Ermini Seiottosei Barchetta looks into the past to relaunch a brand

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The Florentine sports car builder Ermini is making its grand return to the public eye with the Seiottosei Barchetta at the Geneva Motor Show, after about 50 years of being gone. Its latest model blends an old-school philosophy with modern styling.

Barchetta means "little boat" in Italian and describes a whole niche of convertibles, popular in the 1950s and 1960s, that generally combined low weight and a small engine to give drivers great dynamics in a tiny package. The Seiottosei follows these attributes perfectly with a steel trellis chassis and carbon fiber panels that weigh just 1,512-pounds (686kg) total. Power is provided by a Renault-sourced turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder pumping out 315 horsepower, and six-speed sequential gearbox. Ermini claims it is enough to push the little roadster to 62 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and to an electronically limited top speed of 168 mph.

Ermini went out of business the first time in 1962, but in its era it took class wins in major races like the Targa Florio in 1950 and 1953. It reopened in 2007, and now hopes to find its place in the crowded boutique car segment.
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Few existing sports car producers can match the intense, albeit brief, history of the Ermini brand.
In the post-war years, the Florentine brand fittingly represented the "prototype" of the
Italian sports car – nimble and pacy cars with refined engines, often of low or medium power, with aggressive and intriguing profiles. Between 1946 and 1955, Ermini built and powered around 40 automobiles, all sports cars that rivalled, like Osca and Cisitalia, the more high-profile and powerful Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche and Mercedes models, sometimes, quite incredibly, even managing to beat them.

On the legendary streets of the Mille Miglia, as well as those of the Targa Florio, the Florentine automaker wrote some of the most glorious and unforgettable chapters in that period of Italian and international motor sports.

In just over ten years Ermini or Ermini-powered cars made over 600 appearances in domestic and international races.

There were many prestigious victories, both in terms of class (such as Targa Florio 1950/1953, Mugello in 1955, the Giro di Sicilia 1952, the Coppa d'oro delle Dolomiti 1949, and the Italian road racing championships of 1950), and outright (such as the Coppa della Toscana in 1949).

The specific sporting nature of the Ermini brand is demonstrated by the regular participation of its cars at major international races such as the Mille Miglia, where in 1950, the maximum "Sport" category numbered thirteen Ermini or Ermini-powered cars. The Florence brand also made its mark abroad (even if few Ermini cars and engines left Italy) winning a Dutch class championship in 1953 with an Ermini-powered sports car and competing in several races also in the US.

And it was in the US that amateur constructor Bill Devin was inspired by the winding and captivating profile of an Ermini 357 Scaglietti, using the bodywork of the Florentine sports car to develop fibreglass bodies that were later utilised on around 400 sports cars.

This fascinating story came to an end in 1962 when the Florentine brand ceased trading.
A slumber that lasted until 2007 when, thanks to Ermini Automobili Italia, the company was reborn in Florence, almost fifty years after the closure of the mythical Ermini, one of the most legendary names in Italian sport.

In 2014, thanks to the partnership with Osella of Turin, the Ermini of the 21st century will make its bow with a car that will follow in the footsteps of the brand's historic philosophy and reintroduce, with a modern take, the concept of BARCHETTA SPORT.

Engineered by Osella
Designed by Giulio Cappellini

Technical Sheet

Chassis: Trellis / steel tubing and carbon panels
Wheelbase: 2.600 mm
Track: 1.625 mm (front) – 1.595 mm (rear)
Width: 1.850 mm
Length: 4.120 mm
Suspensions: front and rear-wheel suspensions "push road", double triangles Renault
Engine: F4RT RS - 4 cylinders 16 valve 1.998cc (320CV)
Gearbox: Sadev six speed sequential + reverse, double-disc clutch
Breaking system: Brembo with self-ventilating brake disk rotors
Coachwork: Two-seater type "Barchetta", aluminium and carbon fibre
Wheels: OZ Racing – front 7,5/17, rear 8,5/17
Tyres: Toyo R888 front 215/45-17, rear 245/40-17
Weight: 686 Kg
Performance: 270 Km/h (speed limit device)
Acceleration :0-100Km/h estimated in less than 3,5 sec.

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