March 5th in Automotive History: Celebrating Milestones and Remembering Tragedies

March 5th has been a significant date in the history of the automotive industry, with a mix of celebratory milestones and somber tragedies. Here are some notable events that took place on this day in different years.

1970: On March 5th, 1970, the legendary Porsche 917 made its racing debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in Florida, USA. The 917, which had a 4.5-liter flat-12 engine, went on to become one of the most successful racing cars of all time, with victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other prestigious races.

1983: March 5th, 1983, marked the tragic death of rally driver Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto in a fiery crash during the Tour de Corse rally in France. Toivonen, who was driving a Lancia 037, was just 26 years old at the time and had already established himself as a rising star in the sport.

1998: On March 5th, 1998, the first-generation Ford Focus was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The Focus, which replaced the aging Escort model, was a game-changer for Ford, with its bold styling, agile handling, and advanced features. The Focus went on to win numerous awards and became one of the best-selling cars in the world.

2001: March 5th, 2001, saw the introduction of the BMW M3 CSL (Coupe Sport Lightweight) at the Geneva Motor Show. The M3 CSL was a more hardcore version of the already high-performance M3, with weight-saving measures that included a carbon-fiber roof, rear spoiler, and interior components. The M3 CSL was limited to just 1,383 units and is now highly sought after by collectors.

2013: On March 5th, 2013, Lamborghini unveiled the Veneno supercar at the Geneva Motor Show. The Veneno, which was built to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary, had a limited production run of just three units and cost an eye-watering $4 million each. The Veneno was powered by a 6.5-liter V12 engine that produced 750 horsepower and could reach a top speed of 220 mph.

2020: March 5th, 2020, was a significant day for electric vehicles, as Tesla began taking orders for its much-anticipated Model Y crossover SUV. The Model Y, which shares many components with the popular Model 3 sedan, has a range of up to 326 miles on a single charge and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

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