Porsche 918 Spyder: Evo Magazine’s Detailed Prototype Preview Video

March 22, 2012

Excellent up-close and detailed (pre) view vid of the bare-shelled 918 Spyder prototype in all of its complex, tech-fest laden glory while undergoing tests at Nardo…

As always, a fantastically sincere and informative presentation from Evo Magazine founder, Harry Metcalfe – his genuine passion for cars is always admired and appreciated.

What do you folks make of this project though…? Does it excite you in the ways that Supercars usually (and should) do…?

Myself, I’m definitely curious about it… But it just presents itself as more of an intriguing engineering exercise rather than something to provoke any deeply felt, yearning passions for hopes of hearing it sing and dreams of one day driving it… Also, I’m completely turned off when engineers concentrate on ‘engineering emotion into’ a Supercar, rather than allowing the emotion to evolve naturally during the build and engineering process. The tech outweighs the fluidity of the passion…

The 918 Spyder Concept Car

On the complete flipside of this engineering coin, the recently departed Carrera GT Supercar – with it’s race-derived, normally aspirated V10, race-developed inboard suspension, manual gearbox and sheer dedication to lightweight components and bare bones agenda – seems almost NASCAR-like in comparison… If I had to choose between the 918 and Carrera GT over which one to drive on a Highland road in Scotland for a day, I know which one would get the instant nod…

The tech-fest 959 Supercar from the '80s

I can’t help thinking that the 918 is the true spiritual successor to the (again, overly complex) technological tour-de-force 959 Supercar from the ’80s… Thoughts…?

-Blake J.

Photo Album: 1966 Ferrari Dino 206 SP

February 6, 2012

The Ferrari Dino 206 SP of 1966 was one of only 18 built, largely due to financial constraints of the time. Ferrari needed to build 50 for FIA Group 4 racing homologation purposes but with the little Dino-powered 206 S falling short of the production mark, it was later designated the 206 ‘SP’ – the SP standing for ‘Sports Prototype’.

Essentially a scaled-down/shortened version of its V12’d 330P big-brother, the little Dino-powered (V6) 206 was just as beautiful yet weighed a scant 580kg allowing its 215 bhp 2.0L V6 to propel itself and driver along at a rather brisk pace.

-Blake J.

Exclusive: HD pics of Pre-Production Prototype 2012 McLaren MP4-12C

September 22, 2011

**** A.I. Exclusive of the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C Pre-Production Prototype HD photo-album (in various Wallpaper sizes) can be found here. ****

At the recent Luxury & Supercar Weekend held at the spectacular VanDusen Gardens, there was a pre-show ‘Press/Media’ event held on the Friday morning within the grounds to offer various scribes and TV crews an exclusive, unhurried view of some of the vehicles on display. Taking advantage of my close proximity to VanDusen (a mere 15-minute walk), I gathered myself up and procured an early entry into the Gardens.

MP4-12C Prototype glowing in the early-morning sun

Upon walking down the path leading into the Show area of VanDusen, I was immediately struck by a sight that any petrolhead would find enticingly exotic and decidedly fitting of the weekend’s upcoming proceedings – A ferociously sonorous-sounding Maserati MC-12 being driven on the lawn with a stunning pale-green 1930’s Peugeot Super Sport and a satin-paint finished McLaren MP4-12C glowing in the background…

Lynne (McLaren Marketing & Communications) arriving from New York with her British friend

Yet this wasn’t just any McLaren MP4-12C, this was one of the 3 Pre-production Prototypes that travel the world to not only showcase McLaren’s undeniable excellence in the car’s (still-evolving) engineering, but also to tempt potential buyers into the company’s own ‘McLaren Exclusive’ customization program. Truly beautiful carbon-fibre accessories (I really thought the carbon exhaust-tips were ace) and trims were adorned all throughout this McLaren from the rear engine-breather intake to the glossy ‘MP4-12C’ stamped on the visually appealing sill once you raised the elegantly-damped doors skyward.

The satin paint finish alone was extraordinary. Many times throughout the Friday and Saturday sun-filled days I was drawn back to the McLaren to gaze at this profoundly I-am-guessing-expensive paint-option. With the afternoon sun striking its flanks from various angles, it glows in a manner not far off from your stove-top element maxxed-out to 10, with the kitchen lights turned off. It’s shadows were soft and complementary… alien-like. As I said in the original piece; overall, it’s a thing of subtle, controlled beauty.

Carbon-fibre extras adorned this Prototype beauty - I especially liked the exhaust tips

One recent addition to the McLaren Customization Program that is immediately regarded as an improvement in the (sadly lacking) aggression department is the vented front wings. Borrowed from the recently unveiled McLaren MP4-12C GT3 racecar, they seem to embellish the mood of the car with animalistic fury and break-up the continuity in a rather complementary fashion. Despite the truly astronomical price for what is essentially some rectangular slashes over the tops of your front fenders (over $17,000 …!), they are now near-essentials in my eyes.

It's all in the up-close details with the MP4-12C - wish I could have driven it..!

All in, if you decided to include all of the variously yummy carbon/trim accessories and strking 20″ wheels shown on this rare prototype, you’ll be asked to excuse an additional $50,000 towards the $230,000 price-tag, before taxes – ouch. But then, as is always the case at this price-point, an extra $30-$50K in alluring extras/essentials is hardly going to turn people off.

The McLaren MP4-12C’s initial entry onto the automotive supercar scene was greeted with somewhat valid qualms of unimaginative/safe styling married to a slightly lucid and distanced driving experience (more akin to a soulless-yet-fiercely-competant mechanical device). But seeing as how McLaren is rapidly responding to these criticisms in an unbelievably quick rate of turn-around (they’re an F1 company after all – quick turnaround in engineering practices is what they know/do best) and then inviting the Press to come and re-try the car again after only 8 days… is kind-of extraordinary. I like that though – they took the initial (and widespread) criticisms on the chin and then immediately went to work at improving/altering the dynamics of those questionable areas.

-Many thanks to Lynne Arciero, McLaren Marketing & Communications Manager – North America, for the exclusive access to the MP4-12C

words/photos: Blake J.



Ford Evos Concept – From Sketch to Clay to Metal – A Photo Journey

August 31, 2011

By now, most of you will have seen the finalised production pics of the forthcoming Ford Evos Concept due to be unveiled in-the-metal at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in just a few days’ time. Some striking lines and themes abound, that’s for certain. Shod with all of the latest headline-tech (hybrid, of course) and some rather interesting 4-door Gullwing doors amidst a Coupe design, this front-wheel-drive concept prototype was designed to show off Ford’s newly refined ‘Kinetic 2.0’ design language from which the themes of next-generation Fords will be derived from.

From design sketches to Clay model to the final handmade product, here we present you with a photo-journey documenting the Evos’ lifespan from pencil to prototype.

-By Blake J.


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