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Volkswagen

The top five biggest lemons in history - to this point.

When the likes of Jaguar, Porsche, Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Renault and Chrysler introduce a new model series, it is equally or more reliable than the model it replaces. Right? Wrong! New information has been released this week which indicates all of the above companies have replaced major models with less reliable models in the last decade - the worst three examples were 60%, 54% and 40% more likely to break down than their predecessor.  Read More

Skoda will debut a five-door version of its Citigo subcompact at the 2012 Geneva Motor Sho...

Following hot on the heels of Volkswagen’s announcement of a five-door version of its up! subcompact vehicle, the Czech Republic-based Volkswagen subsidiary Skoda has announced that a five door version of its Citigo subcompact will make its public debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March. The three-door Citigo was introduced in Skoda’s home market late last year, marking the company’s first entry into the growing subcompact segment. The five-door model will be successively launched alongside the three-door model in European markets from mid-May.  Read More

The new five-door up! from Volkswagen will launch in Europe this year

Volkswagen has unveiled the latest addition to its "New Small Family" series of ultra-compact city vehicles based on the first Volkswagen up! concept car that debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. Since then we've seen numerous up! concept cars such as the up! Lite, the E-up! and the Space up!, and even before the production launch of the three-door up!, which hit showrooms last December, Volkswagen had already hinted a five-door model was in the works. Now the company has revealed that this new addition will be available in Germany from May, and the rest of Europe by mid-year.  Read More

Peterhansel and his MINI ALL4 Racing

New names dominated the Dakar Rally from start-to-finish this year - MINI being the most obvious with a 1-2, but also Iveco broke the Eastern Block stranglehold on the truck section. Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel won his tenth Dakar (six on motorcycles, four in cars) ahead of MINI teammate Nani Roma (a prior motorcycle winner). MINI's new owner BMW must be delighted to add the world's toughest race to its illustrious heritage, even if that MINI looks a tad bigger than your average Countryman.  Read More

VW's electric E-Bugster in Detroit

Volkswagen will this week unveil its two-seater E-Bugster concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There are no prizes, I'm afraid, for deducing from the entomological etymology that this is an all-electric variant of the classic VW Beetle. Kudos, though, if you identified that the name betrays the E-Bugster's shared DNA with the Ragster, VW's 2005 concept which itself informed the conventional Beetle of today. But enough on the name, let's take a look at the specs.  Read More

Daimler will supply a Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, a second generation smart fortwo elect...

Inductive charging devices are already making their way into the home as a cable-free option to keep the batteries of everything from mice and keyboards to mobile phones and toothbrushes juiced up. The increasing availability of practical electric vehicles has also seen the technology attract the attention of those looking for for a cable-free way to charge EV batteries. German automakers are taking the opportunity to put inductive charging of EVs to a real-world test as part of the "Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität" project.  Read More

Scania trucks will soon offer Active Prediction

As useful as GPS is in the modern world, we're really only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to some of the potential functionality of satellite-based navigation. The Active Prediction system under development at Scania, a member of Volkswagen AG, is one example. The system fuses GPS and cruise control, allowing the vehicle to predict terrain features of the road ahead and help to boost gas mileage.  Read More

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept making its debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show (Image: G...

The opening day of the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show has seen Volkswagen unveil its Cross Coupé crossover concept. Featuring a long wheelbase and short overhangs, the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid is visually a cross between a four-door coupé and a compact SUV. The vehicle also represents the first public outing of Volkswagen's new modular transverse matrix (Modularer Querbaukasten or MQB) platform, which is intended to form the basis of a variety of different models (including the upcoming Golf and Audi A3), allowing the use of the same set of components while providing the flexibility for individual models to have a variety of wheelbase, track and external dimensions.  Read More

Toyota finally appears ready to play its hand in the autonomous vehicle revolution

Toyota is to show an autonomous (self-driving) Prius at Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Toyota AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operation System), the car will be available for members of the public to take "back seat" rides at the show, demonstrating first hand how the Prius can avoid obstacles, be summoned from a parking garage and park itself. There will also be a demonstration of communications-linked electric cars, scooters and electric-assisted bicycles including what is expected to be Yamaha's first production electric scooter.  Read More

There is no doubt that autonomous capabilities will eventually permeate every aspect of pe...

A thinktank headed by Volkswagen Group Research has re-conceptualized the delivery vehicle and come up with a thought-provoking commercial EV concept vehicle named the eT! The eT! drives semi-autonomously on voice commands such as "follow me" and "come to me" and the driver can also steer from the passenger side using a joystick. There's an electric sliding door that opens in two stages for quick walk-on access, reducing the need for walking around the vehicle. For even quicker turnaround, the passenger side features a standing seat.  Read More

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