LA Auto Show 2019

Alfa Romeo properly freshens up Giulia and Stelvio for 2020 model year

The Italian automaker has given the interior of the Giulia and Stelvio a much-needed upgrade for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Alfa Romeo has given its Giulia sedan and Stelvios SUV a proper refresh for the 2020 model year, including new technology and higher-end appointments. The automaker says that the models have retained their engaging drive dynamics.

"The Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stevlio receive significant technology, infotainment and interior enhancements for the 2020 model year," said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. "Alfa Romeo's unrivaled driving experience is now elevated by delivering key premium features requested by our current and future customers."

2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Buyers can modify their Stelvio with a new package that includes fascia enhancements.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

On the outside of the vehicle are the same as in the previous modle year. Alfa Romeo has developed a new, available, body-color appearance kit that adds fender flares, side sills, and rear fascia with a body-color finish is standard on Sport models and above. Also available on Sport models is the new Dark Miron appearance kit that adds fender flares, side sills and rear fascia finished in a dark-painted finish. An available exterior carbon fiber package adds a carbon fiber V-Scudetto grille, carbon fiber mirror caps, and Dark Miron badging to Quadrifoglio models.

New for 2020, Giulia and Stelvio are aviallabe with Anodized Blue or Lunare White paint jobs. Giulia also gets the option of Verde Visconti metallic paint.

There have been no powertrain enhancements for the new model year.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia The interior of the Giulia is now thoroughly modern looking, having brushed aside old technology shared with Mazda.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Both models have received new center consoles. They feature a machined-knurled aluminum-look rotary dial, upgraded knob materials and increased storage capacity. Giulia gets bigger cup holders and a new phone storage area with available wireless charging capability.

The car and SUV have a new leather-wrapped shifter and a race-inspired steering wheel.

2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio The climate controls and shifter are sophisticated looking now.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Front and center in the vehicles is a new, standard 8.8-inch infotainment touch screen. Driver's have a 7-inch information screen in front of them. Both screens feature new formatting and features. The vehicles come standard with a complementary 12-month SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription. A Wi-Fi hot spot, over the air updates, and mobile app connectivity functionality add to the vehicles' roster for 2020.

Alfa Romeo is making a number of advanced safety and driver assist features available on the 2020 models including traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, active blind spot monitoring, driver attention alert, and forward collision warning.

220 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Owners can now utlize Apple CarPlay in their SUV.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia starts at $39,345. The high-octane Giulia Quadrifolgio starts at $74,445. The 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio starts at $41,345 and has its Quadrifolgio variant start at $80,445. All the models are expected to start arriving on U.S. shores before the end of 2019.

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Sony's team is testing the Vision-S on the streets of Austria.

Photo courtesy of Sony

One year ago Sony surprised the crowds at CES with the Vision -S, a concept vehicle meant to further the discussion on safety, security, and entertainment. The vehicle has moved from concept to prototype, taking to the roads of Europe for testing.

The car has been driving the roads of Austria since December 2020, according to the company, for technical evaluation. Evaluation of what? We're so glad you asked.

If the car is technologically similar to what has presented at CES last year, on-board is Sony's imaging and sensing technologies as well as software regulated using Sony's AI, telecommunication, and cloud technologies.

Sony Vision-S The Sonny Vision S is a working vehicle prototype now. Photo courtesy of Sony

The car, which was built in cooperations with Magna Steyr, features 33 sensors, including CMOS image sensors and time of flight (ToF) sensors within the vehicle. These sensors are designed to detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the vehicle, and provide "highly advanced driving support."

Each of the two rows of seating in the vehicle features Sony's 360 Reality Audio system. Bose has similar technology built into the Nissan Kicks.

The crossover-lie car's front seats have a panoramic screen in front of them that has the ability to display rich content.

Does this mean that Sony will begin to make cars? The quick answer is no. Sony does not appear itching to get into the car business though the products that result from this testing will likely be available to automakers offering additional competition for components in a fast-paced marketplace where the technology is evolving quickly.

The real winner here could be consumers who will benefit from the stiff completion between suppliers and be on the receiving end of better technology because of it.

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Volvo has teamed up with the City of Gothenburg to create an emissions-free zone.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Volkswagen recently announced that it's turning a Greek island green. Volvo is taking their efforts a little closer to home. Volvo Cars has teamed up with the City of Gothenburg, in Sweden, to create new urban zones that will be used as testbeds for future sustainable technologies. Volvo's headquarters is located just west of the town center.

Gothenburg Green City Zone aims to create an emissions-free zone within Sweden's largest port city, taking a holistic approach that will combine the efforts of many technological and government entities working together. To achieve this, the partnership is looking toward climate-neutral transportation modes and a connected infrastructure. As part of the testbed, Volvo plans to run robotaxis operated by its fully-owned mobility provider M, within the zone.

2-Volvo XC40 Recharge The all-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge recently went on sale in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

"Essentially, we initiate a project that intends to limit the number of cars in the city – which is fully in line with our company's purpose," said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. "This is already proven by our investment in the shared mobility service M, who have developed proprietary A.I. technology to improve efficiency and utilization. We want to be involved in creating the cities of the future and keep them livable. This initiative gives us an opportunity to do that and take on responsibility in our own hometown at the same time."

Technology that will be tested in the zone includes geo-enabling solutions and services ensuring that cars in the zone operate in electric-only mode and remain within speed limits, as well as traffic infrastructure that can connect to active safety features in cars and share information between road users. Audi is testing similar vehicle-to-infrastructure technology in Georgia and Virginia.

"We want to use our knowledge and technology to help create a future city that is electrified, connected, shared and climate-neutral," said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. "This is an opportunity to lead by example, by testing new technologies and services in a live large scale environment, we can show that if it is possible here, it is possible anywhere."

The partnership is also exploring fully electric mobility hubs, autonomous taxis, and an easy-to-use charging network for electric cars. One aspect of this technology may be park-and-charge sans cord, a method that is getting tested in Norway right now.

Volvo isn't the first city to develop an incubator for emerging tech. Toyota recently announced that it will expand the company's research into renewable energy by creating a city at the base of Mt. Fuji.

The Green City Zone initiative starts in spring 2021 and will gradually scale up going forward.

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