2018 Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Ferrari
It’s been only three months since the hardcore Ferrari 488 Pista was unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, and the Maranello-based firm has already created a special edition of the supercar. Designed to celebrate the 488’s success on the race track, it’s called the 488 Pista Piloti Ferrari and made its debut ahead of the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Inspired by AF Corse’s no. 51 car, with which Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado won the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles, the Pista Piloti Ferrari is available exclusively to customers involved in the company’s motorsport programs. In short, if you’re not racing a race-spec version of the 488, be it a GT3 or a GTE, you can’t buy one. That’s a bit harsh from the Italians, but let’s a have a closer look at what you’re missing if you’re not involved in this program.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Ferrari.
2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR
Introduced in 2010, the Aston Martin Rapide isn’t exactly fresh. Despite this, the British are in no hurry to replace the sedan, as no prototypes were spotted on public roads. However, Aston Martin just gave the Rapide the AMR treatment, thus creating its most extreme four-door sedan.
Previewed by a concept car displayed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the Rapide AMR made it into production with very few changes. Aston Martin describes it as a vehicle that’s "capable of comfortably transporting a team of race drivers to a circuit on the other side of a continent and then tackling the track when they get there," and needless to say, the sedan looks pretty cool in the AMR suit. As usual, the sedan also gained extra horsepower and will be built in limited numbers. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Rapide AMR.
2018 McLaren 675LT MSO Gulf Racing Edition
The McLaren 675LT MSO Gulf Racing Edition is a one-off creation that was designed to pay homage to the F1 GTR cars of the 1990s; with a recreation of the Gulf Racing colors that were worn by the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail race car. There aren’t any serious performance upgrades, but MSO gave this 675LT the full interior and exterior treatment.
2018 Aston Martin V12 Vantage V600
Aston Martin just redesigned the Vantage for 2018, replacing the previous model after no fewer than 13 years on the market. But, in a surprising turn of events, the British firm revived the old model for a limited-edition run called the Vantage V600. Built by the company’s Q division, the V600 was designed on request and will be produced in only 14 units, split between seven coupes and seven convertibles. The Vantage V600 pays tribute to the original V8 Vantage V600 that Aston Martin introduced in 1998.
Based on the Virage model sold between 1989 and 2000, the previous V600 was the most extreme iteration of the Vantage model. Powered by a 600 horsepower supercharged engine (remember, that was in 1998!), the first V600 was one of the most powerful sports cars of its time. Come 2018, and Aston Martin is sending the VH-platform Vantage into the history books with a similar model. Although not as extreme as its predecessor, the new-old V600 marks the official retirement of the iconic VH platform in two-door Aston Martins.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin V12 Vantage V600.
Morgan Celebrates 50 Years of its Most Iconic Model with Special Plus 8 Edition
British coachbuilder Morgan is getting ready to discontinue two of its iconic models with special-edition versions unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. One of them is a 50th Anniversary Edition of the Plus 8, the brand’s crowning vehicle for a half a century. Unveiled back in 1968 and discontinued between 2004 and 2012, the Plus 8 gets a few special features for its 50th anniversary, before going out of production for good. More than 6,000 Plus 8s have been built so far, which makes this model the most successful in the company’s history.
2018 Subaru WRX STI 50th Anniversary Edition
Subaru made its first foray into the U.S. market in the late ’60s, and now, it’s celebrating that momentous occasion with a slew of special edition models. Introduced in a blitz of debuts at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the six-star brand is calling it the 50th Anniversary Edition, and it includes revamped iterations of just about every model in the lineup. Chief among these is the rip-snortin’, extra-wing-havin’, hood-scoop wearin’ WRX STI, the quickest of Subaru’s lineup, which gets new exterior paint, a unique wheel finish, and new badges to mark half a century of the Six Stars in the States.
Continue reading to learn more about what makes the Subaru WRX STI 50th Anniversary Edition special.
2018 McLaren MSO X
Launched in 2015, the McLaren Sports Series is the automaker’s most affordable lineup yet and already includes a handful of different variations. There’s the entry-level 540C, the more powerful 570S, the comfort-oriented 570GT, and even a spyder version. In 2016, McLaren also launched two race-spec variants, the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint. Come 2018 and the British firmed introduced yet another version of the highly acclaimed sports car. But unlike its predecessors, this one was crafted by the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) division for the company’s largest U.S. importer. It goes by the name MSO X, and it’s essentially a road-legal 570S GT4.
Commissioned as an MSO Bespoke project by McLaren Newport Beach, the MSO X was designed to emulate the look and feel of the GT4 race car, but retain a fully road-legal status and some convenience features. It was unveiled at a special McLaren customer event near Las Vegas in late January, where all ten units were handed over to their customers. Yup, if you thought that the regular 570S was rare, the MSO X is a car you might not even see on public roads unless you attend McLaren meetings or certain open track days.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren MSO X.
2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Edition
Ram has introduced the Laramie Longhorn trim level on its all-new 2019 Ram 1500 pickup. Like on the outgoing truck, the Laramie Longhorn is western-themed luxury trim filled with high-end materials. However, thanks to the vast improvements made on the 2019 Ram 1500, the Laramie Longhorn trim sees equally impressive advancements.
Designed to compete against the Ford F-150’s King Ranch and the Chevrolet Silverado’s High Country trims, the Laramie Longhorn goes above and beyond with real barn wood accent trim, full leather seats with contrast piping, brushed-nickel badging and accent trim, and Ram’s new 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen engulfing the dashboard. There is even the Laramie Longhorn badge branded into the wood trim above the glovebox – branded, like with a hot iron. That attention to detail continues through the cabin and onto the exterior.
Continue reading for more on the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn.
2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO
Introduced earlier this year at the Geneva International Motor Show, the McLaren 720S is the second addition to the Woking brand’s Super Series line, offering high-end exotic performance and styling in a more accessible package. Indeed, a daily driver supercar makes for a great fit in a place like Dubai, and as such, McLaren just dropped the above-featured one-off as the piece de resistance for this year’s Dubai International Motor Show. Built by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the brand’s in-house tuners and creative customization team, it’s dubbed the Zenith Black, and its got a careful selection of styling upgrades both inside and out that are sure to get noticed, even when the local police force consists of hoverbikes and Bugatti Veyrons.
All told, this is an utterly unique creation, as indicated by the “1 of 1” placard inside the cabin. MSO spent an extra 120 hours on top of the usual production process to bring it to life, and overall, we think it looks great. The theme pays homage to the idea of “achievement” in a distinctive fashion – read on to learn exactly what that means.
Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO.
2018 Bugatti Chiron "Number One" Edition
In case you’re still in the market for a Bugatti Chiron, now’s as good a time as any to bring out the checkbooks because one particular example of the Chiron is scheduled to go up for auction at the RM Sothebys event in New York City this coming December 6. Even better, this isn’t just a “standard” Chiron; it’s been decked out in a special livery, has only 250 miles on the odometer, and hasn’t even been registered for road-use here in the U.S. All that and I still haven’t gotten to the best part as this Chiron is also the very first production Chiron and the first ordered for the U.S. market. There’s a reason, after all, why it’s called the Bugatti Chiron Number One.
Having said all that, the Chiron Number One’s estimated selling price sits at $3.5 million to $4 million. It’s a premium price compared to the supercar’s retail price of about $3 million, but don’t be surprised if it surpasses its own estimate, owing to the significance of this particular model as the first of its kind to come out of production. Should any of you be interested, you’re going to need to give yourselves some kind of latitude as far as how much you’re willing to bid for the car. I can’t speak for everyone else, but if I had the money to spend for this potentially historic Bugatti Chiron, I’d be all over it considering its historical potential as the first-production unit of its kind. And I’ll be honest. The 1966 Batmobile-inspired colors look pretty cool too.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Bugatti Chiron Number One
2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport
It’s no secret automakers have found big success in special edition versions of conventional models. Nowhere else is that truer than in the pickup market. Ram’s latest special edition is this, the Hydro Blue Sport, and it will be the last special edition of the 2017 calendar year. Then after 2018, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 will be hitting showrooms. But before that happens, expect Ram to continue offering dolled-up versions of its current pickups in 2018.
Mike Manley, the head of Jeep and Ram brands, says, “The custom look and high-impact colors have been well received in the marketplace and this new Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport will surely stand out on dealers’ lots and in customers’ driveways. Enthusiasts demand that their trucks get noticed and our Ram 1500 Sport lineup delivers a durable, powerful alternative with great visual appeal.”
Naturally, General Motors says the same about its special edition Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, too. And truth be told, they’re right. We recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition and found plenty of people staring and making approving comments. Will the Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport have the same effect? Tell us in the comments after reading all the details down below.
Continue reading for details on the 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport.
2018 BMW M3 CS
Introduced in 2014, the latest-generation BMW M3 set new benchmarks in the premium compact sedan segment. However, things changed when Mercedes-Benz launched the AMG C63, which unlike the Bimmer still had a V-8 engine and arrived in dealerships with significantly more power. And while the M3 fell behind the competition in terms of performance, the M4 was enabled to keep up and even raise above its rivals thanks to the GTS and CS limited-edition models. Fortunately, the M3 also received the attention it deserves in 2017 with the CS package, a club sport-style upgrade that makes it more suitable for track use, but without taking it over the top with the extreme rear wing of the GTS.
Essentially an M4 CS with the extra door and the longer rear roof, the M3 CS is a slightly more practical proposition in the CS lineup. Not only it misses the roll-cage available with the coupe, it also provides seating for up to five people, which maintains it in the family car market. Of course, no one will really buy it as a family car, but it doesn’t force customers to use it a two-seater only. More good news comes from the availability department, as the M3 CS is slated to come to the United States. On the other, production will be limited to a little over 1,000 units, with less than half set to cross the pond to North America. And much like the M4 CS, it will be significantly more expensive than the the standard M3. But more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M3 CS.