Salon Privé 2020

Manifattura Stratos brings a '70s rally chic exterior to a Ferrari F430 underbody

MAT is bringing classic rally design to its Stratos supercar.

Photo courtesy of Salon Privé

Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT), a Turin, Italy-based carmaker, will debut its new Stratos car at this year's Salon Privé. The company is committed to a limited run of the car.

MAT was launched in 2014 by Paolo Garella and his son Riccardo after Paolo's long tenure in the automotive design industry that included a stint spearheading the Special Projects Division at Pininfarina. The new company takes projects from conception to final production, and not just under their own marque.

MAT has been involved in a number of projects including the P4/5 Competizione and the SCG003C&S Series for American collector and entrepreneur Jim Glickenhaus. They've also worked on the Apollo Intensa Emozione and currently are co-developing the Aspark Owl.

Salon Prive luxury car show England A guest has his photograph taken against a Ferrari f430 sports car on display at the "Salon Prive" luxury and supercar event held at the Hurlingham Club on July 22, 2009 in London, England. Photo by Getty Images

The first Stratos went on sale in 2018. The Stratos to be shown at Salon Privé is a modern, luxury version of a 1970s rally car. Just 25 examples of this new take on the model will be produced.

"We are happy and proud to showcase our New Stratos for the first time in the UK in such an iconic landmark," said Riccardo Garella, Sales and Marketing Manager at MAT. "Salon Privè is the perfect fit for our cars and for the kind of experience we always try to offer to our clients: we look forward to presenting the New Stratos in September in Blenheim Palace!"

Each model starts life as a Ferrari F430, which was produced from 2004 to 2009 as a successor to the Ferrari 360. MAT then heavily modifies the car to safe weight resulting in increased agility and performance. Its adapted carbon fiber body and steel frame surround a wheelbase that has been shortened by 7.87 inches.

The model keeps the Ferrari's 540-bhp 4.30-liter V8 engine under its hood. The power plant is capable of getting to 62 mph off the line I a mere 3.3 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 170 mph.

"The MAT Stratos is a brilliant modern-day interpretation of a 70s icon and the passion, skill and engineering that have gone into creating this stunning homage are clear to see. In designing the new car, MAT have made every effort to recreate a car that is as true as can be to the original, even down to the helmet compartment built into the inner door compartment," said David Bagley, Salon Privé Sales Director. "With just 25 examples being built, it will be super rare and so we are thrilled to be able to show the car to our guests, many of whom are collectors of limited production supercars."

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A diamond mesh grille fronts the 2022 Kia K8.

PhPhoto courtesy of Kia Motorsoto courtesy of Kia Motors

Goodbye, Cadenza. Hello, K8. The Kia Cadenza is one of those cars that is easy forgotten about (if you ever knew about it in the first place) and frequently passed over in favor of the Toyota Avalon or the like. Still, most every automotive journalist who has driven it likes it.

So, Kia's taking the lessons learned from the Cadenza and some from the K5 and Stinger, and rolling them into a new large sedan, the 2022 Kia K8. This week the company unveiled the first official images of the car ahead of its debut. This is the first vehicle named the K8 in Kia history.

2022 Kia K8 The K8's headlights have integrated turn signals.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

2022 Kia K8

"Following our recent company rebrand, we keep moving toward our new brand values with a new model – the K8. This modern sedan has been designed with innovation and elegance at its very core," said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center. "While paying homage to the K7, the K8 looks to the future. Its progressive exterior takes on character and emotion, and combines those qualities with an expressive looking front and a dynamic swooping rear, giving the K8 a high-quality, premium presence that takes direct inspiration from some of the world's most technically advanced yachts."

As seen in the photos, the car wears Kia's new logo on its badging, and has design lines reminiscent of the vehicles it has taken lessons from. There's a frameless tire nose grille with diamond lattice, turn signals integrated into the headlights, an elongated side profile, chrome finish along the bottom of the doors, and a roofline that trails off into the trunk. It's all very much from the Kia sedan lineup.

Kia promises that the car will have a "first class" interior that establishes "new benchmarks in premium quality". The sedan will deliver a high-performance driving experience yet be comfortable to ride in, according to Kia messaging.

The rear of the Kia K8 features elongated taillights.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia K8 is expected to arrive in showrooms later this year but the U.S. might not get it until after it's arrived in Korea and Europe.

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NXP Semiconductors has two chip plants in Texas that were effected by Winter Storm Uri.

Photo courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

The effects of Winter Storm Uri are still being felt across Texas and it's impacting the auto industry. Reporting by Reuters tells that chipmakers, like Samsung Electronics, are still weeks away from resuming normal operations in Texas.

Traditionally, this sort of production slowdown wouldn't much impact the industry. There would typically be enough dealership and inventory and automaker back stock to make up for many, if not all of the shortages for a short period of time. However, COVID-19 has put a strain on the chipmaking industry and is already slowing production, limiting sales, and hurting automaker bottom lines.

There's also been increased demand for semiconductor chips as sales of laptops, gaming consoles, and other entertainment and exercise equipment soared as coronavirus-related lockdowns changed lifestyles globally.

Ford and General Motors have both said that their 2021 sales and profits will be hit hard by the shortage. Additional analysis by Reuters says that Toyota has enough inventory to last four months while Hyundai and Kia, which share common ownership, purchased a stockpile of chips when production was going full steam in late December and are thus far unaffected.

Samsung and NXP Semiconductors shut their factories in Texas last month when Winter Storm Uri took hold. Like Lone Star State households, Texas businesses lost access to electricity, natural gas, and water.

Samsung's logic chip plant is located in Austin. It began operating 2017 and makes chips using Samsung's 14-nanometer, 28-nm and 32-nm chip production technologies. The facility is Samsung's biggest logic chip production facility outside of South Korea, where the company is headquartered. The company also has a NAND flash chip facility in Austin.

NXP's plants are also in Austin where the company has its corporate headquarters. While there are nine other NXP offices in the U.S., there are no other manufacturing sites.

Edward Latson, CEO of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, told Reuters that chipmakers now have the power, water and gas they need to operate, but they need time to restart tools and clean the factories. He characterized the process as being slow and "very expensive".

The one month of lost production is most likely to hit automakers hardest five months down the road, in the third quarter.

Many analysts had been predicting an uptick in new vehicle sales for 2021 after car sales rallied in the fourth quarter of 2020. However, these chip shortages are deeply impacting those sales predictions.

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