The 1956 Maserati 450 S wins the first prize at Italy's "Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este", an event that stood out this year by the presence of new prototypes from BMW, Lamborghini and Maserati.
By Joe Hurley
The latest edition of Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este took place recently on May 24 and 25. The small city of Villa d’Este, declared World Heritage Site, is located a little more than 30 miles from Rome. This is the 85th year this lovely town hosts a festival where the beauty of the cars exhibited rivals that of its celebrated architecture and garden designs.
Maserati 450 S.
Dozens of classic cars from all eras and from all over the world gathered at Villa d'Este to reward the most elegant in each of the nine categories. Especially noteworthy was the presence of Maserati and Rolls Royce models, which this year celebrated its centennial and 110 anniversaries, respectively. In fact, it was the brand of the trident, which won the grand prize, awarded to the stunning 1956 Maserati 450 S with a powerful 400 hp V8 engine.
But aside from the classic cars parading their beauty at Villa d'Este, many of the visitors gravitated towards some new prototypes that delighted the audience.
Among the most talked about was the Mini Superleggera Vision from the BMW subsidiary. This is a small electric roadster whose name—Vision— suggests that the essence of this concept can go far beyond this contest in a future model. Created in collaboration with the Italian firm Touring Superleggera, its emotive and minimalist design follows British tradition and combines it with the latest existing elements, such as the rounded headlamps or the hexagonal grill, which look very similar to the ones in the latest Mini.
The German brand, which has sponsored the competition for 15 years, also showed the Vision Future Luxury Concept BMW, a prototype unveiled a few weeks ago that heralds what the brand has in mind for the future of its luxury lines. A step above the 7 Series, especially as far as equipment is concerned, the BMW could materialize in a sort of Series 9 to try to cope with the possible return of the Maybach.
Vision Future Luxury Concept BMW.
The Lamborghini Zagato 5-95 also received its share of attention. This is an interpretation of the defunct Gallardo (replaced by the Hurricane) mounted on the body also manufactured by the Italian firm Zagato (with a 5.2 liter V10 engine and 570 hp) specially commissioned by a collector..
Lamborghini Zagato 5-95.
Maserati also took the opportunity to show off their best foreshadows the guidelines that will define the design of future Maserati. However, their main source of inspiration has been the Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta, designed by Pininfarina in 1954, in line with the design of the l950´s that evokes the 450 S, awarded at the Concorso d'Eleganza 2014. It is clear that Maserati´s bet here is a safe one. ■
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