Like it or not, the day of big and bulky vehicles is slowly coming to an end. Not that we’re sad about it because we’re not. Big and bulky doesn’t equate to light and fast and if you haven’t noticed, we’re all about top speed in these pages.
That being said, we weren’t the least bit surprised to find out that one supercar maker is slowly ramping up the machinery to build lighter – and faster – supercars in the near future.
In light of their new direction of building lighter supercars, Lamborghini recently opened its new Advanced Composites Research Center in its hometown of Sant’Agata Bolognese. The new research center will be tasked to develop a number of new design, shaping, and production processes to ensure that they meet the standards and expectations of building complex carbon fiber structures to be used in future Lamborghini models.
We’re glad to see that an esteemed automaker like Lamborghini is taking the steps to further develop both their cars and their brands. And with carbon fiber material being used in production-ready vehicles becoming more and more prevalent these days, Lamborghini is looking to be a few steps ahead of the competition.
The things people will do for free cash are bottom-line crazy. And in the unlikely and improbable event that a truck carrying over 2 million euros - $2.5 million - in €1 and €2 coins inexplicably blows a tire and drops the coins it was carrying on the highway, then yeah, you can definitely smell the mayhem about to break loose.
In a surreal scene of money raining down from all sides, Italian motorists took full advantage of the truck’s misfortune and proceeded to stop their cars – in the middle of the A114 highway in Italy, no less! – get out, and go into a coin-grabbing frenzy all the while risking life and limbs from other vehicles that were closing in on them.
We’d like to say that these folks were merely Good Samaritans who were trying to help the truck driver retrieve all the coins he dropped from the accident, but, unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. With a chance to make some extra moolah for free, albeit in a dangerous way, greed will always trump goodwill.
Fortunately, the police arrived on the scene fast enough that the motorists-turned-looters only made out with approximately €10,000 – that’s about $12,500 – from the €2 million euros that were there for the taking.
It is the dream of every auto journalist to be able to get behind the wheel of one of the fastest known cars on the planet and drive it the only way it’s supposed to be driven: face-deformingly fast.
Most of us can only dream of being put in that kind of situation, but for people like Chris Harris, it is a likely situation. These chaps never seem to run out of cars to test drive. Are we jealous? Perhaps. Oh wait, who are we kidding. Of course we are!
Nonetheless, despite our steaming envy for his good fortune, we’re still compelled to show you this three-part video of Harris unleashing the Ferrari 599 GTO out on Ferrari’s legendary Fiorano race track. It’s not because we hate the guy - not hate so much as envy with the fire of a thousand suns – but more so because we love the 599 GTO that much.
It’s a three-part video that Ferrari fans will surely want to watch over and over again, if only because the extended footage of the 599 GTO only makes us long for the days when we’d miraculously find one gift-wrapped in our garage with a big red ribbon on top. Of course, that’s not going to happen anytime soon or forever, for that matter. So, we’ll settle, albeit begrudgingly, on watching this video for as many times as our hearts can take it.
In line with their 100th year anniversary, Alfa Romeo is being given a lavish four-day party this weekend - from June 24 to 27 - courtesy of the city of Milan. Very impressive. We kind of wish that someone will do that for us when we hit three digits, too.
The event for the celebrant will be hosted by a number of groups that will pay tribute to the iconic Italian brand, who for 100 years - and counting, has been one of the most sought-after and widely respected car brands in the world. Among the groups that will be throwing this party for Alfa Romeo include the Milan City Council, the Fiera Milano Expo, the Monza Race Track, and, of course, the Alfa Romeo Museum.
Likewise, an anniversary of this magnitude deserves something that should be talked about for years to come and in this particular case, that ’something’ is a bronze sculpture of one of Alfa Romeo’s most iconic vehicles, the 1900 Disco Volante. The sculpture, which was donated by the Registro Italiano Alfa Romeo or ’RIAR’ and designed by artist Agostino Bonalumi with some much-needed assistance from the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, was built to commemorate the Italian brand’s rich history of being one of the automotive world’s most respected brands. After all, you don’t get to last 100 years without being respected, right?
For its part, Alfa has not only lasted longer than most car brands have ever existed, but the combination of longevity and the continued pursuit of producing top-quality cars will only make this 100th year anniversary all the more gratifying with the thought of another one hundred years - possibly, even longer - becoming all the more attainable.
If only we could join this exclusive yearly meeting. We’d probably be too weak in the knees to even participate. In what is arguably one of the most exclusive car meets you will ever find in the world - one that’s hosted by no less than Horacio Pagani himself - ’The Vanishing Point’ is a meeting ground for Pagani owners. This meeting incorporates them with owners of other exotic vehicles for a day of merry-making, chit-chatting, and, of course, showing of their prized rides.
The keyword in all of this, as we said, is ’exotic’, which means that there are no Honda Civics or Toyota Corollas allowed in this meet. This year’s event was recently held at the town on Cividale del Friuli in Italy and featured just about all the Paganis your heart could handle. Likewise, other non-Pagani exotics also showed up and were welcomed with open arms by their supercar brethren.
Citroen Italia in cooperation to Partner Convivio 2010 (the largest charitable operation in Italy) has unveiled the special edition DS3 Just Black. After being displayed in Milan from June 10 to 15, this special edition will be auctioned with all the proceeds going to ANLAIDS Lombardia - an association fighting against AIDS.
The DS3 JUst Black features a matte black body combined with a shiny black roof. The interior will get red tape on the passenger side. Under the hood there is a 1.6 turbo THP engine that delivers a total of 155 Hp.
Just when you thought that the auto industry has recovered from the global financial crisis, we’re hearing reports that Ferrari is seriously considering laying off some of its employees and cutting down on production work. According to Bloomberg, Ferrari could end up reducing their workforce by as much as nine percent.
With demand for high-priced supercars going down, Ferrari, which has around 3,000 workers on its payroll, has initiated plans of sacking 120 office positions and 150 factory workers. The news prompted Ferrari employees to walk out of their jobs for four hours last week, further widening the already huge gap between the company and it workers.
The Ferrari 599 GTO is getting all kinds of love these days. And why shouldn’t it? It is, after all, the most powerful road-going car in the company’s long and illustrious history. Of course, just because Ferrari’s new pride and joy is all that and more, it doesn’t mean that we should start sleeping on another Ferrari that can pretty much hold it’s own against any supercar thrown its way.
Suffice to say, the Ferrari Enzo is and will always be one of the best cars Ferrari has come out with. Combining elements of speed, grace, and power in one package, the Enzo has a universally-respected stature that the newly-released 599 GTO can only hope to attain in the future. Just to remind all of those that have been going gaga over the 599 GTO recently, here’s a video of the Ferrari Enzo being taken for a run around the track at the Imola racing circuit.
It goes without saying that when you build one of the world’s fastest and most powerful road cars, there’s a certain amount of bragging rights that comes along with it. That’s exactly the case Ferrari has built for itself when it introduced the world to the Ferrari 599 GTO.
It only seems fitting then that the boys from Ferrari took their latest pride and joy out for a nice test run around their own circuit in Mugello. Driven by the venerable Dario Benuzzi, Ferrari’s long-standing roadcar test driver, the 599 GTO was officially unleashed at the Mugello track and in true Ferrari fashion, they recorded the whole shebang for the rest of the world to watch and drool over.
It doesn’t take a whole lot for the rest of the planet’s population to fawn over a Ferrari, but when we’re talking about the most powerful car ever to come out of Maranello, it doesn’t take a whole lot of exaggeration to say that a lot of people will need to wipe off the drool on their faces after watching this video.
BMW is no stranger to the more eccentric portion of living, but when you add BMW’s designers together with Patricia Urquiola and Giulioka Ridolfo, then what comes out is the birth of the downright bizarre. We are talking about a BMW 5 series Gran Turismo that has been disassembled and then reassembled with an onslaught of accessories. The most obvious are the 5 gigantic cones jutting out of the car providing an amplified look at the interior. This particular structure was displayed at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile this month.
Patricia Urquiola describes her inspiration for this dramatic transformation, “Usually we perceive cars from the outside, and then the inside follows. However, our direct interaction is with the inside: it is the core that protects and comforts us, the space in direct contact with our bodies and our functions and needs in the process of traveling. I investigated this interface and tried to understand the possible evolution as a softer, dwelling experience.” We assume this is where the name, “The Dwelling Lab” came from. The word dwelling means, “a house or other building or place in which somebody lives,” and so this concept brings a whole new meaning to “living out of your car.”
Hit the jump for the full story and to watch the video of the BMW’s transformation.