Archive for the 'Future Cars and Rumors' Category
Posted on April 23rd, 2014 • by Bill Cawthon
Maserati has been on a roll. In 2013, U.S. Maserati sales rose 74.1%; in the first quarter of 2014, sales have rocketed up 331.3%, outpacing every other ultra-premium brand. Last year’s worldwide sales climbed 144.9% and trading profit tripled to $236 million.
While Maserati CEO Harald Wester was at the Beijing auto show, he confirmed the trend is continuing. Wester said orders were coming in at the rate of about 3,500 per month, which indicates demand could reach 42,000 in 2014, nearly triple the 15,400 cars delivered in 2013.
Industry analysts’ estimates are lower with a consensus of about 29,000 deliveries forecast, which is still nearly double the number from last year.
All this without an SUV, a lack that will be corrected when the Levante goes into production next year.
According to Italian Financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, the rumor mill says the Maserati line may be further extended when Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne presents FCA’s new business plan on Tuesday, May 6. The word is that the Alfieri concept presented at the Geneva Auto Show will likely be green-lighted for production. At the time the car was unveiled, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, head of design for Chrysler, Fiat and Maserati, said the car was 100% functional and could be ready for production in two years.
For more information on the Alfieri, see “Alfa, Alfieri and Jeep” at ACarPlace.com.
Maserati is riding a wave of growth that is being generated by gradually recovering economies. So far this year, U.S. sales of high-dollar cars like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes’ S-Class and teh Porsche Panamera are up 19.0% compared to just 1.2% growth in total U.S. light vehicle sales. Some well-known players are already looking to compete with Bentley and Rolls-Royce in the multi-hundred-thousand-dollar range. Mercedes will be introducing the S-Class Maybach in a second attempt to compete with BMW’s Rolls Royce and Volkswagen’s Bentley and BMW presented the Vision Future Luxury, which could be the prototype for a 9-series sedan, at the Beijing Auto Show.
Posted on April 16th, 2014 • by Bill Cawthon
Alfa Romeo, which celebrates its return to the American market at the New York International Auto Show, will build 500 Launch Edition versions of the 4C coupe.
In addition to all the goodies already on the 4C, the Launch Edition will ride on a race-tuned suspension with front- and rear-sway bars and performance-tuned shock absorbers. It will have staggered (18-inch front, 19-inch rear) dark gray-painted forged wheels and red-lacquered brake calipers. Other exterior features include racing exhaust, bi-xenon headlamps with LED illuminated daytime running lights, carbon fiber rear spoiler and mirror caps, and an aluminum rear diffuser.
Inside are sport seats with black microfiber and leather-wrapped instrument and door panels with red or white interior accent stitching on the instrument panel, steering wheel, handbrake, floor mats and door handles.
Customer will have a choice of three exterior paint colors: Alfa Red, Rosso Competizione (Competition Red), or Madreperla (Mother of Pearl) White.
Each Launch Edition 4C will have a serialized “Launch Edition” plaque
The Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition will be available in June. Pricing has not been announced.
Posted on April 1st, 2014 • by Bill Cawthon
Jeep and Mopar have again joined forces to create six new concept vehicles for the upcoming Easter Jeep Safari, taking place in Moab, Utah, April 12-20. The Jeep Wrangler MOJO (above) and the Jeep Cherokee Dakar (below) are among the Moparized models that will be unveiled next week.
Posted on March 31st, 2014 • by David Zatz
Ray Aurand reported that Ralph Giles announced a new set of four cylinder engines to appear in 18 months, during an Autoline After Hours appearance. That would set the calendar date at around August 2015, corresponding roughly to the appearance of a refreshed 2016 Dodge Dart.
These are almost certainly the previously rumored “Hurricane” series of turbocharged World Gasoline Engines, in 2.0 and 2.4 liter versions; though some would prefer replacements for the WGE series, perhaps based loosely on the Pentastar V6, this seems unlikely.
Posted on March 23rd, 2014 • by David Zatz
Some months ago, the plans for the 2015 Dodge Challenger were thought to be clear, based on Ralph Gilles tweets: a reveal at the Southern California LX Club meet (which took place yesterday), then a public reveal at the New York Auto Show on April 16 or 17.
It now appears that the Challenger itself will be shown on April 16 or 17, with SRT chief Ralph Gilles pinpointing the public reveal of the HellCat engine as being two and a half months away.
All three large cars are to be refreshed during calendar-year 2014, for the 2015 model year. Reliable source oh2o wrote that the Challenger would come first, during the summer, followed by Charger and then 300/300C in December.
Of the three, Challenger is likely the one that needs refreshment the most, based on sales and competitive comparisons; it remains the sole large car without an eight-speed automatic, which dramatically increases the V6’s performance and highway mileage. Once the eight-speed is in place in Challenger, comparisons to Mustang and Camaro will come out much more favorably (especially since it is expected to replace the five-speed with the Hemi engines, as well.) Charger and 300 are expected to drop the five-speed entirely, except perhaps for police use.
The spy shot of the 2015 Dodge Challenger above was taken late last week by reader Christopher Vest.
Posted on March 3rd, 2014 • by David Zatz
Numerous media outlets, the most reputable being the industry publication Automotive News and now British Autocar, are reporting that the Jeep Renegade subcompact SUV will be revealed tomorrow in Geneva. Photos and some details were leaked by an American site, ignoring the media embargo, and other outlets picked up the story.
Styled in the US, engineered worldwide, and built in Italy, the new vehicle will include an all wheel drive Trailhawk version; worldwide, it will be sold with gasoline and diesel engines. The interior includes a choice of five-inch or 6.5 inch touch-screens, and it will be the first small SUV with a nine-speed automatic.
Autocar pointed out that the Renegade has a twin removable sunroof system, “My Sky,” and pointed out the red tow hooks in the blue photo.
A leading German publication, Auto Motor and Sport, added that there would be 16-18 inch wheels, ground clearance of up to 22 cm (around 8.7 inches) — which, if true, would match Cherokee Trailhawk — and a height adjustable cargo bay floor. They said the center display was customizable, and that there would be front wheel drive and two all wheel drive versions. The site, as interpreted through Google Translate, claimed, “In the version Trailhawk the Renegade will create the Rubicon Trail so even.”
European buyers can get the Jeep version in summer, but Americans have to wait until late in 2014; the 500X will come later, and will be shipped to the United States in 2015. Automotive News reported that up to 280,000 of both were planned per year, though unofficial Chrysler sources said that number was conservative. The Jeep is expected to outsell the Fiat.
Some details of the Automotive News Europe story conflict with past reports given to Allpar, including a statement that all Renegades would be all wheel drive. Allpar will have a full report on the Jeep Renegade tomorrow, when it is officially launched, with higher resolution, sharper photos.
Allpar has responded slowly to this story out of respect to Chrysler and their desire to make a splash with the Jeep Renegade when it is unveiled. We have only moved ahead after major media outlets have publicized the leaks. Our full story and analysis, with tables, specs, and such, will appear tomorrow morning.
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