Blog

0

Fact Sheet: Fisker Karma and Fisker Automotive

– Fisker Automotive, an American company based in Southern California, has been a catalyst in the auto industry. With the Karma, Fisker changed the perception of what an electric car could be: a high-style, high-performance luxury sedan.

– The fully certified Fisker Karma, an all-new car with all-new technology from an all-new company, went from concept to showroom in less than 48 months and for much less cost than industry standard.

– The Karma offers a unique package of world-class style and design combined with industry leading economy and the lowest emissions of nearly any production car.

– Starting in the US at $102,000 before $7500 Federal tax credits, the Fisker Karma is the only truly eco-conscious alternative to other luxury sedans in the same and higher price segments (e.g. Porsche Panamera S Hybrid; Maserati Quattroporte)

– Fisker Automotive is ahead of European, Japanese and Korean manufacturers in the development of extended-range electric vehicles.

– Fisker Automotive is primarily privately funded, having raised more than $860 million in private equity financing since 2007. Despite receiving $528.7 million in Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees, the company’s success is not dependent on government money. Only about 1/3 of the total loan amount ($190 million) has been drawn, directed mostly at Karma design and development.

– The Karma is the first and only advanced-technology vehicle supported by the DOE to successfully reach the public marketplace. It began arriving in showrooms 18 months after the company received final approval for the DOE loan.

– Fisker has generated more than $100 million in revenue from Karma sales since December 2011.

– In May 2011 Fisker Automotive opted to stop taking reimbursements from the DOE while the company entered negotiations to implement more realistic and achievable milestones.

– As a prudent business measure, project Nina has been temporarily put on hold until financing, either from the DOE or elsewhere, can be secured.

– Fisker Automotive remains committed to a long-term product plan that includes lower-priced, higher-volume Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer™).

Designed to reflect Henrik’s paradigm of Responsible Luxury™, the Fisker Karma is the first American-designed and engineered luxury vehicle specifically developed to appeal to world markets. It is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city.

The only true Electric Vehicle with extended range, the Fisker Karma drives its rear wheels using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km). The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors; there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.

Uniquely, the 2012 Fisker Karma can run in one of two drive modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximizes efficiency, giving the car its greatest range on battery power before activating the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain battery charge. In Stealth Mode, the Karma can accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 95 mph (153 km/h). With Sport Mode engaged, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, allowing the Karma to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).

In all aspects of performance, the Fisker Karma is designed to be a true driver’s car. Its proprietary, advanced aluminum space frame incorporates new levels of rigidity and strength that give the Karma world-class ride and handling characteristics. Fisker Automotive’s engineering team designed the Karma’s space frame around the car’s unique powertrain, filing for multiple patents in the process.

Benefitting from a four-wheel independent SLA (double-wishbone) suspension, also employing aluminum components, the Karma has been specifically tuned to run on standard 22-inch aluminum wheels, a first for a production car.

Production of the Fisker Karma recently started at Valmet Automotive’s Uusikaupunki facility in Finland with Fisker aiming to achieve full build rate by the second half of 2011. It is Fisker’s plan to deliver vehicles to all current deposit holders during the 2011 model year.

Fisker Karma Proves 83 km/51.6 Mile Electric Range in TUV Tests

The 2012 Fisker Karma has achieved 83 km/51.6 miles running in silence on electric-only mode during independent fuel efficiency tests carried out by Europe’s regulatory body, the Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein (TUV) today (“De” according Annex 9 of ECE R 101).

The TUV have carried out the most thorough tests yet of the Karma’s real-world urban performance. This is an independent process that measures every element of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid’s performance.

“We are delighted that the TUV has confirmed that most owners will achieve a 50 mile range running purely on electric during their daily commute,” said Fisker Automotive CEO and co-founder Henrik Fisker.

The Karma has already been awarded the highest possible score of 10 out of 10 for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions on its label from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

About Fisker Automotive, Inc.

Fisker Automotive is a new automaker with a mission to build an innovative, eco-driven company that redefines and reshapes how the world thinks about cars. The company is leading the auto industry with its unique Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVer™) powertrain technology, which combines the power and efficiency of electric drive with the range and freedom of a gasoline engine.

Fisker was established in Southern California in 2007 by top auto designer Henrik Fisker and business partner Bernhard Koehler. In 2008 Fisker unveiled the Karma, the world’s first luxury Electric Vehicle with extended range. On sale since December 2011 the Karma was delivered to the market in record time. The Karma is the first and only American car to have won the coveted BBC Top Gear Luxury Car of the Year award, Automobile magazine named it 2012 Design of the Year, and TIME magazine listed the Karma one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2011.

From Fisker Press Release

Image Credit Fisker 

0
Fisker Automotive Unveils the All-New Fisker Atlantic in New York• Atlantic design prototype confirms Fisker Automotive’s bold future direction
• Uncompromised styling reinforcing commitment to exquisite design
• Four-door sporting sedan with a luxurious and practical interior
• Driven by Fisker’s advanced EVer powertrain technology: electric car with extended-range freedom
• Rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive option

Atlantic marks Fisker’s next step in its transition from start-up automaker to mainstream American manufacturer

New York, 3 April 2012 – Fisker Automotive is pleased to unveil its all-new model, the Atlantic sedan. This is the latest model in the company’s expanding line up of extended-range luxury electric cars.

Revealed as a design prototype at a special VIP preview event the night before the New York Auto Show press days begin, the Fisker Atlantic design prototype is a luxury four-door sporting sedan with a practical interior. It is aimed at young families who want to drive an impactful, high-end vehicle while making a positive statement about responsibilities – both in terms of their commitment to sustainability and the practicalities of everyday life.

The 2012 Fisker Atlantic uses the latest second generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) technology. It will offer all the benefits of electric drive while at the same time eliminating the “range anxiety” experienced with an all-electric powertrain.

Like the Karma sedan, the Fisker Atlantic is a plug-in series hybrid vehicle that allows drivers to switch manually or automatically between electric and gasoline driving modes and sustain the charge of its lithium ion batteries on the move.

Its four-cylinder gasoline engine, which acts as a generator and is not mechanically connected to the wheels, is tuned to offer maximum economy and high torque. This Atlantic EVer powertrain will offer highly competitive performance for a car in its class. The standard powertrain will be configured for rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive version will be offered as an option.

The Atlantic design prototype’s glass roof shows off a ridged ‘spider’ structure. This incredibly strong construction also allows the Atlantic to offer a remarkable amount of rear headroom for a car with its sleek, coupe-like stance. This high-tech approach fulfills and surpasses all current and future rollover safety and crash-test requirements worldwide. The Fisker Atlantic’s long wheelbase also affords extra legroom for rear passengers and more space in the trunk.

The unique, exciting styling of the Atlantic retains and progresses Fisker’s signature design DNA. Henrik Fisker and his design team set out to create the most beautiful and dramatic vehicle in its class. Much of the design was inspired by nature, for example, the dynamic side theme, with strong sculptural lines that optically cross the center and over the rear wheels of the car. This gives a sense of power – replicating the stance of a wild tiger ready to pounce.

Further important design details to note include an evolution of the Fisker Karma signature grille, with a wider sculptured line defining the power dome on the hood. Strong creases emerge from the inside of the headlamps and continue back over the hood to elongate the car. The sharp headlights themselves give an ‘eagle eye’ with a strength of strong character not seen on a production car before. These touches allow the Atlantic to create a greater rear-view mirror presence than any other vehicle in its class.

Additionally, the rear door handles have been elegantly integrated in the rear C-pillars, to continue the sense and look of a sporting coupe without losing the practicality of a four-door sedan. The extremely slim LED tail lamps use the latest technology allowing them to split into two parts to offer a wider aperture for the trunk opening. The rear end of the car is clean and aerodynamically shaped, with a sharp spoiler lip on the trunk that runs down over the side of the car to enhance aerodynamic performance.

Overall, the Fisker Atlantic’s dimensions are comparable to those of an Audi A5. It has been engineered inside and out to offer a dynamic yet compact feel on the road.

“We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class,” said Henrik Fisker, co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Design Director of Fisker Automotive.

“Fisker Automotive is transitioning from a start-up automaker to a fully-fledged mainstream car manufacturer and the Atlantic is a crucial milestone in that process,” said Tom LaSorda, CEO Fisker Automotive. “We have a long way to go, but in the near future Fisker intends to deliver this exceptional American-designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicle to showrooms worldwide.”

“I’m confident the Fisker Atlantic will inspire people and win the brand many new customers who may not have considered an EVer powered vehicle like this before.”

More details on the Fisker Atlantic, including statistics, prices and an on-sale date will be given closer to the launch of the production car.

ABOUT FISKER AUTOMOTIVE, INC.

Fisker Automotive is an American car company, founded in 2007, committed to producing electric vehicles with extended range (EVer) that deliver uncompromised responsible luxury. The company is designing and developing the world’s first line of premium electric plug-in hybrids representing the company’s firm belief that environmentally conscious cars need not sacrifice passion, style, or performance. Fisker Automotive is a global company that is redefining luxury for the modern sports car buyer. For more information on the brand and the Fisker Karma Sedan, please go to http://fiskerautomotive.com.

From Fisker Automotive Press Release

Image Credit Fisker

0
Engine Type: Turbocharged 1.75 liter Inline-4 Transmission: TCT dual-clutch automatic
Top Speed: 155 (249 km/h) Weight: 2,100 lbs
0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds Power 240 horsepower
Price: est. $50,000 Torque: 258 lb-ft of torque

World première: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition

• The exclusive ‘Launch Edition’ will make its début at the Geneva Motor Show. It will be produced as a numbered limited edition: 400 in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, 500 in North America and 100 in the rest of the world.
• Dedicated to the host of fans throughout the world, the limited edition of the new Alfa Romeo compact supercar is distinguished by exclusive characteristics such as carbon fibre trim and the ‘Carrara White’ body colour.
• The 4C ‘Launch Edition’ can be ordered straight away at a price which is almost the same throughout Europe, 60,000 euros including VAT (net of other local taxes).
• A unique privilege exclusively for 4C ‘Launch Edition’ buyers: the chance to take part in an exclusive event in Italy which also includes an Advanced Driving session with Professional Driver-Instructors.
• New all-aluminium engine: direct-injection 240HP 1750 Turbo Petrol.
• Top speed of more than 250km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
• Alfa TCT twin clutch transmission with shift paddles at steering wheel and new Alfa DNA selector with additional ‘Race’ mode.

The global launch of the Alfa Romeo 4C marks the return of the brand to the world of lightweight sports coupés, an extraordinary event, awaited ever more eagerly by the host of fans throughout the world. The exclusive ‘Launch Edition’ was created just for them, a numbered limited edition of 400 in Europe with exclusive characteristics developed specifically for this unique version.

It makes its début today, at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show, where orders officially opened for the ‘Launch Edition’ of the new 4C compact supercar at a price of 60,000 euros in most European markets (price including VAT net of other local taxes). What’s more, all buyers can take part in an exclusive event which will include an advanced driving course, to learn how to make the most of its potential in complete safety.

The new Launch Edition can ‘clothe’ its body with two liveries – Carrara White or Alfa Red – and is marked out by the distinctive badge, inlaid beneath the paintwork. The line of the special car is enhanced by the carbon aerodynamic kit (including spoiler and door mirror covers), the rear aluminium diffuser with dark finishing, Bi-LED headlights with dark surround and 18? (front) and 19? (rear) alloy wheels with burnishing treatment.

To accentuate the sports look still further, there are front air intakes, brake calipers in a specific colour, racing exhaust system with BMC air cleaner and suspension kit with specific calibration for shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bar.

The interior has the same sports feel, with highlights provided by the leather/fabric sports seats with parts in Alcantara, as well as the distinctive, numbered carbon badge. In the case of the red livery, the Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition has red stitching on the steering wheel trim, handbrake, mats, handles and sports seats.

Of course, the Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition offers all the winning characteristics of the model that represents the essential sportiness embedded in the ‘Alfa Romeo DNA’: Italian style, performance and technical excellence, for maximum driving pleasure in complete safety.

Designed by Alfa Romeo and produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, the new mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupé with two bucket seats will be become available for purchase in 2013 and will mark the return of the Italian brand to the United States, inaugurating Alfa Romeo’s global growth plan.

The Alfa Romeo 4C derives directly from the concept which raised many eyebrows in admiration at the Geneva Show in 2011, so much so that it won three prestigious awards: the ‘AutoBild Design Award’ (2011, Germany), the ‘Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes’ (2012, Italy) and the ‘Most Exciting Car of 2013? – ‘What Car?’ (2013, Great Britain).

Acronym 4C

The acronym ’4C’ draws its inspiration from the brand’s glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. Indeed, it refers to Alfa Romeo’s great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars – both racing and non – fitted with the powerful ‘eight cylinders’ and the innovative ‘six cylinders’, confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the weight/power ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses state-of-the-art technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) – carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive – and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but updated to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated “Alfa TCT” twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the brand-new Race mode.

Exterior style

Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which “clothed” the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments.

The 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility.

The development of the 4C’s exterior was characterised from the start by the need to enhance the style of the car and the technical characteristics both from a dynamic and aerodynamic point of view. For this reason, all the style solutions adopted have been optimised in accordance with the ultimate goal of the car: performance.

The rear volume, sinuous and enveloping, simultaneously encloses and embraces the beating heart of the car: the mechanics and the engine, visible through the rear window.

All this, thanks to the development of marked musculature above the wheels, lends strength and power to the rear end.

The rear musculature supports its structure on round rear light clusters and on the side air intakes necessary to cool the intercooler and the air intake for engine aspiration.

From this energy-charged rear volume and the two side air intakes spring the two long muscles which lend speed and dynamism to the side, generating the necessary volume at the front end to house the headlights and, on the central part, the two robust ribs running along the bonnet, tracing the unmistakable “V” and coming to their natural conclusion around the shield.

This, together with the two side intakes, forms the famous “Trefoil”, a substantial facet of Alfa Romeo’s profile.

Interior design

The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction.

Specifically, the carbon fibre of the central cell immediately stands out in the interior, left in full view to enhance the sense of low weight, technology and uniqueness of the car.

The dashboard and door panels have an “asphalt ” treatment to recall the vocation of the Alfa Romeo 4C, conceived to convey maximum driving sensation from the road.

The seats ensure dedicated sports posture, favouring the driver’s contact with the road without, however, compromising the comfort required for everyday use of the car.

The dashboard, simple and designed to make using functions simple too, reaches its zenith in the concept of extreme driver-orientation, thanks to digital instruments and gear shift controls located on the appropriately shaped steering wheel.

The cockpit, which powerfully suggests the world of motorcycle racing and race cars, brings together all information necessary to drive and control the car.

The information, which is rendered captivating through powerful, high-impact graphics, allows the driver to keep everything under control without distractions from controls that would be superfluous on this type of car.

The pedal unit and footboards for driver and passenger are all made of aluminium and embellish the lower part under the dashboard, highlighting sports character down to the smallest detail.

Dimensions and aerodynamics

The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique among its competitors: 399 cm long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of 238 cm. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the car’s “supercar proportions” and to accentuate its agility. What’s more, owing to the designers’ excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, guaranteeing a negative Cz which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds thanks to the aerodynamic downforce.

New direct-injection 240 HP 1750 Turbo Petrol engine

The engine is the beating “heart” of an Alfa Romeo. In this case, it’s the new direct-injection 240 HP 4-cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol, which was designed with a precise objective: to ensure exceptional performance without sacrificing driving fluidity and use in any circumstances, from the racetrack to the city streets. The Alfa Romeo 4C’s new mid-engine, all-aluminium power unit adopts specific optimised intake and exhaust systems, to enhance both response at low speeds and extension, with the assistance of a crankshaft with eight counterweights. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct petrol injection, dual (intake and exhaust) continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that eliminates turbo lag. Torque delivery is generous, with a peak of 350 Nm, 80% of which is available at only 1700 rpm.

Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission

The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in the category due to its limited weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can be changed in sequential mode using the “shift paddles” located behind the steering wheel. Compared to the version already adopted on the Giulietta and MiTo models, the TCT on the Alfa Romeo 4C implements next-generation software and features the new ‘Launch Control’ function that optimises all car systems to provide the utmost acceleration possible. What’s more, to ensure the best performance in accordance with the road conditions and driving style, the Alfa TCT adopts optimised operating logic, interacting with the Alfa DNA selector, the braking system, the engine management system and the vehicle stability control system. For example, in automatic mode, the shifting logic differs according to the Alfa DNA setting.

The new Alfa DNA selector with ‘Race’ mode

A specific evolution of the Alfa DNA selector has been developed for Alfa Romeo 4C, which not only features the three standard settings available on other models in the range – Dynamic, Natural and All Weather – but also a fourth mode: ‘Race’, designed to enhance the driving experience on a racetrack even further. It only takes a long press of the selector in Dynamic position to activate it: in this mode, the Alfa DNA deactivates the stability control and anti-slip systems, leaving the driver in full, exciting control. Finally, the full-digital instrument panel with TFT display changes configuration – showing only information relevant to the chosen mode – and colour in line with the Alfa DNA setting: yellow for Race, red for Dynamic, grey for Natural and blue for All Weather.

Solid but lightweight structure

A stiff, strong but light structure is an essential pre-requisite for a high-performance sports car. The same principle inspired the creation of the Alfa Romeo 4C. A state-of-the-art combination of hi-tech materials of extraordinary stiffness and strength, together with a very low specific weight, was selected to achieve this result. In particular, the chassis is a monocoque made entirely of carbon fibre with ‘pre-preg’ technology derived from Formula 1 and adopted only by the most advanced supercars, which weighs only 65 kilograms, inside which a space is formed for the driver and passenger. The front and rear structures of the chassis and the roof reinforcements are made entirely of aluminium.

Additionally, the car’s bodywork is made entirely of low-density, high-strength composite material. Benefits of using this material include lighter weight (it is 20% lighter than steel) and resistance to corrosion. Dimensional stability is comparable to steel and better than aluminium.

Finally, the seats have a mixed carbon fibre and fibreglass structure which guarantees high resistance to stresses and a particularly low weight at the same time.

The final result is a significant reduction in overall weight (the dry weight is just 895 kg) combined with the best possible torsional stiffness and strength characteristics, as well as the optimisation of the car’s centre of gravity, which gives the advantage of increased agility and drivability on the most challenging roads.

Suspension

The Alfa Romeo 4C has an extremely sophisticated suspension layout – ‘superimposed wishbones’ at the front, development of MacPherson at the rear – to ensure maximum agility and road holding. This solution, along with the rear-wheel drive and the extraordinary weight to power ratio, ensures Alfa Romeo driving pleasure, enhanced even further by the weight distribution (40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear axle). What’s more, for those wanting the maximum in terms of handling, a complete suspension kit will be available with a specific calibration of the shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bar.

Braking system, wheels and steering

To ensure decisive braking even under the most intensive conditions, the braking system has four self-ventilating perforated discs, with Brembo four-piston aluminium calipers on the front axle. In addition, to “stick” the car firmly onto the road surface, tyres with a different diameter and width depending on whether they are fitted at the front or rear have been fitted (two variants possible, either 17?-18? or 18?-19?) which were developed especially to guarantee excellent performance (a kit of tyres with a softer mix is also provided for optimised grip). In line with the car’s setup, the steering system of the 4C does not feature power steering, to save weight but above all to secure a superlative driving feel. An appropriate steering wheel load is maintained thanks to the low overall weight of the car.

Real supercar performance

The implemented state-of-the-art technical and technological solutions drive the Alfa Romeo 4C to reach real supercar performance with a unique driving feel. This is demonstrated by a top speed in excess of 250 km/h, only 4.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, 1.1 of side acceleration on corners and 1.25 g of maximum braking deceleration.

Excellence made in Italy

The very best technical and industrial expertise of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands was used to develop the Alfa Romeo 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. This was boosted by the technical and technological contribution of other Italian companies, international leaders in the sector of high-performance sports car components. In short, this too is a distinguishing trait of Alfa Romeo, a brand with a century of history that continues to be one of the most famous and popular ambassadors of Italian products across the world.

From Alfa Romeo Press Release

Image Credit Alfa Romeo

0

0
Engine Type: Turbocharged 1.75 liter Inline-4 Transmission: TCT dual-clutch automatic
Top Speed: 155 (249 km/h) Weight: 2,100 lbs
0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds Power 240 horsepower
Price: est. $50,000 Torque: 258 lb-ft of torque

World première: Alfa Romeo 4C

• The new Alfa Romeo compact mid-engined supercar with rear-wheel drive and two bucket seats makes its début in Geneva.
• The new Alfa Romeo 4C is the result of experience built up with the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione model produced in the Maserati plant in Modena and it will be available for purchase in 2013, marking the return of the Italian brand to the United States.
• Less than 4 metres in length, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres.
• New 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine.
• Alfa TCT twin clutch automatic transmission.
• New Alfa DNA selector with ‘Race’ mode.
• Chassis made entirely of carbon with load-bearing and structural function.
• Weight to power ratio less than 4 kg/HP.

The final version of the Alfa Romeo 4C makes its début at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva. This mid-engined rear-wheel drive coupé with two bucket seats represents the true essence of a sports car at the heart of Alfa Romeo’s DNA: performance, Italian style and technical excellence, offering maximum driving satisfaction in total safety.

Designed by Alfa Romeo engineers and produced in the Maserati plant in Modena, the new compact supercar will be available for purchase in 2013, marking the return of the Italian brand to the United States and inaugurating Alfa Romeo’s global growth plan.

The Alfa Romeo 4C derives directly from the concept which raised many eyebrows in wonder at the Geneva Show in 2011, so much so that it won three prestigious awards: the ‘AutoBild Design Award’ (2011, Germany), the ‘Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes’ (2012, Italy) and the ‘Most Exciting Car of 2013? – ‘What Car?’ (2013, Great Britain).

Acronym 4C

The acronym ’4C’ draws its inspiration from the brand’s glorious past, projecting the values of technology and emotions into the future. Indeed, it refers to Alfa Romeo’s great sporting tradition: the acronyms 8C and 6C in the 1930s and 1940s distinguished cars – both racing and road – fitted with the powerful ‘eight cylinders’ and the innovative ‘six cylinders’, confirming in its design layout and construction the goal of achieving the power /weight ratio of an authentic supercar, less than 4 kg/HP, yet focusing not merely on the maximum power delivered, but on limiting the weight to guarantee maximum agility and top performance. To this end, the Alfa Romeo 4C uses technologies and materials derived from super sports cars (including the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione) – carbon fibre, aluminium, rear-wheel drive – and technologies from the latest standard models from Alfa Romeo, but updated to enhance the sports appeal of the new car even further. This is demonstrated by the new 1750 Turbo Petrol all-aluminium engine with direct injection, the sophisticated Alfa TCT twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA selector with the unprecedented Race mode.

Exterior style

Designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the 4C immediately brings to mind some of the traditional iconic models which have left a significant mark in the history of the Brand. Above all others, in terms of dimensional and layout similarities, one stands out in particular: the 33 Stradale, a car that combined extreme mechanical and functional requirements with an essential style which ‘clothed’ the engine and chassis appropriately with unmistakable Alfa Romeo treatments. The 4C has followed suit, and thus completes a journey which was embarked upon with the 8C Competizione, emphasising some particular concepts of the brand, such as compact size, dynamism and agility.

Interior design

The elemental design and essential materials also distinguish the interior, which is all designed and built for maximum driving satisfaction. Specifically, the carbon fibre in the interior immediately stands out, used to make the central cell, which has been left in full view to enhance the sense of uniqueness, of technology and light weight.

Dimensions and aerodynamics

The compact dimensions make this car with 2 bucket seats truly unique amid its competitors: it is just under 4 metres long, 200 cm wide, 118 cm high and with a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres. These dimensions serve both to emphasise the compact size of the car and to accentuate its agility. What’s more, owing to the designers’ excellent work, the car achieves maximum aerodynamic efficiency levels, recording a negative Cz (downforce coefficient) which, as in racing cars, contributes towards achieving increased stability at higher speeds.

New 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol

An evolution of the engine already in use in the Quadrifoglio Verde version of the Giulietta, the new 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo Petrol engine implements an innovative aluminium block and specific intake and exhaust systems which have been optimised to enhance the sports appeal of the car even further. In addition, it boasts cutting-edge technical solutions including direct fuel injection, dual continuous variable valve timing, a turbocharger and a revolutionary scavenging control system that gets rid of any turbo lag.

Alfa TCT automatic transmission

The 1750 Turbo Petrol engine is teamed with the innovative Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission, which is a genuine benchmark in its segment due to its low weight and extreme speed of activation. The gears can also be changed in sequential mode using the shift paddles located behind the steering wheel.

The new Alfa DNA selector with Race mode

The Alfa Romeo 4C also sees the début of the new Alfa DNA selector which not only features the three standard settings available until now – Dynamic, Natural and All Weather – but also a fourth mode: Race, designed to enhance the driving experience on a race track even further.

Excellence made in Italy

The very best technical and industrial expertise of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands were used to develop the final version of the 4C. Specifically, the teamwork between the two brands was aimed at the integration of the Alfa Romeo design department with the Maserati production plant. In short, this too is a distinguishing trait of Alfa Romeo, a brand with a century of history that continues to be one of the most famous and popular ambassadors of Italian products across the world.

From Alfa Romeo Press Release

Image Credit Alfa Romeo 

0

Zagato Atelier announces the introduction of the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa at the XII Villa D’Este Concours d’Elegance.

The TZ3 Corsa is not a design exercise.

It does not take inspiration only from the 90 year collaboration between the two brands, neither only from the Milanese conjunction between Alfa Romeo and Zagato.

The TZ3 Corsa is a race car, honouring 100 years of races and victories across the whole 20th century.

It celebrates men and machines of the Alfa Romeo Zagato common tradition:  Scuderia Ferrari of the 20’s and 30’s, Alfa Corse of the 40’s and 50’s, Autodelta of the 60’s and 70’s up to the latest Scuderia Zagato of the 80’s and 90’s.

Recalling these racing emotions, the TZ3 Corsa is based on a mono shell carbon fibre tubular chassis, coupled with a tubular frame and a lightweight aluminium body. It boasts Technical Partners such as OMP and Pirelli.

Following Zagato’s gentlemen-driver heritage, the car has been commissioned by the Alfa Romeo Zagato collector Martin Kapp, during the Zandvoort Tribute to Zagato event, where more than 130 Alfa Romeo Zagatos were celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the brand.

Martin Kapp owns, among his Alfa Romeo Collection: SZ coda tonda and SZ coda tronca, TZ and TZ2, Junior Z and S.Z..

Tribute to the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo’s Racing Heritage:

Alfa Romeo and Zagato achieved the best results since the beginnings thanks to the Mille Miglia victories of the 1500 6C, the 1750 GS and the 8C 2300 Zagato of the Scuderia Ferrari. Already in 1933 an official advert of the Alfa Romeo 8C proclaimed: “The Spider that, with the trio Alfa Romeo – Scuderia Ferrari – Carrozzeria Zagato, brought countless victories in the homeland and abroad for the honour of Italy.”

Even the grandiose Quadrifoglio Verde was placed on the bodies of Zagatos of the Alfa Corse team numerous times. Among the most glorious moments is the victory of the Formula 1
championship of Juan Manuel Fangio, aboard his Alfa Romeo 159 bodied by Zagato, as well as the victorious Alfa Romeo 3000 CM bodied in 3 samples by Zagato.

During the 60’s, the list of absolute victories of the Giulia TZ and TZ2 by Zagato for the Autodelta of Ing. Carlo Chiti, was never-ending. Some of the most memorable victories included the 1964 12 hours of Sebring, the Targa Florio, the Nurburgring, and the 24 hours of Le Mans.

The single-brand Alfa Romeo S.Z. championship emphasized the Alfa Romeo ES30’s (Experimental SportsCar 3000) technical and dynamic abilities. The S.Z. delivered, and continues
to so today, constant performance and driving pleasure to the Gentlemen drivers of the Alfa Zagato team, across the most important racetracks in Europe.

From Zagato Press Release

Image Credit Zagato

0

The spider of the future as seen by Pininfarina

To mark its 80th anniversary, Pininfarina proposes an “open” Alfa Romeo that is exciting and a delight to drive

For those who still like to dream in a car. For those looking for a mixture of vanity, entertainment, and the pleasure of life in the open air. For those who love icons as the greatest expression of the age we live in. For those who want their cars to be an uncommon sensory experience in terms of both style and driving, without being obsessed by performance. For those who want to be excited by a dynamic, sporty car that transmits the exclusiveness and refinement typical of an Alfa Romeo spider designed by Pininfarina.

For all of them, we present the 2uettottanta.

2uettottanta: a name that evokes the legendary Duetto, but also the years of activity at Pininfarina, which launches the celebrations for its 80th anniversary with this concept car. And it has decided to do so with a type of car that is by definition, the work of Pininfarina: an Alfa Romeo spider. A very Italian product, which has become an export brand, representing the inexhaustible talent that the whole world associates with Italy.

The 2uettottanta reflects Pininfarina’s determination to look to the future with optimism following tradition, restating its excellence in design and its acknowledged capacity for aesthetic and technological innovation. It is a concept that represents an innovative approach, projected into the third millennium, to a topic that is firmly rooted in Pininfarina history, the 2-seater spider. And like the best Alfa Romeo sports cars to come from Pininfarina’s pencil, the 2uettottanta exalts the driving experience and concentrates on the excitement of being at the wheel of an open car with a great aesthetic personality. It is a car that can make people dream and excites even after many years. The icon of a lifestyle that harks back to a lively, tumultuous period. Like the Duetto of the Sixties, which helped to establish a trend based on the themes of rebellion and escape, thanks to the film “The Graduate”.

The 2uettottanta is also a tribute to Alfa Romeo, which celebrates its centenary in 2010: the alliance between Alfa Romeo and Pininfarina is one of the most significant and durable in the history of the car, one of men and of passion, of design and cutting-edge technical solutions, which has generated an inestimable number of good-looking, innovative cars with plenty of temperament. With a predilection for sports cars and convertibles. The aim is to replicate all this with the 2uettottanta. So a clean, elegant line was chosen for this “simple 2-seater”, which is proposed with a 1750 cc turbo engine positioned longitudinally, an obvious reference to the “1750 Veloce” of 1968, one of the many versions derived from the famous “Osso di Seppia” (Cuttlefish). With its red bodywork, inspired by the typical Alfa Romeo paintwork, the 2uettottanta is 1797 mm wide, 4212.6 mm long, 1280 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2500 mm.

The pleasure of driving and feeling in harmony with nature is transformed into light, sleek, refined volumes, and shapes that seem to slip through the air easily. This generates the theme of this concept: the expression of a single volume, which is some way from the ground and suspended. The 2uettottanta almost seems to lift up from the ground “going further”. It is an optical effect achieved thanks to a line that crosses the whole car horizontally. An uninterrupted sign applied to dynamic, sporty proportions – typical of Alfa Romeo spiders – accentuated by the configuration of the passenger compartment, which is shifted significantly to the rear. The force of the design lies in its exaltation of simplicity, which does not need to show its muscles but concentrates purely on agility and harmony.

The front end of the 2uettottanta underlines its true Alfa Romeo character. The design is simple, with a central line that runs smoothly along the nose of the car, while the execution of the surfaces is more sophisticated. At the centre, in full view, and anything but a purely decorative element, is the Alfa Romeo shield, which seems to emerge from the heart of the car and to stretch outwards, in Pininfarina’s futuristic, three-dimensional approach. The shield is made of aluminium and incorporates floating horizontal flaps. On either side are the two triangular lateral air intakes. The two elements impressed on the imposing bonnet create a natural link between the logo and the large windscreen, which has been designed as a ring in hand-beaten aluminium that emerges from the body of the car without interrupting its flow. The front headlights, which adopt the latest LED technologies, are embedded under the line that gives the whole car its character. A strip of carbon in the lower part of the front acts as an air splitter, channelling the air to the rear end of the car.

The side view of the car, where the theme of the single volume is repeated, highlights the flowing line of the whole, with the shapes merging naturally. The horizontal line “cut” into the sides gives a sense of great dynamism; it starts from the front wheelarch and extends back to the rear wheel. Like an athlete, for a car, being slim also means achieving aerodynamic efficiency. Pininfarina has always strived for natural shapes that can convey efficiency and respect of the environment, an approach confirmed by its great commitment to the theme of eco-sustainable mobility. The 2uettottanta is in perfect harmony with nature, becoming the formal expression of a response to the needs of our day: it is an arrow that flies through the wind almost without encountering resistance.

Smooth, essential, soft surfaces even at the rear, which echoes the front, albeit with slightly more emphasis on the muscles. The design combines stylistic simplicity with a strong character in the volumes and proportions, with details designed to underline the car’s dynamic, light personality. The two bumps seem to emerge from the volume, becoming floating wings that create the roll-over bars behind the seats. At either end, these bars generate an appendix designed to hold the seat belts. Even at the rear the light clusters are slender and embedded under the line that defines the whole section.

Great attention went into the design of the interior. The result is a spacious, comfortable passenger compartment, conceived with light, dynamic volumes, which envelop the occupants in a strong, reassuring embrace. The shapes are sewn into the leather, incorporating the touch controls: in its functions, the 2uettottanta is faithful to its vocation as a car designed to be a delight to drive. The facia extends fluidly to the sides merging into the doorway as the natural continuation of the volume of the car, thus creating a perfect symbiosis between exterior and interior. The dashboard has a driver-oriented configuration with an innovative approach to the classical circular Alfa Romeo “tubes” that contain the instruments. The tunnel contains the Alfa DNA gear selector in an ergonomic position; this varies the set-up of the car in three modes, Dynamic, Normal and All Weather, adapting the behaviour of the various systems on the vehicle (engine, transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, etc.) to the demands of the driver and the different driving conditions. The tunnel runs through the passenger compartment and it gives structure to the chassis, revealing the carbon elements: the choice of this material reflects Pininfarina’s constant research into alternative materials that can make vehicles lighter, reducing consumption and emissions. Another strong element of the interior is the steering wheel, which is a modern interpretation of the Duetto’s perforated three-spoke wheel, with the addition of a shift paddle for sequential control of the dual-clutch gearbox. An enjoyable drive and comfort are also guaranteed by the anatomical sporty seats. All the interior of the car “floats”: the ventilation ducts are positioned between the passenger compartment and the hull.

The size and design of the tyres, which were created specifically for the 2uettottanta in collaboration with Dunlop, accentuate the impression of strong character and force given by the car. The tyres are of the low profile type, right on the extreme edges of the plane view: designed by Pininfarina to incorporate the innovative technologies developed by Dunlop, their graphics reflect those of the car. Their aerodynamic shape and very smooth lateral profile, guarantee better roadholding and less resistance to air, thus reducing consumption. The rims are treated in aluminium in harmony with the rest of the car, and are a free interpretation of the classic five-circle Alfa Romeo pattern, revealing the high performance carbo-ceramic Alfa Romeo brakes by Brembo.

The 2uettottanta is not a pure styling exercise, but also a project and research: the goal is to grasp the spirit of the spider in the configuration, the proportions and the conception of the car as well as in its stylistic imprint. This working method is part of Pininfarina’s genes. For this project, the Pininfarina creative team were given carte blanche to express the values inherent in the Alfa spider “by Pininfarina”, the values that are deemed to have made the Giulietta Spider or the Duetto all-time classics. To achieve this result, the car was given a particular set-up, with a low centre of gravity and a passenger compartment that is very exposed so as not to isolate the occupants from the surrounding environment. The result is to bring the road “nearer” to the eyes of the driver and to increase the sense of dynamism even at low speed.

What is the 2uettottanta effect? Desire. Whoever sees it “must” possess it, drive it, enjoy it. Because the 2uettottanta is not an unattainable dream. Nor does the 2uettottanta only want to impress at first glance, but to achieve a beauty that does not strive solely for immediate confirmation, but gradually reveals all its values and transfers them to the future, making the style eternal. As it did in the case of the Duetto, which continues to be celebrated as an icon of design after more than 40 years.

From Alfa Romeo/Pininfarina Press Release

Image Credit Alfa Romeo/Pininfarina

0

2025 Bugatti Aerolithe Concept By Douglas Hogg, Coventry University Graduate, now a designer at Ford Motor Company

HISTORY

Ettore Bugatti was the founder of Bugatti cars and in many ways the ultimate perfectionist. He believed his cars should be the best in the world and constantly strove to make them the fastest, lightest and most luxurious cars possible. “Nothing is too beautiful, nothing is too expensive” was one of his guiding mantras. Together with his son Jean, they were a world leading force in premium automobiles. Many believe that Ettore’s engineering genius and Jeans visionary styling reached their collaborative zenith with the 1935 Aerolithe prototype.

The original Aerolithe was unveiled at the 1935 Paris motor show and was the instant star attraction. It looked like nothing else – Its elegant, highly aerodynamic styling and super lightweight construction was years ahead of its time. Such was the reception the Aerolithe received that 1936 a production version was offered as the legendary Type 57 SC Atlantic, of which three exist today and sell at auction for around $40 million. As for the Aerolithe, it disappeared sometime in the late 1930’s. To this day no one knows for sure its fate.

The 2025 Bugatti Aerolithe – The vanguard of a new wave of intelligent Luxury.

‘Super luxury’ Grand Tourer for 2025, inspired by Ettore Bugatti’s principles of automotive design, the original Aerolithe, and the theme ‘aerodynamic elegance’.

 

Key themes; Extravagant Graceful Sporting

The new 2025 Bugatti Aerolithe concept represents a return to the brand values and holistic attitude of Ettore Bugatti that made Bugatti cars so great – simplicity, beauty and intelligence. The new Aerolithe takes theme and style inspiration from the lightweight original and re imagines it as a futuristic and exclusive GT car for 15 years in the future – the vanguard of a new wave of intelligent luxury.

The typical buyer of a new Bugatti is the man who has it all. He statistically already owns 8+ cars, A boat and/ or a private jet. He can afford to choose to buy the very best in everything and the Aerolithe was designed to be the best grand tourer money can buy.

The dramatic styling is an exercise in pure surfacing. It references the original with its elegant proportions and split windows, whilst carving out a new design direction for Bugatti utilising clean, unbroken surfacing and advanced aerodynamics. The main bodywork is completely smooth, uncluttered by external mirrors, door handles and clunky spoilers. The lines are inspired by organic forms, science fiction and the original 193 Aerolithe. Up front, the signature Bugatti ‘Horseshoe’ grill in is a direct ram air intake to the turbine engine, whilst the headlights apertures in the front double up as cooling ducts to cool the brakes. At the rear, the boot lid features two jet fighter inspired pop up air brakes to stabilize the car under braking, whilst the rear lights also double up as cooling ducts. Advanced technology integrated so harmoniously into the clean body shell that you would never know it was there.

Underbody aerodynamics are a key feature of the Aerolithe and allow it to have such clean styling. Two air channels run the full length of the underbody of the car directing air from the front, around the almond shaped cabin, back to the massive double diffuser at the rear. This generates enough down force to keep the car firmly glued to the road at speed without the need for any visible rear spoiler.

The Aerospace inspired split canopy doors of the Aerolithe concept are a stand out feature designed primarily to allow easy access to the cabin, but also to generate street theatre when the car pulls up. Each side opens independently of the other, and splits into a top and bottom half. The bottom half of each door tucks under the sill, whilst the top half swings up and forwards taking with it a massive swathe of bodywork and the whole dashboard. The steering column can then raise into the space left by the door, giving an enormous aperture to allow users of all shapes and sizes to easily get in and out.

The polished aluminum centre spine is a key styling and construction feature. It references the riveted central seam line of the original and develops it into a key structural component running throughout the interior and exterior. Beneath the sensuous carbon fiber bodywork is a highly efficient and dynamic mechanical package. The Aerolithe features titanium, magnesium and composite materials throughout to keep the weight down to around 1400kg. The passenger safety cell is bullet proof, with Aluminum Oxynitride windows. Driving a one million pound car you never can be too careful.

Propulsion is provided by an advanced Micro turbine battery hybrid drive train. Micro turbines are an emerging technology that will see great use in the automotive industry in the coming years. They are compact, lightweight and highly efficient. They can run on almost anything that burns –petrol, diesel, kerosene, alcohol, even perfume. In the Aerolithe the Micro turbine functions only as a generator with no mechanical link to the wheels. Its only function is to generate electricity to charge the batteries on the move. In general terms, the Aerolithe is an electric car. The Micro turbine engine is a range extender for the batteries, giving a theoretical range of up to 800 miles on one tank of fuel with minimal harmful emissions

-From and By Douglas Hogg 

Image Credit Bugatti, and Douglas Hogg

0

0

0

The Spanish automaker GTA introduces the 2012 GTA Spano to their supercar line. The new Spano is a coupe with a rear mounted 8.3 liter V10 engine which puts on 708 lb-ft of torque. This supercar’s supercharged engine also cranks out 820 hp and delivers the power to the rear wheels through an 7-speed transmission. Along with a powerful engine, GTA used lightweight materials including carbon fiber, Kevlar and titanium, giving the car a total weight of 2,970 pounds. The wheels in the front are 19? and rear wheels are 20?, giving continuous effect on chassis.

It’s a simple equation that almost always works, which every supercar enthusiast loves to hear, which is that a lightweight design plus a powerful engine equals a very fast car.  GTA delivered on that equation. The Spanish supercar can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in a blistering 2.9 seconds, and reach a top speed of 217 mph, making it one of the fastest accelerators to date.

If the fast specs aren’t enough for you well then you would pleased to know that the interior is just as eye popping. GTA used high quality materials to give the GTA Spano’s interior a sporty but elegant feel.  The use of carbon fiber on the steering wheel and on other parts in the interior demonstrate GTA’s commitment to keep the weight down but also give the interior a modern look. Leather trimmed seats and a slick center console with a 7? LCD screen, give you a sense of luxury rarely found on a 215+ mph supercar.

Not only does it come with a modern amenities in the inside but GTA decided to get rid of the rear-view mirrors and put a rear-camera in the back, which is hooked up the LCD in the center console. Get lost? Well then you got an GPS tracking system with all the audio equipment you need to rock out. The Spano also has decent boot, with two sections, so when you go to the store you have a place to put all your groceries.

Along with all the state of art technology in the supercar, the 2012 GTA Spano seems like it has everything, and combines the best of both worlds. Of course none of this is free, and if you want one than you better start saving because we all know that this one won’t come cheap.  GTA expects to launch the first models this fall.

EDITOR PICKS