Editor-In-Chief's Note: Watching the automotive Internet "intelligentsia" go completely crazy over the Alfa Romeo Giulia was to be expected. Is it a decent looking car? Yes, of course, I didn't expect anything less. The 8C Competizione was a beautiful machine, so why should we be surprised? But it doesn't change anything about the wildly ridiculous numbers Sergio Marchionne is promising for the brand. (See Peter's breakdown of the numbers in his Autoextremist Brand Image Meter IV column -WG) Before everyone completely loses their shit over the Giulia, let me be the bearer of bad news, because perspective seems to be fleeting at this juncture. 1. It won't arrive here in the U.S. before the fall of 2016, at the earliest. Think about that for a moment. And 2. The launch itself will be one of fits, spits and starts, with nowhere near the volume that Marchionne is promising. And finally, 3. Do you actually think - given FCA's absolutely dreadful track record when it comes to building vehicles with even a modicum of quality - that the Giulia will perform any differently in that regard? Really? You don't honestly believe that a magic switch will be "flipped" that will instantly purge decades of piss-poor quality from the Fiat car making Empire, do you? I suppose if you do, you're exactly the kind of buyer that Marchionne and his espresso-swilling minions are looking for. As for the rest of us, Alfa will continue to fulfill the role that it has always occupied - as that semi-delightful automotive oddity that is nice to look at - but that you pass by so you can sink your hard-earned money into something else. -PMD
The Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Chevrolet has taken the wraps off of the new 2016 Camaro convertible, saying that it is the only convertible in the segment to offer a fully automatic operation with latches that automatically release and secure the top; capability of opening or closing at speeds up to 30 mph; remote opening with the key fob and a hard tonneau cover that deploys automatically. The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – designed for a comfortable, quiet driving experience in all seasons. The new Camaro convertible arrives early next year.
Editor-In-Chief's Note: I'm sure you have noticed of late that the car dialogue has shifted. Yes, among enthusiast True Believers the conversation is still about the array of incredible performance cars available today, and in that regard we're living in a golden era to be sure. But the rest of the discussion centers around autonomous vehicles - see the latest announcements from Ford - and the slow but steady decline of "The Car Thing." I believe we're at a tipping point here, and the future is going to be less than thrilling for a lot of us when it comes to the automobile. Manufacturers - take the intro of the new BMW 7 Series, for instance - routinely talk more about the gee-whiz electronics involved than the actual driving characteristics of the machines in question. And it's only just beginning. Check out Dr. Bud's column from a couple of months ago - "The 'Car Thing' at a Crossroads" - for a bit of sobering perspective. -PMD
Wait a minute, didn't we just experience the launch of the all-new, aluminum bodied, 2015 Ford F-150 pickup? Yes, yes, we did, but in automotive industry time it's already 2016, and Ford is ready with some new tweaks for this country's most popular vehicle. New Special Edition Packages for XLT and Lariat designed to further personalize the F-150 to customer tastes will make their debut for 2016. The Special Edition Package adds all-new, unique 20-inch premium anodized dark-painted aluminum wheels with red sport lettering; black running boards; smoked headlamps; unique body-side graphics and badging; special edition seats with Alcantara® inserts, red contrast stitching and red bolsters, and unique red stitching on the steering wheel, transmission gear selector boot and instrument panel. This package also features a dark anodized grille with black mesh on XLT, while the Lariat dark anodized grille receives red accents.
After 21 months of production, the final Porsche 918 Spyder has come off the assembly line in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. A total of 918 cars were built between late 2013 and this week.
Mercedes-Benz has introduced the replacement for its GLK SUV, now called the GLC. Longer, wider and with more room inside, we'll have more details to follow. The GLC will be available as the 2016 GLC300 and GLC300 4MATIC at US dealers in late November.