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New generation of rear-wheel-drive coupe coming soon

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2022 BMW 2-Series spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

A prototype for BMW’s next-generation 2-Series coupe has been spotted.

The car is expected in showrooms later this year as a 2022 model, and the advanced stage of these prototypes suggests a debut in the coming months is likely. The current 2-Series coupe arrived as a 2014 model and underwent a mid-cycle update for 2018.

The good news is that the redesigned coupe won’t go the front-wheel-drive route of other 2-Series members like the 2-Series Gran Coupe and 2-Series Active Tourer. Instead, the sporty two-door will stick with rear-wheel drive (and likely available all-wheel drive).

The platform is a version of BMW’s flexible CLAR design which supports plug-in hybrid and battery-electric powertrains. It’s possible the 2-Series is using the same version of the CLAR platform that underpins the BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra twins.

2022 BMW 2-Series spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The proportions of the new 2-Series coupe are very muscular. The car is still heavily camouflaged but we can see that the 4-Series’ oversized grille with vertical kidneys won’t make it onto the 2-Series. Instead, the smaller coupe will go with a more traditional take on the BMW grille.

We can also see that the car is low and wide, and its long nose virtually confirms that inline-6 powertrains will be offered. One of the inline-6 powertrains will feature in the next-generation M2. The engine is likely to be a detuned version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 found in the M3 and M4 and X3 M and X4 M. Expect output to hover around 420 hp in the next M2. That’s up considerably on the 365 hp of the current M2 and should give the new car the edge over the 416-hp 45-series from Mercedes-Benz AMG. Hopefully the current M2’s manual transmission option will also stick around.

2022 BMW 2-Series spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 BMW 2-Series spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Some of the shots provide glimpses of the interior. An infotainment screen, likely with touch capability, can be seen above the air vents in the center console. A multi-function steering wheel can also be spotted.

Production of the new 2-Series coupe is expected to take place at BMW’s plant in Lerma, Mexico. The plant currently handles production of some 3-Series models, and some 2-Series prototypes have been spotted in the surrounding area. The jury is still out on whether a convertible is being developed. There’s a good chance we won’t see one due to low demand.

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Autos

1-of-5 Pagani Zonda Revolucion coming up for sale

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Pagani Zonda Revolucion (Photo by BH Auction)

Now’s your chance to own an extremely rare Pagani Zonda Revolcion. The car is one of just five built, and is being readied for sale by the company BH Auction.

Unveiled in 2013, the Revolucion is a track-only version of the Zonda, and an evolution of the previous Zonda R track car. It was also meant to be the last Zonda production model, although Pagani has blurred that line somewhat by continually rebuilding individual chassis for customers. The Zonda was officially replaced in 2011 by the Pagani Huayra, itself now coming to the end of its production run.

Power is provided by a Mercedes-Benz AMG-sourced 6.0-liter V-12, producing 800 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. A carbon-titanium monocoque chassis and carbon-fiber bodywork keeps the curb weight down to 2,360 pounds, making this 800-hp supercar lighter than a Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Pagani Zonda Revolucion (Photo by BH Auction)

The Revolucion also features a 6-speed sequential gearbox, carbon-ceramic brakes, and elaborate aerodynamic elements that incorporate a Formula One-style Drag Reduction System (DRS).

This particular car also has blue-tinted carbon-fiber body panels, meaning it’s likely the car Pagani brought to the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show, which was originally sold to a customer in Japan. At that time, the price was estimated at around $3 million.

The Revolucion wasn’t street legal in stock form, but British firm Lanzante offers a conversion. Lanzante specializes in these kinds of conversions, having previously built street-legal versions of the McLaren P1 GTR track car. At least one of the five cars was converted for street use as of April 2021, reportedly for Russian tuning company TopCar.

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Mazda looked to the future in 1981 with the MX-81 concept

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1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

Mazda has displayed its first concept car, the MX-81, now restored and accompanying the company’s newest and first electric vehicle, the MX-30 crossover utility.

As were so many concept cars for Japanese automakers in the 1980s, the 1981 MX-81 was designed in Italy, in this case at Bertone by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The concept, alternately known as the Bertone Aria, also was restored in Italy, by SuperStile of Turin, a product-engineering and prototype-building workshop established in 2015.

Due to the pandemic, the cars were presented on the 40th anniversary of the MX-81 via video conference from Hiroshima, Japan, and from Rome and Turin, Italy, with the cars presented in front of the Duomo di Milano, the cathedral in Milan that also has been the backdrop for the debut of the MX-81.

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

1981 Mazda MX-81 concept car undergoes restoration at SuperStile in Turin

The creation of the MX-81, powered by Mazda’s new turbocharged and fuel-injected 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, was motivated by a desire to imagine how people would interact with a vehicle equipped with computers. The car featured digital displays and a CRT screen within the rectangular “steering wheel.” We put steering wheel in quotes because instead of the conventional wheel, the car was steered via a flexible plastic belt that surrounded the rectangular “wheel.”

‘Steering wheel’ didn’t turn, but the belt around it did and was used to steering the vehicle

‘Steering wheel’ didn’t turn, but the belt around it did and was used to steering the vehicle

At the time, Mazda reported, “With its gold paint, huge glasshouse and pop-up lights, it stood out at the Tokyo Motor Show, but with its recessed square steering wheel, TV screen cockpit and side swinging front seats, it was arguably the interior that was the most radical. A one-off concept that certainly met the defy convention ethos of MX models, it led to a future relationship with Bertone, while things like the high-mounted taillights and pop-up headlamps appeared in future Mazda production cars later in the eighties.”

Mazda indicated the MX-30 was motivated with similar goals for accelerating the future, and now incorporating an electrified powertrain.

MX-30 and MX-81 photo opp Mazda indicated the MX-30 was motivated with similar goals for acceleratin

MX-30 and MX-81 photo opp Mazda indicated the MX-30 was motivated with similar goals for acceleratin

The MX-81 reportedly had been stored away for many years in a warehouse in southern Japan, and it underwent mechanical freshening at Mazda’s workshops before being sent off to Italy for the exterior and interior restoration.

The car’s creation is shared in a 13½-minute video with Italian subtitles. Even if you don’t understand the language, the images and the enthusiasm of Giugiaro and others is instructive of what went into the car’s design.

This article, written by Larry Edsall, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.

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GTO Engineering Squalo to have bespoke V-12 with 10,000-rpm redline

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GTO Engineering Squalo

British company GTO Engineering has released the first details on the in-house developed V-12 engine that will power its upcoming Squalo sports car.

The Squalo has been styled to resemble a classic Ferrari, specifically the 250 GTO of the 1960s, but there’s nothing classic about the hardware going into it. We’re talking about carbon-fiber body panels, modern suspension and brakes, and a bespoke V-12 that will rev all the way up to 10,000 rpm—yes, higher than a modern Ferrari V-12.

GTO Engineering Squalo

GTO Engineering Squalo

GTO Engineering Squalo

GTO Engineering Squalo

GTO Engineering Squalo

The engine is a marvel on its own. It’s still being developed so GTO Engineering is yet to lock in the final specs, but the company has said to expect an output of more than 460 hp and a weight of less than 364 pounds. The weight is crucial as GTO Engineering has a targeted dry weight for the Squalo of less than 2,200 pounds.

The V-12 features a quad-cam design and 4.0-liter displacement, and will be paired to a manual transmission. The key to the engine’s ability to rev like a motorcycle engine is the use of lightweight parts built using modern materials and modern production techniques. The latter has enabled GTO Engineering to hollow out many parts. This same lightweight ethos also extends to the starter motor, flywheel and clutch.

GTO Engineering Squalo V-12

GTO Engineering Squalo V-12

The engine’s designers also paid attention to packaging to ensure the V-12 is as tightly packed as possible. This is important for weight distribution. GTO Engineering targets a 55/45 front-to-rear weight distribution for the Squalo. The company also targets a low center of gravity and thus the engine will be mounted closer to the firewall and lower to the floor compared to early Ferraris.

Aesthetics have also played a role in the design of the V-12—just look at those trumpets. Specific measures have included remodelling of the front timing case and ancillary drives to make them sleeker, as well as avoiding off-the-shelf parts for items like the distributor caps and main bearing sump assembly in order to develop more aesthetically pleasing designs.

GTO Engineering Squalo V-12

GTO Engineering Squalo V-12

GTO Engineering is building the Squalo’s first prototype chassis, with many parts now going into the tooling phase of production. The first customer examples of the car are due to start deliveries in 2023.

Interestingly, buyers have choice when it comes to sports cars inspired by classic Ferraris. Fellow British company RML Group only on Wednesday announced its own sports car with a design inspired by the Ferrari 250 GT SWB.

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