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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Rally Seeding Change

A couple of years ago, rally fans and drivers are unlikely to not have noticed the change to the seeding rules. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the changes were not good for the sport.

Generally, the result of the original change lead to some teams actually leaving cars in the garage rather do their next run and risk sustaining damage for no racing gain. This really hit the sport hard, leaving fans as annoyed as the teams.

In order for any sport to thrive it needs action and lots of it, but it also needs promotional time for sponsors to get the money coming in to keep things going. When cars are not out on the course the sponsors are not getting coverage, and this can lead to them looking for coverage elsewhere or, worse, to invest in other sports.

Thankfully, late one Friday night the national governing body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA) have finally decided to relax the seeding rule from 1st July. It is fair to say that national rallying has been under quite a bit of pressure since changing the rules. That being said, no one would argue that after some fatal crashes action did need to be taken. It was just the form of that action and the long-term damage it has and could continue to do to the sport.

This change may seem small, but it will be enough to really give the sport a desperately needed boost. This relaxation will be welcomed by everyone, from fans to team bosses. We certainly hope to see more cars on track, more rallying and more happy fans and sponsors this year and for many years to come.

At FEV, we have extensive experience in rallying and providing fire extinguishers for teams as well as privateers across all disciplines including rally cross. Why not give us a call or email us your enquiry to find out more?

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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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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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Sophia Floersch – Big Formula 3 Crash

As we have said so many times before, motorsport is dangerous. From time to time, there is a big crash. Thanks to years of research and untold millions spent, most of these crashes look worse than they are, and last weekend saw a very serious crash in Formula 3 that, while still serious, could have been a lot worse.

Sophia Floersch is 17 years old and already a very highly regarded driver, one of a number of strong female drivers coming up through the ranks to hopefully one day join the F1 grid. The German driver races for Van Amersfoort Racing and is currently in Formula 3.

The details of the crash are not very easy to isolate but the footage circulating the internet shows a static corner shot when Floersch comes in at full speed, clearly out of control. She clips the car of fellow racer Sho Tsuboi and takes off. Sophie clears the barrier in the air and smashes into an advertising billboard above a photographer bunker at high speed. It is certainly a spectacular crash!

Injured

As you might expect, Sophia was injured but she was conscious after the crash and was immediately taken to hospital. Along with Sophia, two photographers, a marshal and Tsuboi were also taken to hospital. The initial reports suggest she has a fracture in her spine but was conscious and able to tweet:

 “Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorow [sic] morning. Thanks to the @fia and @hwaag_official @MercedesAMGF1 who are taking great care of me. Thanks to everybody for the Supporting messages. Update soon.”

As far as high speed crashes go, you don’t get much faster than a Formula 3 car. The incident was over before anyone could work out what was happening. It was certainly a crash that, had it happened 20 years ago, would have had a very different outcome indeed!

Safety in motorsport is very close to our heart. At FEV, we provide a number of racing teams with fire suppression systems. If you would like to find out more about our systems for your team or your own personal track or race car, then get in touch.

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Billy Monger on the BBC

For some time now, we have followed the recovery and progress of the British driver Billy Monger. Billy had a massive crash at Donnington back in 2017 and after a mad dash to hospital in the helicopter and a lot of amazing work by doctors, he unfortunately lost both his legs below the knee. Did this stop Billy “the whizz”? No, it did not! Now you can watch his story on the BBC!

Initial Recovery

After being put into a coma by doctors, Billy came round to face the knowledge his body had been changed forever by the crash. No-one would ever have blamed him if he never raced again but the 17-year-old almost immediately started planning his comeback. During his hospitalisation drivers from all disciplines pulled together and raised over £500,000 to help set up Billy’s home to make it suitable for him as well as many of the other essentials for anyone learning to walk again on prosthetic legs.

Adaptations

Billy was very soon back in the car again, but with some changes to allow him to use his hands to brake and use the clutch. It wasn’t long before he was racing again. 18 months on, he is racing in the Formula 3 British Championships. So far in his first season he gained four podium finishes and ended the season 6th overall. He is now looking for sponsors for his next season.

The BBC

On 18th November, the BBC aired a programme telling the Billy Monger story which no doubt will inspire thousands of people who perhaps feel that a disability is holding them back. Just as his idol, Lewis Hamilton, kept Billy going he will no doubt hope he can pay it forward to other people. The programme is called “Driven – the Billy Monger Story” and is available on BBC iPlayer here if you missed it! It is certainly well worth watching for all motorsport fans and drivers! We hope Billy continues to excel and maybe one day we might even see him in Formula 1!

If you would like any information about our fire extinguishers for racing cars, track cars or historics and classics then get in touch today.

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McLaren Speedtail Gets a Little Closer

It’s coming! The logical and emotional successor to the mighty F1 that came out in – wait for it – 1993! – is finally looking like a reality. It is not going to be a track monster, but it is going to be quick!

Power House

The stats being realised show the Speedtail will have a twin turbo V8 as a main power plant, but this will be augmented with an electric hybrid power unit that will bring the power output to a whopping 986bhp or maybe even more! Sadly, McLaren haven’t mentioned anything about 0-60 times but they are looking at a top speed of more than 243mph – enough to make everyone in and out of the industry sit up and take notice.

The Family Line

While the Speedtail is essentially the “F2”, it follows on perfectly from the P1 and the Senna hypercar. Massive cost, massive power and serious speed! However, there is a little difference with the Speedtail. The Surrey gang are very much suggesting this car will be a GT rather than a track focused rocket. This will come as a surprise to many but perhaps it is the right move. There is, of course, the usual argument that anything approaching that level of power is all but useless on the road but, as ever, that is missing the point. Having a car that can do those kinds of speeds but is also capable of carrying someone in reasonable comfort further than 15 miles is a big plus!

Central Seating

As with the F1 the Speedtail will have a central driver’s seat and will be paired with two passenger seats either side. It does mean the passengers have to get out before the driver can, so chivalrous door opening men may find this a challenge if they are escorting two ladies.

Big Behind

The teaser images show a rather long and pretty massive rear end to the car. It certainly looks nothing like the rest of the family and this, again, is probably a good thing. All the other models are stunning but that doesn’t mean McLaren should always make the same style of car.

Big Budget!

All 106 Speedtails that will be made have already been reserved and paid for at £1.75 million each, plus tax! If you were planning on buying a new one, it’s too late! Though a used one might pop up for double that about a year after its launch in 2019.

This car is going to be something special: high speed but not a car built for cornering, luxury, “comfort” and potentially iconic styling! We can’t wait.

If you own a super car, do get in touch about how we can help protect your investment and make sure you have the right fire suppression systems on board.

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Get Well Soon Niki!

Image source

According to doctors, the legend that is Niki Lauda was very close to death before he had his lung transplant last week in an Austrian hospital.

It turned out that Lauda’s lungs could no longer absorb enough oxygen due to inflammation of the alveoli, the small air sacs inside the lungs. This inflammation is a kind of auto immune response, meaning the body attacks itself. He was given drugs to suppress the reaction but they did not work well enough. After a spell in intensive care, the point came where the doctors said he needed a new lung. Without having to wait too long, thankfully Lauda was able to undergo a full lung transplant with a couple of days.

The Future

It will come as no surprise to any motorsport fan to hear that Lauda is a fighter and that it would take a lot to bring him down. In true Niki style, he is recovering well and with a bit of luck will be able to carry on just as he was before the problem. At 69 years old, it certainly takes some strength to go through that kind of health issue but we are pretty sure if anyone can take it in their stride, Mr Lauda can!

The Past

If perhaps there are people that didn’t know about his previous brush with death, Lauda was trapped in his F1 car on 1st August 1976 at the infamous Nürburgring. He had raised concerns about the safety of the track that day but raced anyway as he failed to get enough votes for a boycott. He was trapped inside his own burning car for over a minute. This not only severely damaged his skin on many parts of his body but also his lungs, as he was breathing in burning fumes.

After being pulled out, many thought he would never race again but Lauda fought and pushed for a fast recovery and actually ended up racing again in the same season when most people had totally written him off. Just 6 weeks after his crash and after many operations to clear his lungs and rebuild his face, he finished 4th in the championship despite not being able to see very well and still being covered in bandages. They even made him a special helmet that was bigger to accommodate his dressings.

We are very pleased Niki is doing well; he is a true hero and a true fighter. He is also someone who came very close to perishing in the fire we work so hard to keep drivers safe from and, because of that, he will always have a special place in our hearts.

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