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Archive for the ‘Super Cars’ Category

FCA Planning to Plug In

After slow start, automaker reveals big plans for electrification.

by on Jun.01, 2018

The production version of this Maserati Alfieri concept will use an electrified drivetrain to launch from 0 to 60 in barely 2 seconds.

Sergio Marchionne isn’t much of a fan of battery power, or at least he hasn’t been until recently. When Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched its first all-electric model, five years ago, the CEO actually urged motorists not to buy it, admitting FCA lost about $25,000 on every one of them.

But at the automaker’s “Capital Day,” in Milan on Friday, Marchionne and his management team were far more upbeat, announcing plans to add dozens of electrified vehicles – everything from mild hybrids to pure battery-electric vehicles – into the FCA line-up over the next give years.

Electrifying!

The economics still aren’t great, noted Mark Chernoby, the automaker’s head of technology compliance, but in an era of increasingly stringent emissions and mileage regulations, it’s the only real day to meet targets being set in markets as diverse as the U.S., Europe, China and Brazil. That’s all the more so as FCA continues to migrate from traditional sedans and coupes to the less efficient SUVs and CUVs that will overwhelmingly dominate its global line-up.

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More Products, More Volume, Bigger Margins: FCA Lays Out Aggressive, 5-Year Growth Plan

Morning presentation outlines plans for Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands.

by on Jun.01, 2018

The Ram TRX will be among the new models FCA will bring out over the coming five years.

(This story has been revised to update plans for Jeep’s pickup and a midsize pickup from Ram that, CEO Marchionne now says will come to the U.S. market.)

In a sweeping presentation designed to give analysts, investors, media and potential buyers a good look at its future, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives are spending a day detailing their plans for the company and its various brands.

At the midway mark, as they break for lunch, they’ve already lifted the kimono far enough to show what’s coming for the Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands and, in a nutshell, it can be summed up as more products targeting lots more volume and much bigger margins.

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The new five-year plan will be the last crafted under the guidance of Sergio Marchionne, the 65-year-old executive who helped pull off the pairing of two struggling manufacturers to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. His third five-year plan, Marchionne stressed that “The true finish line is the one always yet to come.”

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McLaren’s Growth Means Adding New US Dealers

British sports car gets new stores on both coasts.

by on May.23, 2018

McLaren Automotive's been enjoying record sales and needs two new dealerships including McLaren Sterling just outside Washington D.C.

With its sales of ultra-expensive sports cars steadily climbing, McLaren Automotive has been fortifying its bottom line with new models after its long-expected demise has come and gone.

The growth in new vehicles in the product portfolio has strengthened interest in the company’s largest market: the United States. As a result, the company’s dealership network is growing too and the company is adding new retailers in wealthy communities on the East and West coasts.

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One of the new dealerships will be in Beverly Hills, California, the other in Loudon County in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington D.C. The two new stores join McLaren’s network of 80 dealers that stretch across 30 markets around the world. (more…)

Performance Version of Tesla Model 3 Will Be “Quicker than a BMW” – But Cost $78,000

Will “beat anything in its class on a track,” tweets Tesla’s Musk.

by on May.21, 2018

Tesla CEO Musk claims the performance Model 3 will not only be faster, but handle better than the BMW M3.

Despite a painfully slow ramp-up of production, Tesla is planning to add a new high-performance version of its Model 3 sedan that CEO Elon Musk claims will be “quicker than a BMW,” and be able to “beat anything in its class on a track.”

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Musk fleshed out details about the all-wheel-drive electric vehicle, noting that it will launch from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, top out at an Autobahn-burning 155 mph, and still yield 310 miles per charge – at least when driven a bit less aggressively. But the yet-unnamed performance version of the Model 3 will also cost $78,000, or about twice as much as a base version of the electric sedan.

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That steep jump actually isn’t entirely out of line, at least when comparing to the likes of a BMW 3-Series sedan. The German sports sedan starts at $34,900, around the same figure as a Model 3 before factoring in the $7,500 federal tax credit. The BMW M3 starts at $66,500, though appears to have less standard equipment than the Model 3 performance version. The Tesla includes AWD, for example, an otherwise $5,000 option.

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Fired Ford Exec Reappears as Head of Supplier Building Ford GT Supercar

Veteran exec was ousted for “inappropriate behavior” in February.

by on May.21, 2018

Ford's Raj Nair helped introduce the 2019 Mustang.

Unceremoniously ousted in February from one of Ford Motor Co.’s top posts, 53-year-old Raj Nair has resurfaced, hiring on with Canadian supplier Multimatic as its new president and chief operating officer. In that post, Nair will oversee the production of the $450,000 Ford GT supercar.

Until February, Nair was one of the Detroit automaker’s most senior executives, in mid-2017 promoted to the critical post of president of Ford North America as part of a broad management shake-up that saw the ouster of the carmaker’s CEO Mark Fields. In his previous post, Nair oversaw global product development and was a key player in the development of the exotic Ford GT.

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But his career seemed to come to a screeching halt when, early this year, Nair suddenly took a leave, many colleagues and staff members worrying he might be facing a health problem. Instead, insiders told TheDetroitBureau.com, he was named in a complaint filed through an anonymous tip line set up by Ford and subsequently fired for what the company would only describe as “inappropriate behavior.”

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Brabham is Back! Legendary Name Debuts New Car

Company looking to return to LeMans.

by on May.04, 2018

David Brabham shows off his company's first racer, the BT62, in Australia.

The name Brabham connotes speed and that moniker is back in the manufacturing business with the new Brabham BT62, a track-only speedster unveiled in Australia.

The Brabham BT62 continues the ‘BT’ naming convention established by Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac in the 1960s and honors the legacy of the marque’s greatest and most memorable cars, which includes 35 Formula One victories.

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The newest model is spearheaded by Jack Brabham’s son, David, who is the managing director at Brabham Automotive. The limited production racer can be had for $1.35 million. (more…)

VW Showing Tech Prowess with Pikes Peak EV Racer

Maker wants battery-electric supercar to break the record.

by on Apr.23, 2018

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak is ready to make an attempt to break the EV speed record for the Pikes Peak race in June.

Volkswagen has been pushing to be seen as a leader, maybe THE leader, in the electric car arena and its newest introduction, the I.D. R Pikes Peak, may help cement that position.

The company’s first fully electric supercar was unveiled in Alès, France, and will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill climb in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on June 24, with only one goal: beating the existing electric car record of 8:57.118 minutes in the annual “Race to the Clouds.”

Electrifying!

This battery-electric supercar certain has the specs to make one thing that the record is in jeopardy. I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 2,500 lbs and produces 680 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, giving it a 0-60 mph time of 2.25 seconds, which is faster than Formula 1 and Formula E cars. (more…)

Big Changes Coming at VW, Says New CEO

Diess targeting “slimmed down company” and focus on new technologies.

by on Apr.13, 2018

VW's new CEO Herbert Diess wants to both cut costs and shift focus to new technologies.

Volkswagen Group is likely to be a very different company in the coming years, at least if new CEO Herbert Diess has his way, the new chief executive outlining some of the key changes he has in mind during a Friday media briefing that followed a management shake-up the day before.

The one-time BMW board member has been viewed as a change agent since joining VW in 2015, just months before a scheme to rig diesel emissions tests was revealed by the U.S. EPA. Diess has already trimmed what is often described as a bloated workforce, in the process slashing almost $5 billion in costs.

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He is expected to further attack costs at the German giant while also putting more emphasis on new technologies and services. And VW officials suggested they could move to trim assets, though they cautioned that a rumored spin off of their truck business isn’t in the cards – yet. (more…)

Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

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A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

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Live from Geneva!

Electric SUVs, hybrid sports cars, hot hatches and more.

by on Mar.08, 2018

The 88th edition of Geneva International Motor Show is basically over for the media and the show will open its doors to the public after dozens of new products from makers like Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and others made their debuts.

TheDetroitBureau.com is still working sources and looking to report news coming out of the show so be certain to check back often to see the latest. (more…)