Monthly Archives: January 2015

Audi: record year with over 1.74 million deliveries in 2014

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In 2014, AUDI AG clearly exceeded its goal of 1.7 million deliveries: By year-end, the company handed over around 1,741,100 cars to customers, 10.5 percent more than in 2013. The company was thus once again able to accelerate its growth pace and achieved with around 165,600 additional customers the second-highest volume increase in its history. The coveted SUV models* (+15.8%) and the A3 family* available worldwide for the first time in 2014 (+53.2%) contributed primarily to the strong sales total. In December, Audi continued to post double-digit growth and concluded the year with sales up 14.7 percent to around 150,000 units for the month.

“2014 is impressive evidence of the Audi brand’s strength,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “We accomplished a very successful record year even before the second stage of our model initiative. Meanwhile, conditions in many markets continue to be challenging.”

Best Cars 2015: Triple victory for Porsche

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Taking three first places, Porsche has cleaned up in the ‘Best Cars 2015′ readers’ poll.

A total of 112,471 readers of  the German magazine ‘auto motor sport’ voted for the best cars of the year – and made Porsche the big winner!

For the third time in succession, the 911 Carrera beat of all rivals in the ‘Sports Car’ category, polling 28.5 per cent of the vote. The winner in the ‘Cabriolet’ category is the 911 Cabrio/Targa with 12.5 per cent of the readers’ votes. The Porsche Macan took first place in the 4-wheel drive / large SUV segment, thus completing the brand’s impressive performance in ‘Best Cars 2015’.

First SUV to crack the eight-minute barrier at the Nürburgring: New Cayenne Turbo S!

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The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, just released  in Detroit, is the first SUV to crack the eight-minute barrier at the Nürburgring. Wolfgang Hatz, head of Porsche R&D says, “Our Cayenne is always very very quick. It is doing 186 mph.”

Porsche promises the Cayenne and Macan are the only SUVs it intends to make. Nor will the Macan get a V8. While Porsche’s smaller crossover will surely continue to get faster with new versions, the Cayenne will always set the standard for full-size performance SUVs.

911 GTS Club Coupe Celebrates 60 Years of PCA

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The Porsche 997 had more special editions than you could shake a stick at, and it looks like the 991 will carry on the tradition. To celebrate the first six decades of the largest Porsche club in the world, Porsche North America is putting a sexy ducktail on the 911 GTS Club Coupe and giving it a sexy color too, Club Blau.

Porsche will only build 60 GTS Club Coupes. You get the SportDesign pack as standard and 20-inch semi-gloss black Sport Classic wheels painted with polished wheel centers and rim flanges. The center compartment lid is embossed with a “60” and you even get a “GTS Club Coupe 60 Years Porsche Club of America” plaque above the glove compartment.

If 430 horsepower, the wide body, Sport Chrono Package, the ducktail and the special trim aren’t enough for you, get the available Extended Club Coupe Package with the key painted in Club Blau, a leather key pouch and leather-edged floor mats, both of course with two-tone stitching in Carmine Red and Blue.

View our current 911 inventory >>

Video: Audi Matrix LED Headlights

Audi has developed high-beam headlights that can detect other vehicles on the road and dim part of the light beam so that they don’t blind other drivers while at the same time continue to cast their full light in the areas surrounding the other vehicles. The light beams use numerous LEDs which can then be individually controlled depending on the situation. The headlights get their instructions from a computer that processes images of the road taken by an on-board camera. In addition, the Matrix LED headlights also function as a cornering light. Using predictive route data supplied by the navigation system, the focus of the beam is shifted towards the bend even before the driver turns the steering wheel. There is also a marker light that works together with the optional night vision assistant. As soon as a pedestrian is detected in front of the vehicle, individual LEDs flash briefly three times in succession to alert that person, who is then clearly visible to the driver.

The Matrix LED technology hasn’t appeared in the U.S. yet because of laws stipulating a car’s headlights must have separate high- and low-beam settings. However, Audi’s Matrix LED technology, which controls the high-beam function of the headlight, means the high-beam setting creates both high- and low-beam light. Audi, along with other automakers developing similar technology, is currently lobbying to get this rule changed.

First Drive: 2015 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

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The Luxury SUV for VW Loyalists

The 2015 Volkswagen Touareg boasts conservative yet premium styling and new tech, including adaptive cruise control, a front assist system that can slow the SUV if an obstacle is detected, and  side mirror-mounted lights that can be adjusted for brightness, all available on mid-level trims for the TDI diesel and gas-powered V-6 models and standard on the supercharged hybrid.

On the track, the 2015 Touareg TDI Executive sprinted from 0-30 mph in 2.1 seconds, on to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, about even with a 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel at 6.9 seconds (not surprising since the mechanically related Porsche and Volkswagen use the same diesel engine).

All Volkswagen Touaregs can tow up to 7,716 pounds, same as the Porsche Cayenne lineup.

Once you get moving, there’s a helpful Sport mode for the transmission that holds gears longer for a quicker getaway. All Touaregs have an eight-speed automatic. With a 26.4-gallon fuel tank and an EPA-rated 29 mpg on the highway, the 2015 Touareg TDI will last 766 miles before needing more diesel.

View our Touareg inventory >>

First look: 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid racer

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Porsche is seeking more victories in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season and has released photos of the updated car it hopes will achieve that goal.

The 2015-spec LMP1 919 features a few changes from the first-generation model. Besides revised bodywork and mechanicals, it is again powered by a 2.0-liter V4 turbo with an electric motor powering the front wheels, plus two energy recovery systems. A redesigned front end features a full-width horizontal intake, with a nose flaring back to the windshield. The sides are more complicated, with a series of fins behind the driver compartment to to help guide airflow.

According to a factory press release, “Extensive testing with the second generation of Porsche’s Le Mans prototype will begin on January 18, on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. As scheduled, this marks the start of the 2015 motorsport season for the Porsche Team. The new Porsche 919 Hybrid has already had its roll-out on the Weissach test track. As a next step, there will be several performance and endurance tests before the WEC season opener on April 12 in Silverstone, Great Britain.”

Volkswagen Group delivers over ten million vehicles for first time

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Wolfsburg / Detroit, January 11, 2015 – The Volkswagen Group achieved the first goal of its Strategy 2018 last year: “In 2014, our Group delivered over ten million vehicles in total to customers, ranging from the e-up! city car to heavy commercial vehicles. That is impressive confirmation we are vigorously implementing our Strategy 2018 despite challenging market conditions. We are also making good progress with our other main goals – return on sales, customer satisfaction and top employer”, the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, said in Detroit on Sunday. In total, 10.14 (prior year: 9.73; +4.2 percent) million vehicles were handed over to customers worldwide from January to December 2014.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 6.12 million vehicles to customers worldwide from January to December 2014. This means the brand has doubled deliveries since 2004, and topped the six-million mark for the first time.

Audi delivered 1.74 (1.58) million vehicles to customers worldwide in 2014, a substantial increase of 10.5 percent. The premium brand from Ingolstadt grew deliveries year-on-year in almost all regions.

The sports car manufacturer Porsche delivered a total of 189,800 (162,100; +17.1 percent) vehicles in the period to December. Demand for models from the Stuttgart-based carmaker was particularly high in Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America.

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Herndon, VA / Detroit Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced that the 2015 Golf and 2015 Golf GTI have been named the 2015 North American Car of the Year. The Golf and Golf GTI were recognized for setting new benchmarks in their segments, including innovation, distinguished design, and available driver assistance features, as well as unmatched value. The cars beat out two other finalists, vying for the award in the 22nd annual iteration of the prestigious award.

“Volkswagen is thrilled to start 2015 with the Golf and Golf GTI taking home the incredible North American Car of the Year title,” said Michael Horn, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “This award highlights our achievements and hard work in the past year, and we are confident that the Golf family will continue to pave the way for the brand in the year ahead.”

The coveted 2015 North American Car of the Year award joins the list of a dozen accolades awarded to 2015 Golf models to date.

The German-engineered 2015 Golf family is currently available in four distinct versions: the sporty Golf GTI, the fun-to-drive Golf 1.8T, the Golf TDI® Clean Diesel and the all-electric, zero-tailpipe emissions e-Golf. The seventh-generation surpasses its compact class peers with a host of newly available driver assistance features and excellent EPA estimated highway fuel economy.

The Golf family will soon welcome two new additions: the all-new 292-horsepower, all-wheel drive Golf R, which sold out a pre-order of 500 units in less than 11 hours; and the TDI® Clean Diesel and turbocharged 1.8-liter TSI® Golf SportWagen models that go on sale in the spring.

The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are announced each year at the beginning of media week at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. In 2015, 57 North American Car and Truck of the Year jurors from newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines and websites across the U.S. and Canada weighed in to select the vehicle that most exceeded expectations in all areas, ranging from design and safety to innovation and economy. Three finalists are winnowed down from an expansive list of all-new or significantly redesigned cars introduced in the past year. All ballots are sent directly to and calculated by Deloitte & Touche.

This is Volkswagen’s second North American Car of the Year award, following in the wheeltracks of the New Beetle in 1999. The Passat was a finalist in 2012; the Golf/TDI/GTI a finalist in 2010; and the Jetta TDI was a finalist in 2009.