Editor-In-Chief's Note: Automotive News is reporting that Gualberto Ranieri, the senior vice president for communications for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ subsidiary, FCA US, has returned to Italy to be in charge of foreign media, seven years after arriving to work for the former Fiat S.p.A. in the US. Ranieri, who was The Great Sergio's personal PR bagman, will not be missed in the least. -PMD
(Photos courtesy of Ford)
Bill Ford hoists the winner's trophy (above) from the 24 Hours of Le Mans in front of Ford employees in Dearborn on Tuesday, July 12th. Drivers Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais and team owner Chip Ganassi joined Ford Performance executives to present the winners’ trophy to Ford Motor Company employees on Tuesday at Ford’s Product Development Center, while third-place finishers Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook joined them for a formal presentation with Ford executives, question-and-answer sessions and autograph signing near Ford’s global world headquarters. Chip Ganassi and Raj Nair also spoke at the celebration (below). Ganassi attended with team partner Rob Kauffman, Chip Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta, Managing Director Mike Hull, IMSA sports car team principal Mike O’Gara and WEC team principal George Howard-Chappell. Multimatic Vice President Larry Holt and Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines, also were on hand for the celebration. “It’s always a great day when you can bring a celebration like our Le Mans victory back to Ford employees and be able to present this trophy to them,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “This victory was for them. So many of our employees worked very hard to help us get ready to race at Le Mans, and we couldn’t have done it without them. And all of our employees, here and globally, have been behind us from the start in this effort, and we wanted to let them know how much their support meant to us.” With his 175th victory, Ganassi becomes the only team owner in history to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Fifty years ago, when the Ford GT 40 racing team finished 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the company illuminated the World Headquarters building in Dearborn with the message “GT Wins at LeMans.” In order to celebrate Ford Chip Ganassi Racing's win in the GTE PRO class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans with the new Ford GT, the company illuminated the World Headquarters building in Dearborn again on Monday night, July 11.
It's summer and even car companies get bored, apparently. "Vehicles with Mercedes-Benz design are already unmistakable on water, on land and in the air. Now, Mercedes-Benz design will also be available for the golf courses" according to the company press release. No, they aren't kidding. The Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car "authentically transfers the unmistakable Mercedes-Benz automobile design idiom of sensual purity to a premium-class golf cart." Oh my. The show cart is the result of a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz designers, Daimler's Think & Act Tank Business Innovation and the well-known golf cart manufacturer Garia. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG says, "We have reinvented the world of the golf cart with our Mercedes-Benz Golf Car. Mercedes-Benz stands for modern luxury, and golf is an authentic part of that theme. Transferring our automotive design idiom to the Golf Car is therefore something quite natural, and in doing so we have created a product that is both sensual and pure." Uh, wow. The M-B cart has double wishbone suspension, front disc brakes and an electric motor with an output of three kilowatts (it can also make up to eleven kilowatts available for short periods). It has a governed top speed of 19 mph (30 km/h) and a range of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers). The charging time for the lithium-ion battery is six hours. The vehicle is braked by front disc brakes. Garia is initially building two driveable examples of the show cart. The reactions of the market and potential customers will be incorporated into any series production. This progressive Golf Car is to be mainly sold via digital channels. More information about the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car is available at http://arealsportscar.com
Ford isn't messing around or resting on its laurels when it comes to its "franchise" - the F150 pickup truck. The all-new, second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine in the 2017 Ford F-150 produces 375HP and a segment-best 470 lb.-ft. of torque, a gain of 10 hp and 50 lb.-ft. from the previous 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. This beats all diesel- and gasoline-powered competitors, including V8 engines with nearly twice the displacement of the EcoBoost V6, according to Ford. The engine is paired exclusively with the first volume-production 10-speed automatic transmission available from any automaker. The 2.7-liter and first-generation 3.5-liter twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost engines account for approximately 60 percent of F-150 sales - a figure no one predicted - and the Ford F-150 remains the first and only truck in its segment to offer a twin-turbo gasoline engine. The 2017 Ford F-150 goes on sale this fall.