Warmer weather, lighter evenings, road trips, dead bugs and car meets. Summer is the motoring enthusiast's favourite time of the year. Lockton's diary is filling as rapidly as yours with a club event taking place almost every other weekend between now and September. We can't wait to see you all again.
We begin this month's roundup with F1 and the continuing close fight between Ferrari and Red Bull, which has seen the pendulum swing back towards Max Verstappen in the last five races. Sergio Perez is keeping his teammate honest and George Russell is proving to be Mr Consistent, sitting in fourth place overall. Lewis Hamilton's season, by contrast, is one we think he will want to forget at this point.
Mercedes continues to work on the bouncing – the visible side-effect of the new rules – and Canada saw Hamilton claim only his second podium of 2022, something many would have said was unthinkable for the seven-time champion.
This was followed by a third place at Silverstone and a closing dozen or so laps which had the record-breaking crowd on the edge of their seats (and anyone watching at home too, we suspect). The race saw a first lap accident involving several drivers, with Alfa Romeo driver Zhao Guanyu escaping a truly frightening accident – his car flipping before sliding upside down and somersaulting over the crash barrier. The HALO device surely saved him from serious injury, and it was a welcome relief to see him walking around the paddock after the race.
BTCC visited Thruxton – one of the UK's fastest and most exciting circuits – before heading north to Oulton Park. Josh Cook leads the standings, followed by Ingram with reigning champion Ash Sutton close behind in third and the BMW duo of Turkington and Hill rounding out the top five.
After a three-year Covid-enforced break, motorcycle racing returned to the Isle of Man. The TT remains the pinnacle of road racing and any suggestion that riders would be slower after the break was quickly proved inaccurate. Peter Hickman became the fourth rider in the event's history to claim four wins, but this was overshadowed by five fatal incidents – a stark reminder that the TT remains a daunting prospect even for the most experienced.
The wait is finally over
Moving to motoring news and we stay firmly with a motorsport theme and a story five years in the making.
Mercedes-AMG have revealed final details of the One, with production set to commence. Those details include active aerodynamics, hybrid drivetrain, pushrod suspension and not forgetting the small matter of an engine directly linked to those found in multiple world championship winning F1 cars. It is this last element which has given the engineers the biggest challenge.
Formula One cars are not designed for normal road use (as if you didn't know that), so areas such as cooling and emission compliance have had to be factored in, with the car claimed to meet Euro 6 rules that didn't exist when it was first conceived.
At the heart of the One is a 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engine, supplemented by four electric motors, producing a combined total of 1048hp. The engines have been developed by the Brixworth-based AMG Engine Works operation and will be built next to the racing engines.
Price is set at around £2.5m and 275 cars will be made. The prospect of the One going head-to-head with Aston's Valkyrie and Gordon Murray's GMA T.50 is frankly mouthwatering.
Meanwhile, in Italy…
Pagani next and the first images of its C10 hypercar have been revealed.
The car will follow the thoroughly tried and tested route of a carbonfibre chassis and mid-mounted V12 which will continue to be sourced via Mercedes. This will be possible as the engine will continue to see service in the Maybach range, despite Mercedes committing to electric power for its own model ranges.
Whilst disguised, the prototype displays design traits similar to previous models, including the high centrally mounted exhaust, teardrop shaped mirrors and cabin-forward profile. There are elements of both its predecessors, which is no bad thing at all.
Pagani has also revealed a bespoke Huayra-based special, named the Codalunga. Only five will be made following a request from an existing Pagani collector at a price of £6,000,000 each, and all have been sold. The design features a lengthened rear section and Pagani's now trademark use of exposed metal and soft textile inside.
Speeding out of adversity
SSC made the headlines in 2020 when the claimed top speed for its Tuatara, of 331mph, was debunked online – forcing the American manufacturer to apologise publicly.
Not to be defeated, SSC has come back fighting and in 2021 achieved a confirmed 282.9mph, making it the world's fastest production car.
They have gone one better and the same car (and driver – and it's also his own personal car which deserves respect) achieved a speed of 295mph at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, on a 2.3-mile runway. As this was a one-way only run, it can't be classed as a record, but the car remains the fastest you can buy.
Back to the future – and back again
If you grew up during the 80s, then Marty and Doc's time-travelling, flying motor car was part of your childhood (and remains a staple for many adults today).
DeLorean's return to the future has been revealed and the Alpha5 is an EV aimed at the likes of Porsche's Taycan. Whilst specifics have yet to be confirmed, a range of 300 miles and limited 155mph top speed would place it in the ring with some well-established EVs.
It does manage to look different to those cars, with legendary design firm Italdesign taking cues from the original DMC12 (which it of course also styled 40 years ago). These include a slatted rear window and full-length gullwing doors in the most obvious nod to its ancestor.
Production is scheduled to start in 2024 and the car will officially be unveiled at Pebble Beach in August.
Making the very best even better
Since its launch almost 20 years ago, Rolls Royce's Phantom has been widely regarded as the ultimate luxury motor car, with buyers able to specify an almost endless selection of interior and exterior finishes.
Now five years into its second generation, the Phantom has been given a mild facelift, both inside and out. The exterior changes are mild and bring the car's appearance closer to other models. At this point, the V12 engine is staying – with electrification said to be on its way.
Interior changes are similarly mild with new materials available for all surfaces and a ticker steering wheel – something that we suspect will be experienced by chauffeur rather than owner.
The current model starts at £360,000 and it is anticipated that the facelifted car will be slightly more expensive.
Recreating a motorsport icon
If you are a motoring enthusiast, the combination of blue paint and gold wheels will mean either a French hot hatchback or a Japanese rally legend.
Subaru ruled the rally stages during the nineties and early noughties with drivers including Colin McRae and Richard Burns winning WRC drivers' titles in the famous blue cars.
The Impreza 22B was produced to celebrate Subaru's third WRC title. It was based on the two-door saloon with widened wheel arches and a large rear spoiler, bringing it visually closer to the car used in competition. Only 400 were officially produced and they remain a sought-after version 25 years later.
Prodrive will be forever associated with Subaru. The Banbury-based motorsport firm prepared and ran the rally cars and they have announced a run of 25 recreated 22Bs, named the P25.
Using a donor shell, the car will feature a larger 2.5 litre engine producing 400bhp (against 276 for the original car). A semi-automatic gearbox will replace the manual and Prodrive have said that the suspension and brakes will be similarly upgraded and modernised with carbonfibre also being used throughout the bodywork.
The price is confirmed at £552,000 – a lot of money by any standard, but original cars sell for well into six figures and a 270-mile example was offered for sale recently in the UK, for almost £300,000.
The car was officially unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and all 25 are reported to have been sold. We'll report more on the festival shortly, including news of a Spyder version of McLaren's P1 and of course the hillclimb – will the record finally be broken?
New cars for June – a celebration of horsepower
- BMW M4 CS. Less weight, more power – the traditional and highly effective CS recipe continues.
- Chevrolet Corvette Z06. An all-new 670bhp V8 power unit creates the most potent version of the mid-engined American sports car.
- Lotus Evija – deliveries delayed due to development of the EV powertrain, but Lotus's first fully electric car is on its way to some lucky customers – or, with almost 2000bhp, should that be brave?
- McLaren Artura – Woking's answer to the Ferrari 296. PHEV power and a V6 mirrors the Italian car's setup and a minimal weight penalty versus its petrol-powered siblings.
Work continues on Lockton's presence at the UK's premier Concours D'Elegance. We have some very exciting plans, some of which we won't be able to share until the event begins. Suffice to say that we will once again be hosting guests in our Drivers' Lounge, adjacent to the main stage. Our outdoor terrace will once more be offering the best seats on the lawn to watch everything unfold.
So, despite ever rising fuel prices, summer has finally arrived. Whatever your choice of wheels, drive or ride safely and if you need any advice around using your vehicle in the UK or further afield, please contact us.