars that has been developed by Rimac gained some serious interest from the top brass at the VAG Group, and with the next evolution for Bugatti being at least hybrid, combining the two seemed a great idea, so on November 1, 2021, we saw the launch of ‘Bugatti Rimac’ as a company.

But back to the Rimac Nevera all-electric hypercar, we’re talking about a $2,400,000 two-seater performer, but if you look at the styling and the high-tech interior, you’ll notice Rimac took the Bugatti route and created a luxurious, relatively comfortable hypercar, even the exterior isn’t too wild or exotic looking, the styling is more subdued in fact, almost classy, which might be the only remark you could make about a car that can reach 300 km/h in just 9.3 seconds … it doesn’t look fast standing still, unlike most models from the likes of Lamborghini and Ferrari.

Let’s first check out the video by Doug DeMuro now:

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Only 150 units of the Rimac Nevera will be available worldwide, and it seems the first units could be heading to their lucky owner very soon, in the next few weeks already, and let’s not forget with all the ‘low emission zones’ popping up in cities all over the world, an electric hypercar is just what you need to go downtown in style, I just wonder if any of these 150 units will actually be driven regularly, or if they will become a toy for the ultra-high net worth individuals to show off in their garage, only to be taken out onto the road occasionally to drive to an event.

I’m already wondering what Bugatti Rimac will unveil in the near future, will there be a Chiron successor first as the production run for the current flagship from Mulsheim is nearing the end of the limited production as only 500 Chiron are to be made, and they are down to less than 40 units remaining to be built. Or will we get another model from Rimac to succeed the Nevera, or get this … why not a Nevera Roadster, now that would be amazing, having this much power in a convertible model, that would really interest me more than a closed coupé, to be honest.

Whichever it will be, it is obviously clear the automotive world is at a turning point in history, we might be seeing a few more ICE powered hypercars in the near future, but let’s face it, in a matter of five to ten years the majority will be electric-powered, all the big names are developing hybrid models as we speak, or already have them in their lineup, while they all are preparing all-electric models as we speak … so the future will be different for sure.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage shows off sound, will return in 2022

According to Aristotle’s fourth-century History of Animals, swans “are musical, and sing chiefly at the approach of death.” Scientists still debate the accuracy of this statement, but we don’t think anybody is going to argue with the melodic tones of the swan song that is Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage. Listen for yourself in the video up above.

We’ve been expecting this. We saw spy shots in August of a hardcore Vantage mule out testing on the Nürburgring that was fitted with all manner of enhancements that led us to believe a twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12 may be under its vented hood. Later, the rumormill was aflutter with reports that the British marque was planning to bestow its smallest car with big power courtesy of a V12 tuned to deliver a reported 670 horsepower. That’s 20 ponies fewer than the Speedster’s twelve-cylinder, which spins out 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque.

We don’t know much more than that, for now. Aston Martin’s teaser says the V12 Vantage returns in 2022, we’d guess as a 2023 model, and that it will be labeled a Final Edition. We’re certain the number produced will be limited, so if this is the beautiful swan song you’ve been waiting for, now would be a good time to get your finances in order.

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Building the 300 mph Koenigsegg Jesko

I was fortunate enough the be present at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show when Christian von Koenigsegg unveiled the then brand new Jesko to the gathered press during his conference, the bright white hypercar with the massive rear wing attracted a lot of attention, and we found out it wouldn’t even be the fastest version, back in 2019 they mentioned a Jesko 300, which we now know is called the Jesko Absolut, but back to 2019, and just two days before the car had to be sent to Switzerland, it wasn’t even finished, they were still working hard on putting this beauty together, but no worries, they made it.

Top Gear actually did a video during their visit to Koenigsegg Automotive AB in Ängelholm, Skåne County, Sweden, just a few days ahead of the public unveiling of the Koenigsegg Jesko in Geneva, and it is a very interesting behind the scenes look at how these cars are usually finished just in time for such a major event, or in some case, almost, but not quite finished, and while we now know the Jesko was indeed ready to be shown to the public just a few days after this video was made, it still impressive to see what is going on inside the factory inside a former airforce hangar where 400 artisans are building these impressive Koenigsegg hypercars.

You might have noticed that there is always ghost somewhere on the Koenigsegg car to be found, and that goes back to the fact these hypercars are built inside the former hangar of Swedish oldest air force squadron, the Ghosts, we learn that the Koenigsegg Jesko had been in development for three years prior to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, under the internal name ‘Ragnarok’, but the name Jesko was chosen for the production car in honor to Christian’s father, Jesko von Koenigsegg.

At the time the Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut wasn’t built yet, and the car shown in Geneva was the track-focused Jesko, with the massive rear wing, that can be angled as an air brake mind you, a deep front splitter, and a total of 880 kgs of downforce, which is too much to reach speeds in excess of 300 mph, but their simulations at the time, with a different aero package, would theoretically show the Jesko 300 to go even faster than 300 mph.

The problem with actually testing these kinds of speed in real life is that it takes a massive amount of preparation, not only finding a stretch of road long enough to do in two directions, but it also has to be safe, for the driver, for the car itself, and for the surrounding wildlife … imagine striking a bird that decides to fly over the road when you are approaching at 300 mph …

The Koenigsegg Jesko has a starting price of $2,800,000 before taxes, and before options, and with a hand-built car like a Koenigsegg, the sky is the limit, as they say, you can spec your very own Jesko to your liking, taking a look at the Geneva Show car you might notice those stunning carbon-fiber wheels … those are not included in that $2.8 million pricetag, they are a $65,000 option! But what’s even more interesting, the tire is two times heavier than the wheel itself.

The Koenigsegg Jesko is not a hybrid, she comes with a 5-Liter V8 engine that delivers a massive 1,600 hp on E85 fuel, coupled to the in-house developed gearbox, this is the fastest revving engine in any production car, and while these days people are asking more and more for a clear carbon fiber body, it usually takes between 600 and 800 hours to paint a Koenigsegg, they actually clear coat and sand down the carbon fiber panels three times in a row before they even add a splash of color on top.

And then you still have all the smaller carbon fiber parts and aluminum parts that need to be polished before they are fitted onto the Koenigsegg, which takes another 200 hours of skilled work, even the wiring loom is hand made at the factory, adding wires to a vertical panel with a map fixed on it, very impressive indeed.

Top Gear Magazine’s Jack Rixwill take you on a tour of the Koenigsegg factory, right at the time they are finishing up the Jesko prototype to be taken to Geneva in March 2019 … enjoy the video below:

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Lamborghini Countach LP 500 prototype reconstruction baptized on track

After making a static debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the reconstructed 1971 Lamborghini Countach LP 500 prototype has met the track for a proper shakedown. A banner day for all involved, no doubt, Pirelli loaned its Vizzola Ticino test track to Lamborghini, collector Albert Spiess from Germany and the contributors who helped create the car from scratch.

Spiess said he saw the original prototype at the Geneva Motor Show and then put a Countach poster on his wall as a kid, determined like so many other children for the next 15 years to have one. With the Geneva show car destroyed during crash testing, Spiess eventually determined to convince Lamborghini to build one anew. It likely didn’t take him more than 25,000 hours of cajoling to get a “Si” from the principals in Sant’Agata Bolognese, but that’s how long the carmaker’s historic division, Polo Storico, spent on the reconstruction. Polo Storico chief Stefano Castricini said it took “mad and desperate” research through archival materials, on top of the interviews with original workers and help from suppliers like Pirelli and PPG.  

It doesn’t look like they worked the LP 500 too hard on track, but it’s not like they needed to. In a world awash in seven-figure customs and restomods from manufacturers, and smaller makers putting out cars with specs to make your eyes go googly — there will probably be three more announced next week — this one is special at any speed. For any who’d like to see it for themselves, this very item will be on display at Lamborghini’s MUDETEC Museum of Technologies in Sant’Agata Bolognese until November 15, alongside the bare tubular chassis of the production LP 400 (the customer cars got a more reliable 4.0-liter 12-cylinder instead of the prototype’s 5.0-liter unit), the second production LP 400 to go down the line, and a Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole.

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Tour the Venom F5 with Hennessey’s design director

We’ve watched the Hennessey Performance Venom story for 14 years now. When the Lotus Elise-based Venom GT ran an unofficial 270.49 miles an hour at the Kennedy Space Center and that wasn’t enough to convince the Guinness Book of World Records, Hennessey decided to start over on a speedster built on an in-house platform. That turned into the Venom F5, the F5 designation taken from the Fujita Scale used U.S. from 1971 to 2007 to measure the strength of tornadoes. The strongest twisters were designated F5, with winds estimated at anywhere between 261 and 318 miles per hour. The one-word descriptive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used for such phenomena applies equally to the weather and the car: Incredible.

Hennessey design director Nathan Malinick takes us on a tour of everything the Texas car builder has done with the F5 in an attempt to reach the speed of the fastest tornado winds. Without giving everything away, there are fine engineering details like the badge at the front of the car, a slice a aluminum just eight microns thick. There are aesthetic details like headlights designed to mimic the shape of an F. There are combined engineering and aesthetic flourishes like the rear spoiler, its sinuous bends a pleasure to behold at the same time as it channels air into the turbos and over the rear of the car. And there are engineering firsts like the rear bumper, which Malinick says is the largest single piece of molded and milled carbon fiber in the car industry.

There are plenty more whats and whys in the video, so check it out. All 24 examples of the Venom F5 planned for production have been sold, so this could be the closest you ever get to it.

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Watch as Devel begins testing a prototype of its Sixteen hypercar

It’s taken over a decade, but Dubai-based Devel has started testing the Sixteen hypercar it claims can reach 310 mph. Footage of a prototype undergoing shakedown tests on a track in Italy was published recently on YouTube.

If you need a refresher course, the Sixteen was shown to the public for the first time as a concept car in Dubai in 2013, though its development reportedly started in the late 2000s. It was revealed in its final form in 2017, and footage of it driving on a desert road surfaced in 2019. We haven’t heard much from the company since, which is hardly a surprise; 2020 was a difficult year for major carmakers, so smaller firms took an even meaner punch.

And yet, against any and all odds, Devel is back. Its prototype is unpainted and unfinished, the turbo system hasn’t been installed yet, but it runs, drives, and stops, which is a major accomplishment for the company. While no specifications were released, Devel outlined plans to build three versions of the car in 2019. First, a base model powered by a 2,000-horsepower V8. Second, a mid-range variant with a 3,000-horsepower, quad-turbocharged V16. Finally, a range-topping configuration with a quad-turbocharged, 12.3-liter V16 engine tuned to develop 5,000 horsepower. Yes, five thousand; that’s not a typo. It’s unclear which engine powers the car shown in the video.

Photos posted by Devel on its official Instagram account show the Sixteen being tested in Pininfarina’s wind tunnel, so the car is seemingly inching towards production. How many examples will be built, where, and how much each one will cost remains to be seen. What’s certain is that this hypercar could be a lot more real than many assumed.

Sweet 16

If the Sixteen reaches production, Devel will join the short list of manufacturers that have built a car with 16 cylinders. One of the most famous 16-cylinder models is the Cadillac V-16, which was built from 1930 to 1940. It was offered in a dizzying number of configurations, and many examples were fitted with a coachbuilt body. BMW briefly experimented with a V16-powered, E32-generation 7 Series in the early 1990s, at about the same time Italy-based Cizeta was putting the final touches on the Marcello Gandini-designed V16T. Only a handful were built.

In recent years, the glorious 16-cylinder layout has been associated exclusively with Bugatti. Different evolutions of its 8.0-liter, quad-turbocharged W16 have powered the Veyron, the Chiron, and few-offs like the Centodieci.

Christian von Koenigsegg walks us through the Jesko Attack

An official video from the Koenigsegg channel where Christian von Koenigsegg does a full walkthrough of the bright orange Jesko that was just finished, being a pre-production validation car, this one is very close to the actual production cars that they will start building, this Tang Orange Pearl with silver and carbon-fiber accents finished beauty reminds us of the Koenigsegg CCR color, did you know that back in the early 2000s about 50% of all Koenigsegg cars left the factory in Sweden in this orange shade?

Let’s just take a look at 15 minutes of automotive art … made in Sweden, by the way, this track focussed version no longer goes by the name Jesko, but they now call it the Jesko Attack, while the top speed version is still called the Jesko Absolut.

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Rimac C_Two gets its name

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

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

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

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

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The TechArt GT Street R

Just in case the 650 hp from the factory standard Porsche 992 Turbo S won’t be enough for you, you can always turn to TechArt in Germany to ‘tune’ the car a bit further … or a lot further when it comes to the new TechArt GT Street R, not only does power go up to an impressive 800 hp, but TechArt also installs a very aggressively styled aerodynamic package for outside looks, and a completely bespoke interior.

Styling for the TechArt GT Street R was inspired by the 992 GT3 for the front hood, massively widened fenders with integrated air vents, and naturally, a big rear wing, which in this case is a ‘multi-layered design. If that isn’t impressive enough, check out the center-lock wheels … the TechArt ones come with removable aero rings.

Famous automotive youtube star was invited by TechArt to take a look at the TechArt prototype for their upcoming GT Street R, check out his impression of this beautifully aggressive Porsche Turbo S in the video below:

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The first units of the TechArt GT Street R are already spoken for I guess, but there is nothing keeping you from getting on the list for one of these amazing cars, as long as your bank account can support your order …

Rimac’s next electric hypercar is going to be blindingly quick

From a rather inauspicious start in 2011, Rimac Automobili quickly made a name for itself with its first production car, the Concept One. The extremely limited all-wheel-drive Concept One pushed out a whopping 1,224 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. It had a range of 205 miles and cost a million euros when it was new. As impressive as that debut effort may have been, Rimac’s next electric hypercar is set to blow those benchmarks out of the water.

Company founder Mate Rimac posted a video on YouTube showing off a preproduction version of the Concept Two (also known as the C_Two). It will carry a different name when it goes into production later this year, and it will also be even quicker than the blindingly rapid version that stars in the video. As you’ll see when you click the play button, Rimac takes his creation down a deserted runway and manages to run the 1/4 mile in 8.94 seconds at 155.1 miles per hour.

A few points to consider: This preproduction model is running at about 85% torque capacity as the automaker continues tuning its motors and electronics. It’s also not equipped with the launch control programming that the 1,914-horsepower production model will feature. Put simply, the upcoming Rimac will very likely be the quickest production vehicle ever sold.

To put its acceleration into perspective, Rimac brought along a Porsche Taycan Turbo S and lined ’em up for a little race. See the results for yourself up above.

Related video:

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

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

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

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

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

Pagani Huayra R

It seems Horatio Pagani and his team are almost ready to finally take the covers of the track-only ‘R’ moniker, just as they did with the impressive Pagani Zonda R, the Huayra R will not be legal to drive on the road, but I’m sure the select few that will be able to acquire this ‘ultra’ version of the already amazing Pagani Huayra won’t mind too much.

The Huayra R will still be immediately recognizable as a Pagani, but it will come with the required massive rear wing and what seems like a more prominent roof-mounted air intake, together with the obligatory aero add-ons for a track car, the Huayra R will come with a naturally aspirated V12 engine from AMG and could pump out 900hp or more with the rev-counter going all the way up to 9,500 rpm … this car will scream for sure.

Horatio himself announced he was building a successor to the now 13-year-old Zonda R back in October 2020, but today we still don’t have an official date, nor a price for this track-only Huayra R … and just how many Pagani will be building this time, keeping in mind he only built 15 Zonda R and one single Zonda Revolución, I guess we won’ be seeing many Huayra R either.