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AUTO CLASS magazine

we only talk about cars that matter

NOVEMBER 2018 - € 8,00

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CATERHAM SEVEN 275R

THRILLER

#

71


AUTO CLASS MAGAZINE presents “the great escape�, a book about the ultimate road trip. starring a mclaren 720s, demanding alpine passes, route napoleon, gorges du verdon and many more photography by jay tomei and written by alex marrone available in english and italian version

coming soon


#ONLYTHEBEST by Christian Parodi

Cover Page: Caterham Seven 275R Photo Credits: Richard Montagner

I told you we were plotting something special. “The Great Escape” has already created some movements and still lacks a bit of time before it sees the light, but the strength of the social networks and especially of the large family of Auto Class readers has sent inbox requests of any kind and this does nothing but fill us with pride. Precisely for this reason I want to start with an immense THANK YOU from me and for all the editorial staff, because your affection reflects the passion and dedication we put into our work every day. Now, before letting you browse through another number of interesting test drives, such as the exclusive drive with the Caterham Seven 275R and the ABT SQ5, two more words about our upcoming piece. “The Great Escape” will not be a simple book not even a traditional one, but the story of a road trip conducted with one of the most phantasmagoric supercars out there - the McLaren 720S - along some of the most incredible driving roads in Europe. I’m talking about a handful of Alpine passes, the iconic Route Napoleon and the Gorges du Verdon. It is an emotional story that will catapult the reader in the middle of the action and inaugurates a new cycle in the Auto Class world, a never seen product in the automotive world, but always characterized by the astonishing photographs that you find every month on your favorite magazine. Finally, remember that you can already book your copy (in Italian or English) and save some money, perhaps alongside one of our other products in the shop, a nice solution thinking ‘bout Christmas gifts (yes, it’s really round the corner). And if I thought the volcanic mind of my colleagues would take a moment to relax, I was wrong, but for the other goodies you have to wait until next month. As usual, have fun!


AUTO CLASS magazine

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IMAGES

EDITOR IN CHIEF Christian Parodi Alessandro Marrone press@autoclassmagazine.com

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

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

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NOVEMBER 2018 - #71 CONTENTS 6

NEWS

56

ALFA ROMEO 4C

22

ELEMENTAL RP1

68

ABT SQ5

28

DS7 CROSSBACK

78

GINO LUXURY & MOTORSPORT

36

FORD ECOSPORT ST-LINE

82

AUTO E MOTO D’EPOCA PADUA

40

CATERHAM SEVEN 275R

40

CATERHAM 275R


MCLAREN SPEEDTAIL

F1’S HEIR


It has been revealed as the heir of the P1, but above all the nephew of the F1, the famous supercar with central driving position that opened a new world and a new concept of understanding the words performance and speed. The Speedtail has finally been unveiled and represents the fastest and most powerful McLaren ever produced until now. Defined as hyper-GT because it can combine a maximum speed of 402 kph with the convenience of a great tourer able to coexist with the real world, the Speedtail is the pinnacle of McLaren’s engineering and technological research, with almost infinite possibility of personalization thanks to a program that will follow the requests


and needs of its wealthy clients. As for the P1 we have a hybrid power unit that in this case delivers 1,035 horses, while from the legendary F1 picks up the driving position, with the driver sitting in the middle and in front of the two passengers, one on each side. The active aerodynamics, a chassis and a car body entirely made of carbon fiber, active aluminum suspension and powerful carbon-ceramic brakes help moving and stopping the 1.430kg of the Speedtail at hyperspace speeds, taking advantage of a clean, minimalist and diametrically opposed design to the edgy one (and more track-focused) seen with the Senna. As part of the Ultimate Series, the most exclusive segment of Woking’s brand, the Speedtail will be produced in just 106 units, just like the original production of the F1, each of them starting from 1 million and 750,000 pounds. In case you started checking your savings, resign yourself, they have all been sold.


FERRARI 488 PISTA SPIDER

It seems like yesterday that we learned to know properly the overwhelming power of the twin-turbo V8 of the 488 GTB, exceptional heir to the 458 Italia. And something like yesterday Ferrari gave birth to the 488 Pista, the most hardcore berlinetta ever came out of the gates in Maranello. Well, now it’s the turn of the topless version, obviously named 488 Pista Spider and ready to mess up your hairstyle in a definitive way. The recipe is based on the 488 Pista coupe and therefore made of a setting more prone to the purest search for performance, +50 horsepower compared to the GTB (720 in total) and the ability to reach 8,000 revs. Also in this case, as for the coupe counterpart, there are increased intercoolers, turbos with integrated revs sensors, as well as upgrades to the braking system and transmission, as well as an aerodynamics worthy of its racing stepsister.

TOPLESS PERFORMANCE


ONLY FOR 1,948 LUCKY ONES

PORSCHE SPEE


EDSTER

Another ride, another gift ... so to speak. To be honest, nothing specific is yet known about the final price, but we hypothesize that since this is a limited series, the price tag will certainly not be comparable to that of the new Macan. 1,984 of those will be produced, in honor of the year in which the adventure began and among the first colors on display we have the Guards Red that characterized the ‘88 911 Speedster, an authentic icon in the Stuttgart catalog. To make special a seemingly simple 911 based on a Carrera 4 Cabriolet we have chassis, drivetrain and gearbox of the GT3, but above all the epic 500-horsepower flat-six coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission. There are dedicated alloy wheels and special retro style rear-view mirrors, as well as a lightweight canvas roof and the classic domes that characterize the Speedster and relegate on board fun for two people only.


MOBY DICK IS BACK!

PORSCHE 935


It has been presented at the Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca. We are talking about one of the many gifts for Porsche’s 70th anniversary. Paying tribute to the legendary 935/78 which was precisely nicknamed Moby Dick because of its immense aerodynamics, it is nothing more than the result of a work in complete freedom for designers and engineers, who were able to give free rein to their innermost desires, since this car will not be registered for road use. Based on the new GT2 RS - one of the most deadly performance weapons out there - only 77 will be produced and will be the ultimate joy of those who will not keep them collecting dust in some luxurious garages. Through a sort of collage, thanks to the LED headlights of the 919 Hybrid LMP1 or the mirrors borrowed from the 911 RSR, Moby Dick continues its tributes to the original race car with wheels inspired by the design fitted on the model that raced at Le Mans on at end of the 70s, while in the cockpit there are references to the equally mythical 917, for example the wooden lacquered gear lever knob. In addition to having the possibility of asking it with a second seat, there is obviously a safety structure, six-point belts and air conditioning, while the engine (borrowed from the GT2 RS) is a 3.8 flat-six twin-turbo, able to deliver 690hp through a 7-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox. Finally, several possibilities to set driving aids and choose first-hand the level of hero you want to be. Prices starting from just over ₏ 700,000 (excluding taxes).


PANAMERA GTS

As if the already numerous variants were not enough, Porsche has punctually given birth to that sort of intermediate step that in all respects represents the ideal compromise in the whole range, this time the GTS treatment goes to the Panamera and the Panamera Sport Turismo. Under the hood both have the same 4-liter twin-turbo V8 of the Turbo, but detuned to deliver 453 horsepower, exactly 97 less than the top of the range model and +20 compared to the previous generation GTS. We have four-wheel drive combined with an 8-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in just 3.9 seconds, despite the fair weight that both variants carry with them. As for the aesthetics we find the typical package that characterizes and makes the Porsche GTS versions much more sports-focused and therefore Sport Chrono package, Alcantara’s interior, three-chamber air suspension and sports exhaust and Panamera Design 20-inch wheels, all starting from ₏ 119.879. Also in this case, the GTS badge manages to combine sportiness and performance without giving up the comfort that the sedan and the shooting brake can offer to its customers.

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AUDI R8

MORE POWERFUL. SHARPER. MORE SUPERCAR.


Since it has seen the light, the R8 has always represented at best the traits of the typical supercar with muscles and horsepower, but perfectly able to be used every day, thanks to an excellent on board equipment, plenty of comfort and an aggressive look all in all sober, in perfect Audi style. With the second series presented in 2015, the performance bar has been raised even more and now is the moment of the mid-life facelift, with the introduction of numerous aesthetic and mechanical touches that keep it among the best today’s super sports cars. The front has been partially revised thanks to the new and wider single frame mask and with a new layout of air intakes, new splitter and slots at the base of the hood. There are new 19-inch wheels and you can opt for a set of 20-inch ultralights, as well as for the carbon-ceramic system, but what matters most beats obviously behind the driver’s seat, where you can have an aspirated V10 FSI capable of delivering 570hp and 550Nm of torque or a 610hp and 580Nm V10 of the Performance version. Both, including the spider boast a 0-100 in the order of 3 seconds (3.4 and 3.5 respectively for the 570hp Coupe and Spider, 3.1 and 3.2 for the Performance Coupe and Spider) and top speeds ranging from 322 per hour to 331 of the most performing of the two.


MOST LUXURIOUS “X” EVER

BMW X7


It has been in incubation for a long time and not too far from the release of its cousin, the Rolls Royce Cullinan, it’s finally here. BMW shows how it intends to keep its name alongside that of the SUV segment. The X7 is a very delicate subject, not only because it is aimed at an extremely wealthy clientele, but because it is ready to combine at best the grandeur of a giant on wheels suitable to accommodate 6 or even 7 people, depending on the configuration of the rear seats.

Over 5 meters long and 2 meters wide to cuddle driver and passengers with the utmost technology and the most meticulous attention to detail, thanks to fine leather and noble materials, as always supported by a new generation multimedia system with a 12.3-inch Live Cockpit display in front of the driver. To push the new CLAR modular platform there will be several engines, both diesel and petrol, with power between the 265hp of the xDrive 30d and the 400hp of the M50d. Prices will obviously be challenging, but given the offer that BMW puts in the game, it seems pretty legit.


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ELEMENTAL RP1

TRACK-FOCUSED STREET-LEGAL BARCHETTA Words by Max Gonzaga

It seems having another ultralight coming from some barn lost in the British countryside and in fact it’s pretty much like this, if only it were not for the maniacal work carried out behind the RP1 project, where some ex McLaren and ex Ford men are moving around. The Elemental takes a rightful step - in the true sense of the word - in that volcano of track day weapons crowded by BAC Mono, Ariel Atom, but also Caterham and Radical, enjoying a rocking engineering and regular license plate to drive on the road, maybe on a Sunday afternoon after having set a fast lap on the track.

Photos by Tim Brown

We will not talk about the version with the more peaceful 1.0 Ecoboost, but the angry sister driven by the 2-liter, still Ford-sourced, and able to deliver the beauty of 320 horses, once selected the most aggressive map. Yes, because making the driving experience even more engaging there is precisely the possibility of setting different parameters of the car, such as suspension (double wishbone) and power delivery, which on a total weight of 630kg makes a pretty interesting difference. Everything revolves around a structure entirely made of carbon fiber, in which two rigid like marble seats are immersed and mounted with a diagonal


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angle that offers you the same approach you’d have on a Formula 1 car. Right over your bottom there is the petrol tank and this guarantees an optimal 50:50 weight distribution. As for the cockpit, do not expect to find any kind of comfort, since the Elemental is reduced to the bone, with a small steering wheel with paddle shifters, a digital display and buttons for the main functions in the center of the “dashboard”, among which you find “Map +” and “Map -” through which increase the power supply and inhibit traction control, while the pedals, straight like those of a racing car offer the possibility to choose for an even more racing brake. Just by varying the car’s response you immediately notice the difference in behavior and you start feeling the fury of its 450Nm acting on a bunch of pounds more than half a ton.


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ELEMENTAL RP1 Layout mid-rear engined, rear wheel drive Engine 4 cylinder 2.0cc - turbo Transmission 6-speed sequential gearbox Power 320 hp 450 Nm @ 2.000 rpm Weight 630 kg Acceleration < 2,5 sec. Top Speed 265 kph ca. Price from 90.900 £ (tax excluded)


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Kissing the ground and with an extremely low center of gravity thanks to the fact that it is a “barchetta”, the RP1 is a real rocket and after having properly heated the tires it allows you to start taking measurements through corners, where only when you accept the fact to go beyond what until minutes before seemed the grip limit, fun really starts. It is able to generate up to 1,200kg of downforce and this suggests that it is one of those hardcore weapon in which the rule is “the faster you go, the more the car will be glued to the road”. Even though it has no conspicuous aerodynamic appendages it is just like that and once you move the first few meters helped by the clutch pedal, you can climb gears simply by calling the next one from the paddle behind the non servo-assisted steering wheel, which transmits you every slight change on the ground. Movements are sudden and although the rims measure 17 inches at the front and 18 inches at the back, the Elemental does not seem to follow at all costs the imperfections of the asphalt like many of its comrades, but greatly supports the inputs of the driver - another aspect which makes it all in all user-friendly from the first approach.


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A crazy car like the RP1, however, must be taken with strong manners and after a bit â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;of pull and spring you have to go beyond that step that divides a discrete pace from heart attack speeds. It is very fast and not only because it is able to go from 0 to 100 in less than 2 seconds and a half or to reach a top speed of 265 kph, but because it changes direction with the same instantaneousness of thought, all without the slightest uncertainty and always maintaining a perfect balance, useful to set the next curve and attack it in the most ferocious way possible. Like all these weekend toys, although the Elemental is regularly eligible for use on the road, it is not cheap and in fact requires at least 90 thousand Euros (excluding taxes), but if you are looking for good excuses to offer your wife, know that the space on board is not limited as on other cars of this type and that the engine/transmission group is made even more reliable by the fact that there is a electronic control unit that prevents errors in shifting, otherwise potentially fatal.


SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL

DS7 CROSSBACK Words by Richi Mackie

Photos by S. Lomax

The DS7 Crossback is the product of a completely white sheet, refined taste, fantasy and desire to amaze. At the wheel acts as a compact SUV that takes advantage of the experience of the PSA group, aesthetically is a breath of fresh air and sure inspiration for the entire segment.


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To let you know something about the new DS7 Crossback, I could start out in thousands of different ways, but no one would give a good idea of what kind of car you are facing. Maybe, it would be appropriate to start from the bottom and immediately make it clear that it is one of the most interesting cars we have ever had at our office. Why? - you are wondering. For all that brings together with it, for the way in which it manages to deal with the necessities of daily use, but also for being able to satisfy those who are looking for something more, something the DS brand â&#x20AC;&#x201C; luxury branch of Citroen and authentic spearhead of the PSA group - proves to be able to do, year after year and model after model. The DS7 Crossback is defined crossover, but judging by its size, the imposing front and the decent height from the ground, it would be more correct to call it a compact SUV. In any case, apart from categorization, we are talking about the most ambitious model of the French house, a project that sits in a dense segment and crowded by fierce competition. For its part, the DS7 resides in a still rather affordable price range, another important aspect for a car that has everything to prove. Price tag that enters decidedly more important territories, being dragged during the choice of the options or looking among the most exclusive packages, a bit like with our test model, the ideal one to touch a product that refreshes a very uniform segment , regardless of the various brands that fill it to the border.


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4.57 meters long, 1.63 meters high and 1.90 meters wide, the DS7 is not afraid to show off its size, also focusing on an impressive presence thanks to a massive front, made such thanks to a honeycomb trapezoidal grille, authentic focal point that gives character and sportiness to the whole car. In between, the large chromed DS logo shows off and all around you can appreciate the square shapes created by the intersection of the profiles and the LED running lights. It is precisely here that you can notice one of the first stylistic features of the DS7, right when you turn the engine on and it gives way to the rotation of three diamonds per side, which show that the designers not only have left nothing to chance, but wanted to make a car practical and at the same time able to amaze and intrigue. The DS7 is in fact a completely new model, the result of a white sheet that has given shape to a car with a thousand facets and undoubted dynamic qualities. Although petrol engines are available, I think the diesel (at least for the moment) is the right choice and the 4-cylinder 2-liter with 180-hp we are testing seems to be best in the lot, at least waiting for the new hybrid units, which should take the four-wheel drive with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em, perhaps the only real gap on an SUV of this caliber.

Returning to a purely aesthetic analysis, the side profiles and back are less particular than the front, but no less elaborate, with DS logos scattered here and there and two showy chrome frames that incorporate the exhaust tips. If you are starting to convince yourself that this Crossback is a special car, wait until you open the door and get on board. I can hardly believe it myself that a transalpine car can impregnate a similar luxury, perfume leather and let itself be caressed as usually happens with a Bentley or an Aston Martin. And yet it is just like that and as I close my mouth wide open in amazement, I start to admire the surfaces of the dashboard, the shape of the steering wheel and the central tunnel that seems borrowed from a Lamborghini. Wanting to be picky, at least on the first driving occasions, this setting is not entirely intuitive, but after understanding where to find the buttons you will use more frequently, your love for the DS7 will increase dramatically. There are two 12-inch displays, one right behind the steering wheel and through which you can control instruments such as the satellite navigator, on-board computer or the most classic instrumentation composed of a tachometer and rev counter, while the second is located in the middle of the dash, touch screen and allows you to manage all the other parameters of a car full of gadgets and complete with every devilry you would expect to find on board. At


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DS7 CROSSBACK Layout front-engined, front-wheel-drive Engine in-line 4 cylinder 1.997cc – turbodiesel Transmission 8-speed automatic gearbox Power 177 hp @ 3.750 rpm 400 Nm @ 2.000 rpm Weight 1.610 kg Acceleration 9,4 sec. Top Speed 215 kph Price from €30.650 (€ 53.350 as tested)

the bottom of the screen there are a dozen physical buttons that act as shortcuts, useful to recall the main functions, an aspect that simplifies its use, especially with the car moving around. Finally, to accentuate the sense of refinement, there is a soft leather interior that is part of one of the exclusive packages offered by DS, the “Rivoli”, which is completed by 18-inch Ginevra wheels and the Advanced Traction Control system , not identical to an all-wheel drive system, but better than a traditional front-wheel drive.


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Pressure on the power button and something amazes me again, a B.R.M. chronograph makes its entrance, the dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree and I can finally move the handy gear lever in drive to walk the first steps in a car that smells of future from every pore. If the 2-liter turbodiesel is not very quiet when stationary, once in motion it never annoys and the 8-speed automatic transmission works through the gears without ever requiring the intervention of the driver, still possible through the two paddles behind the steering wheel. There is a lot of fun playing between the various functions and the driving modes of the DS7, but I decided to concentrate mainly on driving, a fundamental aspect of a car that represents such an important challenge for the brand. The 177 horsepower of this model does not make it a blaster, but in any case no owner of compact SUVs makes their purchase based on the 0-100 or the maximum speed, respectively of 9.4 seconds and 215 per hour. Rather, we reason in terms of usability and in this case the DS7 proves to be agile in city traffic, fast and convenient on long distances and even fun on those roads

that seem to be created exclusively for sports cars. In this last case it is precisely the fact that it is an unusual model and full of innovations that makes this Crossback the ideal companion for climbing on some mountain pass. The ground clearance and the discrete shoulder of the tires solve without problems the need to face some stretch of rough road, but only with the arrival of the all-wheel drive hybrid we will be able to understand if this model will also be excellent off-road or on snow-covered roads. Infrared cameras and adaptive suspensions are just among the many aspects that make the DS7 one of the most interesting innovations of recent years, while in terms of fuel consumption we found values in the order of those declared by the brand, except when we have required more sprint to the engine, for example during our days on the mountains. In the city you cover about 100km with 5.6l of diesel, in extraurban area consumption is 4.4l/100km for a combined cycle of 4.9l/100km, not bad if we keep in mind that you carry around 1.610kg of weight,

which quickly become 1,800 with two people and their luggages on board. Finally, starting from about € 30,000, the DS7 Crossback is rightfully a bargain, offering a great deal with a more than honest expense. The specimen of our test, top of the range and enriched by the Rivoli treatment and by any sort of optional costs € 53,350, now a pretty important figure, which overcomes the initial amazement to justify itself without major problems. You will love the DS7 Crossback, I’m sure. And do you know why? Because it’s wonderful. Just the fact of having devoted more space to its many details than the excellent driving skills, demonstrates how much it amazes and brings with it a real breath of fresh air of which the whole SUV world will benefit and should take inspiration.


IMPROVED.

FORD ECOSPORT ST LINE


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Words by Carlo Brema First seen in 2013 and updated at the beginning of 2018, the Ecosport represents Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s union between a compact budget car and an all-round crossover, now also available with four-wheel drive, as long as you choose the 125 hp TDCI. We had the opportunity to drive what in the price list sits immediately before that, the 1.5cc diesel with 100 horsepower, with traction only on the front axle and a 6-speed manual transmission, a compromise that does not know about giving up to anything, since the Ecosport keeps its excellent abilities on city roads as on dirt roads, thanks to the considerable height from the ground of about 16 cm. Built in Romania, the Ecosport continues the speech undertaken five years ago, making available to future owners a car that can respond positively to all requests, but without costing unattainable figures. It has been improved in aesthetics, where above all the new front fascia gives it an aggressive look, emphasized by the ST Line aesthetic package of the model of our test, also finished with two-tone paint and burnished rims. Optional to neglect that of the spare wheel hanging on the tailgate, always hinged on the left and that despite offering an intermediate opening step, is not the best solution when you have parked in front of another car and you realize having

Photos by Bartolomeo Lazzarini


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38 FORD ECOSPORT ST LINE Layout front-engine, front wheel drive Engine in-line 4 cylinder 1.498cc - turbodiesel Transmission 6-speed manual gearbox Power 100 hp @ 3.750 rpm 215 Nm @ 1.750 rpm Weight 1.357 kg Acceleration 14 sec. Top Speed 160 kph Price from € 25.250

left something in the large trunk. On board the situation has improved considerably too, with the use of softer plastics and a better overall assembly. What above everything else makes cohabitation with the Ecosport better than before is the new multimedia system, the same you find in the new Fiesta and with an 8” touch screen, more responsive and in tune with its competitors. There is room for five people and a wink to consumption, with a mixed cycle of 4.2l/100km of diesel, also thanks to a weight and that does not exceed a ton and a half with the driver on board. The clutch is very precise, the manual transmission too (there’s an automatic option, but only on the 125hp) and despite only 100 horses, the Ecosport manages to free intersections without too much difficulty. The torque curve is a bit timid, with only 215Nm, but what really matters on this type of car is the fact that it offers driver and passenger comfort worthy of a higher segment, but with half the cost, almost. The prices of the new Ecosport start from around € 19,000 for the version with 3-cylinder Ecoboost, but rise with a handful of options and diesel engines. A specimen like that of our test, set up with ST Line package and a 1.5cc 4 cylinder, asks you to spend at least € 25,500, while the version with all-wheel drive reaches € 30,000. In any case, a big step forward has been taken, which no longer relegates the Ecosport to be Ford’s ugly duckling, but makes it a real alternative in the crossover battlefield.


Senza titolo-1 1

03/02/2015 15:51:27


A Caterham gives you the true sense of speed and questions your beliefs. You notice it when throwing yourself into a corner, you pray to get out of it alive. Then you understand you were not even close to the limit and at that point it becomes a drug you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stay away from.

Words by Alessandro Marrone

Photos by Richard Montagner

FROM ZERO TO HEART A


CATERHAM SEVEN 275R

ATTACK


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Today is very hot, the sun is high in the sky with its impassive attitude and every patch of shadow is like an oasis in the desert. The hot asphalt glues the tires and turns the curves into a kind of track, on which the Caterham can draw lines of any kind, without the slightest effort. It’s me, I still have to first understand how to drive a Seven, compromise with its anorexic body and that constant feeling of making you feel poised on the blade of a razor that can cut you at any moment. The fact of being sitting close to the ground is the umpteenth compromise that you have to accept to embrace the glory of maximum driving involvement on a car equipped with a steering wheel and four wheels. That’s it. The Caterham is not stuff for faint of heart, the hard clutch or the damn stiff suspension are just a couple of examples, let alone if I intend to be intimidated by one of the hottest days of August. I will think about the possible sunstroke later, now I’m too busy to keep the small English bullet on the road, something that when the asphalt becomes disconnected, you better not take it for granted, especially when you’re sitting so close to the ground. Forget all the fantasies about the Austrian countryside, forget the fresh air of villages dominated by mountains and immaculate meadows, do it for at least a moment or at least if you decide not to stop in the most classic Alpine location, but heading north-east towards Linz, where Caterham welcomed me for the test of the 275R, a more than valid step for those who are ready for their first contact with the


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43 British manufacturer. You know very well what it is, but if you have just awakened from a deep sleep, Caterham is a small British manufacturer that has detected the project Seven from Lotus, however keeping it faithful to the “less is more” ultimate mantra, where in this case in addition to engine, gearbox, suspension and brakes, there is really little else. This translates into an overall mass that remains, kilo more kilo less, around 500kg and with a whole range of possibilities to make your Seven a little but devastating rocket, capable to spank Porsche and Ferrari on track and kick you along the way home, taking advantage of the fact that it is perfectly usable on everyday roads. In a world a bit ‘weird we would drive a Seven to go from home to the office, but our back thanks the existence of sedans, wagons and any other type of car that does not force you to unspeakable acrobatics for getting on board. That said, I’m just jumping at the wheel of the 275R, as said probably the best one in terms of power/weight ratio available in the Caterham price list, more powerful and reactive than the entry level 160 and less nervous and demanding of the 310, 360 or the exaggerated 420 and 620, where depending on the country there is a further differentiation, just as in the case of the old continent (UK excluded) where mostly you’d find the 275 or the 485. Time to figure out in my mind what really means a similar power/weight relationship and I find myself literally glued to the little but all in all comfor-


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table leather seats. The adjustments are not their strong points, but while cornering they hold you tight, especially thanks to the 4-point belts that once connected allow to move your legs and arms for one purpose only: drive. The Caterham Seven is a car that does not show one bit the 50 years of its original design. It’s just updated and made contemporary thanks to aesthetic interventions that do not distort the appearance and that keep alive the spark that gives you the courage to throw yourself headlong into a twisty road. The car in my hands is not a standard 275R, but has a whole series of upgrades that make it even purer, a 6-speed manual transmission (instead of 5), ventilated disc brakes, 13-inch Apollo wheels and 10 extra horses, just because the basic 135 seemed a few. I’m joking of course, but I properly realize this only after a few kilometers spent taking measurements, where I learn not to anticipate too much the corners and above all to trust a grip apparently unknown to any other car that costs at least over € 150,000. In addition to me and the photographer by my side there is a 1.6-liter Ford Sigma engine, a 4-cylinder coupled to a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, of course, what did you expect? On the right side the exhaust pipe spits out a hoarse voice, barely covered by the air that overhangs the small passenger compartment in which only the bare essentials are placed. I’m talking about the small


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Momo steering wheel, a central tunnel covered in soft leather, the very short gear lever and a carbon fiber dashboard through which to control what you need to achieve heart attack speed in the most insane way possible. Behind the wheel there is a speedometer and a tachometer, with additional LED indicator that helps when you turn off your common sense and you can’t for any reason in the world take your eyes off the road in front of you. Next, oil indicator, water temperature and fuel gauge, but I doubt you’ll look at ‘em while speeding. The roads around Munzbach seem to be designed especially for Caterhams, with a fairly rough asphalt to allow the small Avon tires to bite and take advantage of the high temperatures in their favor. Now, after a few kilometers of driving, I feel I can sink more decisively on the throttle and exploit a greater range of engine revs and it is here that I realize how much the Seven 275R is capable of. It is a car to drive with strong manners, you have to be rough in your movements, just like when the widening of the rear reminds you that there is not even electronics helping you out there. No electronics means no external control, it’s only you and the proof that 500 horses are not always


CATERHAM SEVEN 275R Layout front-engined, rear wheel drive Engine in-line 4 cylinder 1.596cc Transmission 6-speed manual gearbox Power 145 hp @ 6.900 rpm 160 Nm @ 5.200 rpm Weight 525 kg Acceleration 4,9 sec. Top Speed 201 kph Price from € 31.095 (€ 47.645 as tested)


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the answer for going fast, let alone having fun. I put down and lighten the heavy clutch as it should be, this is the ideal way to bring a heart attack to those next to you, with the road that is seen from a lower perspective than usual and without any kind of barrier between your face and the rows of trees on the sides. The engine almost seems to emit a hissing sound and every minimal mechanical friction is perceived right to your spine. The steering wheel must be kept tight as if it were the only barrier between you and a shameful end (in fact it is so), but once you start getting the feel, the Seven does not fear narrow and tortuous roads just like longer and faster straights, which give way to keep down the gas pedal, at least as long as you have the liver to do that. Although the Caterham is more a car for driving involvement, rather than pure performance, the numbers of the 275R are equally impressive, with a 0-100 kph of just 4.9 seconds and a top speed that is close to 200 per hour, but here it really takes a lot of hair on the stomach. The one Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m testing also features a lowered floor, although efforts to make the driver seating position comfortable end exactly where the fun begins and that means immediately. There is a lever to activate the indicators and you will ask your passenger to deactivate it as soon as possible, given the deafening noise it emits, but these are details, small nuances of a much larger image that can be appreciated even when loosen your seatbelts youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll pro-


bably have to book a session with the osteopath coming down from the small cockpit. Moving a few meters the car and you will earn a standing ovation from environmentalists, since we preferred to put in neutral and push, rather than restart the sitting procedure from scratch. The doors are removable in a second, but in this way you give up the rearview mirrors and a small but comfortable shelter from pebbles that evade the front fenders. There is no glove compartment, you have to look behind your back and stow everything under the conveniently folded roof, in the luggage compartment that surprisingly can accommodate at least a couple of backpacks. The Caterham is a demanding car, especially if you want to exploit it at least at 60% on what it is able to offer, but in return it gives you a completely different view of everything on four wheels that money can buy. You can touch the ground with your hand without moving from the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seat, you can slip into corners like a crazy missile, all with low running costs thanks to the minimum weight


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with which the brakes have to oppose. And then the engine is still a 1.6-liter Ford, but above everything without electronics, which is not a little, especially for those who love to get their hands dirty in the garage. A 275 comes home with you with at least € 31,000, but if you get carried away and check the “R Pack” then it requires € 6,000. A specimen like the one of my test comes to cost a little less than 50 thousand Euros, which is by no means little money for a toy, despite being so exceptional, visceral and unique. What is certain is that if you have the opportunity to try one, a world that you did not believe could exist will open and you will be assailed by the feeling of having to learn everything from scratch, which in fact is so at least in part. You just need a fast car for driving fast, to go fast with a Seven you must be able to pull the trigger and face the consequences. You do not have to fear to see the bumper of a truck a few inches from your nose or dust a barrier with that tail that loves to go sideways and allow yourself to be pulled away by the narrow muzzle between the two partially-covered front wheels. You have to get your hands on it, you’ll not be able to master it in an afternoon, but once you get close to it you’ll get richer (in experiences) than before. At that point you will miss it, you will accept the back pains and you will want to come back on board, not necessarily between the curbs, ‘cause you can also enjoy that part of the journey that does not relegate the Caterham to be a racing track instrument, but the best way to feel happy behind a steering wheel.


ONE LAST DANCE


ALFA ROMEO 4C


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58 The little Alfa Romeo coupe is a rough diamond. It must be taken with violence and in return will know how to repay with a driving involvement that knows no compromises. Words by Christian Parodi

Five years have passed (it was 2013), since Alfa Romeo has first released the 4C, the pure lightweight sports car paying homage to the golden age of the Italian Company. Only a handful of years later a couple of other cars of a distinctly sporty nature such as the Giulia QV and the Stelvio QV SUV joined, but neither share with the small coupe what for a driving enthusiast represents the fulcrum of a visceral experience and intimate like the one that only a mid-engined superlight can offer. No frills, no compromises, there is no room for anything other than necessary and if you think

Photos by Andy Williams

this is a defect, stop reading now. With the 4C you deal with something designed and created with the sole objective of driving, to take the wheel violently and transform every moment into something special, not just a move from one point to another. The 4C, as it should be, is a car that not only divides, but literally splits in two and accentuates the gap between its admirers and detractors. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a perfect car, no doubt about this, but its flaws are probably those nuances that will make you fall in love, which will peek into your night dreams and that at least for us here at Auto Class have sanctioned

that in one way or in the other case it is one of the best sports cars ever lived at our office. We drove a good bunch of 4Cs, coupes and spiders, but this white lady who catches my eye is undoubtedly the best example weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever had available. Specced as a Launch Edition with a plethora of carbon fiber details, it is also equipped with the optional Akrapovic sport exhaust, something that further raises the volume of the small 4-cylinder, ready to roar like a dark and obscure baritone as soon as it moves its first steps, but that clears and screams roughly as


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the revs increase, up to the red line, where a mighty puff of air escapes from the titanium tailpipes and shoots you again as the speed increases and the experience begins to sculpt through your whole body. The 4C is a sensory car because you can feel it through all of your five senses, and what you can not feel physically comes at you emotionally the precise moment you approach that low and wide white silhouette edged by the black of the fiber. The edges and curves of its design are here even more accentuated and the different aerodynamic appendages do not just seem wanting to make it more pressed to the ground, but almost to instill a fear that I had not felt during the previous tests. I declare myself and I get a last ride, a last dance, before discovering how much we will have the good fortune to have this fantastic model, an expensive toy that does not hate your midweek commitments, but that certainly will not be the ideal solution to go to the grocery store or accompany grandparents at the airport. The recipe is based on the Lotus verb less is more â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so the carbon monocoque allows you to keep the center of gravity low and to limit the total weight of the 4C around 990kg. This explains why you do not need a big 8 cylinder or an equally expensive and cumbersome 6 cylinder. Immediately behind the two seats beats the 1,750cc 4-cylinder turbocharged that we saw on the Giulietta Veloce, but you already know it. It delivers 240 horses and is mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox, ma-


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nageable automatically or sequentially, via the small plastic paddles behind the steering wheel. For those who had lived on another planet, I emphasize that the fact of not having any kind of comfort is also reflected by the absence of unnecessary extra weight and therefore there is no power steering to help during maneuver, the only time when you accuse the heaviness of the front axle. Once moving everything changes, but this does not make things simple. With DNA in Dynamic mode and the g’box in manual I head for those roads that make the 4C an absolute star, it’s not time to live on catwalks or capture the looks of those who have not yet understood that Alfa Romeo has returned to the lustful ones. Today is the big day, she is dressed up and I want to take all I can from this last dance. The exhaust mumbles behind us and while Andy (Williams, the photographer) has given up most of his equipment, stowing what he could in the small luggage compartment just behind the engine, I ask the DNA to exclude traction control through the use of the Alfa Romeo Race mode. The digital display changes again and gives me information like the G force exerted through corners, but I’m too focused on keeping the small steering wheel tight, always eager to follow the imperfections of the road below us. We are sitting on a table, an expensive carbon ta-


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ble used for the most important task that a car can receive, amuse its crew. The turbo hisses and when you reach its torque peak, at around 2100 rpm, the little Alfa pushes like a possessed woman. This is a lady at first sight, but under the elegant dress there are witch claws and desire to hurt you at the first distraction. Through tight corners you have to use all your energy to touch the ideal lines and make the most out of the 350Nm of torque, when there is a stretch hold down the gas and you rely on the excellent braking system, entering faster than you would with any traditional sports car.


ALFA ROMEO 4C Layout mid-rear engine, rear wheel drive Engine 4 cylinder 1.750cc - turbocharged Transmission 6-speed automatic gearbox Power 240 hp @ 6000 rpm 350 Nm @ 2100-3750 rpm Weight 995 kg Acceleration 4,5 sec. Top Speed 258 kph Price from â&#x201A;¬ 65.000


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Do not fear direction changes, not even the most sudden, but if you widen the tail, it is there that the fight becomes more exciting. The absence of power steering does not facilitate the speed of movements necessary to keep the nose straight and is one of the many controversial aspects of the 4C. Some call it a defect, like the fact that they complain of a lack of communication from the steering - I call it purity and as such it is not always predictable, but it must be interpreted, understood and tamed. Inside of me Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m writing some of the best chapters of my experience as an automotive journalist, all thanks to a 65 thousand Euro toy, at least as a starting price, without the extra carbon fiber and the optional features of this model. All in all, embraced by a fantastic red leather saddlery and even if the instrumentation in front of my nose is pure plastic, I prefer to possibly recriminate the savings on the climate controls, but to praise the emotions I feel and the incredible tightness it grants me through corners of all kind. A car that takes 4.5 seconds from 0 to 100 kph is a real sports car, but to reach 260 per hour in this and a few centimeters from the ground with a steering wheel that trembles as if it were bitten by a tarantula takes a good dose of courage. The hardest thing, once at the wheel of the 4C, is to stop. You will have to have a good reason to get off this carousel for overgrown children and if it were not for the small size of the tank, the stops at the gas station would be even less than the photographer next to me would ask for. I look nervously at the clock and I realize that the hours escape quickly, I decide that the time has come to go beyond that limit that marks a day at work


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from a day destined to be mine forever. She dances between the curves, with her nervous behavior and that desire to scream all her power and trust me that 240 horses on a weight like this, are a good amount of fire. Ok, a handful more would be perfect, but it is here that I realize that despite the excitement and the involvement that can give, is not exempt from some small flaw. Time to talk about it? Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s start with the fact that the choice of the engine is correct. The turbo makes it lively, it is simple and inexpensive to maintain and contributes to the cause in favor of the lightness of the car itself. Putting hands in there and managing the unit can lead to cut that gap that would make it even sharper, without becoming too nervous. That it is not practical we do not care, but if you have to sacrifice some baggage, at least the two people on board will be comfortable and not suffocated. After all, the only real defect of the 4C lies in its driving precision, where after some logical measurements starts to give exciting fun, but you always perceive that roughness in the driver/ steering marriage. And if it were just the nervousness that makes the beautiful Italian lady who is it? Sometimes unpredictable, almost dangerous, but still able to draw a smile on your face. Beautiful, incredibly beautiful, noisy and unwilling to compromise, you already know that every time you get on board it will be an adventure, even if you just have to go from home to the office. And if that was the scenario, the 4C is the car that lets you write the story, making sure it has a proper plot.


ABT SQ5

A WOLF AMONG SHEEP


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If before the SQ5 was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, now it is a werewolf thrown in the middle of a flock. Words by Alessandro Marrone

Whoever said that entertainment is just for a few? And above all, who states that you can’t combine practicality and performance? Certainly not Audi bosses, which as you know were among the first to fit what was anything that a boring engine in a seemingly quiet family car, all thanks to a valuable collaboration with Porsche thus giving birth to the legendary RS2 Avant. But we have already talked about this on our February article dedicated to the furious four rings station wagon, while about its ultimate heir, the ABT RS4-R, you find a pretty interesting review on September’s Auto Class. This time we enter into very contemporary territories such as those of the SQ5 performance SUV, the sports incarnation of the best selling medium size Audi has to offer, designed to tackle any kind of road without however carrying weight and size in excess. But if the traditional SQ5 hides an exceptional versatility behind a sober look, once passed under the claws of ABT the music takes a completely different tone, to the benefit of driving involvement and purest entertainment. At this point the question is - “Will they have managed to keep intact the ability to represent a complete car, or the spirit of adventure have taken over, leading to some logical renouncement in terms of usability?”

To be honest, when you are dealing with a car out of the ordinary, the last of your thoughts goes to the typical home-work route, but since ABT is not a simple tuner, but the most authoritative personalization signature for the VW-Audi group, ticking out all the items at the bottom of our personal assessment table will be important to ensure the success of this SQ5 on steroids. And if you gave a sneak peek even on a single photo you understand that there is a massive use of steroids here, since an SUV that before leaving Kempten would have passed completely unnoticed in traffic, now does nothing but attract the glances of passersby and other drivers, not caring about the useless lowprofile attempts by the beautiful Nardo Gray, one of the simplest but most distinctive colors

Photos by Giorgia Rossi

you can find in the Audi catalogue. If before the SQ5 was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, now it is a werewolf thrown in the middle of a flock.

For the record, your editor has just left the wheel of the crazy RS4-R, one of the most vivid driving experiences I’ve had the good fortune to live in recent times and I find myself having to reset my thoughts before going to the following one. Although the type of car is not so different - we go from a wagon to a medium-sized SUV - the two cars emphasize the distance between the two original models (RS4 and SQ5), where the first one turns itself into a race car lent to the road and the second instead manages to maintain all-round qualities on every day roads, thanks to the advantage of a slightly better ground clearance. Of course, ABT put all of its usual and meticulous attention to detail, immediately putting body and soul to make the look of the SQ5 much more aggressive than before. To give vent to this desire for greater characterization we have a wide body kit including a new front bumper, more generous wheel arches, side skirts and a new rear bumper that incorporates the sports exhaust system with two couples of terminals finished in carbon fiber and sunk in the middle of a showy diffuser. Options include the use of dedicated 20 or 21-inch wheels, or the mammoth 22 mounted on the unit of our test and which fit equally generous 265/35/R22 tires.

Needless to say, at first glance it seems to be in front of a completely different car from the original one, every corner has been strengthened and the myriad of ABT badges spread all over also continues in the cabin, where I am welcomed by an environment more faithful to the original but still able to earn that bit of sportiness thanks to the beautiful rhomboidal pattern embroidered on comfortable leather seats. But how is this SQ5 drive? Yes, the main question that we asked ourselves at the beginning


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seems to have gone into the background and all that interests me is to start the 3 liter V6 and give free rein to the performance package that pours petrol on the fire. The TFSI was brought from 354-hp to 425-hp with a consequent 10% increase of the maximum torque that goes from 500Nm to 550Nm. It is a considerable result, especially taking into account that we have to move a mass that does not exceed 2 tons and plays with adjustable suspension that can vary from 35mm to 60mm less than before. All this means that when you select the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dynamicâ&#x20AC;? mode and move the big gearbox knob into sequential mode, it will seem to be back on a pure sports car. The height from the ground reduced to the bone is just one of the key points of the driving experience and the power and readiness of the V6 do the rest of the job.

I throw myself in the curves and in my eyes there is only space for the next one. The SQ5, which previously knew how to behave admirably, has turned into something illogical and damn fun. The exhaust releases the fury of the 425hp and every shifting is accompanied by an addictive explosion and a steady progression towards some of the most isolated roads south of Kempten. We were also lucky enough to find an area closed to traffic, whe-


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71 re I could push even more on the throttle and touch with my hands how it is not necessary to sit a couple of centimeters from the ground to feel adrenaline flow through your veins. The 8-speeds dual clutch gearbox is the best ally and supports the ideal exploitation of an engine that finds its red line at around 6,500 rpm, traction is virtually endless and combined with the enormous grip exerted by the fat tires makes you enter and exit corners at speeds you would never think possible in a car that is classified as “one of the quickest ways to bring your children to school”. In this case, after the ABT treatment, you can afford to have breakfast five minutes before the bell rings, regardless of the kilometers that separate your house from the school, provided that no one suffers the unleashed pace that this SQ5 is able to offer.

In an ideal world, each of us would have the possibility to print cash in the cellar, but unfortunately – so far - it does not seem to be the case, and so it is good and right to tackle the costs argument. After all, we are still talking about an SUV and not a traditional sports car which would better represent a big toy useful to get a smile on your face every time you


ABT SQ5 3.0 TFSI Layout front-engined, all-wheel-drive Engine V6 cylinder 2.995cc – turbocharged Transmission 8-speed automatic gearbox Power 425 hp / 550Nm Weight 1.900 kg ca. Acceleration 5,2 sec. Top Speed 250 kph Price from € 86.800 ca. (kit ABT as tested, from € 16.998 VAT incl.)


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get on board. On the other hand there is the polyvalence of its 5 seats, the large trunk and all the comforts derived from a latest generation multimedia system, virtual cockpit and logically the QUATTRO four-wheel drive system always ready to face the winter or some slippery roads. Taking into account the 69 thousand Euros needed for a standard SQ5, the ABT price list imposes 3,117.65 € for the performance upgrade and 5.747,90 € for the aesthetic kit (including assembly, excluding VAT). The immense 22 wheels, which are demanding during parking maneuvers, add an extra value to the car’s macho look costing € 3,899.16, which added to the rest of the package available on the model of this review bring the conversion kit at around 17,000 € (VAT not included). At this point it depends only on you and what you look for in a car, regardless of how you use it, but we know very well that the fun factor is deadly important in life and despite not being a small amount of money, the extra Euro you have to put here radically transform a good car in a more than excellent car ready to dispense fun at the wheel, maybe on a daily basis.


Discover Piemonte (On Wheels) AUTO CLASS magazine

DRIVING IN PIEDMONT, WILL HAVE A TRULY DIFFERENT TASTE FIND OUT MORE IN OUR SHOP


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78

GRUPPO GINO NEW FRONTIER

ASTON MARTIN MILANO Photos by Luca Riva


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79 Gruppo Gino, important player in the field of luxury cars since 1959, enhances its Luxury and Motorsport project by joining the British brand Aston Martin through Aston Martin Milan. Born in 1913, the British automaker Aston Martin has become over the years an elite reference in the panorama of prestigious sports cars. “We are thrilled to represent Aston Martin and its iconic and artisanal masterpieces in the Italian market,” says Alessandro Gino - General Manager of Gruppo Gino. “After the recent introduction on the Italian market of two extremely interesting new products, the Vantage and the DB11 Volante, the new DBS will soon be presented.

Many prestigious news that make us even more proud to be part of Aston Martin’s future strategy in Europe and especially in Italy”. Italy is an important market for luxury cars in Europe. The products already available in the Aston Martin range and the new ones that will be introduced in the next few years will surely see Aston Martin Milan playing a leading role in the growth of the brand, both for positioning and sales. In Aston Martin Milan, the Group Gino has found a strong passion for the brand and an excellent knowledge of the product and of all the models of the range.


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“BEAUTIFUL IS ABSOLUTE: Its beauty leaves no room for doubt.” Here is the philosophy around which the new DBS Superleggera develops. With a stunning hexagonal grille and captivating and elegant lines, the DBS Superleggera features a carbon-fiber shell bonnet, which reduces weight, lowers the center of gravity and expels hot air through a series of intakes carved in the same panel. This supercar allows you to live an unforgettable experience thanks to the powerful 715bhp engine and the incomparable sound of its V12. Just in recent days this new aerodynamic masterpiece has been tested, with test drives organized by Group Gino and Aston Martin Milan in the exclusive setting of the Castello di Guarene. On that occasion, some customers of these two prestigious companies were able to appreciate what the DBS concept has always represented since the beginning of its legacy: maximum elegance, speed, comfort but also performance.

Also on display there was the brand new DB11, designed to excite with its inimitable and recognizable design thanks to the immense power of its V8 or V12, and then the Vantage, characterized by an exceptional class and the beating heart of a supercharged 4-liter V8. With 4 cars available for testing in the Milan showroom, special attention to the customer is a key factor, focusing on the driving emotions transmitted by the cars of an iconic brand such as Aston Martin. All this and much more will represent the new strategic approach of Aston Martin Milan, with a particular focus on the recently used product, Classic and Future Classic, thus creating a second market for a product that will increase and emphasize the value of the Aston Martin brand, considering the timeless interest in classic cars.

With this brand of primary importance in the panorama of luxury and performance grand tourers, the Gruppo Gino enters the Milan and Italian economy and business beating heart. “This is one of the most beautiful challenges for us in the next few years and we are happy to be able to start it with the help and support of Aston Martin”, concludes Alessandro Gino.


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AUTO E MOTO D’EPOCA PADUA

A JUMP IN THE PAST AND A LOOK TO THE FUTURE Words by Tommaso Mogge

That of Padua is an unmissable event for enthusiasts, whether they love two or four wheels, or for those who need to refresh their memory about those cars that have written the history of motorsport, in particular the world of rallies. The 2018 edition allowed the Auto e Moto D’Epoca fair to reach the 35th birthday, a noteworthy accomplishment by itself, if it were not for the record entries that touched the 120,000 visitors in the 4 days of the event. Of course we could not miss it and we took advantage of the preview day to experience the true essence of the Padua fair, authentic reference point

Photos by Giorgia Rossi

for those who want to buy, sell or simply take a trip in the past, always giving a look to a future more and more turned towards sustainability. The well-set pavilions make it easy to enter, immersing ourselves straight in the spare parts area, but if you are not restoring anything you can still spend hours between metal plates, vintage signs and pieces that will surely remind you of the exciting days of your childhood. Die-cast models, finally more orderly and less labyrinthine than before, are another must and

even if someone tries to ask you 20% more out of the latest kiosk’s releases, it is always worth bringing home a souvenir - a 1/43 car will not make your wife angry after all. You leave the first two pavilions and you are assaulted by the perfumes of the food stands: pork meat, sauces of all kinds and then the Sicilian confectioners, which are confirmed as one of the undisputed highlights of the whole show, diet apart. On the outside area there are several cars brought by retailers and private looking for the right customer or perhaps an exchange that can still make the Venetian trip useful. Wide space for bigger


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83 retailers in the other covered pavilions, where although we recognize some pieces that have already tread the ground in Padua last year and sometimes even the one before and the one before that, we find well-preserved models at prices not always optimistic as last year or so. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be honest, someone really need to understand if they want to collect cars, or just sell it. Not just classic cars, because alongside Italian classics, English, German and a handful of American muscles, we also have more recent models, the inevitable youngtimers (todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fashion) and more recent supercars, including a LaFerrari Spider. Probably this will not have been the most photographed this year, mainly because of the bunch of Stratos which were nothing short of impressive, especially when placed next to a Lancia 037 Stradale or a Delta S4 Stradale. The #makelanciagreatagain fever helps revaluations a lot and in in case of sales makes two people happy instead of only one, but passing next to some Group B rally cars you really get goosebumps. Porsche could not be missing the appointment, no doubt those that have undergone a major revaluation (or just price-leap) in recent years, with models ranging from the first 356 up to the latest 911 GT3 RS. Catchy has been the E.C. OnlyOne sitting at the Mistral Motors stand, along with the classic lot of supercars and other interesting pieces, not to mention the 911 3.0 SC Rothmans Rally not far from there, still marked by one of the many battles faced before finding its well-deserved retirement.


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Padua has always been a point of reference for car makers and their official dealers, which take advantage of the occasion to celebrate the most varied anniversaries and so we admired old glories from Citroen, Peugeot, Volvo and the FCA group - represented by its Heritage branch - right next to new models that aim to write the history of the brands in the following years. Alpine was there too with two A110s, the grandmother and the new one, not to mention Bentley and McLaren and the undisputed star of this edition: MercedesBenz, who took care not only to all the details with an impressive array of new models and classics - including the legendary C111 prototype - but allowed visitors to completely immerse themselves in a vintage world thanks to the total involvement of those who want to retrace the history of the three-pointed star, between info displays and the likes.


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86 Finally, the prestigious confirmation of Bonhams auction house, with total sales exceeding 2 million Euros, including the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Coupe sold for â&#x201A;Ź 508,197. Quantity therefore, but better quality than previous years Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d say, for a fair that has managed to carve out its position as a main event in the classics panorama and beyond. The feeling was that of a greater awareness on the part of many (not everyone though) exhibitors and unlike other occasions there seemed not to be a dominant trend by which aiming to increase the value of one or two models only. It was a fair to visit, fun to experience and that has certainly made more than a few people happy, regardless of whether they came back home with their dream car or have only been able to admire it closely.


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03/02/2015 15:57:50


Auto Class Magazine - November 2018  

We only talk about cars that matter

Auto Class Magazine - November 2018  

We only talk about cars that matter

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