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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Nov 03 2012, 9:01 AM

Earlier reports of Lancia getting axed have been debunked by Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown, stating that those rumors are indeed false and that Lancia will continue on in Europe.

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 |  Nov 02 2012, 7:47 PM

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne made a series of significant announcements in a teleconference earlier today, not the least of which is the termination of the Lancia brand.

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 |  Apr 29 2012, 3:02 PM

The Lancia Stratos isn’t just one of the world’s rarest cars, but one with an iconic cult following like no other. In total, 492 Stratos are believed to have been built, with the majority of them being competition or Rally race cars.

The Stradale variant of the Stratos was built for the street, a requirement Lancia had to do for rally homologation. Lancia reported that 200 street cars were built in a 12 month period but it’s widely believed that no more than 140 actually made it off the factory assembly line for public consumption.

Regardless on how many are actually on the street today, the Stratos is undoubtedly rare and now one is heading to RM Auctions with an estimated price of $330,000 to $400,000. Powered by a 2.4-liter Ferrari V6 engine, the Stratos Stradale has 190-hp mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The rally-inspired street variant features Carrozzeria Bertone’s futuristic styling by Marcello Gandini, sporting dramatic and sharp body lines.

This particular example that is heading to RM Auctions was originally sold in 1976 to a gentleman in Austria before it was sold to its second owner in 1999. It has around 26,700 miles on the odometer, and was recently restored. Here’s your chance to get your hands on one of the most important sports cars of the 1970s.

GALLERY: 1976 Lancia Stratos Stradale


 |  Jan 24 2012, 1:45 PM


While past reports have suggested that the Dodge Avenger is dead, speculation has apparently been a bit premature. Chrysler/Fiat have plans for a number of new cars in the future including the introduction of new midsize sedans which will update the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger for 2013. The new Avenger and 200 will be based on the Dodge Dart platform. Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne also intends to have a Chrysler premium compact hatchback in the mix, known for now as the “Chrysler 100.” If given the ‘okay’ for production, then the Chrysler hatch will be exported as Fiat European luxury brand Lancia as well.

Also, next generation crossovers 2013 Jeep Compass and Jeep Liberty will receive the Dart platform too. Despite the small-car platform, Marchionne insists, ”It’s going to be a trail-rated, full-blooded Jeep that has its origins in the architecture of a sports car.”

But more importantly, Italian sports car enthusiasts of the western hemisphere have long awaited the return of Alfa Romeo ever since the merger of Chrysler and Fiat was first announced. While Alfa Romeo’s return to the United States has been delayed until 2013, Marchionne insists the legendary Italian marque will return. “There will be plants making Alfas in the United States and Europe,” says Marchionne. “I need to export to Europe from the U.S. The volumes I get here are how I reintroduce Alfa to Europe.”

Expectations are high for the Alfa vehicles as an upcoming 1.8-liter engine producing a staggering 300-hp is currently in the works. In regards to Alfa Romeo vehicles for the United States, Marchionne said, ”We had to make sure they were lightweight, fast cars with Alfa powertrains.

[Source: USA Today]

 |  Nov 22 2011, 10:45 PM

2011 Chrysler 300C 02.jpg

Chrysler is getting some Italian style thanks to former Ferrari designer Lorenzo Ramaciotti, 63, who will now be lending a hand at Chrysler and Lancia.

Ramciotti was lured out of retirement to head up the project, which aims for a common design language for the two brands. “We are trying to find an international language, which could have a place both here in Italy and in the U.S.,” said Ramaciotti in an interview with Bloomberg. “If you put all the models into the showroom, they must fit together. It’s a delicate problem.”

Sergio Machionne, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat and Chrysler, hopes sharing designs will boost both Chrysler and floundering Italian sister company Lancia, a weak link for Fiat. The carmaker loses an estimated $1.08 billion annually in Europe. If all goes as planned, the new Chrysler-Lancia line will boost group sales 64 percent by 2014.

Sharing vehicles between manufacturers is a quick way to cut costs, but it can have a high price.

“It’s extremely difficult to succeed in a strategy of globalizing design,” said Roberto Verganti, a management professor at Milan Polytechnic. “The risk is making international cars with no personality. When you buy a Lancia, you are looking for a piece of Italy, and when you choose a Chrysler, you are getting a slice of America.”

Despite the plan to marry models between Chrysler and Lancia, Fiat doesn’t plan to do the same for other brands including Dodge, Jeep, Maserati and Alfa Romeo, all of which will retain their respective identities.

Currently, Chrysler provides re-badged Grand Voyagers and 300s to Lancia, with Lancia calling them the Voyager and Thema respectively. For now, the cars are attracting attention in showrooms, but they haven’t been hot sellers in the depressed Italian economy. “Reactions are good. The Thema is pretty, design is attractive for Italians, too, but no one is buying these kinds of cars now,” said Roberto Ferrari, who owns a Lancia dealer outside Milan.

Overall, Chrysler only sold 37,000 cars in Europe last year, including Jeep and Dodge. That number is down by almost 38 percent since 2007 when they peaked at 120,000 units.

The news isn’t all bad for Fiat’s rebranded American cars though. Since June, the company enjoyed 18,000 orders for their rebranded version of the Dodge Journey minivan, more than double their total sales for 2009.

[Source: Bloomberg]

 |  Nov 22 2011, 9:15 PM


With Italy as one of its main markets, it’s no surprise that the Fiat Group would bring a huge collection of new and special edition models to the Bologna Motor Show. This year, the Fiat Group will headline the local auto show with a new 2012 Fiat Sedici model, a Fiat 500 Nation Limited Edition, a Fiat TwinAir 500, a Fiat 500C by Gucci, a Lancia Ypsilon Black&Red, an Abarth 595 turismo, 595 competizione, 695 Assetto Corse, and a Punto scorpione.

Fiat’s Sedici receives a minor facelift for 2012, six years after its initial launch. It’ll be available in three different trim levels, Dynamic, Emotion and Experience, with two engine options, a 1.6L 120-hp and a 2.0L 135-hp MultiJet diesel. Both models can be purchased with front-wheel-drive or selectable all-wheel-drive. Updates to the Sedici’s exterior includes a new color option (Rebellious Purple), painted roof rails and 16-inch wheels for the Experience model.

We’ve already seen Fiat’s 500C by Gucci, and the Fiat 500 Nation Limited Edition, so we’ll turn our attention to the four Abarth special editions that’ll be making an appearance. The new Abarth 595 will be making its world premiere in Bologna in two forms, the turismo and competizione, with the turismo targeted towards personality and comfort while the competizione is built for the racing purist.

Both Abarth 595 models will be powered by a 1.4L Turbo T-Jet powerplant with 160-hp and 170 lb-ft of torque in Sport mode. The turismo model sports a two-tone paint job and the vehicle on display at Bologna will feature Fiat’s Rosso Officina and Grigio Pista accented by a white liner. Turismo graphics are a finishing touch alongside the 17-inch titanium-colored wheels.

On the competizione model, Abarth outfitted the 595 with a five-speed manual transmission, metallic Grigio Record scheme with 17-inch titanium-colored wheels. Behind each race-styled wheel are yellow Brembo brake calipers. The interior further lends the racing spirit to the car with Abarth Corsa by Sabelt leather and alcantara seats. Both 595s also have customization suspension kits and brakes available as options.

The Abarth 695 Assetto Corse has been designed for track racing, and features an aggressive front-end design with a complete aerodynamic spoiler and screen-printed grilles. In the rear of the car is a winged spoiler and twin exhaust pipe. Under the hood is a 205-hp 1.4L turbocharged powerplant while 17-inch racing wheels puts the power to the ground. The interior features all the safety equipment required by FIA regulations including a roll-bar welded to the body. The side windows have been lightened thanks to the use of Lexan, making it 66-lbs lighter than the previous 500 Assetto Corse.

The last of the Abarth models is the Punto scorpione, a limited edition model with just 99 vehicles being made. A two-tone Nero Scorpione paint scheme is further contrasted with a special matte black paintwork on the hood and roof. Under the hood is a 1.4L MultiAir engine with 180-hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. Braking performance is enhanced with four-piston yellow brake calipers while the suspension features front and rear Koni shock absorbers and specially lowered springs.

Lastly, the Fiat Group will be introducing a Black&Red edition of the Lancia Ypsilon coming in four different color choices, two reds, a black and a two-tone black and red scheme. Other the hood is a 1.2L 69-hp engine or a 95-hp 1.3L turbo diesel.

GALLERY: Special Edition Abarths


GALLERY: 2012 Fiat Sedici


GALLERY: Fiat 500 Nation Limited Edition


GALLERY: Lancia Ypsilon Black&Red Edition


 |  Oct 20 2011, 2:15 PM

There was a time, not so long ago, when Chrysler sold a big wagon on our shores, and called it the Dodge Magnum.

However, due to a fall in demand, this model was axed in the North American line-up. But in Europe, the wagon lived on, albeit with a different nose and badge. It was called the Chrysler 300C estate, which was basically a Magnum body with a 300C nose.


According to Chrysler-Lancia CEO Saad Chehab “sales in the US for estates are too slow to justify the development costs.” Since we didn’t get an estate version of the 300C, neither will any other market.

What the Europeans will still get that we don’t are diesel versions of the 300C. And while they will start getting all-wheel drive variants and petrol engined models, there is no official word if they will get the SRT-8 hot rod version.

The new 300C will arrive in Europe next year.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Oct 03 2011, 3:00 PM


Chrysler has launched their first two re-badged Lancia product in the UK (where the Lancia brand has been defunct for a number of years), with a pair of hatchbacks based on the Lancia Delta and Ypsilon compact and subcompact cars.

The Ypsilon shares a platform with the Fiat 500 and will be available with the 900cc TwinAir two-cylinder turbocharged engine, as well as a 1.2L 4-cylinder and a 1.3L diesel engine. The Delta is about the size of a Ford Focus and can be optioned with either 1.4L, 1.6L or 2.0L engines.

Hit the jump to see the official press release

Gallery: Lancia Delta & Ypsilon


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 |  Sep 24 2011, 11:45 AM


It’s that time of the year again as Car of the Year begins the laborious task of whittling down new Car of the Year contenders for 2012.

A total of 59 journalists, representing automotive authorities across 23 European countries, have been recruited for the task of choosing top car. The number of journalists to represent each country is based on the relative size of the said country’s car market. Countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain have a well established market, and each will be represented by six journalists.

As for cars, only completely redesigned new models that have launched within the twelve months before the contest are counted. Each car must be available in at least five European countries and must have an expected sales volume no less than 5,000.

Categories considered include design, safety, performance, and price. This year, says the judging committee, technical innovation and value will be especially influential. What also makes Car of the Year unique is the absence of separate genres for its candidates. Rather than selecting the best of the compacts or the best trucks, vehicles with all sorts of engine size and body types will be vying for the same allotment of points.

Comparison testing of the vehicles will be performed in Sweden.

The following 35 candidates selected for the 2012 Car of the Year award include:

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 |  Sep 02 2011, 8:30 PM

Fans of Italian cars should prepare to dry heave, as Lancia has just released an image of their new Flavia Cabrio, looking like a poorly rebadged Chrysler 200.

The only engine available is a 175-horsepower 2.4-liter V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic. Thrilling. Lancia will also get a re-badged Chrysler Town & Country, known as the Voyager as part of their rejuvenated, Chrysler-infused lineup. You can check back for AutoGuide’s for live Frankfurt coverage starting on September 13th.

Hit the jump to see the press release below

Continue Reading…

 |  Aug 19 2011, 5:52 PM


The Chrysler 200-based Lancia Flavia, unveiled at March’s Geneva Auto Show, may never see the light of day beyond the auto show floor, according to the latest reports from a Dutch publication.

Parent company Fiat was apparently concerned that the Flavia would not be profitable enough to sell as a Lancia, and would not sell in large enough volumes. European consumers were never fans of the Chrysler Sebring, the 200′s predecessor, and a simple re-badge is unlikely to win them over.

Lancia will apparently wait until 2013 for an all-new 200 to debut, one designed with European consumers in mind. In the meantime, Lancia will sell a re-badged version of the Chrysler 300, a poor seller, but one flashy and competent enough to make a splash in the marketplace.

[Source: Left Lane News]

 |  Jul 28 2011, 3:05 PM

Fiat and Chrysler can get to know each other a little better, now that CEO Sergio Marchionne has introduced a single team to manage both companies.

And it’s quite a shake-up: Fiat, Chrysler, and Lancia get new CEOs, while Fiat-Chrysler gets four regional executives to oversee the company in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Marchionne will be in charge of Fiat-Chrysler in North America himself.

The new CEOs include Gianni Coda, overseeing Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; Cledorvino Belini, the current head of Fiat Brazil who will expand his scope to the rest of South America; and Michael Manley, who moves from Jeep to take command of the Asian theater. Oliver Francois, current CEO of Chrysler/Lancia, will cross the street to Fiat, and Saad Chehab will instead take Francois’s former position.

These CEOs are all names to watch out for: they will be part of the Fiat-Chrysler high council, with one Marchionne to rule them all. With Fiat’s emphasis in America, Marchionne aims to merge the companies together quickly by 2014 and raise 100 billion Euros in sales revenue. Those who analyze the industry say this is typically Marchionne’s style. Given Fiat’s plans to increase its already over-50% share in Chrysler to 58.5%, don’t say Sergio ain’t serious.

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

 |  Jun 16 2011, 9:52 PM

On August 19th at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch, Monterey California, Concorso Italiano will open the traditional Monterey/Pebble Beach Weekend. The event will feature more than 800-1000 beautifully designed Italian cars on display. Enthusiasts can engage in conversations with fellow car lovers and enjoy Italian fashion, food and art. There will no doubt be an astonishing variety of Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Maserati’s, Alfa Romeo’s, Pagani’s, and Lancia’s on display  The event will run from 9:00am- 5:00 pm and admission will cost $130 per person.

 |  Mar 29 2011, 12:37 PM

2011 Jeep Compass 01.jpg

Jeep is launching an ambitious campaign in Europe to boost sales eight-fold by 2014, with a new premium small SUV helping to lead the way.

The next generation Jeep Compass is expected to debut around 2014, and will be based on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and the Compass will also share DNA with a new Alfa Romeo crossover. The Jeep will be able to move upmarket, and position itself against compact SUVs from premium European brands. A diesel engine will also be offered, and is considered an essential part of the Jeep sales plan.

Currently, Jeep sells about 15,000 vehicles in Europe, making their target highly ambitious. Even Land Rover only manages to move about 75,000 trucks a year in the region. Jeep hopes to clear this hurdle by bringing out an all-new product lineup, including a revised, diesel powered Liberty (sold as the Cherokee), a Grand Wagoneer based on the current Grand Cherokee, and an updated Wrangler. Lancia stores will also become partnered with Jeep, giving the brand some 800 outlets to sell their wares.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Feb 14 2011, 4:16 PM

The original Lancia Stratos was a very successful rally car, but the car’s continued popularity undoubtedly stems from its stunning body and its Ferrari engine.

Fast forward nearly 40 years since the first Stratos was produced, and a new Stratos has come among us. This one too has a Ferrari engine and even the underpinnings of the Ferrari F430 as its basis.

While the original was designed by the design house of Bertone, the new Stratos is penned by Pininfarina.

Interestingly, the new Stratos has no direct Lancia link. The prototype was commissioned by Michael Stoschek, a German businessman who loved the Stratos and wanted a modern interpretation of it.

While the new Stratos was supposed to have been a one-off, it now seems  that 40 people have come forward who want one of their own. According to reports, this 540-hp supercar will cost around $545,000 (or just over $10,000 per horsepower). For that price, the donor F430 is included.

So if you’ve got the means and the desire to own a modern day Stratos, join the queue.

(Source: Carscoop)

 |  Feb 14 2011, 10:44 AM


As a part of Fiat’s control of Chrysler, the company will breath new life into its Lancia division by re-launching it using rebadged versions of Chrysler products – including the new 2011 300.

Powering many of the vehicles will be Chrysler’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, as well as several diesel choices. Lancia has not said if it will offer a Hemi-powered version of the Thema (rebadged 300) in Europe.

In addition, the new Lancia lineup also includes a compact car that isn’t offered in North America, the Ypsilon. It’s based on a stretched version of the Fiat 500 platform and could make its way to the U.S. in one form or another.

Set to be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show, look for updates from the show and photos of the new Lancia lineup starting March 1st.

Just think, now you can feel at home when you rent a Lancia Flavia from Hertz to cruise the Mediteranian coast.

GALLERY: 2011 Lancia Lineup


 |  Jan 14 2011, 4:29 PM


Lancia’s version of the Chrysler 200, likely dubbed the Flavia, will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. While the idea of a Lancia-badged Chrysler is unpalatable to many enthusiasts, the fact that Chrysler has decided use the much vilified 200 will surely make it the automotive equivalent of the Antichrist.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne rubbed salt in the wounds of Italian car fans everywhere with his announcement, also confirming that the 200 convertible will be a part of the Lancia lineup. The Flavia will get a new front end, a diesel engine and a manual transmission as part of its adaptation for Europe.

Brighter news for Lancia comes with the announcement that the Chrysler 300 will be sold as the Lancia Thema, and the new Lancia Ypsilon  will be based off the highly lauded Fiat Panda. A 5-door version will also be offered for the first time in the car’s history.

[Source: Automotive News]

Get AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Geneva Auto Show preview here.

 |  Dec 15 2010, 8:48 AM


Fiat will look to reinvent its struggling Lancia brand at the Geneva Auto Show, breathing some life into the marque by unveiling its new flagship luxury sedan.

Rather than an all-new vehicle or some small European-style model, the new Lancia luxo-barge (rumored to be called Thema) will be a direct result of Fiat’s takeover of Chrysler. That being said, the Thema will actually be a rebadged version of the Chrysler 300. Hardly a volume model, Fiat hopes to sell 10,000 to 15,000 units in Europe, using the car as a way to boost the brand’s image.

Power for the Thema will come from a 230-hp 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel, and while that’s likely to be the most popular engine choice, Lancia will also offer both the V6 and V8 engines available in North America.

In addition to the Thema, Lancia will also unveil a new version of its Ypsilon model, which will be offered as both a five-door and three-door, with the new model expected to help grow the brand’s overall sales from 112,000 last year to 300,00 in 2014.

[Source: Automotive News]

Get Complete 2011 Chrysler 300 Details Here before the car’s unveiling at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

 |  Dec 14 2010, 5:27 PM

We at Autoguide have a theory that the best race car liveries are all for products that aren’t so great; cigarettes, vermouth, oil companies and cramped airlines with good food – such as the New Stratos, decked out in Alitalia livery.

The original Stratos, known for its rally prowess, proudly wore the Alitalia livery during its competition heyday, competing in such storied races as the Monte Carlo rally. The chances of seeing one of these mega-buck limited editions tearing up a WRC course is almost certainly zero, but it’s not a bad homage to the car’s history.

[Source: Carscoop]

 |  Sep 20 2010, 1:55 PM

Fiat’s got a new boss, but fans of black sweaters shouldn’t fret; Sergio Marchionne, the man who lives by the phrase “business casual”, will still retain control of the Fiat/Chrysler monolith.

Lest we forget that Fiat itself is also a car brand, and somebody needs to oversee the Fiat car lineup. For that job, Andrea Formica (center) has been named as the CEO of Fiat cars. After doing stints at Toyota and Ford, Formica has been given the job, along with having to manage sales for Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Chrysler’s European division. Formica’s predecessor, Lorenzo Sistino, has been moved to head up Fiat’s International Operations.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

[Source: Fiat]

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 15 2010, 4:06 PM


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the 2012 Dodge Viper will be produced, and will move towards a more “upscale” position, abandoning its “racecar” heritage. The vehicle was previewed at Chrysler‘s dealer meeting in Orlando.

Autoblog reported that the design is angular, and a departure from the previous car. No mechanical details were announced but a variant of the 8.4L V10 may return, with a V8 filling an entry level role.

Among other products debuted were an all new Dodge Grand Caravan, which will differentiate itself from the Chrysler Town & Country by appealing to a sportier customer, including a limited edition “Man Van”, the all new Chrysler 300, which will be sold as a Lancia in Europe and a replacement for the Jeep Compass and Patriot crossovers.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

 |  Aug 16 2010, 1:38 PM

The Lancia Stratos prototype seen scurrying around an unknown European test track has been the subject of much speculation in the automotive blogosphere, and the non-stop rumors can finally come to a close as official word leaks out about this wonderful creation.

It turns out that the Stratos will be a one-off after all, with the much-rumored “wealthy industrialist” commission coming from German auto parts magnate Michale  Stoschek. Taking roughly two years to build at Pininfarina’s design studio, with an eight-cylinder engine rumored to be coming from a Ferrari F430 Scuderia. The Stratos is rumored to be getting an official reveal in November at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 |  Aug 10 2010, 5:22 PM

The recently spied Lancia Stratos is apparently heading for production, and not just a one-off creating intended for a wealthy collector. Car and Driver magazine reports that Jason Castriota, the man responsible for the Bertone Mantide and Ferrari 599, has penned the project. Castriota is now Saab’s new design chief, indicating that the Stratos was under development for some time prior to his departure.

Technical details are scarce, but expect something wild, as this will almost certainly be a halo car for the FIAT group as a whole, and not just the Lancia brand. Initial rumors that the Stratos is the private plaything of a wealthy customer were only half-true. While outside investment was courted to make the Stratos a reality, the car will be produced in limited numbers ala the Alfa Romeo 8C.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but if you haven’t already been invited to buy the car, you likely will never be able to.

[Source: Car and Driver]

 |  Aug 03 2010, 12:37 PM

The rumored Abarth sports car, based on KTM’s X-Bow trackday car could end up taking a very different form by reviving the legendary Lancia Stratos nameplate.

On the same day that rumors of a KTM-based Abarth surfaced, spy photos of a new car that looks nearly identical to the Stratos appeared on various blogs, showing the car testing at a Fiat facility in Europe.

While there is some doubt as to the authenticity of the photos, a revised Stratos is not too much of a stretch. Body panels can easily be fitted around an X-Bow chassis, and news that Fiat will jettison the X-Bow’s Volkswagen TSFI powerplant in favour of a Multiair 1.8L four cylinder lend credence to the idea. If Fiat were truly interested in an authentic Stratos, the engine would have to be a V6, but if the vehicle were badged as an Abarth, this oversight could be justified.

[Source: World Car Fans]