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Limited production of 25 – The Ecurie LM69

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A road legal race car, two years in the making and inspired by the Jaguar XJ13 prototype, a car that was designed to originally race at Le Mans 24 Hours.

Ecurie Ecosse LM69 at an estate
Ecurie Ecosse LM69. Credit: Design Q

It’s a question that has dominated the history of the XJ13, a prototype built by Jaguar in 1966 in a quest to continue the marque’s legendary run of success in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Powered by a new quad-cam, 5 litre V12, the XJ13 was Jaguar’s first mid engined car.

Ecurie Ecosse LM69 Advert
Ecurie Ecosse LM69. Credit: Ecurie Cars

Sadly, it remained unraced. A combination of internal politics and a change in sporting regulations meant that it was banished to a corner of the Competition Department, mothballed and all but forgotten as other projects took priority.

But what if the XJ13 had been developed and raced? What if this car’s immense potential had been realised?

Ecurie Ecosse LM69 Team
Ecurie Ecosse LM69 Team. Credit Ecurie Ecosse

Fifty years on, the Scottish company Ecurie Ecosse answered that question by producing the spectacular LM69. Ecurie Ecosse engaged the UK based Design Q to create a design remaining true in spirit and sympathetic to the style of the fabulous XJ13 and the bodywork has been developed into an all new design that has its own purposeful beauty.

A strict brief was established from the start: the design and engineering team would have to adhere to the regulations of the time, and feature only design details and technology that entered motorsport no later than early 1969.

Ecurie Cars LM69 above front view
Ecurie Ecosse LM69. Credit Ecurie Ecosse

The quad-cam V12 is the heart of the car, a unique signature that has been designed to evoke the experience of driving at Le Mans in 1969. And not only is the LM69 suitable for track use, it’s fully road legal.

As the XJ13 would have done had it been prepared for serious competition use, the LM69 benefits from innovations that appeared during that exciting era. Composite materials have been used, it’s lighter than the original car, and it boasts experimental aerodynamic devices, wider wheels and tyres, and a much improved engine.

Ecurie Ecosse LM69 V12 engine detail
Ecurie Ecosse LM69 engine detail Credit: Ecurie Cars

The engine will be available in typical 1960s condition with traditional distributors and mechanical fuel injection, but clients will be offered the option of fully programmable fuel injection & ignition due to the much-improved efficiency and tuneability. The engine is of course normally aspirated, and customers will gain the full visceral experience of a howling V12 race engine inches from the back of their heads. The intention is to offer the engine in two capacities: the “standard” 1966 5.0 – 5.3 litre version, and Neville’s own 7.3 litre version that uses the same basic architecture, but bored and stroked.

Only 25 cars will be produced, in keeping with the 1969 FIA homologation requirements and to maintain its exclusivity. Each one will be individually hand built in the West Midlands by the best British craftsmen in their field.

Ecurie Ecosse LM69 side profile

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20th Anniversary of Pagani Zonda at New York’s Grand Central Terminal

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The Italian Hypercar Atelier, Pagani, does a takeover of the iconic New York location for one week, beginning on November 1, 2019

It’s been 20 years since Horacio Pagani revealed his first hypercar to the world. The ground-breaking Zonda set interest racing as quickly as it set lap records. Today it still has the ability to stop traffic and is setting new records as a collectible asset.

Pagani Zonda in Grand-Central Terminal New York
Pagani Zonda in Grand Central Terminal New York. Credit: Pagani

Although the Pagani Zonda was never sold to the USA, it did become a benchmark for the hypercars that followed. Designed according to the foundations of Pagani’s design philosophy, the Zonda is where art and science meet – it was inspired by everything from Leonardo Da Vinci to Endurance Racing Sports Prototypes.

“As part of Pagani’s worldwide Zonda 20th Anniversary celebrations, the Zonda Collection was always coming to America. When faced with the task of finding a suitable location for such a prestigious display, we performed an extensive search of the country’s most iconic venues to find one that represented the same spirit of engineering, ingenuity and passion that went into the first 20 years of the Zonda,” said Michael Staskin, CEO, Pagani Automobili America. “What we found was Grand Central Terminal, a globally recognized hub of transportation, iconic history, timeless design and passion in one of the world’s greatest cities, New York.”

Pagani Huayra Roadster BC in Grand Central Terminal New York
Pagani Huayra Roadster BC in Grand Central Terminal New York. Credit: Pagani

With more than 750,000 people passing through Grand Central Terminal each day, its Vanderbilt Hall is the ideal location for the Pagani Zonda 20th Anniversary Collection to be displayed. And while cars have been placed there before, this celebration marks only the second time in its history that the Terminal will house multiple vehicles of such significance.

Pagani Zonda Collection in Grand Central Terminal New York
Pagani Zonda Collection in Grand Central Terminal New York. Credit: Pagani

From November 1-8, the Zonda Collection can be viewed by members of the public visiting or passing through Vanderbilt Hall within Grand Central Terminal. There will also be a number of innovative public and private micro events throughout the week organized for invited VIP guests, the media as well as official Pagani dealers and their clients.

Visitors and guests will be able to view the collection of five iconic Zondas, which include the following:

Zonda-C12
Zonda C12. Credit: Pagani

Zonda 001 

The very first Pagani production car. This model recently underwent a complete restoration of the very first chassis, used for the homologation and crash tests of the Zonda. It now bears the same configuration of the first Zonda presented in 1999 at the Geneva Motor Show. The meticulous artisanal work was carried out on the mechanics of the car, the electronic systems and, in fact, on just about every component of the car to recover the authentic look and functionality. It also features the now classic Pagani carbon fiber monocoque and 450hp Mercedes-Benz AMG engine.                  

Zonda-F
Zonda F. Credit: Pagani

Zonda F     

Dedicated to Horacio Pagani’s mentor and friend, Juan Manuel Fangio, the car was built to create a lighter, safer hypercar, shedding 110 lbs while adopting new carbo-ceramic brakes and a titanium and inconel exhaust with ceramic coating. As the lightest hypercar in its class, the Zonda F set a lap record at the famous Nürburgring racetrack in 2007 with its 650hp AMG V12 engine.

Zonda-R
Zonda R. Credit: Pagani

Zonda R

Developed as the ultimate track car, only ten examples were built after the car was unveiled in 2009. Using cutting edge F1 and aerospace technology, this 2360 lbs car set another Nürburgring record in 2010 and still holds the Top Gear Dunsfold track record for the fastest road-car derived track vehicle, thanks in part to its 750hp dry-sump AMG V12 engine.

Zonda-Roadster-Cinque
Zonda Roadster Cinque. Credit: Pagani

Zonda Cinque

Only five examples of perhaps the most extreme Pagani Zonda road car were ever built, combining elements of the Zonda F and R to originally satisfy a special request from a Hong Kong customer. It was the first Zonda to use a new Pagani invention, carbon-titanium, a special fiber purposely created for the Zonda Cinque, and eventually used in future Pagani models. The body was equipped with a longer front spoiler and newly designed rear wing to improve downforce, a central air intake feeding cold air to the engine increased the power allowing the car to speed over 215 mph.

Zonda HP Barchetta
Zonda HP Barchetta. Credit: Pagani

Zonda HP Barchetta

Designed by and for Horacio Pagani himself as the first of a series of three cars, this more refined model was the work of the special Uno-di-Uno division, which builds tailor-made cars. Inspired by the great “barchetta” style racecars of the 50’s, like those in which the five time Formula 1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio competed, this car has no roof and offers a very different and immersive driving experience. It has also adopted iconic elements from other models, such as the Zonda Cinque’s central air intake and high-strength chassis.

Horacio Pagani during The Zonda anniversary in Grand Central Terminal New York
Horacio Pagani surrounded by his creations in Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal N.Y. Credit: Pagani

With individual cars valued as high as $18 million, the Zonda Collection offers North American enthusiasts a rare opportunity to see these unique vehicles in the flesh before they move on to the next leg of their international tour.

To make this special event possible, Grand Central Terminal took the unusual step of shutting down from 2-5AM on November 1, 2019. During this time, the five Zondas were moved into Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal.

The following evening, Pagani held an opening night reception for its clients to enjoy the exhibition. On November 3rd, the venue will hosted a media and influencer event, allowing private tours to take place. Company Founder & Chief Designer, Horacio Pagani was also present for these activities. Additional special events were planned throughout the week while the Zonda Collection will continue to be available, free of charge, to the general public from 8am-6pm.

Raymond Weil Limited Edition Bob Marley tango GMT Watch. Only 1,500 world-wide.
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First ever V12 Ferrari with a retractable hardtop.

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2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Rear top view

The new 2020 Ferrari 812 GTS is the spider version of the Ferrari 812 Superfast, from which it takes both its specifications and performance.

Firsts

Not only is the new 2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Spider the first ever V12 Ferrari with a retractable hardtop, Ferrai claims it is also the first ‘production series’ front mount V12 convertible since the classic Ferrari 365 GTS4 Daytona’s of 1969. This all assumes you do not count the 448 examples of the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina produced in 2000, the 559 examples of the Superamerica in 2005 or the 80 examples of the SA Aperta in 2010 as production series.

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Front 3-4
Ferrari’s first V12 with a retractable hardtop. Credit: Ferrari

Ferrari’s V12 spider history

The Ferrari V12 spider history features some iconic models which began in 1948 with the 166 MM, a competition GT that won the two most prestigious endurance races in the world in 1949: the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The last in that long lineage was the 1969 365 GTS4, also known as the Daytona Spider because of Ferrari’s legendary victory in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona when two works 330 P4s and the NART-entered 412 P took the chequered flag side by side to occupy the top three places.

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Interior Dashboard Steering Wheel
2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Interior showing the dashboard and steering wheel. Credit: Ferrari

Retractable hardtop features

The retractable hard top opens in 14 seconds at speeds of up to 45 km/h and does not impede upon the interior dimensions, maintaining the same cabin space as the 812 Superfast. The rear electric screen acts as a wind breaker making the car comfortable with the top down. With the roof closed, the rear electric screen can be left open so occupants can still enjoy the naturally aspirated V12’s sound.

There was huge focus on minimising both turbulence inside the cabin and aerodynamic noise to ensure occupants could converse undisturbed even at high speeds. As with the LaFerrari Aperta, two small L-shaped flaps on the upper corners of the windscreen generate a coherent concentrated vortex that creates outwash in the velocity field immediately above the rear screen, thereby avoiding excess pressure behind the occupants’ heads.

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Front top view
The 812 GTS features a retractable rear screen behind the seats. Credit: Ferrari

Exterior and aerodynamics

Aerodynamically, the 812 GTS posed two main challenges for the Ferrari designers. How to guarantee the same performance as the 812 coupé version with the top up and, at the same time, ensure maximum passenger comfort with the roof down.

In terms of aerodynamic performance, the retractable hard top and its stowage compartment, required that the rear of the car be modified. Thanks to meticulous re-sculpting of the tonneau cover surfaces and, most importantly, the integration of a triplane wing into rear diffuser to create efficient suction (and thus downforce) from the underbody, the aerodynamic engineers were able to compensate for the downforce lost by the removal of the 812 Superfast’s rear wheelarch bypass duct, (the air intake of which was behind the quarterlight on the 812 Superfast).

Drag, on the other hand, was cut by using the air vents on top of the rear flank to efficiently channel excess pressure build up out of the wheel well.

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Rear 3-4
The 812 GTS’s retractable hard top required that the rear of the car be modified. Credit: Ferrari

Engine and performance

The 812 GTS is the spider version of the 812 Superfast, from which it takes both its specifications and performance, most notably the V12 engine which, thanks to its ability to unleash a massive 800 cv at 8500 rpm, is the most powerful engine in its class! 718 Nm of torque guarantees impressive acceleration virtually on a par with that of the 812 Superfast while the 8900 rpm rev limit means that sporty driving is undiminished.

As on the 812 Superfast, these performance levels were achieved in part by optimising the engine design and in part by innovations, such as the use of a 350 bar direct injection system, and the control system for the variable geometry inlet tracts, developed on naturally-aspirated F1 engines. These systems allowed the increase in displacement from 6.2 to 6.5 litres to be exploited to maximise power output whilst retaining excellent pick up even at low revs.

Overall, performance levels are very close to those of the 812 Superfast, with 0-100 km/h acceleration still under 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in just 8,3 seconds. The Ferrari 812 GTS’s maximum speed is the same as the berlinetta’s at 340 km/h.

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Left Side
0-100kph in under 3 seconds, Ferrari 812 GTS. Credit: Ferrari

Exhaust changes for the convertable

Due to the open air nature of the 812 GTS drivers are more able to hear the V12’s characteristics and so the geometry of the exhaust system was evolved to increase and balance the sound from the engine and tailpipes. Exhaust-wise prevalence was given to combustion order harmonics by modifying the geometry of the centre extension pipes. All the pipes in the 6-in-1 exhaust manifold to the monolithic catalytic converter are of equal-length and this optimises the sound by giving predominance to the first order combustion harmonics.

Ferrari 812 GTS Price

Sale date and price are yet to be announced however the price is expected to start northwards of US$335,275.

2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Interior Seats
2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Interior Seats. Credit: Ferrari
2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Rear top view
The 2020 Ferrari 812 GTS. Credit: Ferrari

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Porsche increases ownership stake in Rimac Automobili

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Porsche AG strengthens it’s relationship with Rimac Automobili.

Rimac C TWO top view
The Rimac C TWO all electric supercar. Photo: Rimac Automobili

Porsche has increased its stake in technology and sports car company Rimac Automobili from it’s June 2018 investment of 10 percent to 15.5 percent. This is a clear signal that Porsche is now strengthening a well established partnership. Rimac develops and produces electromobility components and also produces electrically powered super sports cars in-house. Porsche initiated the development partnership with Rimac against the backdrop of its electric mobility campaign.

Rimac Founder, Mate Rimac (31), started developing his vision of a fast, electrically powered sports car in a garage in 2009. Rimac unveiled his most recent electric car, the C Two, at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2018. The two seater vehicle generates almost 2,000 PS and reaches a top speed of 412 kilometres per hour. It boasts a range of 650 kilometres (NEDC) and can recharge 80 percent of its full battery capacity within half an hour thanks to a 250 kW fast charging system.

Rimac is a rapidly growing company based in Zagreb, Croatia, and employs a workforce of around 550 people. Rimac focuses on battery technology within the high-voltage segment, high performance electric powertrains and developing digital interfaces between humans and machines (HMI). The company also develops and produces electric bikes. This strand of the business was established in 2013 in the form of the sister company Greyp Bikes.

Rimac C TWO
The Rimac C TWO all electric supercar. Photo: Rimac Automobili

What Porsche says:

“Porsche has been supporting Rimac and its positive development for a year now,” explains Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG and Member of the Executive Board responsible for Finance and IT. “We quickly realised that Porsche and Rimac can learn a lot from each other. We believe in what Mate Rimac and his company have to offer, which is why we have now increased our stake and intend to intensify our collaboration in the field of battery technology.”

What Rimac says:

“Gaining Porsche as a stakeholder was one of the most important milestones in our history. The fact that Porsche is now increasing its stake is the best form of confirmation for our collaboration and represents the foundation for an even closer relationship,” Managing Director Mate Rimac explains. “We are only at the start of our partnership – yet we have already met our high expectations. We have many collaborative ideas that we aim to bring to life in the future. The fundamental focus is creating a win-win situation for both partners and offering our end customers added value by developing exciting, electrified models.”

Potrait of Mate Rimac
Rimac Founder, Mate Rimac. Photo: Rimac Automobili

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