This year's Car Week has been one for the books, so we've put all the highlights in one place for you to drool over.
Monterey Car Week, named after the Californian county in which it takes place, is a mecca for the automotive enthusiast. If you like seeing classic cars shown off in the finest condition of their lives, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has you covered. If you'd rather see these beauties trade hands, there are numerous distinguished auction houses in attendance to cater to your desires. And if you want to see the latest and greatest creations from the world's finest luxury automakers and the planet's best supercar manufacturers, you're definitely in the right place.
While past editions of the event have provided a look at a couple of new coachbuilt creations or a new supercar here and there, this year's spectacle was just that - spectacular; mind-blowing reveals took place throughout. So without further ado and in no particular order, here are the best cars to debut at Monterey Car Week 2022.
McLaren shocked showgoers last week when it unveiled the Solus GT, a track-only limited edition of which only 25 units will be built. The single-seat racer strays from McLaren's typical 3.8- or 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, gaining power from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 built by Judd Power. This engine produces 829 horsepower with 479 lb-ft of torque, helping the unique Mac get to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds. A seven-speed sequential, a curb weight of 2,205 pounds, and a fixed seat all hint at its performance prowess, but the highlight here is that the red line only arrives above 10,000 rpm. Delicious. So what does it cost you to experience? Nothing, because despite a $3.5 million price tag, 25 have been sold before the Solus GT's public debut. At least you can still drive the Vision Gran Turismo car it's based on...
It's a weird moment when a Lamborghini reveal showcases one of the most attainable, and arguably boring, cars at a major car show, but that's the case here. The Sant'Agata Bolognese-based automaker just took the wraps off the 657-hp Lamborghini Urus Performante, a super SUV that recently clinched the SUV record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It's not as powerful as the Aston Martin DBX707, but who cares? This Lambo now has a Rally Mode that helps the AWD system perform even better on loose surfaces, and it looks absolutely crazy. The Urus Performante can hit 62 mph in 3.3 seconds and will top out at 190 mph. If you'd like to experience that acceleration and speed, you only need some spare change: $260,676. You'll spend a bit more for upgrades like a carbon fiber roof, but the Performante is still a bargain compared to the other cars on this list.
The Tuthill Porsche 911K is one of the cars that didn't stand out too much in the company of all the hypercars revealed this year, but that all changed once the engine of this 930-generation-based beast started. It sounded like a 917 Le Mans racer, literally bringing foot traffic to a standstill. That noise comes from a 3.1-liter, short-stroke engine that keeps going until 11,000 rpm(!) and is connected to a magnesium six-speed manual, 915 K gearbox.
With classic 930 911 styling, a minimalist interior, and three pedals, this RWD restomod is built for the driving enthusiast. Stiffness and lightness are the order of the day, with carbon fiber construction for the body and titanium almost everywhere else resulting in a curb weight of just 1,874 pounds. Tuthill is yet to reveal how much power the 3.1-liter produces, but with so little weight to shift around, that hardly matters. Pricing is also a mystery at this point, but as each car in this new series will be made to customer specifications, you know the prices won't be cheap or uniform.
One of the less performance-focused creations at Monterey was the Bentley Batur, a Mulliner-made coachbuilt successor to the Bacalar. As with the other limited-edition car on this list so far, the entire production run (of just 18 units) was spoken for long before the car was shown to the public. Each of these cost its buyer a minimum of $1.95 million before options and taxes, but as the first car showcasing the automaker's future design language and the last powered by its W12 engine. Here, the 12-cylinder produces more than ever before, with 730 horses and 738 lb-ft of twist. Apparently, each example will take six months of manhours to produce, so the first deliveries are only expected in the middle of next year.
While the majority of Porsche enthusiasts have finally come to accept that the Porsche 911 engine is better when cooled by water than by air, Gunther Werks refuses to give up on the air-cooled concept and has now unveiled the Project Tornado, a 700-hp (in Race mode) restomod based on the 993-generation 911 with a manual gearbox and an exceptionally cool take on numerous classic Porsche 911 styling elements. Rothsport Racing built the 4.0-liter twin-turbo engine, so it will be reliable, while carbon fiber construction ensures that the curb weight is low and a six-speed manual guarantees engagement. Like a traditional Porsche 911 GT3, a touring version is available with more comfort and less extremism in the power delivery and interior amenities. Pricing is not mentioned, but you already know it's beyond the reach of mere mortals.
Another affordable car (ha ha, ha ha ha ha!) on the list of vehicles that debuted in Monterey is the Range Rover SV Carmel Edition. It's one of the few high-end reveals that doesn't command a multi-million dollar asking price at $345,000, but just 17 will be made and offered exclusively to those who physically attended Monterey Car Week and visited the Range Rover House. Based on the Long Wheelbase model of the Range Rover with the SV Signature Suite, this highly opulent SUV has only four seats for maximum luxury. Electrically deployable cupholders, Dartington Crystal glasses, and a refrigerator are among the highlights, as well as custom golf club sets. Outstanding materials and sumptuous attention to detail guarantee that no buyer will feel robbed.
Bentley is saying 'cheerio' to the W12, and Bugatti is bidding adieu to the W16. The famous 8.0-liter W16 engine has been around since the Veyron arrived in 2005, but the quad-turbo power plant is becoming increasingly difficult to keep legal in light of ever-tightening emissions regulations. To celebrate the end of an iconic era, the W16 Mistral takes the 1,578-hp version of the engine from the Chiron Super Sport 300+ and places it in a bespoke roadster body. 99 examples will be produced at a cost of around $5 million, but every unit has already been spoken for. The investment made by these rich collectors will surely only increase in value, especially if the W16 achieves its goal of becoming the fastest roadster on the planet.
The Czinger 21C may not be new, but the V Max - a longtail version of the same car - is. Like the regular car, the V Max is propelled by a 2.88-liter twin-turbo V8 with a flat-plane crank. Along with two electric motors, the AWD car produces 1,250 hp and reaches the rev limit at 11,000 rpm. If that's not special enough, the wacky doors, SR-71 fighter jet-inspired cockpit, and inline seating position should add some drama. 80 21C hypercars will be made in total, covering the regular, the longtail, and a third, as yet unrevealed version, with a base price of around $2 million.
If you'd rather relax in comfort, the Czinger Hyper GT will be the brand's alternative to Koenigsegg's Gemera with four seats and gullwing doors. No clear details have been provided, but the company says this boasts "ultimate GT power to weight." More details will surely follow later this year.
After selling out of the Venom F5 Coupe at the same venue last year, Hennessey Performance returned to The Quail with its new, roofless F5. Like the coupe, the F5 Roadster features a carbon fiber tub and a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V8 dubbed 'Fury' that produces 1,817 hp. As a roadster, it has a removable carbon fiber roof panel, and this weighs just 18 pounds and can be stored upon a bespoke stand that is art in itself. While the F5 Coupe was limited to 24 units, 30 of the Roadster will be available. The price? Starting at $3 million. Better bust open that piggy bank.
Yet another Porsche restomod arrived at The Quail in the form of RUF's Project RBS, or "Bergmeister" (German for "master of the mountain"). The roofless wonder is inspired by various hill climbing Porsche legends and is powered by an air-cooled 3.6-liter flat-six engine with a single turbocharger. 443 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque are on tap, going to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual with a limited-slip differential. A no-frills cabin will help you stay focused on besting your previous lap time. It looks totally wild, and the CarBuzz office is split on whether its styling is good or ghastly, but one thing is for sure: once you're in it, all you'll want to do is drive. So when can you? Well, RUF has received interest from potential customers, so this will probably head to production, but how many will be made and at what cost remains to be seen. Also on display for the first time in America was the RUF SCR, which has more power but a traditional body.
Another toupee-torturing, hairpiece-hating machine unveiled last week was Aston Martin's DBR22. A coachbuilt carbon-bodied celebration of Aston Martin's bespoke Q department, the DBR22 gets a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 with 705 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque, enough to do 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph. The car is also an opportunity for Aston Martin to celebrate both the DB3S from 1953 and the DBR1, its successor. Both were brilliant at endurance racing, but with an unknown number of units to be made at an unspecified cost, we doubt any of the well-heeled buyers of this machine will be rubbing fenders on a circuit anytime soon.
We stick with the Gaydon-based automaker for the next special edition. We always suspected that Aston Martin would offer a drop-top version of its limited-edition swansong to the V12, and now here it is. Like the car above, this gets a 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12, but it's a little less potent in this car, producing 690 hp, although torque remains the same. The rear axle receives the grunt, and shiftwork is handled by a ZF eight-speed automatic, contributing to exhilarating performance. 0-60 mph takes 3.5 seconds and the top speed is 200 mph, while carbon ceramic brakes bring you to a standstill when you need to do a 180 to find your faux combover. 249 will be made, all of which are already reserved. The price is unknown, but we expect each buyer spent at least $350,000.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RS made its American debut at Monterey Car Week, debuting innovative new aero technologies (many of them) and an instantly adjustable suspension setup that can be altered from behind the steering wheel. Carbon fiber is used extensively, and the engineering is, in a word, brilliant. We'll give you the power figure just for reference - 518 hp from a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six - but it's the way that this car manipulates air and beats physics when cornering that truly blows us away. It'll do 60 in three seconds flat and top out at 184 mph, less than a regular GT3 can manage because of that incredible DRS-equipped rear wing. But what can it do around the Nurburgring and other iconic tracks? We await word of a new record from Flacht, but this is clearly a track car that just happens to be legal to drive on the road. It's a beast, and even with all the hypercars unveiled this month, it's one of our favorite cars of 2022, and that was the case before we even saw it as a tribute to the car that inspired it.
The only EV on our list is the Lucid Air Sapphire, and it deserves its place. Debuting the automaker's new tri-motor system, the Air Sapphire promises more than 1,200 hp, 0-60 mph in under two seconds, 0-100 mph in under four, and a quarter-mile time of under nine seconds. This thing is coming for Tesla Model S Plaid blood, and it seems fully equipped to extract gallons of the stuff with a top speed of over 200 mph. And while the Plaid is almost a one-trick pony, the Air is a genuine luxury car with unrivaled comfort and handling capabilities for the segment. What's more, Lucid says that the Air Sapphire will be able to achieve those stupendous figures above repetitively, without lengthy warm-up and cooldown processes between runs as in most other high-performance EVs, Plaid included. It's priced from $249,000, making it the cheapest car on this list, despite being one of the most powerful.
The last car on our list is arguably the most astonishing. Koenigsegg's retro homage to the original CC8S has all the usual attractions of a hypercar: a gorgeous body, fancy dihedral synchro-helix doors, a low production run of 50 units (a nod to founder Christian von Koenigsegg's 50th birthday this year), and a twin-turbo V8 producing up to 1,363 hp. But the main event is the transmission, an adaption of the Swedish automaker's Light Speed Transmission nine-speed automatic. Here, it's called the Engage Shift System, and that's because it acts as a true six-speed gated manual with a resistive clutch pedal. It's a mind-bending idea that takes more time than we have to explain fully here, but that's why we have an article dedicated to how it works. Before you read that, click the link below to ogle the car from every angle.
We simply could not cover everything that happened at Car Week this year in detail, but we'll try to atone for that with this quick summary. Maserati debuted its MC20 Cielo on American soil, and Bentley unveiled two ultra-luxurious cars in the form of the Bentayga EWB Mulliner Gallery and the Flying Spur Mulliner Blackline. Lincoln showed us what a concept car should look like with a fantastic creation that seems part of an impossibly faraway future. DeLorean also brought two wild concepts to Monterey, while Acura showed off its Precision EV Concept and a new race car called the ARX-06. Zenvo had two examples of the TSR-S on display and promised to show off a new hypercar, but we haven't seen it anywhere. The BMW M4 CSL made its American debut, as did the Totem Automobili GT Super (an Alfa Romeo Giulia GT restomod) and the Kimera Automobil EVO37, a modern take on the magnificent Lancia 037. Ken Block's S1 Hoonitron flexed its wild body too, as did SpeedKore's 1,000-hp Charger built for Stellantis designer Ralph Gilles.
There you have it. The best edition of Monterey Car Week in recent memory. We can't wait for 2023.