Car News

Supercar and Concept Car Debuts from the 2023 Monterey Car Week

If interest in the automobile is flagging, don't mention that to any of the thousands of enthusiasts who make their way to California's Monterey Peninsula each year during August for a jam-packed week of motoring events.

Not including a raft of independent gatherings, the Monterey Motorsports Reunion (at the Laguna Seca racetrack); The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering (at the Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel Valley); and the final event on Sunday, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance (found on the eponymously named golf course's 17th and 18th oceanside holes), are the cream of the week’s crop of car events.

Automakers worldwide benefit from the week's captive and enthusiastic audience by debuting future production models, concepts, and special one-offs. Here are some of the more interesting reveals from this year's Monterey Car Week.

2024 Acura ZDX

The original ZDX appeared for the 2010 model year and swiftly left the market in 2013. Acura’s groundbreaking sports coupe/luxury sedan/SUV predated the current luxury coupe-SUV craze, like the BMW X6, but never attained the Bimmer's popularity. The Honda luxury brand's second attempt with the ZDX name will be Acura's first all-electric vehicle. Like its forthcoming Honda Prologue twin, the new ZDX will be built on the General Motors Ultium platform and share much with the Cadillac Lyriq.

2024 Aston Martin DB12 Volante

Fond of the Aston Martin DB12 grand touring coupe but prefer to feel the wind in your hair? Say hello to the new DB12 Volante. Except for the extra weight from its cloth roof and additional chassis bracing, the Volante is unchanged compared to the DB12 hardtop. The same Mercedes AMG-sourced twin-turbocharged V8 makes 671 horsepower with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and rear-wheel drive. Despite the additional mass, the Volante's straight-line performance only marginally trails the coupé with a claimed 3.7 seconds 0-100 km/h time.

2025 Ford Mustang GTD

Think of the Mustang GTD as Ford's salvo at street-legal race cars from Mercedes-AMG, Aston Martin, or Porsche. To win at France's Le Mans with a Mustang, the production GTD previews a future racecar to debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona before heading to France in June. Unshackled by racing rules, the GTD production car will have a supercharged V8 engine making more power than the race car (about 800 hp), active aerodynamics, and numerous other track-oriented modifications.

Infiniti QX Monograph Concept

Don’t be surprised if the next production Infiniti QX80 (and subsequent SUV models) crib from this concept's styling themes. Infiniti's new QX Monograph previews the next evolution of the Nissan luxury brand's design language. Following the full-size luxury SUV trend, like the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX, and Lincoln Navigator, the QX Monograph wears imposing styling and unique lighting elements. As a nod to Japanese design, the concept's front grille texture mimics a bamboo forest, and the LED daytime running lights remind you of "digital piano keys.”

Lamborghini Lanzador Concept

No Monterey Car Week is complete without some news from Lamborghini. For 2023, the Italian supercar maker didn't disappoint, debuting its Lanzador Concept, a veiled precursor to the brand's first all-electric production vehicle. Looking every inch of a Lamborghini, the Lanzador is a 2+2 grand tourer. There's a hatchback with loads of luggage space in place of a mid-mounted gas engine behind the cabin. A new high-performance battery powers two electric motors: one up front and another for the rear wheels. No specs yet, but Lamborghini says peak power will be over one megawatt (1,341 hp).

Lotus Type 66

New, but not really, the Lotus Type 66 is a modern version of a historic car designed but never built or raced. Although Lotus passed on the Canadian-American Challenge Cup that started in 1966, Lotus founder Colin Chapman requested a design for a Can-Am type racer. It never went further than drawings and scale models, but the new Lotus Type 66 arrives 53 years later as a track day customer car. No engine has been confirmed, but Lotus says that a "period-representative V8 pushrod" will be used, with performance comparable to a modern GT3 race car. Only 10 will be available, costing more than £ 1 million (CDN 1.7 million).

2024 Maserati MCXtrema

Previously codenamed Project24, Italy's Maserati revealed its new MCXtrema, a modified MC20 supercar designed for a day at the track. The two Maseratis share a carbon-fibre tub and turbocharged V6 engine (720 hp in the MCXtrema), but that's about it. While Porsche will make about 300 copies of its 911 GT2 RS Clubsport, only 62 of these Maserati track cars are planned. The automaker says about half of those are allocated to the American market (Masaerati's largest for its MC20).

2024 Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe

While Mercedes streamlines its coupe lineup, the German automaker seems intent on taking on Porsche’s 911 with a redesigned 2024 AMG GT Coupe. Sharing its platform and high tech with the latest Mercedes-AMG SL two-seat roadster, the new GT Coupe is more practical than the original, now with 2+2 seating and traction on all four wheels. The new car’s cabin is more luxurious, spacious, and easier to see out of, but the new GT Coupe’s mix of its familiar twin-turbo V8 and aluminum space frame with steel, magnesium, and carbon-fibre elements promise continuing supercar performance.

2024 Pininfarina B95

Using the same all-electric powertrain as the Pininfarina Battista coupe–a 1,877 hp four-motor system developed by Rimac–Italy's Automobili Pininfarina unveiled its second production EV, the roofless B95 hypercar. Boasting a 0-100 km/h time of under 2.0 seconds, only ten B95 units are scheduled for production. At least Pininfarina promises unlimited customization. There's no word on price, but with the Battista starting at USD 2.2 million (CDN 3.0 million) for its 150-unit production run, the more exclusive B95 will likely cost more.

2026 Zenvo Aurora

For 14 years, Denmark's boutique Zenvo has created mid-engined supercars powered by large V8 gas engines in minimal quantities. At Monterey, Zenvo debuted a new hybrid hypercar called the Aurora. With a pair of twelve-cylinder gas-electric hybrid powertrains (one with a single electric motor for 1,450 hp and one with two additional electric motors on the front axle for 1,850 hp), the latest Zenvo is built around a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis. The Danish supercar maker will produce only 50 units for each Aurora model, starting in 2025 for deliveries in 2026.