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2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifolgio – Scorched Earth

Posted by on 14 November 2018

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifolgio shouldn’t exist, but it does and I for one am really glad it does, since it’s an SUV that will go from 0-60 faster than an Aston Martin DB11, a Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport and a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. It also ties the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to 60 and will easily lose it in the turns….yes, it’s that good.

All this is possible thanks in part to a Ferrari sourced engine, the V8 from the California but with 2 cylinders lopped off and a RACE mode, yes it has a RACE mode. Pair that with a quick shifting 8 speed transmission which helped it to lap the Nürburgring in a time of just 7 minutes and 32 seconds beating the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S by 8 seconds!

So, what’s under the carbon fiber hood then?……..The Stelvio Quadrifoglio runs a 2.9-liter twin turbo V6 that is essentially the Ferrari California T’s V8 with 2 cylinders lopped off. Not that it loses out much to that original engine, the V6 pumps out 505 hp @ 6,500 rpm and 443-lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm, which are very good numbers indeed. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and with huge column mounted paddle shifters, this SUV means business.

We attached our Racelogic equipment and selected RACE mode of course, this turns off ESC and holds the car at around 2,500 rpm with a left foot firmly on the brake pedal. We did a couple of launches and got it to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds dead, impressive.

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How does it go?

 

The Stelvio QF doesn’t realize it’s an SUV and its driver will only realize because they are sitting up high. Let’s be honest it’s a lifted Giulia QF and being taller makes for a sense that you are not going as fast as your really are, which caught me out on a couple of occasions. A dab on the terrific brakes was all that was needed to bring be back to legal speeds.

In order to give maximum driver satisfaction Alfa gives this car a DNA selector but unlike the cooking version they have added an extra mode, RACE. Simply hold the knob for a couple of seconds and the damper button in the middle turns red, which you can press to make them slightly softer, I didn’t. This gives the Alfa a rear bias and the front wheels only play a part if the rears give up traction. In RACE mode the Stelvio QF is savage, the car simply doesn’t want to drive slowly, it’s constantly on edge. This means that when you bury your foot into the carpet it just goes berserk, tearing into corners carrying speed you just wouldn’t expect. Turn in is crisp and powering out is pure joy before you hit the excellent brakes for the next turn.

When you first start driving in RACE mode a quick turn of the wheel is all that’s required to realize that you’re sitting in something very very special. The steering communicates everything to the driver, is razor sharp and is unlike any other electrically assisted steering I have ever experienced. Why don’t all cars have steering like this?

Thanks to the offset Pirelli P Zero PZ4s, cornering grip is phenomenal, and not a squeal was heard in the week I spent tackling tight and twisty mountain roads. They will let go though, so caution is needed in RACE mode, power out of a corner and the tail will slide but a quick flick of the wheel sets you back on course.

Dial back the selector and the rasping, farting, brap brap exhaust note is subdued somewhat (your neighbors will thank you), and the suspension softens, but you wouldn’t describe it as such. It’s still fast whichever mode you choose, but RACE is ridiculous especially when you use the excellent paddle shifters, which make the exhaust sound even better. There is a price to pay though, I averaged 14.7 mpg for the week and at times it went below 12 when driving at full chat, but it really is worth it.

 

But how does it sound?

 

 

The Stelvio QF is all about the driving and this is highlighted in the excellent and supportive front chairs, leather covered of course. The rest of the interior is attractive, it’s a pleasing design, fuss and clutter free. The dashboard design is also taken from the Giulia, only the steering angle is different due to the vehicle’s higher stance. The interior is a very minimalist in its design which I like, and although the infotainment screen is small most of the controls are at hand in the center console, the DNA mode selector, the infotainment volume and the rotary menu controller.

If I have a quibble it’s the low rent gear selector. The steering wheel is however, superb, thinner at the top, covered with a mix of leather and grippy Alcantara and with those tremendous paddle shifters mounted on the column.

The quality of materials is pretty good except for that gear selector I mentioned, which should be an easy fix, so I won’t dwell. It’s not a match for an Audi interior but it feels robust and durable, but it has what most cars don’t, it has soul, it’s been built with a passion for driving, to get you from A to B with a grin on your face.

Unanimous decision

Let’s face it if you’re driving anything less than a supercar don’t even think about trying to beat this off the line if one pulls alongside you at the lights…. you will lose. Test yourself against it with another SUV and you’ll need an AMG GLC 63 S or a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to keep up. If you just bought a Macan Turbo or an F- Pace you’ll literally be off the pace and you should probably return it and get this Alfa……..YES, it’s that good and I still haven’t stopped grinning.

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2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifolgio by the numbers


VEHICLE LAYOUT: – Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
ENGINE: – Twin-turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6
POWER: – 505 hp @ 6,500 rpm
TORQUE:- 443-lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION:- 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT: – 4,360 lb
0-60 MPH: – 3.5 seconds
TOP SPEED:
176 mph
EPA CITY/HWY/COMBINED: – 19/17/23 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: – 14.7 mpg
CARGO SPACE: – 18.5 ft³, 56.5 ft³ with seat area
PROS: – Grin-inducing acceleration, incredible handling, fantastic exhaust noise
CONS: – Slightly sub-par interior quality

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Columbia's Tatiana Calderon to Make F1 Debut With Alfa Romeo Sauber C37

Posted by JAMES GILBOY, www.thedrive.com on 29 October 2018

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Alfa Romeo Sauber announced Friday during practice for the Mexican Grand Prix that its Columbian test driver Tatiana Calderon will drive the team's 2018 car on Tuesday, Oct. 30 as part of a filming day.

Calderon's drive will cover 100 kilometers (62 miles) of driving at Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the site of the Mexican Grand Prix. Her track time will be filmed as part of a promotional testing day.

"I am very thankful and excited about the opportunity given to me by the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, Escudería Telmex, Telcel, Infinitum and Claro to drive a Formula One car for the first time in my career," stated Calderon in the team's press release.

"Since I started racing, my dream and goal has been to drive at the highest level one day. It will be an incredible experience to discover the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez from the cockpit of the Sauber C37 in Mexico City. As a Latin American driver, there could not be a more special place for me to make my debut behind the wheel of a Formula One car."

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"We are very proud to be part of Tatiana's project," added América Móvil chairman Carlos Slim Domit, who praised Calderon's influence on young female drivers. "Her career has been built with talent, effort, sacrifice and dedication which is widely reflected in her results that have made her the first Latin American woman to be part of a Formula One team with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. This allows her to achieve a new goal representing an important step in her career and pride for all race fans in Colombia and Latin America, particularly for women and racing in general."

Calderon has caught flak in recent weeks for her vocal support of a controversial women-only Formula 3 championship, which many professionals see as limiting to its participants. Her success in similar series is limited, save for a second-place finish in the 2015-16 season of MRF Formula 2000, which prompts some to question her level of development as a driver. Nevertheless, if Calderon is given the chance to grapple with her Sauber at full tilt, she may be able to show the capability to race in F1 when a suitable seat opens. Let's hope she gets the chance.

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Kevin Ceccon claims maiden win for Alfa Romeo in WTCR

Posted by Andrew Abbott, www.touringcars.net on 29 October 2018

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Kevin Ceccon claimed the first victory for Alfa Romeo in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in the opening race at Suzuka, passing pole-sitter Aurélien Comte to also claim his and Team Mulsanne’s first win.

Pole-sitter Comte made a strong start to lead on the opening lap, but Ceccon began to apply pressure from the second lap and made his way past with a move at the high-speed 130R corner after getting a better run down the back straight.

The Italian was untouchable after that, despite two safety car interventions twice requiring him to rebuild his lead.

The victory marks the first for Alfa Romeo in FIA-level touring cars since James Thompson was victorious in Valencia in the WTCC in 2007.

Comte had to settle for second in his DG Sport Peugeot, unable to keep pace with Ceccon through the flowing first sector, despite twice being close to the leading Italian at the restarts.

YMR’s Yvan Muller completed the podium, and in doing so the Frenchman has drawn level with Gabriele Tarquini at the top of the drivers’ standings on 251 points.

The duo are now 17 points clear of Thed Björk, who had to retire from the race on lap three after hitting the tyre stack at the chicane and damaging the front-right corner of his Hyundai. The incident also prompted a first two-lap safety car period for the tyre stack to be replaced.

Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri was the leading Honda driver in fourth, being the only driver for the Japanese marque inside the points at Honda’s home circuit.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehid Bennani was fifth, the only Volkswagen driver on the lead lap after team-mate Rob Huff came into the pits after four laps with mechanical issues on his Golf GTi.

Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil’s Jean-Karl Vernay took sixth, unable to make significant ground in the race at a circuit where the Audis have yet to find their feet, the Frenchman mostly benefitting when grid penalties for drivers ahead of him elevated him to start from fifth after qualifying in ninth.

Mat’o Homola brought the second Peugeot home in seventh, ahead of BRC Racing’s Tarquini in eighth, with the Hyundai driver losing out to Homola at the chicane on the first lap.

Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch and Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola completed the top ten, with both drivers passing Münnich Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher in the first few laps of the race.

Ehrlacher then retired on lap seven when he went off into the gravel at 130R, causing a second safety car intervention. The incident which lead to the Frenchman’s retirement is being investigated following possible contact from Gordon Shedden.

Newcomer Luigi Ferrara took the chequered flag in 14th position in his first WTCR race, notably claiming the highest top speed figure in the race won by his team-mate.

Boutsen Ginion Racing’s Tiago Monteiro finished in 15th on his return to racing after over a year recovering from injury, ending the race as the second-best Honda driver in the field.

Race two is scheduled to take place at 11:05 local time on Sunday (02:05 GMT, 03:05 CET) followed by race three at 12:30 local time (03:30 GMT, 04:30 CET).

Race result

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2019 MASERATI LEVANTE GTS NAMED SUV OF TEXAS AND THE 2018 ALFA ROMEO STELVIO QUADRIFOGLIO NAMED CUV OF TEXAS

Posted by www.automotiveworld.com on 23 October 2018

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Texas Auto Writers Association: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS named SUV of Texas and the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio named CUV of Texas

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The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 earned top honors as the Truck of Texas at the annual Texas Truck Rodeo, hosted by the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA), along with a clean sweep of the top awards with the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS named SUV of Texas and the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio named CUV of Texas

The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 earned top honors as the Truck of Texas at the annual Texas Truck Rodeo, hosted by the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA), along with a clean sweep of the top awards with the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS named SUV of Texas and the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio named CUV of Texas. The Dodge Durango SRT and Jeep® vehicles also collected several awards. Collectively, FCA brands secured the most awards, 15 of 24, of any manufacturer at the event.

This year’s Rodeo was especially challenging with muddy conditions and wet roads – an environment where the lineup of FCA vehicles particularly excelled.

“The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 stole the hearts of our members this year, and has earned our highest honor as the 2019 Truck of Texas. It’s not only capable, but it is comfortable, and the attention to detail is unlike anything in the truck market. It’s a home run for the Ram brand that scored the Truck of Texas trophy,” said Michael Marrs, President of TAWA.

A total of 57 pickups, SUVs, crossovers and commercial vehicles were entered in the competition and 69 TAWA members attended the event. Members cast their votes after two days of on- and off-road vehicle evaluations. Consideration is given to everything from exterior/interior styling and off-road capability to the entrant’s overall utility, value and performance.

Ram, Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo and Maserati vehicles with top honors:

Ram Brand
Truck of Texas: 2019 Ram 1500
Full-size Pickup Truck: 2019 Ram 1500
Heavy Duty Pickup Truck: 2018 Ram Power Wagon
Luxury Pickup Truck: 2019 Ram 1500 Longhorn
Off-Road Pickup Truck: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
Best Powertrain:  2019 Ram 1500 eTorque Mild Hybrid System
Best New Technology: 2019 Ram 1500 12-inch Uconnect Touchscreen

Jeep Brand
Mid-Size Luxury SUV: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
Mid-Size SUV: 2018 Jeep Wrangler
Off-Road SUV: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Dodge Brand
Full-Size SUV: 2019 Dodge Durango SRT

Alfa Romeo
CUV of Texas: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Luxury CUV: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Maserati
SUV of Texas: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS
Full-Size Luxury SUV: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS

About TAWA
The Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc. was founded in 1985 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue of professional growth, development and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1992, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, and now Dripping Springs. In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, is also held annually. For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.

About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The Company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler Corp., established in 1925 by industry visionary Walter P. Chrysler and Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.), founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA).

FCA is an international automotive group listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”

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2018 Renault Trafic - Video Rod Report

Posted by companyvehicle.co.nz on 23 October 2018

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We video test the 2018 Renault Trafic

Style and flair are two words you wouldn’t normally associate with white vans, but with a Renault, it seems you can have your croissant and eat it too.

This is the third outing for the Renault Trafic and its definitely a case of third time’s the charm. Renault has held the accolade of Europe’s best-selling van range for 18 years, and while the oddly named brand is a bit of a best kept secret here, the Trafic is certainly worth crowing about.

In this version – the “tradie’s pick” – there’s a lot to love,  and it also comes in the Black Edition or the yet-to-be-priced Crew Cab, which gives a happy combo of six-seats and secure cargo space. But for those hunting a hauler with a dash of panache, the Tradie’s Trafic is le business.

Trafic gives you a 6 cubic metre load space, with access from both sides through simply monstrous side sliding doors, which you can have as glazed or blind panel. At le rear, two big, barn-style doors with 270-degree opening ability, afford easy access with a low load height.

The cargo bay is lined, lit and boasts a stunning array of load points, as well as a sophisticated through-the-bulkhead-under-the-front-seat-to-the-firewall stowage system for those times presumably, when you want to carry a deconstructed Eiffel Tower. 

The cabin is a wonderland of clever cubby spaces and concealed tricks. The centre seat of three does the fold down trick to reveal a pop-out clip board, yet another cup holder and a stash spot for a slim laptop or tablet, complete with Velcro straps.

Multifunctional centre seat not with sitting, the two main crew accommodations are very comfortable places to be, largely because the French marque has worked out that those who buy vans tend to spend a lot of time in them.

I’m picking they’d be as comfortable as each other, but my time was spent in the right seat, giving me access to all the toys, like the cruise control and speed limiter, multifunctional trip computer, audio system (steering wheel mounted controls) the Bluetooth connectivity, the automatic engine start and stop system and oh yes, my own cup holder.

You’ll want to know how safe you’ll be in the Trafic? You do have ABS with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist, just as you get electronic stability control and hill start assist. Renault’s RAID (anti intruder device) secures all doors once the vehicle reaches 30km/h, while front airbags form a second line of defence after the long crumple zone of the bonnet.

That long bonnet is also home to automatic headlights with LED daytime running lights, and its also your first taste of that style and flair we mentioned earlier. Let’s face it, a white van is pretty much a white van and there’s only so much you can do to make it appealing or stylish.

The Renault Trafic is distinctive, daring with restraint, and it delivers, thanks to its twin turbocharged 1.6-litre diesel with a six-speed manual transmission, all the while sipping just 6.2 l/100km of fuel.

With that combination and a 3498mm wheelbase, the Trafic is something of a Le Mans racer in van land, and its handling is astonishing, considering the vehicle’s purpose.

Just quietly, I reckon Renault’s top van laurels are safe for another few years at least if the Trafic is any indication.

For more information visit  https://www.renault.co.nz/vehicles/trafic/

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Euromarque Car Reviews with Jase and Tez

Posted by on 17 October 2018

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review with Jason Gunn and Terry Milne

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New Maserati makes NZ debut

Posted by autofile.co.nz on 11 October 2018

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The 2019 Maserati Levante has made its New Zealand debut - available from $139,990 plus delivery. 

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The 2019 Maserati Levante takes Ferrari power into a whole new sector of the market with the launch of the 350 hp Levante which enters the New Zealand market under the existing Levante S and Turbo Diesel models with a recommended retail price of $139,990 plus dealer costs and delivery.

Making its New Zealand debut in the 2019 Maserati Levante, the Maserati designed, Ferrari produced 350hp/257kW twin turbo V6 is a version of the engine that powers the range-topping Maserati Levante S.

With 500Nm of torque spread across 1,750 - 4,750rpm, the 350 hp/257kW Levante offers an outstanding driving experience, accelerating to 100kph in six seconds and on to a top speed of 251kph.

In the best Maserati tradition, the engine’s exhaust system is controlled by pneumatic valves to maintain the rich aural signature of the brand. In the default driving mode, the bypass valves are closed for a comfortable and discreet engine sound.

In sports mode, the exhaust valves open, providing the shortest possible exit route for the exhaust gases. This provides the Levante with its maximum engine performance and the unique Maserati soundtrack.  

The latest version of the Levante has the same sophisticated Q4 intelligent all-wheel-drive with rear limited-slip differential and advanced suspension that includes adjustable air springs and skyhook shock absorbers. It offers sports car like handling biased towards the rear, until the going gets tough when the four-wheel drive system comes into action enabling the Levante to traverse conditions previously unheard of for an Italian sports car.

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From its 19-inch alloys to its powered rear door, the new Levante is stylishly well equipped and maintains Maserati’s legendary handcrafted interiors and exclusivity.

The interior is richly leather lined and hand stitched, from the seats to the steering wheel, while the front seats are heated and boast 12 way electrical operation with memories and the dashboard is finished in piano black trim, which surrounds the latest in telematics systems, the Maserati MTC+ which has SatNav and digital radio as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It has cruise control, blind spot alert, rear camera with a dynamic grid guide and parking sensors front and rear. Keyless operation of the doors is standard, along with auto-dipping mirrors and dual-zone climate control ventilation.

“The newest addition to Maserati Levante range is endowed with everything expected of a Maserati with a level of accessibility never before achieved in a Maserati,” says Glen Sealey, the chief operating officer of Maserati Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

“It has the Ferrari-powered performance, the on and off-road ability, the exclusive and unique trim and materials that can only come from Maserati and yet it is available at price point that brings Maserati into a whole new area of the market.”

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Infiniti’s Project Black S is a 563bhp Q60 with F1 tech

Posted by on 10 October 2018

It is a ‘potential performance flagship’. Yeah, just build it, Infiniti

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This is an Infiniti Q60 that you can neither drive, nor buy. Not yet, anyway. It’s a technical exercise; a result of a conversation between Infiniti and its friends (partners) over at Renault Sport F1.

The question? How can F1 tech be made relevant for road use. The answer? A 563bhp, dual-hybrid, bewinged two-seat coupe with a trim spec even The Dark Knight himself would be proud of.

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Welcome to the update of the Project Black S, a car we first saw at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, albeit as a design study. This one actually works, and – according to the informations provided – works quite quickly.

The 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 features three motor generator units. There’s one MGU-K that harvests energy under braking, and a pair of MGU-H units to get heat energy from exhaust gases, under acceleration.

All three happy helpers feed that energy into a “high-rate discharge” 4.4 kWh battery, which in turn is sent via an anti-lag system, feeding an additional 120kW directly into the drivetrain. Considering Top Gear’s limited knowledge of such things and sensing your will to exist diminishing upon digesting this, it basically amounts to a rather large whoopee: 563bhp of total power.

That’s at the rear wheels only – via a limited slip diff – and allows for 0-62mph in under four seconds. Not too shabby at all. It’s heavy, mind. The electrical gubbins no doubt add weight, and the Project Black S weighs in at 1,776kg, 24kg more than a regular Q60 Sport.

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As you would expect of such a thing, there are modes. ‘Road’, ‘Quali’, and ‘Race’ – Quali’s the flat-out one, Road the compromise and Race determining where you need energy and where you can harvest. Clever.

Angry, too. Again, with help from the Renault F1 team, many body panels (bonnet, arches, roof) are made from carbon fibre, and there’s even a faint Renault F1 livery (yellow highlights). The wing, too, not only references the wing Renault F1 use at Monza, but offers a good compromise between acceleration and downforce (apparently), and most importantly, looks ace.

Bits of the body have been cut out to accommodate the F1 stuff, while the rear suspension cross member has been modified and work has been done to modify the underfloor. Oh, and the rear seats have been binned. There are carbon brake discs, sticky Pirellis, 21in forged aluminium wheels and all the acceleration and braking is done by wire. Serious stuff.

Both Infiniti and Renault F1 will continue to develop this – all Infinitis will be electrified by 2021, we’re told – to bring proper race tech into your showroom. “Making the leap from circuit to road is something we are incredibly excited to be involved in,” explains Renault F1 boss Cyril Abetoul.

Are you just as excited? The world can’t have enough BMW M4 rivals, right?

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review

Posted by Aaron Smith on 10 October 2018

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Alfa Romeo has exhibited spectacular form in recent years and is aiming to keep this trend going into 2019.

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The charismatic Italian car firm hit the ball out of the park with the stunning Giulia in 2016; absolutely nailing it after a decade’s absence from the executive sedan segment. So can they follow up that success with their first attempt into the SUV market with the Stelvio?

This Ti variant is powered by a 206kW (276bhp) 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder motor and is the range-topping Stelvio engine until the flagship 503bhp Quadrifoglio version arrives on New Zealand shores.

All Stelvios are equipped with an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and while all the engine’s 400Nm of torque is channelled to the rear wheels by default, up to 50 percent can be sent to the front wheels if conditions dictate.

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Specification highlights include elegantly shaped leather sports seats that are both heated and electrically adjustable up front, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, 20-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors at both ends, reversing camera, 10-speaker sound system, heated steering wheel, optional Panoramic sunroof ($3,500), enormous Ferrari-esque aluminium shift paddles and sat-nav, plus a power tailgate.

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Alfa Romeo’s DNA drive selector features on all Stelvios – ‘D’ for Dynamic, ‘N’ for Natural and ‘A’ for Advanced Efficiency. Unlike its rivals sporting modes, Alfa’s switchable DNA feature in the Stelvio Ti is unique in that you can select Dynamic mode (which sharpens up the throttle response, steering and gear changes) but can also press the damper button to soften off the damping at the same time – improving compliancy over Canterbury’s rutted roads. You can have your cake and eat it with this car and it’s a refreshing feature.

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There’s an almighty wallop of low-down torque available from just 2250rpm, which makes swift progress on open roads a breeze. The eight-speed automatic gearbox fires through ratios with ruthless efficiency, too – the gear changes are 98 percent dual-clutch gearbox quick and yet considerably smoother.

The beautifully sculpted aluminium shift paddles combined with the starter button on the steering wheel give strong hints to Alfa Romeo’s family relationship with Ferrari and naturally heightens the sensation of the driving experience. Given that this car accelerates from 0-100kmh in 5.7 seconds and can return 7.0L/100km on a combined run, there’s a strong argument this Ti variant is the jewel of the Stelvio range.

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It’s talented in the handling department – not just for an SUV, but in general. Body roll is extremely well contained for a car with this amount of ride height and hints at the 50/50 weight distribution. The chassis is reactive, steering quick (the rack is inherited from the Giulia), the brakes are strong and have no qualms reigning in the 1660kg aluminium-clipped kerb weight.

Inside, there’s generous occupant and luggage space, cabin materials that feel premium and a decent driving position with well-placed controls. Cabin ambience exudes Italian flamboyance – especially when dressed in red leather. It all adds up to a rather special feeling when going about your commute.

Compared to its rivals the Stelvio is both unusually engaging to drive and attractive; something not normally associated with mid-size SUVs. Very few brands can nail their first attempt at an SUV, but Alfa Romeo is one of them.

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 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti 2.0 AWD

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Price: $99,990 + on-road costs
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, petrol
Power: 206kW (276bhp) at 5250rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 2250rpm
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Kerb weight: 1660kg
0-100kmh: 5.7 seconds
Top speed: 230kmh

Fuel economy (combined): 7.0L/100km
CO2 rating: 161g/km

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NEW AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC VEHICLES FROm RENAULT GROUPE

Posted by on 2 October 2018

Groupe Renault announces new, affordable electric vehicles and shares vision for new mobility experience

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  • New EV Model: global, affordable, electric, Renault K-ZE supports the Groupe Renault’s international expansion and will come first in China.

  • Electrification: Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid versions of Clio, Megane and Captur coming in Europe.

  • New Mobility: Group unveils Augmented Editorial Experience to link premium content with new mobility.

Paris, France, 1 October, 2018 - Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn today announced two steps forward in the company’s continued electrification of its Renault range, as outlined in the strategic plan Drive the Future: a new, affordable urban electric vehicle in 2019, coming first to China, and new hybrid and plug-in hybrid options on three of its popular vehicles in 2020. He also shared Renault’s vision for next-generation, on-board experiences with an exciting peek at the Augmented Editorial Experience that will be shown on Oct 2 at the Paris Motor Show.

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New Products, new markets

A pioneer and leader in 100% electric mobility, Groupe Renault unveiled showcar Renault K-ZE, a new global A-segment, SUV-inspired electric vehicle, capable of 250km NEDC – the best autonomy in its segment. It features a seductive, sporty design with assertive lines and a muscular, compact footprint. Beyond its attractive design, Renault K-ZE is also easy to charge thanks to a double charging system compatible with domestic plugs and public infrastructures. Renault K-ZE comes with a host of equipment maximizing the experience of driving an electric vehicle such as rear parking sensors, rear view camera and a central screen with connected navigation and services.

China is the largest and fastest-growing market for electric vehicles and Renault K-ZE will therefore come first in China. It will be manufactured locally by e-GT New Energy Automotive Co, the Joint Venture with Dongfeng Motor Group and Nissan created to develop and produce competitive electric vehicles for the Chinese market.

“Groupe Renault was a pioneer and is the European leader in electric vehicles. We are introducing Renault K-ZE, an affordable, urban, SUV-inspired electric model combining the best of Groupe Renault: our leadership in EV, our expertise in affordable vehicles and in forging strong partnerships”, said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Groupe Renault.

Renault also confirmed its plans to further electrify its range in its 2020 product refresh cycle, offering hybrid on Clio and plug-in hybrid on Megane and Captur, giving consumers the possibility to go electric in the models they know and love. e-Tech, an innovative, 100% Renault in-house technology, enables Renault to offer hybrid versions on B and C segment models.

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Premium content and reinvented onboard experiences

Also at tonight’s press conference, Mr. Ghosn discussed how on-board experiences evolve with the advent of new mobility. As mobility continues open up new possibilities for connected and autonomous cars, users will seek for more sophisticated on-board experiences to maximize travel time – personally and professionally. Demonstrating the next step in Renault’s investment stake in French media group Challenges, Mr. Ghosn revealed a new vision for the future of mobile content – an Augmented Editorial Experience (AEX). This immersive experience combining content, connectivity services, media and mobility, will turn travel time into a learning experience beyond driving and beyond the car itself.

“With the advent of connected, autonomous vehicles, customers will expect more of their traveling time. Experimenting with Groupe Challenges, we imagine what tomorrow’s connected, personalized mobility experience could be”, Carlos Ghosn said. “Access to premium content delivered through unique on-board experiences for drivers and passengers will become key differentiators”.

An immersive Augmented Editorial Experience will appear on the Renault stand at the Paris Motor Show. Inside a full-size capsule, through 4 scenarios in a 222-degree projection, visitors will experience how their daily time spent in a car might be different, through the benefit of enhanced on-board experiences and premium, adaptive, personalized content developed by Groupe Challenges.

The AEX capsule sits alongside a new Renault luxury concept car, which is an electric, autonomous, connected robo-vehicle, making it easy for people to imagine what the experience might be like in the autonomous drive car of the future.

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