Cars of Future Past
The annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is all about appreciating the finest examples of vintage automobiles. Walking the Golf Links among the field of Concours entries on Sunday is like a trip back in time, with beautiful vehicles on display that in some cases date back more than 100 years. Although the Concours is primarily about looking back, the modern vehicles showcased on the putting green in front of The Lodge give attendees a look forward as well. Vehicles on the Concept Car Green are typically one-of-a-kind design studies or other low-production new models that excite almost as much as the rolling artwork on the 18th fairway. Here’s a look at the notable vehicles on the Concept Car Green at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Acura Precision Concept
Premiering at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, the Acura Precision Concept is a sleek 4-door sedan developed to express “Precision Crafted Performance.” The low, wide front end is dominated by a Diamond Pentagon grille flanked by Jewel Constellation LED headlights, composed of organically arranged fractal elements. The sides are deeply sculpted and at the rear sit floating LED taillights. Created by the Acura Design Studio in California to explore new design ideas for future Acura products — particularly sedans — the Acura Precision Concept makes a strong case for function following form. The Diamond Pentagon grille is expected to become the new signature grille for Acura models.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Following the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe and roadster, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is a high-performance midsize luxury sedan designed to compete with some of the best offerings from Europe and America. The Giulia Quadrifoglio boasts a Ferrari-sourced twin-turbo V6 engine that puts out an impressive 505 horsepower. With so much power and extensive use of lightweight materials, the Giulia can reach 60 mph in under 4 seconds. Even more impressive is the Giulia’s 7:39 lap time around the famed Nurburgring racetrack in Germany, making it one of the fastest production 4-door sedans to complete the circuit.
Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato
The Pebble Concours was the first North American appearance of the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato after making its worldwide debut earlier this year at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy. This is the fifth car forged from a collaboration that has lasted over five decades, pairing Aston Martin’s performance qualities with Zagato’s signature design language. The entire body is formed from carbon fiber, and design details include new lights with round taillight reflectors that evoke the classic Zagato rear view while employing the same ‘bladed’ LED technology as the Aston Martin Vulcan. Wing mirrors are closely related to the units developed for the One-77. This elegant sports coupe boasts a 6.0-liter V12 engine putting out 600 horsepower, which enables a sprint to 60 mph in around 3.5 seconds.
Audi R8 V10 Spyder
If you’re looking for fun in the sun, the new R8 Spyder will certainly help you find it. Audi originally took the wraps off this sexy convertible in New York, and this car would turn heads even if it wasn’t painted bright yellow. Slightly shorter in overall length but wider than its predecessor by about 1.4 inches, the R8 has a low, wide stance further accentuated by the large honeycomb grille. The top can be opened in 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. Certainly one of the most compelling reasons for driving the R8 Spyder with the top down is hearing the wonderful sound that emanates from its powerful V10 engine as it revs up to 7800 rpm. Output is rated at 540 horsepower with almost 400 lb-ft of torque — good enough to move the R8 Spyder to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds to an eventual top speed just shy of 200 mph.
Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase
Bentley debuted the next-generation Mulsanne in Switzerland, for the first time offering an extended-wheelbase version of Bentley’s flagship sedan. The ultra-luxurious Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase features airplane-style extended legrests for the rear seats, a rear sunroof and a focus on the comfort of rear-seat passengers with just under 10 inches of additional rear-seat legroom. The Mulsanne has been completely redesigned forward of the A-pillars with a more prominent grille, new front fenders, a new hood, floating all-LED headlights and a revised one-piece bumper — all integrated to give the Mulsanne a fresh, modern appearance.
BMW 2002 Hommage
As one might gather from the name on this side of this concept, the 2002 Hommage is commemorating the brand’s successful history with turbocharged engines. “The BMW 2002 Hommage celebrates the extraordinary feats of engineering on which BMW turbo technology is based and re-interprets them in the form of a design study,” says Karim Habib, head of design at BMW Automobiles. “With its iconic orange/black paintwork, the car has a colour scheme and livery synonymous in the minds of many motor sport fans with the triumphs of the 1970s,” Habib notes.
Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo
This extreme sports car was arguably the star of the entire show when it debuted in Frankfurt last year. Designed for the popular Gran Turismo PlayStation gaming franchise, the 1:1 scale vehicle looks like it drove straight out of the video game. Bugatti designers wanted to pay homage to the brand’s legendary racing history while at the same time create something extremely modern. The result was the Vision Gran Turismo, which has elements of the already extreme Veyron, but with a considerably more aggressive look. The Vision GT also provided a sneak peek at the all-new Bugatti Chiron, the brand’s new supercar that replaces the vaunted Veyron.
Cadillac Escala Concept
Making its worldwide debut a few days prior to Concours Sunday, the Escala showcases future design and technology for Cadillac sedans. “Escala is a concept with two clear objectives,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac. “First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.” Bold statements indeed. The 4-door sedan is larger than the recently launched Cadillac CT6 and features a liftback design similar to the Audi A7. Escala showcases a new and evolved face of Cadillac design that will begin appearing on production models soon.
In 1966 three Ford GT race cars beat Ferrari to sweep the podium at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, and 50 years later Ford is commemorating that feat with the introduction of an all-new Ford GT. This sexy-looking supercar made its debut last year at the Detroit Auto Show, and we anticipate it will live up to the hype. Complete details about the new car have still not been released, but we expect the GT will sport the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever — a twin-turbo V6 expected to generate more than 600 horsepower. “The GT is the ultimate execution of an enthusiast supercar,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of global product development. “GT includes innovations and technologies that can be applied broadly across Ford’s future product portfolio,” Nair added.
Genesis New York Concept
Genesis is a new luxury brand from Hyundai, and at the 2016 New York Auto Show the new brand revealed a very sexy sport sedan concept that provides a glimpse into the future product design we can expect from Genesis. “With its expressive volumes and refined design, the New York Concept truly embodies the ‘Athletic Elegance,’ that characterizes Genesis products and will continue to do so for future models that come from our luxury brand,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, head of Genesis. In addition to the sleek lines and futuristic interior, the New York Concept features an advanced hybrid powertrain with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Genovation GXE All-Electric Corvette
Genovation brought this very unique all-electric sports car to the pebble Beach Concept Car Green. Clearly based on the Chevrolet Corvette, the GXE features multiple electric motors generating 600 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. A top speed of 205.6 mph makes this the first street-legal electric car to exceed 200 mph. While many electric cars utilize a continuously variable transmission, the GXE keeps a manual gearbox.
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept
A 4-door fastback design, Infiniti’s Q80 Inspiration Concept provides a look at a future premium sedan at the top of the Infiniti range. The long, low profile gets accentuated by a teardrop-shaped greenhouse incorporating a panoramic glass roof. The Q80 Inspiration debuts autonomous driving technology and a high-performance hybrid-electric powertrain expected to produce more than 550 horsepower. The Q80 Inspiration features a simple but luxurious interior with four individual quilted leather seats and Alcantara, leather and metal finishes throughout. A simplified driver interface and head-up display provide the information drivers need, while the front-seat passenger also has a head-up display for external information via a smartphone connected to the vehicle’s telematics system
Lamborghini Centenario LP 770-4 Spider
On April 28, 1916, the man whose name adorns one of the most exclusive, exotic Italian sports cars was born. So in proper tribute and in celebration of 100 years since Ferruccio Lamborghini’s birth, the company is introducing a special limited-edition Centenario. As expected, this is no ordinary Lamborghini — as if there ever were such a thing. The Centenario will be built in very limited numbers — just 20 coupes and 20 roadsters will be produced — and follows other special one-off models such as the Reventon, Sesto Elemento, Aventador J and Veneno. While this Centenario would stand out in any crowd of exotic supercars, it is more than just a pretty (or mean-looking) face. Under that clear cover behind the cockpit is a 770-horsepower V12 engine — the most powerful unit Lamborghini has ever produced.
Lexus LF-LC Concept
This sleek 2+2 sport coupe is a design concept first seen in 2012 at the Detroit Auto Show. At the time, the LF-LC represented the upcoming design revolution for Lexus with a large spindle grille, flowing lines and unique taillights. Inside, the concept features twin 12.3-inch LCD screens to provide information and navigation information. Audio system, climate controls and navigation are accessed via an interface that features a pop-up touchscreen keyboard for more complex entries. Similar touchscreen surfaces on each door operate the windows, mirrors, seat adjustments and personal entertainment settings. Earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, Lexus revealed the LC 500 — the production vehicle based on the LF-LC Concept.
Lincoln Navigator Concept
Lincoln debuted this stunning Navigator Concept at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, offering a look at what to expect next in a full-size SUV from Ford’s luxury brand. Inspired by luxury sailboats and yachts, a nautical theme carries throughout the design via the body lines, Storm Blue paint and teak wood trim. At the front is a larger, taller version of the grille design from the new Lincoln Continental sedan. Power gullwing doors provide easy access to a spacious interior. The doors are wide enough to access both rows and feature a series of three deploying teak stairs that drop when the doors are raised. Power comes from a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that produces more than 400 horsepower, along with new technology to adjust for variable surfaces and weather conditions.
Lister Knobbly Stirling Moss
The Lister Motor Company has announced plans to build 10 special-edition Knobbly Stirling Moss race cars. The company is calling this build a continuation of the original that was built in 1958 and raced by the legendary Stirling Moss. These special “new” race cars will feature a lightweight magnesium body in keeping with the original, it will be created using the same techniques as the original. Since none of the original cars survived, this is a wonderful way to commemorate the car and the driver. Each car will include a numbered silver plaque engraved with Moss’s signature, as well as a personal welcome letter from Sir Stirling himself.
McLaren 570 GT
No one will argue the fact that McLarens are extreme sports cars; however, in Geneva this year the UK company showcased the 570GT, which McLaren describes as being practical enough for everyday use. Without making any performance sacrifices — the twin-turbo V8 engine still puts out 562 horsepower and sprints to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds — the 570GT’s changes have made this supercar more comfortable and quieter for use on longer journeys. A side-opening rear glass hatch provides additional space for luggage, and the suspension has been tuned for a more comfortable ride. Additionally, specially-developed Pirelli P Zero tires reduce road noise.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
Mercedes-Benz revealed this stunning luxury coupe at a private event adjacent to the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links a few days prior to this year’s Concours. Measuring more than 18 feet long, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 offers classic coupe proportions with a very long hood, a low roofline and the cabin positioned toward the rear. The Maybach marque has a long history of building elegant luxury vehicles, and this Vision concept upholds that tradition by possessing enough elegance to wear the prestigious double M logo. The gullwing doors on the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 add another level of exotic elegance to this already extreme-looking coupe. The Maybach features four compact permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors — one at each wheel — creating a high-tech all-wheel drive system. Total output is expected to be an impressive 738 horsepower.
Porsche 919 Hybrid
The 919 Hybrid is one of the most advanced race cars on the track today, and has joined the exclusive club of cars that have more than one overall win at the grueling 24 Hours of LeMans. The unique racer gets power from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with an output of around 500 horsepower directed to the rear wheels, combined with a 400-horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels. The electric motor is charged via converted braking energy as well as thermodynamic energy from the exhaust system.
Rolls-Royce Black Badge Bespoke Series
Rolls-Royce asserts a bit more attitude with the introduction of Black Badge — a darker, edgier style for customers looking to make a different statement. Described as the alter ego of Rolls-Royce, Black Badge is darker, more confident, more powerful and more demanding, offered in two models as Ghost Black Badge and Wraith Black Badge. The exterior trim is darkened, including the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine above the grille, and the RR badges invert to silver on black. All chrome surfaces — including the grille, trunk trim and exhaust pipes — are darkened as well. Specially-developed Black Badge wheels are 22 layers of carbon fiber laid in three axes for strength, with an aircraft-grade aluminum hub. Already the most powerful Rolls-Royce model at 623 horsepower, the Wraith Black Badge receives additional torque, redesigned air suspension and a revised 8-speed automatic transmission for a more spirited driving experience.
Spyker C8 Preliator
Spyker has a reputation for building some of the most stylish, unique sports cars on the road, although considering the company’s ongoing financial issues we were surprised to see an all-new model showcased in Geneva earlier this year. The C8 Preliator continues the aircraft theme of previous Spykers with taillights that mimic jet engine outlets, small winglets on the sides and 19-inch “Rotorblade” wheels inspired by turbine blades of a jet engine. Power comes from a mid-mounted V8 engine producing 525 horsepower; a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission are available. Thanks to a lightweight chassis, the C8 reaches 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and claims a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Spyker plans a limited run of just 50 C8 Preliators.
VLF Destino V8
If you think this car looks a bit like the Fisker Karma, you would be correct. The Destino V8 takes Henrik Fisker’s beautiful design and teams it with the same 638-horsepower supercharged V8 engine that was used in the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The result is a stylish 4-door sport sedan with outstanding performance. Sixty mph comes up in under 4 seconds with a top speed of 200 mph. Passengers will enjoy the elegant interior of leather and suede within a spacious cabin. VLF Automotive was founded by former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.