New Ferraris to prance in NZ
Kiwi fans of the Prancing Horse have two reasons to rejoice over the next fortnight.
First up, Ferrari will unveil to the New Zealand public the 458 Speciale at this weekend's CRC Speedshow in Auckland.
That will be followed by, on July 29 and also in Auckland, by an invitation-only New Zealand premiere of the latest California T convertible, the marque's first turbocharged car in more than two decades.
The 458 Speciale, on its worldwide release at the Frankfurt Motor Show, boasted 445kW and 550Nm from its 4.5-litre V8 engine with a 0-100kmh acceleration time of just 3.0 seconds (four-tenths faster than the regular 458) while it can also reach 200kmh in just 9.1 seconds.
Meanwhile, the California T, packs a 3.8-litre turbocharged V8 producing 412kW at 7500rpm and a monstrous 755Nm of torque at 4750rpm. Those figures are a 74kW/270Nm boost over the current naturally-aspirated V8 California.
Ferrari says the California T will accelerate to 100kmh from rest in 3.6 seconds - which is 0.2 seconds faster than before - and onwards to a top speed of 316kmh.
The new powertrain is based on the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 found in sister brand Maserti’s Quattroporte, and is the first turbocharged prancing horse model since the iconic F40 was launched in 1987.
Fans of other luxury cars should not be disappointed at the Ferrari domination, however, as a number of other luxury carmakers have their models on display at Saturday and Sunday's Speedshow at the ASB Showgrounds.
The Giltrap Group will wheel in McLaren's new 650s, Aston Martin's new V12 Vantage S and the Vanquish, the Bentley Continental GTV8 and Porsche's new Macan SUV.
For most show-goers it will be the first chance they have – in this country at least – to see most of these new models. It will be the first time, for instance, that members of the general public get to see the all-new Porsche Macan.
Speedshow director Ross Prevette says he'll be making a beeline to Hall 3 to check out cars he would otherwise only see in magazines or on the internet.
''Like any enthusiast I keep up with what's going on in the car world but nothing beats that 'wow' factor when you see a car like a McLaren, Aston Martin or Porsche 'in the flesh' for the first time.''
Adding a point of difference this year will be the light-weight high-performance Tesla Roadster.
With its sleek, low-slung lines and innovative bonded aluminium/carbon-fibre body, the US-built Tesla Roadster looks like a supercar. And its ability to accelerate from standstill to 100 kmh in just 3.7 seconds means it is as fast as one. The difference is that the Tesla is ''powered'' by electricity, not petrol.
''And if you didn't know the Tesla was electric, it would be hard to tell by looking at it, wouldn't it?” says Rob McEwen of the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles who's behind the Speedshow's display of electric vehicles.
The increasing importance – not to mention rapidly increasing public acceptance – of electric vehicles can be seen in the fact that the sporty Tesla Roadster will be one of at least four electric vehicles on the association's stand at what is probably the biggest annual automotive and motorsport show in Australasia.
The others are all models which are now readily available to New Zealand consumers, namely the range-extended Holden Volt, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Nissan Leaf.
Other brands/makes to feature are Aprilia, Arctic Cat, Audi, Benelli, BMW, Ducati, EBR (Eric Buell Racing), Fraser Cars, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lotus, Maserati, Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield, SsangYong, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha.
The show revs into action on Saturday morning with the "public reveal" of the Ferrari 458 Speciale at 9.30 followed by further "public reveals" of new Indian motorcycles and then a Matamata Panelworks "Eleanor" Mustang.
There are also shows within the show with one being the "Classic Show" featuring around 50 Japanese, British, European, Australian and American cars and motorcycles of an extremely high calibre, close to the well-known Concours d’Elegance standard. Vehicles are to be 25 years or older.
Alongside the "Classic Show" will be the "Custom Show" with a display of over 50 of New Zealand's best customised cars, pickups and motorcycles.
Over the two days there will be plenty of action in the live arena featuring dragsters, karts, a simulated crash, stunt events and even a jet car start-up.