COVID-19

FCA stepping up to produce face masks for first responders, health care workers

Aerial exterior view of the 3.3 million square-foot Chrysler Group's Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.). The facility has been making trucks since 1938 and currently produces the Ram 1500.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is used to making Alfa Romeos, Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps. Now, the company is transitioning to producing face masks in the wake of a call to action in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

FCA has committed to manufacturing and donating more than 1 million protective face masks per month, starting in the coming weeks. The company says that this action is the first in a global initiative that has been developed by the company to apply manufacturing, supply chain, and engineering expertise to support the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important," said Mike Manley, FCA CEO. "In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We've marshalled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic."

FCA has not confirmed exactly which facilities will be used for the manufacturing.

Distribution is slated to be to first responders and health care workers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The company will be working with national, regional, and city authorities to support distribution to ensure that the masks go to the people and families at highest risk for contamination.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Bentley's vehicle's are getting the company's new steering wheel for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The Bentley Continental GT is a grand tourer of the grandest design. It's getting an update for 2021, giving customers more of the high-tech features and design they've requested. Bentley sells the Continental GT in coupe and convertible body styles.

The 2021 Continental GT is now available in Viridian, Patina, and Snow Quartz paint jobs - the same colors that were added to the Flying Spur this year. Viridian is a dark emerald metallic hue that is Bentley's take on classic British racing green. It features green and blue undertones, and tiny flecks of amber and gold.

2021 Bentley Continental GT Viridian is Bentley's new take on British Racing Green.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Patina is inspiredly the look of polished metals, blending together with elements of champagne and silk. The mid-cream tone features a tinge of green.

The Snow Quartz paint job consists of three layers of pearlescent paint that results in a shimmering and lustrous whiteness.

All Continental GT coupes are now able to come with Bentley's panoramic glass roof. This is the same as in the 2021 Bentayga and Flying Spur. The sunroof features polarized glass that reduces glare and interior blind clad in Alcantara that is electronically controlled by the car's console. The blind matches the car's headliner. There are 15 headliner color options to choose from.

With the addition of the paint jobs and roof, there are now over 10 billion variations a customer can choose to personalize their Continental GT.

2021 Bentley Continental GT A panoramic sunroof is available.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The model also receives the automaker's new steering wheel as standard. The wheel features a revised shape and profile, with capacitive sensing throughout the wheel rim, allowing the steering wheel to detect when it is being held. The steering wheel also features a more elegant aesthetic with a chrome bezel at the bottom of the vertical spoke.

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The new limited edition model is track-focused.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda's latest iteration of the Civic Type R has set a new track record for front-wheel drive cars at the Suzuka circuit. The Nagoya, Japan track is 3.6 miles long and features a figure-eight design.

The 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition posted a time of 2 minutes 23.993 seconds. That's good, but not as good as an F1 car. Lewis Hamilton holds the pole record at the track clocking in at 1:27.319 in his F1 weekender. In 2005, Kimi Räikkönen set the lap record in a McLaren MP4-20, registering a time of 1:31.540.

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition The Honda was piloted by Takuya Izawa.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Super GT Series racer Takuya Izawa piloted the Type R Limited Edition around the track in February using a development car built to final European specs with no modifications or performance enhancements

"The Type R Limited Edition reflects Honda's dedication to refining the essence and driving pleasure of Type R as a sports car and exceeding the expectations of our customers," said Civic Type R Project Leader Hideki Kakinuma. "The engineering team and I embraced a racing spirit that has been passed down for generations, and it's this strong passion that's driving the evolution of the Civic Type R towards becoming the ideal sports car. Now the "advanced" Type R that I envisioned at the beginning of this development is a reality and I am overwhelmed by the result and how our efforts have been rewarded."

The Type R Limited Edition features all the updates the 2020 Honda Civic Type R received plus, it has been modified including the addition of forged aluminum BBS wheels, specially tuning the dampers, and recalibrating the steering for better control and feedback. The wheels alone are an 18-pound weight reduction. An additional 28 pounds of weight has been saved by reducing the amount of sound deadening insulation in the car.

The Type R Limited Edition is limited in paint jobs to just one: Phoenix Yellow. It also has a black gloss roof, outside mirror cabs, and intake vent on the hood. The Civic badge on the rear hatch is dark chrome.

All models feature an individually numbered serial plate denoting the vehicle's original country of sale.Each Limited Edition model has same 2.0-liter turbo-four under the hood that puts out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It also has a six-speed manual and a limited-slip differential. Drivers can opt for Comfort, Sport, or +R drive modes.

Manufacturer's Suggested Pricing for the 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition will be made available closer to its launch.

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