For some of you it might be interesting to know that the photos below show the Bizzarrini Promise.
Barchetta PT97A Promise.
Commissioned by an old acquaintance, Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata from the Ferrari/ATS/Serenissima time, Bizzarrini, in co-operation with CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) build 'The Promise' in 1997. Count Volpi told me that this is a by a Ferrari 348 (later an Alfa Romeo) powered engine research platform, in which it is proven the promises for the future had to be found in the use of light weight materials, such as armoured carbon in combination with the modern engine- and (4wheel) drive management technics.
When we realise that for the testing platform of the Promise, financed by Count Volpi, only 12 HP is needed to maintain a speed of 150 Kmh, highly powered engines are not the big issue anymore.
The state of affairs in today's engine- and (four wheel) drive management can achieve a much higher yield of the energy used. Not only the energy needed for the use of the car but also from the energy needed for the making of the car. Also the use of light materials, for instance the very strong armed carbon fibre, gives an enormous advantage in the environment balance. Carbon only weighs 1 kg/m2 in comparison with steel, 15! The Promise has a laminated carbon chassis that weighs 15 kg. and also the provisional bodywork does not weigh anything more. Just imagine! Chassis and body together only weigh 30 kg.
It is the big car industry that seems to slow down this development. There is a killing competition in the market of super cars which actually doesnot contribute to the development of the car so loved by us.
Okay, if we buy ourselves a Rolls Royce we know that we buy hundreds of thousands euro worth of comfort and status. A 3 tons weighing living room on wheels.
But on the other hand, if for the same amount of money we buy f.i. a Ferrari, McLaren, Pagani or Mercedes sportscar, than we are forced to think that we buy a piece of car technics which is cutting edges.
Nothing is less true. It is an elaborating on old principles.
According to Bizzarrini a car which is cutting edges, with the same achievements, if we drop the 0 to 100 kmh principle, can be made for a selling price of approximately 40.000 euro, is much more interesting and does not endanger the environment that much.
We have to emphasize that we than are talking automotive technical developments which are really cutting edges.
The Promise project has been offered to many big car-industries. Everyone thinks it is 'very interesting', but only because the Italian research institute CNR is involved and their demands for the future for the car industry will point in that direction that there comes an awareness that one has to start thinking that way. Nowadays one carefully watches over the shoulder of Bizzarrini.
The consequence of all this is that some marketing items of the various superbrands are build on quicksand in adopting this new vision by the customer.
High power, useless. Many cylinders, useless. Great weight and size, many people think it is the same as security, useless.
It is clear that this development doesnot play in the hand of the steel- and oilindustry and lots of opposition comes from that direction.
But slowly but surely (political-)times are changing.
Just my cent of sombody who knows