• H&R-Sportfedern für den Mercedes GLA 45 AMG

    July 12, 2015

    Die Fahrwerksspezialisten von H&R nahmen sich unlängst den Mercedes GLA 45 AMG zur Brust

    Das 360-PS-Kompakt-SUV erhielt von dem Sauerländer Tuner einen auf die Seriendämpfer abgestimmten Sportfedersatz

    Die neuen Federn legen den GLA 45 AMG an der Vorderachse 25 Millimeter und an der Hinterachse 15 Millimeter tiefer. Kostenpunkt? 315 Euro

    Lennestadt, 10. Juli 2015
    Aktuell gelten Kompakt-SUV und Crossover-Modelle zu den besonders lifestyligen Fahrzeugen auf dem Automarkt. Mit dem GLA hat auch Mercedes einen solchen Vertreter im Programm. Die Fahrwerksspezialisten von H&R haben sich jetzt des Topmodells der Baureihe angenommen, des GLA 45 AMG.

    25 vorne, 15 hinten
    Die Ingenieure des Sauerländer Tuners haben jetzt einen Sportfedersatz für den 360-Turbo-PS-Mercedes entwickelt, der auf die Seriendämpfer des Kompakt-SUV abgestimmt wurde. Das Ergebnis soll der Optik ebenso wie der Fahrdynamik zugute kommen: Laut H&R erfolgt das Einlenken nun noch eine Spur direkter und die Neigung der Karosserie in schnell gefahrenen Kurven wird nochmals reduziert. Die Tieferlegung senkt den Fahrzeugschwerpunkt 25 Millimeter an der Vorder- beziehungsweise 15 Millimeter an der Hinterachse. Der Fahrkomfort des Schwaben soll dabei in vollem Umfang erhalten bleiben.

    Gutachten und Preise
    Die Lieferung erfolgt mit einem Teile-Gutachten für den TÜV. 315 Euro verlangt H&R für den Sportfedersatz. Der für die Sportfedern nötige Mercedes GLA 45 AMG schlägt dagegen mit mindestens 56.168 Euro zu Buche.

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  • FCA’s Marchionne: Maserati will take place of Ferrari

    July 12, 2015

    With Ferrari getting spun off of the FCA empire this year, CEO Sergio Marchionne is positioning Maserati to be the company’s new prestige brand.

    According to Bloomberg, Marchionne is seeking to double Maserati’s sales goals (to 75,000) and increase its profit margins to 15 percent (up from the current 10) by 2018. In comparison, Ferrari has a profit margin of 13 percent. “Ferrari’s power, prestige and profits have helped bankroll the more pedestrian Dodges, Jeeps, Fiats and Chryslers that account for most of [FCA's] revenue.” says the article. Incidentally, typical FCA margins over around 3 to 4 percent.

    However, after a highly publicized falling out with the ex-Ferrari chairman, Marchionne decided to spin off Ferrari, selling 10 percent of its stock in order to fund other business ventures. This removes FCA’s control over the exotic car maker, a position Fiat has held for 45 years. As a result, “Maserati becomes the most coveted, exclusive brand that we have,” says Marchionne.

    In contrast, Fiat has only owned Maserati since 1993. The goal of the company is to now boost sales by introducing new models like the Levante SUV and a new entry-level coupe. However, it must also balance that against brand exclusivity and dealers who have been seen as too aggressive with incentive discounts.

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia took only two and a half years to develop

    July 12, 2015

    Alfa Romeo’s new BMW 3-Series-fighting sedan, the Giulia, took only two and a half years to develop, the blink of an eye in auto manufacturing timelines.

    According to Car, it was FCA head honcho Sergio Marchionne that appointed chief engineer Philippe Krief to head a skunkworks team of 10 specialists to get the job done. This gave Krief, who was working on Ferrari at the time, the freedom to execute a single vision without the too-many-cooks paralysis that often befalls big companies.

    Krief recalls Marchionne’s phone call from April 2013. “You have to come and do the new Alfa, we have to do something totally different. So please take a bunch of guys, go somewhere and think about that. You have two years and two months!”

    The sedan was originally on track to be a front-wheel-drive platform to succeed the Alfa 159. That project was scrapped entirely in order to develop a RWD sports sedan in record time. Not only that, but Krief, who had previously worked on the Ferrari 458 Speciale, promises there will be a hint of prancing horse in the Giulia’s driving dynamics.

    Though the Giulia does utilize the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte platforms, the turnaround time was still extraordinarily quick. Typically, an automaker needs at minimum four years to develop a car.

  • Citroen teases China-bound 2016 C-Quatre

    July 12, 2015
    Paris-based Citroën has published a set of teaser sketches that preview the next C-Quatre. The sedan is being designed largely for the Chinese market.
    Aimed right at the Volkswagen Jetta, the C-Quatre is being developed jointly by Citroën and China’s Dongfeng Motors, one of its biggest shareholders. The sketches suggest that the sedan will eschew Citroën’s latest design language and instead adopt a more premium look characterized by sculpted body panels and a healthy dose of chrome trim.

    Inside, the C-Quatre gets a simple, minimalist yet elegant cockpit with rectangular air vents and faux aluminum trim on the center console. All told, the C-Quatre is shaping up to be a lot more upscale than the C4 hatchback sold in Europe.

    Mechanically, Citroën’s next sedan will use turbocharged three- and four-cylinder gasoline-burning engines sourced from the PSA Peugeot – Citroën parts bin. Front-wheel drive will be the only configuration available, and most models will ship with an automatic transmission.

    The next Citroën C-Quatre will make its official debut in the coming weeks, and it will go on sale across China before the end of the year. At the time of writing Citroën is not planning on selling the sedan in its home country, but there’s a small chance that it could join the company’s lineup in Spain.

  • 2006 Lamborghini Concept S to cross the auction block

    July 12, 2015
    The one-off 2006 Lamborghini Concept S is scheduled to cross the auction block in New York City this fall.
    Based on the Gallardo, the Concept S was initially presented to the public at the 2005 edition of the Geneva Motor Show as a simple design study devoid of all mechanical components. While it was instantly recognizable as a member of the Gallardo family, it stood out thanks to a pair of saute-vent windshields and a split cabin divided by piece of sheet metal called a spine in Lamborghini-speak.

    The Concept S generated a hugely positive response from the public and potential owners so Lamborghini built a second example that was fully functional and a little closer to production. The Sant’Agata Bolognese-based company initially planned on making 100 examples, but the production process turned out to be so long and expensive that production stopped after just a single example had been built.

    The one-off model is powered by a Gallardo-sourced 5.0-liter V10 engine that sends 520 horsepower to all four wheels. The odometer only reads about 110 miles but the naturally-aspirated ten-cylinder is said to be in working order.

    Sotheby’s predicts the Lamborghini Concept S will sell for anywhere between $2.4 and $3 million when the hammer drops on November 18th. Stay tuned to Leftlane for a post-auction update.

  • Mercedes-AMG teases 2017 C63 Coupe

    July 12, 2015

    Mercedes-Benz’s Mercedes-AMG sub-brand has published a batch of teaser shots that preview the next-gen C63 Coupe. The Stuttgart-based automaker’s next hot-rodded coupe will be presented to the public for the first time this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
    Aimed squarely at the BMW M4, the C63 Coupe will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine borrowed from the Porsche 911-fighting GT coupe. The standard C63 will pack 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque, while the more expensive C63 S will turn the dial up to 11 with 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque.

    Both engines will spin the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles. In its most powerful configuration, the C63 Coupe will be able to reach 60 mph from a stop in about 3.9 seconds before going on to a top speed of approximately 180 mph.

    The teaser images show that the C63 Coupe will get a race-inspired body kit that will add flared fenders and a model-specific front bumper with a splitter. The Coupe’s front fascia will be similar to the sedan’s, but the teaser images do a good job of hiding its overall silhouette and its rear end.

    After greeting the show-going public in Frankfurt, the next Mercedes-AMG C63 will go on sale across the nation early next year as a 2017 model. It will carry a premium over its four-door counterpart, which starts at $64,825.

    What’s next?

    Non-AMG versions of the Coupe will also be on display in Frankfurt. Official details haven’t been published yet, but expect a C400 Coupe powered by a 329-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and a mid-range C450 AMG model fitted with a 362-horsepower version of the six.