Maserati’s first electrified car will be the Levante SUV when it is facelifted in 2019. Picture: maserati
Maserati’s first electrified car will be the Levante SUV when it is facelifted in 2019. Picture: maserati

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) boss Sergio Marchionne has given the biggest hint yet that premium Italian sports brand Maserati could sign on for the blossoming Formula E racing series. Marchionne, who has stymied Maserati’s racing ambitions before, ruled Ferrari out of the all-electric open-wheeler category but suggested either Alfa Romeo or Maserati would be more likely starters. "… we are looking at this with interest. Maybe with one of the others — not Fiat — but Alfa or Maserati," he said recently.

As for which brand FCA would use, Marchionne recently revealed that, like Volvo, every new Maserati launched from 2019 would use some kind of electrification in its powertrain. That alone makes it the most likely.

Performance with more doors

Development of the Mercedes-AMG GT four-door is continuing with prototypes being spotted wearing less and less camouflage, hinting at a reveal of the production version at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The new model will differ from the existing AMG GT range in that it will feature a hybrid powertrain that the company says is inspired by its Formula One cars. Like the F1 cars, the powertrain will be called EQ+, in line with the brand’s plans to launch its electric car range under the EQ name.

Along with the electric motor, there will be a 4.4l twin-turbo V8 with the total power predicted to be about 600kW. The company is planning on a 0-100km/h time of less than three seconds for its latest GT model, which will offer proper space for four along with their luggage.

The production version of the Mercedes-AMG GT four-door looks set to be revealed in September. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The production version of the Mercedes-AMG GT four-door looks set to be revealed in September. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

Wrangling a new future

We have been following development of the new Jeep Wrangler with interest, but now Jeep insiders have confirmed that the new model should make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of 2017. Sources have also advised that while the new model will be lighter to improve fuel economy, its legendary Trail-rated off-road ability will be improved even more.

Major changes to improve consumption and emissions will be a switch to more use of aluminium, but the most intriguing thing will be design changes in the interest of better aerodynamics. Jeep has hopefully learned from the unpopular latest Cherokee that it should not mess with the traditional formula too much, but we expect the grille and windscreen to be less vertical than in previous generations. It could also feature a longer front end in order to accommodate hybrid technology, although regular engine options will include a 2.0l turbo petrol, a V6 petrol and a turbodiesel V6.

In other news….

Audi has launched its RS3 sedan and Sportback models in SA. Boasting 294kW and 480Nm, they are both claimed to sprint to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds. Further afield, the company is putting the final touches to the new RS5 Sportback model.

Details are sketchy at the moment but Porsche is preparing to launch a facelift of its Macan. Updates look likely to give it a more muscular appearance and could include more pronounced sculpting in the side profile. It could also get a slightly longer rear overhang to increase bootspace.

Please sign in or register to comment.