2021 Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 First Drive: Absolutely Mind-Melting

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 23:01

Not your average hybrid

The 2021 Lamborghini Sián will catapult to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and hit 220 mph, leaving in its wake a shock-and-awe wall of sound from its mighty 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V-12. The Sián is long and low and extreme, with a menacing, almost alien road presence that signals its status as a tarmac predator ready to pounce and devour random Ferraris. The Sián packs an 807-hp punch, making it the most powerful Lamborghini road car ever built. It’s also Lamborghini’s first-ever gasoline-electric hybrid. But we’re a long, long way from Toyota Prius territory here.

The limited-edition Sián is fundamentally an Aventador SVJ with more radical exterior styling and a redesigned interior that features a new center console with fewer switches and a portrait-oriented touchscreen. Just 19 roadsters and 63 coupes will be built, all constructed to celebrate the founding of Automobili Lamborghini in 1963. The coupe costs $2.64 million, and 15 of them are coming to the U.S. No word on price yet for the roadster, U.S. versions of which will arrive between May and December, but it’s safe to say that if you need to know, you can’t afford it. Finally, its name was amended after its debut to include “FKP 37” to honor late Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch, who was born in 1937.

Lambo’s Hybrid Differs From Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren

Hybrid hypercars are nothing new. We tested Porsche’s 918, McLaren’s P1, and Ferrari’s LaFerrari200-plus-mph hybrid-powered rockets all—way back in 2015. Lamborghini’s Sián is a little late to the party, but it unveils a technology claimed to be the next big thing for high-performance hybrids: the supercapacitor.

A supercapacitor stores electrical energy, but unlike a battery, it doesn’t bind that energy in a chemical reaction. Instead, the supercapacitor stores electricity in a static state. That means it can be recharged almost instantly and can hold more power than a typical lithium-ion battery of the same size. Supercapacitors also have a longer working life than regular batteries and function at temperature extremes that flummox most battery chemistries.

There are downsides, however. Supercapacitors self-discharge more rapidly than lithium-ion batteries, losing 10 times more energy over a 30- to 40-day period. Supercapacitors are also much more expensive than batteries, and their cells have a lower voltage. But automakers around the world are pursuing the technology, and the global automotive supercapacitor market is reckoned by some analysts to be worth $7 billion by 2028.

Three times more powerful than a battery of the same weight and three times lighter than a battery producing the same power, the supercapacitor in the Sián snuggles in the bulkhead between the cabin and the engine compartment and powers a 34-hp electric motor mounted to the side of the Sián’s automated manual transmission. That’s not much—even a Prius Prime packs 95 horses of pure electric power—but the Sián’s hybrid setup has not been designed to allow this Lamborghini to glide with its internal combustion engine shut down. Indeed, there is no pure EV mode. Instead, the e-motor is there to provide quick-fire torque fill at speeds of up to 80 mph.

Driving Impressions Make a Big Impression

The Sián shares much of the Aventador’s mechanical hardware, including its seven-speed single-clutch transmission. The single-clutch design demands a rapid cutting of ignition during gearshifts to reduce the torque loads in the transmission. During normal driving in the Aventador’s most amenable drive mode, Strada, that sometimes results in herky-jerky progress; in max-attack Corsa mode, it means thumping shift shock that feels like you’ve been hit in the back of your head with a shovel.

But not in the Sián. Even in Corsa, with the transmission in its manual mode, your right foot buried, and that big V-12 bellowing, the Sián slips crisply from gear to gear, the little electric motor stepping in to smooth the interruptions to the torque flow. In Strada, with the transmission set to automatic, the big Sián will mooch along much more calmly and contentedly than the Aventador. You can watch the boost and recharge displays dancing up and down on the touchscreen display as the supercapacitor first discharges to feed the e-motor, then instantly recharges—ready for more.

Lamborghini claims the hybrid system makes the Sián more than 10 percent quicker in its lower gears than an Aventador SVJ, increasing traction force by 10 percent in third gear and shaving 0.2 second from the 30-to-60-kph (19-to-37-mph) acceleration time. In higher gears, the electric motor increases traction force by more than 20 percent, clipping 1.2 seconds from the 70-to-120-kph (44-to-75-mph) time. For now, we’ll take Lambo’s word for it. Let’s just say the Sián feels brutally, epically fast.

Under all the sound and fury is a chassis that, dare we say, feels grown up. Early Aventadors oozed menace, with a wayward demeanor that demanded your total attention through fast corners and—as we discovered in our 2012 Best Driver’s Car shootout—brakes that went out to lunch if you worked them too hard on a track. But with each iteration since, Lamborghini chief technology officer Maurizio Reggiani’s engineers have poked the beast back into the cage. The long, wide Sián still fills a road, but both ends of the car know each other. The talkative steering is pin-sharp, the ride taut. You know what all four wheels are up to, all the time. And you can trust the brakes.

This Hybrid Hypercar Is a Proper Lambo

The Sián might be better mannered than an Aventador, but it’s as intensely visceral an experience as you’d expect a big-banger Lamborghini to be. New titanium inlet valves and tweaks to the engine management system mean the 6.5-liter V-12 bangs out 774 hp at 8,500 rpm on its own, the most ever from a Lamborghini road car’s engine. With no turbos to dull the response or muffle the noise, the big V-12 is simply glorious above 6,500 rpm; it’s brilliantly alert and ready to give it all, right to the redline. The world will be a grayer place when emission controls and fuel economy regulations finally consign this engine to the history books.

Yes, the Lamborghini Sián is a hybrid, though the system is fundamentally used to solve a drivability issue in an aging but still deeply charismatic powertrain. The lightning-fast supercapacitor technology is fascinating, right on brand for Lamborghini, and not without promise: Tesla spent $218 million acquiring supercapacitor firm Maxwell Technologies in 2019. Finally, the Sián serves as proof the words “Lamborghini” and “hybrid” are likely to get even better acquainted in the future.

2021 Lamborghini Sián Specifications PRICE $2,640,000 LAYOUT Mid-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 6.5L/774-hp/531-lb-ft DOHC 48-valve V-12 plus 34-hp/26-lb-ft electric motor; 807 hp (comb) TRANSMISSION 7-speed auto-clutch man CURB WEIGHT 3,350 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 106.3 in L x W x H 196.1 x 82.7 x 44.6 in 0–60 MPH 2.8 sec (mfr) EPA FUEL ECON, CITY/HWY/COMB Not yet rated ON SALE Now

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Categories: Property

Happy Happy Joy Joy: Meet the Lightweight Happier Camper Traveler Trailer

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 22:10

The pandemic has left families cooped up at home with fewer routine activities on their plates and more time to dream about the happy life to be found in the great outdoors. Hence, travel is on the rise, and every season has become ripe for road tripping.

Coinciding with this fortunate time for travel trailer manufacturers, Los Angeles, California-based Happier Camper has come out with a new trailer for 2021 that it aptly calls the Traveler. The company, which in 2014 first brought to market its other travel trailer offering called the HC1, touts the new Traveler as a tool that’s ideal for adventuring longer (thanks to its larger size than the HC1) with optimal flexibility (courtesy of its reconfigurable design, also shared with the HC1).

The Happier Camper Traveler (HCT) trailer is super light, weighing 1,800 pounds dry and about 2,500 pounds loaded, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 3,500 pounds. The reason it’s so light is two-fold: physical size and construction materials. Its overall length measures a petite 17 feet, with the shell itself only coming in at 14 feet long. While that’s minuscule compared to some of the mega travel trailers out there, it’s all relative. For instance, Happier Camper’s HC1 is even smaller at 13 feet tip-to-tip and 10 feet for the shell. Next, the Happier Camper Traveler features 100 percent fiberglass double hull shells, a lightweight, durable solution that doesn’t expand and contract as much as wood and metal.

The biggest advantage of a lightweight trailer like the Traveler is that it can be towed by a wide range of trucks, SUVs, and sedans, meaning owners don’t need to upsize their tow vehicles in order to accommodate the trailer. There’s slim chance of running into the painfully common problem of “not enough truck” for the trailer. As a bonus, fuel economy should be pretty good pulling such a conservative load.

The coolest bits of the Happier Camper Traveler are the queen-size bed front and full-size bed rear areas of its interior space, which are reconfigurable thanks to Happier Camper’s “Adaptiv” technology. Easy-to-move modular rotomolded plastic cubes can be stacked and reconfigured to create beds, bunk beds, benches, work stations, lounge spaces, tables, and storage. The cubes fit snugly on top of a honeycomb fiberglass floor grid—kind of like Legos. Take all the cubes out for maximum storage. If you don’t like the layout, you only have yourself to blame. It’s a real-life game of Tetris that can make your dreams come true (or drive you crazy). The portable modular pieces can be taken out of the trailer to be used as part of the outdoor camp setup.

In addition to its modular sections, the Happier Camper Traveler has a fixed 75-inch by 35-inch bathroom (with a dry-flush toilet, shower, and fan) and a kitchenette (with a dual-burner stove, sink, and DC-powered drawer fridge). In all, there are 85 square feet of walkable floor space. It has a modest 17-gallon freshwater tank and a 17-gallon gray water tank. Integrated upper shelves, custom kitchen racks, mounted leveling jacks, and cool mood lighting adds functionality and flair. The five panoramic windows let users connect with nature without being in it, and the circular window in the door is a perfect blend of modern and vintage.

Happier Camper is a pioneer in modular solutions for travel trailers, allowing users to completely customize the camper for their own specific (and changing) needs. Spicy colors including Mammoth White, Pacific Blue, Bishop Red, Topanga Turquoise, Pismo Sand, Silver Lake Gray, Forest Green, and Mojave Sage pay homage to the iconic natural landscapes of the Traveler’s SoCal stomping grounds. The Traveler demands attention with its sleek, modern exterior, and ranks high in the coolness category—but it all comes at a cost. Interested owners should be prepared to shell out at least $49,950 for this fiberglass travel trailer. The Premium package, which includes the bathroom, kitchenette, a lithium battery, off-grid solar package, and all the bells and whistles that you really want, runs $59,950. The smaller HC1 starts at $29,950.

The post Happy Happy Joy Joy: Meet the Lightweight Happier Camper Traveler Trailer appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2005-2008 Dodge Magnum History: Mopar’s Wonderful Muscle Wagon

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 21:01

Applied to neither a gun nor private investigator, Dodge’s most recent use of the Magnum name was slapped instead on a station wagon. Not just any wagon, the Magnum was based on the then-new Charger sedan and sold for the 2005 through 2008 model years. So, where did this Charger station wagon go?

Dodge dropped the Magnum after 2008 for reasons that should become clear if you think about what happened to the economy that year. Before that, the Magnum sold decently—for a station wagon—in America, with sales topping the 50,000 mark at least one year. Weirder still, Dodge refreshed the Magnum for 2008, meaning the updated model lived for a single year before it was culled.

If you were to ask us, the Dodge Magnum wagon suffered a premature death—can you imagine if one of these things came with a 707-hp-plus supercharged Hellcat V-8 like the one introduced to the surviving Charger sedan for 2015? So, while we imagine what could have been, let’s take a look at how the Dodge Magnum came to be—and why it’s no longer with us.

Dodge Magnum: History, Engines, Specs

When the Magnum arrived for 2005, it wore chunky, low-slung bodywork with a plunging roof and huge flared fenders. It clearly shared its angry, chonky vibe with the also-then-new Dodge Charger sedan, but the headlights, grille, taillights, and other key skin markers were slightly different. This wasn’t simply a Charger wagon, at least not outwardly.

It is worth noting that the Magnum’s aggression depended heavily on which trim level one selected. Entry-level SE and SXT models sat up high on tall-sidewall tires, looking somewhat dorky and like, well, traditional American station wagons. A 190-hp 2.7-liter V-6 was standard (along with an old-school four-speed automatic), while SXT trims brought a slightly larger-caliber 250-hp 3.5-liter six with the same four-speed. These could sit even higher if equipped with all-wheel drive—available on SXT—which brought a slightly lifted suspension and a Mercedes-sourced five-speed.

The R/T version brought larger, bolder wheels and a lower stance (except, of course, those with the available all-wheel drive option, which like on the lower trim also came with a slightly raised suspension for better clearance). Also included? A 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine putting out 340 hp. All Magnum R/T models also upgraded to the aforementioned five-speed automatic transmission and handsome 18-inch wheels. The R/T was capable of ripping from zero to 60 mph in around six seconds flat, not bad for something that weighed nearly two tons.

Finally, introduced for 2006 was the high-performance Magnum SRT8 powered by a 425-hp 6.1-liter Hemi V-8. Crouching low on its suspension and riding on huge (for the time) 20-inch wheels with rubber-band-thin tires, the SRT8 was the meanest, baddest Magnum. This top-dog wagon proved it could hit 60 mph in as little as 5.1 seconds in our testing—putting it on par with the period Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG wagon.

Oh yeah, there were cop Magnums, too, outfitted with beefier running gear just like their more common Charger counterparts. Surely the five-oh enjoyed the Magnum’s extra cargo space and even angrier look.

A Station Wagon Bred for Comfort and Performance

Dodge lucked out when designing the LX platform that underpinned the Charger and Magnum—as well as the Challenger coupe and Chrysler’s 300 sedan. The vehicles were developed at the tail end of the DaimlerChrysler partnership, so there was a healthy crossover between the rear-wheel-drive LX architecture and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Direct parts sharing included the five-speed automatic transmission in certain Magnum models, as well as the optional all-wheel drive system.

Engineers for Chrysler will say the “E-Class with a Dodge badge” comparison is overblown, and note that even though the LX bones live on today beneath the current Charger, Challenger, and 300, what Benz lineage there was has faded somewhat after continuous updates over the past 16 years. But there is no denying the Mercedes lurking beneath the Magnum and its ilk. When it debuted for 2005, the Magnum was huge—the wheelbase is an incredible 120 inches!—and startlingly refined for something from the Pentastar. These just ate up highway miles with a certain Germanic solidity.

Also, despite their slammed rooflines, Magnums were quite spacious inside. Credit that huge wheelbase and generous exterior dimensions, which opened up stretch out space front and rear even for taller passengers. And the Magnum’s cargo space was nothing to sniff at, either: 27 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and up to 72 cubic feet with the rear bench folded. The Charger sedan’s trunk was comparatively tiny, with only 16 cubes of space—good for a sedan, but no comparison to the Magnum’s open cargo area.

If the relatively affordable, huge, rear-drive, V-8-optional Magnum had a shortcoming, it was its interior. While the wagon’s hardware, styling, and driving experience clearly transcended early-2000s expectations for a Chrysler product, the cabin was anything but transcendental. Truck-like expanses of unadorned, mediocre plastics meet at more or less right angles to define the shapes of the door panels and dashboard. To call it uninspired would be an understatement, particularly in contrast with the extroverted exterior styling.

A Quick Refresh, Then a Hurry-Up to Die

The Magnum’s formula proved compelling enough to notch up about 40,000 sales annually between 2004 and 2007, an anomalous performance for a station wagon in America. Despite this, and a refresh Dodge had prepared for the 2008 Magnum, the wagon was canceled for 2009. This introduced the strange, one-model-year-only ’08 Magnum as a dead wagon rolling.

Most of the 2008 Magnum’s updates centered on its front end, where the original’s blocky, wide-eyed headlights were swapped for slimmer rectangular units framing a similarly slimmed-down Dodge “crosshair” grille. SRT8 models gained a hood scoop, and new wheel designs adorned the entire lineup. Dodge fiddled slightly with the interior, but it remained basically the same.

So, what happened to the Magnum? Sales seemed okay, and there weren’t any other large American station wagons with available V-8 power lurking around. Well, Chrysler’s restructuring in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis happened. Chrysler wanted to slim down its operations and focus on core (read: profitable) models—to whit, other oddballs such as the Pacifica (the tallish crossover thing that preceded today’s minivan by the same name), PT Cruiser convertible, and Crossfire sports car joined the Magnum in the dustbin. The Magnum would live on in slightly different form as the Chrysler 300 Touring wagon overseas, but only for a few more years.

It’s difficult to push thoughts of what could have been from one’s mind. The Charger and its two-door Challenger sibling lived on, seeing major updates a few years later, receiving ever-more-powerful V-6 and V-8 engine options until, in 2014, some unhinged genius within Chrysler decided to shove the 707-hp supercharged 6.2-liter “Hellcat” V-8 into the big sedan and coupe. Thus began an escalation in the horsepower wars, and today the Charger and Challenger are available with up to 707 to 797 horsepower. Dodge also sells both in “Widebody” form with pumped-out fenders. Had the Magnum survived to today, it, too, could have more than 707 horsepower and possibly an available Widebody treatment. With the Charger sedan capable of more than 200 mph, the Magnum could have been among the fastest station wagons in the world—if not the fastest.

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Categories: Property

Bugatti Chiron Sport vs. Chiron Pur Sport: This Changes Everything

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 19:53

Some emails are better than others. Case in point, when the Bugatti public relations person asks if you’d like to compare and contrast the Bugatti Chiron Sport against the new Chiron Pur Sport (pronounced “pure sport”), well folks, that’s a pretty good email. Yes, I spent a day driving two cars that between them have 3,000 hp, 32 cylinders, eight turbochargers, 128 valves, 20 radiators, and cost north of $7,800,000. That’s $3,757,150 for the exposed blue carbon-fiber Chiron Sport and $3,959,000 for the Jet Grey Pur Sport, so you know. We’ll get to the difference between them in good time, but first I’d like to tell you a little story about the first time I drove a Bugatti.

A Veyron Affair

In 2010, Bugatti unveiled the Veyron Super Sport at that year’s Pebble Beach hootenanny. The ultimate Veyron was fresh off its (then) record-setting top-speed assault, where Pierre-Henri Raphanel piloted the 1,200-hp mega-thing to a Guinness-certified top speed of 268 mph. I was a guest of Bentley at Pebble that year, and as it happened, at dinner I sat directly across from Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen (pronounced “peff-kin”), who at the time was the chief executive officer of both Bentley and Bugatti. I peppered him with questions about Veyron development, as Dr. Paefgen was brought in to “fix” the Veyron halfway through its evolution from fever dream of Volkswagen Group übermensch Ferdinand Piëch to its eventual 1,001-PS (987 SAE horsepower) reality. There were nine issues, Paefgen explained to me, holding up production of the Veyron, and the good doctor seemed pleased that I cared enough to want to know each and every one. Around the third course, our conversation turned to the Super Sport, and in between bites of something like a medium-rare A5 wagyu I said, “Dr. Paefgen, isn’t 268 miles per hour getting silly?” I’ll never forget his response.

He nodded, and then in his deep German accent, replied, “Yes, I agree with you. Top speed is for the children. The Veyron, as you know, is about acceleration und braking.” I replied that I didn’t know, as I’d never driven a Veyron. He looked stunned, then pointed his large finger at me. “You’ve never driven a Veyron?” he asked rhetorically. He then turned a few degrees to my left, pointed that same finger at the PR woman seated beside me and declared, “This man must drive a Veyron.” A few minutes later my phone was exploding, “Would tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. work for you?” It’s good to dine with the king.

That next morning, I drove a Veyron, a topless Grand Sport, for the first time. Since then, I’ve driven more than my fair share of the world’s first hypercar, including a regular Veyron and a couple of Vitesses (the 1,184-hp targa-topped final Veyrons), one of which used to belong to Arnold Schwarzenegger—cigar burn on the leather and everything. The 1,479-hp Chiron succeeded the Veyron in 2016, but until now I’d never driven one. I mentioned that I just drove two, yeah?

Chiron Song

The Chiron Sport is, shocker, a sportier version of the Chiron. To put the idea into more digestible Porsche terms, going from Chiron to Chiron Sport is like going from a 911 Carrera S to a 911 GTS. Nothing too crazy has happened, but the result is a better driving car. Specifically, the Sport is 40 pounds lighter, has better aero, a torque-vectoring differential on the rear axle, and rides on a stiffer suspension. The incredibly attractive full carbon-fiber Turquoise Blue example I drove came loaded with $509,150 in options. To be fair, the exposed carbon accounts for $315,000, and things such as the $71,300 wheels and $62,000 French Blue leather and carbon interior make up the rest. To be fairer, the wheels are fantastic. Full price is, again, $3,757,150, more than most mid-century masterpiece homes I spend too much time lusting over on Redfin and Zillow that I also can’t afford. For those wondering, I try to block the price from my brain while driving cars like this. It’s the only way.

What’s 1,500 metric horsepower like? Silly. As Dr. Paefgen said about the Veyron, the Chiron Sport is half about acceleration. Also, forget about the horsepower. Instead, concentrate on the 1,180 lb-ft of thunderous, hammer-time torque that’s available from 2,000 rpm until 6,000 rpm (redline happens at 6,700). Those aren’t even the interesting numbers. We know this particular Sport has cleared the quarter mile in less than 9.5 seconds at nearly 160 mph. Kids, that’s a production street-legal car that you can buy! Well, you can’t buy one, but there are a couple of dozen humans who can. The initial acceleration isn’t scary. I mean, more than 4,500 pounds moving so quickly would/should frighten the pants off most observers and passengers. Spoiled old me has experienced the same sort of launch in cars such as the Tesla Model S P100D Ludicrous, Porsche 911 Turbo S, and the McLaren 765LT.

From behind the steering wheel, the Chiron Sport is as smooth a ride as exists. Like it’s on a greased roller coaster track. There’s no squatting, no squirming, no chirping—the car just rapidly glides down the road, and then hey, look at that, 140 mph. Time to get on the brakes/flip up that air brake (the hydraulically actuated rear wing doubles as an air brake). The Chiron Sport, then, is an incredibly, almost unbelievably quick luxury car. Back to what Dr. Paefgen told me: The Veyron’s successor is all about acceleration und braking. Notice he didn’t say anything about turning left or right.

A Purer Chiron Experience

Enter the Chiron Pur Sport. Built for Bugatti owners more interested in “challenging country roads,” the differences between the Sport and the Pur Sport might not sound like much. Weight reduction was a focus, though there’s only so much to be trimmed from a car of which so much is already carbon fiber. First to go was the movable rear wing and its associated hydraulics. In its place is a massive, 75-inch-wide, boomerang-looking fixed wing with the word Bugatti stamped in New York Times headline font. Lamborghini did the same thing when it turned the Aventador into the Aventador SV and saved around the same amount of weight when all was said and done (50 kilograms, or about 110 pounds). Ditching the moving wing accounts for most of the weight loss. Additionally, Bugatti already ditched the moving wing on the Divo, the close to $6 million Chiron derivative that the marque from Molsheim needlessly swears is a separate model (it isn’t). In fact, many of the modifications that take the Chiron from Sport to Pur Sport were first seen on the Divo. One could even think of the Pur Sport as a half-price Divo without the garish body kit. Though, as we’ll see, the Pur Sport is much more than that.

Up front, Bugatti’s iconic horseshoe grille is larger, and the splitter is wider, the effect being that the Pur Sport looks wider than the “regular” car. The rear diffuser is massive and visually serves as a framing point for the huge, 3D-printed, thin-walled titanium exhaust pipes. In an attempt to make the Pur Sport look lower than it is, the bottom third of the body is finished in exposed black carbon fiber. Inside, the leather’s been tossed in favor of lighter, sportier Alcantara. Plus, aluminum and titanium abound. One wonderful thing about all Chiron interiors is that a screen isn’t the central focus of the cabin. Not only is it refreshing, but in 50 years these cars won’t seem dated. Well, aside from that pesky steering wheel (autonomous car joke). Special praise is due to the analog 300-mph speedometer, a parting gift from another former Bugatti CEO and certified watch geek I’ve broken bread with, Wolfgang Dürheimer. The big, central speedo is so cool.

The Chiron Pur Sport’s active hydraulic dampers have been lowered, and the springs are much stiffer—65 percent stiffer up front, 33 percent at the rear. Of particular note is the 2.5 degrees of negative camber now found on each wheel. Pretty extreme for a factory-produced street-legal car. It’s to the point where you can notice the stance standing next to the Pur Sport. Each wheel is 9.0 pounds lighter and features special blades designed to “feed” that massive rear diffuser. Titanium brake pad base panels and new rotors shave another 7.0 pounds. Also worth mentioning are the new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires that are 285/30R20 up front and a still staggering (and staggered) 355/25R21 in the rear (fun fact: Veyrons did have larger 365-width rears). Speaking of tires, since the Pur Sport’s top speed is down from 261 mph to only 217 mph, it doesn’t require the expensive high-speed Michelins found on regular Chirons (rumored to cost $20,000 a set) or, God forbid, the carbon-fiber-reinforced set for the Chiron Super Sport 300+, whatever they cost (think of a number, now think of a bigger number). Probably best not to know. According to, a set of four for your Pur Sport runs about $3,600.

All that said, by far the most important change made to the Chiron Pur Sport is to the transmission. It’s still a seven-speed dual-clutch unit that handles more torque than any other on earth, but the gears are 15 percent shorter. Actually, the transmission itself is 80 percent new. My sources tell me that Bugatti spent more than $120,000,000 developing the Pur Sport, a simply unbelievable amount of money for what’s essentially a low-run handling package. Unbelievable, I should say, until you realize what it costs to develop a mostly new transmission. Only 60 Pur Sports will be built, and although each one costs $400K more than a Chiron Sport, that’s only $24 million when they all get sold. Smart money says the Pur Sport’s new transmission will be used by whatever vehicle eventually replaces the Chiron. Know that out of the 500 Chirons planned, approximately 415 have been sold. For a single-model brand like Bugatti, a new car will be needed soon.

My Chiron-a

What does it all mean? I’ve been thinking about it for days, and I’m a little hesitant to write this, but the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport is the best car I’ve ever driven. Period. Full stop. End of story. It just is. The shortened gearset means that the thing’s acceleration is even more insane than the Chiron Sport’s. Rapid is the wrong word. It’s more ferocious, more all-encompassing, more sacred expletives producing. Again, peak torque is achieved at just 2,000 rpm, so the rabid freight train’s worth of torque is always there, right at your fingertips (I was pulling the paddles to change my own gears, thank you very much). On the suggestion of the Bugatti pro driver affixed to the passenger seat (per the brand’s insurance requirements) and fearful of whatever takedown move the California Highway Patrol would use on me, I stayed off the freeways, aiming instead for the twisted canyon roads Bugatti claims the Chiron Pur Sport is designed to tackle. They ain’t lying.

On one such road, there’s a decent-sized straight. In supercars too powerful for their own good (hello, McLaren 765LT), I’ve hit 135 mph by the end. In the Pur Sport, I saw over 140 mph—at the halfway point. Halfway. So, yes, the Chiron Pur Sport is essentially quicker than any other car, and even if there are some far-flung examples that do move more quickly in a straight line, said car doesn’t have the all-wheel-drive surefootedness, nor build quality, nor aircraft-carrier-arresting-cable-like brakes of the Pur Sport. I’m sorry to have to break the news to you like that, but it’s true. Up and down the entire mountain, I was seeing speeds that were 30 mph quicker than I’ve ever seen. I’m still processing it all, four days later. And yes, I saw those speeds everywhere, even and maybe especially through corners. The experience was beautiful. I mean that. A hopefully not once-in-a-lifetime thrill. The Pur Sport carved the road up. Remarkable.

Here’s something else: I’ve always loved listening to various iterations of Bugatti’s 8.0-liter masterpiece of an engine. However, what I’ve mostly heard, including on the Chiron Sport, are the sounds of the turbochargers and wastegates. It’s like listening to a steam factory during the holiday rush. Sure, there’s some exhaust, but not too much of it. In the Pur Sport, which features less sound-deadening material and that thin-walled exhaust, you get to actually experience the whirring and gnashing of 16 cylinders and 64 valves. It’s simply awesome and only adds to the already mind-boggling driving experience.

This is what separates the Pur Sport from not just the Chiron Sport, but every other Volkswagen Group Bugatti I’ve driven. Since the Veyron, Bugattis have only been about acceleration und braking. Those paying attention will notice I said VW-era Bugattis. I’m lucky enough to have driven both an EB110 GT and an EB110 SS. Those relatively small, hyper-stiff supercars handled beautifully. The Veyrons handled, but the feeling was much like a Bentley, not like a proper sports car. I’m sure part of what makes the Chiron Pur Sport so fantastic to drive are the tires, which Bugatti claims offer 10 percent more lateral grip, but in my mind, it’s the negative camber. Having that much bite, especially on the front end, transforms the car from a missile of a grand tourer into a world-class, truly exceptional driver’s car. The Pur Sport has its claws out, slashing away at the road. There’s nothing like it, and I loved every minute of driving it. To the point where I’m worried I’ll never experience an experience like that again.

Between Two Chirons

Sure, you can have fun on a twisty canyon road in the Chiron Sport, but there’s a loose, aquatic feeling. Too much hydraulic fluid, not enough bite. The steering feels relatively slow. As a comparison, and one that will no doubt make steam come out of current Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann’s ears, the regular car’s a bit like a Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye around corners. Not exactly precise or elegant, but with the horsepower necessary to be quicker than every other car on the road. Hey man, the Hellcat has real carbon-fiber trim inside. This floaty, boaty, luxo-barge feeling has been true since the Veyron. Yes, it went remarkably fast in a straight line. But then you got out, ate something, and started thinking about Porsches. The Pur Sport? You begin fantasizing about knocking over a bank. The difference is staggering. This is not another seemingly never-ending Chiron appearance package. The Pur Sport is a fundamental redefining of what makes a Bugatti a Bugatti. This serious, sober, driver-focused machine is a new mission statement. I’m trying to come up with a way to explain the severity of what Bugatti has accomplished. Initially, I was going to say going from the Chiron Sport to the Pur Sport is like going from a Porsche 911 Turbo to a 911 GT2 RS, but it’s more severe than that. Porsche 911 Carrera 4S to 911 GT2 RS? I’m fumbling around here. The Chiron as a car—and, as a result, the marque—has been transformed.

After my Pur Sport experience, I called a friend of mine who recently paid four million dollars for one. His thoughts? “It’s worth it.” Not that I’ll ever be in his shoes, but if I were, I’d feel the same. Only nostalgia would lead you to purchase any other sort of car at this price point. Bugatti is no longer just about acceleration und braking. Driving, actual sweaty palms, hanging off the side of a mountain, blood in your ears, some skill is necessary; canyon-carving driving is now the brand’s focus. As Winkelmann has said of the Pur Sport, “This means we have come full circle, back to the good, old Bugatti tradition.” Welcome home.

2021 Bugatti Chiron Sport 2021 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport PRICE $3,757,150 $3,959,000 LAYOUT Mid-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 8.0L/1,479-hp/1,180-lb-ft quad-turbo, DOHC 64-valve W-16 TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT 4,500 (MT est) 4,400 (MT est) WHEELBASE 106.7 in L x W x H 178.9 x 80.2 x 47.7 in 0-60 MPH 2.3 seconds (MT est) 2.1 seconds (MT est) EPA FUEL ECON, CITY/HWY/COMB 8/13/10 mpg ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 421/259 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 2.01 lb/mile ON SALE Now

The post Bugatti Chiron Sport vs. Chiron Pur Sport: This Changes Everything appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

California City Bans New Gas Stations—Will Others Follow?

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 18:15

In its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, the city of Petaluma, California in Sonoma County, approximately 39 miles north of San Francisco, has approved a ban on the new construction of gas stations. The first city in the United States to prohibit the expansion of filling stations, specifically those associated with large retail chains, is also banning the addition of new pumps at existing ones.

According to a report by KTVU FOX 2, the city council voted unanimously to pass the measure, which enforces the ban immediately. Free of opposition, the ordinance is said to be widely accepted and supported by residents. The city of Petaluma has a population of 61,000 people across 14.5 square miles, and it’s currently home to 16 gas stations, not counting an earlier approval of an incoming station, most likely the final.

The city’s rigorous efforts toward minimizing fossil fuel dependency aim to make it easy for current fuel stations to add electric vehicle chargers. Besides recharging points, this includes facilitating the infrastructure of other alternative energy sources such as hydrogen. As part of its Climate Ready initiative, the city’s recent course of action to tackle pollution comes after it adopted a Climate Emergency Framework in January. The 59-page document includes policy and future planning to reach carbon neutrality in 2030.

One North Bay grassroots group leading the charge against new fossil fuel infrastructure in Sonoma County, the Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations (CONG), has managed to block the opening of three new stations. It is now challenging a proposed Costco filling station in Novato.

Not everything is golden in the state of California. The transportation sector accounts for more than half of all carbon pollution, 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions, and 80 percent of smog formation pollution. Last September, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an executive order that all but bans sales of new fuel-burning cars, trucks, and SUVs in the state by 2035. Among the regions with the most toxic air quality in the U.S. are the Central Valley and communities within the Los Angeles Basin.

Whether other cities around the country follow the example set by Petaluma remains to be seen. However, given that more cities are adopting policies that support a sustainable future, it’s likely more places within the U.S. will usher in similar measures in the coming years.

The post California City Bans New Gas Stations—Will Others Follow? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Wincanton delivers first ‘dark store’ for Waitrose in West London

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 18:13
Wincanton has opened a new customer fulfilment centre – or ‘dark store’ – for in Greenford, West London, making it the first supply chain partner to create a dark store for grocery home deliveries in the UK.
Categories: Property

2021 Toyota Prius

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 17:58
What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Toyota Prius? What does it compare to? The 2021 Toyota Prius celebrates its 20th anniversary as one of the best-selling hybrids in the world. It’s been sold as a subcompact car, a wagon, a plug-in hybrid, and now the compact hatchback comes with all-wheel drive and just one body style. Once an icon of...
Categories: Property

2021 Toyota Highlander

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 17:38
There’s a new 2021 Toyota Highlander three-row crossover out there. Perhaps you’ve seen it on the roads, intersections, driveways, parking lots, strip malls, actual malls, or anywhere else with a paved surface and people? The family hauler may as well be standard issue in the suburbs and subdivisions around the country along with an...
Categories: Property

New local plan submitted for Old Oak Common

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 17:02
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) has submitted a revised draft local plan to support the Old Oak Common masterplan.
Categories: Property

Kia Adds a Benjamin to the Niro’s Price for 2021

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 17:01

We’ve already said the Kia Niro makes going hybrid easy. It’s an easy to live with, easy to use, and easy to drive Point A to Point B hybridized wagonoid. And though what makes the Niro go (the batteries and other internals) remains unchanged for the new model year, Kia is changing a few things up, adding some new options, and tacking on a small price hike to its oh-so-usable hybrid city shlepper.

The new goodies include a standard rear passenger alert, a remote engine start feature (for cars equipped with the smart key), and there are some upgrades to Kia’s smart cruise control system that allows it to better deal with bends in the road. Niros equipped with the larger 8-inch infotainment display wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, a connection that previously required a cable.

As for pricing, the base Niro LX Hybrid costs $100 more than it did last year, rising to $25,865. The LXS and Touring trims follow suit, coming in at $27,265 and $29,565 respectively. Touring SE and EX Premium models see a marginally higher ($160) price jump and start from $32,125 and $34,125, respectively. The Niro PHEV trims get similar bumps in price. The Niro PHEV LXS comes in at $26,765, EX models are priced from $34,565, and EX Premium models start at $37,725.

The 2021 Niros are on sale right now, so no need to wait if any of these updates sound irresistible.

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid Pricing
•LX: $25,865
•LXS: $27,265
•Touring: $29,565
•Touring SE: $32,125
•EX Premium: $34,125

2021 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid Pricing
•LXS: $26,765
•EX: $34,565
•EX Premium: $37,725.

The post Kia Adds a Benjamin to the Niro’s Price for 2021 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Review update: 2021 Honda Odyssey does not abhor a vacuum

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:55
This is the strange case of the 2021 Honda Odyssey minivan. The crime? A missing vacuum cleaner. The culprit? The pandemic. In January, after just five months of sales, Honda pulled the plug on the 2021 Odyssey so it could roll out the 2022 Odyssey. Why so soon? Supply constraints caused the elimination of the HondaVac on the top 2022 Elite trim...
Categories: Property

2021 Honda Odyssey driven, 2022 Kia Stinger previewed, electric bus boosts safety: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:48
Review update: 2021 Honda Odyssey does not abhor a vacuum The 2021 Honda Odyssey minivan in Elite trim gets tested with the HondaVac no longer offered on 2022 models. 2021 Kia K5 aces crash tests, earns Top Safety Pick+ The 2021 Kia K5 performed well enough in all NHTSA and IIHS crash tests to earn top marks from both agencies. 2021 Volkswagen...
Categories: Property

Prologis acquires former Vauxhall Luton HQ for £80m scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:33
Prologis has bought the 17-acre former Vauxhall headquarters in Luton with plans to develop a 300,000 sq ft multi-let industrial scheme with a gross development value (GDV) of £80m.
Categories: Property

BentallGreenOak buys £303m big box portfolio

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:27
Thor Equities Group and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing have sold a portfolio of big box warehouses to BentallGreenOak for £303m.
Categories: Property

Firmstone given green light for mixed-use Bristol scheme

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 15:42
Developer Firmstone’s plans to regenerate East Street at St Catherine’s Place in Bristol have been given the green light.
Categories: Property

2021 Kia K5 aces crash tests, earns Top Safety Pick+

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 14:37
The 2021 Kia K5 mid-size sedan earned top crash-test ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS, and the insurance-industry funded IIHS gave it highest honors with a Top Safety Pick+ award. The redesigned sedan formerly known as the Optima earned five stars in the NHTSA's test cycle despite a four-star front passenger crash rating. That test...
Categories: Property

Mike Ashley’s Frasers warns of store closures after Budget’s “near worthless” rates relief

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 13:51
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has slammed the business rates support available from July as being “near worthless” for large firms, saying it could be forced to close stores.
Categories: Property

Fred Perry to launch new Manchester flagship store

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 13:22
Fred Perry is set to launch a flagship store in Manchester’s Northern Quarter district on the ground floor of Bruntwood Works’ Afflecks building.
Categories: Property

Triple Point boosts profit and portfolio in 2020

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 12:45
Triple Point Social Housing REIT has posted a 12% rise in profit for the year to the end of December 2020, following a year in which it acquired 58 new properties.
Categories: Property

Workspace prices £300m green bond

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 03/05/2021 - 12:35
Workspace Group has priced its first green bond, which aims to raise an initial £300m to fund environmentally friendly projects.
Categories: Property