It’s a bittersweet moment for Alfa Romeo enthusiasts in North America as the Italian automaker announces the end of sales for its high-performance Quadrifoglio models, scheduled to cease production in June of this year.
Larry Dominique, Alfa Romeo’s senior vice president for North America, shared this news on LinkedIn, advising interested buyers to place their orders soon to acquire a Giulia or Stelvio Quadrifoglio before they’re no longer available in their current form.
Dominique emphasised that this isn’t the end of the story for Alfa Romeo, hinting at the brand’s transition to an electrified future. The final opportunity to order a 2024 Giulia or Stelvio Quadrifoglio will close at the end of April 2024, with the last internal-combustion-powered Quadrifoglio models for the U.S. and Canada exiting the Cassino plant in June 2024.
In response to shifting consumer demands, particularly towards electric vehicles, Continental, a major German auto supplier, has announced plans to reduce its global workforce by 7,150 jobs by 2025.
The job cuts, affecting various areas of the company, will see 1,750 positions eliminated from research and development, with an additional 5,400 job cuts as part of a previously announced cost-cutting program.
Philipp von Hirschheydt, Continental’s automotive chief, emphasised that the restructuring aims to prioritise investments in future technologies for software-defined vehicles. The company remains committed to supporting affected employees by seeking suitable solutions.
Reports from some Tesla Cybertruck owners have emerged, suggesting that their vehicles are showing signs of rust after exposure to rain. On the Cybertruck Owners Club forum, a member shared their experience of picking up their truck on February 1st, accompanied by a warning from an advisor about potential rusting issues due to rain. The forum post highlighted concerns about rust development, which seemingly contradicted the expectation of rust resistance associated with stainless steel, the material used for the Cybertruck’s body.
He further noted that their Cybertruck began exhibiting rust spots after just two days of exposure to rain. Photos shared by the user purportedly depicted small rust specks on the stainless-steel body.
According to Mead Metals, a metal services company based in Minnesota, stainless steel can indeed rust under specific environmental conditions, primarily as a result of water exposure but also due to contact with harmful chemicals, saline solutions, grease, or prolonged heat exposure.
The manual transmission, once a staple of driving enthusiasts, is facing a dwindling presence in the automotive market. BMW’s M division, one of the few brands still offering manual options, has hinted that this choice may soon disappear.
In an interview, BMW board member Frank Weber acknowledged that the demand for manual transmissions is shrinking. He noted that while these manual M models are enjoyable to drive, the diminishing sales volumes make it impractical to continue developing them. Weber advised potential buyers interested in manual M cars to make their purchase soon, hinting at the impending discontinuation of these models.
The Mitsubishi Pajero, a nameplate with a storied history, may soon make a comeback, offering a glimmer of hope for the Mitsubishi brand amidst its ageing lineup. While not as headline-grabbing as the return of the Toyota MR2, the revival of the Pajero could signal a significant step forward for Mitsubishi.
Reports from Japan suggest that Mitsubishi is considering reintroducing the Pajero as a modernised, Japanese counterpart to the Land Rover lineup. Initially, the company explored the idea of basing the new Pajero on the Triton’s ladder frame but ultimately determined that it couldn’t achieve the desired level of comfort with this platform. Instead, Mitsubishi has shifted its focus to the electrified platform developed in collaboration with Renault Nissan Mitsubishi, the same platform slated for the next-generation Outlander.
The Lotus Emeya hyper-GT has completed the final stage of its intensive global test and development program in one of the world’s harshest environments.
Over the winter, the all-electric grand tourer underwent testing in Ivalo, Finland, where temperatures dropped as low as -25 degrees Celsius. To further challenge the Emeya, the car was subjected to a local automotive ‘freezer,’ enduring temperatures as frigid as -40 degrees Celsius. This rigorous testing represents the culmination of a thorough three-year development program spanning 15 countries across two continents.
The testing regimen encompassed diverse terrain and conditions, including the challenging B-roads of the UK, the high-speed autobahn in Germany, the Alpine passes, and the remote landscapes of Inner Mongolia. Track testing at iconic venues like the Nürburgring Nordschleife and proving grounds such as Nardò in Italy ensured the Emeya’s performance across a wide range of scenarios.
Throughout the testing process, engineers focused on various aspects of the Emeya’s performance, including chassis systems, tyre development, driver assistance functions, battery usability in extreme weather, and thermal management systems. The goal was to ensure that the Emeya delivers optimal driving dynamics and comfort in all conditions.
Two types of testing were conducted: controlled testing, which maintains consistent conditions for precise evaluation, and real-world testing, which validates the controlled results in diverse environments and driving situations. Emeya’s development prioritised meeting global regulatory standards while staying true to Lotus’ DNA of engaging, desirable, safe, and predictable performance.
As an all-electric grand tourer, the Emeya boasts advanced control systems and four-wheel drive, ensuring stability, handling, and control even in extreme weather conditions. Customers can remotely prepare their Emeya using the Lotus App, adjusting cabin temperature, heated seats, and steering wheel to their preferences before entering the vehicle.
Additional features, such as heated side cameras and mirrors, and a specialised Snow Mode for the 55-inch head-up display, enhance visibility and comfort in wintry conditions. With its comprehensive testing and advanced features, the Lotus Emeya is poised to redefine the grand touring experience for customers worldwide.
Ford has once again teamed up with M-Sport’s road-going division, MS-RT, to introduce the highly anticipated Ranger MS-RT, signalling a significant addition to the European pickup market. Set to be available at Ford Pro dealerships, this customised pickup is slated to hit European roads later this year, sparking considerable excitement among enthusiasts.
Drawing inspiration from the Ranger’s racing counterparts in Asia, the Ranger MS-RT boasts a bold and aggressive stance. With its redesigned front end featuring distinctive bodywork, honeycomb grille, and integrated splitter, the pickup commands attention on the road. Its widened body by 82mm and flared arches amplify its presence, making a powerful statement. At the rear, a purposeful diffuser and subtle ducktail spoiler add to its aerodynamic profile, enhancing its sporty allure.
Enhancing its performance credentials, the Ranger MS-RT features specially tuned, firmer suspension, lowering the ride height by 40mm for improved handling dynamics. Rolling on 21-inch diamond-cut wheels wrapped in low-profile tires, it delivers both style and performance.
Hans Schep, general manager of Ford Pro Europe, describes the Ranger MS-RT as the “ultimate street truck,” offering a unique proposition in the European pickup segment. Despite its sporty character, it maintains its practicality, retaining a one-tonne load-carrying capacity and 3,500kg towing capabilities. Under the hood lies a robust 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, delivering 236bhp and 600Nm of torque to all four wheels through a seamless 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Inside, the cabin blends luxury with sportiness, featuring faux leather upholstery accented with special blue stitching and MS-RT badging. The ‘sports steering wheel’ with a blue 12 o’clock marker enhances the racing-inspired ambiance, ensuring an engaging driving experience.
With its fusion of performance, style, and practicality, the Ranger MS-RT is poised to captivate pickup enthusiasts across Europe.
The fully electric Mini Cooper offers a modern, eco-friendly driving experience while staying true to the brand’s hallmark driving pleasure. As part of the revamped Mini model lineup, the Mini Cooper E is presented in four redesigned trims, each offering its unique appeal. The Classic Trim, for instance, showcases expressive body colours and contrasting roof finishes, with the iconic Mini three-door model appearing particularly striking in Sunny Side Yellow, paired with a contrasting white roof and mirror caps.
Inside the Classic Trim, the cockpit surfaces are adorned with two-tone black and blue knit material, creating a stylish contrast against the high-quality synthetic leather seats made of Vescin, available in grey or black with a perforated houndstooth pattern.
Mercedes-AMG is set to captivate enthusiasts with the unveiling of a stunning special model for the A 45 S 4MATIC+, aptly named the “Limited Edition”. The price for the extensive additional equipment is €14,280.00 (RM73,176.85) and will hit the market in April 2024, with the offer extending until the end of the year.
The defining feature of the “Limited Edition” is its exclusive paintwork in “AMG green hell magno”, a striking colour previously unavailable for the compact class. Adorned with eye-catching foiling featuring the AMG logo and prominent “A 45 S” lettering on the doors, as well as the AMG crest on the bonnet, this edition rides on matte black 19-inch AMG forged wheels in a seven-twin-spoke design. Yellow accents highlight the rim spokes, complemented by glossy black brake callipers with white AMG logos. Adding to its allure, the “Limited Edition” boasts refined details such as an exclusive fuel cap with the AMG logo and a light projector that illuminates the AMG coat of arms onto the ground upon entering and exiting the car.
Enhancing its appeal further, three equipment packages elevate the “Limited Edition”. The AMG Night Package features striking black and high-gloss black design elements, including the front splitter, exterior mirror housings, and beltlines, along with thermally insulating dark-tinted window surfaces from the B-pillar. The AMG Night Package II is highlighted by darkened struts on the radiator trim and black chrome typography on the front fenders and tailgate, as well as exclusive black door handles and Mercedes stars in the wheel hub caps. The AMG Aerodynamics Package, developed in the wind tunnel, includes special add-on parts and a fixed AMG rear wing to increase contact pressure and enhance driving characteristics at high speeds.
Inside, the “Limited Edition” showcases distinctive design elements, including black AMG performance seats upholstered in a combination of Artico man-made leather and Microcut microfibre, accented by yellow decorative stitching. The AMG performance steering wheel, aluminium trim elements with AMG pattern, and illuminated AMG door sills further elevate the interior ambiance. Completing the upgrades are AMG floor mats with “45 S” lettering and yellow decorative stitching.
Under the hood, the A 45 S 4MATIC+ packs a punch with its 421hp output, sprinting from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds, with a top speed limited to 270km/h. The AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine offers spontaneous response, while the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with AMG Torque Control enhances dynamic driving with its variable distribution of driving force between the front and rear axles, as well as selectively between the left and right rear wheels.
Audi enthusiasts are in for a treat as the brand teases the highly anticipated new Audi S3, accompanied by camouflaged photos showcasing both the Sportback and Saloon variants. Powered by a robust 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, the S3 promises nothing short of an exhilarating driving experience, boasting 328hp and 420Nm of torque at your command.
Thanks to recent enhancements, the 2.0-litre TFSI four-cylinder engine receives a notable boost, delivering an additional 23hp and 20Nm of torque. This ensures abundant power for dynamic drives, with robust pulling force and spirited acceleration available across a wide RPM range from 2,100 to 5,500rpm. Accelerating from 0-100km/h takes a mere 4.7 seconds, with the top speed gracefully capped at 249km/h.
Adding to the excitement, the turbocharger receives a pre-boost, ensuring rapid and smooth power delivery. Whether cruising or gently accelerating, the turbocharger maintains a steady spin, guaranteeing a consistent stream of power. Moreover, with the throttle valve remaining open during high-performance moments, drivers can anticipate enhanced engine responsiveness.
The extended duration of the throttle valve’s openness translates to accelerated torque delivery, resulting in an even livelier engine response, particularly noticeable in dynamic mode or with the new dynamic plus profile engaged.
Equipped with a torque splitter, the Audi S3 promises enhanced agility and stability, complemented by larger brakes and performance tyres to elevate handling prowess. Furthermore, a sportier transmission featuring Audi’s seven-speed S tronic transmission adds to the driving thrill, promising seamless gear shifts and heightened performance on every journey.
More information will be available when the Audi S3 makes its official debut.