Petrolheads

Today we are coming out as a petrolheads!

I started this car blog  in 2012 and I have been writing about cars anonymously since then. Last year I was joined by fellow blogger Christoffer.

On the About page of the blog, there is now a short description of Christoffer and myself.
You might learn a few thing about us that you didn’t know…!!!

/sven

Ferrari California T – World Première – the turbo is back!

I had the privilege to attend the world première of the new Ferrari California T at the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari in Modena in February.

Ferrari California T

The front is all new and inspired by the Ferrari F12 and FF. It is much sportier and I have to say it looks much better than the original California (which I had the privilege to own). The back of the car, exhausts, diffuser etc. also looks better and sportier. The shape of its flanks is inspired by the classic Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa; not bad at all… It also has some resemblance to the beautiful (moderon) Alfa Romeo 8C.

Ferrari California T

Ferrari California T

The rear has been improved and is now lower and better looking.

The interior has been overhauled as well and is more in line with the other Ferrari models (458, FF and F12). The seats are thinner and thus provide more space in the back.

Technical highlights
The big news is the use of a turbocharger in a Ferrari. The last Ferrari with at turbo was the Ferrari F40, more than 20 years ago!

The specs are amazing; remember this is the “entry-level” Ferrari… (original California in brackets):

  • Power: 560 HP (460 HP)
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 3.6 s (3.9 s)
  • Top speed 316 km/h (310 km/h)

Power is really up. To put this into perspective: it has 10 HP less than the 458, more power than any Lamborghini Diablo, only 20 HP less than the original Lamborghini Murcielago or 45 HP more than the Ferrari 575M V12.

Ferrari states, with a lot of emphasis, that there is no turbo lag and that the California T sounds like a proper Ferrari. Let’s wait and see…

Summarising it looks better and more athletic than the original California and it has the power to match it.

For those he want the tech details; the presentation:

Picture Gallery: BMW 4-series Gran Coupé

The 4-series Gran Coupé is really beautiful, specially with the optional M Sport Package, as seen in the picture gallery below. I saw it in the flesh at the Geneva Motor Show and liked it a lot.

For those who don’t follow BMW:s new, intricate numbering system:

  • The 3-series is build as a 4-door Saloon, a 5-door Touring or a 5-door GT (the latter is a BIG hatchback).
  • The 4-series is essentially the same car, but it is build as a 2-door Coupé, a 2-door Convertible or a 5-door “Gran Coupé”, i.e. an elegant 5-door hatchback with coupé-like roofline (think: Audi A5 Sportback)

Geneva Motor Show 2014 – report

Thanks to a last minute reschedule of flights I was able to make it to the Geneva Motor Show this year. I was only able to spend about an hour visiting the Motor Show, so what follows is a short summary with a somewhat limited photo gallery (taken with my iPhone).

Porsche
The Porsche 991 Targa is as beautiful in the flesh as in the pictures and I was lucky enough to see the roof mechanism in action. Amazing…

There were a couple of Macans in the stand, but both where in an awful dark brown metallic colour. The car looks good though, better than it’s bigger brother the Cayenne and better than the Audi Q5, with which the Macan partly shares the underlying platform.

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I tried the back seat of the Macan. Nice but marginally less spacious than my current BMW X3. The luggage space is smaller than the X3 as well.

Nice car though; I’m Thinking about selling the X3 and getting the Macan (or the Maserati Ghibli, see below).

BMW
Looking at pictures, I have not been convinced about the styling of BMW’s electric sports car, the i8, but in the flesh it is absolutely stunning. In the dark grey colour exhibited on the stand it was very desirable. Maybe the most desirable sports car in Geneva; I didn’t see that one coming.

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The BMW 4-series Gran Coupé looks really good. I have also posted a large gallery of photos. Looking at this car, I wonder whether they will sell any 3-series Saloon…

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For those who don’t follow BMW:s new, intricate numbering system:

  • The 3-series is build as a 4-door Saloon, a 5-door Touring or a 5-door GT (the latter is a BIG hatchback).
  • The 4-series is essentially the same car, but it is build as a 2-door Coupé, a 2-door Convertible or a 5-door “Gran Coupé”, i.e. an elegant 5-door hatchback with coupé-like roofline (think: Audi A5 Sportback)

Tesla
The Model S is great. I liked it even more than I thought I would. Ergonomics are very good; the big centre touchscreen display is really easy to use. It  feels like “Car 2.0” or like the first iPhone. The future is here today…

It’s electric, it’s pretty, it’s practical (seats 5 or 7, huge boot) and it’s fast. What’s not to like? Maybe the interior doesn’t have the premium feel of the best german competitors…

Please read my fellow blogger’s excellent test drive report of the Tesla.

Ferrari
The new California T looks better than the original California (which I had the privilege to own during two years). I attented the launch of the California T a couple of weeks ago in Modena and will write a separate report on the car and the event. Stay tuned.

Maserati
The Alfieri concept car is very beautiful. Hopefully Maserati’s upcoming sports car (smaller than the GranTurismo), will look similar to this concept. Sorry about the poor picture.

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The Maserati Ghibli is a really nice entrant in the medium/high end saloon market, competing with the upmarket 6-cylinder versions of the BMW 5-series, Mercedes E-Klasse (and CLS) as well as the Audi A6. The blue car on the stand was highly desirable. I’m considering buying one, seriously.

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Jaguar
Could they build a car even more beautiful then the F-TYPE Convertible? Yes! The F-TYPE Coupé is absolutely stunning. On looks alone, this car is the Motor Show’s star:

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But the Convertible stills looks very good…

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Alfa Romeo
Alfa showed an open version of the 4C, the 4C Spyder. Nice design, in a Louts Elise kind of way, with added carbon fibre.

Audi
The new TT looks very similar to its predecesor. It’s nice but…yawn…

Lamborghini
The new Huracan is a stunner in the flesh, although a bit extreme for my taste. How did I not manage to take a proper picture?

Mercedes
S-Klasse Coupé
: considering the huge size of the car it is remarkably good looking…

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Short Summary
The BMW i8 and Tesla Model S surprised me, in a very positive way. The F-TYPE Coupé was a stunner.

Geneva Motor Show

Ferrari quickest on first day of F1 testing in Jerez

Räikkönen in the Ferrari F14-T was quickest on the first day of pre-season testing on tuesday.

Ferrari F14-T

Only eight cars set times in a session where some teams didn’t run at all and other teams had serious reliability problems. Lewis Hamilton crashed due to a front wing failure.

Unofficial Tuesday test times from Jerez:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 27.104s, 31 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes , 1m 27.820s, 18 laps
3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 30.082s, 7 laps
4. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 33.161s, 11 laps
5. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1m 36.530s, 15 laps
6. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 42.257s, 7 laps
7. Sebastian Vettel , Red Bull, No time, 3 laps
8. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, No time, 1 lap

Porsche 911 Targa (991) – first pictures!

Boy, does the new 991 Targa look good!!!

The new design is much closer to the original Targa from the 70s, as opposed to the glass-roofed 996 and 997 Targa.

Apparently it will be available only with 4WD (Targa4 and Targa4S models) as it is based on the wide body 4WD Carrera cabriolet.

How the Targa roof can fold automatically is hard to understand, but we will know more this afternoon after Porsche’s press conference in Detroit at 17:45 CET.  

Porsche 991 GT3 driven by Chris Harris – the most important car of the year!

Chris Harris has driven an engineering sample of the new GT3. How does he get away with this?

Conclusions (spoiler warning):

  • The engine is superb, in spite of the new GT3 dropping the Mezger engine used in previous GT3s. It revs to 9,000 rpm!
  • The four wheel steering adds value; the car turns in much better than the 997 GT3 and has less understeer.
  • The electric power steering is much, much better than in the 991 Carrera. It is “actually superb”, according to Chris. Not once, did he wish the car had hydraulic power steering.
  • The PDK is the best so far, but Chris would like the GT3 to be “the last bastion of the manual gearbox”. This is actually his only gripe about the car.

Summarising: it is much, much better than the 997. If you can live with a paddle shift gearbox, the GT3 is an amazing achievement.

Porsche 991 GT3