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Maserati Alfieri claims 2014 Concept Car of the Year award

8 March, 2015

Maserati’s Alfieri Concept caused a stir within the motoring fraternity upon its unveiling at last year’s Geneva International Motor Show — not only did the sharp 2+2 coupe boast a name in honour of one of the legendary marque’s founding brothers, Alfieri Maserati, it also displayed the beautiful lines that Maserati’s designs are known for.

The Alfieri Concept, designed at Maserati’s Turin-based Centro Stile, displayed none of the exaggeration so common in concept vehicles. The design influence from Maserati’s classic A6 is clear, with a long, low nose juxtaposed against the squat, muscular rear section.

Now, a year on, Maserati’s efforts have been rewarded by being named 2014 Concept Car of the Year at the Car Design Night in Geneva. The event’s Car Designs of the Year awards are judged by an independent panel of professional designers, including those from educational facilities, and from behind names such as Daimler, General Motors, and Jaguar. Marco Tencone, who led the Alfieri design at the Centro Stile, was on hand to accept the award on Maserati’s behalf.

Following the positive public reaction to the Alfieri Concept, the car was also promised for production as an exotic competitor to the likes of the Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type. Though various concessions will undoubtedly be required to ensure the Alfieri will be suitable for a global market, Maserati CEO Harald Wester promises that the coupe’s design is here to stay.

The engine is the same 4.7-litre unit found in the Maserati GranTurismo coupe, producing 460hp and 384lb·ft through a six-speed automatic gearbox, and limited-slip differential. Production is confirmed for 2017, with a cabriolet version to follow soon after.

Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.