Mercedes-AMG Aesthetics Progressive Luxury aka Electric Silver Arrow to Debut at Pebble Beach
Mercedes is cooking up quite the presence at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, one that will be highlighted by the debut of the Aesthetics Progressive Luxury Concept. The streamlined prototype reveals little at this point, but the concept, which reportedly carries the in-house name, Electric Silver Arrow, is pegged as a halo model for the German automaker’s newly created EQ electric brand.
Pininfarina Teases PF0 All-Electric Ultra-Luxury Hypercar Before August Debut
Pininfarina, the legendary Italian design house that created a slew of breathtaking vehicles for Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati, among others, has been rather busy lately creating the next generation of highly desirable sports cars. The firm branched off as Automobili Pininfarina back in April, rebranding itself into a futuristic, forward-thinking mobility company, creating models like the Pininfarina HK GT concept in the process. Now, Automobili Pininfarina is teasing a forthcoming all-electric hyperspeed-maker called the PF0, and so far, it’s shaping up to be quite the machine.
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Monterey Car Week Once Again Brings The Goods In 2017
I’ll admit it – I’m pretty spoiled when it comes to car stuff. Of course, that’s the sort of thing you’d expect given my line of work. When unicorns and exotic metal become the routine, it’s easy to lose your perspective. But even with my drastically skewed sense of what four-wheeled “normalcy” is supposed to be, Monterey Car Week manages to impress. For starters, there’s the sheer scope of it. Think seven days of events and practically endless things to do, ranging from shows, to auctions, to racing, to cruises. There’s excess of every kind when it comes passion-inspiring rides to enjoy. Then there’s the backdrop. The California central coast is without a doubt one of the most spectacular places on Earth, with jaw-dropping scenery and rich history at every turn. But probably the best thing about MCW is the superiority of the cars on hand. Not only is the quantity over the top, but so is the quality, a rare combination to which I have yet to find an equal in all my auto-themed adventures. I’ve been covering this thing for several years now, but 2017 still managed to bring the goods in a big way.
If you’ve been thinking about going, but you’re still on the fence, then we hope this will convince you to get out there in 2018. If you wanna go, but haven’t had a chance, then we hope our account of the action will assuage your longing – for now, at least.
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2017 Rolls Royce Dawn in Fuxia
Billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Fux is no stranger to enjoying the finer things in life. Case in point: the man is known in the auto circles for his passion for Rolls-Royce. It’s not enough though for him to just have one Roller in his garage. Nope. That’s not how Fux rolls, no pun intended. Fux actually has 11 of them. 11 Rolls-Royce vehicles, each personalized to the heavens just to meet his specific whims. It’s no surprise, then, that Rolls-Royce treats Fux as one of its most important clients, important enough at least to receive this one-off Rolls-Royce Dawn that’s more specifically called the “Dawn in Fuxia.”
Wordplay notwithstanding, the Dawn in Fuxia is unique in a lot of ways, not the least of which is the fact that it belongs to Fux, hence the clever way Rolls decided to spell “fuchsia.” There are other important details about this one-off Dawn, but it really is that color scheme that makes it stand out. Not only does it look gravitating in it of itself, but it’s also super exclusive, and by “super exclusive,” I mean that nobody else in the world – not a sheikh, a billionaire, or anybody else – will have access to that specific color. Only Michael Fux can use that color because he was the one who asked Rolls-Royce to create it in the first place, specifically for this particular Dawn. Even better, it’s not the only shade that Fux has exclusive rights to. There are 11 of them in total and each one of them is only available to the man who has been an unabashed supporter of the British luxury brand.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Rolls-Royce Dawn in Fuxia.
2018 Ken Okuyama Cars Kode0
Ken Okuyama Cars, the auto design firm headed by Japanese industrial designer Ken Okuyama, the man who penned the Ferrari Enzo supercars, unveiled a new creation at the 2017 Monterey Car Week. While last year’s event brought us the Kode57, a limited-edition speedster based on some recent Ferrari designs, 2017 sees the Kode0 come into the spotlight. A one-off design that won’t be followed by a limited-edition run, the Kode0 broke cover at Pebble Beach.
If you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that Ken Okuyama is a well-established design that has worked for a number of famous companies, including General Motors, Porsche, and Pininfarina. He helped design the 996-generation Porsche 911 and Boxster, as well as supervised projects such as the Ferrari 599, fifth-generation Maserati Quattroporte, Mitsubishi Colt CZC, Maserati Birdcage 75th concept, and James Glickenhaus’ Ferrari P4/5, He also penned the Ferrari Enzo, the Pininfarina Metrocubo, and Ferrari Rossa concept. The new Kode0 joins a long line of personal designs that date back to 2008 and, despite being described as a follow-up to the Kode57, it has nothing in common with the previous design.
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2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante
The second-generation V12 Vanquish was introduced in 2012, 11 years after Aston Martin used the nameplate to replace the aging Virage. Although it borrows the same styling cues made popular by the DB9, the Vanquish stands out thanks to its design features inspired by the One-77 supercar, sporty yet stylish interior, and a powerful 5.9-liter V-12 engine. Set to be replaced before 2018, the Vanquish is still being used as a base for numerous limited-edition grand tourers.
In 2016, Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish Zagato, the fifth car to emerge from a collaboration that stretches back over five decades. Previewed by a concept car that Aston Martin showcased at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este earlier in 2016, the production coupe has been joined by a convertible at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Set to be produced in only 99 units, just like the coupe, the Vanquish Zagato Volante follows in the footsteps of the 1987 V8 Vantage Volante and the 2003 DB AR1 as an exclusive Zagato-built sports car with a bespoke body. And, if its predecessors are any indication, the Vanquish Zagato Volante will become one of the rarest Aston Martins ever created.
Updated 08/21/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
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2017 Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet
Revived for the second time in 2014, this time around as Mercedes-Maybach, Stuttgart’s super premium firm is on a roll, now offering no fewer than five different models. There are the S500 and S600 sedans, the longer S600 Pullman, the G650 Landaulet SUV, and the S650 Cabriolet. Maybach is also doing well as far as concept cars go, with the stunning Vision 6 getting everyone excited about a big luxury coupe we might see in showrooms in a few years. Now, Mercedes-Maybach turned the Vision 6 into a convertible, signaling that this concept is moving closer to becoming a production model.
Unveiled at the 2017 Monterey Car Week, the Vision 6 Cabriolet was previewed by a coupe of teasers that made everyone think of something entirely different. While most speculated that Mercedes is launching a brand-new concept, it turned out that Maybach simply chopped the roof off the Vision 6. But while it may sound a bit disappointing, it’s proof that the Germans have big plans for the Vision 6. This could also mean that Maybach may get a standalone model that’s larger and more luxurious than theS-Class Coupe. Just like in the good old days when Maybach was an independent firm and competed against the likes of Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, and Duesenberg. But, until that happens, let’s see what the Vision 6 Cabriolet brings to the table.
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2017 Infiniti Prototype 9
Once every few years, each major automaker unveils a futuristic concept car that either previews an upcoming design language or technology, or it simply showcases the brand’s ability to build amazing things. Infiniti is no stranger to this trend with the EMERG-E and Vision GT concepts, but it has taken a different approach for the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Instead of looking into the future, Infiniti took inspiration from the distant past for its latest concept car. It’s called the Prototype 9, and it’s a tribute to pre-World War II single-seater race cars.
Inspired by vehicles that dominated European motorsport in the 1930s, the Prototype 9 is also a tribute to the early days of Japanese racing and the country’s first race track, Tamagawa Speedway. And unlike its ancestors, which had large V-8, V-12, and even V-16 engines, the Prototype 9 is powered by a next-generation all-electric drivetrain. So, in essence, it combines a vintage design with modern technology, which is what a good concept car is supposed to showcase. Unfortunately, this vehicle isn’t slated to go into production, so don’t get your hopes up over being able to buy a track-ready single-seater anytime soon.
Updated 08/21/2017: We added a series of new images takes during the car’s official presentation at the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
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The McLaren 720S Goes Flamboyantly Purple as a One-Off at Pebble Beach
What happens when you cram thousands of wealthy people, heaps of amazing cars, and enough events to cover a whole week together? You get the greatest week of the year: the Monterey Car Week. You never know what you’re going to see. With auctions from names like Russo & Steele, Mecum, Gooding & Co., and RM Sotheby’s, there’s a massive guest list that includes some of the greatest cars ever built. But, over at Pebble Beach, things take a completely different turn, with this year bringing cars like the BMW Concept Z4 and Infiniti Prototype 9 into the mix with all of the classic cars. Meanwhile, McLaren has to make its own splash, and it’s doing so this year with a special one-off version of the 720S painted in one of the loudest and intriguing shades of purple that you’ll probably ever see on something with wheels.
The car in question was built by McLaren Special Operations to the exact specifications requested by Michael Fux. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, he’s owned a number of collector cars that include a some special McLaren one-offs like a 12C in McLaren Orange, a 12C Spider in yet another shade of purple, and even a McLaren P1 with an exclusive color of green that has only be used on that specific vehicle. Unlike some McLaren one-offs, this beauty features a bespoke paint color called “Fux Fuchsia” that was developed specifically for Fux by Rolls-Royce and then redeveloped for its application on the 720S by McLaren. So, with that in mind, don’t expect to get your hands on it, as our man Fux owns the exclusive rights to this specific hue – if that’s not exclusive, I don’t know what is. Keep reading to learn about what Mr. Fux requested from McLaren SVO.
Updated 08/21/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the sport car’s presentation at the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – Preview
Founded in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was originally an ancillary event to the Pebble Beach Road Races. Since its relatively humble beginnings, this “competition of elegance” has grown significantly, and is now widely considered to be the most important and well-respected event of its kind in the world. This is the flagship of Monterey Car Week, the capstone to the annual central California automotive palace. Every year, roughly 15,000 enthusiasts show up to frolic amongst the well-polished metal and rub shoulders with celebrities and industry hot shots, and TopSpeed will once again be there to capture the action.
Judging the competition of elegance will be a panel of experts selected from throughout the four-wheeled sphere (racing drivers, designers, journalists, etc.), tasked with selecting a third-, second-, and first-place winner in a huge number of classes. Out of those first-place winners, only one will take home the highly coveted Best of Show accolade. The judges base their scores on vehicle authenticity, function, history, and style, and taking home a win means serious bragging rights amongst top-shelf collectors. What’s more, the event’s prestige and visibility makes it a fantastic venue for vehicle debuts, with many major automakers pulling the sheet on concepts and production vehicles throughout the weekend. We’ve collected some of the more interesting vehicles slated to show in the following preview, so read on to get the lowdown before Concours Sunday.
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2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster
Introduced in 2012, the second-generation Vanquish isn’t yet as old as the model it replaced, but it won’t be long until Aston Martin unleashes the third-generation car. And it seems that the grand tourer is getting a proper send off with several special-edition models up for grabs. Arguably the most spectacular of them all is the Zagato, which was built in both coupe and Volante body styles. Limited to only 99 units each, the Zagatos are long gone as of 2017, but if you’re still looking to get one, Aston Martin just unveiled two new version wearing the Zagato badge. One of them is the Vanquish Zagato Speedster, a two-seat drop-top that steps away from the usual convertible configuration.
The Speedster’s arrival is far from surprising, because we’ve already seen a camo-free example being driver near the Nurburgring track earlier this summer. However, it is a bit surprising that it was designed as a two-seater, as is the fact that Aston Martin expanded the current Vanquish Zagato range to no fewer than four models, including a shooting brake. Find out more about the Zagato Speedster and what makes it stands out compared to other models in the review below.
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Aston Martin Announces Additional Vanquish Zagato Models
What happens when you mix British good looks with Italian flair? The answer is one very desirable automobile, as evidenced by nearly six decades of collaboration between Aston Martin and Zagato. The latest products of this happy union are new Speedster and Shooting Brake iterations of the Vanquish, which join the Coupe and Volante to bring the grand total of Zagato’d Vanquish models to four. Revealed during Monterey Car Week just five days ahead of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston says production will be limited to 325 units total, including 99 Coupes, 99 Volantes, 28 Speedsters, and 99 Shooting Brakes.
Production is already underway, with deliveries expected through 2018. Unfortunately, anyone looking to grab one of the more rare Speedster models is out of luck, as all 28 are already spoken for. Updates from the design house only pertain to the exterior and cabin, while the mechanicals remain unchanged. That means as much as 580 horsepower from an all-atmosphere 6.0-liter V-12 powerplant, with output routed rearwards by way of a Touchtronic III gearbox. Adaptive dampers help it handle. Outside, you’ll find carbon fiber body components, plus taillights inspired by the outrageous Vulcan racing car and a 3D Zagato “Z” theme for the front fascia. Inside is herringbone carbon fiber with anodized bronze trim.
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