Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in June, Volkswagen revealed its Temporary Automated Pilot (TAP) system at the HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicle for Intelligent Transport) event in the city of Boras in Sweden.
TAP can assume control of the car using all its active safety systems without any intervention of the driver, who simply monitors the situation.

According to Volkswagen, it operates at speeds of up to 130 km/h (80 mph), automatically controlling steering, accelerating and braking, obeying speed limits, and forbidding overtaking from the right. Of course, it can be at any time overridden by the driver if he or she deems it necessary.

Now HAVEit and VW have released this video demonstrating the operation of the TAP system in a Passat. And whether you like or detest the idea of handing over the control of your vehicle to TAP, you can watch the video and draw your own conclusions.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Video: 2012 Porsche Cayman R - Test Report


VW Golf blue-e-motion receives e-car award


Auto Test magazine has named the Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion it's 2011 e-car award, edging out the Audi A1 e-tron.

VW has 80 prototype Golf Blue-e-Motions testing around Berlin. Production is planned for late 2013.

The Golf blue-e-motion is an all electric motor with a lithium-ion battery.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Volkswagen considering Formula One in 2018


Volkswagen is a very ambitious automaker...and so why not include an entry into Formula One racing in its 'world domination' plans.

VW Motorsport chief Wolfgang Duerheimer told the German car magazine Auto, Motor und Sport that he "could imagine involvement in Formula One in 2018, when the company is at the forefront of the industry."

That is the year that VW plans to sell over 10 million vehicles a year and become the world's largest automaker.

Duerheimer didn't specify which brand it would be or whether the F1 team would fly the VW-badge flag.

"We have enough brands that could do that," he said.

A Lamborghini F1? That would be something to see.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

2012 VW Tiguan by ABT


The recently refreshed for the 2012 model year Volkswagen Tiguan is next up on ABT Sportline's tuning menu.

While still on the works, the German tuning house released the first renderings and information on the upgrades that will be available for VW's compact model. Beginning with the performance modifications, ABT Sportline will offer a variety of power kits for the entire range engines.

The 2.0 TDI 140HP gets a jump to 170HP, while the more powerful 2.0 TDI 170HP to 195HP. The 1.4-liter TSI petrol is bumped from 160HP to 210HP, the 2.0 TSI 180HP to 210HP, and the 2.0 TSI 210HP to 250HP.

A sport suspension, a four-pipe exhaust system and a variety of alloy wheel designs will also be on offer.

As for the exterior, ABT Sportsline is preparing a new body kit with front and rear aprons, side skirts, carbon fiber trim decorations and a bespoke grille.

Look for ABT Sportsline' VW Tiguan at the forthcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

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Audi A7 3.0 TDI by Senner Tuning


German tuner Senner Tuning has a little upgrade package for the Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI.

Under the hood, the 3.0 liter diesel unit is dialed up to 306 PS (225 kW / 302 bhp) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque from the series' 245 PS (180 kW / 242 bhp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft).

A new stainless-steel exhaust system is also fitted with twin 90 mm (3.5 inch) tailpipes.

Senner Tuning then scales the V-max limiter up to 280 km/h (174 mph).

For the air-suspension fitted A7 there comes a lowering by 30 mm. Wheels are the Varianza T1S rims in 9.5 x 20-inch dimensions wrapped in 275/35R20 tires.

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SpyShots: 2012 Audi S8


Here is the 2012 Audi S8 spied without any camouflage.

We get to see that front face for the first time here, as this Audi S8 prototype conducts testing while pulling a trailer in the Alps.

That front fascia features new air intakes similar to the current A5 and upcoming A4 facelift.

At the back is a quad exhaust indicative of this flagship S-line model.

The Audi S8 will come with a Bentley-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces around 500 PS (368 kW / 493 bhp). Standard will be an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Audi A6 Allroad uncovered


The new A6 Avant Allroad is almost ready to be unveiled. This new version gets a similar look to before, with a raised ride height, steel bumper guards and subtle plastic cladding to protect the body over rougher terrain.

Audi’s adaptive air-suspension will be included as standard, so drivers can adjust the ride height to suit different conditions. The newcomer should also feature an ‘off-road’ ESP system that adapts to changing surfaces and levels of grip.

The Allroad is likely to be available only with the most powerful V6 engines from the range, including a new 309bhp diesel and the smooth 3.0-liter TFSI turbocharged motor.

As with the standard estate, the new car’s longer wheelbase should mean more room inside for rear passengers. But the Allroad isn’t the only new A6 on the way.

The hot S6 saloon and estate will debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, while the hybrid is set to rival the Lexus GS.

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Porsche Panamera long-wheelbase launching in early 2012


The story about Porsche developing a long-wheelbase version of its Panamera sedan has been circulating for quite some time now, but today, it was reported that inside sources not only confirmed but also revealed that the car will launch in early 2012.

The unnamed sources stated that the Panamera LWB will gain a 150mm (5.9-inches) wheelbase extension for a total length of 3,070mm (120.8-inches). The additional space is said to benefit the rear passengers.

Aside from the very un-Porsche limo, it is also reported that the Panamera will receive its first facelift in 2013, and that the German sports carmaker is contemplating the development of a smaller sedan model, allegedly called Pajun (we guess the name is inspired by the Cajun small SUV), to slot right under the company's full size sedan model.

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Audi R8 facelift coming next year


The Audi R8 is nearly five years old and the first details are starting to emerge about the facelifted model.

A recent report is saying that the updated R8 will launch sometime next year with more powerful engines. Sources suggest the 4.2-liter V8 will produce 444 hp (331 kW / 450 PS) while the 5.2-liter V10 gets uprated to 533 hp (397 kW / 540 PS). More importantly, there are rumors of a seven-speed S-tronic transmission which would likely replace the current R-tronic.

Styling changes will likely be minor, so expected restyled headlights and modest tweaks to the fascias.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Video: 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Preview Event


Video: Porsche Panamera Diesel 2012 Trailer


SpyShots: B8 Audi RS4 Avant testing in Austria


Caught high altitude testing at the Großglockner in the Austrian Alps, this test mule's unmistakable flared fenders, aggressive front fascia, big brakes and 20" wheels all give away its true RS4 identity.

This next generation RS4 will most likely debut next year, in-step with the A4/S4's mid-cycle face lift. And under the hood, it is expected the new RS4 to share the same high-revving, 4.2-liter V8 as the RS5.

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New RUF supercar unveiled


Porsche tuning house RUF has unveiled the third-generation version of its CTR supercar.

The new CTR 3 features a raft of changes compared with the outgoing model, chief among which includes an all-new mid-engined layout, galvanised steel body and a longer wheelbase for “better driving stability at high speeds,” according to the firm.

Power for the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six cylinder engine has been increased from 690bhp to a heady 740bhp at 7100rpm, which is transferred to the road via a transversely mounted six-speed sequential gearbox.

Each of the turbos are fitted with their own intercoolers, positioned just in front of each 20-inch rear wheel. The front wheels are slightly smaller at 19 inches.

The new 1400kg CTR matches the previous generation car’s 0-62 mph time of 3.2 seconds, while 0-120mph takes just 9.6sec. The car will then continue on to a top speed of 236mph.

Confirming the car’s position as an out and out racer, it features an integrated roll cage, while the body is constructed of both a space-frame and modular tubular frame.

On the inside, customers will be able to spec a range of different interiors, from stripped-out racecar to sumptuous Alcantara and leather-clad supercar.

RUF hasn’t given any indication on pricing, but expect a substantial price hike on the previous version’s €217,444 price tag.

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New Porsche 911 uncovered


These are the clearest pictures yet of the highly anticipated new Porsche 911, spied testing in Germany.

Spotted joining the public road, the car is almost completely free from disguise. The car will be officially revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Look closely, and it’s possible to see how the firm’s designers have evolved the car’s legendary shape, adding sharper looking lights at the rear.

The front end of the car is different too, and there’s a new look bumper, plus different looking headlamps – which are more oval in shape than before. Still lightly camouflaged, the lights take inspiration from the 918 Spyder concept car, revealed at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

The pictures also show the car’s new indicator arrangement, and modified hood opening, which is expected to give the car a more aerodynamic look. The side mirrors have also been moved onto the doors, rather than the wing.

As we have come to expect from Porsche, the new 911’s design is far from what we would describe as radical, however, drivers can expect a big boost in luxury, quality and functionality inside. According to sources, the refresh includes a Panamera-style centre console, and new leather trims.

Under the skin, the car shares its front suspension and steering set-up with the forthcoming Boxster and Cayman, however, the rear suspension remains unchanged.

Cars will continue to offer Porsche’s impressive PASM damper system, which allows drivers to choose between a series of different driving modes.

The engine range is the same as that offered in the current 911 line-up. However, a new direct injection fuel system and stop and start promises to improve fuel economy by as much as 12 percent. Power upgrades are offered too, with the 3.6-liter flat-six Carrera model’s power and torque rising by 20bhp and 20Nm respectively, to 365bhp and 400Nm. The 3.8-liter unit in the Carrera S, meanwhile, gets 415bhp and 44Nm of torque.

A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, and the seven-speed PDK will be available as an option. Most buyers are likely to opt for the auto though, as around 80 per cent of current 911s feature the PDK dual clutch gearbox.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

New VW Golf MKVII uncovered


The all-new VW Golf is coming – and here are the best pictures yet. The MkVII is due to debut at next year’s Paris Motor Show, and go on sale shortly afterwards. It’s been rebuilt from the ground up to provide more space, technology and safety features than any previous generation of the iconic hatch.

As the cornerstone of the VW range, it will spawn a host of new models, including a saloon – for the first time – a practical Golf Plus, an estate and a replacement for the Touran MPV, as well as a hot new Scirocco coupé. They are all due in 2013, with a new Tiguan and a replacement for the Golf Cabriolet scheduled for the following year.

But the key model is this five-door hatch, which the illustrators have recreated using inside information. Together with images of prototypes caught testing in Germany, they give us a clear idea of how next year’s most exciting new family car will look. As ever, the changes are evolutionary – but design boss Walter de’Silva has set out to give the styling a sportier feel. The front features a raked windscreen, two-bar grille and LED lights, while a square tailgate and wide wheelarches mark out the rear.

Other design cues include dramatic slashes in the sides – but there are big changes under the skin, too. The car is based on a new architecture called MQB, and the wheelbase has been lengthened. This is designed to make the newcomer more versatile than the previous chassis.

The MkVII will have a larger rear than rivals such as the Ford Focus and Renault Mégane, and promises more rear legroom, too. New engines and a host of hi-tech options will also be available. A wide range of TSI turbocharged editions will join the line-up. They will start with an efficient 1.2-liter 85bhp powerplant that returns 60mpg and emits less than 100g/km of CO2 for entry-level models.

There will also be a 1.4-liter unit, plus a new flagship 2.0-liter petrol turbo. This will deliver 220bhp in the next GTI, and 300bhp in a forthcoming four-wheel-drive R model. Diesel options will include 1.6 and 2.0-liter TDI engines. All models will get stop-start as standard, and VW also plans a 100mpg plug-in hybrid, a mild hybrid and an all-electric version, called the e_BlueMotion.

Entry-level cars will drive the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, while flagship variants are expected to offer the firm’s seven-speed DSG semi-automatic gearbox. And that’s not all, because the new Golf promises class-leading technology, too.

As with Ford’s latest Focus, an ‘eye’ installed in the front bumper will provide automatic speed limit warnings. It will also give a link to the advanced lane departure warning set-up. The new Golf will also be available with a system that helps the car avoid low-speed collisions, plus blindspot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

Inside, an advanced trip computer is expected to offer Web access, as well as the very latest sat-nav and phone connectivity systems. It will be a while before the MkVII hits the road, but it looks set to be well worth the wait.

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Porsche confirms the 550 Spyder


Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller has told a German newspaper that the brand is mulling a revival of the classic 550 Spyder.

The open-top 2-seat racer would be less-expensive than the current Boxster model, Mueller told the daily Handelsblatt in an interview.

"I can imagine that such a modern version of the famous 'James Dean' Porsche would be well-received by our customers," said Mueller.

We've previously reported on details surrounding a possible new entry-level Porsche model which would slot beneath the Boxster.

That model is said to be scheduled for launch in the summer of 2014 and would come with a (rear) mid-mounted turbocharged 1.6 liter unit with around 200 PS (147 kW / 197 bhp). The starting price for this new entry-level Porsche will be around €39,000 - about €8,000 less than the current Boxster.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Video: AWE Tuning - Behind the Scenes


U.S. aftermarket company AWE Tuning takes you behind the scenes, and into some of the tricks of the trade that have helped them unlock the performance of Porsches, Audis and VWs for over 20 years.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Video: 2012 Porsche 911 (991) caught undisguised


Here's a video of the upcoming 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera shot on the road near the Zuffenhausen factory in northern Stuttgart. We're not sure whether this is a cloaked Porsche production teaser or an independent spy video.

We get to hear that new Carrera sound as it is emitted from that quad-piped exhaust, although, the camera car is a Panamera Turbo (see reflection at 4:08) so one has to pay attention to make the distinction.

Also, have a look at those taillights as this blue-green metallic 991 prototype goes through the tunnel.

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Video: 2013 Porsche Cayman testing


Audi A6 rendering


Here is the latest rendering of the new A6 coming to rival the BMW X6.
No further details at this time.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

MTM Audi A1 Nardo Edition at 324 km/h


If you thought the Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro concept was impressive, take a look at MTM's Nardo Edition.

On the occassion of the annual Nardo Highspeed gathering attended by select tuning companies such as 9ff, G-Power, SpeedArt and MKB, MTM modified the engine to produce 500 PS (368 kW / 493 hp) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of torque. It sends power to the front-wheels through a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential, which enables the A1 to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 324 km/h (201 mph).

The only special modification made to improve aerodynamics was the use of wheel covers.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VW Touareg TDI sets record on World's Longest Highway


Volkswagen can now lay claim to another world record thanks to the efforts of off-road driver Rainer Zietlow and his team of adventurers. The crew packed into a Volkswagen Touareg TDI and covered the entire span of the Pan-American Highway from start to finish in 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes. The trip covered 14 countries and 16,000 miles of near non-stop driving. TÜV NORD Mobility verified the time, which beat out the previous record holder by a full three days.

The journey began on July 2 in the southernmost portion of Argentina and clipped through a variety of challenging conditions. The team faced a sandstorm in Chile and treacherous muddy roads in Alaska, but preplanned fuel stops helped cut the team's time down as much as possible.

Zietlow and his teammates also played a bit of a philanthropic role by donating 10 cents for every kilometer traveled to two Latin American villages to help combat childhood poverty.

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VW Golf Cabriolet R production decision coming soon


In recent news, it has been said that the R-badged Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is more likely to get the green light than a sporty GTI version.

Both models were shown as concepts at the VW meet at Worthersee, but no production decision was announced.

The Golf Cabriolet R used the 261bhp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine found in the Scirocco R, while the GTI used the 207bhp TSI engine from the GTI hatch.

Since Worthesee, it has emerged that the more powerful soft-top R model is favored for production ahead of a GTI because it would generate bigger profits and better fits into the range above the 207bhp 2.0 TSI model, currently the range-topping Cabriolet model.

However, the clock is ticking for a decision because the EA113 engine that will power the R version is due to be phased out in 2014, ahead of new EU6 emissions regulations.

Sources have said that the EA113 won’t be re-engineered to pass EU6 and instead it will be replaced by a high-output version of the current EA888 Golf GTI engine.

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Video: Audi A1 S line - Footage


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Power boost for next-gen MKVII Golf GTI


The GTI version of the next-generation Volkswagen Golf is tipped to feature a mild increase in peak power using a carryover version of today’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The boost to 220bhp comes from detail tweaks to the EA888 engine — the unit used in today’s Volkswagen Golf GTI — including a new valve lift system developed by Audi.

Also on the way is a new electronically controlled, mechanically locking diff for GTI and R models, to ensure drive continues to be directed to the tire with most grip when accelerating.

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Video: Official 2012 Porsche 911 Teaser


The wait for the next evolution of the Porsche 911 is almost over. In fact, we’re so close to the launch date that Porsche has just entered the teasing phase releasing the first official video of the sports car shot during hot weather testing in South Africa.

The public will have its first chance to see the new 911, codenamed 991, at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. What we know up until now is that, the 911 will look like, well, a 911 – don’t forget, it’s all about evolution when it comes to Porsche's most famous model.

However, the next 911 is slightly bigger and roomier yet lighter than today’s version, and will be available with more fuel efficient and greener engines including a smaller displacement 3.4-liter flat-six with 350HP for the Carrera /4, and a 3.8-liter flat-six producing 400-horses for the Carrera S/4S,

The two launch models will be offered with a new 7-speed manual gearbox and a 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission.

The new 911’s lineup will eventually grow to include several body styles such as the Convertible, Targa and most likely a Speedster, as well numerous models and special editions like the Turbo, Turbo S, the GT series and more.

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Video: 2012 Audi A6 Avant Interior & Driving Scenes


Monday, July 18, 2011

SpyShots: 2012 Audi S8 with latest info


Sometime in the next couple of months, Audi will release official details on the next S8—the sportiest version of its excellent, comparo-winning A8 flagship—but here are the latest photos of a prototype testing in Death Valley (U.S.), and we also know much about what to expect.

The new S8 drops its predecessor’s naturally aspirated, 450-hp, 398-lb-ft V-10 in favor of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. The new engine, however, will have even more power and should also offer a hefty jump in torque, as well. The V-8 will be shared not only with the upcoming S6 and S7, but also with an entry-level version of the latest Bentley Continental GT, and should make around 500 hp in the S8. That should be plenty to shove the big Audi to its governed top speed of 155 mph with ease. Ungoverned, we’re told that the S8 could reach over 185 mph, and that Audi might offer the option to raise the governor to let the big sedan really go.

As before, the S8’s styling will be understated; it will be visually distinguished from lesser A8's mainly by its four exhaust tips and the S8 badging, although another obvious differentiator will become apparent when you push the accelerator to the floor. Paddle shifters will be standard, just like in the regular A8 models. But the interior will be offered with sportier trimmings, including sport seats.

The S8’s competition will include the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, whose sporting credentials are derived mostly from straight-line performance and a rowdier exhaust sound than regular S-classes, the quirky Jaguar XJ Supersport, with its incredibly responsive, supercharged V-8, and the Porsche Panamera Turbo. With the S8 rounding into shape soon, we look forward to seeing how it stacks up.

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Porsche has been one of the very few manufacturers who have relied on evolving their signature 911 rather than revolving it. So it’s no surprise that the next generation 911 is pretty much the same minus the usual body treatments and upgrades in kit.

Codenamed the 991, the new 911 will debut in September of this year and will be larger than the outgoing model and built to be able to accommodate a hybrid powertrain. This may be troubling news to the Porsche purist, but rest assures, the Porsche 911 will still be as wonderful as it always has been.

The 991 so far comes out to be 2.2 inches longer than the outgoing 997 with the wheelbase growing quite a bit at four inches longer. But to keep the length down, the front and rear overhangs were reduced. The roof too also gets lowered by about a half an inch and because the car that the two Zuffenhausen boffins were showing off was spec’d out to be a 911 S, it sits about .07 inches closer to the ground. Despite the growth, the new 991 loses about 55 pounds when compared to the 997, which uses more high-strength steel. The future hybrid model will also weigh less than the 997 by 22 lbs thanks to heavier use of aluminum.

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Video: Porsche Panamera Turbo S - Strength of Character


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Video: Porsche 911 GT3 RS vs BMW M3 GTS


Friday, July 15, 2011

Audi A5 DTM concept previewed


Audi has released the first renderings of the A5 DTM concept, ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Internally named "R17," the A5 DTM will replace the four-door A4 DTM with which Audi has won the DTM title four times since 2004.

The company was quiet on specifics, but said the car has a high-strength carbon-fiber monocoque with a steel roll cage that is fully-compliant with the latest safety regulations. Furthermore, power will be provided by a V8 engine - that is adopted from the A4 DTM - with approximately 460 PS (340 kW / 456 PS).

While the renderings show a pre-facelift model, Audi says the production vehicle will closely resemble the 2012 A5 Coupe which is slated to go on sale later this year.

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2013 Volkswagen Golf VII rendering


Based off the latest info we have on the new MK7 Golf, here is the latest rendering of what the next model will look like.

VW is promising a sportier Golf. The 2013 model will come with a steeper windshield, wider track and lower roof-line compared to the current Golf. On the inside, the new instrument panel and center console will be more angled towards the driver in a sports car-like design.

VW also intends to make the 3-door variant different and sportier from the 5-door hatch Golf.

The next-generation VW Golf is slated for launch in the middle of 2012.

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