Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Monterey: The Dumping Ground For Unattainable Cars



Alexander Carabitses 

While the big news this past week was the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance in Monterey California, there were still a few other introductions that I want to get to first.

I'll begin with the 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A and 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona.  Each of these cars was unveiled for the Woodward Dream Cruise and each of them get unique body decals (with the Challenger's logo being LED illuminated) and wheels, while the exhaust, intakes, and brakes have also been tweaked in the most minute fashion.
(Image credited to Dodge)

Next up, we have the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback.  There are very few, if any, differences between the Hatchback and the other Civic variants, with the increased cargo volume being the only exception.  The car will go on sale this fall.
(Image credited to Honda)

While these introductions were not bad, the big reveals took place at Pebble Beach.  Pebble Beach has always served as the car guy's paradise, with some of the most exclusive and rarest cars in the world gathered together in one great location.  Due to its timing, it also serves as a bit of a preseason event before the actual auto show season kicks off in Paris next month, with automakers debuting new models and concepts, all of which are completely unattainable to the general public.  This year there were five key unveils that took place, and some of these were more exciting than others.

There first of these unveils was the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante, the convertible version of the Vanquish Zagato coupe that was unveiled earlier this summer. As one would expect, there are not any real differences between the convertible and the coupe.  The same holds true for the Lamborghini Centenario Roadster, which itself it the convertible version of a car that was unveiled in Geneva last March.  All 20 examples have already been sold, and I can tell you that it is great to see Lamborghini finally produce a limited edition car that is significant in any way.  When Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche launch a new hypercar, it is a special event that only happens once every decade.  However, in the last decade we have seen the Centenario, the Sesto Elemento, the Aventador J, the Veneno,  and the Reventon launch; honestly, pretty much all of these car were created to simply upstage Ferrari and McLaren when they were debuting new models or variants of existing models that they planned to produce in higher volume.  It is actually quite pathetic when you really think about it.
(Image credited to Aston Martin)
(Image credited to Lamborghini)

BMW also got lazy (for the second year in a row) and debuted the 2002 Homage Concept, with the only difference from before being that BMW painted it different, so that it now features a racing livery.  BMW did the same thing last year with the  3.0 CSL Homage Concept, and to be honest, I find it hard to believe that anybody who follows the auto industry from their laptop at home can get excited about a new livery.  Those who go to the event are bound to be excited, given that they will be seeing the car in person for the first time, but for the rest of us, it seems half assed.  It's still a great concept though, and I really wish that BMW would put it into limited production.
(Image credited to BMW)

We now come to the two stars of the show, the first of which is the Mercedes Maybach Vision 6 Concept. The car uses an electric powertrain to produce 750 horsepower, which in many ways is a relief given the car's size (5.7 meters long).  In reality, the main purpose of this car is to showcase the talent of Mercedes-Benz's stylists, with the exterior taking inspiration from the 300 SL of the 1950s (the gullwing doors are a hint).  Even better is the car's interior that will sadly never reach production, because, as we know, Mercedes' vision for the interior of autonomous cars is quite different than that of this concept.
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz)
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz)
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz)
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz)
(Image credited to Mercedes-Benz)

Cadillac also stunned members of the press with the Escala Concept, a large 4-door coupe that's six inches longer than the CT6. It's powered by GM's 4.2 liter V8 that makes 500 horsepower and will be featured in the CT6 very soon.  The main goal of this car is to preview Cadillac's upcoming exterior and interior design language, which itself is a softer version of the brand's "Art and Science" theme.  Cadillac has no immediate plans to build the car, although according to Autoline.tv, Johan de Nyscheen has come out and said the following: “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”  What that really means is that if feedback is very positive and there is a lot of demand, Cadillac will propose the idea of a production model and the decision makers at GM will kill off the project, as was done with the Cadillac Ciel and Elmiraj, as well as the Buick Avenir and Avista.  It is ashamed, but at least GM will follow through with the design language.
(Image credited to Cadillac)
(Image credited to Cadillac)
(Image credited to Cadillac)
(Image credited to Cadillac)

Other noteworthy introductions were the US debuts of the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase, Continental GT Speed Black Edition, and Flying Spur V8 S, as well as the Ferrari GTC4Lusso, the Pagani Huayra and the Bugatti Chiron.  

Overall, I have no complaints regarding the Pebble Beach Concourse, itself.  Like I said before, it is a car lover's paradise and it should certainly be on every enthusiasts' bucket list.  With that said, it is unfortunately time for me to conclude this post.  Thank you for reading and have a good week.

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