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Saturday, 2 May 2009

Check a possible Fiat-Chrysler sedan created by Jorge L. Fernández

After we have presented you to a possibility of the future Fiat-Chrysler compact sedan created by Rodrigo Bruno, some other designers also came up with ideas, but none has been so interesting so far as Jorge L. Fernández's, from Area 75. He has even come up with a name suggestion: Chrysler Shadow. Would that be a shadow of Bravo or Alfa Romeo Milano, cars that already use the FAT C-Evo platform? We hope not.

In fact, Fiat has to improve the quality of its products a great deal in order to attract North-American customers. This is what some satisfaction indexes point out in Europe. And the Italian carmaker is already aware of that, if its experience with Alfa Romeo in the USA in the 1990's has taugh the company anything. For the sake of Chrysler and Fiat, that's highly advisable.

Source: Area 75

Friday, 1 May 2009

GTA Motor reveals the new Spano, a Viper-powered Spanish supercar that also runs on ethanol

Spain is getting used to the world of supercars. After it has presented the a.d. Tramontana, the country now counts on the race team GTA Motor to present the new Spano, a car that promises a fantastic performance, beside the conservative, but gorgeous design.

The new GTA Spano is 4.65 m long, 1.98 m wide, 1.20 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.80 m. Although it is only a two seater, the large wheelbase is also due to the big engine the carbon fibre structure has to hold, nothing less than the 8.3-litre V10 that powers the Dodge Viper. The engine is installed behind the seats and is exposed by a translucid hood. As if it was not enough, the super engine is supercharged in order to produce 780 bhp at 6,300 rpm. With that, the car, which weighs only 1,350 kg, reaches a top speed beyond 350 km/h and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 s.

At a cost of 600,000 euros each, GTA Spano will have only 99 units produced. But this is not the most extraordinary thing about this car. Optionally it will be able to run solely on ethanol, what increases maximum power to 840 bhp at 6,250 rpm. Perfomance numbers have not been disclosed, but expect them to be better than on the petrol version of the car.

Source: GTA Motor via Autoblog

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Wiesmann GT MF5 will be the official safety car for the FIA GT Championship

Whenever we watch a car race, we may get the idea safety cars are slow, but is quite unfair. They must keep a good pace in order for the competition vehicles not to get their tyres colder and to lose grip, what is also a safety matter. This may be a good reason for Wiesmann to put its wonderful GT MF5 to be the FIA GT Championship safety car.

The GT MF5 will be the safety car in all eight races of the championship, which includes machines such as Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati. Wiesmann does not fear these vehicles: it is equipped with the M5 engine, a 5-litre V10 that offers the rear wheels of the car 507 bhp.

Source: Wiesmann

Chrysler and Fiat get together; Cledorvino Belini may head new company

Fiat is not exactly in a comfortable position. In fact, few, if any automakers, are. This is why most of them are studying ways to get together with others and join forces. Fiat's golden opportunity has arised with the world financial crisis. The company intended to have a participation in the North American market. And there is not a better way to do so than making an alliance with a North American carmaker. Chrysler, in this case.

These companies have complementary ranges and Fiat has the kind of technology that matters to Chrysler: how to produce light and fuel-saving vehicles. Fiat also has the guy who knows how to produce these cars: Cledorvino Belini, CEO of Fiat's operations in Brazil.

Belini has conducted Fiat to a very successful operation in Brazil, where the Italian company leads overall vehicle sales for seven consecutive years. Quick decisions, fast vehicle development, efficient suppliers management, cars that offer good value for money and lean production are some of the qualities Fiat presents in Brazil. Since Chrysler needs a similar recipe to recover, and Belini has the confidence of Fiat's world CEO, Sergio Marchionne, we may hear his name quite often in the next few months.

As for Fiat and Chrysler, reports state they have created an alliance, but in fact a new company has been created. This new company will run Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep and will be managed by Fiat, once Bob Nardelli and Tom LaSorda have stepped down from their positions in the company. Nardelli will act in Cerberus as an advisor.

Chrysler has not avoided filing for Chapter 11. Some of its creditors did not want to negociate, what, in the end, will be worse for them. Now the company counts with legal protection and will not have to negotiate anything, only say what it can do or not. Creditors, at least for now, will just have to accept.

Even though it seems nice for Chrysler, it is not. Their main stake, buyers' confidence, may drop in a menacing way. This is why Barack Obama himself said Chrysler cars will have the backup of the USA government.

Car production in the USA will be suspended from Monday, May 4, until all details of the new company are revealed. An important part of it has already been divulged: 55% of the company's shares will be in the hands of VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) 10% with the governments of USA and Canada and 20% with Fiat. The other 15% will also go to Fiat if the company manages to fulfill these requirements:

* 5% if it provides Chrysler with a car that is able to reach 17 km/l to be produced in the USA (this car has already been confirmed to be the 500);
* 5% if it offers a fuel-efficient family of engines to be produced in the USA (FIRE engines, already confirmed by Fiat) and;
* 5% if it opens its dealers doors all over the world for Chrysler to export its vehicles.

This is a step Fiat is already taking care of. Dodge Dakota units have been seen in Betim by the blog Autos Segredos, where the Italian automaker controls what is about to become the biggest car-producing plant of the world, with a capacity of 800,000 every year. Since Fiat does not produce pick-up trucks, this is the right product to sell in South American markets.

If Fiat manages to lower Chrysler debts with the USA to US$ 3 billion or less, it will be eligible to acquire an additional 16% equity interest from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016, what will leave the company in the position of holding 51% of all shares. Anyway, Fiat will be limited to 49% of all shares until all loans granted by the US Treasury have been paid.

Besides that, all financing operations from Chrysler will be performed by GMAC, what will keep cars accessible to those that still have their jobs. Let's just hope Fiat and Chrysler manage not only to keep the ones that already exist, but that they help create new ones.

Source: Chrysler

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Mercedes-Benz F-CELL Roadster repeats Bertha Benz's historic journey

Cars have always had to prove they were a good choice. If it weren't for Bertha Benz, married to Carl Benz, they might not even have existed. Mrs. Benz, in 1888, took her two sons with her in the first long journey on an automobile, the Patent Motor Car, invented by Carl Benz in 1886 and considered to be the first car of the world. The trip was from Mannheim to Pforzheim, a distance of more than 106 km. We can consider that to be the first steps of the automobile. Now, in order to pay homage to that historic trip, Mercedes-Benz has put its F-CELL Roadster to repeat the same journey. And there are lots of similarities.

Just like combustion engines at that time, the fuel cells that power the F-CELL Roadster are trying to prove efficient, affordable and safe to customers and to the automobile industry as well.

Berthe did not have petrol stations to refuel her Patent Motor Car at the time. She had to buy Ligroin, the name petrol received back in 1888, in drugstores. The first one was in Wiesloch, and that drugstore, Stadt Apotheke, is still running, proud to be called the first gas station of the world. Fuel cells also need hydrogen refilling stations, something that tends to be more complicated than dealing with petrol.

Patent Motor Car was controlled by a stick, just as F-CELL Roadster. The difference is that there are no mechanical links between the stick and the wheels of the car in F-CELL Roadster. Drive-by-wire technologies, already used in airplanes, have to prove safe on automobiles, too.

The F-CELL Roadster has been created by more than 150 trainees from Daimler AG and is able to reach a top speed of 25 km/h, possibly because it would not brake in a safe way with these narrow bicycle wheels. It may not be fast, but it can go far away, more specifically 350 km, powered solely by its fuel cells, able to produce 1.2 kW.

Source: Daimler AG

Ford Fusion Hybrid reaches 2,326.6 km, or 36.1 km/l, on a fuel tank

Who would not like to have a midsize sedan able to run up to 2,326.6 km on a full fuel tank? North American customers have that option. And its name is Ford Fusion Hybrid. It has established this exact mark with the help of a team composed by Carl Edwards, the man that has flown (literally) in the last NASCAR race, and Wayne Gerdes, currently the best man in the world to take a car to its limits in what relates to fuel consumption.

Considering Fusion has a fuel tank of 64.4 l, it has managed to reach a fuel economy of 36.1 km/l. It is a mark that few production cars have ever reached, if ever, even considering the microcars, such as smart fortwo. It is a pity this vehicle is only available in the USA. Many other markets are willing to have a vehicle that is able to reach these numbers, and it does not matter they were achieved by very experienced drivers, with special techniques Ford calls Eco-Driving and which are as follows:

* Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure;
* Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking;
* Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions;
* Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear;
* Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine;
* Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag;
* Applying the "Pulse and Glide" technique while maintaining the flow of traffic;
* Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle's kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed; and
* Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum.

Nice tips for you to follow if you have the patience to do so.

Source: Ford

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Will Chrysler's compact sedan look like this? Will there be a Bravo Sedan?

News are that Chrysler is so confident in a partnership with Fiat it has even presented future common products with the Italian automaker to its dealers. One of these new vehicles would be a sport sedan. Compact, for North American customers, mid-sized, for the rest of the world, it would be built over the FAT C-Evo platform, the same one used by Fiat Bravo, Lancia Delta and the future Alfa Romeo 159, Milano and Giulia. That made us wonder what would this car look like and the designer Rodrigo Bruno gave us a hand in figuring it out. In fact, he gave us a rendered speculation that may turn into a real product. Both for Chrysler and for Fiat.

The Italian automaker was confident Fiat Linea would be accepted by many markets as a contender against Honda Civic and other sedans, but the fact it Linea is widely seen as the (gorgeous) sedan version for Grande Punto. Therefore, people expected it to be cheaper. A Bravo Sedan, specially in developing countries, would solve the matter right away.

Meanwhile, let's see if Fiat and Chrysler really can reach an agreement. If they do, Bruno's suggestion may be in the dealers in a few years from now.

Source: Rodrigo Bruno

SPY PHOTOS! - Citroën already tests the C3 Picasso in South America disguised as C3

When Gustavo Rodrigues Carvalho sent us these pictures, he was in doubt about what this car would be. "If we pay careful attention, it is easy to see the tracks are bigger! Can it be the next C3 in tests?", he has asked us. The rear and front tracks of the car are really bigger, hence the extensions on the fenders. The explanation for that is simple: these cars (more than one in the pictures) are not C3 units, but C3-mules used to hide the real car, the new C3 Picasso minivan. It was expected to be presented in Brazil in 2009, but, since it is still riding with the help of mules, development must take a little more to be completed. South American readers show wait for the car by 2010.

The new minivan uses the same platform used by 207 (the real one, sold in Europe) and is 4.08 m long, 1.73 m wide and 1.62 m tall, with a luggage compartment of 500 l. In Brazil, it should be equipped with 1.4-litre engines, pumping out 80/80 bhp (petrol/ethanol), and 1.6-litre units, able to generate 110/113 bhp (petrol/ethanol).

The small minivan will be the first vehicle of the new small range from Citroën. After it we can expect to see a hatchback based on the concept car DS Inside, a small sedan and a crossover based on C3 Picasso.

If you manage to find and photograph a new car running around, disguised or not, and want to share you finding with us, do not hesitate to contact us andsend us your pictures. Please do not forget to authorise us to publish them. We will be glad to share them with our other readers, as we have done with Carvalho's picture!

Source: Gustavo Rodrigues Carvalho via MotorDicas

Bewerp Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS makes successful premiere in Monaco

Last January we have first spoken about Bewerp Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS, a supercar made in the Netherlands that promises to blur lots of definitions. It has also promised to make its first appearence at AutoRai, as well as to show up in Top Marques Monaco. So far, it has fulfilled all of them.

This is the first image we have of the car ready to run. "It's a driveable prototype, almost fully functional. This summer we'll
be testing it", said Emile Pop, one of the creators of the car, to MotorTips. These tests will surely be a lot of fun, besides the hard work involved, due to what power this machine.

The engine this supercar has is the same one used by Corvette Z06, a V8 LS7 equipped with a supercharger. It is possible that Bewerp decides to replace it with the LS9 engine, used by Corvette ZR1, but Bewerp may want to keep the output in 601 bhp at 6,200 rpm and 750 Nm at 4,800 rpm. Savage is a rear-wheel drive car, with an automatic transmission.

When it comes to its body, it is made of carbon fibre and is mounted over a spaceframe chassis, what assures this car is as light as it could be. We have mentioned it will blur concepts and it will start that with the fact it is a supercar, but it is also a four-door coupe, what could make it be mistaken for a GT. It will also be a coupe cabriolet, or else, a hardtop convertible. "The roof will be a non foldable three-panel sliding hardtop", said Pop. It will probably be the first series production four-door coupe to bring a retractable hardtop.

Besides that, as if it was not enough, all doors are scissor doors. The front ones open in the traditional way and the back doors are what we call suicide doors. They rise from the middle of the car to the back.

Bewerp Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS will have 20 units produced, but two of them have already been reserved. Considering the car will cost something between 600,000 euros and 700,000 euros, depending on what the customer requests, it is quite an accomplishment. Probably the first in many to come. "If this will succeed we'll produce a couple of special edition's and, after that, the future will tell. We have some special projects on the design table", said Pop. We cant't wait to see them.

Source: Bewerp