First glance at 2015 Jeep Renegade

At this week’s Geneva Motor Show, Chrysler announced the launch of the new 2015 Jeep Renegade, the brand’s first entry into the small CUV segment. This is a big deal for Chrysler for a bunch of reasons and its success is critical.  Although Chrysler’s overall sales are going very well in 2014 this is largely a result of record-breaking Ram and Jeep model sales. The 2014 Ram truck, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Cherokee have all broken sales records this winter.  However, all is not totally rosy since sales of the Dodge Dart are not nearly as stellar adding significance to the small-sized Jeep Renegade launch. However, even with the stakes this high, our bets are on Chrysler since its most recent joint Fiat design is the award-winning 2014 Jeep Cherokee which makes us believe things from a product perspective have never been better.

2015 Jeep Renegade

Source: Jeep.com

Designed in America, crafted in Italy, the 2015 Jeep Renegade highlights the Jeep brand’s global resources and focus on providing unique products to customers in more than 100 countries. It will be built at Fiat’s Malfi, Italy factory while its power trains will be sourced from the US, Italy and Brazil. North American availability will be announced at a later date.

Source: Autoblog.com

Source: Autoblog.com

The boys at Autoblog.com have already published an exhaustive review of this new innovative entry so kudos to them for examining all the angles as the news is still hot of the press.  We can’t wait to get behind the wheel soon to do our own RedlineNorth review.

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Pope Francis and his new “old” Fiat

You may already have seen some of the coverage from back in July when Pope Francis grabbed headlines with his decision to ditch the custom-built bulletproof Mercedes-Benz “Popemobile” for a silver Fiat Idea for his drive around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pope Francis in Fiat Idea

Pope Francis in Fiat Idea

Well, this week, the frugal pontiff from Argentina was at it again, as this amazing story came out about how a 70-year-old priest from northern Italy, Father Renzo Zocca had given his 1984 Renault 4 with 186,000 miles to Pope Francis to drive around the Vatican.

Pope Francis, right, and Father Renzo Zocca, second right, with the Renault 4. Photograph: AP

Pope Francis, right, and Father Renzo Zocca, second right, with the Renault 4. Photograph: AP

Pope Francis continues to be a man of his word as he appealed to priests several months ago not to drive expensive cars and to save money to give to the poor.  So all of this buzz around his new “old” car is not a huge surprise for the frugal Pope.

Nevertheless, as car guys we thought this was a very cool touch to the latest story.  The Italian priest Zocca was quoted saying “the snow tires are still in the boot and you never know,” although Pope Francis will probably never need them driving in the Vatican since Rome is only hit by serious snow every 25 years.

Italian car night at La Paloma in Woodbridge

With the summer upon us and the evenings long and warm, the local auto cruise nights are now in full effect. Recently, the RedlineNorth team checked out a hidden gem, an Italian car night at the Woodbridge Gelateria & Café called La Paloma. Taking place every Thursday night in the La Paloma parking lot, all types of Italian makes and models come out to show their Italian pride.  In addition to Italian models there are a few German autos and some good ole American muscle of new and old which adds to the overall familia atmosphere.  If you want to have a car themed Thursday night in the GTA we suggest you arrive here at 8ish and then at 9:30 you can hit up the Ertefa meet as it is only a five minute drive on Highway 7. Here are some highlights from a mid June La Paloma car night.  Viva Italia!!!  It’s unfortunate about the Euro 2012.

The Fiat 500 Abarth comes to North America

The 2012 FIAT 500 Abarth has finally arrived in showrooms in the US and Canada and is one more thing to get excited about as we head into the good weather.  The new 500 Abarth is designed for track-day enthusiasts and driving-purists who want the ultimate high-performance small car with the pedigree of an exclusive Italian exotic.The 1.4L MultiAir Turbo will be rated at 170hp, that’s up from the standard European spec’d version with 135hp and even up from the optional Esseesse version with 160hp.

In Europe, Abarth is considered a separate brand—one with substantial racing heritage. The 500 Abarth benefits from this connection with a suspension that has been substantially revised from the normal car’s. New front springs are 40 percent stiffer than the regular 500’s, while the rears are 20 percent stiffer. With performance Koni shocks up front, the car sits 0.6 inch lower than a normal 500, and there’s more negative camber. The Abarth’s steering is quicker, and the front brakes grow an inch in diameter to 11.1 inches. The standard wheels are 16s, and 17s are an option.

Many of you may have seen Fiat’s Super Bowl commercial for the Abarth.

Fiat has gone a slightly different direction for its most recent commercial.  Check out their latest new “winning” ad

Not sure about you but it makes me wish I had a bigger house….