Supercars

Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Charles Leclerc film brings the Monaco F1 circuit back to life

The Monaco F1 circuit has been brought back to life, if just for a few minutes.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a dizzying engineering achievement of numbers and downforce and power-to-weight ratios and power output and a big plug. It's also Ferrari's first "series production" plug-in hybrid.

Series production is Ferrari-speak for car-that-we-build-a-bunch-of-instead-of-building-just-five. It also has the most powerful eight-cylinder engine of any Ferrari ever, and excitingly (if you're a Ferrari enthusiast), means that a V8 is the Ferrari's top-of-the-range engine for the first time.

Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Charles Leclerc film Monaco movie The film was shot on the streets of Monaco.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The 90-degree turbo V8 makes 769 horsepower. The car's three electric motors (one on the back axle, and two more up front) make another 216 combined electric horsepower. Combined, that's a whopping 985 total horsepower.

The SF90 Stradale is also the first straightforward Ferrari sports car (not to be confused with GT cars like the Ferrari FF, which are not sports cars in the Ferrari playbook) to come with four-wheel drive.

It goes zero to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds and on to 124 mph in 6.7 seconds. It also handles really well thanks to a whole bunch of wild and amazing technical details crafted by the engineering team that you can read about on Ferrari's website.

But a Ferrari isn't really about numbers and engineering. Go buy a McLaren if that's all you're interested in. The prancing horse is all about speed and pretty girls and sunshine. It's about passion for history. A Ferrari is basically Monaco in automotive form.

The plot takes the Ferrari around Monaco showing off several well-known attractions.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

That passion for history and speed and pretty girls is why Ferrari partnered up with Claude Lelouch, a cult hero in automotive circles for his short film "C'était un Rendez-Vous" shot on the streets of Paris in 1976. That film had a soundtrack from Lelouch's own Ferrari 275 GTB (it was filmed by a camera mounted on a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9), and Ferrari felt that now was time for a remake of sorts.

The Monaco Grand Prix is arguably the most iconic motor race in the world. The 2020 running was cancelled, however, thanks to COVID-19. But that wasn't going to keep Ferrari — the oldest active team in Formula One — from running a car around the city on race day.

And so Lelouch, Ferrari F1 driver and Monagasque Charles Leclerc, a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and HSH Prince Albert II all got together on the closed streets of Monaco early on May 24. That's the day the race *would* have taken place, mind you, and His Serene Highness was kind enough to close all the streets around the Principality so Lelouch and Leclerc could create a new short film: *Le Grand Rendez-Vous*.

The film stars F1 driver Charles Leclerc.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

In true Ferrari fashion, it combines what makes a Ferrari a Ferrari and it is perhaps the perfect quarantine antidote for any petrolhead. Watch it, then watch it, then watch it again. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face — especially when Leclerc and his lady friend (played by Lelouch's granddaughter Rebecca) pull their masks off at the end.

Monaco lives. The horse prances. Life goes on.

"Le Grand Rendez-Vous" — Charles Leclerc and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale — One guy. No traffic. www.youtube.com

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Nikola Badger will debut with a tap for drinking water.

Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

When it comes to emissions, there's little that beats the cleanliness of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Though it has a mineral-rich battery pack, the model is fueled by hydrogen. The only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapor.

That water vapor can either be absorbed into the atmosphere or, in the case of the Nikola Badger, become part of a drinking fountain system, as reveled in a tweet earlier this week.

Take a look at the back end of the Badger. That's right, you will be able to tap that.

Nikola Badger The Nikola Badger can be reserved online today.Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

A recent tweet from Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton promised that a drinking fountain would be in the truck. Inn fact, the company had already narrowed it down to two designs and chosen the winner.

A hot a cold tap are promised, with safeguards to prevent accidental emissions and splashing.

Aside from the engineering, the question about the safety of drinking the water is a valid one. There are technologies, including hydropanels, that capture water vapor and turn it into drinking water. Other technologies, like Akvo AWGs, do similar things via a different, multi-step process.

Toyota does not recommend drinking the water vapor from its hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai, however Hyundai touts the ability to do so, even going so far as to creating a publicity stunt wherein Olympic swimmer Mireia Belmonte ran on a treadmill inside a plastic bubble while the Nexo's tailpipe was hooked up pumping in emissions.

Hyundai Nexo y Mireia Belmonte 30" www.youtube.com

The engineering behind taking the emitted water vapor from the truck's tailpipe to a drinking fountain has yet to be seen. A prototype of the Nikola Badger has yet to be seen by the public despite the fact that top-tier reservations for the model have already sold out.

The Nikola Badger is slated to debut later this year as part of the festivities surrounding Nikola World.

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All the DB5 "Goldfinger" Continuation cars are being built to one exterior color specification – Silver Birch paint – just like the original.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Job 1 is done. The first Aston Martin DB5 "Goldfinger" Continuation car has been completed. It's the first new DB5 to be built by Aston Martin in more than half a century.

Production is limited to a run of 25 models in association with the producers of the James Bond films, EON Productions. The first car took approximately 4,500 hours to construct. Originally, just 900 saloon examples of the DB5 were built between 1963 to 1965. Bond drove one in "Goldfinger".

Each of the new models will be known as a continuation car, built to appear like the one Sean Connery drove as Bond, and feature a broad suite of working gadgets first seen on screen in the 1964 film. They are priced at £2.75 million, plus taxes.

Aston Martin DB5 "Goldfinger" Continuation

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

According to a release, "Each of the 25 new cars is being built to the highest possible quality using a blend of Sir David Brown-era old world craftsmanship, with the sympathetic application of modern engineering advancements and performance enhancements, alongside the integration of cutting-edge gadgets developed in association with Chris Corbould OBE, the special effects supervisor who has worked on more than a dozen Bond films."

The exterior features a rear smoke screen delivery system, rear simulated oil slick delivery system, front and rear revolving number plates, simulated twin front machine guns, bullet resistant rear shield, front and rear battering rams, simulated tire slasher, removable passenger seat roof panel (optional).

Additionally, the cabin includes a simulated radar screen tracker map, telephone in the driver's door, gear knob actuator button, armrest and centre console-mounted switchgear, under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray, and remote control for gadget activation.

All the DB5 "Goldfinger" Continuation cars are being built to one exterior color specification – Silver Birch paint – just like the original.

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation www.youtube.com

The cars feature original DB5 styled aluminum exterior body panels and a mild steel chassis. Under the hood lives a 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, three carburetors, and oil cooler. The power plant achieves 290 bhp and is paired with a five-speed ZF manual transmission. It also has a mechanical limited slip differential.

Additional equipment is very much of the car's original production time. There are Servo-assisted hydraulic Girling-type steel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering – which does not feature assistance – and a suspension set-up comprising coil over spring and damper units with anti-roll bar at the front, and a live axle rear suspension with radius arms and Watt's linkage.

First deliveries of the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation to customers have commenced and will continue through the second half of 2020.

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