Basically, Agnelli was one of the most influential people in global automotive industry.
Last note, Fiat 500L offers on-board espresso machine :)
Volkswagen UP, Kia Picanto, and new Fiat Panda. These cars share in two things in common, they are small and stylish!
I would like to start from Volkswagen UP, this small Volkswagen is one of the most sensational car of this year. When the Volkswagen UP was revealed, it was obvious that UP wouldn’t be a cheap small car. Actually, Volkswagen UP is a very well built small car with a good price. Honestly, it has a better interior than many other Volkswagen models. If you are thinking about Volkswagen UP; it looks great from inside and outside, powered by a 1-lt petrol engine from 60 PS to 75 PS, interior is really high quality, thanks to long gap between front and rear axles the interior provides comfortable journeys. On the other hand, it doesn’t offer any automatic gearbox and no five-door option yet but it will be soon available. Volkswagen UP is really well packed small car with more fun than other conservative Volkswagen models.
For more information about Volkswagen UP, please vist their official website.
Kia Picanto is the product of Kia’s new era. After transferring designer from Audi, Peter Schreyer, Kia had a revolution in terms of everything from engines to design philosophy. Kia Picanto is a great result of this revolution. It is a small car with either three or five doors; from exterior is one of the most aggressive looking cars on this segment and from interior the built quality is way beyond previous Kia models.
Honestly, comparing Kia Picanto with previous Kia models would be unfair. So do the same :) The only draw point of Kia Picanto is the four-speed automatic gearbox, unfortunately, this is unacceptable. But as I heard from Kia, they are developing dual clutch automatic gearbox and it will be available shortly. The engine for Kia Picanto is 1-lt 68 PS and 1.25-lt 84 PS petrol engines. And again, don’t skip Kia Picanto you may regret in future!
For more information about Kia Picanto, please visit their official website.
New Fiat Panda is the newest vehicle in this comparison. New Fiat Panda is recently designed and it is totally a new! It offer really nicely designed interior and very high quality finish, you can easily notice the improvement from the previous generation. Unfortunately, the exterior did not satisfy me! When you compare with other cars, new Fiat Panda looks a bit calm and relaxed. New Fiat Panda shares some design bits from the Fiat 500 and gives some clues for the new Fiat cars. Similar to its competitors, new Fiat Panda have lots of room inside, there is no doubt about this.
Unlike other cars, new Fiat Panda offers something totally different than the others! New Fiat Panda is available with 0.9-lt two-cylinder turbo petrol engine and you will be exempted from London Congestion charge! This laptop sized engine produces 85 PS of power and it is the most powerful one in the range. The other available engines are 1.2-lt petrol engine with 69 PS and 1.3-lt diesel engine with 75 PS. Moreover, new Fiat Panda offers dualogic five-speed automated manual gearbox. It is not like an automatic gearbox but work perfectly with the car. However, you need to choose the 0.9-lt engine to have the automatic. That’s the down side! If you are into financial concerns, this car would really satisfy you but don’t except excitement from the exterior design.
For more information about new Fiat Panda, please visit their official website. (It starts to talk when you open the web site, keep in mind!)
For me, if Volkswagen UP offer five-door and DSG automatic gearbox I will go for it; if Kia Picanto offers a better automatic gearbox I would definitely consider it as well. If new Fiat Panda was looking better and I was desperate for space, I would go for it. I think I should still stick to Fiat 500!
Here comes another sexy Fiat 500C! This model is based on the Abarth version and designed for Maserati. Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati, don’t ask me why it is called 695. I really don’t know.
This version is only limited to 499 units and powered by a 1,4-lt turbo petrol engine (180PS) with automated manual gearbox. Actually, design features are more distinctive than the technical features, you may see this through the precise accuracy of the stitches on the seats. Eventually, the quality of the production is really high inside the car; the instrument panel is made by British brand Jaeger LeCoultre, the leather is sand beige Poltrona Frau, exterior is three stage clear coat Pontevecchio Bordeux and looks exquisite. And also a very nice diffuser at the rear end!
This car is a competitor for Mini Inspired by Goodwood and Aston Martin Cygnet. Actually, it is much better than the Cygnet, I am sorry but this is the truth. Why? Because, this 500C has a specially designed exhaust to give the impression of Maserati style excitement in a small car.
My trip to McLaren Technology HQ and interview Frank Stephenson (Design Director of McLaren).
Firstly I would like to start with Frank. He is the design director of McLaren and worked in Ford, BMW, Mini, Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and McLaren. You can find more information on interview. I had a great time with Frank in McLaren; he toured me around the building and showed every single place. The McLaren is really huge and I cannot define how it looks wonderful! After today, I can clearly say, Frank is a great designer and also a very nice person; and passionate with this work. When you listen to him, you understand the meaning of being a designer. And explain the designing a car with very simple words. I cannot ignore his passion to motorcycle. Honestly, after I had chat with him my perception towards motorcycle are changed. I never approach to them from the perspective Frank described me. You can find more about him in interview where you can find below.
Let’s go back to McLaren headquarters in Woking, UK. Woking is a very nice, small city, silent, relaxing and lots of green. Inside the green, there is the McLaren HQ. The structure of the building totally part of the nature, there is an artificial lake, precisely placed tree. While I was there, the view from the window was like a canvas. The building and nature so well integrated with each other and you would never think that McLaren is producing cars here, but they do.
I want to talk about the building a little bit more. It is a total perfection, everything is perfectly designed, measurement are precise. The air is in same temperature in each room, there is no thermal shock here. You don’t feel the cold weather from outside. And they achieved to isolate the smell in the food court from the rest of the building. By maintaining different air pressures.
The front part of the building is covered with glass and there are some curves. When it was first made, the wind was vibrating the glass. And McLaren F1 engineers designed a metal structure to eliminate this vibration through F1 technology.
And the corridors, when you first get inside you have the feeling that, I am in a James bond movie. Everywhere is perfect white, no dust or dirt at all. You go from tunnels, take lift with circular glass doors. There is nothing can annoy you with the building. Don’t think that, it is just limited with the management part.
I visited the manufacturing site of MP4-12C, where they produce the car. Manufacturing plant is usually involves with dirt, oil, bad odour. However, it looks cleaner than hospitals. I am extremely serious! The manufacturing site is so clean, and you started to question your personal cleanliness.
The paint shop? It is supposed to be dirty but it is cleaner than my five start hotels! Each car is painted by hand with people who are expert on their job. Perfection does not finish here, McLaren does not paint the parts of the cars separately. In order to sustain the same level of paint, all parts are painted together.
Later on, the rain test. I was expecting to see some water but no! They test each car with rain test and no single drop at all. And last, the high speed test inside a glass room. It is also supposed to smell exhaust gas but again there is no smell at all.
I saw manufacturing plants but I have never seen something like this on earth. And possibly cannot see in future as well. Even the manufacturing team wear Hugo Boss dresses from head to toe! They don’t have that ugly dresses like in other companies.
The MP4-12C, I witness to each stage of this car manufacturing. From naked chassis to ready for delivery. The manufacturing is so perfect, there is nothing wrong with the car. It is built like a luxury sedan. Parts are matching with no gap, the door is opened by sliding your fingers. The rear air brake works with hydraulic and acts as a proper air brake like in an airplane. One other example, navigation screen placed vertical to keep the car narrow!
The best part is the front head lights, at night you see the McLaren’s logo illuminated with LEDs and fins of sharks below it.
Lastly, McLaren is going to reveal more models! I don’t want to give more details. But I assure that, Veyron will not be alone anymore.
From what I see today, if you are planning to buy an exclusive sports cars. There is only one choice, McLaren MP4-12C. From design studio to customer delivery preparation, everything is perfect!
Is that all from McLaren, of course not ;) I want to keep some secret…
For more photo: Facebook Gallery
And here is my interview with Frank Stephenson