Heaven in Pebble Beach: BUGATTI, LAMBO, KOENIGSEGG & More
END OF AN ERA: Bugatti Mistral Roadster Signals End of Legendary Powertrain
That’s right, the staple powertrain of Bugatti for almost two decades is meeting its demise. Developed under Volkswagen’s wing for the 2005 Veyron, Bugatti plans to give the aging, yet monstrous powertrain a proper sendoff in the form of the W16 Mistral. A beautifully crafted open-top roadster, the Mistral builds upon the success of the Chiron by using its underpinnings and the tried-and-true formula of sublime looks with speed to back it up. The last of the W16 Bugattis won’t come cheap, though. Pricing is around $5 million a pop, and power is rated at 1,578 horses, the same amount found in the Chiron Super Sport 300+. To ensure exclusivity, production is capped at 99 total units. Dear quad-turbo W16, you will be missed. There is no replacement for displacement.
So, for a beastly company like Bugatti, what does the future look like? Well, like the rest of the world, it looks electric. Thanks to Porsche’s acquisition of Rimac and their stake in Bugatti, Bugatti seeks to develop hypercars using Rimac’s EV hypercar tech. With this epic combo and the backing of VW German know-how, expect killer EV style and speed when more models roll out under the newly formed group.
SCIENCE FICTION: Koenigsegg CC850 Showcases WILD Transmission Tech
Ever since the first production CC8S models rolled off the line, Koenigsegg cars have always been filled with tech that seemed years ahead of its time. 20 years later, Koenigsegg is harkening back to the roots of its original CC8S while giving auto enthusiasts one of the greatest gifts of all: a car that can be driven both as an automatic AND a manual. Feast your eyes on the brand new CC850.
Aside from the 1385 horses from a 5-liter twin-turbo V8, every auto enthusiast has all eyes on the “Engage Shift System” that combines real three-pedal and clutch driving pleasure with the techno-wizardry that’s years ahead of the competition. As a matter of fact, the entire transmission is a by-wire system that takes the existing Lightspeed Transmission, complete with nine gears and SEVEN clutches (most cars have either one or two), and pairs that with a realistic driving feel of a manual and the ability to change gear ratios for comfort or performance. With this transmission, gear changes can happen in a mind-boggling two milliseconds. This transmission tech, as well as engine improvements that take the car’s acceleration and power numbers to the stratosphere, can all be had for over $3.6 million if you’re able to grab one of the 50 build slots available. If any car is deserving of the term “instant icon,” it’s got to be this.
FASTER THAN FAST: Lamborghini Urus Performante Puts “Super” Back in Super SUV
From the moment it was revealed, the Lamborghini Urus, better known in pop culture as simply the “Lambo truck,” was a smashing success. Other than the Bentley Bentayga that debuted almost 3 years before, the Urus was the first of its kind: a true super SUV with the Lambo badge to back it up. Power, performance, and practicality all in one package proved to be the three keys to profits. Demand far outpaced supply, and the waitlists are still growing. Lamborghini even built a separate production line just for its new SUV with the hopes of fulfilling orders. So, what’s new?
Unless you’re living under a rock, it’s safe to say the ultra-luxe super SUV game has changed in recent years as Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, and even Ferrari are attempting to dethrone the Urus. To ensure the Urus stays at the top of the food chain, Lambo is adding more spice and flare: enter the Lamborghini Urus Performante. It’s lighter, lower, wider, and simply better. 0-60 happens in 3.3 seconds before it continues to a top speed of 190 mph. If you want the “sport” in a sport utility vehicle, look no further. For those looking to tear up some trails, the new “rally” mode allows for high-speed fun on the dirt. Power is cranked up to 666 devilish horses, and unique carbon bodywork allows it to stand out from the crowd. Everyone, the king is back.
OUT OF THIS WORLD: Brits’ McLaren Solus GT Debuts Never-Before-Seen V10
It seems as though each car that leaves McLaren’s MSO team is wilder than the one before it. Of the few cars that have received the MSO touch, even fewer are only allowed for track use, and only one is a car meant for the Gran Turismo video game series that has been brought to the real world to enjoy- but only for those who pay a pretty penny. The McLaren Solus GT is a track-only weapon featuring ultramodern styling and a never-before-seen 5.2-liter V10 powertrain. The motor hits the high notes at 10,000RPM and powers the mere 2205-pound weapon with 830 high-octane horses.
Looking more like a fighter plane with four wheels than a car, the driver lucky enough to pilot the Solus GT sits in the center given its single-seat configuration, and virtually all of the controls reside on the steering wheel within thumb’s reach. Its aero, the gargantuan front splitter, and rear wing/diffusers can produce more pounds downforce than the amount the car weighs. Featuring carbon construction and plenty of race-derived safety features, this is about the closest thing to an F1 for sale from the factory. Even if you got cash on hand to pick one up, you’re going to have to do so in the secondary market since all 25 units are called for.
The past few weeks have truly been a wild ride for auto, but the news just keeps on rolling. Stay tuned for coverage of the Belgian Grand Prix and more of what’s to come as the 2023 model year begins.
It may come as a surprise to Andrew’s fan base – and there are 100s of you – that this writer with deep encyclopedic knowledge of all things auto is a recent high school grad. TUNDRA has been privileged to meet 1000s of impassioned enthusiasts, each dedicated to their passion like crack cocaine; of this rarified breed, however, Andrew is unique. His extraordinary mix of expertise and unbridled enthusiasm for the sport of auto is unmatched; most importantly, the manner in which he shares his knowledge makes exploring this somewhat intimidating interest-industry accessible for the novice, inspiring entry level enthusiasts to pay attention to the beauty of the cars on their streets and in their garages. At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?
As Andrew heads-off to college, here’s the good news: He has a brother Jack, who, according to Andrew, is the better writer of the two. Here’s the bad news: Jack’s a starting running back on his high school football team, so we can’t hit him up until 2022 season wraps.
Godspeed Andrew on your continued ascent to the top, and to Jack for a great season.
Your discussion thread is live & published @ theTUNDRA.