Classic Lotus parts (1981–) go online, EV GranTurismo slips into view, Ford’s Mustang period-dress party

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Lotus

The Manifold will take a hiatus this Monday, September 5, as Hagerty’s U.S. staff observes Labor Day. The usual news cadence will resume Tuesday, September 6. Craving some longer reads during the holiday weekend? Check out Hagerty Media’s homepage, which is always stocked with fresh fodder. 

Lotus’ new, online parts store supports cars from 1981-on

Intake: Despite its reputation for unreliability, Lotus claims that around 70 percent of all its cars are still on the road worldwide. To help maintain and even grow this number, the British sports car maker has launched a new online store selling parts and heritage items. Serving vehicles dating to 1981, models covered include the Esprit, Excel, Elise, Exige, and Evora with all components either NOS (new-old stock) or remanufactured to their original spec. Owners can filter their search on parts.lotuscars.com by model and also shop for merchandise and accessories such as car covers and key rings.

Exhaust: Unfortunately the new site won’t help Rob Siegel and his Europa, and for now the only items I could find for my Esprit were a battery charger and a fancy boxed certificated of provenance; but hopefully the list of parts for older cars will grow. In the meantime it’ll be prove very useful for hands-on Elise-era owners. –Nik Berg

1982 Lotus Esprit S3 front three-quarter goodwood
The dauntless Nik Berg and his Esprit Nik Berg

VW serves U.S. 20th anniversary Golf R, hold the power bump

Intake: Volkswagen has announced 1800 special units of its all-wheel-drive hot hatch to celebrate 20 years of the R32 and of the Golf R badge. Frustratingly, the U.S. market does not get the 13-hp power bump served to Europe on its version of the same car, the “Golf R 20 Years.” We make do with a suite of mostly cosmetic tweaks: A sunroof delete saves a bit of weight, adds some headroom, and streamline the hatch’s roofline. Three colors are on offer: Lapiz Blue, Deep Black Pearl, and Pure White, with limited allocations of each color. On the white and black Golf R 20th A.E., the mirror caps are finished in Lapiz Blue; on the blue ones, in gloss black. Puddle lights project “20 R” onto the ground, and the “R” logos on the front and back are—you guessed it—blue. Special 20th Anniversary badges are fixed to the B-pillars. Inside, door trim and dash panel inserts are genuine carbon-fiber, a first for a production VW vehicle. The key fob also gets a special “R” logo, finished in blue as well. The 20th Anniversary Edition Golf R will arrive in dealers this fall with an MSRP of $44,940 for six-speed manual-equipped models, and $45,740 for those equipped with the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Both prices exclude destination fees.

Exhaust: The Golf R has always been Volkswagen’s most pointed sporting machine, and to see it reach 20 years is a milestone worth celebrating. We’ve had a chance to spend some time with the understated AWD hatch in the snowy conditions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and in the spring time on Ohio’s charming backroads; both times we found it an eager machine, if a bit saturated with tech better suited for an Audi. As the collector market begins to take note of earlier VR6-powered R32s, this nostalgia-flavored, warrantied offering almost looks a bargain. —Nathan Petroelje

Maserati’s electric GranTurismo slips into view, sans camo

Intake: “When I hear electric I don’t really hear fun. I hear boring,” says comedian. Sebastian Maniscalo just before he’s brutally forced back into his seat by the acceleration of the all-electric Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Behind the wheel is the brand’s head of design Klaus Busse, who seems to have had quite an easy job: The new GranTurismo doesn’t look much different to the outgoing model, now that we see it sans camouflage for the first time. It’s under the hood where all the work has been done, swapping the engine (its specs remain undisclosed) for a 1200-hp tri-motor powertrain that will accelerate the Folgore from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and on to a top speed beyond 200 mph. 100 miles of range can be added in ten minutes, says Busse. Not everything about the car is revealed in the video, of course—pricing, availability, and trim levels are TBA—Busse mentions a new “silky” recycled material for the cabin and that Maserati’s engine designers are working on the sound design for the car. Sometime next year, at the car’s launch, we’ll know more.

Exhaust: Jokes aside, this film is the first good look at the first fully electric sports car to come out of Italy (fans of $2M Pininfarina Battista will note use of “sports” rather than the prefix “hyper”). We expect it to be offered alongside a version powered by Maserati’s Nettuno V-6, which originated in the MC20 and appears in detuned form in the Grecale Trofeo. It will fascinating to find out which powertrain Maserati buyers prefer. –NB

Maserati Nettuno Engine 1
Maserati

Mercedes-Benz USA bets big on six-figure electric SUV

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV
Mercedes-Benz

Intake: Though EQS SUV isn’t the first (or only) electric SUV Mercedes will offer in the United States, it is the only one manufactured on our shores. It promises to be by far the most expensive, too. Pricing for the rear-drive, 355-hp, 450+ model starts at $105,550. That’s the longest-range version, with an EPA-estimated rating of 305 miles. (All-wheel drive costs $3K extra and knocks range to 285 miles.) The more potent, 536-hp powertrain is designated “580,” and nets the dash-width, three-displays-in-one Hyperscreen (below). This model has a range of 285 miles and starts at $127,100. Whichever power/range combo you choose, trims boil down to Premium, Exclusive, or Pinnacle. How quickly do you want the front seats to heat your rear? Would you also like to be massaged? Is a head-up display non-negotiable? If you answered yes to all of those, you’re looking at a price tag between roughly $110K and $130K (depending on powertrain choice). Do your rear-seat passengers also insist on wireless charging? Tack on another $2K for the Pinnacle trim, which even gives those discerning second-rowers a MBUX tablet.

Exhaust: Production sites of the EQS SUV and its smaller sibling, the GLB-sized EQB, reveal Mercedes’ read of the American market—the higher end, at least. The bigger, more posh, and longer-ranged SUV will be built here; the EQB, which costs half as much and has a range between 220 and 250 miles, is shipped in from Hungary. As volume-oriented manufacturers scramble to democratize that kind of range, Benz cruises in calmer, surely more profitable waters. —Grace Houghton

Ford’s 9/14 Mustang reveal will be a (period dress) party

radwood detroit 2019 fox body
Hagerty’s own Ford connoisseur Colin Comer at Detroit Radwood in 2019. Grace Houghton

Intake: As if Ford’s Mustang Stampede—in which hundreds of Mustangs will convoy to the Detroit Auto Show on September 14 to see the unveiling of the seventh-generation Mustang—wasn’t compelling enough on its own, the company has added a “Best Stang Decade” costume party to the affair, inviting Mustang fans to dress up in period garb from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, 2010s or 2020s, whichever one had your favorite Mustang model, for moderately valuable prizes. To wit: First place, a two-year lease of the new, soon-to-be-revealed Ford Mustang GT; second place, an invite to the official media drive event to test the new Mustang on road and track, and third place, a ride with a Ford Performance driver on a Mustang hot lap. “Please join us by dressing up for the occasion to represent your favorite Mustang decade from the ’60s to today or recreate the most iconic Mustang moments in popular culture,” Ford says. “Dust off the bell bottoms! Bring out the boom boxes! Go grunge!” You can register here.

Exhaust: Those of us who have gone through life wearing jeans and a tee-shirt are in luck: We can recreate the 1960s through today with one simple wardrobe. –Steven Cole Smith

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