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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.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.