Text: Jacky FAVRE - Photos: Christelle SOMMEREISEN - Jacky FAVRE
After Retromobile, the second show of the year brought us many new features. It is reassuring to see that despite the various crises, Geneva is the refuge for prestigious brands. If the race for power has somewhat stabilized in recent years, that's life span of a model that has changed with the faster replacement. Ferrari has expanded its range and announced a new model year. This year will be that of the 488 GTB, successor to the 458 Italia.
But at 7:30 am door opening at Palexpo, the two 488 GTB in are undercover and will remain so until the press conference at 13:00. So for beautiful photos, with no one around, we would be there tomorrow morning at the same time, but it is not in our program, based only on the first press day.
But I enjoy being there to present the other models in the Ferrari stand. The first is the FF (#208814)
Then, the California T (#208813)
F12 with a beautiful red. I found myself less and less in the names of colors as there is almost a new red each new model. But with carbon pack and the wheels, it is superb. (#208815)
The presence of a F1 makes us want to believe in a return to the top of the Scuderia. At the time of this writing, the first two GP were played and after a third place, Vettel is already back on the top step of the podium, what motivate the troops but also the fans! Michael Schumacher comparisons are obvious, and I can not help but give a thought to him because we have no news of his health since his return to his family. It is also this victory that I wish...
I continue my tour of the stand with some special parts for specific customers no doubt!
Then I arrived in customizing Atelier. We discover another F12 with a historic livery, notably driven by a 250 GTO crossed at the Tour Auto in 2012! (#207487)
I go around the workshop quickly.
Taking advantage that there have anyone on the Ferrari stand, I missed the press conference of Pininfarina. Fortunately, Christelle was there as a surprise awaited us! Failing to have contributed to the 488 GTB (Ferrari internal design), Pininfarina has brought one of six copies of the definitive Sergio, concept presented here in 2013. Certainly a windshield replaced the windscreen, fires are less fine and the central exhaust outlet is gone, but in return, the mechanics are recovered from the Special. It is not as desirable as the concept, but I find it remarkable still, and yellow suits it very well. Suffice to say that I stayed there a long time to appreciate it! I do not forget that Pininfarina's financial health is not good for a long time, and the abandonment of Ferrari production cars is not going in the right direction. While the Scaglietti Company was bought by the Prancing Horse brand, the same operation would seem normal to me for Pininfarina, contributing to the preservation of knowledge and heritage that links the two brands.
An hour before the conference, I post on the edge of Ferrari stand to ensure my place. Nicolas, already met in the same place at the opening, joined me and we therefore expect strong the first conference of the "after Luca". The conference starts late because Sergio Marchionne is not there. Yet it is not him that will make the conference, but Amedeo Felisa. If the way is the same, the effect is not there. Luca was a master in communication, despite his blunders. Amedeo is an engineer, not necessarily a man of speech. But hope that he guides Ferrari in the right direction. In the audience, we find the leaders and heirs of the firm, as well as the regulars like René Arnoux and Jean Todt.
It presents the technique of the 488 GTB with a retrospective since the 308, there are 30 years. Then it's up curtain... (#208368)
Ferrari press conference is an event in the event. So I made the most of pictures of the outside of the stand, and then I left opposite to wait for the crowd dissipates. Then I was able to detail. Aesthetically it seems an evolution of the 458, yet it is a new car. And the biggest change will remain always with a mechanical rear center V8 but with 2 turbos. It was not seen that since the F40. Environmental policy in question, the downsizing comes along and unit cylinder capacity increased to 488cm3, hence the name. But Ferrari announces to have developed an engine that acts like an atmospheric. Let us see...
Regarding the design, I find it rather successful, but the nod to the past with its side air intake does not please me. I find it oversized. Of course, we must supply the two turbos, and undoubtedly the two exchangers that go with them, but it's a bit unsightly. We can also see that the engine has been established very low.
Attention to detail seems to have piqued Ferrari. Rear indicators are emerging while those at the front are hiding.
Inside, it is not far from a 458, including the red zone tachometer despite overeating.
Let us return to the 3.9L V8 bi-turbo. It is very compact, turbo IHI are pushed to the sides. I can not wait to hear it sing to get a sense.
The back is very reminiscent of Sergio, yet outcome of Pininfarina Style Centre. I find it successful. (#208645)
The front made me somewhat reminiscent of Lamborghini, it is less fluid than the 458, almost too angular.
The last surprise does not bear the emblem of Ferrari, but yet has the heart. Ferrari created its one-off service, these unique vehicles requested by individual customers. But if it was common in the 50s, now the rules are different. You always have the right to work with a coachbuilder like Touring on this F12, but if you want to continue using the name, you have to pay. The client of this Touring Berlinetta Lusso was not deemed necessary heraldry, but managed to turn this F12 into a beautiful unique GT. I would see it again at Villa d'Este, I look forward because it will be in a more beautiful setting.
That's the first part of this report on Geneva. The second is here.