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Fortunately, There's a Ferrari Enzo Most of Us Can Afford

October 02, 2002|JOHN O'DELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ferrari's new flagship, the two-seat, mid-engine Enzo, was officially unveiled last week at the Paris Auto Show. But don't bother putting in an order--the super car will be limited to 349 production models and all have been spoken for.

It is expected that the V-12 Enzo, rated at 660 horsepower with a 218 mph top speed, will sell for $675,000 or more, so most of us couldn't afford one even if Ferrari decided to make more.

But there's hope. Mattel's Hot Wheels unit, which regularly hits the market with Thumbelina-sized replicas of new cars, has an exclusive arrangement with Ferrari to do models of its vehicles. In a first for both companies, the Hot Wheels Enzo was introduced the same day the covers were pulled off the real Enzo in Paris.

The Hot Wheels model is a 1:18 scale metal replica with wheels that turn and doors that open, a cargo area and an engine compartment. Ferrari engineers and designers worked with the Hot Wheels crew in El Segundo to make sure all the details were in the little devil.

Best of all, it costs only $25.

A Compact SUV by VW?

Those who can pass on a Ferrari, even a scale model, but think the world needs more sport utility vehicles can take heart: Volkswagen seems to be planning another addition to the segment.

The company, which introduced its Touareg SUV last week at the Paris Auto Show, originally said the upscale model, jointly developed with Porsche (which has its version, the Cayenne, coming soon to a showroom near you), was to be VW's only foray into the market.

But the trade journal Automotive News Europe reported that Falko Schling, Volkswagen's director of group quality assurance, told a conference during the show that the company will come to the market with a model for what VW calls a "people segment." It would be a compact SUV, smaller and less expensive than the Touareg.

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