Supercars

Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Charles Leclerc film brings the Monaco F1 circuit back to life

The Monaco F1 circuit has been brought back to life, if just for a few minutes.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a dizzying engineering achievement of numbers and downforce and power-to-weight ratios and power output and a big plug. It's also Ferrari's first "series production" plug-in hybrid.

Series production is Ferrari-speak for car-that-we-build-a-bunch-of-instead-of-building-just-five. It also has the most powerful eight-cylinder engine of any Ferrari ever, and excitingly (if you're a Ferrari enthusiast), means that a V8 is the Ferrari's top-of-the-range engine for the first time.

Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Charles Leclerc film Monaco movie The film was shot on the streets of Monaco.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The 90-degree turbo V8 makes 769 horsepower. The car's three electric motors (one on the back axle, and two more up front) make another 216 combined electric horsepower. Combined, that's a whopping 985 total horsepower.

The SF90 Stradale is also the first straightforward Ferrari sports car (not to be confused with GT cars like the Ferrari FF, which are not sports cars in the Ferrari playbook) to come with four-wheel drive.

It goes zero to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds and on to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds. It also handles really well thanks to a whole bunch of wild and amazing technical details crafted by the engineering team that you can read about on Ferrari's website.

But a Ferrari isn't really about numbers and engineering. Go buy a McLaren if that's all you're interested in. The prancing horse is all about speed and pretty girls and sunshine. It's about passion for history. A Ferrari is basically Monaco in automotive form.

The plot takes the Ferrari around Monaco showing off several well-known attractions.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

That passion for history and speed and pretty girls is why Ferrari partnered up with Claude Lelouch, a cult hero in automotive circles for his short film "C'était un Rendez-Vous" shot on the streets of Paris in 1976. That film had a soundtrack from Lelouch's own Ferrari 275 GTB (it was filmed by a camera mounted on a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9), and Ferrari felt that now was time for a remake of sorts.

The Monaco Grand Prix is arguably the most iconic motor race in the world. The 2020 running was cancelled, however, thanks to COVID-19. But that wasn't going to keep Ferrari — the oldest active team in Formula One — from running a car around the city on race day.

And so Lelouch, Ferrari F1 driver and Monagasque Charles Leclerc, a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and HSH Prince Albert II all got together on the closed streets of Monaco early on May 24. That's the day the race *would* have taken place, mind you, and His Serene Highness was kind enough to close all the streets around the Principality so Lelouch and Leclerc could create a new short film: *Le Grand Rendez-Vous*.

The film stars F1 driver Charles Leclerc.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

In true Ferrari fashion, it combines what makes a Ferrari a Ferrari and it is perhaps the perfect quarantine antidote for any petrolhead. Watch it, then watch it, then watch it again. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face — especially when Leclerc and his lady friend (played by Lelouch's granddaughter Rebecca) pull their masks off at the end.

Monaco lives. The horse prances. Life goes on.

"Le Grand Rendez-Vous" — Charles Leclerc and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale — One guy. No traffic. www.youtube.com

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The EQXX Concept features a crazy driving range.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is putting its century-plus of automotive experience into building electric cars, and the results are impressive. The EQS is an electric flagship with great range, and the automaker has unveiled several concepts to show its future plans. The Vision EQXX concept debuted today as an ultra-efficient luxury EV with astonishing range numbers.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept Mercedes focused on efficiency over power with the car. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes' focus with the EQXX is efficiency over power, as it says the car is its most efficient it has ever made. The EQXX uses less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (around 62 miles), which equates to 620 miles on a single charge. The battery was designed with tech and knowledge from Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, especially when it comes to size and weight. The EQXX's battery pack is 50 percent smaller by volume and 30 percent lighter than the pack in the EQS, which already featured astonishing efficiency.

The car's impressive range comes at the expense of horsepower, which in this case means just 201 ponies from the EQXX's electric drivetrain. Mercedes says that the system is capable of delivering up to 95 percent energy efficiency - an impressive figure for power delivery to the wheels. Extremely efficient gas powertrains only achieve around 30 percent efficiency and a human long-distance runner can hit around 50 percent.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept The EQXX is impressively slippery, which improves its range.

The EQXX is a slippery car, too, and with a drag coefficient of just 0.17, the car cuts through the air with ease. The typical EV uses up to two-thirds of its battery capacity just to push through the air, so the EQXX's aerodynamics is a big part of its efficiency. The other big part is Mercedes' thermal management system, which uses shutters and cooling plates to maintain an ideal battery and electric drive unit temperature. The plates allow the EQXX to gain about 12 miles of range in its most aerodynamic mode.

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Automotive auction

Mecum Auctions is ready for 2022

The Mecum Kissimmee Auction will feature a handful of rare, low-mileage supercars.

Mecum

Today marks the end of 2021, and 2022 is looking to be an exciting one for auto enthusiasts. Mecum Auctions, one of the most prominent and popular automotive auction companies around, is ready for the year with its Kissimmee 2022 auction. Though the event takes place over an eleven-day period, the automotive portion of the auction takes place from January 6 through January 16 in Kissimmee, FL.

2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale Low-mileage exotics are just the start. Mecum

Many auto auctions feature impressive vehicles, and this one is no exception. Everything from a 725-mile 2016 Pagani Huayra to a crew of classic Corvettes will cross the block, and there will be a few full-collection auctions. The Don Salmon Collection features 62 American muscle cars, including Corvettes, Impalas, Mustangs, and more. The Gary Thomas Collection is on offer as well, featuring 33 Ford and Shelby vehicles.

In addition to classic American cars, a collection of six low-mileage supercars are on offer, including #100/106 McLaren Speedtail with just 194 miles, a 2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale with 57 miles, a 2021 Ferrari 812 GTS with 138 miles, and a 2021 Ferrari F8 Spider with 66 miles. Two Mercedes-AMG cars join that impressive group, including a 2018 AMG GT R and a 2020 AMG GT R.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe As usual, the auction will feature several rare American muscle cars. Mecum

If you're hoping to bid on a lot at the auction, registration is available online and on-site at the event. The cost to register is $200, but if you just want to look around, you can buy a general admission ticket for $20 in advance or $30 at the door.

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