Friday, 21 January 2011

News Roundup 21 January 2011

Possibly the biggest car news story of the week, if not the most important, was the announcement of the Ferrari FF. Whether in a deliberate or coincidental nod history it is a luxury, high-performance, four-seat hatchback with four-wheel drive – not unlike the Jensen FF from 1966.

From Fourwheelsteer: Motoring Writer

Ferrari says its FF stands for Ferrari Four (four seats and four-wheel drive) so Ferrari FF is actually a tautology. Whatever the name Ferrari claims the all-wheel drive system does not compromise the car’s ‘ideal’ 47:53 front-rear weight distribution. It also refers to the car having a transaxle. As I understand it; that means there must be one drive shaft from the engine in the front to the gearbox at the back and another drive shaft running from the gearbox to the front differential. No-one else has commented on this, it will be interesting to see what the FF looks like under the skin. Hopefully all the car’s secrets will be revealed when it is officially unveiled in Geneva this March.

If you are in the market for Ferrari’s latest offering then the Aston Martin Cygnet probably qualifies as affordable town transport. The compact, Toyota-based Aston costs just over £30,000 and production is due to start in April.

From Fourwheelsteer: Motoring Writer

Final news story to catch my eye was the report that discussions are taking place about exempting the oldest historic vehicles from the requirement to pass an annual MOT test. Justification for the move is given that the vehicles in question cover such small mileages and are usually well maintained so the safety impact would be minimal. Of course owners would be expected to maintain their vehicles in roadworthy condition – just as every motorist must.

Car of the Week – Subaru and Toyota RWD Sports Coupé

This week Subaru announced that it would show its Rear-wheel drive sports coupé platform at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring. As you might expect few facts have been revealed ahead of the official unveiling. The only thing we know for certain is that it will use a Subaru trademark flat-four engine.

Actually that’s not quite true; there is a Toyota version - the FT-86 – which has been seen at a couple of motor shows. Apparently the FT is about the same size as a BMW 1-series coupé and has room for four. It is also supposed to be light and power could be anything from 150-350bhp.

From Fourwheelsteer: Motoring Writer

If Toyota and Subaru can get the dynamics right, get details right – like the steering, gear change and pedal feel right – and price it affordably and it could be as big a success as the MX5 was for Mazda.

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