Thursday, 26 August 2010

Volkswagen Unveils New Race Touareg 3

The Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 has dominated the Dakar rally for the last two years. After winning in 2009 they went one better this year and secured an all Volkswagen podium in positions 1 - 3. The Touareg 2 was the first ever diesel powered vehicle to win the historic race but it has now been retired.

The Race Touareg 2 has now been replaced by the Race Touareg 3 (who thought that one up?). The new version has had a number of improvements which VW believe will stand them in good stead to win in 2011.

Beneath the bodywork the twin-turbocharged 2.5-litre TDI engine has been optimised to allow greater economy while still producing 300 PS and 442 lbs ft of torque. It has also been revised to cope with the severe altitude changes incurred on the Dakar with the vehicle climbing to heights of over 15,000 feet above sea level. The Race Touareg 3 can now adapt to these conditions, meaning the performance doesn’t suffer despite the thinner air encountered at such altitudes.

In order to maintain these speeds in extreme off-road conditions the Race Touareg 3 needs to be able to withstand the rigours passing over sand dunes, through deep mud, and across gravel and broken tarmac roads. As a result the Race Touareg 3 is based on a high-strength steel spaceframe chassis with a pair of springs and damper units fitted to every corner in order to protect the vehicle against severe impacts. A set of specially developed BF Goodrich 235/85 R16 tyres provide the grip while a pair of wheels and tyres are carried by the vehicle at all times.

Volkswagen have also launched their new Amarok pick up which was the Official Support Vehicle of this year's Dakar rally. The Amarok will join Volkswagen's range of vans and used vans later in the year.

300mpg Electric Car Built by School Kids

A class of children from the DeLaSalle Education Center in Missouri have worked with experts to produce an electric car which can achieve 300mpg. As the video below explains the kids built the car from scratch with expert guidance as part of their Automotive class. During the build they learned about the science of electric vehicles as well as incorporating maths and history lessons.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Video: How Not To Drive

I didn't think it was possible to crash a van in a completely empty car park free of obstacles but people always manage to exceed my expectations. Lets hope this guy wasn't driving a rental van otherwise this video might be used to prove his liability!

Perhaps the driver of the van thought he was staring in The Fast and the Furious or maybe he was suffering from a bouffee delirant. Either way I don't believe that it was a woman driver as the title says - women just aren't that daft.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Monitor Your Fleet with Smart Cameras

Each UK citizen is caught on CCTV camera around 300 times on an average day. Cameras cover much of our road network and you aren't hidden from view in your van (so stop picking your nose at traffic lights). There are still some areas where your actions go unrecorded however and chances are if you have an accident it will be in one of these blind spots.

Many fleets already using tracking software to keep tracks on where their vans have been but is this enough? What happens if you have a crash and the blame is unfairly attributed to you? Smart Witness sell vehicle CCTV systems which can record the movements of your fleet at all times.

The camera is backed up by an on-board GPS system which records the vehicle's location as well as the speed and direction of travel. The video below shows the results, note the speed and location in yellow text at the bottom of the image.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Volkswagen Launches New Van Maintainance Scheme

Volkswagen have announced the release of a new used van and car maintenance scheme designed to simplify pricing in order to provide clarity for customers. Volkswagen hopes that its new pricing system will be provide peace of mind and easy budgeting to its customers in a time when finance is a concern for many.

“We’re launching this fixed price servicing programme as an extension of the Service Promise we introduced last year, allowing customers of older Volkswagens to enjoy the same standards of aftersales care as owners of newer cars. When we asked customers what they wanted, transparent servicing costs were top of the list. We’re confident that by introducing these and offering service and maintenance by Volkswagen experts with the latest training who have instant access to the right tools and technology, there will be no reason for owners of older vehicles to look outside the network for aftersales care.” - Stephen Butt Head of Customer Services, Volkswagen.

Volkswagen cars or vans aged between three and ten years, with an engine up to and including 2.0 litres in capacity will now cost £30 to MOT, while minor services are priced at flat rate of £119. Other services will fall into one of three categories:

  • Maintenance covers major issues such as air conditioning services, replacement of brake pads, and a cambelt change.
  • Convenience includes a courtesy lift, collect and deliver service or a loan car while the service is taking place.
  • Car Care for small dents, chips or alloy wheel refurbishment, enabling a professional repair to the vehicle.

Full details of the new fixed price servicing scheme can be found here or by visiting your local participating Volkswagen Van Retailer.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Van News Round Up

Right I've been away for a few days so here is a quick catch up with what has been going on in the world of vans and commercial vehicles...

Tata Motors Registeres 41% Growth In July 2010

India's largest commercial vehicle maker, Tata Motors registered a growth of 41% selling 67,799 vehicles in July 2010

Gentex strikes SmartBeam deal with Volkswagen

Gentex Corporation has announced that its SmartBeam high-beam assist system is now available on nine Volkswagen models...

Mercedes-Benz Vario undergoes a facelift

The Mercedes-Benz Vario is undergoing a facelift and is set to receive a new drivetrain...