While Donald Trump seems to take a keen interest in the current state of the automotive industry, he doesn’t exactly come across as an car enthusiast. However, he is very rich and has had his share of obligatory Rolls, Benz, and Bentley-built vehicles over the years. And, like any exceptionally wealthy American male, he purchased a tomato red Ferrari, drove it infrequently, and then sold it off.
That car — a 2007 Ferrari F430 F1 Coupe — was auctioned by Sotheby’s over the weekend for a little less than one might expect. You would assume having the opportunity to say you owned “the president’s Ferrari” would add a substantial premium to the final sale price, but you’d be wrong. (Read More…)
Italian investigators said on Tuesday that they had prevented a criminal plot to steal the body of automotive legend and Formula One racing pioneer Enzo Ferrari. The scheme involved using two cars and a van, breaking into San Cataldo cemetery, absconding with the corpse, and then holding it for ransom.
Just imagine the incredible movie that would have resulted from the heist had the police not immediately foiled the plan. It would have equal parts The Italian Job and Weekend at Bernie’s.
Così buono. (Read More…)
Several months late to the annual Airing of the Grievances, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne recently took the opportunity to mildly trash one of his company’s products.
The outspoken CEO, who donned the title last year, apparently takes offence to the company’s California T, complaining to reporters at the Geneva Motor Show that the droptop grand tourer just doesn’t feel like it belongs in the stable. (Read More…)
Former Ferrari salesman Robert “Bud” Root is suing Ferrari of Palm Beach for wrongful dismissal, alleging the dealer fired him after he discovered that a Ferrari DEIS tool was being used to roll back odometers. He also claims discrimination due to his old age.
Root’s claim states that Ferrari’s Italian headquarters has been producing and distributing these devices to dealerships worldwide. It also says that Ferrari must give authorization every time one of the tools is used — a potentially damaging allegation for the supercar manufacturer.
Some automotive generalities are undeniable: Americans like their pickup trucks, and Italians like the style and flair of a Ferrari. It’s not often these two interests align, but today’s Rare Rides must have been written somewhere in the stars, because it’s just so right. Via Craigslist, behold the stunning Ferrar-olet.
Vehicle names are often lies. Take LTD, for example. Demon? No proof of possession, at least none that can be recognized by the Catholic Church.
Ferrari, on the other hand, has introduced a new Geneva-bound model that aptly sums up its purpose through its name: Superfast. Yes, the Ferrarri 812 Superfast is, unsurprisingly, just that.
As a successor to the F12 Berlinetta, the 812 Superfast needs to do things in a gutsier manner than the model that came before. It’s also the 70th anniversary of the first Ferrari-badged car, so it only made sense for the prancing pony to make this model its fastest and most powerful production offering to date. (Read More…)
Lapo Elkann — rich person and grandson of late Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli — will not face charges for a November incident in which he told a family representative and the New York Police Department that he had been kidnapped.
Law enforcement sources claimed that Elkann had spent last Thanksgiving snorting cocaine, smoking marijuana, and drinking heavily with a 29-year-old escort, believing the kidnapping to be a ploy to acquire money to pay for the bender. (Read More…)
FCA and Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne said that he would love to see Alfa Romeo returning to the Formula 1 Championship with its own team, provided that they are never, ever as good as Scuderia Ferrari. Instead of being a genuine F1 contender, he imagines Alfa as the junior varsity team designed to condition future talent for its big-league brother.
“Alfa Romeo in F1 could become a fine breeding ground for young Italian drivers,” Marchionne said after announcing GP2’s Antonio Giovinazzi as Ferrari’s new third driver at the company’s annual Christmas media event. “For that very reason we are thinking about bringing it back, as our competitor, to racing, to Formula One. It’s important for Alfa to return.” (Read More…)
Countless hours of development, design and construction. Exacting details wrought in boardboardrooms and wind tunnels. Exotic materials, experimental engine designs, hand crafted bodies. The goal?
Simple. Make the fastest car in the world.
But even if a designer or firm achieves that goal, they don’t necessarily have a winner on their hands. Even when the facts and figures support one supercar design over another, intangibles often decide which one will be a success.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some superlative automobiles over a few decades and see how fate played out.
Though it may seem hard to believe, we’re only a month away from celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of the Wedge Era in automotive designs.
To those of us who still think of the Countach as a sharp enough design to be considered cutting edge, this is a sad reality. Yet the prototype of what would become the 1980s poster child was first shown in a hard-to-conceptualize 1971.
The influence of the angle extended far beyond the Countach in the 1980s. It also started before the scissored doors opened on the stand in Geneva in 1971 and was seen in many more marques than just those wearing the Raging Bull. Even more impressive than its age is the reach of these designs, some of which are still being refined today. So, let’s take a look at some of the interesting and influential doorstop shapes and where they later found a home.
While in recent months TTAC has reported on the declining popularity of the four door, there are still a plethora of fast sedans in the marketplace.
In fact, the performance extracted from them was unfathomable even a generation ago. How did we end up at a 500-horsepower Audi, a 640-horsepower Cadillac and 707-horse Dodge? What were once numbers reserved for otherworldly exotics now are found in a pedestrian nameplate.
But this is no new trend, for while the current power war we’re experiencing has generated outlandish performance numbers for a mere average Joe, the recipe of sticking the most punch possible into a sedan for the masses goes back a long way.
Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne — who’s also the CEO of some other company — says the Italian automaker’s stable will be full of hybrid technology in three short years.
This isn’t an initiative designed to take Ferrari from red to green. Rather, it’s the only way it can boost sales without running afoul of the law. There’s cash to be made, and Sergio’s on the case.
By all accounts, the Ferrari 488GTB is an incredible machine. Twin turbos coax 661 horsepower from V8 displacing a scant 3.9 litres (my own 3.9-litre V8 cannot accomplish this feat), hustling its 3,362 pounds to felonious speeds in under four seconds. Slick aero and really weird door handles contribute to the 488GTB having 50-percent less drag and 50-percent more downforce than its predecessor.
Like the Porsche we examined a few weeks back, Ferrari has perfected the art of making doryloads of money on each transaction. Buyers can spend upwards of $100,000 on superfluous options that don’t make the quarter-million dollar supercar go any faster. A zero-option Ferrari exists only in the realm of unicorns and healthy fast food. But what would the 1 percent find in their driveway if they custom ordered such a machine? Let’s find out.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ferrari has officially added its name to the list of automakers that will no longer offer a manual transmission.
The company’s chief technology officer, Michael Hugo Leiters, explained the decision at the Paris Auto Show last week, citing performance and technology as the motivating factors.
Goodbye, gate. (Read More…)
Sergio Marchionne added another CEO title to his résumé yesterday, taking control of Ferrari, where the Fiat-Chrysler head already served as chairman.
He replaces former CEO Amedeo Felisa, who retired after 26 years with the company. Felisa remains on the independent automaker’s board of directors, where he will serve as a technical advisor.
Marchionne now has full control of the company he spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at the beginning of the year. Two years ago, he succeeded former chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who stepped down in protest of Marchionne’s plans for the brand’s future. (Read More…)