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Ferrari reveals one-off F12 TRS at Sicily cavalcade

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:01:00 EST

Every year Ferrari owners gather from all corners of the globe for the annual Ferrari Cavalcade. This year's edition just wrapped up in Sicily, where over 90 proud owners from 27 different countries brought their prides and joys. Some of the participating supercars were more rare and notable than others - included among them several LaFerraris - but the extravaganza included the reveal of one very unique Prancing Horse.
That would be the new F12 TRS. The one-off creation surfaced just last week, the work of the Ferrari Special Projects division for one very fortunate client. It's based on the F12 Berlinetta, but replaces its coupe bodywork with new roadster sheetmetal that incorporates a glass window to reveal the red cylinder heads from which its inspiration - the 250 Testa Rossa - drew its name and a cowled rear deck. The open cockpit is trimmed in leather, Alcantara and carbon fiber, but ditches the glovebox, air vents, carpeting, audio system and other creature comforts.
Contrary to earlier reports, the F12 TRS does not appear to have a hybrid powertrain, the conventional 6.3-liter V12 producing the same 730 horsepower as the coupe to propel this one-off roadster to 62 in 3.1 seconds and to 124 mph in 8.1 - so as you can see, it hardly needed any help in the first place. Check it out in photos above, and feel free to read more in the press release below.

Ferrari configurator lets you play 458 Speciale customer

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:30:00 EST

We all wish we had an extra $300,000 just lying around that we could spend on a supercar. And if we did, we don't doubt that the Ferrari 458 Speciale would be near the top of our list. It's hard, after all, to argue with 600 naturally aspirated horsepower churning away right behind your seat. Unfortunately few of us have that kind of scratch. That's where online configurators come in.
While these web-based customization tools don't exactly let you drive off the lot in a six-figure supercar, they can at least let you pretend that you're the kind of person who would (or more pertinently, could) do just that. And Ferrari's latest is among the cooler ones we've seen.
Like most online configuration tools, Maranello's lets you choose the colors of the bodywork and which wheels you want, but also lets you choose brake calipers, racing stripes and all manner of carbon-fiber aero components. Step inside and the choices are even more extensive, from the size and shape of seats to the color of the tachometer.

Race Recap: 2014 Austrian Grand Prix is old-school front row, new-school racing

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:01:00 EST

The last time Formula One raced in Spielberg, Austria the track was called the A1 Ring, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher were the pilots for Williams, the field contained other not-so-venerable names like Ralph Firman and Justin Wilson and V10 engines were bolted to the bulkheads - the only Mercedes units being in the backs of the two McLarens, one of which was driven by Kimi Räikkönen, who finished second behind Michael Schumacher.
The return to an old-school Formula One track - now called the Red Bull Ring - after 11 years away put an old-school team on the front row, Felipe Massa in a Williams getting his first pole position since 2008, followed by teammate Valtteri Bottas. Behind them came Nico Rosberg in the first Mercedes AMG Petronas, Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo for Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Kevin Magnussen for McLaren, Danil Kvyat in his Toro Rosso, Räikkönen in the second Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes way back in ninth - he'd spun on his final timed lap after having his previous effort disqualified for going wide at Turn 8 - Nico Hülkenberg in the Force India in tenth after opting not to set a time at all in Q3.
It's a shame the well of nostalgia wasn't deep enough to give us some proper old-school racing.

F1 teams to test titanium skid plates to reignite spark in series

Sun, 22 Jun 2014 12:32:00 EST

The 2014 Formula One season opened with one overwhelming complaint - the cars didn't sound right. It sapped the excitement, despite the fact that this season has seen a number of truly thrilling races (Bahrain, Spain and Montreal all come to mind). Attempts have been made to restore some of the audible thrill of the cars, although efforts have remained unsuccessful.
If F1 can't fix the sound of the cars, then other methods need to be considered to restore its self-perceived lack of excitement. One of those involves fitting titanium skid plates to the cars in a bid to reintroduce the sparks that were so prevalent in the sport's past.
Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari conducted initial experiments with the new skid plates during early practice sessions for the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg had the plates fitted to different locations of their cars, in a bid to see which created the most dramatic sparks. Considering the photos the tests, though, neither Mercedes' nor Ferrari's setup really seemed successful, which is why you're seeing Johnny Herbert and his 1989 Benneton B188 up top.

Ferrari reveals pair of tailor-made specials in Shanghai

Fri, 20 Jun 2014 09:29:00 EST

For most people, buying a new Ferrari - heck, even a used one - would be a special occasion all on its own, not to mention a rare privilege. But to make the experience all the more special, the Prancing Horse marque offers its Tailor-Made personalization program. The service just reached the Asia-Pacific region for the first time with the new Tailor-Made Centre in Shanghai, and to mark its inauguration, Ferrari has revealed two new special editions - both based on V12 GTs and inspired by horses - specifically for the Chinese market.
First up is the F12 Berlinetta Polo Edition pictured above. The special F12 is distinguished by a white and blue theme, the exterior decked out in Bianco Italia Opaco (read: fancy white) with navy blue offset racing stripes, and the interior carrying an inverse take on the same featuring dark blue leather upholstering with white stitching, stripes and trim.
Those looking for more traction and versatility might be more intrigued by the FF Dressage Edition. The four-seat, four-wheel special gets a piano black exterior and a reddish saddle brown leather interior with grid-pattern stitching (pictured inset at right).

LaFerrari Spider among Maranello's future product plans

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:30:00 EST

Niche though its products may be, Ferrari typically rolls out a new model every year. 2009, for example, saw the introduction of the California. In 2010 came the 458 Italia, followed by the 458 Spider in 2011. In 2012 we greeted the FF, and in 2013 both the F12 Berlinetta and 458 Speciale. This year the hyper-exotic LaFerrari was joined by the California T, and you can bet that Maranello will keep up that pace by rolling out new versions of and replacements for each of these models in succession.
Among the plans which Car and Driver reports Ferrari has afoot will be an open-top LaFerrari Spider - something which the Prancing Horse marque hasn't done at the top of its range since the F50, which came exclusively with a removable hardtop. The 6.3-liter hybrid V12 will likely carry over unchanged, as will most of the other parameters, but for the joy of experiencing 1,000 horsepower with the wind in your hair - and the exclusivity of being one of the just 50 owners - we're told to expect a price tag roughly double that of the existing $1.35 million coupe.
Of course, Ferrari has more plans than simply chopping the roof off its hybrid hypercar. In Geneva next March, the House that Enzo Built is tipped to introduce a Modificato version of the 458 with a twin-turbo V8 producing around 670 horsepower - over one hundred horses more than in the new California T. A refresh for the all-wheel-drive FF is also said to be underway for 2016, when it will receive a less awkward roofline and the possible addition of a V8 base version alongside the V12 that will remain naturally aspirated. As it will in the updated F12 due the following year.

Electro super star Deadmau5 selling kitty-themed Ferrari 458

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:31:00 EST

Are you a huge fan a electronic dance music, Internet memes, and in the market for a customized Ferrari? Then today is your lucky day. EDM star Deadmau5, real name Joel Zimmerman, is selling his Ferrari 458 Spider on Craigslist. He calls it the Purrari, and it features a full-body wrap of the eight-bit Nyan Cat, pink brake calipers, prancing cat logos, a Purrari emblem 6,500 miles on the odometer. It's currently located in Toronto, Canada, with an asking price of $380,000. Any amount offered over that is being donated to the Toronto Humane Society.
In addition to the car, the buyer gets an iPod full of "nyancat songs" and a meeting with Zimmerman to say goodbye to his Purrari over a cup of coffee. If you're not in the Toronto area, he is willing to ship the feline automobile anywhere in North America. Obviously, a blue, cat-themed Ferrari isn't to everyone's taste, so Zimmerman can remove the wrap at the buyer's request... though he won't be happy about it.
If you're curious why Zimmerman would sell such a personalized item, it appears a new supercar has his eye now. On May 28, he tweeted about driving a McLaren 650S and announced the Purrari would go up for sale soon. We can only imagine what theme his next ride gets.

Leno drives Henry Ford II's all-original '52 Ferrari 212 Barchetta

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 20:00:00 EST

The story of the relationship between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari is absolutely fascinating. The two great men of the auto industry had what appeared to be a burgeoning friendship until Ferrari pulled out of a deal to sell his company to Ford in the '60s. The latest car featured in Jay Leno's Garage is a 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta that tells the very beginnings of that story.
This Prancing Horse was a gift to Ford from Enzo when the two companies were first thinking about merging, according to the curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ferrari really wanted to show off its best so instead of the 212's normal V12, this car was fitted with the larger 2.7-liter unit from a Ferrari 225. The car has been almost unaltered since then. It still wears its original paint, and it's tires date back to 1954.
The great thing about the Petersen is that unlike a lot of auto museums, the people there actually drive the cars and keep them in working order. Once on the road with Leno behind the wheel, this Ferrari really sings. Unfortunately, he can't open it up too much because the 60-year-old tires really hold things back. Scroll down to watch this amazing piece of automotive history and learn it's possible effect on the styling of the original Ford Thunderbird.

Berger and Vettel swap F1 cars old and new at the Red Bull Ring

Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:50:00 EST

This weekend the Formula One circus heads to Spielberg. No, not the Hollywood director, but the town in Austria that's home to the Österreichring. Subsequently known as the A1-Ring, these days it's called the Red Bull Ring, which makes this weekend's revived Austrian Grand Prix something of a home race for the defending champion Red Bull Racing team. But long before that it was the home race of the sixteen F1 drivers that call Austria their home - not the least of them Gerhard Berger.
The only Austrian driver to have won a grand prix (ten of them, all told) but not a championship, Berger was a fixture of F1 racing in the 1980s and 90s, spending much of his career driving for Ferrari. He later ran Scuderia Toro Rosso for three seasons, during which time Sebastian Vettel won his first (and still the team's only) grand prix. So with the Austrian Grand Prix back on the calendar for this weekend, the two highly accomplished drivers headed to the Red Bull Ring for a little juxtaposition.
Gerhard rolled in with the Ferrari F1/87-88C in which he won the 1988 Italian Grand Prix at Monza (which was, incidentally, the same race that Vettel won for STR twenty years later under Ferrari power), and Seb in his championship-winning RB8. Then they switched off, giving the four-time world champion his first chance to drive a grand prix racer with three pedals. If you can't believe that, it's also (as far as we can tell) the first time, despite years of neck-and-neck competition and retention of some of the best drivers on the grid, that a Red Bull or Toro Rosso driver has driven a Ferrari F1 car, and vice versa. See how it went down in the video below.

Ferrari builds one-off hybrid F12 TRS roadster

Mon, 16 Jun 2014 14:28:00 EST

When Ferrari makes an open-top version of one of its V12 super-GTs, it typically comes in particularly low production numbers. Maranello only made 448 examples of the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, 559 of the 575 Superamerica and 599 units of the 599 SA Aperta. What we have here, however, is not just the first F12 roadster we've seen yet, but also the most exclusive.
Called the F12 TRS, it's obviously based on the F12 Berlinetta, but with some key modifications. Not the least of which is the open-top body-style (which may or may not have a folding roof mechanism of some kind), coupled with some unique bodywork like a cowled rear deck and reshaped hood. But the TRS (which we can only assume is some tribute to the 250 Testa Rossa) is also said to pack an F1-derived KERS hybrid assist, presumably similar to the one in the LaFerrari - or more poignantly, in the 599 HY-KERS concept - to give the 6.3-liter V12 even more juice than the prodigious 730 horsepower it produces in stock Berlinetta form.
The vehicle, apparently spotted in the garage at the company's Fiorano test track, appears to be a one-off built by Ferrari's Special Projects division for one discerning and evidently very wealthy customer who is said to have paid $4.2 million for the privilege.