LA Car Show Examiner Scott Martin was recently in Italy to tour the Ferrari and Lamborghini factories and get a preview of new models from those and other manufacturers that will be released in the US over the coming year. The Bologna/Modena area is also home to Maserati, Pagani and Ducati motorcycles which was just bought by Audi.
An added benefit to the trip was the everyday sight of many vehicles that have not been available in the States for a long time, but are still going strong throughout Europe... Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Renault, Opel, Citroen and Peugeot. Plus, there are a lot of Chevrolet's and Ford's, most with different names than we see in US cities. And, of course, there are many Japanese and German exports including Honda's. Toyota's, Volkswagon's, BMW's and Mercedes. Interestingly, there were several Mercedes models that the US has never seen including some compact and hatchback/station wagon models.
The main difference in Italian or European autos compared to the U.S. is the smaller average size of the vehicles and the wider availability of diesel engines. There appears to be an influx of hybrid cars such as Toyota Prius, and the use of electric vehicle seems to be growing at a faster pace than in the US, although Italy is not one of the planned countries for initial Tesla expansion in Europe.
In the coming days, more photos will be posted showing the various models available in Italy and Europe compared to U.S. vehicles plus previews of European-based late 2013 and 2014 model year releases.