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1st February 2003:  images of the Lamborghini Murcielago Concept Car
Lamborghini officially opened its 40th Anniversary last month by presenting a Murcielago Roadster Concept at the Detroit Motor Show. The Concept Car was designed by Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Lamborghini Design. It continues the Barchetta concept, an open car of Italian tradition. Lamborghini claim, it has a more exclusive, aggressive and extreme design than the Murciélago, from which it derives and compared to which is lower by 136 mm.
click here to see high resolution images of the Lamborghini Murcielago Concept Car click here to see high resolution images of the Lamborghini Murcielago Concept Car click here to see high resolution images of the Lamborghini Murcielago Concept Car click here to see high resolution images of the Lamborghini Murcielago Concept Car click here to see high resolution images of the Lamborghini Murcielago Concept Car

31st January 2003:  'Beauty is not Enough', Alfa Romeo's new advertising campaign
click here for details of Alfa Romeo's new advertising campaign, 'Beauty is not Enough''Beauty is not Enough' is the name of Alfa Romeo's new advertising campaign, which started in Italy on the 27th December and will roll out through Europe and as far as Japan through the year. Devised by Red Cell, a division of advertising agency WPP, the campaign majors on the fact that although customers are attracted by Alfa Romeos for their looks and styling, the cars offer much more in terms of performance, versatility and practicality.

"The concept of beauty and the role it plays in people's lives has changed significantly over the last few years", explains Alfa Romeo's Vice President for Marketing, Alessandro Furfaro. "Beauty today is a broad and profound concept. Successful products and brands are the ones able to match together the importance of substance, with a renewed beauty and a harmonic expression of form and content. At Alfa Romeo, we are known for our beauty, but this is not enough. Our product is leader for technology and performance, yet during the last few years there has been a perception gap in consumers' minds. Re-addressing this has become a key driver for us."

30th January 2003:  computer generated impressions of forthcoming Alfa Romeo's
These computer generated images give impression of how forthcoming Alfa Romeos may look based on current styling cues. 

The current, long serving GTV and Spider are due for a final cosmetic facelift, which will appear at March's Geneva Motor Show, with the front grille becoming larger and more prominently positioned. The next generation 156 ( 157 ) saloon, will according to designer Guigaro, receive the Brera concept's front and rear styling, while the flanks will draw on the current model. Lastly the flagship 166 saloon, receiving a mid-life facelift this summer, will also receive the "family" styling, including a more prominent grille.

click here to enlarge this image of how the facelifted Alfa Spider, due in March, may look click here to enlarge this image of how the Alfa 156 successor might click here to enlarge this image of the Alfa 166 facelift might look

30th January 2003:  Lamborghini to join the growing 4x4 market
Audi's Pikes Peak SUV concept unveiled in Detroit last month will form the basis of Lamborghini's proposed SUVLamborghini are to follow Maserati's lead by joining the 4x4 sector with a "sports offroader". Aiming to compete with the Maserati Kubang GT Wagon, Porsche's Cayenne and BMW's Z5, the Lambo SUV is being developed in partnership with owner's Audi.

Audi earlier this month unveiled their 7-seater 'Pikes Peak' off-road concept at the Detroit Motor Show, an impressive upmarket concept based on VW's new Touareg. This will form the basis of a Lamborghini SUV, which will, like Maserati's Kubang, emphasis a sporty nature above off road application.

The Lamborghini SUV will use the Gallardo's new 500bhp 5.0-litre V10 engine with a sequential gearbox, in a floorpan based on the Pikes Peak concept and make use of an Audi developed four wheel drive system, its German owner being an acknowledged world leader in 4x4 technology.

>>> 29th January 2003:  Pagani Zonda Roadster to debut at Geneva Motor Show in March
click here for details of the Pagani Zonda C12S 7.3Pagani are to unveil a Spyder version of their 7.0-litre V12 Zonda C12S at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It will use the 7.0-litre AMG-tuned Merceds-Benz engine, offered in the closed top version until a revised 7.3-litre version was introduced last summer, and will be coupled to a 6-speed gearbox fed through rear wheel drive.

Company boss, Horatio Pagani had always planned to introduce a Spyder version. One of the earliest pre-production Zonda prototypes was open-topped, but the car was written off in tests to help the Zonda achieve European crash test regulations.

The Zonda C12S Roadster is expected to weigh in at around 1,250kg, thanks to its carbon-fibre body, allowing it to achieve 0-60mph in about 3.4 seconds and offer a top end in excess of 200mph. Each super-luxury version will be individually tailored to the owner's specification, and will cost around €365,000, considerably high than Lamborghini's forthcoming Murcielago Roadster, which is expected to be priced slightly above the closed top model. 

>>> 29th January 2003:  limited run Alfa 156GTAm about to get the green light?
click here for full details of the N-Technology Alfa Romeo 156GTAmThe Alfa Romeo 156GTAm prototype, first shown at last December's Bologna Motor Show, is believed to be on the verge of getting the green light for a limited 500 unit run. Built by N-Technology, Fiat's competition department, the 156GTAm transfers racing technology from last year's 156GTA SuperTouring race cars which swept all before them in the European Touring Car Championship into a car designed for the road and is fitted with an increased capacity version of the 147GTA and 156GTA's 3.2-litre V6 engine. 

In creating the GTAm, changes were made to the power unit: The cylinder displacement was increased from 3200 to 3548cc, while the bore is 97 mm and the stroke is 78 mm. Compared to the 3.2 litre engine on the conventional GTA, the 3.5 V6 24v unit fitted to the Alfa 156 GTAm has power raised by 50bhp to300 bhp @ 6800 rpm and is combined with a 6-speed gearbox and a self-locking viscous differential. 

Externally, the prototype is distinguished by its black colouring while the 156GTA SuperTouring's big rear racing spoiler has been replaced by a more discreet outlet lip that nevertheless still improves the 156's aerodynamic flow. The wings and bonnet are made out of composites that help lighten the car by 30kg compared to the racing version. The light alloy wheels are 8 x 19" while the tyres are 235/35ZR19. The sports ride set-up is also new and has been developed with a view to the lighter body and on-road application. Hence height-adjustable oleopneumatic shock absorbers by Bilstein with Eibach springs. Compared to the 156GTA, the front brakes on the 156 GTAm come with bigger Brembo callipers and discs with a diameter of 330 millimetres. 

>>> 28th January 2003:  Fiat and Peugeot Citroen extend their LCV joint venture until 2017
click here for more details of Fiat and Peugeot Citroen's agreement to extend their joint LCV operation until 2017Giancarlo Boschetti and Jean-Martin Folz, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Auto and Chairman of PSA Peugeot Citroën respectively, have signed an agreement which extends their joint development and manufacturing of new LCV's until 2017. Fiat and PSA began LCV cooperation in 1978 and this agreement details future product concepts and industrialization plan for two complete LCV's range, and also establishes economic and industrial objectives. 

Two new products, whose launch is scheduled in 2006, will be manufactured at Sevel plant in Val di Sangro (South of Italy), and at Sevel facility in Valenciennes (France) respectively. In the former the replacements of current Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, and Citroen Jumper will be manufactured, while the latter will host the production of current Fiat Scudo, Peugeot Expert, Citroen Jumpy. 

The two companies plan to invest a total of around 1.7 billion euro of which more than 1 billion will be allocated to the project which will be launched in the Italian plant in Val di Sangro, whose annual production level is planned to be some 260,000 units. At the Valenciennes facility, around 130,000 units/year are forecasted to be produced. 

>>> 27th January 2003:  Thousands attend Gianni Agnelli's funeral in Turin
click here for more details of Gianni Agnelli's funeralThousands of mourners attended the funeral of Fiat Patriach, Gianni Agnelli, in Turin yesterday. The service which was officiated by the Catholic Archbishop of Turin, Severino Poletto, included Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi among the mourners.

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