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2nd December 2001:  Lamborghini L140 prototype spotted testing
click here to see more larger images of this Lamborghini L140 prototype testing "Baby" Lamborghini L140 prototype caught while out testing. Clothed in Diablo bodywork the smaller size of this new mid-size sportscar can be clearly seen along with revised front and rear ends.

The new medium-size Lamborghini L140 is expected to be released late next year and compete head-to-head with the Ferrari 360 Modena. Heavily influenced by parent company Audi, it will incorporate an all-new V10 engine and 6-speed F1-style Sequential gearbox. 

1st December 2001: Fiat roll out Abarth-branded models and rally versions in Bologna

Fiat unveil Abarth-branded performance models: the Punto Abarth and Seicento Abarth feature higher cosmetic and trim levels, while the previously displayed Stilo Abarth features higher equipment levels.

Two rally variants, the GpN Stilo Abarth Rally and the Super 1600 Punto Abarth Rally were also on display.

28th November 2001:  Ferrari F60 prototype caught testing around Maranello

20th October 2001: Alfa Romeo 147 "Twister" special-effects dominated TV advert roll out
click here for more detail of the Alfa 147 TV advertA special effects laden TV advert for the Alfa 147, which featured the 147 driving through a "twister" and emerging unscathed will raise the profile of the Alfa 147 model range.

3rd October 2001: Lamborgini release Murcielargo full technical specification
Lamborgini unveil the replacement for the ageing Diablo, the Murcielargo, designed in house with significant technical imput and assistance from parent company Audi.

Styled by a Belgian Audi designer, the Murcielargo, similar in size to the Diablo, has fashionable "stealth" look styling cues with a rear end reminiscent of the Countach and features much improved driveability over the Diablo, while the cockpit head & legroom have been increased to aid comfort, and the clutch and drivetrained lightened in a programme to reduce weight all round.

The 5.0 litre V12 is revised heavily with an all new bottom end, and power increase is assisted by the addition of variable valve timing. One novel feature are the air intakes behind of the rear quater windows which extend out at speed.

Lamborghini Murcielargo Lamborghini Murcielargo

1st October 2001: GTA branding to be extended to Alfa 147

the GTA designation relaunched with the recent debut of the Alfa 156 GTA is to be extended with the introduction of the Alfa 147 GTA, scheduled for release at the Paris Motorshow 2002 with models hitting the showrooms later that year

using the same 3.2 V6 engine which made its debut in the 156 GTA ( modified from the standard 3.0 V6 unit, with new crank, rods & pistons and a reworked head including revised ports and new valves ), as well as ECU re-mapping, means it should give out 250bhp, be capable of 0-60mph in 6 seconds and a top speed of around 150mph, all significant power increases on a range available to date with a maximum engine size of 2-litres

the six-speed manual gearbox, recently launched in the Stilo should be available along with the semi-automatic Selespeed unit

in common with the 156, the 147 GTA will feature revised suspension with a wider track, 17in ( 18in will be available as an option ) wheels & 225/45 tyres; special brake pads fitted to bigger Brembo brakes & discs are also adopted

the 147 GTA will feature revised cosmetic treatment: slightly deeper front & rear bumpers; at the front the fog lamps are relocated, the lower air intakes are increased in size and smaller additional air intakes are located between the ( new more powerful ) headlights and the grille, while at the rear the exhaust will feature twin chrome tailpipes, the deeper bumper cut out to accomodate; the wings are mildly flaired to accomodate the wider track

the interior will feature sports seats and a sports steering wheel and will have a general mild upgrade

the new car, has recently been spotted testing at the old Nurburgring circuit in Germany

the GTA branding will eventually be introduced across the range, the new Pinninfarina styled GTV/Spider, due in 2003 on the Fiat/GM "Premium" joint platform will incorporate the branding, followed by the new 156 in 2005 and eventually a GTA designation added to the 166 replacement in 2006.

26th September 2001: Ferrari revise 550 Maranello

Ferrari are to introduce a "revised" version of the 550 Maranello, the first such revision since its 1996 launch, which will be launched at next years Paris Motorshow

featuring the F1 based 6-speed electronically automated manual gearbox, originally scheduled to be fitted from the start, but only now deemed reliable enough after a long test and developement programme; the suspension has also been tweaked for improved road holding and to reduce noise

visually, the bonnet air scoop has been increased in size and the front grille restyled

21st September 2001: Fiat Group announce half-year results

During the first half of the year, the Fiat Group made further progress towards the achievement of its full year objectives of increasing profitability and reducing debt levels.
Consolidated revenues increased to more than 30,500 million Euros Ė 2.5 per cent more than last year.
Consolidated operating income improved to 528 million Euros, up 11.2 per cent from the 475 million Euros earned in the first six months of 2000.
The Groupís interest in net income rose to 383 million Euros, compared with 141 million Euros in 2000.
Net gains exceeded those earned in 2000 by about 193 million Euros.
At 30 June 2001, the net financial position showed the Groupís debt has reduced by 1 billion Euros since 2000.

read breakdown of divisional performances and financial results

17th September 2001: first 156 GTA to be auctioned for charity on the internet
Alfa Romeo announce that the first 156 GTA saloon off the production line, chassis no 0001, will be auctioned over the internet to raise money for charity, the auction, to end on the 22nd September, will take place at internet auctioneers, eBay ( http://www.ebay.co.uk ) Alfa Romeo 156

14th September 2002:  the new Lamborghini Murcielargo is presented at the Mount Etna Volcano
click here for the full story of the launch of the new Lamborghini MurcielargoIn a lavish ceremony infront of an select audience of invited guests and journalists, the new Lamborghini Murcielargo, replacement for the long serving Diablo, was unveiled at the foot of the Mount Etna Volcano in Sicily, followed by a further, larger ceremony at the Sant'Agata factory. 

13th-23rd September 2001:  Frankfurt Motor Show

- the show was of significance to the Italian Auto Industry with a number of exciting new models on display for the first time, led by the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA...
Alfa Romeo GTA at the Frankfurt Motor Show
the new Fiat Stilo at the Frankfurt Motor Show
Michael Schumacher's Formula 1 Ferrari at the Frankfurt Motor Show
new Maserati Spyder at the Frankfurt Motor Show

The eagerly awaited Alfa Romeo 156 GTA ( below ) was shown to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in both saloon and Sportwagon guises along with the 5-door version of the 147.

The Thesis dominated the Lancia stand was available for detailed examination for the first time and included versions with a 3.0 V6 and 2.4 JTD engines.

Maserati unveiled publicly the 3200 GT Coupe based Spider and announced a one make race series

Fiat had a large display of the new Stilo range including the Abarth badged variant while Ferrari displayed their current production range as well as Michael Schumacher's current F2001 Formula 1 car.

See & read about the 2001 Frankfurt Motorshow in full detail.

click here to see 2001 Geneva Motor Show

12th September 2001:  Prodrive developed Ferrari 550 Maranello attracting interest

Initially developed without Ferrari's imput for FIA GT Racing, the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello has received belated factory assistance and interest in customer versions for next year have been expressed already after the new car's promising debut season.
click here to see larger images of the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello click here to see larger images of the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello see more of the FIA GT Championship contending, Prodrive developed Ferrari 550 Maranello >>>

11th September 2001:  Lamborghini Diablo replacement caught testing
click here to see larger image of Lamborghini Diablo replacement out testing Due for official release later in the year, the Lamborghini Diablo replacement is caught out testing.
view larger images >>>

19th August 2001:  Michael Schumacher wins Formula 1 Drivers World Championship

following on from his 2000 World championship title, Michael Schumacher clinches the 2001 Formula 1 Drivers World Championship for Ferrari at the Hungarian Grand prix, read it in full detail in sports news

15th August 2001:  first ever Alfa Romeo finds new home

the first official "Alfa Romeo", the G1, finds a new home with the Australian Alfa Romeo importer who aim to restore it & then display it around the country, read the story

12th August 2001:  first official release of photo & information of 156GTA and Sportwagon GTA

stressing the heritage of the GTA name the official press release mentions only briefly the technicals details: powerplant will be a 3.2 litre V6 24v engine, brakes improved, all new suspension geometry, more direct steering, 17in wheels with 225/45 tyres fitted, and a choice of two transmissions: a conventional mechanical or a hydraulically assisted Selespeed unit
visually there are new front and rear bumpers, larger wheel arches and twin chrome exhaust tailpipes

Alfa Romeo 156 GTA and Sportwagon GTA

22nd July 2001:  Turin College Auto Design students show their interpretations of the Sportwagon theme
click here for more details of this Sportwagon project click here for more details of this Sportwagon project Students on the Auto Design course at the L'Instituto d'Arte Applicata e Design di Torino in Italy, recent presented their interpretation of a large, rear wheel drive Sportwagon.

11th July 2001:  Fiat announce new competitions department
N-Technology will assume responsibility for Alfa Romeos European Touring Car Programme, click here for more detailsThe management of Fiat Auto sporting events has been assigned to N Technology SpA. The new company began managing the development and planning of  'Fiat Auto Sporting Activitiesí on 1 July 2001.

Shareholding is split between Mauro Sipsz (Nordauto) who owns 40 per cent, Andrea de Adamich (Dorado) 40 per cent and Fiat Auto which holds the remaining 20 per cent.

20th June 2001:  Lancia launch the Lybra "Executive" flagship of the range model
the Lancia Lybra Executive is added to the Lybra range: as well as increased luxury and added options ( including heated seats, rain sensor, electric retracting door mirrors, tinted windows, bigger alloy wheels, steering wheel controls for stereo, etc ), two new engines are added, the 2.0 litre 20V five cylinder ( with 150 bhp in this application ) and the 2.4 litre 5-cylinder JTD engine ( with 140 bhp ).

Also reported is that Lybra stationwagon sales accounted for 65% of total Lybra sales in 2000

Lancia Lybra Executive

15th June 2002:  Artist's impression of the Alfa 156 replacement may look
Alfa 156 replacement? Alfa 156 replacement?

20th April:  First official photos of Maserati 3200GT-based Spyder

the 3200GT based Spyder features a 220mm shorter wheelbase and chassis strengthening to compensate for the loss of the roof. The engine is a new unit designed and built by Ferrari at Maranello, a 4244cc V8 unit with four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing on the inlet valves and produces 390 bhp at 7000 rpm. The transmission has been relocated to the rear to form a single unit with the differential. Comes with option of conventional six-speed gearbox or F1-style unit with steering wheel paddles and hydraulic actuators

performanced is claimed to be under 5 seconds for 0-100 km/h with a top speed of 283 km/h
Maserati Spyder Maserati Spyder

16th April 2001:  Fiat outline future plans for Alfa Romeo and Lancia Brands
Alfa Romeo and Lancia, Fiat's sporting and executive car brands, are to spearhead a drive by the Italian automotive group to lift annual car sales and production to the 4m mark - from this year's expected 2.6m - before the end of this decade.

- Alfa Romeo to return to USA by 2005 with full after sales backup in place
- next generation Spider to be first Alfa ever designed for North American and European markets
- Alfa Romeo & Lancia to have non-overlapping market targeted strategies
- GTA designation to be relaunched
- 19 new Fiat models to be launched by end of 2005
- Lancia to return to non-sorting executive car manufacturing roots
- General Motors involvement & joint ventures & platforms
- Sales & marketing strategies outside Europe

10th April 2001:  Artist's impression of the replacement for the Alfa Romeo Spider

15th March 2001:  Fiat Punto Abarth announced

Fiat announce the launch of the Punto Abarth, mechanically indentical to the HGT, it features design differences on the interior ( new steering wheel, pedals & gearknob ) and on the exterior ( new alloy wheels, bumpers, side skirts & spoilers )
Fiat Punto Abarth Fiat Punto Abarth

11th March 2001: Geneva Motor Show: Lancia Thesis and Maserati 320S make their debut's
Maserati 320S
the Lancia Thesis, replacement for the Kappa, makes it's debut at the Geneva Motor Show, see & read about the Thesis in detail
the Maserati 320S, an open topped race car ( right ) based on the 3200GT was released . Using a shortened wheelbase and the same engine it features considerably lighter single seater bodywork and allround improvements including revised and upgraded brakes. It is expected to be used in a single make series to coincide with Maserati's US relaunch

the Alfa Romeo 147 appeared with three new variants: a 5-door version, and manual 2.0 litre and 1.9 JTD ( 115 bhp ) engine options. This now gives the 147 one of the broadest range of options in the sector: three or five doors, three petrol and one diesel engines and manual or Selespeed gearboxes, together with 14 colour choices and two specification levels ( "progressive" and "distinctive" ) allowing 17 different models to now be offered

the two Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon models on display are fitted with interesting new technology: the top of the range 156 2.5 V6 24V is fitted with the new innovative Q-System which offers a four speed box with three options ( Sport, City and Ice ) possibly to be offered alongside a manual six-speed gearbox, while the other car a 156 2.4 JTD features a Common Rail high pressure direct injection device. >>> Read about all these systems in full detail

the Alfa Romeo 166 on display is fitted with the new Vehicle Dynamic Control ( VDC ) system which allows the car to monitor tyre grip  vertically & horizontally ) on the road continually and cuts in when stability is at risk to assist the driver with control in corners

the Fiat Stilo, replacement for the Bravo/Brava ranges makes its public debut in 3-dr & 5-dr variants, read about the Stilo in detail

19th February 2001: Fiat announce their latest "environmentally aware" city car
Shown to the press on 19th February 2001, The Seicento Elettra H2 became Fiat's newest "environment friendly" prototype. Using compressed hydrogen ( stored at 200 bar in six containers behind the front seats ), it is a zero-emissions vehicle. The stack generates up to 7kW at 48V which is then converted to 216V for the motors. Some of the batteries of the electric Seicento are retain to improve the range and performance. click here for more detail of the Fiat Seicento Electtra H2

February 2001: Fiat announce the "Stilo", replacement for the Brava/Bravo
Fiat Stilo
the replacement for the Bravo and Brava, the Stilo ( code name "192" ), will make its debut at the Geneva Motorshow at the beginning of March, in three and five door versions

First official photos released of the Lancia Thesis

the new Lancia Thesis, replacement for the Kappa, which is due to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show
Lancia Thesis
Lancia Thesis

Maserati 3200GT-based spyder caught testing

this prototype Spyder based around the Maserati 3200GT caught testing. Expected to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in spring 2001, rumour has it that it will be powered by an all new 4.0 litre V8 normally aspirated motor, with a shorter wheelbase and much revised steering & suspension

Maserati Spyder

Fiat Group European Sales for 2000

Alfa Romeo sold 174,894 units ( 1.2% of the market, a decrease of 2.5% over 1999 )
Fiat sold 1,122,627 units ( 7.6% of the market, an increase of 1.3% over 1999 )
Lancia sold 173,662 units ( 1.2% of the market, an increase of 21.8% over 1999 )
Ferrari sold 4,072 cars

October 2000: New car from Fiat, the "Doblo", will go on sale in November
Details as shown at the Paris Motor Show of the latest new Fiat, the Doblo. The mechanicals ( chassis, engine & suspension ) are taken from the Palio Station Wagon. It has just entered production in Turkey and will rapidy become available worldwide, starting in Italy in November. Fiat Doblo

Paris Motor Show 2000:  new facelifted Ypsilion and innovation Nea Concept Car
revised Lancia Ypsilion goes on show

also Lancia Nea Concept Car goes on show: developed at the Fiat Research Centre, the Nea is built using composite materials, including the visually striking transparent roof. It is loaded with technology including, DVD, internet, mp3 player, communications, navigation, four wheel steering, automatic control systems, parking sensors, etc. It possibly points towards direction of the future Delta models

Lancia Nea

Paris Motor Show 2000: 550 Barchetta ( "topless" 550 Maranello ) unveiled
Ferrari 550 Barchetta
Ferrari 550 Barchetta

Palio and Siena get facelift

the Palio and Siena models receive facelift for South American markets, main difference being front and rear redesign with new headlamps similar to Punto. Engines available now are the 1.0 & 1.3 FIRE and 1.6 Torque units
Fiat Siena
Fiat Palio

September 2000:  Fiat 126 finally ceases production

the last Fiat 126 model finally rolls off the production line at the Polish factory after a 28 year production run.

First unofficial photos of the Brava/Bravo replacement, code name Type 192

Uno to be produced in Pakistan

Fiat announce that the Uno model is to be produced at a new factory in Pakistan, production to start in June 2000.

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