Lamborghini recycles “Countach,” grab McQueen’s Bullitt wheel, a Hardbody Leaf?


Revenge of the Reventón: Lamborghini recycles Countach name for 2021

Intake: 50 years since Lamborghini unleashed the Countach, the legend is set to return. Due to be revealed during Monterey Car Week (August 13–14), the car remains largely a mystery: all we have to go on for now is the video above and another leaked photo that shows the car’s full name to be Countach LPI 800-4. The LPI badge first appeared on Lamborghini’s Asterion hybrid concept and stands for Longintudinale Posteriore Ibrido. Based on naming tradition the car is set to offer 800 PS (789 hp) and four-wheel drive. It will also be the last Lamborghini to use a supercapacitor system for its electrical energy before Sant’Agata switches to plug-in hybrids. CEO Stefan Winklemann told Autocar, “A supercapacitor, in our opinion, is a bridge technology which does not fulfill the needs we have for the future to reduce emissions.”

Exhaust: Lamborghini already has this playbook down to a science. Following the precedent set by 2007’s Reventón, we can assume the “new” Countach will be derived from another Lamborghini (probably that wild Sián), restricted to properly exclusive numbers (well under 500 units), and laden with a painfully expensive price tag (think Bugatti Chiron). 

Mangled by McQueen, this Bullitt steering wheel could be yours

Steve McQueen Bullitt
FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images

Intake: The bent steering wheel from a stunt car that was wrecked on the set of Bullitt will be auctioned by Russo and Steele at Monterey on August 13. Originally fitted to one of a pair of Mustangs used for filming the Steve McQueen classic, the wheel was specially trimmed by upholsterer Tony Nancy using a unique stitch called “Catch Catch” to provide better grip for the King of Cool as he tossed the car around the streets of San Francisco in cinema’s most famous car chase. Despite this extra feature, one Mustang was totaled during filming, but the steering wheel was recovered by Precision Auto Body who hung it on the wall for years. Now the wheel is being offered at no reserve by Piece of the Past as part of the Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction. Friday the 13th could be lucky for one McQueen fan.

Exhaust: The intact Ford Mustang GT350 from the movie sold at Mecum in January for $3.74 million, but what will this twisted piece of metal and leather fetch? 

Is the Nissan Leaf due for a hardbodied makeover? 


Intake: The buzz generated by the upcoming Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz has not been lost upon Nissan. According to a report by Automotive News, Nissan is considering a pickup that’s smaller than the midsize Frontier and it could be electrified. A modern rethink of the D21 Hardbody is a possibility, since Nissan execs downplayed the electrification notion—and for good reason. The all-electric Leaf costs roughly 30 percent more than a base Maverick Hybrid (ditto for the base ’22 Frontier), so the numbers might not work in its favor.

Exhaust: Cost issues notwithstanding, an electric truck would be great for the brand, considering how many Tesla-savvy tire kickers don’t even know the Nissan Leaf exists. This new pickup (well, any pickup these days) has the built-in marketing buzz to bring some high-wattage attention to Nissan’s battery operated future. No matter what powers this Hardbody successor, don’t hold your breath on any regular-cab configurations: Judging from the other players in this space, the future is crew-cab only. 

VW’s Arteon juiced to 300 hp for 2022

2021 VW Arteon Facelift Hero front three quarter seaside

Intake: Volkswagen revealed the changes to its lineup for 2022, and, after sifting through the handful of tech upgrades and trim changes across the portfolio, we’re most intrigued by the power bump to the shapely Arteon. The 2022 Arteon will now boast 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from its ubiquitous EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, up from 268 hp and 258 lb-ft in the 2021 model. The sedan’s lineup is now comprised of three trims instead of five, with R-Line content standard on all for 2022: SE R-Line, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. The SE R-Line gets front-wheel drive as standard, but jump to the SEL R-Line and you’ll get VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive. The Arteon now starts at $41,190 including a $1195 destination fee, and the SEL R-Line at $45,810.

Exhaust: It’s a shame this svelte sedan isn’t posting higher sales figures. Through Q2 of 2021, the Arteon has moved just 2781 units here in North America. For comparison, VW sold more than 23 times as many Tiguans in the same window. It’s no wonder that the Passat won’t continue on past 2022, with a Limited Edition model with delicious green paint to put the four-door out to pasture. Still, if you’re looking for an under-the-radar sedan with plenty of tech and style, the Arteon is perfect. That it now comes with a bit more grunt only adds to the appeal. 

2022 Tundra dodges a bumpy ride thanks to four-corner coil springs

2022_Toyota_Tundra_Teaser coil spring

Intake: Toyota released another teaser on the 2022 Tundra, this time a video showing a revised suspension with a cutesy catch phrase: “Turning over a new leaf.” The video shows a front suspension done up with red springs and an antiroll bar (because sporty), Fox racing shocks, and a TRD skid plate. While not every new Tundra will receive the racy bits, it’s a safe bet that the rear suspension’s mundane black coil springs (and panhard bar?) are intended for every Tundra buyer’s budget.

Exhaust: The ’22 Tundra’s TRD suspension components shall have their followers for ample reason, but it’s nice to see the 2009 Dodge Ram’s rear coil-spring setup getting extra validation from another automaker. Perhaps the 1960 Chevy trucks didn’t die in vain, and rear coil springs are here to stay in all manner of pickup trucks.

Pagani blesses Huayra BC with new trackside aero kit

Pagani Huayra Pacchetto Tempesta render pebble
Pagani Automobili

Intake: Remarkably, you are not looking at another special-edition Huayra—in the strict sense, anyway. The render above shows the Huayra BC, a track-special version of the AMG-powered Italian that we first met in 2016. Keen eyes will, however, note a new rear wing, the telltale sign of Pagani’s new Pachetto Tempest option (Storm Package), designed to hone the on-track attitude of the BC. There’s a new front splitter and air intake, plus a six-pipe exhaust that helps the German-built twin-turbo V-12 to howl its way to 827 hp. To offer a bit of solace to your spine, Pagani has thoughtfully incorporated a Soft Drive mode into the newly tweaked suspension.

Exhaust: Though the Huayra’s M158 V-12 is based on the M275 found in 2004–15 AMG “65” models, it’s actually custom-built for Pagani by Mercedes-AMG. The sheer cost of building only 300-or-so such engines is part of Pagani’s bespoke allure. We may poke fun at the bewildering number of special editions, but if it means a longer life for this romantic German-Italian recipe, bring them on.

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