697-hp DBX proves Aston isn’t done with V-8s, buy the tiniest collectible Corvette, Rolls-Royce ghosts ICE

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Aston Martin crowns its love affair with AMG V-8s with 697-hp DBX

Intake: The rumors reckoned it would be a V-12, but the highest-performing Aston Martin DBX has landed with an even more grunty version of the twin-turbo AMG V-8. Packing 707 PS (697 hp) the nominatively determined DBX707 can also lay claim to being the world’s most powerful luxury SUV, outgunning Porsche’s bonkers, 631-hp Cayenne Turbo GT,  the 634-hp Bentley Bentayga Speed, and even Lamborghini’s 650-hp Urus. (Luxury is the key word here, since Dodge’s Durango SRT Hellcat lays claim to a 707 non-metric hp.)

Aston’s powertrain boss released the extra horses by fitting ball bearing turbochargers and using a new engine calibration. A nine-speed “wet-clutch” transmission has been installed to make the most of the additional power, and the DBX707 can accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, with significantly faster gearshifts than the regular torque-converter transmission fitted to other DBX models. Stopping power comes from carbon-ceramic discs measuring 16.5 inches up front and 15.4 inches in the rear. The standard fit wheel is a 22-inch alloy, but 23-inch rims are also offered and said to offer an improved steering response, better body control, and faster lap times. A revised e-diff is placed on the rear axle, and the all-wheel-drive system can actually send 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels if required. The 707 retains the standard car’s air suspension but features new damper valving and a change to the dynamic spring volume switching which provides more roll control and better steering than before.

Exhaust: Gather ye V-8s while ye may. Aston Martin has seriously escalated the high-zoot SUV horsepower wars with the DBX707. Already one of the best-handling and, arguably, best-looking machines in its class, the DBX now benefits from 155 more hp and the added romance given to any fuel-swilling machine in internal-combustion’s supposed twilight period.

Concours d’Lemons gets further hooptified thanks to Hagerty

2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Lemons Evan Klein

Intake: This March, Hagerty takes the helm of Concours d’Lemons for the first time at The Amelia. Concours d’Lemons celebrates the cars that’ll never have a chance at a “normal” concourse as it makes a point to celebrate the “oddball, mundane, and truly awful of the automotive world.” Long-time organizer Alan Galbraith joins Hagerty’s team as part of the Concours d’Lemons licensing agreement, and added that the show “gets bigger and dumber every year, and putting the show on the golf course is really ridiculous.” But in all seriousness, a portion of ticket sales also supports local charities.

Exhaust: While Hagerty’s been a part of Concours d’Lemons for years, the deeper connection generated by this licensing agreement means Hagerty’s outreach to all shapes and sizes of automotive enthusiasts continues apace. Watch this space for more coverage from The Amelia next month!

Koenigsegg’s new electric motor packs a serious punch in a small package

Intake: When none of the electric motors in today’s market proved up to snuff for the sky-high engineering demands of Koenigsegg, the Swedish hypercar manufacturer did what it often does: take the project in-house. The result is a pancake-shaped electric motor blends radial and axial flux topology to create a very power-dense package. Dubbed the Quark, this motor was developed with the 1700-hp Gemera four-seater in mind to get the supercar off the line before the internal combustion engine takes over for high-speed performance. The figures are appropriately insane: A single Quark fitted to the Gemera weighs just 66 pounds, but output is as much as 442 lb-ft of torque or 335 hp. Alongside the Quark, Koenigsegg unveiled the Terrier, which combines two Quarks and one in-house-developed inverter to create one seriously power-dense EV drive unit.

Exhaust: Critics may be quick to point to the power drop off of this new design under 20 seconds of wide open load, but  holding a Quark wide open for 20 seconds in anything but a full-size pickup would easily put you in jail on most public roads. It’s also a design meant for hybrid powertrains. McLaren developed something similar for the Artura, but that electric motor utilized just axial topology, not a blend of radial and axial. We’re excited to see where tech such as the Quark and the Terrier go from here.

Toyota’s new Tundra starts south of $40K, Capstone clears $75K

Intake: Pricing is out for all-new Toyota Tundra. At the low end of the ladder, a Tundra SR 4×2 with the double cab, the longer 6.5-foot bed, and the non-hybrid twin-turbo V-6 will run you $37,645. On the ritzier end, the Tundra’s lavish new Capstone trim, offered exclusively as a 4×4 with the crew cab, 5.5-foot bed, and hybridized drivetrain good for 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque, rings the register for $75,225. If adventure-readiness is the name of your game, a Tundra TRD Pro, again offered exclusively as a 4×4, crew cab, short bed with hybrid powertrain, will set you back $68,500 before options.

Exhaust: All that new tech ain’t gonna come cheap. For the 2021 model year, the most expensive Tundra you could get was the TRD Pro, which started at $54,645 before options. A nearly $14-large hike for the same trim is no joke, but you could argue that this new Tundra—at least on paper—is that much better. (Interior-wise, that’s a lock.) The Capstone trim is going to be interesting to watch; a $75K pickup isn’t a shocker these days, but the market for those has been dominated by the GMC Sierra, the F-150 Platinum, and the Ram Limited. How many more buyers are up there? Time will tell. 

Act fast to score this Hot Wheels limited-edition 1968 Corvette Stingray

 

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Intake: Corvette collectors will soon have another Hot Wheels car to add to their shelves, but they won’t last long. Beginning at today (February 1) at noon Eastern Time, members of the exclusive Hot Wheels Red Line Club can order a limited-edition 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for $25. The Spectraflame black-painted Corvette harkens back to the redesigned-for-1968 model, which was based on the “Mako Shark II” concept car. Before the real-life C3 was revealed to the world, fans got their first look at the Stingray when Hot Wheels released it as part of its original 16 die-cast lineup. The actual 1968 Corvette did not, in fact, carry the “Stingray” name, but Hot Wheels added it for this one. It even wears a STNGR license plate.

Exhaust: Depending on when you read this, these may already be sold out. That should come as no surprise. Corvettes remain extremely popular, regardless of their size or generation. Here’s hoping that you scored one.

Rolls-Royce confirms silent running by 2030, Ghost marks end of ICE line

Rolls-Royce Spectre first EV
Rolls-Royce

Intake: Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös has previously announced that the entire range will be fully electric by 2030 and now, in an interview with Autocar the CEO says that Britain’s poshest car brand won’t launch any new combustion-driven cars. This decision makes the latest Ghost the luxury carmaker’s final creation to be powered by dino juice. The 2023 Spectre coupe will be first to arrive, replacing the Wraith, but the Phantom, Ghost, and Cullinan will all get new EV versions on the company’s Architecture of Luxury platform before the decade is done.

Exhaust: Rolls-Royce says that it’s not just law-makers that are driving change, but a new breed of customers. “We aren’t only driven by legal: we’re also driven by our fairly young clientele worldwide, and we’re seeing more and more people asking actively for an electrified Rolls-Royce,” adds Müller-Ötvös.

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