Alfa Romeo plans American development, pricing of the manual Toyota GR Supra seems reasonable, Porsche might be teaming up with Red Bull. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
Alfa Romeo To Develop New Model In America
Italian automakers haven’t been having a brilliant time in America as of late. Sure, Ferrari and Lamborghini will always have customers, but Maserati isn’t on most luxury consumers’ radar, Alfa Romeo is seeing fairly low sales, and when was the last time you saw a new Fiat? In an attempt to change this, Reuters reports that Alfa Romeo boss Jean-Philippe Imperato claims the brand will develop a new large model in America.
“Our offer for a large size vehicle must fit international markets, American, Chinese, European,” he said during a media call, a day after parent Stellantis released first half results.
Alfa Romeo is still assessing whether the new model will be an SUV, a crossover or a sedan but it will not probably be a classic large SUV, such as BMW’s X5 or X6, Imparato said.
“We want to find the right mix,” he said. “It’s a decision we will take by the end of this year”.
While it makes sense to develop a new vehicle in one of its most important markets, this decision begs a question: what on earth would an Alfa Romeo raised on Natty Light, KFC Double Downs, and Maury reruns be like? While I have some minor reservations about whether or not this new vehicle will preserve Alfa’s Italian essence, I’ll wait to see and drive the final product before passing judgment. It looks like I’ll be waiting a long time though, as the finished model isn’t expected until 2027.
Pricing For The Manual GR Supra Actually Seems Entirely Reasonable
Three-pedal fans rejoice! Despite the development costs of a new variant of ZF’s S6-53BZ six-speed manual gearbox and the tooling costs of some new interior bits, the manual Toyota GR Supra costs no more than the automatic variant. Toyota’s released full pricing for the 2023 GR Supra, so let’s break things down.
First off, all GR Supra are subject to a $1,095 freight charge. That’s fairly reasonable in the grand scheme of things, although still worth pointing out because freight charges aren’t optional. Here at The Autopian, we like to include freight charges in new car pricing because there’s nothing worse than being told a basic MSRP then getting slapped with an egregious freight charge when you hit the showroom. The B48 four-cylinder-powered GR Supra 2.0 now starts at $44,635, or $6,390 more than a rear-wheel-drive BMW 230i. Sure, the GR Supra 2.0 is lighter, but some extra pounds might be worth it for some extra rear seats. Also, $6,390 is a lot of money. Moving up to the models everyone cares about, the GR Supra 3.0 Base now costs $53,595 in automatic or manual form. For context, the new Nissan Z in Performance trim with the big brakes and limited-slip differential stickers for $51,015, so the jump up to a manual GR Supra 3.0 Base really isn’t that crazy.
If you want more features, the GR Supra 3.0 Premium stickers for $56,745, while the limited-edition manual-only A91 model clocks in at $59,440. Is a cognac leather interior, some special trim, and either gray or matte white paint worth an extra $2,695 over the 3.0 Premium trim? Maybe not for me, but it might be for you. In any case, the 2023 Toyota GR Supra will arrive in dealerships later this year, so get ready for a new three-pedal sports car to hit the streets.
Stellantis Offering Early Retirement Packages To Canadian Workers
It’s no secret that the electric future will bring about massive changes on the production side of the automotive industry, and Stellantis appears to be restructuring some of its workforce in order to prepare. According to Automotive News Canada, Stellantis is offering early retirement packages to workers at its Windsor, Ontario and Brampton, Ontario assembly plants.
The move comes just months after the automaker committed billions to the factories, a new electric-vehicle battery plant and EV r&d centre in Windsor.
The automaker didn’t say how many people it hopes will accept the offer. Nor did the company provide financial details about the packages being offered.
Stellantis said employees will learn the details on Aug. 1 and have two weeks to decide on whether to accept the offer.
Early retirement packages definitely sound like they have the potential to be kinder than layoffs, particularly given how hard the Canadian Auto Workers union fights for its members. It’ll be interesting to potentially see what the early retirement package consists of and how many employees take it.
Porsche’s Reportedly Planning To Take A Huge Stake In Red Bull’s F1 Assets
Well, well, well. It looks like the rumors of Porsche entering Formula 1 might have some substance to them after all. Bloomberg reported on some leaked documents that suggest Porsche might take as much as a 50 percent stake in some Red Bull Formula 1 assets, a massive move considering Red Bull is highly competitive this season.
The filing shows that Porsche petitioned Moroccan race authorities on July 8 regarding an impending 10-year deal with the F1 team.
The notification outlined a 50 percent purchase of Red Bull Technology, which builds chassis for the Formula 1 team Oracle Red Bull Racing; it indicated that the partnership would also extend to the separate F1 team business.
The leaked documents are reliable, a Red Bull Racing spokesperson confirmed.
Details regarding how the deal is to be be structured are not finalized, say sources close to the matter.
While the details of this potential arrangement are still very much up in the air, teaming up with Red Bull would be a spectacular move for Porsche. Not only is Red Bull a successful, high-profile team, the driver fanbase is immense. Best of luck for Porsche and Red Bull moving forward, hopefully some sort of arrangement can be worked out.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to the end of the week and indeed the end of the month. That’s right, the next Morning Dump you’ll see from me will happen in August. Where does the year go, am I right? In anticipation of a new month, I’d love to know what car stuff you want to do in August. Maybe you want to attend a show, finish an engine swap, or simply weave through some cones at an autocross event. Whatever the case, I’d love to hear your automotive hopes and dreams for the coming month.
Lead photo credit: Alfa Romeo
I am late to the party and my first wrenching story was today so a couple of days early but I need to vent.
Changed the oil on wife’s Outback. I picked up a new catch container from harbor freight. First time using it. Popped the drain plug, popped the vent and proceeded… to make a huge effing mess. Turns out the “vent” was not drilled out from the factory so the pan hydro locked and oil got all over the garage floor. So I spent my day cleaning up probably 3qts of oil and I’ll spend to tomorrow cleaning up all the oil dry.
Next project on that car will be a Fumoto oil drain valve with a nipple.
How are you liking the Noise Control Zones?
What would I like to see you cover? I am the proud owner of a properly restored 1932 Chevrolet Confederate and accordingly would like to see anything related to pre-war Chevrolets, to include touring, technical, how to items etc. As this is an admittedly small group we could expand it to any 20 – mid 40’s cars, trucks, planes, boats, etc.
Not all of your readers are so totally immersed in the 21st century that we want to read yet another cutting edge piece on microchips and batteries. There are a few of us “Oldsters” who must count for something!
Sooo the red bull/porsche deal has to be about engines right?
Could it be for any other reason?
*Half Asleep after eating BBQ Cornchips and a frozen Coke Zero*
EH… I been “daddy daddy daddy daddy” for the last 18hrs a day 6+ days a week. While trying to do electrical work, cleaning among other shit like math, reading. Ive been toting around my 90T Trailer for quite some time and while its a lot of fun, he really grinds the shit out of my gears.
I havent done any car stuff in a bit, not driven my car in a few days… primarily cause Im flowing back n forth into depression and I got too much other shit to do. NTM, there is stuff Id like to do but havent cause I cant get no time on my own to both relax (do nothing for a minimum 30hrs) and get car stuff done. Clean that bucket of a car my wife has, oil change, rotation for her and me, new front glass for me. Little Niggling shit, that I gotta do… that dont involve my trailer hitched to my ass.
Imma get dragged to a fucking vacation with her inlaws… which is a much fun as being hit with a BRICK and about as expensive. I wanted to hit LEAD EAST… but timing makes that a hard stretch.
ID LOVE TO DROP OFF MY 90T, TRIPLE AXLE TRAILER for about a MONTH… so I can return to the husk of a hooman I was before I hitched him up.
Introducing the 2037* Alfa Romeo Grandegrasso!
*soon to be on used car lots across America in 2038!
In Canada they offer early retirement? Cool. In the U.S. they would just announce layoffs between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Happy Holidays, Everybody!
“Alfa Romeo is still assessing whether the new model will be an SUV, a crossover or a sedan”
Pfft… if it’s a large vehicle for a brand like Alfa, it’s gonna be a CUV.
Plans: filling out the class action claims on both Porsches and fighting the aggressive nationwide premium increases. Too hot to even think about driving or working on the MG.
Well, for my plans in August, I just got a letter from Opel notifying me of a recall that involves the driver’s side airbag. Doesn’t look like a Takata issue, this being a 2016 car, but in order to learn more and schedule a time I’ll need to contact the garage this Sunday (my weekend starts today and ends tomorrow). They say it is a 3h job in and out, hopefully I’ll not have a speedbump cause my car to shotgun shards of adamantium on my face on the way there 🙂
A new Alfa? Hear me out here: take the 166. Age-progress it a bit: slap some modern styling cues on, like the Giulia’s front fascia, for example, and uh, adjust for inflation in all three dimensions. Now lift it by a couple of inches; lo and behold, you have a Toyota Crown competitor.
If it ends up being a giant electric SUV, I’m at least hoping for a Quadrifoglio version that puts the Model X Plaid to shame.
This August, I’d like to get all the little things I’ve been putting off done: patch the rear defroster and replace the valve stem cap that the tire shop misplaced on my Spark, replace the broken wing mirror turn signal assembly and fix/replace a DRL socket on the wife’s Renegade (a Jeep/Fiat with electrical gremlins, who woulda thunk it).
none of it will matter if Alfa and Maserati do not consider secondary markets and get the longevity and costs to repair down on the engines. small displacement high HP turbo motors do appeal to some, but the everyday person, be he rich or poor, wants to feel like he will make it to work and back reliably.
Oh, I’m sure they can at least get the longevity down. Maybe not the cost to repair, but half a loaf is better than none, right?
Three pedals makes the Supra 1000% more interesting to me. I’m not in the market, but if I were it would be back on the list.
Nothing exciting car-wise. Probably a bunch of basic maintenance because I have some fluid changes due and I’m going to do the rear brakes on my truck. When I was back there fixing the other parking brake shoe (they both rusted to literal pieces in 6 or 7 years) I noticed that one of the pads had worn unevenly, probably because the caliper is also rusty and it got stuck at some point. One of the rotors also has some pretty bad pits, so I think it’s time to just do them even though there’s plenty of pad material left and the rotors are still 1 mm thicker than their minimum. Can’t really complain about 125k from OEM pads and rotors though.
I know Alfa hasn’t announced a power train yet, but is anyone else excited about the idea of cars with Italian styling without Italian engine problems? Bring on the electric Alfas, Maseratis, Fiats and Lancias!
I wish they’d bring the new FIAT 500e over here as I think it’d sell like hotcakes now that it’s EV, but nope…
Yeah, I’ve heard it’s pretty good!
In California, mid-August means it’s time for Monterey Car Week: shows, auctions, historic races at Laguna Seca, automobilia, and plenty of interesting cars just driving around.
One fun quirky event is the free Pacific Grove Little Car Show: about 125 cars that generally must displace fewer than 1601cc’s and be at least 25 years old. After the show, the cars are driven on a public tour along the Monterey coastline. In addition to the typical car show marques, in recent years there have been cars from Peel, Crosley, Panhard, Peugeot, Auto Union, Citroen, Lotus, Fiat, Honda, and American Bantam.
As interesting as the cars are the owners’ stories about them. One owner at last year’s show said she’d “always wanted a yellow convertible” and found her 1978 MG Midget six years prior: a one owner car with fewer than 7000 miles since new. The seller was 93 years old and had used the MG only as a “summer car,” driving it just 200 miles/year on vacation between New Jersey and New Hampshire. After 43 years the near-mint car was entirely original except for tires.
I *might* be ordering a new car in August.
Car plans? Clean them and hopefully drive a bit. All the car shows are either too far away or the ones near me a Clique of Entitled folks who don’t like outsiders.
Seriously, I was told if you don’t know someone for 15 years you are the FNG and get off my lawn in one group.
Maybe Alfa will just rebadge the Chrysler 300 like Lancia did for a while. It would be hilarious to see that platform keep going even longer. It would also be hilarious to use Alfa and reliable in the same sentence. Ooops, I just did!
How do those retirements work?
Can they work at the different oem? Can they work somewhere else?
I’m in a different industry, so my experience may be different than what Stella is offering, but I expect the concept to be similar. My company sometimes offers “early retirement” deals in down cycles as an alternative to layoffs. It essentially provides the same severance benefits (a lump sum equivalent of X weeks of pay for every year of service) that would be given to a laid-off employee with the advantage that employees can self-select. So if you’re a few months from your planned retirement date anyway, the severance sweetens the pot a bit and allows you to retire a little bit early. There were no overarching restrictions on working for a competitor — or even coming back to the company in a different role if the need were to arise (exceptions exist, I’m sure, for certain projects where NDAs are involved).
It often works out pretty well. Anyone who wants to keep working doesn’t have to worry about layoffs, and those who want to leave get a little bonus. It only goes bad when too many take the offer resulting in a loss of some very valuable experience.
I was in the semiconductor industry for many years, and the company I worked for had similar offers every once in awhile. They called it a voluntary severance package rather than early retirement, presumably to ensure folks new it was open to everyone. However, since the benefits were based on years of service, it benefitted long-time employees more than those that had been around less than 10 years.
It is a good way to encourage those that are close to retiring or those that were considering a job change to leave, and they get a bit of extra cash along with some extended benefits. As you said, no restrictions on going to work for competitors, but there were restrictions on coming back to the same company too soon (e.g., if you got 6 mos. salary to leave, then you have to payback 4 mos. salary if you come back in 2 months).
Down here in Oz, we call them ‘voluntary redundancy packages’ and they can be quite generous especially if you have been with the organisation for a while.
Public service organisations use them not infrequently and the only condition is that you can’t be employed in public services in that state for six months.
August – I’m hoping my Clubman will wear all of its new (to it) Countryman parts that have been sitting around for a little while now. Just gotta …order some parts…again…and then finally get a fabricator / welder to rejig a mounting plate for the subframe. But then it’s off to the races!
Alfa Romeo is….coming to America!
“Buongiorno, my neighbors!”
“Yes! Yes! Vaffanculo to you, too!”
“Alfa Romeo is still assessing whether the new model will be an SUV, a crossover or a sedan but it will not probably be a classic large SUV, such as BMW’s X5 or X6, Imparato said.”
It’s going to be a classic large crossover vehicle with marketingspeak to make it sound like it somehow isn’t
August = Woodward Dream Cruise. The entire week ahead of it, I am out there every night, but in reality, I’m out there on every Friday or Saturday (along with plenty others) starting at the end of spring.
How are you liking the Noise Control Zones?
I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to go to RADwod in Tacoma on the 27th. I’d love to take my truck up there, but a 400 mile round trip at 16 mpg would make for an expensive Saturday right now. And the A/C is on the fritz in it.
1st – I won’t have my hopes up too high concerning the Alfa. Despite Imperatto’s caution, it will most likely be an oversized (for an Alfa esp.) crossover that will be electric, so not based on the wonderful Giorgio platform. And if it’s “curated” for the north american market….
They’re still alive though, and still in North America so I’m not fully defeated…
2nd – Only 2 weeks to decide on early retirement or the offer is off?? Seems short notice, no?
3rd – Porsche probably going in 50% with Red Bull to stifle some possible friction if it is only an engine supplier (see : Renault years). I’m sure there will be other benefits as well, but they probably want to have a certain level of control. Now, will Audi partner 50/50 with Toro Rosso? Or buy out Williams from Dorilton?
Forgot to flush! (Sorry mom!)
Road trip with a buddy to Ontario in a week or so, not much planned other than Ottawa/Toronto/Niagara. Anyone have cool car-related suggestions?
(Oh and this week I saw the muddafreakin Pope riding in his Jeep Wrangler Popemobile. I could almost touch it, but the bodyguards were staring me down lol)
Hey, that’s my neck of the woods! La Paloma in Woodbridge often has Italian car meets going on, Legendary Motorcar in Milton has a nifty collection, Collecting Cars has an Italian-only Cars & Coffee event at Faema Canada in Toronto on August 7, and taking the back way to Niagara sends you up the escarpment and along some scenic roads. Hit me up on Twitter, Instagram, or through my email (thomas@TheAutopian.com) if you want more details or suggestions.
Oshawa (just west of Toronto) has a neat little car museum, although it’s seen better days (they’re working on raising funds for renovation though).
Not automotive, but the Diefenbunker just outside of Ottawa is pretty neat – it was the nuclear bunker built for the Prime Minister and high ranking government staff that’s since been decommissioned and opened for tours.
2 weeks for early retirement is probably plenty if a) the offer is decent and b) it’s truly voluntary. Most people who would be interested already know it so it then becomes a question of whether or not it’s generous enough to bite. My company did one of these a few years ago and that was about the size of the window. The response, as I recall, was pretty positive.
For the first time in many years I am going to Tarrant Hilton, yes I know it is not until the 25th, but these things take a bit of planning. If anyone else here is planning on going, I am the big bloke with the unkempt beard wearing scruffy overalls.