Drive Type: auto
Trim: MONZA SPYDER,
Goldsboro, North Carolina, United States
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced Maserati and Alfa Romeo are recalling certain Quattroporte, Granturismo and 8C models over potentially faulty tie rod ends. According to NHTSA, 2005-2008 Quattroporte, 2008 Granturismo and 2008 8C units may have been assembled with tie rod ends that have insufficient corrosion protection. As such, the components may rust, weaken and potentially fail. If that happens, the driver could lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident.
Maserati and Alfa Romeo will contact owners and replace the tie rod end assemblies once the recall gets underway in June. All told, 7,438 vehicles are impacted by the recall. You can read the full NHTSA notice below for more information.
Naturally, you'd expect a massive automaker like Fiat to have an in-depth plan to exit the current European-market doldrums, and you'd expect that plan to include plenty of new vehicles to attract those precious buyers that still remain despite the financial downturn. And you'd be right, though Fiat does seem to have a few unexpected twists up its corporate sleeve.
Perhaps the biggest shocker is a report that Fiat will completely drop the Punto, a car with mass-market appeal aimed at small-car buyers cross-shopping the popular Volkswagen Polo. Its replacement will be a five-door Fiat 500 aimed at upmarket buyers (sounds awfully similar to the 500L) that will be built in Poland. Lower-end customers will reportedly be served by variants of the Fiat Panda.
Borrowing a page from the BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen playbook, reports Automotive News, Fiat is said to have plans to reignite production at its Italian factories by retooling them to build high-end vehicles from Maserati and Alfa Romeo. These will be marketed as premium products, built by skilled Italian workers (who are paid wages that are 75-percent higher than those building Fiats in Poland), and will be sold around the world.
A week after its debut on the interwebs, Maserati has trotted out its freshened Quattroporte range at the LA Auto Show, giving us our first in-person look at the changes to the top-of-the-line GTS trim.
Maserati has tweaked the headlights across the range, while the GTS gains new body-color trim pieces on the lower bodywork. Red badging on the wheelcaps and and a freshened trident badge are some of the more obvious changes, while new lower bodywork is matched to the main exterior color. While these tweaks are nice, we aren't totally sure they deliver on the "sportier and aggressive appearance" that the Italian company is aiming for in model year 2015.
What do you think? Could Maserati have stood to go further for the 2015 Quattroporte, or is this sort of super-light freshening just what the doctor ordered? Let us know what you think in Comments.