Sitting here on a cold sunny Saturday morning in January watching the colors of dawn poking through the forest, got me thinking about what 2022 will bring in terms of both already planned new arrivals in the garage, another addition I am seriously considering (it’s been submitted for Use Case testing), and a few other cars I would like to drive for the 1st time this year. We have both a McLaren 765LT Spider and SCG 004S on order and they should arrive in the first half of 2022. The V12 itch that started up last year has only gotten worse and another Ferrari V12 might just be in the cards in 2022. On the other cars I am looking forward to driving this year, the top 3 are the McLaren Artura, the Ferrari 296 GTB, Ferrari Roma, and the Maserati MC20. Of the four, I have a high degree of confidence that 3 of the 4 will happen. I’ve chosen each of these as I believe they are quite important to the success of their manufacturer’s going forward.
Our New Arrivals:
McLaren 765LT Spider
The two confirmed new arrivals this year are quite the contrast between the known, the McLaren 765LT Spider, and the very much still unknown, the SCG004S. Courtesy of the kind people at McLaren North America, I was able to spend several wonderful days with a 765LT Coupe last summer which just served to cement once and for all that I had made the right call on securing a 765LT Spider build slot. In a few words, the 765LT is a brilliant, fantastic car. It is certainly worthy of the “LT” designation and carries on where the 675LT left off. However, the key line that impacted the Use Case analysis is “in many ways the 765LT is a Senna that you could use as a daily driver”. Net net, it has near Senna levels of performance while still delivering 720S Spider levels of comfort and usability. If I go back one generation, I would not say the same about the 675LT when compared to the P1 or 650S. While the 675LT gets close to the P1 in performance, it does sacrifice a lot more in terms of daily useability. As the last of the pre-hybrid first-generation twin turbo Ricardo V8 powered cars (assuming McLaren doesn’t do a “780 R”) it should be the ultimate evolution of the line that started back with the 12C. Last I checked, ours is scheduled to arrive in mid-March, assuming there are no new Covid related delays.
The SCG 004S will be the first fully road legal three-seater cars with a center driving position sold in the US. The SCG 004 is built around a carbon fiber tub, with all carbon fiber body panels. It is powered by a supercharged 650 bhp V8 supplied by GM. The 6 speed manual gearboxes are supplied by CIMA. The suspension is inboard pushrod. SCG has spent most of the past year navigating through the US Homologation process and is now moving full speed ahead with final development and testing on the 004S. Work on the electronics is almost finished and the Traction Control / ABS is an added bonus that wasn’t originally planned but was added to the development plan to meet US DOT requirements. Meeting these requirements has been a major eight figure investment for SCG that just serves to show how committed Jim Glickenhaus is to making SCG a success. As soon as the final crash test and the high speed testing is completed at the Nardo Test Track in Q1 2022, production will be ready to start at the new Danbury factory. From what I understand, our SCG 004S will be the 5th one built and likely delivered in Q2 2022. While everything on paper screams epic supercar, the SCG 004S is still a bit of an unknown quantity. I have sat in one, and the driving position and visibility are excellent, but the proof is in how it drives. To date, I haven’t had the opportunity to do that yet but hopefully I will have a chance to test drive one soon
The V12 Hole in the Soul
Over the years, I’ve had a bit of a twisted relationship with front engine Ferrari V12s GTs (Man Math & Ferrari V12s). It can basically be described as lust, acquisition, bonding, drifting apart, and then neglect. I love the idea, and nothing can beat the feeling of the surge of power a naturally aspirated V12 delivers, but when it comes to owning and using the car, the reality has been a bit of a mixed experience. The V12s we have owned tend to get a lot of use early on but after a while tend to sit, usually losing the key grab war to the mid-engine V8 Spiders if there was any risk of the sun being out. It’s that top down nimbler, sportier feeling that the mid engine cars deliver so well that normally tips the scales in their favor. While the open air potential of a Ferrari 812 GTS is highly appealing, I have missed the window to order a new one, and used prices are beyond eye watering. However, while both the Ferrari F12 & 812 Superfast are coupes, they could both be great options as their front mid engine design and twin clutch gearboxes make for a major leap forward in terms of driving feel vs. prior generations of Ferrari V12 GTs. In addition, with road trips again becoming feasible as we head into spring and summer 2022, a Ferrari V12 does make for the ultimate long road trip vehicle.
The door for a Ferrari acquisition has recently reopened. A good friend recently became the General Manager for one of the leading Ferrari dealerships. I have purchased multiple cars from him in the past and it has always been a great experience. Having someone I trust on the other side of the deal is something I put an enormous amount of importance on.
The Ones To Drive
The Artura is at the top on my wish list, despite some initial reservations on the whole hybrid revolution (Hybrids Are Coming). The Artura will be McLaren’s first regular production hybrid and is built around a new, even lighter and stiffer, carbon fiber tub with a twin turbo V6 mated to an electric motor. Like the P1, it will be able to run on full electric mode for roughly 20 miles. If the 765LT brings up imagery of being raw, wild, and blindingly quick, the first things that come to mind on the hybrid Artura are added weight and digital. I have been assured that the Artura will be anything but lumpy and remote, but like the SCG 004S, the proof will be in how it feels from behind the steering wheel. In terms of expectations, I expect the Artura to be as nimble as the 720S with near P1 levels of acceleration.
Ferrari 296 GTB
Ferrari’s first shot at a mainstream hybrid, the SF90 Stradale is quite polarizing. The people I know who have driven the SF90 have all come back with very different opinions ranging from love to total disenchantment. With the 296 GTB, on paper, it looks like Ferrari has addressed a lot of the not quite positive feedback the SF90 has received (with the exception of Chris Harris, Ferrari is nearly immune to negative press feedback). I am keenly interested in getting behind the wheel to see if we bond and how it compares to the McLaren Artura.
I had the Roma described recently to me as simply the best front engine V8 anyone has made to date. This came from a person who has driven just about everything all the supercar and sportscar manufacturers have made in the last decade. It is very high praise and I am interested in finding out if we agree.
Maserati MC20 – We’ve had a GranTurismo Cabrio for 7 years now and it’s been terrific. As the MC20 is Maserati’s first mid-engine (the MC12 was basically a tarted up Ferrari Enzo) I believe it’s definitely worth spending a bit of seat time in one. On paper it could be a supercar and I would like to find out if it really meets those expectations. On a number of elements, it certainly ticks the right boxes: its mid-engine, top speed over 200 mph, carbon fiber tub, and a dual clutch transmission. Where it falls a bit short on paper is weight, where it’s a bit flabby, and bhp, where it’s a bit short by today’s supercar standards. Base pricing is at the top of the sportscar market and with a few options, you are into supercar territory.
2022 is shaping up as an exciting year. I am very much looking forward to the arrival of both the McLaren 765LT Spider and SCG 004S. Driving a center seat will be a completely new experience. Another Ferrari V12 GT might just be in the cards, and I can see a well defined use case shaping up for one. The supercar hybrids are now arriving and how the Artura and 296 GTB stack up against each other will be both fascinating to see and critical to McLaren’s future. The Roma is intriguing based on the feedback I have gotten on it and I do think it’s one of the more elegant recent Ferrari designs. Given how great our Maserati Granturismo Cabrio has been, I am very interested to see what Maserati has come up with as its next great sportscar.
Thoughts and comments? Please see the comments section below.
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It’s interesting that neither Lamborghini or Aston Martin are mentioned. I can understand why Lamborghini doesn’t feature as it seems to be a brand you don’t mention, but Aston is one that you do and yet not a mention on anything they’re producing. That’s not a criticism of yourself, more a failure of Aston Martin.
But there was one thing I said about the Ferrari Roma. It’s the Aston Martin that Aston Martin should be doing! It seems very nicely pitched V8 front engined GT, the type of car than the Vantage should have been – capable and beautiful.
I’m really quite keen to know how the 296 drives. Since this is effectively the near future of supercars. The 765LT Spider is a great choice, especially that McLaren don’t seem to lose anything from hard to open top.
As the owner of an 812, a 675LT and a BAC Mono, I appreciate your thoughts and arguments for and against. Many reinforce mine.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the continued updates – I am a little surprised you have not mentioned the Murray T150 on your wish list to drive in 2022.
Are you interested , or perhaps is it not a practical ownership proposition in the States?
Can’t wait to read your feedback on the new wave of hybrids – will be interesting to see how you get on… As for the SCG 004S, that should be amazing!