8 new, big-name exotic cars bound for production
If you’re a fan of the newest and wildest cars from the world’s most chic automakers, there are only a few places you can see them en masse and IRL. One of those places is Monterey Car Week, an annual smattering of glamorous automotive events held in California each August. Hagerty attends each year, with much of its focus on the vintage metal at the collector-car auctions, historic races, and the swanky Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. However, we’d be remiss if we left out the newcomers scattered on the various manicured lawns of the Monterey Peninsula.
The automakers present say much about the status of Monterey Car Week: Bugatti, Aston Martin, Maserati, and Lamborghini all told us to expect new vehicles, and a few of their compatriots, like Ferrari and Automobilia Pininfarina, showed up with their own. Here are eight exotics, each one headed for production—most, in very limited quantity—and a few that are one of a kind. We’ve even included a bonus concept car from Acura. Whether it will be built, who could say.
Bugatti Chiron “Golden Era” — 1 built
The Chiron was introduced to the world seven years ago at the Geneva motor show, another destination event for exotic-car seekers. Though EV pioneer Mate Rimac, who took leadership of Bugatti in 2021, says that there’s a future for the internal-combustion engine under his reign, he hasn’t been any more concrete than that. The Chiron, with its sixteen cylinders and four turbochargers is enjoying a sort of early nostalgia—a reminder of gas-powered supercars that may be in their twilight era. The slew of one-off variants, typical for a high-end manufacturer such as Bugatti, is leaning heavily into that emotion.
The “Golden Era” Chiron shown for the first time at Monterey is a bit … on the nose. It’s a Super Sport model—the long-tail one with 1577 rather than 1500 hp—tailored by Bugatti’s customization department, Sur Mesure. The stand-out details: sketches of past Bugattis hand-drawn on the car’s sides, a project that took over 400 hours. The passenger door has 26 drawings, spanning milestones in Bugatti’s history from 1909 to 1956. The chronology is completed by the 19 sketches on the driver’s side door.
Aston Martin Valour — 110 to be built
If this Aston looks familiar, it’s because the automaker revealed press photography and mechanical specs in July. Last week, however, marked its first showing in North America. Newsworthy? Not hugely, but we’re happier now that we’ve laid eyes on this gorgeous, manual-transmission, twin-turbo-V-12-powered coupe. It does really exist, and it is awesome.
So awesome that it distracted us from the Aston that was announced just a few days ago, the new one we were told to expect: The convertible variant of the DB12. You can read more about it here.
Maserati MCXtrema — 62 to be built
When Maserati showed us the sultry MC20 supercar—powered by an engine built not by Ferrari but by Maserati itself—it also told us that the brand would go back into racing. The MCXtrema isn’t the version of the MC20 that will go racing (that’s the GT2 we first saw in June); think of it as a private track-day toy to court the sort of deep-pocketed sponsors you’d need to run a factory race team. (Toy, for the record, comes straight from the press release.) The name is a bit immature, unfortunately; it sounds like it belongs on an energy drink, not a pure-bred Italian supercar hot-rodded with 100 extra hp by the brand that made it.
Ferrari Tailor Made 812 Competizione — 1 built
A supercar should look like something you jotted in your notebook margins in high school, right? Ferrari’s latest one-off is creative and quite cool. Maranello’s customization division chose an 812 Competizione—of which Ferrari will only make 999—and, after painting it matte yellow, decided to imagine the V-12 coupe as a life-sized version of a design sketch, which Ferrari designers traditionally scribble on yellow paper. The motif of an in-progress drawing is carried out inside, where Ferrari actually embroidered words and arrows on the Alcantara and polyester surfaces.
Lamborghini Lanzador — TBD
We should have suspected, when Lamborghini assured us that its new concept “would not be an SUV,” that the automaker would show us something … that we’d want to call an SUV.
This is the Lanzador. (Blame whoever was naming fighting bulls back in the ’90s.) It is a “high ground-clearance GT with 2+2 seats,” powered by two electric motors, one on each axle. Lambo isn’t talking output yet, but the whole package is shouty enough to work. Most customers will probably know it as “the electric Lamborghini,” and in that role, the Lanzador probably will do quite well. Expect some version of it to hit production in 2028.
Pininfarina B95 — 10 to be built
Though the first Tesla was actually a convertible, most EVs today are fixed-roof affairs. That makes Pininfarina Automobili’s open-top, 1874-hp beauty even more exotic. Called the B95, its drivetrain is taken from the $2M Battista hypercar: a motor on each wheel, and a T-shaped arrangement of lithium-ion cells.
Would you ever want to be caught in a rainstorm in this? No, but when you can afford a one-of-10 car, you probably can employ your own weatherman to tell you when it’s safe to cruise the French Riviera. Pininfarina will even let you customize two helmets to match your B95 … which you have already customized, of course. The automaker assures us that no two B95s will be alike.
2023 marks 20 years of Bentley’s two-door, W-12- or V-8-powered grand tourer, the first model produced by the company after it was purchased by the VW Group in 1998. While a livery of VW badges would have been hilarious, Bentley kept things classy for the anniversary.
A one-off only made sense when celebrating Bentley’s top-selling model. It chose a hotter, “Speed” variant and gave it a color scheme to match the very first 2000s-era Continental GT: green over tan, with an appropriate but subtle smattering of commemorative sill plates, dash engravings, and exterior badges. We can smell the leather from here … mmm.
Rolls-Royce Drop Tail — 4 to be built
Wondering why Rolls-Royce’s Drop Tail costs $37M? One huge reason is the bespoke carbon-fiber monocoque that forms the essential structure of the V-12-powered two-seat roadster. Rolls is only building four examples, which means the development and tooling costs are probably nauseating: Lowering per-unit costs by increasing volume was clearly not a concern here.
Oh, and then there’s the 1603-piece wood-panel dashboard, which took one painstaking soul more than nine months to finish. And the swooping tail of the vehicle, which took who knows how many designers and engineers two years to refine. Time is money, and all that …
Bonus: Acura Performance Electric Vision Design Study — TBD
Monterey evidently gets Acura feeling all dramatic and coy about upcoming products. Two years ago, we saw a silhouette of the new Integra in the sky, formed by an array of illuminated drones.
For 2023, we—well, if we squint—see something low-slung and swoopy, with two doors and absolutely no room for anything more than two people. It will be all-electric, no surprise, and high-performance: The next NSX, perhaps? Who knows. Maybe Acura will roll out the chorus of singing angels for that one.