The Ferrari 458 Italia is the company’s latest V8 marvel. While the rest of the F-car line-up plod along with weightier 12-cylinder engines, the mid-engined Italia remains the paring knife in a family of bayonets. But unlike its predecessor, the F430, the 458 works harder than ever before to differentiate it from the increasingly crowded $2-300,000 supercar bracket that now includes the LP560, SLS, and MP4-12C. As you may be aware, the Italia places its turn signal and windshield wiper buttons on the steering wheel, so you never have to move your hands from 9 and 3. But it is he aerodynamic engineers in Maranello who deserve particular notoriety for their development of the 458’s aero-elastic winglets, the black pieces of rubberized plastic seen on either side of the Prancing Horse above. These winglets deform at high speeds to generate downforce by reducing the section of the radiator inlets and cutting drag. Nifty.
But what would the company’s now-deceased founder think of the aerodynamic trickery were he still alive today?
“Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.” -Enzo Ferrari
Oh, ok then. I guess that pretty much sums it up. Good thing the 458 “Giant Boot” has 562 hp coming from its 4.5L motor. Or else a certain someone would be turning over in their graves.
Speaking of the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, I just found an interesting gallery of the 4-seater V12 coupe. Last year, when I still had a subscription to Top Gear Magazine, I read an article about the 612′s journey through India. At the time, I didn’t think much of the car but I thought that the culture clash was interesting, if a bit perverse and revealing. I mean, wafting around in a car costing well into the six-figure range, in a country riddled with abject poverty, struck me (and still does) as being a bit of a snub.
Other than that single observation, all I remember about those six-one-two’s was their unique red and white (and advertiser logo’d) paintjobs.
But now that I’m madly in love with the 612, more specifically, its back seats, I started searching for some Fezza wallpaper to adorn my desktop. In my travels, I stumbled upon a massive, massive gallery from the “Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Magic India Drive”, as it was formally called. So I’ve decided to share the best, most evocative images from the Magic India Drive.
I think you’ll agree, the constrast between the cultures and values is simply stunning. This gallery has certainly turned my critical eye towards the sense, if that argument can ever be made, of owning a Ferrari when there is so much more that the same money could do, from a socially responsible perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ferrari’s, but I feel that being critical of everything, even love of the Prancing Horse, is essential to a balanced conversation. And that’s what CarEnvy.ca is all about – balanced conversation – be it about cars or culture.
Check out the rest of the 15 (wallpaper-sized) image gallery after the jump.
It’s December – actually the first December for CarEnvy, and that gives us a unique opportunity: we can be more detached and objective than any other site or magazine because we haven’t driven any of the contenders here. While you might think it odd that we’re giving awards to cars we haven’t driven, you probably haven’t driven them either, and following the industry is beyond an obsession for us so we do have a good idea of what’s good, what’s bad, and what we want. We here at CarEnvy don’t have the luxury of manufacturer invites to press days, but that hasn’t stopped us yet. When the day comes for us to attend such press events, we’ll give you the perspective of the youngest, most Canadian, and most honest individuals around. Until we’re in the shoes of Jeremy, James, and Richard, you’re going to have to make do with our opinions as armchair analysts. Besides, you don’t have to drive a car to want it more than anything.
CarEnvy is about just that, lusting after gorgeous sheetmetal and intoxicating engine sounds. So we’ve decided to find you the most desirable and important cars to hit the streets in 2008 – the Cars Of The Year (COTY). This is not from the perspective of which car is the best to drive or which one handles the best, because we have little first-hand experience. This is a list of winners (and contenders) from eight separate categories based on which one we want the most. Beers were consumed and hours were spent discussing which car would make us the envy of our neighbours and which would have us nursing a semi just by sitting in the drivers seat.
The criteria are simple. The winning car in each category must
- Be desirable
- Be very desirable
- Be more desirable than its competitors without regard for practicality or price (unless needed to break a tie)
- Be sold in Canada in 2008 (but not if #1 and #2 are overwhelming)
- Be cars. We aren’t called TruckEnvy or SUVEnvy.
Madames et Monsieurs, put your hands together for the inaugural CarEnvy COTY Awards.