The brain-slapping Calavera Ferrari
The Calavera Ferrari is a signature car from Bavaria’s Unique Sportcars
, which offers hyper exclusive automotive services for customers wanting something more than common garden variety exoticars – it claims to offer personalised design and full implementation with craftsmanship to fine art levels. The Calavera (Spanish for skull) cuts through the brain’s clutter in a similar way that brands such as A-Style, FCUK, Porn Star et al achieve nuclear levels of brand recognition. Take a close look at the modified 700 bhp Ferrari F430 and you’ll see a not-so-subtle skull with a dagger through it emblazoned on every panel. The Calavera initially transfixes you, wondering what the hell it is. The weekend wheels of a Bulgarian mafia don? The company car of one of Batman’s adversaries? It is unquestionably an exquisitely produced piece of machinery yet it has some seriously sinister overtones. The skull has signified death since cavemen times but add a dagger and it signifies a violent and premature death. Needless to say, the Calavera polarised opinion in our offices. Some of our crew liked its in-yer-faceness, claiming the extreme reactions it catalyses are good art doing its job, challenging perception. Others used words like desecration and neo-vandalism. The end result is a car that demands the spotlight like nothing else.
The word vandalism derives from the Vandals, a Germanic tribe which sacked Rome in 455. Though no more destructive than many prior civilisations, and positively gentle in comparison to the Mongols who sacked Baghdad in 1258, the Vandals gave their name to history and the English language through their “diminution of aesthetic appeal or destruction of objects that were completed with great effort.” Using the above definition, many staffers felt the Calavera Ferrari qualified as neo-vandalism.
Unique Sportcars chose airbrush artist Knud Tiroch to design the exterior paint and interior of the car. Tiroch, whose speciality is painting hot rods and big muscle cars is claimed to be among the finest airbrush artists in Europe. His body of work is consistent, so there’s no doubt that Unique Sportcars knew what it was likely to get in commissioning him.
IMHO, the Calavera is a terrible waste of an exquisite automobile – no-one with any sense would drive it because it’ll get too much attention from all the wrong people – I can just imagine the German highway patrol plotting its progress across the countryside with red pins on a map, and don’t expect a lot of leniency next time you’re pulled up for speeding in the Calavera. Beyond that, the interior is just plain ugly.
I guess this all adds up to that these are the guys to go see if you have a lot of money and no taste, as they’ll clearly join the dots for you through to completion. It’s great workmanship and execution of a thoroughly bad idea.
Mike Hanlon The press release in its entirety follows:
Calavera “where performance meets design“
Using 11 months of design and development, the bavarian design house “Unique Sportcars“ has completed their first design concept: A Super Sports Car for the streets.
Limiting the series to the number of 11, the unique „Calavera“ design is based on the Ferrari F430, collaborating exclusively with Ferrari Specialist Novitec Rosso and Airbrush Artist Knud Tiroch.
The “Calavera“ concept (Spanish: Skull) is the brand of Unique Sportcars, mother of future design implementations. In touch with modern fashion, Unique Sportcars has combined „whats hot“ with a luxurious sports car, the “Calavera“.
All involved create an inspiring team. For over 20 years, Novitec is well-known on the tuning scene. In the early 90s, Novitic received attention and recognition for their Turbo- and Supercharged motors for Alfa Romeo. 2003 was the year of the first Novitec Rosso twin-supercharger engine for Ferrari, making a statement to professionals worldwide. Knud Tiroch is one of a kind. He belongs to Europe`s finest Airbrush artists and is responsible for creating the exclusive designs on chassis and interior. His finesse was of great use to David Coulthard, ZZ Top, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many more.
Unique Sportcars develops exclusive designs for customers wanting more than off-the-shelf. Custom-tailoring individual ideas and customer`s wishes, we are on the look-out for partners to make these come to life. Idea, Concept and Implementation, all from one source!
Besides design composition and project engineering, these Bavarians have developed a few special extras. “Calavera`s“ front is suited with daytime lights, creating a more agressive look, but not impeding on it`s aerodynamics.
A real eye-catcher is the illuminated engine compartment. This non-standard gimmick puts the „Calavera“ in spotlight, setting the tone for the brute rear and 707 HP engine.
The finishing touch is given through its interior. The “Calavera“ design continues. Embroidered seats and a modified, extended middle console, leaving room for conventional functions and extensions like the new generation Apple iPod.
The whole procedure of tuning includes completely dismantling the vehicle`s frame. The modifications of engine, aerodynamics, rims, tires and sports exhaust system are done by Novitec.
All custom work is completed within about 3 months.
A bolide, right on schedule for the last series of the Ferrari F430; creating a new sensation. Summary…a brilliant combination of exclusive design and modern technology. Truly, a “Unique Sportcar”.
707 hp / 520 kW, 712 Nm, 0 – 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, a top speed of 348 km/h and extremely sporty interior appointments. At the heart of the CALAVERA lies the NOVITEC ROSSO twin-supercharger engine in its latest evolutionary stage. Up to now, the eight-cylinder, four-valve engine with a displacement of 4,308 ccm and mechanical NOVITEC ROSSO twin superchargers produced 656 hp / 482 kW.
The sprint from rest to 100 km/h is shortened by half a second to 3.5 seconds. After just 10.5 seconds the car reaches 200 km/h. The 300-km/h barrier is shattered after 29.9 seconds. In combination with longer gear ratios available upon request the top speed grows from 315 km/h to 348 km/h.
20-inch wheels instead of the standard 19-inch wheels: The three-piece NOVITEC ROSSO NF3 double-spoke wheels in sizes 8.5Jx20 in front and 12Jx20 on the rear axle fill out the F430 wheel houses perfectly. High-performance tires in sizes 235/30 ZR 20 and 325/25 ZR 20 come from technology partner PIRELLI.
Like all other body components the NOVITEC ROSSO front spoiler was developed in the wind tunnel. It is attached to the underside of the production front apron. It lends the F430 an even more aggressive frontal appearance and reduces lift on the front axle.
Agile, safe handling is one of the strengths of the NOVITEC ROSSO sport suspension for the Ferrari, optimized everyday use the other. Contrary to the production suspension the front can be raised by 40 millimeters at the push of a button to safely navigate past curbs, driveway entries and speed bumps. Once the car reaches a speed of 80 km/h the suspension automatically lowers itself back to normal position, about 35 millimeters lower than the production car. NOVITEC ROSSO sport stabilizers reduce body roll and provide even more direct turn-in. To be able to safely control this enormous performance potential at all times NOVITEC ROSSO also modifies aerodynamics, tires, suspension and brakes.