Getting close to some vehicular celebrities

I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Concours d’Elegance held in Pebble Beach, California last August. Vehicles from diametric ends of the technological spectrum converge for the event. Apart from the antiquated treasures that are the main attraction, current manufacturers will often use the venue to display or even reveal state-of-the-art concepts.

There were no significant reveals this year but that didn’t stop manufacturers from displaying an arsenal of futuristic wares. In this post, I provide photos of and briefly discuss ten concepts that I saw that day.

2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Concept Vehicle Photo Bonanza

Live and learn
What a sunrise!Despite having taken over 900 pictures (that is not a typo), I feel I could have taken more. But lack of sleep and a night of solid driving leading up to entering the mega-sized event had conspired to put me in zombie mode. Okay, so my dream trip didn’t unfold like clockwork and my plans didn’t go exactly as… planned, but it was one heck of a trip. The 2012 Concours was everything I’d hoped it would be and so much more.

The collection of old hardware was impressive but, being easily baited by modern technology, it was no time before I was completely immersed in the contemporary dream machines, some of which are presented below (ordered alphabetically by make). There are a couple more that I will be posting on individually (both Cadillacs), and a few vehicles from the Concourse that I’ve already posted on, including:

Before starting, I wanted to share a picture of the sunrise I witnessed on the drive in while at a rest stop off of Highway 46, near Paso Robles; that’s the one you see above right. Instead of a gallery in this post, I’ve stuck thumbnails to the subject full-size photos below the related text.

The second picture below is a panorama shot I took just inside the main event. (It was digitally stitched which is why that man’s arm is missing.)

What a sunrise!2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance panorama

2012 BMW Zagato Roadster concept
2012 BMW Zagato RoadsterThe Zagato Roadster is a follow-up on the Zagato Coupe which had been introduced earlier in the year.

Zagato is a legendary coach builder hailing from Italy. The two companies of elite notoriety came together for the project and were able to produce the Zagato Roadster in a scant six weeks (thanks to its close relation to the Coupe).

The car’s design is remarkably well proportioned, an attribute BMW seems ill-equipped to imbue a two-seater with all on their own. Unfortunately, the “Z”-pattern mesh that fills the grille comes off as gimmicky; maybe even arrogantly-tacky.

2012 BMW Zagato Roadster front2012 BMW Zagato Roadster rear right2012 BMW Zagato Roadster rear

2012 Fisker Surf concept
2012 Fisker Surf conceptThis concept is billed as the world’s first electric luxury/sports automobile that is designed to serve both “active and eco-friendly lifestyles.”

“With the Surf, Fisker has created a unique cross between a luxury sports car and a station wagon,” says Henrik Fisker, Fisker Automotive’s co-founder, Executive Chairman and Executive Design Director.

The Surf concept vehicle is based on Fisker’s production Karma sedan, essentially having been turned into a station wagon for additional load-carrying capability. As does its production donor, the Surf employs a series-hybrid system which is powered only by electrical energy. Similar to but not the same as Chevy Volt’s gas/electric Voltec system, Fisker brands their gasoline-powered generator setup “EVer” (Electric Vehicle with extended range).

2012 Fisker Surf concept front left2012 Fisker Surf concept left2012 Fisker Surf concept rear left

2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder concept
2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder conceptI’m not really sure why this was displayed as a concept at the Concours; the event’s program even lists it as a concept. From what I understand it is a production model currently available for you to purchase, that is assuming you’ve got the $1.1 million dollars required for the exchange.

That’s also assuming you got in line early enough; there are only five planned per year with a total of 29 to be made. Units #1 and 2 are spoken for, the first by Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith.

If you’re curious what makes the Venom GT Spyder so special, it’s got everything the hardtop version has, including its 7.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that generates 1,244 bhp. That level of power in a vehicle that weighs 2,743 pounds roughly equates to 1 hp per kilogram and a tested zero-to-200 mph time of 15.3 seconds. Hennessey lays claim to the title of quickest accelerating supercar on the market, with their GT line.

2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder front left2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder rear left2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder rear right2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spydern left rear

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