Geneva Motor Show: It’s got a whole lot of shakin’ going on!

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As I’m sure you’ve seen the auto show at Geneva has been in full swing this week, and I have to say, the Swiss show does not disappoint. Has anyone else noticed that the European manufacturers generally save their interesting concepts and big announcements for the European shows? It makes sense, it’s their home territory after all.

All right, let’s hit this.

There was a lot of news on the supercar front and I could do an entire post just on them! 

Aston Martin announced the name of their AM-RB 001, The Valkyrie. Always with the V names, but if something works for you, you stick with it. Co-designed with Red Bull, which explains the RG in it’s code name, this performance vehicle won’t disappoint.

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The Valkyrie. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get ‘shield maiden’ from this. Image rights. 

Aston Martin also announced a new performance sub-brand, AMR (Aston Martin Racing) at the show this week. It’s forebears are the Vantage DB8, and the newest iteration was unveiled at the show this week. For more info on the AMR racing line check out this article by the Telegraph.

Ferrari  unveiled the 812 Superfast this week, it’s a beautiful car. Exactly what you’ve come to expect from a Ferrari. The classic long, lean lines and the bright yellow badge. They also discussed the possibility of a new premium model to go alongside the California, the 488, the new models GTC4Lusso and 812 Superfast. Apparently their customers have been frustrated with long waiting lists and sold out models so Ferrari is toying with the idea of a new premium model to alongside the California, the 488, and the new models mentioned above. Time will tell.

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Ferrari 812 Superfast here.Image rights.

 

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812 Superfast interior shot. Image rights.

For you Lamborghini fans out there, the Huracan Performante has smashed the Nurburgring production car track record by 5.0 seconds! Beating out the Porsche 918 Spyder. Possibly old news for some, but, dang, is that impressive! I can’t be the only one who who likes it in that matte orange, right?

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Matte paint jobs are always easy on the eyes. Hard to keep looking their best though. Image rights.

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Oh, it looks great on that Italian countryside. Image rights.

And for pure kicks, have you heard about the Techrules Ren? This Chinese supercar company’s created the first patented diesel-fueled turbine-recharging (TREV) system. This custom TREV technology gives it an impressive  2.5 second 0-62mph and a top speed of 217 mph with a claimed fuel economy of 31.5mpg. If this car is the real deal, that is seriously impressive. I’m not particularly enamored with the three seat configuration or the two but that’s okay. I probably can’t afford one anyway. Scratch that, I know I can’t.

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The Techrules Ren with  3, 1 and 2 seat options. Image rights.

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That white pearl paint on it though. It looks clean. Image rights.

Okay, moving on.

I know the Volkswagen ID Buzz concept was released back at the Detroit Auto Show awhile a back, and apparently the microbus has gotten a thumbs up for production from Europe and the US but they’re waiting to get the green light from China before the ID Buzz could make it to production. This one has got to stoke the nostalgia factor in a lot of people. This is the closest a new microbus has gotten, it proves that the third time might just be the charm.

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You can’t help but smile when you see a microbus. Image rights.

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That steering ‘wheel’ is flat to the dash when not in use. Image rights. 

And wow. Have you seen Toyota’s electric city car concept, the i-TRIL? This single seat subcompact car has an interior you won’t be expecting, though their images do hint at it. It’s got this two-tone with blue accents look going on outside…

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Then BAM! Magenta and a golden yellow on the inside, with a dark purple dash and what looks like a wooden or possibly bamboo floor. And get a load of that steering… Well, I hesitate to call it a steering wheel. It looks straight out of a sci-fi movie.

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The more I look at it, the more it grows on me. And the more I am even more reminded of it looking a bit a jumping spider or a hermit crab.

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Sorry, if you don’t like spiders. Image rights. 

With all theis amazing car news going on at the Geneva Motor Show I hope to one day make it there and see it all first hand. That’s the dream.

 

 

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Foil those morning frosts – Volkswagen’s climate windshield

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It’s one of those unifying daily tasks that no one enjoys doing, especially when you’re out in the freezing cold and the sun’s not even up yet. We all know the drill: Bundle up in our outdoor gear. Start the car. Turn the heater to defrost and (if you have it) turn on the defroster for your rear window. Then, you get out your scraper and spend the next 5-10 minutes putting scraper to windows clearing as much frost as you can.

Well, it turns out there may be a light at the end of the tunnel after all. You might even call it a silver lining. It’s an ultra-thin layer of silver sandwiched (or as the say ‘laminated’) between two layers of glass in Volkswagen’s new climate windshield. Unlike typical heated windshields with filaments of wire running through them, Volkswagen’s newest invention uses an invisible layer of silver that doesn’t affect your visibility at all. Imagine that.

Right now this is only available on the Volkswagen Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Tiguan, Sharan, Passat and Passat Variant… Which means it’s not actually available in the US. I did a bit of searching and I can’t find any mention of it anywhere on the US Volkswagen sites. I’m think this would be a big selling point in most of the country though. Most American deal with frost frequently during the winter months.

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A frosty 2016 Volkswagen Passat. source.

Yes, Volkswagen is in the middle of a public relations snafu of their own making, but this could be one of those things to bring them back into our (America’s) good graces. It’s not even that expensive but it could save you so much time and effort. Not to mention spending less time in the cold.

I’ve seen a few comparisons to the Ford QuickClear system, which is again only available in Europe, that uses a grid of wire filaments to clear your windshield. I can’t help but think why does Europe get all the good tech? So I looked into it… Apparently we had it in the 1990’s but it wasn’t popular. How strange, it seems like it would be a major selling point to me. Way to go earlier generation, why didn’t you like this?

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A Vehicle before Ford QuickClear was turned on. source.

Oh, and Volkswagen says that this state of the art windshield isn’t just for winter. The ‘the thin layer of silver acts as a passive heat shield. As it reflects up to 60 per cent of the summer heat.’ Thus reducing the interior temperature of the car by 15 degrees Celsius, or 27 degrees for those of us who live by Fahrenheit.

Prices start at €340 (approximately $363.03) depending on the model.

 

Volkswagen after Dieselgate: go green with electric cars

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Dark times for Volkswagen

Ever since the so-called “Dieselgate” Volkswagen’s reputation and sales have taken a serious hit. Since the discovery of fraud with the laboratory emission tests, Volkswagen has been making efforts to save itself from ruin. This includes making a deal with the US government which among others states that Volkswagen has to drastically change its diesel strategy and reduce emissions. In other words, they have to go green with electric cars.

Recently the car manufacturer specified how they plan to achieve

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The new VWs probably won’t be this green

the agreed upon greener strategy. Volkswagen wants to sell 1 million electric cars every year by 2025. In order to achieve this, they plan to have a range of 20 electric models by 2020. This green range not only includes fully electric cars, but plug-in hybrids as well. They will be spread across the different brands of the Group and will not be limited to Volkswagen itself. Maybe by going green the brand hopes to make up for their contribution to pollution. We’ll have to wait and see whether they will succeed in going green with electric cars and whether buyers will forgive them the whole Dieselgate thing. I’m doubtful, but maybe you feel differently.

But whether you have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the Dieselgate scandal or not you can make your car better and safer by equipping it with Travall pet barriers.