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2020 Virtual Geneva Motor Show Editors' Picks

Fri, Mar 6 2020

There may not have been an actual Geneva Motor Show this year, but there were still loads of car reveals that happened the week that the show would have happened. So we still wanted to highlight what our favorites of the would-be show. Our list of cars seemed to match the theme of the reveals, too, highlighting over-the-top supercars and forward thinking electric vehicles. Scroll down to see our favorites. Fifth Place: Aston Martin V12 Speedster - 21 points Managing Editor, Greg Rasa: Astons are works of art, and this one's ready for the Louvre. The design nods to Aston history are nifty. It looks like a jet fighter, except those have canopies. Not sure what 186 mph would be like in this, but don't try it in summer when there are bugs. Contributing Editor, Joe Lorio: Admittedly, this one is a little silly. A $950,000 sports car with no roof? A 700-hp two-seater with no windshield? But the offerings at the Geneva auto show have always tilted toward absurdity, and Astons V12 Speedster is endearingly outrageous as a fighter plane for the street. Third Place (Tie): Volkswagen ID.4 - 26 points Senior Producer, Chris McGraw: I don't have much to say about this other than I am a huge fan of more EVs coming to the market, which is why two-thirds of my picks are electric, including the ID.4. Producer, Alex Malberg: Any new fully-electric crossover is a vote for me. The fact it doesn't look terrible and VW will be including AWD later are bonuses.  Third Place (Tie): Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio GTA - 26 points Road Test Editor, Zac Palmer: Hard to argue with the logic of this one. The Giulia Quadrifoglio is already the best driver in this class of hot sedans, so why not extend the lead with a special model. That wing is Type R levels of high, and I completely approve. Associate Editor, Byron Hurd: Love this car. Love it, love it, love it. It's beautiful, aggressive and fast. I'd take it over an M3 or C63 any day. As cool as the GTAm is, though, I'd rather stick to the four-seat GTA. Something about a four-door car with two seats just doesn't really work for me. I haven't alienated ALL of my friends quite yet. Second Place: Hyundai Prophecy - 35 points Senior Editor, Green, John Snyder: I get whiffs of the Genesis Coupe from this sleek concept. I like the focus on form, with interesting details to discover if you look for them. West Coast Editor, James Riswick: Does it look like a Porsche? Sure, but Porsches look neat.

Take a listen to the Volkswagen ID 3 and Koenigsegg Jesko

Sun, Dec 15 2019

What could better demonstrate our diametric vehicular future than sound clips of the Volkswagen ID 3 and the Koenigsegg Jesko? Battery-electric vehicles don't make enough noise on their own, so VW partnered with composer Leslie Mandoki for the legally-mandated Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) that warns pedestrians and cyclists of the EV's presence. Mandoki a German-Hungarian who once played drums in a Euro disco band called Dschinghis Khan — was asked to come up with a sound for the ID 3 that VW said "defines its identity," "radiates safety and the promise of effortless mobility," and that "must also impress with its unique character." The definition of the ID 3's single-motor, 201-horsepower character is this: Occupants and people around the hatch can hear the sound as the car accelerates to 18.6 mph, and when reversing. At higher speeds, the sound of wind resistance and tire noise takes over. As our library of AVAS tones grows, it's clear that EVs will provide a soundscape as varied as that of internal combustion engines. Here, for instance, is the industrial thrum used as the Karma Revero GT's pedestrian warning: And here is the sci-fi soaring from the BMW Vision M Next, as composed by Hans Zimmer: At the other end of the aural chamber, we have the Koenigsegg Jesko. In this case, the composer is a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 running on a bio-ethanol E85 blend that's almost suitable for IndyCar, powering the engine up to 1,600 horsepower. Output on pump gas will be 'only' 1,281 hp. The Swedish automaker released a clip of the exhaust note of a car in progress inside the Angelhom factory. Here's what we can look forward to: This content is hosted by a third party. To view it, please update your privacy preferences. Manage Settings. All these sounds have a place at the table, even if we'd prefer Karma booked some time with a producer and an Autotune session. To paraphrase Sesame Street, though, one of these sounds is definitely not like the other.

Volkswagen profit jumps as it warns of a cooling auto market

Wed, Oct 30 2019

FRANKFURT, Germany Volkswagen says its profits jumped 44% in the third quarter thanks to a more profitable mix of vehicles in its lineup but warned that global car markets are slowing more than expected and lowered its forecast for annual sales. After-tax profit rose to $4.42 billion (3.98 billion euros) as revenues rose 11% to $68.27 billion (61.42 billion euros). The sales margin of 7.8% exceeded the goal of 6.5-7.5% as vehicles bringing higher profits took a larger share of sales. The Wolfsburg-based automaker pointed to the headwinds facing the industry by saying that it expects "vehicle markets will contract faster than previously anticipated in many regions of the world." It said sales would be "on a level" with last year's record of 10.8 million vehicles. Previously it had expected a slight increase. The company said its profits would be in the lower end of its forecast range. Global automakers are facing a slowdown in sales amid disputes over trade and from pressure in the European Union and China to develop and sell low-emission vehicles that require heavy investment in new technology. Ford and Renault have issued profit warnings in recent days, while Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars, lost money in the second quarter and is expected to outline a cost-cutting strategy for investors on Nov. 14. Volkswagen is leading the push into electric vehicles in Europe by launching its ID.3 battery-powered compact car at prices it says will make zero local emission vehicles a mass phenomenon. The company was able to increase earnings in the quarter despite an 18% rise in spending on research and development.

VW and partner SAIC start building $2.5B Audi plant in China

Fri, Oct 19 2018

BEIJING Volkswagen AG's China joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp has started building a $2.5 billion new energy vehicle (NEV) plant in Shanghai, which will make VW's luxury Audi brand cars, a possible first for the venture. The new plant is a key step for Audi to diversify production of its cars in the world's largest car market from its long-standing local partner, China FAW Group Corp. This shift has been delayed amid resistance from local dealers. SAIC Volkswagen said the new plant would have an annual capacity to make 300,000 cars and begin production from 2020. Audi sold 481,387 vehicles in China from January to September this year. The announcement comes the same week Tesla secured a Shanghai location for a Gigafactory battery plant to serve the Chinese market. Audi unveiled the plan to bolster ties with SAIC in late 2016. Earlier this year, the Germany luxury carmaker bought a 1 percent stake in the SAIC Volkswagen venture, paving the way for the joint venture to produce and sell Audi cars. Volkswagen currently gets a larger proportion of the proceeds from the 50-50 tie-up with SAIC than from its 40 percent stake in the venture with FAW. SAIC Volkswagen said in a statement on Friday the plant would cost 17 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) and would make VW and Skoda models as well as Audi cars. It will help VW tap China's fast-growing market for NEVs, a category comprising electric battery cars and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. ($1 = 6.9314 Chinese yuan renminbi) Reporting by Yilei Sun and Adam JourdanRelated Video: Image Credit: Reuters Green Plants/Manufacturing Audi Volkswagen Skoda Electric Hybrid

VW offers to buy back new diesels if bans introduced

Thu, Mar 29 2018

By Maria Sheahan FRANKFURT, Germany Volkswagen will buy back new diesel cars if German cities ban them, it said on Thursday, seeking to reassure potential buyers and stem a plunge in sales of diesel vehicles. Europe's biggest automaker also said it would extend incentives for buyers of new diesel cars. The moves come after a German court ruled last month that cities in the country could ban the most polluting diesel vehicles from their streets. Many German cities exceed European Union limits on atmospheric nitrogen oxide, known to cause respiratory diseases. Fears of bans have led to a plunge in demand for diesel vehicles, which are also key to carmakers' attempts to meet new EU rules on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. While diesel cars are heavily criticized for emitting nitrogen oxide, they spew out less CO2 than gasoline equivalents. Diesel car sales plunged 19 percent in Germany last month. At its core VW brand, Volkswagen said its buyback offer applied to new diesels bought between April 1 and the end of 2018 and would kick in if the city in which the buyer lived or worked banned diesels within three years of the purchase. It said its dealerships would buy back diesel vehicles affected by bans at their current value if their owners at the same time bought a new vehicle that was not affected by cities' driving restrictions. At Czech brand Skoda, the guarantee applies to cars bought between April 1 and the end of June, but will cover bans introduced within four years of the purchase date. At premium brand Audi, the offer only covers leased vehicles. Volkswagen also said it was extending to the end of June incentives for customers trading in older diesels for new ones. Fellow German carmaker BMW said earlier this month it would offer to take back leased vehicles if diesels were banned within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the operator's home or place of work. There has been a global backlash against diesel-engine cars since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. exhaust tests. But Germany's government is seeking to avoid widespread bans on heavily polluting diesel vehicles, which companies say could cut the resale value of up to 15 million vehicles in Europe's biggest car market. In Germany, where motorists expect to drive powerful cars on motorways with no speed limits, any restrictions will be unpopular.

Volkswagen feuds with thriving stablemate Skoda

Wed, Oct 4 2017

BERLIN, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Volkswagen managers and unions are seeking to curb competition from lower-cost stablemate Skoda, move some of its production to Germany and make the Czech brand pay more for shared technology, company sources told Reuters. As VW struggles to cut jobs and spending at German factories and turn the page on dieselgate, Skoda's superior car reviews and profitability have intensified the brands' rivalry within the Volkswagen empire. VW now wants to reduce what it sees as Skoda's unfair advantages - combining German technology with cheaper labor - and reaffirm the top-selling brand's primacy ahead of a wave of new electric car launches, the sources said. The tussle between VW and Skoda is reviving tensions at the heart of the Volkswagen group between profits and jobs, and between central control and autonomy for its 12 vehicle brands. "Instead of devoting our efforts to beating Tesla, we may just be setting up a futile internal conflict," said one manager. Once the butt of jokes, Skoda has blossomed under 26 years of VW group ownership into a successful mid-market carmaker, steadily winning business from rivals - including VW - and surpassing even Audi's operating profit margin last year. At the same time, VW is facing thousands of job cuts as management moves to trim excess capacity at German factories. Its powerful domestic unions see Skoda's success as both a threat and a potential lifeline. VW workers' representatives are now demanding the transfer of some Skoda production to their underused German plants, a source close to the supervisory board told Reuters. The proposal aims to offset declining output of the VW Passat and aging Golf that could otherwise threaten more jobs. They are also making the case that Skoda should pay higher royalties to use VW's main common vehicle platform. The so-called MQB architecture also underpins mid-sized models from the group's Audi and SEAT brands. Responding to the news, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said he would meet Skoda management and unions to ask for clarification. The government will seek to ensure that VW investment plans are followed through and that "production is not moved outside the country," a statement released by Sobotka's office said. Skoda's main union warned that a production shift could cost as many as 2,000 jobs. VW's works council declined to comment.

Skoda's next concept is a 300-mile electric SUV

Wed, Mar 29 2017

If you thought Volkswagen wasn't serious about electric vehicles, think again. Its subsidiary Skoda will reveal an electric SUV concept called the Vision E at the Shanghai auto show in a few weeks. Not only is it the fourth all-electric concept shown by the VW group (following the I.D., I.D. Buzz, and Sedric), but it previews the electrified future of Skoda, which announced that it will have five pure EVs in its lineup by 2025. The Vision E is just as impressive as the company's electric ambitions, too. It boasts a roughly 310-mile range on a charge, and packs a motor that makes about 300 horsepower. The car will be capable of level 3 autonomy, which will allow it to operate autonomously on highways, in stop-and-go traffic, and to find parking spaces. Its top speed isn't amazing at around 111 mph, but it isn't a sports car. Rather, it's an "SUV coupe" similar to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. As such it has a more sedan-like back. The styling is also unique with full-width headlights and foglights, and another lighting element that extends from the front fender down the doors. The only obviously Skoda styling cue is the bulge down the center of the hood. The Vision E is also similar to the X6 and GLC Coupe in other ways. Its specs are quite close to those crossovers, particularly the Mercedes. It's a few inches shorter than the GLC Coupe, but it's an inch wider. It also makes the same amount of horsepower as the entry-level X6 and outguns the Mercedes by an impressive 59 horsepower. Of course, these are figures currently only projected and hypothetical since the Vision E is a concept, but it helps us get an idea of what this vehicle is like. So far, Skoda has only released sketches of the concept. We'll have to wait until the Shanghai show to see the real thing. Related Video:

Volkswagen completes design work on new EV platform

Tue, Jan 10 2017

Volkswagen has completed the design work for its modular, MEB platform that's geared specifically for electric-vehicle production, Automotive News Europe says, citing comments Volkswagen development head Frank Welsch made at CES in Las Vegas last week. Additionally, VW's Skoda and Seat divisions may use that platform for their own plug-in vehicle models. VW's Audi division is also considering employing the platform, though adoption by Volkswagen's Porsche unit is unlikely. VW expects to start selling its first model specifically designed as an EV (i.e., not converted from existing conventional models such as the Golf and Up!) by 2020. Welsch added that the MEB platform may be used as a base for updated electrified versions of Golf, Tiguan, and Passat. Meanwhile, Skoda will debut as many as five plug-in models by 2025. Europe's largest automaker is looking to further distance itself from the 2015 scandal that involved software that cheats diesel-emissions testing efforts and has cost the company more than $15 billion in US settlements alone. All told, VW and its divisions expect to debut as many as 30 plug-in vehicle models within the next decade. Volkswagen unveiled its I.D. concept vehicle, which is based on the MEB platform and looks somewhat like the BMW i3 electric-vehicle model, at last year's Paris Motor Show. VW said at the time that the vehicle could go as far as 373 miles on a single charge. Additionally, VW will show off an electric SUV concept model at this year's Shanghai Auto Show, and is unveiling a microbus version of the I.D. concept at the Detroit Auto Show this month. Related Video: Featured Gallery Volkswagen I.D. Concept: Paris 2016 View 16 Photos News Source: Automotive News Europe-sub.req. Green Volkswagen SEAT Skoda Green Automakers Electric Hybrid meb

The Volkswagen Group switches official language to English

Wed, Dec 14 2016

The Volkswagen Group can't be fairly thought of as entirely German anymore, so the news that the company is switching its official language to English to help attract managers and executives is a rational, if surprising, decision. While many VW Group companies are still staidly German in character and culture, consider the other companies that it controls: Bentley (British), Bugatti (French), Ducati and Lamborghini (Italian), Skoda (Czech), Scania trucks (Swedish), and SEAT (Spanish). Not to mention the large Volkswagen Group of America operation, which constructs cars in Chattanooga, TN. Volkswagen's explicit motivation is to improve management recruitment making sure the company isn't losing out on candidates for important positions because they can't speak German – and that's inherently sensible in a globalized economy. Particularly considering, like it or lump it, that English is the lingua franca of said global economy. It also should make it inherently easier to communicate between its world-wide subsidiaries and coordinate operations. It's hard to say for sure if this will have any impact on the consumer, although it's easy to see the benefits if, say, VW Group hires some American product planners or engineers and they push for features and designs that more closely suit American needs. After all, the US is a hugely important market for any manufacturer, and so the switch to English almost certainly has something to do with the outsized influence of the US in the global economy. And there doesn't seem to be a downside from a purely rational perspective, although it could mean that the Group's corporate culture becomes less German. Whether that's a good or a bad thing depends on your perspective. Related Video: Image Credit: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images Plants/Manufacturing Audi Bentley Bugatti Porsche Volkswagen SEAT Skoda

Volkswagen Group looks to add ridesharing brand to portfolio

Fri, Sep 30 2016

Volkswagen is rapidly trying to put the ongoing diesel scandal behind it at the Paris Motor Show with the unveiling of the automaker's electric I.D. Concept. In addition to unveiling the EV, the automaker also announced that it established a yet-to-be-named subsidiary for ridesharing purposes. The new brand will be VW Group's 13th, and will add mobility services to in the form of a carpooling service, similar to that of Uber and Lyft. This will include teaming up with Gett a cab-hailing startup that operates in roughly 70 cities worldwide, which includes New York City, that was previously known as GetTaxi. Earlier this year, VW invested $300 million in the company. In addition to ridesharing, VW Group claims it is also hard at work on its own shuttle service as the brand aims to become a leader in urban mobility services by 2025. The name of the 13th brand and more information on the subsidiary will be released in November. VW Group also announced plans to give Gett drivers in Moscow, Russia "preferential terms" on a Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Jetta, Skoda Octavia, or Skoda Rapid. VW Group's 13th brand sounds similar to Mercedes-Benz's Vision Van Concept, which the automaker would allow consumers to lease and purchase the vehicle, as well as rent its services on a short-term basis. While the Vision Van Concept is a commercial vehicle that has delivery drones on the roof to aid deliveries, VW Group's shuttle service sounds more like autonomous buses to ferry people around. Now that diesels are dead, Volkswagen has quickly embraced the future, where autonomous and electric vehicles coexist. Related Video: Related Gallery Volkswagen I.D. Concept: Paris 2016 View 16 Photos News Source: Volkswagen Green Paris Motor Show Volkswagen Skoda Autonomous Vehicles Electric vw diesel scandal ridesharing 2016 paris motor show gett