story and photos by Karl3
IAA is the world’s largest motor show, taking place biannually — it alternates with the IAA Truck Show. The area is huge, but not especially well organized, with shuttle buses from the parking areas to the fairground.
Fiat and Chrysler occupied almost an entire hall, Hall 6, shared only with Hyundai. It was like a big alley: Alfa, Fiat, and Lancia to the left, and Jeep, Ferrari, Maserati to the right. The press conferences tended to attract reporters from the home countries: at the Fiat conference one was surrounded by Italians, at the Peugeot conference by the French, and so on.
If that seems generous to Fiat/Chrysler, consider that BMW and Daimler had buildings of their own, with extra floors. On the lighter side, nearly every car was open, including Rolls-Royce and Maserati cars; only Ferrari was separated, requiring an invitation.
Lancia-Chrysler had two Voyagers (Town & Country), two Ypsilons, one Thema (300), and one Delta. There were no Flavias or Flavia Convertibles; it’s no longer possible to order a Flavia Convertible because the plant will be converting to the new 200 soon.
One employee said, though this has not been confirmed, that the next generation 200 will not go to Europe as the Lancia Flavia, and will not have a convertible version. With no station wagon or hatchback, no convertible, and depressed car sales in Italy, Lancia Flavia would simply not have enough sales to justify the engineering costs (which would have to include fitting a diesel engine). Alfa Romeo Giulietta is presumably close enough to fit the niche, though it’s narrower and smaller overall. The employee seemed certain about Flavia being dropped, along with the American Chrysler 200 convertible.
Lancia Ypsilon in “S momodesign” and “elefantino” trim
The new Town & Country, on the other hand, will go to Europe as the Voyager; so will the face-lifted 2015 Chrysler 300 / Lancia Thema.
The Thema, incidentally, is sold with all wheel drive only in Switzerland and Austria, of the major markets, not Germany and Italy.
Lancia Delta will go for another two years, with the Chrysler 100/new Delta still on hold, reportedly a permanent “on/off.”
Jeep showed three Grand Cherokees, two Compasses, and three Wranglers, including the new Arctic edition. The Cherokee launch has been postponed to the Geneva Show, because Jeep has dropped plans to bring the gasoline version (sold only in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany) over first. Instead, the diesel and gasoline versions will both be launched at Geneva in 2014.
Fiat showed three Pandas, three 500Ls (normal, Living, Trekking), three 500s (S, GC, and electric), and one Freemont Black Code, the European version of the Dodge Journey. Olivier Francois held a conference there, talking about the success of Panda and 500; he said that the 500 line would be expanded, but would not become an extra brand, remaining a “brand within a brand” at Fiat. Mr. Francois also said that, after the success of 500 and Panda, “one day it will be possible to ask for more money for a Fiat.”
Newly shown was the extended-length 500L Living, with five or seven seats. Abarth was present as a separate brand, showing an old and a new 595 (fifty years apart) for their fifty-year celebration. They showed a 299 limited edition with 180 hp.
Alfreda Altavilla, COO of Fiat brand in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, was also there, but did not make a presentation. Fiat Auto’s CEO and chair of the board both cancelled on short notice.
Alfa Romeo, which is planning to break into the American market in the next three years, had two Giuliettas, two MiTos, and two 4Cs. 4C final prices and delivery dates will be announced on Sept 16th; Launch Editions are due this year, with a full year of production already sold.
Maserati has been on a roll lately, with record sales; their press conference was cancelled for unknown reasons, but not before a press release on the Quattroporte diesel was sent out. The Quattroporte Diesel shares the modified VM V6 with Ghibli, with a slightly lower power version for Italy alone. It is capable of 0-100 in 6.4 seconds in the higher power version, 6.8 seconds with the lower power one. The Ghibli is to be delivered very soon, with the diesel following in one or two months
Maserati showed three Quattroportes, three 300C-sized Ghiblis, and one GranTurismo MC.
Ferrari announced the 458 Speciale, which has Ferrari’s most powerful naturally aspirated V8. Based on the 458 Italia, it has the highest output per liter of any natural-induction auto engine every built; with just 4.5 liters of displacement, the direct-injection V8 engine produces 596 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The car itself weighs just 3,075 pounds, with slightly more weight in the rear than the front, and greater downforce than the Italia.
The transmission is a seven-speed F1 dual-clutch model which allows the car to run from 0-62 miles per hour in just 3.0 seconds, and from 0-124 mph (200 km/h) in 9.1 seconds. It has a top speed of 202 mph, and includes special stability control software; gas mileage is an impressive 11.8 l/100 km in the combined cycle, or roughly 20 mpg city/highway.
Ferrari has not made a V6 in many years, but F1 is moving to V6s next year, so this may change; the Maserati Ghibli’s V6 was reportedly created in association with Ferrari.
Ferrari California is the cheapest “entry-level” Ferrari, a 2+2 with front V8 and folding metal roof. Rumor claims it started as a Maserati and was shifted somewhere before launch.
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