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Why you should care about Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

By Cameron Kirby, 21 Aug 2018 News

Pebble Beach

Here’s what to expect when retro style meets modern tech on the lawns of a seaside golf course

EACH year the world’s most exquisitely maintained classic cars convene on the manicured lawns of a Californian golf course for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The event is the curtain closer for Monterey Car Week, held in August, and has become an increasingly attractive venue for manufacturers to put on a show. This year’s gathering takes place next week, and Wheels anticipates a slew of fresh metal to ogle.

The event began in 1950 as an adjunct to the Pebble Beach Road Race, and featured 30 cars. Pebble Beach isn’t a motor show in the traditional sense, having started life as a classical concours event.

However, that hasn’t stopped the Monterey Car Week finale attracting major OEMs eager to rip the covers off cutting-edge designs and historically significant masterpieces.

It’s no coincidence that Maybach revealed concept cars two years in a row at Pebble Beach, while both Pagani and Koenigsegg have been known to debut special editions on the lawn.

So, here are all the reasons you should care about this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow Concept

The Three Pointed Star is expected to debut a sleek retro-styled concept dubbed the EQ Silver Arrow at Pebble Beach this year.

Penned by Mercedes-Benz’s chief design officer, Gorden Wagener, the name hints at a fully-electric retro racer. EQ denotes Merc’s new electrified sub-brand, while ‘Silver Arrows’ was a nickname given to Mercedes-Benz’s grand prix racers of decades ago.

Porsche Project Gold

Porsche’s classic car team has been working feverishly in the lead up to Pebble Beach on its ‘Project Gold’ vehicle, which is expected to be shown on the lawn.

Project Gold is a meticulously restored and modified 911, which has been teased in short videos over the past few months. Porsche is yet to confirm whether Project Gold started life as a 993, as it appears, or as another generation of 911, but the Stuttgart press office has confirmed a 3.8-litre air-cooled twin-turbo flat-six engine producing 331kW will be nestled behind the rear axle. With Pebble Beach’s classic car focus, Project Gold is sure to fit right in with the crowd. 

Pebble Beach porsche 2

Audi PB 18 E-Tron

One concept which isn’t going to blend in with the established Pebble Beach classics is Audi’s PB 18 E-Tron, a futuristic concept car inspired by Le Mans.

As is now expected of new concepts, the PB 18 E-Tron will be fully electric, with its pre-show reveal location of Laguna Seca hinting at a racing focus.

The concept will debut August 23 at the race track, before being rolled onto the golf course later in the week.

Pebble Beach audi

Bugatti Divo

No, it’s not a misspelled tribute to the synth-pop band, it’s the corner-carving sibling to the horizon-smashing Chiron.

No technical details have been revealed but the coach-built machine will wear the moniker Divo, honouring pre-war grand prix racer Albert Divo, who won the Targa Florio twice for Bugatti in the 1920s.

Unlike the Chiron and Veyron, the Divo usurps the traditional top-speed focus of previous Bugatti hardware, and is instead engineered to attack apexes with more vigour than its straight-line speed siblings.

Bugatti claims the Divo will “be light and nimble and will boast enormous downforce and G-forces” and have “outstanding” handling.

Each Divo will be built atop the same chassis and powertrain as the Chiron, which means the limited-edition Bugatti will be afforded 1102kW of shove to attack corners with, although the engineers might not be able to resist turning up the taps a little further.

The Divo will reportedly cost $7.9m to buy, and is limited to just 40 cars globally.

Pebble Beach dina

Infiniti’s Prototype 10

Nissan’s luxury off-shoot has teased a Pebble Beach reveal for its follow-up concept to last year’s Prototype 9, a Leaf-powered creation inspired by 1940s grand prix racers.

Teaser images for the concept hint Infiniti has again done away with a roof, leaving a driver’s seat exposed to the elements.

Penned by the brand’s new executive design director, Karim Habib, who jumped shipped from BMW, the concept will be a fully-electric machine.

Pebble Beach infiniti

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

The latest V12 monster from Sant'Agata stormed onto the scene by crushing the Porsche 911 GT2 RS’s Nurburgring record. However, Lamborghini is expected officially debut the Aventador SVJ in a much more genteel location at Pebble Beach.

Billed as the Aventador swansong, the SVJ is also likely the final naturally-aspirated V12 Lambo, pumping out 567kW and 720Nm.

It’s expected the SVJ suffix could simply become Jota, a famous badge which has been worn previously by just two Lamborghinis, the Miura and rear-drive Diablo SE 30.

Pebble Beach lamborghini

Pinifarina PF0

The famed Italian design studio Pinifarina is expected to reveal its first in-house hypercar at Pebble Beach this year.

Dubbed the PF0, the all-electric hypercar will be hand-built in an incredibly small number from 2020, with no more than 150 to be spread across the globe.

It’s claimed the car will be able to crack 100km/h from a standstill in less than two seconds, with a 400km/h+ vmax, thanks to modular underpinnings co-developed by electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac and the Mahindra Racing Formula E team.

A production version of the PF0 will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March next year. 

Pebble Beach pinafarina