Volkswagen

Volkswagen cars

Porsche "Baby" Boxster

Last week, we gave you a nice little rundown on what Porsche has in store for us in the coming years . One of those cars included Project 551, which we have all nicknamed the “Baby Boxster .” This compact, entry-level roadster looked to be a certainty in Porsche’s lineup, when suddenly the plan was axed, as Porsche’s CEO basically said it doesn’t fit the Porsche mold and they want to retain their customer exclusivity.

Well, now that the recent automotive giant, Volkswagen AG, has bought out the remaining shares of Porsche , err, “restructured” their corporate design, we may see this all change. You see, VW could give two cents about customer exclusivity. It wants to sell units and that’s that. VW will likely keep the 200,000-unit goal that Porsche had set before the “restructuring” and the way that VW may do this is to release a lower-priced roadster.

Think about it, fresh college graduates can’t typically afford a $50,000 base-level Boxster , but a $23,000 Miata is not an issue. Well, if Porsche slides a smaller, less feature-packed version of the Boxster right between the two, say at about $32,000, it could suck these young professionals into the Porsche brand early. With these premium brands, once they get in, they are typically customers for life.

In addition, the excuse that Porsche CEO, Matthias Mueller, made regarding a Baby Boxster not fitting the Porsche mold is complete hogwash. Porsche released an SUV and a sedan in the last decade, plus it is about to release a smaller version of its SUV, so how in the world could a smaller, more wallet-friendly roadster not fit in with a sports car company? Yeah, we don’t get it either.

Keep an eye out for some changes in the Porsche lineup over the next few months, there’s bound to be some and we bet one will be the announcement of an upcoming production model of the Project 551.

DRB-Hicom and Lotus have officially shut down the five-year plan that Dany Bahar placed the compact sports car company on shortly before he was canned. In fact, DRB-Hicom flat out called the plan unrealistic and we agree. Now with Lotus hanging around with no real future in sight, could DRB-Hicom be ready to offload Proton and Lotus altogether?

If it is ready to cut the money pits named Proton and Lotus loose, there is a suitor ready and waiting, according to a report by Reuters. Volkswagen, the recent PAC-Man of the automotive world, tried once to snatch up Proton, but failed, and now it looks as if it is ready to try again for at least partial control.

Ideally, for VW , DRB would let go of controlling stake in both companies and sell them to VW on the cheap, so that the magical Volkswagen Volkswagen wand can heal Lotus and Proton Proton , much like it has with Audi. The connection is already there, as VW uses a DRB-Hicom facility to manufacture the Passat , so starting up the conversation of a buyout is as easy as pressing a speed-dial button on a cellphone.

Volkswagen, of course, isn’t saying a word about all of this and DRB-Hicom has been insisting that it is not selling Lotus or Proton. As we all know, car manufacturers will deny any type of news about selling companies or merging until they absolutely cannot deny it anymore, so we take all of this denying with a great big grain of Sodium Chloride.

We’ll keep you updated if anything else comes up on this front.

Source: Reuters

For most Americans, if you mention “Fall Guy” and “Volkswagen Amarok,” they have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. The former was a rather unpopular TV show that ran from November 4, 1981 through May 2, 1986 featuring a stuntman turned bounty hunter named Colt Seaver and the latter is a pickup truck that Volkswagen offers only in the European market. When you put the two together, you get the Volkswagen Amarok Colt Seaver Edition.

In the series, Colt Seaver drove a beat up 1980 GMC Sierra that was put through many suspension-breaking stunts and, much like General Lee on the Dukes of Hazzard, the Sierra never showed any signs of wear. Well, the theme of this one-off Amarok is the Sierra that Seaver beat the heck out of.

The Amarok Colt Seaver Edition receives its power from a 1,968 cc 4-pot engine that cranks out 163 PS (160 horsepower) at 4,000 rpm and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque at 1,500 to 2,000 rpm. What makes it like the Sierra that Seaver beat around is the fact that it boasts the same tan-on-brown paint scheme, brush bar, roll bar, and light bar that the Sierra boasted – scaled down to meet the Amarok’s compact size, of course. It also boasts a rather large “Fall Guy Stuntman Assoc” decal on its hood.

The truck itself actually looks rather neat with its lift kit, all-terrain tires, and classic paint job, but to name a special edition truck after a relatively unknown TV series from the `80s is strange. This becomes especially strange when you consider that the dealership building this truck is asking €51,695 ($62,700 at the current exchange rates) for it, which is just shy of three times the Amarok’s base price.

Here you go, take that ridiculous decal off of the hood and strip all ties to the TV show and it just may be worth the cash.

For those that don’t know the TV series (AKA most of America) click past the jump to see a video piecing together stunts from the show.

The Dark Knight Rises has been heating up cinemas for the past few days, so it seems only fitting that with the last part of the trilogy in cinemas today, we take a look at one of the most enduring stars of the famed DC super hero movie franchise. No, we’re not talking about Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl character from Batman and Robin. What we’re referring to is the Batmobile, the Dark Knight’s very own ride-of-choice.

In this section though, we’re going to pay tribute - we use that word loosely - to the five worst Batmobile replicas we’ve ever seen. Some are more eye-cringing than the others, but rest assured, none of them would pass the standards of Bruce Wayne.

Heck, we don’t even think the Joker would be caught dead riding in one of these so-called Batmobiles.

So here it is, folks. Prepare to cringe, laugh, or whatever emotion these pictures will do to you.

Find out TopSpeed’s five worst Batmobile replicas after the jump

For the better part of the last decade, Volkswagen Automotive Group has been snagging up various automakers and auto groups in an attempt to build an empire that would likely make Darth Vader cower in fear. It looks like one of VW’s Stormtroopers is turning its back on the “Dark Side,” as Suzuki , a company that VW bought some $2.1 billion worth of shares in 2009, is taking VW to court in an attempt to force VW to return the 19.9 percent of Suzuki stock that it owns.

The issues that run between the two are your typical automotive wah-fest, as Suzuki is boo-hooing over the fact that VW did not share enough technical information with Suzuki, which was a stipulation of the stock sale. VW, on the other hand, is crying foul because Suzuki opted to source a small-displacement engine from Fiat instead of VW. Oddly enough, VW is fighting Suzuki to keep its shares, while Suzuki has filed suit against VW in a London court to force VW to sell its shares back.

Another odd turn of events is the fact that Suzuki is willing to pay market value to VW for said shares, giving Volkswagen a cool $300K to $400K in profit.

Overall, this is a very strange turn of events, as we are not quite sure exactly what in the world VW would want with the Suzuki Suzuki brand under its umbrella. The brand has been really struggling in the last decade and looks to eventually go the Isuzu route and pull out of the American market altogether . Then again, VW has been apt for turning around struggling car companies, a la Audi.

We’ll keep you posted on any new happenings in this legal battle.

Source: MotorTrend
Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

With the development of the Volkswagen Polo R WRC car well under the way, an awesome video was released showcasing the car’s ability in a secluded Finnish forest, with racer Sebastien Ogier behind the wheel of this intense little rally car.

The Volkswagen Polo R WRC will enter the world-renowned rally series for the 2013 season, and the following video shows that VW has created what appears to be a true competitor for the World Rally championship. The launch of the car late last year has helped mark what could be a new generation of WRC racing.

Just a few years ago, major manufacturers, such as Subaru, were continually pulling out of the championship, but with VW prepping their new entry for the series, Skoda set to graduate into the WRC with its Super 2000 Fabia, and Hyundai suspected to reenter the series soon , the World Rally Championship’s future has never been so exciting.

As you may recall, the Polo R WRC features a 1.6-liter TSI engine delivering an impressive 300HP and an advanced four-wheel drive system. Tipping the scales at just 2,645 pounds, the Polo R is a true performance car and we wish Volkswagen all the best for its future WRC endeavors.

For the most part, business deals are massaged with care and come together with relative ease and little drama. We guess the Germans must do things a little differently, as the VW takeover of Porsche was anything but easy and drama-free. In fact, it was closer to the exact opposite.

Seven years ago, Porsche was sitting pretty and decided it wanted to expand, but bit off way more than it could chew when it tried to buy out Volkswagen Volkswagen . This attempted takeover split Porsche’s ownership group and eventually resulted in Porsche falling into extreme debt and abandoning the takeover plan.

In 2009, the script flipped and VW ended up indirectly owning 49.9 percent of Porsche and striking an agreement in 2009 to buy up the remaining 50.1 percent. That agreement turned south when VW realized that the resulting tax payments for the purchase were its responsibility. Well, after some nifty dance steps with the taxman , VW managed to avoid paying taxes on the purchase and the deal was all but complete.

Now we can finally announce that the deal is 100 percent complete, and VW is now the sole owner of Porsche AG. The total purchase deal is going to send €4.46 billion ($5.59 billion) and a single common share of VW stock to Porsche SE. Volkswagen plans to integrate Porsche into its automotive group on August 1, 2012. Porsche SE will also receive an additional €320 million ($401 million) in lost dividend payments and net synergies, due to the rapid integration of Porsche AG into VW’s ownership group – basically VW is paying off Porsche SE to gain quicker control of its automotive group.

With this, VW’s impressive automotive group grows yet again. We are starting to wonder how big Volkswagen AG can really get before it’s too big for its own good.

Click past the jump to read the full and complicated presser from VW.

We all know that when you buy or sell anything of significant worth, the gummament is not too far away with its hand out asking for its share. It doesn’t care which side it comes from, just as long as someone pays “The Man.” Well, when VW AG decided it was time to buyout the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche and get its former ownership group completely out of the picture, we were talking billions of Euros, €4.5 billion to be exact.

Well, even in Germany, “The Man,” or better yet “Der Mann,” is there in the form of the Baden-Württemberg Finance Mini Mini stry asking for his cut of the deal, which would total about €1.5 billion ($1.9 million). This was just about the breaking point of the entire deal, as a part of the buyout was that VW pays the tax.

After five months of massaging the numbers, looking at the laws, and manipulating things in ways that would make a business ethics major cringe, VW and Porsche are about to pull off this deal 100 percent tax free. How they pulled this off was simple enough… The only real sticking point was the fact that VW had to find out how to manipulate the deal into a corporate restructuring, as opposed to a sale.

To achieve a restructuring classification instead of a buy-sell classification, VW gave Porsche the €4.5 billion buying price, but included in that price a single voting share of VW stock… Yeah, that’s it. One little piece of paper that says “I can vote on important issues” saved VW €1.5 billion. Gotta love those tax attorneys.

The deal has yet to be approved by state authorities, but sans any omissions or errors, this looks to be a final deal that gives VW the title to Porsche, instead of just a rental contract.

TV buffs get the Emmys, movie buffs get the Oscars, and music lovers get the Grammys; so, where does that leave us gearheads? Well, the International Engine of the Year Awards, of course, and the 2012 results are hot off the press!

Ford took home the top prize of International Engine of the Year, with its 999 cc engine found in the European Focus . This engine, despite its petite size, cranks out 125 PS (123 horsepower) and manages to squeeze out 56.5 mpg. The 1.0-liter engine didn’t win a close battle either, it took home top honors by a full 113 points. Points are accumulated based on fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and drivability and each engine can only receive 15 of each voter’s total 25 points to give. Needless to say, that was quite a landslide victory.

That’s not the biggest news though, as BMW brought home top honors in four different categories. Bimmer took home the 1.4- to 1.8-liter prize with its 181-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine found in the MINI Cooper S . In the 1.8- to 2.0-liter class, BMW took first prize with its 241-horsepower, 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged four-pot. In the 2.5-liter to 3.0-liter class, BMW wrapped up top honors with its bi-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and its 335 horsepower. Last, but certainly not least, BMW took home 1st place in the 3.0- to 4.0-liter class with its 414-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-8 engine.

Despite all of the accolades, the highest mark that BMW achieved in the Engine of the Year award was 5th place, with its 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-banger.

Click past the jump to see all of the results of each class.

A report indicates that there are some major shakeups coming in Volkswagen Automotive Group in 2018 and it appears as if those changes are already beginning. Audi North America’s CEO, Johan De Nysschen, a man who once reportedly called the Chevy Volt a “car for idiots,” has resigned from the company that he has worked at for the past 20 years, 7 of which were in the CEO role.

It is unknown as to whether this move was forced, mutual, or if De Nysschen resigned on his own accord, but a company spokesperson is quoted saying “He is moving to another job, we believe it’s in the industry.” By that statement, we would assume the move was initiated by De Nysschen. Also, given the growth that Audi has seen during his reign would lead us to believe that Volkswagen AG would have kept him on board as long as he wanted.

Then again, the automotive industry is a weird one where one minor difference in opinion can ultimately cost you a job. In the meantime, Audi’s COO, Mark Del Rosso, will be the interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement to help reach Audi’s goal of competing more closely with BMW and Mercedes-Benz .

Interestingly enough, Audi wasted absolutely no time taking De Nysschen’s CEO profile down from its site, leaving a “Page Not Found” message where his proud image once sat.

Audi’s statement that De Nysschen would be heading to another company in the industry was 100 percent accurate, as we received word that he has signed up with Nissan . His new title is Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Company in charge of the Infiniti division. His first task at hand is one he is rather familiar with, sharply increasing sales and guiding the luxury automaker deeper into developing markets, starting in China.

Best of luck to Mr. De Nysschen and we have a feeling that VW and Audi will be missing him in the coming years.


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