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.
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.
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?
Is there a hotter rivalry in the premium car arena than Ferrari v Lamborghini? Buckle up, it’s only going to get hotter as this decade unfolds. Hot on the trail of its Purosangue, Ferrari unveiled the new Roma Spider. This stunning soft-top will replace the Portofino M in the line. Meanwhile, Lamborghini has unveiled the chassis and powertrain for its upcoming 1,000-horsepower hyper hybrid and confirmed plans for two more hybrids and then two battery EVs. Never a dull moment with these two Italian supercar superpowers.
It’s good to be king, because then you can order yourself a custom-built car like the Maserati made for the Shah of Iran in 1959. The monarch and budding car collector requested that Maserati build a special car by installing the V-8 engine from its 450S racecar into the 3500 GT production coupe. The result was the 170-mph 5000 GT. Maserati made 34 with bodies by various coachbuilders. At its Amelia Island auction, Bonhams is offering one of the 22 with bodies by Allemano, a restoration candidate with a pre-sale estimate of $500K-$800K
Would you recognize this car as a Lamborghini? It’s the Islero, and it’s rare with just 225 made for 1968-1969. Named for the bull that killed one of Spain’s most famous bullfighters, the Islero packed the punch of a six-carburetor V-12 that could take it to 150 mph. The Islero’s modernistic look presaged the angular style would define exotic car design in the Seventies. Gooding & Company will offer this restored black 1968 Lamborghini Islero at its Amelia Island auction, where it is estimated to sell for up to $500,000.
The 2023 collector car auction season got off to a roaring start in January. The Bonhams Scottsdale auction reached $30M in sales, and RM Sotheby’s reported $44M. The big surprise came from Bonhams, where a 1912 Simplex brought $4.8M, a record for a pre-WWI car. Supercars were still supreme, though, with a Ferrari LaFerrari getting $4.075M at RM Sotheby’s and, earlier in the month, a Ferrari F40 topping the Mecum sale in Kissimmee, Florida at $3.135M.