IN THE NEWS: Ferrari Introduces 488 Spider


Maranello, 28 July 2015 – Ferrari announces the launch of the 488 Spider, its most powerful ever mid-rear-engined V8 car to feature the patented retractable hard top along with the highest level of technological innovation and with cutting-edge design.

Ferrari was the first manufacturer to introduce the RHT (Retractable Hard Top) on a car of this particular architecture. This solution ensures lower weight (-25 kg) and better cockpit comfort compared to the classic fabric soft-top. Just like all previous spider versions of Ferrari’s models, this is a car that is aimed squarely at clients seeking open-air motoring pleasure in a high-performance sports car with an unmistakable Ferrari engine sound.

Every area of the car has been designed to set new technological benchmarks for the sector: from the aluminium spaceframe chassis and bodyshell to the new turbo-charged V8, aerodynamics that reconcile the need for greater downforce with reduced drag along with the specific cabin air flow demands of an open-top car, and vehicle dynamics that render it fast, agile and instantly responsive.

The world premiere of the 488 Spider will be at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September but can be seen from today finished in the new Blu Corsa livery at

The heart of the 488 Spider

Beneath the engine cover throbs the 3902 cc turbo-charged V8 that debuted just a few months ago on the 488 GTB. Its performance levels are nothing short of extraordinary: a maximum power output of 670 CV combined with maximum torque of 760 Nm at 3000 rpm send the 488 Spider sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat and from 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7 seconds. This is also an exceptionally efficient engine as it is not only 100 CV more powerful than the previous naturally-aspirated V8 but also has lower CO2 emissions.

The turbo V8 has a unique character, delivering increasing levels of power right across the rev range, and completely eliminating the traditional turbo lag with a throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds. This is thanks not merely to components such as the turbos, but also to a sophisticated production process only made possible by Maranello’s leading-edge facilities which are shared with the Scuderia to foster the transfer of racing technologies to the road cars.

In line with Ferrari tradition, this model has its own absolutely distinctive soundtrack created using solutions such as exhaust headers with longer, equal-length piping and a flat-plane crankshaft. It was also further enhanced by an in-depth study of harmonics and tonality at different engine speeds. The sound is seductive but never invasive when the top is dropped, with both volume and clarity increasing as the engine instantly responds to the accelerator pedal and revs rise, reinforcing the sensation of massive performance.

Sculpted by the wind

This is also the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever built, thanks to a series of complex aero solutions designed to guarantee optimal downforce whilst reducing drag, two normally mutually-exclusive objectives. Maranello’s engineers managed to achieve both goals simultaneously by introducing several innovative devices, including a blown spoiler and an aerodynamic underbody incorporating vortex generators.

The air flow studies also took into account factors relating to in-car comfort. The electric glass rear wind stop can be adjusted to one of three positions to guarantee maximum comfort when the top is lowered. Fully lowering the wind stop allows the occupants to enjoy the engine soundtrack even with the roof raised regardless of the weather or driving conditions.

Form and function sculpted in aluminium

Designed around the concept of the retractable hard top, the 488 Spider has a spaceframe chassis made of 11 different aluminium alloys combined with other noble metals, such as magnesium, each one used in a highly specific way.  This yields the same torsional rigidity and beam stiffness figures as the coupé, improving the chassis’ performance by 23% over that of its predecessor. An extraordinary result, given that the roof is structural, that is only possible thanks to the expertise of the Scaglietti centre of excellence that engineers Ferrari’s aluminium chassis and bodies.

The RHT folds backwards in two overlapping sections to rest flush on the engine in a very compact solution. The mechanism is exceptionally smooth and takes just 14 seconds for the top to fully retract or deploy.

Working with aluminium is important not only in functional terms but also because, by tradition, it demands every detail be treated sculpturally to express the technical excellence of the project through its beauty. Cases in point are the flying buttresses which optimally channel air flows to the engine cover, the ribbing on the engine cover and the air intakes with sculpted mesh grilles which lend that area of the car a sense of incredible dynamism. To achieve this result the Ferrari Styling Centre completely reworked the aesthetics compared to the 488 GTB.

Speed and control across the board

The introduction of a sophisticated simulator, similar to the one used by the Formula 1 Scuderia, allowed the human factor to influence the car’s design from the earliest stages by giving the engineers instant feedback from the test-drivers long before the first 488 prototype was physically built.

To make its dynamic behaviour even more engaging, the development team honed the car’s mechanical set-up in tandem with its electronic systems which are now fully integrated with the SSC2 Side Slip Angle Control System, resulting in 12% faster acceleration out of corners than the 458 Spider.

Over all, response times are 9% more rapid than the previous Spider without any compromise whatsoever being made in comfort.The car’s design was adapted to efficiently meet the typical the demands of open-top driving and use. In fact, the Spider’s dynamic behaviour is effortless on even the most challenging routes. It is remarkably easy to drive on the limit thanks to flawless handling even on the most demanding of roads.

Information and photographs of the 488 Spider can be downloaded from the Ferrari media 

Ferrari 488 Spider

Technical specifications


Type90° V8, turbo-charged, dry sump
Total displacement3902 cc (238.1 cu. in)
Bore and stroke86.5 x 83 mm (3.4 x 3.3 in)
Maximum power *492 kW (670 cv) at 8000 rpm
Maximum torque *760 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII gear
Specific output172 cv/l (2.07 kW/cu. in)
Compression ratio9.4:1


Length4568 mm (179.8 in)
Width1952 mm (76.9 in)
Height1211 mm (47.7 in)
Wheelbase2650 mm (104.3 in)
Front track1679 mm (66.1 in)
Rear track1647 mm (64.8 in)
Kerb weight**1525 kg (3362 lb)
Dry weight**1420 kg (3131 lb)
Weight distribution41.5% front – 58.5% rear
Boot capacity230 l (8.12 cu. ft)
Fuel tank capacity78 l (22.7 US gallons)


Front                                     245/35 ZR20 J9.0
Rear                                      305/30 ZR 20 J11.0


Front                                   398x223x36 mm (15.7 x 8.8 x 1.4 in)
Rear                                    360x233x32 mm (14.2 x 9.2 x 1.3 in)


7-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission


E-Diff3, F1-Trac, High-Performance ABS with Ferrari Pre-Fill, FrS SCM-E, SSC


Maximum speed> 325 km/h (203 mph)
0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62 mph)3.0 s
0 – 200 km/h (0 – 124 mph)8.7 s
0 – 400 m (0 – 437 yd)10.55 s
0 – 1000 m (0 – 1093 yd)18.9 s
Dry weight/power ratio2.12 kg/cv (6.35 lb/kW)


11.4 l/100 km


260 g/km

* with 98 octane fuel

** With optional equipment

*** Combined cycle with HELE system (ECE+EUDC)

Posted in Ferrari | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

AT THE CONCOURS: Bentley Blue Train Captivates Again

The Blue Train

(Crewe, 21 July 2015) Some 85 years after the famous victory that made its name, the Bentley ‘Blue Train’ is still enjoying winning ways, picking up four prestigious awards at the Schloss Bensberg Classics event in Germany.

The Speed Six ‘Blue Train’ coupe, owned by Mr Bruce McCaw, dominated the field at the invitation-only event, which is one of Europe’s premier classic concours shows. It was named ‘Best in Class: The Style of Speed’; ‘Best of Show: Public Vote’; ‘Best of Show: Jury Vote’; and ‘Best in Special Category: Pre-War Closed Models’.

There was also a category win for the Bentley S1 Continental Flying Spur (1958), which took the ‘Driving out in Style: Four-door Luxury Sports Saloons (Post-War)’ title.

Robert Engstler, Regional Director Bentley Europe, commented: “The four awards won by the Bentley ‘Blue Train’ at this prestigious event prove once again that this car is one of the most legendary vehicles of all times.”

The ‘Blue Train’ Bentley

It was 85 years ago that Captain Woolf Barnato, Chairman of Bentley Motors, was staying in Cannes when he accepted a wager that not only could he beat the Calais-Mediterranée Express (or ‘Blue Train’) back to Calais, but that he could be at his club in London before the train even reached the English Channel.

He was, and the remarkable victory has resonated with Bentley enthusiasts ever since. The car that was believed to have accomplished the feat was the iconic Gurney Nutting two-door fastback coupe.

In recent years evidence has emerged to suggest Barnato drove his Mulliner saloon-bodied Speed 6, however, it is the coupe that will forever be known as the Blue Train car.

Bentley Mulsanne Speed ‘Blue Train’ Limited Edition

To commemorate this historic feat, Bentley Motors has produced a Limited Edition – the Mulsanne Speed ‘Blue Train’.

The ‘Blue Train’ Limited Edition is produced by the skilled craftsmen and women of Bentley’s bespoke coachbuilding division, Mulliner. Each features a number of delightful historical references and modern interpretations of design details from the original Speed Six.

For example, the fluting pattern in the door panels and the rear quarter inserts echo the interior of Barnato’s original car. The dashboard facia features an expertly crafted veneer image of the original Bentley ‘Blue Train’ Speed Six. Meanwhile, the treadplate plaques bear the wording ‘Blue Train 85 Years’ and the front grille features a square mesh design inspired by original Speed Six.

Schloss Bensberg Classics

The 2015 Concours d’Elégance at the Schloss Bensberg Classics is a FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) A-rated event, the highest rating FIVA bestows. The grounds of Bensberg Palace outside Cologne provide the perfect setting for the line-up of weekend activities, which see some of the world’s finest and rarest classic cars on display.

Posted in Bentley | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ON THE BLOCK: How to Buy Your Dream Porsche

911 2.4 S and 964 RS N_GT at Autofarm

Silverstone, 20 July 2015 – When you’re buying your dream classic car, it’s crucial to arm yourself with expert knowledge – which is why Silverstone Auctions has put together a new buyers’ guide ahead of its sale at the Silverstone Classic this weekend.

Presented by classic car collector, Harry Metcalfe, and filmed at Porsche specialists Autofarm, the video puts a pair of incredible 911s, a 1972 2.4 S and 1991 964 RS, under intense scrutiny before they go under the hammer at the Silverstone Classic sale on 24-26 July*.

Metcalfe, one of the founders of performance car magazine, evo, and most recently best known for YouTube channel Harry’s Garage, shares his years’ of experience in buying and selling classic cars. He shows viewers what to look for when buying a Porsche 911, a model that has seen unprecedented growth in the classic car market in recent years.

Focussing first on the 1972 Porsche 911 2.4 S, Metcalfe walks viewers around the car, looking at tell-tell signs of originality and even how to age the car by its oil filler cover. As probably the best example of its type on the market right now, Metcalfe doesn’t uncover any issues – but points out the importance of original paint and where to spot ‘hidden’ repairs.

With an estimated auction price of £130,000 – £150,000, Metcalfe explains why this original and unmolested example, complete with extensive history and provenance, is a perfect collector’s piece for any enthusiast. The car will go under the hammer on Saturday 25 July.

At the other end of the spectrum, he turns his focus to a 1991 Porsche 964 RS N/GT. This 1991 example, also in the Saturday 25 July sale, was one of the first cars off the production line as the first-ever N/GT (Clubsport) car made. Due to its exclusivity, this 964 RS is a collector’s dream.

Marked out by its roll cage, racing bucket seats and omitted ‘creature comforts’ such as air-conditioning and carpets the car has had a very interesting history, being gifted to Porsche-only endurance racing driver Ulrich Richter. Metcalfe tells the story of this very special car while also looking at ways to check its originality.

Having recently been treated to an engine overhaul as well as a glass-out respray in factory Maritime Blue paint, Metcalfe shows how to look for accident damage including panel gaps and removal of vital stickers marking its authenticity. With an estimate of £230,000 – £260,000, this driver-focussed 964 RS is regarded as one of the most exciting examples offered on the open market.

Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, says: “It is a delight to be able to present these two iconic air-cooled 911s for sale, alongside many other important Porsches in the Silverstone Classic Sale this week. Condition, history and provenance are some of the most important factors to consider when buying a classic car – and indeed when selling one, too. These examples are testament to why I have enjoyed buying and selling the Porsche marque for many years.

“Harry has worked with us at Silverstone Auctions, since buying his Ferrari Testarossa at last years Silverstone Classic sale. He is a well-respected member of the classic car community and I am humbled that he could take the time to share a fraction of his knowledge in this video. I’m sure you’ll see a lot more from him, as well as a few more high-quality cars for sale in the future.”

For the full list of lots available in The Silverstone Classic Sale, please visit:

Posted in Porsche | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ON THE BLOCK: Steve McQueen’s Last Special-Order Porsche at Mecum Monterey


WALWORTH, Wis. – July 14, 2015 – The very last car special-ordered by The King of Cool—the late mega movie star Steve McQueen—will be offered for sale at the Mecum Daytime Auction in Monterey this Aug. 13-15 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa – Del Monte Golf Course. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera will be donated to McQueen’s alma mater, the reform school Boys Republic.

“This car is rich in history,” says McQueen’s son Chad. “This is the last of the McQueen cars, really. That’s known. That’s real.”

McQueen’s untimely death in 1980 at age 50 made this 1976 Porsche 930, chassis 9306800408, the very last of his special-order cars. His insatiable and notorious need for speed and his affinity for fine automobiles meant always having the best sets of wheels, and his Porsche 930 is no exception. Capable of producing 234 HP at 5,500 RPM, the matching-numbers four-speed car came equipped with the rare early production non-intercooled 3.0 liter engine, no. 6860413, with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and was special ordered from Bob Smith Porsche in Hollywood. McQueen specified that the car be delivered wearing Slate Gray with a sunroof, dual mirrors, limited-slip differential and black sport seats. But as fine as the car was when delivered, McQueen had even more in mind for it.

“My dad had little things done to it,” Chad says. “Like on the dashboard, he had a switch put on so it would kill the rear lights in case he was being chased on Mulholland Drive.”

Whether being used to outrun police or not, the 930 was and still is a desirable vehicle, and McQueen wasn’t the only notable owner of this handsome Turbo; it also passed through the hands of other Hollywood successes including movie producer and writer Floyd Mutrux, as well as singer Dean Martin’s son—actor Dean Paul Martin.

Offered with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, extensive service records, the original owner’s manual, original tools and original sales brochures, this 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo—the last of the McQueen cars—will serve as an excellent centerpiece in the collection of its next caretaker. And not only will the new owner be obtaining a stunning piece of automotive and movie-icon history, they will also be giving back to a school that’s changed the lives of countless troubled youth, including the King of Cool’s.

To view the complete description of McQueen’s Last Special-Order Porsche or to register as a bidder, visit Bidder registration is $100 and can be completed in advance online or on-site at the auction. The Mecum Daytime Auction in Monterey is open to buyers, sellers and spectators with general admission tickets available at the gate for $25; children 12 and younger are admitted free of charge. Portions of the auction will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network with a stream of the entire event presented on Mecum’s website. For more details on the auction, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder for this and all Mecum auctions, visit or call (262) 275-5050.

Posted in Porsche | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Virtual Rrrreality: Volkswagen Lets Users Drive a Golf R Using Their Voice

Herndon, VA (July 13, 2015) — Volkswagen of America, Inc., is excited to unveil the Unleash Your Rrrr site that allows Volkswagen fans to drive a virtual Golf R using only the sound of voice. The web app utilizes deep learning, an artificial intelligence subset of machine learning, developed by VW’s agency of record Deutsch LA, to analyze each user’s unique impression of the Golf R engine’s roar. It then generates a customized video of the 292-hp turbocharged Golf R model roaring through a race track, drifting, braking, among other cool stunts that correspond with the user’s voice recording.

“The idea behind the Golf R ‘Unleash Your Rrrr’ was simple – imagination. As children, we’ve all played with toy cars, and the power of our imaginations allowed us to turn rugs into expressways and wooden floors into slick racetracks.  Our voice would act as the engine. Fast forward to today where we now have the power of technology to enhance our imagination, and to visualize the power of our voice.” said Vinay Shahani, Vice President of Marketing for Volkswagen of America.

Using the breakthrough artificial intelligence technology, Volkswagen has invited users to Unleash Your Rrrr, satisfying the desire that everyone has for high performance driving. To make this project even more shareable, there is a picture-in-picture feature that allows fans to see their friends in high performance mode.

The deep learning technology classifies each user’s vocal pitch and chooses a matching clip from a pool of hundreds of Volkswagen car videos. For example, if a user makes an acceleration sound, you might see the Golf R storming down a straightaway, or if a user made a screeching sound, the Golf R might be drifting through a tight turn.

The stunts in the videos are performed by professional racecar and stunt driver Tanner Foust, who is a member of the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Team during the 2014 and 2015 Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) seasons and was a stunt driver for various movies. Foust’s Unleash Your Rrrr video can also be viewed here. Fans can also check out the Golf Rrrr video by Michael Winslow, actor, beatboxer and comedian billed known as the “Man of 10,000 Sound Effects.”

To Unleash their Rrrr and create their personalized Golf R videos, users can visit on their desktops. Users share them via social media with their friends.

With 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged and direct-injection EA888 TSI® engine, the Golf R has 36 hp and 37 lb-ft more than the previous version. The new R model is considerably more fuel-efficient than its predecessor with an EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg with the six-speed DSG® transmission, up from 27 mpg for the previous, manual-transmission model.

The available six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission offers a launch control feature, enabling the car to complete the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 4.9 seconds. The top track speed is 155 mph.

Posted in Volkswagen | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

PICK OF THE DAY: Immaculate 1971 BMW 2800CSa




via Craigslist

Posted in BMW | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

IN MOTORSPORT: Volkswagen Develops Golf for the Track


Wolfsburg (09 July 2015). A new Golf for the racetrack: Volkswagen Motorsport is developing its first racing car based on the seventh generation Golf. The production-based, 330-hp concept car is assembled in accordance with TCR regulations and is intended to help Volkswagen evaluate a potential customer racing programme from the 2016 season onwards. In order to accelerate the development of the car, the new Golf will be tested under competitive conditions between now and the end of the season: as cooperation partner, the Liqui Moly Team Engstler will run two cars at the eighth round of the Touringcar Racer International Series (TCR) at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg (A).

“The newly created TCR category provides a promising platform for customer racing – on a national and international level. With exciting races, production-based technology and reasonable costs, it offers a new outlook for private racing teams,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “When developing the Golf-based concept car, we are able to fall back on the resources at Volkswagen. This reduces both development time and costs. We will also use the rest of the season to test the car under competitive conditions and evaluate a possible customer racing project from 2016.”

Dynamic appearance: new Golf epitomises racing genes

Visually, the racing genes are clear to see on the Golf developed by Volkswagen Motorsport: 18-inch racing rims, a chassis roughly 40 centimetres wider than that of the production Golf, and a striking rear wing give the Golf a “ready-to-race” look and first-class handling. An aerodynamically designed front splitter and carbon rear wing are also among the modifications for the racetrack. Among the components designed to protect the driver are a racing seat with head protectors, a racing safety cell, and a safety tank in accordance with FIA regulations.

Under the bonnet: the inner values of the new Golf for the racetrack

A powerful four-cylinder engine, DSG gearbox with shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel, a consistently developed racing chassis – even under the bonnet, the new Golf has been meticulously prepared for its outings at the racetrack. Volkswagen Motorsport is developing the car in cooperation with the sport department at SEAT, meaning it can call on SEAT’s experience with the Leon Cup Racer. As with the Volkswagen Group’s production vehicles, the MQB platform also offers many synergies for racing cars and reduces the cost of assembling and running the touring car. The two-litre turbo engine with direct fuel injection comes from the top sporting model, the Golf R. The racing version of this engine generates 330 hp (243 kW) and 410 Nm of torque.

Testing under race conditions: first start at the Red Bull Ring

In order to accelerate development, the concept car will be tested under competitive conditions at the remaining four race weekends in the international TCR series. The renowned Liqui Moly Team Engstler, which boasts decades of experience of touring car racing, will take responsibility for running the car during the remaining test phase.

Calendar for the Touringcar Racer International Series (TCR)
28–29/03/2015 Malaysia (Sepang)*
11–12/04/2015 China (Shanghai)*
02–03/05/2015 Spain (Valencia)
09–10/05/2015 Portugal (Algarve)
23–24/05/2015 Italy (Monza)
30–31/05/2015 Austria (Salzburgring)
20–21/06/2015 Russia (Sochi)
11–12/07/2015 Austria (Spielberg)
19–20/09/2015 Singapore*
24–25/10/2015 Thailand (Buriram)
21–22/11/2015 Macau

* on support programme for the Formula One World Championship.

Posted in Volkswagen | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ON THE BLOCK: Miami Vice Ferrari Testarossa Targets Mecum Monterey After eBay Fizzle


WALWORTH, Wis. – July 7, 2015 – The star of the ‘80s-era television series “Miami Vice” is coming to the Mecum Daytime Auction in Monterey this Aug. 13-15. No, not Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs—the flashy detectives played by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas who fought episode-after-episode against the seedy underworld of Miami—but their 1986 Ferrari Testarossa. This iconic supercar with its signature side strakes was one of the quintessential poster cars that found itself plastered on many a teenager’s bedroom wall in the 1980s, and it will now be offered for sale at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa – Del Monte Golf Course this Aug. 15.

It was rumored that Enzo Ferrari himself proposed that the Ferrari factory could supply two black Testarossas for use on the show. From that day forward, it was this Testarossa that became the show’s signature car. The only significant change came when the Ferrari was repainted white at the behest of Director Michael Mann for better visibility in night scenes. This Testarossa quickly moved into cult status along with other series props such as Ray Ban sunglasses, Armani jackets, Scarab speedboats and enough firearms for a small army.

The Testarossa sports a 4.9 liter, 390-horsepower flat-12 engine, a traditional five-speed manual gated shifter, beige leather, power windows, power locks, power seats, cruise control and air conditioning. After “Miami Vice” ended its series run in 1989 the car was placed into storage until earlier this year.

Now showing 16,124 miles and authenticated by both Ferrari North America and Ferrari Classiche, with documented service records from Shelton Ferrari in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this exotic recently received an engine-out service at a cost of $8,000. The sun may have set on Crockett and Tubbs, but the “Miami Vice” Testarossa remains an enduring icon.

To view the “Miami Vice” Ferrari Testarossa or to register as a bidder, visit Bidder registration is $100 and can be completed in advance online or on-site at the auction. The Mecum Daytime Auction in Monterey is open to buyers, sellers and spectators with general admission tickets available at the gate for $25; children 12 and younger are admitted free of charge. Portions of the auction will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network with a stream of the entire event presented on Mecum’s website. For more details on the auction, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder for this and all Mecum auctions, visit or call (262) 275-5050.

Posted in Ferrari | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

PICK OF THE DAY: One-Owner 40,000-Mile Volkswagen Cabriolet

image 1

Purchased new in Germany and shipped to US
In excellent condition

Test drives will be accompanied by owner


via Craigslist

Posted in Volkswagen | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HAPPY 4th!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment