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Daily Archives: July 25, 2018

New Aston Martin SUV To Start Production Next Year

aston martin

Aston Martin confirmed that its first SUV will enter production in late 2019 after the completion of its new St. Athan plant in South Wales in the United Kingdom. The British automaker, however, has not released any specifications for the new car.

The company’s board of directors already held a meeting at the new plant, which includes three converted former-Ministry of Defense hangars. The facility will be completed before the production of the SUV in 2019.

Media reports said that the brand’s first SUV will be called Varekai. The SUV will be based on the DBX concept that was presented in Pebble Beach, California in 2015.

Aston Martin is expected to fit the gasoline version of the SUV with its V12 engine, though upgrades might be made since the company plans to compete with the 650-horsepower Lamborghini Urus via a hybrid powertrain.

To do that, the brand will use a Mercedes-AMG four-liter V8 twin-turbo engine that pairs with an electric motor of 200 horsepower. The engines will combine for a total of 700 horsepower. If this happens, the “Varekai” will be the world’s most powerful SUV.

Aston Martin must have tricks up its sleeves if it wants to compete in the high-end SUV market. Competition is increasingly fierce in the industry as Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Uris, and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan have already made their mark in the segment. Ferrari, of course, is another one to watch out for as it plans to roll out its first SUV soon.

This is not the only SUV that Aston Martin plans to produce. Another one is in the pipeline; this time, for its premium Lagonda brand. The Lagonda SUV is expected by 2021 at the earliest. Based on the Lagonda Vision Concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018, the SUV will be a semi-autonomous vehicle.

Former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne On Life Support After Stroke

sergio marchionne

Sergio Marchionne won’t be returning to his post as CEO of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles because he is on life support after a surgery on his shoulder put him into a coma with irreversible brain damage, a report from an Italian website said.

Citing anonymous sources, Lettera43 said that the 66-year-old former CEO was diagnosed a long time ago with invasive shoulder sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that develops in the bones and connective tissues. He apparently did not inform Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann about the severity of his illness.

A translation of the report, which was written in Italian, said that Marchionne was having “severe shoulder pain that made arm movements difficult.” A separate report from Automotive News also said that he had a chronic thyroid condition that he had been taking medications to treat. Before his surgery at the University of Zurich, Marchionne shared some doubts about how effective it would be.

During the surgery, which took place in late June, Marchionne suffered from a cerebral embolism that put him into a coma. Doctors have no hope of recovery and they are simply relying on machines to keep him alive.

Representatives from Fiat Chrysler refused to comment on the story.

Last Saturday, Fiat Chrysler’s board of directors met for an emergency session to elect former Jeep brand chief Mike Manley as the new CEO. The company said Marchionne won’t be returning to his post, though he wasn’t expected to retire until next year.

In a statement over the weekend, Elkann said that he is “profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio’s state of health.” The two have worked together for the last 14 years and “lived through successes and difficulties, internal and external crises, but also unique and unrepeatable moments, both personal and professional.”

Update:

In an official statement released by FCA, we sadly inform readers that Marchionne has already passed on. Our sympathies go with his family and others close to him.

Honda HR-V Updated, Now with Starting Price of $21,515

honda hr-v

The 2019 Honda HR-V received a slew of new technologies and more refined features that turn this subcompact crossover into a definite all-star. The model will also get a revised CVT, additional sound deadening for a quieter cabin, and an updated all-wheel-drive system. The base model is priced at $21,515, a clean $850 increase from last year’s model.

The six-speed manual was removed from the lineup, so all variants now come with a CVT.

Base LX

The HR-V’s base LX now has halogen projector headlights, LED daytime running lights, and a redesigned cupholder. Other standard features are a 5-inch infotainment screen, LED taillights, steering wheel audio controls, rearview camera, and driver-side seat height adjustment.

Sport Trim

There’s a new trim called the Sport trim that sits right after the base LX. It has a black trim, 8-inch wheels, a black headliner, active noise cancellation, and sport pedals. It also comes standard with a variable gear ratio electric power steering that will enhance the steering feel. Some other goodies are an upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch screen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Sport trim will sell for $23,215.

EX

For the first time ever, the HR-V will enjoy the Honda Sensing in the EX trim. This includes collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, and lane keeping assist. It also received a moonroof, heated front seats, and fully automatic headlights for $24,715.

EX-L

The EX-L will get leather-trimmed seats, leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror for $26,315.

If you want an all-wheel-drive system for any of the trim levels (except for the Touring), you would have to pay an additional $1,400.

Touring

The Touring comes standard with an all-wheel-drive. Aside from that, it also gets an embedded navigation, LED high and low beam headlights, LED foglights, an eight-way power driver seat, HomeLink, exclusive 17-inch wheels, and double-stitched perforated leather upholstery.

The engine is the same 1.8-liter inline-four that produces 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. The new color options for the HR-V are Orange Burst Metallic, Midnight Amethyst Metallic, and Platinum White Pearl.

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