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.
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 automotive world may be going EV, but that’s not stopping Aston Martin from introducing its 2023 V-12 Vantage. The new Vantage has a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 with 690 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. The price tag of “around $300,000” is more than double the base price of the Vantage V-8 model, but you can put your checkbook away. The 333 Vantage V-12s to be built are already spoken for.
The Bugatti Chiron you own, or are waiting for, or wish you had ordered one, will be the last of its kind. The last cars will be delivered in early 2022.