The Mighty Cobra

After seeing some of the footage of Goodwood this year we realised once again just what an awesome car the AC Cobra really is. However, it is a bit of a confusing one with different models and countless replicas out there. We thought it might be fun to have a quick look at some of the important stats, facts and info about this bruiser of an Anglo-American Sports Car.

427 and 289

These two numbers are very important when it comes to Cobras. They refer to the cubic inch engine capacity used in America. The 289 is roughly equivalent to 4.7 litres and was the smaller of the two engines that the Cobra was made with. This small block Chevy V8 was still quite a lump though by today’s standards. The 289 was lower powered than its bigger sibling but was considered a better handling car, mainly due to less weight.

The 427 Cobra had, to all intents and purposes, a 7 litre V8 which is big… it’s just big. With 425 bhp it packed one hell of a punch. The 289 had just 271 bhp so they are very different cars. 0-60 is just 4.5 seconds though there are some conflicting numbers out there. This was a car built in the mid 1960s and 4.5 seconds to 60 mph is still quick now.

An easy way to visually tell the two apart if you see a real Cobra is the exhaust pipes – the 289 has rear pipes and the 427 has side pipes. There are lots of other telltale signs including the grille shape but this is a pretty good difference to look out for.

Somewhat of a Handful

The Cobra obviously had no traction control and no assistance of any kind, so it was really a serious beast to drive. Trying to get even the 271 bhp of the 289 on the road must have been tough, but to get the 427 to 60 mph must have been scary to say the very least. However, these cars were raced and raced by some people with serious skills and some serious bravery levels!

Real or Fake?

The odds are that if you see a Cobra on the road it will be a replica. There are masses of kits that have been made over the years, many of which are pretty bad, some even have 4 cylinder engines and are just used for show. But there are also some very serious and very good replicas out there and these have been lovingly created since the 1970s by various companies like Dax, AK and CSX. Some of these replicas can go for well over £100,000 but some can be bought for £40k and above. There is a huge range of engine types and power options; there are quite a few 427 replicas running upwards of 800 bhp, not only tipping a hat to the madness of the real ones but taking it further.

Real Cobras are very rare, with only a few hundred being made of each one. They sell for around a million, so if you do have designs on owning one you may want to start saving.

The Cobra is a true icon of motoring and while seeing, let alone owning, a real Cobra is unlikely, it is one of the few cars where replicas are sought after and are very high quality. Of course, you can always pop to Goodwood Revival or FOS and you will probably see a real one.

Here at FEV, we’re passionate about making high quality fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems for motorsport, track days and classic cars. Contact our experienced and knowledgeable team to help you find the best fire extinguisher for your needs.

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Frankfurt Motor Show Highlights

Motor shows are a bit like Marmite and a lot of people really do not care what goes on. However, love them or hate them, the big ones often have some launches that everyone wants to see. The Frankfurt Motor Show was, unusually, missing some big names this year, with Peugeot, Citroen, Alfa Romeo and some others choosing not to have a stand. This meant the show didn’t have quite the usual glittering list of new marques to show off, but there were still some cool cars to be seen.

Land Rover Defender

The new Defender is here. Marmite again, anyone? Let’s face it, the old Defender will never be replaced and whatever came after was always going to be a bit of a faker. That said, the new version isn’t too bad. It has the feel of the Discovery 3 and 4 but is smaller and with some cool utilitarian features that are a nice tip of the hat to the original.

Lamborghini Sian

It looks a bit crazy, as a Lambo should. It still has a v12 which these days is rare, and so it is still a bonkers car…as a Lambo should be. There is a small concession to the modern world with a tiny electric motor to reduce emissions at low speeds but otherwise this new angry bull is, well, very angry indeed.

Porsche Taycan

So here it is…the first fully electric Porsche. It looks like a Porsche in so much as it carries with it all the familiar lines and shape, but it is a totally new car. It isn’t a modified 911 nor, what would have been easier, an electric Panamera of some sort. No, they have made a totally new car and it is going to make Tesla sit up and pay attention because this could be a serious rival for the luxury EV saloon market.

 

There were other launches but mainly of smaller electric vehicles like the Volkswagen ID 3 and a lot of crazy concept cars as usual. These concepts may seem pointless and to most people they mean nothing, but for the industry they do have a purpose in terms of design trends and showing where companies are going. They are certainly worth a look but, for our part, we do prefer seeing the real models launched as we are sure you do too.

As ever, we’re here supporting the motoring industry with state-of-the-art safety equipment and fire suppression systems for all vehicles. Let us know if we can be of service.

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Pininfarina Battista?

Unless you’re seriously into hyper cars, you may not have heard of this car, but you will know the brand. Pininfarina have been designing cars since long before World War II for a wide range of makes. Companies like Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia as well as brands like Hyundai have all worked with the Italian company to create cars. They have also designed trains, buses, yachts and even private jets! Well, now they are launching their own range of hyper luxury cars and the Battista is something very special!

The Name

The founder of the company was called Battista “Pinin” Farina so it stands to reason to choose this title for the first car in the range.

The Car

It is claimed to be a guilt free hyper car because, you guessed it, it’s all electric. The Battista is a zero emissions car that will blow your mind. The 120kwh battery pack will go for 280 miles and the Rimac-produced powertrain will deliver a mind warping 1874bhp and 1,696lb of torque. 0-60 will be under 2 seconds!

These kinds of numbers are almost impossible to grasp and, once again, it shows that electric may not sound that good but it sure can deliver the goods when it comes to performance. If you needed one more statistic, then how about the fact that this car will go from a standing start to 186mph in under 12 seconds? Fast enough for you?!

Looks

It is a stunning car to look at too. It has very strong shades of the Ferrari 458 for obvious reasons, but the Battista is its own car. It looks sleek but powerful with lines that come from well placed aerodynamics rather than forced design.

Sounds

While it won’t have an engine as we know it, the driver will have the ability to manipulate the noises the Battista does make. There will be no artificial amplification though. The sounds will come from the resonation through the carbon monocoque chassis, wind noise and the electric motors, so it’s all real!

2020

The first Battista will roll off the production line in 2020 and I think we are all looking forward to someone putting a video up of a 0-186mph test run!

If you own a supercar of your own, do get in touch with FEV to discuss how we can help protect your

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Is Hamilton as Good as Senna?

Is Hamilton as good as Senna? Well, according to the mighty Gerhard Berger, yes he is! In fact, in a recent interview DTM series head honcho Berger said that of all the world champs over the years since he raced with Aryton Senna, Lewis Hamilton is the only one to ever be on the same level as the much loved and respected Senna.

Why is He So Good?

According to Berger, it isn’t really about why or where. It’s about the fact that Hamilton is simply always “there”. No matter the conditions – wet, fast, street, open circuit, dry… – he is always competitive and, barring any very uncommon mistakes, he is always in the running. You might think after all his wins he might be happy to take his foot off, literally. But no, he is as driven (excuse the multiple puns) now as he always was.

Berger went on to discuss the fact Lewis can handle a 2nd place, he knows he gets the points and he simply puts them in the bank and gets right back in there for another round. Berger is also keen to point out that Hamilton makes far less mistakes than others. While he does have his moments, making fewer mistakes means the odds are better every time he races.

Will He Beat Schumacher’s Record?

Mr Berger thinks he might do! He may well go past the 7th world championship point provided he is healthy, and he is still able to race. In fact, he goes on to say that while there have been a handful of true racing legends including Michael Schumacher, Lewis is a cut above and sits on a different level with only one companion: Senna!

It’s the Car!

We all know Mercedes have had an amazing car for quite a few seasons now but the interview claims it is more than that. Yes, the engine is great but it needs Lewis to be behind the wheel to create the magic he has shown time and again. He is “outstandingly fast” and will carry on winning for some years to come.

People so often focus on football when they think of England and Britain in sport but they should all take a moment to remember we have a British driver who just might be the best driver of all time if he keeps going. Now that’s something to be proud of!

The team at FEV are passionate about motorsport, and that includes all the safety aspects that go with it. For more information about our MSUK and FIA approved fire suppression systems, why not contact us today on 01243 555566.

British Driver Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Sprays Champagne to Celebrate Award Presentation

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Summer is on the Way!

Road on a sunny day

Yes, it’s official, the clocks have changed and we can finally look ahead to some warmer weather. While this may be something everyone is pleased about there is a special frisson of excitement for any classic car owner. It is the time when the covers can come off and these wonderful cars can be enjoyed without worrying about salted roads, water ingress or a distinct lack of traction.

Dry Roads

Summer in the UK isn’t exactly arid but classic car drivers can, at least, be hopeful about getting some clear, warm and dry days. We all know a lot of older cars don’t have the traction modern cars do and while this can be fun the thought of having an off in a cherished and valuable classic really isn’t very nice.

Car Shows and Meets

The summer is also the season for car shows and owners club meets. Whether you are taking your classic to the local village fair or to Goodwood it will be fun and something to really look forward too. It is a chance to meet other owners, show off your car and have a good look at all the other cars in display.

Coming Out of Hibernation

As summer looms the excitement is often tempered with the issues surrounding getting a car out from its winter covers and making sure everything is as it should be. It may be time for a good service and a thorough check, and this also includes the fire extinguisher. A lot of classic car owners are having handheld fire extinguishers installed as a method of combating a small fire that could get out of hand. But as with cars, extinguishers also need servicing periodically. If you have one of our extinguishers then please check the date the service is due and get in touch as soon as possible so we can make sure it is all done in time for those summer jaunts.

If you have not thought about getting a fire extinguisher fitted then drop our friendly team a line and find out more. We offer a range of systems from small hand-held units to fully plumbed in options. While the later are primarily for FIA racing a lot of people who do track days and hill climbs also choose them.

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It’s Here! The New F1 Season is Finally Underway

F1 Car Racing Image

It is no secret that as a company we work with a number of F1 teams to produce their fire suppression systems. But we also love watching F1 as fans too and a new season is always good news. High hopes for a big title battle, lots of over taking and a good smattering of drama are always there, and we are very rarely disappointed.

The Champ

It is fair to say Hamilton has dominated the last few seasons which is both good and bad. Good because he is an amazing driver and he is British. But it is a little bad because things can get a little predictable. The same can be said for Mercedes as a whole and that certainly doesn’t look like its going to change any time soon. That being said, Bottas grabbed the first win of the season so let’s see how it all pans out.

Goodbye Charlie

It was so sad to hear about the death of the mighty Charlie Whiting. He was quite rightly described as the centre of gravity for any F1 season, race and the whole community. He cared deeply about the sport and took safety very seriously. He walked the tightrope of enforcing rules and understanding the drivers and the sport and it was and always will be a very tough job, one that will be hard to fill.

Outwashing

This is the term used to describe the air movement behind an F1 that make it very hard to get close and overtake. It has been said that much of the aero kit around the cars was designed to cause this and the new rules for 2019 are set to combat it. The idea will hopefully lead to the reduction in the loss of downforce as cars approach from the rear and more over taking!

Bring it On

Whatever the new season brings we will be enjoying it and we hope you will too. Racing is racing and there will be some bad moves, some amazing moves and a lot in between. There will be fuss about various teams using different bits of kit and a few drivers will no doubt fall out but it is all part of the fun and we are already loving it.

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Top 5 F1 Liveries of all time

Classic Lotus F1

As a company, FEV has worked with a number of F1 teams over the years, supplying FIA approved fire suppression systems to the motorsport industry. As a team, we also love watching F1 so we are doubly connected to the sport. Whilst, like everyone else, we want to see the racing, there is something fascinating about the colours and liveries the teams use. For people outside the sport it may not seem important, but it really is.

The colours can cause emotional responses from other drivers, they can even give a team the mental upper hand. They also play a very important role in the sponsorship and ultimately the continuation of the sport. So we thought we would just mention a few of our favourites over the years!

1972 John Player Special Lotus

Just look at the image above. This has to be one of, if not, the best livery of any F1 car…ever. The black and gold was just so stylish and sleek and it oddly still works today. It wasn’t that long ago the newer Lotus F1 team adopted it with Raikkonen and Grosjean, and the fans loved it. It is worth noting the 1972 Lotus was a brilliant car too.

1984 Marlboro McLaren

There were a lot of versions of this one and obviously some were driven by the mighty Senna (see image below). This particular year was one of the earlier ones and it just worked. The chevron pattern and strong red against white would become a truly iconic F1 image.

Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4 4

1994 – Rothmans Williams Renault

This is once again a long-standing colour scheme and has a number of iterations but it was this year that really looked perfect. It is a more complex design than the McLaren and Lotus but the flashes of gold work so well with the blue. One earlier version even had Sonic the Hedgehogs legs on the side where the drivers would be which not a lot of people noticed!

FEV Blog Image f1

2002 HSBC Jaguar Racing

There is no doubt this is a great colour scheme but we always felt it would have looked better without the HSBC bit! That being said it would have then just been an unsponsored Jaguar team car and would never have run. They were very clever to mix HSBC with the Becks logo that have the same colours…was that planned when the sponsorship pitches went out?

FEV f1 becks and hsbc

2014 – Williams Martini

In recent years, this livery has been the best. With undertones of the mighty Gulf colours using the baby blue in the stripe, this car came out looking effortlessly cool and the fans really took notice. It had been some time since a car really stood out like this without just being plastered with logos and, as with all good designs, it lasted a good few seasons.

Williams Martini Racing F1 Team Felipe Massa 2015

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Fast Cars to Look Out For in 2019

Seeing as it’s January, the motoring world is full of talk about what’s coming out this year. While a recent post talked about the EV market, we wanted to mention a few slightly more traditional cars on the horizon this year.

Toyota Supra

It’s finally here! The new Toyota Supra is coming out after many years of waiting. The previous model has gained iconic status, not for how it came out of the factory but for how easy it was to modify. There are various videos online showing people in old Supras pushing nearly 1000 bhp and leaving Lamborghinis for dust. It is perhaps a car for the “tuner” culture, but we all love a real road beast!

The new Supra is certainly not coming out of the box breathing fire like its modded predecessor but it does look very, very nice – see the video clip above. It was actually developed alongside BMW who were working on their new Z4 with Toyota so it will have some German underpinnings. We are pleased to hear it is going to have a 3.0 litre turbo charged straight 6, so it is certainly coming out fighting.

340 bhp as standard isn’t a bad start either. 0-60 seems to be in just under 5 seconds which isn’t as fast as it could have been but there may be other factors at play bringing the figure up. We can’t wait for the first one to arrive in the workshop asking for a full fire extinguisher system, so we get to have a good look.

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider

The 488 was stunning; it was even prettier than the 458 and we all thought that was probably as good looking as a new Ferrari was ever going to get. But now Ferrari are launching a Spider version. The folding hardtop roof will take 30 seconds to go down, which is a lifetime longer than the car will get to 60 mph…2.9 seconds!

The 710 bhp 3.9 litre twin turbo V8 means the stats are the same as the hardtop version even though it weighs 100 kg more. It is a stunning car and losing the roof really doesn’t damage the styling too much! I think we would still go for a hard top but the noise with he roof down must be sublime!

Porsche 911

Yes, the 992 is coming. It is wider, longer and taller and uses the engines from the previous model for the first model types coming out. But there is more power and more torque so that’s good news. But, the really big news is that the car has been designed to accommodate some kind of electric power train in the future. We are not sure when, but this is a big deal…the 911 is going to go EV, be it a hybrid or full fat electric.

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Is 2019 The Year of the Electric Vehicle?

We all know electric cars have been something that has been growing, but is 2019 really the year they start becoming normal rather than a novelty? Looking at the list of cars to watch out for this year, we think it might be.

Electric and Hybrids

While we deal almost entirely with sports cars in one form or another, from classics to modern F1 cars, we do also have an ear to the ground when it comes to general motoring news. Here at FEV UK, We love cars and we welcome new technology, though we do prefer it when it means cars go a bit faster! That being said, many of our customers who do track days and club racing use day-to-day cars to tow the trailers, so racers don’t always drive racing cars.

EVs to Watch Out For

The race is now well and truly on to create EVs that have long ranges but are also cool cars. Tesla basically produced the only cool EVs for quite some time but now the German brands are in on the action and things are hotting up!

Audi are releasing the new e-tron SUV (see the video above) which will be a snip at just £70,000! But with a range of 250 miles and a thumping 402 bhp we think it might be worth it! 0-60 is under 6 seconds too! Anyone who assumes electric motors are slow is very wrong. The massive amount of torque they can deliver and the fact they don’t need gears as such means they provide a big, smooth power delivery.

To compete with the Audi, Mercedes are launching the EQC. While this may sound like the name of a government body, it is actually an EV SUV based on the GLC platform. It is also packing 402 bhp but will get to 60mph in just 5.1 seconds. No top speeds are being discussed but our money is on it being faster than the Audi.

Of course, the Jaguar I-PACE came out last year, so the German brands were either behind the curve or just wanted to see how the Jag did before launching.

There is also the long wait for the Tesla Roadster, which is meant to be out in 2020. With a reported 0-60 of 1.9 seconds the electric market will be well and truly part of motoring life when it comes out. F1 cars have been using hybrid tech for a few years now and it is clearly filtering down into the world of normal cars. Will we see a fully electric F1 in the next 10 years? Maybe….but it would be a shame to loose the engine altogether!

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Haiku and the Ice Man

Circuit of Barcelona Catalunya

For people who follow F1, Kimi Raikkonen is well known for his short and often very succinct communication. In fact, he is also known for saying nothing at all half the time. While this image may not be what his friends and family see, it works wonders for ‘brand Kimi’ and provides the F1 pundits, ironically, with lots to talk about. But now Kimi has a haiku poetry book out and it’s selling far more than anyone would have thought.

Writing poetry?

OK it’s not exactly motorsport news but there is a little more to this than meets the eye. First of all, the book wasn’t actually all written by Kimi. Rather, it’s a collection of haiku – a very short form of traditional Japanese poetry – created using many of the Ice Man’s famous quotes. His communication habits are certainly clear and concise, much like a good haiku, and the fact he leaves literally nothing to interpretation has much in common with much of the poetry out there. He also insisted on some not being the standard length, in typical Kimi style!

Making money for charity

Of course, this isn’t some random money making scheme from an already very wealthy F1 driver. The book was actually created as part of a press kit, but the demand for it got so high that the profits are now benefitting an F1 charity that supports people who work in F1 and whose lives have gone off track. The unsung heroes of the sport, such as trackside teams and more, often need support and this book is helping to raise money for that.

Winnow your Words

The book entitled ‘Winnow your Words’ is now being printed in partnership with Autosport magazine and will no doubt carry on selling a big numbers. In fact, you can buy it here. But we were wondering what might come next? A Daniel Ricciardo Joke Book? Daniil Kvyat’s Book of Relaxation Tips? Perhaps Lewis might do a self-help book on how to achieve greatness…there are a lot of young drivers who might buy that one!

Away from the world of literature, motorsport pushes on with teams on winter breaks and testing, design and new tech always being pushed forward. We work with a number of F1 teams providing them with fire suppression systems right at the cutting edge of motorsport and what we learn and develop there feeds down into our track day and other systems. So if you would like to discuss your fire extinguisher needs get in touch today!

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