The next fortnight sees one of the most concentrated periods of auction activity outside Monterey Car Week. The action is spread across two main locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Paris, France, where the Retromobile Exhibition is held in the city which pioneered auto racing 120 years ago.
Ever since the 2013 Italdesign Parcour and Audi Nanuk concepts, we've been waiting and hoping for a legitimate off-road supercar that blends Italian styling with burly drive-anywhere construction. We're not quite there yet, but Turin-based design studio Camal has given us its take on a "hypersuv" it calls the Ramusa.
Bugatti has partnered with watercraft maker Palmer Johnson to design a bespoke luxury yacht. Called Niniette, the carbon fiber yacht will be available in three models starting at 42 feet and features styling elements based loosely on classics from the Bugatti lineup. Prices start at a cool €2 million (US$2,176,700).
Production of the Bugatti Veyron ended earlier this year, leaving a void up around the top of the supercar food chain. That void will be filled soon enough with a Veyron successor, but while there have been plenty of unconfirmed rumors and reports about the "Chiron" not much has come from Bugatti itself. That will all change this week, with Bugatti set to confirm both the model's name and its coming debut at next year's Geneva Motor Show. In just a few months, the world's fastest car gets an even more capable successor.
Having revealed its Vision Gran Turismo in digital form a couple of weeks ago, Bugatti has rolled out the real thing at the Frankfurt Motor Show. While the show car on display at IFA won't be going anywhere under its own steam, the carbon-fiber racer does serve as a design language stepping stone between the Veyron and Bugatti's next super sports car offering.
It's not all that long ago, that a car selling at auction for more than the magical million dollar mark would bring a round of applause, recognizing the significance of the sale. The continuing rise in values of top tier collectible cars has now seen more than 1300 cars fetch more than a million dollars, with hundreds more sold each year and 2015 set for a new record. Less than a month after Monterey Car Week saw more than 80 "Million Dollar Cars" sell, a further 14 cars topped the magic million dollar mark across six auctions in eight days. Despite some forebodings that the collectible car market had finally "topped out", it appears that predictions of its demise were somewhat premature.
Bugatti has been teasing its Vision Gran Turismo video game car for several days now, inspiring some hope that the automaker would finally break from its decade-old Veyron styling and show something fresh. Sadly, its Vision Gran Turismo is less new design and more made-over Veyron. Still, when you start off with the level of performance the Veyron brings, you don't need to go too crazy to compete with 2,600-hp SRTs and laser-projected Chevys.
Supercar, hypercar, megacar ... whatever you want to call today's fastest, most powerful, most technologically advanced cars, they're in the midst of a very exciting evolution. New technologies and performance benchmarks are making these super-toys of the few and wealthy techier, faster and more fun to drive. Join us as we delve into the state of the modern supercar.
This July, we heard about how a group of aviation enthusiasts were building a flying replica of the radical Bugatti 100P racing aircraft. Named Reve Bleu (Blue Dream), it was undergoing taxi and engine testing at the time. This Wednesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, however, it made its first flight – and did a nose-plant at the end.
The Monterey Car Week auctions have come and gone, and the analysts are still trying to sort through the numbers to figure out what they mean. There were more auctions and more cars presented this year than ever before, and the two biggest collectible car auction houses (RM Sotheby's and Gooding & Co.) grew sales considerably year-on-year, but the overall gross take for the combined auctions comes in within a few dollars of last year's record numbers. Like all those who ply the trade as buyers or sellers, the market appears stronger at the top end and slightly softer in the middle.