Tag Archives: supercar

Lamborghini Reopens Museum, Kicks Off Miura Tour

With its renovated layout and displays, the new Lamborghini Museum was reopened on June 9 by Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Lamborghini. The opening coincided with the first stage of the Miura Tour that celebrates the well-loved model’s 50th anniversary this year.

Located at Sant’Agata in Italy, the exhibition space is pure supercar heaven with its display of the car manufacturer’s most prestigious and iconic models of past and present. This includes historic models such as the 1963 350 GT (the location’s first car) and LM 002, as well as concept cars such as a SUV set to debut in 2018.

Super Trefeo racing versions of the Diablo GTR, Gallardo and Huracán will also be on display at a race track-style garage, together with Lamborghini Formula One cars from 1990 and 1991.

The 20 surviving Miuras – all constructed between 1966 and 1972 – from all over the world will go on a journey from the regions of Emilia, and Liguria to Tuscany before completing the journey in Florence on June 12.

Sold Out: McLaren 675LT Spider Carbon Fiber

This isn’t exactly something new since McLaren did it with the P1 model but the British automaker has decided to make a special edition of the 675LT Spider in exposed carbon fiber. The positive response garnered from the company’s earlier effort on the P1 probably contributed to this creation and while that was a one-off, done by the bespoke arm of the company, this version will be a true production car. Well, a production car by McLaren’s standards means that the McLaren 675LT Spider is limited to 25 examples and all are spoken for!

The allure of carbon fiber comes from its exotic nature – stronger than steel but extremely lightweight. That fits right in with the 675LT Spider, which is in the company’s super series for shedding as much weight as possible to improve performance. While much of the Spider is already done up in carbon fiber anyway, this edition takes things further still, with 40% more of it in the build. To celebrate this fact, the body is not painted, merely given a high gloss finish that promises to accentuate the weave inherent in carbon fiber.

One item that remains untouched though is the engine – which is still a 3.8 liters V8 with twin turbos. When spooling it gives the car 675PS (that’s 666bhp), a 0-100km/h time of just 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 326km/h (203mph). These numbers have yet to be modified to take into account the weight savings so we shall see how this plays out. Other new aspects to this model include front wing louvers and three integrated cameras for capturing track action as part of a Track Telemetry pack.

Sadly to say, for those interested, McLaren announced that every single model of the car was already pre-sold, even though production won’t be starting until the fall. They aim to deliver each car to its owner in time to make the greatest Christmas present ever but, honestly, this sounds like an overly optimistic timeline!


Concours d’Elegance Dedicated To Pininfarina

Between June 2 and June 5, a special Concours d’Elegance will come to the town of Alassio, Italy celebrating the models and designs of the legendary car studio Pininfarina. This show, in conjunction with the late Senator Sergio Pininfarina’s 90th birthday, is a tribute to the globally recognized brand that he built up from a small automotive design studio. This event will also see some of the rarest and most exotic cars that the brand has offered on show together.

Pininfarina Sergio Concept

Pininfarina Sergio Concept

Two of the unique cars on show include the 1963 Lancia Flaminia Coupé Speciale and the 1947 Bristol 400 (just three survive) – plus a whole host of models stretching from names such as Maserati, Ford, Cadillac, Nash, Fiat, Rolls-Royce, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Volvo and even Hyundai, all of whom have turned to the firm at one point for inspiration. These production cars join hands with some of Pininfarina’s greatest concepts, all on show together. This includes the Ferrari Sergio (built in Sergio Pininfarina’s honor), the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe of 2013 and the H2 Speed hydrogen fuel cell sports car that debuted at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. In short, it is a display of the best out there.

“In the year that my father would have turned 90 years, I thought the most beautiful homage could be a gathering of the cars he has loved most in the city that, together with Torino, has always occupied a special place in his heart, Alassio,” said Paolo Pininfarina. With a jury of Pininfarina family members and international automotive experts – four prize winners will be selected out of the cars competing. These awards include best in show and the Robert M. Lee award for the show’s most elegant car.

Pininfarina H2 Speed

Pininfarina H2 Speed

And while the entrance to the event will be exclusive, the cars competing will be taking to the streets in two separate processions around Alassio through June 3 and 4, allowing all to witness the spectacle on show. The city of Alassio itself has a special “Città di Alassio Award” for the best convertible on display, which it will vote on itself.

Turin Debut for Mazzanti Evantra Millecavalli

Even in the usually low-key Turin motorshow (running from June 8-12), there is still something that’s worth a look. The Mazzanti Evantra Millecavalli promises to be the most powerful street-legal car ever built in Italy, with a total output of 1000hp all channeled from a turbocharged V8 powerplant. The boutique supercar builder will limit the release to just 25 hand-built examples with an expected price tag of over €1 million, making it a direct competitor to Pagani and Koenigsegg.

“In order to create this extreme Hypercar, we applied technologies coming from motorsport that no one else has ever used on a street-legal car before,” said Luca Mazzanti, company founder. These probably includes the twin-turbo chargers, which will ramp up the ride to a top-speed of 400km/h, as well as boosting up a 0-100km/h acceleration to 2.7 seconds. Also involved in ensuring its capabilities are the active aerodynamics to direct air over the rear wing plus larger inlets for cooling and even a roof-mounted airscoop.

Mazzanti has already quite the street cred in the world of boutique automakers, despite starting out just 15 years ago. The Evantra model that the Millecavalli is based on is hand-built to order and production is limited to five examples a year. The standard car has 715hp on tap and is capable of going from 0-100km/h in 3 seconds. Who knows what level of work was needed to push it to the next level? “When the performance is so important, nothing is left to chance, but each element is the result of the meticulous work of people with great expertise and a true passion” noted Mazzanti.

In other words, lovers of the loud and fast will have another model to salivate over – at least until the next speed-demon comes into view.

Acura NSX Hybrid Supercar is Real

Hybrids are all the rage today, even at the supercar level, as typified here with the Acura NSX hybrid supercar, made under Honda’s luxury vehicle imprint. The cynical might think this is just a fad but, like the Koenigsegg Regera we covered earlier, these concepts are going into production, just like this iconic name from Honda. Presented for the first time as a concept car at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, it has taken four years of prototypes, development and testing of all kinds for the famously fastidious Japanese automaker to finally give the new NSX the go signal.

Those looking for that special first model to make it out of the factory, well the AFP has found its owner and how much he paid for it. The first model to roll off the production line at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, USA, was snapped up for the modest sum of $1.2 million by none other than Rick Hendrick, the famous and wealthy (clearly) owner of the Hendrick Motorsport NASCAR racing team. Seriously, how can you own a NASCAR team and not be wealthy?

The Acura NSX VIN 001 offers truly impressive performances. It comes loaded with three electronic motors, a V6 biturbo VTEC engine and a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, promising over 578 horsepower. It even uses torque vectoring technology to vary the power to each of the four wheels. It manages 0-60mph (0-100 km/h) in just 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 190mph (305 km/h). In other words, this Japanese supercar lands with the same performances as the most prestigious hybrid sports cars, such as the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1.

The model bought by Rick Hendrick has a “Valencia Red Pearl” finish with bodywork made from a variety of materials, including carbon fiber upgrades to the roof, engine cover and rear decklid spoiler to keep the car’s weight to a minimum. This luxurious and sporty number was also finished with a leather and Alcantara interior trim.

The standard 2017 Acura NSX model will sell from $156,000.

Did Zagato Just Create the Best Aston Martin?

The world could use more cars like the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Concept. Something that would make looking out of a bus window a lot more enjoyable; something that could almost stop traffic. Well this collaboration between the Gaydon-based automaker Aston Martin and Italian coachbuilder Zagato can literally stop traffic, if traffic could ever catch up to it… (The Verge and Bloomberg are already calling it the most beautiful car of 2016 and it might just have our vote too – Ed)


Not since the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Zagato in 2013 have the two fabled marques – Aston Martin and Zagato – embarked on a collaboration. Launched in Italy’s prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the new grand tourer, in a breath-taking shade of red, shone in all its muscular beauty. The brainchild of Aston Martin’s Marek Reichman and Andrea Zagato, the car is based on – as its name suggests – the Vanquish, only upgraded with several of the Italian coachbuilding company’s design trademarks. And yes, “concept” is part of the name but the car is not just a glint in a designer’s eye.


Coachbuilders specialize in bodywork and that is what you get here. The entirely carbon fiber body is given a seamless overhaul with massive panels that serve to reduce the number of split lines, complete with a glasshouse that’s shaped like a visor (because, sport). The roof also rocks the ‘double bubble’, a subtle indentation synonymous with Zagato since it was first introduced to its models in the fifties. Its quad exhausts sit nestled amongst the carbon fiber sills that wrap around the body.


Paying tribute to its equally sexy cousins at Aston Martin, the wing mirrors invoke the One-77, while its side strakes, the DB11. Tail lights that hark to the “bladed” look of the Vulcan’s are also part of the deal.

At the heart of the special edition is a 6.0-liter, naturally-aspirated V12-engine that produces 592bhp, capable of going from 0 – 62kmh in staggering 3.8 seconds. This is an upgrade from the 568hp by the production Vanquish and generates supercar-like acceleration.


And because everyone knows the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Concept will set you back by an eye-watering figure, the good guys at Aston Martin have included herringbone carbon fiber and luxurious anodized bronze leather to the facia, vents and rotary dials to remind you of it. The interior also sees embossed and embroidered ‘Z’ quilt patterns on seat, doors and headrests so you ride in absolute luxury. Just be sure to have your seatbelt on, for obvious reasons.


The car is fitted with the Vanquish’s usual features— a spectacular center console controlling all aspects of the interior environment, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and the AMi III infortainment system; but when your V12 sounds that good, you don’t really need any music.


Thousands Apply Online for Ford GT Supercar

The Ford Motor Company tapped into the appeal of its GT model online to both reward its loyal fans and to create invaluable buzz. In just one month, 6,506 people sent the firm applications to buy a carbon-fiber Grand Tourer via its website www.fordgt.com. This is not a giveaway nor some offer of major discounts. Prices are expected to start in the mid-$400,000s.

Nearly 2,000 people used the site’s web app to choose among colors, wheels and interior themes and build a “virtual” GT. They were also able to share images of their customized GT on social media sites. Not only does this allow potential owners the chance to interact with the brand in new ways but it also adds a level of engagement that is difficult to achieve and measure.

Ford says that it is now reviewing applications from those 6,506 applicants (and probably crunching data) and will start notifying potential owners in the next 90 days.

When Ford announced the opening of the application period in April, the company said it would produce a limited number of the high-performance luxury cars and allow for the selected applicants to personalize their cars through a new “concierge” service.

Remember that mid-$400,000s price? Well it excludes destination, delivery and potential taxes of course. Ford said it would take 500 orders for GT “supercars,” to be built in the first two years of production.

Essex Blue: Lotus Evora 400 Hethel Edition

The Evora 400 gets the special edition treatment yet again, this time to commemorate 50 good years at the Hethel factory in Norfolk.

Unsurprisingly named the Evora 400 Hethel Edition, the version sees the British manufacturer’s fatest car receive a paint job upgrade, in “exclusive heritage” tones of Essex Blue, Motorsport Black and Racing Green. The interior gets a refurbishment in either red or black leather, or Formula One standard Alcantara interior trim. Forged silver alloy wheels, contrasting brake calipers and the graphics set are also part of the deal, as with a build plate inside, because what’s a special edition without one of those?

Performance-wise, this limited edition remains the same. The 400 in its name is derived from its horsepower, courtesy of an upgraded Evora S 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine. Around the Hethel track, the supercar races up 60mph in 4.1 seconds and hits a top speed of 186mph, claiming top spot as Lotus’ fastest car yet.

This special edition is a £3,500 hike over the standard at £75,500 but we think the upgrades and bragging rights are well worth the top-up.

Speedmaster: Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS

We like boutique automakers here so when we heard about the Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS we had to take a closer look. Where major names in the supercar world are routinely criticized for being too conservative in their designs, Dutch boutique automaker Donkervoort is gloriously idiosyncratic. The D8 GTO-RS was clearly designed to match the designer’s dreams, not to meet computer-generated performance standards. Nevertheless, Donkervoort reports that this is the fastest and lightest D8 GTO it has ever built.

Dedicated petrolheads will remember that the D8 RS set a Nürburgring record in 2004, sweeping aside the previous record held by the Porsche Carrera GT by close to 15 seconds. The current RS promises to be even more extreme, powered as it is by a reworked Audi turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. In this version, which Bosch helped to tune, the focus is clearly on acceleration; the GTO also uses this engine and gets 380 bhp from it so expect a bit better than that once the full specs are released (the current teaser information does not reveal the specifications).


Donkervoort promises a faster and more comfortable drive with the D8 RS, which also boasts new launch control, suspension and brakes. The cherry on top of this speed sundae is that it is compliant with Euro6 emissions regulations. This is also quite a pretty sundae too, with an aggressive stance and a face that looks ready to devour the road.

The Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS is set to make its full debut in just a few months but collectors should take note that only 40 models will be made and the company has reportedly sold 21 of those already. Prospective owners will also want to take note of the pre-tax asking price, currently set at $172,000 (that is a little more than the new Porsche Cayman and Audi TT put together, for those who care to know).



Noble Showcases Latest M600 Supercar

A result of five years of development, the boutique British supercar company Noble showed off its latest ultra-quick coupé at the London Motor Show. The bespoke M600 came with a shiny black-red exterior and carbon fiber, pushing out a maximum of 662 horses.

With a power-to-weight ratio of 558 of those horses per tonne, allowing it to race past the 100km/h mark in 3.5 seconds. This ability comes from its 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V8, built by Yamaha if you can believe that, and perhaps more importantly, how lean and light its chassis is. This is the real believe it or not moment because the car weighs in at a mere 1,198kg.

But speed and agility on the road is just one part of the experience. Noble is also trying to get cars into the eager hands of customers faster. To make this happen, they have a new partner in Super Veloce Racing (SVR), which will now serve as the company’s sole sales and servicing agent in UK and Europe. As an intermediary linking up customers with their future cars, SVR will help prospective owners to spec the models and characteristics they want and will ensure that vehicles remain in tip-top condition. In fact, it was the team at SVR who chose London as the platform for launch.

Since its inception, Noble has been set on building its own kind of vehicle with performance quality well able to match many other larger companies out there. With SVR, we hope these inspiring cars find more and more deserving homes.

Ferrari CEO Confirms Spider LaFerrari

The Ferrari LaFerrari (despite being criticized for the tongue-twisting redundancy in its name) remains one of the most powerful multi-million dollar hypercars that’s ever been produced. Sadly, like the Enzo it replaced, it is sold out. Yet, rumors were swirling for some time that a new hypercar was in the works. Thanks to a little tidbit from Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne, this rumor may now be confirmed, and a new drop-top ‘Spider’ version of the LaFerrari is coming up next

Well no one knows for sure of course but sources all over the Internet (including the AFP) are buzzing about the new CEO’s first official interview. Just taking over from Amedeo Felisa this month, Marchionne let the slip in theinterview (with automobilemag.com) that “the only future product connected to LaFerrari is the Spider”, though he added that it was “no secret since potential customers have already been approached”. The original hard-top LaFerrari was the first car to use a hybrid powertrain, and stood out from models made by the rest of its competitors such as Porsche and McLaren by pushing out maximum power all the time.

With regard to cars like the Dino V-6 though (a new ‘entry-level’ compact supercar), Marchionne noted that there were still various questions (“Where should that Dino be positioned? How much should it cost? How would it relate to the next 488…”) to be answered and they “haven’t found answers to these questions yet”. Even so, Ferrari also revealed May 4 that it had its most successful quarter in history with 1,882 cars being delivered to clients around the world since the beginning of the year — a 15% increase on Q1 2015.

Under this new direction, we’ll see where the esteemed company will go next.

This story was written in-house, with multiple sources, including the AFP.

Project Predator: The World’s Most Powerful Jaguar?

Proving that even the best can be improved upon, the British tuning company VIP Design has ramped up the power levels of a Jaguar F-Type R AWD with their own special bespoke beast. Project Predator contains 650bhp in its lithe form yet still maintains an aesthetics and performance on par with Jaguar’s own new flagship – the F Type SVR.

The Predator, in fact, offers a full 105 horses more than a stock F-Type R AWD and 75 horses more than even the SVR. All this is thanks to better airflow filters, supercharger pulley, exhaust system, including a completely new manifold, and a completely remapped engine with new software in tow. This achievement is all the more remarkable considering that the actual V8 engine is the same as the vanilla version. Also achieved is three weeks of Dyno testing, a suspension that has been stiffened and strengthened, a 30mm lower ride height, and a new rear carbon fiber diffuser added so that all of that newly freed-up power can be marshalled when needed. This whole transformation will only cost from £12,600, including a set of hand-cast alloy wheels, which is good news for anyone who bought the AWD before the SVR broke in.

“Since the Jaguar F-Type was launched, the sleek lines and V8 engine were always going to lend themselves to power upgrades, and appeal to passionate drivers who are never going to settle for stock options. Our new package has created the most exciting F-Type available in the world and is certain to thrill serious petrol-heads anywhere,” said VIP Design managing director Paul Busby.

The number of tuning and customization firms dedicated to pumping more horsepower out of standard cars seems to be growing consistently, which to us just goes to show how much one can improve on any given internal combustion system. VIP Design is a great option for those who don’t want to get rid of their old models just because a supposedly better standard model is available.

Aiming Big : London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show

Last year April saw the first ever London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show roaring to a great success with more than 120 exhibitors and 6,000 visitors. This year, the show aims to be bigger than ever, teaming up with two other events – Prestige London and the London On-Water Yacht & Boat Show – for a super bonanza of luxury events covering everything from yachts to supercars; from interior design to fashion. We are also happy to announce that we are media partners this year.

The two Prestige events will be held at Old Billingsgate from 4-6 May 2016, while the On-Water show will be held close by at St. Katharine Docks from 4-7 May 2016.


London is an especially important market for the landscape of companies specializing in luxury out there by virtue of the fact that it has twice as many billionaires and millionaires than any other city in the world. Among some of the top yacht builders present will be Sunrise Yachts, Princess, Sunseeker London and Azimut Benetti. Car manufacturers present include the likes of McLaren, Noble, Tesla, Mansory, and for the first time Ferrari and Lamborghini. On the interior design front, visitors will be able to view collector’s items from event sponsors Ulysse Nardin and Senturion.


Big names aside, the whole event also has a host of facilities separate from just viewing the exhibits. Champagne, seafood, and sushi bars allow for a bit of a celebratory environment in between meeting clients, friends, or just simply eating out. A sponsor lounge, and other private meeting and function rooms, allow for easier networking opportunities. The Superyacht Group will also hold a summit focused on the themes of luxury asset acquisition based around land, sea, and air – educating the audience on various facets and pitfalls of the luxury industry.


With all that set up, a lot of excitement will be coming to London this May. You can purchase tickets or get more details for the show at their website.

Go Hard: Aston Martin Vantage GT8

British luxury carmaker Aston Martin has unveiled the new Vantage GT8, a limited-edition £165,000 ($234,000) version of the vanilla Vantage that the company claims is as close to a road-going racing car as the law allows.

Just 150 examples are being built and the first deliveries won’t start until the end of the year. But those with the money and the patience will get a GT car infused with a host of features and systems developed through Aston Martin’s endurance racing program.

The Vantage GT8 is 100kg lighter than the existing Vantage and its 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 has been tuned to deliver 440bhp. Crucially for purists, that power can be delivered to the rear wheels via a proper manual gearbox, if the owner so desires. Otherwise, there’s a paddle-shift automatic transmission in the options list.

Director of Special Projects and Motorsport, David King said: “We long held the desire to create a road car that truly reflects our racing activity at Le Mans. With the Vantage GT8, we’ve finally been able to achieve that.”

Though based on the standard two-seat GT car, no one will be in any doubt that the GT8 is something special. Festooned with carbon fiber aerodynamic aids it has an extended front splitter, fixed rear wing and protruding sills finished in a choice of luminous contrasting colors.

But that’s just the start, depending on how often a potential owner intends to take the car to the track. Glass interior switches can be swapped for plastic, the roof can be specified in carbon fiber and the side and rear windows swapped for polycarbonate to save even more weight and therefore unleash even more performance.

“Road cars are our business, but racing is the beating heart of Aston Martin,” said company CEO Dr Andy Palmer. “Beautifully engineered and set-up to be equally at home on a fabulous road or a demanding race track, the Vantage GT8 is a driver’s car in the truest sense of the word.”

Venom GT Spyder Hits Convertible Record

Up against supercar giants such as Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini and Bugatti, Hennessey Performance came up with the Venom GT as a speed-demon contender hypercar in 2010. Now, for their 25th anniversary, Hennessey took the Venom GT Spyder variant for a run to check its open-top speed, and hit a record breaking 265.6mph peak, beating the 254.04mph record for the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitesse.

Unfortunately, the record isn’t official, even though the speed was independently verified by Racelogic Vbox. Guinness only considers cars as valid production cars if more than 30 identical examples can be built. Still, it’s quite an underdog victory for a car that was built off a Lotus Exige, with a bit of extra American engineering knowhow. On the other hand, the Bugatti Veyron was a car that cost billions of euros and 10 years of development.

This phenomenal speed for the Spyder comes from its 7-liter turbocharged V8. The car was driven down the runway by Brian Smith, the director of Ford Performance’s Driving School. It’s only 5mph slower than the hardtop Venom GT. This achievement will be celebrated with Hennessy building three World Record Edition models of the hypercar, each with a $1.3 million (plus tax) price tag.

Although we can be sure that a future version of the Bugatti Chiron will have something to say about this, for now, you can catch the thrill of the moment in the video below.

Ford Teases Shelby GT350 Mustang for 2017

The GT350 rules the roost as the ultimate production Mustang in history, and all types of it are in huge demand in the US. Ford knows this, and to ensure that the buyers don’t quit, they’re adding more. The Track Package used to be an optional extra – a bundle of parts to solidify the great deal that was already in the Mustang; now, this is standard. From June on, buyers will get suspension tower braces, a bigger downforce generating rear spoiler, the MagneRide damping system and coolers for engine oil, transmission and differential.

In 1964, the Mustang was a vehicle that ran on the idea of ‘Tabula Rasa’. It was a blank slate you could tailor to your taste, through extras and personal touches. This became the globally accepted way of selling, and doubled as a great method to judge consumer trends. All of this has fed into Ford’s decision-making process for standard and optional equipment packs for the 2017 model-year.

Alongside the track package, further customization comes in colors. New exterior paint shades include Ruby Red Metallic, Lightning Blue, and Grabber Blue. Also, for those owners who just want to cruise in comfort, the car can be specified with a nine-speaker audio system, latest generation voice-activated infotainment unit and electrically operated leather trimmed sports seats.

“Ford Performance is always listening to customer feedback,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We have adjusted the packages available to continue to provide more of what customers want”. Thanks to this, the sporty GT350, powered by a 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated flat-plane crankshaft V8 sending 526bhp to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, is bound to be the flagship to look at for a long time to come.

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Goes Manual

The Aston Martin Vantage V12 S, still the fastest production Aston Martin, is a variation on the Vantage model meant to titillate the desires of the purists via the inclusion of a proper manual transmission for real driving fun. While it is going back to an older more mechanical age there, the Vantage is also going to have all the latest infotainment and navigation goodies that owners of other automotive exotica take for granted, complete with live traffic alerts and support for Apple’s Car Play.

Anyway, these changes imply that Aston Martin is actually listening to what collectors want, and they want to make a car that pulls the heartstrings of the consumer straight, away from other concerns about finance and whatnot. “The true purist will always hanker for the tactility and connection offered by a manual transmission, so it has been a real pleasure to offer just that in our fastest and most focused model,” said Director of Product Development, Ian Minards.

Even the transmission in the Vantage is a seven-speed box complete with a ‘dog leg’ first gear to allow for the fastest changes between the other gears. Best of all, the manual box is a ‘no cost’ option. It also doesn’t cost anything in terms of performance; regardless of transmission choice, the car boasts the same top speed — 205mph and a 3.9 seconds 0-100km/h time.

The Gaydon firm still injected a bit of tech in the transmission though with something called the AMSHIFT. While the popularity of paddle-shift systems in exotic cars means heel-toe gear changing is a dying art, the AMSHIFT will blip the throttle on the down change and allow the accelerator to stay flat to the floor on the upchange — in other words, the two cool things that paddle changing offers.

“Technology drives us forward, but we understand the importance of tradition,” said Minards. “At a time when manual transmissions have almost entirely disappeared in high performance cars, this makes the manual V12 Vantage S a very special car indeed”. You have to give props to Aston Martin, for being able to provide the immersive feedback that drivers enjoy despite the forward thrust towards automation.

6 Stars of New York Auto Show

New York’s International Auto Show opened to the public last Friday, March 25, 2016, and a few pieces caught our eye, courtesy of the wire services. Now, the buzz happens to be about the rechargeable Toyota Prius but for us, we are invigorated by the Mercedes GLC Coupé and the spectacular Audi R8 Spyder. In terms of performance vehicles, a couple of models from brands we don’t normally follow caught our eye. We are thinking of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Nissan GT-R.

Audi R8 Spyder 2016

Audi R8 Spyder

Loaded with a 540hp V10 engine promising 0 to 62mph (0 to 100km/h) acceleration in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 198mph (318km/h), the new-generation Audi R8 Spyder caused a sensation at the New York show. It’s expected to land in Europe from September 2016.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 2016

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which comes with a 640hp V8 engine and a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic gearboxes. Surprisingly, the American automaker hasn’t yet announced performances for this car, which is due to land before the end of 2016. A convertible version, also presented at the New York event, should be available in early 2017.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Mazda MX-5 RF

In a worldwide premiere, the Mazda MX-5 RF showed off an automatically retracting roof and rear window, and a new color finish called “Machine Gray.” It should be available in autumn in Europe, in a gasoline version with manual or automatic transmission.

Mercedes GLC Coupe 2016

Mercedes GLC Coupé

Daimler presented the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé at the New York event, billed as a cross between a functional SUV and a sports coupé, with a sleek, sporty, off-roader design and a stylish interior. The GLC Coupé is set to land in eight different versions, including gas and diesel options. A rechargeable hybrid version is expected towards the end of 2016.

Mini Clubman All 4 2016

Mini Clubman All 4

The Mini Clubman All 4 has a lighter build and gets all-wheel drive, promising improved handling, a more comfortable ride in the larger cockpit, and a special mode for boosted efficiency. It’s expected to land in dealerships in the springtime.

Nissan GT-R 2016

Nissan GT-R

The 2017 version of the Nissan GT-R supercar gets a 570hp V6 biturbo engine. It also has a new chrome-finished V-shaped front grille and a redesigned trunk promising increased stability and holding at high speeds, particularly at the front of the car. It’ll be available from summer 2016, with trims including a “Gentleman Edition” with a leather interior.

The New York International Auto Show runs March 25 to April 3, 2016.

Review: McLaren P1

Professional racing driver Jonathan Summerton shares his experience on track with one of our cream cars, the McLaren P1.

You know that time when you think you are dreaming and you never want to wake up…… Yeah that was me today. The only thing though, I wasn’t dreaming. It was a reality! I was having the opportunity to take a McLaren P1 around the world renowned Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Not going to lie, being a professional racing driver has its perks. This is one of the few cars I haven’t had the chance to drive, until today, and what a blast it was.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

This car has over 900 horses pumping to the wheels and you can definitely feel it! I jumped in and felt right at home with all the instrument panels similar to a race car. The owner told me to put it in race mode and turn off all the aides. Naturally, I did. I took her for a couple of slow laps to get comfortable with the $2 million car, before thrashing it around the track. When I came around for my first real fast lap, the car was at home, engine roaring, wing moving with every input from my foot, and DRS kicking in on the straights.

I have driven lots of supercars and when I came to the straight and went full throttle, the car pushed me back in the seat and never stopped pulling, even through 180mph. The one thing you have to remember is this is a road car, so there were a couple of things I’d slightly change. Such as, a little more push from the front of the car, but overall the car was a thrill and really blew my mind in so many ways. If you have the money, find a way to get your hands on one as you will not be disappointed.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

The car was so comfortable to drive, both on the track and on the road. I could see myself using it as a daily driver. The fit and finish of everything was beautiful, from the carbon fiber to the leather. I have to say, getting out of the car was a struggle as I knew I had just finished waking up from a dream.
Jonathan Summerton is a top racing driver from the U.S. Having competed on an international level in open wheel, rally, and GT cars.


• Fara GT1 4-hour endurance class Lamborghini GT3 – Won

• Sebring 12hr Race in ALMS GT BMW M3 GT 2 – Won

• Atlantic Championship with Genoa Racing and Newman Wachs Racing – Series Runner Up

• US A1GP Shanghai Grand Prix – Won • Formula 3 Euro Series Hockenheim – Won

Car Specification

Engine: 3.8 litre twin turbo v8 hybrid
BHP: 903
Torque: 722 lb. ft.
0-100 km/h: Less than 3 seconds
0-200 km/h: Less than 7 seconds
0-300 km/h: Less than 17 seconds
Top Speed: 350 km/h
Price: $1,068,452 before taxes

Story Credits

Text by Jonathan Summerton

Images provided by McLaren and Jonathan Summerton

This story first appeared in PALACE Magazine.

9 Stars of Geneva Motor Show

With the Geneva Motor Show over, the array of cars that were on display were bound to have the heart of any collector or enthusiast pounding. Still, there are those that simply have a greater pull than others, especially for models coming from well established companies such as Porsche, Bentley, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce. Let’s take a look at the main stars of the show:


Bugatti Chiron

“It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records,” said Bugatti president Wolfgang Dürheimer.

The record-breaking Chiron was probably the leading headliner amongst all models shown in Geneva. Boasting 1600hp and a top speed of 261mph (420kmh), the Chiron takes pole position as the world’s fastest production car, with specifications outstripping its predecessor – the Veyron.


Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin tried to close the gap between itself and its competitors, such as Ferrari and McLaren, with the high-end luxury supercar – the Aston Martin DB11.

“A brand new bonded aluminum platform, clever aerodynamics, a new characterful twin-turbo V12 and class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s second century plan,” said company CEO Dr. Andy Palmer, summarizing the main traits of this contending powerhouse. Either way, the DB11 re-stoked great expectations for the company.


Porsche 911 R

Porsche was all about stripping down and streamlining with their new 911 R as a part of a strategy to appeal once again to the purist fans alienated by previous creature comforts and technological aids. It weighs 3,020 pounds and maxes out at 201mph with 500hp.

With sporty performance back at the forefront, hopefully the fans are placated.


Rolls-Royce Black Badge Series

A bespoke range of Rolls-Royce Wraiths and Ghosts appeared at Geneva to appeal to edgier and younger customers. The Black Badge series is finished up with a black gloss (right down to the Spirit of Ecstasy donning the hood) while the interior was spruced up with a darker palette, all blacks and purples.


Lamborghini Centenario

The limited edition Centenario made an appearance at Geneva before disappearing into the mist given that all 40 models of this anniversary model were sold out already. Imbued with 770hp and a smooth tasteful geometric design, this little tease broke the hearts of countless expectant collectors at the show and beyond.



Maserati Levante

Despite the surprise being spoilt by internet leaks, Maserati launched its Levante crossover with an Italian flair, rivaling the likes of others such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Benteyga. The first SUV in the company’s hundred-year history aimed at breaking into the premium crossovermarket with sophisticated technological features and performance.

Arash AF10

Opposing the Chiron in output figures (though not speed), the British-built Arash AF10 takes some beating. With four electric motors plus a V8 it has 2080hp on tap and despite being built for the track is road legal. At £1.1 million, it is also cheaper than a Bugatti.


Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner

This bespoke stretch limousine that was built for a certain anonymous client inches out the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman as the world’s longest and most comfortable passenger car. With the high-craftsmanship of the interior and various luxury additions like a bottle cooler and a soft drinks cabinet, Bentley sought to prove the sheer capability of their in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner, in tailoring to the demands of their customers.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso profile

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Now replacing the Ferrari FF comes the four-seat GTC4Lusso, which also happens to be the first production Ferrari to boast of having both all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. When you mix a high quality ultra-intuitive infotainment system with a significant power boost to the FF package, the result is a whole luxurious package wrapped up in one excellent shooting brake bound to impress with a younger crowd.