Fifth Gear—yes, that’s still going—has come up with a 21st century Prost v Senna battle by getting Nico Prost and Bruno Senna to race each other in a hot hatch track test. It’s son of Alain in the Renault Megane RS275 Trophy R and nephew of Ayrton in the Audi S3. The track is Snetteron and this is what happens…
As custodians of The greatest F1 rivalry of all time™ McLaren is in the unique position of having the luxury of curating the legacies of not one, but two of its most iconic drivers. For reasons too controverisal to dissect now Ayrton Senna is the beneficiary of “the good guy” status, which unwittingly leaves his adversary Alain Prost to play the role of “the bad guy”.
Over the years, then, for fear of reminding people that Prost won four world titles to Senna’s three, as just one example, Prost’s name is usually in the shadows to Senna’s spotlight. If you didn’t live through the 1980s and early 1990s you could be forgiven for thinking Prost drove for anyone but McLaren, such is the team’s willingness to remind everyone of Senna’s legacy in McLaren’s red and white livery.
So for this unabashed Prost fanboi I was impressed to see that McLaren can and has pumped up Alain’s tyres. Follow the link below to read the nine reasons you should dig Alain.
Of course you only need one: Prost is the greatest!
The noxgate issue has become very real for local car buyers after Volkswagen Group Australia this morning issued a statement announcing that all sales of models fitted with 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre EA189 diesel engines have been suspended:
“Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) met with the relevant government authorities yesterday to advise them of its strategy in Australia to address concerns that have been raised around the world regarding the diesel emissions issue.
“In its first step, effective immediately VGA has temporarily suspended the sale of affected vehicles fitted with 1.6 or 2.0-litre EA189 diesel engines. The suspension will remain until the emission issues are addressed in those vehicles.
“VGA will make further announcements next week.”
If you already own a vehicle with one of these diesel engines it remains safe to drive.
Other Volkswagen Group models fitted with different diesel engines do not feature the controversial defeat device, designed to cheat emissions tests, and remain unaffected.
It’s understood there are over 1000 affected vehicles in holding yards around the country. A list of suspended models is shown below:
A4 2.0 TDI
A5 2.0 TDI
Q5 2.0 TDI
This list may not be exhaustive, if you have concerns please check with the relevant manufacturer using the numbers below:
Paul Walker was killed in late 2013 while taking a ride in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT. Walker’s friend Roger Rodas was driving at the time of the accident. Excessive speed is thought to have been the main cause of the accident, but Porsche is now being forced to defend itself following news that Walker’s daughter, Meadow Walker, is filing a wrongful death suit against the company.
The lawsuit claims, “the vehicle lacked safety features that are found on well-designed racing cars or even Porsche’s least expensive road cars—features that could have prevented the accident or, at a minimum, allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash.”
It’s also claimed that the seatbelt design of the Carrera GT was faulty and contributed to Walker’s death.
In response Porsche states, “We are very sad whenever anyone is hurt in a Porsche vehicle, but we believe the authorities’ reports in this case clearly establish that this tragic crash resulted from reckless driving and excessive speed.”
The Queen of the Nürburgring, Sabine Schmitz, was sent out to lap the Nordschleife in a new Porsche 911 GT3 by the folks from RSR Nürburg. Her conclusion is not really much of a surprise, but the clip is worth a watch nonethless. And for the females viewing, make sure you catch Sabine’s pro-tip for tackling the Karussell.
Matthias Müller will move from his role as Porsche CEO into the Volkswagen Group CEO seat left vacant by the disgraced Martin Winterkorn.
On his appointment Müller said: “My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group—by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation.
“Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry.”
Of course, you’d expect there to be glowing praise for Müller coming from inside Volkswagen and Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group Works Council, has stepped up stating: “When it comes to leadership appointments the Volkswagen Group does not need hasty decisions. We know and value Matthias Müller for his determination and decisiveness. He does not work on his own, rather he is a team player. That is what Volkswagen needs now.”
Müller began his Volkswagen Group with Audi in the 1970s and and has also held positions with Seat, Lamborghini and Volkswagen during his rise to the top of the Volkswagen Group tree.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen says that five million of the 11 million vehicles affected worldwide by the noxgate scandal are Volkswagen products and those fitted with the affected EA189 2.0 TDI engines include the Golf VI, Passat VII and Tiguan.
Dr Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand stressed: “We are working at full speed on a technical solution that we will present to partners, to our customers and to the public as swiftly as possible. Our aim is to inform our customers as quickly as possible, so that their vehicles comply fully with regulations. I assure you that Volkswagen will do everything humanly possible to win back the trust of our customers, the dealerships and the public.”
For its part Volkswagen Australia remains eerily silent on the issue, with no official press releases or comment on its website about the noxgate drama.
German publication Auto Bild has dragged BMW into Volkswagen’s noxgate scandal. It claims the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) conducted tests on the diesel-powered BMW X3 20d Xdrive and found it produced more than 11 times the allowed NOx emissions under Euro6 regulations.
BMW has been quick to respond with an official statement saying all of its vehicles comply with relevant laws and that it “does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests.”
Martin Winterkorn has resigned as Volkswagen Group CEO over the noxgate scandal. He has released a media statement which reads:
I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.
As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.
Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.
I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life.
The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.
The Executive Committee of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board has responded with nine conclusions, which include thanking Winterkorn for his leadership and offer to resign as well as clearing the pathway for more management exits to follow in light of possible criminal proceedings. You can read the board’s statements below.
Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, offers up this mea culpa in response to noxgate; the diesel NOx emissions issue which Volkswagen says affects up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.
In a new statement Volkswagen says all new diesel vehicles which meet EU6 emissions are not affected by this scandal. However, if your diesel powered Volkswagen or Audi A3 is powered by an EA189 2.0 TDI engine then your car is right in the middle of the deceit which Volkswagen has overseen.
For some technical explanation as to why Volkswagen might have thought cheating emissions tests was a good idea, check out this reddit thread.
This is going to be a very sticky mess for Volkswagen to extricate itself from.
If you own a car affected by this deceit please tell us below how you feel. Can Volkswagen ever win back your trust?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Volkswagen and Audi are in breach of California’s Clean Air Act after the manufacturers created software to deliberately cheat emissions testing. As a result, the EPA claims four-cylinder diesel powered models built between 2009–15 emit as much as 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than tests showed.
Over 480,000 vehicles are affected and Volkswagen could face penalties of up to US$18 billion, with fines of US$37,500 per vehicle in breach of the relevant laws.
“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters.”
For its part Volkswagen is preparing to take its medicine with Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, issuing a statement apologising for the breaches.
“I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Winterkorn said. “We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case.
“We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law,” Winterkorn added. “The trust of our customers and the public is and continues to be our most important asset.”
The first Golf GTI was released in 1976 and this new Clubsport model is Volkswagen’s birthday present to itself. It’ll be released next year to celebrate the GTI’s 40th anniversary. Visually it’s pretty much as previewed in concept form earlier this year.
Powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine with 195kW it’s the most powerful GTI ever. But there’s more! With a 10-second overboost function power briefly peaks at 215kW. Coupled to a 6-speed DSG it’s enough to propel the GTI Clubsport to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds (manual 6.0 secdonds).
That’s all pretty good, but it’s the way this latest GTI looks that’s rocking our world. Finished in classic Oryx White paint and complemented by specially created forged alloy wheels looks awesome. And the aggressive body kit, from the sleek front spoiler to the large rear wing, just works.
Volkswagen Australia, don’t be pricks. Bring this car down under, in three door and with a manual transmission. Seriously!
This rather cool looking beast is officially called the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo. It’s been created for the virtual world only.
“The Bugatti design team normally works only for the exclusive and very distinguished circle of the brand’s customers,” explained Achim Anscheidt, the head of Bugatti Design. “When the target group suddenly grows from 450 Veyron owners to several million fans, gamers and high performance aficionados, it is a very exciting matter. We had a lot of fun with this project.”
Visually the car draws on the Le Mans winning Bugatti Type 57s from 1937 and 1939 and they go to some pains to point out that while this is a fantasyland creation they wanted it to be connected to reality. Indeed, the press release below states, “the virtual race car was developed in close cooperation with the Bugatti engineers and is based on cutting-edge racing technology and precise aerodynamic analyses.”
So let’s add to the speculation and say this is pretty much a concept car for the Chiron, the car tasked with replacing the iconic Veyron. Further adding to that theory is the fact Bugatti will rock up to the Frankfurt Motor Show with a 1:1 scale model of the Vision Gran Turismo.
Of course any such road car, predicted to cost €2.2 million (AU$3.5 million), won’t feature all of the garish wings and aero adornments for racing, but perhaps we’re being prepared for a very much Veyron-inspired evolutionary design.
If an Italian family of coachbuilders with a history of working on Ferraris can’t be immune from the Porsche disease then who can be?
There’s nothing spectacular about this latest video from Petrolicious, but it captures the intangible feeling revheads from across the globe have for their cars. And who wouldn’t love to have a Porsche 356 Speedster in their family?!