R.I.P. Subaru WRX STI, Aston’s last V-12 Vantage, Porsche and Pixar bring Sally Carrera to life
Subaru’s WRX STI is dead … for now
Intake: Subaru’s WRX STI has long represented the pinnacle of performance for the brand, eschewing the granola-munching reputation associated with the Outback and Forester for a rally-born, no-holds-barred rowdiness. With the new WRX now in play, we expected a hotted-up STI version to be waiting in the wings, but those hopes were in vain. Subaru of America confirmed via a statement that it has no plans for a purely gas-powered STI, and that the model will go on hiatus for the duration of this current WRX platform. However, Subaru is looking into electrification options for the performance variant. “As the automotive marketplace continues to move towards electrification, Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing marketplace,” said the statement.
Exhaust: The death of the outgoing STI was largely a result of its ancient EJ-series 2.5-liter flat-four, and it would seem Subaru was unwilling or unable to replace that venerable powerplant. Rally fanatics are certain to lament this news, but a future hybrid STI isn’t without precedent. The FIA World Rallycross, the top tier of competition for the fire-spitting, dirt-slinging cars made famous on forested jumps and winding mountain roads, has gone hybrid for the 2022 season under the Rally1 technical regulations. Subaru’s STI originally made a name for itself dominating these international battlegrounds in the late 1990s, trouncing the competition and notching manufacturers championships in 1995, ’96, and ’97 with the stars like the late Colin McRae at the wheel. While we’re no doubt bummed to hurry up and wait for a new STI, we’re hopeful for what a hybrid-assisted machine may bring to the table. More power at the very least, right? Maybe even a re-entry into rallying’s premier championship?
Aston Martin’s final V12 Vantage will go out with a bang
— Aston Martin (@astonmartin) March 11, 2022
Intake: Aston Martin is teasing the imminent arrival of the final V12 Vantage on social media with the hashtag #NeverLeaveQuietly. Powered by a 700-hp, 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 paired with an eight-speed automatic, this latest V12 Vantage is expected to be a limited edition swan song model. “V12 Vantage, the final descendent of its lineage, marks the end of an era. Crafted with unapologetic power and luxury, it overtakes the senses through its unmistakable and deafening V12 Aston Martin roar,” says Aston Martin. All will be revealed—and heard—this Wednesday, March 16.
Exhaust: The last ever front-engined V-12 Aston Martin sports car looks set to be quite something. Sharing its engine with the V-12 Speedster, it certainly won’t leave quietly. The Vantage’s successor is likely going to be all-electric, so consider this a fitting ending for this chapter of Aston’s smallest sports car.
Porsche and Pixar are creating a Sally Carrera-inspired car for charity
Intake: She’s real! She’s real! Well, she will be soon, anyway. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Sally Carrera, from Pixar’s Cars franchise, Porsche is creating a unique tribute car that will be auctioned for charity. (If the math doesn’t seem to add up, it’s because Pixar and Porsche are marking the anniversary of the car—Sally is a 2002 911 Carrera—not the original movie, which came out in 2006.) The Sally-inspired Porsche will wear unique features like Sally Blue paint, custom wheels, and badges. The character is modeled after Dawn Welch, the real-life proprietor of the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma. The Sally Carrera will eventually be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s, and all proceeds will support programs for girls and young women through Girls Inc., as well as the USA for UNHCR (a UN refugee agency), to provide aid to children and families affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
Exhaust: This isn’t just a cool idea from an automotive perspective, the project will benefit those in need. We’ve all seen Pixar-inspired cars and trucks at events, but only one person will own one created by Style Porsche in Weissach and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur in Stuttgart. It’s a win-win that the entire community of Radiator Springs can be proud of.
A sensational stable of Prancing Horses is headed to auction
Intake: An incredible private collection of Ferraris is set to go under the hammer at The Artcurial Rétromobile Auction on March 18–19. Held at the annual Salon Rétromobile in Paris, the Ferraris are part of the Maître Étienne Léandri estate. Léandri, a wealthy Monégasque collector, was a lifelong fan who was known as “The Ferrari Lawyer” and owned five of the most sought-after Modena motorcars ever made.
Up for grabs are a 1989 F40, a 1996 F50, a 2003 Enzo, a 2010 599 GTO F1, and a 2013 LaFerrari. Léandri clearly enjoyed his collection, as the F40 covered 13,284 km in his hands. He also drove 4760 km in the Enzo and 3390 km in the GTO. The F50 and LaFerrari are barely broken in by comparison, with 1318 km and 952km, respectively. Léandri’s collection also included a 2010 458 Italia, a 2009 Fiat 500 Abarth Ferrari Dealers Edition, and a 2003 Lamborghini Murciélago, which are similarly bound for the block.
Exhaust: This single auction will be a great opportunity to chart the current values of the Ferrari’s “Famous Five”. Most affordable is expected to be the 599 GTO, which is estimated to sell for €500,000 to €800,000 ($548,000-$877,000). Perhaps surprisingly, the F40 is next at €1.3m-€1.6m ($1.42-$1.75m), while the Enzo and LaFerrari are both predicted to go for €2.2m-2.8m ($2.4m-$3m) . Top of the tree is the F50, which Artcurial estimates will go under the hammer for €2.7m-€3.5m ($3m-$3.8m).
De Tomaso P72 teased in cold weather testing
Intake: Ever since De Tomaso announced that it would move its operations stateside as part of Mission AAR (Automotive American Renaissance), we’ve been wondering how things are progressing on the stunning P72 supercar. Thanks to a snowy teaser video released by the Italian-Argentine-American firm earlier this month, we now have our answer. Witness the P72 enduring cold weather testing in the frigid climes of Switzerland. Even with camouflaged coachwork, the curvaceous P72 looks great on the snow, and the supercharged Ford Coyote V-8 engine—tuned by Jack Roush, no less—sounds like pure heaven. All 72 examples of the P72 will feature a six-speed manual of the firm’s own design, which should only add to the appeal for potential customers.
Exhaust: The P72 is an homage to the Pete Brock-designed Shelby-De Tomaso P70, a gorgeous mid-60s racing project involving Carroll Shelby, Brock, and Alejandro De Tomaso. As far as lineage goes, that’s some lofty company. With a base price that’s “determined at $1,000,000 USD” it’s clear the P72 isn’t for most folks. But if you are so inclined, you should register your interest to get on De Tomaso’s waiting list.
Kyle Jergensen wins 2022 Mint 400
Intake: After a solid qualifying session, Kyle Jergenen and codriver Shawn Shanks weathered 400 miles of Nevada desert and outlasted the competition to take the win in their Brenthel Industries Unlimited Truck. Along with the win, they’ll take home a $10,000 contingency check from BF Goodrich.
Exhaust: Last year’s winner, Rob MacCachren, took the lead midway through the race when Ryan Arciero fell out due to engine trouble. Jergensen kept up the pressure, and when MacCachren also fell back due to engine trouble, Jergensen took the lead and didn’t look back. The Mint 400, in its 15th year back after 20 years on hiatus, is making a great case that it’s America’s must-see off-road race and makes it easy for spectators to get a great look at the action. Congrats to Jergensen and Shanks on their first-ever Minto 400 victory!