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The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak research Vehicle

Not long ago, there was informed debate on whether a purpose-built computer would ever beat a chess master. Now mobile phones have achieved Grand Master status. Computers continue to get exponentially faster, not to mention considerably smarter through improved software, whereas humans are effectively nearing their limits. Hence, it’s arguably only a matter of time and R&D focus before computers (plus improved sensors and software) surpass any specific human capability. This week Audi revealed that its Autonomous TTS research car had completed the 12.42-mile Pike’s Peak mountain course in 27 minutes. An expert driver in the same car would take around 17 minutes – now we have a benchmark, the race is on, and it's almost inevitable that a computer will one day outdrive the best of our species, and it may be sooner than you think.  Read More

Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, has opened (to the media) and features a 200kph-plus roller coas...

Where would you expect to find the world’s largest indoor theme park? If you answered "Dubai," you’d be close (but no cigar). It’s basically next door in, Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital. And you might be surprised to find that it’s not another Disney park or Universal Studios attraction – no, the world’s largest theme park is Ferrari World, and it opened today (27 October 2010) to the media. The public opening has been delayed as a sign of respect for the passing of Sheik Saqr bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Emir of Ras al-Khaimah. Gizmag has given readers an insight into Ferrari World in the past, but shortly you’ll be able to visit for yourself.  Read More

Ferrari HELE system adds a tinge of “green” to Ferrari red

There’s been a number of battery electric and hybrid supercar concepts on the stands at this year’s Paris Motor Show, and with the impressive performance stats of vehicles such as the Jaguar C-X75, the Lotus Elite GT and the Exagon Furtive eGT, automakers are closing the gap between the performance of electric vehicles and those powered by internal combustion engines (ICE). However, there’s still some way to go before electric vehicles can match it with conventional supercars, but even companies like Ferrari can’t ignore the change in attitudes. In an effort to add a tinge of green to its iconic red, the company showed a Ferrari California in Paris that is fitted with a new HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) system designed to reduce the environmental impact of its supercars, while boosting their performance.  Read More

Ferrari SA APERTA - All 80 were all sold at a price well in excess of EUR400,000, before d...

Many motoring enthusiasts will raise a glass to Pininfarina during the company’s 80th anniversary year, as it has been responsible for a goodly proportion of the most beautiful and desirable four wheelers ever produced, working for almost every major automotive brand in the world including Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Ford, Volvo, Tata Motors and Chery. Pininfarina is best known however, for the Ferrari designs it has penned, such as the F40, F50, Enzo, 599 GTB Fiorano, Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Testarossa, Dino 246 GT and 365 GTB/4 Daytona. Hence Ferrari is to build a limited edition model named the SA APERTA in honor of the birthday. Just 80 very limited, open-top, front-engined 670 bhp V12s will be made, and they were all sold at a price well in excess of EUR400,000, before details were released to the public.  Read More

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will be the biggest indoor theme park in the world

There’s no doubting Ferrari has a legion of fans, but are their numbers great enough to justify the existence of a Ferrari theme park? Looks like we’ll get an answer with the world’s first such park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, set to open its doors this October. Although, with the more than 20 rides and attractions including a spaceshot tower that launches riders 62m (203 ft) into the air and the world’s fastest roller coaster that propels thrill-seekers to speeds of 240 km/h (149mph) in just five seconds, the park is sure to appeal to those whose allegiance lies with other supercar marques.  Read More

The victory podium

Not all that long ago, the mere thought of running a diesel in any form of motorsport would have had you laughed at. Diesel victories are now commonplace in long distance races thanks to the excellent power characteristics, reliability, the low fuel consumption of diesel engines and a battle between the two main TDI-engined cars in the form of the Peugeot 908 and Audi's R15. Audi Sport Team Joest added to the diesel legend on the weekend with a 1-2-3 victory using newly developed Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbo-chargers on the R15's 440 kW V10 engine. The Peugeot 908s locked out the first two rows in qualifying and led the race until the 16 hour mark, but one by one, they suffered engine failure, and after 24 hours, Audi took all three steps on the podium. It wasn't exactly a rerun of the hare and the tortoise though, as the winning R15 racked up more 5,410 kilometers - more distance than has ever been achieved in 78 prior runnings of the French endurance classic. This was all the more remarkable in that it eclipsed a record set in 1971 by a Porsche 917 when the Hunaudières straight had no speed-slowing chicanes. Well done Audi!  Read More

Special edition Ferrari smartphone joins Acer lineup

A relationship with the Prancing Horse marque that stretches back to 2003 has seen Acer release a range of Ferrari branded products including the Ferrari 4000 Carbon Fiber notebook and the Ferrari F-20 LCD display. At Computex 2010 this week the company is showing off the latest devices including the Acer Liquid E Ferrari special edition smartphone.  Read More

Ferrari celebrates 60 years of F1

We mentioned last week that Formula One was celebrating its sixtieth birthday but a key fact escaped our attention - to mention that only one team has been there for all sixty seasons, and hence was also celebrating its sixtieth birthday. The Ferrari F1 Team made its debut in round two of the inaugural F1 Championship at the Monaco Grand Prix on May 21, 1950. A second place for Italian Alberto Ascari in the Ferrari 125 set the tone for the next six decades. To date the team has taken part in 799 Grands Prix, meaning that Istanbul next weekend will be the eight hundredth. To date, Ferrari’s race record shows 211 wins, 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ titles, which makes this team the most successful in mankind's most followed sport.  Read More

Lovely to look at, even better to drive ... the cherished and extremely rare 1963 race-bre...

RM Auctions believes it has just sold the world’s most coveted car - a rare 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO. The marque (chassis no. 4675 GT), in unmistakable Ferrari red and with the prancing horses emblazoned on the hood, has an excellent pedigree. One of only 36 250 GTOs originally produced in 1962/63 and one of a limited few with Series II GTO bodywork, it left the factory in April 1963 and was subsequently raced by Guido Fossati, Jean Guichet, Oddone Sigala, Vincenzo Nember and Luigi Taramazzo, rarely finishing outside the top three in its class and achieving numerous race wins.  Read More

The most successful automotive collector auction in history

RM Auctions’ inaugural Sporting Classics of Monaco event held on Saturday leaves little doubt that fine automobiles can be a rapidly appreciating investment. The average price achieved by the 88 cars which crossed the block was in excess of US$500,000 while the highest price fetched was EUR2,800,000 (US$3,799,600) for a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina SWB (pictured top right). Some remarkable cars were sold on the day, including (pictured clockwise from bottom right) one of the world’s most significant pre-war sports racing cars, the 1937 BMW 328 MM ‘Buegelfalte’ (undisclosed but believed to be in excess of US$6 million), a handmade Rolls Royce which was the most expensive car made in the world in 1933 (US$1,975,792) and a Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ (US$3,343,648). Full details, images and story inside.  Read More

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