At 300 mph, John Hennessey’s Venom F5 will cover the length of a football field in less than a second. To punch it to that speed, his $1.6 million hypercar gets a new 7.6-liter twin-turbo V-8 delivering 1,600 hp. But can the famed Texas tuner beat Koenigsegg to surpass the current production-car speed record of 277.87 mph? “Heck yeah,” says the force behind Hennessey Performance Engineering. Here’s why.
Looking for the ultimate stocking stuffer for the man who has everything? Charabanc, a new British-based brand named after the early open-topped motorcoach cars that were the precursors to modern buses, has just unveiled a luxury car air freshener, priced at approximately $160, that promises a stylish refresh for the well-wheeled. Forget new car smell or that scented paper Christmas tree on a string. They will now forever be trumped by Charabanc’s hand-crafted, stenciled-steel pomanders mimicking the design of a car’s spoked rims.
As legend has it, in 1934, French race car driver René Dreyfus, who achieved fame racing on the Grand Prix circuit in the 1920s and ‘30s—even winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 1930—was in a liquor-fueled game of poker with wealthy Swiss playboy Adalbert Bodé in Paris. Eventually, short on cash, Dreyfus bet his 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia race car on a hand and lost it to Bodé.
Audi designer Sebastiano Russo thoughtfully circles the reimagined A7 like the artist he is. “Consider this new iteration of the popular four-door, all-wheel-drive hatchback sedan as you would a beautiful woman but without much makeup,” he says. “There’s an elegance but also an understated quality to what we wanted to create.”
Barrett-Jackson is best known for two things in the world of collector cars: offering the vast majority of its vehicles for sale at no reserve and projecting the future demands of collectors by selling vehicles that appeal to a burgeoning audience’s ideals and preferences.
When the auction house hosts its annual week-long sale in Scottsdale on January 12 through 20, a custom 1957 Corvette roadster will cross the block with no reserve, assuring prospective bidders that the sportster will roll off with a new owner. It also embodies the interests—classic styling married to modern-day drivability—that younger car enthusiasts are valuing.
There have been a lot of special Ferraris throughout the years, some more interesting than others, but basically all extremely valuable among collectors. The one-of-one Rossa wasn’t entirely built by Ferrari as it started out in life as a 550 Maranello before Pininfarina worked its magic to turn it into a retro-flavored speedster.
It started when we were kids. The desire to have our own exclusive enclave was first manifested through elaborate blanket forts that festooned living rooms. It then progressed to backyard clubhouses where our most prized possessions were stashed away and only a select few were allowed entry. But unlike other youthful yearnings, a safe place for carefully curated collectibles becomes more of a necessity as age and bank balances mature through time—especially when one’s passion is for high-performance automobiles.
For as long as they’ve both existed, Ferrari and Aston Martin have done battle on racetracks and in auction rooms, and competed for space on the driveways of the wealthy and the bedroom walls of the teenaged. Now their rivalry has a new arena: the global stock markets. Ferrari listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015, and Aston Martin has just made its long-awaited IPO—in London, of course.
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In the recently reinvigorated luxury sports utility market, the likes of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Maserati Levante, and Lamborghini Urus are going to face some new competition from Aston Martin’s first SUV. And while the company isn’t revealing too much about the new vehicle at this time, it has confirmed the model’s name, the DBX.
During the early 1980s, the late Richard Stephens, then president of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, saw a disturbing trend emerging within the automotive industry. From his vantage point, modern day automobiles lacked the soul that characterized classic designs from the early 20th century. “You see it in the craftsmanship of these cars of the thirties,” Stephens told Robb Report back in 2013. “You feel the man and the woman who worked on that car. It has a human touch there, and that’s what seems to be missing from some cars now.”
Those who remember Mohammed Ali when he was Cassius Clay recall the devastating power of a young fighter who cleaned house with his opponents while making it all seem so easy. The heavyweight would eventually boast in anticipation of his 1974 Manila bout, The Rumble in the Jungle, that he’d “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” Indeed, that same strategy could as easily have inspired Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to develop the Cullinan, the first SUV to have a Spirit of Ecstasy atop its formidable Parthenon-shaped grille. The carmaker refers to its Cullinan as a “high-bodied vehicle,” more apposite, perhaps, insofar as the “sport” in SUV makes way for “luxury” in a manner unlike that of any other car with such an athletic job to do.
If only the Spirit of Ecstasy could talk. One minute she was mounted atop the famous Rolls-Royce grille serenely wafted by the warm winds on French roads. Next, she is clinging on for dear life, being shot-blasted by Saharan sand as her owner lives out the dream to enter the Paris-Dakar Rally.
The new Cullinan might be the first official 4×4 from the house of Rolls-Royce, but at the launch event for the SUV they proudly showed pictures of Lawrence of Arabia and Indian Maharajahs off-roading. Reportedly, they also showed images of a 1970’s Corniche, covered in 1981 Paris-Dakar Rally stickers and riding on monster sand tires.
The holidays are a time for family, but one (or more) family members often have to be left behind. No, I’m not talking about a Home Alone situation; I’m talking about good old canis familiaris, better known as the family dog. It turns out that the separation doesn’t only affect the dog, but it also puts the owners on a short leash. A Trip Advisor survey found that 35 percent of pet owners take shorter vacations and 25 percent end up taking fewer vacations altogether.
Thermal Raceway, located about 20 miles outside of Palm Springs, California is essentially a billionaire’s playground. The 2.7-mile stretch of pavement (in this configuration) engulfs the surrounding desert in 18 turns, an expansive infield, and one long straight good for speeds of up to 140 miles per hour. It’s a fast, fiery track – and at nearly 100 degrees in early October, the climate of this event certainly matched the attitude of the track.
The world’s biggest automotive aftermarket show certainly did not disappoint. SEMA—short, of course, for the Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association’s trade show—was held in Las Vegas from October 30 through November 2, and was home to over 2,400 exhibitors who showed-off new products to more than 160,000 industry insiders from over 140 countries.
Every athlete at the top of their game possesses an uncommon combination of agility, power, and panache. It’s why the likes of LeBron, Ronaldo, and Ali are legends recognized by a single name, one synonymous with peerless performance in their respective realms. This also holds true with automobiles, especially now that Bugatti has debuted the Divo. A sibling to the paradigm-shifting Chiron, the 1,500 hp Divo shares the same 16-cylinder engine—with four turbochargers and 1,180 ft lbs of torque—mated to a seven-speed direct-shift gearbox (DSG) dual-clutch transmission. The power train allows the car to crush zero to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds. But what truly makes the Divo different is how it handles.
Tucked away in the hills of Pasadena, Calif., is the ArtCenter College of Design (ACCD), whose transportation design program has been churning out automotive talent for 70 years. Over the decades, ACCD alumni have gone on to pen creations for prominent car manufacturers including Aston Martin, BMW, Rolls Royce, and many more.
When the gavel fell recently at the RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale, held—in partnership with Porsche cars North America—at the automaker’s U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, the price paid for a 1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar rally car surprised many. At $5.95 million, the sum was roughly four times the value of a standard 959. But while casual fans of the marque might have been perplexed, the cognoscenti just nodded.
Bonhams is the only auction house that stages a dedicated sale of what the British call “veteran” cars—those that were built before 1905. The sale, on November 2, takes its name from the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, an annual contest for machines from that era. This year’s race will be on Sunday, November 4.
Velocity Restorations in Pensacola, Fla., was founded over a decade ago with the mission of restoring vintage Ford Broncos, mostly from the truck’s first generation (which was sold from 1966 to 1977). However, as their business grew, the shop started working on automobiles outside of the Bronco sphere—mostly on American muscle cars and other trucks.
A decade ago, it was hard to imagine an SUV with performance figures equivalent to the Italian sports and touring cars of the time. Since then, almost every major luxury carmaker has released an entrant into this now-flourishing category. Maserati entered the segment in 2016 with the Levante crossover SUV. Earlier this year, the Maserati Levante Trofeo—with its svelte Italian lines and 590 horses worth of Ferrari-built V-8 power under the hood—added a superlative expression of the lauded SUV to the lineup. Drivers may be hard-pressed to distinguish the driving experience from that of modern Italian sports cars.
It’s been a busy year for the Lincoln Motor Company. After launching its redesigned flagship Navigator, naming a new vice president, and unveiling the new full-sized Aviator, the American luxury brand has now gone to market with the midsized Nautilus SUV, which goes head-to-head with the Audi A5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT5, and Volvo XC60.
Compact luxury SUVs are some of the most in-demand vehicles in the country. A flourish of small utility vehicles, including the Lexus UX, Volvo XC40, and Mercedes-Benz GLA, aim to entice drivers looking for increased interior space in a small footprint. One of the latest to join the fray is Cadillac, whose new XT4 is the brand’s first foray into the compact crossover space.
As automotive art goes, BMW’s mid-engined M1 is a masterwork. Sculpted by legendary Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, this wedgy coupe is an icon of supercar style and simplicity.
And these days, it’s become a pretty pricey piece. With just 453 built between 1978 and 1981—20 of them being racecars—the M1’s rarity means that if you want one today, you’ll need to hand over close to $1 million for a top-notch example.
Custom car icon Kenny Howard, aka Von Dutch, lived the life of a starving an artist with an eclectic style, and it could be seen through his work. Fittingly, the location of his former workshop in Southern California is now a gallery for the automotive arts known as the Collector Car Vault.
The vault’s six buildings sit on over 3.5 acres of prime farmland in the small town of Santa Paula. Once the main locations for citrus giant Sunkist Growers in 1917 and then the home and studio of Von Dutch, the two-level retired fruit packing facility currently houses some of the finest automobiles around—and all underground.
Anticipation for McLaren’s new hypercar—or Hyper-GT, as the marque likes to refer to it—has been building since its first teaser images were released back in March. The latest model in the Ultimate Series, following the P1 and the Senna, the camera-shy Speedtail has finally stepped into the spotlight.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie—the brainchild of Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing—is an aerodynamic moonshot that runs right at the limits of a V-12 hypercar, and now we have an inside look into where the $3.2 million land rocket is in its progress towards production.
At last weekend’s Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Tex., Christian Horner, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team principal, has illuminated where Valkyrie is in the development and testing phase.
Back in 2016, when Ford opened the digital order books for its $450,000 mid-engined Ford GT supercar, more than 6,500 hopefuls signed-up to purchase one of the 1,000 GTs being offered. That left over 5,500 very disappointed customers.
Now in a surprise move, Ford has announced plans to build an additional 350 GTs, taking the tally up to 1,350 cars. Applications for those coveted new slots will start being accepted online at the Ford GT site on Thursday, November 8, with a 30-day window for completion.
Sometimes the best gifts don’t fit under the tree. Just in time for the holidays, a rare 1956 Ferrari 290 MM is heading to the auction block on December 8—and it’s the ultimate gift for a certain kind of serious car collector. Slated to headline an RM Sotheby’s auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., the cherry-red two-seater has an enviable motorsport pedigree: It was raced by Scuderia Ferrari during the 1956 and 1957 seasons and piloted by an impressive roster of factory team drivers, including Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips, and Sir Stirling Moss.
McLaren Automotive is squeezing every drop of motor-oil-soaked anticipation out of the reveal of the newest addition to its Ultimate Series, the McLaren Speedtail, which the British manufacturer is calling its first “Hyper-GT.” Now, just days ahead of the car’s official reveal on Friday, October 26, the marque is teasing just one of the car’s over-the-top details: an extremely unique badging option.
“It’s my happy place,” a private club member says. “I forget about work for a few hours and hang out with my best friends.” The private facility is in New York’s Catskills, with acres of lush grass and forested hills. High topiary walls hide it from public view. “It’s gorgeous, right?” the member adds.
Since being formally relaunched under the aegis of BMW in 2003, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has produced some 4,000 vehicles a year, which include the Ghost, the Wraith, the Dawn, the Phantom, and the Cullinan. And now the marque has something truly unique to unveil—not a car, but a work of art that pays homage to the brand’s beauty with a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Lewis Hamilton greets me in his air-conditioned trailer holding a box of raw cremini mushrooms. “Want one?” he asks, extending his arm. I decline. “Suit yourself,” he says, and pops one in his mouth. “I quite fancy mushrooms. Well . . . not those kind of mushrooms,” he adds with a laugh. He is still wearing the last look from his earlier photo shoot for Robb Report, an outfit he chose himself after eschewing a more traditional suit. The black trousers and houndstooth-and-velvet coat by Colombian-born designer Haider Ackermann are far too glamorous for our digs—a Star Waggon parked on a dusty runway in Inyo-kern, roughly 3 hours by car from Los Angeles in Southern California’s high desert. What the locale lacks in panache, however, it makes up for in scenery—an arid pastel landscape set against the Sierra Nevada foothills. For racing fans, Hamilton needs no introduction. Last year he earned his fourth Formula 1 world championship, putting