Volkswagen Will Phase Out Internal Combustion Engines by 2026
Finally, Volkswagen has made the announcement. After investing billions of dollars into electrification already, the German automaker said that the next generation of its cars will be the last with internal combustion engines, which will be phased out completely by 2026.
Volkswagen Asks For Trial Delay After Lawyer Mentions Monkey Gassing Scandal In Netflix Documentary
Late last month, it was revealed that Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler funded scientific studies to help promote the idea that modern diesel engines run cleaner than older diesels. It turned out the studies involved forcing monkeys to breathe diesel fumes in an airtight chamber, prompting one lawyer on the diesel owner’s side of the scandal to draw comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Now, Volkswagen says the remarks could bias the jury in its latest Diesel Gate trial cases.
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VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study
Earlier this week, we covered a story posted by The New York Times that revealed the big three German automakers (BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen) had funded research on the effects of diesel emissions, including an experiment that involved locking a group of monkeys in an airtight chamber and forcing the animals to breathe fumes. Now, it’s looking like a similar experiment took place that involved humans.
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Volkswagen Suspends Chief Lobbyist, Attempts to Save Face Over Monkey Gassing
The Volkswagen Group is scrambling to salvage its public image amid reports that in 2014 the company funded research on diesel emissions that involved sealing monkeys in an airtight chamber pumped full of exhaust fumes. As a result, VW’s chief lobbyist, Thomas Steg, has taken a leave of absence.
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Emissions Cheating: Did Porsche Jump Into the Swamp with Volkswagen?
Volkswagen played a risky game when it decided to cheat on emissions testing. The Dieselgate scandal has tarnished the brand’s reputation that will take many years rebuild. But, it isn’t only VW that has come under scrutiny for cheating, as the massive scandal triggered investigations of other automakers as well. Mitsubishi and Chevrolet have since found to have been involved in misstating MPG figures, while brands like Opel, Daimler, Fiat, PSA, and Renault have all been found or accused of cheating as well. All were to a lesser extent than VW, but it’s cheating nonetheless. Now, Porsche is being investigated for using a cheating device similar to that of Volkswagen.
It all started for Porsche when insiders told a German newspaper known as WirtshaftsWoche that Porsche was indeed cheating. The investigation is being conducted by Germany’s Motor Transport Authority known as KBA. The purpose of the investigation is whether or not some Porsche models have software that can detect if a car is undergoing examination and, subsequently, engage a “Special” mode to dramatically cut back on power output, CO2 emissions, and increase fuel economy. The software in question is that which detects steering wheel movement – an easy way to determine if the car is actually being driven or sitting on a machine, as the steering wheel generally isn’t moved during emissions testing.
We tried to reach out to Porsche for comment, but have yet to receive a response. Carbuzz, however, has reported that a Porsche Spokesman has denied all allegations, claiming that the data from the steering wheel sensors are only used to help calculate shift points. So far, there’s no word as to what models here in the U.S. could be affected, but the 911 is one model that makes use of a steering angle sensor, so if Porsche really is cheating, you can bet the 911 will be on the list of cars affected.
The Era of Small Engines in Europe Could be Coming to an End
The war on emissions has been on-going with automakers continuously pressed to lower emissions output from their vehicles year after year. Over in Europe, the strategy to meet stringent emissions regulations has resulted in the downsizing of engines and the addition of turbochargers to make up for the power deficit. As such, the average engine size in Europe is anywhere between 1.3- and 1.9-liters. The shrinking of engines has worked well for emissions tests in Europe up until now, but according to Reuters, new on-the-road emissions testing has shown that smaller engines actually fail to meet the latest standards. This being the case, automakers are being forced to rethink their strategy, and those smaller engines could be on the chopping block.
So how bad is it? Well, real-world testing has shown that most of the smaller engines currently in use – like GM’s 1.2-liter diesel and VW’s 1.4-liter, three-pot diesel – can produce NOx levels up to 15 times the current legal standard when driven at higher loads. Smaller gasoline engines of similar size lose
efficiency and “spew fine particles and carbon monoxide.” Renault’s 0.9-liter H4Bt engine injects excess fuel to prevent overheating, which has been found to produce massive levels of unburned hydrocarbons, fine particles, and CO2. So, what can automakers do to meet the tougher emissions regulations that must be adhered to by 2019?
Automakers have largely remained silent as to what their strategy will be going forward. But, sources have indicated that Volkswagen, Renault, and General Motors are all preparing to upsize some of their best-selling smaller engines while others will be retired altogether. All three have declined to comment on specific plans so far, but Alain Rapos – the Head of Powertrain for Renault-Nissan – said, “The techniques we’ve used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We’re reaching the limits of downsizing.”
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Bavaria to File Lawsuit against Volkswagen for Pension Fund Losses
The whole Dieselgate scandal has done a number on Volkswagen financially. Despite my harsh words for the company in the past over the scandal, I’m starting to feel bad about for it. It’s been hit for billions here in the U.S., and there are more lawsuits coming down the pipe than I can shake a stick at. The most recent suit is coming from within the company’s home country from the state of Bavaria, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some of the suits.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit will be filed in September and is supposed to recover at least a portion of the €700,000 that the state’s pension fund lost when the scandal went public, and stock prices plummeted. This isn’t the only suit of this type. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has filed a similar suit along with a fairly large group of individual investors too. Each suit has a different reason or purpose, but it’s like the blows just keep coming for the German automaker.
So far, the U.S. has nailed the company pretty harshly, and South Korea has also taken efforts to claim some of VW’s cash. Even individual states within the U.S. have also filed similar suits. As far as Bavaria goes, the lawsuit seems rather slim compared to some, but something tells me it isn’t the last suit we’ll be seeing. At this point, one really has to wonder: Is everyone going to sue VW straight into bankruptcy?
Volkswagen Hopes New Particulate Filter Will Make you Forget About its Disregard for Emissions Standards
The whole Dieselgate turkey is still in the oven, and Volkswagen is already busy doing everything it can to make us forget that it blatantly cheated to hide the level of emissions that its diesel vehicles were creating. It’s most recent effort comes in the form of a particulate filter that will be installed on its direct-injection gasoline-powered engines. According to Volkswagen, the filters can drop the emissions of soot particles by up to 90 percent. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because diesel engines have been using particulate filters for years, and they have been proven effective for some time now.
Dr. Ulrich Eichhon, the Head of Group Research and Development, said, “Following increases in efficiency and lower CO₂ output, we are now bringing about a sustained reduction in the emission levels of our modern petrol engines by fitting particulate filters as standard.”
The first engines to receive this new particulate filter will be the 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine in the new Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2.0-liter TFSI gasoline engine that comes in the Audi A5. Volkswagen plans to implement these filters starting in June of 2017 and says that the number of vehicles equipped with the new technology could reach seven million by 2022. Furthermore, VW is boasting comparative measurements from “independent testing bodies” that claim modern EU 6 rated diesel and gasoline engines from the Volkswagen Group are “already the cleanest on the market.” According to the EQUA Air Quality Index, out of 440 of the most popular models, the VW Group is labeled as a top performer.
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The Volkswagen Golf has succeeded in ways very few of its contemporaries have. It’s in its seventh generation for crying out loud! That’s more than what other models can say for themselves. Ever since it was released in 1974, the Golf has built a reputation as the godfather of the modern-day sports hatch. But even with its age, the Golf is still a strong presence in the hatchback market, so much so that the model is still turning heads wherever it goes. The 2015 Golf TDI is the latest in a series of new Golf models that are now available in the market. Yes, it’s got a diesel engine but it’s a new diesel engine. That counts for something.
It was also the recipient of aesthetic tweaks that makes its design fit for the times. Some might even say that the Golf looks better than ever before, which is about as big of a compliment as you can give to the hatch that most people believe blazed the trail for its kind.
Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI
We saw the first rendition of the Golf BlueMotion Concept about five years ago and it was impressive, boasting a 62.8 mph rating and emitting just 119 grams of CO2 per km. We then got a look at the second-gen model in 2009 with its 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2. Here we are at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and Volkswagen has the third generation BlueMotion Golf ready to show off.
Volkswagen really has something to prove in the mpg department, as it is one of only a handful of automakers available in the U.S. that has openly protested the new CAFÉ standards. VW has attempted to make it clear that its reasoning behind protecting the standards is not because it doesn’t want to build fuel-efficient vehicles, but rather because it feels the yearly improvement numbers are skewed to making it easier on American car and truck manufacturers.
Well, here stands a chance for VW to truly prove that it is all in on saving us money at the pump. So let’s have a look at what Vee-dub-ya has served up.
Click past the jump to read our review on the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Concept.
In an attempt to conserve more of the Earth’s natural resources, Volkswagen’s future line-up will include a three-cylinder power plant and an all new hybrid engine. Unfortunately, the planed 55 MPG clean diesel roadster is on hold until the economy picks back up. In an interview with the German magazine, Auto Motor Und Sport, with VW’s head of development, Ulrich Hackenberg had this to say: “The three-cylinder is certainly a great future; we devote ourselves to intensive mechanical, thermodynamic and acoustic development. We will continue the three-cylinder, in any case in the VW Golf to offer."
The hybrid Golf will debut sometime in 2011 and Ulrich thinks that it will be the perfect personal transportation solution for densely populated urban centers, like the growing mega cities found in China and the United States.
If the roadster ever does become a reality, you probably won’t see a Porsche version, but according to Hackenberg, there is a strong possibility that Audi will have a four ringed version as well.