2022 Alfa Romeo Owners Club National Convention

‘Alfiesta Coronado’

Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Ghia

What looked to be a 100-point 1950 Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Supergioiello by Ghia.

BY MARK MAYNARD

The 2022 Alfa Romeo Owners Club National Convention, “Alfiesta Coronado,” was held from June 12-19 at Tidelands Park, Coronado, Calif.

The event gathered around 100 cars by 200-300 owners who traveled from around the U.S. Participants took driving tours around San Diego County, and attended tech sessions. Owners wheeled through a gimmick rally, a track day at Willow Springs, and a day trip to tour the Petersen Automotive Museum . There also were vendors and an Alfa display of art and models.

Of course, there was a banquet, which featured keynote speaker and “Alfa Guy,” automotive author Burt Levy.

Here is a gallery of cars from the Concorso show and shine at Tidelands Park.

Larry Dominique, Senior Vice President and Head of Alfa Romeo and Fiat North America.

Rallying the Alfa Romeo fan base: Larry Dominique, Senior Vice President and Head of Alfa Romeo and Fiat North America.

The concorso field of show cars.

The concorso field at Tidelands Park.

A tigher cropof the concorso show car field.

Alfas from the early years to the latest generation Alfas.

A tan interior

From the 1957 1900 CSS Zagato.

3 judges in red hats pore over a

The ‘red hats’ judging a 1957 1900 CSS Zagato.

The open engine bay of the Alfa TZ1

An Alfa TZ1, also locally owned.

The Zagato logo

Alfas from A to Zagato.

A black and sleek 1960 2000 Touring Spider.

A 1960 2000 Touring Spider.

A silver 1964 2600 Spider.

A 1964 2600 Spider.

A brace of Alfa Romeo GTV Bertone Trans-Am race cars.

A brace of Alfa Romeo GTV Bertone Trans-Am race cars.

a powder blue 1954 Giulietta Super B.

A Giulietta Sprint B.

Alfa Romeo police car interior of a race car

Don’t try to outrun this cop car.

An Alfa Romeo police car

A front mug of the the 1950 Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Supergioiello

Simple beauty.

The book and tool roll from the 1950 Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Supergioiello

Authentic documentation.

Interior of the Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Ghia

This award-winning 950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Supergioiello is locally owned.

The engine in the Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Ghia

The straight-6 engine as artwork.

A front quarter view of the Alfa Romeo 2500 SS Ghia

The ‘super-jewel’ Supergioiello.

A row of modern Alfa Romeo Giulia sedans.

The representing modern Giulia sedans.

A modern Alfa Guilia with a model car on the roof

The Alfa fan car.

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Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar First Look

Project GTP Hypercar previews design of 2023 IMSA and WEC race car

An on-track view of the Project GTP

Cadillac Racing’s Project GTP Hypercar is set to debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2023. (Photos courtesy of Cadillac)

BY MARK MAYNARD

Race car merges with show car in the just-revealed Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar.  The Project GTP Hypercar previews the third-generation prototype race car from the American luxury brand. In 2023, Cadillac will contest the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“By competing in both the 2023 IMSA and WEC championships, Cadillac Racing has the opportunity to demonstrate its capability, craftsmanship and technology,” Global Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey said in a release.

The No. 9 sidelight recalls the 1950 “Le Monstre” graphic for Briggs Cunningham’s brace of Cadillac’s he took to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Project GTP Hypercar was codeveloped by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing, and Dallara, the Italian race car builder. The dramatic styling incorporates key brand design elements, such as vertical lighting and floating blades.

Styling of Project GTP connects the hypercar to the future of Cadillac, according to Chris Mikalauskas, Cadillac’s lead exterior creative designer.

“The Project GTP Hypercar is a unique convergence of form and function and showcases Cadillac’s future performance aesthetic,” Mikalauskas said. “We have plenty more to come, from the upcoming race car to amazing production vehicles.”

The integrated spoiler brake light.

The integrated spoiler brake light.

Sports Car Racing Return

Since 2017, Cadillac has been competing at the forefront of American sports car racing in the IMSA manufacturers championship achieving numerous wins, podiums, and championships in the Cadillac DPi-V.R.

“Competing for the overall win at Le Mans with an iconic American brand like Cadillac is an honor,” said Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM sports car racing program manager. “The entire team is excited to continue building Cadillac’s racing legacy by competing against the very best internationally and in the world’s toughest race.”

An overhead view of the Cadillc GTP Project

The overhead view of the Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar

The new race car will be powered by an all-new 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 that will be paired to the LMDh common hybrid system (Le Mans Daytona hybrid).

Cadillac is recommitting to performance with an expanding V-Series lineup, including the CT4-V and CT5-V sport sedans, the 2023 Escalade-V SUV, which goes on sale in late summer, as well as the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing engineered specifically for racetracks.

A rear side view of the Cadillac Project GTP

Project GTP will be powered by a new 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 that will be paired to the Le Mans Daytona hybrid system.

Cadillac says its commitment to performance is embodied in the V-Series lineup. Its recent expansion includes the CT4-V and CT5-V sport sedans, Escalade-V, and the track-capable CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing.

The race car will begin on-track testing this summer for its first race at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2023.

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Buick Wildcat EV Concept Reveal

Wildcat EV styling will influence Buick production models for the foreseeable future

An exterior view of the Buick Wildcat EV concept

The Buick Wildcat EV styling will influence Buick production models for the foreseeable future. (Photos courtesy of Buick)

BY MARK MAYNARD

The Wildcat styling will influence Buick production models for the foreseeable future, Sharon Gauci, executive director, Global Buick and GMC Design, said in a release.

She said that Buick’s new tri-shield logo symbolizes the design transformation, and new production models will wear it starting next year.

Buick's new tri-shield logo

Buick’s new tri-shield logo will be mounted onto the front fascia of Buick products starting in 2023.

“The Wildcat EV concept represents the real design future for the brand,” Gauci said.

The Wildcat 2+2 coupe has a laid-back proportion with a low, wide stance. The windshield wraps around and flows into the side glass, which tapers dramatically with the fast roofline to accentuate the aggressive profile.

The swing style doors on the concept EV

Semi-swing doors for easy entry and exit.

Exterior design highlights include:

  • Semi-swing doors for easy entry and exit.
  • Micro-LED lighting and thin-beam projector lenses for the front lighting.
  • Blade-style taillights embedded in the roof’s sail panels and check-mark-style horizontal lamps.
  • An external “state of charge” indicator visible in the exterior hatchback glass.

“The more you look at the Wildcat EV concept, the more the details reveal themselves,” said Bob Boniface, director, Global Buick Design.

The concept's front seat area

Interior design elements include cockpit-style seats with cantilevered headrests and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Interior

The cabin of the Wildcat EV concept has a prominent console that extends from the base of the instrument panel to the rear seating area. The design uses unique graphic and color contrasts to create the perception of visually floating elements. The design is intended to accentuate the cabin’s lightweight feel and spaciousness.

Legato Green flows through the cabin and is accented with brushed or polished aluminum trim. Orange elements, including the seat belts, also add visual distinction.

Additional interior design elements include cockpit-style seats with cantilevered headrests and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

A flat-bottom steering wheel

A prominent console extends from the base of the instrument panel to the back seats.

Technologies

The Buick Wildcat EV concept is built to be a platform for futuristic features such as artificial intelligence, biometrics, and aromatherapy. The vehicle is designed to detect an elevation in driver heart rate and automatically adjust vehicle settings to be more calming. For example, Zen Mode will dim the cabin lights, disperse calming aromatherapy scents, and activate massaging seats.

Everything about the concept is intended to convey what’s possible — in design, technology, and the transformative experience of EV mobility.

“We are on the cusp of true change, and this concept is a tangible vision of it,” said Gauci.

The rear end with new logo and nameplate

Blade-style taillights and check-mark-style horizontal lamps.

See the design video here.

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Electrify America Shows Charging Station of the Future

Electrify America has plans to create a customer oasis with ultra-fast charging

Electrify America says its plans for unique charging stations will be influenced by the surrounding communities. (Photos courtesy of Electrify America)

BY MARK MAYNARD

Electrify America today announced a new design vision for some of its future charging stations. The customer-focused design is to exceed electric vehicle customer expectations as they transition to electric mobility, the company says. The company also plans to introduce its next-generation charger that will improve the hands-on charging experience for the customer.

The format of the “Charging Station of the Future, Today” will add elements such as solar canopies and awnings, customer waiting areas and other services at select locations.

The company plans to showcase this transition in 2022 and 2023 with installations in select new flagship charging facilities in California cities of San Diego (Fashion Valley), Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and Beverly Hills. Also planned are new flagship facilities in New York within Manhattan and Brooklyn. Currently, the company has flagship California charging stations in Baker (on the interstate to Las Vegas!) and Santa Clara.

The renderings for future stations evoke a dynamic new environment for electric vehicle charging, Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America, said in a press release.

An Electrify America future charging station with valet charging.

A rendering of a Beverly Hills charging station that might offer valet service.

Customer-Centric Experience

Some of the new showcase stations will feature up to 20 ultra-fast DC chargers, the company says. Special features can include:

  • Customer lounges, electric vehicle showcase areas, dedicated event space;
  • Overhead solar canopies to shield customers from the sun and inclement weather;
  • Security cameras and additional lighting;
  • Valet charging and curbside delivery options at select shopping locations.
A planned San Diego charging station.

A planned charging station in San Diego’s Fashion Valley neighborhood.

Electrify America Next-Generation Charger

Electrify America will also begin the rollout of a redesigned and simplified electric vehicle charger. Features of the ultra-fast chargers, with up to 150 and 350 kilowatts, will also feature:

  • The new design of the Electrify America ultra fast charger.

    A redesigned Electrify America ultra-fast charger.

    A new design that refines the look and reduces the footprint of the charger;

  • A recessed and brighter digital screen to help reduce the glare from sunlight. The new style will make it easier for users to view the operational instructions and charging progress;
  • An easier-to-use single connector cable to ease the effort to plug in the cable, no matter the location of the charging port on a vehicle.

“The momentum moving us closer to an electric transportation system is accelerating with consumers finding more and more choices of EVs from virtually every manufacturer,” Palazzo said. “Our customer research shows the need to transition to a more inviting charging experience that accommodates the human experience with waiting areas and other conveniences.”

An enclosed charging station San Francisco.

An enclosed charging station in San Francisco might look like this.

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Ducati DesertX First Look

The 2022 Ducati DesertX Adventure Bike is a proper desert rider and a true Ducati

A rider in the desert on the 2022 Ducati DesertX adventure bike

The 2022 Ducati DesertX goes on sale in June with a starting price of $16,795. (Photos courtesy of Ducati)

Table of Contents

Overview
DesertX Technologies
Riding Features
DesertX accessories
Pricing
Why Buy the Ducati DesertX?
Ducati DesertX Specifications

BY JOE MICHAUD
Special to Maynard’s Garage

Development of the new Ducati DesertX started as a simple concept to grow the brand’s platform for the off-road Scrambler and Multistrada. But early on, the team realized it had the potential to build a proper desert rider — and a more dedicated machine that they believed could be a true Ducati.

“The chassis has been developed from the ground up specifically to go off road,” Jason Chinnock, CEO Ducati North America, said in a recent interview at the brand’s “Ready for Red” national tour of 21 cities to showcase new products. “While the X can ride anywhere in the world, the desert is the true spiritual home of this bike.”

Compared with the brand’s popular all-roads Multistrada, Chinnock said, “the Multistrada is on-road bike that can be ridden off-road, the DesertX is an off-road bike that can be ridden on the road.”

That’s the meat-and-potatoes of an Adventure Bike.

The DesertX four-valve 937cc 11-degree L-twin.

The DesertX four-valve 937cc 11-degree L-twin.

Ducati DesertX Overview

Italian motorcycle manufacturer Cagiva bought Ducati in 1985 and maintained ownership until 1996.

The stark white with red livery (the only paint scheme available), rally windscreen height, large fuel tank, stubby nose, and dual headlights of the Ducati DesertX borrow badass design cues from the successes of the Cagiva Elefant 906, which competed in the Paris-Dakar Rallies of the 1990s. It was heady times for the small Italian builder.

For the DesertX, Ducati borrowed the four-valve 937cc 11-degree L-twin from the Multistrada V2 with the desmodromic valve system. The engine was given a slight detune to 110 horsepower and 68 foot-pounds of torque to better suit its new off-road bias.

The DesertX gearbox, too, was modified with shortened ratios on gears one through five. First and second gears are especially for low-speed technical dirt work where the slip-assist clutch won’t need to be feathered to maintain balance. Sixth gear remains long for high-speed work on the dry lake beds of Baja California or urban pavement. A quick shifter is standard as well as cruise control.

The optional 2.1-gallon auxiliary fuel tank augments the main 5.5-gallon main tank.

The optional 2.1-gallon auxiliary fuel tank.

DesertX Technologies

Rider-assist technology is ubiquitous today, and DesertX has it deep. A Bosch Sensortec system monitors throttle-by-wire inputs and provides variable intervention for traction, wheelie, and engine braking. It’s common stuff on modern bikes but Ducati adds extra levels.

The DesertX has six riding modes that control the overall response characteristics of the bike. Along with the four self-explanatory standards of Sport, Touring, Urban, and Wet, Ducati has added dedicated modes of Rally and Enduro.

For experienced riders, Rally mode provides full-on 110-hp with minimal electronic interventions. Enduro mode provides 75-hp and more protection for riders with less experience. Engine power can be modified through four levels to match skill level, rider demand, or varying terrain.

The vertical 5-inch instrumentation display is positioned for clear visibility in stand-up riding.

The vertical 5-inch instrumentation display is positioned for stand-up riding.

DesertX Riding Features

DesertX lighting is full LED and the 5-inch color gauge display is oriented vertically for better viewing while standing. Three data-screen displays are available to provide custom information chosen for particular rider needs.

Braking is by Brembo, front and rear. Fronts are dual four-piston 320mm radial mounts while the rear is a single 265mm two-piston setup. Bosch Variable ABS Cornering controls and enhances snappy, rear-wheel dirt cornering. It’s primo Ducati engineering.

Rather than pulling stock from current production, the steel-tube trellis frame and aluminum swing-arm were developed specifically for off-road use. Kayaba provided the three-way adjustable suspension with bounteous travel of 9.06 inches front and 8.66 inches rear. Ground clearance is 9.8 inches. The seat is tall at 34 inches, but it can be lowered with a kit.

Rims are flange-spoked and tubeless, a 21-inch front and an 18-inch rear. A larger front hoop typically climbs off-road obstacles easier while transmitting less shock to chassis, suspension, and rider. It’s good dirt stuff. Ducati claims the 21-inch front is the first on a production bike since the 1970s.

Ducati homologated three tire choices, two from Pirelli and one from Metzler. Also, the aftermarket availability of 21- to 18-inch rubber is broad. Stock tires on the DesertX are Pirelli Scorpions.

The 21-inch front wheel is the first on a production bike since the 1970s, Ducati says.

The 21-inch front wheel is the first on a production bike since the 1970s, Ducati says.

DesertX Accessories

Ducati has developed around 50 DesertX accessories, including crash protection, electronics, various trim levels, luggage, and extra racks. Here are a few of the options:

  • Aluminum panniers (2), $1,400 and $800 for the top case. The three hard-shell cases add a voluminous 117-liter capacity for the world traveler’s appearance;
  •  Two exhaust choices by Temignoni;
  •  A rear-mounted auxiliary 2.1-gallon fuel tank, $1,500. It augments the standard 5.5 U.S. gallons main tank with the push of a button;
  •  Heated grips ($388) and a center stand ($320).

The list of accessories can be found here.

The double front LED headlight has two bi-function poly-ellipsoidal modules

The double LED headlight has two bi-function poly-ellipsoidal modules.

Ducati DesertX Pricing

The new Ducati DesertX, first seen as a concept in 2019, will be in showrooms in June.

Competing with the Honda Africa Twin, BMW GS, and the Husqvarna Norden 901, Ducati has priced the DesertX dead center in the pack. U.S. pricing is expected to start at around $16,795 before options.

Learn more about DesertX here.

The DesertX has a long-stroke Kayaba suspension and generous off-roading ground clearance of 9.8 inches.

The DesertX has a long-stroke suspension and ground clearance of 9.8 inches.

Why Buy the Ducati DesertX?

Adventure bikes have changed the motorcycle landscape much like SUVs have done to the passenger-car market. They both promise adventure without limits by putting the off-road within reach. However, like SUVs, many ADVs rarely get used off road.

The Ducati DesertX is gorgeous in white, the shape is sexy, the technology is stunning. It’s a Ducati, and I am not immune to that virus. I just don’t have the skills to exploit it.

I’ll take mine with road tires, please. And I can at least dream of Abu Dhabi.

Joe Michaud is a San Diego-based motorcycle rider and restorer. Send him email at jmichaud@san.rr.com.

A rider in the desert on the Ducati

The Ducati DesertX was developed from the ground up to go off-road.

Ducati DesertX Specifications

Style: 2 seat adventure bike with tubular steel trellis frame

POWERTRAIN

Engine: 937cc Ducati Testastretta 11-degree, L-Twin cylinders, Desmodromic valvetrain, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled

Power: 110-hp at 9,250 rpm; 68 lb.-ft. torque at 6,500 rpm

Fuel injection: Bosch electronic, 53mm throttle bodies with ride-by-wire system

Exhaust: Stainless steel single muffler, catalytic converter, and 2 lambda probes

Transmission: 6-speed

Clutch: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control

Fuel economy: NA

SUSPENSION

Front: KYB 46mm upside-down fork, fully adjustable; wheel travel, 9.1 inches; cross-spoked and tubeless wheel, 2.15 by 21 inches; Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR 90/90 tires, 21-inch M+S

Rear: KYB monoshock, fully adjustable, remote preload adjustment, aluminum double-sided swingarm; wheel travel, 8.66 inches; cross-spoked and tubeless wheel, 4.5 by 18 inches; Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tire, 150/70 18-inch M+S

BRAKING

Front: 2 320mm aluminum flange semi-floating discs, radial-mount Brembo monobloc 4-piston calipers, Bosch Cornering ABS

Rear: 265mm disc, Brembo floating 2 piston caliper, Bosch cornering ABS

WEIGHTS

Dry weight: 445 pounds

Wet weight: 492 pounds

BY THE NUMBERS

Fuel tank: 5.5 gallons

Seat height: 34.4 inches

Cargo capacity: almost 4.1 cubic feet (120 liters) including bags and aluminum top case

Wheelbase: 63.3 inches (1,608mm)

FEATURES

Standard equipment includes: Riding modes, power modes, Ducati Wheelie Control, engine brake control, Ducati Quick Shift up/down, cruise control, full LED lighting system, DRL, Ducati brake light, USB power port, 12-volt socket, self-canceling turn indicators, steering damper

Optional features include: Ducati Multimedia System, antitheft system, turn by turn navigation via the app, fog lights, heated grips, auxiliary fuel tank

Safety features include: Ducati Safety Pack of cornering ABS and traction control

PRICING

Base price: $16,795

Where assembled: Bologna, Italy

WARRANTY AND MAINTENANCE

Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage

Maintenance service intervals: 9,000 miles or 24 months

Valve clearance check: 18,000 miles

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DEUS Automobiles To Debut Electric Hypercar Concept

New Electrifying Hypercar Concept to debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show

Teaser image for DEUS Automobiles

EDITED BY MARK MAYNARD

Vienna, Austria, March 16, 2022 – DEUS Automobiles GmbH – established in Vienna, Austria, in 2020 – aims to stand out in the increasingly competitive hypercar sector by offering its fresh and objective vision and innovative concepts in terms of luxury, performance, and exclusivity.

The DEUS lightning bolt aligns with the company’s focus on 100-percent electric propulsion technology. The electrified ultra-limited, high-performance hypercars to be built by DEUS Automobiles have technical support from Italdesign and Williams Advanced Engineering.

Italdesign was founded in 1968 and is well known for its association with famed co-founder Giorgetto Giugiaro. Based in Torino, Italy, Italdesign has more than 50 years of expertise developing pre-series and limited and ultra-limited production vehicles at its headquarters.

Italdesign has offered DEUS Automobiles the strategic and technical support necessary to help get its creative visions ready for the road. The design and engineering firm enables and integrates emerging and innovative vehicle technologies.

Williams Advanced Engineering has provided its ground-breaking innovation and product development capability covering advanced battery and electrification technologies. The engineering company was established in 2010 as a subsidiary of Williams F1, well-regarded for its application of race technology. Most recently, its work was seen in the Paralympic Sit-Ski. The monoski made its debut at the recent Beijing 2022 Paralympics and was championed by Toyota and its paralympic downhill ski team.

DEUS Automobiles

DEUS Automobiles is part of a group of businesses with more than 30 years of success. The group of supporting industries ranges from publishing to packaging. The group also is active in today’s broader mobility ecosystem, committed to an exploratory approach toward new products, business, and collaborative innovation.

The company will debut its DEUS hypercar concept at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. Media days will be April 13-14 and public days will be April 15-24.

Follow DEUS Automobiles and Italdesign for updates on the concept vehicle.

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