Like most manufacturers, BMW is getting ready for the pilgrimage to Shanghai, where the Shanghai Motor Show will open its doors to the press on April 19, and to the public on April 21. Some at BMW go with mixed feelings. There will be some delicate discussions between BMW brass and their Chinese joint venture partner Brilliance. The reason: At Asia’s and possibly the world’s most important auto show, Brilliance will show their A3 SUV. Germany’s Auto Bild calls it “a brazen BMW X1 rip-off, with inspirations from Audi.”
The matter becomes even more touchy as BMW plans to produce the X1 in China with a launch date in 2012. It will be built by BMW’s Chinese joint venture with Brilliance. (Read More…)
Today, on the last day of media access to the LA Auto show, the mystic powers that be continued VAGs green run by selecting the Audi A3 TDi as the 2010 Green Car of the Year (The Jetta TDi won last year). In the running this year were the Audi A3 TDI, Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Golf TDI. According to the LA Auto Show,
The Green Car of the Year® award is a program that honors environmental leadership in the automobile field and recognizes vehicles that are readily available to consumers during the award year. Green Car Journal/ editors perform an exhaustive review of vehicle models to identify the five finalists. The winner is ultimately decided by jurors such as Jay Leno, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Carroll Shelby, Matt Petersen of Global Green USA and the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, along with Green Car Journal editors.
Interesting then that this same bunch of car czars chose the Chevy Tahoe two years ago for getting 1 MPG better than the gasoline version. Anyone feeling some Volt love in 2011?
Volkswagen will continue its pioneering work testing the boundaries between platform-sharing and brand-engineering, reports Autocar, with a new platform destined to underpin some 60 models globally. The modularen querbaukasten (modular transverse engine, or MQB) architecture will form the basis of models ranging from the sub-Golf Lupo to the Sharan MPV, starting with the next-gen Audi A3 which debuts in Europe in 2011. The key to the platform’s versatility is its adaptiveness to different wheelbases, tracks and wheel sizes. Says VW R&D Boss Ulrich Hackenberg:
It gives us the possibility to produce models from different segments and in varying sizes using the same basic front-end architectur. We can go from a typical hatchback to a saloon, cabriolet and SUV with only detailed changes to the size of the wheel carriers.
The new architecture will allow VW to replace some 18 engine-mounting architectures to a mere two, reportedly providing about 60 to 70 per cent parts commonality between Volkswagen’s biggest-selling models.