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Ferrari shoot out

Published by on Nov 27th, 2007, No Comments

Ferrari FXX.jpg

Most, if not all Ferraris are developed on the twists and turns of Fiorano. But its safe to assume that the most track focused production car that Ferrari has ever produced, the 430 Scuderia (although based on the F430, the F is dropped) has spent more than the average time being thrashed around Fiorano in its development.

Fiorano Circuit is the private track owned by Ferrari for development and testing purposes. It is located near the Italian town of Maranello.

It’s 3.1Km long. Average F1 lap speed is over 160 Km/h and top speed of only 290 Km/h. Because it’s a testing track, it has many different kinds of turns and corners, with corner diameters between 13 and 0.3 meters. All in all it has a lot of similarities with most European GP circuits. Fiorano has witnessed many great Ferrari drivers at work such as Lauda, Prost, Mansell, Alesi and of course Schumacher. Also you’ll find many tourists clawing on perimeter fences hoping to get a glimpse of a new model being tested. And most people say if you more than lucky to be in Maranello when the F1 team is testing, you are bound to hear the sound of the cars wailing at 19000rpm echoeing through the town from far on the Modenese wind.

However, like the Nurburgring, there is much myth and mystery surrounding lap times at the circuit. Some are official and others not as they are posted by various drivers or the very lucky few journalists like Fifth Gear’s Tiff Needell that gets invited to the track, of which a video can be seen on a earlier post on CarBlog.

So coming back to the shoot out, here is a sample of the current times held at Fiorano:

F2004 (Schumacher, 2004) 0.55.999

F2007 (Massa, 2007) 0.58.360

FXX Evolution (2007) 1.14.000(est)

FXX (2005) 1.16.200

Enzo (2002) 1.25.000

430 Scuderia (2007) 1.25.000

360 Challenge Stradale(2003) 1.26.500

599 GTB Fiorano (2006) 1.26.500

F430 (2005) 1.27.000

So it can be seen the 430 Scuderia is as fast as the Enzo and the 360CS as fast as the 599 which is extremely impressive. But due to nature of the turns at Fiorano, the Enzo struggles to get to its limit. On any other track with longer straights the 430 Scuderia might be in the shadow of the Enzo and who knows the 360CS in the shadow of the 599, but never the less they up there with the best of them besides of course the old V10 F2004 of Schumacher (as apposed to the new F1 V8s ) which just seemed to have been in a league of its own with a whopping 55.9 seconds record that still stands today.

(Lap times sourced from Evo magazine)

Autostyle Newsletter Issue 106

Published by on Nov 27th, 2007, No Comments

Autostyle Newsletter Issue 106

Issue 106 is a bumper newsletter with an added row of new products.

Issue 106 is a bumper newsletter with an added row of new products.Last week a new car audio brand quietly snuck it’s way into our stores, Fire Audio. This week we feature their range of Roofmount screens. Calibra have also launched their Daytona Combo, this powerhouse system consists of a 2000watt amplifier, wiring kit & 2000watt subwoofer housed in a perspex faced bandpass box. Expect some serious bass with a bandpass box!

Several new Alloy Wheels have arrived including the illusive hyper polished TA21, aptly nicknamed the “Pot Wheel” by our crew, no guesses as to where they got that idea from.

Congratulations are in place for Warren Govender, the winner of our Sony CDX-GT270 Mp3 Front Loader competition, many thanks to all who participated (all 1653 entrants!) I assure it was no easy task choosing a winner.

For more new products, check out this weeks newsletter.

Ps. Keep an eye out for our exclusive Car Audio Promotion newsletter which will drop in email boxes on Wednesday Evening.

Aptera Typ-1: 3-Wheeled Car of the Near Future

Published by on Nov 27th, 2007, 3 Comments

Aptera Typ-1

Aptera’s Typ-1 may look like it it belongs in some futuristic movie but according to the company it will be available in at the end of 2008 for a price of less that $30,000 US (under 205K ZAR).

Aptera is claiming the all-electric model can achieve a range of 120 miles (193 kms) and the hybrid model can get 600 miles (965 kms) before running out of steam. The electric model can be recharged in a few hours when plugged into a 110-volt outlet and the hybrid is a combination of electric and gas-powered generator. The company has yet to release performance estimates so speed may be an issue.

The Typ-1 is novel in that it has 3 wheels and is therefore classified as a motorcycle instead of an automobile. Behind the two front seats is a child seat that, when removed, leaves enough space for 15 grocery bags or 2 golf bags.

The Aptera comes equipped with a front crumple zone, driver and passenger side airbags and steel and composite side and rollover protection. Inside boasts of a navigation system, CD/MP3/DVD player, XM satellite radio and a UBS port.

Aptera Typ-1

I think the hardest driver adjustment will be to the “Eyes Forward” vision system. It eliminated the need for side mirrors and instead relies on embedded cameras that display a 180-degree rear view.

Aptera is still raising money to manufacture the Typ-1 but claims to have 400 deposits. Available only in California, for the moment, the most amusing feature of this car may just be the plus and minus signs on the gas and brake pedals. Just in case you become confused as to which does what and since you will no longer be wasting time looking in side and rearview mirrors, you can always duck under the dash and look.

[Source: MotorTrend]

Alfa Romeo "Furiosa" Over Online Contest Name Winner

Published by on Nov 27th, 2007, 3 Comments


Last week had every car blog declaring the new name of the Alfa Romeo was going to be “Furiosa”. Well it seems like the democratic process of online voting didn’t suit the company and they have declared the results null and void. Rumor has it that the company was furious with the name due to the fact that it was too close to the name of the movie “The Fast and The Furious” and because “furiosa” means a woman who is angry and/or gay. Guess that’s not the image Alfa was looking to portray with their little Alfa Junior.

The online contest which was held in 6 countries; Italy, Germany, UK, Spain, France and Japan, had online voters choosing between: Agea, Enos, Everso, Fira, Furiosa, Milo, Mod, Nevo, Solea, Sparvo, Velvetta, and Ventura. We’re not sure why “furiosa” even made the short list if the company had no intention of using it. The Alfa Romeo contest site still has the international winner as “Furiosa” so maybe the rumors are just that, rumors.

The car itself is targeted at a younger market, 18 – 30 year olds, and intends to use smaller engines to shift down the average CO2 emissions that Alfa is known for. Built on the Fiat Grande Punto platform, the Alfa Junior will use the new generation of powerful T-Jet engines already available in Fiats. Alfa Junior will be the only 3-door model available.

So, for now, it seems we are back to calling it “Alfa Junior”. It is safe to assume that by the time it debuts in March at the Geneva show it will have its own non-democratic name that is 100% company approved.

Vauxhall's Revamped Zafira

Published by on Nov 27th, 2007, No Comments


Pictures of the new face lifted Zafira from Vauxhall are circulating the net. The compact MPV has been subjected to a raft of both interior and exterior changes with the intent of updating it to rival the Ford C-Max and Volkswagen Touareg.

The exterior updates include a new front end with chrome grille and chrome trim around the revamped headlights. The lower front grille has also been restyled. Vauxhall has revamped the fog lights and given it sporty side skirts which give it a distinctive look. The backend has new tail lights and a deeper rear bumper.

The inside changes give the center console black trim inserts to the Design, Elite and VXR model, a feature first seen on the Corsa. All Zafiras now come equipped with curtain airbags. The new Exclusiv version, which replaces the Club, comes standard equipped with air-conditioning, CD stereo and 16-inch standard wheels. The Breeze model adds tinted glass, leather steering wheel and a trip computer. Under the hood little change is expected.

The revamped versions are expected to hit showrooms in March and a price increase is unlikely with prices starting at £13,000 (182,500 ZAR).

Deathmatch: Lamborghini Reventon vs Panavia's Tornado Fighter Jet

Published by on Nov 23rd, 2007, 8 Comments

Lamborghini Reventon vs Panavia's Tornado Fighter Jet

There seems to be a trend to see a super car and a fighter jet battle for supremacy. The list was opened by TopGear’s Bugatti Veyron and the Eurofighter Typhoon fight, with the last one winning. We have another one now, Lamborghini Reventon vs Panavia Tornado jet-fighter and as you can see there are some design similarities between the two.

On Ghedi’s Airport runway (3 km long) in Italy, it was fun to see the show, because the Reventon was just a few meters away from winning (when the Tornado went airborne) after a good 3.4 second start to the 100km/h mark and a top speed of 340km/h.

The Reventon enforced its performances so I guess this is what you get if you buy a $1,000,000 supercar.

via 4WheelsBlog

Maybach 62 Landaulet co-designed by AMG

Published by on Nov 23rd, 2007, 3 Comments

Maybach 62 Landaulet co-designed by AMG

If you thought that the rich can’t feel the wind blowing through their hair because they always use those luxurious limousines with a “hole” on the roof, you may want to take that back when Maybach 62 Landaule becomes the real thing. It’s still in concept stage but promises to become one of the first ultra-luxurious semi-convertible limos.

If the Sheiks won’t be impressed by the 6.0L uprated V12 engine (better than the one on Maybach 62 S) with 612 horsepower, twin superchargers and water intercooling, I guess only the fancy sliding roof over the rear compartment may do it.

If this baby goes into production it will be the most powerful limo on the market. Wish we knew a price for it to see if it’s going to be the most expensive, too. Meanwhile here is a video, but beware! Don’t fall in love!

via AutoUnleashed

Caparo T1 RRV, Coolest Police Car Ever

Published by on Nov 23rd, 2007, 26 Comments

Caparo T1 RRV, Coolest Police Car Ever

If no speed limit is your motto and you live in the UK I have bad news. Apparently the Metropolitan Police teamed up with Caparo, Britain’s supercar manufacturer to create the cool F1-looking police car, Caparo T1 RRV (Rapid Response Vehicle) that can go from 0 to 100mph in just 5 seconds.Though it’s just a concept car right now, Caparo T1 RRV was designed to patrol the M25 Highway for getaway drivers or speed limit breakers. It sports 575hp at 10,500 rpm from a 3.5L V8 engine and a top speed of 200mph, so believe me you don’t want it on your tail if you did something bad.

If the concept becomes true, I am sure what I want to do when I grow up: become a police car driver.

Caparo T1 RRV, Coolest Police Car

via MotorAuthority