Viagra for Chrysler
By Bill Moore
When I blogged that Chrysler-Fiat needed to "kick it up a notch" -- to quote Chef Emeril Lagasse -- when it came to creating buzz around their betrothal -- I said that GM was, in effect, kicking their butts on the "buzz" front with its new Camaro, its Corvette Stringray concept, its Cadillac Converj... and yes, the Volt.
Chrysler LLC surprised us all last summer by rolling out five electric-drive concepts, but none of these, with the exception of the Lotus-built Europa sports car, really got anyone's juices flowing. The Chrysler 200c plug-in hybrid concept rolled out for the Detroit Auto Show in January moved the mercury up a millimeter or two, but still nowhere to the level of, say, the Cadillac Converj, Bob Lutz's going away present to GM.
Then came the Wall Street debacle, the bankruptcy and the arranged marriage with Fiat, itself not a particularly stellar performer with an equally uninspiring line-up of vehicles.
But Fiat has an ace up its sleeve that an EV World reader pointed out to me. It turns out Fiat also owns Alfa Romeo -- and Masserati -- but it's the former that he brought to my attention and to which I bring yours.
These cars are beyond "kicking it up a notch." They're truly "kick ass." If the Chrysler Fiat team wants to stir up some serious "buzz", take Alfa Romeo's Competizione, pictured above, and mate it to ENVI's electric drive system; I don't care, all-electric or range-extended version... both. The auto industry will not have seen this kind of "buzz" since that scientist in Brazil mated an African honey bee to a European queen and let their brood escape into the Amazon.
If you aren't familiar with Alfa's latest lineup, which I wasn't, to be honest, then take a look at the cars depicted in the slideshow below. If there is an automotive equivalent to Viagra -- or Ilona Staller -- the Alfa Romeo cars are it. Want to compete with Tesla, Fisker, the New GM, boys? Get your butts on a plane to Italy, hold a press conference in Rome and announce to the world that the first new car ChryslerFiat is going to bring out will be a range-extended electric version of the Alfa 159 in 2012 and call it the Chrysler Renaissance. Then ship that bad boy to Washington and pack it full of Congressmen and Senators. Next run it silently, pollution-free through New York's Little Italy and finally, drop it off here in Omaha in appreciation for my great idea!
To quote Nike, "Just do it!"
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