Officer Welch had a close call the other day while driving in her patrol car. Luckily no one was injured and our Alaskan drivers knew to slow down to a stop. Mama and her calf are okay. This is a great reminder: we share this beautiful place with all kinds of wildlife. They're always around. Keep an eye out and be safe! Credit: Anchorage Police Department
McLaren announced today at Pebble Beach it will build a limited-production open-top roadster to slot into the brand's Ultimate Series lineup alongside the Senna and Speedtail. It'll be powered by a twin-turbo V-8 and limited to just 399 units. The company released a single teaser image of the car, and says it will be geared toward driving pleasure rather than lap times. CEO Mike Flewitt revealed the design today to McLaren customers, confirming what we heard from Autocar in July. The car, which has yet to be named, will be priced similarly to the company's Senna track-special and Speedtail grand-touring car, so expect an MSRP of around $1 million. Unlike the Senna, which was designed to set the quickest lap times possible, this new roadster will be geared for enjoyment rather than outright performance. In a statement, McLaren promises to offer "the purest distillation of road-focused driving pleasure and an unrivaled sense of driver connection with the surrounding environment."Exact specs have yet to be released, but McLaren confirmed the car will use a carbon-fiber construction, a version of the twin-turbo V-8 engine from the Senna, and feature low-profile dihedral doors. There's no mention of hybrid tech, and if the Autocar report is anything to go on, it won't be employed here. And judging by the teaser image McLaren released today, the new roadster won't have a windshield. That should make things very interesting.McLaren says it will be taking "expressions of interest" for the new car from existing customers this weekend at Pebble Beach. Expect order books to formally open soon after.
From Paris to Berlin, European cities are searching for solutions to the two-wheeled phenomenon that's fast transforming cityscapes worldwide: electric scooters
A driver on a BMW S1000XR experiences an extremely dangerous close call with another vehicle as he threads the needle to escape. This will get your heart pumping!
Now this is intriguing. Video from the Nürburgring has emerged featuring a McLaren 720S prototype sporting some significant aerodynamic add-ons. Is this the upcoming LT version of the 720S?It's hard to say definitively. What we can see in this clip from YouTuber Automotive Mike is that this car has a massive splitter jutting out from its front fascia, and dive planes just ahead of its front wheels. At the top of the windshield, there's a decal that reads "MV1102." McLaren uses the "MV" designation for all of its prototypes, but we're not sure what "1102" represents. Get in touch if you do.You can see a roll cage inside (not unusual for a prototype testing on the 'Ring), but other than that, this looks like a pretty standard 720S. For that reason, and because the dive planes are just bolted onto the bodywork, we're pretty sure this an early-stage prototype of some sort. If this is a 720S "LT," we bet the final production version will look quite a bit different, with more aero components elsewhere on the car. And probably no bolt-on dive planes.We know that McLaren has been working on an LT version of the 720s since at least 2017. We're not sure when the production car will arrive, though. The 675LT debuted a year after the 650S it was based on, but with the 600LT, McLaren took its time, launching that car three years after the 570S. The 720S, for reference, debuted in 2017. Maybe we'll see the LT at the Geneva show next March, then?It's hard to imagine a quicker car than a 720S, which is so fast, it makes a P1 almost seem redundant. The LT version could be nipping at the heels of the mighty Senna, then.
Friends of Cameron Hagan, 26, say he was in town from Montana to have a fun weekend when he died from injuries sustained in an electric scooter crash.
Tense dash cam footage captures an accident on A42 in France on the 14th July, 2019. Thankfully there were no major injuries, only a few cuts and bruises. Please be careful!
Grab a pen and a map of Italy. Put a dot on Milan. Move west about 80 miles and mark Turin. Now slide 60 miles south and a smidge east. Plop a third dot on the village of Garessio, if you can find it. Link the three to form a triangle. You’d burn more ink connecting Portland, Bangor, and Bar Harbor, Maine, but when it comes to car design, this little area in Northern Italy might as well be the center of the universe. Each point is the hometown of a founding father of the wedge-shaped, mid-engine supercar: Leonardo Fioravanti of Milan, Giorgetto Giugiaro of Garessio, and Marcello Gandini of Turin. All were born in 1938, a few months and only 100 miles apart. This story originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Road & Track.Name a sharp-nosed, mid-engine legend. Ferrari 512 BB? A Fioravanti masterpiece that defined that automaker’s golden era. Lotus Esprit? A Giugiaro design so enduring, every subsequent face-lift and overhaul across 28 years of production maintained the same shape and style. Lamborghini Countach? Gandini’s gift to the world of motoring and the bedroom-poster industry. If your favorite car has two seats, a midship engine, and a profile like a doorstop, it likely owes its existence to one of these three men. It’s enough to make you wonder what was in the water. How did this tiny triangle of Italian soil give rise to three titans of modern design? To find out, we asked the designers who’ve shaped some of our favorite modern sports cars, people like Chris Bangle, Ed Welburn, Ralph Gilles, Moray Callum, and more.Fioravanti is responsible for an entire generation of iconic Ferraris. He trained as a mechanical engineer, focused on aerodynamics, and joined Pininfarina in 1964, straight out of school. He immediately started designing amazing machines. Name a memorable Dino or Ferrari of the past 50 years and you’re likely to land on a Fioravanti design. A partial list: the 1967 Dino 206 GT, the 1968 365 GTB4 Daytona, the 1975 308 GTB, the 288 GTO, the Testarossa, and the F40. All Fioravanti works. “I’m still surprised that Fioravanti was an engineer,” says Welburn, former head of global design at General Motors. “In general, engineers just don’t do creative, beautiful automobiles. And he did.”Giugiaro apprenticed at Fiat, passed through Bertone and Ghia, and in 1968, founded his own design firm, Italdesign. He penned outrageous concept cars, such as the Bizzarrini Manta and Porsche Tapiro, exotics like the De Tomaso Mangusta and the Maserati Bora, and icons like the Esprit, the BMW M1, and the DeLorean DMC-12. He styled normal cars, too—he has called the Mk1 Volkswagen Golf of 1974 his best and most important design—in addition to Nikon cameras, Seiko watches, and Beretta firearms. “He showed the world that a mass-market product can have attractive and iconic design,” says Ralph Gilles, head of design at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Gandini joined Bertone in 1965, after Giugiaro left. The next year, he rocked the world with the debut of the Lamborghini Miura. It was the first road car with a mid-mounted V-12 engine, the original supercar. Four years later, Gandini showed the most radical concept car in history: the Lancia Stratos Zero, a sci-fi wedge. It inspired the production Lancia Stratos, a slightly more practical automobile that dominated rally racing. And of course, there’s the Countach. Hard to believe, but the totem of 1980s angular excess debuted in 1971, just five years after the voluptuous Miura. “For me,” says Mitja Borkert, current head of Lamborghini design, “everything that we do relates to the design DNA that the Countach gave us.” It wasn’t just Lamborghinis: Gandini penned the first BMW 5-series and the Renault 5 Supercinq, too.Style is part of the bedrock of Italian culture. There’s a philosophy, fare bella figura. Directly translated, it means “to make a good figure”; in practice, it’s more like, “make an effort to be noticed” or “nail the first impression.” This is the nation that took something as universal as an evening stroll and elevated it to la passeggiata, a daily ritual of well-dressed, leisurely flaunting and flirting. “Just holding a pencil in this country makes you feel more creative,” says Bangle, BMW’s former design chief.The culture is also permeated by a reverence for aesthetics. “I think [Italians] have respected art and design probably longer than any other country,” says Callum, vice president of design at Ford. Early in his career, Callum worked at the Ford-owned design house Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin. He felt a major cultural difference almost immediately: In Italy, his chosen career held a place of honor that he’d never experienced growing up in Scotland. “Being an industrial designer in the U.K. is not seen as a really high, important job,” he says. “Whereas I think in Italy, they see the art side of life as being very, very important. I think that element of where you are in society really helps.”It goes back generations. Italy’s carrozzerie, independent styling houses that designed and built bespoke automotive bodywork, grew from a tradition of horse-and-buggy coachbuilding. Trace the craft even further, and you end up in the Middle Ages, when Turin had a reputation for turning out the world’s most beautiful and stylish suits of armor.“Metalworking has always been a primary craft there,” says Peter Stevens, designer of the McLaren F1 (and dozens of other cars). In his current role, teaching at London’s Royal College of Art, he emphasizes how Italy’s past helped to elevate the work of coachbuilding and, eventually, car design. “Unlike in other countries where metalworkers were seen as… the grumpy guys at the end of the village that you wouldn’t want your daughter to marry, in Italy that was seen as a really stylish thing that a family would be very proud of,” he says. The culture helped steer Fioravanti, Giugiaro, and Gandini toward car design. So did the timing of their births. Arriving in 1938 meant their earliest years were defined by the unimaginable destruction of World War II. Having survived, these young men entered automotive design in an era of unbridled innovation and postwar optimism.Welburn marvels at what it must have been like growing up in that time and place. “You can imagine them as teenage boys, being excited about what’s going on. By age 20, which would be 1958, all three of these guys had reached [adulthood] at the exact same moment that Italian automobile design was on fire. And I don’t care what your interests were, you wanted to be a part of it.”One more factor that influenced how Fioravanti, Giugiaro, and Gandini designed cars: plaster. Most automotive design departments build full-size models out of clay. The technique was pioneered by Harley Earl, the visionary who shaped General Motors design from the ’20s through the early ’60s. Earl grew up in Hollywood, and he swiped the modeling-clay trick from the movie industry. It’s a great way to quickly get a design off the page and into three dimensions, tweaking and editing the shape in real time via the addition or subtraction of material.The carrozzerie didn’t use clay. They adapted the sculptor’s tradition of making a plaster maquette before taking chisel to stone. Fioravanti, Giugiaro, and Gandini all worked with master modelers, practicing a form of plasterwork that had been handed down through generations, and that tradition informed their designs.These plaster modelers were “startlingly skillful fellows,” Stevens says, who could understand the shape you were looking for “by the way you waved your arms.” The plaster had limitations: It didn’t allow for really dramatic curves, and unlike clay, it offered less opportunity for rework. “In a way, the plaster method caused them to have a lot more discipline,” Stevens says, “because if you screwed up, you’d have to chop the whole lot off and start again.”“The way they developed the shapes, I mean, it could have been 500 years ago, 800 years ago, 1000 years ago,” Welburn says. “It’s like they’re working on marble.” He mentions some quintessential wedge-shaped concept cars. “When I look at those long, lean surfaces, I can see the sculptors working in plaster on those cars. I can really see how plaster had an effect on what they were doing.”Stevens says it wasn’t until the late ’80s that the American tradition of clay modeling made its way to Italy. “Now they all use exactly the same tools. They no longer seem to have that difference in Italy, which I always liked.”Fioravanti, Giugiaro, and Gandini are all still alive and active in the design world. They aren’t easy to get ahold of. Some of this is due to language barriers, and some is likely by design. I tried to reach Giugiaro and Gandini with no success, but I did get to talk to Leonardo Fioravanti. He graciously dedicated the better part of a Saturday evening to our chat.The conversation was freewheeling and joyous, as wide-ranging as the man’s half-century-plus career. Fioravanti is a modest man, but his accomplishments cannot be diminished. The best instrument of personal freedom, he told me, is the car. That’s why his countrymen love them and why certain Italians have the ability to design them correctly. Fioravanti is the oldest of the trio—born in January of 1938, followed by Giugiaro and Gandini in August. Marcello and Giorgetto both love cars, Fioravanti said. And when you love cars, you stay young.I asked him about the philosophy behind his designs. Start from function, he says. Function is the same thing anywhere in the world—a wheel must be round, a door must open. Then comes aesthetics, the way something appears to the eyes. Finally, the way that a person feels about the aesthetics? That’s style.Perhaps in the beginning, he says, beauty is not so fascinating. Sometimes we get distracted by more flashy things. But after five, 10, 20 years, true beauty can only become more and more attractive. Italians have a natural approach to function, he says, to style and aesthetics and originality. They have the uncommon courage to pursue simplicity.Fioravanti mentioned the Ferrari Daytona (pictured above), an undeniably gorgeous design. He didn’t set out to make it beautiful when he created it. The first function of a Ferrari, he says, is to win. The car needed good visibility, good aerodynamics, an extraordinary engine. It won its class at Le Mans in 1972, 1973, and 1974. One year, Daytonas swept the first five places in their class at that legendary race. To Fioravanti, the car’s beauty is a result of how well it functioned in the crucible of motorsports.To drive home his point, Fioravanti quoted Plato: Beauty is the splendor of truth. And if you begin with the truth, he says, there’s a good chance you’ll arrive at beauty.It’s a philosophy embodied in every enduring design. It’s a guiding principle more powerful than culture, region, or era. It’s what allowed Fioravanti, Giugiaro, and Gandini to become the most important men in car design. In everything they did, they found truth. And from a tiny wedge of Italy, they gave it to the world.
"She loves me, she better love me!" Masaru Ishikawa creates the ultimate OEM+ masterpiece for his wife, complete with a tubbed engine bay and extreme widebody
This video was recovered from a Ferndale Police scout car stolen on July 5, 2019. This video depicts the dangerous driving by the suspect which put the community at great risk. The suspect was arrested at the scene of the crash. Credit: City of Ferndale Department of Police Media
When Ford revealed a new Bullitt Mustang the beginning of 2018, it shared the stage with something truly remarkable—one of the originals from the movie, thought to be lost to time. Two Mustang were used in the filming of Bullitt, and of the two, the one Ford brought out was the more complete example. Now, that car is headed to auction.Today, Mecum announced that the Bullitt Mustang, a 1968 GT Fastback painted Highland Green, will be the featured lot at its Kissimmee, Florida auction next January. Don't be surprised if it becomes the most expensive Mustang ever sold. And you don't need to take our word for it. When we first wrote about this car's rediscovery last year, Mustang legend Ken Marti told us "I won’t be surprised if the kind of offer Sean [Kiernan, the owner] gets will be the highest ever offer for a Mustang."Since our interview with Marti, a 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake sold for $2.2 million. It's easy to imagine this one selling for more. After all, it's arguably the most iconic Mustang of them all, and it was driven by a legend in one of the greatest car-chase scenes in movie history.The car was modified pretty extensively for the movie, with heavier-duty suspension hardware, some engine upgrades, and mounting points for cameras. After filming was complete, Warner Brothers repaired the car and sold it to a detective living on the East coast. The detective listed it in the October 1974 Road & Track classifieds (as the "Bullett" Mustang), and Robert Kiernan bought it for $6000, immediately putting it to use as a family car. McQueen himself tried to buy the car back in 1977, but Robert Kiernan held on to it until his death in 2014, at which point it was passed on to his son, Sean. The younger Kiernan told us last year that "the goal will always be to have it in my family... That's the goal. It always has been. It always will be." But things evidently have changed. It's hard to blame him for wanting to sell. He even conceded to us that its value could "change lives." We've reached out to Mecum to see if the auction house has sale-price estimate, and we'll update if we hear back. In other Steve-McQueen-car auction news, Bonhams will sell the actor's 1949 Chevrolet pickup in Monterey later today (sale estimate $60,000 - $80,000), and the auction house also announced that the Meyers Manx dune buggy driven by him in The Thomas Crown Affair will be sold next March.And if you think we're going to spend the next 10 minutes watching the Bullitt chase scene, you're damn right we are. You should, too.via Autoblog