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Montecarlo Rascasse LPG - prancing autogas
The principality, whose former first lady was a beautiful American actress Grace Kelly, is not and never was a leading force in the automotive market. Montecarlo Automobile – apart from Venturi – is probably the only car manufacturer in this tiny country. Luckily, the country’s economy is based on people who drive the most expensive cars in the world (and leave some big money in the country’s casinos), not the ones who produce them, but it’s still nice to read about something like the new Rascasse, especially that it’s no stranger to LPG!
This machine – in terms of style explicitly inspired by models “made in Maranello”, especially F50 and Enzo, as well as boats (interior) – was created to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Montecarlo Automobile (founded by racing driver and engineer, Fulvio Maria Ballabio in 1983, as Monaco’s first car manufacturing company). Rascasse is a two-seater roadster with a removable central part of the roof and the V12 mid-engine taken from… Rolls-Royce! The 5.4 liter unit was first designed by BMW for the noble British brand’s Silver Seraph model shortly after it was taken over by the German company. Through a series of modifications, the V12 reaches exactly 500 hp – that’s 174 hp more than the original unit found under the hood of “RR”.
The engine can run on petrol as well as LPG, but enriched with hydrogen. Gas supply system was developed in collaboration with Italian BRC,
but conversion kit composition details remain unknown. We’re particularly interested in the location of the tank (in a mid-engine car, the only available space is around the rear axle) and the parameters of the blend of propane-butane and hydrogen. We have to warn any potential customers that each of 15 planned cars will be priced accordingly to its engine power – 500,000 EUR. If you happen to have too much cash but still want cheap refueling, and you’re immune to malicious comments from those, who treat this car only as fake Ferrari with the interior of a luxurious motorboat and an analog clock in the center of the steering wheel (so that in the event of an accident the driver immediately knows that it’s his last hour), hurry up and place your order. Fans of alternative fuel supply will surely appreciate the fact that Montecarlo Automobile – closely connected to Monaco’s court from the very beginning – has a history of creating cars powered by LPG and CNG at the same time (i.e. equipped with two independent gas supply installations) or even some powered by four types of fuel (petrol, bioethanol, LPG and CNG), and plans to prepare a hybrid version of its newest Rascasse with four-wheel drive soon. Take a good look at this curio – it might be another 30 years until you’ll have the next opportunity to hear about this exotic brand from Monaco.
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