The Pebble Beach automotive events every August were once an intimate and exclusive assortment for owners and enthusiasts. But with the expansion of social media, overall coverage has ballooned, leading to the week being one of the most highly-attended set of events in the automotive world.
New car manufacturers salivate at that idea.
For luxury and performance car manufacturers, there is no better place to display new products. The “concept lawn” outside the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has the latest pre-production models as well as the hottest new exotics. Basically, it’s a breeding ground for the new era of performance cars.
McLaren Automotive has made many impressions on the lawn in the past, including the North American debut of the MP4-12C in 2010 and the world debut of the 12C Spider in 2012, as well as the most extreme offering in the history of the brand, the P1 GTR in 2014. This year did not call for any debuts on the lawn, but nevertheless the upcoming 570S took its place among the newest performance cars in town.
Not far from it was a unique creation from Maserati. To set apart a Ghibli, the highest-selling current model for Maserati, from the rest of its production, the Trident brand linked up with Italian luxury fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna to create a fully bespoke example of the Ghibli. The car featured an exclusive new color, as well as many exterior and interior touches never before used on the car. The creation followed the footsteps of the Quattroporte Zegna Edition, which was limited to only 100 cars to ensure its exclusivity. The new Ghibli concept originally debuted in April at the Shanghai Auto Show in, a huge market for the car, but was previously not displayed anywhere else in the United States.
While Porsche was not present on the concept lawn, its presence in Pebble Beach was still widely noted. The entire range of Porsche’s most desirable sports cars were in attendance at several events.
The most driver-focused cars were on display at The Quail Motorsports Gathering, with all generations of GT3 RS gracing the stage. A white 996 GT3 RS closely matched the rare 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, with the brand new 991 GT3 RS taking center stage. Across the street at the Porsche Zentrum at The Quail Lodge, the new Cayman GT4 and 918 Spyder chassis No. 000 rounded out the ultimate Porsche lineup.
But down the street, Porsche was making an even bigger splash.
The Porsche Club of America held its second annual Werks Reunion at the Rancho Canada Golf Club, a free event for spectators at a golf course littered with Porsches of all kinds. While the miles of 911s and even a one-off Viper Green 918 Spyder were utterly impressive, the Michelin stand presented the greatest exhibit of all. For the first time in one location, all of Porsche’s GT cars were together: the 911 GT1, 911 GT2, 911 GT3 and Cayman GT4. From the racing pedigree of 1996 to the street and track capabilities of today’s cars, Porsche showed the best of its lineage during Monterey Car Week.
Through displays or auctions, McLaren and Maserati did the same. From the F1 and the P1 to the new 570S, the McLaren brand saw the past and present coming together as they look toward the future, and Maserati was dead set on spicing up its current lineup to build the reputation for its next products.
So even though Pebble Beach rests precariously on the very coast of the country, it still remains the center of the luxury automotive world.