Category: Europe

By on December 1, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Deciding that the company’s annual pre-Christmas party wasn’t a great time to be Wetblanket Wildes, the Porsche-Piech clan affirmed that it would be committed to Volkswagen amid its emissions crises (pl.) and said the company that the family-owned company would “master the situation,” according to Reuters.

The Porsche-Piech family, who owns a majority stake in Volkswagen’s parent company, told the automaker’s board and the town of Wolfsburg that the family has no intention of pulling the plug.

“I am firmly convinced that the city of Wolfsburg together with Volkswagen will master the situation and gain further strength,” Wolfgang Porsche said in a statement, according to Reuters. “The Porsche and Piech families stand behind Volkswagen and Wolfsburg as its headquarters.”

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By on December 1, 2015


Toyota and PSA announced Tuesday that they would continue to build a van for European markets for light commercial and passenger duty and unveiled their newest Toyota Proace/Peugeot Traveller/Citroen SpaceTourer eggs.

The three vans, which look virtually identical short of their shades and faces, are all produced at PSA’s factory in Valenciennes, France.

While the Toyota version looks like one of those samurai crabs, it’ll likely never set foot in the U.S. and that’s a shame — commercial vans are the new hot thing for automakers, you know?

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By on December 1, 2015

911 Turbo S und 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

Proving that all turbo Porsches aren’t created equal, Porsche announced Tuesday its eye-wateringly expensive 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S hardtop and droptop versions that make up to 580 horsepower and dropkick the car from 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds.

In the trunk is Porsche’s 3.8-liter flat-six married to twin turbochargers that spin up 540 horsepower in the Turbo and 580 hp in the Turbo S (20 more than the outgoing models). The Turbo produces 523 pound-feet of twist (553 pound-feet on overboost in the Turbo S) on the way up to its 7,000 rpm redline (7,200 in the Turbo S). Porsche didn’t directly specify its gearbox, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the new 911 Turbo will only come with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic because of course it will.

Both cars for the first time feature a quasi-antilag turbo system that reduces delay from the turbos by interrupting the fuel injection during changes in throttle position, according to the automaker.

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By on November 30, 2015

1.6 TDI Motor ( EA 189 ):  Strömungsgleichrichter (Einbau: Bild 1 von 6)

Volkswagen will officially recall all of its illegally polluting diesel engines in Germany, German newspaper Die Welt reported Monday (via Reuters), the first step in a wave of recalls to fix 11 million cars worldwide.

Roughly 2.5 million cars in Germany will be recalled — 1.5 million Volkswagens, 500,000 Audi and 500,000 Skoda- and Seat-branded cars — with work beginning in January. Last week, the German transportation authority approved Volkswagen’s fix for 1.6-liter cars, which included an “air calming” pipe ahead of the intake’s air sensor. The company’s 1.2- and 2-liter cars may only need software fixes.

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board will review Volkswagen’s proposal submitted earlier this month for fixing 482,000 cars in the U.S. It’s unclear what those fixes may be. During congressional testimony in October, Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn said it would be a combination of hardware and software fixes.

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By on November 29, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German newspaper Bild Am Sonntag (via Reuters) reported Sunday that engineers within Volkswagen knew more than one year ago that its cars didn’t meet reported fuel consumption and even pulled a model from sale because of the deception.

Volkswagen admitted in October that 800,000 cars sold in Europe didn’t meet advertised fuel economy and that the company would pay more than $2.1 billion for the scandal.

According to Reuters, Volkswagen didn’t comment on the claim that executives knew about the cheating crisis before October, and said that the slow-selling Polo BlueMotion was pulled due to poor sales.

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By on November 27, 2015


While the rest of the world warms up to our Thanksgiving tradition of football and mountains of potatoes and gravy, we must admit that the world goes on without us some days.

Thankfully, the Internet never forgets. So here’s a roundup of the stories we missed in our Tryptophan-induced naps.

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By on November 25, 2015


Volkswagen in Germany announced Wednesday its fix for millions of its 1.6- and 2-liter diesel engines in Europe that are illegally spewing nitrogen oxides and have cost the company billions in a massive worldwide scandal.

According to the automaker, a small “flow transformer” would be fitted in front of the air mass sensor in 1.6-liter, EA189 engines. The small transformer will calm air leaving the air filter before reaching the sensor. Volkswagen says the calmer air will allow the sensor to more accurately measure airflow for combustion. The fix would take less than an hour. For 2-liter engines, the proposed fix would be a software update and would take 30 minutes. Both plans have been approved by the German transportation authority.

Both fixes may be headed to cars in the U.S. However, the announced plan was in Germany for engines only on sale in most of Europe. Volkswagen submitted its U.S. plan last week to the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, but details of that plan haven’t been released.

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By on November 24, 2015


A German environmental group said Tuesday that its testing has revealed Renault’s Espace, when equipped with a 1.6-liter diesel engine, could emit up to 25 times the allowable limit of nitrogen oxides with a warm engine running on roads — or you know, the real world.

According to the New York Times, the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) didn’t directly accuse Renault of including cheating software in its cars — a la Volkswagen — but said the van polluted significantly less when the engine was cold. The results could show the schism between European testing standards — where tires can be over-inflated, doors taped up, batteries disconnected, seats removed — and real-world conditions.

Renault said in a statement Tuesday that its van complied with regulations and that tests done by researchers at the University of Bern “are not all compliant with European regulations.” Read More >

By on November 24, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German investigators are looking into whether Volkswagen executives or engineers broke laws by lying about carbon dioxide emissions in 800,000 cars sold in Europe, the New York Times reported.

Authorities near the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg say they are focused on five Volkswagen employees, but wouldn’t identify those employees. Investigators are determining if Volkswagen employees knowingly provided false information to authorities about those cars and their emissions to qualify those cars for lower tax rates. In admitting that it lied about its emissions levels this month, Volkswagen said it would repay governments for back tax revenue lost because of the bogus claims.

This month, Volkswagen admitted it underestimated carbon dioxide output from 800,000 cars sold in Europe and said the scandal could cost the company more than $2.1 billion. According to the New York Times report, Volkswagen’s admission included a promise to repay taxes owed on owners’ cars it sold with bogus carbon dioxide numbers.

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By on November 23, 2015

Tesla Model S Center Stage

On Friday, Tesla announced a voluntary recall of every single damn Model S on the planet to check the front seatbelt installed on those cars. According to the automaker, one belt in a car that was sold in Europe wasn’t connected to an outboard lap pretensioner. The car was not involved in a crash, nor was anyone injured because of the defect.

According to Tesla, the automaker has inspected more than 3,000 Model S cars for similar faults and found none.

Regardless, the automaker said it would ask owners to bring in 90,000 Model S cars — literally, all of them — for inspection because having a seatbelt that doesn’t work is probably bad.

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