Category: History

By on December 9, 2015

2016_VW_Passat_Exterior_SEL_High_Angle_Static2

A month after questions arose regarding how Volkswagen measured CO2 and fuel consumption in their cars, the troubled automaker says all is well.

Per VW’s PR machine, the automaker found “no unlawful change to the stated fuel consumption and CO2 figures” in the majority of its European lineup, with only nine vehicles for the 2016 model year having slight variations in conflict with their originally stated fuel consumption and CO2 stats.

The nine vehicles found out of step?

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By on December 2, 2015

Renault Fluence Z.E. and Nissan Leaf Circa 2013

Nissan has announced a proposal which would end Renault’s control of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and would curtail interferance by the French government.

When we last left off, Nissan was looking to gain a voice in the alliance it made in 1999 with Renault by increasing its stake while mitigating the stake shared between Renault and Paris. The Japanese automaker has held a 15 percent non-voting stake since alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn turned around its fortunes in the early 2000s, as French law prevents affiliates owning less than 40 percent of a French-led company from voting at the shareholders’ table.

Nissan has other ideas. Read More >

By on November 30, 2015

Pirelli Tire Ladies

Playboy and the Pirelli Calendar had one thing in common (nudity), and as of the 2016 edition of the calendar, they still do (no nudity).

According to Bloomberg, the 2016 Pirelli Calendar has gone in a different direction for 2016, discarding its traditional theme of nude models and actresses for one focusing on 13 women who’ve made a huge impact on society and culture around them.

Shot by photographer Annie Liebovitz (who also has the 2000 calendar on her résumé), the subjects gracing the new year’s edition include musician/poet Patti Smith, tennis phenom Serena Williams, and commedienne Amy Schumer, the latter two posing topless while obscuring their breasts.

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By on November 13, 2015

Renault Fluence Z.E. and Nissan Leaf Circa 2013

The battle between Nissan and the French government over the former’s voting stake in the Renault-Nissan Alliance continues on.

This month, after temporarily raising its stake to 19.7 percent, the French government cut back its stake to around 15 percent, which is still enough voting power under the Florange Law to block anything it didn’t like from Nissan and its allies during shareholder meetings.

However, second-in-command at Nissan, Chief Competitive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, expressed it wasn’t enough to go back to “the situation of seven months ago,” desiring “a better balance between the two companies,” a source told Reuters.

Instead, Nissan responded to the draw-down with a proposal establishing a “better-balanced” 25-percent/35-percent crossed shareholding, with Nissan finally having a say after 16 years of merely owning a piece of the company which rescued it from death back in 1999.

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By on November 6, 2015

George Barris With Kato And The Batmobile Circa 2010

Thursday afternoon, legendary car customizer George Barris left this mortal coil at the age of 89, leaving behind a decades-long automotive legacy.

The self-described “King of Kustom Kulture,” Barris was customizing cars long before turning a Lincoln Futura concept car into the first of many iconic Batmobiles, according to The Detroit Bureau. He and his brother, Sam, began customizing while in high school in Roseville, Calif., using the money earned from working on a 1925 Buick to buy and build a 1936 Ford.

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By on October 22, 2015

IMG_0950

Capitalism is just fine with me, but I have to say I was put off just a little by the glut of corporate cross-marketing tie-ins yesterday to Oct. 21, 2015, the date in the future to which Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel in the second Back To The Future movie.

Not that I have anything against the BTTF franchise: the trilogy is clever, charming and obviously inspires passionate fandom. Christopher Lloyd is crazy gifted in a Jonathan Winters manner and I have no objection to him making a few bucks appearing in ads with Michael J. Fox. Fox has a family to support, too.

I’m not naive and many of yesterday’s marketing efforts, from Nike’s self lacing shoes, to USA Today’s headline about Marty’s arrest only reflect product placement deals in the original films. Read More >

By on October 6, 2015

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Exterior-0051

A Volkswagen of America spokesman said Tuesday that electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars would be a “key part” of the automaker’s research and development strategy after CEO Matthias Müller told 20,000 workers in Wolfsburg that it would postpone or cancel other projects that weren’t critical to sales.

“Electrification, whether full EV, PHEV, or HEV, is a key part of our strategy long term in order to meet worldwide (greenhouse gas) targets,” a Volkswagen spokesman told TTAC on Tuesday.

In 2014, Volkswagen spent $13.5 billion on research and development — more than any other company in all sectors. However, that budget could be severely restricted as the automaker prepares to pay billions for software that cheated emissions tests.

Volkswagen could be looking for ways to not repeat history, when a 1960s lawsuit from Tatra crippled development well into the 1980s.

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By on September 27, 2015

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

While the EPA recently revealed Volkswagen’s diesels were cheating emissions tests, two newspapers learned VW was warned about cheating as early as 2007.

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By on September 26, 2015

2011 Suzuki Kizashi Circa 2014

Suzuki announced Saturday it will sell its 1.5 percent stake in Volkswagen to Porsche next week, finalizing the divorce between the two automakers.

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By on September 14, 2015

2011 VW up!

Volkswagen’s search for a new finance chief to fill the role vacated by new chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is still going strong.

While on the floor at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, Reuters asked CEO Martin Winterkorn if a successor had been found. Winterkorn said he would make an announcement when the issue was resolved, stating nothing else during the interview.

Read More >

Recent Comments

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    NoGoYo - Small was a bad word. Short wheelbase is a better word. I wouldn’t want to take a corner in a 440 Ramcharger at speed!
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    hubcap - @krhodes1 Is BMW using fake exhaust noise across the board? I though it was only the M cars that got that particular treatment.
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    krhodes1 - It would have been bad here too – CAFE, don’t ya know. And you still wouldn’t get the torque out of a bigger six that you get from a...
  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    hubcap - “I think my pick of this whole litter would be an E90 335i or an old G37 6MT.” I’d go for a 2013 Boss 302. A V8, naturally aspirated, high...
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