Automania by Dr. Iain Corness

Fancy a Maserati?

Maserati has launched a new trainer that is ideal for both driving and general use, with a wrap-around design that provides the best driving position and a profile that makes them equally comfortable for everyday use.

Like Maserati cars, they are leather-lined for comfort, have best quality rubber for grip and high quality materials such as TPU and EVA to define their style and technology.

Not only do the new Maserati trainers sport the legendary Maserati Trident logo, they even have three matching side air vents like the Maserati Quattroporte, GranTurismo and GranCabrio. Finished in black, the only colour on the show is, of course, red, subtly placed on the sole of the shoe in the form of a red Maserati Trident and the initials, MC, of the Maserati motorsport division, Maserati Corse.

The new Maserati Trainers have a recommended retail price of $305 and they are available from Maserati dealers.

(I don’t think the queue will be very long!)

Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I asked which driver, who set a world land speed record was addicted to Fair Isle pullovers? It was John Parry-Thomas, who was killed on the Pendine Sands driving the chain-drive car he called Babs. The car was buried in the sands, but in 1969 Owen Wyn Owen, an engineering lecturer from Bangor Technical College, sought and received permission to excavate Babs. Over the next 15 years he restored the car, which is now housed in the Museum of Speed in Pendine village. Museum Opening Times: Easter - 30th September: 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. with last entry at 4.55 p.m.

So to this week. What was different about the pre-1926 Buick and Dodge gearshift gates?

For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email [email protected]

Good luck!

Babs restored

Monaco GP this weekend

The Grand Prix to be seen at is this weekend (as opposed to a Grand Prix to see motor racing at). It is not the GP to go to, unless watching B List ‘super-stars’ is your idea of fun. This may, of course be just jealousy on my part, not even making the C List… The harbor will be bollard to bollard expensive yachts and the villa car parks will have all the Lambo’s, Ferrari’s and Maserati’s you would ever wish for.

Whatever, it is not the circuit to encourage passing, despite the fact that the cars rarely get fast enough to create turbulence, let alone ‘dirty air’.

The most critical part of this Grand Prix will happen on the Saturday. And that’s qualifying. He who is on pole has a greater than 75 percent chance of winning. So who will be on P1? Vettel in the Red Bull has been pulling rabbits out of the hat at the last second, though Webber, Hamilton or Alonso could surprise. However, I am putting my money on Webber. He knows the circuit, has no fear and has superb car control. They will fuel him light to give him every chance. The Qualifying is at 7 p.m. on Saturday May 15, with the race at 7 p.m. on Sunday May 16.

Monaco GP

Six new models from Ferrari by 2013

GoAuto reports that Ferrari has revealed that a replacement for its Enzo supercar (I refuse to use the term ‘hypercar’ which this report had used) will be among six new Ferrari models to be produced within the next three years.

Spider and Scuderia versions of the new 458, plus replacements for the 612 Scaglietti and 599 GTB Fiorano are also listed within the latest restructuring plan, announced in Europe.

Ferrari Enzo

While Ferrari unveiled the long-anticipated GTO version of its 599 in Beijing, the Italian supercar brand’s next new model will be an all-new version of Ferrari’s range-topping, V12-powered 612 Scaglietti in the first half of next year.

Ferrari says the 612 replacement is being developed under the codename of F151, but the model’s production nameplate is as yet unknown.

Also now officially confirmed for release in 2011 - albeit in the second half, at least in Europe - is an open-top Spider variant of the upcoming 458 coupe.

After that, a redesigned version of Ferrari’s Enzo flagship, just 400 examples of which were produced between 2002 and 2004, is locked in for 2012. The top-shelf Ferrari is again expected to emerge with V12 power, but will remain a left-hand drive-only proposition for Europe and the US.

The same year, Ferrari will replace the 599 GTB with a model codenamed F152, before a face-lifted version of the California convertible is launched in 2013 - the same year Ferrari will release a lighter-weight hard-core version of the 458, which has been confirmed to go by the Scuderia name of its 430 predecessor.

As with this year’s limited-edition 599 GTO and the new Enzo in 2012, Ferrari says the following year’s 458 Scuderia will specifically target high-end customers.

There has been no formal confirmation of Ferrari’s first production hybrid model, which was previewed by the 599 HY-KERS concept at last month’s Geneva motor show but is more likely to be based on the next-generation 612 range-topper.

Apart from committing to launching a new Ferrari model every year to “sustain turnover and reinforce brand”, the 2010-2014 Ferrari product plan and roadmap announced by Fiat at last week’s investor conference in Turin also includes the introduction of a face-lifted ‘M’ version of each new model four years after its launch, which will continue for a further four years to “ensure a sustainable product life cycle”.

With the Enzo not counted as part of its full-time model range, Ferrari says it plans to broaden its customer base by increasing the differentiation between its current sportscar and grand tourer model line-up, which it says will continue to include just four core models: the “extreme” 458 and 599 supercars and the “versatile” 612 and California cruisers.

What’s coming from Ferrari:
612 replacement first half 2011
458 Spider second half 2011
Enzo replacement 2012
599 replacement 2012
California facelift 2013
458 Scuderia 2013
612 hybrid 2015
So start saving your pennies - you’ll need a lot of them.