This ‘Apple freak’ CEO wants to build an Apple car

2015 Fiat 500e
Peter Braun/Digital Trends
Apple still won’t confirm the existence of a much-discussed car program known as “Project Titan,” but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes that if Apple really does launch a car, it will hire his company to build it.

Marchionne describes himself as an “Apple freak” who owns every type of product the company makes, is apparently eager for a partnership with Cupertino. It would make more sense for Apple to work with an established carmaker rather than try to build an entire car from scratch on its own, Marchionne told Bloomberg at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and he thinks FCA could make the ideal partner.

“I would assume we have the credibility to be one of the players they have looked at,” the FCA boss said. He believes FCA can speak Apple’s language and would approach a potential partnership in a more humble way than other car makers. Marchionne said Apple’s “syntax” would be more important than a partner’s car-making abilities, something other companies might not get. It was previously rumored that Apple approached BMW about using its i3 as the basis for an “iCar,” but that was never confirmed.

Although he is a fan of the company, Marchionne’s enthusiasm about an Apple car is still somewhat unusual. All reports so far point to an electric car, something Marchionne has never been very enthusiastic about. Recently, he said electric cars will take too much control of vehicle design away from manufacturers, and put it in the hands of suppliers. And on the Geneva show floor, he derided the idea of an electric Ferrari, saying he found electric cars’ lack of engine noise disturbing.

On the other hand, Apple could turn out to be the automotive partner FCA can’t get. Marchionne believes today’s high-tech cars are becoming too expensive to manufacture, and that another round of consolidation is needed to create larger companies with more resources to build them. Last year, he publicly discussed a merger between FCA and General Motors.

Of course, for Apple to partner with FCA, it needs to commit to building a car. Most of the evidence pointing to the existence of the Apple car project consists of job listings for people with automotive experience, and inquiries about testing autonomous prototype vehicles.

Product Review

Simple and reliable, Apple's AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds

Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones have dominated the market essentially since they hit stores in December 2016. Though not without some faults, they cracked the connectivity code to rank among the best fully wireless earbuds you can…
Mobile

Apple patents hint at improved Apple Store and unboxing experiences

It looks like Apple is working on ways to improve the Apple Store and product unboxing experiences. The company has been awarded a few patents, largely for tech that can be used in product packaging to ensure products stay charged.
Mobile

Apple patent suggests Apple Watch bands could have built-in fitness indicators

Apple may be exploring ways to make Apple Watch bands a little more useful. A new patent has been filed by Apple that suggests Apple Watch bands could eventually have indicators for things like fitness goals.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Cars

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.
Cars

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.