Aston Martin bills its new DB12 grand tourer as a “super tourer” because, the British automaker says, “grand is not enough” to describe the DB11’s successor. Marketing fluff aside, the new DB12 appears to be a super new entry into a segment where its closest rival is the Ferrari Roma. The overall look will be familiar to Aston fans, and the interior steps up to a “super” level of grand touring luxury and tech. The Mercedes-AMG twin-turbo V8 gets a boost to a very super 671 horsepower, easily exceeding the DB11’s V8 and V12. Customer deliveries start in fall.
You can’t get a manual transmission from Ferrari or Lamborghini today, but collectors are willing to pay hefty premiums for their last stick-shift models. This trend specifically applies to the cars that offered the choice between the real manual and the “robotized” manual, which Ferrari called F1 and Lamborghini called E-Gear. Today, a Ferrari F430 with the stick-shift can command a 100% premium over the F1 model. Some independent shops are even providing conversions back to full manual transmissions. Is that a wise purchase?
The letters on your modern car’s trunk lid might have no real meaning, but the “S” on the back of a classic Porsche 911 signified a major performance upgrade over the standard car. Porsche’s marketing for the original 911S cautioned, “This is no car for a novice.” The 911S rewarded skilled drivers while being known to put a scare into those unfamiliar with its handling traits. RM Sotheby’s is offering a rare concours-restored 1968 911S at no reserve at its Amelia Island auction in March. Expect hot bidding.
On the heels of Porsche’s introduction of the 911 Dakar, Lamborghini has announced its plan to launch its own supercar that’s modified to play in the dirt, the Huracán Sterrato. Using the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine as the Huracán Evo, Lamborghini’s new off road-ready SUV can do 0-60 in around 3.2 seconds, has rally lights mounted on the Sterrato’s nose, and includes a built-in camera to record your adventures. Production of 1,499 Sterratos will begin in February of 2023, and U.S. pricing has not been announced.
Capitalizing on the 911’s rich rally-winning history, Porsche introduced its 2023 911 Dakar at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Porsche’s new overland 911 version – reflecting road testing of Dakar prototypes over 300,000 miles, including 6,000 off-road miles – is based on the Carrera 4 GTS, and equipped with a 473-hp twin-turbo flat-six, eight-speed PDK automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, capable of 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Porsche plans to build only 2,500 911 Dakars, with a starting price of $220,000 in the U.S. and plenty of options to take that higher.
You might remember Lamborghini’s LM002. One of the first people to purchase an LM002 back in the 1908s was Sylvester Stallone, of “Rambo” movie fame, which inspired the vehicle’s “Rambo Lambo” nickname. Since that era, you may have always wanted to own this V-12, three-ton off-road monster that goes from 0-60 in under 8 seconds, and carries a 75-gallon fuel tank. At its Miami auction in December, RM Sotheby’s is offering a 1991 LM002, with under 6,000 miles on the odometer, which is #279 out of 328 made. Putting this Rambo Lambo in your driveway is guaranteed to make a statement to the neighbors.
The new Rolls-Royce battery-powered “Spectre,” arriving in late 2023, provides a “magic carpet ride” of luxury. In fact, the Spectre’s suspension uses an array of cameras and sensors to “read” the road surface ahead and preemptively adjust the ride on the go. Pricing is expected to be over $400,000, and orders are already coming in.
The Ferrari-Maserati divorce has put the Italian supercar universe back in order, with Maserati emerging with its strongest model line since the 1960s. The newest models include the MC-20 supercar, a high-performance Grecale SUV, and the GranTurismo. The gas-fueled Maserati GranTurismo arrives in spring, with an electric version coming in late 2023. Sources suggest a $170,000 starting price.
The Mercedes SL has been that marque’s luxury-performance flagship for nearly 70 years, and the all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL is the model’s seventh generation. The new SL has 2+2 seating, with all-wheel drive and a return to a soft top after two decades of retractable hardtops. Pricing starts at $137,400 and can zoom toward $200,000. If you’ve not looked at an SL in a while, this one deserves close inspection.