Displaying items by tag: Ferrari

The Ferrari car with which Michael Schumacher won the Formula 1 World Championship in 2003 was sold at auction for 13.1 million euros.

The auction house "Sotheby's" in Geneva issued a notice that during the auction, which lasted about forty minutes, the final bid was received by telephone.

Five years ago, another "Ferrari" driven by Schumacher in the 2001 championship was sold for 7.5 million dollars, so the previous record was broken at this auction, according to RTS.

The auction house predicted that the maximum price would be around 9.5 million euros, so this sale exceeded all expectations. It is a "Ferrari" F2003-GA, chassis 229, the vehicle with which Schumacher won his sixth world title and the penultimate of his remarkable career. With this car, the German champion won five victories in nine races, including the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.

Ferrari has been named one of the best companies in Italy for 2022 in terms of working conditions, as well as one of the most valuable Italian brands. The identity of the person who bought the Ferrari is unknown, but well-informed sources assume that it is a well-known European collector.

The 2003 Ferrari F2003-GA was designed by Rory Byrne and Ross Brown. It has an engine of 930 horses and reaches 19,000 revolutions per minute. In that year 2003, Michael Schumacher won six victories – in San Marino, Spain, Austria, Canada, Italy and the United States.

Published in Blog/News
Saturday, 24 September 2022 06:31

Everyone wants a Ferrari Purosangue

According to reports from Italy, Ferrari has been swamped with orders for its €390,000 Purosangue crossover and could be forced to close its order book.

Unlike competing luxury brands whose SUVs often make up the lion's share of their sales, Ferrari has decided to limit production of its first crossover to no more than 20 percent of annual production in order to maintain exclusivity.

Even assuming that Ferrari's total production of all models rises to 15,000 with the addition of the new model line, that still only amounts to 3,000 cars per year. And that may not be nearly enough to keep up with demand, Jutarnji.hr states.

"We risk not being able to meet demand and may very soon have to close orders," said Ferrari's chief commercial and marketing officer, Enrico Galliera.

The Purosangue uses a naturally aspirated V12 under the hood, a feature that none of its performance-focused competitors offer, which may explain the rush of pre-orders. Galliera claims interest "exploded" when the company announced the Purosangue would use a V12.

Ferrari is likely to add smaller-capacity hybrid models later, borrowing either the hybrid V8 powertrain from the SF90 or the electrified V6 engine from the 296 GTB, whose 3.0-liter capacity would help avoid the heavy taxes imposed on big engines in China where the model is likely to be very popular.

Still, the V12 in the Purosangue is likely to be a big factor in convincing existing die-hard Ferrari owners that the Purosangue is worthy of wearing the Ferrari badge. Ferrari says it will prioritize delivery to current owners over buyers new to the marque.

"Every Ferrari owner wants to own a Purosangua and we have to reward them, because they are the ones who made Ferrari what it is today," Galliera told Automotive News Europe.

Published in Blog/News
Friday, 12 November 2021 07:33

Ferrari BR20 with V12 engine

Ferrari has introduced the BR20 coupe based on the GTC4 Lusso model, which has become a new addition to the ultra-exclusive One-Off series.

The BR20 is inspired by Ferrari coupes from the 1950s and 1960s, and features some features reminiscent of the 410 Supermerica and 500 Superfast.

The car was designed as a unique project for one particular client, based on the GTC4 Lusso grand tourer platform that was recently discontinued, but that platform has been significantly modified. In all, it is longer than the original due to the rear overhang, aerodynamic air duct, rear spoiler and exhaust pipes integrated into the lower diffuser.

Ahead is a redesigned and expanded grille featuring unique horizontal slats and a carbon top that connects it to other recent One-Off models.

The lights have also been modified, which primarily refers to thinner daytime running lights, and the 20-inch wheels are also unique.

The two rear seats present in the GTC4 Lusso have been removed, making the coupe a two-seater. This allows it to have a more elegant roof in the style of fastback, but it has also resulted in major changes to the interior, which contains a lot of leather and carbon. The seats are uniquely stitched, and the oak also covers the luggage space.

Performance details have not been released, but the car is known to have retained the 6.2-liter V12 engine and all-wheel drive that the GTC4 Lusso also has. In that model, the engine develops 690HP.

Projects like this bring a lot of money to Ferrari, and the waiting list is so long that customers have been waiting for five years.

The client who ordered the BR20 was "deeply involved" in creating the car, but his identity was not revealed, as was the figure he set aside for his four-wheeler.


Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Wednesday, 10 November 2021 06:47

New Ferrari 812 Competizione 2021 review

We hit the track with the Ferrari 812 Competizione, the extreme version of the 812 Superfast



The 812 Competizione is a force of nature. The engine is an event simply in itself, but it’s combined here with exploitable handling that makes this ultimate Ferrari immensely enjoyable to drive and surprisingly forgiving too, given the performance on offer. As Ferrari’s special series cars go, the Competizione is a wonderful way to celebrate its superb V12.

Even Ferrari isn’t immune to the onset of electrification, announcing it will build its first full EV in 2025. But until all of the iconic brand’s cars have to go electric, we’ll receive some special models as homages to the internal combustion engine that distil Ferrari’s knowledge when it comes to building pure-petrol-powered sports cars.

The 812 Competizione is exactly that, a limited-run, tuned and honed version of the already-ballistic 812 Superfast. It’s also available as an Aperta convertible and costs an eyewatering £446,970 before options. But even if you can afford one, you’re too late. They’re all already sold.

And you will want one, because the spec is mouthwatering. Ferrari’s 6.5-litre V12 has been uprated to 819bhp and features new titanium con rods, new pistons, a redesigned crankshaft and a new intake manifold.

The dual-clutch gearbox has been recalibrated for five per cent faster shifts and the independent rear-wheel steering has necessitated a new version of Ferrari’s masterful Side Slip Control set-up. The car is 38kg lighter than the standard 812 and its reworked body produces more downforce.

The Competizione is a physically imposing thing, too. Standing next to it is intimidating due to its sheer size, and the knowledge of that extraordinary power under that long bonnet. Once inside, it’ll be familiar to anyone who has driven the 812 Superfast, with its multifunction screens and large rev counter, although the gear selector is new. Alcantara seems to cover almost every surface, and where it doesn’t, carbon fibre enhances that hardcore vibe.

The engine erupts into life, dominating your thoughts. It’s responsive right from the off and pulls with urgency even at low revs, but hold your foot down and the acceleration becomes savage.

Even so, the big V12 has more to give, the note by now a high-pitched scream, and the speed building incredibly rapidly until it feels as though it simply has to burst. But it doesn’t, and only when the gearshift lights start blinking away on the top of the steering wheel, as the 9,500rpm rev limiter cuts in, do you grab the right-hand paddle and select the next gear.

Keep going like this and the Ferrari will hit 62mph in just 2.9 seconds; really letting the Competizione have its head is not something to be undertaken lightly.

Once you’ve grown at least a little used to the level of performance that’s on offer here, other aspects of the Competizione begin to come to the fore.

The steering is light, and very fast, but it doesn’t seem to make the car at all nervous, and the huge amount of grip available is soon obvious. The nose darts for the inside of a corner, but the rear of the car doesn’t feel like it wants to break free – at least, that is, until you put the power down a bit early, and then those previously sticky Michelin tyres are soon sliding. 

Doing this isn’t as frightening as it sounds, at least at more sensible speeds, because the Competizione communicates so clearly to the driver what is happening, and much of this surprising friendliness must be due to that independent rear-wheel steering, plus the superb electronics.

The brakes also clearly have the power to contain the car, no matter how powerful it is. However, after the abuse they received on track there was some suggestion that they were beginning to struggle.

Model: Ferrari 812 Competizione
Price: £446,970
Engine: 6.5-litre V12
Power/torque: 819bhp/692Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive 
0-62mph: 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 211mph+
Economy: TBC
On sale: Sold out


Published in Ferari

All three vehicles that have reached a truly astronomical price at auctions are the work of one brand.

It is neither Rolls-Royce, nor Bentley, nor any of the German manufacturers, this is, of course, a unique Ferrari. The history of the Scuderia is long and especially crowned with glory, during which they offered a whole range of fantastic cars. Therefore, it is not surprising that all three most expensive cars (so far) are from the ranks of the famous Italian "barn".

What's more, as many as 23 cars out of the 40 most expensive sold at public auctions came out of Ferrari. That says enough about how important this brand is and how important four-wheelers with the ascending horse badge are for wealthy collectors.

 In third place is the 1957 Ferrari 335S, which Artcurial sold in 2014 for a fabulous $ 35,711,359! This car has a seriously long history behind it, and it has participated in several prestigious competitions, such as 12h Sebringa, 24h Le Mans, Mille Miglia…

 The second position belongs to the Ferrari 250 GTO produced in 1962. This is a real treat for collectors, because Ferrari has created only 39 copies, and today it is considered the most appreciated and at the same time the most desirable classic. Of course, such four-wheelers are very rarely sold, and when it is reached, then record numbers are achieved. That is how the car in question reached a record price of 38,115,000 dollars at the Bonhams auction in 2014!

 The record did not last long. As early as August 2018, at a miserable bidding organized by RM Sotheby’s in California, the Ferrari 250 GTO, with chassis number 3413, reached an incredible price of $ 48,405,000! This car competed in 20 races, and all of them finished regularly, after which he retired from sports competitions.

The aforementioned Ferrari 250 GTO still holds the record for the most expensive car in the world. Experts believe that in the coming years, a new copy of this model that appears on the market will succeed in transferring the "magic" number of 50 million greenbacks.


Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Friday, 21 May 2021 05:29

Ferrari Roma review

Beautifully styled coupe mixes old school charm with cutting edge tech

Is the Ferrari Roma any good?
The term ‘entry-level’ has never been a particularly easy fit when it comes to Ferrari. The cars at this end of the line-up are far from affordable, after all, and once specified with a few options can easily find themselves knocking on the door of a more senior, mid-engined model.

What cars like the California T, Portofino and now the Roma do is represent a less intimidating and more usable introduction to Ferrari ownership – not as hard-edged as an F8 Tributo or astronomically expensive as an 812 Superfast, but in possession of enough Maranello magic to ensure their drivers go on to become Ferrari owners for life. Or so the theory goes.

Trouble is, in order to make cars that are easy to use and live with, in years gone by they also felt a bit watered down – still astonishingly fast, just not quite as mind-blowingly so as something with the engine in the middle. Brilliant to drive, but with one or two modes missing from the firm's Manettino drive mode switch.

The Roma is a conscious effort to redress that balance, and it does so by harking back to a bygone era of luxury motoring inspired by 1950s and 60s Rome.

What's it like inside?
Is it all throwback styling with a retro interior? No – in fact it’s the opposite. As with the SF90 the Roma features an entirely digital cockpit made up from a large screen behind the wheel and another portrait infotainment unit in the centre.

Hardly cutting edge (Audi gave us the Virtual Cockpit years ago) but a leap forward for this Italian maker, and typically it’s done so in the most Ferrari way imaginable.

2021 Ferrari Roma cabinEnlarge0videoEnlarge40photo
So you still get a massive central rev counter right in your eyeline, and while the wheel features lots more functions and controls than it used to, they’re only lit briefly when in use, before dimming away invisibly as to not distract you from the job of driving. Also, button free wheels look much cooler.

You could be excused for thinking a greater focus on top end performance would make the Roma twitchy and uncomfortable elsewhere, but the reality is far from it.

There’s also a very usable boot, and some slightly less usable rear seats, although the latter can be folded down to expand the luggage capacity even further.

What's it like to drive?
On this front the Roma also pushes the agenda onwards – as such you get five drive modes on the rotary Manettino switch (including Race) and underbody aero to help stick the car to the tarmac without ruining its sleek exterior lines with a permanent spoiler.

Ferrari hasn’t given these things to cars at this end of the spectrum before and that should go some way to explain its intent with the Roma. It’s a supremely brilliant car to drive fast, with accessible and friendly handling that makes the driver feel front and centre, while also providing a largely invisible safety net.

This is mostly down to a variety of driver aids including the latest version of Side Slip Control. This will allow the rear end of the car to step out during exuberant cornering, but not so much that you end up facing the wrong way.

The ride is surprisingly supple and can be slackened off even in the racier modes by pressing the Manettino button to enable Bumpy Road mode.

In fact we think that it’s in one of the more relaxed settings, with the engine barely ticking over at motorway speed, where the Roma is most impressive. You could happily waft down to an Alpine pass, arrive without feeling broken, and then pick it to bits in Race mode. An impressive combination.

Ferrari Roma practicality and boot space

This being a more daily-driver capable Ferrari means there needs to be more than a small nod towards practicality. Things like single-piece carbon bucket seats with race harnesses and a stripped-out cockpit with nowhere to store a bag of sweets are unlikely to win a buyer’s heart here.

How much space is there?
In the back there is a pair of seats suitable for very small children, or more realistically, additional luggage for a weekend away. They’re no smaller than you get in a Porsche 911 though, and they fold down to unlock a large rear storage compartment.

Boot space and storage
The boot itself is pretty good, ranging between 272-345 litres with the seats up or down – which is good enough for two big suitcases or three squashy bags (or ideally some exquisitely tailored luggage), with a usable size and shape to the aperture when the lid itself is open.

Elsewhere, you get a few spots to store things up front, including a single cup holder, plus some slim door pockets and a second cubby in the centre console. There’s an underarm storage bin too with a USB socket and 12v charger.

The styling of the Roma’s interior divides the driver and passenger into two different pods – the latter even gets their own screen showing options like the speed and revs, audio, and car settings. Plus the trademark chequerplate in the footwell to brace themselves on.

While there are a few key references to previous Ferrari cabins, this new layout is quite a divergence from what has come before, but in a welcome way.

Infotainment and tech
The new infotainment suite (first seen in the SF90) includes a 16-inch curved driver’s display with three views – a minimalist one for sporty driving, a full map view for long trips, or a mixture of both with a characteristic big centre tacho. To the left of this is an 8.4-inch portrait touchscreen not entirely unlike the one in a McLaren.

Ferrari has always been good at giving the driver just the right amount of information and functions so you can concentrate entirely on the job of driving, but as time and technology has moved on, the button count has naturally increased.

As a car designer you can either strip this all away to leave a more focussed dashboard, or go wild with switches and dials to make it simple to use. The Roma attempts to do both.

That means loads of touch sensitive controls that are lit up when being used but invisible when not, to give you plenty of control over the car’s various functions without looking like an explosion in a button factory.

In fact the only physical cockpit controls are for the windows, gearbox, and launch control. Then on the wheel you get proper buttons for the lights, cruise control, wipers, and indicators. The gearbox is arranged to look a bit like an open-gated manual shift, which is a nice touch.

Even the engine start is a touch sensitive pad, as are those which you use to control the functions on the driver’s screen.

2021 Ferrari Roma gear engine start buttonEnlarge0videoEnlarge40photo
As such this leaves the wheel itself looking clean without sacrificing functionality. The only downside to this was a small amount of lag and lack of sensitivity in the touch controls, meaning they’re not as intuitive as we’d like.

The shift paddles are still massive and epic, though, so zero complaints there.

In an area where the Roma obviously needs to perform well, the comfort levels of this corner-carving Ferrari sportscar are surprisingly high, all things considered.

Taller drivers on the Parkers team found the headroom a bit restricted, so that’s worth taking into account, plus the pedals have been offset slightly in the swap to right-hand drive. Neither of these add up to a particularly uncomfortable driving position, but can induce a bit of back or leg pain on a long drive. Those of a shorter stature found no problems at all.

The seats are quite hard but with adjustable bolsters you can get them into the right shape, and their firmness offers a good amount of support that means you don’t end up slouching.

In one of the more laid-back modes it’s easy to imagine taking the Roma on a long and taxing drive. The engine noise never really goes away but it’s muted enough on the motorway, and there’s less tyre and wind rush than expected, too. This isn't ever going to be a Bentley Continental GT, but you won't necessarily wince at the prospect of covering a longer journey in it.

Best of all the ride is comfy enough for all but the lumpiest of UK roads, and when you turn the Manettino dial up to the sportier modes, you’ve got the option of instantly slackening the suspension off by pressing it and activating Bumpy Road mode.

Ferrari Roma running costs and mpg

Let’s keep this brief because nobody is buying a Ferrari under the pretext that it’s going to be cheap to run. This is a car that needs looking after properly rather than cutting corners on consumables.

MPG and CO2
Happily though, thanks to a combination of a slippery profile and less weight, the Roma is more fuel efficient than the Portofino, with 21mpg and 255g/km of CO2 output on offer.

As you’d imagine it also uses less fuel than an F8 Tributo, so while overall it’s still quite thirsty, within the context of the Ferrari range it’s actually pretty good.

While the mechanicals under the skin of the Roma have been used elsewhere in the range for several years, the new tech inside the cockpit is less proven.

2021 Ferrari Roma key fobEnlarge0videoEnlarge40photo
That said, with fewer moving parts than older, button-filled Ferraris there is technically less to go wrong, individually, so you shouldn’t have much cause for concern in this department. The Roma also comes with a four year warranty.

Servicing and maintenance
There’s also a seven-year Genuine Maintenance programme offered by Ferrari, which includes regular servicing (intervals of 12,000 miles or one year) which promises ‘meticulous checks’ of the entire car.

In essence, there's not much to worry about.

Ferrari Roma engines and performance

Sure, Ferrari has more powerful models in its line-up but once you’ve gone past the 500hp mark there are few occasions on the road where performance feels lacking. Typically there was no point during our time with the Roma that it lacked the answer to a question asked by our right foot. The Roma's reserves feel bottomless, as befits its sports touring nature.

A 3.8-litre V8 and two turbos means 620hp and 760Nm of torque, and 0-62mph ticked off in 3.4 seconds. While a top-end rush has been deliberately engineered in, it's easy enough to keep the rev needle in the mid-range and find more than adequate power. There's no need to drop loads of gears or wait for the boost for the turbos to arrive, it’s just ruthlessly fast, all the time.

It’s not one dimensional though - the different driving modes accessed by the Manettino switch on the steering wheel all offer very distinctive power deliveries, ranging from soft and progressive in Wet and Comfort through to the sharper and more responsive Sport and Race – here the accelerator barely needs to be brushed in order to deliver a surge of forward momentum, but in its more moderate modes, the long travel throttle pedal needs a good push to get going.

Race mode might sound intimidating but it’s the one tuned for the most amount of fun on the road, rather than setting new personal best lap times at Fiorano. This fastest setting gives the Roma breath-taking pace and delivers the full 760Nm, although you’ll need to be in 7th or 8th gear to get it, because the torque on offer increases as you climb the gears.

Compared to the old Portofino (there’s a new M variant with a new gearbox) the Roma has an extra ratio in its eight-speed dual-clutch ‘box, and the lower gears have been made shorter. That means punchier acceleration and lazy cruising – the car is barely ticking over at motorway speeds.

As with the Jekyll and Hyde power delivery, the gearbox also displays impressive duality - able to blur its ratios seamlessly or deliver pin sharp shifts that punctuate heavy braking moments with a loud flare of revs.

Left to its own devices and driven at anything less than flat out, it did seem keen to get into the highest possible gear, but turn up the heat a little and shifts are completed with Ferrari’s trademark telepathy. There’s still enough reward on offer in using the brilliantly clacky and large column-mounted shift paddles, though, to convince you into manual mode every now and again.

The engine can be quite restrained in volume especially when cruising in top gear where its song is barely present. Although this is never the case on start-up where it is consistently flamboyant. With more enthusiastic driving comes a satisfying soundtrack - if not quite as soaring as older V8 Ferrari models - that is full of bass and gravel at low rpm and a higher pitched howl closer to the redline.

All-in-all this makes the Roma a versatile car - equally happy wafting about as it is picking your favourite B-road to bits. But more on that in the next section.

As a bit of a two-things-in-one-car the Roma runs the risk of feeling compromised, particularly in the often-opposing areas of comfort and handling. To an extent it does, but only within the framework of Ferrari's more focussed models - it's not as sharp to drive as an F8 or as cossetting as a GTC, but bear in mind that those are high benchmarks.

What it is though is a very usable balance of both - at no point could you describe the suspension as luxuriously soft, but it's fine for daily use, only getting a bit out of shape on really bumpy roads – while the way it handles can easily blow sports cars from other manufacturers into the weeds.

None of this should be a surprise of course, as Ferrari has left nothing to chance by throwing a load of tech at its new coupe. As such you get five modes on the Manettino plus underbody aero (and a pop-up spoiler) to enhance downforce without ruining those sleek exterior lines. Both of these are a first in the Italian manufacturer’s (comparatively) less focussed GT models, and that should give you a sense of its intentions.

As with the engine response, the Manettino gives you a variety of different handling responses from soft to sharp. Somewhat oddly our favourite combination was Comfort mode with the gearbox in manual. This gives you a very relaxed (but still bonkers fast) set up that suits the car's suave and unflustered appearance.

Still, Sport and Race do increase the response from the throttle and steering to very satisfying levels, while firming up the suspension to improve body control. You can dial this back by pressing the Manettino to utilise Bumpy Road mode, which offers a nice balance on UK roads, while still hugging the ground.

When it comes to driving quickly the Roma again offers a breadth of attitudes – if you enter a corner tentatively and feed the power in it'll hook up nicely and fire you out the other side in a neat, grippy manner. However, go in with more confidence and give the gas a big push and the rear end of the car will swing out to a point controlled by lots of clever electronics.

Chiefly this is down to the Roma’s Side Slip Control, which ties together the traction control, electronic differential and something called ‘Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer’ to interpret your inputs and let the rear of the car move around accordingly. It’s essentially a traction control system that lets the rear of the car have a little slide without wiping out, and is capable of making you look absolutely heroic while providing something of a safety net. Even so, this is best explored in a controlled environment.

The steering is quick and linear but not as fast as the F8, making it seem more relaxed and less twitchy on faster roads. The brakes need a good push to get going but when you do there’s plenty of power and feel, although they were a bit grabby and hard to modulate in our test car.

Even so, it took a bit longer to get under the Roma's skin than in current or former mid-engined Ferraris, which usually feel just-right from the off. But those are a very different proposition, and once you get used to the Roma's feel it becomes a very rewarding thing to drive indeed.

Ferrari Roma verdict

Should you buy one?
By the time you’re talking about this sort of pricetag there’s not a lot of point having an argument about whether the Roma is good enough as a motorway cruiser and mountain road slayer or whether you’d be better off buying two Porsche 911s instead. Customers won’t be buying only this car, so this won’t be bought with the same all-rounder considerations as, say, a VW Golf.

That said, it is mightily impressive how convincing the Roma is as a one-Ferrari-to-rule-them-all – sure the rear seats won’t suffice if you regularly need to transport more than two people, but for anyone else this is a suitably useful daily driver that just so happens to be razor sharp when the moment takes you.

In fact, we think it approaches that balance better than the Portofino or California T that came before it and is the ideal starting point for Ferrari ownership. No, the roof doesn’t come down, so it won’t suit those looking to be seen while driving, but as a trade-off the elegant exterior lines and styling more than make up for it.

It gives you just enough of the Ferrari-fizz to leave you wanting more from a model higher up the range, but not so little that in isolation it feels half-cocked.

More impressive is the car’s ability to celebrate an older era of luxury while moving the game on in terms of interior tech and usability. All that without being an exercise in chintzy, throwback styling - it feels distinctly old school but under the skin the Roma is anything but.

Best of all though is the simple stuff – this is a front engined, V8 powered, 2+2 coupe, with no hybridisation or self-driving modes in sight. Enjoy it while you can. If you can.


Published in Ferari
Sunday, 14 February 2021 08:28

What connects Ferrari, Ford and Citroën?

In short, a cat. A solid, black cat, so dark that it is almost invisible when in the dark and closes its eyes. But when he opens his eyes, he gives a light and a reflection that he can rarely copy and project accurately.

Although we all take for granted the name "cat's eyes" for reflective plates located on the pedals of bicycles or among the spokes of the wheels, it is a newer and younger "invention" than the original black cat and has been used for only forty years.

At the very beginning of the 20th century, Pierre Marchal, then in his twenties in the army and with a newly issued car license, met Renault Louis. With it, he explores the mechanics and possibilities of introducing electronics in vehicles, and also somewhat into functional things for life.
Thus began his many years of learning, research, and progress that would completely reverse the view of racing from Le Mans to Monte Carlo in the 1950s and 1960s.

A few years after the First World War, Marchal, with a few friends and colleagues, opened a company in the suburbs of Paris. More precisely a garage.
In that garage, with joint efforts and intelligence, they created and produced things like projectors, dynamos, starters, headlights and some other things. The vast majority of French manufacturers relied on their products and increasingly used them in their factories.

According to the original story, Pierre Marchal was a big fan of his black cat who was a regular guest in the garage. Returning home late at night, he saw in the headlights the glare of the said cat and outlined an idea that would completely change the course of his business. It is written in history as a black cat - a lucky cat under the slogan "I lend my eyes only to Marchal" or in the original form "Je ne prête mes yeux qu'à Marchal". And this is not surprising because the French adore cats - as animals, in art form and in the world-famous illustration Le Chat Noir. This story is also connected with the belief in the matagot - a spirit in the shape of a black cat that is waiting for you at the crossroads between this and that world, and if you feed it well, it will provide you with almost infinite wealth.
Basically, a typical cat - give good food and everything will be as it should be.

The first major successes were achieved three years later. Ie. when Marchal became a sponsor of the Monte-Carlo Rally and participated in the victory at Le Mans. Drivers Robert Bloch and Andre Rossignol as the first two-time winner of the Le Mans race, drove the likable Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6 with Marchal headlights. The fact that they were the first to make fog lights for race cars only contributed to the company’s business rise.

Until the early 1930s, Marchal used his headlights to adorn models from Hispano-Suiza, Delahaye, Talbot and others. And according to the James Bond novels, the first official car "007" was the so-called Blower Bentley from 1931, which is also illuminated by a "cat".
It is worth mentioning that this Bentley was produced in only 55 copies between 1929 and 1931, and that the current price of the surviving Blowers ranges from 400 thousand to almost 5 million dollars. It would be a small price packed with "cat's eyes".

The rise in production and popularity took a break during World War II, after which the branding of the “black cat” took off. In this new era for Marchal, the cat on the advertising poster begins to juggle car parts, wears lamps in his paws, drives a car with a helmet on his head and waves the target flag. And that attracted the Ferrari 375 Plus in 1954, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the hands of drivers Gonzalez and Trintigant and also did fantastic marketing.

Immediately after that, Lancia took Marchal as the official supplier instead of the previous headlights and earned a victory at the Monte Carlo Rally. This makes the "black cat" even more popular.

In order to promote the diversity of the vehicles on which their headlights were worn, the company redesigned Citroën’s H-Van.
They mounted on it almost everything they produced at the time. That is, all types and sizes of lights, trumpets, car parts, and the roof was adorned with a huge S.E.V. Marchal inscription.
If you find yourself near the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum, you can watch this decades-old installation live.

In the early 1960s, a logo made up of a cat and a black-and-white flag “cemented” Marchal as instantly recognizable and closely tied to motorsport. And the list of cars with which Marchal lends "eyes" also includes the retro racer Ferrari 330, which in 1962 was driven by driver Phil Hill to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was a particularly notable victory, as it was the first to be achieved with so-called iodine projectors. That is, the headlights that are in it road use has just been tested in Marchal.

With a solid foundation and success to date, Marchal's "eyes" were also found on the Porsche racing derivatives of the 911 and the legendary 917. In addition to the famous racers from Zuffenhausen, Marchal has installed its headlights on another legend, the Ford GT40. On that Ford racer, Marchal contributed to winning several victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the late 1960s. And then Renault Gordini and BMW Alpina also fell in love with the "black cat".

Since the founder and originator of the whole idea, Pierre Marchal, passed away at that time, there has been a slight slowdown in success and a change in business. As a result, the competition is a little free of the road to the title of winner. In the early 1970s, Ferodo took over Marchal's business and led it in a slightly different direction. This reduces the emphasis on headlight production, but improves the production of the remaining parts.
A few years later, Cibie, as the biggest competitor, joins forces with Marchal and becomes something that is known to this day as the Valeo Group.

In addition to Cibie, PIAA was also the main competitor in rival circles. Although it was founded a decade before Marchal, it was still not as successful as the "black cat". But it is still active with a huge opus of headlights that could be needed in the market.

When it comes to competition, at the very mention of the name Bosch the first association will rarely be light. But even that company has found its sun in the domain of lighting parts on cars. One of the specifics of this company were asymmetrical lights, ie headlights with which the driver's side gave more illumination than the passenger's side. Due to this asymmetry of the headlights, the glare in traffic was reduced.

The Italian company Carello was also founded before the First World War. And it has earned its success in the domestic market by producing fog lights. After all, how can you even imagine an Alfa or a Lancia without an Italian fog light on it?

In the Balkans in the 1970s, there was also the company Saturnus. This company is still present and today it acts as the main sponsor of the Slovenian race called Saturnus.
In the early 1990s, this company replaced the metallized substrate with heat-resistant plastic in all its lights and thus made a huge step forward. It is still present on the market today and, in addition to continuous development, is also engaged in the production of fog lights, daytime running lights and multifunctional lamps.

As developments in production intertwined the ups and downs of all companies, Marchal continued to make its way through factories as a classic that simply had to be found on even more different car models. Thus, on the one hand we have the Citroën DS, or the legendary "Frog" with "cat's eyes" that the headlights of this company drive on European roads, and on the other hand we have almost every Mustang GT that was produced in the first half of the eighties.

Although Marchal has been going through various combinations and partnerships throughout its glorious history, in the 1980s this company became part of the Valeo Group, of which it is still a part together with Cibie. Looking through history, it is clear that in his time Pierre Marchal with his “black cat” provides very good visibility for some of the fantastic car models. Throughout its rich history, this company has been ubiquitous and esteemed during the so-called "vintage motorsport" and legendary races such as 24 Hours of Le Mans, which new generations could witness through the recent film adaptation of "Ford vs Ferrari".

The name of the company Marchal, according to some allegations, was bought in 2009 by a Japanese company that manufactures headlights for cars. But with all the modifications and differences, car enthusiasts have a hard time agreeing to call something like that a last name that meant the best of the best in the 1950s and 1960s.

Who would have thought that an ordinary, happy black cat helped in something like that.


Published in Blog/News
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Sunday, 29 November 2020 05:08

2021 Ferrari Roma: The Beauty of 612 Horsepower

Ferrari builds a modern GT without relying on the design tropes of the past.

The Ferrari Roma's start button isn't a button. It's an iPad-like touch-sensitive switch at the bottom of the steering wheel. And it's but one of many functions crammed onto the helm. Even after spending 30 hours with the car, we were still uncovering new ones. Ferrari isn't relying on its heritage here. This is only the second V-8-powered front-engine GT coupe in the brand's history—the first being the 2018 GTC4Lusso T, which was the refreshed FF with four fewer cylinders. No, with the Roma, Ferrari focused on making a 21st-century grand-touring car with an almost all-digital interface and without a goofy retractable roof.

Sure, the hardtop convertible Portofino is still around, and there's a lot of Portofino in the Roma, but the Roma is some 200 pounds lighter and 20 horses more powerful, with a 612-hp version of Ferrari's twin-turbo 3.9-liter V-8. The upcoming Portofino M will match that output, but it won't rectify the weight discrepancy. And while all three of these Ferraris have an engine that roars like artillery, the Roma is prettiest.

It has the face of a shark. The fenders flare like a Sophia Loren sigh, and the bodywork is free of holes, vents, and gouges. The razor-edge taillights look nothing like the usual round Ferrari fare. The Roma and Portofino share a 105.1-inch wheelbase and their basic suspension design, but the Roma is 0.7 inch lower, 1.4 inches wider, and at 183.3 inches long, 2.7 inches longer overall.

The 561-lb-ft torque peak comes up at 3000 rpm and stays there until 5750 rpm, with plenty beyond that to the 7500-rpm redline. Pop the hood and the Ferrari V-8 looks as good as the body. There's no plastic sound-insulation cover here.

Read more: 2023 Ferrari Dino

Pull the right carbon-fiber paddle shifter and the rear-mounted, Magna-made eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle loads first gear. The Roma is the first of Ferrari's GTs to include a Race setting for the stability and traction-control system. Turn the manettino selector on the steering wheel to Race and the car growls and gets down to the business of ground flying.

Shifted with the paddles, the eight-speed reacts instantly. Downshift into a corner and the car squats flatly, takes a set at the apex, and bolts confidently. The system allows a bit of tail slide, but on public roads, it's hard to get to the cornering velocity where the 285/35ZR-20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires will break free. What's available even in Comfort mode is perfectly calibrated steering and the thrill of feeling the 245/35ZR-20 Michelins up front bite into the surface.

We expect this Ferrari to eclipse 60 mph in 3.1 seconds when launch mode is activated, but the exhaust drama and pull of the engine make it seem even quicker than that. And the Roma is beguiling at triple-digit speeds. It also has a hilarious rear seat and a reasonably sized 10-cubic-foot trunk.

Roma prices start at $222,420. The version driven here carried an option load that put it at $316,240. Skip the $11,812 carbon-fiber rear diffuser, the $5906 front spoiler you're bound to scratch, the $4725 carbon-fiber dashboard inserts, and a few other bits, and a Roma could be a great quarter-million-dollar Ferrari. In the prancing-horse world, that's a bargain.

Source: caranddriver.com

Published in Ferari

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