News Round-Up Oct 29, 2014

Seems like today is a busy news day in the automotive world.  Here are the stories we are following:

Fiat Parting Ways with Ferrari After 45 Years

Ferrari 458 Niki 2

 

Following the departure of longtime CEO Luca Di Montezemolo, Fiat-Chrysler has announced that it will spin off Ferrari with a public offering. That means that Fiat’s 45 year controlling stake in Ferrari ends in 2015.

With that, 10 percent of initial Ferrari shares will be on the market. The other 90 percent of shares will be distributed between FCA’s (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) own shareholders, and the Agnelli family, which already controls 30 percent of FCA’s shares. In 2011, the Financial Times speculated that Ferrari could be worth up to $10 Billion, so we expect that number to only go up when the brand officially goes public.

If anyone wonders how a company that only produces 7000 cars per year can be worth up to $10 billion we suggest you visit their online accessories store where you can purchase a key-ring for $200 after shipping.

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Audi R8 Competition Is the Fastest, Most-Powerful Audi Ever Built

2015 Audi R8 Competition

Do you find the “regular” Audi R8 just a bit too pedestrian? Looking for something with a little extra ooompf and exclusivity? Audi just unveiled the answer for you: The R8 Competition, a 570-hp tribute to Audi’s R8 LMS race cars—and it’s the fastest, most-powerful, and most-limited version of the four-ring supercar you can buy in the U.S.  The R8 Competition packs a serious punch, with the 570-horse total representing a 20-hp boost from the V-10 Plus model. That power breathes through a sport exhaust with gloss-black tailpipes and hurtles the aluminum screamer to 60 in a claimed 3.2 seconds on its way to a 199-mph top speed. The Competition comes with carbon-ceramic brakes but is available only with the seven-speed paddle-shift S-tronic transmission.  On the aesthetic side, the special edition uses matte-black carbon fiber for the mirror caps, front and rear aero pieces, side blades, and rear diffuser.  All this specialness is limited to just 60 units for the U.S. market, with orders opening in November and deliveries commencing early next year.

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F1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas

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Sebastian Vettel has confirmed he is likely to miss qualifying and start from the pit lane at this weekend's US Grand Prix as Red Bull expect to make a full power unit change ahead of Saturday.

Regulations state that only five of the various engine components can be used over the course of the season, with the sixth incurring a penalty. If the team uses its sixth of just one type of component - e.g. the turbo - the driver is subject to a 10-place penalty, but Red Bull are considering to take one hit by changing the whole power unit and will therefore be forced to start Vettel from the pits. With that in mind, Vettel is likely to skip qualifying to save mileage on his new power unit.

Additional drama is provided with two teams dropping out completely with three races left.  Marussia and Caterham have both run out of money and will likely never return to F1.  Probably doesn't matter as these teams only provided four speed bumps for everyone else to lap.

Audi Denies F1 Rumor

Audi released an informal statement on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, saying "Audi‬ in Formula 1? These rumors keep appearing with regularity since years. It’s pure speculation again this time and without any foundation. We are committed to the FIA WEC, DTM and GT racing. In 2015 we will add the Audi Sport TT Cup to our program."

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Former F1 Team Team Principle Domenicali Begins Work for Audi

Italy's Corriere dello Sport now claims Domenicali, 49, will move into his new office in Ingolstadt next week, having signed a contract with Audi at the beginning of last week.

Official confirmation is expected within days.

The reports so far suggest Domenicali will not have a motor racing role, but will instead be in charge of business development in the service and mobility area.

Others are not so sure.

"Why would (Audi chairman Rupert) Stadler sign up an Italian F1 insider for 'service and mobility'?

"Domenicali's signing only makes sense if they (Audi) want someone competent to lead them into Formula One," said Ralf Bach, reporting for Germany's Sport Bild.

It is rumoured Audi might partner with the already VW-aligned Toro Rosso or Red Bull, or perhaps struggling Sauber - who reportedly already rent out the Hinwil wind tunnel to Audi for EUR 2 million per month.

Audi reacted to the latest rumours by insisting it remains committed to Le Mans, DTM, GT and the new 2015 programme Audi Sport TT Cup.

"Audi in F1?" said a spokesman. "These rumours have appeared with regularity for years.

"It's pure speculation again this time and without any foundation," he added.

Missing Any Packages?

If you are not yet missing any packages from UPS, you might be soon.  It appears Ferrari F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen was partaking in sponsorship duties by sorting packages at a UPS facility in Texas.  

 

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