Luxury Car Blog

Does the Ferrari Portofino have a split personality?

Ferrari Portofino redThe Ferrari Portofino replaces the California T as its ‘everyday’ supercar. Named after the exclusive Italian resort, it combines sophistication with thrills, but some think it has a split personality.

For example, Ray Massey in the Daily Mail says, “in one moment it’s an easy-going grand tourer with impeccable manners, but the mere flick of a switch turns it into a full-blooded performance machine that’s powerful enough to rearrange your internal organs,” and has labelled it the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Ferrari.

Continuing on this theme, it also has two sides to its looks: on the one hand it is a sleek, berlinetta coupe, and on the other is a rather more rakish drop-top Spider, and you only have to push a button to switch between the two. From this perspective, the Ferrari Portofino is likely to appeal to both men and women equally.

The guys at Maranello have also most definitely improved on the California T by all accounts and have succeeded in designing a supercar that is comfortable enough for the driver who is unaccustomed to handling a supercar, while still having the power and versatility demanded by more experienced drivers.

The numbers are mouth-watering as well. Powered by an uprated 3.9-litre twin-turbo 600 horse-power V8 engine (40hp more than the California T) linked to a seven-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission, the Portofino accelerates from rest to 62mph/100kmh in just 3.2 seconds. And, it only takes just over 10 seconds to reach 124mph/200kmh. It has a top speed of 200mph/322kmh for when you’re really in a hurry.

The Ferrari Portofino is also 10 percent lighter than the California T, which makes for lower CO2 emissions and better fuel consumption, although at around 26 miles per gallon, it is exactly cheap to run. Ray Massey estimates that if you drive conservatively, you should be able to do 458 miles/ 737 km on a full tank.

Calling it the Portofino is also interesting an interesting move away from California. Apparently, the team drew up a list of Italian coastal towns and Portofino won. Perhaps in future we will see Rimini or Amalfi on a Ferrari.

Inside the cabin is temperature controlled and there are three buttons on the central console indicating R for reverse, A for Auto and L for launch – the latter isn’t about attempting to emulate SpaceX and Tesla – it’s the quick getaway button, but the car definitely stays on the ground. Adults will struggle to fit in the back, but there are mounting points for a child’s car seat. The leather is pretty plush though and the driver and front passenger will feel cosseted. Ferrari marketing chief Nicola Boari said of the new Portofino: “This is the most everyday Ferrari we have ever created. But it also offers high-speed stability when accelerating or cornering. You feel in control at all times.”

Titanium Luxury Hire has eight Ferrari models for you to choose from – reserve yours by Contacting Us today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India’s DC Design goes “LaFerrari”

DC Design IndiaThe automobile world is extremely familiar with manufacturers from the Far East, but India is now making a bid to enter the luxury sports car arena. This week, India’s DC Design presented its follow up to the Avanti sports car at Auto Expo 2018 in Delhi, and onlookers claimed it looks like a Ferrari.

The new car is called the TCA, an acronym for “Titanium Carbon Aluminum,” and it’s a more powerful, more suave successor to the Avanti, which never quite lived up to what is expected of the modern sports car.

The TCA’s design was inspired by the lines of contemporary performance cars, particularly Ferrari’s LaFerrari, and features similar lines when viewed from a specific angle. The TCA also sports a black roof and engine cover, just like the Italian hypercar.

The TCA has an updated version of the Avanti’s mid-engine platform, with the key modifications being a stretching and widening of the design. It’s also lighter weight than the Avanti, which was constructed around tubular steel.

The new sports model’s power comes from a 3.8-litre paired with a 6-speed automatic gearbox connected only to the rear wheels. Peak output is 320 horsepower, which is an improvement on the Avanti’s 265hp.

Production is expected to commence at DC Design’s facility in Pune, India later this year and only 299 units are planned. If you haven’t heard of this Indian manufacturer before, DC Design is an industrial design firm headquartered in Mumbai, India. Dilip Chabbria founded it in 1993, who initially planned to develop accessories for Indian cars, but the company later expanded into coachbuilding and more recently has entered into designing and developing its own brand of motors If the TCR proves successful, DC Design hopes to follow it up with a high-performance SUV.

It will be interesting to see how DC Design fares in a market dominated by the Italians, especially Ferrari and Lamborghini, but with consumers in the Indian market now looking for more supercars, perhaps some of them will choose to buy a home-made motor.

Are you looking for an iconic car to drive? Hire a luxury supercar from Titanium Luxury Hire and feel legendary. It’s always easy to Contact Us.

 

 

 

SpaceX Starman drives Tesla in ‘no speed limits’ space

SpaceX
Starman takes the Tesla Roadster into deep space!

The 6th February 2018 will be noted in history books as the day Elon Musk and his SpaceX project successfully launched its Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket, with a Tesla Roadster as its payload, into space. Is this simply a vanity project, or is it a significant moment in the evolution of space travel?

It made a change to arrive at the front page of a newspaper and find some uplifting news. No doubt there will be some who hoped Elon Musk’s pet project would fail, and if you’re the type of reader who follows other readers’ comments, it is clear that there are more than a few people out there who either see the SpaceX enterprise as a sheer waste of money, whilst others see it as Elon Musk littering space with one of his electric Roadsters. Was it not ironic to put a ‘green’ car into space where it would traverse a new kind of highway through the stars and end up as space junk? Why did he not spend the money on finding a cure for cancer instead, one asked? He is an egomaniac, said another. How dare he try to monopolise space, another opined, it should be controlled by governments. On the other hand, veteran astronaut, Buzz Aldrin and experts at NASA all tweeted their congratulations and appreciation of the effort that had gone into making this happen.

And, there are others who are not space experts who see it as an exciting moment. The very idea that a private company led by a whimsical founder could be so audacious as to send a Tesla into space accompanied by a David Bowie soundtrack is something to celebrate. It’s also a genius piece of marketing for the Tesla and SpaceX brands, even if it did cost somewhere in the region of US$90 million. It’s actually chicken feed compared to what NASA spends on space flights, which is more like US$1 billion.

What has SpaceX achieved?

Updated reports on the Tesla’s journey indicate that it overshot its trajectory for Mars and was last seen heading for the asteroid belt and dwarf planet Ceres. Nobody really knows what will happen to the car; whether it will crash into a solid object or simply float around indefinitely. Or will it break up after time?

But, what is does show us is that the Falcon Heavy has the capability of putting objects into deep space. Is this important? Well, considering some of the environmental issues the Earth is facing, there are space companies, such as Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries that are working on technologies to mine water from asteroids. This one event shows that a commercially backed space programme, and particularly the Falcon Heavy craft, is capable of sending their spacecraft into the asteroid belt.

Onlookers who watched it on the ground describe it a “brilliant” and “spectacular” experience. SpaceX may not have put the first man on the Moon, but it has taken a sports car into space, where there are no speed limits. And that is something we will all remember.

 

Bitcar – luxury motors for crypto enthusiasts

Bitcar logoIn Australia, three men have formed a company called Bitcar. Its goal is to use the blockchain, that’s the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as many other products. Why? Because they believe that the blockchain can transform the ownership pool of luxury cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis or Bugattis.

Many car enthusiasts would love to have a supercar and in 2015, Govan van Ek and John Bulich set up a blockchain platform that offers fractional ownership of super, hyper and exotic cars. The company acquires luxury cars and are then stored or displayed for up to 15 years while they, unlike ordinary vehicles, appreciate in value. Investors purchase Bitcar tokens that they are then able to swap for car tokens and own a fraction of the car of their dreams.

This model of issuing tokens is now fairly standard in blockchain-based companies, and there can be few people now who have not seen the proliferation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) during 2017. These ‘coins’, which are really ‘tokens’, are typically then listed on digital exchanges where their value increases, but owners can also use them within the issuing community to purchase goods or services.

Bitcar is currently on a global tour to raise US$20 million plus during its ICO. These ‘start-up’ funds will then be used to develop the product and for marketing. Raising this amount is not uncommon for an ICO and many have managed to raise even larger sums than this in a matter of minutes, although the average ICO lasts for several weeks or months.

Bitcar offers P2P ownership

Why did Bitcar choose luxury cars? The founders said: “Over the last 10 years, this range of cars includes some of the best performing assets. It’s an asset class that has exclusively been available to the super rich and through the tokenisation of these cars we allow for fractional ownership. We have independent verified agents that source and acquire these cars and put them onto our platform and, using the Bitcar tokens, platform users can then exchange them for car tokens with these tokens representing your fractional ownership in a car. Whereas in the past to own a rare Ferrari F40 you had to buy the whole car, now through tokenisation you can own 1 per cent if you like.

However, they do stress that this is not simply an investment opportunity, even though it is a strong asset class. Instead it should be seen as a P2P ownership and trading platform for luxury car enthusiasts.

At Titanium Luxury Hire we keep it simple – you can hire a Bugatti, Lamborghini or Ferrari from us without worry about investments or ownership. Although, one day we may accept payment in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or another cryptocurrency – it’s a trend that is growing and we’re watching it with great interest.

 

 

Porsche 356 celebrates 70th anniversary

Porsche 911 1963
Is the Porsche 911 more iconic than the Porsche 356?

Porsche launched its first road sports car in 1948 – the Porsche 356. Some 70 years later, Porsche has announced a series of global anniversary celebrations. What might they do and which Porsche model is most deserving of the label ‘iconic’?

The story of the Porsche 356 is one a dream come true. Ferry Porsche, inspired by his father’s vision, was the man who made the Porsche sports car a reality. His father Ferdinand had been instrumental in developing numerous automotive advances before the 356 ever hit the tarmac. Starting in 1900, he built the world’s first electric car and the world’s first hybrid powertrain that brought together the use of electric and gasoline. It seems remarkable that it has taken more than a century for the hybrid powertrain to make a reappearance when you consider that Ferdinand Porsche had demonstrated how it works way at the turn of the twentieth century.

Porsche senior was also responsible for the creation of a car that is recognised as a 20th century icon – the Volkswagen Beetle. The ‘people’s car’ may have some unhappy origins, but somehow people everywhere have managed to overcome its associations with Nazi Germany and it is a perennial favourite with those who love classic models. The elder Porsche also designed the ‘Berlin-Rome’ car in 1939, which was a forerunner of the sports cars that the Porsche name has become famous for. It was from this point on that Ferry Porsche picked up the reins of the business and produced the Porsche 356, to fulfil his father’s dream.

Although automotive historians consider that the Porsche 356 represents a breakthrough moment in both sports cars for the road and the story of Porsche, there is almost unanimous agreement that the Porsche 911 is the company’s most iconic car. The 911 design came for Ferry’s son Ferdinand Alexander. It was launched in 1963 and captured the zeitgeist with its modern lines. Since then it has built over one million 911s at Zuffenhausen. Interestingly, the Beetle was also a popular car of the Sixties, because it similarly had a shape that seemed to represent a movement away from the big, American styling of the 1950s.

Porsche has arranged a series of events to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Porsche 356. There will be a “The Porsche Effect” exhibition at The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. In June, Porsche will invite fans to its “Sports Car Together Day” at many of its sites around the world, including Los Angeles and Atlanta in the United States. And Porsche will participate in The Rennsport Reunion VI vintage races in California on September 27-30.

Titanium Luxury Hire has a wonderful collection of Porsche models for hire in Europe, including five different Porsche 911 models.

Contact Us today and reserve your iconic Porsche.

 

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