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    Rumorpile: Maserati Levante Passes On Grand Cherokee As A Base


    • Maserati's New Crossover Passes On Using The Grand Cherokee As A Base

    Previously we've heard Maserati's upcoming crossover, the Levante, would be using the Jeep Grand Cherokee as base. But now, that appears not to be the case. Speaking with CNNMoney, Maserati CEO Harald Wester said the Levante would not use the Grand Cherokee's platform. Motor Trend adds that a engineer recently hinted that Maserati is opting for the Quattroporte/Ghilbi's platform to underpin the Levante.

    Now this isn't the first time Maserati has changed their mind with the Levante. When the model was first announced, it was planned to be built at Chrysler's Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit. Then last year, Maserati announced that production would take place at Fiat's Mirafiori factory in Turin, Italy.

    Source: CNNMoney, Motor Trend

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    It's strange that they'd do that. The Grand Cherokee platform is a bit newer.

    Upon close inspection, the Ghibli's platform is clearly a modified LX body... it's got a shorter trunk and a longer nose... but most of the hardpoints are identical.

    So... we'd get the first LX based SUV and it would come from Maserati? Interesting times indeed.

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      FCA US Reports February 2017 U.S. Sales
      Ram Truck brand sales up 4 percent compared with same month a year ago Three Jeep® brand vehicles record sales increases in February; Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 11 percent Three Dodge brand vehicles post sales increases in February; Dodge Journey sales up 55 percent  February 1, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 168,326 units, a 10 percent decrease compared with sales in February 2016 (187,318 units).
       
      In February, fleet sales of 44,898 units were down 26 percent year over year as FCA US continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the daily rental segment. Fleet sales represented 27 percent of total FCA US sales in February. FCA US retail sales of 123,428 units were down 3 percent for the month, and represented 73 percent of total February sales.
       
      Ram Truck brand sales were up 4 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Three Jeep® brand vehicles topped February sales from a year ago, including the Jeep Renegade with an 11 percent increase. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the brand’s volume leader in February, were up 11 percent as well. Three Dodge brand vehicles recorded year-over-year sales increases in February led by the Dodge Journey’s 55 percent sales gain. Sales of the Fiat 500 and the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan were up year over year as well.
       
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      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
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      11,363
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      13,349
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      15,353
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      32,136
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      16,990
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      36,226
      30,965
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      6,259
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      10,944
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      300
      5,386
      5,304
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      10,094
      10,969
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      11,645
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      246
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      71
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      110
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      0
      15
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      9,500
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      22,542
      17,961
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      1,976
      1,253
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    • By William Maley
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      Source: Mitsubishi
      Press Release is on Page 2


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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Mitsubishi has revealed their showing for the Geneva Motor Show today called the Eclipse Cross. Yes, the Eclipse name which is best known for Mitsubishi's iconic sports coupe from the early 90's has returned for a crossover. 
      The Eclipse Cross might be the most stylish vehicle to come out of Mitsubishi in quite awhile. The front end is similar to the Outlander crossover with the distinctive grille, narrow headlights, and a chiseled bumper. The rest of the Ecllipse Cross' design is cribbed from the XR-PHEV II Concept from a few years back - raked rear hatch and a crease running along the side. The Eclipse Cross will slot between the Outlander and Outlander Sport. It should be noted that the Outlander Sport is within an inch or two of the Eclipse Cross in overall size - something that will be addressed when the a new and smaller Outlander Sport is introduced. The interior features a uniquely styled center stack with an infotainment screen on top. There also appears to be a pop-up screen for the heads-up display - something akin to Mazda.
      In Europe, the Eclipse Cross will be available with two engines; a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder and a 2.2L turbodiesel four-cylinder. The 1.5L is connected to a CVT, while the diesel gets an eight-speed automatic. No mention was made as to what engine will come to the U.S., but it would be a safe bet that the 1.5L will be the one. All-wheel drive will be standard for both engines.
      Mitsubishi will launch the Eclipse Cross in Europe this fall, with other markets to follow thereafter.
      Source: Mitsubishi
      Press Release is on Page 2


      GLOBAL PREMIERE OF MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS AT THE GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 2017
      CIRENCESTER – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will debut the all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on 7 March 2017 (Hall 2, 10:15 UK Time).
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      The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will compete in the C-SUV segment and will appeal to style-conscious drivers its sharp coupé looks and muscular SUV stance, as well as its advanced levels of connectivity and all-wheel control technology which delivers an enjoyable, reassuring feel that elevates the driving experience.
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      The front design of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross features MMC’s trademark Dynamic Shield concept, which refers to the protective shield shape visually formed by the black central area and highlighted by bold brightwork on either side of the grill. Distinctive auxiliary lamps are recessed deep in the front fascia adding drama and sophistication to the SUV’s front-on appearance.
      At the rear, the high-mounted, stretched rear lamps divide the rear window into eye-catching upper and lower segments and when illuminated the tubular LED and central LED brake lights form a single bar of light running across the tail, giving the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross a broad and unmistakable appearance from the rear.
      The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross also heralds the arrival of a new red body colour. The standard coating is layered with semi-transparent red and clear coating, and this creates high levels of colour saturation with a highly-refined finish.
      Inside, the new SUV’s dashboard is shaped using horizontal lines, with silver metal frames and a black and silver monotone color scheme helping create a sense of refinement that is both dynamic and sporty. With its table-like infotainment display and new Head Up Display, the futuristic cockpit inspires a sense of excitement for the driver. For maximum comfort and flexibility, the rear seat features a 60:40 split with long slide-and-recline adjustment.
      Connectivity that inspires new adventures
      The Eclipse Cross is fitted with the Smartphone Link Display Audio system, a Touchpad Controller and Head Up Display. Together they allow the driver to access different types of information conveniently and safely.
      Smartphone Link Display Audio supports Apple CarPlay*1, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone*1 in the car. The driver can use Siri*4 or the Smartphone Link Display Audio’s touch screen to receive directions optimised for traffic conditions, make and receive calls, access text messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road. Smartphone Link Display Audio also supports the Android AutoTM*2 which provides voice-controlled operation of Google MapsTM,*2 Google PlayTM*4 music and other apps. The Touchpad Controller can operate audio functions like radio, as well as Apple CarPlay.
      Placing the Touchpad Controller in the centre console allows the driver to easily operate the Smartphone Link Display Audio.
      The Head Up Display unit makes driving safer by presenting vehicle speed, data from the active safety systems and other necessary information that minimises eye movement and provides instant readability.
      Enjoyable and stable driving dynamics with all-wheel control technology
      Eclipse Cross uses an electronically-controlled 4WD system that feeds the optimum amount of torque to the rear wheels depending on the driving situation and the road surface. MMC’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system incorporates brake-activated AYC*3.
      The addition of a three-point strut tower brace at the front and the strategic use of structural bonding at the rear in particular have increased body rigidity. The stronger body and detail optimisation of the suspension ensure precise handling and superior vehicle stability.
      Eclipse Cross offers two powertrains that deliver an outstanding balance of power, performance and efficiency. The new 1.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine is available with a new CVT transmission with 8-speed Sport Mode manual override, while MMC’s proven 2.2-litre common rail direct-injection turbocharged diesel engine is modified specifically for Eclipse Cross is fitted with a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
      The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is due to go on sale in the UK early in 2018 with pricing and final UK specification to be announced closer to its on-sale date.
    • By William Maley
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      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Bentley has been hinting for awhile about adding a second SUV to its lineup, something smaller than the current Bentayga. This new SUV could go all-electric according to a report from Automotive News.
      "I can assure you that Bentley -- on the long term view -- will not stay with one model only in the SUV lineup. We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance," said Wolfgang Duerheimer, Bentley CEO.
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      "If you are looking for such a car [small SUV] then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric. It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand," said Rolf Frech, Bentley's board member for engineering.
      Frech said that if this idea was to go forward, it would likely come in 2020 or beyond when Bentley reaches stage two of their electrification plans. Part one is the introduction of the Bentayga PHEV this year, followed by the Flying Spur and Mulsanne.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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