Monday, 19 September 2016

FELICIA ‘Most Elegant Car’ in China Classic Rally

ŠKODA participates in Top City Classic Rally China 2016 and ŠKODA FELICIA wins award for ‘Most Elegant Car at the Event’. Further success: victory in a special stage and award for 'Historical Revival of the Rally'.  ​The ŠKODA FELICIA, the most popular open-top model, won the award for ‘Most Elegant Car’ at the Top City Classic Rally China 2016. The ŠKODA cabriolet, which was produced in 1960, drove over 500 km in each of the Beijing and Shanghai stages of the rally. The model completed the rally successfully and impressed droves of spectators along the way.

Andreas Hafemann, President of ŠKODA China, took part in the rally in Beijing and attended the award ceremony at the stage destination Zhangjiakou – one of the host cities of the Winter Olympics 2022. “ŠKODA is one the oldest automobile manufacturers in the world, with a legendary history spanning 121 years. We are very glad to share the classic and iconic ŠKODA models, as well as ŠKODA’s unique auto culture and heritage with consumers and auto fans in China,” said Mr. Hafemann.

The Top City Classic Rally China was organized by the German magazines Auto Motor und Sport and Motor Klassik. The rally was divided into two stages: The Beijing stage involved 35 vintage cars from various brands starting in a Beijing suburb, passing by the picturesque grassland of Hebei province and finishing in Zhangjiakou. In the Shanghai stage, 36 classic cars started from the landmark Oriental Pearl Tower, heading through the ancient town of Wuzhen and finishing at the beautiful Thousand Island Lake in Zhejiang province.

ŠKODA took part in the first Top City Classic Rally China in 2014, when two vintage cars from the Czech brand – a ŠKODA FELICIA and a Laurin & Klement – became the stars of the show.

This year, the ŠKODA FELICIA was once again the highlight of the event. The car was originally produced in 1960. Over the last 56 years, the car has been painted in various colours and some parts were lost or damaged. Recently, only with great support from the ŠKODA Museum’s historical archives, technical documents and auto parts was the car fully restored and re-furbished.

The ŠKODA FELICIA is ŠKODA’s most famous open-top car model. Continuing the company’s tradition of manufacturing open-top cars, the ŠKODA FELICIA was series-produced between 1958 and 1964. The car offered elegant bodywork that became a symbol of the Czech social revolution of the 1960s and also appeared in numerous films. Whilst inspired by the classic English roadsters, it surpassed them with its driving features, universal character and driving comfort. With a total of 14.863 units manufactured, the FELICIA became the most popular open-top model by ŠKODA.

2016 marks 121 years since the company was founded, making ŠKODA AUTO one of the longest-established vehicle manufacturers in the world. The company was one of the pioneers in the industry, launching bicycle production in 1895, followed soon after by the production of motorcycles and cars at their headquarters in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic. ŠKODA has sold more than one million vehicles for the second year in a row and is present in over 100 markets worldwide. The most comprehensive model range in the company’s history is manufactured at 14 plants in Europe and Asia.

Since entering the Chinese market in 2007 with the first locally produced vehicle – the OCTAVIA, ŠKODA has established a very successful partnership with SAIC Volkswagen. Over the past nine years, the partners have jointly established ŠKODA as one of the major car brands in China, so far delivering a total of 1.8 million cars to customers in China.

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Monday, 12 September 2016

Audi strengthens partnerships with Chinese tech giants

Audi is strengthening the digital footprint of the brand in its largest global market. Audi China and the brand’s joint venture FAW-Volkswagen signed tripartite memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent respectively. The partners will deepen their cooperation in the areas of data analysis, internet-vehicle platform building and urban intelligent transport.

Monday, 5 September 2016

ŠKODA KODIAQ Interior Revealed

​This is how ŠKODA's new large SUV looks inside: Shortly before its world premiere, the Czech automobile manufacturer gives a first glimpse inside the new large SUV. The photos emphasize that ŠKODA has implemented its modern, clear, expressive design language in the cockpit. At the same time, the images highlight 
the brand's uncompromising standards in terms of functionality and build quality. ŠKODA is once again setting new standards in interior space: The ŠKODA KODIAQ features the largest boot in its class and is available as a seven-seater. 
Mladá Boleslav, 30 August 2016: The interior of the ŠKODA KODIAQ is powerful and robust, yet welcomes passengers with a friendly character. As with all ŠKODA models, the KODIAQ is modern and elegant whilst meeting the functional requirements of an SUV. Every detail conveys clarity and calm; form and function are harmonized.
The expressively and elegantly designed dashboard is uncluttered. It is divided into two symmetrical zones for driver and passenger. Distinctive vertical elements, such as the four large air inlets characterise the interior. The middle ones flank the on-board monitor. Their edges run along the top of the instrument panel and form a trapezoid, which reflects the ŠKODA KODIAQ’s bonnet. The large display has an elegant glass design with ‘Simply Clever’ operation – logical and intuitive. All switches and functions are easily accessible with a self-explanatory layout. The seats are made of high quality materials, offering the driver and front passenger superior comfort.
The above-average space, which sets new standards in its class, is characteristic of ŠKODA: The developers of the KODIAQ have made the largest interior possible from the external dimensions of 4.70 meters in length and 1.88 meters in width. For the first time in a ŠKODA, the SUV is also available with seven seats. The model can react flexibly to various seating and cargo requirements thanks to longitudinally adjustable reclining seats.
With a volume of 720 to 2,065 l (with rear seats folded), the five-seater ŠKODA KODIAQ offers the largest boot in its class. Options such as the heated steering wheel ensure high comfort. The same is true of the more than 30 ‘Simply Clever’ solutions, such as the door edge protection, electric child safety locks and sleep headrests.
The new ŠKODA KODIAQ celebrates its world premiere in Berlin on 1 September 2016. ŠKODA will be broadcasting the impressive production of film, music and choreography live on the Internet from 19:00 CEST.
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Monday, 29 August 2016

Audi A3 Sportback g-tron

Audi g-tron unites ecology, economy and high-tech in groundbreaking fashion.
Not only can the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron use fossil natural gas and biomethane, it also runs on eco-friendly Audi e-gas, which Audi produces from wind energy at the world’s first ever industrial power-to-gas plant in Wertle in Emsland in the German state of Lower Saxony. This cutting-edge technology enables fluctuating energy sources such as wind and solar power to be stored on a large scale for the first time – a vital step forward for increasing renewable electricity, which is also good news when it comes to recharging the A3 e-tron, the sister model of the A3 g-tron.
The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron is equipped with an 81 kW (110 bhp) petrol engine that has been optimised for operation with natural gas, and is the first ever CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) car to be manufactured in series by the brand with the four rings. It has a bi-fuel design and is able to cover a distance of over 400 kilometres on a single tank of gas thanks to its low consumption of 3.2–3.3 kg/100 km on the NEDC cycle, and a further 900 kilometres on petrol power when no CNG filling stations are available. Running the A3 g-tron on Audi e-gas enables virtually CO2-neutral operation.
Audi e-gas is a synthetic methane gas that is manufactured using hydrogen produced by electrolysis and CO2 extracted from the exhaust-gas flow of a waste biogas plant. When Audi e-gas is produced using green electricity, exactly the same quantity of CO2 is absorbed as the Audi A3 g-tron releases in gas mode. Consequently, an A3 Sportback g-tron refuelled with Audi e-gas currently represents the most eco-friendly form of long-distance mobility.
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Monday, 22 August 2016

Finale of the Tour de France: ŠKODA KODIAQ is first across the finish line

The ŠKODA KODIAQ made a strong guest appearance at the finale of the Tour de France: the brand’s new SUV led the peloton across the finish line in Paris. Stephen Roche, winner of the 1987 Tour, was captivated by the driving performance of the lead car.
On yesterday’s final stage of the Tour de France, the ŠKODA KODIAQ was first across the finish line. According to former Tour winner Stephen Roche, the brand’s new SUV cuts a fine figure on the bumpy Champs-Élysées boulevard. “The ŠKODA KODIAQ offers a particularly generous amount of space”, said Roche, who sat behind the wheel of the SUV. “Its ride is very pleasant and the car responds to all your commands with a high degree of precision. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ŠKODA KODIAQ on its Tour debut”, said the Irishman, who acts as a brand ambassador for the Czech car manufacturer.
As the vehicle partner, ŠKODA provided around 250 support and escort vehicles as well as more than 50 team cars. One of those was the ‘Red Car’ – a ŠKODA SUPERB in Corrida Red, which served as official lead car for all 21 stages. In a similar design – with a red, grey and black camouflage car wrap – the ŠKODA KODIAQ led the peloton across the 21st and final stage to the finish in Paris.
Stephen Roche in an interview: “Paris is an electrifying experience”
Mr Roche, you have already experienced the finale of the Tour de France in Paris on multiple occasions – do you still get butterflies when you drive along the Champs-Élysées?
Stephen Roche: Yes, I don’t think that will ever change. This great city, all the people, the cheering – it’s an electrifying experience. It brings back memories from 1987. In cycling, there is nothing better than the finale of the Tour de France in Paris. Here at the finish, all the hard work of the previous three weeks evaporates. You’re just happy to be here.
This year you were able to drive a very special car on the last stage. What was your impression?
Stephen Roche: Throughout the entire Tour, the ‘Red Car’, a ŠKODA SUPERB, has lead the peloton. It’s a great car – spacious, comfortable and easy to drive. But the surprise for me this year was the new ŠKODA KODIAQ SUV. It was the first SUV ever that the A.S.O. has allowed to lead the finale in Paris. This is a special honour for such a great car. The ŠKODA KODIAQ provides an extremely generous amount of space, its ride is very pleasant and the car responds to all your commands with a high degree of precision. It was great fun to drive it.
As a ŠKODA ambassador, how have you found the experience of this year’s Tour?
Stephen Roche: I rode some of the stages in the ŠKODA SUPERB. I also hosted some guest events, cycling together with them and watching the Tour.
What impression has ŠKODA, as sponsor of the Tour de France, made on you?
Stephen Roche:ŠKODA impressed with absolute professionalism. The ŠKODA team comprises of hundreds of people, yet everyone knows exactly what they have to do at all times. They all do a wonderful job – you can just sense the brand’s close connection to cycling and their enthusiasm for it. I would also like to pay the drivers a compliment. It is enormously difficult to support the cyclists in the peloton without disturbing them.
Stephen Roche – a brief profile
He is a living legend: in 1987, Stephen Roche became the first, and so far the only, Irishman to win the Tour de France. At the end of an exciting tour, during which the yellow jersey changed hands nine times, he crossed the finish line with a lead of 40 seconds – he had not overtaken the runner-up Pedro Delgado from Spain until the final time trial. In the same year, Roche also won the Giro d’Italia and UCI Road World Championships. Eddy Merckx is the only other cyclist to win the triple.
The ŠKODA KODIAQ marks the beginning of the Czech brand’s global SUV campaign. It represents all of ŠKODA’s strengths – a distinct design that is full of character, an exceptionally large amount of space, a high level of functionality and the philosophy of the ‘Simply Clever’ features.
At 4.70 metres long, the SUV offers, along with excellent all-round qualities, the largest boot within its vehicle class and an optional third row of seats. Comprehensive connectivity, modern assistance systems and future-orientated infotainment are further highlights of the ŠKODA KODIAQ.
The Czech car manufacturer’s SUV will celebrate its world premiere on 1st September 2016 in Berlin. At the end of September this year, the ŠKODA KODIAQ will visit Paris once again – as a guest at the motor show in the French capital. The market launch will be at the beginning of 2017.
The name KODIAQ refers to the Kodiak bear, who lives on the island of the same name off the southern coast of Alaska. Size, strength, sense of family and outdoor skills – the bear and the new ŠKODA SUV both share common character traits.
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Monday, 15 August 2016

One millionth Audi Q5 leaves ingolstadt production line

Hugely popular Audi SUV celebrates landmark sales success
  • Production jubilee for mid-range SUV
  • Best-selling premium SUV in its segment: nearly 1.6 million deliveries worldwide
This Thursday, the one-millionth Audi Q5 drove off the production line at Audi’s main plant in Ingolstadt. The jubilee car, an SQ5 in Sepang Blue, will be delivered to a family in Germany. The international success of the Audi Q5 began in 2008, when Audi launched this model in the segment of mid-range SUVs – the second Q-model from the brand with the Four Rings after the Audi Q7. Since then, the Audi Q5 has developed into a favourite with the customers and can be seen on the roads of more than 100 countries. Because Audi produces this top-seller also in China and India for the respective local markets, worldwide deliveries sum up to nearly 1.6 million vehicles.
 “The Audi Q5 is a genuine guarantee of success for us. For that reason, I am very proud that we have created a worldwide crowd puller with this SUV model from the main plant in Ingolstadt. One million Audi Q5 cars – that is due to the outstanding performance of our production team. We achieved it with great effort and commitment,” stated Albert Mayer, Plant Director at the Audi site in Ingolstadt.
Peter Mosch, Chairman of the Group Works Council of AUDI AG: “On behalf of the Works Council, I would like to thank all the colleagues who put our Audi Q5 on the roads. Their skills make this SUV into an absolute bestseller.”
The company handed over a total of 266,968 Audi Q5 cars to its customers worldwide last year, which is about eight percent more than in 2014 (247,446). The success of the Audi Q5 is steadily continuing, with a further increase in unit sales of 4.7 percent in the first half of this year. The Audi Q5 continues to be the bestselling premium SUV in its segment. 
Audi employees in Ingolstadt build more than 650 automobiles of this model every day. In addition, the Audi Group produces this top-seller also in Changchun, China, and Aurangabad, India, for the respective local markets. Altogether, nearly 1.6 million of the Audi Q5 have been sold worldwide since the start of production in 2008. The SUV is especially popular in China, the United States and Germany.
Audi Ingolstadt is the lead plant and mentor for the new Audi plant in Mexico. The Audi Q5 will drive off the production line in San José Chiapa for the world market as of late September. 
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Monday, 8 August 2016

A car lifetime tested in fast forward: 100th Audi quality assurance ‘Inka’ test

Major milestone reached in rigorous Audi testing programme
  • 12 years of a car’s life replicated in just 19 weeks of testing
  • 100th car in the Ingolstadt corrosion and aging test is an Audi A4
  • Sylvia Droll, Head of Materials Engineering at AUDI AG: “Endurance test exemplifies our high quality requirements worldwide"
Ingolstadt, August 2, 2016 – Audi Quality Assurance has conducted its 100th ‘INKA’ test – on an Audi A4. The Ingolstadt corrosion and aging test is one of the toughest assessments a car has to go through at Audi. Performed at the Audi global headquarters, it simulates the challenges of 12 years of a car’s lifetime in a span of just 19 weeks. Quality Assurance uses this method to verify an Audi's effective corrosion protection and durability.
In the course of performing 100 ‘INKA’ tests, Audi Quality Assurance has completed a total of 322,500 testing hours, covered more than one million kilometres (621,371 miles) and driven through 2,800 mud tests and 1,900 salt tests.
“Audi stands for superior build quality, high-quality material appearance and high reliability – even many years after a car is first registered,” explains Sylvia Droll, Head of Materials Engineering. “The INKA test is an essential tool for assessing the quality of our models and for further optimising our production methods.”
The endurance test covers five phases. First the car is misted with salt in a climatic chamber at 35 degrees Celsius. Next it is exposed to a tropical climate of up to 50 degrees Celsius and maximum air humidity of 100 percent. In phase three, 80 halogen metal vapor lamps, each with an output of 1,200 watts, heat the body to a maximum of 90 degrees Celsius. In the process, the colours in the interior must not fade and the materials must not become brittle.
The fourth phase simulates winter-like conditions at the polar circle. At minus 35 degrees Celsius, a four-post hydropulse machine rocks the car to simulate the body torsion and strain on parts of the vehicle and engine mounts that cars endure on rough roads. In parallel – phase five – test drivers repeatedly drive through specially prepared routes on the open testing grounds.
A total of 12,000 kilometres (7,456.5 miles) are travelled with each model, including driving through saltwater and mud. At the end of the test, the quality inspectors dissect the entire car into around 600 individual parts and check these for weak points.
Audi Quality Assurance conducted the first INKA tests in 2002. Technical Development has been assessing pre-series cars using the same test method for 40 years now.
A video detailing the various processes involved in the INKA test on a Q7 model can be viewed, downloaded at up 1080p or embedded via this link:
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