Fioravanti Skill Concept – Fiat Grande Punto Cabrio Press Release

Geneva Show Press Release:

For the 2006’s edition of the Swiss motor show, Fioravanti proposes, with the prototype Skill, an innovative concept of vehicle’s transformability.

This technical proposal evidences the Fioravanti’s attitude to the automotive field that goes ahead the project itself, involving different activities at different levels : from strategic marketing with proposals of new products, to the research with new patents, from the vehicle’s architectural to the style till the engineering studies for the prototypes feasibility.

With Skill, based on the Fiat Grande Punto, Fioravanti proposes a new kind of product mainly dedicated to young people: a “fun pick up spider” that, thanks to a boot capacity of 750 l. and to an integrated structure, allows to easily carry: bikes, ski, snowboards, surfboards, go-kart…

After the patent showed in Geneve 2001 on the Alfa Romeo brand and then applied on the Ferrari Superamerica, Skill shows a new Fioravanti patent concerning the theme of retractable rigid roofs.

Also this solution is characterized by a simple cynematic and allows to keep the weight in the dynamically safer area. The roof, doing a rotation of 90°, and the rear window doing a translation, they lodge their self in a vertical position in a specific area between the seats and the boot itself.

The rear pillars contain the roof and the rear window moving mechanisms, they are also utilized for further integrated functions such as: the roll bar, the stop and the boot lights and the loudspeakers.

The Skill technical solutions could permit, by suitable synergies and small investments , to have a new accessible product and to increase the range with another version:

• A coupè easily transformable in a spider with a full capacity boot

Dimensions: Length : 4030 mm. Width: 1690 mm.

Heigth: 1470 mm. Wheelbase: 2510 mm.

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Mazda3 MPS - MAZDASPEED3 Press Release

Press Release: With its compact, lightweight body and maximum power of more than 184 kW/250 PS generated by an 2.3Turbo engine, Mazda3 MPS - MAZDASPEED3 is one of the highest perfor­mance sports compacts with front-wheel drive on the road today.

Mazda3 MPS -or MAZDASPEED3 in the US, is the second vehicle in the Mazda Performance Series, following the Mazda6 MPS launched in Europe two months ago. This high-performance sedan is equipped with the same MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine as the Mazda3 MPS, and incorporates a 4WD system and has a GT character with the accent on a feeling of stability. In contrast, the Mazda3 MPS uses a FWD layout to maximize the inherent agile handling characteristics of its lightweight and compact body. In addition, the FWD configuration permitted more affordable pricing, allowing Mazda the opportunity of offering Zoom-Zoom to a wider audience in an extremely fun-to-drive package.

MPS Design DNA – the Harmony of Refinement and Sensuality

Mazda3 MPS styling pursues a look of strength and solidity in a design that conveys the car's unmatched dynamic performance at a glance. Its form is characterized by boldly flared front fenders, and effective use of strong edges on the bonnet and other elements. These combine with the functional forms of the bumpers, spoil­ers and other parts developed for outstanding aerodynamic performance, to make a radical Zoom-Zoom statement in an FWD sports compact. Overall, Mazda3 MPS’s design is sporty and strong, befitting a high-performance model, without exaggerated styling cues. Instead, the focus is on creating a refined presence, which owners can take pride in. This approach is an important facet of MPS design DNA, also adopted for the Mazda6 MPS.

Exterior Design

The integrated form of the 5-door hatchback of the base model was the starting point for the individualistic statement Mazda3 MPS makes about the Zoom-Zoom spirit. Although it has the athletic form of a high-performance model, it also realizes a refined, supple look calculated to appeal to the aesthetic sensibility of the more mature driver. Its front fenders are 20 mm wider than on the base model to provide clear­ance for the large tyres and to evoke a well-planted stance. And to forge a uniform identity for the MPS series, two design elements are shared with the Mazda6 MPS: strong press lines flowing back along the bonnet from the upper part of the five-point grille used as the air intake for the intercooler, and the aerody­namically shaped front bumper and large lower grille serving as the air intake for the radiator. Additionally, the "floating image" angular fog lamps used here for the first time communicate the vehicle's unique personality. An athletic yet elegant side view is created by aerodynamic side skirts and 18-inch, 10-spoke aluminium alloy wheels.

The rear view is characterized by the design of the rear bumper, which suggests stable road hold, the tailpipe with a large diameter (95 mm) and the roof spoiler with integrated high-mounted LED brake lights. These items add up to a tautly defined rear design that is instantly recognizable as the Mazda3 MPS to other drivers who see it pass.

Interior Design

A high quality black sets the tone of the interior, accented by red stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and the six-speed manual transmission shift knob to create a sporty yet refined ambience – the hallmark of a Mazda MPS model. The instrument panel includes a matte black decorative insert panel finished with a hairline treatment to underscore the vehicle’s aggressively modern personality. A leather wrapped shift knob, aluminium pedals and stainless steel scuff plates further contrib­ute to the sporty, high quality ambience that distinguishes MPS models, while semi-bucket front seats provide firm support to match the uniquely sporty performance of the Mazda3 MPS. Additionally, the instrument panel houses a blackout type speedometer (scaled to 280 km/h) in the centre position and the front seats bear the MPS logo on the seatbacks, a casual reminder that this is the highest performance model in the Mazda3 line up.

Euro Stage IV Emissions Combined with Formidable Power and Agile Handling

Mazda3 MPS is equipped with a 2.3-litre petrol direct injection turbo engine (MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo) that is Euro Stage IV compliant while generating formidable maximum power of more than 184 kW/250 PS at 5,500 rpm and maximum torque of 380 Nm at 3,000 rpm. Installed in a lightweight and compact body, the engine propels Mazda3 MPS to a top speed of 250 km/h, and from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. These figures make the Mazda3 MPS one of the most powerful sports compacts with a FWD layout.

To handle this level of performance, torque characteristics are carefully controlled to improve driveability. The body, suspension and brakes are specially tuned as part of the vehicle’s all-round optimization. The result is outstanding performance and agile handling that deliver high levels of driving pleasure. Since this kind of driving can only normally be experienced in a pure sports car, Mazda3 MPS far exceeds driver expectations.

MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo Engine

In addition to delivering a high-performance Zoom-Zoom driving experience, the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine also exhibits good environ­mental compatibility with low fuel consumption and Euro Stage IV emissions. This powerplant is a direct-injection turbocharged unit devel­oped by Mazda to achieve three aspects of performance that are difficult to realize with conventional manifold injection engines: good fuel-economy and low exhaust gas emissions, powerful acceleration thanks to the turbocharg­er, and a full and flat torque curve throughout the rev range for exceptional engine response.

Mazda’s MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo injects fuel into the cylinders at pressures as high as 11.5 MPa, which cools the combustion chambers (internal cooling effect) through latent heat of vaporization, thereby improving the charging efficiency. This can increase torque by up to 10 percent at around 3,000 rpm compared to a conventional manifold injection type turbo engine, making powerful, easy-to-control torque available across a wide range of engine speeds. This high power flat torque curve is attained by the use of a fixed geometry turbo­charger.

The internal cooling effect within the combus­tion chamber increases the cylinder charge volume under initial acceleration and hence the exhaust-gas flow, causing a linear increase in rotation speed of the turbocharger's compressor wheel. As a result, the turbocharger provides boost effect soon after the accelerator is pressed– at around 2,500 rpm – assuring excellent response at low to mid-engine speeds.

High-pressure direct injection of fuel into the cylinder also results in an optimized air-fuel mixture forming in the vicinity of the spark plug, reducing the risk of misfire. This allows earlier ignition, making it easy to raise the temperature of the exhaust gas. Moreover, use of a lightweight, fixed geometry turbocharger dramatically reduces the thermal capacity of the exhaust system, minimizing the loss in temperature of exhaust gas. As a result, the catalytic converter reaches its activation temperature faster after the engine is started. These advantages enable Mazda3 MPS to meet Euro Stage IV emissions regulations.

Because the internal cooling effect within the combustion chamber reduces knocking tendencies and boosts fuel economy without sacrificing low-end torque, the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine has a relatively high compres­sion ratio for a turbo engine of 9.5:1 which contributes to improved fuel economy.

The form and materials used for the respective engine components are optimized to bear the added load and heat of the increased output. The cylinder block and cylinder head are optimally shaped to increase their strength. In addition, cross drilling between the block liners and between the valve bridges on the cylinder head improves cooling performance. All moving parts have been made stronger and more rigid. The crankshaft is made of steel, and the diameter of the crank pins is increased. Connecting rods are also made of steel, and the shape of the rods is optimized. Full-floating pistons are used with increased-diameter pins. The shape of the radiator fan blades has also been optimized, the capacity of the electric fan motor increased and a flap function added to the fan shroud controls the adequate airflow to the radiator. These mea­sures greatly improve the radiator's cooling performance at all engine speeds.

For Mazda3 MPS, the development team fine-tuned both the engine and exhaust system to produce a sporty sound that enhances driving pleasure. Tuning of the exhaust system focused on sounds in the low frequency range, while tuning of engine sound focused on the mid frequency range produced at high engine speeds to deliver an enjoyably sporty sound. A powerful exhaust note is hit the moment the engine is started, and a pleasurable sound sustained in sync with accelerator pedal input as the car gains speed.

High-level Torque Management

A wide range of optimizations give this high-power, high-torque FWD vehicle greater ease of use with more comfortable driveability and handling. volume and boost pressure control suppress sudden torque peaks, assuring smooth, linear torque delivery. Additionally, torque characteristics from first through fourth gears are optimized to deliver appro­priate drive power from take off. Torque control is also linked to the steering angle, and the stiff­ness of the left and right drive shafts is balanced with the angles optimized to control torque steer. A newly-developed limited slip differ­ential is also adopted to provide ample torque to the inner wheel during hard cornering for smooth, predictable driving in the curve.

Six-Speed Manual Transmission

The new Mazda3 MPS employs the six-speed manual transmission introduced with the Mazda6 MPS that provides the driver with the pleasure of having full control over the vehicle’s high power, while contributing to a quiet ride and better fuel economy. A compact three-shaft design made it possible to keep the over­all length the same as for the five-speed manual transmission used in the base model. In addi­tion, Mazda3 MPS’s six-speed transmission uses wide gear ratios to fully exploit the wide

torque band of the direct-injection turbo­charged engine. The transmission’s high-ratio sixth gear contributes to a quieter ride and improves fuel economy during high-speed cruising. Triple-cone synchronizers for first through third gears and a double-cone synchronizer for fourth gear assure ample sync capacity to enable a short, clean-action shift stroke and comfortable shift feel.

High Body Rigidity and Specially Tuned Chassis

Like the Mazda3 facelift, the new Mazda3 MPS features a body with greater rigidity than the original model. The MPS version is based on the Mazda3 5-door hatchback, with local rein­forcements added to realize a body sufficiently stiff and robust to stand up to the extra demands of sporty driving. Suspension and brakes have also been specially tuned for the MPS. These improvements assure a body and chassis capa­ble of easily handling the extremely high power delivered by the MZR 2.3L DISI Turbo engine.

Body rigidity has been increased by several features, including a reinforced front cowl member that is joined directly to a plate in the top section of the front damper mount, assuring the same rigidity as a car fitted with strut tower bars. This prevents deformation of the front suspension towers and maintains correct suspension geometry. In the lower body, a large closed section member is employed to rein­force the floor tunnel which improves the torsional rigidity of whole body. At the rear, the gusset introduced at the bottom end of the rear suspension towers restrains the tendency of the towers to displace inwards which maintains the correct suspension geometry in the rear.

Specially Tuned Suspension gives 60 Percent Improvement in Roll Stiffness

Special suspension tuning was conducted to support the high power output of Mazda3 MPS’s engine. Both the MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension have higher coil spring rates and larger diameter stabilizer bars than the Mazda3 face­lift. Dampers also have a higher damping force on the MPS. Damping force on both jounce and rebound is approximately 6 times better at low piston speed, and about 1.3 times better at moderate piston speed. Combined with the reinforced coil springs and stabilizer bars, this produces 60 percent more roll stiffness than the Mazda3 facelift.

Aerodynamics Engineered for Speeds of up to 250 km/h

With its exceptional performance, Mazda3 MPS demands exceptional aerodynamics. Special attention was paid to reducing drag to enable a top speed of 250 km/h, and to achieving aerodynamic performance that supports stable straight running, lane changing and overtaking manoeuvres at high speeds. A wide variety of underfloor parts were employed, to achieve the superior aerodynamic performance targets (Cd=0.31).

Focus on Safety – Upgraded Brake System to Match the High Power

The starting point for Mazda3 MPS safety package was to preserve the accurate, predict­able handling of the original Mazda3. Large diameter 4-wheel disc brakes, ventilated 320 mm discs at front and solid 280 mm discs at rear, a 8+9-inch tandem brake booster and a large 1-inch diameter master cylinder yield powerful and stable braking. Standard equip­ment includes 4W-ABS, emergency brake assist, and dynamic stability control (DSC), all of which provide active safety for the MPS in a range of driving scenarios. In addition, a rain-sensing wiper system and auto light system are also available (depending on market and grade) to give the driver a clear view of the road and help prevent accidents.

For protection during collision from any direc­tion, Mazda3 MPS employs the unique Mazda Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System to deliver a robust and safe body structure. Inside the cabin, front dual airbags are fitted as standard, along with side and curtain airbags. A collapsible brake pedal and revised steering column structure reduce the risk of injury to the driver's lower legs, while a seat belt reminder

Mazda3 MPS Technical Specifications

Engine Type

MZR DISI 2.3L Turbo


2261 cm3

Max. power kW

more than 184 kW at 5500 rpm

Max. power PS

more than 250 PS at 5500 rpm

Max. torque

380 Nm at 3000 rpm


Front engine, front-wheel drive

Top Speed

250 km/h

0-100 km/h

6.1 sec

50-100 km/h in 3rd gear

4.2 sec

80-120 km/h in 5th gear

5.4 sec

Fuel consumption Combined

9.7 l/100 km

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Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Press Release

Press Release: Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

Fiorano after the circuit Ferrari uses to hone the performance of its track and road cars; GTB as in Gran Turismo Berlinetta after the most famous Ferrari berlinettas ever built; and 599 to reflect the displacement of its V12 engine divided by 10. The stunning new all-aluminium two-seater that Ferrari is unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show is summed up rather succinctly by its own name and delivers everything that this promises. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, in fact, sets a new benchmark of excellence in the sports car world.

This new model was designed with several specific objectives in mind: to surpass the intense driving pleasure of such renowned models as the F40, to guarantee stunning performance courtesy of its highly innovative content and technology transfers from the F1 single-seaters, and to deliver superior standards of roominess, comfort, ergonomics and safety. The result is the absolute pinnacle of achievement in terms of thoroughbred Ferrari sportiness and technology.

The new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in an astonishing 3.7 seconds and boasts a top speed in excess of 330 km/h. However, it is still the new model's uniquely innovative content that guarantees superior driving pleasure, handling and sportiness.


The technical specification of the engine speaks for itself: 5999 cm3 displacement, a specific power output of 103 hp/litre (a first for a naturally aspirated production engine of this displacement).

Twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank boast continuously variable timing on both inlet and exhaust cams to optimise torque delivery and drivability at both low and high revs. A twin-plate, low inertia clutch in unit with the engine also helps lower the centre of gravity. Chain driven distribution reduces noise and is maintenance-free. The Fiorano's engine delivers a maximum torque of 608 Nm at 5,600 rpm and means that the car pulls well at all engine speeds. The new model's breathtaking sportiness is due in part to record maximum revs for an engine of this displacement (apart from the Enzo). Its maximum power output is 620 hp at 7,600 rpm with a maximum engine speed of 8,400 rpm. Particular attention was also paid to fuel consumption which is the same as in the previous model, under similar use, despite a significant leap in performance. Development work for the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano also focused specifically on the distinctive sound the engine makes, reducing mechanical resonance in favour of a pure V12 soundtrack from both the intake manifold and the exhaust system. This not only enhances driving pleasure but makes for a quieter ride inside the cabin itself.


The new generation F1 gearbox that debuts on the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a further development of the F1 gearbox used on all of the models in the Ferrari range.

The F1-SuperFast system enhances the car's high-performance capabilities by using the elastic energy within the transmission components, together with the integrated electronic engine and gearbox management programmes, to speed up gear change times. The various stages involved in changing the gears are implemented in parallel (non-sequentially) and this results in exceptionally fast gear shifting. In fact, it cuts overall gear-shift times to just 100 ms. The system is integrated with the manettino and the driver is still free to choose between either the Automatic mode or the Launch Control setting which offers smoother starts from standstill.


The experience built up over thousands of kilometres of Formula 1 testing and racing by Ferrari's drivers is now being made available to ensure clients have access to cutting-edge road-holding, safety and stability. The system continually monitors the speed of both front and rear wheels and features predictive software that estimates the maximum available grip in advance, compares this information with the vehicle dynamics model stored in the control system, and adjusts its reactions to suit, optimising traction by modulating power delivery.

The result is easier, smoother high-performance driving, thanks to maximum grip out of bends (a 20% increase in acceleration compared to a traditional traction and stability control system) and predictable handling even in extreme situations. The F1-Trac is integrated with the manettino which adapts the car's behaviour to the driving conditions: the Sport setting provides the best balance between stability and performance on the road while Race ensures clients maximum performance combined with consistently brilliant handling. The F1-Trac system is another world first for Ferrari.


Unlike traditional oleodynamic systems, magnetorheological (MR) fluid suspension systems react instantly to road conditions and driver inputs, thanks to the fact that the dampers use a fluid the viscosity of which is modified by applying an electronically controlled magnetic field.

What this means in practice is greatly improved body control which in turn directly improves handling and road-holding thanks to optimal tyre grip in all road conditions. The result is a much safer and more enjoyable driving experience courtesy of reduced roll and greater control when accelerating, braking and cornering. This is the very first time the SCM (Magnetorheological Suspension Control) suspension has been used on a high performance sports car.


The steering wheel-mounted manettino vehicle dynamics control switch, originally developed for the 1996 Formula 1 season, has been taken a step further for the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano.

The manettino integrates the stability and F1-Trac traction control systems, the F1-SuperFast gearbox and the SCM (Magnetorheological Suspension Control) fluid suspension. This means that the driver can select the correct setting for the grip conditions at any given time. The manettino's readouts are displayed on the new on-board Multi Display unit so that the information important to each specific setting is instantly available to the driver (e.g. lap times, tyre temperature and pressure or trip computer readouts.)


Lengthy testing in the wind tunnel at Ferrari plus various simulations have yielded exceptional results in terms of both downforce and drag. The optimisation of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano's underbody, the rear diffuser and flying buttresses have resulted in an aerodynamic load of just 160 kg at 300 km/h. Similarly, the Cd - drag coefficient - is just 0.336.


The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a strikingly sculptural car. The design is so supple, in fact, that each new angle brings something new to light. Its forms say it all about its extreme sportiness yet still retain a unique sophistication.

A balance has been struck in the interior between the car's sporty vocation and the feeling of intimacy and safety that only skilled hand-crafting and detailed personalisation can achieve. The passenger areas of the car are trimmed in sumptuous leather while the driver area and controls boast more high-tech detailing in carbon-fibre and aluminium.

In addition to the steering wheel and manettino, the central rev counter with a choice of red or yellow background and solid aluminium passenger controls, the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano also boasts attractive new styling cues including a central grip to provide extra support for the passenger and new adaptive racing seats featuring carbon-fibre side rests. Other standard accessories include front bi-xenon headlamps and rear LED lights, dusk and rain sensors, dual-zone climate control, electrically adjustable steering-wheel column, hideaway radio/CD player and key with integrated volumetric anti-theft device with motion sensors.

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano also benefits from an already vast choice of personalisation options available for every Ferrari model. Four areas are covered by this programme: Racing and Track, Exteriors and Colours, Interior and Materials, Equipment and Travel.

The Racing and Track options include CCM (Carbon Ceramic Material) brakes, 20" Challenge one-piece rims with run-flat tyres, four-point harnesses and a cockpit roll-bar. The Scuderia wheel arch shields and coloured brake calipers complete the look for sportier clients.

Interior and Materials options include a new Enzo Ferrari-inspired carbon-fibre steering wheel with LED rev display which can be specified along with a special carbon-fibre trim kit for the door panels, instrument panel, gear stick surround and sill kick panels. Various types of leather trim are also available for the seats and interior too. Travel and Equipment accessories include front and rear parking sensors, iPod-friendly set-up, satellite anti-theft system and a luggage set specially tailored to fit this model.

Technical Specifications

Dimensions and weight

Overall length

183.7 in

Overall width

77.2 in


52.6 in


108.3 in

Front track

66.5 in

Rear track

63.7 in

Dry weight

3482 lb

Kerb weight

3722 lb

Boot (trunk) capacity

11.3 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity

27.7 US gal 23.1 UK gal

Weight distribution

47% front 53% rear



13.9 x 1.3 in


12.9 x 1.1 in



65° V12


3.62 x 2.96 in

Unit displacement

30.51 cu in

Total displacement

366.08 cu in

Compression ratio


Maximum power

456 kW (620 CV) at 7600 rpm

Maximum torque

608 Nm (448 lbft) at 5600 rpm

Maximum revs per minute

8400 rpm (with limiter)

Specific output

103 hp/l



245/40 19''


305/35 20''


Maximum speed

+205 mph

0-62 mph

3.70 sec

0-124 mph

11 sec

Fuel Consumption

Urban cycle

32.7 l/100 km

Extra urban cycle

14.7 l/100 km


21.3 l/100 km

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