Latest News of Automobile – Third week of September
Today we post latest weekly news roundup of automobile Industry. We bring the latest global news about cars. This post is made each week so that our readers can stay updated with this Auto-world.
This week: Honda CRV concept – production launch near, Winter Driving School in Aspen – Ferrari offer, BMW has definite plan for an X4 SUV, Tiny Fiat 500 looks attractive and Struggling Saab wins reprieve, gets OK for bankruptcy protection.
Struggling car maker Saab gained fresh breathing room in its fight for survival on Wednesday when it won a court appeal to be granted protection from creditors while it awaits Chinese investment. A court of appeal in west Sweden said in a statement it had overturned a lower court decision which had rejected allowing Saab the protection it sought, known as a reconstruction.
Saab hopes creditor protection will allow it to survive until China’s authorities approve a 245 million euro’s ($336 million) investment by car firms Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pangda. Owned by Netherlands-listed Swedish Automobile, the company backed up its appeal by pointing to, among other things, agreement for 70 million euro’s of bridge financing with the help of a guarantee from Youngman.
BMW has confirmed plans for an X4 SUV. X4 in between the X3 and the X5 and likely get an M variant. BMW would distinguish the X4 from the other models with a bolder face and perhaps a curvier body–much in the manner in which the X6 stands out from the rest of the SUV line.
The globe shrinks, car makers such as Fiat that once were happy to dominate their home markets without competing abroad are being forced to face wider competition. The original 500, or “Cinquecento” in Italian, was the fondly remembered Italian equivalent of the Volkswagen Beetle or Austin Mini, so Fiat decided to follow VW and Mini’s lead by introducing a new version that evokes the beloved classic. The version of the 500 I tested — a convertible — not only seemed solid, it also successfully repelled the drenching remnants of a tropical storm that flooded the East Coast recently. The 500’s electronics didn’t flicker during this virtual submersion test, and the car plowed happily along through the torrent without a hiccup.
With the reliability problems in its cars fixed, Fiat realized that the key to regaining customers was to focus on the company’s longstanding fun-to-drive aspect.
Honda plans to unveil the redesigned 2012 CR-V at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November and says the car will go on sale by the end of this year. Honda says the new CR-V will weight less than the current model and get a more fuel-efficient engine. The interior was redesigned to create more space for passengers and cargo.
The first Ferrari driving school to tackle snow and ice in the United States launches in Colorado in January and will roll into the early spring. It includes a three-day, two-night stay. The price was not immediately available. Not surprisingly, this event is tailored to the FF, Ferrari’s first all-wheel-drive model. The four seated packs 651 hp from the 6.3-liter V12 engine that’s paired with a seven-speed, dual-clutch sequential manual.
Ferrari will have eight FFs on hand to sample under a variety of conditions. The company says the course is meant to elevate driving skills amidst snowy conditions with the FF. It’s based on the Pilota on Ice program offered in Italy.