June 21, 2005

Best of the Best

The Ferrari F430 was chosen as the top sports car for the 2005 Robb Report 17th annual Best of the Best special edition.

Ferrari's new F430, a mid-engine sports car powered by a 490-horsepower 4.3-liter V8 engine, was top choice in the Sports Car category. Paul Dean, Robb Report editor-at-large, described the F430 as "the finest Ferrari ever built, and maybe the world's best sports car ever."

The Aston Martin DB9 was named the Robb Report's 2005 Car of the Year, and was chosen as "Best of the Best" in the GTs and Coupes category. According to Dean the DB9 is "the finest of the new Aston Martins built to whisper of past glories without displaying an obsession with them."

"Best of the Best" in the sedan category was the Merecedes-Benz CLS55 AMG, the high-performance AMG version of the new sedan with a coupe-like profile, powered by a 469-horsepower supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine. Brett Anderson, Robb Report senior vice president of editorial, summarized the CLS55 as the "perfect amalgamation of style, strength, subtlety and pure mind-numbing fun."

In the Sport-Utility Vehicles category, the new Land Rover Range Rover Sport was the top choice—the first Land Rover with an emphasis on handling and on-road performance. Range Rover Sport's off-road capability "remains an industry standard," according to Dean, "and the on-road performance is designed to match and maybe even surpass that of BMW's X5, Porsche's Cayenne Turbo and any member of Mercedes' M-Class."

06:08 AM in BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, News, Porsche | Permalink

May 12, 2005

2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti F1

This all-new four-seat Ferrari GT replaces the 456M and is the first 12-cylinder prancing horse to feature all-aluminum construction. Also debuting for the first time is Ferrari's new stability and traction control system. Luxury amenities include handcrafted leather, automatic climate control, Bose digital CD audio system, and rain-sensing headlights.

Named after Sergio Scaglietti, the Modena, Italy, coachbuilder who created some of the most stunning Ferraris in the company's early years, the new 2004 612 Scaglietti boasts two "firsts" for Ferrari. The 2004 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is the first 12-cylinder model to be constructed of aluminum, resulting in a chassis and body weight savings of 40 percent over the 456M. The 612 Scaglietti is also the first Ferrari equipped with the company's new stability and traction control system. Designed by Pininfarina, the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti features scalloped sides, which have not appeared since film director Roberto Rossellini commissioned a 375 MM for actress Ingrid Bergman. The 5.7-liter, 540hp V12 engine sits aft of the front axle, resulting in a front-midship layout and a 46/54 front/rear weight distribution. A choice of two transmissions transfers power to the rear transaxle. Standard is a six-speed manual transmission. Optional is an F1-style electrohydraulic gearbox operated via shift paddles on the steering wheel. Despite a curb weight that crests two tons in Europe, the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is plenty fast, especially for a car designed to carry four people in comfort. Inside, the cabin is swathed in handcrafted leather and comes with automatic climate control, a Bose digital CD audio system, automatic headlights, and rain sensor wipers. Luggage capacity is also increased over the 456M. Certainly, there can be no doubt that the 2004 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is one of the finest four-seat sporting machines in the world.

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06:36 AM in Ferrari | Permalink

April 06, 2005

Ferrari 430 Spider Makes North American Debut

After making its world debut a few weeks earlier in Geneva, the F430 Spider hits U.S. shores in New York.

The F430 Spider is the newest open-top car from Ferrari, joining the F430 coupe which debuted last fall at the Paris Motor Show. The Ferrari F430 coupe and F430 Spider the new mid-engine V8-powered sports cars from the legendary Italian automaker. The F430 incorporates advancements in design, technology and performance that promise to push it beyond the achievements of the 360 Modena, which it will replace in the Ferrari lineup.


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06:09 AM in Ferrari | Permalink

March 14, 2005

Spy Shots: Ferrari Superamerica

The Ferrari Superamerica is a convertible based on the 575M Maranello. Ferrari claims that with a top speed of 199 mph, it will be the fastest drop-top production car on sale.

06:04 AM in Ferrari, Spy Shots | Permalink

February 01, 2005

C6 Corvette Z06, Ferrari F430 Spider spied

Well maybe not so much right there— they probably just know people who know people who have the right kind of cameras, designed specially for capturing preproduction cars invisible to your regular tourist-variety lenses. AW’s best snag here is the Z06, which seems to feature a removable hardtop, lightweight wheels, Brembo binders, and, since these spy photo cameras double as portable X-ray machines, a 500-hp 7.0 liter V8. Regarding the the Ferrari F430: zoinks Scooby, it looks exactly like the coupe, but it has a black canvas top and is hardly disguised otherwise— although those red mirrors really threw me for a loop. AutoWeek also stakes a late claim on the new Toyota sports car (codename TXS) we posted about last week, which they think could possibly be the next Supra even though it’s rumored to sticker for over $100K. If that’s true (which I’m pretty sure it isn’t), offering a $100K+ Supra could be the biggest worst-est most horrible-est mistake of Toyota’s life.


06:05 AM in Chevrolet, Ferrari | Permalink

December 01, 2004

Ferrari to delay debut of new car, says Byrne

MILAN, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Formula One world champions Ferrari will start next season with an interim version of their F2004 car, according to chief designer Rory Byrne.

"The aim is to have the (new) car on track at the end of February," the South African told Sunday's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

"We could bring it out from the first race of 2005 but we are not in such a hurry because we want to go deeper into research and design so that it is almost perfect when it does make its debut.

"We expect this to be between the third and fifth races."

The final 2005 race calendar has yet to be published but a draft version has the season starting in Australia on March 6 with races in Malaysia and Bahrain before France and San Marino in April.

Both Magny-Cours and Imola are listed subject to contracts being agreed.

Byrne said the car that would start the season in Melbourne would be "an interim version of the 2004 car, on which we will try and incorporate a good part of the aerodynamics of the new car."

He added that the engine will be updated to last for two races in a row, while the gearbox would be the old one.

Asked whether Ferrari could build a better car than the F2004, which won 15 of this year's 18 races on the way to the Italian team's sixth successive constructors' title, Byrne believed they could.

"The new car will represent another big step forward," he said. "But its success will depend on our rivals.

"It will be different to the F2004, but in an evolutionary sense. Some areas will be very different...the engine will be new, not interchangeable with the current one, as will the gearbox."

Byrne, who joined Ferrari in 1996 after helping Germany's Michael Schumacher to two titles at Benetton, said the new car would carry the stamp of his right-hand man Aldo Costa.

Costa is being groomed to replace Byrne when the designer's contract expires in early 2007.

"I could stay involved in a different manner," Byrne said of his future. "But from 2007 I will certainly spend most of my time in Phuket, in Thailand. My wife is from there.

"I have bought a 7,000 square metre plot by the sea and will build a holiday village with cottages for tourists."

06:08 AM in Ferrari | Permalink

October 20, 2004

Ferrari to Build Formula One Popemobile

Ferrari president, Luca Montezemolo told reporters in Rome on Friday that the Italian Formula One team will build a new ride for the Pope. The new popemobile, to be built in honor of John Paul II’s 26th anniversary as
pontiff, will be based on a downscaled model of the championship-winning Formula One F2004 car. Whether or not the Vatican has scheduled track time at Monza is still unknown.

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07:30 AM in Ferrari | Permalink

October 18, 2004

Ferrari Enzo

If any car has come close to taking the McLaren F1's title of ultimate supercar then the Ferrari Enzo is it. It is both the fastest and the quickest accelerating Ferrari ever constructed, and an ultra-limited production run ensured it is also one of the most exclusive cars on the planet. The project was originally conceived in the late 1990s as a successor to the previous F50 and F40 limited edition 'ultimate' Ferrari projects, although the Enzo was never intended to race. The car made its debut at the 2002 Paris Auto Show and production is limited to 349 examples.

The Enzo's strange looks tend to divide people into lovers and loathers, and yet in many ways this is the most functional supercar ever constructed. Originally envisaged as a showcase for what Ferrari had learned from Formula One, the Enzo (like the F50 and F40) was never designed to race - although its Maserati MC-12 sister car will be competing. From first principles the Enzo was designed around aerodynamic best practice, everything from the very long front overhang to the elaborate underfloor venturi intended to help it take advantage of passing airflow. Like the Mercedes McLaren SLR and Porsche Carrera GT, the Enzo is based around an immensely strong carbonfibre shell to which suspension and engine components then bonded. The 6.0 litre V12 engine mounted behind the passenger compartment produces 660 bhp and supplies drive to the rear wheels via an F1 style hydraulically activated transaxle. Performance is astonishing, with 0-62.5 mph (0-100 km/h) taking just 3.6 seconds, and Ferrari claiming a top speed of 217 mph. Ceramic brakes all-round ensure retardation to match the performance.


07:06 AM in Ferrari | Permalink