July 2015

Audi hits 900,000 sales in first six months of year for the first time

(July 10, 2015) INGOLSTADT, Germany — Compared with the same period last year, Audi AG’s worldwide sales from January to June increased by 3.8 percent to around 902,400 cars. For the first time in the company’s history, more than 900,000 customers had already chosen the brand by mid-year.

Even though important model changes are imminent in a number of markets, sales climbed further in all world regions — particularly on the American continent where sales were up 12.4 percent. In June, worldwide deliveries of 157,450 were slightly above the level of the same month last year (+1.3%).

Nissan's Kyushu plant to produce Rogue for North America

YOKOHAMA, Japan — In spring 2016, Nissan Motor Co. will start producing the highly popular Rogue crossover SUV (X-Trail in Japan) at its production subsidiary in Kyushu for export to North America. The production, at an annual pace of 100,000 units, will complement that of the current model of the Rogue in Tennessee and Busan, Korea.

Memories sparked for family as they prepare for Pebble Beach

(July 10, 2015) PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Richard "Dicky" Riegel III, a member of the duPont family, has a strong first memory of the only duPont Model H in existence. As he and friends emerged from their first grade classroom, his grinning father awaited him in the one-of-a-kind car.

"Dad's enthusiasm and love for cars was infectious," says Dicky. "Dad wasn't always a man of many words, but you wanted to be with him because you could sense how much he appreciated the vehicles he was around—which immediately sank into me. My early love of cars was inevitable, unavoidable."

Mini USA announces official dates for Mini Takes the States

(July 10, 2015) WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — It’s one year away but start planning now! Mini USA today officially announced the dates for the popular cross-country owners’ rally, Mini TAKES THE STATES (MTTS). MTTS 2016 will kick off on Saturday, July 9, 2016, and finish on Saturday, July 23. The route will be announced at a later date.

2016 Audi A3 TDI: Good things, small packages

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 10, 2015) Is the Audi A3 sedan the real Car of the Year? I ask this question for the simple reason that you have to have unmitigated gall to charge this much ($34,95 base and $43,295 as-tested, both prices with destination added in) for a vehicle that is heavily based on the VW Golf, has such a small rear seat for something purporting to be a four-door sedan, and  can’t even put a stitch, button or plastic slide to prevent the seatbelt tang from sliding down when the belt is retracted. And yet…

VW Golf TDI beats Guinness World Records at 81.17 mpg

(July 9, 2015) HERNDON, Va. — Volkswagen of America has announced that the 2015 Golf TDI Clean Diesel has set a new Guinness World Records achievement for the “lowest fuel consumption — 48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car” with a remarkable 81.17 mpg.  Traveling 8,233.5 miles around America in 16 days on $294.98 of Shell Diesel fuel, the Golf beat the previous mark of 77.99 mpg by more than 3 mpg, and also beat the hybrid vehicle record of 74.34 mpg by more than 6 mpg.

Honda recalls more vehicles over airbag issue, but none in North America

(July 9, 2015) TOKYO — Honda has added 4.5 million more vehicles to recalls involving Takata Corp. airbags, Bloomberg News reported today. The recall includes Fit small cars and CR-V crossovers in Japan. The automaker is still compiling details on models affected in other markets. North America is not included in this latest recall, Honda said.

Hyundai-Kia and Mojo Mobility developing wireless fast charging system

(July 9, 2015) Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc., (HATCI) and Mojo Mobility, Inc., a wireless power technology company, have been awarded a funding grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to research and develop a system capable of fast charging an electric vehicle wirelessly. 

Mojo Mobility is known for developing highly efficient wireless charging systems capable of transferring high power without need for precise alignment between the charger and the vehicle.

Volvo introduces 'pay once and never pay again' lifetime parts, labor

(July 9, 2015) ROCKLEIGH, N.J. — Volvo Cars of North America will now offer a lifetime parts and labor warranty for all Volvo vehicles serviced after the factory warranty at any Volvo retailer. Volvo customers can expect to pay once and never pay again for replacement Volvo parts and labor, excluding accessories and wear items, for as long as they own their car.

'Ultimate' Land Rover Defender to be auctioned Aug. 29

(July 8, 2015) LONDON — Classic Car Auctions (CCA) will be offering the ‘ultimate’ Land Rover Defender in its auction at CarFest South on Aug. 29. When the 90 and 110 Land Rover models were launched in 1983 they revolutionized the model in terms of both road handling and off-road ability and paved the way for what would become known as the Defender.

Most desirable of the range was the V8 County Station Wagon, featuring 12 seats and the same 3.5 liter engine and gearbox as fitted to the Range Rover.  It also had improved interior trim plus the distinctive body stripes.