Wednesday, June 29, 2016

66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance To Include Giotto Bizzarrini’s First Automobile

This Car will be among several Bizzarrini, non-Ferrari developed cars featured at the 66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer 

66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance To Include Giotto Bizzarrini’s First Automobile

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (June 29, 2016) — The very first car made by Giotto Bizzarrini when he was a mechanical engineering student at the University of Pisa will be among the many Bizzarrini automobiles featured at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this coming August.

Side view of the Bizzarrini Macchinetta. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer

Bizzarrini built the car, nicknamed The Macchinetta, in the year 1953, and it was the foundation for the start of his career. Based on a Fiat 500 Topolino chassis and drive train, it had an aluminum body formed over a lightweight steel frame. Despite the fact that the engine had a capacity slightly smaller than that of a standard Fiat 500 unit, Bizzarrini was able to fit a SIATA high performance cylinder head with twin carburetors, boosting its output to around 30 bhp. Bizzarrini also integrated The Macchinetta into his graduation thesis, a piece that was highly commended by all of his professors.

Rear View of the Bizzarrini Macchinetta. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer

Bizzarrini later drove The Macchinetta to a job interview at Ferrari, and once Enzo Ferrari saw it, Bizzarrini was hired without hesitation. He went on to develop some of the most-loved Ferraris in the world today. The list includes the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB and the Ferrari 250 GTO. He also designed the Lamborghini V-12 engine and worked with Alfa Romeo, Iso and American Motors.

The automobiles to be featured at the forthcoming Pebble Beach Concours are those that Bizzarrini built under his own name, such as the Bizzarrini P538 Barchetta, the 1900GT Europa and the rare 5300 Spyders. The Macchinetta was restored and shown at a small collection of European events, but this is the first time it will appear in the United States.

Front view of the Bizzarrini Macchinetta. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer

“Although Giotto Bizzarrini was a remarkable engineer,” said Ken Gross, the Selection Committee Member who helped assemble the class, “he wasn’t afraid to choose Chevrolet Corvette V-8 power for his own cars.” Author Winston Goodfellow quoted Bizzarrini as saying, “The first time I tried one, I was shocked. It was superior to Ferrari’s engines, offering the same power with immediate throttle response.”

Pebble Beach Automotive Week begins on Wednesday, August 17 and includes car debuts, the Tour d’Elegance, the Classic Car Forum speaker series and RetroAuto — all preceding the Concours held on Sunday, August 21 on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links.
(ht: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance)

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: 66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Giotto Bizzarrini, The Macchinetta, P538 Barchetta, 1900GT Europa, 5300 Spyder, Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Ferrari 250 GTO, Lamborghini V-12 engine, Tom Fischer, Chevrolet Corvette V-8, The EDJE

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cashflow Positive Lotus Delivers Refreshed 3-Eleven & Elise Cup 250 To A Performance Hungry World

Interior dash look of the newly released Lotus 3-Eleven. Image Credit: Lotus Cars

Cashflow Positive Lotus Delivers Refreshed 3-Eleven & Elise Cup 250 To A Performance Hungry World

Fresh on the announcement that Lotus was on track to become ‘cashflow positive’, and having the car-making business focused on turning a profit in the next financial year (the first time it has ever done so in its 68 year history), Lotus Cars introduces two newly updated models that prove the statement that has formed Lotus from the beginning.

Weight Is Speed!

The 3-Eleven and the Elise Cup 250 will turn the heads on some of the most exposed of performance specialists with their command in design looks and outright acceleration.

Less weight and technological tweaking combine with continued iconic Lotus design to bring this profitable automobile manufacturer to the pinnacle of affordable competition super cars.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc (front right) and Aslam Farikullah, COO of Group Lotus plc (front left) with some of the production and engineering teams responsible for the new Lotus 3-Eleven and Lotus Elise Cup 250. Image Credit: Lotus Cars

This excerpted and edited from Lotus Cars - 

By Lotus Cars - Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 11:00

Ready to humble some of the fastest cars that money can buy, two of the greatest, most extreme Lotus models ever produced, the Lotus 3-Eleven, finished in matt and gloss Black colour scheme and the Lotus Elise Cup 250 in Red, have driven off the production line for the first time at the famous Hethel factory.

The two, hard-hitting lightweights represent the latest generation of Lotus sports cars, combining high-output engines with the company’s dedication to cutting mass, and so boosting performance through intelligent engineering. Developed through the company’s Lightweight Laboratory philosophy, every component in each as been assessed, optimised and re-engineered as required.

Surrounded by some of the production and engineering teams responsible for the two cars, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented: “The lucky owners of these will be the first to find out just how special the latest Lotus cars really are. We’ve raised the bar yet again, to produce two vehicles which the competition cannot hope to match. From the outright firepower of the 3-Eleven, to the sublime handling of the Elise Cup 250, these cars, better than any other, encapsulate our ‘light is right’ mantra.”

Updated Lotus 3-Eleven. Image Credit: Lotus Cars


Showing clear intent for the Lotus high-performance sports cars of the future, the 3-Eleven is the company’s quickest and most expensive series production car ever.

The 3-Eleven offers a giant-slaying power-to-weight ratio, thanks to a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 460 hp, to provide in excess of 500 hp per tonne. It is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

Updated Lotus 3-Eleven. Image Credit: Lotus Cars

Designed to deliver a pure, undiluted driving experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight carbon composite body, and a bespoke chassis evolved from Lotus’ ground-breaking work with extruded and bonded aluminium sections.

As part of its development the Lotus 3-Eleven spent time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time.

One year on from its global unveiling, this matt and gloss Black 3-Eleven will be on display at this years’ Goodwood Festival of Speed with Bell & Colvill, the most successful and longest serving Lotus dealer in the world. A second giant killing Lotus 3-Eleven will be taking part in the Michelin Supercar run on all three days of the Festival.

Updated Elise is faster and prettier than ever ... for the street or the club race track. Image Credit: AUTOMAG KZ via Instagram

Elise Cup 250

With the Lotus Elise recently crowned as Readers’ Champion during the Autocar Awards, this latest version of the legendary car is the faster ever - with a 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 154 mph (248 km/h).

Powered by a new higher-output version of the supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, the Elise Cup 250 boasts 243 hp. However, in order to make the most of its power, it’s shed 21kg compared to its predecessor, to weight just 931 kg. Customers wanting to cut weight still further, and so boost performance, can select the optional Carbon Aero Pack to reduce the vehicle’s mass to 921 kg.

The hand-built sports car has long been regarded as a benchmark within the industry, providing a level of precision and driver involvement that rivals cannot match. Capable of lapping the company’s test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, the changes and engineering adaptions to the Elise Cup 250 have taken an impressive four seconds off the previous Elise Cup 220’s best time.

The arrival the new cars coincides with the 50th celebrations for the founding of the famous factory in Hethel, Norfolk, when, in 1966, founder Colin Chapman moved Lotus to the purpose-built facility. Lotus is marking this milestone in the company’s history with special edition cars and events throughout the year.

Every new Lotus 3-Eleven and Elise customer can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.
[Reference Here]

Welcome Lotus Cars to profitability and keeping the statement of Weight (or the lack, thereof) Is Speed ... alive!

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Lotus, Lotus Cars, 3-Eleven, Elise, Elise Cup 250, Profitability, Group Lotus plc, Lotus Design, cashflow positive, Weight Is Speed, The EDJE

Monday, June 20, 2016

Olli - Olly Oxen Free Autonomy Hits The Streets

I'm symbolic. Image Credit: Local Motors (2016)

Olli - Olly Oxen Free Autonomy Hits The Streets

Local Motors, in partnership with computer giant IBM through Watson, introduces an organic small group/mass autonomous transportation solution perfect for most any community.

No oxen were used in this creation - Actually, "Olly Olly Oxen Free" is a catchphrase used in such children's games as hide and seek, capture the flag, or kick the can to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game, that the position of the sides in a game has changed, or, alternatively, that the game is entirely over (ht: Wikipedia).

In this case the Olli is the name given to a driverless/autonomous vehicle that seats 12 people which through its computer partner, IBM's Watson, can interact with passengers and navigate the streets and deliver the people riding inside to their destination.

The game of driverless/autonomous vehicles has changed with the Olli concept because this application does not currently partner with a software services company like Google or Yahoo that are focused on individual transportation pods thus removing any pursuit of happiness from the process of actual driving.

This excerpted and edited from Electric Cars Report -

Local Motors Debuts First Self-driving Vehicle to Tap the Power of IBM Watson IoT

Local Motors, the creator of the world’s first 3D-printed cars, today introduced the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson.

The vehicle, dubbed ‘Olli,’ was unveiled during the grand opening of a new Local Motors facility in National Harbor, MD, and transported Local Motors CEO and co-founder John B. Rogers, Jr. along with vehicle designer Edgar Sarmiento from the Local Motors co-creation community into the new facility.

Olli exterior. Image Credit: Local Motors (2016)

The electric vehicle, which can carry up to 12 people, is equipped with some of the world’s most advanced vehicle technology, including IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive, to improve the passenger experience and allow natural interaction with the vehicle.

Olli is the first vehicle to utilize the cloud-based cognitive computing capability of IBM Watson IoT to analyze and learn from high volumes of transportation data, produced by more than 30 sensors embedded throughout the vehicle.
Furthermore, the platform leverages four Watson developer APIs — Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text to Speech — to enable seamless interactions between the vehicle and passengers.

Olli interior. Image Credit: Local Motors (2016)

Passengers will be able to interact conversationally with Olli while traveling from point A to point B, discussing topics about how the vehicle works, where they are going, and why Olli is making specific driving decisions. Watson empowers Olli to understand and respond to passengers’ questions as they enter the vehicle, including about destinations (“Olli, can you take me downtown?”) or specific vehicle functions (“how does this feature work?” or even “are we there yet?”).

Passengers can also ask for recommendations on local destinations such as popular restaurants or historical sites based on analysis of personal preferences.
It's a beautiful Father's Day in #NationalHarbor! Catch up with CEO @johnbrogers & #meetolli- our latest innovation. Image Credit: Local Motors via @localmotors

As part of Olli’s debut, Local Motors officially opened its new National Harbor facility in Maryland to serve as a public place where co-creation can flourish and vehicle technologies can rapidly advance. The company’s 3D-printed cars are on display, along with a large-scale 3D printer and an interactive co-creative experience that showcases what the future of the nation’s capital might look like.
Olli features a 15 kWh battery pack powering a 20 kW continuous, 30 kW max electric motor that delivers 125 N·m of torque. Maximum speed is 20 km/h (12 mph) and all-electric range is 58 km (32.4 miles). Olli is equipped with 2 Velodyne VLP16 LiDAR units, 2 IBEO ScaLa laser scanners, 2 ZED optical cameras and an Ellipse N GPS.

The very first Olli will remain in National Harbor this summer, and the public will be able to interact with it during select times over the next several months.
[Reference Here]

So now we say "Olli Olli Oxen Free" - to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game, that the position of the sides in a game has changed, or, alternatively, that the game is entirely over - community driverless/autonomous transportation has arrived with a form factor and application that allows everyone the pursuit of happiness while pushing the technology envelope of possibilities forward.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Local Motors, Watson, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, IoT, driverless, autonomous, vehicle, Olli, 3D-printed cars, 3D printer, electric motor, ZED optical camera, Ellipse N GPS, Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction, Text to Speech, National Harbor, Maryland

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Releases 2016 Automotive Week Posters

In 2015, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance featured mark was Ferarri. So on August 16 the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance honored Ferraris that raced in the Del Monte Forest through holding a set of parade laps around the original course. The old Pebble Beach Road Race course includes a closed portion of the original course that was last reopened in 1990 for a reunion of Allards. Image Credit: Copyright © Kimball Studios - Courtesy of Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Releases 2016 Automotive Week Posters

Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula in California thrive each August as the center of the motoring universe.

The area hosts the convergence of two major events, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, offering an unbeatable combination of beauty and technology. The Concours pays homage to the past with prized collector cars displayed on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links, while making history with the latest new car debuts.

A tradition of poster art has grown up around the promotion of this grand event and this year's official posters grab the essence of Automotive Week through three releases - from the hands and minds of Ken Eberts, Barry Rowe, and Tim Layzell - that show off this icon of motor culture series of events with strength and grace.

In 1965, as a young designer fresh out of Art Center College of Design, Ken Eberts went to work for Ford Motor Company, helping to design cars like the Ford Econoline, the Ford Falcon, and the Ford Galaxie. But it was the Ford GT40 that Ken dreamed of styling.

“At the time I was a 21-year-old beginning designer,” said Eberts. “Virtually every young designer I knew thought the ultimate assignment was to design a sports car. The icing on the cake was that this Ford was to challenge Ferrari at the 24 Heures du Mans.”

That dream was unfulfilled in 1968 when Ken left Ford to focus on fine art, eventually founding the prestigious Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS). But this spring, nearly five decades later,

Ken finally got his chance to paint the famous sports car when he was asked by Edsel Ford and commissioned by Concours Chairman Sandra Button to create the main event poster for the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance—which features the Ford GT40s that finished 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

“While I didn’t actually work on the design of that American icon at Ford, I am honored to be doing this painting of the three Le Mans winning GT40s now,” said Eberts, who has produced approximately 1,300 automotive fine art paintings in his lifetime.

Barry Rowe, another member of the AFAS, has created the poster for the 2016 Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex. The Tour poster features the BMW 507 once owned by the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.

“In my teens I collected car brochures, and I remember drawing the 507, with its beautiful modern lines, in my sketchbook,” said Rowe. “It’s amazing that I have now painted a poster featuring the BMW 507 on the Pebble Beach Tour!”

The 2016 Pebble Beach RetroAuto poster was painted by respected artist Tim Layzell, whose creations have also gained worldwide recognition. This poster features the elegant stylings of Chapron-bodied Delahayes of the Classic era.

“I paint this style in block color so there is no shading, to give a clean poster finish,” said Layzell. “These Delahayes have such beautiful lines and also such stunning color schemes, which work well with my style. Hopefully I've captured the elegance of it!”

Other automotive events held around the area cater to a variety of interests, whether it is sophisticated German technology that is being featured through the BMW mark at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion races held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - the delightful minis at "The Little Car Show +" in Downtown Pacific Grove on Wednesday 8/17/2016 at 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm - sleek Italian coachwork as exemplified by the Jim Busby "One Of" standout Ferrari 400i GTC which will be a centerpiece at the 25th Anniversary McCall’s Motorworks Revival Monterey Airport party,  Wednesday 8/17/16 - 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm and two days later, featured at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, Friday 8/19/16 - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, or The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance featuring the Ford GT40 that will take place on August 21, 2016.

For a full listing of Automotive Week/Monterey Car Week motor culture events to attend, please find them here and have fun.

Pebble Beach Automotive Week/Monterey Car Week truly has something to offer every motor culture enthusiast.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance®, Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance®, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum™, Pebble Beach® Auctions presented by Gooding & Company, Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Racing Through The Forest, The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, The Little Car Show +, McCall’s Motorworks Revival Monterey Airport, The EDJE