Auto News for June 29

Fiat will spend the holiday weekend introducing a new 500 model on the 4th. The rumor mill indicates that it will be larger than the current offering with a new and improved interior with a touch screen. In May, Fiat sales fell 19 percent here in the states, but rose 4 percent in Europe.

Fiat Chrysler is advising approximately 65 SUV owners in the U.S. to stop driving their vehicles. They are being recalled because they may have been equipped with improperly heat-treated suspension components that could lead to breakage, rear-end instability and/or reduced braking power. The company said it is unaware of any injuries or accidents. Many of the affected 2016 Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models are still on dealer lots, the company said.

This seems to be FCA’s morning. The company will delay the introduction of a redesigned Grand Cherokee to late 2018 or early 2019, according to Automotive News. It was originally scheduled to have its coming out party in late 2017. No reason was given for the delay.

Aston Martin Vulcan

Aston Martin’s track-only Vulcan with its 800-plus horsepower was one of the hits at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Great Britain. The all-carbon fiber Vulcan, (what a great name) sports a 7.0-liter V12 that will top out at 200 mph, not to mention a predicted 0-60 run of under three seconds.

Lotus 3-11

Lotus, yes they are still around, used the festival to show off a limited edition 3-Eleven in two model lines, one for the road and one for the track. Production will begin next February but will be limited to just 311 vehicles total. The race version can sprint to 60 in under three seconds, while the road version has a top speed of 174 mph. In keeping with Lotus tradition this is a very light weight sports car and is powered by a V6 supercharged engine good for 450 horsepower. There was no word if a 3-Eleven or two might show up here in the U.S. for a run to 7-11.

Sharapova Porsche

And tennis star Maria Sharapova took a mid-engine Porsche Boxster Spyder out for a test drive. At the conclusion she proclaimed the car was “huge fun’ and “I need to get one.” The Boxster has a top track speed of 180 mph and a 0-60 time of just 4.3 seconds backed by a 375 hp six with 309 lb-ft of torque. And stick shift only, by the way. It is expected to arrive in this country in October.

Audi, or at least parts of it, may go to the moon. It has joined an effort to land an unmanned rover on the lunar surface nearly 45 years after Apollo 17 completed the last manned mission there. The goal is to land in exactly the same spot. Audi is supporting the effort using technology from Quattro all-wheel drive to electric mobility and piloted driving. “The concept of a privately financed mission to the moon is fascinating,” said Luca de Meo, Audi Board Member for Sales and Marketing.




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