News November 04 2007

Alfa, Fiat no show at Sydney show

Where were Alfa and Fiat? We assumed that it was because neither of them have any new cars to show and current sales - since both marques are pretty specialised - didn't justify the huge price tag of turning up.

The official line from Edward Rowe at Fiat and Alfa Australia importer Ateco is a little more complex. He explained that the way both marques talk to customers has changed dramatically over the last few years. The internet (and it's not just us at ItalianCar!) has complicated the way that cars are sold and - ultimately - it's the number of sales that derive from a car show that determines its effectiveness as a marketing medium. Ferrari and Maserati are also under the wing of Ateco in Australia/New Zealand and both these luxury brands do sell cars from car shows. Apparently the Brisbane car show is always good for Alfa (and we must assume Fiat) - which is good for us being Brisbane-based, but the Sydney and Melbourne shows are harder to justify.

Unfortunately the F430 Scuderia - trumpeted as making its first appearance in the Southern Hemisphere in Sydney - didn't quite make it to Sydney - it got held up in Luxembourg and the Tokyo show (see our other article) got to show it first in the Asia-Pacific region. Ferrari had to be content with displaying their current line-up of the F430 coupe and spider, the 599 GTB and the 612 Scaglietti.

In NSW Ferrari have taken 20 orders for the Scuderia - if you've ordered one you'll have to wait until the Oz production run starts in Maranello mid next year. There probably won't be more than 40 of the souped up 430 model arriving in Australia. So that'll be 40 people who'll be driving around on ordinary roads in a car that changes gear almost as fast as an F1 car - there's just 20 milliseconds difference in speed between the F1 car and the Scuderia.

Maserati stole the show with the GranTurismo - it's a stunning looking car. We thought it looked a bit like one of the new Mercs from the rear, but 'in the flesh' it doesn't at all. The only question is where to put the number plate on the front - it's going to spoil the lines and we're pretty certain the authorities are not going to bend the rules, even for a Maserati. The model is sold out until mid next year in Australia and - unofficially - it sounds like a 4.7l version will be available then, replacing (or sitting alongside models with) the current 4.2 engine. Perhaps a 4.7l closely related to the one that sits in the new Alfa 8C Competizione???

Seven Gallardo SuperLeggera models will be making their way to Australia - five are already sold with another 2 coming out. The SuperLeggera comes with the e-gear paddle shift as standard but you can take it in manual as well. The standard Gallardo and Gallardo Spyder are also on the stand, alongside the Versace edition LP640 (based on the Murcielago). 20 of these have been built, all left hand drive. The Versace edition on the stand belongs to the factory and will take its place back in the Lamborghini factory museum in Sant'Agata Bolognese after the show.

© 04/11/07

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