We thought that 2022 spoiled us with plenty of exciting new cars and was possibly the swansong for the petrol-powered motor vehicle. However, the way 2023 has started it looks as if we're going to continue to be spoilt and even if the future appears decidedly “non-ICE powered”, there's still plenty to excite and delight.
Latest news – and a revolving door for 12-cylinder engines
- Italy first and more details of the Lamborghini Aventador's successor have been revealed. With a distinctly low-key codename (LB744), the good news is that the V12 petrol engine will continue to power the new car.
It will be supplemented by three electric motors – one above the gearbox, acting as both generator and starter motor, and the other two attached to the front axle, powering it in isolation and removing the need for a prop shaft between engine and axle.
Power is suitably impressive also, with the engine alone producing more power than its predecessor, at 814bhp. This is boosted to 1,001bhp by the addition of the electric motors. The engine is also lighter than the Aventador's unit.
Prototypes show a shape broadly similar to the outgoing model – we just hope scissor doors remain part of the act!
- The Aventador goes out with a bang, with a pair of one-off cars. The coupe and roadster, named Invencible and Autentica, use the V12 engine in its highest output variant. They have been designed using input from the lucky buyers and feature styling cues from previous limited-run Lamborghinis including the Sesto Elemento and Reventon.
Prices are not being revealed, other than that each car cost significantly more than the £345,000 list price of the Ultimae.
- As Lamborghini announces that its V12 will live on, another 12-cylinder engine bows out, with Bentley announcing the end of production of its W12 unit. Over 100,000 have been made across a 20-year lifespan and used primarily in Bentley's Continental series but also across other models.
The engine was reworked in 2015 to increase efficiency, whilst also increasing power and the final version will produce 739bhp, the most power Bentley has extracted from this unit.
- Photos of Porsche's facelifted 911 (or 992.2 to give it its correct name) have revealed the usual mild tweaks expected from a midlife update. With the changes also comes speculation that the model will feature hybrid power for the first time in the car's sixty-plus year run.
Porsche has already confirmed that the 992 platform was designed to accept a hybrid-assisted motor from the outset and the use of an electric motor would increase power well beyond the Turbo S model's already impressive 640-plus bhp.
Bugatti sets another record
Unsurprisingly, when Bugatti makes a one-off car, there is significant interest from car collectors globally. Couple this with it also being the last Chiron available before the model run ends then a high price was inevitable.
The car in question, named the Profilee, is the result of a cancelled project based around the Pur Sport. Demand for this model was so high that the Profilee was shelved but a single model was made.
The car sold for £8.7m by RM Sotheby's, setting a new world record for a new car and with a percentage of the sale price being donated to charity.
Even more records… this time of the electric variety
Pininfarina's Battista has set a new world record for the standing quarter mile, setting a time of 8.55 seconds.
This figure is a few hundredths faster than its mechanically identical cousin, Rimac's Nevara and makes the Battista the world's fastest accelerating production car - to give this number some context, a Ferrari F8 Tributo manages the same distance in around 10.5 seconds. It can also hit the benchmark 62mph from a standstill in around 1.9 seconds.
Pininfarina will make 150 of the cars, with a price tag of around £2m.
Legends never die
Well, AC certainly thinks so. Some may say “it's a Cobra” and visually, that is very much apparent with the familiar body shape – we say that's no bad thing as the Cobra is hardly an eyesore!
So, it may look familiar but looks can be deceiving, as according to AC there's a lot of new technology under the (now carbonfibre) skin, including an all-new aluminium chassis. Power is refreshingly V8 flavoured, either with or without supercharger using a motor rumoured to be Ford-sourced, in keeping with the original car's power plant.
The car launches in April and will be priced from £285,000.
For fans of F1, the winter break always feels like it lasts forever. As the 2023 season got underway, it appeared that reigning champion Max Verstappen and his Red Bull RB19 will be the combination to beat. He beat teammate Sergio Perez by almost 12 seconds and third placed Fernando Alonso by close to 50 seconds.
Alonso was the weekend's surprise, as the veteran two-time world champion rolled back the years with a stunning drive, including battles with former teammate Hamilton and Ferrari's Sainz. The Aston Martin is undoubtedly the surprise of the season so far, with many predicting more podiums and possibly race wins.
Many are also wondering, even this early, by how much Verstappen and Red Bull will win both titles again this year.
The other breaking story as the season got underway was that Ford is returning to the sport, joining Red Bull as technical partner from 2026. The third most successful engine builder in F1 history, the company's decision is said to be driven by the increasing popularity of Formula One in the USA, coupled with the increasing drive towards sustainable fuel and the synergy between hybrid motorsport technology and road cars.
Lockton on the road
2023 is shaping up to be a busy year for our team. April sees us joining SCC Private Members Club at HR Owen's new Hatfield site and we are finalising what promises to be a fantastic weekend full of Italian cars at Sywell Aerodrome in June.
Our first stand-alone car meet is also in progress – watch this space!
The UK's best concours d 'elegance returns to Blenheim Palace at the end of August and you will find the Lockton Driver's Lounge once again located immediately adjacent to the main stage for the best view of all the week's action.
2023 sees the event move to four days, with the Lockton Club Trophy closing out Salon Privé 2023. We will share more details with you as plans progress.
A sharp intake of breath
Our popular newsletter relaunches this month under the name 'intake', where we share with you news and insights from the insurance and automotive spaces. Our team will also be guest editing, so you will have a chance to get to know the faces behind the names that you're already familiar with.
New cars – a quiet March
We've picked out a single model from a quiet month, but it's also an important one, as Audi's TTRS Iconic Edition marks the final special edition of what has truly been a game changing car for the German manufacturer.
2023 will see the end of a production run stretching back 25 years, with the original car marking a distinct change in direction for Audi and producing a sleek sports car based on relatively humble underpinnings. The last special features extra aero and retains the RS's 395bhp motor. It is understood that only 11 will be made in RHD, with a price of close to £90,000.
If you are wondering how Lockton is different to many other motor insurance brokers then please click on the link below – we'll be talking about how your car is valued and the impact this has on how a claim will be paid.
You can find the article here.