The earth-friendly racecar is for "gentleman drivers."
Believe it or not, unloading a car from a transport vehicle is a delicate science. It's alarmingly easy to damage a car in the tight, elevated confines of a dedicated car hauler, but as these gentlemen at the Monterey car week found out, even getting a car off a flatbed comes with its own unique set of challenges.
Times have been tough for European coachbuilders. Major automakers that once turned to these contract manufacturers for small production runs have since developed the capability to produce in scale. And before the coachbuilders could regroup, the recession hit, and the economy in Europe is still recovering.
If you thought the BMW Gran Lusso Coupe concept that was shown at Villa d'Este a few months back was a preview of a new BMW 8 Series, prepare to be disappointed. According to a report from the UK's Autocar, BMW officials have "rejected suggestions" that a production model based on the concept was coming. To be fair, though, would you expect them to just acknowledge it?
So why would BMW choose July 2 to release a retrospective on the 8 Series? Could it have something to do with the recent unveiling of the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe concept, another sleek, B-pillarless V12 two-door, at this year's Villa d'Este? We have no idea, but the timing is likely coincidental.
The first collaboration between BMW and Pininfarina is this blunt-force two-door called the BMW Pininfarini Gran Lusso Coupe revealed at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. Said to be the "interpretation of a luxurious BMW Coupé as seen through the eyes of Pininfarina," once you get past all of the design-speak, you can focus on the full-bodied and keen-edged missile sitting on 21-inch wheels.
BMW and Pininfarina are planning to debut a new concept at the 2013 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. The Gran Lusso Coupé is designed to be the next logical step forward from the Zagato Coupé, and the one-off creation boasts plenty of BMW earmarks to set the car off as a true member of the German automaker's family. With a long wheel base and a stretched nose, the two door can't help but channel the long-dead BMW 8 Series, and the potent V12 under the hood only reinforces the link
Italian design house Pininfarina predicted last May that it would face an operating loss for 2012 but still come out with a net profit. Both predictions have come true – the company is reporting an operating loss of 8.2 million euros and a net profit of 32.9 million euros ($42.5 million US).
To give you an idea of the ethos behind this concept, consider this fact: The Pininfarina Sergio comes with its own custom helmets for the driver and passenger. And yes, they match the sensuous red and black scheme so artfully applied to the car itself. Form and function, rolled into one machine.
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