And just like that, 2022 is almost done. It's been an unusual year without a doubt with global events creating unease and instability for many. The automotive sector hasn't been immune, with supply chain shortages still leading to production delays but despite the challenges, the volume of exciting new cars launched, and in the pipeline, has been simply excellent.

Whether this the last hurrah for the performance car as we know it, or the dawn of something equally as exciting remains to be seen but motoring enthusiasts continue to be spoilt for choice – truly a golden era and that's where we begin this month's roundup.

New cars no slowing down

  • Porsche has revealed its 911 Dakar model, designed for those who want to take one of the world's best sports cars properly off-road. 50mm higher and featuring Off-Road and Rally modes, it has even been up a Volcano (the world's highest, in Chile), reaching just over 19,700 feet. Sales start next year with only 2,500 units available.
  • Not to be outdone, Lamborghini has launched its own take on the off-road supercar. The Huracan Sterrato was spied testing some time ago and the production version will be on sale next year. Likely to be the last model to use the V10 engine, it will be a similar proposition to the 911 Dakar, with raised ride height, proper off-road wheels & tyres and even a light bar.
  • Staying with Lamborghini and Porsche for a moment, the Huracan replacement has been confirmed to be a hybrid model, although the ICE element remains TBC”, V8 or V10 power seems likely. Meanwhile, prototypes of the next generation Porsche Boxster have been spied testing. The car will be entirely electric and will share its platform with the Cayman coupe. Launch date will be 2025 and expect Porsche to place chassis balance ahead of the traditional battery design, ensuring that its hugely popular entry-level cars retain the family DNA.
  • Porsche has also revealed details of its electric Macan, scheduled for launch next year. An entirely new chassis forms the basis of the 600bhp model and will also underpin the next EV Cayenne and a forthcoming range of Audi E-Tron models.
  • Maserati has announced that its Quattroporte will relaunch in 2024 as an EV. Surely the saloon car with one of the best names, it will replace the cheaper and smaller Ghibli, slotting between the Levante SUV and Gran Turismo. Prices and spec are yet to be confirmed but expect both to be less than the £200,000, 745bhp numbers for the Gran Turismo EV.
  • Volvo has shown its EV-only EX90. Designed to sit alongside the XC90 SUV, it will be priced close to £100,000 and features a host of safety features including a system which will eventually allow for autonomous motoring. It's also the first Volvo to be based on a Geely chassis, similarly to the Polestar 3. The EX90 will have a third row of seats to differentiate from its cousin.

Farewell to a champion

With the 2022 titles wrapped up after a hugely dominant performance by Red Bull and Max Verstappen, the Formula One community said goodbye to another once all-conquering star as Sebastian Vettel retired from the sport after 15 years and four drivers' crowns.

Consecutive and dominant championships as driver from 2010 to 2013 and for Red Bull during the same period put the team firmly on the map as a force to be reckoned with, although his move to Ferrari in 2015 failed to emulate his fellow German driver Michael Schumacher, with wins but no titles heading to either Germany or Italy.

His battles with Lewis Hamilton during the latter stages of his time with the Italian giant were intense, at times spilling into animosity, before he left for Aston Martin for the final two years of his career.

His popularity with fellow drivers (including Hamilton, it must be said) increased with age and he has become a champion for causes outside the sport including the environment and human rights, famously clearing litter at the 2021 British GP and wearing Pride colours despite the threat of sanction at several races.

Retirement was marked in suitably smoking and doughnut-shaped style at the final race in Abu Dhabi and we join the F1 world in saying simply Danke Seb”.

Another champion's Sunday car sells for a few quid

Championship winning F1 cars are never cheap and when they have a Ferrari badge and the name M. Schumacher” on the side, then prices ramp up dramatically.

This was certainly the case earlier in November when his 2003 F2003 GA went under the hammer at RM Sotheby's' Luxury Week sale in Geneva.

The F2003 was the V10-powered car in which Schumacher won the sixth of his (then) record-breaking seven drivers' titles at the 2003 Japanese GP and Chassis 229 is the most successful of the six cars built for the season, clinching five first places, two podium finishes and three poles.

More importantly, this is the car in which he secured title number six, beating Fangio's (at the time) 46-year-old record – truly a milestone F1 car.

The car was overhauled during 2022 by Ferrari themselves to full working order, sold with Red Book Classiche” certification and Michael's son Mick also drove the car at Ferrari's Fiorano test track earlier this year.

The price? A cool £12.7m to an anonymous buyer.

A gathering storm?

Nevera is a sudden and very powerful storm off the Croatian coast.

A worthy name then for a car that Top Gear's Chris Harris stated, would render all other petrol-powered super and hyper cars' efforts to go faster pointless. A bold statement indeed but coming from a man who really knows his quick cars.

Produced by Rimac, the car has also recently set the record for the world's fastest EV, at 258mph and its acceleration stats are equally mind-boggling, including the standing quarter mile in 8.5 seconds, hitting 62 mph from rest in 1.85 seconds and 186mph in a scarcely credible 9.3 seconds.

The ability to produce these frankly stupendous numbers comes via a quartet of electric motors, two on each axle, producing 1,887bhp (which sounds a lot better than its kW equivalent we think) and a carbon tub with aluminium subframes attached front and rear.

The company, founded in Croatia in 2009, has attracted significant interest in the automotive sector, with Porsche taking a 20% stake and enabling the relatively young firm to acquire its own majority stake in Bugatti (with Porsche owning the remaining 45%).

We can't help but compare Rimac to Pagani, with both firms establishing themselves rapidly in the sportscar market by producing genuinely impressive vehicles, albeit with very distinct focus on the way their cars are powered – Pagani being wedded firmly to ICE for the immediate future.

If this storm brewing is a foretaste of the future, then it's perhaps not quite as bleak as some may have suggested not that long ago. Truly, a storm is gathering but perhaps not the destructive force that was predicted.

Running rings around the rest

There is a race circuit in Germany that, for decades, has represented the ultimate test for driver and machine, both competitive, for leisure and to simply prove that your products can cover 12.9 miles through the forests nestled in the Eifel Mountains faster than anyone else's.

It has been argued that Nürburgring lap times aren't an accurate reflection of how any vehicle performs on the road but in terms of sheer speed and an ability to tackle some of the toughest corners in the world, it certainly separates the best from the rest.

Producing the fastest cars is a part of the DNA for many manufacturers and the hurdles most face are typically environmental, legislative with a growing element of social responsibility thrown in for good measure.

When you add to this recipe basing a road legal car on the bones of a Formula One racer, this makes the task harder still and we suspect that the team behind Mercedes' AMG-One project wouldn't disagree.

It has taken them five long years to bring the One to production with challenges including making a racing car power unit work on the way to the shops without overheating and, on the same day, crushing the world's best racetracks to a soundtrack not far removed from that enjoyed by Sir Lewis Hamilton most weekends – albeit with catalytic convertors adding both weight and space requirements.

Speaking of racetracks, the One visited the 'Ring earlier in November and, with pro racing driver Maro Engel in charge, set a time late in the day of 6 minutes, 35 seconds. This is over 8 seconds faster than the previous record (a Manthey tuned GT2RS), although still over a minute adrift of Porsche's 919 Evo record holder.

Still, the One's time is massively impressive, as the car was neither modified nor upgraded to achieve the record. All systems were set for a maximum attack lap (or turned up to 11 – we much prefer that description) although the tyres were the standard compound Michelin items designed specifically for the car.

However, all this has left us wondering just how quick Aston Martin's Valkyrie and Gordon Murray's T.50 will lap when they inevitably visit Germany – we've had a side bet in the office, not at all influenced by the number of these halo cars that we've been told that we will be insuring as our very fortunate clients take delivery!

It's beginning to look a lot like thattime of the year

We're always working hard to do special things for you and this year is no exception. With the festive season upon us, we've secured an interview with the main man himself. We last caught up with Santa at the end of a very odd 2020, so please read our Q&A here (link please) with him so see what's changed in his world.

Before we close this final roundup of 2022, the boss wanted to say a few words.

Simon Ambler, Head of Lockton Performance commented:-

 “2022 has been another excellent year. We've continued to build on our success with our partner car clubs and continued to offer both new and existing clients the very best insurance cover for their special cars. 2023 looks set to be very exciting, with some fantastic opportunities and changes to how we do things and how we're seen by the specialist motor sector.

I would like to thank all our clients for their continued business, our car club partners for their continued support and to my team, who continue to show me that they really are the best in the business. I am looking forward to meeting more of our wonderful clients at events next year.

Have a fantastic Christmas and peaceful 2023”

Our offices will remain open during the festive period, so that we can make sure that our clients are serviced throughout.