After the Fiat-Chrysler agreement, many asked themselves how much the deal was worth. Now, according to Chrysler president Bob Nardelli, Fiat is selling its know-how to Chrysler to the tune of ten billion dollars. In return, the Italian group will get a 35 percent stake in Chrysler shares.
In more Chrysler news, with an email adressed to employees, Nardelli has described as constructive the meeting with the task force set up by US President Barack Obama to supervise the restructure of the company. According to Nardelli, the government funds will help Chrysler to continue to act as a “stand-alone” company.
There are desirable cars and there’s the 8C Competizione – but Alfa Romeo’s designers have surpassed themselves with this dramatic soft-top version of their want-one supercar.
Boasting a folding fabric roof, the Spider is identical to the coupe model under the skin with a Maserati-sourced 4.7-litre V8, which sends 450bhp to the rear wheels through a six-speed paddle-shift gearbox.
Despite being ever-so-slightly heavier than its fixed-roof sibling, it should be just as fast with 0- 60mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 180mph. Like the hard-top, there’ll only be a limited run of models – just 500 in fact.
Sales start this summer with a price tag of £150,000.
Mercedes-Benz has released official information and a mega gallery of teaser and technical photos on its forthcoming SLS AMG supercar that will replace the outgoing SLR McLaren. This time, the German automaker has developed the SLS AMG in house as will part roads with McLaren with the end of the production of the SLR. Designed to revoke memories of Mercedes’ iconic 300 SL, the SLS AMG features an aluminum spaceframe body with gullwing doors while power will come from a front mounted 6.3-liter V8 engine from AMG delivering 571 HP.
The SLS AMG’s newly developed aluminum bodyshell comprises an aluminum spaceframe that helps keep the supercar’s weight low. In particular, Mercedes said that the planned DIN kerb weight of its new supercar will be around 1,620 kilograms or 3,671 lbs (excluding driver).
Powering the SLS is a front-mounted, AMG-tuned 6.3-litre V8 engine that achieves a peak output of 571 hp at 6800 rpm. This results to a power-to-weight ratio of 2.84 kg/hp comes. The naturally-aspirated eight-cylinder engine delivers maximum torque of 650 Nm at 4750 rpm.
According to Mercedes, the ‘Gullwing’ accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 315 km/h or 196 mph. Provisional fuel consumption for the SLS AMG is around 13.0lt per 100 kilometers or 18.09 mpg US.
The V8 engine transfers its power to the rear wheels through a new AMG dual-clutch transmission with seven gears that’s mounted at the rear. The driver has a choice of four different driving modes, ranging from comfortable to extremely sporty, as well as a RACESTART function. Traction comes courtesy of the mechanical differential lock, which is integrated in the compact transmission casing.
Stopping-power will be provided by high-performance composite brakes all-round while optional ceramic composite brakes with larger brake discs will also be available. The German supercar will be equipped with 19-inch light alloy wheels shod in 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear) tires.
Mercedes said that the testing phase of the vehicle will be complete by the end of 2009 with the ‘Gullwing’ launch set for spring 2010.
The Porsche Panamera will be available with powerful and efficient V8 power units, the choice of rear or four-wheel drive, and an interior design with a uniquely luxurious and high technology ambience.
The rear-wheel drive Porsche Panamera S is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox. The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch transmission is available as an option for £2,289. The Panamera 4S and Turbo have four-wheel drive and feature the PDK gearbox as standard. The active all-wheel drive system is controlled by Porsche Traction Management (PTM) via a multi-plate clutch that adjusts the engine power distribution between the front and rear axles for increased grip and agility.
The Porsche Panamera offers a unique symbiosis of sporting performance and sheer luxury. Every model offers a full leather interior, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Bi-Xenon headlights, rear ParkAssist, tyre pressure monitoring, automatic dimming rear view mirrors, Porsche Communication Management with touch-screen satellite navigation and audio controls, and a Bluetooth telephone module – complete with cordless handset for use by rear seat passengers.
The heated front seats fitted as standard in the Panamera S and 4S are of a sporting style, and can be adjusted electrically in eight different directions for optimum comfort. Adaptive sports seats with higher side bolsters are available as an option across the range.
Standard on all Panamera models is the ‘Sport’ button, which increases throttle pedal responsiveness, selects the ‘Sport’ suspension setting on the PASM, and the shift patterns of the PDK transmission, where fitted. Offered in combination with PDK is the new Porsche Auto Start/Stop function. This automatically switches off and restarts the engine when stationary to further reduce fuel consumption and emissions – for example, at traffic lights or in congestion.
The Panamera S and 4S have 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, with a choice of 19-inch and 20-inch alternatives available. The Panamera Turbo rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. As is typical of a Porsche, the braking system of the Panamera is designed to deliver a high level of stopping power. However, similar to all other Porsche models, the race-proven and highly efficient Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) option is also offered for the Panamera.
Additional features on the Panamera Turbo include PASM with an adaptive air suspension function that actively adjusts the ride height, BOSE® Surround Sound audio system with 14 speakers, metallic paint, multi-function steering wheel, heated rear seats and rear side airbags. Also, the 14-way electric front seat adjustment has a Comfort Memory Package for the various seat positions and the electrically adjustable steering column.
The Panamera offers comprehensive levels of active and passive safety across the range. In addition to Porsche Stability Management (PSM), there are driver and front passenger airbags, curtain airbags as well as – on the front seats – side and knee airbags, each ensuring maximum protection as standard features in the event of an accident. Rear seat side airbags are available as an option on the Panamera S and 4S.
A luxurious journey is guaranteed in any of the four seats in the Panamera but, for passengers in the rear, the option of electrically adjustable backrests, cushion length and lumbar support raises the standard further still. It is also possible to specify rear seat ventilation, and a comprehensive rear interior illumination package with high power reading lights.
For customers seeking the ultimate in-car audio experience, the Panamera is the first Porsche to offer the option of a High-End Surround Sound System from Burmester®, the renowned Berlin audio specialist. A total of 16 loudspeakers masterminded by 16 amplifier channels with an overall output of more than 1,000 watts provide a unique sound, complemented by an active subwoofer together with a 300 W Class D amplifier.
The superior, yet practical, driving qualities of the Panamera are borne out clearly by the luggage compartment. Opening the rear lid reveals a load capacity of 445 litres (15.6 cu ft) in the Panamera S and 4S. Maximum stowage in the Panamera Turbo is 432 litres or (15.1 cu ft). With the rear seat back rests folded, luggage capacity in all models increases to an ample 1,250 litres or 43.8 cu ft.
Every Panamera has the assurance of a Porsche Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), a sophisticated vehicle security package approved to Thatcham Category 5 standard, and customers will also be able to explore the potential of their new car by participating in a complimentary course at the new Porsche Driving Experience Centre, Silverstone.
Panamera S 4.8-litre V8
0-60mph 5.4 secs
Top Speed 176mph
Combined mpg 26.2
CO2 g/km 253
Panamera 4S 4.8-litre V8
0-60mph 5.0 secs
Top Speed 175mph
Combined mpg 25.4
CO2 g/km 260
Panamera Turbo 4.8-litre V8 twin-turbo
0-60mph 4.2 secs
Top Speed 188mph
Combined mpg 23.2
CO2 g/km 286
*all performance data refers to cars with PDK transmission
Alfa Romeo makes a triumphant return to the American market with their drop dead gorgeous 8C Competizione.