Archive for August, 2014
Thanks to the team over at Motor Authority, we’ve got our first look at Maserati’s new Levante model due to hit production next year and appear in showrooms by 2016. The name Levante comes from Via Emilia Levante in Bologna, Italy, where the Maserati brothers more than a hundred years ago built that company that stills in operation today.
Sources confirm that the vehicle will be sticking to it’s own platform instead of the Jeep Grand Cherokee running gear that was previously reported. The new platform will be a modified version of the real-wheel-underpinning that are present in the Quattroporte and Ghibli. Of course, the vehicle will include the Maserati Q4 all-wheel-drive system as well. The Levante will be similar in length to the midsize Ghibli but with a wider track and will also sit higher due to the fact that it is an SUV.
Maserati looks to target the high-end luxury market like the Porsche Cayenne instead of the typical off-road market dominated by Jeep and Land Rover. Strongest models will be able to hit 60 mph from rest in a little over 5.0 seconds. The engines will be the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and 3.8-liter V-8 gasoline;s found in the Ghibli and Quattroporte models.
Production of the Levante will take place at the Mirafiori plant located in Turin, Italy, which is owned by Maserati’s parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and has the capacity to build up to 300,000 vehicles per year.
Source & Pictures: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1073662_2016-maserati-levante-spy-shots?fbfanpage
Over the weekend the team here at Morrie’s got the chance to participate in Make A Wish Minnesota’s annual Walk for Wishes event. Powered by wish families, volunteers, donors, and friends, Walk For Wishes® is a spirited 2-mile walk and 5K race. This Make-A-Wish® fundraising event celebrates the thousands of wishes that have already been granted, while raising funds for future wishes. By participating in Walk For Wishes, you can help bring the life-changing impact of a wish to children battling life-threatening medical conditions in our community.
Thanks to the generous donations from our team members, Morrie’s was able to come out on top as the highest fundraising team pulling in just over $4,000 for Make A Wish. Thanks to individual team member Mandy Ewing for raising the most money at over $2,000. The team here at Morrie’s value’s our Buy Happy Giving promise and understand the impact our donation and participation will have on many Make a Wish Families here in the Twin Cities area.
Make a Wish MN grants the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Make-A-Wish Minnesota founded in 1982 has granted more than 4,000 wishes to children in Minnesota. In fiscal year 2013, we granted close to 300 wishes, and we expect to grant that number this year.
For more information on Make a Wish MN, please visit their website at http://mn.wish.org/
Here in the Conservation Department at the Minnesota Zoo, we love a road trip – especially when it involves field work for our prairie butterfly and moose conservation projects! We were excited to receive a new field research vehicle from Morrie’s Mazda on July 1st to support our work. And we’ve sure put it to good use so far, racking up 3,000 miles in 30 days!
Our inaugural expedition was to northeastern South Dakota in search of the one of the world’s rarest butterflies, the Endangered Dakota skipper. Formerly widespread across the diverse (and now largely gone) tallgrass prairies of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, this orange butterfly disappeared from at least half of its last known populations in the last few decades for unknown reasons. These South Dakota populations are one of the last known, and may be the largest remaining globally. Dakota skippers are home-bodies. Some butterflies such as Monarchs can fly hundreds of miles, but a Dakota skipper will likely not stray more than a few hundred feet. Once Dakota skippers vanish from a site, they are likely gone from there forever.
Happily, Dr. Erik Runquist, coordinator of the Zoo’s Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program, and our partners found robust Dakota skipper populations and many other prairie butterflies like the majestic but imperiled Regal fritillary. Erik also collected eggs with our partners from a limited number of wild Dakota skipper females to help establish the world’s first and only conservation breeding population of Dakota skippers. These eggs were brought back to the Minnesota Zoo where they hatched into tiny green caterpillars. We will be rearing throughout the year and then breeding them next summer.
Next we headed to protected prairies in west-central Minnesota, north of Moorhead. Like the work in South Dakota, Butterfly Conservation Specialist, Cale Nordmeyer, was on a mission to find Dakota skippers here in Minnesota. Previous surveys suggest that a small prairie complex dominated by black-eyed susans, purple coneflowers, and large glacier-deposited boulders may hold our state’s last population of Dakota skippers. We were thrilled to find numerous Dakota skippers, and managed to bring some additional eggs from a handful of females to the Zoo to strengthen the conservation breeding population for this endangered species.
Finally, the field vehicle headed up north along Lake Superior and then west to the picturesque conifer-hardwood forests of Lake County. Dr. Tara Harris, the Zoo’s Vice President for Conservation, went to check in on the Zoo’s wolf-moose project. In collaboration with scientists at the University of Minnesota Duluth, we’re working to understand how wolves and moose move across the landscape and interact with one another. Understanding these types of predator-prey interactions is important for wildlife and forest management. Dr. Brian Kot, a research scientist at the Minnesota Zoo, places GPS tracking collars on wolves and compares their movements with those of collared moose. On this trip, we saw lots of wolf prints and scat, as well as signs of deer and moose. We also saw (and felt) our fair share of mosquitos, black flies, and deer flies, but it was worth it to be out in the beautiful North Woods, studying wildlife.
Keep your eyes out for the field vehicle as we take it across Minnesota on more wildlife adventures!
We had a great day at MNC&C at the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen! Check out some of the Cadillac’s that were on display at Saturday’s event. Make sure to make it out to the next MNC&C on September 6th to see a bunch of amazing cars and get some delicious Dogwood Coffee. Here is the photo gallery from the event on Saturday: