Tag: Europe

By on January 27, 2016

2015 Smart Fortwo ED

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has released its Greenest and Meanest cars for 2016 — and it’s bookended by vehicles from Daimler.

That, Europe wants to open up ECU code, Bosch says “You wouldn’t understand, so why bother?” and GayWheels takes aim at a possibly tasteless German Opel advert about, erm, rear-ending … after the break!

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By on January 20, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

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By on December 16, 2015

1.6 TDI Motor ( EA 189 ):  Flow straightener Volkswagen

German transportation authorities approved Wednesday Volkswagen’s fix for 8.5 million illegally polluting cars in Europe, according to the automaker.

Fixes for the automaker’s 1.2-, 1.6- and 2-liter diesel engines include software updates and, for Volkswagen’s 1.6-liter models, a mesh air pipe that calms air ahead of its intake mass air sensor.

The fixes are approved for Europe only.

Last month, Volkswagen officials submitted its proposed fix for North American cars to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. Those fixes have not yet been approved by those agencies. (Read More…)

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 November 24, 2015

241115_Abgastest_Renault_2_DUH

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 4, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German authorities said Wednesday that they would retest all Volkswagen cars — regardless of engine type or brand — for emissions compliance, Reuters reported.

German transportation minister Alexander Dobrindt expressed his “irritation” with the automaker that more cars were being added to the deepening scandal. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency notified the automaker that some of its 3-liter diesel models may contain an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions tests. (Read More…)

By on November 2, 2015

2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country-016

I understand the logic behind the modern crossover, especially in Sweden.

Sweden’s 360,000 mile network of public and private roads is only 30-percent paved. That leaves some 252,000 miles of unpaved glory to explore. This high percentage of unpaved roads explains why Volvos have long had reasonable ground clearance, why the Swedes invented the headlamp wiper, why the XC70 exists and why Haldex was founded there.

The concept of the crossover is to give you the efficiency of a traditional “car” blended with some offroad ability normally found in a truck-based SUV. (Of course, the modern American crossover is little more than an all-wheel-drive minivan with less practical seats.) While other companies created boxy crossovers like the Highlander and CR-V, Volvo took a European approach by starting with a station wagon, adding all-wheel drive and jacking the ride height up to create the first V70 Cross Country. The result was more aerodynamic than an SUV, had the ride height of a crossover, the practicality of a station wagon and the driving position of a car. Hold that thought.

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By on October 26, 2015

honda-vtec-turbo-10

Honda Europe announced Monday their engine lineup for the new, 10th-generation Honda Civic, and it’s completely different than the engines we will get in North America.

The Civic will once again be a global product with the same architecture and design employed in both North America and Europe. Under the hood though, the compact will be powered by 1-liter and 1.5-liter VTEC turbo engines on the Old Continent. In North America, we get the choice of a new 1.5-liter turbo engine — which is different from the one in Europe — or the legendary K20 2-liter naturally aspirated four cylinder.

However, with automakers downsizing their engines across all products, could that European 1-liter turbo three-cylinder engine end up in our Honda Fit?

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By on October 26, 2015

Thomas SedranThomas Sedran, former interim head of Opel and General Motors’ European chief for Cadillac and Chevrolet brands, will join embattled automaker Volkswagen as head of group strategy, according to the automaker.

Sedran was head of Opel in 2012 when that automaker shuttered a plant in Bochum, Germany. Sedran was president and managing director of Cadillac and Chevrolet brands in Europe until June, when he joined global consulting firm Accenture.

According to Volkswagen, Sedran will take over Nov. 1 and report directly to new CEO Matthias Müller.

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By on October 19, 2015

2016 Volvo XC90 Exterior-001

Many of you have asked why we bother to review a car we’ve already reviewed based on a few hours at a launch event. The all-new 2016 Volvo XC90 is a textbook example of why more time with a car allows for a more complete review.

At launch events, you have no time to perform acceleration or brake tests of a vehicle (and, of course, you aren’t testing the car on the same circuit that the rest of the cars have been tested upon) and you have no ability to drive the competition back-to-back to get a sense of comparison. There is a reason that first drive reviews tend to be fact based: it’s hard to review a car in a vacuum.

So why is the XC90 a textbook example? Because of my own biases. Biases are interesting things. They can blind you to a car’s faults, or they can lead you to overcompensate and find fault.

After digesting my time with the XC90, I started falling into the latter camp. Edmunds 0-60 tested the XC90 and found it slower than expected. I started wondering if I had been wearing rose-colored glasses and asked myself: “Was it really that good?” Therefore, I had to get my hand on one again so I could run it through our battery of tests and drive it on my own for a week to find the answer.

The answer: It is better.

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