The Truth About Cars » Germany http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:47:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Germany http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/germany/ Volkswagen Surpasses Toyota in Global Auto Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/volkswagen-surpasses-toyota-global-auto-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/volkswagen-surpasses-toyota-global-auto-sales/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1126585 Despite slowdowns in China, Russia and Asia, Volkswagen surpassed Toyota in global auto sales by delivery in the first half of 2015, Automotive News Europe is reporting. Volkswagen sold 5.04 million cars in the first six months of 2015, compared to 5.02 million for Toyota, according to the report. Sales were down 1.5 percent and […]

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Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Despite slowdowns in China, Russia and Asia, Volkswagen surpassed Toyota in global auto sales by delivery in the first half of 2015, Automotive News Europe is reporting.

Volkswagen sold 5.04 million cars in the first six months of 2015, compared to 5.02 million for Toyota, according to the report. Sales were down 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent for Toyota and VW respectively.

GM was the third-largest automaker with 4.86 million vehicles.

Volkswagen capitalized on a growing European market to help offset softening Chinese sales. Passenger-vehicle sales fell for the first time in two years in China as that country’s economy responds to market volatility.

Sales slumped in South America, some Southeast Asia markets and sales in Russia have dramatically declined, the story points out.

Deliveries in North America increased by only 4.4 percent, the smallest margin since the economic recovery began in 2009.

The report is the latest in the saga of “Who Wants To Be The World’s Largest Automaker?” with VW on pace to take the crown three years before their executives forecasted. In May, it looked as if VW would take silver thanks to its ongoing leadership shuffle, but a resurgent European market may help. Meanwhile, Toyota may make up ground after a 10-percent gain in China in the first half, according to the report.

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Mercedes-AMG Teasing More C63 Coupe Because It’s Monday http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-teasing-c63-coupe-monday/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-teasing-c63-coupe-monday/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1125801 Mercedes-AMG released a new batch of “spy” shots of its C63 coupe testing at Hockenheimring in Germany, AutoGuide is reporting (via Facebook). The coupe, which will be unveiled in August ahead of its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, looks remarkably similar to the C-Class sedan from which it’s based. The car is […]

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Mercedes-AMG released a new batch of “spy” shots of its C63 coupe testing at Hockenheimring in Germany, AutoGuide is reporting (via Facebook).

The coupe, which will be unveiled in August ahead of its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, looks remarkably similar to the C-Class sedan from which it’s based.

The car is heavily camouflaged in the photos released on the automaker’s Facebook page. Despite hiding its body, the car will sport a unique front fascia and grille.

Under the hood, Mercedes-AMG is expected to stuff its 4-liter, turbocharged V-8 taken from the AMG sedan. That engine produces 470 horsepower or 503 horsepower depending on specification and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Power is shifted around corners through a limited-slip differential.

Mercedes-AMG linked the photos to a website counting down the days to the car’s official release on Aug. 19.

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Porsche May Bring Smaller, Electric Panamera-ish Car to Frankfurt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/porsche-may-bring-smaller-electric-panamera-ish-car-frankfurt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/porsche-may-bring-smaller-electric-panamera-ish-car-frankfurt/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 21:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123433 Porsche may roll out a Tesla-fighting, BMW 5-Series-sized sedan concept at this year’s Frankfurt auto show, L’Automobile Magazine is reporting (via Car and Driver). The smaller sedan would be about a foot shorter than a Panamera, sport an all-electric powertrain — a first for Porsche — and could be offered alongside gasoline, diesel or hybrid-powered engines. Rumors […]

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Porsche may roll out a Tesla-fighting, BMW 5-Series-sized sedan concept at this year’s Frankfurt auto show, L’Automobile Magazine is reporting (via Car and Driver).

The smaller sedan would be about a foot shorter than a Panamera, sport an all-electric powertrain — a first for Porsche — and could be offered alongside gasoline, diesel or hybrid-powered engines.

Rumors about the car, which has been nicknamed “Pajun,” (PA-namera JUN-ior) have been around for some time, but plugging in a motor that runs on electrons and not gasoline would be relatively new for the perpetually speculative car.

The smaller sedan has seemed like a forgone conclusion for the automaker that is expanding into a full-line manufacturer. Even if our own Jack Baruth can’t stand it. 

The Frankfurt show begins Sept. 15.

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How Many Versions of the RS4 Will Audi Make? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/many-versions-rs4-will-audi-make/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/many-versions-rs4-will-audi-make/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123073 Audi will release a sedan version of its uber-A4 sometime next year, Autocar is reporting. Audi has already confirmed that the RS4 would be released as a wagon because “that is what people expect from the RS4,” head of Audi’s Quattro Heinz Hollerweger told Car and Driver this month. That’s on top of speculation that the RS4 […]

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Audi RS4 Avant. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Audi will release a sedan version of its uber-A4 sometime next year, Autocar is reporting.

Audi has already confirmed that the RS4 would be released as a wagon because “that is what people expect from the RS4,” head of Audi’s Quattro Heinz Hollerweger told Car and Driver this month.

That’s on top of speculation that the RS4 could come to the States and China as a Sportback, similar to the RS7 already on sale. And, of course, we could always get the RS5 like we did last time.

Regardless of which body goes where, it appears that the RS4 will be powered by a turbocharged V-6 that will pack more than 420 horsepower. The force-fed six appears to be Audi’s performance engine of the future, after bosses said that mill would make an appearance in an upcoming R8.

Audi executives said the RS4 should come earlier in the A4’s lifecycle, perhaps around the same time as the S4, which is expected next year.

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Infiniti Confirms Compact Q30 for Frankfurt Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/infiniti-confirms-compact-q30-frankfurt-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/infiniti-confirms-compact-q30-frankfurt-auto-show/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1121177 Confirming their June confirmation, Infiniti will bring a production-ready version of their compact Q30 to the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The compact, which will be built in the United Kingdom, powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbo four that powers the Mercedes GLA and CLA under a joint agreement between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan. The […]

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Infiniti Q30

Confirming their June confirmation, Infiniti will bring a production-ready version of their compact Q30 to the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The compact, which will be built in the United Kingdom, powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbo four that powers the Mercedes GLA and CLA under a joint agreement between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan.

The related compact crossover QX30 shouldn’t be far behind.

The Euro-centric compact hatch and crossover may not have been originally slated for sale in the United States, but the recent success of similar models from Mercedes and others may have changed the minds at Infiniti. That, and the sedan may be the new horse carriage.

The Q30 is one of several joint Renault Nissan-Mercedes ventures that will emerge in coming years. The Renault Twingo and Smart Fortwo will share a common platform, and the automakers will swap engines (Renault’s smaller for Mercedes’ larger) in coming cars.

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EU Gains Not Enough to Stave Opel Production Reductions http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/eu-gains-not-enough-to-stave-opel-production-reductions/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/eu-gains-not-enough-to-stave-opel-production-reductions/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 17:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1119321 Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants. According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian […]

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Opel Bochum - Picture courtesy wa.de

Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants.

According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian market and what the automaker calls “moderate” gains in the rest of Europe.

However, within the EU, overall sales for all automakers are up 8.2 percent in the first six month of this year and 14.6 percent in June, according to ACEA.

Opel and Honda are the only two automakers to see sales decline within the EU versus the same six month period last year. Opel experienced a 0.7-percent drop in overall group sales in the EU. Honda took an even harder hit with an 7.9-percent decline.

On the other end of the graph, Mitsubishi has posted 57.0-percent growth in the EU, though that percentage is based on relatively low volume compared to others. Nissan is the runner up at 21.6-percent growth while Jaguar-Land Rover (16.9 percent), Daimler (15.0 percent), FCA (12.9 percent) and BMW (12.0 percent) all saw double-digit percentage growth, beating the overall six-month average.

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Audi Confirms Turbos in Future Editions of R8 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-turbos-future-editions-r8/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-turbos-future-editions-r8/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 20:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116665 Future engines in entry-level Audi R8s will be inevitably turbocharged, Audi executives told Motoring (via Car and Driver). Instead of replacing the 5.2-liter V10s found in the 2017 R8 standard and Plus models, the boosted V6 from the upcoming RS4 (or maybe a turbo five cylinder?) would slot below the naturally aspirated models. “It is inevitable that […]

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Future engines in entry-level Audi R8s will be inevitably turbocharged, Audi executives told Motoring (via Car and Driver).

Instead of replacing the 5.2-liter V10s found in the 2017 R8 standard and Plus models, the boosted V6 from the upcoming RS4 (or maybe a turbo five cylinder?) would slot below the naturally aspirated models.

“It is inevitable that we will go to a turbocharged motor for it at some point. It would be in this model cycle, to give us a fuller range,” Ulrich Hackenberg, who sits on Audi’s Board of Management as a technical director, told Motoring last month.

The standard V10 in the 2017 R8 already churns out 540 horsepower and the Plus edition creates 610 horsepower. Instead of any power gains, the turbochargers will likely be present to boost torque and deliver more of it at a lower end of the RPM range, Motoring speculates.

Already automakers such as Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and Nissan offer turbocharged versions of their cars with more twist than the 413 pound-feet offered in the R8’s V10. The 911 Turbo (486 lb.-ft. or 523 lb.-ft.), AMG GT S (479 lb.-ft.) and GT-R (463 lb.-ft.) all have force-fed engines.

According to the report, the current-generation R8 that will go on sale in the United States next spring will get the turbocharged engine, but officials didn’t say exactly when it would make an appearance.

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Mercedes-AMG Bumps Up Power in 2016 CLA45, GLA45 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-bumps-power-2016-cla45-gla45/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-bumps-power-2016-cla45-gla45/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116633 Mercedes-AMG’s incredibly busy 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will be busier next year. The performance division of Mercedes-Benz announced Tuesday (via AutoGuide) the 2016 CLA45 and GLA45 engines would get horsepower bumps from 355 hp to 375 hp. That boosts the horsepower-per-liter output from the little Affalterbach mills to 187.5 hp/l. In addition to the horsepower bump, Mercedes announced the cars’ transmissions have been […]

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Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. Photo courtesy Autoblog

Mercedes-AMG’s incredibly busy 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will be busier next year.

The performance division of Mercedes-Benz announced Tuesday (via AutoGuide) the 2016 CLA45 and GLA45 engines would get horsepower bumps from 355 hp to 375 hp.

That boosts the horsepower-per-liter output from the little Affalterbach mills to 187.5 hp/l.

In addition to the horsepower bump, Mercedes announced the cars’ transmissions have been updated to haul compact ass. The 7-speed, AMG dual-clutch gearbox now has shorter ratios from third through seventh gears. That may not do a whole lot for the CLA’s 4.2-second run up to 60 mph (4.4 seconds in the GLA), but it will do more for runs beyond 60 mph — if that’s legal in your area, of course.

The cars will also get minor package tweaks. Mercedes-AMG has added a Dynamic Plus package to both cars that adds a mechanical, front-axle locking differential and two-stage adaptive adjustable damping.

Pricing for the 2016 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and GLA45 will be announced in October, the automaker announced.

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New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Will Play Loud Noise Before Crash to Save Eardrums http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/new-mercedes-e-class-will-play-loud-noise-crash-save-eardrums/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/new-mercedes-e-class-will-play-loud-noise-crash-save-eardrums/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 21:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1114905 The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class can basically drive itself. But if you prefer to pilot the car yourself, and you happen to get into a crash, the 2017 E-Class will pump static into the cabin to save your ears. As Wired reports, the new E-Class will be equipped with what Mercedes-Benz is calling “PRE-SAFE Sound” to play […]

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E Class

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class can basically drive itself. But if you prefer to pilot the car yourself, and you happen to get into a crash, the 2017 E-Class will pump static into the cabin to save your ears.

As Wired reports, the new E-Class will be equipped with what Mercedes-Benz is calling “PRE-SAFE Sound” to play a 85-db noise to coax the ear into protecting itself.

According to the automaker, the system works by triggering the stapedius reflex, which is the constriction of muscles around the eardrums, and is a natural reaction to loud noise. By playing the sound before the collision, Mercedes-Benz says, the E-Class could potentially lessen hearing damage.

The sound safety system is part of a slew of technology Mercedes-Benz is stuffing into the E-Class. Also included is the similarly named “PRE-SAFE impulse side” collision system that “nudges” driver and passenger toward the center of the car during a side collision with airbags that inflate upon impact.

Mercedes-Benz said the side-collision system is an option for the E-Class. It’s unclear if the noise safety system is standard.

The automaker also said the E-Class owners would be able to park the new E-Class while outside the car by using an app, but the system won’t be available in the United States when the fifth-generation car launches.

The automated parking system works somewhat like the Batmobile. We live in exciting times.

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Audi RS4 May Come to U.S. as Avant or Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-rs4-may-come-u-s-avant-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-rs4-may-come-u-s-avant-hatchback/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113593 The crown mother of Audi’s sport compacts may have life in the U.S. after all, Car and Driver is reporting. According to Audi boss Heinz Hollerweger, the RS4 will sport a boosted six-cylinder engine instead of a naturally aspirated eight, and will pack more than 420 horsepower under the hood. Hollerweger told Car and Driver that […]

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Audi RS4 Avant. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

The crown mother of Audi’s sport compacts may have life in the U.S. after all, Car and Driver is reporting.

According to Audi boss Heinz Hollerweger, the RS4 will sport a boosted six-cylinder engine instead of a naturally aspirated eight, and will pack more than 420 horsepower under the hood.

Hollerweger told Car and Driver that the RS4 would likely launch as a wagon in Europe, but if it came stateside that may change — or not. “The U.S. is changing, and there is more demand there (for wagons), so maybe that will change,” Hollerweger said.

Instead of a wagon, the executive also said that the RS4 could live in America as a sportback rather than a sedan much like the S5 Sportback, which is already sold in some European markets.

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Hollweger also mentioned the the RS4 could come earlier in the A4’s next-generation life-cycle meaning it could be released alongside the S4, one year after the A4 hits the streets in April 2016.

 

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Report: Nurburgring Won’t Lift Limits in 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-nurburgring-wont-lift-limits-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-nurburgring-wont-lift-limits-2015/#comments Sat, 11 Jul 2015 14:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113385 After speculation that Germany’s famed Nurburgring would lift speed limits at the track for manufacturer testing this year, GTSpirit.com has reported that officials will keep the limits in place for at least this year. “There is no change in the situation so far and the speed limit at three sections of the Nordschleife will not […]

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Nurburgring_lap

After speculation that Germany’s famed Nurburgring would lift speed limits at the track for manufacturer testing this year, GTSpirit.com has reported that officials will keep the limits in place for at least this year.

“There is no change in the situation so far and the speed limit at three sections of the Nordschleife will not be lifted during the 2015 season,” track spokesman Uwe Baldes told GTSpirit.com.

Nurburgring management implemented speed limits in three portions of the track after a Nissan GT-R GT3 crashed and killed a spectator during a race held in March. The limits effectively ended the manufacturer arms race for the fastest production time around the circuit.

Porsche’s 918 Spyder was the last production car to set a record lap around the circuit. Supercar maker Koenigsegg had planned to challenge Porsche’s record before speed limits were imposed on the track.

The Flugplatz, Schwedenkreuz and Antiniusbuche sections of the Nordschleife track are limited to 200 kph (124 mph) and Dottinger Hole is limited to 250 kph (155 mph).

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Mercedes Teasing C63 Ahead of Frankfurt Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-teasing-c63-ahead-frankfurt-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-teasing-c63-ahead-frankfurt-debut/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 21:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113065 Pictures of the next-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe are making the rounds on the Internets after Mercedes teased the coupe previously in a video dubbed “Something Fast Is Coming.” Mercedes revealed the new photos on its Facebook page, which most people believe will be the coupe to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show in September. If […]

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Pictures of the next-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe are making the rounds on the Internets after Mercedes teased the coupe previously in a video dubbed “Something Fast Is Coming.”

Mercedes revealed the new photos on its Facebook page, which most people believe will be the coupe to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show in September.

If the C63 Coupe adopts the same engines as the C63 Sedan, the 4.0-liter biturbo under the camouflaged hood should pump 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in normal guise. The C63 S bumps those specs up to 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both engines propel the sedan to 60 mph in 4 seconds or less.

Details are few and far between in the photos. A new nose looks to grace the alleged C63 Coupe along with super quick, wide 255/35 Z-rated 19-inch front tires.

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Volkswagen Builds Race Golf for Touring Car Customer Teams http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/volkswagen-builds-race-golf-touring-car-customer-teams/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/volkswagen-builds-race-golf-touring-car-customer-teams/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112929 Chances are you probably won’t see this Golf in the Volkswagen showroom anytime soon. Volkswagen Motorsport rolled out its race-tuned Golf on Thursday, built to compete in the Touringcar Racer International Series. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four, which has been tuned to 330 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission […]

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Volkswagen TCR-Golf

Chances are you probably won’t see this Golf in the Volkswagen showroom anytime soon. Volkswagen Motorsport rolled out its race-tuned Golf on Thursday, built to compete in the Touringcar Racer International Series.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four, which has been tuned to 330 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and is front-wheel drive.

The huge rear wing, front air dam and side skirts obviously add 15 percent more go-fast.

The Golf sits on a track widened by 40cm (16 inches) and 18-inch tires.

The car was developed for the TCR series, which is already underway. Volkswagen said Liqui Moly Team Engstler will race the Golf at the Red Bull Ring in Austria before heading off to Singapore and the car would likely be available for other teams in 2016.

Volkswagen TCR-Golf

Volkswagen has been successful with its WRC Polo so far this year, and is second place in Global Rallycross behind Ford.

No word on how much the customer car will cost interested teams.

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Audi Confirms 2017 A4 Diesel for US http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-2017-a4-diesel-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-2017-a4-diesel-us/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112009 The ninth-generation 2017 Audi A4 will sport a diesel engine for the first time in the U.S., Motor Authority is reporting. When the sedan launches next March, the 2.0-liter turbocharged oil burner will make 190 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of twist. That’s on top of the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that’ll make 252 hp and […]

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2017 Audi A4 Sedan

The ninth-generation 2017 Audi A4 will sport a diesel engine for the first time in the U.S., Motor Authority is reporting.

When the sedan launches next March, the 2.0-liter turbocharged oil burner will make 190 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of twist. That’s on top of the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that’ll make 252 hp and 273 lb-ft.

But that may not be the best part.

According to Motor Authority, the diesel sedan may make it stateside with a manual transmission, which are definitely not dead, or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission if you’re not into fun things. An S4 will certainly follow, an RS4 may be in the works and an A4 Avant will definitely not be stateside — that’s what we have the Allroad for, apparently.

Initially, the A4 will be married to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system with front-wheel drive variants arriving later in the year.

There’s been no word on fuel economy figures, but Audi engineers say they expect the car will improve by more than 20 percent even with the horsepower bump. Pricing for the A4 hasn’t been announced.

Like the A3, the new A4 will be seriously tech heavy and options-laden. Along with Audi’s compartmentalized MMI system with Google Maps, the A4 can sport Apple’s Car Play, a 7- or 8.3-inch infotainment screen, handwriting recognition system and a 12.3-inch instrument display screen.

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FCA, Peugeot Could Be Most Impacted by Flagging Greek Economy http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/fca-peugeot-impacted-flagging-greek-economy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/fca-peugeot-impacted-flagging-greek-economy/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 19:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1109161 Automakers PSA (Peugeot and Citröen) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are most at risk if Greece’s economy fails and the country backs out of the Euro, according to a report by Automotive News. Analysts say the two automakers have the largest share of southern European markets — including Italy, Spain and Portugal — where the economic impact of […]

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1024px-Peugeot_308_CC_e-HDi_FAP_110_STOP_&_START_Active_(Facelift)_–_Frontansicht,_10._September_2011,_Düsseldorf

Automakers PSA (Peugeot and Citröen) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are most at risk if Greece’s economy fails and the country backs out of the Euro, according to a report by Automotive News.

Analysts say the two automakers have the largest share of southern European markets — including Italy, Spain and Portugal — where the economic impact of a Greek failure could hit the hardest.

Although the automakers have a large share of those markets, its a relatively small portion of their overall sales, the report states.

Analysts say that economic turmoil in Greece has yet to impact automakers, but many are taking a wait-and-see approach. The larger impact may be in neighboring economies, such as Germany, if those countries are expected to shoulder bailouts from any other failing economies.

“We recognize this as a potential catalyst that could cause European consumers to postpone their purchase of new cars, but we don’t take that as a base case scenario,” Edoardo Spina of Exane BNP Paribas told Automotive News. “The only risk stems from contagion, which will depend on how the European institutions and the media handle the next few days and weeks, but it’s a relatively small risk.”

The report says that PSA and FCA’s sales in the southern European markets (Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece combines) comprises about 12 percent of their overall business. In comparison, Volkswagen’s sales there are only about 5 percent.

By many accounts, Greece’s economy is a mess. But considering the relatively low rate of new-vehicle purchases there — in May only 9,070 new vehicles were registered in Greece, compared to 256,385 in Germany, according to ACEA — most automakers could withstand a Greek collapse. The greatest damage would be collateral.

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Future BMW M Cars May Not Have Manuals http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/future-bmw-m-cars-may-not-manuals/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/future-bmw-m-cars-may-not-manuals/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1108369 New BMW M boss Frank van Meel says buyers may still have a choice between two transmissions, just between two types of automatics. Talking to Autocar, van Meel said: “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes.” So goes another nail into the coffin. Van Meel makes the same argument engineers have been […]

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2015-BMW-M3-M4-Main-Art

New BMW M boss Frank van Meel says buyers may still have a choice between two transmissions, just between two types of automatics.

Talking to Autocar, van Meel said: “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes.”

So goes another nail into the coffin.

Van Meel makes the same argument engineers have been making for a decade or more.

“The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption,” he said.

Van Meel doesn’t directly kill the manual, however. He told Autocar BMW would still offer manual versions if buyers demanded it. The last generation M3’s manual take rate was around 45 percent. We’ve reached out to BMW to see how many new M car buyers opt to row their own.

As an interesting side note, the online configurator for BMW automatically selects the dual-clutch automatic transmission, a $2,900 option, for M cars with an available manual. Only the X6 M and X5 M do not have an available manual transmission in the U.S.

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Why Are These BMW Cars Camo’d If We’ve Seen Them Already? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/bmw-cars-camod-weve-seen-already/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/bmw-cars-camod-weve-seen-already/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1108225 Over the weekend, I spotted a completely camouflaged BMW ActiveTourer heading into the mountains of Colorado. At the same time half a world away, a TTAC reader on vacation in Germany spotted a completely camo’d 7 Series on the streets of Munich. What gives, BMW? We’ve already seen these cars before. Turns out the story is less exciting than […]

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IMG_20150705_205557

Over the weekend, I spotted a completely camouflaged BMW ActiveTourer heading into the mountains of Colorado. At the same time half a world away, a TTAC reader on vacation in Germany spotted a completely camo’d 7 Series on the streets of Munich.

What gives, BMW? We’ve already seen these cars before.

Turns out the story is less exciting than what I had for breakfast.

Well, in the case of the 7 Series, the car hasn’t been revealed to the public yet. Case closed.

IMG_20150705_205649

IMG_20150705_205625

IMG_20150705_205557

IMG_3261But our mystery 2 Series Active Tourer driving around the U.S. is a little more interesting. Spy photographer Brian Williams — who didn’t take the 7 Series shots — clears it up for us:

“In June every year BMW brings about 50-60 cars into Death Valley. From there they disperse across the US doing all kinds of different testing. The reason that prototype is still camo’d is probably because it’s just more work to take the wrap off. It’s just a lot easier for them to leave the camo on.”

This must be the first instance in recorded history of a German automaker being accused of laziness.

But it’s spy season in Colorado, however. Several manufacturers send cars up Mt. Evans — the highest road in North America — for high-altitude testing. By the time they trek up the 14,000-foot mountain, many of the cars are fairly close to production and lightly camouflaged — if at all.

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Nurburgring May Dump Speed Limits for Manufacturers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ring-may-dump-speed-limits-manufacturers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ring-may-dump-speed-limits-manufacturers/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107289 Per Road and Track, the operators of the famed Nurburgring in Germany may be preparing to dump its speed limits for manufacturers and may mean a return for manufacturer records. After a Nissan GT-R GT3 crashed and killed a spectator, the famous road installed speed limits during specific sections for safety and enforced those limits […]

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Nurburgring_lap

Per Road and Track, the operators of the famed Nurburgring in Germany may be preparing to dump its speed limits for manufacturers and may mean a return for manufacturer records.

After a Nissan GT-R GT3 crashed and killed a spectator, the famous road installed speed limits during specific sections for safety and enforced those limits during testing for manufacturers — effectively ending record run chest-thumping.

Although the rumor is just a rumor right now, there are undoubtedly a few manufacturers who should be licking their chops today at the chance to unseat Porsche for the production-car throne.

The speed limits are enforced on the Flugplatz section and Gantry to Antoniusbuche sections.

If lifted, speed limits at the track for manufacturer testing would have only lasted a few weeks, and it may signal the end of Pikes Peak two-day run as the new ‘Ring.

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OFFICIAL: 2017 Audi A4 Goes Bigger, Lighter With Predictable Styling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/official-2017-audi-a4-goes-bigger-lighter-with-predictable-styling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/official-2017-audi-a4-goes-bigger-lighter-with-predictable-styling/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101577 After giving the Audi A6 and A7 a refresh last year, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has rolled out the red carpet for their latest A4 in sedan and Avant flavors. The newest compact model promises to be lighter, more efficient, and chock full of technology as Audi tries to claim the premium segment crown. If you expected […]

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2017 Audi A4 Sedan and Avant

After giving the Audi A6 and A7 a refresh last year, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has rolled out the red carpet for their latest A4 in sedan and Avant flavors.

The newest compact model promises to be lighter, more efficient, and chock full of technology as Audi tries to claim the premium segment crown.

If you expected the new A4 to look like anything other than what’s shown in these shots, you may want to crawl out from under that rock. Just like other refreshed models in the Audi range, front and rear lighting gets a sharper look with a more furrowed brow. The Singleframe grille also ditches the rounded corners for a more angular look as Audi attempts to communicate their technology through design.

Thanks to slightly larger proportions, the all-new interior of the A4 features more space for occupants and technology, yet still manages to weigh over 250 lbs less than the outgoing car thanks to a combination of lighter chassis, body and driveline parts.

Though no North American specific engine details were released, the A4 will be available with a laundry list of seven engines for Europe, all of the four- and six-cylinder variety. Three TFSI gasoline engines – a 1.4L I4, all-new 2.0L “ultra” I4 and 2.0L g-tron TFSI that can burn compressed natural gas or Audi e-gas – and four TDI engines – 2.0L TDI, 2.0L “ultra” TDI and 3.0L TDI V6 in two different tunes – will be available at launch. The tiptronic automatic eight-speed will continue along with a manual box, while a new dual-clutch S tronic replaces the outgoing CVT.

Expect the new Audi A4 to arrive in the United States in April of next year.

2017 Audi A4 Sedan and Avant 2017 Audi A4 Sedan and Avant 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Interior Front 2017 Audi A4 Rear Seats 2017 Audi A4 Sedan Driver's POV 2017 Audi A4 Interior Front 2017 Audi A4 Quattro Drivetrain with Sport Rear Differential 2017 Audi A4 Quattro Drivetrain 2017 Audi A4 Interior 2017 Audi A4 Quattro Drivetrain 2017 Audi A4 Bang & Olufsen Sound System 2017 Audi A4 Drivetrain 2017 Audi A4 Underside Aero 2017 Audi A4 Structure with hang on parts 2017 Audi A4 Structure 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Rear Suspension 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Rear Suspension Quattro with Sport Differential 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Rear Suspension Quattro 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Front Suspension 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Power/Torque Curve 2017 Audi A4 Dimensions

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Volkswagen Introducing ‘Budget-Car Family’ By 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101537 Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more. CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” […]

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Volkswagen Beetles in Paphos Circa March 2015

Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more.

CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” Reuters reports. Winterkorn added the cars — to cost between €8,000 and €11,000 ($8,932 and $12,225 USD) — would be assembled in China; the original target was between €6,000 and €8,000 ($6,670 and $8,932).

Though the low-cost vehicles are aimed for markets in Southeast Asia, Winterkorn says his company would determine “if this is something of interest for other markets as well.” Whether North America is among them, only he and his senior execs know for certain.

(Photo credit: Chris Parker/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Mercedes Considering Introducing Convertible SUVs To Lineup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mercedes-considering-introducing-convertible-suvs-to-lineup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mercedes-considering-introducing-convertible-suvs-to-lineup/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1096577 Up until 2013, one could purchase a Mercedes G-Wagen with a droptop. Now, the automaker is thinking of dropping the tops throughout its SUV lineup. Mercedes sports cars and SUVs chief Wolf-Dieter Kurz says it may be possible to bring a convertible SUV to market once the market for them is found, CarAdvice.com.au writes. He […]

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mercedes-g500-convertible

Up until 2013, one could purchase a Mercedes G-Wagen with a droptop. Now, the automaker is thinking of dropping the tops throughout its SUV lineup.

Mercedes sports cars and SUVs chief Wolf-Dieter Kurz says it may be possible to bring a convertible SUV to market once the market for them is found, CarAdvice.com.au writes. He says the reason Mercedes stopped producing the G-Wagen Cabriolet after 34 years was due to a combination of volume and production reasons, adding such a vehicle exists in “a very slim niche in terms of the SUV portfolio.”

As for who might go for it, Kurz believes China would be a good start for a GLA or GLC convertible, though sales may be an uphill battle:

… China is not very good these days, or in total, in terms of convertibles, in terms of classical sedan-based coupes, in terms of roadsters. And it’s somewhat also the driving force in the meanwhile for the overall portfolio: can it be successful in China?

He adds there are “lots of discussions” and market research regarding convertible SUVs, but no decisions whether to press forward or not have been made thus far.

(Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz)

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Frankfurt 2015: Production-Ready Infiniti Q30 Set For Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/frankfurt-2015-production-ready-infiniti-q30-set-for-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/frankfurt-2015-production-ready-infiniti-q30-set-for-debut/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 13:11:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1096097 Two years ago in Frankfurt, the Infiniti Q30 debuted before the world in concept form. Come this September, it will return with a production-ready look. The brand is putting the finishing touches on its first-ever compact luxury car, including “dynamic testing and ultimate validation” in the United Kingdom — where development of the Q30 was […]

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2013 Infiniti Q30 Concept

Two years ago in Frankfurt, the Infiniti Q30 debuted before the world in concept form. Come this September, it will return with a production-ready look.

The brand is putting the finishing touches on its first-ever compact luxury car, including “dynamic testing and ultimate validation” in the United Kingdom — where development of the Q30 was completed last year — and across the Channel in Europe.

Following its debut in mid-September, the Q30 will hit European showrooms from Nissan’s production line in Sunderland, England at the end of 2015, with other markets set to get theirs in 2016.

The Q30 and its sibling compact crossover, the upcoming QX30, are expected to receive power from the same 2.0-liter turbo-four found under the bonnets of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA, whose basic underpinnings also provides a foundation for the Infiniti compacts. The exchange is part of a joint venture between Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan.

For now, this spy shot from Infiniti is the best we’ve got until closer to showtime:

Infiniti_Q30_TEASER_image___19_June_2015

(Photo credit: Infiniti)

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Nürburgring Management Bans Manufacturers From Attempting, Publishing ‘Ring Times http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nurburgring-management-bans-manufacturers-from-attempting-publishing-ring-times/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nurburgring-management-bans-manufacturers-from-attempting-publishing-ring-times/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095969 Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring. During filming of “APEX: The Story of the Hypercar” — a documentary following auto manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg over three years as they battle for halo-car dominance, […]

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BMW M5 Ring Taxi

Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring.

During filming of “APEX: The Story of the Hypercar” — a documentary following auto manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg over three years as they battle for halo-car dominance, with the ‘Ring as the backdrop — director J.F. Musial said he received a phone call from Koenigsegg founder and CEO Christian Von Koenigsegg, informing him the track’s management had banned all manufacturers from attempting and publishing times achieved on the famed course. Koenigsegg had planned to put his One:1 through the pace prior to the ban.

The ban stems from an accident during a VLN race in March involving driver Jann Mardenborough, where a spectator was killed as a result. Management reacted by imposing a speed limit at the site where the accident occurred, followed by similar limits on other high-speed portions of the ‘Ring.

While management is set to review the limits at the end of this year, manufacturers are barred from making lap-record runs, even if the entire track was closed to the public for said runs. However, a run recorded by Lamborghini with its Aventador SV was allowed — under the claim the run happened before the limits were in place — while WTCC is permitted to ignore the limits altogether.

(Photo credit: elyob/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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BMW Z2 MX-5 Fighter Dubbed ‘Inessential,’ Cancelled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-z2-mx-5-fighter-dubbed-inessential-cancelled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-z2-mx-5-fighter-dubbed-inessential-cancelled/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 17:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093377 Despite models like the i8 and Z4, BMW is more interested in SUVs and crossovers than sports cars these days. Case in point: The Z2 has been cancelled. The Z2 would have gone toe-to-toe with the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Fiat’s Spyder beginning in 2016, Car reports, but was deemed “inessential” in the face of […]

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2013 BMW Z3

Despite models like the i8 and Z4, BMW is more interested in SUVs and crossovers than sports cars these days. Case in point: The Z2 has been cancelled.

The Z2 would have gone toe-to-toe with the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Fiat’s Spyder beginning in 2016, Car reports, but was deemed “inessential” in the face of both booming SUV sales and a sluggish sports car market by chairman Harald Krüger and R&D boss Klaus Fröhlich, a move in line with sales boss Ian Robertson’s belief the sports car market may never recover.

The roadster would have slotted under the Z4, come with a £20,000 ($31,000 USD) starting price tag, and been limited to three- and four-cylinder engine options delivering their power to the front wheels.

The aforementioned FWD setup would have been the result of the Z2 sharing a platform with the MINI, BMW 1 Series, and the front-driven models in the BMW 2 Series, a setup also shared by the still-alive MINI Superleggera roadster.

[Photo credit: BMW]

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DeLorean Owned By Mrs. DeLorean Goes On The Auction Block http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/delorean-owned-by-mrs-delorean-goes-on-the-auction-block/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/delorean-owned-by-mrs-delorean-goes-on-the-auction-block/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 16:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093297 Should you happen to be in Berlin next Friday, you could have a shot at the DeLorean once owned by none other than the former Mrs. DeLorean herself. German auction house Auctionata is putting this particular bit of history on the block in Berlin June 26, Autoblog reports, a gift bestowed by the late John […]

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delorean-erstbesitz-mr-delorean-baujahr-1982-1

Should you happen to be in Berlin next Friday, you could have a shot at the DeLorean once owned by none other than the former Mrs. DeLorean herself.

German auction house Auctionata is putting this particular bit of history on the block in Berlin June 26, Autoblog reports, a gift bestowed by the late John DeLorean in 1982 to his then-wife, actor/model/presenter Cristina Ferrare.

Following the collapse of the company and the marriage, Ferrare sold the DeLorean to its then-new owner in the United States, ultimately garnering 13,540 miles in the three decades it has been on the road.

Bidding for this DeLorean is set to start at €34,000 (around $38,000 USD), though the auction house expects the vehicle to leave the block for anywhere between €70,000 and €100,000 (~$79,000 and $112,000).

Said expectation is in line with the highest price paid for the iconic vehicle: a 1976 prototype sold by Canadian house RM Auctions left the block at Pebble Beach for $110,000 in 2007 ($128,000 in 2015 dollars).

[Photo credit: Auctionata]

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