29 June 2011

Mefistofele, Alfa Romeo and Alfa 4C Concept historic models: these are the stars of the “Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011”

Fiat Group Automobiles is taking part in the prestigious "Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011" which will be held from 1 to 3 July in West Sussex in the UK. The important annual event will attract more than 150,000 people and about 700 journalists and photographers coming from 24 countries. The central theme of the 2011 event is "Racing Revolutions", the great ideas that have changed the history of racing forever over the last one hundred years of automotive history. In addition, on 30 June celebrities, fans and collectors from all over the world can experience the emotion of the Moving Motor Show, a day reserved for automotive manufacturers who will be given an opportunity to show off their production models and most recent working concept cars


The stunning Alfa Romeo 4C Concept and the powerful MiTo and Giulietta "Quadrifoglio Verde"

A large Alfa Romeo stand has been set up at Goodwood, where the public will be able to admire the powerful Alfa MiTo and Alfa Giulietta "Quadrifoglio Verde" versions. This legendary symbol has identified some of the brand's sportiest products over the years. The "Quadrifoglio Verde" stands out on the 170 HP MiTo 1.4 MultiAir Turbo and 235 HP Giulietta 1750 TBi. Both cars are equipped with innovative solutions that accentuate the model's known outstanding qualities: road grip, agility, active safety and driving feeling are emphasised by the two engines, which have some the world's highest specific power values and chassis worthy of a higher category.

The undisputed star of the stand will nevertheless be the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept, a compact "supercar" which represents the true essence of a sports car according to the values of the brand: performance, Italian style and technical excellence, offering maximum driving pleasure in total safety. The new concept presents the classic formula of the two-seater, rear-wheel drive coupé with its central engine, a length of approximately 4 metres and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres: these dimensions one on hand emphasise the car's compact attributes while also accentuating its agility on the other. Distinguished by its clean and graceful lines, the same principles are also applied to the inside, with a specific trim level, maintaining features and devices which more directly reflect the car's sporting vocation.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Concept uses technology and materials derived from the 8C Competizione - carbon, aluminium, rear-wheel drive - and technology from Alfa Romeo models currently on sale: the 1750 turbo petrol engine with direct injection, the "Alfa TCT" twin dry clutch transmission and the Alfa DNA dynamic control selector. Quite simply, this vehicle screams Alfa. Its sports car soul creates a unique driving sensation, both on the road and when racing, where its velocity and transverse acceleration become even more demanding.


Alfa 8C Spider and Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" are stars at the "Supercar paddock"

In the area known as the "Supercar paddock" it will be possible to admire the stunning Alfa 8C Spider. Derived from the Alfa 8C Competizione, this Limited Edition (500 vehicles all sold) "discovery" is also designed by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre and is distinguished by unmistakable Italian elegance, an absolutely unique and unrepeatable style that promises the satisfaction of a sporty drive with full respect for Alfa Romeo tradition. Made completely of carbon fibre, the Alfa 8C Spider is equipped with the mighty 4.7 litre 8-cylinder engine that develops 450 HP, teamed - thanks to transaxle architecture - with a 6-speed sequential manual gearbox. It also features an excellent Brembo carbon ceramic (CCM) braking system. This solution ensures powerful and effective braking even when used more intensely as well as further reducing the non suspended masses, improving the dynamic vehicle control and driving comfort of this prestigious supercar.

The spotlights will also be on the Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari". This is the fastest and highest performing road-going 500 ever, resulting from a joint venture between Abarth and Ferrari, based on many shared values that include a passion for performance, a racing soul, attention to detail and Italian style. Over the last two years, both brands have worked even more closely together, which has led to the development of the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari, an exclusive car that on the one hand allows Abarth to expand its range, thus entering the luxury sports car segment, and on the other offers Ferrari customers a small, lively car for all mobility requirements, including practical and urban mobility. Produced in numbered limited edition, the new Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" is distinguished by a number of stylistic changes, but most importantly by substantial modifications developed by Abarth and Ferrari engineers. The engine, for a start, is a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v, tuned to develop more than 180 HP. This is combined with an MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) electromechanical gearbox with race-inspired steering wheel controls that makes full use of the engine's performance by reducing gearshift times.


Mefistofele: the record-breaking car returns after ten years to the "Goodwood Festival of Speed"

The famous Mefistofele, a record-breaking car built by Sir Ernest Eldridge on the base of a 1908 Fiat SB4 Corsa will be displayed in the "Cathedral Paddock" area. This car, the only one of its kind in the world, has a fascinating history and returns after ten years to the "Goodwood Festival of Speed". Sir Eldridge bought a 1908 Fiat SB4, a racing car at the end of its competitive career, with the aim of making a record-breaking car that would satisfy his dreams and be in keeping with the pioneering philosophy of the age. He modified the car by lengthening the chassis, using parts derived from a London bus and adding a Fiat A12 aircraft engine (the "A-12 Bis") converted to deliver 320 HP at 1800 rpm (4 carburettors and 4 distributors were added in place of the 2 magnetos). On 12 July 1924, the Mefistofele - so called due to the bangs and puffs of smoke that it emitted when beating the world speed record - burned up the long beaten earth track at the extraordinary speed of 234.980 km/h. Avvocato Giovanni Agnelli purchased the car from the heirs of Sir Eldridge in 1969 and now this unique car belongs to Fiat's historical collection and has been returned to perfect working order after a long and laborious process of restoration.


Fiat 500 by Gucci and the original "Gucci Chicnic"

During the "Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011" an original "Gucci ChicNic" will be held on the splendid lawns. It is an elegant and exclusive summer picnic that will allow guests to both relax in a breathtaking environment and to take a close look the new Fiat 500 by Gucci, a special edition of the iconic Fiat 500 customised by Gucci Creative Director, Frida Giannini, in collaboration with the Fiat Style Centre. This extraordinary collaboration between two of Italy's most prestigious brands makes for the perfect combination of craftsmanship and style.
The car is available in two refined body colours (black or white) with glitter incorporated into the paint, giving it a luminescent appearance. Two colours, black and white, which complement each other perfectly: the black with its polished chrome detailing providing a striking contrast to its white interior, for a contemporary and sporty look. Or the white with its satin chrome finishings and ivory and black interior, for a more understated and sophisticated look.

The exterior is further customised with rims for 16" alloy wheels characterised by the unmistakable retro design of the spokes, in perfect harmony with the exterior colours: an unqualified first for this car category. The hub caps have the double "G" in the colour of the body and the Gucci signature in italics is on the tailgate and on the door pillars. The car's silhouette is accentuated by Gucci's trademark, a green-red-green band, which runs along the entire perimeter and links the exterior and interior. The band theme also appears on the seats, gearbox, key cover, mats and, with an innovative finish, on the seat belts. The Fiat 500 by Gucci passenger compartment brims with style, but is functional down to the smallest detail: stylish stitching, exclusive materials, satin and polished chrome elements, the velvet-effect finish on the radio panel and the two-tone Frau leather seats with Guccissima print.

The legendary Alfa Romeo models and a tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio

After the celebration of the Alfa Romeo Centenary last year, the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed will play host to another two anniversaries which see the brand involved directly: the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Juan Manuel Fangio, five times World F1 Champion and official Alfa Romeo driver, and the sixty year anniversary of the Alfetta 159 F1 World Championship win by Fangio.

Four priceless cars from the Alfa Romeo Museum are on display at the Cathedral Paddock - the Alfetta 159 (1951), 6C 3000 CM (1953), 6C 1750 Gran Sport (1930) and 33 TT 12 (1975) - which will tackle the main attraction of the Festival of Speed: the demanding Goodwood Hillclimb course. The route of nearly 2 km begins as a tree-lined road crossing the southern corner of the Goodwood Estate and then turns precipitately in front of Goodwood House before climbing up a rough, narrow road enclosed between stone walls and thick woodland toward the Goodwood racing track that dominates the top of the majestic South Downs. It should not be forgotten that the height difference between the beginning and end of the track is nearly 100 m and it is so technical and difficult that it tries the concentration and speed of the best drivers in the world.

The single-seater "159" belonging to the Alfa Romeo Museum, with its eight cylinder in line 425 HP supercharged 1.5 litre engine, represents one of the most prestigious F1 single-seaters still in operation and preserved in its original technical condition. The vehicle exhibited at the Alfa Romeo Museum is one of the "159s" driven by the Argentinean champion, the final act of a car born in 1938 as a "158", fine-tuned in the immediate post-war period and presented in F1 in 1950 with Giuseppe "Nino" Farina and which evolved into a "159" for the following season, the last before the official withdrawal of Alfa Romeo from F1 to concentrate on the production what was to become the "Giulietta".

But the tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio does not focus only on the Alfetta. There is also the "6C 3000 CM", a race spider equipped with a 275 HP 3.5-litre six cylinder in line engine, which was successfully driven by the Argentinean. In addition to the ill-fated Mille Miglia of 1953, in the same year Fangio carried the "3000 CM" to victory at the "Gran Premio Supercortemaggiore" in Merano. It is precisely the same vehicle which belongs to the Alfa Romeo Museum, modified by Alfa's advanced experimental department in 1955 with adoption of disc brakes.

If Fangio is identified with the Alfetta and 3000 CM, another champion - probably the one who more than any other inflamed the crowds - could be represented by the "6C 1750 Gran Sport" of 1930 at the debut of the Festival of Speed. That champion was Tazio Nuvolari who, with the "1750", won the Mille Miglia of 1930 paired with Guidotti, and also set the record of 100 km/h average speed on the entire route. The "6C 1750 Gran Sport", with body fitted by Zagato and its "three red headlights" and supercharged six cylinder in line engine, is one of the most famous and unmistakable pre-war Alfa Romeos, even in the eyes of the "less" expert.

Another practically unprecedented vehicle, also seen for the first time at the Goodwood Festival, is the "750 Competizione", a unique piece from the Alfa Romeo Museum. It is a race spider built in 1955 to compete in the "Sport up to 1.5 litres" category races. The name "750" belies its origin. The four cylinder twin shaft engine was taken from the "1300" of the same "Giulietta Sprint" which launched this 145 HP race spider to 220 km/h (138 mph) in a body weighing just 690 kg. The line is also novel. The design by Boano interprets Alfa Romeo's stylistic features in a personal manner, differentiating the car's style from the other Alfas of the same period.

Last but not least is the 1975 Marche World Champion "33 TT 12" driven by the top drivers of the day ranging from Arturo Merzario (the car's best partner) and Mario Andretti (1974 season) to Henri Pescarolo, Jochen Mass, Derek Bell and Jacques Laffite. In addition to being marked by an extremely unusual appearance, the car is fitted out with the 500 HP three-litre twelve cylinder boxer engine designed by the engineer Chiti's Autodelta. The "TT 12" on display at the Alfa Romeo Museum is one of the most regular Festival of Speed-goers and its theatrical presence means that it doesn't go unnoticed, even next to the "Group Cs" of the 1980's and the "Prototypes" of the 1990's.

Turin, 29 June 2011


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