LaFerrari….Not a Yawning Matter!

LaFerrari

LaFerrari

When my cousin called me from Jordan to tell me about the unveiling of Ferrari’s Supercar at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show, I thought there was a mistake as he kept calling it LaFerrari. Chalking the misunderstanding up to a bad long-distance connection and his Arab accent, I just Google’d “New Ferrari Supercar” and sure-nuff my cousin did pronounce it right, they named it LaFerrari.  Was it named out of a yawn or a blatant disregard to names as a whole, this puzzled me.

LaFerrari

LaFerrari

Assuming Ferrari would follow proper nomenclature protocol and name their new creation the F70, the LaFerrari was just beginning to unveil the first of many surprises.

LaFerrari

LaFerrari

Aside from the supercars obvious striking beauty and gorgeous stance, the technological advancement of this machine is most impressive.  Utilizing Ferrari’s KERS technology straight from the F1 circuit, LaFerrari’s HY-KERS adds an additional 161hp to the already overwhelming 789hp being produce by its 6.3L V12 internal combustion power plant totaling 952hp.  Much like a turbo charger, the KERS adds power directly to the combustions engines output making this drastically different than a simple hybrid system.

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari LaFerrari

As you begin to peel off the layers of this sexy Italian goddess, her beauty becomes more apparent.  Four types of carbon fiber are used for the chassis bringing her curb weight to 3450lbs.  Considering the LaFerrari houses a massive V12, the weight of this supercar is quite remarkable.  The interior of the car has design input from Ferrari F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa to further heighten the driving experience (as if that was necessary).

Armed with Ferrari’s 7 speed twin-clutch gearbox the LaFerrari is rumored to have a top speed of over 220mph and a 0-62 in just under 3 seconds. 

Ferrari LaFerrari Active Aero Dynamics

Ferrari LaFerrari Active Aero Dynamics

Assisting the Brembo carbon-ceramics in the monumental task of slowing down this supercar are the active aerodynamics and diffuser that act as air brakes.

Not only is this the fastest road going car Ferrari has ever built, it’s also an important sign of things to come.  Being the first car designed and built in-house without the help of designer Pininfarina, the LaFerrari brings to an end a relationship that began over 62 years ago in 1951.  While Ferrari has stated they have no plans in ending their business relationship with Pininfarina this does mark a change.  By Ferrari’s embracing of hybrid technology much like Porsche did with their 918 Hybrid and Mclaren with their P1 Hypercar, it reinforces the belief this is the direction of all sports cars to come.

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari LaFerrari

I am not quite sure how or why Ferrari named their amazing new supercar LaFerrari but one thing is for sure, there is nothing to yawn at after learning about this supercar.  You quickly forget about the name and it’s $1.2M price tag and just appreciate the car for its importance for Ferrari.  I am proud of Ferrari’s initiative but next time maybe they could get a little help with naming their new models.  

2014 PORSCHE 918 HYBRID SPYDER…A SAUDI’S WORST NIGHTMARE!

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Meet the 2014 Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder, a mid-engined super/hyper/hybrid car designed by Michael Mauer.  While still in it’s final stages of R & D and slated for production in September 2013, the Porsche 918 Spyder is powered by a V8 engine that currently produces 562hp and tuned to rev to 9200rpm.  The 918 Spyder was developed from the RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype racing car, making this hybrid one beastly ride.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Remember this is a hybrid so Porsche couldn’t simply stop at the already impressive stats produced by their V8, they decided to really push the envelope and supplement the 562hp V8 with a pair of synchronous electric motors – one producing 107hp for the front wheels and the other producing 121hp for the rear wheels churning out a combined 759hp and 568 ft-lb torque.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

Wrap a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque around those impressive engines, add in a 7-speed gearbox and Porsche’s very own own double clutch system (PDK) and shazaam…you get a spacecraft capable of 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds with a top speed of 320 km/h(200mph) and a staggering 78mpg.  That’s correct, 78mpg, officially making this car a Saudi’s worst nightmare!  In addition to the plug-in recharge, the batteries are also charged by regenerative braking.  The 918 Spyder offers five different driving modes allowing the vehicle to utilize different combinations of electric and gas engines depending on the driver’s desires.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Not only is the Porsche 918 a technological marvel it’s also a pleasure to look at.  I never thought the famed Carrera GT could ever be made to look old, however the new 918’s wonderfully shaped design definitely dates the Carrera GT.  Let’s be honest, Porsche hasn’t been producing the most attractive cars on the planet but I would have to say they’re certainly on the right track with this one.  Its curvaceous lines are perfectly proportioned giving the 918 a very aggressive and exotic stance.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

One of my favorite design features about the Porsche 918 Spyder is where they decided to place the exhaust system.  For us car fanatics there is no better area to place a great sounding exhaust than directly behind your head.  Yup, two massive exhaust pipes jetting upward out of the engine bay emit beautifully sounding exhaust fumes straight up into the air.  This instantly reminded me of the old Le Mans and Can AM cars ripping down the straightaway with their massive engines spewing exhaust fumes infused with the sweet smell of race fuel.  Porsche didn’t design the exhaust system purely for nostalgic reasons; they were placed there to address a heating problem with the battery cells that are placed behind the cockpit.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Porsche really hit their mark with the 918 Spyder combining cutting edge technologies with nostalgic and intimidating lines and unbelievable performance stats which is really setting the stage for a new era of super/hyper/hybrid cars to come.  With all the money you save on fuel, it more than justifies the rumored $850K +/- price tag for one of these hybrids.

CHECK OUT VIDEO OF THE 918 IN ACTION BELOW:

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FERRARI MUSEUM IN MARANELLO…A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN!

As I mentioned in my previous post I finally achieved one of my life long goals and made a pilgrimage to the Ferrari Factory and while there I had a chance to visit the Ferrari Museum (videos at the end).

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Upon entering the museum I walked through the impressive gift shop, which has anything and everything you can possibly place a Ferrari shield on.  Walking through the shop I was greeted by the friendly Ferrari staff in spotless and perfect Ferrari uniforms.  I was given the option of purchasing a general admission ticket for 13 Euros or a touring ticket in which you actually board a bus and drive through the Ferrari Factory among other stops.  Being that it was a Sunday and the factory was closed I chose to save my money for more Ferrari gifts on the way out.

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

I really didn’t expect to see so many rare and amazing Ferrari’s as I did.  Among all the Formula 1 and Le Mans cars basking in all their glory, as fans snap off picture after picture, sat a few cars you rarely ever see.   I spotted a Super America version of the 599 Fiorano (protoypte?), and the 599XX Speciale both of which looked absolutely stunning just to name a few.

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari SA Aperta aka 599 Super America in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari 599XX Speciale

Ferrari 599XX Speciale in Maranello Italy

Another really cool display was Enzo Ferrari’s actual office recreated in the museum complete with his desk, chair, coffee mug, hat, pictures on the walls etc… Once I reached the 2ndfloor I was immediately greeted by a beautiful red Enzo (F60) sitting in front of a Factory facade mock up and she looked right at home.

Ferrari Enzo (F60) in Ferrari Museum, Maranello Italy

Ferrari Enzo (F60) in Ferrari Museum, Maranello Italy

As I walked past the Enzo I stepped into a dark magical room that had ambient music playing while 8 F1 cars sit perched in front of flat screen TV’s displaying Ferrari’s winning race history (video below).  Trophies were displayed behind a glass wall while people starred in utter amazement at the heavenly room.  It was really something to have visited the museum and it turned out to be much more than I expected.  If you are ever anywhere near Modena I highly recommend you spend a couple hours of your time and head over to the Ferrari campus, you won’t regret it.

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FERRARI P4/5 BY PININFARINA…THE BEST WAY TO SPEND $4M!

As I must have mentioned many times over I used to be a Ferrari mechanic when I was a teenager. I mainly worked on and restored vintage Ferrari race cars. The 2 cars that I am most fond of and spent the most time with are the Ferrari 250 SWB and the Ferrari 330 P3/4. I absolutely adored these cars and often wondered why more people didn’t know about them. The P stands for “prototype” and very few of them were produced, which may explain why not too many people knew about them.

Original Ferrari 330 P3/4

Original Ferrari 330 P3/4

No car is better fit for the phrase Beauty and the Beast than the Ferrari 330 P3/4. By far one of the most beautifully designed cars ever built and one of the most revered Ferrari’s in history. Its curvaceous lines draw you closer and closer while your mouth stays open in awe as you analyze every aspect of her gorgeous design. That was the reaction I had when I first laid eyes on her. You could only imagine how happy I was when they told me I was in charge of that car! I can only describe the sound of this car as a Detroit Diesel with straight exhausts at idle. It is the loudest and meanest sounding car at the track and you always know what part of the track she’s on, due to her unique sound. At speed she plays only the finest Ferrari music one can imagine sounding like a well tuned 12 cylinder should.
Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

I was so pleased to hear someone else shared my passion for the P3/4 and announced that coach builder, Pininfarina, was commissioned to build a modern-day version of this mythical beast. In 2006 James Glickenhaus, stock exchange magnate and known car collector, collaborated with the Turin coach builder to produce a modern version of the Ferrari P.

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina

Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina

With sketches drawn up by the extremely talented Jason Castriota and styling team leader Ken Okuyama, the goal was to stay clear of any retro design and move towards a forward thinking supercar. That they did using the last unsold Ferrari Enzo (F60) as the basis for this build. More than 200 components were designed especially for the car while moving through computer aided sculpture and stringent wind tunnel testing. Most components including engine and drive train were modified from the original Enzo which now goes 0-62 in 3.0 seconds (0.5 seconds quicker than the Enzo) and has a top speed of 233 mph, not too shabby! The V12 produces 660 bhp at 7800 rpm and 485 lb-ft torque at 5500. She redlines at 8200 rpm and uses the 6 speed semi-automatic transmission from the Enzo. Oh yeah one last thing…it cost $4 Million! To be honest that is the absolute best way to spend $4 million and I thank god there are people out there like James Glickenhaus that know how to enjoy their wealth while sharing it at the same time.

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

Pininfarina-Ferrari P4/5

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