New Model News

New Ferrari design ensures 1950s Rome meets 2019's Roma

In crafting the new Roma coupe, Ferrari took design notes from its heritage.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Three weeks ago, the Ferrari Roma celebrated its world premiere. In the days since, the Italian automaker is saying all the right things about the Roma to get enthusiasts' hearts pumping, billing the mid-front-engined 2+ coupe as having, "refined proportions and timeless design combined with unparalleled performance and handling."

As Ferrari looks forward with this new design, the automaker is looking back to 1950s and 60s Rome. In an era defined by the intersection of modern amenities but with a foot strongly in tradition, mid-1900s Italy was rising from the conflict of World War II and heading toward the economic boom that would mark the 80s. Life in the 50s and 60s, for the average Roman, was filled with the joy of taking pleasure in everyday experiences.

Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn Gregory Peck Belgian-born actor Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) holds the hand of American actor Gregory Peck in a still from the film 'Roman Holiday,' directed by William Wyler, 1953. Photo by Getty Images

In the 50s and 60s, Ferrari was projecting the evolving Italian lifestyle into its designs. The company's V12 grand tourers gained prominence including the luxurious Ferrari America. The Ferrari 250 added a touch of refinement in the sports car segment with a thoroughly modern body style, slimming the design lines that the company featured in its 1950 166 Inter a few years prior.

Under the Roma's hood is 611-horsepower turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 that is specifically tuned for the new model and gets 561 pound-feet of torque. Its body is lightweight and offers generous curves to look at, similar to what famous Roman Sophia Loren did for cinema goers in the 1950s and 60s. The engine is paired with Ferrari's eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2019 Ferrari Roma 2020 The rear of the touring car has a thoroughly modern design.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Ferrari has filled the Roma with the latest technology the automaker offers including a large driver information screen, vertically-orientated centrally-located infotainment screen, and a screen in front of the passenger that gives them access to audio controls along other functionality.

The car also features a number of selectable drive modes.

2019 Ferrari Roma 2020 Three screens dominate the interior of the Roma.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The debut model was fitted with 20-inch dual-five spoke wheels.

Experts estimate that the Ferrari Roma will cost upwards of $220,000 when it goes on sale next year.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Chevrolet Silverado will be offered with a new, multi-way tailgate for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Buyers love the GMC Sierra’s MultiPro Tailgate so it was only a matter of time before General Motors brought it over to the Chevrolet Silverado. That time has arrived.

Chevy will introduce the six-way tailgate on the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado at the end of the year. Instead of being known as the MultiPro Tailgate, the feature will be rebranded and called the Multi-Flex Tailgate. Yes, with the hyphen and everything.

The Chevrolet version of the tailgate really isn’t much different than the GMC version. The biggest difference is that it wears bow tie badging.

It’s functionality includes:

  • Primary gate — opens from the key fob, from inside the truck or via a button on the gate.
  • Primary gate load stop — helps prevent items from sliding out of the box.
  • Easy access — the inner gate folds down, allowing a deeper reach into the box.
  • Full-width step — the inner gate folds into a large step for easy access and holds up to 375 pounds.
  • Inner gate load stop — helps prevent second-tier items from sliding out of the box.
  • Inner gate with work surface — when opened, provides a work surface as well as second-tier loading.
It is likely that the Multi-Flex Tailgate will cost a premium when it arrives on dealer lots and it probably won’t be available on all Silverado models. In the video above, Chevrolet shows the tailgate on the Silverado High Country, its highest trim level.
In addition to the tailgate news, Chevrolet has already revealed that it will offer a Realtree Edition of the Silverado 1500 for the 2021 model year. It will feature familiar features and appointments that exemplify the Realtree brand.

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado is slated to go on sale later this year.

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The Nissan Z Proto is the next step in the Z story.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Z Proto has arrived. It's not a production car, it's a promise. A promise by Nissan to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. The model has design elements that harken back to to the Z models of yesteryear that have become iconic waypoints in Nissan history.

Nissan has revealed that the Z Proto is one of the 10 models that the company will be showing for the U.S. in 20 months. The timeline has been adjusted from the original due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other models included as part of the plan are the 2020 Nissan Sentra, 2021 Nissan Rogue, and 2022 Nissan Ariya.

Nissan Z Proto

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

"The United States is home to one of the most devoted and enthusiastic Z communities in the world, with nearly 1.35 million total sales over the model's 50-year history," said Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales. "With new models like Sentra and Rogue opening new eyes to our brand, Z Proto is our loudest statement yet that Nissan will continue to bring vehicles that thrill to U.S. showrooms."

The Z Proto is bathed inn a bright yellow pearlescent paint job - one that is reminiscent of the yellow of the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX.

At its front are teardrop-shaped LED headlights that have their design roots in the original Z. The Z Proto's rectangular grille is more modern but the design of the grille fins are vintage in origin.

"The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."

Nissan Z Proto

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

From the side, the Z Proto has a roofline that flows backward like the first-gen Z. It leads to the rear, which takes inspiration from the 300ZX taillights and reinterprets them for a modern world, complete with LED lights. They're set within a rectangular black section that spans the rear of the car and wraps around each outer edge. Below is a dual exhaust.

Side skirts, the front lower lip, and rear valance are made of carbon fiber. The prototype rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. The 2020 370Z also has 19-inch wheels.

The vintage-meets-modern elements continue in the car's cabin where design was focused on achieving a proper balance for road and track. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital display that is arranged to allow to easy data interpretation at speed.

Designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, the Z Proto's cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches. A deep dish steering wheel combines modern aesthetics with vintage styling.

Under the prototype's hood is a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Nissan says that an automatic transmission option is in development. Horsepower and torque figures were not immediately available.

In looking toward the future, Nissan relays, "work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years." The current Z has a 3.7-liter V6 engine that achieves 332 horsepower. It comes paired with a standard six-speed manual or available seven-speed automatic transmission.

Compared to the current Z, the Z Proto is five inches longer and two-tenths of an inch wider. The 2020 Nissan 370Z is two-tenths of an inch taller than the Z Proto.

Where do we go from there? Stay tuned.

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