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Was the Audi Chief Sacked Because Of Emissions Cheating Scandal?

rupert stadler

Audi’s chief executive Rupert Stadler stepped down from the management boards of Audi and its parent company, Volkswagen, amid investigations into the emissions cheating scandal that rocked the German company.

Volkswagen’s supervisory board did not suspend Stadler, the company emphasized, but the chief executive asked to step down until allegations against him are clarified. The company held a six-hour meeting on Monday when he was also detained by German prosecutors because he might influence witnesses in the ongoing fraud investigation.

Stadler, 55, is the highest-ranking Volkswagen executive to be arrested in connection to the costly diesel emissions scandal that first went public back in 2015. Last week, the German automaker was asked to pay 1 billion Euros, which Volkswagen did not dispute to show that it is taking responsibility for what happened.

Stadler and some other 19 current or former Audi employees are being investigated for tampering and installing a cheating software in 240,000 diesel cars sold in the United States and Europe. The cars were supposedly installed with a cheating software that would lower emissions only during the test. It would not work during normal car operations.

In a statement, Audi said that it agreed to suspend Stadler “until the circumstances that led to his arrest have been clarified.” He would be considered innocent until proven guilty.

The emissions scandal brought Volkswagen’s shares plunging, and it crushed the confidence of investors, consumers, and regulators in diesel technology. Since the scandal broke, it has already cost Volkswagen more than $30 billion in recalls, penalties, and settlements.

Although the German automaker changed its management and put a major investment in electric cars, it continued to struggle to move away from the issue.

Abraham Schot, Audi Board Member and Sales Chief, was named interim CEO while Stadler remains suspended, according to the statement from Volkswagen. Schot joined the VW Group from Mercedes-Benz Italia back in 2011. He joined the Audi board in September 2017 and is believed to be untainted by the scandal.

Volkswagen Fined 1 Billion Euros For “Dieselgate”

volkswagen dieselgate

Volkswagen has been fined 1 billion Euros ($1.18 billion) by public prosecutors in the German city of Braunschweig, the city close to the company’s Wolfsburg headquarters, over “Dieselgate” or the diesel emissions cheating that saw more than 10.7 million vehicles fitted with “defeat devices.”

The German company said it will pay the fine and would not lodge an appeal against it. The statement added that Volkswagen AG admits “its responsibility” for the diesel crisis “and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome.”

Volkswagen said that the investigation found that “monitoring duties had been breached in the powertrain development department in the context of vehicle tests.” In human language, that means that the diesel cars sold worldwide between 2007 and 2015 have been fitted with the so-called “defeat devices.”

The purpose of these devices is to lower the emissions of cars during testing. However, the devices don’t work when the cars are used during normal driving conditions, meaning that the cars on the road could pump out up to 40 times the allowed amount of pollution.

The 1-billion-Euro penalty is composed of the 5 million Euros that is imposed along with the 995 million Euros for what was described as the “disgorgement of economic benefits,” which simply means the profit earned by Volkswagen for all the mess.

The payment will likely put to end the criminal prosecutions against the German company, but Volkswagen will continue to face the growing number of civil claims from motorists with affected cars, as well as the shareholders of the company. Volkswagen is not alone in what has been dubbed as the “Dieselgate.” Its subsidiaries will also be targeted, as well as luxury carmakers Mercedes-Benz, which already recalled more than 770,000 units, and BMW.

The diesel scandal first broke out in the US, where the company has already paid $25 billion in fines and compensation.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things We Should Expect From The 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI

Rendering of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf MK8 GTI from TopSpeed.

Rendering of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf MK8 GTI from TopSpeed.

After four long years, German automaker Volkswagen is finally ready to uncover the next-generation Golf GTI in 2019. As one of the most popular hot hatchback out there, it’s only a matter of time before folks at Volkswagen decide to update the Golf GTI, especially considering that Ford is already working on a new-generation Focus ST.

Not much is known about the 2020 Volkswagen Golf MK8 GTI  performance hatchback, but it should have most of the styling cues found on recently introduced Volkswagen models, including the sporty Arteon sedan.

Exterior

The 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI will get the company’s latest design package, which means larger front grille, bigger headlamps, and a more aggressive bumper. The GTI package will also come packed with a honeycomb mesh instead of the horizontal slats in the grille. There’s also the traditional red stripe on each side of the logo.

Designers over at Volskwagen also added C-shaped LED lights on the air vents on each side of the lower grille. The Golf Mk8 GTI is also a bit longer and wider than the previous generation.

Interior

We don’t have any spy photos of the interiors of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI, but the latest in Polo and Touareg models provided us some hints. It has a much cleaner dashboard with rectangular vents at the corners and in the center stack. It will also get a bigger infotainment screen, a new steering wheel, revised seats, new upholstery and materials, as well as enhanced room for rear passengers.

Performance

The upcoming Golf GTI will use the updated version of the company’s MQB platform and will help shed off about 70 kilograms off its weight. It will continue using the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that can produce more than 250 horsepower, though no exact figure has been revealed. Other technology to help in the performance will include engine-off coasting, an integrated starter-motor and generator, as well as electrically driven turbochargers.

Prices

No pricing information has been announced yet but the outgoing model is priced at $26,415, so the Mk8 model could be sold for $28,000 before options. The production of the eight generation Golf will begin in June 2019, so the GTI could be launched before 2019.

Competition

The 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI direct competitors are the Ford Focus ST and the Hyundai I30 N.

6 Revelations About The 2018 Volkswagen Touareg

During a special ceremony in Beijing on Friday, Volkswagen released a redesigned Touareg, marking the very special relationship the European company has with China, which it considers its second home.

1. New Flagship Of The VW Brand

This third-generation Touareg is being put in the upmarket level seeing as it recently became the new flagship of the VW brand. Previously, that role was with the Phaeton but the full-size sedan was already discontinued in 2016. An electric successor is being planned, but that won’t come into fruition until the next decade.

2. Wider And More Dynamic Look

Compared to its predecessor, the outgoing model, the new Touareg has a wider look and it’s also bigger. It’s three inches longer than before, now standing at 192 inches. It’s also 1.7 inches wider at 78 inches and 0.3 inches shorter at only 67 inches.

3. MLB Platform

The curb weight has been reduced by as much as 233 pounds in some variants, thanks to VW’s version of the MLB platform, which features multi-material construction and used by Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne. The main benefits are air suspension, roll stabilization, and rear-wheel steering.

4. Plush Interior

The cabin of the new Touareg is as luxurious as others in the game. It has a digital dash with a 12.0-inch screen that is now the instrument cluster. There’s also a 15-inch infotainment hub. For safety features, there’s the automatic emergency braking, driver fatigue warning, and a night vision camera. Overall, VW calls the cabin design “Innovision Cockpit.”

5. Drivetrain Options

The Touareg will go on sale this summer in Europe. Depending on the market, there will be choices of two 3.0-liter V-6 diesels, producing 228 and 282 horsepower, respectively, and a 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline delivering 335 horsepower. There will also be a plug-in hybrid setup with 362 horsepower for the Chinese market. There are also news that a 4.0-liter V-8 diesel producing 415 horsepower will come as another option.

Standard to these engines are an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive with a center differential lock. Some extras are available, care of a special off-road pack that adds extra driving modes, a larger fuel tank, and under body protection.

6. Release Dates And Locations

The new Touareg won’t be coming to the United States. The local division of VW in the US dropped the model at the end of the 2017 model year because of low sales and the decision to focus on the Atlas.

Spanish Carmaker SEAT Removes Veil On Cupra e-Racer

cupra e-racer

Volkswagen-owned SEAT announced that it has come up with the Cupra e-Racer, a fully electric racing touring car that will be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. The Spanish automaker calls it the world’s “first 100 percent electric racing touring car,” which, based on its specs, is truly one of a kind.

Everywhere you look, fully electric racing cars are hitting the track, promising to revolutionize the race car industry. There were previous reports that even at the 2020 World Rallycross Championships, electric racers would be part of the program. In fact, they would headline the show. An electric touring car series was also reported to be supporting the Formula E.

Aside from that, Jaguar also announced that an I-Pace eTrophy racing series will be featured alongside Formula E during the 2018-19 season. There is certainly quite a turn and change in the industry as manufacturers scramble among themselves to come up with an enticing fully electric (sometimes, even automated) racing touring car for the tracks.

The Cupra e-Racer is based on the Cupra Leon TCR touring car, and is expected to headline a new E TCR category. The Cupra e-Racer can produce 400 horsepower that will peak at 670 horsepower.

The Cupra brand is new, so that e-Racer will probably act as the best vehicle the Spanish automaker can come up with now. It is expected that the brand will take over SEAT’s entire motorsport and racing division, given that it has done a fantastic job in the last touring car it produced and developed.

SEAT’s motorsport and racing division is originally under the SEAT Sport brand. If you are still unsure how SEAT wants to market its Cupra brand, or what it plans for it, you better take a look at what it tweeted earlier: “It didn’t come here to play games. It’s coming strong. And coming to stay. Discover CUPRA’s launch at https://t.co/RW2yM88LCi pic.twitter.com/F1vfqrByqi.”

cupre e-racer 1

 

2020 VW Golf Gets Powerful GTI And Golf R, But No e-Golf

volkswagen golf

Are you waiting for the next-generation Volkswagen Golf? The eighth-generation model will most likely make its grand debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next year, but we now have emerging details on what we would most probably see when the launch arrives.

According to a report by Auto Express, the VW Golf will spawn two powerful models—the GTI and the Golf R, in addition to a plug-in hybrid model that we will know more details about in the coming weeks. The problem? Those who are expecting we’ll finally see an electrified version of the Golf will be disappointed. It appears from the report that plans for e-Golf have been shelved, at least for now.

The Golf’s performance-oriented models, the GTI and the Golf R, on the other hand, will get more powerful in the next-generation versions. Both models will get boost in power for a total of 250 horsepower for the GTI and 350 horsepower for the Golf R.

In terms of competition, the boost in power will put the GTI at the same level as that of the Ford Focus ST and the Subaru WRX while the Golf R can compete with the likes of Ford Focus RS. It will also be a lot closer in specs with the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and the GLA45 models.

e-Golf Plans Gone, Gone, Gone

The unfortunate thing is that plans for the e-Golf, which Volkswagen previously boasted would have a 186-mile range, have been shelved for now. The electrified version of the Golf is not included in this eighth-gen iteration of the model. According to reports, e-Golf fell victim to VW’s focus on the I.D. line, particularly the I.D. hatchback, which will arrive possibly in 2021 after the new Golf for Europe has been released.

That hatchback, VW said, would deliver 373-mile maximum range for Europe. In the United States, the first I.D. would be the production version of the I.D. Crozz in 2020, followed by the I.D. Buzz van in 2022.

What we can expect now is that the current-generation e-Golf would stay until the I.D. makes its debut.

Top 5 Things About the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Lineup

volkswagen golf

The Volkswagen Golf range just got a series of updates for its 2018 models. There were some noticeable visual changes in the car and popping up the hood of some of its models will reveal upgrades in the engine department.

The Golf is one of the resilient models of the Volkswagen brand. The car has been around since 1974. The auto is currently in its seventh generation.

The present generation of the VW Golf was introduced in 2012. However, its maker introduced gradual updates in its look and performance along the way to keep it fresh during its production cycle.

Here are the major changes in the VW Golf based on TopSpeed:

1. Volkswagen Golf Hatch

The VW Golf hatchback is receiving a 1.8-liter turbo engine. It produces 170 hp mated to a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed DSG. The car is available in S and SE trims. The S is equipped with “Lyon” alloy wheels. Going for the SE gets you a set of full LED lights, fog lioghts, panoramic tilting sunroof and 16-inch “Toronto” wheels.

2. Volkswagen Golf Wagon

The wagon variants are available in S, SE and SEL trims. The SE and SEL each takes an 8-inch touchscreen. All the wagons get LED DRLs, automatic headlamps and a new shade of green in the finish.

3. Volkswagen Golf GTI

The GTI is offered with a 2.0-liter engine. It gets a 10 hp bump compared to its predecessor, which brings its output up to 220 hp. The power of the car is distributed via a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG.

The vehicle is sold in three trims namely the S, SE and Autobahn. The upgrades in the Performance Package are available in the SE and Autobahn as a standard fit plus safety features like the VAQ Electronic Limited Slip Differential, auto emergency braking and forward collision warning. The Autobahn is also fitted with High beam Control, Lane departure Warning, updated maneuver braking and others.

4. Volkswagen Golf R

The range-topping Golf R packs a 2.0-liter engine with 292 hp paired with either a seven-speed DSG or six-speed manual. Included in the trim are 19-inch “Englishtown” aluminum alloy wheels, DCC Adaptive Cruise Control and 8-inch infotainment system with the brand’s Digital Cockpit.

5. Pricing

The starting prices of the Golf models are:

  • $21,760 for the Hatch.
  • $22,535 for the SportWagen.
  • $26,845 for the Alltrack.
  • $27,265 for the GTI.
  • $40,635 for the R.

The Next Volkswagen Beetle is Going Electric

volkswagen beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle is proposed to get an electric power. The next generation of the car will most likely run on the new MEB (Modular Electric Baukasten) platform of the automaker.

According to Autocar, the electric Beetle is planned to serve as a sister model to the latest Microbus, which came out as the ID Buzz concept at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. The Beetle is one of the number of cars that will be presented to the VW board when they will have a vote on the company’s initial range of electric vehicles.

Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said that the decision of the board will be based on what kind of “emotional concepts” they need. He explained that “emotional concepts” will include autos like the Microbus, Beetle, Kubelwagen and Buggy. He cleared out that there is no firm decision on the subject yet though.

Further into the interview, the VW exec hinted that they are favoring the Beetle. He stated that if they are going for an electric Beetle, it would be better than its latest model. Instead of its modern design, it would get back to its roots and it will have a rear-wheel drive.

Deiss pointed out that their MEB platform is planned to  support up to 15 new electric-powered models. Five of them will be marketed under the VW name.

The rear-wheel drive setup for an EV was previewed under the Volkswagen ID hatchback concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The concept was equipped with one electric motor mounted on the rear axle. The output of the auto was 168 bhp.

Although this is not yet conclusive, it definitely gives us something to look forward to. Getting back the retro Beetle design is a cool direction, especially for the die-hard fans of the classic VW.

Volkswagen Gives Light Updates To The 2018 Golf SV

vw golf sv (1)

It is supposed to make its official debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next month, but Volkswagen has finally revealed some details on the “light updates” that the Golf SV is scheduled to receive.

The Golf range has been recently revised, so it’s only a matter of time before the Golf SV follows suit.

The exterior received subtle adjustments such as revised bumpers on the front and rear, a tweaked grille, and LED headlights on the top trims and LED taillights. If you are looking for a new color, you’ll be happy to know that a new Cranberry Red paint is now available. There is also a range of alloy wheels that you can choose from to complete the overall look of the Golf SV.

Once you’re inside, you’ll be comfortable with new fabrics and materials, as well as the new Discover Pro navigation system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen displays featuring capacitive touch buttons on the side and new a whole new tech—gesture control and increased smartphone connectivity.

vw golf sv (2)

The new safety tech is also available for the Golf SV, and rightfully so because VW enthusiasts have been demanding for it. The safety technology currently in place in the Golf SV are the Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. Prospective buyers can also expect to see the Traffic Jam Assist and an updated Park Assist System and Trailer Assist. The Traffic Jam Assist, in particular, is a low-speed adaptive cruise control that can work up to 37mph.

Volkswagen has yet to reveal details on its engine specifications, but earlier reports point to the possibility of the SV featuring three TSI petrols and two diesel engines. These would most likely be upgraded to improve efficiency.

Pricing and release date for the UK market will be released later this year.

 

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Drops Entry-Level Price To $22,860

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Since Volkswagen released its premium crossover called the Tiguan, many have criticized it because it’s prices higher than most of its competitors and contemporaries. The German automaker announced, however, that a Limited model of the Volkswagen Tiguan will be selling for $22,860.

The Limited model is based on the previous-generation Tiguan, but will sell alongside the 2018 Tiguan that uses the MQB architecture. The 2017 Tiguan S, which was the base model, has a starting selling price of $25,860 while the new 2018 Tiguan has an even higher price tag of $26,245.

Though the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited has very basic features, it more than make up for the lower price. The 2017 Tiguan Limited model has 16-inch steel wheels, halogen headlights, 5-inch touchscreen display, rearview camera, Bluetooth, and cloth seats.

If you are not contented with these, you can upgrade it with a Premium package for $1,295. They’ll get a 6.33-inch touchscreen, VW Car-Net connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an HD radio. It also has leather steering wheel, keyless access with push-button start, roof rails, and cruise control.

Do you want a 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels? That would cost $495 more.

There is enough power to entice buyers to shell out their money for the 2017 Tiguan Limited. Power is sourced from a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine that can produce 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. All the models will be paired with a six-speed transmission (the 2018 model offers an eight-speed transmission).

You should be happy to know that this new-ish model grew 10.6 inches in length and 7.3 inches in wheelbase, meaning an increased cargo space and second-row legroom. The 2018 model is much better with an improved cargo space, thanks to a third-row level.

Finishing these all up is the choice of either a front- or an all-wheel drive. This model, an alternative to the pricier Tiguan variant, will arrive soon in dealerships.

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