The news of the purchase of Qvale, the makers of the Mangusta sports car, by MG Rover raised a few eyebrows in the industry.
Observers had a problem with the concept of an MG ‘supercar’, a marque more usually seen in the mid-range market, sitting next to Mazda and Fiat.
As it happens, the term ‘supercar’ might be stretching it a bit, as the car is likely to be selling in the £50-£60,000 range – a real supercar, such as the McLaren F1 would set you back fives times that figure. If you have the spare cash take a look at www.mclarencars.com to see what you would get for your money.
So the new MG is more likely to appeal to the TVR, Jaguar and Porsche set.
As all these manufacturers pride themselves on the design of their cars so it is interesting to see just how much attention they have been paying to the design of their websites.
The MG Rover site handles very well. Going to www.mg-cars.com you are immediately shown the range of cars and find a link to the companies Le Mans site – another supercar, this time partnered by Lola Cars.
Sadly, there is no mention of the company’s much heralded prototype MG X80 – you have to go to the company’s corporate site – there does not appear to be a direct link to this site – and even then it’s not easy to find.
But what is there is very well designed, giving both the sports and cars saloons a classy but fun feel.
A site that could do with something of a revamp is the TVR site (www.tvr-eng.co.uk) – much in the same way as their latest babies, the Tuscan and Tamora. Whereas the Tuscan car oozes raw but sophisticated power, the company’s website itself is disappointingly bland.
All of the information is available, along with good specifications and descriptions of the TVR range, but there is a marked lack of glamour.
Perhaps TVR think the cars talk for themselves.
Similar to the TVR site is Porche’s (www.porsche.com), but here more thought has gone into the navigation and content of the site.
The images are sharper and the viewer gets a clinical dissection of what’s on offer – a clean and efficient site. Both Jaguar (www.jaguar.com) and Aston Martin (www.astonmartin.com) combine classic and contemporary designs in subtly understated sites.
There’s no such understatement at Ferrari though.
It might seem unfair comparing the humble MG with the mighty Ferrari, but this site exhibits all the classic Italian styling you would expect from Maranello.
More a lifestyle than just a car, www.ferrari.com is fun, but the Italian site, www.ferrari.it is even better.
The famous prancing horse uses a novel form of navigation, based around the six-speed gear box, all of which adds to the experience.
The content has just the right level of detail, all that is missing is the price list – which is probably just as well.
OUR TOP FOUR SITES
Good site, shows off cars effectively with a design that complements the product. Clear, helpful content.
Efficient design, clinical execution, clear navigation, Porsche’s site is an effective use of the medium.
Surprisingly bland site that does not do the cars justice. Perhaps the cars talk for themselves.
Irresistible. The Prancing Horse provides a whole lifestyle site, but the Italian site is even better.
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