Monterey has seen its share of debuts and this year stays true to form. Here’s the most interesting North American debut.
Zagato Perana Z One Sports/GT
It’s beautiful. And the build quality is exquisite. The panel gaps put all the high-priced Italian vehicles surrounding it to shame. The styling is definitely that of a European GT, a shape that holds its own in the company of an Alfa Romeo 8C, Aston Martin or a Ferrari 599. With that Corvette engine under its long nose, however, it’s reminiscent of classic Italian/Amercan collaborative sports car efforts from companies like DeTomaso, Iso and Bizzarrini.
With a burst of light and a swoosh of its car cover, the McLaren MP4-12C made its North American debut in Pebble Beach. Gooding auctions unveiled the new supercar at its preview reception, the same locale that has seen the debuts of other significant vehicles from the past few years. Besides giving Americans their first glimpse of its latest model, McLaren also talked a bit about the new company they are introducing to build and sell not just the MP4-12C, but a whole range of road vehicles.Besides giving Americans their first glimpse of its latest model, McLaren also talked a bit about the new company they are introducing to build and sell not just the MP4-12C, but a whole range of road vehicles.
In fact, McLaren Automotive has already announced the list of 35 cities that will be hosting McLaren dealerships, and the rumor mill is in full swing telling us that a successor to the big-daddy F1 is in the cards for as early as 2012.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
Bugatti made big news last month when it unveiled the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. The 1200-horsepower supercar smashed the production car speed record by reaching nearly 268 mph at the Volkswagen proving grounds, and it even made the fastest ever lap around the Top Gear test track in the hands of the Stig. The Super Sport made its North American debut at the Quail Motorsports Gathering with gorgeous blue carbon fiber paint.
Ferrari Fioravanti SP1
Back in ’08, a mystery Ferrari prototype was spied at Fiorano. Once initial speculation settled down, the prevailing wisdom suggested that the car in question was a one-off coachbuilt special designed by former Pininfarina (and now independent) stylist Fioravanti for a wealthy customer. Those reports wound up being true, and Ferrari Fioravanti SP1 was on display at Concorso Italiano.
Dubbed SP1 (for Sport Prototype 1) the Ferrari F430-based machine was commissioned by a prominent Ferrari collector in Japan. It was the first product out of Maranello’s Portfolio program. Making its only U.S. appearance, the Fioravanti SP1 was one of Concorso’s centerpieces, parked next to the Ferrari F40.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
You can probably identify the Mercedes-Benz inside that shiny wrapper on your own, but just in case you’ve recently taken an amnesia-inducing blow to the head, it’s the SLS AMG GT3 – the race version of the company’s new Gullwing sports car. There’s something to be said for having a mirror with you wherever you go, but this is a bit extreme.