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Volkswagen to introduce five new electric models

The carmaker is aiming for a leadership position in the EV market and plans to sell a million electric cars by 2025.

Volkswagen looks all set to shift its attention to electric vehicles as it plans to roll out as many as five battery-powered models in the coming years. Its I.D concept was revealed in the 2016 Paris Motor Show but the production version is likely to be launched in 2020. The electric cars will be based on the company's new MEB platform.

The I.D concept, nicknamed e-Golf, is equipped with a 125kW electric motor and will be able to accelerate from 0-100kph in less than 8.0sec. It is likely to have a range of 400-600km.

The e-Golf is expected to be followed by the I.D Cross. Its concept was previewed at the Shanghai motor show this year and had two electric motors powered by a 83kWh lithium-ion battery. The all-wheel-drive concept had a combined output of 225kW and a range up to 500km.

The next in line are the I.D. AEROe sedan and the I.D. Lounge crossover. Volkswagen is also planning to bring in a production version of its I.D Buzz concept, which is powered by dual electric motors with a combined output of 275kW and a 0-100kph time of just 5.0sec.

VW has vowed to deliver its electric-powered cars for prices similar to combustion engine cars. At a time when the global market for EVs is expected to grow, VW is preparing itself to lock horns with the likes of Tesla's Model 3 and GM's Chevrolet Bolt. The company plans to sell a million electric cars by 2025.

Courtesy : Autocar

Jun 26, 2017
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Second Hyundai N Performance model reveal in 2018

The all-new N model could be based on the Hyundai RN30 concept.

Hyundai has announced that it is all set to introduce the second Hyundai N Performance model in 2018, following the debut of the i30N later this year. The news has been confirmed by Albert Biermann, head of the firm's vehicle testing and high-performance development.

No details have been released, but Hyundai previously hinted at the prospect of a four-wheel-drive Ford Focus RS rival with its 380hp, RN30 concept of 2016.

Joonhong Park, the head of Hyundai's high-performance vehicle development centre, explained that N would only cherry-pick the most appropriate models from the Hyundai range. "There is no plan to have an N model for every Hyundai," he said, [although] we have a road map for the next few years to come."

The division is not currently planning on integrating its hybrid, full electric and fuel-cell powertrain technologies into a performance mode with Park commenting, "Right now, there's no plan to bring that tech to N." He however said the brand was open to a shift if the market trend demanded it.

Courtesy : Autocar

Jun 24, 2017
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Google set to retire the Firefly

The face of Google's self-driving technology to be replaced by more advanced Chrysler Pacifica minivans

The Firefly, Google's autonomous driving prototype, seems to have reached the end of its journey with Google all set to retire the model to put more emphasis on Chrysler Pacifica minivans instead.

The news has already been confirmed by Waymo lead systems engineer Jaime Waydo and lead industrial designer YooJung Ahn. Waymo believes that this move will increase access to the autonomous driving technology for more people in lesser time. In a statement released by Waymo, it has been said, "By focusing on mass-produced vehicles like the Pacifica minivan, we'll be able to bring fully self-driving technology to more people, more quickly."

The Chrysler Pacifica minivans are equipped with newer sensors and technology that will enable them to see a greater distance with increased clarity. Besides being more comfortable to travel in, the minivans are not limited to a meagre 40km/h speed like the Firefly. The minivans are being developed in a manner that will allow them to be commercially mass-produced very soon by major carmakers.

Despite the success of the Firefly as the pilot project for its autonomous driving technology, it is understood Google hadn't intended to mass produce the model. It was developed primarily as a research vehicle that successfully made 'self-driving' a reality for the first time.

Courtesy : Autocar

Jun 19, 2017
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Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus revealed

V10 Plus drop-top R8 to be the last variant of the second-gen R8; V10 develops 610hp and 560Nm of torque.

Audi has revealed the R8 Spyder V10 Plus as the final addition to its R8 supercar range. Set to go on sale internationally in the coming months, the Plus has around 70hp and 20Nm more than the standard R8 Spyder V10, giving it a total of 610hp and 560Nm of torque.

It's also 25kg lighter, thanks to the use of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics on its interior and exterior. This means the Plus weighs 1,587kg, which is 167kg more than the Lamborghini Huracán Spyder and 83kg less than the Porsche 911 Turbo.

The Plus's increased power and decreased weight equate a 0.3sec improvement to 0-100kph time and a 10kph increase in top speed over the regular V10 Spyder, at 3.3sec and 332kph.

The Plus is marked out by carbon fibre trim across the exterior in place of the standard car's gloss black trim. Its trapezoidal exhausts are also split into four separate pipes, in place of two larger, undivided pipes. The Plus also gets standard bucket seats and ceramic brakes.

Audi confirmed that no further variants on the R8 will be added to the range after the R8 Spyder V10 Plus, quelling speculation of a lightweight variant akin to the Huracán Performante.

The second-gen R8 is currently available in India only as the R8 V10 Plus Coupe though the automaker could expand the line-up to include the drop-top models at a later stage.

Courtesy: Autocar

Jun 17, 2017
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New 2018 Volkswagen Polo revealed

Underpinned by VW’s MQB A0 platform, the new Polo is larger and more sophisticated than its predecessor.

Volkswagen has unveiled the new sixth-generation Polo at a media reception held at its Wolfsburg headquarters in Germany. The all-new hatchback is an outwardly larger, significantly roomier and more technically sophisticated model than today’s eight-year-old car.

Set to make its public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, the new Polo will be produced in five-door hatchback form only, with buyers offered the choice of up to six engines – the most powerful being a range-topping 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol unit good for 200hp powering the GTi model.

Based around the German carmaker’s MQB A0 platform – the old car was underpinned by VW’s PQ25 platform, the new Volkswagen has grown quite significantly. Measuring in at 4,053mm in length, 1,7511mm in width and 1,446mm in height, it is 81mm longer, 63mm wider and 7mm lower than its predecessor. The wheelbase too is now 94mm longer at 2,564mm.

Despite being immediately recognisable as a Volkswagen, VW designers have incorporated a number of new design elements on the new car, including a distinctive swage line graphic that provides additional structure to the bodywork in an area above the door handles.

The new Polo will be sold in six different trim lines. Included are the familiar Trendline, Comfortline and Highline trims, a special Beats edition with an upgraded sound system and an R-line trim featuring re-profiled bumpers, standard 16-inch alloy wheels and darkened exterior elements among other unique touches.

At the top of the line-up is the GTi. It receives a number of traditional cues, including uniquely-styled bumpers, a honeycomb grille insert, red highlights within the headlamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler atop the tailgate, LED tail lamps and dual-chromed tailpipes.

The decision to dispense with the three-door bodystyle, which has traditionally accounted for over 30 per cent of worldwide sales, comes on the back of slowing sales and follows similar moves from rival automakers.  

The increase in external dimensions combines with the improved packaging offered by the new MQB A0 platform to provide the new Polo with a larger interior boasting a claimed 15mm increase in headroom up front and 30mm increase in headroom in the rear. Volkswagen also quotes a significant 71-litre improvement in luggage capacity at 351 litres.

The interior has been thoroughly redesigned, with a newly styled dashboard featuring a new steering wheel and more contemporary switchgear at the centre of the changes. Analogue instruments remain standard, though Volkswagen’s Active Info Display digital instruments along with a wide number of connectivity functions, including a wireless smartphone charging pad and keyless access are offered as options.

Volkswagen has confirmed that the 2017 model year Polo will be sold with the choice of four petrol engines and a sole diesel one in varying states of tune, although not all will be available at the time of launch. Each receives a standard stop/start function and brake energy recuperation for improved efficiency.

Gearboxes include either a standard five- or six-speed manual, with a seven-speed dual clutch unit available as an option in combination with the more powerful engines on offer. Despite developing the smaller version of the MQB platform to accept four-wheel drive, Volkswagen says the sixth-generation Polo models will be sold exclusively with front-wheel drive.

Among the petrol engines is a naturally-aspirated, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder multi-point injected unit offered in two states of tune – 65hp or 75hp. It is joined from the outset by a more sophisticated turbocharged 1.0-litre, three-cylinder direct-injection engine developing either 95hp or 115hp.

Further up is a new 1.5 TSI running Volkswagen’s newly developed turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine with 150hp.

Topping the line-up is the new GTI. It eschews the turbocharged 1.8-litre, four-cylinder direct injection engine of its predecessor for a larger turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine which bumps up power by about 8hp to 200hp.

On the diesel front, Volkswagen will launch the new Polo with just one engine option – a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit delivering either 81hp or 96hp.

Also available in selected markets will be a natural-gas-propelled 1.0 TGI model running a specially adapted version of Volkswagen’s turbocharged 1.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine developing 90hp.

The all-new Polo will go on sale internationally by the end of the year with production expected to start shortly. For India, Volkswagen recently signed an MoU with Tata Motors to use the latter’s AMP platform to develop models for the country. So, while a Polo replacement could be on the cards, it is yet unknown if VW will bring in a reengineered version of the all-new international model shown here or launch an indigenously developed alternative.

Courtesy: Autocar

Jun 17, 2017
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