Escalade-V emerging in May, AMG facelifts GT four-door, Rolls-Royce’s first EV spied
Cadillac’s Escalade-V will thunder into the world on May 11
Intake: Something supercharged this way comes. Cadillac has announced the official reveal date of the Escalade-V, a performance-minded version of the marque’s flagship SUV. The body-on-frame brute is expected to crib the supercharged LT4 V-8 from the CT5-V Blackwing and the C7 Corvette Z06 of yore. We’ve seen photos already, and the exterior boasts a particularly sporty and handsome front fascia with design elements that mimic those on the track-stomping CT5-V Blackwing. If it’s a direct transfer, the V-8 will produce 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque. Top-trim Escalades boast GM’s outstanding magnetic ride control, which we expect to continue on the Escalade V.
Exhaust: While it may seem a touch absurd to consider a hulking three-row SUV as something with performance intent, remember that Dodge stuffed the inimitable 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 from the Challenger and Charger Hellcat into a Durango, and our test revealed that it’s an absolute riot. Stellantis also stuffed that engine into a Ram 1500—maybe this is a tangential test case for an LT4-powered Silverado ZR2?
Mercedes reveals facelifted 2023 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 and GT 63 S
Intake: Mercedes has added a new face and a host of customization options to the 575-hp 2023 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 and 630-hp Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S. The new fascia, first seen on the GT 63 S E Performance, includes wider air intakes divided by three vertical fins. That car is the first AMG to marry a raucous V-8 and a hybrid motor, which is the first step in Affalterbach’s new performance direction, announced last spring. Ride and handling are enhanced with a new AMG Ride Control+ that uses two continuously variable pressure limiting valves, one each to control rebound and compression. The valves operate independently of one another and enable the adaptive suspension to shield passengers from unruly road surfaces while also offering sporty handling, depending on the mode selected. Finally, the 2023 models are available in a stunning array of colors and interior finishes that include four matte paints, five metallic shades, two solid colors, an AMG carbon fiber package, a new AMG Night Package II, and the MANUFAKTUR range of options that includes exclusive Nappa leather in diamond quilting, a two-tone AMG Performance steering wheel, and AMG high-pile floor mats with embroidered AMG lettering.
Exhaust: The levels of performance and luxury keep increasing, proving that Mercedes is serious about maintaining the AMG GT 63’s position as the cream of the crop among four-door GTs. We’re eager to get our hands on one when they become available in the United States later this year. The AMG GT 63 S set the Nürburgring lap record for executive-class (read: four-door) luxury cars a few years back, and it still retains that record to this day. These new performance upgrades may make the svelte four-door even quicker around the famous track, should Mercedes-AMG ever attempt to top its own time.
Watch the whisper-quiet Rolls-Royce Spectre on the road
Intake: Listen carefully and you may just hear the whirr of its electric powertrain as the first electric Rolls-Royce is caught testing in Germany. The Spectre coupe looks like a wind tunnel-tuned Wraith with a far more aerodynamic front end than its V-12-powered predecessor, and it sits on the company’s aluminum Architecture of Luxury platform. Exactly what combination of batteries and motors will drive the Spectre hasn’t been mentioned yet, but you’re likely hearing a version of the BMW Group’s fifth-generation EV tech. That could mean a battery of up to 120 kWh in capacity and a range of as much as 400 miles. As for power, if the Spectre takes its lead from the BMW iX, then we could see 610 hp offered. The slogan-heavy camo seen here is due to be removed later this year as the next chapter of Rolls-Royce’s luxury story makes its hushed debut.
Exhaust: Silence, effortless speed, and luxury have been long been the hallmarks of Rolls-Royce, so electrification probably won’t alter the driving experience that much if we’re being honest. The cars themselves have never been all that light, so the added mass of batteries may barely be noticed. The Spectre is first in line for EV power, but Rolls-Royce has pledged that the whole range will be electric by 2030.
Motorsport artisan Vic Elford dies at 86
Intake: A Porsche 911S in Monte Carlo, a 908 at the Targa Florio, a Cooper Formula One racer at Nürburgring, a stock car on the Daytona high banks—“Quick” Vic Elford stayed true to his nickname in anything with four wheels. Last Sunday, the hall-of-famer lost his battle with cancer at the age of 86. Elford began his career in rally—first as a navigator, then as driver—because his family didn’t have the money to finance more conventional road racing endeavors. After demonstrating immense pace in rally, Elford graduated to the pavement where he took home numerous trophies from endurance racing’s most famous races, including the Nürburgring 1000km and Daytona’s Rolex 24. By all accounts, Elford only ever took what the car would give him, which led to fast times and, most importantly, preservation—a key result when piloting bestial machines like Porsche’s 917, Shadow’s DN2 Can-Am racer, or Chapparal’s 2J “Sucker Car.”
Exhaust: The old world is leaving. In the past year, we’ve lost some truly iconic racers from motorsports’ golden era, including Bobby and Al Unser. Like the Unser brothers, Elford will be remembered for his ability to compete at the highest level in all forms of motorsport; an achievement even more impressive when viewed through today’s lens. At present, drivers are asked to be incredibly specialized in their skill. Any step outside of their main series is met with bated breath from team owners and sponsors. Risk injury in another car? Think again. Domain jumping—like Elford sometimes performed in less than a week’s time—is reserved for drivers who are looking to write a new chapter: Jimmie Johnson to IndyCar or Montoya to NASCAR. As we lose drivers like Elford, the age of driver versatility diminishes in the rear-view mirror. God’s speed, “Quick Vic.”
The smallest car just sold for a massive $145,000
Intake: A 1963 Peel P50 microcar has fetched £111,000 ($144,549) in an online auction. The car, if you can call it that, is an early preproduction model with a slightly lower windscreen, Lucas sidelights, and a cream steering wheel, which makes it unique. The remaining 45 P50s all featured a rear roll bar, but this early model does not—making it also potentially the most dangerous of the lot. That clearly didn’t deter the buyer, who can now chug along at speeds of up to 38 mph in this quirky 130-lb British three-wheeler. Made on the Isle of Man from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company, the P50 had no reverse gear. Instead, there was a handle at the rear so you could get out, lift the back wheel off the ground and pull the Peel into position.
Exhaust: The purchase price may have been sky-high but with gas prices soaring, the buyer will be happy to know that serious savings at the pumps can be had as the Peel can achieve 100 miles per U.K. gallon or 83 mpg U.S.