Episode 40 : Autonomy in the UK - Porsche R&D Reshuffle, UK Gov Vehicle Surveillance Tests , Volvo UK Autonomous Vehicle Trial, Moscow ePrix, Sergio Expands Ferrari Role...

This week regular programming continues, with Alan and Andrew beating through the news of the week. The fact that this is "The Big Four Oh" went completely unnoticed...

  • Porsche R&D Boss Reshuffle
  • UK Government Vehicle "Surveillance Tests"
  • Volvo to run Real-life autonomous vehicle usage trials in the UK
  • Moscow FormulaE ePrix
  • Sergio expands his Ferrari responsibilities
  • 10 million European Toyotas
  • Huge range improvements for the BMW i3
  • Porsche's Panamera family for the family
  • New TVR unveiling at the London Motor Show
  • McLaren F1 for sale on the open market
Read More

Episode 39 : Depressing Emissions - Mitsubishi Kei cars, Peugeot raided, #Dieselgate, Mercedes US emissions, FCA to recall 1.1M cars, Shell's city car, 2016 Driver Power Results, Beijing Motor Show

This week Andrew is back within the range of Skype, so Alan, breathing a huge sigh of relief, is not alone. This is handy because there is a lot to cover in the show.

Alan starts with the news that Mitsubishi has admitted they’ve rigged fuel economy tests of four models of Kei cars which they make for themselves and Nissan, in the Japanese market. This has prompted a ‘raid’ on their offices by Japanese officials and the US asking for more information. A special investigatory committee has been set up and the company has admitted this has been happening since 1991. 

Andrew moves on to Peugeot-Citreon, who were also ‘raided’, but this time by French officials, in connection with their vehicle’s emissions. This reminds Andrew of the ‘raid’ in January on Renault, which nothing further has been heard about. There are no indications they have done anything wrong.

Our old friend #DieselGate is back in the news. This time it is thanks to the German government, who have demanded 17 manufacturers voluntarily recall certain models due to the higher than allowed levels of NOx. VW, Open, Porsche, Audi and Mercedes have recalled but 12 others have yet to confirm. Strangely, the UK Gov is not following this lead, they are merely asking if these manufacturers will do the same. 

This smart segway moves us on to the reports that the UK Gov is to pressurise VW to compensate customers in a similar manner to US customers. Andrew may well have got a tad cross at this news. Both of the chaps would love to know the justification for compensating customers when VW has not broken any laws or regulations in this country. Perhaps this is just sabre rattling, unless our politicians are that stupid they believe there should be compensation.

Robert Goodwill MP has informed the Transport Select Committee that VW has not fixed any UK based cars yet.

Continuing with the #DieselGate theme, Jalopnik has the full transcript of how VW propose to fix that has been preliminarily accepted by the judge in the court case. Click the link here to read through it

In more bad news for VW they announced their annual results, this is in the form of a £1 billion pre-tax loss. They’ve also set aside more money directly associated with fixing #DieselGate. Upping it to £12.2 billion.

In a strange and potentially ill-advised move, VW are now not going to release the preliminary findings report into the affair. At a time when openness and honesty are required, and some may say essential, in rebuilding VW’s reputation this is a curious step to take. However, as the legal firm will not have completed their investigations then it is understandable anything released prematurely could do more harm than good.

Continuing the great news that is flowing through this week’s show, Mercedes have been asked by the US Department of Justice to “review exhaust emissions certification”. There are concerns over the levels of NOx emitted.

FCA have been in the news too. For two reasons, the first being that FIAT have been accused of using an pollution timer. The second that they’re recalling 1.1 million Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge cars due to the auto shifter potentially allowing drivers to leave the car without it being in ‘park’. Friend of the show @rotationupnorth did suggest trying to use the handbrake may counter that issue.

After all of the publicity and sometimes misleading reports from mainstream press outlets a new site has been set up that reveals the true pollutant emissions from cars. Click the link here to check out the EQUA Index

After drawing a huge sigh of relief Alan and Andrew move away from the deeply depressing news of emissions and misleading results, to brighter things. First up is the super efficient Shell city car concept, developed with the help of Gordon Murray

Here is the link to the EV show Andrew mentioned.

Volvo have announced a new target, they want to sell one million electrified cars by 2025. With all the other initiatives Volvo has going on it is a busy time in Gothenburg!

Euro NCAP revealed this week the first ratings with pedestrian detection. This included the Toyota Prius and Suzuki Baleno which received 5 and 4 stars respectively. Don't worry, Alan even manages to bring his MX-5 into this conversation.

Once again the time is upon us for the 2016 results of the Driver Power survey, run in conjunction with Auto Express. Congratulations to Renault! Click the link here for the winners.

In somewhat surprising news Renault have suggested that the Zoe could get Renault Sport treatment. Andrew is interested to see how this could affect battery performance, but their tie in with Formula E is obviously having knock on to regular models. 

In ‘shocking’ news (we are all very sorry but could not resist such a pun), the BMW i8 designer and some execs are moving to a Chinese EV startup

The chaps move on to news from the AutoChina Motor Show in Beijing. Mainly this just has cars you are familiar with before they are stretched and have LWB added to their name. However, there are a few cars that are relevant to us. 

Renault revealed the Koleos SUV, which is the bigger brother to the Kadjar.

Volkswagen unveiled the T-Prime Concept GTE, which indicates what the next Touareg will look like.

Porsche took the opportunity to show the new 718 Cayman.

Infiniti showed us all what the replacement for the QX50 could well look like.

Audi revealed the new TT RS Coupé and Roadster.

Here's one car that won't be coming to the UK, but we all think should, the Mazda CX-4.

As a bit of follow up from last week's show, Ian Callum clarified his comments as reported, on future Jaguar estates.

And that's it for this, mammoth show! To get in touch with us check out the links below and please do give us a lovely rating and review, as it helps the show so much!

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Episode 28 : It's a S90 not a SC90 - iTunes Review, #Project2CV update, Feb New Car Reg Figures, New VW CO2 Figures, Autonomous HGVs on UK roads, Car of the Year Awards, Happy Birthday BMW

This episode begins with the chaps saying a big THANK YOU to the kind listeners who've posted ratings and reviews since last week's plea. By doing so there has been a noticeable difference in the podcast's position in iTunes charts.

Firstly Alan and Andrew thank @Joe_Hallenbeck for his kind words. By the way he owns a gorgeous E28, no really it is amazing! His daily driver is his trusty Rover 75.

Next Andrew and Alan thank Bruce for his wonderful review. He's much more eloquent than either of the presenters!

Finally Alan and Andrew thank @BuddaPSL, the Gothenburg correspondant, who posted some lovely words, which they managed to understand with the help of Google Translate! By the way, he has a cracking Subaru BRZ!

In more Follow Up, Andrew discusses #Project2CV, Ian Seabrook's accidental crowdfunding of the restoration of his 2CV, Elly. Ian has posted a new video showing the new progress he's made on striping down the car. He's found rust, which he expected, but an awful lot of it too. As of last night the fund had reached £1700. If you can support his endeavour please do.

Now, moving onto the news the chaps are pleased to talk about the rather excellent February figures for New Car Registrations, from SMMT.

Andrew explains the #Dieselgate update from Volkswagen. They've released new figures for the small number of cars affected by incorrect CO2 stats. This only amounts to about 190 cars on UK roads, apparently.

With thanks, once again to @TalesofanAlfa, Alan and Andrew were made aware of the news that autonomous HGVs will be trialed and tested on the M6 in Cumbria soon. This is the first step in seeing such vehicles on UK roads.

Alan is happy because he gets to mention "Mazda" and "MX-5" as it won the UK Car of the Year Award 2016.

These were not the only award winners. Car Design News have their own annual awards, one for Concept Car, which the Porsche Mission E won; and Production Car, which the Volvo S90 won.

The show wishes BMW a Happy Birthday, as the company is 100 years old! They have started their centenary year with the Vision Next100 concept car unveiling. There will be more to come from BMW over the year and we cannot wait to see what they will show us!

Andrew rounds the show out with news that Volvo will be selling Polestar performance parts for your car, that won't invalidate your warranty! This is brilliant news for fans of rapid Volvos.

To get in touch with Alan via Twitter

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