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By William Maley
A couple weeks back, Maserati revealed the Levante SUV after pictures were leaked. At the time, Maserati only gave out some small details about their new SUV. But this week at the Geneva Motor Show, Maserati has revealed all of the details on the Levante.
The Levante uses the same platform that underpins both the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. It also features the same engine lineup as both sedans.
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6: 350 or 430 Horsepower 3.0L Turbodiesel V6: 275 Horsepower
All engines are hooked up to an eight-speed automatic and the Q4 all-wheel drive system. Stop/Start is standard on all of the engines. 0-60 mph times ranges from 5.2 seconds for the 430 horsepower 3.0L Twin Turbo V6 to 6.9 seconds for the diesel.
The Levante's interior mimics the one found in the Ghibli and Quattroporte. New for the Levante is a control knob that can be used with the infotainment system.
In terms of safety, the Levante comes with forward collision warning, automatic brake assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and a surround view camera.
Maserati says the Levante will go on sale in Europe this spring, with other markets following thereafter.
Press Release is on Page 2
Maserati Levante debuts at the Geneva Motor Show
Maserati's first SUV receives its eagerly-anticipated world unveiling at the Geneva International Motor Show
Maserati has chosen the 86th Geneva International Motor Show to introduce the first SUV in its hundred-year history: the Levante.
As with many Maseratis from the past, the new car's name is inspired by a wind: the Levante is a warm Mediterranean wind that can change from a light breeze to an irresistible natural force in an instant, mirroring the character of the first Maserati SUV.
The Levante is the ideal complement to the Maserati range. Combined with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio, the range now covers the entirety of the global luxury automotive market.
Design, Exclusivity and Performance are the key characteristics for describing this new Maserati. Distinctively Italian in style, with breathtaking and iconic Maserati design features.
The interior has been created with the finest materials, most exquisite to the touch, from optional premium leather to Ermenegildo Zegna silk, made in Trivero by the Zegna wool mill with a patented process.
The spaciousness of the interior, enhanced by the panoramic electric sunroof, is combined with coupé-sleek external lines and the best aerodynamic efficiency in its category with a Cx coefficient of just 0.31.
The new Maserati SUV is based on the Quattroporte and Ghibli architecture, further evolved and refined to meet the expectations of this market segment, in which Maserati will compete for the first time.
The technology applied to every Levante is designed to offer outstanding performance both on- and off-road. Sophisticated suspension - double-wishbone on the front axle and multi-link on the rear, combined with electronically controlled damping, four corner air-springs providing 5 dynamic ride levels (plus one additional park-position), play an essential role in the car's handling.
Furthermore, with the lowest centre of gravity in its class, perfectly balanced weight distribution (50-50) between front and rear, high levels of dynamic torsional and flexional stiffness, and a mechanical self-locking rear differential as standard, when driven on-road, the Levante delivers all the performance and emotion typical of every Maserati.
The height-adjustment of the body position particularly useful in off-road driving guarantees ride comfort at the top of the category; when set to the minimum ground clearance, it enables the car to perform at its sporty best.
The Levante is fitted with a 3 litre V6 Twin-Turbo petrol engine with either 350hp or 430hp, and a 275hp 3 litre V6 Turbo Diesel. All engines are combined with the “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive system - which can transfer torque between the axles instantaneously when required - and an 8-speed automatic gearbox, with integrated Start&Stop System.
In terms of performance, the Levante S (430hp) covers 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, has a top speed of 264 km/h, and provides combined NEDC-cycle consumption and emission figures of 10.9 l/100 km and 253g CO2/km respectively. The Levante (350hp) accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds and achieves a top speed of 251 km/h, with combined cycle consumption and emission figures of 10.7 l/100 km and 249g CO2/km respectively. The Diesel-powered Levante (275hp) covers 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 230 km/h, while its combined cycle consumption and emission figures are 7.2 l/100 km and 189g CO2/km respectively.
The human-machine interface on board is based on an evolution of the Maserati Touch Control system, completely updated to offer even more functionality and convenience: the 8.4” high-resolution screen is capacitive, and can – in addition to the touch system - be operated using the new rotary control in the central tunnel.
A wide range of sophisticated advanced driver assistance systems is available, including adaptive cruise control with automatic Start&Stop function, forward collision warning, automatic brake assist system and lane departure warning. Further options include blind spot alert, surround view camera and a powerlift tailgate.
Two extended feature packs are available for the Levante, a Luxury-Package and a Sport-Pack; they each include a variety of distinctive stylistic and technical contents and enable customers to extensively personalise the exterior and interior of the Levante.
The list of accessories, tailored to the vehicle's high quality and functionality standards, offers a wider array of options than ever before which includes cargo solutions, useful everyday items and a variety of roof carrier or trailer options.
The Maserati Levante is built in a dedicated, completely refurbished and modernized area of the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line and the market launch is planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world.
The list price for the Swiss market, where the Levante has been launched, is 75.900 CHF.
By William Maley
If you have been wishing for a more powerful version of the Mazda Miata, your wish has come true. Although to get your hands on it, you'll need to visit a Fiat dealership. Fiat's performance division, Abarth introduced their version of 124 Spider at the Geneva Motor Show.
The Abarth 124 Spider begins outside with a new aero package, larger vents for engine cooling, blacked out hood, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior is swathed in Alcantara and Abarth badging.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Abarth claims a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. It should be noted the specs are for the European model. The U.S. model might have some slight differences.
Other changes include a mechanical limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers, Brembo brakes, and a new Record Monza exhaust system that is said to produce a “beautiful growling sound.”
The Abarth 124 Spider will go on sale this fall Europe with a base price of 40,000 Euros. No timeframe was given as to when we'll see it in the U.S.
Press Release is on Page 2
The new Abarth 124 spider
The new Abarth 124 spider aims at sweeping a new generation off their feet with its performance and technical DNA. It combines the authentic roadster experience packed with thrills, technology, safety and a touch of unmistakable Italian design. The car will be available in September with prices starting from €40,000 for all Europe.
The new Abarth 124 spider combines the great sensorial experiences of excitement and driving fun that only a spider can give. Developed with input from the Abarth Racing Team, the car exemplifies at best the distinctive Abarth values: performance, craftsmanship and technical excellence. It is the car that will bring back the smile on the driver’s face.
Rear-Wheel drive architecture with Mechanical Limited-Slip Differential
124 spider is designed for thrills and performance and has all the qualities needed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please drivers. For exceptional dynamism, the Abarth 124 spider is equipped with a sports mechanical Limited-Slip differential as standard to secure drive and traction in the most critical situations and provide incomparable dynamic behaviour.
Perfect weight distribution and lightweight design
Abarth 124 spider creates a new benchmark in the sporty roadster segment and this is confirmed in numbers. Much of the weight is concentrated between the axles and the engine is installed behind the front axle to guarantee agility and superior driving feel. Sophisticated mechanicals and the use of special materials have contained the weight to just 1,060 kilograms, which results in a weight-to-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP, the best in its category, and perfect 50/50 weight distribution in running order, which translates in great agility and performance. Taking on board the lessons learned through the Abarth racing series, the weight obsession pushed Abarth to eliminate gram by gram all possible weight: For instance, an active bonnet system was developed in order to comply with the strict passenger collision standards without damaging the weight coefficient or balance of the car. By using sensors on the cross-member and two pyrotechnic loads in the engine compartment, the system recognises danger and deploys in a few milliseconds to guarantee a safety gap and attenuate the collision against the bonnet.
Supercar mechanics and suspensions scheme
The suspension of the 124 spider has a high double-wishbone layout in front and a five-link set up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater braking and cornering stability. Steering ensures a great driving feeling with the use of a dual pinion electric power assist system.
The Abarth dynamic vehicle set-up ensures customers can get the most out of the rear-wheel drivetrain, always aiming for the true driving pleasure. Also the “Abarth by Bilstein” dampers, together with stiffened anti-roll bars, provide ultimate handling and driving comfort.
The Brembo braking system, with aluminium front callipers, guarantees very short braking distances and excellent resistance to brake fade, making the pedal always feel pleasant and safe.
Powerful engine and sporty gearboxes for an extraordinary driving experience
The Abarth 124 spider offered in the EMEA region is equipped with a powerful, reliable four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine. It delivers 170 HP (about 124 HP per litre) and 250 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8-seconds. Furthermore, the sound of engine really matters in an Abarth car, so the Record Monza exhaust come equipped as standard, generating a beautiful growling sound.
The spider is available with a six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox. The first is characterised by quick and accurate shifting with a short-throw, direct lever.
The Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox is the result of careful tuning to exploit all the engine torque and conveys genuine racing sensations. Using the lever or the paddles behind the steering wheel, shifting is extremely fast and the performance of the car is boosted even further by setting “Sport” mode on the driving mode selector.
Throttle-steer driving style
The Abarth 124 spider comes with state-of-the-art electronic devices and active safety features but to ensure the Abarth provides a proper race car feeling when driving on track, the new 124 Spider lets the driver disengage the electronic controls to experience the perfect mechanical balance and linear engine response, the trademarks of a genuine rear-wheel drive sportscar.
Officine Abarth: high technology, hand-crafted care
Officine Abarth, based in Mirafiori, is where the 124 spider emphasise the typical Italian art of driving.
The 124 receives a special treatment from Abarth technicians, who truly love cars. The Abarth people bring their values to an already great product, by fitting the Racing Anti-glare kit, a matt black treatment for bonnet and boot lid, the Racing Alcantara® Kit that contributes to elevate the overall interior quality, ensuring at the same time a proper sporting feel due to its dark finishing and grip.
The standard-fit Record Monza exhaust is also installed in Officine Abarth, to ensure outstanding engine performance and an unmistakable sound.
Each car is tested and certified by an Abarth technician who applies a metal plate showing the sequential number of each car to certify the exclusiveness of Abarth 124 spider. A unique number for a unique client.
Design true to the Abarth DNA
The design of the Abarth 124 spider reflects the superb mechanical layout of the car, a key element to achieve the perfect proportions for a sport car: A long bonnet to underline the importance of the engine and the powerful attitude of the car, reduced overhangs to emphasize its agile attitude, a cabin close to the rear axle to let the driver feel the road.
The passenger compartment-to-bonnet ratio is comparable to that of a racing car. A horizontal line rises from the front and stretches rearward to join with the rear line near the rear light cluster: this is an unmistakable reference to the classic 124 spider.
The design is all about performance: both the front bumper, with its larger air intake, and the rear bumper’s aerodynamic extractor were both shaped in the wind tunnel, as were the rear spoiler and wind stop which both contribute to improving air flow. The 17-inch alloy wheels, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are finished in “Forgiato Grey”, a colour selected to underline the bold, technical inclination of the car.
The original headlights together with the front hexagonal grille contribute to reasserting the car's bold personality. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine: this is a direct reference to the original 124 spider. The exclusive LED headlights and rear lights add expressiveness to the car, both during the day and at night. An important detail are the rear light cluster inserts in matching body colour which form a luminous ring-shaped surface.
The rear end of Abarth 124 spider is characterised by two elements: the swallow-tail section rear wings and the horizontal rear lights which pick up particular features of its classic predecessor. The shape of the rear bumpers with the upper surface jutting into the boot lid conveys a characteristic V-shape to the back of the car.
Five body colours are available: special solid "Turini 1975 White " and “Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, "Portogallo 1974 Grey" and “San Marino 1972 Black”. The nomenclature is a clear tribute to its prestigious success in rallying.
The Abarth DNA is also confirmed inside with an overall focus aimed at guaranteeing ideal ergonomics. The leather seats are supportive and very comfortable at the same time, and allow for a positive driving position as far back and as low as possible to better perceive any lateral movement of the car. Also, the controls are perfectly in tune with the car's sporty set-up: the position of the aluminium pedal board, the small-diameter steering wheel, the short gear lever and the start button on the dashboard all contribute to conveying a sporty driving experience. The instrument panel includes a large rev counter with red background arranged in central position.
Active and passive safety
The new Abarth 124 Spider is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art active and passive safety devices. In addition to the ABS, standard equipment includes the EBD, for adjusting front and rear brake force distribution so as to optimise braking distances and control in all load conditions of the car, and ESC for increased control in all driving conditions. It is useful in critical situations, e.g. on corners and mixed surfaces in presence of snow, ice and gravel. The ESC applies selective braking and acts on the accelerator to bring the car back on line if a difference between the driver's action and trajectory is detected. The ERM is an extension of the ESC system and exploits the sensors to calculate whether the car is approaching a potentially dangerous condition at risk of rolling over. It corrects the risk by applying the brakes separately and modulating the accelerator position as needed. It can be fully disengaged for track driving to allow the driver exploit the Abarth 124 spider’s outstanding balance and dynamic abilities to the full.
The three-point seat belts employ Constant-Force Retractors (CFR) to control the degree of force applied by the belt and then gradually release it in controlled manner.
The LED adaptive headlights are available to guarantee driving pleasure even in poor visibility conditions. They can be equipped with rain sensor and dusk sensor on demand.
Equipment: sportiness and comfort
The following details apply to the EMEA region and may vary according to the various market needs. See the www.fiatpress.com website for complete information.
The new Abarth 124 spider has a three-gauge instrument panel featuring a large rev counter in the middle, a speedometer on the right and a data display on the left allowing the driver to monitor all key driving information at a glance.
Standard equipment includes manual climate control system, stereo with four speakers, MP3 player and USB port, cruise control, adjustable and electrically-folded door mirrors.
Other features available on demand include the infotainment system with an ergonomic and intuitive knob on the central unit. According to the configuration, the system can feature a 7-inch colour display, satellite navigation system, DAB digital tuner, two USB ports, AUX input, Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera.
For superior sound quality, a Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers on both seats and a subwoofer, can be chosen.
By William Maley
Audi pulled the covers off the 2017 Q2 crossover today at the Geneva Motor Show. This new crossover is aimed at younger buyers living in urban areas and marks the beginning of an expansion for Audi's crossover lineup.
The first thing that is evident is that Q2's design wasn't born from the enlarge/reduce function on the copy machine. It looks slightly different from Audi's other crossovers. This is due to Audi's design boss Marc Lichte and his plan to make models look slightly different from each other. Up front is a large grille with an egg crate design for the insert and angled headlights. Around the side, Audi's designers took large, chamfered cut on the top off the doors to make the Q2 standout. There is also a low roof that merges into the C-Pillar with a set of color offset blades.
The interior is very reminiscent of the A3 sedan, meaning the layout is minimalist. Audi's MMI system comes standard and features the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Optional will be Audi's 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit that provides a digital instrument cluster and is able to bring up navigation and other items. Cargo space measures out 14.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 37.1 cubic feet with the seats down.
There will be a range of six engines - three gas and three diesels - ranging from 110 to 190 horsepower. A six-speed manual or Audi's S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission will be available on all of the engines. Front-wheel drive will come standard on the lower powered models while quattro all-wheel drive will be standard on the higher performance models.
On the safety front, the Q2 comes standard with automatic forward emergency braking. Optional is adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, and lane departure warning.
Audi says the Q2 will go on sale in Europe this fall. It is unknown if the Q2 will make it to the states.
Press Release is on Page 2
Stage debut: the new Audi Q2
Compact SUV has emotional, powerful design and high level of functionality Infotainment and assistance systems from the full-size class Engines from 85 kW (116 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp), quattro drive
Audi is revealing the new Audi Q2* at the Geneva International Motor Show. The compact SUV is an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, uniting a progressive design with a high level of functionality. Connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems are on level of full-size class.
“In the Audi Q2 we have developed a distinctively geometric form language with model-specific design characteristics. The car exhibits an independent character within the Q family,” says Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte.
The result: a powerful SUV that shows a lot of vertices and edges. At the front, a strong image is created by the Singleframe grille in octagonal design that is positioned high as well as large air inlets. Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with color offset blades. This contrast accentuates the sportiness of the Audi Q2. The rear body terminates in a dynamic way with a long roof spoiler and a diffuser that has an underbody-protection look.
In a side view, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching as are the concave flanks in the door area. The latter emphasize the wheel housings and thereby the quattro character of the compact SUV. The vehicle measures 1.51 meters (5.0 ft) tall and 1.79 meters (5.9 ft) wide. The overhangs are short with a vehicle length of 4.19 meters (13.7 ft) and a wheelbase of 2.60 meters (8.5 ft).
Technology from the full-size class
Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the full-size class – including the Audi pre sense front that is standard. The system recognizes critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up: adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and parking and cross-traffic assist rear.
The Q2 is equipped with a standard MMI screen that is positioned high on the instrument panel. The infotainment system can be operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the center tunnel. When MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is ordered, the user also gets a touchpad on the central control element. In addition, the system can be conveniently controlled by natural language operation and the integrated MMI search. A Wi-Fi hotspot enables surfing and streaming with mobile end devices. Furthermore, customers can use MMI touch to query the online services of Audi connect. The flat rate data plan required for this is included thanks to the SIM card (embedded SIM) that is permanently installed in the car. It also permits roaming in most European countries. Cell phones with iOS and Android operating systems are integrated into the car via the Audi smartphone interface. The free Audi MMI connect app enables online media streaming and transfer of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI. The app for iOS operating systems also has the myAudi destinations function. It makes it possible to send the data of a desired navigation destination from any app to the MMI navigation plus system. The system then uses it for navigation.
The Q2 fulfills fundamental expectations of an SUV with a high entry, good visibility and a large luggage compartment (405 to 1,050 liters (14.3 - 37.1 cu ft) of capacity). The highlight is that the driver’s seat position is sporty and low in relation to the steering wheel like in an Audi sedan. Optional practical solutions are available such as a power tailgate and a three-way split rear bench backrests with cargo through-loading.
The Audi Q2 is as individual as its drivers – inside and out. Many equipment packages, exterior colors and expressive colors for interior trim and seat upholstery allow plenty of creative space for personal configuration. One option is the LED lighting package, in which the interior is staged in a particularly attractive way with illuminated trim elements.
Drivetrain and chassis
The Q2 is launching with a selection of six different engines. Along with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder TFSI, two four-cylinder gasoline engines are being offered with 1.4 and 2.0 liters of displacement. In addition, three four-cylinder diesel engines are available with 1.6 and 2.0 liters of displacement. Their power output ranges from 85 kW (116 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp). As an alternative to the six-speed manual transmission, Audi also offers the S tronic dual clutch transmission with seven speeds for all engines. In the case of the top TDI and the 2.0 TFSI, a newly developed dual-clutch transmission is used, which has a new type of oil supply and reduced friction. Both engines may also be combined with a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system as standard equipment. Installed at the rear on the front-wheel drive versions is a semi-independent suspension, while the quattro models have a four-link suspension. Progressive steering is standard in all versions. It varies the steering gear ratio as a function of the steering input; the ratio is made more direct with large steering movements. Adaptive dampers are available as an option, as is the Audi drive select system with which drivers can set an individual characteristic for their Q2.
The Audi Q2 launches on the European market in autumn 2016. Ordering begins mid-year for the compact SUV.
By William Maley
Honda hasn't sold a Civic hatchback in U.S. since the 2001 to 2005 Si. Since then, Honda has only been giving us coupes and sedans. Europe meanwhile has been getting the Civic hatchback and it has grown into a sleek model that has many of us very jealous. But that will be changing with the next Civic hatchback. Honda has announced it would be coming to U.S. and we got our first peek into what it will look like at the Geneva Motor Show.
The Civic Hatchback prototype follows along the same lines as the Civic concept from last year's New York auto show with a sporty appearance - blacked-out trim pieces, center mounted exhaust, and large wheels. But the basic shape lines up very closely with the current Civic sedan and coupe with a similar front and rear styling.
Compared to the current Civic Hatchback, the Prototype is about 1.2 inches wider, 5.1 inches longer, and about a half-inch lower.
No details were given on powertrains, but we wouldn't be surprised if the hatchback comes with the 2.0L four-cylinder and turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engines for the U.S.
Honda will be building the Civic Hatchback at their Great Britain plant and export them to the U.S. later this year.
Album: Geneva Motor Show: Honda Civic Prototype
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