Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Ferrari Sales and Service Bay Area - Road Test: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael
We finally managed to achieve what the Italian smugs at Ferrari have long tried to prevent! This is our first and surely not our last road test of a red shiny prancing horse. And for those wondering, yes it is the faster, lighter, and more compelling version of the F430, the 430 Scuderia. Available to our disposal for one single day somewhere in Germany, the Scuderia delivered everything that the 430-series had to offer in a track-biased and powerful package.
Built to showcase the company’s F1 racing technology in a street car, the Scuderia followed in the footsteps of the 355 Challenge and the 360 Challenge Stradale when it was introduced at the IAA car show in 2007. Considered as the final hoorah of the 430 series, the Italians released a 16M Spider version in 2009 to commemorate Ferrari’s 16th victory in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship 2008.
Based upon the ‘normal’ 430, the track-biased sports car is 100kg lighter than its standard brother. The weight is shed using an aggressive race-bred body kit including a Lexan – instead of glass – rear window, titanium springs, titanium lug bolts, carbon fiber bay liners and air boxes plus lightweight front and rear bumpers. The vehicle rides on 19 inch magnesium wheels shod in Pirelli P Zero Corsa. Carbon ceramic composite brakes are the main stopping tool. On the inside, the Italians fitted a minimalistic cabin without any carpeting nor floor mats and different lightweight race seats.
On a technical level, quicker gear shifts, special settings on the Manettino switch and an increase of 20hp up to 510hp complements the Scuderia’s performance. The 4.3 liter flat-plane-crankshaft V8 delivers its power linear throughout the rev band while being accompanied by a torque of 470Nm. The increase in power over the F430 was realized by new pistons and hand-polished intake manifolds, a slightly higher compression ratio (up from 11.3:1 to 11.9:1) and an exhaust system that breathes more freely and sounds absolutely brilliant.
The powerplant is linked to a flappy-pedal F1 shifter featuring 150ms shift intervals, which are cut to just 60ms if you have at least 5,000rpm on the dial and the throttle pressed more than halfway down. The automated manual Superfast2 gearbox is controlled via column-mounted pedals visible behind the ergonomically-shaped carbon steering wheel, which holds shift lights and the famous Manettino switch. This rotary button lets you to change the parameters for the engine, gearshift, E-diff and traction and stability controls.
The magic switch has a total of five settings. Compared to the F430, the ICE setting had been removed in favor of the CT setting which only deactivates the traction control, while leaving the stability control engaged. We started our journey in Sport mode, which is the best setting for every-day on-the-road use. Engage the Soft suspension mode and you travel with comfort in a track-biased sports car.
Sport was left behind quickly after several minutes behind the wheel of the 430. The RACE setting offered us more engagement, improved shifts, maximum performance and better stability while speeding on the famous autobahn and local German country roads. Via the CT setting we would have entered the territory of track superstars, but we decided differently in local traffic. With the CST setting, the traction and stability controls are switched off to allow maximum freedom and driving control on the racetrack. In this case there are no electronic devices to control the vehicle’s stability, except for the E-Diff.
Finding your way inside the Ferrari goes with ease. The Scuderia driver’s seat feels quite comfortable for a trackcar and communicates precisely what a driver wants to feel. While our body was strapped inside the carbon fiber racing seat, our ears were entertained by the screaming exhaust which opens its full arsenal of tunes above 3,500rpm. Our hands controlled the light steering precisely through the country bends. The steering felt surprisingly nimble up to a point you start to ask yourself how well Porsche’s are capable of moving you around corners. Yes, it is no match to a GT 911, but it comes pretty close!
The Scuderia is clearly a trackday weapon with its superb handling balance, great grip, intoxicating soundtrack and amazing brakes. The Formula 1-inspired Italian sports car revs all the way up to 8,500rpm where it plays its best cards. The F1 gearbox was an amazing piece of kit at its introduction and still leaves its mark in the sports car segment. The whole package excels in combining a raw and pure driving experience.
On the road, the ride is outstandingly composed if you opt for the softer shock settings. The 430 takes you to and from the track with great ease. At the track the quality of the interaction between machine, butt and cerebrum must be fabulous well controlled. Add these to the freedom of the Manettino drive settings and beginners, experienced drivers and trackday lunatics have a wonderful track toy at their disposal. One which shares the complete Italian thrill of driving and racing.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - 6th and Last Ferrari 365P by Rivitography - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael
One of the first designs ever put into productiong by famed automotive designer Sergio Pininfarina was the Ferrari 365P.
The Ferrari 365P was a radical design for its day, as it was intended to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In non-race spec, the mid-mounted V12 produced a reported 380 horsepower. Information about the car is difficult to come by, but this car is currently owned by car collector Peter Sachs. As noted by Rivitography, the white circle located on the outside of the driver door (seen pictured) used to hold the number 37. The number was a designation used to historic racing, and not a continuation of numbering used during the cars earlier race history.
According to Barchetta.cc the Ferrari 365P – chassis number 581 – finished 1st in the 12 hours of Reims back in 1965 and 7th in the 24 Hours of Le Mans the same year. Following both impressive results, the car had a rather unfortunate string of DNF’s from late 1965 to 1967, in which the car failed to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona.
Only 6 examples of the Ferrari 365P were built. Check out the picture by Rivitography for a closer look at this ultra-rare Ferrari.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Ferrari Service and Sales Bay Area - This Drag Race Between A Ferrari F50 And An F1 Car Has A Surprising Result - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael
Welcome to Sunday Matinee where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.
Conventional wisdom is that the Ferrari F50 is nowhere near as great or as loved as its predecessor, the F40. That's kind of a shame, if you ask me. The F50 isn't as good looking as the F40, and it does without that car's two turbochargers, but it's extremely special in its own right. Keep in mind that since only about 350 F50s were ever made, it's even more rare than the F40.
It was also fast as hell and a lot of fun to drive. I don't know that from personal experience, unfortunately, but Jeremy Clarkson's account in this 1995 episode of Top Gear is good enough for me.
And there's a surprising twist at the end -- Clarkson feels confident enough in the F50's abilities to pit it against a Formula One car in a drag race. Guess what? The F50 gets its ass kicked. But that's not the surprise. The surprise is that it was fairly close with the F1 car up to about 160 mph. Not bad. Maybe the F50 deserves more respect than it gets.
By Patrick George
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - Ferrari's F150 Hypercar Might be 950 Horsepower - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael
Remember when we found out that the McLaren P1 would have 903 horsepower a couple of hours ago? Well, it sounds like the Ferrari F150 will have 950 horsepower. Maranello is getting ready to kick some ass and possibly take some names.
At least 950 is the rumored number from an insider that claims to have knowledge of the car. To break that down, it would be 800 horsepower from the melifluous/orgasmic V12 as well as an extra 150 horsepower from two electric motors, one of which is supposedly inside the double clutch gearbox. Sounds like a very trick setup. Or my Italian translating skills need some work.
Acceleration figures are said to be staggering, with 0 to 60 times of less than three seconds and a 0 to 125 time of 7.3 seconds.
The F150 is also said to be very compact, about the same size as the 458 Italia. The price isn't compact. Rumored MSRP is €1.2 million. That's $1.6 million. That's more than I make in a week!
By Travis Okulski
Friday, February 15, 2013
Ferrari Sales and Service Bay Area - Ferrari 550 GTZ Barchetta - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael
Zagato's 550 GTZ is one of the secret Ferraris that was made from the prying eyes of the press and Ferrari themselves. We first broke the story in 2007 when the Quail Motorsports Gathering had an advertisement for one in their program catalog. Since then, Zagato has denied the existence of the model despite including it in their latest book Zagato Milano 1919-2009: The Official Book.
Zagato and Ferrari's successful relationship started with the 1948 Ferrari 166 MM Zagato Panoramica and continued sporadically throughout Ferrari's lengthy history. The most famous example is the Ferrari 250 GT Zagato (GTZ) which helped Camillo Luglio become the Italian sports car champion twice over. We hope one day the relationship between Zagato and Ferrari reaches a similar level.
The new model pays tribute to the old by joining the exclusive group of Ferraris that are custom-built. Like Ferrari's early competition cars, the 575 GTZ has an all-aluminum body and is strictly a two seat affair.
Unlike the five Coupés Zagato made on the 575M Maranello platform, Zagato had to start with the much more exclusive Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina. These had the required chassis strength and provided a basis for the 550 GTZ.
Zagato only built five Coupés and three Barchettas. They first featured a silver example with red interior in their Official Book. A second car in Grigio Silverstone with Sabbia interior appeared at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed as a display model for the Bonhams Auction. This second car was listed as a 2000 model year, which is probably the date the original Barchetta car left the factory. It also appears to be delivered new to England with the British plates WOF19 and has side markers in the front fender vents. Bonhams described it as “one of only five examples of the car bodied by the famous Italian carrozeria Zagato and the only Right Hand Drive example.”
We can only speculate as to why Zagato has tried to remove all traces of the 550 GTZ online. Our best guess is that this model was made without authorization from Ferrari who forbid custom bodies after the P4/5 was completed in 2006.source: http://www.supercars.net/cars/3881.html
by Richard Owen
photos by supercars.net
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Ferrari Service and Sales San Franicsco - Ferrari F150 Enzo-successor takes some loud laps at Fiorano - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael
From recent spy shots to leaked information, we're starting to get a good idea about just how amazing the unnamed successor to the Ferrari Enzo will be, but now we've finally gotten to see some video of the car testing at the Fiorano Circuit in Italy. This video not only gives us an earful of the car's screaming engine and rumbling exhaust note, it also affords us a view of the car without its fish-face camouflage that it has been caught wearing recently.
The video shows the new supercar testing around the 12-turn, 1.877-mile track with an Enzo, and it is interesting to hear the differences between the 651-horsepower Enzo and its reportedly 950-hp hybrid successor. Scroll down to watch the newest Ferrari going through some track testing, and be sure to turn your speakers up.
by Jeffrey N. Ross
Monday, February 11, 2013
Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta - San Francisco Motor Sports San Rafael
Built for the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans, the type 340/375 combined the Mille Miglia-winning 340 chassis with Ferrari's F1 V12 engine. It was Ferrari's weapon of choice for many endurance sports car races. Mike Hawthorn and Giuseppe Farina won the 1953 24 Hours of SPA outright in their 340/375, but outright victories at Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana eluded the model.
Pinin Farina was Ferrari's new coach builder of choice for competition cars and for the 375, they simply lengthened the Berlinetta body crafted initially for the 250 MM. Most of the length was added to clear the much larger engine which lenthened the hood considerably. Internal documents show that the body was designated “Special Le Mans-1953.”1
The 4.5-liter engine was taken straight out of the defunct F1 program. Called the Tipo 102, around 340 bhp was possible with seven main bearings, dual-magneto ignition and four-choke Weber carburetors. 0318AM was outfitted with this engine with a modified 4-speed transmission for the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driven by Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi, it lead the race for several hours and dropped down to 2nd around hour 17 with clutch problems. After 19 hours 0318AM could not continue.
At Le Mans, 0318AM was joined by two 340 MM Berlinettas featuring the same bodywork: 0320AM & 0322AM. 0320AM was disqualified for replacing brake fluid too early in the race while Giannino and Paolo Marzotto piloted 0322AM to fifth place overall and first in class.
After their Le Mans outting, all three Berlinettas were taken back to Pinin Farina and fitted with a low-nose with covered headlights that was thought to be more aerodynamically efficient. The rear window was also reduced.
Before the 24 Hours of SPA 0320AM and 0322AM were fitted with the 4.5-liter Tipo 102 engine. In 0322AM, Mike Hawthorn and Giuseppe Farina won outright ahead of the Jaguar C-types with their superior disc brakes. The same two cars appeared at the 12 Hours of Pecara and this time 0320AM won outright with Mike Hawthorn and Umberto Maglioli.
For the final major event of the year, all three Berlinettas were prepared for the Carrera Panamericana. Racing between Tuxtla and Oaxaca, the team of Stagnoli and Scotuzzi blew a wheel at high speed killing both team members and permanently destroying the car. The remaining two cars finished 4th and 6th behind the very capable Lancia D24s.source: http://www.supercars.net/cars/1130.html
Sources & Further Reading.
1. Mergard, Harald et al. Barchetta.cc. Retrieved 2011.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
Friday, February 1, 2013
Ferrari Sales and Service San Francisco - New F12 Against 599 GTO - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael
To date, evo magazine's Jethro Bovingdon has delivered the best of the current reviews, as he is the first to compare the new Ferrari F12 against its natural predecessor, the 599 GTO. Released just two years ago, when the former flagship was introduced it was the fastest street-legal car to wear the Prancing Horse, a distinction that now belongs to the F12berlinetta.
The 599 Grand Turismo Omologato is powered by a 670hp 6.0-liter V12, can sprint from 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds, hit a top speed of 205 mph and is quicker round Fiorano than the Enzo. But can it live with the F12? Jethro finds out.
by Adam Lynton