Welcome to the Hooniverse News – Geneva Motor Show Edition! This weekly recap features the four biggest unveilings at the show without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in a little opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:
The LaFerrari is your new Ferrari supercar – no, really
Lamborghini Veneno is an Aventador gone mad
Chevrolet makes the C7 Convertible official
Porsche’s 5th generation 911 GT3 is ready to roll
Plus complete show coverage from Autoweek
This, dear readers, is the Ferrari. No really, it’s the Ferrari. The highly-anticipated successor to the Enzo isn’t called the F70 or the F150 like we were led to believe after all – it’s simply called LaFerrari, which is Italian for “the Ferrari”. That’s supposed to signify the car’s uniqueness within the company’s rich history of road cars, but I think it really means they weren’t given enough wine to be imaginative that day. Regardless of the silly name, what exactly makes this the Ferrari?
Well, how does 963 horsepower sound? A 6.3-liter V12 which screams all the way to 9,250 RPM contributes 800 horsepower to that while an electric motor adds the remaining 163 horsepower. 664 lb.-ft. of torque is available from a fairly low RPM and that all gets sent to the back wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission for launches quick enough to put the 0-60 time well below 3 seconds. The quickness doesn’t stop at 60, as 0-100 is expected to take less than 7 seconds, 0-186 in 15 seconds, and eventually on to a top speed greater than 217 mph. It also boasts a fuel economy average of 16.6 mpg thanks to its hybrid-like drive train. The 132-pound battery is even assembled by the same guys who build the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems currently used in the Ferrari 138 F1 car.
The styling, while penned by Pininfarina, is mostly formed by wind tunnel testing. Aerodynamics play a key part here, with a functional, F1-like lower front wing, a back end filled with diffusers, and all sorts of other active aero bits in between. The styling out back is said to be inspired by the Le Mans racers of the 60’s (just not the ones that lost). So not only does the styling make it look like a racecar, but it also has the functionality of one too.
The racing elements don’t end there either, as the car comes with 15.6″ front and 15″ rear carbon ceramic brakes by Brembo, an F1-style traction control system, an electronic differential, and magnetorheological damping. The price tag of ~ €1 million (est.) is racecar-like, too. Only 499 examples will ever be built, and all have reportedly been sold well before the car’s world debut.
Source: Ferrari, Autoweek
The other major Italian supercar company was in Geneva as well. The car they brought out to play was this monster you see here, called the Veneno. Built to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, this 1-of-3 supercar shares a platform and powertrain with the popular Aventador, but that’s about it.
The Aventador’s carbon fiber/polymer monocoque chassis is the base for what is probably the most radical car in company history, and the 6.5-liter, 740 horsepower V12 is the heart. The shell, on the other hand, takes the insanity level up to 11, with more vents, more arches, and more fins all around. Just some of the features include the big adjustable rear wing out back, vents on the bonnet which allow for maximum cooling, a shark fin which makes it look angry, and scissor doors to make it look cool when you get out. The purpose behind all this (minus the doors) is to make the car look as track-focused as it is.
The track-focused-ness continues to the interior, which is adorned with loads of carbon fiber and certain parts of the carbon monocoque chassis even remain exposed. Each of the three customer cars is getting coated in the same metallic gray paint and will also feature accents that display just one color of the Italian flag. A fourth car is going to the Lamborghini Museum and is the only one with all three colors of the Italian flag on its side, which is the one pictured. The price of all this is set at a cool $4 million, in case you were wondering, and all three customer cars have already been taken.
Source: Lamborghini via Autoweek
Corvette (C7) Stingray Convertible
The 7th generation Corvette is back in the news this week. A drop-top Stingray was inevitable, and this week we’ve finally got official images and some other long-awaited details of America’s new drop-top icon.
An all-new three-ply fabric top reduces wind noise compared to the last one and features a heated glass rear window for improved luxury. The overall design is supposed to maintain a classy roof line without the bulges from the folding mechanisms. For the first time ever, the folding/unfolding process is completely automatic and can even be operated by the key fob so you can confuse people in the parking lot (you know you’d do it, too). The top is stowed away neatly just behind the seats and under a painted hard cover. Interestingly enough, they say additional structural supports to the aluminum frame were not needed for the convertible. We don’t have official curb weight figures yet, but is GM claiming a power-to-weight-ratio that is almost identical between the coupe and convertible.
Of course, the 6.2-liter V8 and 7-speed manual (or 6-speed automatic) are still part of the package. Pricing is not available yet for both the coupe and convertible C7, but expect to see the convertible arrive in showrooms globally late this year, or about three months after the coupe arrives. GM also used the stage at Geneva to show off the C7’s left-hand-drive availability around the world.
Porsche 911 GT3
The newest generation of the 911 is finally getting its first higher-performance model (relatively speaking) with the unveiling of the 2014 Porsche 911 (991) GT3. For the 5th generation GT3, Porsche is combining familiar GT3 styling cues with the new base design, bringing in more power than ever before, and further improving the driving dynamics that makes the GT3 one of the go-to cars for performance freaks like us.
Power comes from a 3.8-liter flat-six somewhat based off the standard Carrera engine. I say somewhat, because Porsche has claimed there are enough performance enhancements to make the engines more unlike each other than ever before, though they only mentioned forged pistons and titanium connecting rods by name. All that is good for a new output of 475 horsepowerThe GT3’s bespoke engine is nice, but the rest of the powertrain may just be a deal breaker. The only transmission available is an enhanced version of Porsche’s 7-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Despite how awesome the PDK transmission is in every other Porsche, does an enthusiast-focused car like the GT3 really not deserve a manual option anymore? I can forgive a car for not having a manual option if it still offers a superior driving experience, which a GT3 surely will. Either way, the new GT3 will hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and 124 mph in under 12 seconds. The top speed is roughly 195 mph.
Just a few of the many bespoke performance features on the new GT3 include lightweight alloy wheels with center locking hubs, an electric locking rear diff, dynamic engine mounts, and a production-Porsche first active rear wheel steering, which allows the rear wheels to steer in the same or opposite direction as the front to improve stability. A new suspension lowers the car and adds stiffness while a bespoke body kit all around improves aerodynamics and stuff.
The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 will go on sale in the U.S. late this year for $130,400 (not including destination).
Complete Coverage from Autoweek
If you’re still looking for more Geneva Motor Show coverage, our partners at Autoweek have got you covered, as always. Full coverage, including many cars I didn’t have room to talk about, plus live photos can all be found over on Autoweek.com.
RANT TIME…. Courtesy of your Executive Editor
One of my favorite posts during the week is Greg’s news piece. This is my little slice of new-car fun in a world filled with a whole lot more interested vehicles. You know I love the old metal, but I also love new, shiny, shapely sultry, stunning stuff. Now… this is the week were we see what’s going on in Geneva.
So, there’s some
great fun stuff being shown.
I … can’t think of any of it, besides a few pics of the Gulf-liveried Morgan three-wheeler. That vehicle makes me want to find funding for Raising Arizona 2 just so I can hear that song while driving that thing. (Greatest Cage movie ever? The only answer is yes… you’re still singing the chorus to the song I linked to).
Here’s where the rant comes in: Is the Ferrari LaFerrari the worst car name of all time? Now, I’m happy to see a non alphanumeric jumble of letters and numbers. But Ferrari LaFerrari? I made a joke on Twitter saying I’d name my next dog Jeff LaJeff, but that’s clearly a joke because my two dachshunds are never going to die. The point is, however, that adding a La to the first part of your name doesn’t grant you an automatic surname. This is a terrible name. It’s one of the worst vehicular nomenclatures of all time.
Ferrari has taken what amounts to a lame stage name for an uncreative stripper, and given that young lady center stage… and Drake has a cardboard box full of more money than you made this year.
Now let me apply my old-man hat for a moment, and ask you a question. What happened to naming the cars after something meaningful? Ferrari LaFerrari means, and I don’t even need Google here I’m going with Bing Translate, Ferrari… THE.. FERRARI. Remember the Duster? Remember the Syclone or Typhoon? Call it the Ferrari Gnocchi… and I’d find a way to make it work. “It’s a tight mixture of fight, ingenuity, engineering, and maybe a dash or Parmesan… and it’s amazing.” But no… the Ferrari LaFerrari is the worst name ever.
Minus all the alphanumeric bullshit from BMW. /Rant
P.S. I’d marry the GT3, f&*k the Veneno, and kill the LaFerrari