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AUTO CLASS magazine

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FEBRUARY 2018 - € 8,00






In Nomine Racing

True Heroes



by Christian Parodi

I do not know about you, but personally it is as if we had already entered into the action. The office feels like adrenaline level is over the top, this is anything new, but 2018 brings with it a lot of stuff. Even if during the Christmas and post-Christmas period, we have not left the lights turned off for more than two consecutive days, our minds are always squeezed to the max in search of the contents that every enthusiast expects to find by immerging himself through our pages. I’m talking about always engaging articles, new adventures, fantastic roads that will become the destination for your next day at the wheel and photographs that are able to capture all the emotions that we live. The visual part is something fundamental to us and over the years we have developed a style and formed a team that represents one of our biggest prides.

Cover page: Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport Convertible Photo Credits: S. Lomax

But do not think that we are forgetting our events, the most attentive will notice that we have already announced some dates, but we will reveal more details next month and we will do the same for the two books ready to be released during the year. On this issue, including news, test drives and the section dedicated to your cars, we continue our journey with the new column “Supercars & Road Trips” at the wheel of the Jaguar F-Type 400 Sport Convertible, while we were lucky enough to take home the McLaren 570GT, the “most sensible” side of Woking’s supercar. And then? Find it for yourself! Have fun!

AUTO CLASS magazine



EDITOR IN CHIEF Christian Parodi Alessandro Marrone

PHOTOGRAPHERS Bartolomeo Lazzarini Lomax Richard Montagner Ron Morgenstein Enzo Rachelli Daniél Rikkard Gian Romero Giorgia Rossi Jay Tomei Ilario Villani Andy Williams

MARKETING DIRECTOR Christian Parodi EDITORIAL STAFF Andrea Balti Carlo Brema Giorgio Conti Max Gonzaga Richi Mackie Marco Mancino Alessandro Marrone Roberto Marrone Christian Parodi Marco Rallo Tommaso Mogge

EVENTS June, 9th - Porsche Run July, 8th - Col de Turini Tour July, 29th - Gentlemen’s Run tba - Alpine Grand Prix - Vol. II


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We already talked about it some months ago, when the first creation of the Californian manufacturer Ferris Rezvani saw the light, but now the Beast is even better and this Alpha X “Blackbird� is proof of this. Baptized in honor of the Lockheed SR-71 military jet, it has a 2.5-liter turbocharged Cosworth engine which delivers 700 horsepower over a body of just 952kg. This gives it a 0-100 kph of just 2.9 seconds, making it the fastest Rezvani Beast ever produced so far. But the goodies do not end here, in fact for the first time you can opt for a sequential 6-speed gearbox, as an alternative to the manual, always a 6-speed and still available if you want it. In addition to the black bodywork, the Blackbird has aesthetic features such like lime green details here and there, a new leather and Alcantara sports steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels that house the exceptional AP Racing braking system, which you can also ask with carbonceramic discs, while only 5 of these specimens will be produced, one of which has already been delivered to the MMA superstar Rampage Jackson. If you want to be among the remaining 4 lucky ones, be prepared to invest $ 225,000.






9 No one asked for it, we have always loved it as it was, precisely because it has always been faithful to its unmistakable square line and dedicated to an extreme off-road usability. Over the years, since 1979, the GClass has not really tamed itself, but has been able to offer better comfort and even stunning performance, with the models signed by the AMG department (not forgetting the recent 6X6 and 4X4 Squared). But it was time for an update and be ready to face the 21st century, so between the general fear of losing its identity, Mercedes has reassured his faithful followers, presenting a new model, which does not upset that ingredient to which we could not really say goodbye: its look. 121mm larger and 53mm longer, it has been made more harmonious, thanks to a better integration of the bumpers and a further incorporation of the current stylistic features of the three-pointed star. The front grille still is the main feature with the three horizontal chromed profiles on the sides of the wide logo of the company, while the cockpit has been made an even more refined and welcoming place, despite the fact that it maintains analogical gauges. An even better off-road capability is here too, thanks to the use of 3 locking differentials able to take charge of the fourwheel traction, while 5 different driving modes are available, as well as guaranteeing the ideal displacement according to of the ground under the wheels, while modifying steering, gearbox, throttle and suspension. The G-Class, although dated 2019, will arrive this summer with prices starting at around â‚Ź 107,040 and will offer a range of diesel and petrol engines. The icon is back!





Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, the new AMG 53 series further enriches the performance proposal of the brand. At least initially they will be available exclusively on the new CLS, E Coupe and also E Cabriolet, bringing with them a new 3-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder turbo mated to an auxiliary electric boost.



Total power of 435 horses and 520Nm, with the only option of the nine-speed automatic transmission coupled to the four-wheel drive system, in order to better manage the full potential of this new entry, which will certainly tempt those who runs late at the office. 250 kph of maximum speed, which become 270 with the optional Driver’s Package and a 0-100 of just 4.5 seconds. But it does not end here, in fact in addition to a dedicated aesthetic kit including new alloys, aerodynamic fin on the rear trunk, diffuser and split tailpipes at the back, the AMG 53 range will be equipped with standard pneumatic suspension. As for the new EQ Boost, just keep in mind that it is located between engine and gearbox and that increases the boost pressure, zeroing turbo lag and offering even more exciting performance.



A N O R E V I D A R IE F 18 0 2 Y A M 6 / 5 4/




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Words and photos by Alessandro Marrone

2018 is already an amazing year for the Swedish company, with the press launch of the XC40. Actually it would be more correct to broaden the argument, since Volvo keeps going through an exceptional journey that has revolutionized its range with clean lines and innovation as its current workhorse. The same goes hand in hand with what has always distinguished it, technology and on board safety. We were invited to the Volvo Studio in Milan, an elegant atelier where new and old customers can go for a coffee, spec their Volvo and live in close contact with an exponentially growing family. The XC40 is not a small-scale XC60 or XC90, but a completely different car. Currently available with the D4 engine (2.0 4-cylinder diesel 190hp) and T5 (2.0 4-cylinder petrol 247hp), the offer will be enriched later with other options, including a new 1.5 3-cylinder petrol. Small on the outside but spacious on the inside, designed especially for those who literally live the car and therefore with plenty of space for storage compartments and ingenious solutions in the cargo area. Five comfortable seats and attention to detail that distinguishes the bigger sisters make the XC40 a perfect environment in which facing the Milan traffic heading east to the location chosen for lunch. Along the way I can’t but appreciate once again the precision of the sat-nav and the infotainment system, shared with the other models of the hou-


17 se, while the 8-speed automatic transmission is precise and can also be used with the lever, moving it right to go up, or left to downshift a gear. With the T5 R-Design sportiness becomes more pronounced, not only for a more detailed aesthetics and large 20-inch wheels (21 are also available), but for the leather and alcantara seats and the paddles behind the steering, which give you more vivid feedbacks once at the wheel. 4 driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and Off-Road, which obviously vary steering, throttle and gearbox response, as much as they lower or raise the suspension.

The XC40 is an urban SUV, but thanks to the



elasticity of its engine there is no place that can put it in trouble, also thanks to the excellent visibility and the many aids for the driver. Two aspects on which Volvo focuses a lot are finally the ability to monitor the status of the car and share its use remotely by providing a code for a person that you can delegate from time to time without needing the key - a very practical idea which denotes how the Swedish company is constantly looking at the future. Finally, the Care by Volvo service, which has already achieved excellent results and will also be extended to the business area, representing a new way of using the vehicle. No down payment and a monthly fee for 24 months, which also covers expenses such as insurance, stamp duty and tire change, with the possibility of buying the car after two years or give it back to the dealer. The XC40 has a young look, but it is really suitable for everyone and now we want one at the office for a more in-depth test drive in order to tell you why it could be your next car.



Words: Richi Mackie

Photography: S. Lomax

NISSAN X-TRAIL HIDDEN PATHS To be in tune with Mother Nature is something wonderful, you can’t really realize that until you get lost. And just when you are in a remote place, a situation that for once you have not planned, you realize what is really able to make you feel at peace with yourself. The silence of a pristine forest, the chirping of birds and the wheels covered in mud, the same wheels that allowed you to get where many others could not. And with the same ease I am perfectly able to bring myself back, in the everyday world, facing the city stress, the traffic lights, the frantic search for a parking space, and keep intact that desire to be satisfied again sometimes soon, coming back to be in complete intimacy with the hidden paths of our consciousness.

The new Nissan X-Trail does not made me mad, but opened in me a window that for too long I kept locked in favor of a desire for speed, reducing me almost to not fully appreciate the luck of doing this wonderful job every day. The X-Trail has definitely shrugged off that long gone off-road image entering from head to toe in the SUV category and has done it with a total makeover that enhances its size compared to its younger sister Qashqai, a true urban fighter. There are more centimeters, 469 in length and almost one meter and 80 in width and height, but what makes this all-rounder terrific is the complete cohabitation of two purposes so apparently distant from each other. The interior is spacious, just as the exterior dimensions suggest, there is plenty of space for five occupants and all the necessary luggage for your ideal holiday, not to mention that thanks to

the engine fitted in the tested model, a turbo diesel 2-liter with 177-hp, you can load tons of things, without affecting a renewed handling or fuel consumption. The X-Trail is an indomitable warrior, ready to hurl itself on some muddy trail and a few minutes later, juggle the rush hour chaos, thanks to an exceptional visibility on all sides, even at the rear, thanks to the maneuvering cameras and parking sensors. But rather than being bottled in the midst of hundreds angry drivers screaming and shouting, I leave the city and choose to activate traction on both axles through the knob at the base of the gearbox, a precise 6-speed automatic. There are no paddles behind the wheel this time - as it happens for some of its competitors - but I do not miss ‘em and if I prefer to upshift



and downshift in first person, I just move the gear lever towards me and act directly on it. The road becomes impervious and the ground clearance plays in my favor, the overhangs are all in all reduced and the wheelbase, albeit long, does not hinder or slow down the pace. The tarmac stops and under the 225 tires fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels, the typical noise of a dirt road is a preamble to my arrival at a large wooden bridge. A few meters from the river bed, I cross the threshold and continue going into the most pristine nature, no sign of other vehicles, no artificial noise except the engine of my Nissan. I feel at peace with myself, I’m rediscovering something that too often we take for granted, making use of the precious help of an impeccable car that can be used for long motorway journeys, as for my expedition looking for some hidden path. It knows no obstacles and seems to arrive in the heart of this forest without the slightest hesitation, marveling at the great traction and comfort offered by the black leather seats. Also thanks to the Tekna specifications, the richest one on the list, this X-Trail will not be the one that upsets the SUV genre, but is undoubtedly one of the best deputy in this category, showing how a small engine like this 2,000cc, is equal-



ly able to guarantee a good sprint, strong of its 380Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm and at the same time allow you to travel without wasting fuel (mixed consumption of 5.6l/100km). It is at home, here, in the middle of nature, showing off its metallic orange paint and that muscular front-end, which incorporates the new design of the headlights and the chrome profile that frames the grille and the house logo. The new X-Trail is not just a big car, but a great car that represents the answer to the many demands of the modern motorist, offering us the possibility of upsetting our routine even better, maybe coming back home from work. Without planning it, without having to look at the satnav, and choosing a different route from the one expected, or even discovering by chance that road that will make you feel more at peace with the world.

NISSAN X-TRAIL 2.0 dci 4WD Layout front-engined, all-wheel-drive Engine 4 cylinder 1.995cc – turbo diesel Transmission 6-speed automatic gearbox Power 177 hp @ 3.750 rpm 380 Nm @ 2.000 rpm Weight 1.795 kg Acceleration 9,1 sec. Top Speed 204 kph Price from ₏ 33.600



Words: Marco Rallo

Photography: Bartolomeo Lazzarini

CITROEN C4 CACTUS QUEEN OF THE SUPERMARKET PARKING LOT Thank God there is Citroen making the world less boring. When a few years ago - it was 2014 - it threw the C4 Cactus into the fray, in fact it aroused opinions to say the least conflicting. Of course the passionate who is looking for luxury and performance goes elsewhere, but that slice of the market represented by the common drivers remains the widest and therefore the one that can make the difference in terms of sales and company budget. Impossible not to be attracted by those rubber profiles on the sides, the Airbump, that secures most of the doors and bumpers. An innovative solution, certainly risky, but also functional and at the same time manages to combine its usefulness with a young and different look than usual. It is here that Citroen has played one of those hazardous shots, which, however, after four years has paid all the efforts. I have driven the little Cactus, right before the incoming facelift ready to be introduced during the year, and I

discovered that there are not only Airbump here, but a lot of goodies in every corner. The top of the range model is represented by the three-cylinder petrol version, a 1.2cc that outputs 110 horses. Traction is obviously distributed on the front axle only and having opted for an engine with a cylinder less than usual introduces the concept that explains the choice of the name. Cactuses in fact drink little and in this case, thanks to the Airbump, protect from external shocks thanks to the same principle of packaging bubbles. But to limit fuel consumption, the French company has also held the weight as close to the ton as possible, stopping the needle at just 1,125 kg, which with two occupants on board remains without problems below a ton and a half. For doing this the design has been kept simple and linear, the interiors are comfortable and the plastics

are light and rigid. The seats are 5, but to be honest, the space is ideal for only 4 people different speech for the trunk, which although many accused it for not being exceptional, it was easily accessible and convenient for our every need. Staying in the back area, who sits behind will have to deal with pop-out windows and then the air circulation, especially in hot seasons, will not be the best. In front the situation is different, with a good air conditioning system, ample space for legs, head and shoulders and the two displays on the dashboard, a smaller one located behind the steering wheel, which indicates the fuel level, the gear you’re running in and the speed, the other in the middle of the dash, a 7-inch full color touch screen, from which you can manage vehicle settings, satellite navigation, radio and climate, in this case also through a couple of quick button, placed at the base of the screen itself. Finally, another goodie is represented by the



glovebox in front of the passenger, a sort of vintage suitcase with non-slip rubbers on top, always made of rigid materials, but with a unique design and a very large compartment. To better face the city life we also have the opportunity to equip our Cactus with an automatic transmission, a 6-speed fast and accurate enough that has proved up to every task entrusted, even on the motorway or on b-roads. You can also set it in Sport or Snow mode, thanks to the two buttons next to one of the many storage pockets scattered here and there in the cockpit. Finding the ideal driving position is easy, visibility is noticeable and the rear view camera facilitates parking, but the Cactus proves to be a winner because it represents the desire to face the most hectic everyday life with a smile on your face and without having to accept the fact of finding a new dent every time you go shopping. You can breathe a bit of retro inside, but in the same way it is expertly mixed with those touches of modernity that can reinvent something we all need, that is the maximum practicality in a car that has to do a hundred things in one. The 50-liter tank empties slowly and the choice to keep a limited weight and a reduced size of the engine pays off soon, without the need for some extra horsepower. The 110 of the model tested are delivered linearly and the 205Nm of torque are available almost immediately - you will not be the fastest in the neighborhood, but you will not live at the gas station. Another strong point.



After almost a month of cohabitation, I confirmed my first impressions, that after just a few hours at the wheel, it seems that the C4 Cactus has always been part of your life. Comfortable, friendly, practical, suitable for any situation and never embarrassing as it happens for some of its competitors, it has the right size (173cm wide and 416 long) and doesn’t cost you crazy money, with the entry level starting at just € 16,750. For the top of the range as in our test, we must instead consider exceeding the threshold of twenty thousand Euros and spend € 21,950, but the package includes alloy wheels (16-inches front and 17 at the back) and many others options that do nothing but improve an already excellent basic offer. The manual transmission can save some coins, but the clutch is not the best you could find, better bet for the automatic that is always accurate, even with cold engine. While for the color, better to indulge, choose yellow or red (there are 11 colors available) and remember that for driving in boring situations, you do not have to drive boring cars. Thank God, there’s the Cactus!

CITROEN C4 CACTUS Layout front-engined, front wheel drive Engine 3 cylinder 1.199cc - turbo Transmission 6-speed automatic gearbox Power 110 hp @ 5.500 rpm 205 Nm @ 1.500 rpm Weight 1.125 kg Acceleration 9,7 sec. Top Speed 188 kph Price from € 21.950



Words: Tommaso Mogge

Photography: Mansory

MANSORY BENTAYGA MAMMOTHS ARE NOT EXTINCT ! It is said that enormous creatures like giant reptiles have lived on this planet many years before mankind. Then ice age came and almost every living thing has been annihilated, thus leaving space for new species, including our human ancestors. But at the dawn of civilization, some imposing cattle resisted and among them we have the Mammoth, a kind of Xl-sized elephant covered with hair - today, hundreds of thousands of years later, I firmly believe that they still live among us. Not that they try in any way to hide, also because it’s one of the most controversial SUV of last year, able to sell exactly where it was intended to do, satisfying those customers who cannot just accept something ordinary. Extraordinary is the word that comes to my mind looking at the vision of German tuner Mansory on the mammoth 4x4 by Bentley. In the sense that it represents in every way something that goes beyond what

we are commonly accustomed to face on the road, further raising the concept of luxury and exclusivity once you are lucky enough to open the door and take a look at the inside, or more simply discovering the countless details that characterize the most extreme body kit it offers. We are talking about the most noble declination, the one driven by a 6-liter W12-cylinder, able to make the “school run” with your children a proper problem for some rainforest on the other side of the world. The important dimensions of the Bentayga are accentuated by the wide body offered by Mansory, which provides new front and rear bumpers, side skirts, front hood, rear spoiler, a new diffuser and much more, all in carbon fiber - and of course, what did you expect? The huge rims are 23 inches, although 22 are available, but

to tickle the most demanding buyers there are different designs and the ability to configure your model with a set of forged carbon fiber wheels. Regardless of the reference color of the bodywork, which can be a classic black or a two-tone, maybe with other exposed carbon, the luxurious side of the Bentley SUV inevitably ends up in the background, leaving white paper to that animalistic and rough look that a 2-and-a-half-ton off-roader can boast, once peeping into a random driver’s rearview mirror. Everything is customizable here, even the headlight caps, while inside the cabin the typically British class to which Bentley-wagen has not given up, gives way to the opulence of materials that as a maximum objective have to magnetize the attention of the your pupils. Easy to find the four leather armchairs fini-




Layout front-engined, all-wheel-drive Engine W12 cylinder – 5.950cc – twin-turbo Transmission 8-speed automatic gearbox Power 691 hp / 1.050 Nm

shed in colors that are anything but sober, without counting even in this case that the almost endless opportunities to make unique the dash, the central tunnel (front and rear), the sky, door panels and even floor mats, are confirmed as large as the size of the engine, ready to put the exclamation mark on one of the best performing SUVs in the world. When we talk about Mansory, you all know, there is not only so much aesthetic effort, but also a substantial upgrade in terms of performance. Not that the Bentayga needed more power, compared to the standard 600 horses of the W12, but the German tuner decided that it could not work. Here is how they ended up putting 91hp more under the front bonnet, for a total of 691 hp and about 1050Nm of torque. To manage this internal combustion madness,

Weight 2.500 kg Acceleration 3,9 sec. Top Speed 311 kph Price from € 368.000



a perfect distribution of power on both axles and a weight that in this case indirectly allows optimizing a similar cavalry, making this Mammoth of modern times one of the fastest animals in the wild. Launching it at full speed requires only the appropriate road and once the 8-speed automatic g’box has led you to the driving license’s danger zone, it will be unstoppable, also thanks to the new exhaust system that will make everything even more dramatically engaging. But it does not end here, even if a maximum speed of 311 kph could even close every argument without leaving open any possibility of objection, because despite it weights as an office, this Mansory goes from 0 to 100 in just 3.9 seconds – just like a new Porsche 911 S, if equipped with PDK, are you with me? Of course the cost is not affordable to all budgets, ‘cause for a car fitted with aesthetic kit and full mechanical upgrade, you need at least € 368,000. As a “standard” Bentayga is not an SUV for everyone, the Mansory’s creature will not find the preferences of all Bentley 4x4 lovers, but for those who do not want, even in the most remote of situations, the risk of confusing their new purchase in the Golf Club parking lot, you do not have to look elsewhere.






MCLAREN 570GT Words: Alessandro Marrone

Photography: Jay Tomei



Personally as soon as I read “GT” I am already in love, sort of. Its meaning is so powerful that my mind is invaded by an unspecified number of images. With this I do not mean to deny the fact that I feel comfortable with a car with outstanding performance, those two-seaters that do not care if you arrive at the destination with shaked bones, but we must admit that not in every situations, the answer to all our questions is identified with a specific drive with a knife between your teeth. Here the movie of an ideal road trip begins to develop in my head, alternating between breathtaking scenery and the most diverse colors, without a logical thread - from autumn yellow piles of trees to the white of the snow that blends with a clear sky. At the center of this image the right car, the one that is ready to accompany me along that stretch of road that has been carefully studied days before, maybe after having spent hours on Google Maps, or even on classic paper road maps, those that once opened completely will never come back as before. The finger flows along those twisted lines that seem too small to contain all those fantastic emotions that a trip like this is able to offer.

Yet it is just like that and a GT is the ideal tool to appreciate and satisfy the journey, the most beautiful part that lies behind a destination. In my wardrobe there is a red sweatshirt with a white horizontal stripe, in the middle there is the logo of a famous cigarette company, the same that has been together with Formula 1 McLaren team in the golden years. I wore it when I was much lower than the slender silhouette of the 570GT at my disposal and I keep it jealously, reliving the memories of my first steps towards the world of motoring. Over the years many things have changed and McLaren has given birth to one of the most iconic supercars ever, Gordon Murray’s child, the F1. Then, a few years later, the MP4-12C marked the return to production (in larger scale) of road going cars, passing through the 650S, the various hardcore versions, such as the 675LT and the current 720S. The Sport Series, launched in 2016, instead aims to broaden the circle of customers bringing with it supercar performance and a wider usability, in addition of course of a lower cost starting from less than

€ 200,000, with the 540C. I was able to drive the 570S for quite a while and I literally fell in love with it, I could not find a fault except the fact that I wasn’t able to leave it permanently in my garage, but the 570GT promises to be the ideal partner, making the road trip as its main objective and not afraid to face those that are actually the most traditional grand tourers like Aston Martin, Bentley or Maserati. It does this by maintaining the same characteristics as the 570S, with the only aesthetic exception of the rear glass which allows access to an extra load compartment, exactly above the engine. I just put a backpack there to be honest, the main trunk on the front is already full of the photographer’s equipment, the fuel tank is full and the fact of fitting summer tires is not a problem, because it will help to make the driving dynamic as it should be on a McLaren (just a couple of weeks after this test, McLaren unveiled the range of new specific winter tires developed with Pirelli, ed).



ESCAPE. I feel at home again, finally. Sat-nav set according to the detailed roadmap that will guide us where we will be able to vent the most animal side of this battling GT. The V8 remains unchanged compared to the 570S, a twin-turbo 3.8 with 570 horses, the weight increases slightly by virtue of the crystal surface that however makes the line of the rear more harmonious, also providing a lip-spoiler that integrates perfectly with the same tail of the car. The car in my hands is equipped with the sports carbon package and then we have carbon fiber for the front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, side vents and of course in the cockpit, enriched with bucket-seats that intend to delete the dynamic differences between this and a 570S as much as possible. After a few minutes I’m back in tune with the spearhead of the Sport Series, I do not waste time and I engage the manual adjustment of the chassis, going to move the selectors in Sport, both for the gearbox and for traction control. Unless you get off from one to jump on the other, to really feel some steering differences between the S and the GT is virtually impossible, whi-


36 le talking about the suspension is something more understandable. The 570GT has a more civilized setting, with suspension 10% softer at the rear and 15% at the front and it is precisely here that I realize that I have to deal with an extremely similar car, which in reality is very different . Of course the 570GT maintains the same desire to shatter the sound barrier, its progression is something scary to which it is really difficult to get used, ceramic brakes are so powerful hence able to handle any impaired conditions and the white silhouette begins to dance in tiptoe from one bend to another, while the road climbs towards those mountains that in case of snow will be off limits for us. We are not going to give up here, forgetting to be behind the wheel of a travel lover, in fact if you do not continuously compare the two models of the Sport Series, nothing would make you think you’re asking too much to the frame, even on a road of this kind. Taking advantage of the total lack of traffic and the familiarity with the asphalt snake under its wheels, we move the game into Track mode. The paddles at the wheel allow you to climb or downshift



gears depending on how you intervene on them, pressing or pushing towards you, in this way even with the logo upside down and in the middle of a slide you do not lose precious moments and you are able to launch yourself towards the next hairpin. The V8, which many criticize for its sound – or lack of - sings gloriously. It is hungry for revs and although the road is not wide enough to always reach the limiter, insisting on low gears makes easier to keep the 600Nm of torque alive. The journey seems to have gone into the background, but in reality the miles are grinded without rest and without the slightest uncertainty, with a sky that seems to hold back its desire to overturn on us all the bad mood that is accumulating behind those threatening clouds . Every now and then a shy ray of sunshine tries to make its way and kiss the pearly white of the bodywork, but there is no time and no intention to stop and admire the landscape, not in the middle of these encyclopedia of curves bounded by sharp rocks on one side and from the representation of the word “Game Over” on the opposite one. The escape continues after a quick packed lunch with a view - yes, on the side of the road and right in front of the McLaren. Impossible not to spend your time admiring it, at least in the rare moments when you are forced to stay



away from the driving seat. Probably you’ll see more 570GT specimens with a luxurious leather interior, rather than such Spartan seats, but I find that this kind of configuration is the one that would choose those who needed some extra baggage with ‘em, without giving up the extraordinary dynamics and feel of a proper supercar. The GT combines the ability to drive it in auto and without haste to the fact of representing a moment to enjoy with all five senses. The doors keep opening up, the look is exotic and you will not find a grand tourer that does not weigh at least twice its 1,350kg. It will not replace your SUV or your super sedan, but for the simple fact that it is significantly more special and deserves every possible attention every time you take the key and go out for a ride. Or more than a simple drive, it will be a real escape, like those without destination, those that begin with the idea of cruising a road and then another and another one. After many hours and some fuel stops there will be nothing left to do but drive again and again in the opposite direction from where you started. The secret of a GT lies not only in the qualities it can offer, but in the ability to improve something already as important and intimate as a journey. A piece of our life that will be part of a precise memory of our shelf of experiences, in this case traveled in the most special way possible.

After many hours and some fuel stops there will be nothing left to do but drive again and again in the opposite direction from where you started.


Layout mid-rear engine, rear wheel drive Engine V8 cylinder – 3.799cc – twin-turbo Transmission 7-speed automatic gearbox Power 570 hp @ 7.400rpm 600 Nm @ 5.000rpm Weight 1.350 kg Acceleration 3,4 sec. Top Speed 328 kph Price from € 200.500



Now a good amount of miles have gone by, surprising me once again for the anything but oppressive fuel consumption. The 570GT will never have the practicality of a five-seater with a trunk to be gorged with useful, superfluous and useless things, but has that spark that no other GT will ever have. It knows how to go as fast as the supercar it is, and thanks to the two luggage compartments it will not force you to leave nothing essential at home. Once again I take the wrong turn, not so much because I am interested in knowing what lies after that hill, but because I am not yet ready to put an end to this wonderful trip. Actually this journey won’t end, not even when it will be time to park or say goodbye to the key of the GT, because in the precise moment I gave life to all of this, an experience has taken off and it only waits to be continued. Maybe on some even more demanding road, with glimpses that are able to force me to stop and admire the immensity of what exists around us. And the 570 to frame a picture that I will never forget, just like these days in its company. After all, I just needed a good excuse to stay away from the office without having to explain too much to my colleagues.



AN UNEXPECTE JOURNEY Words: Alessandro Marrone


Photography: S. Lomax







Karma exists, I no longer have any doubts about this. I have never given importance to the capacity of the trunk, at least when it comes to sports cars - it is fine that there is little space and after all everything that matters is already placed in the engine compartment. But finding myself the very morning of the departure pointing astonished the back of the F-Type Convertible together with the photographer was one of the most grotesque moments of my entire life. Imagine the scene, two clowns like us with 3 backpacks, a tripod and some other various things of which I do not even remember the functionality. The grimace on our face once opened the back lid said it all and to be honest and with the spare wheel jammed in there I had trouble even putting a single jacket. Assaulted by the fear of having to undo everything, I started by unscrewing and leaving the wheel and its kit in the garage – for sure we will have a puncture - but the music does not change. I do not want to go further, but be aware that if you plan a weekend away you’ll have to travel light, if you’re going to spend a week, buy the clothes once at your destination and then ... throw them away. We can arrange a pair of backpacks in the thin slot that the F-Type Convertible calls trunk - the width of the coupe version is a distant memory, but it does not matter. Stuck between an extra reflex of over two thousand Euros and other photographic equipment we put some jackets and all we have to leave scattered here and there in order to earn the necessary centimeters for being able to close the hood. I wonder if we


49 would remember the order with which we loaded everything, a detail that at least for the moment does not go through our minds, because it is finally time to jump on board and go. The interior is instead a perfect environment in which to find shelter from the pungent air of an autumn morning that seemed to mark the end of our journey even before it began. The seats of the F-Type 400 Sport are in black leather with white stitching that stand out magnificently in the total black of the dashboard, a chromatic pattern interrupted only by the yellow 400 Sport logos, useful to remember that we are on a special model for Jaguar and for those lucky ones that will get their hands on one of these. It is in fact known that it will be produced for one year only and that it will be available both as a Coupe and a Convertible. I think it could be a good added model in the list of the F-Type, but after pressing the power button and giving life to the 3-liter supercharged V6, all that passes through my head is to make sure to let this cat scratch the asphalt as it can do. The F-Type range is getting richer, you know it better than me: we have the new 300hp 2-liter version and the 340 and 380-horsepower V6s. Over the 400 Sport we enter into V8 territory, with the R and its 550hp and the SVR boasting 575hp, but these two not only


50 offer a completely different driving dynamics, but also running costs more similar to those of a supercar than those of a grand tourer. Not to spoil any surprise, but the 400 Sport is the ideal step for those who want enough power to improve the fun rate of their weekend, but also the convenience of a comfortable 2-seater that will not try to kill you at the first corner. And then the spec here checks the boxes that you would have done if they’ve asked you to configure your personal F-Type, thanks to a more pronounced aerodynamic kit, dedicated 18 inches alloy wheels at front and 19 at the back, sports exhaust and those 400 horses that if squeezed in the right way, will know how to entertain and put you to the test. THE UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. After selecting Dynamic mode, I open the exhaust valves and challenge a probable bronchitis by opening the roof. The canvas top is soundproofed and repairs perfectly once closed, but when it opens electrically it goes to fold over the luggage, reminding us exactly how much space has stolen to us at the time of loading the car. You really forgive it after just a hundred meters, when you realize that at every acceleration, the absence of a physical filter between the central double tailpipes and your eardrums is completely removed and you can hear in the clearest possible way every single variation in the voice of the V6 in front of you. Precisely for this it will become


53 impossible to respect a mature pace and will be a continuous “push and release” in search of the infamous burbles, less exasperated than those to which we have accustomed with the R, but still damn fun. The seating position is perfect and you immediately feel the dimensions of the F-Type, thanks also to the long bonnet that continues to open in the opposite direction to the passenger compartment. I deal with the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, the only option available on this special series, using the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel - not too big, but accessible in any position and with excellent sensorial feedback. The 400 Sport is also equipped with a limited slip differential, which will not only help when we dare to exclude traction control. It is almost two meters wide, about 4 and a half long and carries 1.8 tons of weight. That’s why you have to get in tune with the V6, before you can get a clearer idea of how this F-Type differs from the other models in the list. 400 horses are the per-

fect number, enough to put sweat in your hands and do not lose concentration, not so much to be cut electronically by some wizardry that prevents us from ending face first against a tree. However, having to cope with an important weight, you need to know how to play with the gears, allowing the Jag to revs high and respond better, relying on the excellent and powerful braking system and that desire to enter corners feeling on the wire of a razor. The set-up in Dynamic mode is precise and rigid enough, but you will learn how to take advantage of all 7000 revs, ending up consuming at least twice the petrol you expected before leaving home. If I had to choose a single adjective to describe this 400 Sport, I think that special would be the right word, because it combines elegance and sportiness like few other cars are able to do, still it can pamper you with comfort and refinement of a modern and clean environment, but exceptionally intuitive, and then is able to ex-

tract the claws with the same ease with which it gains speed in wide stretches of road. The dry leaves cover the road and make it more slippery than it actually was, due to a heavy storm unleashed the day before. You have to keep the steering wheel tightly in your hands and measure the throttle decisively and with due caution. The roof remains inexorably open and the cold air has now become icy. Air conditioning on and the cockpit is warm enough to keep our journey to the mountain pass overlooking our heads. Then we slip into tunnels of yellow and orange-tinged trees and come out in a vortex of leaves, that’s how everything takes an even more theatrical tone and the mumbling of the engine is the only music we want to hear. I do not lose even one minute of these wonderful moments immersed in the driving of an old school sports car, one of those cars that do not ask anything but to be driven, it will make every road, every moment, every day spent with that fat steering wheel in hands special.

400 horses are the perfect number, enough to put sweat in your hands and do not lose concentration, not so much to be cut electronically by some wizardry that prevents us from ending face first against a tree.

JAGUAR F-TYPE AWD 400 SPORT CONVERTIBLE (2018) Layout front-engined, all-wheel-drive Engine V6 cylinder 2.995cc - supercharged Transmission 8-speed automatic gearbox Power 400 hp @ 6.500 rpm 460 Nm @ 3.500 rpm Weight 1.769 kg Acceleration 5,1 sec. Top Speed 275 kph Price from € 116.180




57 OPEN TOP AT THE TOP. The hours of daylight are less day after day, but the absence of traffic and of any form of life is the perfect outline for our last kilometers before reaching the goal - at least the one that we set ourselves as the very first checkpoint. The clouds and the sky are tinged in violet, a strange red tending to pink, a show that I had not yet witnessed and that forces me to pull over letting Lomax the chance to check if one of the two cameras still works after several hours of curves and hairpin turns exciting this mountain feline. I must admit that in front of certain spectacles created by nature, letting the 400 horses of the F-Type take a breath is not so bad and in the meantime I take this opportunity to observe that reminiscent profile of the legendary E-Type (that remained in the garage!), the many details that embellish this edition


58 that is confirmed as the best possible choice, provided you do not need the extra horses of the two 8 cylinders. It is also one of the few cars that remain graceful both with the canvas top closed or open and that will take you to contemplate it from the most varied angles, constantly looking for a nuance that was missing, especially if like us you have spent most of the time burning liters and liters of petrol. Speaking about fuel, Jaguar declares a consumption in the mixed cycle of 8.9 l/100km, but put into account to fund your savings, because you will never ever drive with your brain or with savings as the main objective. Finally the sun has almost completely hidden behind the horizon, now we have a good excuse to close the roof above us and to resume driving towards the real final destination of this first day. Every morning, almost as if to give it a good morning, whether it was from the hotel room or the window of my house, I found myself watching it and I was already thinking about the sad day when I had to return it to Jaguar. The unexpected journey was not the one that gave the crazy photographs taken by our photographer, as the path that this last generation Jaguar has completed in my preferences. A rapid leap like that of a big and powerful cat was enough and immediately became a sort of

relationship – that’s why I also started talking with it – also with the people of the various mountain villages or the busy streets of the cities we’ve crossed. You do not simply look at an F-Type, you really admire it. It is as if it were equipped with a magnet that acts directly on the pupils of people and through the eyes reaches the brain and then the heart of everyone. After purring you, she … well it shows you how much it can entertain you, but always reminding you that it can bite at any moment. This is precisely what makes the F-Type a different sports car compared to the surgical machines crunching fast laps here and there. It has flaws because it’s not just a car, it’s a creature. A beautiful creature that will not age when there will be faster gearboxes, more powerful engines or better 0-100, because the way you drive it will be directly proportional to the way you will enter into intimacy with its handling and its ability to be the car that you were looking for. A special series, not by chance.





ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE GT8 Edited by Richi Mackie

“For the first time in my life I bought something without first seeing it in the flesh. All I needed was the words of a trusted person, those of my dear father. It’s been about a couple of years since that lunch of a pretty random Sunday at my parents’ house, as I was anxiously waiting for the cake prepared by my mother, dad told me that a former colleague, a great friend of him and adventure companion in some historical re-enactments in which he takes part whenever possible, told him of a limited edition that would have celebrated the ending chapter of the current V8 Vantage. All in all a simple car that gave Aston Martin the chance to expand its market share and, let’s be clear, despite not having exciting performances, it was still able to make you enjoy driving it. We bought two Astons in recent years, a V8 and a V12 Van-


Photography: Aston Martin

tage. But the Vantage GT8 would have been something much more special and not just because the production would have stopped at 150 units – only available as a coupe - but because it would have been able to make you feel that trembling knees sensation every time you wait for the start at the beginning of a special stage. Few words were enough and curiosity immediately became deep interest, but until the following week I did not know if I could ever put my name on a slot for one of those incoming 150 GT8s. Only nine days later, I was on the list! Got it!” You never know what to expect from the mailbox, but when you see something like this and start reading the words of such a passionate car guy, without even realizing you find yourself immersed in his story, you immedia-

tely understand that you hope there is enough material to make it end up straight where it deserves to be, on the magazine. Between one coffee and another, the words of one of our loyal Dutch reader who, at least for now, wants to remain anonymous, have struck me and made sure that I did not distract my attention from this e-mail until the very end. Not an attachment, not an imaginative header that could stand out among the various mails that crowd the main office mailbox. Only his story, that of a father-son speech who made sure that this exceptional couple put their hands on one of the most brutal cars that had ever laid its wheels on this planet. As mentioned, the Vantage GT8 saw the light at the end of 2016, with a production of only 150 coupe models, configurable according to the most intimate



preferences of its driver. A pure car for purists, but also a tribute to the GT from Gaydon, which despite not distorting its numerical figures compared to a standard V8 Vantage, is a completely different animal. The naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V8 delivers just 10hp more, for a total output of 440 at around 7300 rpm, while the weight saved is 100kg and stops the needle at 1685kg. The poison is injected into the veins of the GT8 thanks to a body kit borrowed directly from the drama of Aston Martin racing cars, with showy (and functional) spoilers at front and rear, side skirts, cutaway front wheel arches (like its racing siblings), an immense wing at the back and the optional titanium exhaust ready to unleash one of the craziest and most intense sounds ever heard on a car you can drive around with number plates.


65 “I have followed the making process and living such an experience completely changes the way you look at the finished product, the way you drive it and the feeling you feel towards it. It is not just a car, but a family jewel. The hardest thing was resisting the urge to press the throttle to the floor during the first kilometers of run-in - the roar of its V8 is something that is really hard to ignore. Then, once it has freed itself from these chains, the exhaust has further changed sonority and driving it is something visceral, a physical experience, exceptionally transmitted by the hydraulic power steering, which really transmits you every single change of the road surface and every input you get goes straight to the back, and then to your brain. It mounts Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which once warm are impeccable, although they like to widen the back just enough to make a sudden chill goes through the spine. And that sound, you cannot get it off your head, even though it’s probably too much for a car which does not boast crazy performance. The chassis is alive, so reactive, (more) rigid at the right point and surprisingly does not kill you on long distances drive.”

ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE GT8 (2016-) Layout front-engined, rear wheel drive Engine V8 cylinder 4.737cc Transmission 6-speed manual gearbox / 7-speed automatic Power 440 hp @ 7.300 rpm 490 Nm @ 5.000 rpm Weight 1.685 kg Acceleration 4 sec. Top Speed 306 kph Price from € 228.801 Production 150 units (Coupe only)



The Vantage GT8 is a gift from Heaven, a gift from Aston Martin, even if the approximately €228,000 needed to put your name on the list of the lucky buyers weren’t coins. But don’t worry, because all the specimens have gone way before the first model was delivered to the rightful owner. “Try to find, today, a sports car with a naturally aspirated 8-cylinder and the possibility of having it with a manual gearbox. The 6-gears lever is short, precise and it is that ingredient that makes an extraordinary car, something that goes beyond perfection, because after all this is not perfect and does not aspire to be that. The Vantage GT8 is the one I would pick if I could drive only one car for the rest of my life. A continuous battle between the nervousness of a car that prefers the track, but that can give wet dreams on the road and a riot of old-school sensations in a modern grand tourer wearing a racing suit. That Sunday, where it all began, was one of the best days of my entire life.”


AUDI-PORSCHE RS2 AVANT & PORSCHE 911 TURBO Words: Alessandro Marrone

Photography: Giorgia Rossi – Alessandro Marrone



REBELS. A blessing for those who hate half measures. Now tell me something better than the mother of all the super-Avant and a Porsche that wants to make your parents cry of anxiety every time you take the keys and go for a drive. Thanks to two readers - Matteo and Daniele - we find ourselves on the elegant and silent shores of Lake Orta with two cars so apparently different from each other, but that are actually close relatives and not only because they share a tough character and that does not accept compromises, but because daughters of two projects with a common purpose, entertainment. They scare a little, no doubt, but they’re always ready to draw a smile from ear to ear on your face.

Whether they are placed side by side, facing each other or in any other way your imagination can figure, a profane will never understand what binds these two sports cars: the RS2 Avant is an estate that features numerous stylistic bits (and not only), but that intends to maintain a subdued look, despite the brilliance of that unmistakable RS blue. On the other hand, the 964 series 911 Turbo is like having a bipolar girlfriend with a pierced face at the first dinner with your parents. Unpredictable, low, wide, with a dark (midnight blue metallic) paint that seduces with reflections and games of light that blend in a warm early winter sun, and you always end up looking at the rear, that huge spoiler that overhangs a tail that makes the butt of a normal 911 a distant memory that you will not even be able to focus. Each speech will always end up praising the aerodynamic


exasperation in favor of cornering and at the time the 964 entered the market, was certainly not as surgically precise as that of the 911 we have today. Woe to underestimate THE Turbo, especially if you have family and do not plan to abandon it to go check the roots of the trees. The well-known turbo lag then represents that blow in the back that brings you almost thirty years in the past, where to drive this type of car you needed two XXL size attributes.

MEET THE HEROES. It was the early 90s and Audi was carrying on the P1 project, what would later become RS2 and completed with Porsche. It is basically an 80 Avant that borrows small but important details from the Porsche catalog, such as rearview mirrors, the lower optics groups sunk in the front bumper, 17-inch Carrera Cup wheels and brake calipers. But what differentiates an RS2 Avant from a simple 80 Avant lies under the bonnet, a 2,2cc turbocharged 5-cylinder, capable of delivering 316 horses and 410Nm of torque, of course on both axles, driven by the now iconic four-wheel drive Quattro sy-




stem through a 6-speed manual transmission. The Audi engine was heavily revised by Porsche, with the replacement of the KKK turbo with a larger one, the use of a Bosch electronic control unit and other interventions that were able to radically transform the essence of the heart and soul of this machine. Here, having overcome the first moments of contemplation and admiration, I begin to mentally point out the aesthetic details that these two cars have in common. The 911 is the purest Porsche Turbo you will ever find: analog and completely dedicated to making you physically ill if you only thought of putting it to the test, it must be respected and approached with caution. The 6-cylinder hanging behind the rear axle is a 3.3 with 320-hp and an immense turbo. The car weighs nearly a ton and a half with the driver on board, and everything else depends only on how much pressure is exerted on the throttle. Once the self-preservation threshold has been left behind, the fun begins, a mad race against everything that is rational and that surrounds us today, especially in the sports car segment. There is no way to train it, the almighty Turbo is the evil and more secret side of any true self-respecting hero. The

RS2 Avant has kicked off a generation of highperformance wagons, culminated today with the new RS4 and RS6, authentic instruments of destruction perfectly able to adapt to daily living and bring your family on every sort of holiday in the mountains. Even 25 years ago there was room for five people, for lots of luggage and the desire to enrich the interior with leather and carbon fiber. The feeling is that of an old-school car, with a well-finished threespoke steering wheel, but without superfluous buttons, a slim and long-stroke gear lever, three pedals with reduced dimensions and vertical air vents. There is everything you need for justifying the purchase to your wife, so relax.

ROAD TO MOTTARONE. After the classic photos a few steps from the lake, finally it comes the moment that I was waiting for, to start the engines and head towards a road that is able to enhance the dynamic qualities of these rebel hearts. We leave Orta San Giulio pointing for the Mottarone, a tangle of curves wide enough to promise

shameful testosterone doses. After all, both were created with the primary objective of satisfying those who hold the steering wheel in their hands. Not a moment of uncertainty to follow the look of complicity between Matteo and Daniele, which begins the climb of the first kilometers, those where you press the throttle to the floor, but without even fumbling with the gearbox, almost to maintain a clean conscience for a few minutes more. Just the time to have the perfect certainty that the liquids are hot enough and the road widens, on the long sides walls of trees alternate with blond fields that offer perfect visibility towards the exit of every corners. The RS2 Avant is angry, it is not hard to bring it up to speed, but the real fun comes when the turbo really comes into play and seems having pressed a magic button that makes you splash against the seat. The gas pedal travels a bit too much and you have to get used to it, as happens also for an amazing behavior when you approach a tight corner faster than you wanted to and without excessive understeer. The 316-hp are not comparable to the more than 500 we are accustomed today with the grandchildren from the same brand, but torque is always generous and the reduced

PORSCHE 911 TURBO - 964 (1990-1995) Layout rear-engined, rear wheel drive Engine 6 cylinder 3.299cc - turbo Transmission 5-speed manual gearbox Power 320 hp @ 5.750 rpm 450 Nm @ 4.500 rpm Weight 1.467 kg Acceleration 5 sec. Top Speed 272 kph

Matteo: “It is almost impossible to find one on the opposite lane. Only an enthusiast knows what this car really means.”

Daniele: “At first I was skeptical, then after a quick passenger ride, I wanted nothing more than to take it home.”

AUDI-PORSCHE RS2 AVANT (1994-1996) Layout front-engined, all-wheel-drive Engine 5 cylinder 2.226cc - turbo Transmission 6-speed manual gearbox Power 316 hp @ 6.500 rpm 410 Nm @ 3.000 rpm Weight 1.595 kg Acceleration 5,4 sec. Top Speed 262 kph


79 weight helps to make the driving experience spasmodic as you ever imagined. Even brakes are powerful and after getting a little ‘familiar with the situation, you really realize that this blue estate is more Porsche than Audi. The 911 Turbo is a different pair of hands, it does not allow distractions and does not let you relax until you turn off the engine and get out of the car, but the best part is just that, because there will be no day without learning something new . Even its 6-cylinder suffers from a logical delay in delivery, and in this case you’ll be tinkering with the gears more frequently than you do with the RS2, perhaps because you’re practically sitting on the ground, or maybe because you can’t trust your hearing, but learn to change by taking a look at the revs counter and so you realize that the real fun begins halfway to the top. They’re not two exhibitionists looking for glances, but at about 1,492 meters, anyone approaching asks intrigued what is the link between a Porsche and an almost 30 years old Audi. I smile and try to explain in a nutshell that we are dealing with the experience and heritage preserved and evolved according to the rules imposed by modern automotive industry. It’s not easy to explain that sitting behind the wheel, or just on the side of the road - maybe crouched in the grass – at every curve is like seeing your superhero signing autographs. Each movement is special and embodies a set of meanings that unite the instant classics enthusiast with the modern sports cars passionate. And because shivers always spring for a good reason, the phenomenal numbers that define their performance are the right closure of the circle compared to a total involvement. The RS2 Avant takes just half a second more on the 0-100 (5.4 seconds instead of the 5 of the Turbo), while top speed is for both above 250 kph (262 for the Avant and 272 for the 911).



ETERNAL GLORY. Time to cool the brakes and blanch our spirits, with such toys it is easy to get carried away and do damage. If you are lucky enough to drive one and you are getting comfortable with its mechanical nature, just pause. Thinking of knowing the limits of these two would be the biggest mistake you could make. But at the end of the day, entering the garage and covering them with a cloth will give you the same complacency that a parachute jump could do - you risked and you came home, all in one piece. And the mysteries of the human being that lead you to live something extreme, just to feel alive, will be the same that will ensure that the next weekend you will be back among the hairpins, busy running on that border that divides the common mortals from the heroes. Both represent the beginning and the end of an era, the one made up of analog sports cars, imperfect but exceptionally alive and which gave the world very fast cars suitable to carry the whole family in the first case, evolving the timeless shape of one of the most successful models of all time for the second, pushing its crazy performance further. Who knows if thirty years ago people looked at them the same way, what I am sure is that now these two heroes are jealously cuddled and by this I mean that are lived on the right roads, those that smell of adventure.






I AM NOT AN UGLY DUCKLING! Words: Roberto Marrone




It’s been 50 years since Lotus introduced the Europe. A car borrowing a very strange design, with the side and back profiles that seemed taken from a van, but very low hugging the rear wheels; it was an ultra-light car, as the philosophy of its founder Colin Champan imposed, mid-engined (the first produced on large scale) and produced in two series called Type 46 and Type 54, or simply Series 1 and Series 2. The project was born a few years earlier, precisely in 1963, by the pencil of Ron Hickman who was also the director of Lotus Engineering at the time. The Europa offered an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.29 - a figure still very remarkable for today’s standards - and a reduced weight of only 686 kg allowed the small engine to boast quite impressive performance. The frame consisted of a central boxed steel element that also supported the engine and suspension, the transmission is inside, while the body was made of fiberglass panels glued to the frame. In certain solutions it was closely inspired by the Formula 1 of the era, in fact the suspensions were all independent with a “Y” frame. The first model was put on the market in December 1966 and even the journalists who tested it considered it very similar to a racing cars thanks to the driving feedbacks

the car was able to transmit to the driver. Of course, especially in the cabin, everything was very raw, the finishes were almost non-existent, pedals were very close one to each others, but even if switches and pressure gauges could appear not very beautiful, the instrumentation was complete. The Renault engine, that of the R16 model, was an evolution of the 1,470 cc, offering many more horsepower (82 instead of 52) and was mounted longitudinally. The gearbox was a four-speed gears and the S1 reached 180 kph, offering extraordinary drivability. The first 296 units were really extreme, as they had no opening windows, seats were fixed too and the fiberglass chassis was made in one single piece. Of the S1A version, which will later become S1B due to updates that we find on the following models, 342 units were built. The Series 2 arrives in April 1968, as the engine remains unchanged, but inside we now have more comfort, a dashboard finished with wooden inserts, electric windows and fully adjustable seats. At the specific request of the insurance industries, Lotus had to replace the joints of the frame, passing from resin glue to the more traditional bolts. For the American market a small number of specimens were further modified, while in 1969 the S2 Federal



offered modifications to the chassis, body and engine in order to meet the strict American standards. Compensating a more consistent weight, displacement was raised to 1,565 cc and top speed reached 187 kph. In 1971 it was time for the Type 74 Twin Cam, with a 1,558 cc engine developing 115 hp and fitted with a new Renault gearbox; the body was also slightly modified to improve rear visibility and 1,580 pieces were produced. Other changes followed with the arrival of the Europa Special, fitted with Dellorto Weber carburetors, a 5-speed gearbox (still Renault) and boasting 126 hp. With a weight of 740 kg it is able to reach 198 kph and production reached 3,130 units.





ON THE WEB TYPE 62 Banks Engineering 2.4-litre Ford Duratec

TYPE 47 558kg 175 Hp

In honor of the golden days experienced in Formula 1, some of them were made with black and gold JPS livery. The Lotus Europa was born to compete, the version used since 1966 was a Type 47 with a 165-hp engine, a Cosworth-derived 1,594 cc, with a 5-speed Hewland gearbox. Impressive success already at its debut at Brands Hatch, with Miles and J. Oliver at the wheel. Fans, however, had to wait until 1971, for having a DOHC road legal version. The Europa remained into production until 1975 and there were about 9,300 units produced. Today, in particular the first series S1 is a very sought-after piece by collectors and its unusual shape further accentuates the exoticism of a project that has really gone through an era, without losing even a shred of its desire to run fast , on the road as much as on track.

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Auto Class Magazine - February 2018  

We only talk about cars that matter

Auto Class Magazine - February 2018  

We only talk about cars that matter