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Volkswagen accused of cheating on US emission tests.

Volkswagen AG chief apologises; external investigation ordered.
Volkswagen and Audi could be fined an amount of USD 18 billion; USD 37,500 per car, for  cheating emission regulation tests by the Environmental Protective Agency(EPA) in the United States. The German firm used a software on an estimated 48,200 of its diesel cars for tricking official emission tests. This 'defeat device' installed could detect when the cars were undergoing EPA tests, and turn on the all the emission control systems of the vehicles, making them emissions compliant. The emission controls were switched off in real-world driving conditions, resulting in emissions up to 40 times the compliance standards. The cheat software was found on the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engines on the US Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, Beetle, the 2014-15 Passat and the Audi A3(2009-2015 models).

According to the EPA, the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide. The agency has held the company liable for civil penalties and alleged violations. But despite the accusations, the cars are legal to sell and drive. The Volkswagen Group, however, will issue a recall on 5,00,000 cars as per the orders of US regulators. Sales of the latest Volkswagen and Audi models equipped with the four-cylinder diesel engine will also be put on hold.  

VW boss Martin Winterkorn has issued an apology for breaking the trust of its customers and the public."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. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter. We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law. The trust of our customers and the public is and continues to be our most important asset," said Winterkorn.

The above mentioned VW cars were limited to distribution only in the USA. The vehicles produced and sold in other countries are yet to be tested for the software. 

Courtesy : Autocar

Sep 22, 2015
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Harley-Davidson 2016 line-up prices revealed

The updated H-D line-up features five models; prices start at Rs 4.52 lakh.
Harley-Davidson has announced updated versions of three of its Dark Custom motorcycles – the Iron 883, Forty-Eight, and Street 750. In addition, the American manufacturer’s new line-up will feature a broad range of performance and styling enhancements across the range. The company has also confirmed the return of the Road King.

Updates on the new Iron 883 include an all-new front suspension and an adjustable rear suspension, lighter mag wheels and improved seating. The Forty-Eight gets new mag wheels, a larger front end with 49mm forks, a new adjustable rear suspension and seating. The new Street 750 model is equipped with new front and rear braking systems.

Previously only seen on H-D touring bikes, the High Output Twin Cam 103 engines will now be available on all Softail motorcycles – the Fat Boy, Heritage Softail Classic, and Breakout. The Heritage Softail Classic also receives refreshed styling for 2016.

All 2016 Sportster models will feature all-new front and rear suspension which pair emulsion coil-over shocks with new front cartridge forks, and new seats.

Speaking about the new line-up, Pallavi Singh, director (Marketing), Harley-Davidson India said, This is another historic year for Harley-Davidson. We’re raising the bar on Dark Custom motorcycles with the new Iron 883, Forty-Eight and Street 750, the purest expression of the design. And we’re extending our lead in touring with the return of the Road King and redesign of the popular Heritage Softail Classic.”

The prices for the update versions are as follows:

Street 750 - INR 4,52,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Iron 883 - INR 7,37,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Forty-Eight - INR 9,12,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Heritage Softail Classic - INR 16,60,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Road King - INR 25,00,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Courtesy : Autocar

Sep 22, 2015
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Mini plan to introduce larger models in its portfolio.

With an SUV-shaped replacement for the current Countryman already in development, the Clubman will not be the biggest Mini in the lineup.
It's already known that Mini is working on a replacement for the current Countryman, which is planned to take the form of an ‘authentic’ SUV. Although the original Countryman, launched in 2010, it quickly accounted for more than a third of Mini sales. The second-generation Countryman is expected to be more rugged than the current model, taking some cues from the Mini X-Raid, which has won the Dakar Rally four times since 2012. It will be based on the same UKL architecture as the Clubman making it significantly spacious. It’s expected to be just over 150mm longer and at least 10mm wider than the current Countryman.

There is also, a new Clubman in the works which is 158mm longer, 10mm wider and 119mm lower than the existing Countryman. A Mini Traveller MPV (essentially a sister car to the BMW 2 Series) has also been developed as a possible new model line.

Facts have drawn ire from traditional fans of the marque, who argue that the growth in size is not in keeping with its brand values, but according to Mini’s senior vice president Sebastian Mackensen, “Sometimes in life you get used to something and then it moves on. Habit can be hard to challenge, but when you get used to the new thing you can often see new benefits as you adapt.”

Courtesy : Autocar

Sep 22, 2015
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Exclusive: get ready for a smaller, V6-engined Ferrari.

‘New Dino’ will slot below 488 in the Maranello line-up, Paul Horrell reveals
Ferrari engineers have been talking about a smaller V6 turbo mid-engined car. The new Dino if you like (the gorgeous original is in the second image, above).

The new V8 engine in the 488 GTB and Spider is so powerful that there’s space for a car underneath - roughly the price of a California T.

CEO Amedeo Felisa is talking about the improved CO2 form going to turbos. But what about a V6 to reduce CO2, TopGear asks him? “For sure, over time we can reduce emissions by downsizing the displacement. There is probably a V6 in our future.” So would it be a smaller car? “You wouldn’t do a bigger one with a V6,” he smiles.

A hacked-about shortened engineering test car has been spotted around Ferrari’s Maranello HQ and tearing up the roads nearby, making a V6-ish noise.

An engineer told Top Gear that the V6 car isn’t a definite yet because there are challenges. The aim is for 200bhp per litre. That means 580bhp-odd from a V6 of 2.9 litres or so. But that puts huge stress on the engine components and it’s not ready yet. The new engine is derived from the 3.9-litre V8 of the 488. It’s very unusual to have a V6 with a flat-plane crank, but we’re told Ferrari might go that route, which would make a most strange noise.

A more compact engine and careful packaging of the two people and their bags would mean, we’re told, that the car could be usefully smaller and crucially lighter. “We are thinking about 1000kg but of course we will not get there,” says an engineer.

With less weight and fewer cylinders, the fuel and CO2 savings really kick in. But actually it’s a myth that Ferrari is forced into fleet average fuel economy targets in Europe or the US. “We get exemptions because they realise we are a drop in the ocean,” says Felisa. But it is always good to show willing.

Ferrari keeps improving the fuel consumption and CO2 of its range, and Felisa says that they don’t need hybrids for at least five years. The V12 hybrid LaFerrari is an exercise too hard and expensive to repeat at bigger scale.

So a petrol-only, V6, mid-engined, compact, lightweight Ferrari. Excited, much?

Courtesy : Top Gear

Sep 21, 2015
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Tata Motors records high sales on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Tata Motors expects a sharp incline in sales during the festive season.
Tata Motors has claimed total sales of 1,100 cars on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, which fell on September 17, considered an auspicious day for buying vehicles. The sales figure was collectively recorded for the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Over 700 cars were bought in Maharashtra and about 400 in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat. Ashesh Dhar, National Sales Head, Passenger Vehicles Business, Tata Motors said, "The festive season exudes enthusiasm, excitement, anticipation, and energy. With the Zest, Bolt and the GenX Nano witnessing growing momentum in the market, we yet again, confidently testify the value and trust we offer to our customers."

Keeping in mind the response seen during the festive season, Tata Motors has prepped itself to achieve deliveries and meet customer demands for all its passenger vehicles.

Courtesy : Autocar

Sep 21, 2015
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