Ferrari 458 Speciale A Nets $900k at Rodeo Drive Auction

Ferrari has been busy celebrating 60 years of selling its exotic sports cars stateside. The company hosted an extravagant event on Rodeo Drive recently–including 60 of its finest specimens to commemorate the milestone and a luxury auction. It was at the auction that we discovered how much the Ferrari 458 Speciale A is worth: $900,000.

Ferrari 458 Speciale A

The gorgeous specimen took center stage for the auction, which was well-attended by local celebrities and those close to Ferrari. 

Ferrari cars are never considered cheap or affordable, though prices do vary dramatically depending on model and collector value. This recent sale does not exactly indicate that future Ferrari 458 Speciale A cars will sell for such a sum. That particular car had the distinction of being the very first one sold Stateside, and chassis #1. One can acquire a Ferrari 458 spider for around $250k, and several other models for under the $200k marker.

Ferrari Speciale

The Speciale A did have a bit of sibling rivalry at the event. The new special Ferrari F60 America model is completely sold out, having made its debut with a limited run of just ten units. It’s official unveiling was at the 60th birthday celebration in California, fittingly. The celebration also marked the first major public event for the new Ferrari Chairman, Sergio Marchionne.

Ferrari

The Ferrari 458 Speciale A #1/499 netted an incredible $900k at auction in California during the brand’s 60th American birthday celebrations. What will buyers shell out for the remaining units? Will they be as difficult to obtain as the illustrious LaFerrari?

Overall, the celebrations spanned through Rodeo Drive with ample points of interest, exotic supercars, celebrities and special events. It was a fitting way for the Prancing Horse to celebrate 60 years of success in the United States and usher in a change of leadership.

Ferrari 60th anniversary

The auction proceeds will benefit the American Chapter of Daybreak for rare genetic disorders. 

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Ferrari Celebrates 60 Years Stateside in Style on Rodeo Drive

When it comes to throwing a party, few can top the tastes and resources of luxury brand Ferrari. The Prancing Horse hit up California’s Rodeo Drive recently to celebrate 60 years of selling its wares in America. The Ferrari anniversary bash drew crowds as the supercars lining the streets stopped onlookers in their tracks to fumble for their cameras.

Ferrari anniversaryFerrari has been selling its exotic sports cars in America for over six decades now. To commemorate the event, the company took to Rodeo Drive.

Ferrari anniversaryFittingly, Ferrari lined Rodeo Drive with 60 of its precious machines to celebrate its 60 years here. The supercars were certainly in their element alongside the luxury boutiques lining the famous shopping arena, including Bulgari, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and many more.

Some of the 60 Ferrari supercars present on Rodeo Drive:

  • Not one, but two LaFerrari hybrid supercars. These unattainable beasts are a rare sight, and a pair of them were present.
  • A 1948 166 MM Barchetta. This was the first Ferrari imported into the United States, making it perfect for the ceremony.
  • The 1954 Ferrari 375 MM built for filmmaker Roberto Rossellini. This car won Best in Show at this year’s Pebble Beach show.
  • Several Ferrari 250 GTO cars and Testa Rossas.
  • The new Ferrari F60 America model was the star of the show, created for the momentous occaission. Follow link to learn more about the Ferrari F60 America car.

Ferrari 60th  The Ferrari F60 America

Ferrari

The Ferrari celebration was a success, and a poignant moment to reflect on the change of leadership of the company after 60 years in America. Longtime Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo has passed the torch to Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Ferrari’s parent company Fiat SpA. It will be fascinating to see what Ferrari has planned for the next 60 years.

LaFerrari Rodeo Drive

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The Electric Supercar Concept You May Not Know About: Meet Lavinia

Hailing from Sicily, the Lavinia electric supercar concept boasts a sultry shape and ample power. The newcomer coupe is said to be capable of churning out 800 horsepower, though exact engine specifications are not available this early in her concepting phase. Thus far, there are impressive claims and a very attractive fiberglass body to praise. The rear view is a bit awkward–though it is still early and that could be altered for the better.

Lavinia electric supercarThe Lavinia electric supercar concept could reach production because it has the right specs and appearances to compete in the market. 

The Lavinia SE concept is being billed as a high-performance electric coupe, and it is not known exactly what sources will power it. The car is currently being engineered to hit the 0-60 mile per hour sprint in 3.5 seconds with an estimated top out of 190 MPH. It is being built by Tecnicar, a company that specializes in the electric trains used at theme parks and other populated tourist attractions. The company also makes mobility scooters, though it is certain none of those are kicking out 800 ponies.

Lavinia electric supercarFun fact: The Lavinia SE was named for her creator’s wife. The design creator is Giuseppe Ferrazzano and the renderings are by artist Angelo Granata.

The company will continue to tease the new supercar via its Facebook page. It seems we must wait to find out all the details regarding how many and what type of motors it will be packing. Overall, it appears that the Lavinia SE will be a worthy opponent for some of the luxury electric cars on the streets today, including the Fisker Karma. Lavinia electric supercarThe Lavinia electric supercar rear just feels a bit unfinished. It is not ugly, but it is not exactly sexy yet. Perhaps different tail lamps could change the feel.

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The Ariel Atom 3S Is Even More Performance Driven

The Ariel Atom 3S is a lightweight track toy capable of hitting the 0-60 mile per hour marker in less than 3 seconds. I say track toy only because the Ariel Atom is not a street legal ride. It is a bit bare bones at just 1,350 lbs stark naked, and certainly a much more economic solution than some exotic sports cars.

Ariel Atom 3SAriel produces the Atom for European customers. It can be purchased Stateside through special distributors who have been given permissions to build the cars. Right now TMI AutoTech Inc. has the exclusive rights to build and sell the Ariel Atom. The company is located at the Virginia International Raceway.

Ariel Atom 3SThe Ariel Atom 3S at a glance:

  • A new K24 2.4-liter four-banger replaces the Honda K20 engine.
  • Six-speed close-ratio syncromesh gearbox with limited slip.
  • Upgrades and tweaks culminated in a 365 horsepower output. Factor in the extreme lightweight of well under 1,500 lbs, and the power is clear.
  • This Atom nails the 0-60 mile per hour sprint faster than most supercars with three times the horsepower it packs.
  • The Ariel Atom 3 produced just 230 horses, making the 3S a definite upgrade.

Ariel Atom 3S Optional items for this Atom:

  • Neat-o quick disconnect steering wheel, for those James Bond moments.
  • Carbon fiber kit.
  • Intercom system and battery master switch.
  • Remote brake bias adjuster and roll bars.
  • Not in the mood to wear a Stig helmet? Purchase the optional full-sized glass windscreen.
  • Available passenger footrest…in case anyone is brave enough to take a spin with you.

Ariel Atom 3SFun fact: There are a handful of regions where the Ariel Atom is legal to drive on the roads. Some of these spots are in the States. Do you know where they are? Comment below!

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Citroen Divine DS: Small SUV or Chubby Sedan?

Check out the new Citroen Divine DS concept. It is quite an eclectic ride, with everything from reptile inspired scales to a complete lack of a rear window. But to begin, what the hell is it? Is it a chubby sedan, a smallish SUV or something entirely divine?

Citroen Divine DSThe Citroen Divine DS concept took the stage at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. It is not yet known if this little number will ever reach production, but it has reached the masses at the show.

Citroen Divine DS

The Citroen Divine DS does not look terrible. And as far as power, it is packing a diminutive 1.6-liter turbocharged engine kicking forth 270 bhp and 244 pound-feet of torque. Oddly, the Divine DS lacks any trace of Citroen badging. It is not clear why they opted to forgo the brand fuss.

Citroen Divine DSThe cockpit takes upscale to the extreme and manages an artistic vibe.

Divine DS

The unique roof was designed to resemble the scales of a reptile. The trend continues throughout the vehicle with the use of opaque and even transparent materials. There is no actual rear window…which indicates reliance on a rear-view camera. It is a 10.4-inch touchscreen driver interface. But enough about the exterior, the cabin is a curiosity indeed!

Citroen Divine DS

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Citroen Divine DSOnce the doors are open, the Citroen Divine DS concept gives way to a staggering array of bespoke options. With labels like ‘Mâle’, ‘Parisian Chic’ and ‘Fatale Punk’, it is easy to become distracted. Interesting items like glazed burnished leathers pair with golden ambience and carbon fiber for a striking finale. Silks and beading serve to dial back the male aggression and provide additional glamour, as one would expect from Swarovski.

Citroen Divine DS

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Aston Martin Safety Features Losing Traction With Buyers

There are a plethora of advanced automotive safety features available in Aston Martin luxury cars and others, but they seem to be losing traction with buyers. It is not that buyers do not appreciate the safety perks–they simply want the ability to turn them off and gain total control at times.

Aston Martin In efforts to ensure customer satisfaction, Aston Martin is working to make sure buyers can easily switch off certain features like electronic stability control. While additional safety features are in the funnel, they will have the option to be shut off as desired.

Jeffrey Scott, head of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.’s European sector stated the following on the slippery matter: “Our customers want to feel the road. More electronic assistance programs are coming. But you have to be able to switch them off as well.” It is good to know that a big brand like Aston Martin not only listens to customer complaints, but also actively addresses them in a timely fashion. Drivers can now disable all safety features of an Aston Martin with the exception of the anti-lock brakes. That is not possible with all upscale exotic sports car models.

Aston Martin Many assume that buyers of elite automotive brands like Aston Martin do not have the skillset to properly operate the vehicles, only the funds to afford them. It would seem that there are many out there who certainly can drive–and want full control of their $300k and up cars. It would be interesting to research buyer databases to learn more about what types of driving experience they have and if many have participated in the various driving schools offered by brands like Ferrari, Aston Martin and others. Overall, with even manual transmission options being stripped away by some automakers, it is nice to maintain a bit of control over a machine, so long as the driver knows what they are doing with all that power.

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Neiman Marcus is Gearing Up for the Holidays with a Limited Edition Maserati

The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book will be celebrating its 88th edition this year. Among the most expensive offerings in the holiday catalog shall be a limited edition Maserati and a $35,000 cocktail machine. Gulp.

Neiman Marcus Christmas Book

The luxury car this year is the 100th Anniversary Neiman Marcus limited edition Maserati Ghibli S Q4. Reservations begin October 22nd promptly at noon: 1-855-835-5665

The annual holiday catalog features many fantasy gifts for those with extremely distinguished tastes and open budgets. The cocktail machine is a mammoth six-foot monstrosity that will create and shake cocktails, just the way James Bond prefers. But it seems that Bond was not the inspiration behind the Neiman Marcus special edition luxury vehicle this year, or it would be an Aston Martin. This year it is a limited edition Maserati twin-turbo V6 for just $95k.

Neiman Marcus Christmas Book

The Tanqueray No. Ten Imperial Shaker by Jason Crawley (shown above) is just $35k.

Other items on the Neiman Marcus fantasy gifts list this year include:

  • An excursion to the Academy Awards with invites to the Vanity Fair Oscar party for $425k.
  • A trip for two to Paris with upscale accommodations and custom perfume for $475k.
  • What is being described as ‘The ultimate Mardi Gras experience’ for 6 couples to New Orleans with entry to the Orpheus Ball for $125k.
  • A collection of custom linens by Leontine Linens for $55k.
  • Quadski watercraft in his and hers for $50k each.
  • Finally, the ‘Ultimate slot car raceway’. This experience recreates the buyer’s favorite track and adds in a lavish inaugural race bash including drivers Vic Elford and David Hobbs. The cost for this fantasy gift is just $300k…or the person could just purchase a brand new supercar like a Ferrari.

neiman marcus christmas book

It looks like it will be an interesting holiday for some very lucky gift recipients of the Neiman Marcus catalog this year! A portion of the fantasy gift proceeds is donated to the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which supports young artists educational endeavors.

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The New Aston Martin Lagonda is a Super Saloon

Check out the next generation of the Aston Martin Lagonda. Try not to form a fatal attraction to the beast, because we cannot get it here. The former Lagonda was hideous. This sleek and elongated number will only be available to a select number of customers, by invitation only, in the Middle East.

Aston Martin LagondaThe brand has released the first official images of the production version of the next gen Aston Martin Lagonda. Compared to its predecessor below, it is clear that 25 years off has made an impact on the lady.

Aston Martin LagondaThe Aston Martin Lagonda was a grand touring luxury saloon built between 1974 and 1990. During that run, 645 units of the Lagonda were produced, and the general consensus is that none of them were exactly easy on the eyes. Now 25 years later, the new Lagonda is pretty much eye candy in comparison. The awkward wedgy design was quite startling and futuristic for its time, similar to the Delorean of ‘Back to the Future’. Comparing the new one to the older versions is like comparing Paula Abdul to Megan Fox.

Aston Martin LagondaBehold: The Aston Martin Lagonda sprawled along the curb back in its day and its element. Is she stunning?

So far, Aston Martin has merely been busy teasing the masses with word of the limited edition Lagonda. A few details are available, however, including news of a 6.0-liter V12 being the likely candidate for the engine. The design platform will take features from the Aston Martin Vantage and Vanquish, peppering them in with a bit of historical Lagonda elongation. Will the brand be using the Middle East to gauge interest for a possible worldwide Lagonda return? We will have to wait and see what unfolds.

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Rumors of a New Mazda RX7 Sports Car Have Rotary Hearts Racing

When it comes to creating a rotary engine, no one does it better than Mazda. In fact, precious few have attempted it at all. The rotary fans that do exist are die hard and typically able to rebuild their own and rattle off every modification they have ever completed with great passion. Now rotary fans are looking forward to the next generation of the Mazda RX7–which could be here in production form by 2017.  Mazda RX7There are two Mazda RX7 cars and a modified Subaru WRX in my garage. I can attest that they are fabulously addictive cars to drive. These renderings show what the car could look like by 2020, though I find them a bit far-fetched.

Mazda RX7

So what exactly is a rotary engine? 

The rotary engine, in its most basic form, converts rotary motion directly into driving force. The photo above shows the rotary shape. A rotary engine offers near perfection in terms of smooth conveyance of power and energy. German Felix Wankel created the rotary engine in 1957. Wankel first had a dream about such an engine at age 17, and later transformed it into a reality. The time lapse between the dream young Wankel had of creating a new type of engine and the actual invention was 40 years, a testament to the idea that dreams can come true—if you work at it.

Mazda RX7The Mazda RX7 renderings circulating about look quite different from previous models. The new RX7 is all modern, sleek and all rotary. There could be two new Mazda rotary cars revealed over the next decade, though that is not certain. The Mazda Cosmo Sport was produced from 1967-1995 and held the title of the very first Mazda Wankel engine.

Since then, the Mazda RX7 has become the favored rotary engine from the brand. Mazda teased fans with the following statement recently: “We want to surprise everyone in 2017 with something special to celebrate the birth of rotary. Then, to celebrate Mazda’s 100th birthday, we want to take it to another level in 2020.” Zoom-zoom.

Mazda RX7It looks like we will have to wait to see what Mazda has in store–stay tuned!

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The BMW M6 Gears Up for GT Racing Awesomeness

Renderings of a potential BMW M6 GT3 car are out there and they are looking good. Should the BMW Z4 GT3 be left in the dust for an M6 racing future? Some say not so fast, others could not be more pleased at the possibility.

BMW M6 GT3

Not only is the newcomer easy on the eyes, it is on the fast track to becoming a finished product. Testing for the BMW M6 GT3 is to commence as early as 2015 and deliveries could be as early as 2016. What will this model contribute to motorsports? Let’s check out the challenge:

The BMW M6 GT3 car at a glance

  • Power is derived from a 4.4-liter V8 engine boasting not one, but two twin-scroll turbochargers.
  • The gearbox has yet to be finalized, though it will be race worthy and able to bleed the most power and control from the chosen engine.
  • Pricing is not available at this juncture, of course, but it is expected to be north of the Z4 GT3’s $440k.

BMW M6 GT3

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt summed up the transition from the BMW Z4 GT3 to the M6 with the following: “There are few things more exciting than the development of a completely new car like the BMW M6 GT3. This car’s properties make it predestined to succeed the BMW Z4 GT3.”

The brand will continue to serve customers of the Z4 while drumming up intrigue for what the future of BMW motorsport holds with the M6. The changes will be exciting as the brand is dedicated to providing the wow factor for the newcomer, as is obvious by the initial renderings. Next year will bring all the finalizations and details.

BMW GTThe BMW Z4 GT3 car could be on its way out. 

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