Italian driving pizzazz
ENTHUSIASTS are lining up to test drive the latest sports car in Cairns, the Fiat Abarth Spider (above).
Ireland Fiat has had a black two door model on display in its Mulgrave Rd showroom for the past few weeks but due to a mix up with keys no-one has been able to drive it.
However, that has all changed with the arrival of a second model.
“We have a red manual that has just arrived yesterday (Wednesday) but we have a list of customers waiting to drive, so should sell quickly,” said general sales manager Mark Lelliott.
The Fiat is the Italian version of Mazda’s award winning MX-5 with different styling, a stiffer suspension and a turbocharged engine from $43,500 drive away.
In the meantime excitement is mounting for another hot performer from Alfa Romeo.
Mr Lelliott said there had been some interest in the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV.
The company says Australians are queuing up, months ahead of the Nurburgring record-holder’s arrival in showrooms.
Already more than 100 Australians have placed an order for the sports sedan, which goes on sale in February.
Alfa says the 375kW twinturbocharged V6 can accelerate from rest to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 305km/h.
The Giulia QV currently holds the Nurburgring production sedan lap record of 7min 32 sec, set by Alfa Romeo test driver Fabio Francia in September. Francia set the lap record in a production-spec, rear-drive Giulia QV, which weighs just 1585kg.
It is teamed with an eightspeed automatic transmission that can preload downshifts if the driver flicks the paddle before revs have dropped sufficiently for a lower gear.
The engine also features cylinder deactivation to save fuel. Fuel use is said to average 8.2L/100km.
The car features active aerodynamics with the front splitter lowering at speed to increase downforce.
Pricing will be released closer to its February arrival in Australia.
The QV will come with 19in forged alloy wheels, and bixenon headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System. The NSW Police Force has a new recruit – a BMW i8 hybrid supercar capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds.
The keys to the $300,000 petrol-electric plug-in hybrid decked-out in police livery were handed over to Rose Bay Local Area Command.
BMW Sydney dealer principal Simon Macedone said the i8 was ready for duty.
“We’re very excited to partner with Rose Bay police command by delivering this exciting vehicle to them,” he said. “It’s the perfect new member of their team.”
The BMW i8 (below) is powered by three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and an electric motor, producing a combined 266kW of power and 570Nm of torque.
It definitely won’t be used in a pursuit with Superintendent Brad Hodder saying the i8 will be used purely for community relations over the next six months.
“My crime management unit will use the car to go along to open days and events,” he said.
“It provides a tool to break down barriers between police and the community. It enables the community to come up and start talking about the car.
“That conversation then leads to them opening up and they find out that we’re not such bad people after all.”
While it’s unlikely a car as impractical as an i8 could be used for crime fighting duties, the search is on for a new national highway patrol car to replace the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon which will both be retired from service by 2020 following the end of local production.
Under consideration are the Subaru WRX, Chrysler 300 SRT and the Infiniti Q50 among several others. The Ford Mustang is also back on the radar as a highway patrol vehicle following extensive testing to fix an overheating issue with the car’s gearbox.