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Ferdinand Piech, Former VW Group Chairman, Has Died

Ferdinand Piech, Former VW Group Chairman, Has Died

The man behind Audi’s resurgence, some of Porsche’s most famous models, and VW Group’s success in the past three decades passed away at 82

Ferdinand Piech, former Chairman of the executive board of VW and, later on, of the supervisory board of Porsche SE, the principal shareholder of VW, has died on Sunday at the age of 82 according to German tabloid Bild. Piech has been a central figure in the automotive industry for decades, known for his no-nonsense style and his ability to push through and introduce models that have become highly influential over time, as well as massively popular. He is known for his involvement in projects such as the Audi Quattro, that spearheaded a whole lineup of AWD cars from the Ingolstadt brand as well as adding Porsche to the Volkswagen Group and bringing VW back on profitable ways in the new millennium.

It hasn’t even been two months since the passing of legendary automotive executive Lee Iaccoca, the key figure behind the birth of the Ford Mustang and Chrysler’s revival during his tenure as the company’s CEO, and the automotive world has now lost another larger-than-life figure in Professor Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, and one of the most influential figures in the modern automotive landscape. While ousted from the top of the VW Group four years ago, his legacy will live on, as will the emblematic models that he engineered and helped bring to life.

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Jerry Seinfeld To Auction Off A Handful Of Porsches And Volkswagens From His Collection

Jerry Seinfeld To Auction Off A Handful Of Porsches And Volkswagens From His Collection

Some of the most iconic Porsche models in history will be a part of this auction

Jerry Seinfeld may be known for being one of funniest comedians in the business, but those in the auto industry also recognize him as one of the most famous Porsche collectors in the world. The star of the legendary sitcom bearing his name reportedly owns up to 50 Porsche models from a number of different eras. It’s laughable to think that Seinfeld’s collection of Porsches is so impressive that he can auction off 16 of his Porsches and still have a collection that’s the envy of every auto collector in the business.

This isn’t a joke. Jerry Seinfeld really is auctioning off a part of his massive auto collection at the Amelia Island Auction on March 11, 2016 in Florida. In addition to the 16 Porsches, he’s also auctioning off a 1960 Volkswagen Beetle and a 1964 Volkswagen Camper, two old school VWs that are expected to get serious bids themselves.

But, the real prizes here are the Porsche models, some of which will probably net bids in the seven figures. Without jumping into every one of the 16 Porsches, a few do stand out for obvious reasons. There’s the 1966 Porsche 911, a card-carrying member of the first-generation 911 models that have come to be known today as the 911 Classics. There’s also the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR, one of only 15 models in existence. The car traces its origin to 1973 when Roger Penske ordered 15 911 Carreras that Porsche built specifically for the International Race of Champions (IROC).

How about the 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder, arguably the most powerful Porsche sports car racer to have ever been built? A lot of people may be too young to remember, but the 917/30 packed a twin-turbocharged, 5.4-liter, 12-cylinder engine that could produce as much as 1,200 horsepower. It really was the wildest race car for the wildest racing series of its time.

Then there’s the coup de grâce of the collection, which is saying a lot considering the other Porsche models that haven’t been mentioned. It’s a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, a car that has proven to be a million-dollar seller at an auction setting. In fact, one of its brethren sold for a staggering $3.685 million at the same venue back in 2012. That was four years ago. Care to imagine what Seinfeld’s haul is going to be on this car alone?

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Volkswagen Scandal Inspires Book and Movie Deals

Volkswagen Scandal Inspires Book and Movie Deals

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal isn’t going away anytime soon now that the New York Times journalist Jack Ewing has secured a six-figure book deal with publisher Norton. To make things worse for VW, Hollywood is also getting in on the action. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions have acquired the rights to the forthcoming Ewing book that details the worst scandal to ever hit Volkswagen in its 78-year history.

Ewing’s book is expected to dive deep into the German automaker’s clean diesel scandal that has caused havoc to the company’s share prices and led to the resignation of longtime CEO Martin Winterkorn.

At this point, a lot of people have already heard about the VW scandal, which came to light when the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Volkswagen to pull 500,000 of its diesel cars off the road in the U.S. after discovering that the company had intentionally programmed its vehicles with emissions-dodging software. The illegal software kept car’s emissions numbers in line with U.S. regulatory standards during testing, but turned off during normal driving. As a result, these diesel cars were emitting up to 40 times the legal amount of harmful pollutants. Volkswagen later admitted that close to 11 million of its cars were rigged with the cheating software.

The backlash behind the company’s admission of guilt has been staggering. Volkswagen’s shares dropped 40 percent after the news broke and the company is expected to pay up to $18 billion in fines from the EPA. It’s also under investigation in its home country of Germany and there’s a distinct possibility that many of its executives could go to prison. Investigations around the world are also ongoing, so it’s likely more bad news is coming.

The movie deal is the latest black eye to hit Volkswagen. Details of the movie won’t be revealed until after Ewing’s proposed book is published, so at the very least, VW can take comfort knowing that the big screen adaptation of this scandal won’t hit theaters in the foreseeable future. Plus, the story isn’t even over.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Video: Volkswagen Teaches You How To "Turbocharge The Everyday"

Video: Volkswagen Teaches You How To "Turbocharge The Everyday"

Volkswagen’s new commercial for the Golf GTI might as well be called "notice your environment." The whole concept is pretty unique: get a new Golf GTI, stick around 30 GoPro cameras on it, and then have Tanner Foust do whatever he wants with the sports hatch.

It seemed simple enough, at least until it appeared that we also had a chance to "interact" with the commercial to see multiple views of specific moments in the ad.

So when you’re watching Volkswagen’s "Turbocharge The Everyday" commercial for the Golf GTI, pay attention to the left side of the screen. At certain moments, you’ll be given a choice of different views you can switch to. That’s when the video jumps to another part of the ad, showing the exact same scene from the view of a different GoPro camera.

It admittedly took us a while to get it, but once we did, the commercial became a lot more enjoyable to watch. Watching Tanner Foust do all those burnouts on the Golf GTI didn’t hurt our viewing experience either.

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2012 Volkswagen Amarok Colt Seaver Edition

2012 Volkswagen Amarok Colt Seaver Edition

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.

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Holy Ugly, Batman: The worst Batmobile replicas you'll ever see

Holy Ugly, Batman: The worst Batmobile replicas you’ll ever see

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

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Heidi Klum Volkswagen Commercials

Volskwagen starts airing in the US its commercials featuring Heidi Klum. Expect to see a lot more Heidi Klum and her husband, famous singer Seal, in the brand new and shiny VW products. Both have signed a deal with VW last year to be the auto maker official ’celebrity’ ambassadors.

New VW "Das Auto" campaign:

VW Tiguan commercial, only aired in germany so far:

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ECHO stars drive Polo BlueMotion

ECHO stars drive Polo BlueMotion

The environmentally-friendly Polo BlueMotion is on duty at the ECHO award ceremony. When the German music awards are presented in Berlin on March 25, 2007 artists including international top stars such as Simply Red will drive up to the red carpet in the extremely low-emission version of the Polo. Volkswagen is thus making a clear gesture in support of environmental protection.
Volkswagen is providing 50 Polo BlueMotion for the shuttle service at the ECHO award ceremony. The vehicles are (...)

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Volkswagen bus T2 going for an Oscar?

Volkswagen bus T2 going for an Oscar?

It is crashing through barriers in a truly heroic manner, not even a broken clutch can stop it: The reliable Volkswagen bus T2 is the seventh member of the quirky yet heartwarming Hoover family of the successful comedy “Little Miss Sunshine” (Twentieth Century Fox).
The independently made road movie has proven to be unstoppable itself: About one year after being presented to the public at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival “Little Miss Sunshine” has become stunningly successful at the most (...)

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Volkswagen Phaeton for Pope Benedict XVI

Volkswagen Phaeton for Pope Benedict XVI

The auto park of the Supreme Pontiff becomes richer of an other car of prestige: after receiving a Volvo XC90, his holiness received a Volkswagen Phaeton 6.0. At the event were present Bernd Pischetsrieder, Ralf-Otto Limbach, Managing Director of the Autogerma (Italian Consociata of the Volkswagen Group) and Maximum Mace, Director of the Volkswagen in Italy.
Powered by a 6.0 liter W12 engine, the Phaeton has a maximum output of 450 hp and can reach a top speed of 150 (...)

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Federal Transport Minister Tiefensee is VIP learner driver

Federal Transport Minister Tiefensee is VIP learner driver

At a Volkswagen fuel saving training session in Berlin on Wednesday, Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee gained first-hand experience of how the correct driving technique can drastically cut fuel consumption. Together with Dr. Michael Kern, Board Member for Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen brand, and Olaf Tschimpke, President of Naturschutz Deutschland (NABU), Tiefensee’s training session took him through the center of Berlin. The aim was to get through the urban traffic using as (...)

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