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Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian?

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Old 03-24-2012, 02:19 AM
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Post Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian?



Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian?

With the demise of the
traditional family-owned Italian cultural design mainstay Pininfarina, will Ferrari increasingly slide into the hands of Asian design aesthetics, blowing in the wind of market forces and banking dictates? Has the Ferrari/Fiat/Italian identity already been usurped by an increasing economic force guided by the likes of Japan and China?

Rewind a decade to the Enzo supercar and Ken Okuyama, Pininfarina's chief designer at the time. In addition to designing for Porsche and Maserati, Okuyama's creative direction heralded a different direction in Ferrari aesthetic. Although brief in involvement with Pininfarina before being booted out, Okuyama's Enzo became the poster child "Lamborghini Countach" of its generation. For those so captivated then and today by the Enzo's Italian centerfold/fantasy dream car appearance, such affection and support exists for a Japanese-inspired form. Alas, the Land of the Rising Sun appears setting all over the carbon fiber, the Enzo a form following function.

Your personal taste notwithstanding, the red car (including the 612 Scaglietti also designed by Okuyama) may be taking on a new meaning: Has Pininfarina's direction been forever infiltrated, skewed to Asian/global sensibilities, even if subconsciously?

To illustrate the story further, here is an example of recent market conditions from Ferrari country selector, Maranello, 27th July, 2011:

"Ferrari celebrates best six months in its history in terms of revenues (+19.6%) and cars delivered 3,577 (+11.8%). Net profits of 91.8 million Euros (+23.5%). Record industrial net cash of over 650 million Euros. Exceptional results in the USA (+23%) with China (+116%) now second largest market...

"With regard to sales, North America maintained its position as Ferrari's no. 1 market with 939 vehicles delivered during the six-month period, an unprecedented leap of 23.2% vs. 2010. Volumes were also higher in the Greater China region (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) with 378 vehicles delivered in the first six months (+116% vs. 2010). This performance means that the main Asian market is now Ferrari’s second largest worldwide, overtaking Germany where volumes remained the same as last year with 337 cars delivered."


Chad Glass: Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian? Part 1
 
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:48 AM
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NO! Wait a minute. Fvck NO.
 
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:04 AM
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I don't know if it's an Asian design aesthetic, but the last two V12 Ferraris have been hideous (FF and F12). Don't think so? Go take a look at the 550/575 and the 599 again. Go look at a 456 and tell me that FF looks better. No way.
 
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:21 AM
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a) that`s BS
b) would it even be so bad? I like the new designs..
 
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:34 AM
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wait what does it mean by demise of Pininfarina? I thought the company was doing well?
 
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris from Cali View Post
I don't know if it's an Asian design aesthetic, but the last two V12 Ferraris have been hideous (FF and F12). Don't think so? Go take a look at the 550/575 and the 599 again. Go look at a 456 and tell me that FF looks better. No way.
456>FF

The range of 355,456,550/575 is a sexy line up back in the 90's, you'd wish to have them all.
 
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:51 PM
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ask the GT-R fanbois; another perspective:

http://www.nagtroc.org/forums/index....ng-gone-asian/
 
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:53 PM
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Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian? Part 2

Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian? Part 2

Seeing Red

(Continued from part 1) And from the same site, Ferrari.com, the modern Breadvan-esque/station wagon/"shooting brake" FF is a clear Asiatic success story:

"The FF conquers Asia. Ferrari’s new four-seater four-wheel drive car unveiled at the Shanghai Show by Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa and Felipe Massa.


"Shanghai, 19 April, 2011 – The FF is enjoying huge success on the Asian market having already won over a plethora of clients in the Far East. The new car made its official debut in the Asia-Pacific region today at the Shanghai Show where it was unveiled by Prancing Horse CEO Amedeo Felisa and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Felipe Massa. The latter couldn’t hide his delight with Maranello’s latest creation: 'I’m very pleased to be here in Shanghai for the presentation of the FF,' he told journalists.

“It’s a car I like very much indeed: the perfect combination of performance and usability. I have a son who’s just over a year old now, and this is a Ferrari that you can use with the family without having to compromise on the driving pleasure that only our cars can deliver.' Massa also went on to emphasise the very special relationship between Ferrari and China: 'I was very impressed by the warmth and passion that the Chinese have for the Ferrari brand –that’s also something I’ve seen every time we come here to race, in fact.'

"For his part, Amedeo Felisa spoke about the growing importance of the Chinese market to Ferrari: 'Last year, we broke all previous records by reaching the 300-car mark,' he said of the company’s sales there. 'In 2011, we intend to continue to grow by at least 30% and exceed the 400-car threshold. I am convinced that the Greater China area will be our second largest market by the end of this year.”

And initially panned by Ferrari fans as a "woman's car" (which it may be), the so-called F149, aka, Ferrari California, with its contemporary 458 Italia and FF companions, are apparently hot topics in the land of the red:
"Ferrari’s Chinese market has been growing strongly since 2004. Sales have been excellent across the entire range, but the 8-cylinder Ferrari California and the 458 Italia have performed particularly well. In previews, our Chinese clients were greatly impressed by the technological innovations offered by the FF as well as the generous size of its four comfortable seats and roomy boot (the capacity of the latter can extended up to 800 litres)."

Ferrari F12 Nissan GT-R

For me the F12 reveals a generally pleasing form with more than quite a few moments of gorgeous design throughout the body. It carries the elegance and poise that a Ferrari V12 GT berlinetta should. There is a lushness there with just enough edginess. On that point, at first glance, I don't want to think about Japan when enjoying highbrow Italian cuisine. And I certainly don't want to think about Chinese takeout and volume selling. Although each cultural texture has its place, I want the bottle of fine Italian wine to go to my head, to imbue me with passion. At such a price point, too, a Ferrari V12 GT should produce this intoxicating effect immediately. And the first impression of the F12 nearly does.

Initially, the unveiling of F12's front end appointments appeared a little strange. But, as was the case with the 458 Italia (and Nissan GT-R), eventually the new child-of-the-wind-tunnel design idiom began growing on me. The contemporary Ferrari face with the elongated "bioluminescent," deep-sea-creature-like headlamps, running up the top sides of the car, and the "Chevron Cars" cartoonish grille --have presented themselves as decadal identifiers. Hence, this is what Ferrari looks like today.

And as with the severe Ferrari Enzo (and in some of the aforementioned newer Ferraris), the Nissan GT-R can elicit a polarizing effect upon the beholder: It is either hideous or brutishly attractive, at very least an acquired taste for the enthusiast not already well-adapted to Japanese tuner culture. Form following function doesn't have to be ugly but in some cases it is.
When a car can slice through the air, shift, corner, in fractions of a second quicker than a competitor, engineering will begin to dictate what beauty and "passion" are allowed to be. It is evident, too, that when such results render less-than-attractive design cues, then the policy is to feature such appointments. Why try to hide them when they can be exaggerated and passed off as being state-of-the-art?

Familiar with Japanese tuner/enthusiast culture myself, I could not help but to see the Nissan GT-R discreetly whispering over the form of the F12. Certainly, Ken Okuyama has been long gone from the midst of Pininfarina's corridors of power and had nothing to do with GT-R development. So is this mere coincidence or is there an airborne Asian car virus sprinkling dust over Maranello?

from:

Chad Glass: Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian? Part 2

written by Chad Glass
 
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Last edited by viscount aero; 03-30-2012 at 03:54 PM.
  #9  
Old 04-21-2012, 02:24 AM
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Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian? Part 3

from:
Chad Glass: Ferrari Design Overtones: Going, Going, Gone Asian? Part 3

The sun does rise in the East and has been shining on Ferrari for years. In following suit with Aston Martin's Dragon 88 and Rolls Royce's Phantom Year of the Dragon edition, Ferrari, in a well-intended Maoist lockstep, steps up its game in a bid to further win over the burgeoning Asian market, namely with the cash-rife Chinese. After 20 successful years of sales in China (beginning with the 348 TS), Ferrari honors this milestone with 20 special editions of it's latest mid-engined flagship 458 Italia.

The sun does rise in the East and has been shining on Ferrari for years. In following suit with Aston Martin's Dragon 88 and Rolls Royce's Phantom Year of the Dragon edition, Ferrari, in a well-intended Maoist lockstep, steps up its game in a bid to further win over the burgeoning Asian market, namely with the cash-rife Chinese. After 20 successful years of sales in China (beginning with the 348 TS), Ferrari honors this milestone with 20 special editions of it's latest mid-engined flagship 458 Italia.

If contemporary Ferrari Asian-skewed design overtones appearing in recent offerings such as the FF and F12 were not enough, it is the blatant evidence of targeted marketing to China that has revealed an obvious trend: The limited 458 Italia -Golden Dragon Edition bids homage to the red and gold country. China is hot and Ferrari's passion races through the hallowed Silk Road.

No stranger to the color scheme, the stunning red and gold motif (first seen on the likes of the vintage Ferraris of the 1960s LeMans era such as the P3/P4, 312P, 512S, et al), is directly applicable to the tastes of the contemporary Chinese cognoscenti. Sprayed in a rare Marco Polo Red, the highly exclusive run of 20 units features a Chinese dragon atop the front panel, set within a gold and black racing stripe from tip to stern. The interior receives the same dusting of gold with embroidery and red carbon fiber appointments, including a dash plaque with inscriptions of Chinese characters.

Although evocative of the very American Pontiac Firebird hood graphic, the 458 Italia -Dragon Edition sends a clear message to the entire world of automotive enthusiasts --that China is the next territory to conquer, with money to be made. In that grand irony, too, the so-called "red" Statist-communism of China is clearly only conditional, with the capitalist trappings of luxury and wealth indeed part and parcel to its emerging future. Business is business. Paradoxes aside, nothing is really new in that regard and "hard to get" is what helps define exclusive branding. Few will ever own a Ferrari, fewer still a 458 Italia, and only 20 will possess the Dragon. Viva 法拉利 !
 
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