- Lamborghini opens a new dealership in Lugano
- FC Barcelona wins Audi Cup 2011
- Volkswagen brand remains at the top of the German passenger cars
- Don Istook takes delivery of first Audi TT RS in U.S.
- Bentley Explores SUV options?
- FC Bayern vs FC Barcelona in Audi Cup 2011 final
- SKODA’s Sponsorship Of This Year’s Tour De France
Posted: 28 Jul 2011 05:56 AM PDT
Automobili Lamborghini officially opened Lamborghini Lugano, the company’s new dealership in Switzerland. Attending the ceremony was Stephan Winkelmann, the President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
The showroom, located in Cadenazzo, near Lugano, is run by the dealer Tarcisio Pasta SA, founded in 1968 and boasting more than 40 years’ experience in the automotive sector.
At the new Raging Bull dealership fans can admire the V10 and V12 product lines: the Gallardo models and the new Aventador LP 700-4 that was introduced last March. With its carbon fiber monocoque, completely new 700 HP V12 engine, pushrod suspension based on Formula 1 racing technology, newly designed gearbox and superstar performance (0-100 Km/h in 2.9 seconds and maximum speed of 350 Km/h), the Aventador is the new benchmark for the entire super sports car market segment.
During the press conference at the grand opening, Stephan Winkelmann said: “Opening Lamborghini Lugano is yet another step in our plan for strengthening the Lamborghini sales network in Switzerland and around the world. For us Switzerland is a strategic market as it is within our ten most important worldwide. We know Tarcisio Pasta SA will represent the excellence and prestige of the Raging Bull brand in Lugano”.
With the new Lamborghini Lugano showroom, there are now five Lamborghini sales and service locations in Switzerland. Lamborghini is also present in Geneva, Zurich, St. Gallen and Porrentruy. Around the world, over 120 Lamborghini dealerships have been established in 45 countries.
- Automobili Lamborghini
Posted: 27 Jul 2011 07:47 PM PDT
The winner of the second Audi Cup tournament is FC Barcelona. In the final against FC Bayern Munich Thiago Alcantara scored twice in the sold out Allianz Arena to ensure the 2:0 final score. In the third place play-off game the Brazilians from SC Internacional de Porto Alegre beat AC Milan 4:2 after the penalty shoot-out.
FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich gave the 66,000 spectators filling the Allianz Arena from top to bottom a genuine football festival; the champion squad under Josep Guardiola was worthy winners at the final whistle. The Spaniards dethroned FC Bayern Munich who had won the Audi Cup premiere in 2009 against Manchester United. “We enjoyed a high class final in a fantastic atmosphere,” explained Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Marketing and Sales, who also presented the trophy to FC Barcelona. The Audi Cup was broadcast in 180 countries worldwide, in Germany ZDF was “live on air” on both match days.
Defending champions and hosts against currently the world’s best club team – FC Bayern Munich versus FC Barcelona. The finalists could hardly have been more attractive. The game also held what it promised on paper. Both teams had their chances in a thrilling 90 minute game. The ‘new Bavarians’ Takashi Usami, Jerome Boateng, Nils Petersen and Rafinha used the opportunity to play in front of the home public. Thiago Alcantara, who was voted as ‘Most Valuable Player’ again today after claiming the honor after yesterday’s semi-final, excelled by scoring two goals (42nd and 75th minute).
In the third place play-off SC Internacional de Porto Alegre beat AC Milan. After 90 minutes the score was 2:2. Milan took the lead twice (1:0 Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 3rd minute and 2:1 Pato, 60th minute), Inter equalized in the 23rd minute through Leandro Damiao and in the 80th minute by Andres D’Alessandro. The penalty shoot-out resolved the game. Hero of the nerve wracking spot kick drama was Inter keeper Renan who took the sting out of three Italian penalties. The final score: 4:2 for SC Internacional. Renan well earned reward: he was voted ‘Most Valuable Player’.
The fans cheered on their favorite teams already during both semi-final matches on Tuesday. There was good reason to be on tenterhooks. Both the game between FC Barcelona and SC Internacional de Porto Alegre (regular time 2:2) as well as the match between Bayern and AC Milan (1:1) was only decided after penalty shoot-out. Extra-time was not played. The two favored teams prevailed in the end with 6:4.
Those wishing to relive the highlights and most emotional moments of the Audi Cup 2011 – the highlights of every game and latest reports about the tournament can be seen in the internet at www.audi.tv.
Posted: 27 Jul 2011 07:44 PM PDT
The Volkswagen Group with its Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and Skoda passenger car brands again grew deliveries in the key accounts business in the first half of 2011. A total of 91,712 vehicles (previous year: 77,122) from Group brands were registered on the relevant fleet market (fleets of ten cars or more), representing an increase of 19 percent.
The Volkswagen brand remains at the top of the German passenger cars brand ranking with 56,329 registrations, an increase of 22 percent. The SEAT brand is particularly successful, with registrations growing 96.5 percent to 2,108 units, while the Skoda brand grew 31.4 percent in the first half year with registrations running at 9,050 vehicles. That makes Skoda the best import brand on the German market.
The model ranking also reflects the Group’s marked success. Volkswagen takes first and second place with the Passat and the Golf. Audi ranks third with the A4.
In the fleet market for light commercial vehicles (maximum 6.0 metric tons), where data are recorded separately, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand consolidated its clear market leadership during the first half of 2011 with 13,126 vehicle registrations (previous year: 12,979).
“These results show that our customers have confidence in the Group’s first-class product quality and innovative technology. This gives us an incentive to continue meeting our customers’ wishes during the second half of the year with competitive cars and services,” Martin Jahn, Head of Volkswagen Group Fleet International, commented.
- Volkswagen AG
Posted: 27 Jul 2011 11:49 AM PDT
The return of the heralded Audi RS line to the American performance car scene officially launched when Forth Worth Audi in Texas delivered the first 2012 Audi TT RS in the U.S. to veteran race car driver Don Istook.
Last year, Istook was one of more than 11,500 fans to sign the Audi TT RS Facebook petition drive, which helped convince Audi to introduce the 360-hp coupe in the U.S. But Istook’s connection to Audi and to the TT performance car line runs far deeper. The Fort Worth native was one of the first drivers to race an Audi Quattro in the U.S. in 1985 and he drove Audi S4 models in the Motorola Cup, which became the Grand-Am Cup. More recently he has raced Audi TT quattro coupes.
“Having raced at almost every major track in the U.S. and Canada, I’ve pushed the limits in many cars in my 34 years as a race car driver,” Istook said. “I like my street car to give me some of that thrill. With my new Audi TT RS, I not only get that thrill, but I also get that ‘race car’ sound.”
The 2012 Audi TT RS stands as the pinnacle of the TT model line, representative of the highest performance category for Audi vehicles. The Audi TT RS, powered by the award-winning 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder TFSI engine, generates 360 hp between 5,500 and 6,700 rpm, and 343 lb-ft of torque between 1,650 and 5,400 rpm for power on demand. With aluminum and steel hybrid ASF® technology and standard quattro® all-wheel drive, the TT RS offers excellent aerodynamics and increased rigidity and safety.
The 2012 Audi TT RS is priced at $56,850 (excluding $875 destination charges, taxes, title, options and dealer charges).
The newest Audi for the U.S. market truly showcases the performance engineering of the RS line of sports cars produced by quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm, Germany. The RS line has given Audi a special element of sports appeal, individuality and exclusivity.
“The technical capabilities of the Audi brand are perfectly distilled in the RS models developed by quattro GmbH,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “For the past few years, American sports car enthusiasts have pleaded with us to make the marquee available here. With the TT RS we are now furthering the Audi performance story that includes models from the Audi S4 to the new Audi R8 GT.”
Audi has announced plans to follow up with the U.S. introduction of the Audi RS 5 coupe next year. Audi dealers expect keen interest in the RS line.
“Interest in the return of the RS marquee has been so strong that Mr. Istook is allowing us to keep his TT RS at the dealership longer to show Audi fans and customers,” said Bobby Baillargeon, owner of Forth Worth Audi.
The Audi TT RS features exclusive design elements denoting its special place at the top of the TT model line, including high gloss black diamond-patterned Singleframe® grille and large front air inlets, fixed rear wing spoiler, oval exhaust pipes, rear diffuser, unique 19-inch rotor wheels and more. It comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, and available adaptive headlights. The interior also features RS-exclusive appointments, such as the contoured three-spoke sport multifunction steering wheel, aluminum door sills with the RS logo, and RS-specific interior door handles.
The Audi TT RS offers electronic features one expects from Audi, including Audi concert radio with single CD player and MP3 reading capability, and a complimentary three-month subscription to SiriusXM® Satellite Radio. Available advanced electronics offer an increased level of sophistication for the premium sports car, including technologies like Audi navigation plus with real time traffic, MMI® inspired controls, a BOSE® sound system, and Audi music interface.
But the specific appeal of the Audi TT RS – and the rest of the Audi RS line – is performance and handling.
“Superb brakes and handling go right along with the magnificent power from the 2.5-liter turbo, especially the low end torque,” Istook noted. “It reminds me of the mid 80′s when we raced the original 5 cylinder turbo Audi Quattro. What is great, though, is that I get all of that, yet I have the refinement, sophistication and technology of a truly modern sports car.”
- Audi of America
Posted: 27 Jul 2011 09:41 AM PDT
Bentley Motors Ltd., whose customers include Queen Elizabeth II and the Sultan of Brunei, may expand its line-up with a sport-utility vehicle to satisfy appetite for bigger luxury models, two people familiar with the matter said.
“The traditional perception of brands — Bentley as the maker of large, luxurious sedans — is open to expansion,” said Michael Tyndall, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London, adding that Bentley might be able to fetch a price of more than 120,000 euros for an SUV. “There appears to be customers out there who are willing to spend that much on a luxury SUV.”
Porsche AG, once best known for sports cars like the 911, now relies on the Cayenne SUV for half its deliveries. Porsche will add a second SUV in 2013 to capitalize on the model’s success, while Jaguar Land Rover is mulling a crossover vehicle. Aston Martin also says it’s not ruling out an SUV-type car.
Production of luxury SUVs, including the 58,000-euro ($83,000) Cayenne, the 75,000-euro Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and the 56,000-euro Range Rover Sport, is set to expand 15 percent to 481,000 vehicles in 2015 from 417,000 last year, according to research firm IHS Automotive. Automakers built 298,654 luxury SUVs in 2005, IHS said.
“The margins for these vehicles continue to be very high and may attract more players to the segment,” said Henner Lehne, a Frankfurt-based IHS analyst. “Customers in China and Russia usually opt for the specially-equipped versions, they’re under no limits.”
Crewe, England-based Bentley, part of Volkswagen’s stable of ultra-luxury brands including Lamborghini SpA and Bugatti, posted a 57 percent surge in six-month China sales to 680 cars. Duerheimer is keen for the carmaker to tap growing demand for SUVs in the U.S., China and U.K., Bentley’s three biggest markets, to further propel growth, the people said.
Bentley spokeswoman Benita von Maltzahn said there are “no concrete plans” for an SUV, declining to elaborate. VW spokesman Michael Brendel declined to comment.
The U.K. brand, which makes sedans, convertibles and coupes based on the Mulsanne and Continental model lines, says on its website that it takes 150 hours to build a Continental GT by hand and 400 hours to make an Arnage, predecessor of the flagship Mulsanne sedan. Steering wheels are double-stitched using two needles, with 15 hours needed to create one wheel. Every piece of glass in a Bentley is given its final polish with finely powdered pumice normally used to polish optical lenses.
“Bentleys are known for the finest handicraft,” said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany. “They’ll have to aim for an absolute top-end SUV to be true to their heritage.”
The Cayenne, Porsche’s best-selling model, accounted for half the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker’s 10,670 deliveries last month. Chinese customers wait an average of 15 months for delivery of the version with a 3.0-liter engine.
Porsche, which charges 121,000 euros for the 500-horsepower Turbo version of the Cayenne, is planning to increase production of the model by 10 percent to 20 percent starting next year to try and meet demand, sales chief Bernhard Maier said on July 10.
“Porsche is very much a sports-car maker but many people would argue that the Cayenne has been the making of the company,” Tyndall said.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, is adding assembly of the X3 model to a factory in Chennai, India, while Daimler AG (DAI) is spending more than $2 billion to boost capacity at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where M-, R- and GL-Class SUVs are made.
Volkswagen’s Audi division, which started selling the Q3 compact SUV last month, may add a fourth variant to its Q3, Q5 and Q7 lineup, sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer said in a July 8 interview. Audi suspended summer holidays at its main Ingolstadt, Germany-based factory to maintain output of the Q5, and has extended around-the-clock production of its Q7 model at a VW plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, until the end of the year.
“We firmly expect this boom to continue and have a lot of creative ideas for the future,” Schwarzenbauer said. “The potential of the SUV market is huge.”
Posted: 27 Jul 2011 06:26 AM PDT
Dream final at the Audi Cup in Munich: on finals day at 20:45 FC Bayern Munich meet FC Barcelona. The match between the German record champions and the world’s best club team will be followed by 66,000 spectators in the sold out Allianz Arena and millions in 180 countries worldwide on television screens. ZDF broadcasts live from 20:15. SC Internacional de Porto Alegre and AC Milan play in the third place play-off beforehand.
Great atmosphere in the sold out Allianz Arena: the winners of both semi-finals were only decided in the penalty shoot-out. After FC Barcelona prevailed against SC Internacional in the day’s first match (score after 90 minutes 2:2, final score 6:4 for Barcelona) the Bavarians also kept everybody on tenterhooks. In the 4th minute the local matadors trailed 0:1 after Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored, Toni Kroos equalized in the 34th minute. Both Bayern’s newcomer Manuel Neuer and Milan’s opposite number Christian Abbiati had many opportunities to excel. In the penalty shoot-out Milanese Alberto Paloschi missed with a shot high into the Munich night sky.
“A fantastic final for us and the fans,” explained Jupp Heynckes after the final whistle, who could also breathe a sigh of relief after Arjen Robben’s foot injury proved not to be very serious after the initial examination. His goal scorer Toni Kroos was voted as ‘Most Valuable Player’ by an expert jury. This honor went to Thiago Alcantára (FC Barcelona) in the first game. The final day is also sold out with 66,000 spectators. ZDF shows highlights of the first game from 20:15 and broadcasts live from 20:45. Highlights of every game and the latest reports about the Audi Cup can be seen in the internet at www.audi.tv.
Posted: 24 Jul 2011 09:47 AM PDT
SKODA’s sponsorship of this year’s Tour de France has been a success. For the eighth consecutive year, the Czech-based carmaker was one of the main sponsors of the world’s toughest cycling race that ended today on the Champs Elysees in Paris. With a fleet of 300 vehicles and many events relating to the race, the brand’s involvement was more extensive than ever before. Furthermore, SKODA was a partner of nine professional teams plus the technical assistance team (Mavic). The climax of SKODA’s presence in the event was today’s handing of the TdF trophy to Tour winner Cadel Evans by SKODA Auto BOD Member for Sales and Marketing Jurgen Stackmann.
“We are proud to have supported this fantastic sports event for the eighth consecutive year,” stressed Stackmann. “These three weeks have really been fantastic in all respects. It has been one of the most thrilling races around France so far, and the riders put in top-class performances to show why this sport keeps fascinating people worldwide. For SKODA this Tour was again an excellent opportunity to be seen by billions of viewers. Our extensive involvement in this Tour has reinforced brand awareness and enhanced our image all over the world”.
Intended for use by the race management, VIP guests and media from all over the world, 300 vehicles across SKODA’s model portfolio have been provided to the Tour de France organizers, from the Fabia to the Suberb. Furthermore, SKODA was part of the “advertising caravan” and was also heavily involved in the final ceremony on the Champs Elysees: the trophy that was handed to this year’s Tour winner by Jürgen Stackmann had been designed by SKODA’s Chief Designer Jozef Kaban and his team and manually produced by Czech glassmakers.
Together with ice-hockey, cycling is one of the main pillars of SKODA’s sponsorship strategy. Besides the Tour, the brand is also involved in e.g. the Giro d’ Italia and acts as a partner of road cycling world championships. With the objective of popularizing cycling with cycling enthusiasts, SKODA supports various cycling events designed for the general public, such as the Bike for Life in the Czech Republic and the Berlin Velothon in Germany.
- Skoda | Photo: Andrew / Paige Bessicks
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