Thousands of the world’s wealthiest car collectors gathered in California for Monterey Car Week last week, celebrating all things fast, beautiful and expensive.
Automakers are running over each other to get the attention of cashed-out American collectors, the kind of people who spend $3.6 million ($5.25 million) at the auction of a $300,000 Porsche 911 in disguise. to resemble the cartoon “Sally Carrera”. character from Disney Pixar’s Cars movie.
With car shows languishing in the post-Covid era, events like Monterey Car Week represent a significant and lucrative opportunity for manufacturers to offer their products to the upper end of the city. That’s why various brands unveiled interesting machines that regular members of the public will be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of on the road.
The cars are displayed at exclusive events, often off limits to the public, held in private homes or beachside venues. Others, like the Pebble Beach pageant, keep the rabble at bay with tickets starting at $525 ($765) per person for general admission.
Lincoln Model L100
With the debut of its next-generation Mustang on hold until next month’s Detroit Auto Show, Ford decided to make a splash with its Lincoln luxury brand.
Electric, autonomous and decadent, the Lincoln Model L100 paints a picture of a more sophisticated society of the future, where opulent machines will quietly whisk occupants from appointment to appointment with a minimum of fuss.
It’ll also be a bumpless future, if those wacky light alloys are anything to go by. They wouldn’t last a mile on Australia’s rain-damaged roads.
Aston-MartinConvertible V12 Vantage
If, like us, you missed the Aston Martin DBR22 retro-styled roadster, this could be the car for you. Based on the brand’s depleted Vantage Coupe V12, the new Roadster has the same 515kW 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 in an open package.
Limited to 249 examples, it will be one of the last V12-powered road cars offered by the brand.
Aston Martin is not talking about prices for the model. Suffice to say, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
McLaren Solus GT
Not to be outdone by hypercars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie, McLaren stunned the motoring world with its vision of the ultimate track car.
Powered by a 5.2-litre V10 that tops 10,000rpm and generates over 615kW of power, the McLaren Solus GT can hit 100km/h in 2.5 seconds before going on to post lap times that should do shade to dedicated racing machines. Genuine F1 technology is at work here, including high-downforce aerodynamics and a bone-chilling engine mounted directly to the car’s chassis, something McLaren hasn’t offered to the public.
Bentley Mulliner Batur
The days of high-powered gasoline supercars are limited. Bentley looks set to bid farewell to its exclusive W12 turbo engine with a special car loosely based on the Continental GT. Called the Batur, this evocatively shaped coupe anticipates the brand’s future design direction while housing the last of its powerful petrol engines, now tuned to a staggering 545kW and 1000Nm.
It also has gold 3D-printed elements, natural fiber instead of man-made carbon, and an attention to detail that will make major brands blush.
Bugatti is celebrating the end of its petrol era with a special roadster powered by its latest batch of four-turbocharged sixteen-cylinder engines. Only 99 of the 1,000kW machines will be built, and they will be sold to extraordinarily wealthy collectors for around $7 million plus tax.
Alpha DeLoreanto 5
Cash car lovers can take a trip back to the future with the reborn DeLorean, which made its public debut in California last week. Powered by electric motors, the DeLorean is an exotic design study that should go into limited production for a hefty price tag in the next few years.
Built to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original Koenigsegg, this supercar combines cool technology with a retro-modern look. The flashy CC850 sends 1033kW and 1385Nm to the rear wheels through a clever nine-speed transmission that can function as a proper automatic or manual transmission, not a floating-paddle semi-manual. Only 50 examples will be built in honor of the 50th birthday of company founder Christian von Koenigsegg.
At least one example is coming to Australia, priced at $6.5 million.
Lamborghini manages performance
Even billionaires need something to take the kids to school or take the dog to their salon date. Why not choose the latest version of the ultimate SUV, Lamborghini’s Urus Performante?
Lighter and more powerful than the regular Urus, the twin-turbo Performante stole the Pikes Peak hill climb record from Bentley’s Bentayga Speed. Expect the Urus to hit Australian roads in the coming months, priced at $465,876 plus options and on-road costs.
Hennessey Poison F5
This could be the fastest convertible in the world. Built to beat the 480 km/h record held by the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, the Hennessey Venom F5 is powered by a monstrous 6.6-litre V8 that generates a remarkable 1,355 kW. The problem for Hennessey, a small American manufacturer, is that there are very few places where you can exercise a car to close to 500 km/h, and the best one is owned by Bugatti’s parent company, Volkswagen.
We may never know if the Venom is the fastest car in the world. But it certainly looks good.