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May 2015 News Round Up

Zagato Mostro

Five Zagato 'Mostro's in homage to original Monster

Italian car designers Zagato have revealed their tribute to Maserati's 1957 450 S model. Taking inspiration from the classic racer nicknamed 'il Mostro' (the Monster), the renowned coachbuilders have unveiled what they call 'il Mostro Nuovo'.

An inclined “wraparound” windshield, butterfly doors, and a taut, carbon-fibre, monocell shell are all reminiscent of Mostro senior. The customised Ferrari-Maserati 4.2litre V8 engine with six-speed transmission is new. It's easy to see how the car was designed “for pure racing mechanics”, though it's practically an art piece as much as a vehicle. They've even fixed up the suspension.

This new monster is track-only, as it doesn't conform to EU or US road safety standards. If that wasn't exclusive enough, only five models will be made. Being both rare and inconvenient, Zagato's Mostro has, of course, sold out already.

The original Mostro was raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours by none other than Sir Stirling Moss – only slightly outdoing il Nuovo's début at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy.

To get a taste of what a car has to sound like to be called the Monster, you can watch the car's press lap here.

Rolls Royce Dawn

Convertible Rolls-Royce 'Dawn' announced

The Dawn is Rolls-Royce's latest model, and it will go on sale in early 2016. A namesake of 1949 and 1954 models, it shares the title with the first factory-built Rolls.

The new Dawn (see what we did there) is based on the Wraith, and a lot of the specs remain the same. The wheelbase, two-door layout, front-end design, and descending rear deck are all shared by the sister coupés. Similarly, the Dawn has the Wraith's twin-turbo 6.6litre V12 engine, pushing out 624bhp. However, as it's a convertible, don't expect quite as smooth a ride as the “most dynamic Rolls-Royce available”.

“Dawn is a beautiful new open-top motor car with a name that suggests the fresh opportunities that every new day holds - an awakening, an opening up of one’s senses and a burst of sunshine.” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, likening the car to orange juice, “It will be the most social of super-luxury motor cars for those beautiful people who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world’s social hotspots.”

Designed under the working title of the Wraith Drophead Coupé, Rolls chose to give the model its own name, rather than follow company convention. Rumour has it the Dawn was almost called the 'Corniche', presumably as part of a cruel bet.

Estimates suggest the Rolls-Royce Dawn will price at about £250,000.

Volvo On Call: Control your car with your watch

It sounds like a stunt from a Bond film, but Volvo seem to have made it a reality. The Swedish firm's latest update to its On Call smart app will allow the driver to access a host of systems remotely. The update also makes the app compatible with tech like Apple Watches and Android Wear.

Launched in 2001 as a remote safety function for Volvo owners, the On Call feature provided safety and tracking services in the event of an accident or theft. Since then, Volvo have been busy.

“Volvo On Call is an app that allows you to literally take control over everyday elements in your Volvo. You can set heater timings for those cold and frosty mornings or cool down your car in hot weather, check your fuel levels and mileage, or look up the time to next service. It even helps you locate your car in a crowded parking garage.” said Director of Connected Products and Services, David Holecek.

Based on the Sensus infotainment system, the inovation will see drivers using their wearable tech to control their Volvo car by the end of June.

Manager of Volvo On Call, Sofia Wessman, explained, “In only a few years we have moved from safety and security related in-car features to a solution that allows the driver to stay connected with their car and provides many new benefits to support their everyday requirements”.

For more information (or to rush over and by one) click here.

And Finally...

Possibly the slowest car chase ever took place in west Fort Worth, USA recently. Dubbed 'On The Run At 10mph', the news footage has now gone viral. 42 year old Joe Gonzales spent over an hour talking to police on the phone while they followed him down a busy motorway. The chase reportedly began at speeds of around 50mph, but shortly slowed to under 10mph, as Gonzales carefully weighed his options and removed his t-shirt. You can watch it here.