Italian beauty and absurdity extend to gas stations in Cuneo, Italy

Filed under: Etc., Europe, Design/Style

Italian gas station by Damilano Studio Architects – Click above for high-res image gallery

When luxury becomes a commodity, there’s little left but to make commodities luxurious. This is a newly constructed gas station in Cuneo, Piemonte, Italy, designed by Damilano Studio Architects, and it’s rather pleasant to look at if modern architecture is your thing. Reinforced concrete enclosing a glass wall creates staggered, latitudinal forms that are sliced by aluminum canopies front and back, with blood red fuel pumps.

We have no idea if a beautiful station sells more fuel or makes the Skittles taste better, but a little more pulchritude in one’s day never hurt, did it? As to that absurdity, around back is a red steel block bearing a work of art that looks like a long armed, dog-headed man on a toilet. It is actually “a wolf howling, illuminated at night, draw[ing] attention to the urgent needs.” Now that will definitely make the Skittles taste better. Thanks for the tip, John!

Italian beauty and absurdity extend to gas stations in Cuneo, Italy originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 30 May 2011 08:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar Italy trims out a special XKR in… plaid Alcantara?!

Filed under: Coupe, Europe, Jaguar, Luxury

Jaguar XKR 75 by Alcantara Interiors

Jaguar XKR 75 by Alcantara Interiors – Click above for image gallery

We know what you were thinking: the Jaguar XKR is pretty cool, but what it really needs is a plaid interior. Fortunately, Jaguar Italy and Alcantara Interiors have teamed up to realize exactly that.

And they didn’t just put in some plaid inserts like on a Volkswagen GTI, either: we mean Prince of Wales plaid covering the seats (front and rear), the armrest, the center console, the door panels, the headliner, the pillars… the works. And as you might have guessed, the pattern is applied to that soft, grippy, suede-like wonder-material we know as Alcantara.

The trim wasn’t applied to any old XKR, either: it replaced the white-stitched charcoal leather on the XKR 75, the anniversary edition of which only 75 examples were made, complete with 530-horsepower supercharged V8. You know, in case it wasn’t special enough already. See for yourself in the image gallery below. Yikes.

Gallery: Jaguar XKR 75 by Alcantara Interiors

[Source: eurocarblog]

Jaguar Italy trims out a special XKR in… plaid Alcantara?! originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Apr 2011 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volvo rolls out exclusive C30 Black Design for Italy… does it look better? [w/poll]

Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, Volvo, Design/Style

2011 Volvo C30 Black Design

2011 Volvo C30 Black Design – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Volvo C30 is a bit of a divisive design. Some love the radical P1800ES-inspired hatch, while others find it awkward. But maybe the brand’s latest special edition can help.

Called the C30 Black Design, it’s limited exclusively to the Italian market and to just 600 examples. What sets it apart is the application of a 3M carbon-look film to the roof, pillars, grille surround and wing mirrors. There’s also 17-inch matte black wheels (upgradable to 18-inchers) and a specially trimmed interior with individualized dedication plaque.

Italian buyers can choose between the 115-horsepower D2 or 150-hp D3 turbo-diesel engines, or a 145-hp 2.0-liter gasoline four, and specify theirs in white, gray or orange. The question is, does the faux-carbon trim make the C30 look better or worse? Cast your vote in our poll below after looking over the gallery.

View Poll

Gallery: 2011 Volvo C30 Black Design

[Source: OmniAuto.it (translated)]

Volvo rolls out exclusive C30 Black Design for Italy… does it look better? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lamborghini to celebrate Italy with Tricolore edition Gallardo?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini, Rumormill

Image above for illustrative purposes only

Two weeks ago reports began to surface that Lamborghini could be preparing to launch a new two-tone Bicolore edition of the Gallardo at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. But since the pace of the automotive industry is unrelenting, this week’s reports indicate that a Tricolore edition could be in the works, too.

So… a two-tone special followed by a three-tone one? We must have lost something in the translation here. And we almost did. Word has it that the second special-edition Gallardo will not be a three-tone model, but a Tricolore in the sense of the Italian flag. The country, you see, is preparing to celebrate 150 years of unification, a national milestone which Lamborghini very well might celebrate with a commemorative patriotic edition featuring the red, white and green.

Then again, it could just be a three-tone paint job. We’ll have to wait and see, with sources tipping the Tricolore edition’s launch to take place in Geneva in March.

[Source: autoblog.it via eurocarblog]

Lamborghini to celebrate Italy with Tricolore edition Gallardo? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Dec 2010 18:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Italy stars in live-action Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit vid

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Lamborghini, Toys/Games

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit – Click above to watch video after the jump

Electronic Arts isn’t pulling any punches in the run-up to the release of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. The studio sent two of the world’s most lust-worthy Italilan exotics to go frolic through the countryside in a live-action interpretation of the game’s premise. The video stars one wayward Pagani Zonda Cinque on the run from a very stubborn Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and its accompanying air support. The whole tale is set to La Roux’s “Not Your Toy” remixed by the ever crafty Nero. It’s as fitting a soundtrack as we could imagine.

The video is, of course, dripping with high-horsepower slides and vaporized rear tires at the hands of legendary stunt drivers Marc Hennerici and Marc Basseng. Sound appetizing? Hit the jump to sink your teeth into the jaw-dropping spot.

[Source: Hot Pursuit]

Continue reading Video: Italy stars in live-action Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit vid

Video: Italy stars in live-action Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit vid originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Nov 2010 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Romeo Ferraris leaves Italy, comes back with a 667-hp carbon fiber Corvette

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Europe, Chevrolet

Ferraris Vette

Supercharged Corvette Z06 by Romeo Ferraris – Click above for high-res image gallery

Think of the words Romeo and Ferraris and you’re bound to think of Italian cars, right? Maybe so, but the two together form the name of an Italian tuning house. And while many of their subjects have been Italian themselves, Romeo Ferraris has been scoping out foreign territory as well.

The latest is the Corvette Z06. And why shouldn’t it be? The ‘Vette has a long history of customization at Italian hands. But those have mostly been cosmetic coachbuilding jobs. This is another story altogether.

RF has taken the Z06 and fitted a supercharger to the 7.0-liter LS7 V8. The result? 667 horsepower and 607 lb-ft of twist. The centrifugal compressor, aluminum intercooler, high-flow injectors and custom exhaust help it get to 62 mph in 3.3 seconds and up to 211 mph – assuming you can get all that power down – while 380mm/6-pot brakes up front and 345/4-pot brakes out back help it come back to a stop.

A series of exterior and interior cosmetic modifications have also been carried out, including what appears to be a bare carbon fiber reskin, putting Romeo Ferraris’ Z06 toe to toe with Chevy’s own factory ZR1 in more ways than one.

Gallery: Supercharged Corvette Z06 by Romeo Ferraris

[Source: autoblog.it via World Car Fans]

Romeo Ferraris leaves Italy, comes back with a 667-hp carbon fiber Corvette originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Oct 2010 14:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engineers embark on driverless van odyssey from Italy to China

Filed under: Aftermarket, Minivan/Van, China, Europe, Technology, Russia, Electric

A team of intrepid software engineers are out drive a full 8,000 miles from Italy to China in an autonomous electric van, all while going no faster than 37 mph. Talk about a road trip.

The stunt is being headed up by tech company VisLab as a real-world test of the its artificial vision and intelligence systems. So, how does one go about parading a driverless van half way around the globe? Carefully. Two engineers will be positioned in the “driverless” van, with one person behind the wheel just in case something goes fruity. Meanwhile, another two workers will pilot a lead vehicle. The autonomous van will take cues from the people-driven version, but will still rely on a camera array to detect potential obstacles and issues.

The company’s route will take the team through Moscow traffic, the frigid temperatures of the Gobi desert and the roadless realms of Siberia. If that’s not challenging enough, the vans are both all-electric, and with the advanced technology onboard, the vehicles’ batteries must be recharged for eight hours for every two to three hours of driving. The team expects to work in about four hours of driving per day. Needless to say, it’s going to take a while – the whole shindig is expected to run a full three months.

[Source: VisLab via Associated Press]

Engineers embark on driverless van odyssey from Italy to China originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mini Countryman to enter Rally Italy in 2011

Filed under: Motorsports, Budget, Europe, Crossover, Hatchback, Mini, Rumormill, Racing

Mini Countryman – Click above for high-res image gallery

Rally and the original Mini went together like sugar and grits. That pint-sized Brit made a habit of showing up at stages, mopping the floor with the competition and motoring home with trophies in tow. The wringability of the little hatches helped catapult them into the storied halls of motorsports lore – something that the new generation of Mini machines has been quick to capitalize on. Now that the brand is set to introduce the Countryman, there’s some concern as to whether or not the high-riding CUV can adhere to the brand’s ethos of punching above its weight.

We’ve heard repeated murmurings in the past about a collaboration between the rally gurus at Prodrive and Mini that could result in the honkin’ Countryman doing battle in the most grueling rally arena of them all – the WRC. A new report says that the two companies will announce something pertinent to their work together later this week. We’re hoping that means a first look at the rally beater, but since we haven’t heard word one from Mini just yet, it’s hard telling. Autocar seems to think that the announcement may have more to do with the team’s schedule than anything else, saying that it expects Mini to hit the WRC by the time Rally Italy rolls around in May of 2011.

Gallery: 2011 Mini Countryman

[Source: Autocar]

Report: Mini Countryman to enter Rally Italy in 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Jul 2010 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat 500C Sardinia by Romeo Ferraris is an ode to Italy’s Emerald Coast

Filed under: Aftermarket, Convertible, Europe, Fiat

Fiat 500C Sardinia by Romeo Ferraris – Click above for high-res image gallery

When you think of Italian cars, some of the images that come to mind might be of graceful cabrios gliding along picturesque coastlines. Thing is, short of exotica from Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini or Pagani, the only Italian convertibles currently on offer are the Alfa Spider and Fiat 500C. As gorgeous as it is, the Alfa is on its way out, leaving the Fiat to fend for itself in the meantime. Romeo Ferraris apparently thought the sprightly 500C could use a little jazzing up, so it’s released this limited-edition special.

The 500C Sardinia, as it’s called, will be limited to just 50 examples. Paying homage to Italy’s Emerald Coast, it’s decked out in green paint with gold accents and sand-colored cloth roof. The interior is likewise trimmed in the light beige, the leather covers everything short of the dashboard, which gains an innovative cork treatment, and the emerald green floormats to match the exterior. Unfortunately, unlike some of Romeo Ferraris’ more extreme performance conversions, the Sardinia’s are largely limited to a dual-tip exhaust and 16-inch split-spoke alloys. Have a closer look in the gallery below.

Gallery: Fiat 500C Sardinia by Romeo Ferraris

[Source: OmniAuto.it]

Fiat 500C Sardinia by Romeo Ferraris is an ode to Italy’s Emerald Coast originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Jul 2010 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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