Monday, January 28, 2013

Lamborghini has announced a new GT3 motorsport program

Lamborghini (Photo credit: racin jason)

Automobili Lamborghini has announced a new GT3 motorsport program. The long-term agreement will commence with a new car for the 2013 and 2014 seasons: the Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2, developed by Reiter Engineering in cooperation with Lamborghini’s R&D motorsport department.

Based on the new Gallardo MY13, a focus of the new GT3 FL2’s development is on long-distance performance and includes ‘24-hour’ brakes, improved engine cooling and reduced fuel consumption. The car features a highly efficient aero kit, a new front splitter, a rear carbon diffuser based on that developed for the Super Trofeo and an overall improved power to weight performance, with the GT3 FL2’s weight reduced by 25kg over the previous Gallardo GT3.

The Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 by Reiter has already proven exceptionally low running costs, setting a benchmark with only € 9/km to € 12/km parts rebuild costs.

The GT3 FL2 is priced at € 320,000 euro plus taxes.

Although German-based Reiter Engineering has successfully developed its own Lamborghini GT cars since 2000, securing 199 victories and 350 podium positions within GT championships since 2007, this is the first time a GT3 contender will be co-developed in direct collaboration with Lamborghini.

“We are delighted to announce a minimum five-year agreement with Reiter Engineering as our exclusive development and supply partner for Lamborghini GT3 cars, based on Reiter’s strong engineering skills, passion for and understanding of the Lamborghini brand and, of course, obvious racing success,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “We are committed to supporting racing in Europe and Asia in 2013 with expansion into the USA in 2014: GT3 racing, together with our
highly successful mono marque Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series in Europe, Asia and this year the USA, are a clear fit with the Lamborghini brand, where we take the prowess of our super sports cars from the road to the track.”

First confirmed deliveries of the new Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 to teams in Europe and Asia will commence in March 2013, participating in series including the Blancpain Endurance Series, the Asia Le Mans Series and the Italian GT3 Championship.

An expanded in-house motorsport team within Lamborghini’s R&D department will oversee the GT3 race programme, under the guise of Lamborghini Squadra Corse: a department dedicated to motorsport including
GT3, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series, and a customer driving program.

From 2013, the Squadra Corse will provide an integrated approach to Lamborghini driving experiences. A new series of ‘Esperienza’ events provide enthusiasts and prospects with opportunity for a first test-drive and to experience the world of Lamborghini. The Lamborghini Academies, on both track and ice, provide driver training and the initial steps towards racing. The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series provides the perfect first race experience for young and gentleman drivers, with the Lamborghini GT3 for more experienced racers wanting to compete with the Lamborghini marque

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Fiat 500L is ‘Newcomer of the Year 2013’

Fiat 500L
Fiat 500L (Photo credit: Chrysler-Group)
The Fiat Group starts the new year by picking up two prestigious awards, selected by the readers of the Italian magazine who took part in the 'Newcomer of the Year 2013' and 'My Favourite Cars 2012' contests. The award ceremony took place yesterday at Palazzo Mezzanotte, home of the Milan Stock Exchange, in the presence of the managers of all the car manufacturers.

With 17% of the votes, the Fiat 500L won the 'Newcomer of the Year 2013' title, after a thrilling clash with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class which took second place (16.3%) ahead of the Volkswagen Golf (13.2%) and the New Fiat Panda (9.49%).

Fiat's new 'City lounge' was selected from a shortlist of 12 models selected by the Quattroruote editorial team from among the most significant new cars presented over the last twelve months. In November and December 2012, more than 48,500 voters chose their favourite from the list via SMS and on-line voting. For the first time, sports cars and sensational models were not shortlisted, instead opting for those which are bought and driven every day.

Fiat 500L
Fiat 500L (Photo credit: Chrysler-Group)
Carlo Cavicchi, Editor-in-Chief of Quattroruote, gave the prestigious trophy to Alfredo Altavilla, Chief Operating Officer EMEA.
The Fiat Group also had extraordinary success in the second contest, "My Favourite Cars", again by Quattroruote and, at the same time, by other specialist magazines in 14 European countries, with the rankings drawn up at a national level. In particular, Italian models came out on top in 7 of the 10 categories into which the contest is divided: the Fiat Panda took first place among the citycars (26.8% of the votes), the Fiat 500L among the small cars (12.1%), Alfa Romeo Giulietta in medium-small (23.4%), Maserati Quattroporte among the flagships (23.8%), Ferrari 458 Spider among the cabrios (18.7%), Ferrari F12berlinetta among the sports cars (31.0%) and Fiat Freemont (15,1%) among the MPVs.

Between September and October 2012, those taking part in the "My Favourite Cars" contest expressed themselves through the website, completing a form where they indicated not only their favourite car for each segment, but also a series of judgements on the brands and their perception. A judgement which is even more interesting if you consider that the voters are expert and passionate motorists who travel 20,800 kilometres in their car every year, almost twice the national average.

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The Waiting

From race to road

Are Ferrari’s specials truly a link between the racing cars of Gerhard Berger and Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, and the road-going Ferraris one can buy? ‘Completely,’ says Fedeli. ‘They are exactly in the middle. There are the F1 cars, there are the GT cars, and in the middle we have these cars. We want to transfer the technology from racing to production and this is the way to do it. The concept of these cars is to put together all the innovations that we have. Not just one of two components, but everything that might become a component on our GT cars. They’re simply a forecast of the technology you’ll see across the range in the future.’


Ferrari 288 GTO
Ferrari 288 GTO (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At the time of the GTO in 1984, the Gestione Sportiva was directly involved in development with the then Technical Director, Angelo Bellei, whose approach was identical to today. Bellei utilised F1 research, both for the chassis, working with Harvey Postlethwaite, and the engine, with Nicola Materazzi. ‘We applied pure F1 technology to two components in this car,’ Postlethwaite said, ‘and some principles to lots of body components.’ The 400hp, 2.8-litre V8 GTO differs from the other supercars in that it was designed to go racing, and not specifically as a road car. However, although the Group B category for which it was intended was cancelled, the 200 road-going examples required for homologation proved so beautiful to behold, and incandescent to drive, that 272 were made, and the GTO was instantly hailed as one of Maranello’s greatest-ever road cars.

The GTO marked the first use of plastic composites by Ferrari and it was significantly lighter than the 308 GTB on which it was based, despite being longer and wider, a theme that continues in its successors. Pininfarina’s legendary designer Leonardo Fioravanti added three gills to the bodyside at exactly the same angle as those of the 1962 250 GTO; they simply moved to the rear, along with the engine. However, for Manzoni, tasked with designing the latest special, the GTO also looks forward, and shares more with the Enzo and the new Special Limited Series than, for instance, the F50, which came in between.
‘The main difference if we compare this to the later cars is the lack of aerodynamic flaps or spoilers,’ he says. ‘Everything is very well integrated into the form, which is also our current approach. Even in an extreme car like the Enzo, there are no longer the spoilers of the F40 or F50. But back then, of course, it was normal to show in the form that this was the extreme of the Ferrari range. You cannot be too calm.’
Manzoni says the GTO is his favourite among the specials. ‘The proportions are fantastic. Maybe by today’s standards the wheels seem too small, but the whole design has a global equilibrium.’


English: Pic i took of the famous F40
English: Pic i took of the famous F40 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just three years separated the GTO and F40, the shortest gap between specials, but even in this time the F40 clearly pushed at the technological limits again. Its power output was quite extreme - the 2.9-litre V8 with twin IHI turbochargers, now making 478hp - by the standards of the time and in a car of just 1,100kg.
Its greater use of Kevlar and carbon-fibre in the bodywork drew further on F1 practice and created a very different shape that allowed the F40 to be the first production car to break 200mph (320km/h). It was unusual for a Ferrari special to stay in production for five years from its 1987 launch, with a total of 1,315 made, more than all the other specials together.
This makes the F40 no less special. The fact that it was the last car created and launched under the auspices of Enzo Ferrari would always have ensured its significance. The fact that many rated it (and rate it still) as the most exhilarating road-going Ferrari to drive kept it in production then, and ensured values have remained high ever since.
Exhilarating – and challenging – Fedeli will plainly never forget his first experience in an F40. ‘I started at Ferrari when it was in its second year of production. My first experience of it was with a test driver at Fiorano. Even on the straights the steering wheel was never straight! But in that time the objective was different. Now it’s possible to fully appreciate the car immediately, without having to put it close to its limits. Then, you didn’t have the same technology to help get that result. The F40, F50 and Enzo are completely different to drive. The Enzo isn’t a difficult car to drive. You can manage its power without any problems. This is evolution.’
Nor did enthusiasts object to the F40’s spartan interior. ‘The interiors are very close to race cars,’ says Manzoni. ‘Even if we wanted to make them more sophisticated, we can’t. As with racing cars, we are constrained by weight. There are other objectives. But that focus becomes a value. The more race-car like the cabin is, the better.’


520 bhp, 12 cylinder the white paper in the da...
520 bhp, 12 cylinder the white paper in the dash shows the price tag at $939,000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There was a longer wait for the next special, the F50 of 1995. But the evolution was greater. Rather than simply taking inspiration from F1, it took the extraordinary step of putting an F1 engine on the road for the first time, its 520hp, 4.7-litre, 60-valve, naturally-aspirated V12, based directly on the 1992 F92A F1 engine. And the F50 used a full Nomex and carbon-fibre tub where the engine was a stressed member, just like an F1 car.
‘The choice for us remains aluminium for our production cars,’ says Fedeli. ‘But the very low volumes of the special cars allows us to use carbon-fibre in the same way we do in F1, and when we do that, the weight we can save is significant. From a “body-in-black” point of view, the Enzo´s successor is now very, very close to an F1 car.’
‘The F50 brings some elements of an F1 car to a road car,’ says Manzoni. ‘It was very clever in its treatment of the nose, the wing, the outlets around the nose. This became stronger and more iconic in the Enzo. If you imagine the Enzo without the fenders it really is like an F1.’

Enzo Ferrari

Ferrari Enzo Ferrari
Ferrari Enzo Ferrari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Enzo arrived in 2002, with the racing influence spreading to the six-speed paddle-shift gearbox the carbon-ceramic brakes, and active aerodynamics. ‘For an F1 car, aerodynamics means wings,’ says Fedeli. ‘That’s not the same for a Ferrari GT car, or a special car now. Starting with the Enzo we put away wings. We don’t like them from a styling point of view, but also for functionality. So, with the Enzo we developed some mobile devices to deliver the right loads at the right time. From a practical point of view, the aero on an F1 car is completely different from the one on a road car. But from the point of view of physics, the methodology, it’s completely the same, and the people who do it are the same, in the same way that we use the same algorithms for the brakes, the traction control, and the shock absorber controls in our F1 and road cars.’
‘The Enzo is still so modern and iconic,’ adds Manzoni. ‘You never forget it. And the new one must be even stronger. There is a rule in Ferrari that every new car must be completely new. Coming more than 10 years after the Enzo, the new car had to be a step into the future.’

The Enzo´s successor

New Ferrari F70
New Ferrari F70 (Photo credit: Fernando Gozalo)
‘I wanted a front end still inspired by F1,’ continues Manzoni, ‘but not the same, so how to do it? Of course it’s not easy, but this is the most exciting project in the world! It was natural to create proposals, among which was to choose the most iconic, but at the same time futuristic and corresponding to the technical and aerodynamic requirements of the front end. There’s no comparison. This is the pinnacle of everything, of the aesthetics and technology of Ferrari. This always had to be a masterpiece.’
Fedeli, while respecting the heritage of the specials, is in no doubt about the Enzo´s successors significance. ‘The most important car is always the next one, and the new Special Limited Series will be the Ferrari with the greatest transfer between F1 and a road car that we ever did. We are trying to anticipate the future with this car. We are trying hard to achieve the technical limit of every single component we are using, and also the packaging of the car as a whole. We are building a car close to the limits of technology, but we will only have succeeded if you can feel the result. The real objective of a special Ferrari is feeling, feeling, feeling.’

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Fiat Professional vehicles part of KONE’s European car fleet

Fiat Professional logo
Fiat Professional logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiat Group Automobiles and KONE Corporation - world leader in the production of lifts and escalators - have signed an agreement for a period of 3 years (2013 - 2015) for the supply of Fiat Professional commercial vehicles across Europe.

The Finnish company based its choice on the low operating costs of Fiat Professional commercial vehicles (oil consumption, maintenance and repair), the brand's ability to manage the high logistics level required by KONE, and the quality and widespread coverage of the FGA service network, with more than 6,500 specialised workshops in Europe.

"We are proud that KONE Corporation has selected us as a preferred supplier owing to our reactivity and ability to respond to their needs for logistic integration and services," declared Christophe Bertoncini, Fleet European Director Fiat Group Automobiles. The same satisfaction is shared by Ondrej Chmel, Category Manager at KONE Corporation, whose main site is in Espoo, Finland. "The solutions offered by Fiat will contribute to achieving our goal in terms of CO2 emissions and cost stabilization."

The important agreement highlights the winning characteristics of all Fiat Professional models: reduced running costs, high level of ergonomics, low emissions and fuel consumption, reliability and strength at the highest levels. Through this agreement Fiat Professional will become KONE's preferred supplier/key supplier in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia with over 700 Fiat Fiorino units in 2013.

The Fiat Fiorino is a compact and economical vehicle in terms of running costs, is agile in traffic and easy to handle when parking as well as environmentally friendly, as the 75 HP 1.3-litre MultiJet turbodiesel shows. It boasts an excellent rage of over 1,000 km on a full tank of diesel (4.2 l/100 km in the combined cycle) and CO2 emissions of only 112 g/km, the best in class value. This latter aspect confirms that environmental protection is an essential guiding principle for Fiat Professional, together with all Fiat Group Automobiles brands, for the development of its models.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Autonomy Programme is Main Sponsor of the Italian leg of the Disabled Alpine Skiing World Cup

This leg of the Disabled Alpine Skiing World Cup is to be held from 8 to 11 January in Sestriere (Turin). It is organised by the International Paralympic Committee and assigned to the Freewhite Ski Team ASD (FISI CIP affiliate), an amateur sports association set up for young people from 3 to 18 who intend to find out about and fully develop snow sports techniques. In detail, the "Sises" and "Giovanni Alberto Agnelli" pistes will host 2 giant slalom and 2 slalom competitions, with 18 countries represented and about 100 of the best IPC athletes in attendance. These competitions will be an important test in light of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games and the 2013 World Championships in Spain.

Fiat Group Automobiles too is taking part in this prestigious sporting event as Main Sponsor, with the Autonomy Programme, the initiative that Fiat Group Automobiles has been working with since 1995 to create services and means of individual and collective transport for those with reduced motor abilities, always in line with continuous product innovations, and to facilitate motoring for those with disabilities. The Autonomy Programme also aims to overcome prejudices and assumptions: there's no such thing as "different" competitions, only different abilities, as all athletes have the same will to win and to overcome any obstacle.

For the Italian leg of the Disabled Alpine Skiing World Cup, the Autonomy Programme is providing the organisation with some Fiat Ducatos adapted both for transporting the athletes and their sports equipment. Moreover, on display near the prize-giving area, the public can admire two examples of the Jeep Wrangler, a model which played a leading role in the first, pilot edition of Off-Road on the Olympic and Paralympic Mountains, the new project organised by Freewhite Ski Team and the Autonomy Programme in these very locations, which already hosted the World Ski Championships in 1997 and the Winter Olympics in 2006. Nor should it be forgotten that the Autonomy Programme and Freewhite Ski Team ASD have been working together since 2007 to organise projects and initiatives of major interest like the 2011 World Championships and "Autonomy on the Snow", an Alpine skiing beginners course on the Sestriere pistes to introduce children with disabilities to the world of skiing. 

Fiat Group Automobiles Hellas wins two "green" awards

  •     The Fiat Group's significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions awarded in Greece.
  •     In 2011, the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Abarth vehicles sold in Greece totalled an average of 122.26 g/km of CO2, corresponding to a 8.7% decrease with respect to 2010 (133.9 g/km).  
  •     The Fiat brand holds the record in Greece with an average of 116.2 g/km vs. the 129.8 g/km of 2010.
  •     A record also for Fiat Professional light commercial vehicles thanks to their average CO2 emissions of 139.9 g/km compared to 162.0 g/km of 2010.  This is a 13.6% reduction, i.e. more than double the average 6% reduction of all the commercial vehicles sold in Greece.

Fiat Professional logo
Fiat Professional logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fiat Group Automobiles Hellas has won an Environmental Award in the "Green product or service" category for its   "Sustainable mobility and CO2 emission reduction" procedures. More in detail, Fiat Group Automobiles Hellas was singled out for having implemented green technologies on the Greek market which caused a significant reduction of polluting substance emissions and atmospheric pollution in the country.

In this area, Fiat Group Automobiles Hellas is presenting its range of cars and commercial vehicles running on alternative fuels, such as natural gas, to reduce emissions and consumption which translates into benefits for end customers as well. Fiat is taking this commitment seriously and has recently given a bi-fuel petrol/methane Fiat Panda Natural Power to the city of Thessaloniki to promote the company's green principles in the best possibly manner and introduce its comprehensive range of eco-friendly, fuel-effective, low-emission vehicles to Greek motorists.

Fiat Group Automobiles Hellas also won the "Green Leader Award" in the "Product carbon footprint" category. The "Green Leader Awards" are assigned by two non-profit organisations, CSE (Centre for Sustainability and Excellence) and myclimate, which examine companies, products and services aimed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions deriving from their activities.

Climate changes and the energy crisis has confirmed the need to reconsider the automobile as a concept to develop, among other things, solutions for protecting the environment. This is why the Fiat Group constantly invests in important research activities for developing eco-technologies and developments for cars. The leadership of Fiat Group Automobiles Hellas in the area of eco-friendly mobility is no chance: taking all the cars and light commercial vehicles registered in Greece in 2011, the group - with the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Fiat Professional brands - ranks first in CO2  emission reduction with an average of 122.26 g/km of CO2 corresponding to a 8.7% reduction with respect to 2010 (133.9 g/km).

Furthermore, of the best selling auto brands in Greece, Fiat totalled the lowest CO2 emissions, with an average of 116.2 g/km, with respect to the 129.8 g/km of 2010, which means a drastic 10.5% reduction. Equally important was the success in the light commercial vehicle segment, where Fiat Professional ranked first of all manufacturers with an average of CO2 emissions equal to 139.9 g/km compared to the 162.0 g/km of 2010.  This is a 13.6% reduction, equal to more than double the average 6% reduction obtained by all light commercial vehicles.

The two green awards won by Fiat Group Automobiles Hellas are added to the Fiat Group's long list of important international awards which confirm its constant commitment to eco-compatible mobility, a strategy which has made Fiat undisputed leader in Europe. Over the past five years, Fiat has recorded the lowest level of CO2 emissions of all cars sold in Europe, with an average value of 118.2 g/km in 2011 (4.9 g/km less than the average of 2010). The Fiat Group as a whole ranked first with 123.3 g/km. This achievement has been certified by JATO Dynamics, world leader in consulting and research for the automotive industry. One important recognition and an ongoing improvement: over the last 4 years, Fiat Automobiles has reduced its average emissions by 14%, from 137.3 to 118.2 g/km of CO2, which is significantly lower than the average target of 130 g/km set out by the European Union for 2015.

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Orders open for the New Ypsilon Ecochic Methane

  •     The Lancia Ecochic range is extended with the new Fashion City Car equipped with the 80HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo bi-fuel Methane-Petrol.
  •     86g/km CO2 emissions and consumption of 3.1kg/100km in the combined cycle.
  •     It takes less than 12 euros to fill up with methane.
  •     The total range with methane+petrol is more than 1,300 km over the extra-urban cycle.
  •     Available in the Silver and Gold trim levels, with list prices of 16,500 euros and 17,500 euros respectively.
  •     The 'open door' event dedicated to the new model will take place in January in Italy.

Lancia Ypsilon at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. ...
Lancia Ypsilon at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From today, the Lancia Ypsilon Ecochic Methane can be ordered in Italy, the new minimal environmental imp
act version which combines the economic and environmental benefits of methane supply with the power and fun at the wheel guaranteed by the 0.9 Turbo TwinAir engine in a single product.

The new model is available with the Silver and Gold trim levels - list prices are 16,500 and 17,500 euros respectively - and in the first stage of the launch the Silver comes with free climate control, the Gold version with elegant 15" alloy wheels.

The standard equipment is highly attractive. It includes, from the first trim level and in addition to the climate control offered at launch, significant content such as ESC complete with ASR and Hill Holder, electric door mirrors, electric front windows, height and depth-adjustable steering wheel, 50/50 split rear seat, height-adjustable driver's seat, radio setup and fabric interior. The Gold trim level, in addition to the 15" alloy wheels offered at launch, features manual climate control, CD radio with MP3 player, leather trim on the steering wheel and gear lever gaiter, lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat, backrest pocket and Castiglio® upholstery.

A smart solution, especially in a period marked by constantly rising petrol and diesel prices, the new methane/petrol version achieves two important results. On one hand, it completes the offer of the Lancia's Fashion City Car, a model which encounters ever growing success both with the public and with critics, as demonstrated by the approximately 60,000 registrations from its launch to date.

On the other hand, the new car extends the current Ecochic range - comprising the Musa, Delta and Ypsilon models - able to combine the elegance typical of Lancia cars with the eco-friendliness and economical running of LPG/Petrol and CNG/Petrol fuel systems.

The Ecochic range is a prompt response to a constant demand which is also growing rapidly: in the first ten months of 2012, registrations of methane-powered cars in Italy increased by 43% compared to the previous year, while the percentage figure for LPG reached a record of 137%, in a market that - in the same period - saw a decline of 20%. The methane supply network is expanding constantly and now comprises more than 900 refuelling points in Italy.

In anticipation of the 'open door' event scheduled for 19 and 20 January at Lancia dealerships in Italy, the début of the new model will be accompanied by an advertising campaign on TV, the web, in print and on the radio.

Exclusive benefits, fully respecting the environment

The new methane Lancia Ypsilon Ecochic ensures reduced CO2 (86 g/km) emission levels and low fuel consumption (3.1 kg/100 km in the combined type-approval cycle) when running on methane. It should be noted that this vehicle's emissions are one of the lowest on the entire market. That's without mentioning that running on methane ensures costs per kilometre which are much lower than petrol versions, so much so that it is possible to cover double the mileage for the same fuel cost. What's more, thanks to the dual tank, the total range (methane+petrol) exceeds 1,300 km over the extra-urban cycle.

But the advantages of methane don't stop at fuel consumption. In some regions of Italy, cars with this fuel type are exempt from the payment of road tax for five years and - if the system is installed in the factory, as is the case for the models in Lancia's Ecochic range - throughout the car's lifetime. In fact, compared to an aftermarket conversion, a car with a factory-fitted system (OEM) offers other important advantages. For example, the use of specific materials and components and the application of dedicated technology, enabling the customer to benefit from a Lancia contractual warranty. Also, since the modifications to the chassis are carried out directly in the factory, the car can boast the highest standards of comfort and safety, as borne out by the numerous and stringent tests that the various system components are subjected to.

Finally, and in addition to the purely financial aspects, the increase in the number of methane-powered cars on the road is also allowing significant reductions in harmful atmospheric emissions, not forgetting that in many town centres, only "green" vehicles are permitted to travel. In fact, methane does not emit particulates, and its nitrogen oxide emissions are around 90 per cent lower than diesel, while compared to petrol, unburnt hydrocarbon levels are 75 per cent lower, nitrogen oxide emissions are around 50 per cent lower and CO2 emissions are reduced by 23 per cent. These are the reasons why methane-fuelled vehicles are given free access to town centres with traffic limitation restrictions in force for environmental reasons. To sum up, with less expense, less pollution and greater mobility, methane is becoming an ever cleaner and more economical fuel.

80 HP TwinAir Turbo Bi-Fuel: a heady mix of personality and environmental awareness

The new 80 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo Bi-Fuel is a turbocharged engine, fuelled by methane/petrol and full of personality, with a high specific power and torque, which perfectly blends reduced consumption with fun at the wheel.

Compared to the petrol version, the TwinAir methane includes specific fuel system components, including the intake manifold, injectors, electronic engine control system and valve seats with specific geometry made of low-wear material. The perfect integration of all components and state-of-the-art technology - such as the MultiAir system and the turbocharger - guarantee maximum reliability and ensure that performance and handling remain the same when running on methane.

In detail, the two fuel systems (methane and petrol) are reciprocally independent: in normal conditions, the engine runs on methane and is always only started on petrol, switching automatically and immediately to the other system. The engine only switches to petrol if the gas is about to run out. It is nevertheless always possible to switch from methane to petrol and back again as desired, by pressing a button on the dashboard. Furthermore, two methane tanks - containing about 12 kg, which corresponds to 72 litres at a pressure of 200 bar - are arranged under the floor to keep the luggage volume virtually unchanged (202 litres).

Finally, the tank size is the same as for the petrol version of the Ypsilon: a capacity of a good 40 litres. This means that the methane-powered Ypsilon Ecochic ensures maximum freedom of movement even when you aren't near one of the more than 900 methane pumps open to date.

The additional choice for a successful model

The methane Ypsilon Ecochic TwinAir is the additional choice for a model which encounters ever growing success both with the public and with critics, as demonstrated by the approximately 60,000 registrations from its launch to date. In the course of 2012, it was always among the best selling cars in the segment. The Ecochic LPG version contributed to the excellent sales results, reaching 50% of total Lancia Ypsilon sales.

Lancia's 'Fashion City-Car' keeps on charming with its character, its sophisticated style and its anti-conventional class. And below this refined exterior, marked "Made in Italy", lies all the substance of a car that boasts cutting-edge technology in the fields of engines and comfort, which not only delivers reduced emissions and fuel consumption - thanks to technologies such as TwinAir, MultiJet II and Start&Stop - but also offers benchmark comfort thanks to highly valuable content.

Suffice it to say that it is the first and only car in the segment to offer an exclusive combination of the new "Blue&Me-TomTom LIVE" and "Smart fuel" system, in addition to the innovative second-generation Magic Parking, 500 W 360° Hi-Fi Music system, Xenon headlights and LED rear lights. It also holds its own in terms of safety, offering 4 airbags, Isofix attachments and ESC system (starting from the Silver trim level on methane, from the Gold trim level on other engine versions) as standard. These are precisely the features that customers most appreciate currently when using the new Lancia Ypsilon on a daily basis, the same qualities which have led it to be awarded prestigious prizes by the public and influential panels made up of specialist journalists.

Today the Ypsilon range comprises 3 trim levels (Silver, Gold and Platinum; the latter is not available on the methane version), 5 engine versions (69 HP 1.2 Fire EVO II, 69 HP 1.2 Fire EVO II LPG, 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir, 95 HP turbo diesel 1.3 MultiJet II and the new 80 HP 0.9 TwinAir methane), two gearboxes (manual and robotised), 17 body colours (including 5 two-tone), 3 interiors (fabric, Castiglio and leather), 3 alloy wheels (15" diamond-finish, 16" diamond-finish, 16" burnished diamond-finish).

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Monday, April 09, 2012

Chrysler Australia group to distribute Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Professional brands in Australia

Fiat Professional logo
Fiat Professional logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From 1st May, 2012 Chrysler Australia group will act as the distributor for Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Professional brands in Australia.

Under the new agreement, the current Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealer group, which numbers 17 passenger dealerships with 22 commercial vehicle outlets across the country, will report into the Melbourne-based Chrysler Australia group.

Sales for the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Professional brands during 2011 were recorded by Vendor Field Analytical and Characterization Technologies System (VFACTS) at 2,635 vehicles.

Models offered on the Australian market include the Alfa Romeo 159, the 159 Sportwagon and the Giulietta. Fiat models include the Fiat 500, the Fiat 500 Abarth, and Fiat Professional brands Ducato and Scudo.

The Chrysler Australia group of companies, which currently manages the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands in the Australian market, has seen a remarkable surge in sales in the past twelve months. Calendar year 2011 saw the American marque increase combined sales by 27.5%, and 2012 January and February sales are up 78% on the same period last year.

The transfer of distributorship of the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Professional brands to the Chrysler Australia group has occurred on the back of the global strategic alliance formed between the Fiat S.p.A. in Italy and the Chrysler Group in the United States in 2009.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Automobili Lamborghini opens the new dealership Lamborghini Paris Ouest

Automobili Lamborghini has opened a new dealership in France, Lamborghini Paris Ouest (West), in the presence of Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

The showroom in 15 Boulevard Gouvion, Saint Cyr is managed by Lamborghini’s partner Neubauer Group, professionals in the Parisian luxury car market.
The entire product range can be admired at the new Lamborghini dealer including the two series models: the Gallardo and the Aventador LP 700-4.

This latest Lamborghini icon has won 29 international awards for its unique design and innovative technology, which make it the new reference point in the super sports car world. The Aventador has achieved both public and commercial success: all cars to be manufactured in the first 18 months’ production have already been sold, throughout the world.

Alongside the Aventador is the Gallardo. The last versions which were presented during 2011 are the Super Trofeo Stradale, inspired by the Super Trofeo which races in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship, and the Gallardo Spyder LP 550-2 with rear-wheel drive. The Gallardo product line-up is the most successful range in the company's entire history. Indeed, nearly 12,000 Gallardos have been sold since 2003.

Lamborghini finished 2011 with 1,602 cars sold (+ 23%), with the United States re-confirming its position as the largest market followed by China.

Stephan Winkelmann declared during the opening press conference: “The opening of Lamborghini Paris Ouest represents a further stage in plans to strengthen the Lamborghini sales network in France and the world. Our partner Neubauer has opened this new dealership with total commitment to representing the excellence and prestige of the Lamborghini brand in the city of Paris.”

With the opening of Lamborghini Paris Ouest, Lamborghini now has five points of sales and aftersales in France: two in Paris, and locations in Mulhouse and Lyon, and in addition the showroom in Montecarlo. Worldwide Lamborghini has more than 120 dealers in 45 countries.

“2011 was an intense and extremely successful year, including the triumph of the Aventador: the symbol of our continual thrust towards innovation and anticipation of new trends," continued Stephan Winkelmann. "The Italian and international economic situation, especially in Europe, however, continues to be tough. This is why our preparations for 2012 include the consolidation of results achieved in 2011 and during which we will certainly enjoy the benefits of Aventador sales.”

“In true Lamborghini tradition, we will present new developments which will cause a sensation. The sense of challenge, passion and innovation will continue to inspire our main lines of action: development, production and the sale of new models; improving working conditions and environmental sustainability.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ferrari 458 Italia retains its crown as Auto Express’s “Performance Car of the Year”

English: 2010–2011 Ferrari 458 Italia coupe, p...
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Français : Ferrari 458 italia equipe JMW ( pil...
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Français : Calandre de la Ferrari 458 Italia
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The Ferrari 458 Italia has been awarded the title of “Performance Car of the Year” by Auto Express magazine for the second year in a row.

Competing against some the most exciting performance cars on sale in the UK today, it was the Ferrari 458 Italia which was the clear favourite of the judging panel once again. All cars were scored for performance and handling both on road and on track, as well as for sheer desirability, with the 458 Italia earning top marks in all three categories.

Steve Fowler, Editor in Chief of Auto Express, commented: “Being a double winner of our Performance Car of the Year is a massive achievement for the 458 Italia. Nothing has come close to matching its blend of performance, agility, style and quality – this is a car that’s as thrilling to drive as it is to look at, a joy to potter around in and an absolute blast to drive fast. It’s going to take some stopping at next year’s shootout.”

The Ferrari 458 Italia has continued to receive critical acclaim internationally, garnering over 35 international awards in its short career, including on its launch BBC Top Gear’s “Car of the Year” and “Supercar of the Year”, and Fifth Gear’s “Fast Car of the Year”. In 2010 Auto Express, What Car? and CAR Magazine all named the 458 Italia “Performance Car of the Year”. More recently it has received the accolade of “2011 Best Driver’s Car” from the influential US title, Motor Trend, “Best Sports Car” from Auto Motor und Sport in Germany and was also voted “World Performance Car of the Year 2011”. The 458 Italia’s 4.5-litre V8 engine was voted “Best Performance Engine” and “Best Engine Above 4 Litres” at the prestigious 2011 International Engine of the Year Awards.
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Lancia Ypsilon Ecochic "open house" slated for 17 and 18 December

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An "open house" devoted to the Lancia Ypsilon Ecochic fitted out with the new Euro 5 bi-fuel (petrol and LPG) 1.2 Fire EVO II engine will be held in Italy on 17 and 18 December. Available in three different trim levels (Silver, Gold and Platinum), the price list of the new fashion city car version starts from € 14,600 (on the road) and whichever trim level the customer selects, it always ensures a "tailor-made" driving style and set of features bound to appeal.
The new Ypsilon 5-door with bi-fuel supply (LPG and petrol) takes up the baton from the warmly received bi-fuel Ypsilon 3-door, and joins the Musa and Delta in the exclusive Ecochic range. The Italian preview of the Delta was presented at the recent Bologna Motor Show, and will become available at Lancia dealerships starting in February 2012.
And so the Lancia Ecochic collection once again returns to the catwalk in keeping with the principle that "a clean environment is a luxury we want to allow ourselves". Compared with petrol and diesel fuel, LPG cuts particulate emissions to zero and slashes the emission of other pollutant substances (up to 15% less carbon dioxide, up to 20% less carbon monoxide and up to 60% less unburnt hydrocarbons). Thanks to these characteristics, LPG prolongs the life of the engine and improves the quality of the environment. Last but not least, running on LPG barely affects passenger comfort or vehicle performance.
Moreover, compared to the Ypsilon (3-door) fitted with the 77 HP 1.4 8V bi-fuel (LPG/petrol) engine, the new Ypsilon Ecochic features the Euro 5 1.2 Fire EVO II bi-fuel (petrol and LPG) engine, which improves fuel consumption (6.8 l/100 km in the combined cycle) and CO2 emissions (110 g/km). Both values are recorded with LPG fuel supply, which place it at the top of this particular market segment.
Specially designed to achieve ultimate integration and reliability with the LPG system, the Euro 5 1.2 Fire EVO II bi-fuel (petrol and LPG) engine is factory-fitted, so every car is certified, tested and guaranteed by Lancia, and this is why it can take advantage of government incentive schemes in the various European markets. In detail, the engine has a cylinder head with valves and valve seats made with configurations and materials optimised for LPG operation. Equipped with a special intake system for the LPG injectors, not only does the particular Lancia Ypsilon bi-fuel engine have all the additional electrical wiring already built-in, but develops a maximum power of 69 HP (51 kW) at 5500 rpm and delivers a maximum torque of 99 Nm at 3000 rpm. Equipped like this, the Ecochic version of the Lancia fashion city car reaches a top speed of 163 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 14.5 seconds.
The new Ypsilon version is designed to run independently on either petrol or LPG: the engine is always started up on petrol and switches automatically to LPG after about 40 seconds. It is of course possible to switch from one fuel to another whilst driving by pressing a special button built into the dashboard. If the driver finds there is no LPG left in the cylinder, switching to petrol operation takes place automatically to ensure a smooth drive. It should also be stressed that LPG is a much cheaper fuel than petrol, diesel or methane (the price per litre is about 50% less than unleaded petrol). The distribution network is also widespread throughout Europe, with more than 10,000 points of sale.
The toroid type (ring-shaped) LPG cylinder has a 30.5-litre capacity and is located in the spare wheel housing so that it does not take up space in the luggage compartment (the inflation kit is fitted as standard).
Compared with an after-market conversion, a car with a factory-fitted system has many advantages. For example, the use of specific materials and components and the application of dedicated technology enabling the customer to benefit from a Lancia contractual warranty. Since the modifications to the chassis are carried out directly in the factory, the car boasts the highest standards of comfort and safety as borne out by the numerous and stringent tests that the various system components are subjected to.
The commercial launch of the new Ypsilon Ecochic will be accompanied by the recent TV, press, radio and Internet advertising campaign that has been running for several weeks. Created by the agency Armando Testa and marked by an atmosphere and parlance close to the mood of the latest Thema, Voyager, Musa and Delta commercials, the campaign reiterates the concept that in Lancia's opinion, elegance is not found in superfluous or exaggerated things, but in the very essence of things. And this is expressed in the payoff: "New Ypsilon 5-door. Essential elegance".
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Two millionth car equipped with Blue&MeTM

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The two millionth car equipped with Blue&MeTM system was delivered today. This is the most highly appreciated infotainment device, designed through a partnership between Fiat Group Automobiles and Microsoft. Arianna Binello picked up her 69 HP Fiat 500 Lounge 1.2 at the Mirafiori Motor Village, the largest car exhibition and sales area in Europe.
Product Planning Infotainment Director of Fiat Group Automobiles Candido Peterlini, Mirafiori Motor Village Marketing Manager Simona Tesio and TomTom Account Manager for FGA Paolo Bocca handed her the keys. Bocca gave Binello the latest version of the device: "Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE".
A winner of prestigious international awards, the Blue&MeTM system includes a Hands-Free function with Bluetooth® interface, advanced voice recognition, USB Port and Aux in, MP3 player and SMS interpreter. Based on Windows Mobile for Automotive, the device is built on an open, constantly developing system that can be updated and whose contents are flexible and can be modulated. In fact, Fiat Group Automobiles and Microsoft, with the support of Magneti Marelli, offer a platform that can be upgraded for most mobile phones, music players or other personal devices, with the enormous benefit of the possibility of being constantly able to follow market innovations and maintain perfect integration with the car. All at an affordable price, in total safety and in accordance with traffic laws.
Blue&Me is an innovative electronic module which allows pairing of up to 5 mobile phones featuring Bluetooth® with the car. The methods of interacting with the system make use of the microphone in the roof light, the controls on the steering wheel and the monochromatic display in the control panel.
Blue&Me guarantees maximum safety and ease of use. The voice command system, its full integration with the controls on the steering wheel and with the information in the instrument display allow customers who have a Bluetooth® mobile phone to use it even if it is in their jacket pocket or handbag, without ever having to take their hands off the steering wheel. Not to mention that the highly developed voice recognition system allows immediate interaction because no voice learning stage is required and incoming SMS messages can also be interpreted.
By connecting a digital device to the USB port or AUX-IN socket on the tunnel, it is possible to listen to digital music in MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV format recorded on latest generation digital audio players and/or USB devices. Information about the tracks being played is available on the on-board radio display.
To drive in city traffic with total peace of mind, the "Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE" device, which combines the advantages of an integrated infotainment system connected to the car's network with those of a latest generation portable navigation system, is available on request.

"Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE" not only allows customers to use their mobile phone and media player in total safety without ever taking their hands off the steering wheel, but also offers an absolutely unique navigation experience as it is built into the dashboard and provides the most accurate traffic information updated in real time plus real time feedback on driving style.
The setup for the "Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE" is in the middle of the dashboard and allows the totally safe installation of the specific support, in addition to guaranteeing power to the navigation device without external wiring.
In addition, in terms of Bluetooth® connectivity, thanks to Blue&Me, phone, media player and car information can be displayed and managed on the navigation device's touch screen.
"Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE" is at the cutting edge when compared to the latest portable navigation devices available on the market:
• Capacitive 4.3" HD touchscreen display with iPhone-type HMI;
• Detailed maps: 45 European countries;
• IQ Routes System: helps you choose the best route by analysing traffic conditions collected on a 24h statistical basis for each day of the year.
• TomTom HD Traffic: detailed traffic information, queues, road blocks and works in progress updated every 2 minutes while travelling.
"Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE" is designed to receive the information about the vehicle, detected through connection with the on-board network and then to provide real time information about car use and that of the devices connected to it: Trip computer, Fiat-customised points of interest, mobile phonebook display, Media Player and eco:Drive.
"Blue&Me TomTom2", in those countries where the service is available, also offers LIVE services featured in the latest generation TomTom portable navigation devices:
• Speed camera: mobile speed camera locations, including reports by other users, fixed mobile camera locations and Tutor camera locations along the trip. It helps you achieve a safe and relaxed driving experience, while saving money;
• Google: local points of interest updated by Google Local Search: to find anything, from restaurants to flower shops. Just type in a key word; it finds corresponding points and allows the device to show you how to get there;
• Weather: current weather forecasts and for the next four days, making planning your trip possible according to the most recent forecasts;
• TomTom HD Traffic: detailed traffic information, queues, road blocks and works in progress updated every 2 minutes, suggesting alternative routes for your journey. Traffic information is also collected using info from mobile phones and TomTom navigation devices present along the route, reprocessed by the TomTom station;
• Cost: The "Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE" device is supplied with a year of free Live services and without additional roaming fees if travelling throughout Europe
• i. Starting from the second year, the services are available for purchase from MyTomTom, the portal for accessing the TomTom-FGA community, where you can also receive the software updates free and purchase new maps.
"Blue&Me TomTom2" is available in two versions (LIVE and NON-LIVE): depending on the availability of the service in the country of purchase. Customers can purchase the device only through Fiat Group dealerships in their country of residence.
Compared with the after-market services available in most chain stores, the "Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE" solution offered by Fiat presents a considerable advantage for customers in addition to the integration with the Blue&Me hands-free system and with the car's electronics.
Lastly, "Blue&Me TomTom2" can be upgraded by linking it to your PC with the USB cable and visiting the My TomTom section on the website, For more details on the product features, visit the website,
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Fiat Panda

English: Fiat Panda at IAA Frankfurt 2011 (Tom...
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The new Panda is the consistent evolution of an invention that in its 31-year history has always been likeable, versatile and easy to use. The Panda is all this and something more: a brand rich in strong rational and emotional value, a car of which more than 6.4 million units have been produced, and which has won 16 million drivers different from one another in terms of taste, age, nationality and background. A best seller which has significantly contributed to the undisputed leadership of Fiat in this segment: from the first 600 to the 500, from the 126 to the first Panda, from the Cinquecento to the Seicento, from the second generation Panda (2003) to the new 500 launched in 2007. Fiat has always been the point of reference of the city-car segment in Europe due to its unrivalled expertise developed in the continental cities. 

The third generation of the Panda model springs forth from this technical and human heritage. It comes of age offering more quality in terms of space, comfort, functionality, technology and safety features. It combines the best features of the first- and second-generation cars. This intelligent vehicle is ideal for those wanting to combine the practical handling of a city car with the space and comfort of a five-door compact car. All this is further enhanced by a modern and harmonious look which exalts that pleasant appearance of the Panda that by now has become a part of our collective memory just like other objects resulting from Italian creativity, from the Fiat 500 to the Vespa Piaggio, Moka Bialetti and Cubo by Bruno Munari. Unique products that can neither be judged by their appearance nor just represent a good engineering exercise. Instead they are powerful alchemies, innovative in their design and concept that redefine the common points of reference and comparison. When this happens, essential masterpieces in the history of industry are born. The Fiat Panda is one of these.

Simply Panda

Panda is the byword for substance, practicality and usefulness. There is a concept of beauty connected to making all of this visible and perceptible, a concept pursued throughout the new Panda design procedure. Now at its third generation, the Panda is improving each of its elements both functionally and in attention to detail. The result is of great overall harmony, due to applying signs consistent with one another that increases its usability and pleasing design values.
Starting from the concept that every one of us has different requirements, the new car makes maximum use of the interior space, rationalising the dimensions. Although continuing to be a very compact car, the Panda has grown just a few centimetres to ensure the attainment of the highest standards of safety and improve the generous level of passenger room.
With a length of 365 centimetres, a width of 164 and a height of 155, and with five doors, the new Panda can comfortably accommodate up to five people and it has one of the most spacious boots in its segment: 225 litres which become 260 with the sliding rear seat in the fully forward position up to the point of reaching 870 litres with the backrest of the rear seats folded down.
Fiat Panda offers maximum freedom of use due to the modularity of its space, the numerous storage compartments and a wide array of front and rear seat configurations. Besides, every one of us has our own lifestyle, a personal relationship with our own objects, our own way of distributing them in space. And of finding them again. So in this sense the new model is a place to fill in an entirely personal way, but at the same time it is a place that you are glad to share with others, just as if it were a cozy Italian home full of warmth and generosity. The exteriors are also distinguished by an unmistakable "Italian style", a "Mediterranean" stylistic language where the smooth shapes give it an appealing, solid and protective look.

More Panda

The new Panda is generous and intelligent because it makes innovative features that simplify and improve life on-board accessible to everyone. After all, these days people who choose a compact car do not want to forgo the technology generally reserved for cars of higher segments. The Panda manages to accommodate these needs with the need for sustainable, safe mobility that is accessible both in terms of price and running costs. Thus it combines the best features of the first- and second-generation cars. This is a new intelligent solution especially in such uncertain economic times.
Specifically, behind that fun and confident appearance, the Panda offers sophisticated technological solutions which are nonetheless straightforward to use and satisfy both the concrete needs of everyday mobility as well as the growing social awareness of the environment and safety issues. Here then are two new highly valuable devices which buyers would only expect to find on cars from superior segments, namely: the "Low Speed Collision Mitigation" braking system and the "Blue&Me TomTom 2 LIVE" navigation system. Contents such as Start&Stop, Gear Shift Indicator (GSI), ecoDrive and ECO mode of the TwinAir Turbo engine are added to these. Acronyms which are now part of the standard terminology that Fiat has contributed to create and develop and which are now grouped together in "Air Technologies", the Fiat brand that identifies the low environmental impact technologies which team eco-friendliness with driving satisfaction. 

That philosophy led to defining the range of engines, all champions of fuel consumption, emissions and performance. Standing out are the brand new two-cylinder engines equipped with the Start&Stop system as standard: 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo, named "International Engine of the Year 2011", and the brand new 65 HP 0.9 aspirated TwinAir, adopted for the first time. The renewed 69 HP 1.2 Fire petrol engine and the 75 HP 1.3 Multijet II, also with Start&Stop supplied standard, complete the range of engines.
At its launch, the new model is available with front-wheel drive - then the Panda 4x4 will make its debut - and offers 3 trim levels (Pop, Easy and Lounge), 10 body colours, 9 interior environments, 2 hub caps and 2 14" and 15" alloy wheels. The new contents include the "Blue&Me TomTom LIVE" that combines the advantages of an infotainment system which is integrated and connected with those of a portable navigation system, opening the doors to connectivity. Afterwards the innovative optional LSCM (Low Speed Collision Mitigation) braking system will become available. It can detect an obstacle present nearby and automatically brake at speeds slower than 30 km/h. 

In short, everything is a whole lot easier with Panda. It is easier to move, to park, to find the right amount of space and to adjust the vehicle to suit you, so that you can feel at ease and interact with others. Important solutions that are expressed in a philosophy of life. Besides, before being a car the Panda is an idea that has generated another way of experiencing a car in total freedom. That's because today as always, whoever chooses a Panda is free from the conventional mould, fashions and classifications. In a sense, you could say that it is a non-conformist car, which from its very first generation was able to astonish with simple yet not obvious solutions. It is precisely its vocation for structural and constructive simplicity that now allows it to further evolve without ever losing its true nature of revolutionary car. Suffice it to say that it was the first car of its segment to bear the prestigious title of "Car of the Year 2004". It was the first compact to feature a diesel engine (1986) and it was the first to offer both four-wheel drive (1983) and a range of eco-friendly engines designed to limit fuel consumption (the Panda Elettra was introduced in 1990, one of the first electric cars). It was the first 4x4 city car to reach Everest's base camp at an altitude of 5,200 metres (2004).

Totally Italian

Icon of design and Italian know-how, the new Panda is the evolution of a successful model and destined to confirm Fiat's position as undisputed leader in the city-car category. For this reason, Fiat Group Automobiles has set its sights on ensuring top quality throughout the entire product development process and its engineering. Such a design could only be manufactured in an equally advanced factory, one redesigned with the same criteria. This is why the new model is made in Pomigliano d'Arco, near Naples. The industrial area has been entirely refurbished for the event with new systems, particularly in the body-in-white and assembly sector, and an innovative "Quality Centre". More than being simply the most advanced Fiat has, these new systems are also among the most advanced in the world.
The Giambattista Vico plant was brought to technological and organisational excellence in a record time of 12 months and with a total investment of Euro 800 million in both machinery and people, for whom to the present day 200 thousand hours of training have been put in.
The result is a car that represents the passion and the design and building ability of a brand born over a century ago. The heritage of Fiat is all this and more, combined with the commitment and professional pride of thousands of people - engineers, factory workers, executives - who have followed one another over the years in the factories and in the offices.

A 31-year success story

The Panda went down in automotive history in 1980 when Fiat presented the first model at the Geneva Motor Show, the result of research started in 1976. With the Panda an idea was born, an idea which has generated another way of experiencing a car: simple, democratic, fun and at the same time revolutionary owing to its intuitive and brilliant solutions. It was the first generation of one of the most highly appreciated European city cars that never ceases to amaze. In a three-year period it was enriched with the textile sun-roof version and the four-wheel drive version, and in July 1984 the one millionth Panda produced after only four years from its birth arrived.
Its success was renewed in 1986 with the second series of the first generation. The engines were one of the major innovations. The new 34 HP and 45 HP FIRE 769cc and 999cc replaced the 652cc and 903cc. The diesel engine was also introduced. But what did not change was the customer's love for this car. Over the next two years it surpassed the threshold of 2 million units produced, and in 1990 the range grew, enriched with the futuristic Panda Elettra, the first version fitted with an electric motor. The first-generation Panda was produced up until 2003. Up until the very last minute it held one of the top spots in the rankings of utility cars purchased. 

The moment of the second generation arrived in September 2003. The Fiat Panda was launched on the market with a design that interpreted the new style trends. It abandoned the three-door bodywork and grew 13 centimetres longer and a dozen wider to make room for a comfortable five-door MPV configuration. And it was immediately a hit. It was the first car in this segment to be awarded the prestigious "Car of The Year 2004" title. The model became a downright "platform" on which Fiat created an entire family of cars boasting technology and attention to detail worthy of a higher category. In 2007 the one millionth second generation unit rolled off the line. About 6 million first and second-generation Pandas were produced.
Now it is the turn of the third-generation Fiat Panda to continue down this path embarked on 31 years ago on the roads of the world.

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