New and Noteworthy

Behind the Wheel of a Mazda6 Diesel Endurance Racer

Mazda has never been a stranger to motorsports, in fact on any given day more Mazda’s are being exercised on racetracks than any other brand. In recent years, Mazda has embraced the sweeping fuel efficiency trend and has built diesel racecars for professional racing series. The first was a SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 built for the Grand Am race series that won the GX class title in 2013. For 2014 Mazda built a pair of prototype diesels to run in the P2 Class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. More >

The 2016 Maserati Levante surfaces

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