The Nissan GTR is a bit of an enigma. It’s one of the rare few that satisfies more than one personality traits. It’s nearly untouchable at the Ring, only beat by the million dollar Porsche 918 when counting series production vehicles.
This certainly isn’t shocking news coming from the automaker that they will focus less of it’s energy in the diesel market moving forward. With the diesel scandal that sent shockwaves through the automotive industry, Volkswagen has been on the mend with their company brand since the fallout.
Since last September, Volkswagen has faced a stop sale on all 2.0L diesel vehicles, and have had issues with their 3.0L diesel engines as well. What the company has started to do is beef up their branding and marketing around electric vehicles. Similar to how they brought up the image of clean diesel with a racing series, the company is looking at supporting an EV racing series to bring electric vehicles to the forefront. For now, VW will still sell diesel cars from 2017 through 2019 as long as regulators give them the OK to start sale again. The reality is that diesels as an industry is so tainted that it might not ever recover.
Alfa Romeo’s 4C may have a short lifespan in the company’s lineup. The beautiful little sports car hasn’t been reaching target sales numbers as originally anticipated, as a result, the company may pull the plug on the model as early as 2020. Seven months into the year, Alfa Romeo has only managed to push 309 4C out of the showroom.
In general, the market for a mid engine sports car is limited. The 4C is also very expensive vehicle to build thanks to it’s carbon fiber monocoque. We certainly don’t want to see the Alfa go. It was a beautiful vehicle and priced well for a mid-engined sports coupe. But as we lose the 4C, we are still treated to some amazing cars coming out of Alfa.
Since last September when Volkswagen’s emission scandal made headlines there has always been a wonder on who at the company knew about the planning and execution of the emission cheating software. Not long after the investigations began, it was said that a PowerPoint presentation was discovered at Volkswagen which detailed the cheating software which could be used at the company. Then it was claimed that only a small group of engineers knew about the cheating software. Well, a recent lawsuit filed by New York and Massachusetts attorneys general accuse ex CEO Winterkorn and current VW CEO Matthias Müller of being aware about the devices.
According to a report by The New York Times, the suit draws on internal documents that claim Müller knew about the decision to not equip Audi vehicles with the proper equipment needed to meet US standards in 2006. The suit claims that the automaker, with Müller’s go ahead, knowingly chose to install the devices onto its vehicles and is the first document that connects the executive to the ongoing scandal.
Further allegation in the lawsuit points to a number of leaders and executives at Volkswagen which could have had their hands in the emission scandal. This includes Wolfgang Hatz, former head of engine and transmission development at VW, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, former head of development for VW, and Ulrich Hackenberg, former head of development for Audi. Both Winterkorn and Müller have denied any malpractice.
It seems like just yesterday that McLaren introduced their 3 seater supercar the F1 to the world. And in all honesty, you can put one up against todays supercars and it’ll still hold it’s own on the performance and appearance side of things. McLaren has since moved on and produced some more impressive vehicles that will surely leave a mark on automotive history. Now McLaren is considering building a vehicle which will be named as the successor to the F1.
McLaren Special Operations has been busy at work designing and trying to produce what they are calling the fastest GT car in the world. The character and ethos of the F1 car will be taken and adopted into the design of the new car. All that means is the new GT will be designed with pure performance in mind while as it won’t be a recreation of the original. McLaren has been getting a lot of requests to possibly keep the original car’s 3 seat configuration with the new car, but again, no official word on those details yet.
What we do know is the new car will use the same 3.8-liter V8 from the P1 sans hybrid technology. Other features which might make it onto the new F1 are dihedral doors, bespoke switchgear, and a custom set of luggage just like the original F1. Although plans for production are still in the works, we hope that McLaren will put something out to market by 2020.
BMW’s Australian Marketing Manager Marc Werner disclosed that the company is seriously thinking about a ute, or truck as we call them on our shores, for the BMW lineup. We haven’t had many sedan or coupe adaptations into cars for quite some time. Subaru came out with their Outback Baha a while back, and before that the only other memorable vehicle was the El Camino. There really hasn’t been a strong market for these cars in North America as true trucks or SUVs dominate the market. However, as Werner says, “Never say never. We’re watching the space closely.”
With Mercedes introducing a truck into the European and Asian market, BMW is definitely keeping a close eye on what the market demands and will react accordingly. Although the company has historically built performance oriented vehicles, trucks just don’t fully fit into that equation. But hopeful enthusiasts don’t get your hopes up just yet. Werner was quick to manage expectations and stated that their competition could produce trucks much easier than BMW since they already have a division dedicated to commercial fleet.
Saleen Automotive is a name that has been synonymous with performance Fords for the past few decades. The company has specialized in performance upgrades on Mustangs and has certainly left a mark in the automotive history timeline with their Saleen S7 supercar. But that doesn’t protect them from financial issues just like any other company. Reports from various Ford dealerships are on the rise with poor quality service and an inability by Saleen to deliver vehicles on time and to ordered specification.
In one situation, Red McCombs Ford in San Antonio states that Saleen was unable to meet contractual obligations and had delivered three 2015 Ford Mustangs six months late. What more is that those Mustangs were delivered missing $22,000 in commissioned upgrades. Similar reports of missing timelines are popping up from different dealers with one claiming to have been waiting a year past the scheduled delivery date and still they haven’t received their car.
We know that the aftermarket industry is a cut throat industry. Lets hope the company finds some solutions for their financial woes and comes out better on the other end.
Customers have been waiting patiently for the official fix notice to come from Volkswagen. The automaker is still in the works with regulators on the details of the repairs needed on their 2.0L TDI diesel motors to bring them into compliance. However, recent news on the projected repair plans is stating that even when the cars are repaired by Volkswagen they will still not comply with clean air laws.
The planned fix apparently will only reduce the over pollution by the 2.0L diesel by approximately 80 to 90 percent which gets the vehicles near CARB requirements, but that’s still not officially considered compliant. What’s more is that the regulator seems to be OK with it. According to Daniel Becker, Director of the Safe Climate Campaign, “For reasons they didn’t state, they’re allowing fixed vehicles to not be fixed, but to allow vehicles to emit twice as much pollution as they otherwise would allow.”
When the Nurburgring removed its speed restrictions earlier this year, we were all prepared to see the Koenigsegg One:1 makes it official run at the quickest lap of the ring. Over the past few months, we’ve seen the Koenigsegg One:1 make some appearances on the track, but it was only for exhibition purposes. Recently, the company decided to have a go for the fastest lap, but unfortunately things didn’t end well. The ring claimed its one of only six One:1 in existence yesterday and it was a sad sad sight. News is that the driver did make it out of the crash alright which is the most important thing. Cars can always be replaced.
According to the automaker, the crash happened while they were working on vehicle development and preparing for a possible record run. Koenigsegg has not released any official word on what caused the crash, but just simply stated that any track testing with a high performance automobile carries with it some level of risk. However, as you view the video online of the crash site, you can tell the vehicle likely entered the corner carrying too much speed as the tire tracks go off in a straight line right off the track.
Despite the carnage shown by the pictures, Koenigsegg does plan to rebuild the vehicle and hopefully have it see track time once again.
Bentley’s Mulliner division is know for their upholstery expertise which by now has become an industry standard for bespoke and the highest quality levels of work. The Mulliner division recently put their hands together and crafted what can only be summed up as a fisherman’s delight and installed their handy work in Bentley’s Bentayga.
The Mulliner’s kit looks almost too good to use. With the entire rear trunk area of the Bentayga setup to house fishining equipment, Mulliner trimmed everything up in saddle leather and Burr walnut. Lift up the rear trunk cover and four individually wrapped leather tubes are exposed which house four sets of fishing rods. The trunk is cleverly setup with pull out drawers which conceal storage for tackles and all of your fishing necessities. There’s also a compartment which houses refreshments, a china set, and also a food storage compartment. Although things might get messy with your catch, Bentley thought ahead and made the floor waterproof and installed an electronic dehumidifier to ensure smells are kept to a minimum in your luxury transport.
Takata has been front and center when it comes to the airbag crisis that has hit the automotive industry with a storm. Having produced and distributed millions of faulty airbag inflators, there are countless number of vehicles both on the road and in the production line which are all equipped with airbag inflators that are potentially lethal should there be an accident. Thinking that Takata has crested the hump of it’s problems, in comes Honda claiming that Takata engineers manipulated airbag inflator test results.
Honda began an independent audit last October and found that Takata engineers had actually removed test results which presented more positive inflator performance results. Honda and US regulators will be getting a full report on the audit results later this week. This spells much more trouble heading Takata’s way in the near future. Despite their attempt to produce new inflators for automakers to include in a recall, Takata has fallen short of producing enough supply to fix all the affected vehicles on the market today.