Monterey Car Week is particularly about classic cars and vintage racing machines, but it’s also become a major venue for contemporary automakers to unveil their latest and greatest.
Indeed, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering has become the place for vehicle unveilings, complete with a press-conference schedule just like the major international auto shows.
Here are some of the new vehicles — concepts and production models — that debuted recently during Monterey Car Week:
Audi Skysphere concept
Audi says its Skysphere concept was inspired by the classic Horch 853 roadster, even if the new version is an autonomously driven two-door convertible that indicates the future of the company’s design ideas.
Among those ideas is an interior styled as “an interactive space” with pedals and steering wheel that disappear in autonomous mode. And speaking of interactive, what figures to draw the most attention is the concept’s variable wheelbase.
That’s thanks to “a sophisticated mechanism” in which the body and frame slide into one another, changing the car’s length by nearly 10 inches. Shortening the wheelbase is part of the “Sports” mode while extending it enhances the “Grand Touring” style of driving. Ground clearance also changes by nearly 4/10s of an inch to enhance dynamic capabilities.
Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Countach, Lamborghini unveiled a new one, the next-generation Countach LPI 800-4. The car is powered by a hybrid system that includes a V12 engine and electric motor. Lamborghini says that together they provide 814 horsepower and a top speed of 221 mph.
Only 112 units will be produced.
“The Countach LPI 800-4 showcases the next chapter of Lamborghini in an electrified world while celebrating one of our most iconic models,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Automobili Lamborghini chairman and chief executive.
Electric-powered vintage Ford Bronco
St. Louis-based Gateway Bronco showed its electric conversion for the vintage Ford Bronco in the form of Luxe-GT Electric Classic Ford Bronco and the Fuelie Electric Classic Ford Bronco, each reportedly providing the performance of a modern-day V8. The Fuelie starts at $260,000 with a 200-mile range and the Luxe-GT at $380,000 with a 300-mile range, Gateway said.
The “electric resto-mod” off-roaders also feature electronic ride control suspension by JRi shocks in consultation with former NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham.
“We founded Gateway Bronco five years ago to deliver a reimagined classic Ford Bronco delivering the innovations and reliability that enthusiasts desire,” said Gateway Bronco chief executive Seth Burgett. “While transforming over 100 classic Ford Broncos for customers since then, we’ve continually leveraged the best proven solutions based on our experience in fields ranging from military aircraft manufacturing to the R&D of medical device robotics.”
Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider
Aston Martin said its new Valkyrie Spider provides a “pure Formula One car experience, on the road,” since it features F1-inspired aerodynamics and performance and “open-roof driving,” thanks to a removable roof panel. The British automaker said the car is the fastest and most extreme open-top Aston Martin so far.
Only 85 units will be produced, and deliveries of the car with its hybrid V12 powertrain begins in the second quarter of 2022.
Ford GT Heritage Edition
Ford is expanding the Heritage Edition versions of its Ford GT with the latest celebrating the 1964 GT40 prototype racing cars. As the Ford GT enters its final year of production, the 2022 version will be available in vintage livery including Wimbledon White paint with Antimatter Blue graphics and triple racing stripes, exposed carbon-fiber details, and Lightspeed Blue Alcantara seating.
Bentley Muliner Bacalar and Blower continuation cars
Shown at a private event in England but for the first time to the public (see photo above) were the new Bentley Muliner Collections, including the Bacalar and the first of the Blower continuation series that is part of Bentley’s “Classic portfolio.”
Previously seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Singer Dynamics and Lightweighting Study made its North American debut on the Monterey Peninsula.
“DLS represents Singer’s exploration of the ultra-high-performance potential of the air-cooled Porsche 911, on behalf of their clients,” the company said, adding that all 75 to be built already are sold.
The company also showed a Porsche, “the Hollywood commission,” inspired by a 1969 911E restored by Singer founder Rob Dickinson.
“The restoration of my 1969 car was an intensely personal project,” Dickinson said. “I drove the hell out of the car every day around the Hollywood Hills and kept getting stopped to ask if I’d sell it. My answer was always no. But the experience was the seed that led to the founding of Singer as a way to enable other owners to pursue their personal vision for the ultimate air-cooled 911.”
Lotus Emira and Radford Lotus Type 62-2
Another car making its US debut was the Lotus Emira, an electric hypercar with 2,000 horsepower, and in livery inspired by the Lotus Type 99T that Ayrton Senna drove to victory in the Detroit Grand Prix in 1987.
Also debuting was the Radford-bodied Lotus Type 62-2, the new coachbuilder’s take on the Lotus Type 62 sports racing prototype of the 1960s.
The McLaren Artura had its North American debut during Monterey Car Week. It is a hybrid powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with an electric motor, good for more than 700 horsepower and a reported 1,661 pound-feet of torque. The car also features McLaren’s MCLA (carbon lightweight architecture) and its first electronic differential and new rear suspension.
Shelby F-150 Super Snake
Shelby American unveiled its 2021 F-150 Super Snake pickup truck and said it plans a production run of 300 units of the $105,708 truck with a 775-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that will move the truck to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.
It added that the truck is capable of 0-to-100mph and back to zero in just 8.3 seconds.
Hennessey Venom F5
Texas-based Hennessey Special Vehicles announced that it hsa pre-sold all 24 of its $2.1 million Venom F5 supercars, each to be powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V8 pumping out 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 pound-feet of torque. Hennessey expects the cars to top out at 311 mph (500 km/h).