August is traditionally a slow month for auto industry news as manufacturers gear up for the next round of auto shows that typically commence with the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and conclude the following April with the New York International Auto Show.
However, there is one event held every August in California that provides a teaser of things to come, specifically the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which serves as the crowning achievement for the wider Monterey Car Week.
Roughly translated, the term “Concours d’Elegance” represents a parade of vintage cars and an exhibition where some of the rarest and finest cars are placed on display. The annual assemblage is of both the old and the new, with car manufacturers using the get-together to reveal a smattering of concept and upcoming production vehicles.
In years past, we have witnessed Cadillac showcasing Ciel and Elmiraj concepts, which are models that point to a future product, namely the 2016 Cadillac CT6. However, this year the most noteworthy models were from Hyundai, Lamborghini, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and McLaren. Therefore, we will examine the top debuts and share our thoughts on which models may see production.
Hyundai Vision G Concept Coupe
Best known as a mainstream car manufacturer, Hyundai deftly demonstrates that its ambitions go beyond the ordinary. Its Equus and Genesis lines have shown the world that this Korean manufacturer intends to compete in the luxury market, and its Vision G Concept Coupe bolsters that perception.
This breathtaking coupe features a long hood, a short deck and is absent a center pillar. Sharply angular headlamps, a gaping maw and deep lower embrasures mark the front fascia. Muscular wheel arches, distinctive character lines and a pronounced rear haunch are other extraordinary features. Inside, Hyundai describes the interior as a “slingshot-like appearance” and the cabins fluidity suggests that this coupe is always in motion.
Powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine making 420 horsepower, we see the concept becoming a reality, although it may add a second set of doors and become the next generation Hyundai Genesis sedan. No matter, the style is evocative and the luxury brands should be concerned because this concept delivers a thoroughly fetching visage.
Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce Roadster
The Pebble Beach lawn would be incomplete without at least one Lamborghini model on display. To that end, an Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce Roadster with a price tag of $530,075 dazzled visitors.
The roadster is powered by a 6.5-liter, V12 engine paired with a seven-speed ISR transmission. With a 0-to-60 mph time of approximately 2.7 seconds, this Lambo ranks as one of the fastest cars in the world. That “750” appellation points to this model’s horsepower. And with its sub-3,300 pound weight, it will take on twisty roads with authority.
A carbon fiber monocoque, aluminum front and rear frames and a generation IV Haldex four-wheel drive system are among this model’s exceptional features. This Lamborghini may be the ultimate in automotive eye candy. It’s a luscious super car that goes on sale next spring and will be limited to just 500 copies.
BMW Concept M4 GTS
BMW presented two models at Pebble Beach — the 3.0 CSL Hommage R and the BMW Concept M4 GTS. The first model advances the company’s racing narrative, but it is the second model that should interest M enthusiasts the most.
BMW has already said that the M4 GTS concept will become a production reality, and it builds on a family of special models dating to 1988 that have also seen the light of day. This concept is marked by a “Frozen Dark Grey” finish with “Acid Orange” highlights on the front splitter and around the wheels.
Under the hood is a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with water injection, which is a technology that enhances boost with noticeable increases in output and torque. This engineering arrangement will find its way to the production model, but release details have yet to be announced.
Infiniti Q70 Premium Select Edition
The Q70 is Infiniti’s flagship sedan and a model that competes with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac CTS, BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS and the Audi A6. It isn’t the newest model in the segment, but it has found a home amongst luxury sedan buyers.
The Infiniti Q70 Premium Select Edition brings in dark chrome trim, a darkened lower bumper, 20-inch aluminum-alloy tires and a rear decklid spoiler. Inside, this model offers illuminated kick plates, special floor mats, semi-aniline seating and a suede-like headliner.
The new interpretation arrives in Infiniti showrooms this November. It will be available on standard wheelbase and hybrid variants of the 2016 Infiniti Q70.
Lexus GS 200t and LX 570
Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, may yet reclaim segment leadership in the U.S. on the heels of having showcased a pair of refreshed models at Pebble Beach. One model, the Lexus GS 200t, underscores the brand’s intent at widening its turbocharger footprint. Just last year Lexus offered its first turbo model and that technology now moves to the rear-wheel-drive Lexus GS.
Lexus used Pebble Beach to reveal additional changes it has in store for the 2016 GS, including a restyled front end along with new interior colors and wood trim choices. Similarly, the beefy LX 570 SUV was also on display, featuring a new one-piece spindle grille, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and additional standard features. The LX 570 update comes as demand for utility vehicles soars.
Both the Lexus GS 200t and the Lexus LX 570 are set to arrive in dealer showrooms this fall.
McLaren 570S Coupe by MSO
McLaren is a Pebble Beach mainstay and a favorite of show attendees and enthusiasts in common. Its cars are expensive and attainable by only the top tier of the one percent. Indeed, one of the two 1998 McLaren F1’s ever built recently sold at Monterey for an astonishing $13.8 million, which is a number that defies imagination.
But that model wasn’t on display at Pebble Beach. Instead, McLaren revealed its 570S Coupe by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), an attainable super car that will retail for the relative bargain price of $180,000. That’s less than half the cost of its other production model, the 650S, and the 570S Coupe is a 563-horsepower model that McLaren calls its “driver-oriented sports car.”
For the two models on hand, MSO embellished the vehicles with special paint schemes and carbon black interiors. The signature dihedral doors are present with additional design touches unique to the model line and evident throughout the interior.
Pebble Beach 2015 — Best in Show
Not to be overlooked are the vintage models that make the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance possible in the first place. Speaking of first place, a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A won the gold ribbon, finishing ahead of other class winners, including a 1914 Rolls Royce, a 1937 Delahaye and a 1953 Abarth 1100, reports The Los Angeles Times.