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If there was ever a time where less is more, and simpler is better, this would be it. One of the most beautiful cars to ever roll off a factory assembly line has received the Mansory treatment, and what it does to your eyes might constitute a crime.
1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300
Sergio Pininfarina passed away in his Turin, Italy home today at 85, so in honor of the renowned designer, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 favorite designs from oldest to newest.
Pininfarina’s father started as a coachbuilder and founded the company. Those roots are evidenced in the 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, to which the company contributed coaches. Today, we associate the 8C name with a modern Alfa sports car, but its styling is still influenced by the original.
Considering that tires are the only part of a vehicle that’s actually in contact with the road surface, when you’ve got a car that makes 730 horsepower and is capable of dashing from 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds as well as lapping the Fiorano test track in just 1 minute 23 seconds, then it better be shod in rubber that’s up to the job.
That’s why after successful partnerships in the past, notably with its 599 GTO and FF, Ferrari has decided to stick with Michelin for its latest hyper car sensation, the F12 Berlinetta, which will come with Super Sport Pilot rubber. Much like the F12, which is the quickest production Ferrari ever, the Michelin Super Sport Pilot, is also the quickest production tire ever (according to a 2010 independent test by TÜV SÜD Automotive where it trumped its five main competitors on the track).
According to Michelin, a key aspect of the Super Sport Pilot’s performance lies with the Twaron Belt, made from high-density fiber. Five times stronger than equivalent steel belts, yet considerably lighter, it enables the Super Sport Pilot to deliver superior stability at high speeds. Another clever feature is variable contact patch technology, which despite its name, ensures that during cornering the same amount of rubber remains in contact with the road surface, despite changes in the actual shape of the contact patch.
Along with these technological features that have proved their metal in road racing circles, the Super Sport Pilot also employs different rubber compounds for the inner and outer sides of the tread. On the outside, a harder Bi-compound elastomer is designed to promote maximum endurance, while on the inside, a softer Tri-compound enables the tire to break through the water barrier and adhere to the tarmac, promoting maximum grip during wet conditions. Ayrton Senna would no doubt be proud.
The Super Sport Pilot as installed on the F12 Berlinetta will be sized at 255/35ZR20 for the front wheels and 315/35/ZR20 for the rears.
Watch AutoGuide’s First Look video of the F12 Berlinetta below:
10. Bentley EXP 9 F SUV Concept
Rather than a Continental GT styled swoopy looking crossover, Bentley’s SUV concept is big, bold and brutish, taking styling from the brand’s flagship Mulsanne, including a massive flat-fronted prow and some of the largest fog lights ever fitted to a vehicle.
Still, there’s little doubt that it’s excellently crafted and by all accounts appears near to production. Regardless of what it looks like, it’s what it is that makes the EXP so important. If Bentley is to grow as a brand, especially in emerging markets, an SUV is what it needs.
Despite criticism, don’t look for major changes to a production model. We overheard Bentley reps surveying numerous VIP guests about the car and all responded that they’d buy one right away.
Quite possibly the most beautiful piece of automotive art work on display at the Swiss auto expo, its looks are matched only by its power with a 6.3-liter V12 engine that makes an outrageous 730 hp.
For more on Ferrari’s latest model, watch AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Show stopping. At a glamorous event like the Geneva Motor Show, it often takes a lot to really stand apart from the herd, yet in Ferrari’s case, the F12 Berlinetta does just that. With the stand mobbed by members of the press, Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, officially announced the introduction of the latest in a long line of V12 engined hyper cars.
The F12 Berlinetta replaces the 599 Fiorano and while it shares the same basic format, it’s significantly different, being smaller and lighter, with an all-new lightweight alloy space frame chassis and suspension. The V12, which di Montezemolo described as for “a new generation”, is an evolution of that first seen in the FF, but has been tuned to produce more power - a walloping 730 hp, while helping the F12 deliver up to 30 percent better fuel economy.
With a 46/54 front/rear weight distribution, a lower center of gravity than the 599, plus what Ferrari calls AeroBridge technology (which directs air from the hood down the sides of the car to increase downforce), fully integrated stability and traction control, plus Active Brake Cooling (which adjusts the flow of air to the brakes depending on temperature), the F12, despite its somewhat conservative styling (which is already generating polarizing views), is a worthy successor to the 599 and a car that can trace its bloodline directly back to the much revered 275 and 365 GTB/4 models.
Watch our Ferrari F12 Berlinetta first look video below.
GALLERY: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
GALLERY: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
The successor to the 599 and rumored to be called the 620 GT, the F12 Berlinetta is the most powerful Ferrari road car ever with a a 6.3-liter V12 engine making 740 hp at 8500 rpm and 509 lb-ft of torque, 80 percent of which is available at just 2500 rpm. Mated to a dual-clutch transmission, the car can hit 62 mph in just 3.1 seconds and hit 124 mph in just 8.5 seconds. Plus, it’s the fastest road going F-car around the Fiorano circuit, with a lap time of 1’23”.
Despite the massive performance increase, Ferrari claims the new V12 engine will be 30 percent more fuel efficient than the outgoing 6.0-liter V12 in the 599.
Based on an all new aluminum chassis that is 20 percent stiffer than the outgoing unit, it weighs 154 lbs less than the 599. Shorter in length, many of the interior components, from the dash to the seats, have been lowered in the chassis, as has the engine.
The aerodynamics of the body also play a major role in the car’s performance with downforce improved b 76 percent, to deliver 271 lbs of downforce at 124 mph, while the coefficient of drag has been reduced to just 0.299 cd. The car’s swoopy lines are more than just nice to look at, they play a major role, with an “Aero Bridge” on the hood that sends air to the side of the car, rather than over the top, to cut drag.
Look for more on the Ferrari F12 with AutoGuide’s Geneva Motor Show coverage starting March 6th.
Check out the video below of the new Ferrari out on the track.