- Porsche driver Paul Ernst Strahle passes away at the age of 83
- DTM: With two races left, Audi heads to Adria
- Volkswagen introduces new era of world bestseller Jetta
Posted: 28 Oct 2010 06:43 AM PDT
Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is mourning the death of Paul Ernst Strähle, one of the most successful and best-known racing drivers during the 1950s and 1960s. Paul Ernst Strähle died last Wednesday at the age of 83 in Schorndorf, his place of birth. Wolfgang Dürheimer, Executive Vice President for Research and Development at Porsche, paid tribute to the deceased racing driver: “Paul Ernst Strähle was one of the most important and most versatile motorsport pioneers in post-war Germany. Through his success in numerous international races, he became a leading ambassador for German autosport. Porsche has lost a long-standing friend and companion who actively supported the company and particularly our motor sports department from its beginnings up to the present day.”
Paul Ernst Strähle was born in Schorndorf on September 20, 1927 as the son of the Swabian aviation pioneer Paul Strähle. After the end of the Second World War, he successfully completed a mechanical and commercial apprenticeship in his parents‘ car and motorcycle business which he then built up into a successful Volkswagen and Porsche dealership in the following years. From 1951 onwards, Paul Ernst Strähle also devoted himself to motorsport with great passion: he achieved his first successes, including a class victory in the “Mille Miglia”, in his VW Beetle that was dubbed “Dapferle“ and was fitted with a Porsche engine. He became one of the most successful sports car racing drivers in Europe in the Porsche 356 from the second half of the 1950s onwards. His long list of victories included countless class wins in major races such as the “Mille Miglia“ in Italy, the 1000 Kilometre Race on the Nürburgring or the “Targa Florio” in Sicily. Among his most important rally successes were overall victories in the Adria Rally (1953, 1956), the Tour of Belgium (1957), the Liège-Rome-Liège Rally (1959) and the Tour of Corsica (1960).
The former German Motor Racing Champion (1955), European Rally Vice Champion (1956) and German Rally Champion (1958) ended his active motorsport career in 1963 in order to concentrate more on his flourishing car dealership. In 1966, however, he set up the racing team “Strähle Autosport“ which achieved numerous successes with Porsche models in various race series over a period of almost three decades. From 1977 onwards, Paul Ernst Strähle also dedicated himself to historical motorsport. In his famous Porsche 356 A Carrera with the registration number “WN-V2”, he became a highlight of many classic car events in which he naturally came out on top as the winner on numerous occasions.
Paul Ernst Strähle had a close relationship with Porsche right up until old age. He was a regular guest at events in the new Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen where last year, for example, he presented his Porsche 356 “V2” racing car as a loan item.
Posted: 28 Oct 2010 06:41 AM PDT
On October 31 the DTM will visit the Adria International Raceway near the Italian lagoon city of Venice. There, in May 2004, Audi celebrated its first victory with the Audi A4 DTM. Accordingly, the Audi squad has fond memories of the round in Italy, the second-largest European market of the Audi brand outside Germany that saw the delivery of 57,204 vehicles in 2009.
Back to the starting point: On the last October weekend in 2010 Audi will return with the DTM to Adria, the venue of the first victory of the Audi A4 DTM. At Adria, on May 16, 2004, Mattias Ekström achieved the first triumph of the brand’s new race touring car with a 3.1-second lead as early as in the car’s third race. To date, 25 further single exploits complement its track record, plus the champion’s titles of Mattias Ekström (2004, 2007) and Timo Scheider (2008, 2009). Since Audi’s return to the DTM with a “factory” commitment at the beginning of the 2004 season the score has been 4:3 in the championship decisions between Audi and Mercedes-Benz. In addition, Audi is the first manufacturer to have clinched a title hat-trick in DTM history, in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
“Needless to say we would have liked to again keep the championship open a little longer this season,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “But this year things just weren’t running smoothly for us, and our rival was as strong as usual. The title fight is over for us, but the season isn’t: we want to make as good a showing as possible at Adria and Shanghai and win these races.”
Most recently, the two Germans Timo Scheider and Mike Rockenfeller left a particularly strong impression. After experiencing a difficult start to the season Scheider has long regained his usual strength, and the first victory since Barcelona in 2009 just seems to be a matter of time. At Hockenheim, Rockenfeller was again the best driver of a 2008-specification vehicle and figures on chances of finishing the season as the driver of an older-generation model with the best point score. “I’m just seven points behind Jamie (Green), that’s a gap you can certainly make up,” says “Rocky” with a fighting spirit. The Le Mans winner, who will celebrate his 27th birthday on race day, has never competed in a DTM race there, but in 2003 and 2004 the German contested the Porsche Carrera Cup on the 2.702-kilometer circuit in the Veneto region.
Four of the nine current Audi DTM drivers – Mattias Ekström, Timo Scheider, Martin Tomczyk and Markus Winkelhock – have previously raced in DTM cars at Adria. Alexandre Prémat knows the track from the Formula 3 Euro Series. The circuit is new territory only to Oliver Jarvis, Miguel Molina and Katherine Legge.
“New old” conditions
The current Audi A4 DTM (internal designation: “R14 plus”) has never been driven at Adria before, but the Audi engineers are certainly familiar with this circuit. The first generation of this touring car (the “R11”) celebrated its first victory there in 2004. “From experience in those days we know that high braking performance, good traction and mechanical grip in the narrow turns are focal topics,” explains Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport. “The tarmac on the track makes no special demands but in combination with the Dunlop tires produces very typical friction coefficients. Of course the old data generated by the 2004-specification Audi A4 cannot be directly used any more. But in combination with current vehicle data we can use it as a basis for simulations. These results help us with our preparations, for example in selecting the gear ratios and similar aspects.”
Topics of the weekend
Quotes by the officials
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “It’s been many years since we last drove at Adria. That was a good beginning for us then. Hopefully that’s a good omen. We aim to finally convert the continuous performance improvement we showed in the past races into the victory for which we’ve been working hard for such a long time.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “We’ve got fond memories of Adria. That’s where we achieved our first victory with the Audi ‘factory’ team in the DTM. Now we’re aiming to clinch the second win of the season. At Hockenheim we again came very close, but didn’t quite make it. But we won’t give up and believe that we’re able to clinch one or two victories yet this year in order to end the season on a positive note.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “At Adria it’s possible to be surprised by dense fog in the morning at this time of the year. On this track everything will be decided in qualifying. It’s very difficult to overtake there as I recall from the years in the DTM and GT racing. Therefore, we’ll focus on our qualifying performance. In the standings we want to reduce the gap to Jamie Green. We want to keep the situation in suspense so that we can catch up with him at Shanghai and provide the best driver – Mike Rockenfeller – of a 2008-specification vehicle.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “I’m certainly looking forward to Adria in the land of ‘la Dolce Vita.’ We’ve still got two races to go and the tables have got to turn at some point. I’ve got fond memories of Adria. Our aim is the same as before: after a series of retirements Markus Winkelhock has got to finally finish a race. At Hockenheim we had achieved a good starting base and than he was struck by misfortune again. The track is a ‘Mickey Mouse circuit’ and doesn’t give Markus, Katherine Legge and their rivals any time to rest.”
- Audi Motorsport
Posted: 28 Oct 2010 06:14 AM PDT
In the USA it is the most successful car of any European producer: the Jetta. Between the East and West coasts of America, up to 110,000 vehicles of this model series are sold annually. Americans value the Jetta as a highly safe and sporty saloon with “German Engineering.” In June, Volkswagen unveiled – in an event receiving international attention with stars like Katy Perry at the centre of New York’s Times Square – a completely new generation of the world bestseller with over 9.6 million units built so far. Now, the most impressive Jetta ever is also launching in Europe. This heralds a new era for this model series between Helsinki and Rome, Istanbul and Lisbon. The latest version of “the” saloon of the compact class is expected to carry over its US success to Europe.
This Volkswagen has the potential to do just that. Never before has a Jetta had this much sports appeal, this much fuel efficiency or this large a size. The times when the saloon was simply derived from the Golf are a thing of the past. From now on, these two successful models will go their own ways. The new Jetta, now significantly longer (4.64 metres long instead of the previous 4.55 metres), is very appealing as a high-end, spacious and sporty saloon with maximum active driving performance.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn: “We have completely retuned the technology and styling of the Jetta. That is why our number 1 selling car in America will also be extending its position in Europe from now on.” The Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG continues: “At prices from €20,900, we are offering a Jetta that will add a new dimension of quality to the saloons of the compact class.”
And in fact, this Volkswagen – available in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline equipment versions – takes an enormous leap forward in concept and styling. As mentioned, the saloon’s design is no longer derived from the Golf; instead, it follows its own line of styling. This makes the Jetta a strong and independent model series just like the Eos and the Tiguan. Designers and engineers also came up with an entirely new interior. The five-seat saloon’s rear seating layout is significantly more spacious (6.7 cm gain in legroom) thanks to the car’s longer wheelbase – a result of the increased vehicle length. With these dimensions, the Jetta ideally fills the gap between the compact Golf (4.20 metres long) and the new large Passat (4.77 metres long).
Even its smallest engines are truly great successes. Take the example of the 1.6 TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS: In the BlueMotion Technology version, this common rail turbodiesel only consumes 4.2 l/100 km (equivalent to 109 g/km CO2). Consider the 1.2 TSI that also outputs 77 kW / 105 PS and has BlueMotion Technology: This direct-injection turbo petrol engine only requires 5.3 l/100 km (equivalent to 123 g/km CO2), which is exceptional considering that this is a saloon with petrol engine that can move at 190 km/h. As already noted, the Jetta 1.2 TSI costs €20,900 in the Trendline version. The base price of the Jetta 1.6 TDI Trendline with BlueMotion Technology: €23,475. Additional power levels: a TDI with 103 kW / 140 PS and three TSIs with 90 kW / 122 PS, 118 kW / 160 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. So, the Jetta is being driven exclusively by charged, high-tech, direct-injection engines. All engines except the 105 PS TSI may be combined with a dual-clutch transmission (DSG).
Three equipment lines
Trendline: The Trendline equipment line is still the entry-level model to the world of the Jetta. When it comes to safety, standard equipment includes six airbags (with an optional eight), five crash-optimized head restraints (on front seats with anti-whiplash design), daytime running lights, belt fastening detection, automatic hazard flasher lights that activate with hard braking, Hill Climb Assist and ABS with braking assistant and ESP with trailer stabilisation.
Exterior features of the Jetta Trendline include details such as 205 tyres on 16-inch steel wheels, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated turn signals and green tinted heat-insulating glass. Inside, comfort and convenience are upgraded with details such as climate control (Climatic), dust and pollen filter, radio remote control of central locking, outside temperature indicator with road icing warning, chrome bezels for the air vents, multifunctional display (MFA) and a height-adjustable driver’s seat (with fabric seat covers in “Cardeol” design).
Comfortline: The medium equipment version, the Comfortline, is offered at prices from €22,600 (Jetta 1.2 TSI with 77 kW / 105 PS). This model’s exterior is distinguished by chrome accents in the radiator grille and 16-inch, five-spoke “Mambo” alloy wheels.
Inside, the Jetta Comfortline is upgraded with details such as storage pockets on the backrests of the front seats, centre armrests (with storage compartment in front), 8-way adjustment of driver and front passenger seats, comfort seats with elegant fabric upholstery in “Sienna” design, woven floor mats, the RCD 210 radio-CD system, a Chrome Pack (including rotary light switch and control dial for climate control) and what is known as the Small Leather Pack (leather-trimmed steering wheel, gearshift grip and parking brake grip) as well as black accents (“Black Pyramid”). Also standard: the Park Pilot (front and rear), lowering of the passenger side door mirror when reversing and four reading lamps (2 in front, 2 in rear).
Highline: The most exclusive Jetta version is the Highline equipment line. It may be ordered in combination with TSI engines from 90 kW / 122 PS (base price: €24,575) as well as all TDI power levels (base price of 77 kW / 105 PS: €25,875). Exterior features beyond those of the Trendline and Comfortline: 17-inch alloy wheels (ten-spoke “Porto” type), chrome frame around lower air intake screen, chrome trim under the side windows, headlight cleaning system and front fog lights with cornering lights.
A Winter Pack (including heated front seats and heated windscreen washer nozzles) helps to get through the coldest season of the year. Inside, features that refine the top model include sport seats with fabric covers (“Gloss”) and artificial leather, particularly elegant accents (“Iridium Printed” pattern) and an automatic climate control (Climatronic).
Overview of all versions and prices of the new Jetta:
- Volkswagen Group
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