Ferrari California receives Hamann tuning treatment

September 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Hamann Ferrari California rq

Yesterday, it was Edo Competition tuning the hell out of the Ferrari Enzo (read news), today its Hamann Motorsport getting into the new 2010 Ferrari California. Hamann have got their hands on a California and are working on an aftermarket program for the folding hardtop sportscar. Among the performance parts planned is a new exhaust system and a fully reworked engine management program that Hamann says could yield a 20% gain in horsepower from the Ferrari’s 4.3-litre V8 unit.

Until Hamann have it all sorted, California owners can purchase an aerodynamic kit that makes extensive use of carbon fibre. The complete kit consists of a replacement bonnet, front spoiler, side skirts, a three-part rear diffuser, and a small rear wing. Other available components include Hamann’s lightweight forged wheels and an array of interior accessories.

Street-legal Ferrari FXX Evolution

September 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Edo Competition Ferrari FXX fq

It seems that aftermarket tuner edo competition has run out of supercars to modify. The performance firm has already tweaked almost every mainstream supercar, and have now decided to have a second crack at the Ferrari Enzo. The German tuner’s latest version of the ultimate Prancing Horse is called the FXX Evolution and is in essence a road-going version of the FXX Evoluzione race car offered to Ferrari’s special Corse Clienti program.

So why does this particular Enzo get the coveted FXX name? For starters, 840 horsepower. Displacement of the V12 engine has been pumped up from 6.0 to 6.3-litres, and new camshafts, titanium valve springs and connecting rods, new cylinder heads, and a high-flow exhaust system have all been added to facilitate the 180 horsepower increase. Without mufflers, the FXX Evolution matches its racing counterpart’s 860 horsepower. Edo competition also managed to drop 100 kg from the car’s weight, decrease shift times to 60 milliseconds (also matching the race car), and install an FIA-spec adjustable suspension system. Finally, the exterior gets an adjustable rear wing and a new rear fascia with relocated exhaust tips.

Edo competition is offering a conversion package to all Enzo owners that includes a test day with an instructor, mechanics, data logging, transport and hospitality. The cost of all this hasn’t been announced but it is sure to be suitably ridiculous.

RIP: Elio Zagato 1921-2009

September 17th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Elio Zagato 1

Dr. Elio Zagato passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88.

Son of Ugo Zagato, founder of the famous Milanese Atelier, renowned in the whole world since 1919 for its custom made car bodies- Elio was a figure of great importance in the history of global automotive design and in the Gran Turismo race scene of the post-war era.

Entrepreneur, racer and gentleman driver, he competed for the first time in Piacenza in 1947, driving a Fiat which had just been re-bodied as a graduation gift from his father. From that point onwards he never stopped developing his beloved Gran Turismos, working on them during the week and then testing them during the weekends. He was amongst the founders of the Milanese Scuderia Sant Ambroeus. He embodied with perfection the style, elegance, and competitive spirit of the Italian gentleman driver of the ‘Dolce Vita’ era.

In the early 1950s he started developing the world’s most desired berlinette GTs. Amongst all of them we fondly remember the Fiat 8V Zagato, which he claimed to be his favourite, the Alfa Romeo 1900 SSZ which was often his rival in various races, the legendary Ferrari 250 GTZs, Maserati A6G, Aston Martin DB4 GTZ and many more. He took part in the golden age of competitions raced with vests and helmets with famous characters such as Ascari, Fangio, Galluzzi, Nuvolari, Stagnoli, and others. Enzo Ferrari called him “Zagatino.”

Together with his friend Ercole Spada he developed the legendary Alfa Romeo SZ, TZ and TZ2s followed by the elegant Lancia Sports based on Appia, Flavia, Flaminia, and Fulvia chassis. A constant innovator, together with his father Ugo he invented the celebrated double bubble, signature mark of the Milanese brand, the ‘Coda Tronca’, windows made out of plexiglas and countless other solutions still used on modern vehicles today.

Elio participated in 150 automotive races, winning 82 of them and becoming champion of the GT series a remarkable 5 times. He was victorious in the Targa Florio, eight Coppa Intereuropas, won three first places in the Golden Cup of the Dolomites, and came in first at the Avus circuit in Berlin in 1955.

Promoter of the Milanese concept of minimalism oriented towards functionalist design, Elio defined his Zagatos first and foremost as ‘original.’ Whoever asked him to synthesize the design spirit of his car bodies, he would reply to them “You see that car? Is it different from all the others? Then it’s a Zagato.”

Andrea and Marella Zagato, today, in the year of Zagato’s 90th anniversary, keep the spirit of the Atelier coachwork alive, a trade that Elio learned from Ugo and promoted throughout his career.

Ron Dennis speaks on McLaren’s new supercar (+video)

September 14th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ron Dennis McLaren

It’s clear that McLaren is pretty serious about the success of its new supercar the MP4-12C. It’s an amazing machine (read news item) and is now set to go head-to-head with Ferrari’s latest the brand-new 458 Italia. And while other automakers have delved into F1, only two current F1 teams are building road-going supercars.

Ron Dennis, chairman of McLaren is a modern day Enzo Ferrari and has made a video to speak on the new company with twenty years’ experience and the details of the new model.

Click the link below to check out the video.

Ferrari wins title of most iconic badge

September 10th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari Badge

Ferrari’s prancing horse has been voted the most iconic car badge in the world in a poll commissioned by a group in the UK. Luxury British sports car brand, Aston Martin took the second spot and Lamborghini’s raging bull charged into third.

It’s unsurprising considering Ferrari’s unbroken presence in Formula One since 1950 and long history of producing some of the greatest supercars ever. In fact, nearly half (48%) of all the 5,235 voters declared Ferrari’s prancing horse (Cavallino Rampante) the most iconic performance car badge in the world.

As evidence of the persuasiveness of Italian engineering and style, Ferrari wasn’t the only Italian brand in the top three. Lamborghini’s famous bull- from the star sign of founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini was also popular among voters, securing 8% of the poll.

But it was Aston Martin that got stuck in there with its winged badge winning 25% of the vote to take second place.

Fourth, fifth and sixth place were taken by Bugatti, Porsche and Maserati respectively.

The poll was devised by the MPH Prestige and Performance Motor Show to highlight the array of high performance vehicles on display at the annual event, which takes place in London this November.

Schumacher talks up the Ferrari 458 Italia (+video)

September 4th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari F458 Italia s

We heard (via a friend in Portugal who said it was in the media there) that Schu didn’t return to race in F1 because he had blurry vision coming out of the corners – possibly a result of coming off his motorbike. But, he’s onto a nice little earner with Ferrari making videos for them about their F458 Italia.

Next Dodge Viper could use Ferrari derived V10

August 13th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Dodge Viper V10 eng

Back in 1987, Chrysler purchased a troubled Lamborghini, and within two years had Lambo hard at work developing a V10 engine program that would ultimately lead to both the Dodge Viper and the Lamborghini Gallardo. Ironically now, two decades later, it’s Chrysler that’s in trouble with an Italian carmaker coming to the rescue. Fresh reports are now suggesting that the replacement for the Viper’s V10 could infact be derived from Ferrari’s next-generation engine program.

Chrysler’s original plan was to sell of the Viper business, but no serious money was put on the table for it. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has become keen on taking advantage of the sportscar’s standing as the company’s halo vehicle. But with Chrysler unable to pay the heavy costs of developing the next-generation Viper, the engine program could be borrowed from the same basic powerplant that will propel upcoming Ferraris and Maseratis.

Ferrari has essentially only had four engine designs in its history: the Colombo design was in use from the company’s beginnings all the way through the ’90s. The Lampredi engine was used on a handful of vehicles in the 50’s before being phased out. The Dino engine had V6, V8 and V12 versions and was used until just a few years ago, while the current Ferrari/Maserati engine powers all vehicles in both companies’ current ranges as well as the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Its 90-degree replacement will most likely come in various configurations including a flat-plane crank V8 for Ferrari, a cross-plane crank for Maserati and a pushrod V10 for the Viper.

Ferrari 458 Italia officially announced

July 29th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari F458 Italia fq

After months of rumour and speculation Ferrari has finally revealed the mid-engined V8 replacement for its F430. The all-new Ferrari 458 Italia won’t be unveiled in the flesh until September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but the official details of the newest model were released late last night. A new direct-injected 4.5-litre V8 provides motivation pushing out 562 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. This unit won’t strike the redline till 9,000 rpm, and eighty percent of the F458’s torque will be available from a low 3,250 rpm, thanks to the motor’s 12.5:1 compression ratio.

Like the Ferrari California, the 458 benefits from a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox directing power to the rear wheels. There is no talk of incorporating a KERS hybrid power regeneration system yet, so it would seem that it was merely a rumour for now.

Like its predecessor, the Ferrari 458 Italia’s aluminum structure helps keep weight down with the 458 weighing just 1,379 kg. Speculated performance figures have acceleration to 100 km/h taking just 3.4 seconds, and this will be the first volume production Ferrari V8 to top the 200 mph barrier, with a top speed of 202 mph (325kph).

Check out some images of Ferrari’s latest beast in the image gallery below.