Auto News for Sept. 10

In the end the two auto titans just did not see eye to eye. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo will leave his post as chairman of Ferrari and be replaced by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. The two leaders could not agree on a future path for the legendary Ferrari brand with Marchionne wanting it to play a bigger role in Fiat’s move toward more luxury automobiles. Marchionne was also not happy with Ferrari’s performance in Formula One racing this year. Montezemolo served as Ferrari’s chairman for more than two decades, and it has been rumored in the Italian press that he might next head up the national airline.

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A BMW convertible for $38,850 sounds like a good deal. That is the base price of the just announced 2-Series drop top that will be sold in the U.S. as the 228i and the M235i.  A Track Handling Package will feature the Adaptive M Suspension, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on 18 inch light alloy wheels, variable sport steering and M Sport brakes. The fabric soft top is said to open in 20 seconds. The 228i will get a twin-scroll turbo four with 240 horsepower, 255 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 run in 5.7 seconds. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system will also be offered. One can move up to 320 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque by opting for the M Performance package with a twin scroll inline six. With a 6-speed manual 0-60 is achieved in just 4.8 seconds, its maker claims. Look for it in showrooms in early 2015.

Subaru has raised its 2014 sales forecast from 460,000 to 500,000 vehicles with sales expected to exceed the previous best selling year by more than 17 percent. It cited demand for the revamped Outback crossover and Legacy sedan.

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U2 – it is the name of a spy plane, Bono’s group and now a Toyota concept. Called the Urban Utility concept vehicle the squared off trucklet has a roof that can be rolled back, while the tailgate doubles as a loading ramp. Aimed at small business owners the U2 also has interior rail system that can be customized to meet various hauling needs. It is a product of Toyota’s Calty studio in California. Toyota will be testing public reaction.

 

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