The Marque of Z: Premiere of the 2023 Nissan Z sports car

The latest generation of the 400-hp 2023 Nissan Z sports car is set for U.S. sales in spring 2022.

An exterior view of the 2023 Z

The new Nissan Z shows respect for the original model with a long hood and low rear stance. (Photos courtesy of Nissan USA)

BY MARK MAYNARD

The redesigned and re-engineered 2023 Nissan Z sports car was showcased in a global broadcast premiere Aug. 17 at the Duggal GreenHouse event center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The unveiling was about five miles from where the original 1970 Datsun 240Z made its world debut in October 1969.

The six preceding generations of the Z car used numeric nameplate designations, such as 240, 260, 280, 300, 350, or 370. But now, the long-awaited redesign will be known in the United States simply by just one letter — Z.

The driver area of the 2023 Z

A driver-centric cockpit.

The Z was a revolution when it was introduced in 1969, Nissan Motor Co. COO Ashwani Gupta, said in a release.

“The Z has always been an accessible sports car — always placed at the intersection of aspiration and attainability — of dreams and reality,” said Gupta.

The 12.3-inch wide gauge array in the Z.

A 12.3-inch customizable gauge display.

The sleek styling of the 2023 Z “shows respect for the original model — with a long hood and low rear stance,” Nissan said in a release.

For the first time, a two-tone paint scheme is offered.

The new Z is 172.4 inches long, 72.6 inches wide, and 51.8 inches tall, riding on a wheelbase of 100.4 inches.

Inside, the driver-centric cockpit includes a 12.3-inch customizable racing-inspired meter display, an option for leather-trimmed sports seats, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system.

Red, black or blue interior colors

Red, black or blue interior colors.

Z Powertrains

The 400 horsepower V6 in the new ZAll 2023 Nissan Z models have a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 twin-turbo engine. There are two transmission choices:

  • Six-speed manual with an EXEDY high-performance clutch. The transmission has launch control and rev-matching downshifts.
  • A new nine-speed automatic with aluminum paddle shifters. The driveshaft is a carbon-fiber composite.
An image of the first and latest generations of the Nissan Z

The first and latest generations of the Nissan Z

The 2023 Z will be available in Sport and Performance trim levels. A special “Proto Spec” edition, in two-tone yellow and black paint, is limited to 240 cars. Pricing is expected to start at around $40,000.

Follow the development of the 2023 Nissan Z here.

A rear view of the new Z

The new Z has a standard six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching downshifts.

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Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Reveal

Aston Martin says its Valkyrie Spider “delivers the most comparable experience to that of an F1 car, not limited to the track”

ston Martin's new Valkyrie Spider with doors up

Aston Martin says its Valkyrie Spider is one of the world’s most extreme hypercars. (Photos courtesy of Aston Martin)

BY MARK MAYNARD

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider, unveiled Friday, Aug. 10 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is called one of the world’s most extreme hypercars. “One that delivers the most comparable experience to that of an F1 car, not limited to the track,” Aston Martin said in a release.

Production is limited to 85 units worldwide in left and right-hand drive derivatives. But all 85 cars are “over subscribed,” and deliveries are scheduled to begin H2 2022, Aston Martin said in a statement.

The Valkyrie Spider is powered by a 6.5-liter V-12 hybrid system. It has a combined power output of 1,160 horsepower with 664 foot-pounds of torque.

“The sound of that 6.5-litre V12 engine revving to over 11,000 rpm with the roof removed is something I cannot wait to hear,” Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Tobias Moers said in a release.

Pricing was not stated, but news reports claim the Aston Martin Valkyrie hardtop coupe has a price of around $3 million. So, how much does the price go up when the roof comes off?

Side by side view of the Spider with the dihedral doors raised.

The Valkyrie Spider is the fastest open-top, road-legal Aston Martin ever built.

Valkyrie Spider construction

The Valkyrie Spider is the fastest and most extreme open-top, road-legal Aston Martin ever built. It has a top speed of 330 kmh-plus (205 mph) with the roof panel removed or 350 kmh-plus (217.5 mph) with the roof panel in place.

The ultra-lightweight construction and high downforce aerodynamics use Formula One technology. The upper body surfaces of the teardrop-shaped cockpit and lower tub contours follow the envelope of space between the huge full-length Venturi tunnels that run either side of the cockpit floor.

The tunnels draw huge quantities of air beneath the car to feed the rear diffuser. The venturis are the key to generating the Valkyrie Spider’s extraordinary levels of downforce, Aston Martin said in the release. At 240 kmh (149 mph) in Track mode the aerodynamics can produce 3,086.47 pounds (1400 kg) of downforce. It is the F1-type construction that “keeps the upper body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would spoil the purity of the open-top styling,” Aston Martin said in the release.

A side view of the Valkyrie

The huge full-length Venturi tunnels run on either side of the cockpit floor.

Design elements

The removable carbon-fiber roof panel latches onto the tub at the rear and to the front windshield surround. A pair of polycarbonate windows are hinged on either side. On opening the doors, the roof can be lifted off and stowed.

The front-hinged dihedral doors are unique to Valkyrie Spider and are designed to tilt forward.

A front view of the Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider with the doors up

The front-hinged dihedral doors tilt forward.

The driver-focused cabin has a low, F1-inspired hip-to-heel height. In addition, the near-central seat positioning and six-point safety harness are safety elements for the driver.

A center rear-view camera system and front and rear parking sensors have screen displays just above the instrument panel.

Follow the development of the Valkyrie Spider at Aston Martin.

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Cruisin’ the USA in Your Chevrolet virtual fan experience Aug. 16-21

Celebrate automotive history with host @EmeliaHartford on Chevrolet’s social channels: @Chevrolet on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

The poster for the second annual Cruisin’ the USA in Your Chevrolet

 

BY MARK MAYNARD

A year ago, the inaugural Cruisin’ the USA in Your Chevrolet debuted as a virtual fan experience. It was an alternative space for car enthusiasts to celebrate our automotive history when pandemic restrictions prevented in-person events.

“This year, we’re celebrating by sharing stories through the eyes of our customers, fans and employees from around the world,” Chevrolet Marketing VP Steve Majoros said in a statement.

For the second annual Cruisin’ the USA, Chevrolet works with automotive influencer Emelia Hartford to host the virtual event. The virtual fan experience will post from Aug. 16-21 on Chevy’s social channels: @Chevrolet on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

There will be daily themes, inside looks at some of Chevy’s most iconic vehicles and fan memorabilia. There also will be special guests including former Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser and superfan Pinky “Mr. Chevy” Randall.

Schedule of Events

Aug. 16 – History of Heroes Trivia: Emelia Hartford challenges fans on Chevy’s history of heroes. The challenge will test your knowledge of the engineers and designers behind the significant innovations that helped shape the brand.

Aug. 17 – An EVolution: Ride along with Emelia Hartford in the all-electric 2022 Bolt EUV and catch a glimpse of Chevy’s E-10 concept vehicle. (The E-10 Concept is a hot-rodded 1962 C-10 pickup powered by an electric Connect & Cruise concept crate propulsion package. The package uses components from the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but the power targets 450 horsepower.)

Aug. 18 – For the Love of Trucks: Emelia Hartford will lead another trivia challenge covering all things Chevy trucks.

Aug. 19 – A Salute to our Fans: Discover how lifelong fan Pinky Randall earned the right to be called “Mr. Chevy.” (Randall, 94, is a retired grocery store owner from Houghton Lake, Mich., according to a report in Automotive News. He collects pretty much anything bearing the Chevy bow tie and he also bought the last Impala SS in 1996. He even visited General Motors’ plant in Arlington, Texas, to drive it off the line. Randall later sold the car to GM’s Heritage Center.)

Aug. 20 – The Thrills of Performance: Tour former Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser’s jaw-dropping Chevy Cave with Emelia Hartford.

Aug. 21 – Spread the #ChevyLove: Fans can share their love of the brand and their most prized vehicles by posting photos and videos using #ChevyLove.

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Redesigned 2022 Nissan Frontier Starts at $29,015; on sale in September

The redesigned midsize Nissan Frontier pickup is sold in King Cab and Crew Cab body styles, 5- or 6-foot-long beds and a V-6 powertrain

The redesigined 2022 Nissan Frontier pickup

Nissan calls the 2022 Frontier a “Right-sized” pickup for a workweek in the city or a weekend off-road. (Nissan)

BY MARK MAYNARD

Nissan announced yesterday, Aug.10, that its redesigned and re-engineered 2022 Frontier pickup will arrive at dealerships in September. Pricing will start at $29,015.

The midsize Nissan Frontier is available in King Cab and Crew Cab body styles in short- or long-wheelbase configurations. King Cabs have a 6-foot bed. Standard Crew Cab models have a 5-foot bed except for a 6-foot bed for the top-line SV LWB.

King Cab starting prices range from $29,015 for the base S with rear-drive to $34,915 for the top-line SV 4WD. Crew Cab pricing ranges from $30,515 to $38,415 for the PRO-4X Crew Cab 4×4. All MSRP pricing includes the $1,175 freight charge from Canton, Miss.

Find Nissan USA pricing here.

Nissan Frontier powertrain

All models of Frontier have a standard 310-horsepower 3.8-liter direct-injection V-6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission.

The EPA-rated fuel economy for rear-drive Frontier models is 18 mpg city, 24 highway, and 20 mpg combined. 4WD models have mileage ratings of 17/22/19 mpg city/highway/combined. 87 octane fuel is recommended.

Towing capacity for the new Nissan Frontier is rated at up to 6,720 pounds with the tow package. Trailer Sway Control is a new standard feature. The control enhancement can detect sway and automatically apply the brakes to bring control.

Four-wheel-disc brakes have 11.7-inch rotors with two-piston calipers. The rear discs are 11.3 inches with a single-piston caliper.

Standard Nissan Frontier features

  •  9-inch color touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto;
  • 7-inch configurable gauge array;
  • Zero Gravity Front seats;
  • Two front USB ports (Type-A and Type-C), two front 12-volt outlets, and Siri Eyes Free;
  • Safety features include eight air bags and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning.

Option packages

Three option packages are offered:

  • Premium (SV, PRO) at $2,790;
  • Convenience (SV, PRO) at $1,990 ;
  • Technology (S, SV, PRO) at $990.

“The all-new 2022 Frontier builds on Nissan’s six-plus decades of midsize truck leadership with a bold new exterior, adventure-oriented interior and the latest driver assistance and connectivity technologies,” Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales, said in a statement.

Read my overview of the new Frontier here.

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Bentley selling 5 new-old Mulsanne Grand Limousines by Mulliner

The Mulsanne Grand Limousine i

The Mulsanne Grand Limousine is the longest manufacturer-built limousine in the world, Bentley claims. (Photos courtesy of Bentley)

The megaliner Bentley Grand Mulsanne limousines were built in 2015, delivered to the customer but never used nor registered

 

Table of Contents

Paint colors
Interior design
By the Numbers

BY MARK MAYNARD

Five Bentley Grand Mulsanne megaliner limousines were commissioned in 2015 for a customer in the United Arab Emirates. The lavishly equipped cars, all unique in their bespoke upgrades, were built and shipped but never used nor registered. Now they are for sale.

The Grand Mulsanne Limousine was originally created for exclusive sales, or private commissions, in Bentley terms. The cars offered for sale were customized by Bentley Mulliner, the bespoke tailoring shop for the brand, headquartered in Crewe, England.

The five Grand Limousines recently became available through Bentley’s retail partner in the United Arab Emirates, Bentley Emirates. A car can be delivered anywhere in the world, Bentley says.

Production of the Mulsanne ceased last year, so these models represent a unique chance to acquire an iconic piece of modern Bentley history. Pricing was not disclosed, but it is not difficult to spend $500,000 for the long-wheelbase sedan with Bentley options.

The cars available for sale have their own unique identities and specifications, Bentley says. Designed and built entirely by hand, the Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner includes a nearly 40-inch stretch (1,000mm) to the body. The roof was raised a little more than 3 inches for headroom in the rear.

Veneer burl walnut and leather blanket the cabin.

Veneer burl walnut and leather blanket the cabin.

5 paint colors

  1. Silver Frost over Moroccan Blue exterior paint. The leather-clad interior is in Imperial Blue and Linen with Burr Walnut veneer.
  2. Damson [violet] over Black Crystal paintwork, complemented by Damson and Twine leathers and Dark Stained Burr Walnut veneer.
  3. Onyx over Candy Red exterior with an interior in Hotspur and Camel finished with Olive Ash veneer.
  4. Rubino Red over Light Gazelle bodywork with an interior in Fireglow and Twine leather paired with Burr Walnut veneer.
  5. A single tone Black Sapphire exterior with an Imperial Blue and Camel interior contrasted by Dark Stained Burr Walnut veneer.
Mulsanne Grand Limousine forward-facing back Seats

A bottle cooler with crystal flutes sits between the front-facing seats.

Cabin of a luxury jet

The Mulsanne Grand Limousine’s four-passenger cabin has the cache of a luxury jet. Two rear-facing seats allow pleasant face-to-face conversations.

A bottle cooler with crystal flutes sits between the front-facing seats. And a beverage cabinet between the rear-facing seats is stocked with bespoke crystal tumblers. Veneered, folding “picnic tables” provide comfortable on the move work or dining. iPad docking and charging stations are included. Three handmade dials display UK and local time and the exterior temperature.

The more-expansive limousine also required a custom heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Bentley Mulliner designed and built the HVAC system with two rear-seat zones with controls for micro-climate comfort.

Privacy is assured between the driver and passengers by an electrochromic “smart glass” panel that can be switched from transparent to opaque. In addition, an intercom system connects passengers with the driver.

Back seat picnic tables in the Grand Mulsanne limo.

A bottle cooler with crystal flutes sits between the front-facing seats.

By the Numbers

The Mulsanne Grand Limousine is the longest manufacturer-built limousine in the world, Bentley claims. The stretched model is about 25 feet long and sits on a reinforced chassis and suspension.

Power is provided by Bentley’s 505-horsepower 6¾-liter twin-turbo V-8, with 752 foot-pounds of peak torque at 1,750 rpm.

The unique 21-inch wheels are paint-matched to the car’s exterior color. And the stainless-steel Flying ‘B’ bonnet mascot is engraved with the words “Coachbuilt by Mulliner.”

Enquire to buy at the nearest dealer or find one through the website.

A rear view of the Bentley Grand Mulsanne

The higher roof and extra length provide the Mulsanne Grand Limousine a true sense of space in which to relax, Bentley says.

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Historic Indy Cars on the grid for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Legendary Indy Cars will take part in daily exhibitions Aug. 12-15

The 1973 Eagle driven by Gordon Johncock at the Indy 500.

Motorsports fans will see this 1973 Eagle driven by Gordon Johncock at the Indy 500. (WeatherTech Raceway)

BY MARK MAYNARD

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is staging a new historic motorsport group for the legendary event, held during the annual Monterey Car Week, Aug. 12-15.

For the first time at the Reunion, a historic Indy Car group will run in exhibition all four days at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The motorsport champions originally competed between 1963 and 1978.

The introduction of rear-engine Indy Cars at the 1963 Indianapolis 500 changed the game, Barry Toepke, director of heritage events at WeatherTech Raceway, said in a statement.

“From 1965 on, there would not be another front-engine winner of the Indianapolis 500,” he said.

Motorsports champions

Indy Car Champion Bobby Rahal will debut his recently restored 1966 Eagle with a 255-cubic-inch four-cam Ford V8. Beginning in 1985, Rahal won three consecutive Indy Car races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.  His notoriety is honored at the track with the Rahal Straight.

Indianapolis 500 winners

Three winning Indy 500 cars will be at the track:

  • 1964 Watson, driven to victory by A.J. Foyt;
  • 1970 Colt, piloted by Al Unser;
  • 1973 Eagle driven by Gordon Johncock.

Other motorsport winners:

Look for the 1964 Lotus Type 34 driven by Parnelli Jones at the Trenton 200 in 1964. In 1965, A.J. Foyt drove the car to a remarkable seven poles and three victories during the 1965 USAC Championship season.

Johnny Rutherford drove the 1975 McLaren M16E-001, which was raced at three 500-mile superspeedway events. His #2 Gatorade entry had its best finish of second at the 1975 Indianapolis 500.

Joining the McLaren will be a 1968 Eagle Mk IV, which started Team Penske’s Indy Car program 53 years ago.

Also highlighted will be the 1978 Penske PC-6 driven by Tom Sneva in the 1978 USAC Championship season. Sneva posted six second-place finishes and 12 top-five finishes to win the National Championship in 1978 — without winning a single race.

“Fans will be treated to a quality collection of Indy Cars all under one tent,” said Ellen Bireley, who curated the historic Indy Car heritage display.

Single-day tickets range in price from $25 to $120, depending on the day. A three-day general admission pass with paddock admittance is $180.

Learn more at WeatherTechRaceway.com or call (831) 242-8200.

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