Preview: Pebble Beach 2015
The annual week-long Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and its associated events kicks off in California on August 14. The event has been described by the bionic-chinned Jay Leno as the best car show in the world, and the New York Times as akin to the Olympics for motoring enthusiasts. If you prefer to dispense with the hyperbole, it’s simply the only real show of pristine classic and new metal that collectors and car fans need to attend.
Manufacturers use the event to showcase concepts and debut new road cars, and this year will see an impressive collection of cars launched during the show. Here are just five (there are plenty more, but we’re under embargo rules) that we’re allowed to tell you about:
The McLaren P1 GTR
The British car maker revealed drawings of the swoopy GTR a few weeks back, but these are the first real pictures of the AED12.2m car to be unveiled next week. If you want one, you’ll have had to have already stumped up the AED6m for a 903 hp P1 road car because the GTR will only be available to current customers.
Designed by Frank Stephenson, the P1 GTR revives a name last used on the Le Mans winning McLaren F1 GTR. The P1 is a track only car, which means McLaren has been able to throw the road car rule book away and focus on making the GTR a proper circuit monster. That means aggressive aerodynamics, a wider track and slick racing tyres. It will also get a power bump to 986 hp.
It also includes entry into some of the world’s most exclusive driving events, and time in McLaren’s racing simulators to get you up to speed with it. McLaren will also throw in some personal training with their driver fitness squad, and a consultation with Stephenson as well.
Production will begin on the GTR once the last of the 375 road cars has rolled off the factory floor.
BMW Vision Future
BMW’s new luxury concept the Vision Future will also be revealed. BMW launched its jaw-dropping i8 sportscar earlier this year, and the new Vision Future is a look at how the company sees the direction of its sedans heading.
The Vision Future is based on a one-off platform and will showcase the company’s lightweight technology, new user interfaces and connectivity. If this stuff all looks a little far-fetched, remember that the i8 went from a similar point to full production model in just four years.
Range Rover Sport SVR
The success of the Sport in the region is undeniable, and this one is going to knock your socks off. It’s the SVR and that means it’s the sportiest and most powerful production Range rover available with a warranty.
It made an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June and has since gone on to lap the Nurburgring in 8 minutes 15 seconds. To do it, Land Rover’s engine boffins have extracted 550 hp from the Sport’s five-litre supercharged V-8, which should also serve the car well for work on the roads around the region and over dunes if cost is inconsequential.
The SVR badge will feature on every high-power Range Rover variant from now on. There’s no word on when the Vogue and Evoque SVRs are due to arrive.
Ferrari 458 Speciale convertible
An odd one this, and we’re not even sure it’s accurate because Ferrari’s 458 Speciale is a track-oriented version of the Italia – and open top cars are usually side-stepped for tin-top variants for track work. Still, if you want to show off that stripped out interior and carbon fibre trim, the folding hardtop is a perfect way to do it.
If it’s true, the convertible will share the same 4.5-litre V-8 that powers the hardtop and the same track oriented interior sans radio and other comforts. Some may say this is the essence of Ferrari distilled into a single car. We’d have to agree.
Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo
The supercar maker from Sant’Agata Bolognese replaced its Gallardo earlier this year with the Huracan, so it follows that the Gallardo race car should also get an update.