Merger

Fiat Chrysler-Group PSA merger creates new company name - Stellantis

The merger between Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2021.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

A tweet has revealed the new name of one of the biggest automakers in the world. When Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA merge, they will all be under the Stellantis company name. The name has its roots in Latin where "Stello" means "to brighten with stars".

The name carries no connection to either company, nor does it have any ties to the deep, rich history both brands have related to the companies that gave their first letters to the Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA names.

Fiat is a name that is synonymous with Italian cars. The company was born in Turin in 1899. It's name is an acronym for the Italian "Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino", which translates to "Italian Automobiles Factory, Turin". For decades Fiat was the largest automaker in Europe. Today, it remains the largest carmaker in Italy. In 1910, the company built its first plant in the U.S.

2020 Fiat 500New all-electric Fiat 500 was revealed earlier this year but it might not come to the U.S.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLCPhoto courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

In 2014, Fiat merged with Chrysler forming Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, a company based in the Netherlands.

Chrysler got its start in 1925, taking its company name from founder Walter Chrysler - something commonplace for the time that followed in the steps of Henry Ford, the Dodge brothers, and Charles Nash. The company has spent most of its life as one of the "Big Three" along with Ford and General Motors. In 1998 it was bought by Daimler-Benz, but the company divested itself of Chrysler in 2007 where it was called variations of Chrysler LLC until the Fiat merger.

Chrysler 300A vintage Chrysler 300 - the nameplate has been around for over 40 years.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLCPhoto courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

Peugeot's corporate history starts in 1896 in Sochaux, France when it began making coffee mills and bicycles, which eventually lead to the steam-powered tricycle then, eventually, the internal combustion engine car. In the 1970s, Peugeot took over Citroën and Chrysler Europe. In 2012 GM purchased a seven percent share of Peugeot Citroën (as it was then known) but by 2013 it had sold the stake at a loss.

Groupe PSA has a number of divisions, including those that sell motorcycles and bicycles. You can see a list of the auto brand affected as part of the merger here.

Charles Rolls PeugeotEnglish motor car manufacturer Charles Stewart Rolls (1877 - 1910) in his first motor car, a 3.75 hp Peugeot motor car imported from France, with a man walking in front with a red flag as the law of the time required. Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

You won't see any Stellantis branded cars on the streets anytime soon. The Stellantis name will be used exclusively at the group level, as a corporate brand, according to a release. Next up, the company plans to reveal its new logo, though they haven't made public the timetable for the announcement. No brand logos will change as part of the merger.

The Fiat Chrysler-Groupe PSA merger is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2021.

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Toyota will reveal the new Corolla later this week.

Toyota

After much speculation and plenty of teases, Toyota is ready to unveil a new car. The GR Corolla will be a hot hatch that Americans can actually buy, and is expected to bring many rally-inspired touches, along with aggressive styling and plenty of power. Now, we finally know when it will be announced.

Toyota hasn't elaborated on specs, but we'll likely see a version of the turbocharged three-cylinder engine that comes in the GR Yaris. It's a 1.6-liter unit that makes 257 horsepower, which is the most of any three-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission and rally-friendly all-wheel drive are also expected.

Toyota GR CorollaThe GT-Four badging refers to the car's all-wheel drive system.Toyota

The GR-Four badging refers to the car's all-wheel drive system, which it's also expected to share with the Yaris. That means a torque-vectoring system with the ability to shift torque between the front and rear axles. Different modes allow the driver to select how that torque is split, such as with the Yaris' Sport mode, which sends 70 percent of it to the rear wheels.

Toyota's been teasing the hot hatch for months, and here in the U.S., we've had to watch the rest of the world get a crack at the GR Yaris while sitting on the sidelines. That demand - assuming as many people actually end up buying the thing as have said they will - is likely to make it difficult to find a GR Corolla for retail pricing at first. If you're even slightly considering the car, watch the reveal video here at 9:30 PM EST on March 31 to find out when you can place a reservation.

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The 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine delivers big power numbers.

Stellantis

The old saying that there's "no replacement for displacement" isn't quite as accurate as it once was. Turbochargers and the latest engine designs have made it possible to extract major power from smaller, more efficient power plants. Stellantis' latest announcement proves this point, as its new Hurricane inline-six-cylinder engine will generate big power numbers from a relatively modest 3.0 liters and two turbos.

Stellantis says two variants will be available. The standard output version produces more than 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, while a high output variant delivers more than 500 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The twin-turbo inline-six delivers that power with up to 15 percent better fuel efficiency.

Stellantis Hurricane Inline-SixIt's not yet clear which vehicles will get the engine.Stellantis

The new engine comes as Stellantis works to position itself for an electrified future. The automaker stated a goal of 50 percent a 50 percent battery electric vehicle mix by 2030, but notes that gas engines will still play a major role in its vehicle line for years to come. "The Hurricane twin-turbo is a no-compromise engine that delivers better fuel economy and an important reduction in greenhouse gases without asking our customers to give up performance," said Micky Bly, Stellantis head of propulsion systems.

At this point, it's unclear which vehicles will get the new engine, but Stellantis' brands are packed with opportunities. Dodge, whose Hellcat-powered muscle cars could be a good candidate, and then there's Jeep, with a line of off-road-ready SUVs that could greatly benefit from such an engine. The Hurricane's projected high output of 500 horsepower puts it behind the Hellcat engines power output, but it's still strong enough to make a seriously quick vehicle.

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