Winterkorn walks over noxgate

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn

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.

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Volkswagen CEO’s mea culpa on noxgate

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?

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Volkswagen shares go up in smoke

VW Golf GTD

Volkswagen’s shares have plummeted more than 18% in Germany as the company suffers the fallout from its diesel emissions scandal in the United States.

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.”

Affected diesel-powered models include:

  • Audi A3 (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Beetle (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Golf (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Jetta (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Passat (Model Years 2009–2015)

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Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport revealed

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport

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!

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Bugatti Chiron previewed in gaming fantasy?

Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo

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.

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Numero uno

Family First, Porsche 356 feature

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?!

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2016 Porsche 911 Carrera revealed

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche has gone live with the first details for its facelifted 991.2 range, showcasing the now all bi-turbo 911 Carrera models.

Let’s get the key numbers of these new turbo engines out of the way. For starters both the entry-level Carrera and the up-spec Carrera S 3.0 litre flat-six engines.

Receiving a literal and metaphorical boost for both power and torque compared with the first-gen 991 models the Carrera now has 272kW/450Nm, while the Carrera S has 309kW/500Nm to play with. That represents a steady 15kW increase in peak power for both models.

To achieve the extra power for the Carrera S, Porsche says it has modified the turbos, uprated the exhaust and refined the engine software.

The new Carrera models are available for order in Australia now, with deliveries due in March 2016. For more details read the introductory press release available below.

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera

  • Engine: 3.0 litre bi-turbo flat six
  • Peak power/torque: 272kW/450Nm
  • 0–100km/h: 4.2 seconds (with PDK and Sports Chrono pack)
  • Top speed: 295km/h

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera S

  • Engine: 3.0 litre bi-turbo flat six
  • Peak power/torque: 309kW/500Nm
  • 0–100km/h: 3.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 308km/h

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera Australian list pricing*

  • 911 Carrera Coupe – $217,800
  • 911 Carrera S Coupe – $252,800
  • 911 Carrera Cabriolet – $239,300
  • 911 Carrera S Cabriolet – $274,300

More pics to follow.

UPDATE: 11 new pics, 2 videos and 1 press kit added below.

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Porsche 991.2 911 facelift leaked

2016 Porsche 911 facelift

The last visual details of the forthcoming 991.2 facelift for the Porsche 911 have been revealed in a video leaked to Porsche-based Rennteam forum.

In the grainy video stills we can see the BBQ-style rear air intake at the rear and, for the first time, the Macan-like rear light detail.

Official pics and information is due for release in the coming days, ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show.

[Source: Rennteam | Thanks to Wayne for the tip]

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TVR rebirth well on track

TVR relaunch rendering

The latest attempt to make TVR viable, which involves design legend Gordon Murray, is going gangbusters with reports the company has sold out its first year of production. That’s to say they have around 250 deposits of £5000.

Those on the waiting list will have some waiting to do because the return to production is not scheduled until 2017. Publicly, at least, details for the new TVR line up are still vague. There’s talk of four new models, with Cosworth-developed V8 engines and, of course, Gordon Murray’s involvement in the engineering as well.

“We’ve been totally blown away by the reaction to the new car,” claims John Chasey, Operations director. “Our phonelines and online inquiry system went into meltdown when the news was announced, and we decided that we must begin to bring a structure to the inquiries and build a delivery pipeline well in advance of production.

“Volumes in year one will be limited as we ramp up production, so this allows us to reward those individuals prepared to make a financial commitment at this early stage.”

[Source: Car | Pic: Autocar]

Who knew rhubarb and custard drove so well?!

Bugatti EB110 SS

When I was a young lad my lovely grandmother introduced me to the delights of rhubarb and custard. And now, some decades later, Chris Harris has given me a whole new appreciation.

I always thought the Bugatti EB110 was a bit fugly and so it never really resonated with me; I was too busy going gaga over F40s and McLaren F1s.

Turns out I might have missed a pretty special boat. But at least I’ll always have my granny’s dessert.

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Making a McLaren F1 GTR look shiny and new

1995 McLaren F1 GTR 06R

Detailing cars is a dirty job, it’s hard work and can be pretty boring. Perhaps working with some of the world’s most desireable and exclusive cars makes it all worthwhile.

That seems to be the case for Richard Tipper, who recently had this 1995 McLaren F1 GTR in his possession. Yep, it’s chassis #06R and it finished the 24 hour classic on the podium in third place.

We thank Richard for sharing these pics and making the F1 look better than new.

[Source: Twitter]

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