Volkswagens of the near future: 10-speed transmissions and plug-in hybrids

VW XL1

Although Volkswagen seemed to resist the hybrid movement at first, it has finally come around. Can you really blame it for its reluctance? After all, it’s staked its reputation on clean diesel TDI technology.

Speaking recently at the Vienna Motor Symposium, Volkswagen chairman Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn indicated that German brand is eager to pursue 10-speed dual-clutch transmissions, plug-in hybrid models, and perhaps even natural gas options.

At the heart of his speech, Winterkorn stated VW’s intention “to bring the carbon dioxide emissions of its European fleet down to as low as 95 g/km by 2020,” according to a Green Car Reports report.

The first vehicles under the VW family of brands to follow this objective will be the Audi e-tron and the Porsche Panamer plug-in hybrid. After that, the VW Golf, Passat, Audi A6, and the Porsche Cayenne will follow suit.

Future VW plug-ins will achieve a 30-mile range on its initial charge and will utilize electric turbochargers, 10-speed DSG transmissions, and other cutting-edge technology to further diminish emissions.

If Audi’s R18 e-tron racecars are any indication, VW would love to see plug-in diesel hybrids take hold as the global powertrain technology. The cost of both diesel and plug-in hybrid components must drop significantly before that goal can be achieved. Right now, each technology adds a $3,000 premium to the price tag over that of a conventional gasoline-powered car. Combining the two, presently, would price the vehicles out of the market.

Cars

Audi is finally taking the wraps off its Tesla-fighting e-tron electric SUV

The 2019 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV aimed at the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It's Audi's first mass-market electric car, but will it make a good first impression?
Cars

Startup inks ‘world’s largest deal’ for driverless grocery deliveries

An increasing number of companies are testing delivery services using autonomous vehicles. Startup Udelv already has experience of running a trial in San Francisco, with Oklahoma City, Oklahoma set to become its next destination.
Cars

Audi’s new e-tron dispenses with physical toll tags via its Integrated Toll Module

Audi will debut a new way to manage and pay for roadway tolls in its up and coming e-tron all-electric SUV next week. It's the brand's first car featuring technology that allows drivers to manage toll authority accounts straight from the…
Cars

BMW USA’s stance on diesels still up in the air despite discontinuation claims

Despite various outlets quoting reporting BMW diesels are dead in the U.S. and BMW will focus on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, another spokesperson corrected that the company's official decision is still undecided.
Cars

An elevator in your garage? Boring Company gets OK to test Loop Lift from tunnel

The Hawthorne (California) City Council gave Elon Musk's Boring Company the go-ahead to construct a Loop Lift prototype. The lift will connect the company's existing underground hyperloop to a residential garage.
Cars

Uber has decided to leave its broadly derided current logo ‘behind’

Rideshare giant Uber has a new brand image. The new wordmark logo replaces Uber's previous brand icon, a circular graphic that was derided as an "asshole" symbol that walked away from a clear brand identifier.
Cars

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.
Smart Home

Amazon reportedly will introduce an Alexa-enabled microwave, amp, and more

Amazon's Fall 2018 Alexa device rollout is about to begin, sources say. Look for an Alexa microwave, an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer, and an Alexa voice-responsive device for your car. Amazon is maximizing its voice-command presence.
Cars

Elon Musk: Tesla is bringing most collision repair in-house, outsiders too slow

Dissatisfied with third-party collision repair shops, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce the firm is bring most repair work in-house. The goal is a car as good or better than new with repair completed in under an hour.
Cars

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.
Cars

Ferrari’s latest special editions are stripped down, old-school sports cars

The Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 are inspired by some of the Italian automaker's most legendary sports cars. They mix old school rawness with modern carbon fiber construction and 789-horsepower V12 power.