Last Ferrari F430 produced going to charity

May 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari F430 special

The Ferrari F430 has had a good run but production is scheduled to stop to make way for its replacement, the new Ferrari F450. The Ferrari F430 entered production in 2004 and has been made in a number of versions, including the Spider and the Scuderia. The new F450 model is set to premiere at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

The very last Ferrari F430 to drive off the production line will be charity-auctioned to raise funds for the reconstruction of the Abruzzo region in Italy. The Abruzzo region was heavily affected by the Italy’s recent earthquake.

This special final Ferrari F430, which will be built towards the end of this year and will have a two-tone paintjob with the traditional colors of Aquila, the city most heavily affected by the disaster.

Novitec Tridente takes to the Maserati GranTurismo S

May 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Novitec Maserati GT fq

Many car enthusiasts think exotic cars should be just left alone and require no further modification. But Novitec doesn’t share this thinking at all. The German tuning house, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is one of the established names in tuning Italian exotics. The company’s Novitec Rosso line is known for getting mad horsepower out of Ferraris by strapping on superchargers, but a couple of years ago they turned out a sensible modification package for the Maserati Quattroporte. Now the Novitec Tridente line is back at work on the GranTurismo S, producing the supercharged super-coupe shown here.

By adding a supercharger, tinkering with the ECU and replacing the exhaust system, Novitec has managed to extract an extra 165 horsepower from the Ferrari-sourced 4.7-litre V8 for a massive 600hp. Managing all that extra power is a retuned suspension set up sitting on massive 20 and 21 inch wheels front and back. A carbon fibre body kit rounds off the look of one mean-looking GT.

Bertone Project M Mantide revealed (+video)

April 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Bertone Mantide rq

Ex-Pininfarina designer and now head of Stile Bertone Jason Castriota has just designed his own supercar, called the Mantide.

Though Castriota is at the center of the project, his ties to Stile Bertone are at the forefront of the Mantide’s unique design. Castriota combination of American birth and Italian heritage reflects the ties between Bertone’s past and the supercar design of the present.

The car, which made its official debut yesterday at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show, is built on a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 platform but its entire body is completely new, composed of carbon-fibre and magnesium. The use of the lightweight materials meant designers were able to shave 110kg from the kerb weight of the already lightweight ZR1. Aerodynamic enhancements similar to the ones used in F1 sees the Mantide feature 25% less drag and 30% more downforce than the ZR-1 on which it’s based.

The end result is a 0-100kph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed easily in excess of 320kph. No production plans have been revealed yet, but it’s a lot of work to do for just a concept car.

Check out the video of the car being built below. Or click here to check out the Project M website.

Novitec creates its own supercar – the TuLesto

April 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Novitec TuLesto fq

Tuner Novitec is famous for its ability to produce street-friendly tuner Ferrari models with massive power and tasteful aesthetic modifications. Novitec’s latest work the Novitec TuLesto clearly has a lot of Ferrari 430 influence, but also has a lot more to offer. Built in Bavaria by the German tuner, this mid-engined supercar is something of a celebratory model, designed to mark the company’s 20th anniversary.

Just 11 examples are planned, each brandishing exactly 777 horsepower — enough to push the carbon-fibre and aluminum body to 100 kph in 3.4 seconds before topping out at more than 350 kmh. Power comes from a 4.4-litre four-valve V8 with a pair of superchargers strapped on to earn the 777 hp (at 8,200 rpm), along with a peak torque figure of 536 pound-feet at 6,300 rpm. The sole transmission choice is a six-speed semi-automatic paddleshift setup.

While probably built more as a trackday monster, there is some street cred to the TuLesto, as well. The Luca Serafini designed front-end can be lifted four inches to accommodate speed bumps and ramps preventing damage. The suspension set up is a fully tweakable double-wishbone which includes adjustable dampers and swaybars.

The available 20- or 21-inch wheels are evil-looking Novitec own rims, and they house a set of ceramic composite brakes with six-piston fixed calipers.

Ferrari’s fastest soft top arrives in NZ

April 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M fq

The fastest soft top production Ferrari has arrived in NZ, but the Ferrari Scuderia 16M will never become a common sight with just 12 earmarked for Australia and three for New Zealand guaranteeing rarity value and with all 15 already sold its already too late to own Ferrari’s 315 kmh soft top supercar.

With the all-new Ferrari California, boasting the legendary car maker’s first folding hard top, arriving later this year, 2009 is Ferrari’s year of supercar open air motoring.

The Scuderia Spider 16M has been created with the goal of bringing together Ferrari performance with open top motoring. The result is the best-performing spider ever created by Ferrari, a car designed to evoke the emotions of the Barchetta models that were the protagonists of the great multi-stage races of the 1950s.

The car’s technological solutions make the most of the latest innovations in the 430 Scuderia, derived from Formula 1, to guarantee uncompromising handling on the road. This is reflected in the name, which is also connected to Formula 1: a celebration of the 16 World Constructors’ Titles Ferrari has won. The Scuderia Spider 16M a special, limited edition for only 499 customers worldwide, including 15 in Australia and New Zealand.
SCUDERIA SPIDER 16M – Technical Specifications

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Overall length                        4512 mm
Overall width                         1923 mm
Height                                    1216 mm
Wheelbase                             2600 mm
Front track                             1669 mm
Rear track                              1616 mm
Dry weight*                           1340 kg
Kerb weight*                          1440 kg
Weight distribution 43% front – 57% rear
Fuel capacity                         95 litres
Boot capacity                        250 litres

TYRES
Front                                       235/35 ZR 19
Rear                                        285/35ZR 19

CCM BRAKES
Front                                       6 pistons — 398 x 36 mm
Rear                                        4 pistons — 350 x 34 mm

ELECTRONICS
CST with F1-Trac system (Control for Stability and Traction)

ENGINE
Type                                        90° V8
Bore and stroke                     92 x 81 mm
Unit displacement                 538.5 cc
Total displacement               4308 cc
Compression ratio                11.9:1
Maximum power**              375.4 kW (510 CV) at 8500 rpm
Maximum torque                  470 Nm (47.3 lbft) at 5250rpm

PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed                   315 kmh
0-100 kmh                             3.7 seconds
0-1000 m                               21.1 s
Weight/Power ratio              2.6 kg/CV

GEARBOX
F1-SuperFast2 –                     6 gears + Reverse

SUSPENSION
Front:                                     double wishbone
Rear:                                       double wishbone

FUEL CONSUMPTION
Combined (ECE+EUDC)*   15.7 l/100 km

C02 EMISSIONS
Combined(ECE+EUDC)*    360g/km

Ferrari launches shiny new website

March 31st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari website

Last Sunday saw the opening of the 2009 Formula One season and Ferrari celebrated with the launch of a new redesigned website. For most of us, browsing the Ferrari site is as close as we’ll get to actually ever buying one. The new site sees Ferrari offer far more than just its current model lineup. Among the features of the new Ferrari.com will be the ‘Maranello Experience’, where you can take a virtual tour of the company’s engineering and manufacturing complex in northern Italy.

The site will also have plenty of news about the F1 team during the 2009 season. For the first time, people will be able to check out the car telemetry readings just as the engineers do in the pits. And of course you can purchase all sorts of Ferrari merchandise.

Click here to check out the Ferrari website

Ferrari records record profit for 2008

March 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari records profit

Following a record first-quarter profit for Ferrari, the global economic slowdown and a tightening credit market threatened to ground what had looked like a promising year to a halt. There was talk of tough times at Ferrari. But Ferrari’s ledger book has stayed strong according to the company, with a 17.6% return on sales.

That signals a 1.6% upturn over 2007, an amazing result considering the industry’s turmoil. Ferrari credits its cost-cutting measures as much as its wide range of cars and relatively strong sales with the against-trend result. Research and development budgets increased over the year despite the economic downturn, rising to 18% of revenues.

Total revenues for 2008 totalled €1.921 billion, up 15.2% from 2007, largely due to sales of the 430 Scuderia and strong continued performance from the 612 Scaglietti and 599 GTB Fiorano. Total sales volume was 6,587 cars, up by 2% or 122 cars from 2007. North America was once again the largest market for the Prancing Horse, accounting for 1,700 cars of the total.

Top Gear given the hard word about fake Ferraris

March 9th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Apparently, word got out to Ferrari that Top Gear Live was not using real Prancing Horses for its stunt driving routine here in NZ a few weeks back, (read news item) and the Italian automaker is far from happy about it. But before any three-piece-suited men carrying violin cases were sent around, Ferrari asked Top Gear to cut it out.  A spokesperson for Ferrari said, “We asked them to change it… for the Hong Kong [Top Gear Live] show (the last stop on the world tour). We said please use real Ferraris.”

The Ferrari spokesperson also said that Top Gear Live had admitted to using replica Ferraris. BBC’s head of communications, Philip Fleming, says that he’s been in contact with Ferrari but stops short of admitting that the show’s Italian machinery was fake. Whatever the case, the Top Gear Live show in Hong Kong didn’t use Ferraris at all, real or fake. Instead, the sequence in the show was changed to incorporate unspecified drift cars that Top Gear believed are more in keeping with the the interests of the local audience. A suitably slippery answer to the problem.