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Exotics

Super models strut their stuff Add to ...

Concorso Exotica - that pretty much says it all about the display of stunning automobiles that will greet those attending the Auto Show over the next week.

Car buffs - both casual and serious - definitely won't want to miss this elegant array of new prestige models representing the most famous marques in the automotive world - Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston-Martin, Lotus and Rolls-Royce. Particularly as incorporated in this classily re-themed area in Constitution Hall on the North MTCC building's100 level, is the Concorso Classico featuring historic examples of many of these makes.

Concorso Exotica - presented by The Globe and Mail - will also feature the latest iteration of Canada's only current supercar the $400,000 HTT Plethora, a 750 hp, 1,150 kg, carbon-fibre missile built by HTT Technologies in Quebec.

IN PICTURES: Dream machines that fuel our future automotive fantasies

Obviously, there's plenty of the "wow" factor in this one. But then this whole display is about "wow" and perhaps "how" as in, how much?

If you're looking for something to fire up your daydream search engine, a good start would be the Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Roadster - with a 6.5 litre V-12 engine that propels it to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and to a top end of 330 km/h - or the LP 570-4 Spyder Performanti - carbon-fibre light, 570 hp strong and 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.

Or, of course, the Ferraris - a 458 Italia, a California and a 599 GTB Fiorano. The Italia, with its sensuous shape penned by Pininfarina is powered by a 4.5 litre V-8 rated at 560 hp at 9,000 rpm and capable of accelerating the car to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, while the California - the name recalls a late 1950s Ferrari - is a metal flip-top convertible with a front-mounted 4.3 litre, 450 hp V-8. The Fiorano offers the height of grand touring luxury and performance.

The Maserati marque will be represented by a classy Quattroporte Sport GT S and the Gran Turismo Convertible.

The British brands weight in with an Aston Martin Rapide, a Bentley Mulsanne and a Rolls-Royce Ghost. The Aston Martin Rapide is a four-door grand touring style car in the marque's sporting tradition and powered by a 6.0 litre, 470 hp V-12. The Mulsanne - named for the Mulsanne straight on the Le Mans circuit on which Bentley won its reputation - is the brand's new flagship, a super-luxurious "saloon" powered by a 6.75 litre V-8 with eight-speed transmission.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost - a name that recalls the Silver Ghosts that were produced in the company's early days of the last century - is the latest offering from the company and designed to be a little more attainable and handier sized than the massive Phantom. It's still a heavyweight when it comes to style and presence though.

And then to provide a complete contrast there's the new-last-year Lotus Evora, a sports car built in the Lotus tradition of light weight - just 1,383 kg - and nimbleness. This quick little coupe is powered by a 3.5 litre Toyota V-6 that makes 276 hp and gets to 100 km/h in less than five seconds.

German makes are featured on the Pfaff Motors of Woodbridge display where you'll find a neat assortment of very special machines including three of its racers, a Porsche GT3 Cup Car, and a VW GTi and Audi A5 that run in the Canadian Touring Car Championship.

There's also a very tricky 2011 Porsche Turbo with Techart aero-kit and wheels, a 2011 Audi A8 ABT Edition and a Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe boasting various high performance Brabus bits and pieces - plus a Porsche Panamera, GT2 RS and Cayenne.

The Concorso Classico is an all-Italian show headlined by a pair of Ferrari's most magnificent machines. The 1971 365 GTB/4, known as the Daytona, was one of the last front-engined Ferrari GT cars and powered by a 4.4 litres V-12 topped by six downdraught Weber cars and making 347 hp. The 1991 supercar F40 looks starkly aero-modern by contrast and in its day was as close to a Ferrari race car you could buy for use on the street.

Rival Lamborghini is far from being overwhelmed by all this Ferrari crimson however, being represented by a LP 400 Countach and a simply stunning Miura S. The Miura S was built from 1969-71 and has wonderfully swoopy lines. It's fitted with a mid-mounted, 370 hp V-12 that gave it supercar performance. The dramatically wedge-shaped and low roof-lined Countach, built from 1974-1978 has a 375hp, 4.0 litre V-12.

Alfa-Romeo is represented by a pretty little 1961 Guilietta, one of a long series of cars - coupes, open top spiders, sedans and even a station wagon called the Promiscua - built from the early 1950s into the mid-'60s and powered by sweet little 1.3 litre twin-cam engines.

Fiat, which makes its return to North America this month with its new sub-compact Fiat 500, will wave the "tricolore" flag with three very cool cars, a 1961 Fiat Abarth 600 and a 1972 Fiat 500 - predecessor to the new latest generation - plus a 1972 Fiat Dino. The latter, built from 1966-73 has close ties to Ferrari, Dino being the nickname of Enzo Ferrari's son who died in his twenties.

Rounding out the display is the DeTomaso Pantera, built in Italy by the DeTomaso company which was created by Argentinian enthusiast Alejandro de Tomaso and created racing and road cars in the 1960s. The Pantera, built from 1971-73 was powered by a Ford V-8 and sold in North America by Lincoln and Mercury dealers.

Small cars are in fashion again, but consumers also demand style, comfort and technology, as well as fuel economy

IN PICTURES: Dream machines that fuel our future automotive fantasies

 

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