New Package

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth gets the Scorpion Sting

Fiat is making a new scorpion-themed decal and badging package available on the 124 Spider.

Courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider is getting stung. The convertible coupe's Abarth variant is now available with the Scorpion Sting Appearance Group, giving the 124 Spider a unique look.

The appearance package includes a Rosso-red scorpion silhouette hood decal reminiscent of the legendary Abarth badge and Rosso red side stripes feature scorpion embellishment and run the length of the roadster's body.

The package has a MSRP of $395 and is only available on the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Scorpion Sting Appearance Group

Courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is now available with the Scorpion Sting Appearance Group, giving the 124 Spider a unique look.

Other recent additions to the 124 Spider lineup include:

  • Record Monza Exhaust on Fiat 124 Spider Abarth ($995)
  • Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Veleno Appearance Group features red exterior mirror caps, red lower fascia lip and red front tow hook, Abarth-branded carpeted floor mats and a bright foot rest ($495)
  • Custom center-stripe design options, including "Double Rally Stripe" and "Retro Stripe," available on 2019 model-year Fiat 124 Spider Classica ($295)

The Fiat 124 Spider is on sale now.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The SF90 Spider is one of the most powerful production turbo V8 Ferrari has ever made.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Most spiders aren't known for their quickness. This spider is. The just-revealed Ferrari SF90 Spider may be the company's first plug-in hybrid electric convertible, but it hasn't lost any steps when compared to its older fraternal twin, the SF90 Stradale.

Ferrari has chosen a retractable hardtop for its noise insulation properties. It also delivers protection from the elements and doesn't deform at high speed. The hardtop takes up significantly more space than a ragtop roof, with just 100 liters of space occupied compared to 150-200 liters. The roof can be opened in just 14 seconds and can be deployed while the vehicle is in motion. When the roof is deployed, the sides, front, and tail of the SF90 Spider have the same styling as the SF90 Stradale.

2021 Ferrari SF90 Spider With its roof deployed, the Ferrari SF90 Spider has the same lines as the SF90 Stradale.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Buyers can get their SF90 Spider with the track driving-centric Assetto Fiorano pack, which features Mulitmatic shock absorbers that were derived from Ferrari's GT racing exerpience, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. By checking the box, buyers also get an optional two-tone livery that delivers race-ready looks.

Powering the SF90 Spider is a turbocharged V8 engine that is paired with three electric motors (two up front, one at the rear). That gives it 986 horsepower combined, more than any other Ferrari turbo V8 ever built. Ferrari has paired the engine with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Ferraris are known for having a throaty gurgle out the backside and despite its electrified powertrain, the SF90 Spider is no exception. A hot tube system transfers exhaust system sound directly into the cockpit producing a rich rumble.

The car features regenerative braking. Under normal braking conditions, energy is recovered using electric motors. The hydraulic braking system supports the electric system under deceleration conditions. At high speed, the combined contribution of the electric motors lowers the engine's response time, improving performance

2021 Ferrari SF90 Spider

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

There are two steering wheel-mounted selectors on the SF90 Spider - the traditional Manettino and eManettino. The eManettino offers four modes (descriptions by Ferrari):

  • eDrive - The internal combustion engine remains off and traction is entrusted entirely to the electric front axle. Starting with a fully charged battery (with a capacity of 9 kWh), the car can cover up to 25 km in this mode which is ideal for city-centre driving or any other situation in which the driver wishes to eliminate the sound of the Ferrari V8. The 135 km/h speed limit means the car can also be used on out-of-town roads;
  • Hybrid - This setting optimizes the system's overall efficiency. The control logic autonomously decides whether to keep the internal combustion engine running or turn it off. Power flow from the electric motors is limited to conserve battery power;
  • Performance - This mode keeps the ICE running because the priority is more on charging the battery than on efficiency. This guarantees that power is instantly and fully available when required. This mode is best suited to situations in which driving pleasure and fun behind the wheel are the main focus.
  • Qualify - This mode allows the system to achieve maximum power output by letting the electric motors work at their maximum potential (162kW). The control logic prioritizes maximum performance over battery charging.

Ferrari honed the car's power and underpinnings to ensure that drivers can enjoy their time behind the wheel at all times, not just on a track day. Due to the hybrid powertrain, extensive work had to be put in to the traction control system, torque vectoring technology, and brake-by-wire control system. They also completely redesigned the car's chassis from the SF90 Stradale to deal with the extra stress associated with the new power unit.

Just as much attention was paid to the car's aerodynamics, downforce, and cooling so that the roof and powertrain would not encumber the ride and drive experience.

Inside, the car is just as modern. The redesign of Ferrari's infotainment system allows for instrumental to be predominately digital with all the screens going completely black when the car is not running. The screens come to life when the engine stop/start button on the steering wheel is pressed. The instrument cluster is made up of a 16-inch curved screen.

Innovations are found throughout the cabin. The wheel now allows for touch commands to activate so that drivers don't have to take their hands off the wheel to make adjustments. The gearshift has been altered away from the F1 bridge and toward the design of Ferrari's manual gearboxes.

At the bottom of the center tunnel is a compartment for stowing the car's ignition key, which is an exact replica of the Ferrari Prancing Horse badge. The key works in full keyless mode so that the driver can not only start the ignition but also open the doors without taking it out of their pocket.

If you want a SF90 Spider, you'll want to head to your local dealership ASAP to put your name down (after you ensure you'll be able to afford the likely $500,000+ price tag).

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Porsche has given the 2021 Cayenne E-Hybrid a larger battery capacity.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is an impressive electrified SUV that combines the benefits of battery power with the luxurious appointments and pointed handling that the Cayenne has embodied for years now. For the new model year, the SUV is getting a power boost thanks to an increase in the gross capacity of its high-voltage battery.

The battery is now 17.9 kilowatt-hours, up from 14.1 kilowatt hours in the previous version. That increase means that the all-electric range of the SUV is up 30 percent from last year's edition. It can now achieve 29 miles (and some change) of EV range as measured by WLTP standards.

2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid The 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid has increased charging ability.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

This changes means that all Cayenne E-Hybrid models meet the current range criteria to receive an "E" number plate and reduced company car tax in Germany. Germany is just one of the European countries that is aggressively incentivizing electric powered vehicles and cracking down on vehicles their governments see as gas guzzlers with taxes, fees, and no-drive zones.

Each plug-in hybrid Caynenne E-Hybrid model is powered by the battery, which is attached to an electric motor that is integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain generates 136 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque that is immediately accessible the moment you put your foot down on the accelerator. It has an electronically limited top speed of 84 mph.

Those numbers might not be enough to knock your socks off, but the Cayenne's E-Hybrid variant also has an internal combustion engine that kicks on when the car is not in EV mode, or the driver designates it to be in Sport or Sport Plus mode. There, the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 kicks in to up the overall output to 455 horsepower.

The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid models have a 542-horsepower, 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 under the hood that gives the SUV a full output of 670 horsepower.

Porsche has also optimized the Sport Chrono Package for the 2021 model year. The battery's target state of charge has been reduced from 100 percent to 80 percent. Much like a smartphone battery, the battery charges much more slowly and inefficiently when the battery's state of charge reaches approximately 80 percent or more.

The battery is also charged at a higher, more consistent power. A charging power of up to 7.2 kW can be achieved with the Porsche Mobile Charger Connect. Using a Mode 3 charging cable, it is also possible to charge at public charging points. Many charging operations can be controlled via the Porsche mobile app.

In Sport and Sport Plus drive mode, the car's battery is always charged to a minimum level to provide sufficient boost options to deliver a sporty driving style.

The Cayenne E-Hybrid models for the new model year are available to order now. The Cayenne E-Hybrid starts at $81,800.

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