Sunday, 3 July 2022

ŠKODA AUTO official main partner of the Tour de France for 19th time

ŠKODA AUTO will again be supporting this year’s Tour de France (1 – 24 July 2022) as the official main and vehicle partner. This is the 19th time the company has supported the world’s largest cycling event. 250 vehicles will provide mobility to the organisers and race management of the Tour de France or be used as support and service vehicles. The vehicle fleet also includes the all-electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV that Tour Director Christian Prudhomme will be using as a command vehicle (‘Red Car’) on 16 of the 21 stages. “Our long-standing commitment to cycling is one of the cornerstones of our sponsorship activities in elite international and grassroots sport. In the early days of our company, the founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement began by designing and manufacturing bicycles – this makes for an ideal ‘brand fit’. We are delighted to be supporting this great event again this year.” Martin Jahn, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Sales and Marketing The 109th run of the classic cycling classic starts on 1 July with the Grand Départ in Copenhagen, Denmark, the northernmost starting point in the history of the race. The 21 stages, including six mountain stretches, will take the peloton through four countries over a distance of 3,300 kilometres. On 24 July, the riders will reach their destination on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. ŠKODA AUTO is supporting the world’s largest cycling event for the 19th time. As the official main and vehicle partner, it is also providing 250 vehicles to the organisers and race management, as well as service and support vehicles. Alongside the ENYAQ iV, the fleet includes OCTAVIAs and the ŠKODA SUPERB iV with plug-in hybrid drive. Ahead of the field, Tour Director Christian Prudhomme will be travelling in an all-electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV. He will be waving the yellow flag through the sliding roof of the ‘Red Car’ at the start of each stage. This is the third time the SUV has served as Prudhomme’s mobile command centre. On some stages, the ŠKODA SUPERB iV with plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be taking to the course as the command vehicle. Now for the 12th time, the Czech car manufacturer has designed the crystal trophy for the winner of the world’s largest cycling race. ŠKODA AUTO has also been sponsoring the green jersey for the leader of the points standings since 2015. Furthermore, ŠKODA AUTO is a partner of the Tour de France Femmes, which starts on 24 July. The participants will cover eight stages over a distance of 1,029 kilometres from Paris to La Planche des Belles Filles. ŠKODA campaign ‘You have to love it. We do.’ To mark the Tour de France, ŠKODA is launching the campaign ‘You have to love it. We do.’ and is promoting it in TV commercials, on its social media channels and on the company’s website where cycling fans will find exciting stories and information about the Tour de France as well as a competition. Prizes include tickets to the Tour de France, a signed green jersey, bicycles, cycling equipment and subscriptions to the fitness app Strava. App users can also take part in a cycling challenge and the winner will receive their own green jersey. Extensive involvement in cycling sponsorship As the ‘engine of cycling’, ŠKODA AUTO supports the Tour de France as well as numerous national and international cycling races and popular sports events. In addition to the Spanish tour ‘Vuelta’, this includes the amateur race L’Etape. Under the umbrella of the Tour de France, the worldwide racing series enables ambitious amateur cyclists to follow a race stage. Committed to sustainability In collaboration with its partners, ŠKODA AUTO is consistently working on innovative sustainability concepts. At the Tour de France, for example, the car manufacturer will be using tyres from its partner Continental for the ENYAQ iV fleet, which contain additives made from recycled materials. The carcass material consists entirely of recycled PET bottles. In addition to safety, this innovation also ensures exceptional handling characteristics with minimal environmental impact. The tyres for ŠKODA models are custom developed. Working closely with partners, the car manufacturer aims to use tyres produced from sustainable materials in series production in the future. Article source:

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Audi captures the zeitgeist with this car: first Audi 80 unveiled 50 years ago

It establishes the B series, is both a pioneer of innovative technology and a trendsetter, and becomes the first million-seller for the brand with the four rings: the Audi 80. The significance of the compact sedan for Audi and the Volkswagen Group is indisputable – not least because the Audi 80 pioneers the modular design. A bestseller is celebrating its anniversary: With the first Audi 80, known internally as the “B1”, the Ingolstadt-based company hits the bull’s eye in 1972. It is intended to be “modern, but not trendy,” a reliable family car. On this, then Head of Technical Development at Audi Ludwig Kraus and Volkswagen AG, the new parent company, agree in the late 1960s. As in racecar construction, head developer Ludwig Kraus has his employees check every part to see where weight could still be reduced without compromising on long-term quality, solidity, and strength. The extremely lightweight Audi 80, which goes into production 50 years ago, impresses customers with its sporty handling and low consumption, making it, at the start of the 1973 oil crisis, exactly the right car at the right time. Winning “Car of the Year” the same year, the Audi 80 also wins over the international trade press. Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development, still appreciates the achievement of his predecessor Ludwig Kraus and team: “In an impressive way, the Audi 80 demonstrates that Vorsprung durch Technik is a tradition at Audi.” The Audi 80 and its successor models have always been pioneers of major innovation. The four-cylinder TDI, the quattro drive with the self-locking center differential, the dual-clutch transmission, and the rear-axle sport differential – not to mention the five-cylinder turbo engines as in the first RS model – have repeatedly demonstrated Audi’s expertise in Vorsprung durch Technik. Designer Hartmut Warkuss helps shape the design of the first Audi 80 in the new objectivity style of the 1970s. In 1976, Warkuss is promoted to Head of Audi Stilistics, leaving a lasting impression on the design of several generations in Audi’s B, C, and D series. The Audi 80 rolls off the assembly line in four generations (B1 to B4) until 1994/95, when it is replaced by the Audi A4, known internally as the B5. With this model, the Ingolstadt-based company introduces a new nomenclature for its cars. The Audi A4 is now in its fifth edition; the B9 is available as a sedan and Avant, as an S and RS model, and as the Audi A5 in the Coupé, Sportback, and Cabriolet versions. 1972–1978: The Audi 80 B1 – Founder of a new segment The Audi 80 celebrates its world premiere in the year the Summer Olympics are held in Munich: In July of 1972, the Ingolstadt-based company presents the car to the media, and in September – after the Olympics – to dealers. The B1 establishes a new market segment: the “compact sedan” or B series for short. The newly developed mid-size car rounds off the then model range of the brand with the four rings. The model’s technology introduces numerous new solutions and can soon be found in many Volkswagen Group models. Consistent lightweight design and other technical innovations The two-door base model weighs in at just 835 kilograms – strict lightweight construction is one of the specifications set by Head of Technical Development Kraus. With a wheelbase of 2.47 meters and a length of 4.18 meters, he develops the sedan to be highly compact. Suspension engineer Detlef Banholzer implements negative steering roll radius for the first time in a European mass-produced vehicle – a solution that greatly improves stability during braking. With the diagonal layout of the hydraulic braking system, Audi puts the safety of passengers and other road users front and center. A torsion crank axle with spring dampers serves as the rear suspension. The front wheels are controlled by McPherson struts and wishbones. The engine of the Audi 80 sits lengthwise in front of the driven front axle, the four-speed transmission behind it. Four engines are available at market launch; the displacement ranges from 1.3 to 1.6 liters, with power outputs ranging from 40 kW (55 PS) to 74 kW (100 PS). The design highlight of the lively, straightforward four-cylinder engine is the valve control by overhead camshaft with toothed-belt drive and maintenance-free hydraulic tappets. Head of Technical Development Ludwig Kraus comes up with the idea of a modular-design series, designing the four-cylinder overhead camshaft (OHC) engine. Developed by engineer Franz Hauk and team, the engine is known internally as the EA 827 and becomes the most widely built engine in the VW Group. “Car of the Year 1973” and a real sales hit With the new generation of OHC engines and its many technical highlights, the Audi 80 quickly becomes a sales success for the Ingolstadt-based company: By the end of production in the summer of 1978, more than one million B1 models will have rolled off the assembly line. With the production capacity at the Ingolstadt plant soon no longer sufficient to meet the high demand, the Volkswagen plants in Wolfsburg and Emden are involved in production. The Asso di Picche, a coupé concept car styled by Giorgio Giugiaro and built by coachbuilder Karmann, demonstrates the sporty potential of the B1 as early as 1973. The Audi 80 GT goes to series production in 1973, before being replaced by the Audi 80 GTE in October of 1975: Its engine has a power output of 81 kW (110 PS). The driving performance of the new top model already hints at the dynamics that Audi would soon unleash. In 1976, the B1 receives a model update that gives the sedan large block headlights, visually aligning it more closely to the new generation of the Audi 100. Light and fuel-efficient, the Audi 80 becomes very popular, especially after the 1973 oil crisis; the car is also a hit in the USA, where it is sold as the “Fox”. Article source:

Saturday, 18 June 2022

ŠKODA AUTO production sites reopen for tours

After being closed for more than two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, ŠKODA AUTO is now reopening its Czech production facilities to visitors. The guided tours of selected plant areas and final assembly are ideal for school groups and families with children aged ten and over. The tours are offered in various languages, including Czech, English, German and Dutch. “We are delighted to finally be able to offer our factory tours again after more than two years. It’s worthwhile visiting because our plants have changed a lot in that time. In Mladá Boleslav, for example, we’ve started producing the all-electric ENYAQ iV family as well as MEB battery systems, and in Kvasiny we’ve continued to systematically modernise the production facilities. Meanwhile, the Vrchlabí plant became ŠKODA AUTO’s first CO2-neutral production site at the end of 2020.” Andrea Frydlová, Head of the ŠKODA Museum The only requirement for a guided tour of the Mladá Boleslav plant is to pick up a ticket from the ŠKODA Museum. The admission for a guided tour in Czech is 180 CZK; for a plant tour in other languages, it is CZK 260. Guided tours at the Kvasiny and Vrchlabí sites are free of charge. The tours, which last around two hours, are often accompanied by the carmaker’s former employees. The tours are aimed at technology enthusiasts as well as school classes and families with children aged ten and over. The ŠKODA ENYAQ iV family, the manufacturer’s first all-electric production models based on the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB) are now rolling off the same production line in Mladá Boleslav as vehicles with combustion engines based on the MQB. To achieve this, ŠKODA AUTO made major adjustments to the production line. The production of battery systems for various Group brands’ MEB vehicles has also recently been launched at the main plant, making Mladá Boleslav the only location in Europe outside Germany where these battery systems are manufactured. Around 7,000 employees currently produce the SUPERB and SUPERB iV models as well as the KAROQ and KODIAQ in Kvasiny. By relocating the new-generation SUPERB to Bratislava, capacities will be created at the site for an additional 150,000 units of the SUV series KODIAQ and KAROQ. The Vrchlabí plant plays a central role in component production for ŠKODA AUTO. This is where the DQ200 automatic direct-shift gearbox is produced; in early February this year, the four millionth DQ200 gearbox left the assembly line since production started in October 2012. Since the end of 2020, the site has been the Czech carmaker’s first CO2-neutral production facility. Article source:

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Golf R “20 Years” – anniversary model of the Golf R now available to order

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Golf R, Volkswagen is launching the Golf R “20 Years” as an exclusive special-edition model. The production period limited to approximately one year makes the special-edition model a collector’s item as soon as it rolls off the production line. Like all premium performance models of the Volkswagen R with their increased power, the Golf R has its roots on the race track and stands for the transfer of innovative technologies to series production. Fan communities around the world are enthralled by the expressive design and enhanced performance. The new Golf R “20 Years” is now available to order with prices starting from 59,995 euros in Germany. The Golf R “20 Years” surpasses everything that has been launched with the “Golf” label up to now with its drive technology. The anniversary model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds: the top speed is electronically limited to 270 km/h. The Golf R “20 Years” edition makes its exceptional nature known as soon as the engine is started. It is impossible not to notice the 245 kW / 333 PS) delivered by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. The driver can select an Emotion Start to activate an initial engine speed overshoot extending up to 2,500 rpm. In combination with especially striking drive acoustics, this additionally heightens the anticipation of a typical R driving experience. When the driver shifts up manually in S and S+ gear selector positions, the DSG provides noticeable feedback from the gearbox and drive train each time the right paddle is operated. In addition, the optimised engine tuning means that the load change response is extremely spontaneous. The turbocharger is preloaded to keep it at a constant speed during part-load driving. This then allows faster power development for subsequent acceleration. The open throttle valve in overrun phases also improves dynamics and performance on the road. When the driver takes their foot off the accelerator and then accelerates again, this allows faster build-up of the engine torque and noticeably improves the engine’s responsiveness. This allows the Golf R “20 Years” to be driven even more dynamically and with a higher level of driving stability in sporty driving situations. The Golf R “20 Years” will be available as standard with the R Performance package already familiar from the Golf R (including, for example, R-Performance Torque Vectoring in conjunction with the Vehicle Dynamics Manager and two additional driving modes, Special and Drift) and will be further enhanced by exclusive design highlights. At the rear, the roof spoiler emphasises the sporty look of the vehicle, which is fitted as standard with 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels. The sporty and exclusive nature of the premium performance brand from Volkswagen is also evident in the interior. For the first time in a production Volkswagen, the dash panel and door trim feature decorative trim elements in Genuine Carbon. The special-edition model sports blue R logos, including on the multifunction sport steering wheel (at 6 o’clock position). The blue R logo can also be found on the vehicle key cap to underline the fact that the key belongs to a special vehicle. Like all Golf models, the Golf R “20 Years” will be produced in the Wolfsburg factory – the home of the Golf. The Golf R “20 Years” will reach dealerships in many European markets and North America from the middle of 2022. The Golf R “20 Years” is the fifth edition of the extremely sporty Golf R. The success story of the model began in 2002 with the Golf R32 and its 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine with an output of 177 kW (241 PS). It was the most powerful Golf that Volkswagen had built up to that point. Featuring all-wheel drive in combination with exclusive design and equipment, this highly dynamic car was the technological benchmark in its class. The Golf R32 was an immediate success, and its sales were triple the originally planned amount. Article source:

Sunday, 5 June 2022

The Audi RS Q e-tron rocks Hamburg

The futuristic Audi RS Q e-tron was one of the stars at the FUTURE MOVES New Mobility Summit as part of the OMR Festival in Hamburg on Tuesday. With a spectacular trip from the container port to the exhibition center, Swedish Audi driver Mattias Ekström and his co-driver Emil Bergkvist generated a lot of excitement in the run-up to the event. The OMR Festival is Europe’s largest event for digital marketing and technology, which is taking place again this year for the first time after a two-year break due to the pandemic. All of the hotel rooms in Hamburg are fully booked and the organizers expect around 70,000 visitors. New to the program is a congress on the future of mobility – a perfect stage for the Audi RS Q e-tron with its futuristic technology and absolute eye-catching appearance in the conference hall. Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist did not miss the opportunity to arrive in the Audi RS Q e-tron at the exhibition’s entrance at the foot of Hamburg’s TV tower. This was preceded by a much-noticed trip through the Hanseatic city that began at the container port and took the Audi duo past many hotspots and attractions on route to the exhibition center. Constant companions: an Audi film crew and countless cell phones from amazed pedestrians, which were pulled out wherever the innovative desert rally prototype appeared. “I call it the e-tron mobile moments,” said Mattias Ekström after the tour in Hamburg. “Our car is simply made for campaigns like this. It inspires people and shows that electric cars are not only useful, but also fascinating and lots of fun. Even though it was a very exhausting day for us, I wish that days like today happened more often.” Co-driver Emil Bergkvist was in Hamburg for the first time and was enthusiastic about the Hanseatic city: “I had already heard a lot about the city and what I saw fascinated me. It was an unusual way for a city tour, but I enjoyed it very much. Seeing the people’s faces when we suddenly appeared in our futuristic car was a lot of fun.” Development engineer Arnau Niubó Bosch from Audi Sport accompanied the trip through Hamburg and patiently answered all of the congress visitors’ questions about the technology of the Audi RS Q e-tron at the FUTURE MOVES on Tuesday. The innovative electric drivetrain with a high-voltage battery and energy converter pushes the limits of what is possible. It made its debut at the Dakar Rally in January and impressed with four stage victories. In March, the rally car achieved its first overall victory at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Audi Sport in Neuburg an der Donau is currently developing an updated version of the car for the 2023 Dakar Rally. Article source:

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Happy Birthday, Touareg! – Exclusive special-edition model for the 20th anniversary

Volkswagen is celebrating 20 years of the Touareg with the Touareg “EDITION 20”. This special-edition model will join the premium SUV model family from mid-June 2022 and features a particularly extensive range of exclusive equipment – including an extremely expressive exterior design and an elegant leather package in the interior. Since its market launch in 2002, the luxury SUV has become an out-and-out success. More than one million units of this innovative technology carrier have been sold worldwide up to the present day. The special-edition model is available to order now, with prices starting from 77,530 euros (for V6 TDI with 170 kW/231 PS). 20 years ago, Volkswagen took the bold step into a new segment with the stylish Touareg. Since then, the company’s premium SUV has firmly established itself in the respective markets and has become an outstanding success. More than one million units have been sold up to the present day – an impressive figure in the SUV C-segment. Modern optional features such as Travel Assist and the Innovision Cockpit with 15” infotainment system display (standard in the Touareg “EDITION 20”) ensure even greater comfort and maximum connectivity. Technologically sophisticated running gear innovations such as the optional air suspension and roll compensation increase the vehicle dynamics and make the Touareg much easier to handle than its size might suggest. Exterior with exclusive visual highlights. The distinguishing features of the new special-edition model include the completely new paintwork in Meloe Blue as well as the high-gloss polished 20-inch Bogota wheels, which are only available for the anniversary model. The expressive exterior design is rounded off by darkened side and rear windows, LED tail lights with cherry red tint, and an “EDITION 20” badge on the B-pillar. The wheel arches and diffuser additionally have a Black Glossy paint finish. Standard leather equipment and “EDITION 20” details. The exclusivity of the Touareg “EDITION 20” is continued in the ultra-modern interior. When getting into the vehicle, the driver and occupants are welcomed by illuminated sill panel trim with the “EDITION 20” logo. High-quality black Savona leather seats with distinctive diamond stitching and seams in the contrasting colour Ceramique, a light beige, underline the extremely stylish overall impression. The sporty character is highlighted by red accents: Perfectly matched double seams (piping) in Ceramique/Red can be found on the dash panel, steering wheel and door inner sides. The leather-covered selector lever for the automatic gearbox features the “EDITION 20” logo. Four engine variants with superior power. The new Volkswagen Touareg “EDITION 20” is offered with four drive variants: 170 kW (231 PS) 3.0 V6 TDI with 500 Nm torque 210 kW (286 PS) 3.0 V6 TDI with 600 Nm torque 250 kW (340 PS) 3.0 V6 TSI with 450 Nm torque Plug-in hybrid V6 TSI with 280 kW (381 PS) system power and 600 Nm torque All four engines transmit their power to an eight-speed gearbox with all-wheel drive system. This makes it possible to tow braked trailers with a weight of up to 3.5 tonnes. Technology carrier and record holder for 20 years. When it was introduced in 2002, the Touareg surprised with a 5.0-litre V10 TDI engine and an impressive torque at the time of 750 Nm. The “Race Touareg” from Volkswagen Motorsport dominated the Dakar Rally for three years in succession from 2009 to 2011. Various long-distance world records followed, such as on the Pan-American Highway, where a distance of up to 23,000 kilometres was covered in just under twelve days. In 2006, the Touareg pulled a Boeing 747 weighing 155 tonnes out of its hangar and in doing so secured another world record. In 2005, the Touareg “Stanley”, one of the first truly intelligent vehicles in automotive history, won the DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles organised by the American Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It was one of only four vehicles from the 23 that started the race to reach the finish line. Today, Volkswagen customers benefit from many years of development experience with systems such as Travel Assist and the optional Park Assist Plus with remote parking capability. Articles source:

Saturday, 21 May 2022

ŠKODA Motorsport intensively works on improving weight balance of new ŠKODA FABIA Rally2

ŠKODA Motorsport is taking no break during the development process of the new generation ŠKODA FABIA Rally2. Currently, the technicians’ emphasis lies on perfecting the weight distribution. In this respect, the chassis derived from the current FABIA road car gives the engineers the chance to further improve the rally car’s handling characteristics. The new generation of the worldwide successful Rally2 vehicle especially benefits from the new FABIA’s longer wheel base. The new generation Rally2 variant of the ŠKODA FABIA is based on the all-new road car model. With this evolution comes a new chassis as well. As the regulations allow only minor changes in this area, the rally car takes advantages of the road car’s modified dimensions: The series production ŠKODA FABIA features a 94 millimetres longer wheelbase and 48 millimetres more in width. “The current ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo is the most successful car in its category, winning events all over the world again during the ongoing 2022 season. With the new generation Rally2 variant of the ŠKODA FABIA, we target to defend this position in the future. The completely new chassis is one of the key factors for even better competitiveness.” Michal Hrabánek, Head of ŠKODA Motorsport During the current test and development phase of the new generation ŠKODA FABIA Rally2, ŠKODA Motorsport puts a key emphasis on the car‘s weight balance. The longer wheelbase and overall larger dimensions give the engineers new options to position the car’s main components. To find an optimal weight distribution, ŠKODA Motorsport’s engineers developed a unique method to change the balance of the car during test sessions, to evaluate different weight distribution solutions and to analyse set-ups for all types of stage surface. Jan Krasula, project leader of the development team at ŠKODA Motorsport, describes: “To make the most out this layout, we have started from scratch compared to the previous ŠKODA FABIA Rally2. For example, we were able to re-position the fuel tank. In the engine compartment, we took advantage of the larger space between the chassis rails. We have as well redesigned gearbox, clutch and flywheel to achieve less inertia and more efficiency. Also, the new generation ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 gets a bigger and more efficient intercooler, which would not have fit under the current car’s bonnet.” Emil Lindholm, reigning Finnish rally champion, says after extensively testing the development car: “The new generation ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 is very well balanced. The longer wheelbase makes the car a little bit calmer, the rear is more stable.” Andreas Mikkelsen, who at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo in 2021 won the WRC2 Drivers’ title of the FIA World Rally Championship and the FIA European Rally Championship overall, agrees: “The balance of the car is really, really nice. That gives me a lot of confidence to push over jumps.” And test driver colleague Kris Meeke, a winner on FIA World Rally Championship level as well, sums up his experience with the new generation ŠKODA FABIA Rally2: “Step by step, we are making improvements in every area.” On the ŠKODA Storyboard, the drivers talk about their role during the development of a new rally car and look behind the scenes during a day of testing. Article source: