Italy

Italy

Posted on by Terence 1

The third installment of the new Ferrari 458 Italia prerelease extravaganza entitled Performance is an up close look at what will make the future Ferrari excel as a driver’s car. Considering that the last installment, Design, was narrated by Paolo Pininfarina, the heir to the historic Italian design studio it is only fitting that the latest member of the Formula One elite and the man who brought the Italian racing team back to greatness in the sport throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium.

Video: Ferrari 458 Italia Performance with Michael Schumacher

Wearing a very casual outfit, Michael Schumacher candidly talks about the new sports car’s suspension that is comfortable to drive and sporty when it needs to be, the car’s previously unseen braking performance and the 458’s tremendous acceleration is due to the refined gearbox. The Ferrari design team has also incorporated more of the car’s controls onto the steering wheel, a move learned from F1 increasing both the Italia’s precision and accuracy.

Ever since Michael Schumacher retired from the activity that awarded him seven world championships, five of which came behind the wheel of a Ferrari , he has been hanging around Maranello conducting new product testing and participating in their high performance sports cars development at the Fiorano circuit; Schumi has even been spotted from time to time hanging around the Scuderia’s paddock on grand prix weekends so he would be the man to talk to about what the new Ferrari 458 Italia is like from the driver’s seat.

Video: Ferrari 458 Italia Performance with Michael Schumacher

Press release after the jump.

Source: Ferrari
Posted on by Terence 0

There has been a lot of hype and speculation surrounding the upcoming Ferrari 458 Italia well at least the dream makers from Maranello have put one of those rest by confirming that the F-430’s replacement will make its international auto show debut this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. However the Italia’s official unveiling won’t be limited to the German auto show because on September 15th, the first press day of the festivities in Frankfurt, the 458 Italia will also be on display at the Galleria Ferrari.

Ferrari 458 Italia

The Galleria Ferrari is a museum dedicated to the Italian sports car builder and is located only about 1000 feet from the factory floor in Maranello. We are pretty sure that if good old Enzo were still around, the 15th would be declared a national holiday so that the craftsmen and women who are responsible for the new 458 can enjoy a little automotive art as well.

After yesterday’s Ferrari 458 feature entitled Stile with Paolo Pininfarina , the automaker has announced that the next video installment will be released on September 2nd and it titled Performance with Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher, perhaps this video will answer a few more of our questions about what will make the Italia so great.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Terence 0

After suffering serious head injuries due to a rogue spring that came off of fellow Brazilian Rubens Barichello’s Brawn GP racecar during qualifying, it appears that Felipe Massa will be back in time for the most important race on Ferrari’s calendar, September 13, the Italian Grand Prix. Back at the Hungaroring, Massa suffered a fracture at the base of his skull and was immediately airlifted to a nearby hospital to undergo surgery and then put into an induced coma in order to speed up the healing process, and it looks like it worked.

Ferrari considers Massa to be important for the team

This news comes right after the Maestro , Michael Schumacher announced that he will not be stepping back behind the wheel . This report has not yet been confirmed by the Scuderia, but team members have said that Massa is making remarkable progress with his recovery and should he make a return in Italy. Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali visited the Brazilian last week: "Felipe is in excellent form and his recovery is going very well!... I’m very happy about Felipe’s state,... The medical checks which have been carried out over the last two weeks continue to be very encouraging...Now it’s important to be patient and take one step at a time, without any hurry."

If Massa does return, Formula One’s governing body would require him to undergo a full examination by the sport’s doctors before he can compete at speed once again. Ferrari’s test driver Luca Badoer will stand in for Massa in next weekend’s European Grand Prix at Valencia after the sad news from the Maestro being forced to cancel his comeback due to the lingering neck injury.

Source: AutoCar

It’s looking likeCarrozerria Bertone S.p.A is close to finding a new home in the waiting arms of Fiat .

The Italian auto conglomerate, which has made news recently for purchasing car brands left and right, has been given approval by the Italian government to purchase the fledgling Italian coachbuilders for $215.9 million, which will be invested in a span of three years.

While Fiat was in hot pursuit of Bertone, it did face some stiff competition from a number of other companies that made similar bids to acquire Bertone Bertone . These included Italian entrepreneurs Gianmario, Rossignolo, Domenico Reviglio, the Chinese-based FAW Group Corp. and a Spanish consortium that appears to have kept its name under wraps.

Fiat’s offer to buy Bertone isn’t the first time that company has tried to purchase the coachmakers. Fiat first began negotiations to buy stakes in Bertone in 2006 but as it turned out, talks between the two stalled and ended up being scrapped a few months later.

Continued after the jump.

Source: Reuters

While most of its competitors are busy tightening their pockets and trying to save as much money as they can, Fiat Fiat is taking the opposite approach and has been on a recent spending spree. After purchasing Chrysler last month, the Italian-based automakers have also thrown their name on the hat as potential buyers of GM’s European and Latin American divisions, which, incidentally includes Opel and Vauxhall.

If that wasn’t enough, Fiat also offered a non-binding bid to purchase the legendary Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Bertone Bertone . Fiat, however has a number of competitors in pursuit of the Italy’s oldest coachbuilder brand, including Domenico Reviglio - head of Gruppo Prototipo, Lancia CEO Gianmario Rossignolo, Chinese automaker FAW and an additional unspecified Spanish concern.

The specifics behind Kia’s attempt at purchasing Bertone are still being kept under wraps. However, word has leaked that the Italian auto-giants are interested in a specific division – the Carrozzeria Bertone SpA - of the Gruppo Bertone corporation.

Bertone has been relatively quiet for a while now, but if Kia does indeed win the race to purchase the Italian coachbuilder, then we might as well expect to see this legendary brand return to the streets.

The next time you find yourself in Italy and may need a rental car, we suggest that you give Hertz a call. Not only is it one of the more established car rental brands in the world, but they’re latest fleet of rentals are enough to make everyone scramble for the rental company’s phone number. When you do go through to them, might we suggest that you ask for a Lotus Elise SC . We guarantee you won’t regret it.

As one of the world’s most popular sports cars, the Elise SC is now available for rent from Hertz Italiana S.p.A. Part of the agreement between the car rental company and Lotus Cars Limited, the sports car subsidiary of Group Lotus, a fleet of Lotus Elise SC’s will be made available to hire from a number of Hertz centers throughout Italy.

It’s a tie-up that both companies are eager to get started.According to Michael Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus, “I am delighted that Lotus Cars has entered into this agreement with Hertz, giving us the opportunity to make our stunning world class sports cars available to the rental market.

Continued after the jump.

Source: Auto Media

The quirky Italian automobile manufacturer Fornasari has just come up with another unique creation. Useful in any situation and in any weather condition, the Racing Buggy is the company’s latest offering with a more affordable entry-level model as well as high performance version.

The buggy is made with the classic Fornasari architecture, a tubular chassis, triangulated suspensions and a Chevrolet power plant. The Racing Buggy combines a youthful look with a very aggressive attitude.

The most powerful version will get a 7.0 Liter V8 that makes 610 HP that will make the Buggy sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in under 3.8 seconds. VW Manx’s beware.

More information after the jump.

Audi Sport, the motorsport division of the brand with four rings began deliveries of their latest racing car this week. The Audi R8 LMS is a rear drive, 500+ HP, ten cylinder GT3 racecar that is the company’s third line of production alongside the factory DTM and LeMans Prototype racers.

The symbolic handover of the first car took place in Italy, where Emilio Radaelli, Team Manager of Audi Sport Italia, accepted the R8 LMS with chassis number 101 from the Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

Audi Sport will deliver 12 examples of the R8 LMS to six different teams in the upcoming weeks in time for their racing debut in April. For 2009 ABT Sportsline, Argo Racing, ORECA, Phoenix Racing and Team Rosberg will also run two car teams in the FIA European GT3 Championship as well as the 24 Hour race at the Nürburgring . In order to conquer the Nordschleife Audi Sport has developed an endurance package for their LMS racers.

At this time the R8 LMS is a dedicated privateer program, Audi Sport has not planned for any factory backed racing efforts for the 2009 season.

Press release after the jump.

Being able to transform a Toyota MR2 into a Ferrari look-alike was supposed to be a good thing (well, yes it is a crime against style!), but when you sale this fake Ferrari into a country like Italy where selling a Ferrari replica is against the law when you can get busted at any moment!

Police in Italy arrested a group of eight mechanics who transformed the Toyota MR2s and Pontiacs into Ferrari and sold them for £15,000 each.

Police are understood to have confiscated 14 fake 360 Modenas – seven sold and seven under construction – and eight people are under investigation.

Apparently those buying the cars knew they were fakes (how wouldn’t they?) so we can only hope that people rolling in rebodied MR2s over here will soon get busted for being so lame. The buyers were simply buying the cars to impress the neighbors.

Source: Piston Heads
Posted on by Shrawan Raja 0

Indian auto manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, has acquired Italian auto design and engineering firm GRD. The move indicates Mahindra’s desire to go global with their future products.

Financial details of the deal with Turin-based G.R. Grafica Ricerca Design (GRD) were not revealed.

"This acquisition will help us strengthen our existing design capabilities, help us emerge as a global auto design powerhouse [and] provide a solid European footprint," said Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra’s automotive unit.

The company will be renamed Mahindra Graphic Research and Design after all the formalities are complete.

Mahindra manufacturs Utility vehicles and tractors. They are one of the key players in the Indian automobile industry and have partnered with Renault for manufacturing the Logan . Mahindra’s Scorpio SUV is sold in the U.S by Global Vehicles USA, and is also planning to launch the hybrid version of the SUV sometime later this year.

Source: auto news

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