Tag Archives: Ferrari

Speed:Sport:Life News – An Immaterial Display Edition

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As is the usual case when one of the major auto shows rolls around on the calendar, the news for the week was completely dominated by the releases, unveilings and debuts at the Geneva Auto Show. Geneva, in particular, carries a certain cache about it, as not only does it engender lazy references to 1970′s rock music, but the city’s reputation for European luxury and prestige – not to mention Switzerland’s lack of presence in the automotive game – means that it is the auto show of choice for all the ultra-high-end hardware from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, makers of less-famous but no less bespoke or impressive high-end European exotica like Koenigsegg and Spyker, and those that just wish to rub some of the magic sparkle that Geneva has on themselves.

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Geneva 2012: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

This is the all-new 12-cylinder Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, which debuts at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show next week.  This is the most powerful road going car that Ferrari has ever built, and is powered by a 6.3-liter V12 engine which produces 740-horsepower and 509 ft-lb of torque.  The mid-front engine layout of the F12 Berlinetta delivers power to the rear wheels by way of an extremely close ratio double clutch gearbox.

The F12 Berlinetta,which replaces the 599 in the Ferrari lineup, has been engineered to not only be more efficient but also more dynamic.  Ferrari engineers have designed an all-new spaceframe chassis that gives the F12 Berlinetta a lower center of gravity, a 20 percent increase in structural rigidity while shedding 70kg over the outgoing 599.  Ferrari says the fuel consumption has also been reduced by 30%, with CO2 emissions of just 350 g/km.

Using computational fluid dynamics to design the F12 Berlinetta, Ferrari has managed to boost downforce by an incredible 76 percent over the 599 while keeping the coefficient of drag at just 0.299.  Ferrari has managed this by using what they call the Aero Bridge which uses the hood to generate downforce by channeling air away from the upper part of the car and over the directing it to the flanks over the rear wheels.  Ferrari has also given the F12 Berlinetta Active Brake Cooling which opens guide vanes to the brake cooling ducts only at high operating temperatures to further reduce drag.

The result of all this engineering and efficiency is pretty damn impressive.  Ferrari says that the F12 Berlinetta will do 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and 0-200 km/h in just 8.5 seconds.  Ferrari also says that the F12 Berlinetta laps their Fiorano test circuit a full 1 minute and 23 seconds faster than any other Ferrari road car.

We’ve got a full Ferrari F12 Berlinetta gallery and Ferrari press release after the jump to read about the other techno wizardry Ferrari have employed.

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My Oil Brings All The Girls To The Yard: Pennzoil’s new Ferrari synthetic hopes to find a home under the hoods of a million Toyotas.

As first gigs go, it wasn’t that bad. From his secret lair beneath a hollowed-out volcano, SSL’s notorious Jack Baruth asked me to head to Las Vegas for a weekend. As a lifelong oval-track fan, I was on the plane before he had a chance to change his mind and send me to a minivan “first drive” instead. The trip didn’t disappoint; I had a chance to watch Kevin Harvick hammer out his thirty-fifth career Nationwide Series win, I saw and met a variety of celebrities of the NASCAR and non-NASCAR variety (see above photo) and I also attended a presentation on the new Pennzoil Ultra “full synthetic” motor oil.

The definition of “full synthetic” in the US is complex enough to rate its own Wikipedia page (and here it is) but all the information we could find indicates that Ultra is, in some or possibly all blends, a “Group III” synthetic. This means that, strictly speaking, it’s not a head-to-head Mobil 1 competitor. Ferrari has chosen the oil for factory fill, as Porsche did with Mobil 1 some time ago. However, oil formulations differ across national borders, so this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Pennzoil Ultra sitting on your AutoZone’s shelf is exactly the same stuff that is being poured into the 458 Italia.

The most interesting thing about Ultra, from my perspective, isn’t the Ferrari endorsement or the admittedly handsome packaging. Rather, it’s the explicit claim that the use of Ultra can prevent sludge formation and significantly clean existing sludge from engines. They’ve backed this testing with numbers, one oil-forum wonk to state that

“They improved the deposit control and improved the detergent system while retaining the very good Seq IVA performance. Throw in API SN and a Tbn of 13, and I think it’s an impressive oil. At least on paper. Specifications met are a good indication of quality. This oil has quality written all over it.”

As soon as we figure out what that means, we’ll let you know.

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2009 Petit Le Mans Wrap-Up

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Story by ALMS Communications
Photos by Zerin Dube

Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin gave Peugeot its first American Le Mans Series victory on Friday, winning a weather-shortened 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Race officials, citing hazardous conditions due to torrential rains that fell at Road Atlanta just past the four-hour mark, called the race at eight hours, 44 minutes running.

Peugeot’s two diesel-powered factory prototype coupes finished 1-2 with the pole-sitting 908 HDi of Pedro Lamy and Nic Minassian in second. The first of Audi Sport Team Joest’s Audi R15 TDIs placed third, the car driven by Allan McNish and Dindo Capello. The Peugeot-Peugeot-Audi finish mirrored the end result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, and it ended Audi’s nine-year unbeaten streak at Road Atlanta.

“We only did three races this year,” Montagny said. “We missed Sebring by only 22 seconds, and it was a win for the Peugeot team at Le Mans and a win here. I think if we had a full time we really would have battled it out with the Audis.”

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Quick Hit: Forza Motorsport 3 demo available for download today.

Microsoft and Turn 10 released the demo for Forza Motorsport 3 via Live today. It includes only one track and just a handful of cars, but it should be enough to tease what looks like a fantastic third installment to an already strong franchise.

S:S:L ProTip: There are some interesting new features of the physics engine. Try to keep it shiny-side up.

S:S:L Video: More Laps Around MSR Houston in the Ferrari Enzo

Just because there can never be too much video of an Enzo running around a race track, here’s one more video from my weekend visit to MSR Houston. The Enzo was run quite a bit harder during this session than in the first video, as evidenced by the helmets bouncing around.  Once again, turn it up and enjoy the ride!

S:S:L Ride Along – Ferrari Enzo @ MSR Houston

A few months back, we ran a story about the famous Ferrari Enzo that was featured in the movie Redline, and later crashed by actor Eddie Griffin.  Friend of S:S:L, Matt Groner, picked up the wrecked Ferrari and promptly proceeded to put the sacred Enzo back together.  This weekend we headed down to MSR Houston to hang out with friend of S:S:L, Michael Mills, who asked us if we wanted to go for a spin.  Uh, Fluck yes!   Enjoy the video and turn up the volume!

Speed:Sport:Life Event Coverage: 2008 Lamborghini of Houston Track Day


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Photography by Zerin Dube

View Complete Lamborghini of Houston Track Day Gallery

Speed:Sport:Life Imaginary Internet Millionaire Track Test: Ferrari F430 v Lotus Elise v Dodge Caliber SRT-4 v Ford Mustang GT500


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Story by Jack Baruth – In-car video by Jack Baruth and Carl Modesette – Photography by Zerin Dube and Matt Chow

Admit it: you’ve told the Internet a fib or two in the past few years. It’s okay, really; there’s nobody around but you and me. The past decade has seen the ol’ triple-W take center stage in the automotive enthusiast community, and whether you’re a fan of a all-purpose auto site like the one run by our friends at Jalopnik, a perennial bargain-hunter logging hundreds of hours on the Edmunds car-purchase forums, or even one of those miserable mouth-breathers over at Rennlist trying like hell to turn a perfectly decent and lovely ’85 Porsche 944 into a dub-wheeled, nitrous-fed, maintenance-deferred scrapheap, chances are that you’re spending a nontrivial amount of time out there on the IntarWeb’s car spots. Chances are, too, that at some point you’ve maybe stretched the truth a bit when arguing a point with some clueless noob who desperately deserves a hammer to the forehead, right? Maybe you’ve temporarily forgotten that “your” Porsche 997 GT3 actually belongs to your wife’s uncle, or perhaps you’ve retold a rather boring HPDE 1 session somewhere as a daring battle at the very limits of adhesion, slip angle, and late braking. Don’t sweat it. We’ve all done it. Even your humble author once told a USENET group many years ago that he found the E46 M3 “really, really boring.” Well, I did find it boring, primarily because my test drive was limited to a thirty-five-mile-per-hour tour of the dealership’s parking lot. It’s just that I may have let that rather relevant fact slip my mind in my eagerness to prove a point to whatever sorry doofus I was totally e-dominating at the time. When I finally got around to driving the car harder, I actually rather liked it, but do you really think that I was going to go back and admit it? Oh, hell no. I had my imaginary electronic reputation to protect!

Those imaginary electronic reputations, or IERs for short, can lead people to tell some pretty crazy lies, with one of the most common being the “Sure, I Drive A ’93 Corolla, But I Could Totally Pay Cash For Any Car I Wanted” story. Totally believable, right? The next time you’re on the road and you see some hapless sucker clutching the shaking steering wheel of some tired old Stanza XE, why not at least briefly consider the possibility that he’s an Internet millionaire, just like all the guys over at FerrariChat, and that he just drives that crapwagon because he’s heavily invested in short-term complex financial derivatives? He’s just waiting for the right moment to stroke that check for a brand-new Gallardo Superleggera, and then he’ll be the one laughing at you! On the World Wide Web, we’re all rich, we all pay cash, and we can all drive anything we want.

Imagine, for a moment, that the above scenario was really true, and not just the fevered imagination of a bitter loser who still iives with his parents. Imagine that you really could buy anything you wanted, and that because of your awesome cash-holding and mega-investing powers, you weren’t totally convinced that you needed to spend all the money you had available to you. In other words, imagine that you’re completely unlike everybody in the real world. What would you buy? Would you do the obvious Internet zillionaire thing and buy a Ferrari? Maybe you’re a so-called purist and you’d prefer the simplicity of a Lotus Elise. It could be that you want to strut down the boulevard in the baddest Mustang to ever escape the factory – or you might be more interested in an affordable yet high-power commuter like the weapons-grade Dodge Caliber SRT-4. Who knows? You’re rich and crazy! It’s a ridiculous scenario – one completely unrelated to the real world – but here at S:S:L, we’re not big fans of the real world, so we’ve created a track test just for you, Mr. Imaginary Internet Baller. We’ve got a Ferrari F430 Spyder, a Lotus Elise, a Shelby GT500, and a Caliber SRT-4. We’re going to run ‘em head to head around MSR Houston’s road course, gather full data from our Traqmate timing system, and show you on-track video complete with a Best Motoring-style view of the driver’s pedal box. Last but not least, because this is Speed:Sport:Life and not some timid advertising-supported blog, we’re going to declare a clear winner. You may find it harder to believe that a nineteen-year-old’s claim to be street-racing his own brand-new Murcielago, but there really is one car that stands out from the pack here, and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

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