Lamborghini has had trouble attracting customers from the Witness Protection program, and the Murciélago Roadster is one reason. The absolute antithesis of “blending in,” the open Murciélago was even more extroverted than its coupe sibling, if only because now people could easily see who was driving this 42-inch-high supercar. The $320,000 Murciélago Roadster came with a rudimentary top that made fair-weather driving more appealing than dealing with the annoyance of rain showers. The Barrett-Jackson collector-car auction in Scottdale, Arizona in January 2024 is offering a black 2006 Murciélago Roadster at no reserve.
While EVs may grab headlines with their acceleration performance, the latest gas/electric hybrid supercars throw down the gauntlet with some track-burning speed and excitement. The early tests of the Ferrari 296 GTB and Lamborghini Revuelto show that, with a little help from electrons, cars with roaring engines can still melt the asphalt … and blow their drivers’ minds. Though far apart from each other in price, the Ferrari and Lambo make the same emphatic point about the still-thrilling potential available from cars with pistons and pipes.
What better prelude to the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance® than to buy a car (or few cars) from the auctions held in conjunction with this pinnacle event? If you’re bidding or selling, the action is at the auctions, of course. We’ve assembled the auction itinerary here and selected some highlights from the Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding & Company, Mecum, and RM Sotheby’s sales.
If you’re heading to Monterey Car Week in August, consider Concorso Italiano a must-see event Saturday, August 19 on the fairways of the Bayonet Golf Course in Seaside, California. This unique show displays nearly 700 cars and motorcycles, covering the gamut of 10 different marques. Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Lamborghini dominate in sheer numbers, while other Italian classics, exotics, and obscure models offer many more compelling treats to see. The atmosphere is casual-festival, with an emphasis on fun.
Lamborghini has entered the electrification era with its first plug-in hybrid, a 1,001-hp hypercar called the Revuelto. Named for a fighting bull that decided to bolt from the ring 143 years ago, the new Lambo shows a rowdy spirit with three electric motors unapologetically teamed with a 6.5-liter, gas-fueled V12 that parties like it’s 1970. Sharpened stealth-jet design could only come from Lamborghini, while new “monofuselage” carbon-fiber construction keeps strength high and weight reasonable. Reports say it’s already sold out for the first two years.
Can a track-focused sports car be too track-focused? That’s what one major auto magazine suggested after testing the BMW M4 CSL, a special lighter, more powerful version of its M4. While the “lesser” BMW M4 Competition xDrive model (which is not a competition car, btw) is quicker in some acceleration tests, the 40-hp more powerful, 240-pound lighter, $58,000 more expensive M4 CSL is the faster car around the kind of private membership tracks whose clients this car is intended. You’ll pay for that capability with reduced comfort in everyday driving, but would you care?
When Lamborghini puts the “Performante” badge on a vehicle, you can be sure it’s the hottest version and ready for some track thrills. The Urus Performante lives up to that badge’s promise, but at a cost in both extra dollars and reduced comfort. This carbon-fiber-festooned hooligan is meant for pavement only. For Lamborghini purists, having an exotic SUV with plenty of room that also thrills in track driving might be worth the sacrifices the vehicle demands.
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?
Pioneering Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov would have been thrilled to see the new-generation mid-engine Vette comparing favorably with far more expensive sports cars. And he would have been floored to see the new-for-2023 Z06 version called “an American Ferrari” by a leading automotive magazine. Lapping a racetrack faster than all but a handful of exotics and priced from $110,000 to nearly $180,000 with all options, the Corvette Z06 has indeed “arrived” in a new echelon of the performance car world.