Cape Town - From Lamborghini's future road cars, to Ferrari's name fail and Opel's up for sale. Lance Branquinho looks at the top five motoring moments of February.
Huracan to debut Lamborgini active aero
The history might be more tractors than Formula 1 cars, but that doesn’t mean Lamborghini can’t be equally as clever as that other Italian supercar brand.
Lamborghini’s announced its future road cars will feature active aerodynamics, a migratory F1-style technology for private vehicles. The debut model for Lamborghini’s fancy-flaps will be its new Huracan Performante.
WATCH: Lamborghini teases Huracan Performante at the Nürburgring
These drag reduction systems, which mostly function by having active winglets, spoilers and grille slats, provide the dual purposing of downforce in fast seeps, or optimal cooling at low speeds, whilst also enabling the top speed potential Lamborghinis are renowned for.
Beyond the functionality, observing that rear wing lower automatically at speed in your rear-view mirror, will rekindle the supercar room poster happiness which is latent in all of us.
Suzuki recalls a single Cappuccino
Recalls are the awful reality of an automotive industry trying to match the model frequency of Smartphones. Too many different models, being produced in too short a frame of time. The consequence of: an unpleasant succession of recalls.
Suzuki was the latest victim of this public embarrassment, in February. See, a 1996 Cappuccino, numbered EA21R-102188, did not have K6A registration engraving on its engine. Hence the recall For one, single, car.
Commitment to quality like no other, from Suzuki. That’s thorough inventory to ownership control systems: being able to trace one car with an absent engine stamping, 21 years later.
Abysmally ugly F1 cars
F1 has long ceased to be a form of motorsport. It’s associated engineering attributes are more aviation than anything else. That the cars have wheels to steer them are nearly incidental.
For the 2017 season function crushes form, yet again. The consequences of F1’s new rules are demonstrated in all awfulness with Force India’s VJM10.
LIVE: #F1Testing in Spain - all the teams
Note its nose bump, nostrils and winglets, the latter which appear to be shards of carbon-fibre, accidentally dropped, recollected and then glued asymmetrically to the corners of that front wing.
And the platypus nose We thought that had died with the 2014 season. Alas. No.
Ferrari stating the obvious
They work particularly hard at Ferrari: F1 cars, supercars, peak caps, fragrances. It’s a terrifically diverse business.
No surprise, then, that the marketing department is occasionally overwhelmed and short on ideas. Evidence of this? The company’s fastest ever V12 Berlinetta, which also happens to home its most powerful naturally-aspirated engine yet, simply named: Superfast. That’s right. The Superfast. You cannot fault Ferrari for an attempt at ambiguity.
We’d think a 6.5-litre V12 good for 588kW and 0-100kph in 2.9 seconds would qualify for naming convention oozing Italian hyperbole. Yet it doesn’t. In all likelihood, also the very last of Ferrari’s naturally-aspirated V12 road cars, so if you wish to invest in one – we’d sure you’ll make a fair amount of money back by February 2025.
Opel an outcast
In the automotive market of 2017, who wouldn’t want to work for, own equity in or do business with a German car-maker? Well, Opel – it seems.
The beleaguered German division of GM is up for sale, after the Americans have decided the high labour costs, slow growth and minimal margin European auto market isn’t particularly interesting to them anymore.
Opel has a terrific portfolio of cars, engineering patents and advanced electrification technologies. Despite all of this it remains a flailing company. Business rescue has allegedly been secured from across the (French) border, with the PSA group (Peugeot/Citroen) interested in acquiring Opel.
The issues are plentiful, though. Will Vauxhall survive as a twin-brand, with its assembly plants, in the United Kingdom - especially with a looming Brexit? And can PSA make Opel work, although both companies compete very directly with each other on product? Will be a tragedy if Opel becomes the second European Saab.
That said, your OPC-anything and all those Cosworth 16V cylinder-head Opels of the late 1980s and early 1990s, would possibly become rather collectable is it all fails.