New Model News

New Ferrari design ensures 1950s Rome meets 2019's Roma

In crafting the new Roma coupe, Ferrari took design notes from its heritage.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Three weeks ago, the Ferrari Roma celebrated its world premiere. In the days since, the Italian automaker is saying all the right things about the Roma to get enthusiasts' hearts pumping, billing the mid-front-engined 2+ coupe as having, "refined proportions and timeless design combined with unparalleled performance and handling."

As Ferrari looks forward with this new design, the automaker is looking back to 1950s and 60s Rome. In an era defined by the intersection of modern amenities but with a foot strongly in tradition, mid-1900s Italy was rising from the conflict of World War II and heading toward the economic boom that would mark the 80s. Life in the 50s and 60s, for the average Roman, was filled with the joy of taking pleasure in everyday experiences.

Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn Gregory Peck Belgian-born actor Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) holds the hand of American actor Gregory Peck in a still from the film 'Roman Holiday,' directed by William Wyler, 1953. Photo by Getty Images

In the 50s and 60s, Ferrari was projecting the evolving Italian lifestyle into its designs. The company's V12 grand tourers gained prominence including the luxurious Ferrari America. The Ferrari 250 added a touch of refinement in the sports car segment with a thoroughly modern body style, slimming the design lines that the company featured in its 1950 166 Inter a few years prior.

Under the Roma's hood is 611-horsepower turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 that is specifically tuned for the new model and gets 561 pound-feet of torque. Its body is lightweight and offers generous curves to look at, similar to what famous Roman Sophia Loren did for cinema goers in the 1950s and 60s. The engine is paired with Ferrari's eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2019 Ferrari Roma 2020 The rear of the touring car has a thoroughly modern design.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Ferrari has filled the Roma with the latest technology the automaker offers including a large driver information screen, vertically-orientated centrally-located infotainment screen, and a screen in front of the passenger that gives them access to audio controls along other functionality.

The car also features a number of selectable drive modes.

2019 Ferrari Roma 2020 Three screens dominate the interior of the Roma.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The debut model was fitted with 20-inch dual-five spoke wheels.

Experts estimate that the Ferrari Roma will cost upwards of $220,000 when it goes on sale next year.

Lincoln has made two pickup trucks but neither reached any level of tremendous commercial success.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Before luxury pickup trucks became the staple that they are today on America's roadways, there was one company willing to attempt to capitalize on the premium buyer. Unfortunately for that company, they were too early. But they had the right concept. That company is Lincoln.

The Lincoln Blackwood was the company's first attempt at a proper luxury pickup. It was built for the 2002 model year and was based on Ford's F-150 platform. It shared the F-150's 5.4-liter V8 that made 300 horsepower and was only available in rear-wheel drive. It had luxury features like a power tonneau cover and a wood-lined bed.

2006 Lincoln Mark LT The Mark LT was a luxury level take on a traditional pickup but it may have been a little ahead of its time.Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

That truck made the way for the company's second attempt; the Lincoln Mark LT. That truck received the updated Triton V8 and was available with four-wheel drive. It was also a more practical truck, having a useful bed and other amenities. It was in production from 2005 until 2008 in the United States (yet carried on until 2014 in Mexico).

Nowadays, the F-150 Limited is nearly a $70,000 USD pickup truck – more than the Mark LT ever was – and people are buying them at a steady pace. It begs the question; is the Mark LT or other Lincoln pickup truck ready to make a return to the United States?

The answer is complicated. Officially, Lincoln is leaving the pickup trucks to Ford. They have their own things to worry about, such as a completely refreshed product line and paying Matthew McConaughey to not say his trademark phrase in commercials.

Unofficially sources have told AutomotiveMap that they aren't sure what a Lincoln pickup truck would even look like. How do you get more luxurious than the F-150 Limited that is already on sale?

That is, indeed, a fair question. The F-150 Limited has premium seats that are both heated and cooled. They have a massage function. The only thing that Lincoln offers above that in their vehicles is something they call "Perfect Position" front seats in the Navigator with dozens of different adjustment options.

The F-150 would benefit from a larger infotainment screen and a more attractive instrument cluster, which Lincoln could offer. But these upgrades are also likely to be attached to a refreshed F-150 that might debut as early as this year for the 2021 model year. That would negate the Lincoln benefit.

Lincoln could offer the truck with a plug-in hybrid, and we know Ford is working on electrification options for the F-150. Combine that with some other unique Lincoln features, like the Revel audio system and Phone as a Key and you might have something that stands out from the best Ford offering.

But would it be enough? The price ceiling on pickup trucks hasn't been reached, which is why manufacturers are able to charge $70,000 for a full-size, half-ton pickup truck. Globally, Mercedes-Benz built a luxury-minded pickup on the Nissan Navara platform but didn't see any sales success. Though the rest of the world does view the pickup truck differently than the United States. What we consider a midsize truck is about as large as they sell globally.

Ultimately, a Lincoln pickup truck revival is unlikely to happen due to differentiation. It's important for Lincoln to set itself from Ford, and like the Mark LT that came before, that is unlikely to happen. Yes, it'd be a different truck, but it wouldn't be different enough. Nor would it be a compelling enough reason for loyal truck buyers to buy a Lincoln instead of a Ford, even if they'd be built on the same assembly line.

There's space in the market for even more expensive trucks, but from Ford they'll likely carry the Ford Blue Oval on them.

Lexus designers submitted their ideas for lunar mobility to Document Journal magazine.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

To infinity and beyond! Okay, maybe not all the way to infinity. Lexus has contributed a sketch of a concept vehicle for the journey to the moon. The sketch has been selected to appear in Document Journal's issue No. 15.

The issue of the art and fashion magazine centers around The Lunar Design Portfolio. It seeks to answer the questions, "How shall we live? What will we wear? What will we drive?"

The European Advanced Design Studio for Toyota and Lexus, ED2, is dedicated to developing advanced concept proposals and was selected to take on the task of conceptualizing lunar mobility.

Design characteristics were harvested from the recent LF-30 Future Concept vehicle. To get to the finish line, ED2 created seven concepts from five different designers, together depicting a full lineup of space vehicles.

"When Document Journal approached us about the Lunar Design Portfolio, our team was working on the LF-30 Concept, which represents the "Lexus Electrified" futuristic vision for Lexus. The design team was already looking beyond near-term production and ahead to how advanced technology will change the way we interact with vehicles," said Ian Cartabiano, President of ED2. "The lunar project came at the right time, half way through the LF-30 development. It gave the team a chance to dream further out, and then apply some of the design language from the LF-30 interior to their lunar proposals."

One of the concepts presented to Document Journal made it to print. Zero Gravity is a single rider vehicle that evolves the LF-30's "Lexus Electrified" vision to incorporate Magnetic Levitation technology.

According to a release, "The design reinterprets the signature Lexus spindle grille and uses the motorcycle-style of driving to employ the new concept of Tazuna (which mean "reins" in Japanese): the fundamental human-centered philosophy. Inspired by how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, the steering control provides active driving enjoyment created by the direct communication between human and machine."

See all the concepts below with descriptions by Lexus.

Lexus Cosmos, by Jean-Baptiste Henry

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

A transportation concept designed for both space and the lunar surface, the Lexus Cosmos features a fully sculpted glass shape that functions as a massive observatory to not only enjoy the view, but also explore the low gravity phenomenon. With a rear cockpit that emphasizes the driving feel and a front portion dedicated to contemplation, the idea was to create a new luxury and exclusive experience for the future.