Auto News for Feb . 22

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Maserati has released exterior pictures of its first Sport Utility Vehicle that will be on display at the Geneva show. The Levante will offer “on road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low grip surfaces and excellent off-road performance and ride.” The electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs can be set on several levels. All-wheel drive of course, and an 8 speed automatic transmission. The only thing mentioned regarding power is it will be available with both “petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant.” A formal launch is planned for this spring in Europe with the rest of the world later this year.

2017 Sportage

Kia’s all new 2017 Sportage will carry a starting price of $22,990, the company announced this morning. Kia said it will come with additional standard equipment including a 5-inch touchscreen and rear camera display on the base model. The top-of-the-line Sportage SX Turbo will carry a base MSRP of $32,500 with a 240 horsepower, 2.0 liter turbocharged engine. The Smart Power Liftgate will automatically open when the key fob is within three feet of the vehicle.

Ever walk through a museum featuring antique cars and wonder what was under the hood? Well the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, is lifting the hoods on 40 cars from its classic collection for a limited time only. Engines with two, four, six or eight cylinders will be exposed. The Detroit News said one of the earliest examples is a replica of the 1896 chain-driven Quadricycle powered by a 59 cubic inch, two cylinder engine rated at 4 horsepower. Also a ’32 Ford that was advertised at the time as the only car under $2,395 with a V-8 engine. My antique car expert has told me several times that the Henry Ford is a must if you are ever in the area, even in winter.

The auto world is still buzzing this morning over Denny Hamlin’s 0.010 second victory Sunday at the Daytona 500 over Martin Truex Jr. It was the closest finish in the long history of the Daytona race and to really believe it, you have to see the video of the finish. Downhill ski races frequently end with the winner up by fractions of a second, but not the big race at the now refurbished Daytona track. Wonder how Truex Jr. feels this morning?

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