Saturday, March 10, 2012

The future of motoring in Geneva

Besides traditional people mover cars and supersportscars there were also a number of futuristic cars at this year's Geneva Auto Show. If what we see at Opel and Renault is the future of motoring, then we probably will seat behind each other in the car of the future and the transportation mean is quite simple, rather like a micro car of the Fifties. A bit more comfort comes with the bionic car of Toyota. Well, if today's designers are as successful in predicting the future as their counterparts of the Fifties and Sixties then the motoring future will probably look quite different anyway ...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Toyota's GT in Geneva

Toyota presents the GT 86 in Geneva, the new sportscar coupé built together with Subaru. It's a nice car and the power goes to the rear axle which is a good sign! But what really made the appearance special was the Toyota GT 2000 shown together with the new GT 86. The GT 2000 is probably one of the most beautiful car any Japanese manufacturer ever built. In white, presented in front of a red background it looks even better. Wonderful, but very very rare!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The sportscar future from Honda and Infinity in Geneva

Two japanese car manufacturers brought elegant sportscars to Geneva this year. Honda presented the "NSX concept", a V6 hybrid, while Infinity surprised with the Emerg-E, an electrical sportscar with range extender in the 400 hp segment.
Interestingly the two cars were both painted in silver and the shapes are somewhat similar. For me the Infinity looks even a bit more elegant than the Honda, but the Honda of course profits from its own tradition and history, as we haven't forgotten the NSX sportscar from the Nineties, haven't we?

The new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in Geneva 2012

A new Ferrari is always a sensation, the new F12 Berlinetta makes no difference. Ferrari not only changed (again) the logic of the model naming they also packed all their engineering knowhow into the car, resulting in a bit less weight and a lot more power (700+ hp).
Never before the difference between what you get and what you actually can use in normal driving conditions was so big. When driving with the almost normal 80 km/h roughly 15 hp are enough, and even at 120 km/h you don't need more than 40 or 50 hp. So what on earth will you do with the other 650+ hp? They are there and they make the car expensive as everything needs to be adapted to cope with this massive power. Anyway, so be it. But maybe you remember the Fifties, when a Ferrari had some 120 or 150 hp and drivers have been able to use all of them quite often ....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Geneva girls 2012

One of the highlight of autoshows are the models trying to put some glamour on cars that otherwise wouldn't even be looked at. This year's Geneva car show (2012) is no exception here. For longtime observers it seems like there were less girls than in other years, but so what.
Have a look yourself and enjoy ...

More air for the Lamborghini Aventador J

Lamborghini presented the unique Lamborghini Aventador J at the Geneva Autoshow 2012. It's kind of a barchetta version of the Aventador, but really very extreme. Well, have a look yourself, it definitely steals the new Ferrari F12 a bit the show ...
P.S. The car has been sold for 2.1 million Swiss Francs, so no need to think too much about it.

Touring Superleggera presents Disco Volante in Geneva 2012

It's interesting! We have been talking about "retro design" for quite a bit of time, but usually we were observing the car manufacturers, but not the Italian design shops to come up with retro styled vehicles.
Yesterday though Touring Superleggera presented its Alfa Romeo Disco Volante 2012. And they were brave enough to show it together with the original Disco Volante coupé from 1953 - though on a poster.
The new car isn't bad, but if you remember how revolutionary and extreme the original Disco Volante was, then you may be disappointed.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kodak - a famous brand fades away

Kodak is probably one of the most well known brands of the world. Almost a hundred years Kodak dominated the photography or influenced it substantially to say the least. And now the end of this empire seems to have come close. Unbelievable!
Why would a car buff like me talk about Kodak? What does Kodak have to do with cars? A lot, yeah! On a substantial share of all the black and white films, the Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides and all the other film materials Kodak produced cars were pictured! Our fathers used a Kodak Retina camera, the generations in the Sixties and Seventies grew up with a Kodak Instamatic or a Kodak Instamatic Pocket camera and yes, of course, the took pictures of cars and a lot of them. Many of them have survived thanks to the quality of the Kodak products, otherwise the pictured cars maybe would have gone forgotten just like the cameras that took the pictures.
Yet another puzzle piece of the good old times vanishes, it's quite sad!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Colorful Porsche World in the Seventies

You could't imagine such a world today. Porsche sportscars in yellow, bright blue, organge, red, green, etc. But this is how buyers ordered their Porsche in the seventies. To make my point I have added two color portfolios of 1974 and three pictures of Porsche sportscars from 1976 und 1971.
Make up your own mind, wouldn't you rather want to live in a Porsche world full of wonderful colors, compared to the silver, grey, black, dark blue trends we have today?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Goggomobil - more than modern 60 years ago

What you see here under a Christmas tree is a Goggomobil T 250 from around 1957. This was a very small (less than 3 meters long), light (around 415 kg) two door four seat limousine favored for its good performance, excellent handling and state of the art economy.
Mind, that this little thing could do more than 50 miles per hour, but it was more economical than a Smart today.
Now, the point I want to raise is, that with this tiny vehicle people were able to commute, to take a vacation trip with their family and to even start at hillclimbs or circuit races. It satisfied all transportation demands. Today, people buy a two ton vehicle accelerated by a 300 hp engine to basically do the same. And they wouldn't arrive much earlier with their SUV than they did with a 50ies Goggomobil. Great progress, isn't it?
Anyway, merry christmas!
P.S. If you want to know more about the Goggomobil and you read German, then here's a worthwhile article to read.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aston Martin V12 Zagato - what a car

Aston Martin presented the V12 Zagato in Cernobbio last weekend. It was entered into the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este and won its category, the concept cars and prototypes of 2010/2011.
It's quite an impressive machine, clearly a race car. The red one will be driven by Ulrich Bez himself at the 24 hours of Nurburgring in July. Ulrich Bez told me that he is looking forward to it.
The V12 Zagato continues a tradition that had it's best time in 1960 when Zagao produced the DB4 GT Zagato, a truely iconic early super car. But today's version is impressive as well, especially when you start the engine. Its sound is amazing. Have a look at the pictures to see the elegant shape ...

Friday, April 22, 2011

What colors did you get with a Porsche 356 in 1963?

Have a look at the color card of the 1963 Porsch 356. Not a lot of choice, really. Only four colors with a metallic scheme. And 7 non metallic colors. White certainly was popular, black as well. And the campagne yellow can also be seen quite often.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Driving a 1956 Messerschmitt KR 200

This week I had the pleasure to drive a microcar called Messerschmitt KR 200 built in 1956. It looks a bit like the top of an older airplane with three wheels beneath it. You enter it by lifting the glass top. Driver and co-driver sit behind each other. The controls are a mixture of what you are used in a car (pedals, gear stick) and what you know from motocycles (steering, sequential gearbox).
It's really exciting as it feels to different to anything else I have driven. It's not fast and I didn't try to reach the 92 km/h it should be capable to do. The sound is typical two stroke single cylinder. The highlight is the view, 360 degree and to the top. It's understandable that these small cars fetch 25000 Euros at auctions these days! A more detailed report can be found here (in German language though, but with soundfiles).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Geneva Car Show 2011 - Hybrid, Electricity, and ..... ?

So, what's new at the Geneva Car Show 2011? Well, if you need the newspapers, then they claim that 170 new cars are shown by 700 exhibitors. Hmmh. What does "new" mean? I have seen lots of hybrid and semi-electrical derivatives of known cars. I have seen a number of interesting concept cars and a number of quite ugly ones too. I have seen new versions of sportscars.
So, what do I really remember after 8 hours of constant walking around and taking pictures? Yes, the BMW Vision concept car is quite impressive. The Alfa Romeo 4C concept car hopefully never makes it close to production, it's clearly not my cup of tea. I certainly will remember forever the highly attractive Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato (from 1962) at the Aston booth. It probably was the most beautiful car of the show. I was quite impressed by the Mazda 4 door saloon concept car, nice design and good presentation, really! And then the Bertone Jaguar 4 door saloon car. First I really liked the car, when I spotted it in a newspaper. But now, having seen it in the real world, I am not so sure anymore. Would the design really last well over time? I doubt it. It's too short term oriended in my eyes.
Wiesmann showed a design concept that makes you like the current designs even more. I was positively suprised when looking at the Carozzeria Touring design for a potential new Gumpert. The existing car is quite functional and beauty probably wasn't high on the criteria list, but the Touring version could make it one of the better super cars in my eyes.
Giugiaro showed a Volkswagen that makes the existing fleet of Volkswagen look quite old and outdated. Yes, that's a direction I could support! The Saab concept car makes you hungry for more, while the Lamborghini Aventador sort seems to be more of the same, no real quantum leap that I would have hoped Lamborghini could do (think Miura versus Countach). De Tomaso surprised with a comeback presenting the de Tomaso Deauville. There's a good and a bad message here: The Deauville is not pretty at all and really nothing you would dream of, the people from de Tomaso announced that they will present a new Pantera later this year, so we still can hope for better things to come. Some nice displays with old cars were shown as well, I mentioned the Aston, but there was also a Jaguary E Type from 1961, a Mercedes Simplex and a Lehner-Porsche. Too bad Renault only tried it halfway, cutting a 1961 Renault R4L in pieces ....
What would I want to buy? I honestly don't know!
More and other pictures can be found here!