Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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autogyro
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Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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Ferrari used to be about ART, early Ferraris are at home in art galleries and rightly so.
I have owned a 246 Dino and helped build a 328 class winning challenge car.

Aero designs on computer have gone a long way in destroying that art and have done for decades now.

This latest Ferrari further compromises supercar art by having to cram in a complex and bulky powertrain.The cooling requirement is huge and ruins the shape and the efficiency. A bit like comparing an F15 with a spitfire (Macchi C.205).

To be fair they have done a good job in getting round the problems but that isnt the best way. I much prefer a subtle and minimalistic approach to performance.

I think McLaren get further with that ideal but they dont seem to have a handle on the art side.

There is an old saying that sums up the Ferrari. 'you can make a brick sh-t house fly if you give it enough thrust. I believe Ferrari loaded as much power as possible knowing that the only way to stay on top in the market was to beat those motorhead 0 to 60 etc figures and that silly top speed grail.

No sensible driver ever uses these performances on the road today anyway and nearly all that do in any supercar end up wrapped round a tree, I have seen it often enough. The days of 200mph Cobras on the M1 are long gone. At least in those days we did use the performance.

Any supercar or :roll: hypercar maker can achieve these figures in a limited edition car if they have Fiats budget available.
Just sell another 100,000 Fiat 500s to offset the Euro regs..

So what?

Try doing it using half the fuel.

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FoxHound
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Re: Ferrari LaFerrari

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autogyro wrote:Ferrari used to be about ART

Mercedes used to be built like tanks. Russia used to be communist, and Homo Sapiens used to be Homo floresiensis.
autogyro wrote:Aero designs on computer have gone a long way in destroying that art and have done for decades now
You advocate superior technology, yet when a computer is involved in designing a car it "destroys" the aesthetic of the machine? Master's of art do not blame the equipment. And computers can/will/already are as good as pencils and paper.
Even better some may argue as lines can be manipulated ad infinitum.
The issue is regulation(Crash protection, minimum bumper height, crumple zones etc etc.) Designers are boxed in to what they can and cannot do.
Maybe the problem is art as you see it, was defined at a time when you where taught about what is "artistic". This changes as time goes on, especially with autos.
autogyro wrote:Try doing it using half the fuel.
The same can be said of a FIAT 500, or even the VW X1 which can do 1000 miles on the scent of an oily rag.
Yet here I am wondering, who would buy a Fiat 500 or X1 to do 0-62 in 3secs and who would buy a Ferrari(ooo la la) to do 60+ mpg?

The simple fact of the matter is that the Ferrari is state of the art for the type of car and market it competes in.
If there is issue, take it up with the people who created the market...the buyers. Because it is they that want this fire breathing beast of a thing, and not a 100mpg Ferrari.
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Richard
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Re: Ferrari LaFerrari

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An interesting debate, there is a wiff of antimimeticism in that Ferrari. We expect it from the like of Pagani, but Ferrari have a brand built on meticism.

It also reminds me of Ruskin…
John Ruskin wrote: For when we are interested in the beauty of a thing, the oftener we can see it the better; but when we are interested only by the story of a thing, we get tired of hearing the same tale told over and over again, and stopping always at the same point — we want a new story presently, a newer and better one — and the picture of the day, and novel of the day, become as ephemeral as the coiffure or the bonnet of the day. Now this spirit is wholly adverse to the existence of any lovely art. If you mean to throw it aside to-morrow, you can never have it to-day.
Or to be more succinct:
John Ruskin wrote:Remember that the most beautiful things in life are often the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
I’ve split out these “beauty” posts out of the "La Ferrari" thread so the car thread can be left to revel in brute power and gull wing doors waiting to masticate the occupants- a bit like Goya.

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Pup
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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autogyro wrote:Aero designs on computer have gone a long way in destroying that art and have done for decades now.
I think you're mistaking marketing hype for actual aerodynamics. McLaren, only for example, go on about form and function, but it's all complete BS, which is why neither of their new cars really grab you like the old F1. They did begin the 12c that way, but the result was bland and they knew it, so they hired Frank Stephenson away from FIAT to give it some bling. Then they unleashed him on the P1. By bland, of course, I don't mean ugly - just not different/new/exciting/etc. I think many would call the final 12c bland as well, crescent shaped everything notwithstanding.

Not that I hate either of those cars - the 12c or the P1 - just that to me they aren't really beautiful, in any respect of the word.

I do think the new Lambo is beautiful - not in a graceful way, but in a machine-like purposeful way. It says 'get outa my way' and it says it fairly clearly. Plus they've managed to create and maintain an identifiable aesthetic across all their cars which I appreciate.

I doubt if any super car would ever appeal to everyone. They are, by definition, extreme in every way, and extremes in aesthetics are, as much as I hate the popularity of the strategy in design these days, polarizing.

Since someone might ask, the car I'd chose would vary with my mood, as I suspect it would for most. I mentioned the Lamborghini, and I think for pure supercar awesomeness that would be the one I'd pick. For sheer beauty, I'd probably go for an Aston, or perhaps the no longer produced Ferrari 612. Maybe even the Maserati if my pocketbook were slim (it is). From an engineering/drivability standpoint, I'd be all over a 12c.

But in truth I'd most likely end up with a 911. It provides 90% of what those others give, is drivable, beautiful, serviceable, etc. And most importantly, practically no one will pay you any mind. That's just me - I'm not an attention seeker. I think I'd be too embarrassed to drive any of the others, to be honest.

Which, of course, is why my sense of aesthetics doesn't mean jack to the guys designing these things.

Nando
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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Pup wrote:Not that I hate either of those cars - the 12c or the P1 - just that to me they aren't really beautiful, in any respect of the word.

I do think the new Lambo is beautiful - not in a graceful way, but in a machine-like purposeful way.
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bhall
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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Pup wrote:[...]
For sheer beauty, I'd probably go for an Aston, or perhaps the no longer produced Ferrari 612.
[...]
I think the 612 is criminally underrated, and it's easily the most frequent subject of my dream car fantasies. It was never the fastest car in the world or even the fastest Ferrari of its own time. But, it has quiet, understated charisma, a timeless elegance that will never look out of place. I'd feel more at home behind the wheel of a six-speed example of this car than I would in anything subsequently released in its range and above.

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It's all highly subjective anyway, and that's what makes cars like this art. I was told by a professor in college that "art is that which exists only to serve itself." In other words, art makes a statement. No one will ever need a supercar. But, there will always be a market for them, because there will always be people who want to make such statements.

Hobbs04
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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I blame Hot Wheels and Matchbox. I grew up with F40 and Countach pictures on my walls. Super cars remind me of being young. It's like asking little girls why they like princesses. It's just part of life

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FoxHound
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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My personal recent favourite is this sultry fox.

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ninno_
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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bhallg2k wrote:
Pup wrote:[...]
For sheer beauty, I'd probably go for an Aston, or perhaps the no longer produced Ferrari 612.
[...]
I think the 612 is criminally underrated, and it's easily the most frequent subject of my dream car fantasies. It was never the fastest car in the world or even the fastest Ferrari of its own time. But, it has quiet, understated charisma, a timeless elegance that will never look out of place. I'd feel more at home behind the wheel of a six-speed example of this car than I would in anything subsequently released in its range and above.

http://i.imgur.com/MgTcXI5.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/9ynZlSO.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/NcuHhnZ.jpg

It's all highly subjective anyway, and that's what makes cars like this art. I was told by a professor in college that "art is that which exists only to serve itself." In other words, art makes a statement. No one will ever need a supercar. But, there will always be a market for them, because there will always be people who want to make such statements.
I agree with you!

g-force_addict
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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autogyro wrote:Ferrari used to be about ART, early Ferraris are at home in art galleries and rightly so.
I have owned a 246 Dino and helped build a 328 class winning challenge car.

Aero designs on computer have gone a long way in destroying that art and have done for decades now.

This latest Ferrari further compromises supercar art by having to cram in a complex and bulky powertrain.The cooling requirement is huge and ruins the shape and the efficiency. A bit like comparing an F15 with a spitfire (Macchi C.205).

To be fair they have done a good job in getting round the problems but that isnt the best way. I much prefer a subtle and minimalistic approach to performance.

I think McLaren get further with that ideal but they dont seem to have a handle on the art side.

There is an old saying that sums up the Ferrari. 'you can make a brick sh-t house fly if you give it enough thrust. I believe Ferrari loaded as much power as possible knowing that the only way to stay on top in the market was to beat those motorhead 0 to 60 etc figures and that silly top speed grail.

No sensible driver ever uses these performances on the road today anyway and nearly all that do in any supercar end up wrapped round a tree, I have seen it often enough. The days of 200mph Cobras on the M1 are long gone. At least in those days we did use the performance.

Any supercar or :roll: hypercar maker can achieve these figures in a limited edition car if they have Fiats budget available.
Just sell another 100,000 Fiat 500s to offset the Euro regs..

So what?

Try doing it using half the fuel.
Ferraris are still quite beautiful. Except for the Enzo

So unlike Lamborghinis specially limited edition versions like the Sesto Elemento and Veneno which pretend to look too wannabe racerish. Instead they look so new rich, desperate status seeker recent lottery winner janitor.
The Hennessey Venom GT, Koenigsegg and Saleens are even worse.

Surprisingly the king Bugatti Veyron looks quite smooth and elegant, except for the nasty two color schemes.

That's why I've always said that front engine cars tend to look better than mid engine ones.
Unless the mid engine car has a long nose like the transverse engine Miura, mid engine cars usually look nerdy while long nose front engine cars look manly.

Some (maybe most) supercar buyers don't even care how the car looks like. They only buy bragging rights.

autogyro
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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The P1 Macca could be recognised as anything from a Lotus Elise to a VW.
You can imagine all those computer wiz kids frantically trying to make things smaller and unobtrusive.
I think Gorden bailed out when he realised his F1 was the limit of car art from modern computer technology.
The Veyron is an exercise in aerodynamics on a brick ergh.
Lambos are simply a tractor makers idea of a transformer.
The Swedish lot do the same but more clinically making you think they have built in toilets.
Ferrari long ago fell back on their reserve design position.
If it looks rubbish paint it red.
Poor Rolls Royce now looks like a BMW railway carriage.
Jaguar even today wallows in nostalgia grasping for the E type.
Aston is about the only make that reflects artistic development starting from its better copy of the original Ferrari GTO.
If only Britain would come up to Aston's standards.

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MOWOG
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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Some (maybe most) supercar buyers don't even care how the car looks like. They only buy bragging rights.
I think that gets it about right. The vast majority of these cars are irrelevant. They spend their lives in air conditioned garages where they are maintained by professional mechanics. When they are driven at all, they transported to where the owners want them in enclosed semi-trailers then transported home again.

They are baubles, mere trinkets for people who have more money than they know what to do with. The vast majority cannot be driven on public roads for fear of getting dust on the universal joints.

In the final analysis, art is what my wallet and I say it is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Want proof? I think this motorcycle makes about as much sense as a Veyron or LaFerrari.

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Andres125sx
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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There must be some saying in english I don´t know, in spanish we say "para gustos hay colores", wich means (literally) "for tastes there´re colours"

People here is critizicing some cars I really love. Art has always been too subjective, if some of you say this is not art, I have to disagree :P

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autogyro
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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Andres125sx wrote:There must be some saying in english I don´t know, in spanish we say "para gustos hay colores", wich means (literally) "for tastes there´re colours"

People here is critizicing some cars I really love. Art has always been too subjective, if some of you say this is not art, I have to disagree :P

http://db2.stb.s-msn.com/i/D3/1749879CC ... 3983E2.jpg
I believe all car design is partly art.
However if art has to 'say' something or portray an idea to motivate human emotion then car art is very shallow and narrow focused.
In this case, speed, power the colour red and a mild reference to the Ferrari legend.
I do not see much 'art' in any modern car design even in super cars.
The requirement to appease the god of aerodynamics and the ability of CAD to find the best compromises for the design parameters completely smothers any human intent to create a piece of art.
Any result that is pleasant is simply a lucky consequence.

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Andres125sx
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Re: Supercars - What's the point? (aka The nature of beauty)

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I do not see much 'art' in any modern car design even in super cars.
Maybe because they´ve been evolving for a century, so they can´t do anything really mindblowing. A car is a car after all