New Model News

Fiat attempts to lure customers with 500X Sport intro

Fiat is describing the new 500X Sport as "youthful and sporty".

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Fiat sales in America are abysmal. In an effort to lure more U.S. shoppers to its dealerships, the automaker has introduced the Fiat 500X Sport for the 2020 model year.

Described by Fiat it as "youthful and sporty" the 2020 Fiat 500X Sport features new front and rear fascia designs, body-color painted side moldings, and dark-finish exterior accents. It also has an eye-catching Rovente Red paint job. Its mirror caps, door handles, and rear license plate brow are finished in black and the model rides on 18-inch aluminum wheels. New 19-inch premium aluminum wheels wearing Micheline CrossClimate all-season tires are available. At the back are chrome dual-tire exhaust tips.

2020 Fiat 500X Sport The 500X Sport comes standard with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 500X Sport comes standard with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and achieves 210 pound-feet of torque. That's a lot of torque for a car this size. The Fiat 500X is the only vehicle in its class to have 30 mpg highway and standard all-wheel drive.

"Our Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500X is the only vehicle in its class to feature standard all-wheel drive and achieve 30 miles per gallon," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – North America. "With standard turbo power, the Fiat 500X Sport is a fresh, new alternative in one of the fastest growing segments in the industry."

2020 Fiat 500X Sport The model comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touch screen.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The interior of the car features a dark-black headliner and pillars. There are new interior door and console bezel surfaces finishes. The car's techno-leather steering wheel is an upscale touch and features handcrafted red stitching and Alcantara inserts with paddle shifters. Alcantara leather also features as the cover on the cluster brow and there's a new cluster graphics and instrument-panel bezel finish.

Sport seats feature black fabric and vinyl inserts. A grey "500" logo is stitched on them just below the unique, circular headrests.

Below the seats are standard aluminum pedal covers and new Sport floor mats.

The model comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Navigation, SiriusXM, a Beats audio system, and automatic climate control are available.

2020 Fiat 500X Sport Sport seats feature black fabric and vinyl inserts.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The 500X is available with adaptive cruise control and front park assist. It comes standard with blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, rearview camera, and seven standard air bags.

The 2020 500X Sport model is available for $26,895, excluding destination.

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Three Bugatti Divos have been delivered to U.S. customers.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti Beverly Hills

Three Bugatti customers on the West Coast have started 2021 off on a better note than the rest of us. Bugatti of Beverly Hills was recently able to deliver three of the four Bugatti Divo supercars that have been commissioned through the dealership to their new owners.

Each of the models has been customized to deliver the high-performance, exclusive drive and ride experience required by its commissioner. Ahead of their delivery, the three Divos took to the track together completing laps at The Thermal Club in Palm Desert, California.

The Divo itself is a unique Bugatti even before customization. It rides on new architecture that features more air inlets than other Bugatti models and a wide front spoiler that works to provide optimal air supply and aid with downforce. The car looks lower and longer than other Bugattis due to its slimmer side line. At the front of the grille is the traditional, 159-gram Bugatti emblem.

U.S.-bound Bugatti Divos

Photo country of Bugatti Beverly Hills

Each model is powered by a 8.0-liter W16 engine that achieves 1500 horsepower. That engine can propel the car up to its 236 mph top speed.

Bugatti's Atelier in Molsheim is charged with the creation of each Divo. The first deliveries of the hyper sports cars took place in August 2020. By the end of the first months of 2021, all Divos will have been delivered to their new homes.

"To see these spectacular automobile works of art go from a piece of paper to sitting here in front of me is a phenomenal feeling," says Tim O'Hara, General Manager Bugatti Beverly Hills. "It was a very involved and lengthy process that demanded our best skills and expertise. To deliver 4 of only 40 to be built in the world and see the project through fruition is deeply gratifying."

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The Toyota Highlander is currently the only three-row SUV that Toyota sells.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

On December 28, 2020, Toyota Motor Corporation filed a trademark request for the words "Grand Highlander" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Does this mean that a larger Highlander is on the way? A more elegant one? Here's what we know.

The trademark of "Grand Highlander" was applied for under the "Automobiles and structural parts thereof" section of the application for a word mark as a standard character mark. This is identical to how the RAV4 Prime application was filed in November 2019.

It is different than other automaker trademark requests. For example, Ford Motor Company applied for the "Bronco Sport" work mark with a much broader specified area of commitment for the words:

"Land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles; land motor vehicle parts for passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles, namely, shock absorbers, shock absorbing springs, vehicle anti-roll bars, braces for suspension struts, exterior metal decorative and protective trim, exterior plastic extruded decorative and protective trim, differentials, gear shifts, hoods, fascia, steering wheels, seat trim, parking brakes, wheels, brake discs, brake calipers, brake pads, engines, engine or motor mufflers, exhaust pipes, exhaust headers, air intakes, oil fill caps, coolant fill caps, engine valve covers, ignition coil covers, radiators, and exterior insignia badges"

The "Grand Highlander" mark is currently in the 1B stage of the trademark process.Following the initial filing the USPTO reviews the application. From there, it is decided whether or not the application will be approved. Upon approval, the mark is published for opposition reaction. If it passes without opposition, a Notice of Allowance is issued. From there, a statement of use needs to be filed, then reviewed before the trademark is officially filed.

If the mark is not initially approved, there is a rebuttal process and subsequent amendments to the initial filing are allowed. After that process is complete, the Notice of Allowance can be issued, or the trademark request can be rejected outright.

For the "RAV4 Prime" mark, the entire process took about a year with the mark published for opposition in February 2020 and the registration was completed in December 2020. The "Bronco Sport" mark was published for opposition in April 2020 and has yet to reach the final approval stage.

That's a lot to say, that the Grand Highlander mark may mean that something is in the pipeline, or it may not. We know for sure that the Land Cruiser is leaving the U.S. lineup soon. Toyota doesn't use the "Grand" name in any of its North American vehicles. But, it also doesn't mean that it won't.

But, what about a concept car? Toyota has been using alphanumeric names for their concept vehicles lately. The Lexus LF-1 Limitless, Lexus LF-30 Electrified, and the Toyota FT-4X Concept debuted a few years ago.

Could the filing allude to a new, super fancy Highlander? Maybe? It's hard to see how a super fancy Highlander would work to improve the differentiation between the Lexus and Toyota brands though. That's a line that the recent Venza arrival made even blurrier.

Will the Grand Highlander replace the Land Cruiser? Theoretically, a big three-row version of the Highlander that rides on the Tundra platform could be something Americans would buy. Is it something that Toyota would produce? They really do love to have a vehicle for every segment.

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