New SUV

2022 Levante Hybrid joins Ghibli Hybrid in electrified Maserati lineup

The 2022 Maserati Levante Hybrid make its world debut today.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Maserati's best-selling vehicle is getting a hybrid variant. The 2022 Maserati Levante Hybrid made its debut in China this week continuing the hybrid story fo the brand that started with the Ghibli Hybrid.

The luxury automaker will be using the tagline "Faster. Greener. Unique." to describe the new SUV, which joins the Levante, Levante GranLusso, Levante GranSport, Levante S. Levante S GranLusso, Levante S GranSport, Levante GTS, and Levante Troefo grade options in the stable.

Designed to adhere to the same standards of performance as current Maserati vehicles, the hybrid SUV retains the distinctive exhaust note of current Trident brand vehicles but adds in more fuel-efficient performance.

2022 Maserati Levante Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Maserati

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The Levante Hybrid's power comes from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood that is paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that allows the SUV to recover energy when decelerating and braking. This power plant allows the car to weigh less than the six-cylinder Levante and allows for better weight distribution, playing into the car's nimble driving dynamics. Its battery is placed in the rear.

Power output maxes out at 330 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. Maserati limits the car to just over 149 mph. The Levante Hybrid can get from zero to 62 mph in six seconds.

A special edition of the car, the Levante Hybrid launch edition, features a new metallic tri-coat colour called Azzurro Astro that is available as part of the company's customization program, Maserati Fuoriserie.

The model also gets blue highlighted exterior accents on the side air ducts, brake calipers, and C-pillar logo that are similar to what is on the Ghibli Hybrid. The same blue carries over to the embroidered seams of the seats.

The SUV is available as part of the Maserati Connect program that allows a smartphone app to alert the driver when a service is due and allow them to stay in touch with their car via Amazon Alexa and Google Assist.

Pricing for the Maserati Levante starts around $75,000. The Levante Hybrid is expected to be valued far higher than that MSRP.

Maserati recently announced that footballer David Beckham is the company's new brand ambassador.

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The Ferrari 812 Competizione comes in two varieties.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

A new variant of the Ferrari 812 Superfast has been revealed. The Ferrari 812 Competizione models are a limited edition series of vehicles in two variants, coupe and targa, known as the Ferrari 812 Competizione and the Ferrari 812 Competizione A.

Both models sport a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine that achieves 818 horsepower. The power plant is, on the surface, the same that is in the Ferrari 812 Superfast but engineers have tinkered with the fresh version to optimize fluid dynamics of the intake system and combustion, reducing internal friction.

Ferrari has paired the engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that the automaker says delivers a new type of shifting feeling. The setup retains the same gear ratios as the 812 Superfast but has more rpm range. The engine can rev to 9,500 rpm and a progressive growling comes spewing out of the car's exhaust system, which comes complete with a gasoline particulate filter that ensures the car meets modern emissions standards.

Ferrari 812 Competizione & Ferrari 812 Competizione A

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

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A single front air intake works to keep things cool up front marking the first time such an adaptation has occurred on a V12-powered Ferrari. The cooling circuit has also been improved making it 10 percent more efficient and the oil tank has been redesigned to allow for extra flow.

Engineers have given the new Ferraris added braking power. That includes a redesigned version of the caliper that was first used on the SF90 Stradale and other modifications. These changes allowed Ferrari to redesign the car's front underbody freeing up space around the lower front wishbone suspension and extending the area that could be used to generate downforce. The car has a passive mobile aero system.

The backside of the new variants has a unique design with a fresh exhaust layout, diffuser geometry, spoiler volume, patented rear screen, and bumper design. The rear diffuser now extends across the full width of the car and redesigned silencers and tailpipes that are integrated into a single pipe.

Four-wheel steering and independent rear-wheel steering features a new electronic management system. Refinements have been made to the car's response system to deliver a more connected drive experience. It features a new iteration of Ferrari's Side Slip Control system and rides on new Michelin Cup2R tires.

Weight savings abounds throughout the car and though much of it isn't apparent to the untrained eye, it helps the performance of the car. This includes the dashboard and door panels. The door panel pocket juts out from the main structure almost as if it were a floating element.

The 812 Competizione A features a number of modifications that differentiate it from the 812 Competizione including the implementation of a flying buttress design that helps the car's center of gravity to appear lower that the coupe's. When the targa top is stowed, the roll bars jut out becoming a secondary visual element.

Each of the cars comes standard with Ferrari's extended seven-year maintenance program.

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BMW's newest works are equal parts art and car.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has revealed "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece", an exploration of automobiles at the intersection of art in conjunction with Frieze New York 2021, as well as the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Engagement. The virtual art installation is supported by videos of the exhibit's creation process on YouTube and Instagram.

The installment is the brain child of creative technologist Nathan Shipley of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, art connoisseur/founder of artDrunk. The duo used the NVIDIA StyleGAN artificial intelligence model to "cross-reference over 50,000 images of artwork spanning 900 years of history and a curated set of 50 works from renowned and emerging contemporary artists BMW has worked with over the past 50 years", according to a release.

Frieze New York 2021: "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece"

Photo courtesy of BMW

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The artificial intelligence then used those pieces to create entirely new art, merging classical art with the work of contemporary artists. These new works have been projection-mapped onto a virtual rendition of BMW's flagship 8 Series Gran Coupe.

"For 50 years, BMW has supported the arts and culture through numerous initiatives as a way engage and interact with consumers around the world in an authentic way," said Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. "As we continue these efforts into 2021, and look for new and creative ways to engage audiences, we shift to a virtual setting where we are combining centuries-old art and the latest AI technology to create something completely new and exciting."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shipley and Yeh collaborated digitally from their homes in San Francisco and Seoul for the project.

"During an unusually isolated time in history, we took the opportunity to curate and work with artists from around the world as a means to give viewers a true art experience digitally," said Gary Yeh, art collector and founder of ArtDrunk. It was particularly exciting to push the boundaries of art, see how technology may influence the art world in the years to come, and build on 50 years of cultural engagement at BMW."

Frieze New York is currently in its 10th edition and taking place at The Shed in Manhattan through May 9. The venue is new and features an event reimagined for its new location, bringing together over 60 major galleries. A dedicated edition of Frieze Viewing Room will run parallel to the fair, through May 14, and will feature an expanded list of over 160 exhibitors.

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