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 |  Aug 14 2010, 11:53 PM


Surrounded by “The Great Ferraris” the 599 GTO was arguably the star attraction of the Ferrari exhibit at The Quail – one of the many high profile events leading up to Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Sharing podium space with the Ferrari California and the very new 458 Italia, the 599 GTO is the fastest street legal model from the Prancing Horse.

Based on the 599XX track car, the GTO makes a total of 670-hp from its 6.0-liter V12 engine and using an upgraded transmission, lighter weight and improved aerodynamics, it has achieved what Ferrari says is a record 1 minute 24 second lap at the automaker’s Fiorano test track.

The engine itself has been modified from the factory vehicle with friction reducing components as well as a redesigned crankshaft and new new intake system to make all 670-hp at 8250 rpm, while a total of 457 ft-lbs of torque is available at 6500 rpm. Ferrari claims a 0-62 mph time of 3.35 seconds and a top speed in excess of 208-mph. Helping to achieve quicker acceleration is a reprogrammed six-speed F1 transmission with 60 ms shift times and the ability to drop several gears at a time.

Ferrari engineers also focused on weight reduction, dropping the GT car’s curb weight to 3,538 lbs. Along with lighter bodywork, including thinner aluminum panels, the GTO also gets thinner glass, a lighter exhaust and transmission and an even lighter second-generation carbon ceramic brake setup.

New aerodynamic improvements were also made resulting in improved downforce but no more drag. New ducting around the wheels reduces drag, as do wheel doughnuts. A new front lip creates more downforce at the front axle, while new side skirts help streamline airflow under the body. It’s also hard to miss the new racing-style rear diffuser.

Suspension improvements have also been made with stiffer springs and rear anti-roll bar, as well as a second-generation magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM2). More importantly, Ferrari says the SCM2 setup works with a tighter steering ratio, VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) and the updated F1-Trac traction control systems to be incredibly responsive to inputs.

Also helping in the handling department are new 20-inch wheels, with wider 285 front tires. And what’s more important to getting the most out of the car than the driver? No, Ferrari doesn’t include your own Felipe Massa, but the 599 GTO does come with the company’s Virtual Race Engineer system designed for the 599XX. It constantly monitors all aspects of the car and is able to tell the driver how close to the limit he is operating the car.

GALLERY: Ferrari 599 GTO at The Quail


GALLERY: Ferrari 599 GTO at Pebble Beach


 |  Aug 14 2010, 8:16 PM


With too many classics and legendary vehicles to list, on display at this year’s The Quail Motorsports Gathering in Monterey, CA we simply can’t ignore the incredible selection of Ferrari models. Running under the banner of “The Great Ferraris” the models on display did not disappoint in celebrating the Prancing Horse’s iconic history.

One can’t help but fall in love with models like the stunning 1961 250 GTE and we were shocked when we saw a 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB sitting directly in front of the brand new 458 Italia. Separated by 35 years, there’s an uncanny resemblance between the two.

But enough with the words, check out the extensive lineup of classic Ferraris (and a few modern ones) in the gallery below.

GALLERY: The Great Ferraris at The Quail


 |  Aug 14 2010, 10:57 AM


Amidst the classic Ferraris and the typical antique pre-war models on display at “The Quail Motorsports Gathering,” this year’s event featured a wide selection of American muscle, all thanks to Carroll Shelby. The Quail has increasingly become a popular spot for high-end automakers to display their wares in the week-long run-up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, however, it continues to stay true to its roots, focusing on motorsports.

“Carroll Shelby is one of America’s great success stories,” said Gordon McCall, co-founder of The Quail Motorsports Gathering in a statement.  “He has been a World War II aviator, a champion racecar driver winning the 24 Hours at Le Mans amongst other races and a legendary automobile designer. It is important to celebrate his passion and ingenuity that is an inspiration for Americans and motorsports enthusiasts alike.”

Of the several dozen Shelby models on display, some of the most notable include a one-of-four 1966 GT350 Convertible, a one-of-three remaining 1965 GT350 Drag Race, a 1967 GT500 Super Snake and the incredible 1968 GT500 Green Hornet – featuring both fuel injection and an independent rear suspension. And of course, numerous Shelby Cobras were also on display.

Take a look through our gallery below. We’re sure these pics will take you back a few years.

GALLERY: 45 Years of the Shelby Mustang at The Quail


 |  Aug 13 2010, 6:16 PM


Straight from its debut at the German Grand Prix, Mercedes shipped the very chrome SLS AMG GT3 race car to the Monterey Peninsula to take part in the week-long Pebble Beach festivities. Other than the obvious chrome wrap job its hard to miss the massive “Laureus” decals. If you’re not familiar with Laureus, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation works to get kids off the street and away from drugs though sports.

As for the car itself, well, it’s based on the street car and powered by the same 6.2-liter AMG V8 engine. The SLS AMG GT3 gets a six-speed sequential racing transmission and ultra-low curb weight to deliver a 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds. That light-weight body is made entirely of carbon fiber, with impressive new aerodynamics including a massive front splitter, rear diffuser and enormous rear spoiler. Compared to the road car, the GT3’s bodywork is two inches wider, enough to accommodate some massive center locking 18×12-inch front and 18×13-inch rear wheels with racing slicks. Inside those wheels is a special composite AMG race braking system with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.

Mercedes has announced the FIA GT3 spec car is able to compete in all FIA GT3 series, including the 24-hour races at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, and on the Nürburgring in Germany. As for the price, well, that has just been announced at a hefty $430,000 – roughly the same amount they’re asking for a night in a hotel here in Monterey this week.

GALLERY: Chrome Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3


 |  Aug 13 2010, 5:48 PM


As one of the lead-up events to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, The Quail, is quickly emerging as a rival venue showcasing vehicles both classic and modern. This year, The Quail landed a coup, with the world premiere of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport – the world’s fastest production car.

Rather than the ostentatious orange and black model that achieved the record setting 267.81-mph time, Bugatti instead showed off a deep blue carbon fiber Super Sport. As for what makes it so super, well, the quad-turbo W16 engine gets even more power (1,200-hp to be exact), while the body was reworked for an even more aerodynamic shape.

Be sure to check out our extensive gallery below and try to ignore the unfinished Bugatti stand that’s covered in wet grass – we were too eager to get these pics up to wait. Besides, at The Quail that grass probably costs almost as much as the Veyron.

GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at The Quail


GALLERY: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at Pebble Beach