Official: Monza concept opens its wings and lets us in on Opel’s future

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Hybrid, Europe, Opel, Design/Style

Opel Monza Concept

Opel has done a lot to revitalize itself over the past few years, developing a solid product portfolio with hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, minivans and crossovers. What it’s missing, though, is a sports coupe – because, let’s face it, the Cascada cabrio hardly fits the bill.

Hopes were raised when Opel revealed it was working on a new Monza concept, reviving a nameplate borrowed from an Italian racetrack and previously used on a six-cylinder fastback version of the Senator sedan. Opel has now revealed the Monza in full, but it’s neither the sportscar we expected nor the harbinger of a new production model – much less one we could look forward to General Motors porting over as a Buick coupe, for that matter.

What you’re looking at instead is a design study that hints at the way Opel will style its cars moving forward. Sized in between the Astra and Insignia, the Monza concept has two giant gullwing doors to give access to both front and rear seats, which is probably your first clue that this is more of a show car than a pre-production prototype. Inside, the futuristic cabin features an LED projection dashboard with 3D graphics, new social interactive systems and a lot of swoopy forms and curved wood.

The concept is powered by a CNG version of the hybrid powertrain you’d find in the Opel Ampera or Chevrolet Volt, propelling a form that is more sedan than sports coupe, even if it does technically only have two doors. A successor to the original Monza it is not – let alone a replacement for the Lotus Elise-based Speedster or Pontiac Solstice-based GT that followed – but as an indicator of where Opel is heading, it looks promising. But we’ll reserve final judgement for when we see it at the Frankfurt Motor Show in a couple of weeks. For more details, check out our gallery and the official press release below.

Continue reading Monza concept opens its wings and lets us in on Opel’s future

Monza concept opens its wings and lets us in on Opel’s future originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ferrari 458 Challenge and GT3 racers debut at Monza [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Europe, Videos, Ferrari, Racing

Ferrari 458 Italia GT3

Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

There’s no shortage of race tracks in Italy and around the world that are commonly associated with Ferrari. The factory has its own Fiorano circuit on premises, and the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola – former host of the San Marino Grand Prix – is just fifty miles away. But the spiritual home of the Tifosi, Ferrari’s legions of fans, is at Monza. A fitting location, then, to launch the latest Ferrari sports racers.

This past weekend, Monza hosted a number of production-based races including the first rounds of both the European and Italian leagues of the Ferrari Challenge series. After launching the new 458 Challenge spec racer at the Bologna Motor Show several months ago, this was the first time the car was actually being raced. And what would you know, it actually won its first outing! (Okay, it is a spec racing series, but the new 458 Italia racers did beat out the older F430 models that are still being used by some teams.)

The Challenge, however, wasn’t the only version of the 458 that made its debut this past weekend at Monza. So did the 458 Italia GT3, which slots in between the GT2-spec 458 GTC and the aforementioned Challenge racer. The GT3 car was prepared by Michelotto Automobili – the same factory-endorsed racing garage responsible for countless racing Ferraris as well as the development of the 288 GTO and F40 – and campaigned by AF Corse in two races of the GT Sprint International Series that supports the Superstars touring car series, where it finished second and third overall on its race debuts – second only to the F430 GTC it replaces.

Want to see what it’s like to lap Monza in a 458 racer? To coincide with the launch of the new machinery, Ferrari has released on-board video footage of the 458 Challenge with Stefano Gai, the defending champion who dominated this weekend’s national series race from start to finish. Follow the jump to watch and check out the pair of press releases.

Gallery: Ferrari 458 Challenge

[Source: Ferrari]

Continue reading Ferrari 458 Challenge and GT3 racers debut at Monza [w/video]

Ferrari 458 Challenge and GT3 racers debut at Monza [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spada Codatronca Monza leaks onto the interwebs

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Europe, Chevrolet, Specialty, Luxury

2012 Spada Codatronca Monza

2012 Spada Codatronca Monza – Click above for image gallery

Images of the Spada Codatronca Monza boutique sports car have leaked onto the internet ahead of its debut at this year’s Top Marques Monaco show. The Codatronca, you’ll recall, is a Chevrolet Corvette Z06-engined low-volume supercar cooked up by Ercole Spada. Spada cut his teeth working for Zagato, BMW, and IDEA Institute before starting his own company, Spadaconcept.

The Codatronca is the company’s first attempt at a supercar and it uses an aluminum spaceframe and magnesium engine cradle coupled with the aforementioned Corvette engine. To make things just a tad more interesting, Spada adds twin superchargers to the already-potent 427, bringing the horsepower total to a heady 700.

As quoted by AllCarIndex, the Monza will have a scant 2,500-pound curb weight, meaning that Spada’s creation ought to hit 60 mph in three seconds flat and top out at nearly 210 mph.

Gallery: 2012 Spada Codatronca

2012 Spada Codatronca2012 Spada Codatronca2012 Spada Codatronca

[Source: Spada via AllCarIndex]

Spada Codatronca Monza leaks onto the interwebs originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Lapping Monza in the Gumpert Apollo

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Etc., Europe, Specialty

2010 Gumpert Apollo

2010 Gumpert Apollo – Click above to watch the video after the jump

This video comes to us from a tipster named Marco, who’s pals with the owner of the only Gumpert Apollo in Italy. On a recent winter’s afternoon, Marco’s friend invited him along for a couple laps of Monza in the 800-horsepower extraterrestrial German supercar.

Marco points out that this particular Gumpert has been massaged a little to meet the power put down by the Apollo’s race-prepared sibling. Marco’s buddy gives this thing a decent workout, but understandably holds back from really thrashing his rare-as-bird’s-teeth bespoke rocket. See for yourself after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Marco!

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Lapping Monza in the Gumpert Apollo

Video: Lapping Monza in the Gumpert Apollo originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Mar 2011 19:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Four minutes of Ferrari 458 Challenge testing at Monza

Filed under: Videos, Ferrari


Ferrari 458 Challenge testing at Monza – Click above to watch the video

The curves. The Power. The… Ferrariness. It’s hard to get too much of the 458 Italia Challenge, and, luckily, we’ve come across some video of the race-ready Ferrari testing at Monza. The four-minute flick only shows a few angles of the pride of Maranello, but what we can guarantee is crisp images, ridiculously perfect exhaust melodies and a powerful desire to drive a 458 on track. At a few points it looks like the 458 Challenge isn’t being pushed too hard, but every now and again we would catch a glimpse of the glowing red front brake rotors, assuring us that the driver is giving the lighter, lower 458 a considerable workout. Hit the jump to enjoy the video for yourself, if only to hear just how wonderful the Challenge sounds.

Gallery: Ferrari 458 Challenge racer

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Four minutes of Ferrari 458 Challenge testing at Monza

Video: Four minutes of Ferrari 458 Challenge testing at Monza originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Oct 2010 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Racing


Dallara GP2/11 – Click above for high-res image gallery

While Ferrari was cleaning up at its home race at Monza this past weekend, the GP2 feeder series campaigned its penultimate race of the season. Venezuelan racer Pastor Maldonado, driving for Italian team Rapax, clinched the series title in its sixth season, but arguably even more intriguing was the concurrent launch of the new third-generation GP2 spec racer.

Like the car it replaces, the new GP2/11 is designed and built by Italian racing chassis manufacturer Dallara – also behind the cars used in IndyCar and Formula 3 as well as F1 newcomer HRT’s car, to name just a few – and will be used exclusively by all teams for the next three seasons. Major changes to the design close the gap to Formula One considerably and borrow from its latest developments, employing a larger diffuser, a narrower rear wing and a larger one up front, a raked front nose and anvil-shaped engine cover. Also like F1, the new GP2 car will switch from Bridgestone rubber to new Pirelli compounds.

Development has been underway for several months, and the new car – unveiled to the teams and press at Monza – will see its first race early next year in the season-bridging GP2 Asia Series. Considering that no fewer than fifteen drivers – Lewis Hamilton among them – have graduated from the series up to F1, GP2 has rapidly developed as the place to watch for the next generation of top talent at the pinnacle of open-wheel racing. So keep an eye on newly-crowned champion Paston Maldonado, and check out the new car in the high-res image gallery below.

Gallery: Dallara GP2/11

[Source: GP2]

Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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