- A Soft, Electric Lamborghini?
- Porsche plans a hybrid in every model line
- Volkswagen New New Beetle keeps old looks
- Passat BlueMotion sets new Guinness World Record
- Steve Chaplin wins the 2010 Volkswagen Racing Cup Championship
- VLN: Successful debut of the Audi TT RS
Posted: 18 Oct 2010 07:45 PM PDT
Designer Andrei Avarvarii has a vision for a smooth, voluptuous Lamborghini, the very opposite of the very sharp, origami-style of the Lamborghini Reventon. The challenge in creating this new Lamborghini “Minotauro” lies in not only staying within the strong identity system of the Lambo line, but also in making the vehicle electric! The challenge of course isn’t creating an electric car. We’ve had electric cars for years now. Nay! The challenge lies in convincing the consumer that not only is it cool to drive an electric car, it’s doubly cool to drive an electric supercar!
More pics and video with bad music at yankodesign.com
Posted: 18 Oct 2010 07:26 PM PDT
Porsche is counting on hybrid drive to help reduce its fleet CO2 emissions.
“In the future, we will have hybrid drive in every model line,” development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said.
Earlier this year, Porsche launched a hybrid version of its Cayenne SUV. A Panamera sedan will go on sale with the Cayenne’s hybrid technology in 2011. According to Porsche engine chief, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, the Panamera hybrid will be able to travel 5km to 6km (about 3 to 4 miles) under electric power.
Porsche’s first electrically powered sports car, the 918 Spyder, will come next, with small production runs planned in three to four years.
“We want to learn how we can electrify all our sports cars in the future with the help of this short production run,” Duerheimer said.
He held out the prospect of hybrid versions of the 911, the Boxster and Cayman, but did not give a time frame.
The European Union has set Porsche a target of reducing its CO2 emissions to 216 grams per kilometer by 2015 from 255g/km now. Porsche believes hybrids will help the company meet the goal.
The company could also introduce smaller engines to help cut CO2 emissions.
“If the CO2 guidelines require it, then our engines will become smaller and may have just four cylinders,” Duerheimer said. “The important thing is that the performance has to be right. The 911 must always be on the cutting edge.”
He is looking at turbocharging and direct injection. They could be used to transform a four-cylinder powerplant into a sports car engine.
Weight is another parameter and Porsche aims to ensure that new models are no heavier than the vehicles they replace.
“A constant weight is our minimum requirement in the change to a new generation, even with compliance with all the new safety and comfort requirements,” Duerheimer said.
That means a new model must be 10 percent lighter each generation, so that the new car doesn’t end up weighing any more than the old.
“You could hardly achieve much more than that with current technologies,” Duerheimer said.
He said Porsche is developing carbon car bodies for road vehicles that can be used to make another improvement of 50 kilograms (about 110 pounds) in weight.
These could be ready in five years.
Porsche is introducing new smaller vehicles such as the planned Cajun SUV, which will positioned below the Cayenne, to win new customers, not to cut the carmaker’s CO2 emissions, Duerheimer said.
“If you want to save on your heating costs,” he said, “you don’t move into a smaller apartment.”
- Automotive News
Posted: 18 Oct 2010 07:13 PM PDT
We wouldn’t exactly call this design evolutionary by any means. Yes, it does extend (literally) the previous exterior design but it does not take it to the next evolutionary step. More space for rear passengers? We have a New Beetle. It’s a 2000 GLX 1.8T model. Rear seats are tight even for small children but opening the space up will not have me interested. The New Beetle life span should have been 10 years. You can’t take such an icon, remaster it and remix it for years only to go on tour with a new new remix…
The redesigned 2012 Volkswagen New Beetle will undergo an evolutionary styling change when production begins next year.
Spy photos of the car reveal that all of the sheet metal has been replaced, but the overall design remains retro.
The redesigned 2012 New Beetle shares a platform with the Volkswagen Golf. It will continue to be assembled in Puebla, Mexico.
In an interview last October, Stefan Jacoby, then CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said the next-generation New Beetle would have more space for rear-seat passengers. But the overall dimensions of the vehicle would not change significantly.
Jacoby said the major complaint about the current car — aside from its age — is the cramped rear seat. Few changes have been made to the current New Beetle since it debuted in 1998.
New Beetle sales peaked at 83,434 in 1999 and have plunged considerably since then. VW sold 14,085 New Beetles last year in the United States, a 47 percent drop from 2008. Through September, sales are up 27 percent from last year to 14,747.
- Automotive News
Posted: 18 Oct 2010 06:15 AM PDT
A Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion driven by journalist Gavin Conway writing for The Sunday Times has set a new Guinness World Record for the distance travelled by a production passenger car on a single tank of fuel.
In setting the record the Passat BlueMotion travelled a distance of 1,531-miles, the equivalent of driving from London to Malaga, without needing to refuel or traveling from Los Angeles to New York with a single stop for fuel.
Powered by a Volkswagen 1.6-litre common rail TDI engine developing 105 PS, the Passat BlueMotion used for the record attempt was a standard production model. In common with the Polo and Golf BlueMotion models, the Passat is fitted with aerodynamic modifications to the bodywork, a lower ride height, Stop-Start, programmed battery charging, longer gearing and low rolling resistance tires. The result is a vehicle that is completely conventional to drive, service and maintain yet among the most efficient vehicles on the road today.
The record breaking feat was monitored throughout by independent representatives on behalf of the Guinness World Records organization. The amount of fuel used was accurately measured at 77.25 litres resulting in an overall fuel consumption of 90.0 miles per gallon, substantially exceeding the claimed combined figure of 64.2 mpg.
Now bring them to America!
- Volkswagen AG
Posted: 17 Oct 2010 06:55 PM PDT
Huge congrats goes out to Steve Chaplin as he secures his points lead and is now the new 2010 Volkswagen Racing Cup Champion! It was an amazing battle over the season and literally came down to the last two rounds over the weekend. For all you doubters out there, he won it in a Herbie liveried New Beetle RSI!
Steve Chaplin is the new champion of the Volkswagen Racing Cup with Fuchs Lubricants. The 45-year-old from Gloucestershire and his ‘Herbie’-liveried Beetle RSI clinched the title today at the final meeting of the 2010 season at Donington Park, beating off three rivals for the crown with a second-place and a fourth-place finish in the championship’s concluding rounds.
Maisemore-based Chaplin took over at the head of the points table after the Zandvoort rounds in May and held on in front down to the wire thanks to one race win, four second places and three thirds over the course of the 14 rounds.
It is Steve’s fifth season in the series in partnership with Herbie, and he admits to a little relief at finally getting the mission accomplished: “We have been hunting it down for a while… This is a hard-fought championship and it seems like an awful long time that we have been plodding away at it. The way the points work, one minute you seem miles in front and the next you are right back in the mix again. I haven’t enjoyed defending my lead all year… I go to races to win, to do my best, and this defending business isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
“I couldn’t have done it without the help of my team, and in particular John Dowds, Craig Davis and Chris Jones, nor without the support I have received from Power Station, AST and Complete Utilities; I’m very grateful to everyone who has assisted along the way.”
Steve says he will probably return to defend his title next season, and hopes to use the experienced he has gained to move on to a GT-racing career. “This is an excellent championship with some wonderful people in it, and I’ve made some great friends. It’s like a holiday going to the races; you come away from work, see all the familiar faces, and I always get the feeling that an awful lot of people are willing me to do well.”
Chaplin’s grip on the crown was almost loosened in the first of the Donington races, when in his spirited defence of fourth place his Beetle was in collision with the Golf GTI of Richard Walker and Chaplin spun before continuing. “I thought that was going to be it,” said Steve, “but I managed to keep it going and carry on.” He crossed the line fifth behind Walker, but race stewards later penalised the Golf man by 1.0s for ‘avoidable contact’, and their placings were reversed.
Aaron Mason it was who won the lucky-for-him round 13, the Comline/AWM Golf GTI driver leading all the way from pole position to chequered flag. The Doncaster driver pulled clear of 2008/’09 champion Joe Fulbrook’s Bora to the tune of 1.3s on the opening lap and posted several fastest laps as he extended his lead to 3.6s at its greatest, though Fulbrook pegged it back to 1.8 seconds by the end.
“Aaron was off like a scalded cat at the start,” said Joe, “and he was a bit more committed than me in some corners and I couldn’t really catch him. If I had and had tried to pass it could have ended in tears, so I am quite happy to settle for second.”
“It was a great race for me,” said Mason. “I really made it pay in the first three laps and managed to build a lead. Towards the end Joe started to close up and very nearly caught me, but I managed to hang on to the end…”
The battle for third was a highlight of the race. Chaplin held sway initially, holding back Richard Walker and then one of his title rivals, Derby driver Peter Felix in another Golf. Felix chased the Beetle for four laps before finding a way past for the final spot on the podium. After the stewards’ ruling, Chaplin was classified fourth ahead of Walker.
Alex Dziurzynski and his brother Didge engaged in a great battle over sixth for many laps, the former’s Corrado just managing to keep the latter’s Mk II Golf GTI – the oldest car in the field – at bay until, alas, Didge started to lose gears and slipped back to finish 12th.
The 2007 champion, Tony Gilham, qualified his Golf fifth but completed the opening lap back in 13th after getting caught up with a spinning Kieran Griffin at Coppice; Tony’s climb back to seventh at the flag was a star performance.
Tim Snaylam’s Golf claimed a solid eighth ahead of Mike Kurton’s Scirocco and Tony Harberman’s Beetle, with Griffin recovering from his early drama to secure 11th ahead of Didge Dziurzynski and Dutch driver Peter Lettinga, who scored his first points in his new KPM Racing-prepared Golf GTI.
The other two title protagonists, Paul Taylor and James Walker, endured difficult races; Taylor’s Golf R32 was classified 15th while Walker finished a lap down in 20th after a pit stop for running repairs following a second-lap collision with the car of Martyn Walsh. Walsh’s Golf was forced to retire. Simon Elliott’s Caddy Van Racer placed 17th.
There was drama – and another stirring drive from Mason to secure victory – in race two. Alex Dziurzynski’s Corrado led from the pole, but Mason, who had started sixth and who battled through to third on the opening lap, swept past both Chaplin and Dziurzynski on lap two. The latter was dispatched with a brave manoeuvre into the Esses to promote Mason to the lead.
There was no running away and hiding for Mason this time, however. Chaplin got past the Scirocco for second on the third lap and quickly whittled down Mason’s advantage to next to nothing, breaking the hours-old circuit lap record along the way. Steve made a lunge for the lead through McLeans three laps from the end but was firmly rebuffed, and thereafter Mason’s second win of the day – and third of the season – was never in doubt. “He very nearly got me,” said Aaron, “but I just managed to keep the line.”
Added Chaplin: “Aaron made a good move on me down the straight to take second, and from there on in it was just a case of chasing him really.”
Gilham started seventh this time and avoided any dramas to haul his Golf GTI up to third, passing Felix and Alex Dziurzynski along the way. Said Tony of his podium placing: “It’s good to get a podium; we should have had one in the earlier race but the first-lap incident put us back a little bit…”
Griffin made amends for his first-race spin with a fine drive in the Addison Lee Scirocco from 11th on the grid to fourth at the line, demoting Felix to fifth four laps from the end. Pole-sitter Alex Dziurzynski’s pace faded towards the end and he slipped behind his brother Didge to claim seventh.
James Walker made a storming start from 20th on the grid to move up to 11th on the opening lap, lost a couple of places on lap four after a brush with the Golf of Tim Snaylam, then bounced back to finish eighth, one place ahead of Snaylam, whose recovery from dead last after the contretemps was a brilliant drive.
James’s dad Richard Walker finish 10th after starting from pit lane, with the Golfs of Taylor, Zoe Wenham and Lettinga in line astern. Among the race’s casualties were Peter Wyhinny’s SEAT Leon, which suffered fluid-loss problems, and Harberman’s Beetle, which was beached in a gravel trap after a braking issue. Fulbrook finished 24th and last, a lap down, after pitting for his wheels to be cleaned of gravel following a second-lap excursion while defending fifth.
The Volkswagen Racing Cup with Fuchs Lubricants is additionally supported by Augustus Martin, Ceva Logistics, ECM Vehicle Delivery, Hankook, Milltek Sport, KW Automotive, Superchips and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
*Championship competitors celebrated the end of term with a special ‘German v Italian’ saloon car challenge race at Donington. Cars from the Volkswagen Racing Cup and the Alfashop Alfa Romeo Challenge formed the grid and, though the runaway victor was the Alfa 156 touring car of Neil Smith, Volkswagens filled 11 of the top 14 places to win the challenge. Joe Fulbrook’s Bora placed second.
Posted: 17 Oct 2010 06:40 PM PDT
When we first broke the news on the Audi TT RS customer program from Audi, the internet just about went down! Kidding, but it has become one of our top articles and the fact is people loved the car. If your’e a DTM fan and remember the great years when Audi had the original TT running, this brought that excitement back. Raeder Motorsport has been running both a TT S and an A3 in the VLN series. Audi and Raeder partnered up on this project with a great outcome. A first in class and 8th overall over the weekend.
The new Audi TT RS, which may possibly extend the Audi customer sport program in the future, made a successful debut. Christoph Breuer, Marc Hennerici and Christopher Mies achieved a much-noted eighth place overall and victory in the SP 4T class at the ninth round of the Endurance Championship. On its first laps on the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife the prototype fielded by the Raeder Motorsport team, which is jointly developed by the Technical Development (TE) and Production divisions of AUDI AG and quattro GmbH, immediately ran without the slightest technical problem.
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