Newsflash: Ferrari komt met meer unieke modellen

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+++ With the refreshed AUDI A8 squarely in the rearview mirror, the German automaker is focusing on updating the smaller A6. However, Audi is hiding the new car’s new look under a pair of camouflage wraps, obscuring the changes. Unlike the A8, the A6 won’t have as radical of a redesign, and the A8’s refresh was tame. The headlights appear to retain their current shape, though they should have a new interior design signature. The front end could get a tweaked grille, redesigned intakes, and a massaged bumper. At the rear, changes will likely be even more subtle. There will be a restyled bumper and new taillight graphics. Inside, I expect Audi to make only a handful of small changes, and most of those will likely relate to the infotainment system. Audi’s subtle hand will also find its way to the engine bay, with the updated A6 continuing its use of the current crop of powertrains. The company could make a few tweaks to the engine lineup, but don’t expect any revelations when it debuts. The facelifted Audi A6 is expected to debut sometime next year and arrive as a 2023 model. +++

+++ BMW ‘s M performance division is reviving a historic logo and some of its most recognisable colour schemes to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. Ahead of the anniversary on 24 May next year, the brand has revealed that buyers of M Sport and full-fat M cars can have the traditional BMW roundel replaced with a version of the original BMW Motorsport emblem. This is said to be “a unique offer in the history of BMW M” and applies to cars ordered from March. This logo first appeared in 1973 as the year-old BMW Motorsport division first took to the track with its legendary 3.0 CSL. In 1978, a new logo featuring slanted stripes and a large M was introduced on the M1 supercar. Originally, the dark-blue element of the logo was a violet, which connected the blue (which “stands for BMW”) and the red, which symbolises racing. As well as the retro logo, M car buyers can specify their cars in an array of “historically significant” colours from the brand’s back catalogue. Some 50 colours are on offer, including Dakar Yellow, Fire Orange, Daytona Violet, Macao Blue, Imola Red and Frozen Marina Bay Blue. Prices have yet to be confirmed. M division boss Frank van Meel said: “With the classic BMW Motorsport emblem, we would like to share our joy about the anniversary of BMW M GmbH with the fans of the brand. We have a great year ahead of us, which will be celebrated with unique product highlights and exciting performances. The M has long been considered the strongest letter in the world, and in our company’s anniversary year, it’s stronger than ever”. The brand is aiming for another sales record in 2021 and has promised several important unveilings next year, including the new M3 Touring, a “spectacular special model of the BMW M4 Coupé series” (expected to be the hardcore CS) and the next-generation M2 Coupé. Also set for launch is the first electrified M car, which I expect to see in concept form next week. The ‘Concept XM’ SUV has been previewed ahead of its unveiling, suggesting it will take the form of a radically styled performance SUV with a hybrid powertrain. +++

+++ The FERRARI aytona SP3 is definitely one of the most exciting new cars from the automaker this year. The retro-inspired V12-powered sports car gives you a taste of classic Ferrari designs, reinterpreted for the future. It’s the third member of the Icona lineup, joining the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 that were revealed 3 years ago. If you like the Daytona SP3 as much as we do, you’ll love what Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s chief communications and marketing officer, said about upcoming Icona models. Galliera told that there are “4 or 5 potential concepts we could work on”. The idea to draw inspiration from iconic prototypes was from Ferrari’s head of design, Flavio Manzoni and as it turns out, he’s also one who’s pushing for more. “I have a special passion for this one”, Manzoni said. “There are many other intriguing concepts for the future. The richness of Ferrari is very high and the sky is the only limit”. While based on the evolved version of the LaFerrari Aperta’s chassis, the Daytona SP3 is not a supercar. That’s according to Ferrari chief technical officer Michael Leiters, who pointed out that the Daytona is focused on design rather than ultimate performance. When it comes to prolonging the V12 engine in the age of electrification through the Icona range, Lieters said that it’s a good opportunity that matches its customer’s requirements. He also added that it has a limited impact on CO2 emissions since the Icona range is constrained in production. “I personally believe we have to fight for this engine. From a technology point of view, it’s not the most efficient. A V8 turbo could make it better in terms of performance. But from an emotional point of view, it’s the best you can have. On power, 840 hp or on the Battista 1.900 hp, who cares? You get thrilled if you are a good driver with either. If you are a normal driver, you get scared if you put the pedal to the metal”, Lieters added in the interview. +++

+++ MAZDA is set to reveal a subtly revised version of its MX-5 sports car in the coming weeks. A potential update was hinted at on Mazda’s Japanese website, which confirmed that sales of the current MX-5 have been stopped in lieu of a reveal in the next few weeks. “With the exception of some specifications, sales of the current model have been discontinued”, the website said, translated from Japanese to English. “The announcement of the new model is scheduled for this winter”. Mazda has confirmed to Autointernationaal that the update is a simple model-year change, moving from model-year 2021 to model-year 2022, and the specification and technical levels will remain unchanged. That means significant tweaks to the design or powertrains currently on offer are not expected. It remains to be confirmed whether Mazda will update the MX-5’s infotainment to bring it into line with the newer 3, CX-30 and CX-5. Mazda hasn’t revealed any further official details, such as a launch date, but more information will be disclosed nearer to the model’s unveiling. While this appears to be a small update for the MX-5, a next-generation model is due to arrive around 2024 and is likely to retain petrol power rather than switch to an fully electrified powertrain. The firm’s design chief, Ikuo Maeda, previously suggested keeping the MX-5 as lightweight as possible was key in solidifying its future, a philosophy that would be hindered if heavy batteries were added to the model. “We want to look at the best powertrain to keep the vehicle lightweight, but because of the diversifying requirements and preference, we need to explore various options”, Maeda told, emphasising that the MX-5 should be a car that “people can own without worrying that they aren’t being eco-friendly”. +++

+++ PEUGEOT has updated its e-208 and e-2008 EVs for 2022, making some small mechanical and spec changes that have resulted in an increased driving range for both cars. From next year, the Peugeot e-208 will offer a maximum claimed range of 350 km according to the WLTP cycle, which is around 20 km more than before. Meanwhile, the e-2008 crossover’s range jumps by 25 km to a new claimed maximum of 335 km. Peugeot has optimised range by fitting ultra-low rolling resistance A+ class tyres, which create less drag and therefore use battery charge more effectively. As both cars share the same powertrain, the brand’s engineers have revised the set-up’s final drive so the models use less energy on faster roads. Ultimately, this means the motor doesn’t need to spin as fast to maintain motorway speeds, which is better for energy consumption. Lastly, Peugeot fitted the e-208 and e-2008 with a more efficient heat pump and a new humidity sensor at the top of the windscreen, which monitors the cabin atmosphere and automatically adjusts the heating system to protect the amount of energy in the battery. Both cars also feature the same 50 kWh battery and 136 hp electric motor as before, which means charging times will be identical. When connected to a 100 kW DC rapid charger, both cars will take on an 80 percent charge in around 30 minutes. A full charge using a 7 kW AC wallbox takes seven and a half hours. The updates are set to be rolled out in Europe from the beginning of next year. +++

+++ In 2017, PORSCHE teased an all-electric Cayman concept, positioning it as a stepping stone in its EV development journey. Now, less than 5 years later, there is mounting evidence that an all-electric Cayman (and Boxster) will become a reality. In a juicy new report, Porsche dealers told that the two 718 models would go all-electric around 2025. This isn’t the first we’ve heard of this possibly happening. Rumours that Porsche would electrify the next-gen Cayman and Boxster really started to emerge back in 2019, and the rumour mill hasn’t stopped churning since. One of the more recent reports noted that Porsche previewed the fully electric 718 with the Mission R Concept that debuted in September. The race-inspired concept wore a wide, Taycan-like front end, with an equally wide rear and a width-spanning taillight bar, which matches the description dealers are dishing. Dealers saw a Boxster that looked like a Taycan fastback, with a front-end design similar to the all-electric saloon and a full-width taillight setup. That doesn’t stray too far from September’s report about the potential new models. One dealer told that the Boxster “looks stunning” and “sporty-looking”. The report says that dealers were told that the all-electric 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster would debut around 2025, which fits with previous rumours and reports. The new 718 could have a staggered rollout, with the car debuting in 2024 before arriving in the US a year later, which has happened before. Porsche does have some hurdles to overcome before the all-electric two-door hits the streets. Porsche is allegedly developing a shortened version of its PPE platform for the model to help reduce its weight. Porsche has concerns about the model’s weight because batteries are heavy, and packaging an all-electric powertrain into a sporty, compact two-door will not be an easy task. However, Porsche seems quite confident that those hurdles will be behind it soon enough. +++

+++ The SEOUL MOBILITY SHOW , the only official motor show in South Korea, will kick off Friday simultaneously at Kintex in Goyang and Paju in Gyeonggi Province as well as Seoul, showcasing 18 new cars. According to the organizer for the show, the exhibition will continue until December 5 with over 100 automobile and mobility companies from six different countries taking part. The main exhibition at Kintex includes vehicles from Kia, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, BMW, Audi, Isuzu, Genesis, Porsche and Hyundai. Kia, Audi and Genesis have prepared test-drives for visitors, with new models including electric vehicles. Hyundai Mobis, an auto part maker under Hyundai Motor Group, plans to run a program for children to experience future mobility technology. Jeep will also set up a pop-up shop in Paju to introduce the All-New Grand Cherokee L and Wrangler 4xe. In Seoul, six mobility companies including Blue Shark and CoconutSilo will participate in exhibitions and hold experience-based events at the Janganpyeong Automotive Center. “We hope that the simultaneous hosting of the Seoul Mobility Show in Kintex, Seoul and Paju will be an opportunity for many people to experience the 10-day auto festival together. We will further expand various attractions and entertainment linked to major regional bases in the future”, said an organizer. +++

+++ In SOUTH KOREA , carmakers’ sales fell 22 percent last month from a year earlier as an extended global chip shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic continued to weigh on vehicle production and sales, industry data showed. The country’s 5 carmakers (Hyundai, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Samsung and SsangYong) sold a combined 548.192 vehicles in October, down from 705.047 units a year ago, according to data from the companies.Their domestic sales declined 21 percent to 106,424 units from 135.495, while overseas sales dropped 22 percent to 441.768 from 569.552 during the same period, the data said. Hyundai’s sales fell 21 percent to 307.039 units from 387.197 a year ago. Sales of its affiliate Kia’s declined 19 percent to 217.872 from 268.729 during the same period. +++

+++ The first official hints at a TOYOTA GR Corolla hot hatch have dropped in a cryptic social media post; so subtle it went unnoticed for nearly a month. The image, which was posted to Toyota USA’s Instagram account on October 26, appears to be an innocent press shot of the standard Corolla’s interior. However, users of Toyota enthusiast forums picked up on a number of details showing that it’s actually a teaser for the Gazoo Racing sub-brand’s second hot hatch. Key details that nearly went unnoticed include a message on the instrument cluster saying “G:16” where the time would usually be shown. It is understood that this is a reference to the GR Yaris’s G16E-GTS engine code for its turbocharged 3-cylinder unit. The GR Corolla (expected to go on sale in 2023) is tipped to be powered by that same 1.6-litre petrol engine, which puts out 268 hp in the Japanese-market GR Yaris. That power figure is also hinted at in the Instagram post, which shows the numbers 2, 6 and 8 displayed on the Corolla’s climate control dials. The biggest hint, however, is visible through the car’s passenger window in the image. It appears to be a prototype test mule for the GR Corolla, wearing the same camouflage pattern as worn by both the GR Yaris and GR86 during development. The shot is too far away to make out any detail, however. The final clue is buried in the Corolla’s sat-nav, which shows the car next to a road named “GR Four”. That is Toyota’s moniker for its performance all-wheel drive system, again used on the GR Yaris. The set-up uses limited-slip differentials on both the front and rear axles, combining with an electronically controlled centre differential. Expect the GR Corolla to launch with a similar system if this teaser is anything to go by. The only question mark is that the car in the image features an automatic gearbox. A European GR Corolla (if it came to the market) would come fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox, so it remains to be seen if this will be a US-only product. The image is the first time Toyota has seemingly referenced the GR Corolla through official channels. However, the brand filed a name trademark for ‘GR Corolla’ back in March 2020. +++

+++ Sales of VOLKSWAGEN ’s small sport utility vehicle T-Roc have been steadily growing since its launch in South Korea in January, the company said. The T-Roc version 2022 boasts enhanced features such as a 2-color design with a black roof, a new audio system and a new engine. Offered at a reasonable price around 20 million won ($16,800), T-Roc sales stand strong in the domestic small SUV market. The 2022 version comes in 6 body colors with a black roof and black side mirrors completing the stylish design. The prestige trim of T-Roc is also equipped with a Beats audio car sound system to offer the best driving environment for both driver and passengers. Volkswagen’s small SUV was also enhanced with a next-generation EA288 evo engine that uses twin dosing technology to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent compared to the previous engine. According to Volkswagen, its can produce 150 hp. Volkswagen Korea will also launch the Golf VIII, its iconic, global bestseller, along with a face-lifted Arteon in January. +++

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