SSO’s Supercar Plans for 2022

SSO’s Supercar Plans for 2022

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.

SCG 004S

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 

McLaren Artura

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.

 

Ferrari Roma

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

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. 

Summary

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.

The sign up for new blog email notifications is at the bottom of the page.

 

Follow us on

Share Now

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

 

January 2022

 

Recent Posts

Aston Martin: Earnings Warning & Potential CEO Exit

Aston Martin: Earnings Warning & Potential CEO Exit

I wasn’t planning on writing another article on Aston Martin until they released their full 2021 results in February.  Friday’s Trading Update announcement, along with the rumors of Tobias Moers imminent departure, have thrown a wrench in those plans.  I’ve gotten quite a number of requests for comment on these latest developments, so I’ve tried to pull together a few thoughts.

As a bit of background, the last article I did on Aston Martin was back in December after Kenneth Gregor, the CFO, suddenly resigned (CFO Jumps Ship), an event that rarely signals that a company is in great shape.  The article before that was a detailed analysis on Aston Martin’s Q3 results (Analysis of Aston Martin’s Q3 Results).  This included a section on the likelihood that Aston Martin would deliver against their 2021 Guidance. At the time, hitting the 2021 EBITDA number was heavily dependent on Aston Martin delivering a double digit number of Valkyries before the end of the year.  Tobias Moers, the CEO made the following statement in the Q3 Earnings Call in November:

 

“Valkyrie, we’re chasing to have a double-digit number delivered this year, and accompanying that, we have a parallel assembly of the track- only Valkyrie as well, where we chase for a single-digit number to deliver to customers.”

 

Multiple reports going into December indicated that Aston Martin has continuing to struggle with Valkyrie production, and it was viewed as unlikely that they would be able to deliver any before the end of the year.  As of last week, there was no indication that any Valkyries were now in customer hands.  There had also been no official announcement one way or another and nothing in the press.  All that changed last Friday, Jan 7th when Aston Martin released the following:

7 January 2022

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc FY 2021 Trading Update

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc (“Aston Martin” or the “Company”) today updates on FY 2021 trading.

  • Wholesales grew 82% to 6,182 as planned

  • 3,001 DBX units wholesaled in first full year of production taking estimated 20% market share of the luxury SUV segment
  •  
  •  Retails (dealer sales to customers) greater than wholesales for both GT/Sport and DBX as aligned supply to demand and as we operate as a true luxury brand
  •  
  •  Following an extensive and challenging development and testing schedule which has now successfully completed, the game-changing Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar programme is in production and deliveries to customers have commenced
    • With a quality focused production ramp-up, 10 Aston Martin Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro vehicles were shipped in Q4. This was fewer than previously planned and accordingly, adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to be c.£15m lower than expected. The impact is timing only, all Aston Martin Valkyrie Coupes are sold and remain allocated to customers with significant deposits
    • An associated reduction in 2021 depreciation and amortisation is expected to result in a broadly net neutral impact on adjusted operating profit
    • This timing change will see deliveries and the associated EBITDA continue through 2022 as planned and now through 2023
    •  
  •  Year-end cash balance of c.£420m, higher than previously anticipated
  •  
  •  Preliminary results for the twelve months to 31 December 2021 will be announced on 24 February 2022

and simultaneously, Autocar Magazine published an article indicating that Tobias Moers, the CEO was likely on his way out Future of Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers in doubt.

First unpacking a bit of the Aston Martin “Trading Update”, this is basically an announcement that they missed on Valkyrie deliveries and therefore have a major hole in the EBITDA number.  Back in November, Moers promised a “double digit” number of Valkyrie coupes along with a single digit number of Valkyrie AMR Pros.  The above Trading Update references:

 10 Aston Martin Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro vehicles were shipped in Q4

which would seem to be very close to the number Moers originally referenced.  What is interesting is how this statement is worded.  In the statement, Aston Martin declares that the 10 Valkyries were “shipped” in Q4. “Shipped” is very different from “delivered to customers” and as the Valkyrie is a direct sale from the factory to the customer, unless the car is delivered, the revenue from the sale should not be recognized.  “Shipped” simply indicates that the cars have left the manufacturing facility and are now likely sitting in a warehouse or storage facility.  This would explain the £15m miss in EBITDA.  In fact, nowhere has Aston Martin stated that a single Valkyrie has been delivered to a customer.  For Moers to have made the original statement during the November earnings call, 7 weeks before the quarter end, on the number of Valkyries Aston expected to deliver in 2021, with making the EBITDA number heavily dependent on hitting that number, he had to have had a very high degree of confidence that Aston could achieve this goal.  To miss it, and miss it badly, is highly concerning.  Aston also references a “quality focused production ramp-up” which is basically shorthand for “slow and with major challenges”.  

The other statement of immediate interest here is:

Year-end cash balance of c.£420m, higher than previously anticipated

 

which is quite disingenuous. I can’t find any guidance Aston ever issued on year end cash on hand.  In fact, it is down £69m from year end 2021.  Regarding the statements on total number of cars wholesaled and retailed, I will come back to these when Aston Martin releases their full 2021 Earnings Report, and more information is available.  

Coming back to the Autocar article on Moers future at Aston Martin being in doubt, Moers relationship with Lawrence Stroll, the Executive Chairman and largest individual shareholder, has been on shaky ground for some time now (see: AML Q2 & Goodwood FoS).  While Stroll denied he was looking to replace Moers in a statement to the Financial Times Aston Martin chair denies he is looking for a new chief executive.  Stroll’s denial rang pretty hallow when shortly after the FT article came out,  Bloomberg Aston Martin Approaches Ford Executive identified the individual Stroll had approached about replacing Moers and indicated several discussions had already taken place.  I’ve never thought that Moers was going to last long term under Stroll, and it would appear we are now very close to the end of Moers regime. While I do feel for Moers, being made to publicly “twist in the wind” has to be incredibly uncomfortable, it is par for the course for Stroll.  The last Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, found out he had been fired when a reporter from the Financial Times called him up and ask for a comment (see:

).

Summary

Within basically a month now, Aston Martin has had a well-regarded CFO suddenly resign, and now it looks like the CEO will be following him out the door shortly.  Stroll’s denials on his looking to replace Moers are borderline comical at this point. He would have been better served just to have had his PR department issue a statement that Aston Martin does not comment on rumors.  In addition, Aston Martin has had to issue a special Trading Update to basically admit that are continuing to have problems with the Valkyrie program and as a result will miss the EBITDA number by £15m. Looks like Kenneth Gregor, the ex CFO, was wise to, as the Times of London put it (Aston Martin deserves the ejector seat from your portfolio), hit the ejector switch.

Thoughts and comments? Please see the comments section below.

The sign up for new blog email notifications is at the bottom of the page.

 

Follow us on

Share Now

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

 

January 2022

 

Recent Posts

The SSO Awards: 2021

The SSO Awards: 2021

In this final article of 2021, what has been another unprecedented year, I’ve put together my annual SSO Awards list covering the automotive universe in general.  In putting this year’s awards list together, I would like to first acknowledge that I have no real basis to be doing this (that’s better left up to the professional journalists and those that actually work in the automotive sector) and therefore I’ve taken the liberty to take a different approach that probably only amuses me.  Please excuse some of the more esoteric references.

The Coal Under the Christmas Tree Award goes to Aston Martin which still hasn’t delivered a single Valkyrie despite different Aston Martin Executives making the following promises in the last 2 years: In May 2020: “deliveries will start in the 2nd half of 2020”, a year later in May 2021:  “deliveries are on schedule for 2nd half of 2021”, in July 2021:  “deliveries will start in Q4 2021”, in November 2021:  Moers announced Aston Martin had completed the first customer Valkyrie……….but as of Christmas Eve 2021, there is zero evidence of any actual customer deliveries.  For context, when Aston Martin originally announced the Valkyrie, Obama was President, Cameron was the Prime Minister, Corona was cheap watery Mexican beer, the last group to storm the US Capital were the British in 1812 and Meghan Markle was a little known US actress on a minor TV Show.

Julius Ceasar Veni Vidi Vici Award  (Latin for I came, I saw, I conquered) goes to Ferrari naturally.  With the coming Purosangue SUV and recently launched Roma, they have put a fork right into Aston Martin.  Then just to make sure McLaren didn’t feel left out, Ferrari introduced 296 GTB hybrid which is aimed squarely at the McLaren Artura.

Stephen Hawking Award in Quantum Mechanics goes to Max Verstappen who spend a season threading his car through gaps that may or may not have existed and in the end was rewarded with his first world championship.

The Best Money is Other People’s Money Award is a tie between Aston Martin Lagonda & Lawrence Stroll. Aston Martin has been on an absolute tear this year when it comes to collecting customer deposits by launching the limited edition Valkyrie AMR Pro, Valkyrie Spider, Valhalla, and just to make sure they finished the year with a bang, the Final Edition V12 Vantage.  Just in Q3 2021 Aston Martin pulled in £38 mil. of new customer deposits while reporting improved Free Cash Flow of only £5 mil.  This indicates Aston has likely burned through £33 mil. of what was brought in. 

Lawrence Stroll is honored for having the public company, Aston Martin Lagonda PLC, in which he is the Executive Chairman and largest but very much still a minority shareholder, pay a sponsorship fee of £24 million a year to his privately owned race team (formerly Racing Point, now rebranded as Aston Martin Racing).  Lawrence Stroll’s son Lance drives for what is now called the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team.

The Winston Churchill “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” Plaque is our second tie between McLaren on the Artura and Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) on the T.50.  McLaren proved they had finally learned from past foibles on rushing cars into production before they were quite ready for prime time with the Artura.  Its production has now been pushed back into 2022 to ensure  they get it completely right before customer deliveries start.

The GMA T.50’s debut at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting was a smashing success and came off flawlessly. They had clearly learned a bit from one of their competitors’ fiascos earlier in the year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. While the T.50s fan still feels a bit gimmicky, the rest of the T.50 on paper is pure brilliance.  A high revving V12, manual gearbox, central driving position, and carbon fiber tub is as good as it gets.

The David vs. Goliath Award goes to Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus for not only entering two SCG 007s in the top LMP1/LMH category at Le Mans but finishing just off the podium in 4th and 5th on their first attempt.

The Gordon Gekko’s ‘Greed is Good’ Plaque goes to Russell Westbrook Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM in Van Nuys for tacking on a $50,000 “Market Adjustment” fee plus a few others on a new 2022 RAM truck taking the sticker price from $94k to $148k.

The Dutch Tulipmania Balloon goes to Rivian.  It went public in Nov at $78 a share, soared up to $179 before crashing back down to $97 after Rivian’s first post IPO earnings announcement.  This still leaves Rivian with a market cap of $88 bil. which given Rivian has only delivered 386 vehicles to date is just a bit eye watering.  As a reference Ford’s current market cap is $82 bil.

The Pastor Maldonado Award goes to Nikta Mazepin.  Mazepin started his F1 career by crashing out on the first lap and the season didn’t get much better from there. He finished dead last in all but 2 races, was warned and penalized several times for ignoring blue flags (instructions to move out of the way to allow the race leaders through), but in a spectacular display of a lack of self-awareness rated himself 4 out of 5 on the season.

The Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder Scroll is given to BMW for the new M3 & M4.  The huge new front “kidney” grill gives it a smushed in nose look that is definitely going to take years to get used to……if it happens at all.

The Sir John Major Award for Elbowing Aside your Predecessor goes to George Russell who just to make sure everyone was aware he was ready to take the 2nd seat on the Mercedes F1 Team from Valtteri Bottas, took the former out while attempting an overly ambitious high-speed overtake on the Mercedes on a damp track. Immediately afterwards the crash, Russell went over to Bottas, who was still sitting in his wrecked car, and slapped his race helmet.

The Johannes Gutenberg Award goes to Czinger for the 21C Hybrid. Not sure yet if this is genius or madness but 3D printing a hypercar is definitely breaking new ground.  Czinger did claim to have set a new production car track record at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in October of this year by beating the previous record set by a McLaren P1 by more than 6 seconds.  It’s a cheeky claim as the 21C is still a prototype and years away from being a true production car with a license plate on the back.  However, hats off to Czinger for developing a prototype in a relatively short period of time that’s capable of running flat out in public.

The Coco Chanel “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” Pin goes to Ferrari for the Icona SP3.  Even though Ferrari is putting together modern “imitations” from its back catalog, the SP3 is still brilliant.  How can you not like a mid engine V12?  The only thing that would make it better is if it had the same 6 speed manual gearbox as the F50.

 

The Chris Harris Ferrari Treatment Plaque (see: Harris Banned by Ferrari) goes to the Ferrari SF90.  Harris called the SF90 both a toy and stupid while admitting “the thing is undeniably impressive”.  Given Harris current role at Top Gear, I doubt this will lead another “suspension”.  I do applaud Chris for not being afraid to speak his mind and voice opinions that might not be well received by certain car manufacturers.  Unlike his predecessors at Top Gear, Harris actually is an accomplished driver.

 

The US Marshalls Witness Protection Program Cloak goes to De Tomaso.  After making a huge splash at both Goodwood and Pebble Beach with the P72 in 2019, De Tomaso then announced in October that they were moving all of their operations to the US “to restore the romance, beauty, passion and elegance in the luxury American automotive industry”. Since then, other than issuing a press release that they had hired a test driver, De Tomaso has essentially disappeared. 

 

The Jamie Dimon Award for Getting Fired and Moving Up goes to Sergio Perez who after getting dumped by Racing Point in 2020, landed in a Red Bull seat for 2021 and finished 4th in the Championship. Perez has already been resigned by Red Bull for 2022.  The driver who Perez was fired to make way for finished 12th.  (Jamie Dimon, currently the Chairman & CEO of JPMorgan Chase, was fired by Citibank in 1998.  JPMorgan Chase is the largest of the US Big Four Banks and Citibank is the smallest)

 

I hope you found this amusing or at the very least put a smile on your face – tough to do this second unprecedented year.  And so, 2021 finally comes to a close.  It ends much as it began, with yet another Covid-19 spike, ICUs being overwhelmed, events being cancelled, and office openings being pushed back yet again.  The scary part is it all feels almost normal now.  All the best for a better, happier, healthier 2022.

Thoughts and comments? Please see the comments section below.

The sign up for new blog email notifications is at the bottom of the page.

 

Follow us on

Share Now

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

December 2021

Recent Posts

Anticipation Grows – The SCG 004S

Anticipation Grows – The SCG 004S

It’s been about six months since I last posted an update on the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) 004s’ development (1st Impressions, the SCG004S). I had just had the chance to visit the new SCG factory in Danbury, Connecticut and see a couple of the 004S development mules.  I was very fortunate to have Jim Glickenhaus provide a personal tour and walk through on the 004S’s development. 

A bit of background on SCG, they have been around as a race car manufacturer and team since 2010.  The big change however came in July 2017 when SCG registered with NHTSA in order to make road-legal cars in the United States.  The SCG 004 is SCG’s second car after the multi-race winning 003.  The SCG 004S/CS is SCGs first production road car and it will met all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.  SCG has aggressive plans for a full range of road and race cars which I touched on in an earlier article “The Ambitious Plans of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus”.  SCG was on the grid at Le Mans for the first time this year with two SCG 007 in the Hypercar Class.  They finished a highly respectable 4th and 5th, missing the podium by only 2 minutes and 34 seconds.  SCG is offering a completely Le Mans race support package for $6 million, including the car.  SCG has also indicated that they will build 25 road legal 007s if there is sufficient interest.  I hope they do as a road legal 007 would be something awesome to behold.

In Jim’s words:

 

“The SCG004 has been an amazing journey.  Developing and building a fully compliant car that stayed true to its mission of an old school, yet modern sports car, with the soul of its GT3 sister was a complicated journey.  Transferring the modular assembly of the race version to the road version was very important. It allowed a platform that could be easily worked on and quickly improved. Once I began driving various prototypes, I was able to work with our team to change things that would make it exactly what I wanted it to be.  Over 40 years I have driven exotic cars about 1,000,000 miles on the road in many conditions.  Sports Cars are dreams on dream roads but what makes them special is how they react to rain, snow, one-hundred-degree days, bumpy roads and everyday driving.  Developing TC/ESC/ABS that gently helped keep the car safe without obtrusively interfering with its desired character.

Testing, tweaking, and testing again.  Her bones are great. She’s light and nimble. The nearly production finished mule is only 2600 LBS and as sports cars have gotten heavier, she stands out.  Her engine (S) has massive torque and on the road, torque is what you want. Her CS engine will have even more and her aero, which is at the limit of what road legal tires can handle really sticks the car and gives you confidence.  She’s drivable in the snow.  She’s drivable in the rain. Her heat and air conditioner work well and her embedded electrical de-mister wires are a joy with a very curved windshield.  The crash tests are almost done, high speed testing at Nardo in mid-January and finally we’ll begin building customer cars.  It’s been a long, amazing journey and looking out from her center driver’s seat, I really believe our future looks bright.”

The SCG 004S, and the more track focused SCG 004CS, 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. The SCG 004S is powered by a supercharged 650 bhp V8 supplied by GM.  The gearboxes in both the 004S and 004CS are supplied by CIMA (CIMA Gearboxes) In the 004S it’s a 6 speed manual with a larger road clutch and in the 004 CS it’s 7 speed paddle shift with an automatic clutch.  SCG believes CIMA gearboxes are the best choice for ultra-high torque applications.  The suspension on both is inboard pushrod.  The SCG 004CS, will also have an extra 200 bhp, center lock wheels and more aggressive aero.

 

SCG is now moving full speed ahead with final development and testing on the 004S.  As soon as the final crash test and the high speed testing is completed at Nardo in Q1 2022, production will be ready to start at the new Danbury factory.  Work on the electronics is almost finished and the Traction Control / ABS is an added bonus that wasn’t originally planned but got added to the development plan to meet full US DOT requirements. Meeting these requirements has been a major eight figure investment for SCG that just serves to show how committed Jim is to make it a success.  From what I understand, our SCG 004S will likely be delivered in Q2 2022. 

While I have yet to drive a SCG 004S, I have sat in one of the development mules.  There is a significant amount of both head and leg room with the fully adjustable Sabelt seat and adjustable steering column.  The central driving position feels near perfect, and visibility is excellent given the large wrap around windshield.  The large metal gated shifter is intuitively placed on the right and slightly forward.  The gearbox action felt firm and has a wonderful metal “clink” when you slot each gear.  All the controls are within easy reach and the dashboard gauges are aesthetically clean and easy to read at a glance.  The cockpit on the road cars is very light and airy with the glass roof.  The amount of room that the two passenger seats have is impressive.  Both passenger seats are mounted just behind the driver’s seat which provides extra leg and shoulder room.  There is room for a medium size duffle bag in-between the two passenger sears. The left side passenger seat can comfortable accommodate an individual up to 6’4” and on the right side on the manual gearbox versions, it’s a bit more modest by still ample.  Either side is far more comfortable than the back seats in any 2+2 I have ever sat in.  The attention to detail, even on the development mules, was very impressive.

I have heard that customer test drives will be available starting in early 2022.  I will definitely try to set one up.  A few journalists have driven the SCG 004S and reviews are starting to appear online and in different publications.  To date the reviews have been quite positive with one journalist commenting that the steering, handling, and gearbox were as good as any car he had ever driven.  I would call this highly complementary given he was driving a development mule.  Octane Magazine has a review coming out in their Jan. 2022 edition.

What has been totally different to any other car I have ever ordered is the amount of transparency Jim & Jesse Glickenhaus provide on all the other cars SCG is developing and the racing programs.  The Glickenhaus’ regularly post updates to a private message feed, on Twitter, and on Instagram.  As a “Founder” I do get information well before its public release which makes you feel like you are very much part of the development process.  It’s been a very unique experience.  The net result is that I feel much more part of the company than simply being a customer.  I can’t wait to sit down and spec our SCG 004S in early 2022.

Thoughts and comments? Please see the comments section below.

The sign up for new blog email notifications is at the bottom of the page.

 

Follow us on

Share Now

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

 

December 2021

 

Recent Posts