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Car news, 19 Feb ’24: Alfa Quadrifoglio models safe in Australia, Scout factory breaks ground, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Monday February 19th 2024. Notably in car news today: Alfa Romeo looks to depart the market for performance variants in the United States, and also in the Americas, Volkswagen electric pick-up subsidiary Scout breaks ground on a new factory that could one day supply EV utes to Australia.

Browse this issue:

  • Alfa Romeo axes Quadrifoglio models in America, but they live on in Australia
  • Scout Motors breaks ground on South Carolina factory
  • Mercedes-AMG sets new GT-class lap record at Bathurst
  • Alfa Romeo Tonale plug-in hybrid reviewed

Alfa Romeo axes Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio in America – but they live on in Australia

  • Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo, owned by Stellantis, will cease to sell its Giulia Quadrifoglio sports sedan, and Stelvio sports SUV, in the United States market as the brand shifts towards electrifying its model lineup.
  • Both variants are high-performance iterations of standalone premium models. The two Quadrifoglio grades use the same 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine making 375kW of power.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is safe for now
  • Sitting at the top of their respective lineups, the modern-day Quadrifoglio entered service in June 2015 when the Giulia variant was unveiled at Museo Storico Alfa Romeo in Arese, Italy.
  • The last chance for American buyers to order a Quadrifoglio will be April 2024, with Alfa Romeo of America boss Larry Dominique posting to LinkedIn that the models will cease production for the US and Canada in April 2024.
  • Stellantis Australia communications boss Tracie Stoltenburg told Chasing Cars the Quadrifoglio pair would live on in Australia with “only North America affected” by the production change.

WATCH: BMW M3 vs Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio comparison

Scout Motors breaks ground on South Carolina EV pick-up & 4WD factory

  • Volkswagen Group re-established the Scout Motors brand in May 2022 as an off-shoot set to build fully-electric pick-up trucks and four-wheel drives in the United States, making the vehicles eligible for significant domestic production incentives in the American market.
  • Before the name was purchased by Volkswagen in 2020, the Scout marque was worn by the International Harvester Scout – a two-door off-roader produced by the American tractor manufacturing firm from 1961 until 1980.
Scout Motors concepts side angle 2023
Scout Motors is set to build its cars in South Carolina
  • In Blythewood, South Carolina, ground was broken on the Scout factory that will incorporate an assembly line, paint shop and body shop – and could go on to produce more than 200,000 vehicles per year with the first pick-up and 4WD models set to be released in late 2026.
  • Key rivals to Scout models will include the Rivian R1T and R1S, the Tesla Cybertruck, and combustion vehicles like the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler with a price target of USD50,000 ($75,000). An Australian launch presently looks unlikely, with no current plans for right-hand drive support.

Bathurst 12-hour: Mercedes-AMG sets new GT lap record at Mount Panorama

  • The 2024 running of the Bathurst 12-hour motor race at the weekend saw Mercedes-AMG establish a new, albeit unofficial, GT-car lap record at the famous New South Wales circuit.
  • Set by AMG driver Jules Gounon in an unrestricted Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car with more than 480kW of power, the lap stopped the clocks at 1:56.6054.
  • That record translated to an average speed of 191.8km/h with a top speed of 308.7km/h down the circuit’s Conrod Straight.

Alfa Romeo Tonale plug-in hybrid reviewed

  • Chasing Cars journalist Olek Novak’s comprehensive road test of the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale plug-in hybrid was published, including findings about the car’s value, driving dynamics and running costs.
  • In the real-world, the Tonale plug-in is one of the more efficient PHEVs on the market, returning efficiency of 20.0kWh/100km over a realistic test that focussed on urban commuting – typically where hybrid owners benefit from fully-electric running.
Alfa Romeo Tonale Veloce PHEV 2024 thumbnail
Alfa Romeo’s Tonale Veloce PHEV 2024 is officially on sale in Australia
  • That efficiency meant the Tonale precisely delivered its range claim of 60km (WLTP). Novak was also satisfied with the ride quality and handling of the small SUV.
  • However, all was not perfect, with the crossover’s $78,500 price in Australia (before on-road costs) being both a substantial $19,600 uplift over the mild-hybrid Veloce grade – and not feeling representative of middling cabin plastics quality.

WATCH: This Hybrid SUV is Sporty & Efficient (Alfa Romeo PHEV 2024 Review)

READ: Alfa Romeo Tonale Veloce Plug-In Hybrid Q4 2024 review

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Tuesday 20th February at 4.30pm AEDT.