Autosport International is back in 2023, three years after its last appearance at NEC, Birmingham. I am excited to see the show this year and the return of cars and models.
I have been attending Autosport since 2012, and the last three years were a significant break.
As expected, the show was amazing. There were new companies, models, and exciting new motorsport technologies, particularly electric vehicle racing cars. I anticipate seeing more electric vehicles in future Autosport shows.
By the way, I don’t know the story behind that Lamborghini Huracan.
I have tried to attend Salon Privé for a long time, but I’ve never managed it! I always thought Salon Privé was a small car show, and that’s all. However, I was wrong.
I realized this when I attended the event at Royal Chelsea Hospital in London this year. Since I started blogging, I think this is the first car show where I didn’t ask for a press pass.
Salon Privé London has something unique to offer! It is small, but it has everything! From Prodrive’s Paris Dacar off-roader BRX Hunter to Bugatti Chirons (multiple Chirons were present). I’m not even taking into account the number of Lamborghinis that were present.
Another great part of Salon Privé was Anna-Louise Felstead (Instagram @alfelstead). She is a fantastic artist whose paintings I love. This is especially true for the ones that convey the reality of luxury cars. They are amazing!
Also, there were two helicopters at Salon Privé. I can’t ignore them in this write-up. From this year, I will be attending a future Salone Privé event, and I highly recommend it!
Ferrari recently revealed a new model, the 296 GTB. The other Ferraris’ 296 GTB features a turbo V6 engine coupled with an electric motor (PHEV aka plug-in hybrid). I know many Ferrari fans and owners won’t like this composition. However, I liked it!
Over the last two decades, Ferrari has focused on creating louder and louder cars. Different from the Ferraris of the 1990s, today’s Ferraris are very loud. They can even make residents uncomfortable when driven in urban areas.
Ferrari fans may not agree with me. In fact, they might tell me about how important a Ferrari’s exhaust noise is while playing with their smartphone to order food from Amazon!
Recently, the world has changed significantly. We now order food using smartphones and do banking without ever seeing any real money. So, what’s wrong with a Ferrari with a hybrid drivetrain? I believe that nostalgia and the male ego make things sound louder for no reason. Ferrari made this very well for a long time.
Now we know the importance of creating quieter cars, it’s worth noting Ferrari’s achievements in this area. Ferrari’s 296 GTB, powered by a 3-liter V6 turbo engine, produces 663 PS; the electric motor produces 167 PS and 350 nm of torque. In combination, the 296 GTB generates 830 PS and 740 nm of torque. The engine is coupled with an 8-speed DCT automatic gearbox and an e-diff.
Thanks to its electric motor, the Ferrari 296 GTB can travel on pure electricity up to 25 km! That’s amazing. You can travel in pure silence across town without annoying anyone, which makes this Ferrari an excellent car for people like me. The vehicle’s top speed is over 330 km/h and it only needs 2.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h!
For nearly half a century, Ferrari never had an offering with a V6 engine; and now they back to V6 and did a great job. The engine’s architecture is state-of-art, featuring 120-degree V angle to accommodate turbos for quicker response. There is also 350-bar fuel injector pressure and brake-by-wire technology for better braking. Notably, brake-by-wire technology is dangerous territory; Mercedes-Benz failed it with SBC in 2002!
Even the iconic Manettino switch has changed. Frank Stephenson designed the first Manettino for the Ferrari F430 in 2006. The new Manettino is called the eManettino and has four settings.
To wrap up, the Ferrari 296 GTB closes the gap between the SF90 Stradale and the F8 Tributo. It’s the perfect car for a new era of Ferrari. While I know that the 296 GTB wasn’t Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid (the SF90 Stradale holds that title), it’s the first V6 plug-hybrid. In my personal opinion, the 296 GTB is a fantastic car. It doesn’t shout like other Ferraris and it offers something unique. Despite being a plug-in hybrid, it is still a rear-wheel drive, unlike the SF90 Stradale. I think the 296 GTB would be an excellent car for newcomers to Ferrari!
Ferrari recently revealed a new entry model called Roma. The exterior design of the Roma highly resembles Aston Martin’s Vantage and DB11 models. According to Ferrari, Roma is a brand new car, although the majority of its platform is based on Portofino excluding the unnecessary metal folding roof. I wouldn’t say I like the folding metal roof as they are too heavy and use too much space.
Roma is powered by a 3.9-lt V8 which is also seen in the 488, SF90, GTC4Lusso T, Portofino, F8, and Alfa Romeo Giulia (V6 version). The engine produces 620PS and is coupled with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. Unlike the Portofino, there are five stages on the Manettino switch, which makes the Roma a proper Ferrari.
Another beautiful thing with the Roma is the opportunity to remove all modelling and branding from the car. Ferrari focused on a clean and minimalist design for the Roma, and the removal of logos was part of this process. I would highly recommend it, and there is no point in showing everyone you have a Ferrari, and it signals a lack of self-esteem.
The clean design ended up with hidden active aerodynamic parts similar to the Porsche 911. If they don’t have any functionality, the aerodynamic parts are hidden. I love it!
The interior looks more like a Mercedes-Benz in that it has lots of screens and buttons, which I also like. Ferrari is moving towards a better driver experience through its infotainment and other electronic systems. Existing Ferrari models lack this, and they continue to feel like the gadgets have been retrofitted to a 1990s Ferrari (my opinion).
Overall, I like the Roma; it has all the Ferrari features, but nothing has been sacrificed. The engine is perfect, the design is impressive, and it represents the future of Ferrari.
HR Owen is one of the official Ferrari dealers in the U.K. They recently opened a store in the prestigious and affluent Mayfair, London. This retail space, used to be home to the luxury brand Rolls-Royce. I was fortunate enough to recently visit the new dealership, in order to take some photos. This time I chose to do this, not with a DSLR camera, but instead with an iPhone Pro 11, utilising the wide-angle lens.
Here are the photos from my visit; Ferrari 812 Superfast and Portofino.
I have negated to write about Ferrari for some time and so I thought now would be an appropriate time to re-visit Ferrari owing to the release of its remarkable new production vehicle. This launch sees the SF90 Stradale, Ferrari’s first front-wheel drive, with no reverse gear encapsulating the concept of track and performance car in one.
Specifically, it is a 1000-hp plug-in hybrid hyper car, powered by a 4 litre, twin turbo engine that produces 780-hp and it is coupled with a 162-kW electric motor with 220-hp. In total, it is 1000-hp. The front-wheel drive part accompanies the electric motor.
There are three electric motors inside the SF90 Stradale, two of which are placed in the front-axle; responsible for propelling the Ferrari backward as well as forward. The electric motors on the front axle are responsible for reversing the Ferrari and therefore, there is no reverse gear inside the gearbox and thus this saves weight! It must be acknowledged however that if the batteries run flat, a push back vehicle may be required or alternatively the engine can be run to re-charge the batteries. The final electric motor is placed at the rear, between the engine and the gearbox.
Another critical fact about this model; it is in fact, more powerful than the LaFerrari and is based upon the F8 Tribute, so; it is half supercar and half hyper car.
Regarding its design, aesthetically, I do not find its appearance as pleasing as some other models as I prefer a more minimalist design. Finally, since 2015, Ferrari is no longer under the subsidiary of Fiat anymore and is now, in fact, a public company. Therefore, if you have sufficient capital, you can purchase shares in the company.
Agent Provocateur has finally resolved the two major problems in our lives for the SS 2017 season! Driving on the beach and wearing heels on the beach. These two problems are the reflections of a person’s ability to manage weight over a loose surface. With cars, if you drive stupidly, you just sink into the sand. With heels, if you put your too much weight on your heels, you also sink into the sand.
What to do? We haven’t managed to figure it out properly until now. According to Agent Provocateur, to drive on the beach you have to have a Lamborghini Contach or a Ferrari 512bbi. Each has massive wide tyres that will spread the weight on the sand and help you to drive easily. And if you wear block heels (they tried stilettos as well), the wider heels will spread your weigh on the sand and allow you to walk easily.
Actually, no! Sand is loose surface and it is not that easy to cope with. Anyway, we love Agent Provocateur, and thumbs up for the great campaign.
Ferrari seats for your office. Ferrari has decided to sell office chairs (they sell everything under the Ferrari badge). I am definitely sure no one is surprised by this. As Ferrari makes more money from the Ferrari of things than from selling Ferrari cars, offering an office chair is no big surprise.
Ferrari offers two type of chair – the President and the Executive. The President is probably designed to boost your ego, and the Executive will satisfy your ego as you are the big President. However, whatever you prefer, you will make Ferrari wealthier.
The President costs €10,000 and the Executive costs €7,500. The shell of the seats is made from carbon or alutex – an aluminium glass fiber based on your taste. The colour options are endless, because you’re paying a Fiat 500 price for a chair.
The Ferrari 512BBi. I spotted this car a couple of months ago at the HR Owen Ferrari dealership in Chelsea, London. Unfortunately, I am not good at classic cars but I will do my best for this post.
The Ferrari 512BBi features a 4.9-litre flat-12 cylinder engine with a fuel injection system with 335 HP! It features a 5-speed manual gearbox. It takes around 5.4 seconds to reach 100 km/h or more. The top speed is 257 km/h. However, I wouldn’t want to test the top speed. Only 1,007 of them were manufactured.
I guess you will enjoy my photos more than my words.
Ferrari recently revealed the replacement for the Ferrari F12, the 812 Superfast. The Ferrari 812 Superfast brand does not sound very tempting, and seems as though the branding team was on holiday when the name was picked.
The title 812 comes from the fact that the car has 800 HP and a 12-cylinder engine. You add them together and you have the 812! You see, it is clever. Like the new electric steering wheel in the Ferrari 812.
With the 812, Ferrari has introduced the first electric steering wheel (EPS – Electric Power Steering) to the market. Probably, some people may not be happy with this situation and any steering wheel feedback may vanish due to the electric setup. At the moment, I haven’t noticed any negative feedback from the reviews, but we will see how it goes. However, this is the trend in the automotive industry. Steering wheels are becoming electric!
The Ferrari 812 offers the Side Slip Control (SSC) version 5.0 and the new Virtual Short Wheelbase 2.0 system (PCV). Both of these features are designed to make the Ferrari experience better. However, the key important point with regard to the 812 is the engine. The V12 6.5-lt naturally aspirated engine is the last naturally aspirated engine from Ferrari. Therefore, Ferrari 812 will be a future icon. All other Ferrari models are now being offered with a turbo engine, and the naturally aspirated engine era is about to end.
The other improvements relate to the instrument panel and the infotainment systems. Ferrari claims they are improved and way better. However, this is questionable!
Anyway, here are the technical details of the Ferrari 812 Superfast;
Type V12 – 65°
Overall displacement 6,496 cc
Maximum power output * 588 kW (800 cv) at 8,500 rpm
Maximum torque * 718 Nm at 7,000 rpm
Dry weight 1,525 kg
Weight distribution 47-53% front/rear
Maximum speed >340 Km/h
0-100 km/h 2.9 sec
Fuel consumption 14,9 l/100km
Emissions 340g CO2/km