Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Canadian Porsche Dealership Achieves World Recognition in Marketing Innovation

Porsche's enthusiasm for motorsports has been the cornerstone of the brand's prestige as a sports car maker. While the German performance vehicle builder has been regularly competing with production-based race machines through the 21st century, Porsche has not had a purpose-built race car entered in the top prototype category of Le Mans. In fact, the last time Porsche contended in the prototype class of the French sports car classic occurred before Audi entered the their first R8R vehicle in competition. After 16 years, the 16-time overall event winner returned to the daylong sports car endurance race with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Although the two Porsche entries suffered problems during the 24-hour race, there was still a celebratory spirit at Porsche Centre Oakville. This enthusiasm his now been recognized by through a global competition for marketing.

Triumphing against respected dealerships across the global Porsche network, the Porsche Centre Oakville won a coveted marketing innovation honour through the execution of a big party centered around the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This past June 14th, the Oakville sports car dealership hosted more than 500 guests over a 24 hour period coinciding with the big race in Le Mans. Featuring fun for a whole family, the dealership supplied an array of activities. For children, a face painting and the Junior Grand Prix consisting of a 65-foot inflatable race track equipped with Porsche peddle cars proved to be a big hit. For adults, facility tours and a 2010-model year, Le Mans-inspired Porsche 997 GTS RS delighted. Aside from the sports car race, soccer fans were accommodated with a custom World Cup lounge with foosball table. The Porsche Centre Oakville party also featured refreshments provided through a BBQ, popcorn station and ice cream truck.

Commenting on winning Porsche's marketing innovation award, General Manager at Porsche Centre Oakville Francesco Policaro said, "With our 24 Hours of Le Mans event, we tried hard to give out customers an exciting experience and to celebrate and support Porsche's re-entry into the famous European sports car challenge. It was a great day here at Porsche Centre Oakville as witnessed by the abundance of current and future Porsche owners that participated in our award-winning experience." Policaro also thanked Oakville-based marketing company 7 Communications for their assistance making the marketing innovation award a truly great achievement for Canadians.

Despite Porsche's unsuccessful campaign to capture a trophy at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 919 Hybrid, the company continues to win fans.

Information and photo source: Policaro Automotive Family

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mazda Teases CX-3 Artwork Ahead of November's World Premiere in LA

Japanese automakers first inroads to the North American marketplace around half a century ago depended upon smaller vehicles. While Toyota and Honda allowed vehicles in their line-up to bloat to capacities suiting large-thinking tastes east of the Pacific Ocean, Mazda remains centered on being a big player of mainly compact vehicles. Mazda will again remind the world how big things come in small packages with the world premiere of a new compact crossover vehicle.

Detailing the appearance of the Mazda CX-3, the continuing fostering of KODO design language is teased in a sketch the automaker provided. Vertically aligned grille, sweptback headlamps and pronounced side curves exhibited on the CX-3 design could foretell the arrival of Mazda's boldest styled crossover. Whether the teaser image is largely accurate or an embellishment will be unveiled on November 19th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Making its global debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Mazda CX-3 enters below the existing CX-5 and CX-9 in scale as a new compact crossover. The vehicle will become the newest member of a growing group of smaller urban utility products. Direct competition to what will be the CX-3, The Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V are a few nameplates recently spawned in North America to attract a new entry-level crowd. When Mazda exposes their latest compact crossover in sheetmetal form, expect to hear mentions of SkyActiv technology and a potential retail price below $20,000 US.

Following the unveiling to the press, the first members of the public can view the Mazda CX-3 between November 21st and 30th at the 2014 LA Auto Show. Mazda's Los Angeles presence will also include the 2016 MX-5 as well as has updated models of the Mazda6 and the CX-5. Causing a stir earlier this year with the much-anticipated reinvention of the MX-5 sports car, Mazda has been teaching us in 2014 how great it can be to think small.

Sizable Amount of Recalls for General Motors' Big 2015 Model Year SUVs

2015 GMC Yukon XL

In writing my last post on 2015 model year vehicles that have undergone Canadian safety recalls in 2014, I noticed one group of vehicles from General Motors have endured the roughest exit from the starting gate. Going by the Tahoe and Suburban name wearing the Chevrolet nameplate, Yukon and Yukon XL when fitted to GMC badged vehicles or as the Escalade and Escalade ESV with Cadillac, five separate safety recalls have been issued relating to products built on the new truck-based sport utility vehicle (SUV) platform. Important to note these potential safety issues have or are being addressed by General Motors promptly, multiple recall notices are clearly not the way an auto company wants to welcome new buyers.

This first recall in Canada affecting Chevrolet and GMC variations of the new SUV came this past March relating to the six-speed automatic transmission. It was a concern that the transmission cooler lines were not seated securely resulting in the potential for a coolant leak. Loss fluid has the potential of igniting and causing a fire if exposed to a hot spot of the vehicle. Correcting action to the issue consisted of dealerships inspecting the connections and replacing any problem parts. The first recall for the truck-based SUV also included 2014 pickup trucks from Chevrolet and GMC.

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade was not part of the initial Canadian safety recall for the large sport utility vehicle platform. For the 2015 Escalade, May proved itself as the time the luxury SUV received a dubious mark. Affecting 57 Canadian Escalade and Escalade ESV models, the safety recall was linked to worries of a poorly welded passenger side airbag mounting. To fix this problem on the 2015 Cadillac Escalades, the instrument panel right side upper trim panel had to be replaced by service technicians. In October, the front passenger side section of the Escalade was again the focus due to the instrument panel potentially being installed incorrectly. Once again, the concern surrounded the deployment of the passenger side airbag. On 44 Cadillac Escalade models, the instrument panel top cover had to be replaced.

In June, some Chevrolet and GMC models were once called to the attention of General Motors service centers. 2015 Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon along with the Yukon XL SUVs equipped with the base model system and internal amplifier were recalled over the potential the radio could become inoperative. Disabling the vehicle's audible warning system, failure could contribute to injury or death in worst case scenario. A software update to the radio system served as the repair on the vehicles affected. In another June recall, full-sized Chevrolet and GMC sport utility vehicles, concern relates to the potential of an electrical short with models equipped with an automatic transfer case. The vehicle could jump into neutral unexpectedly either in motion or when the transmission is engaged in 'Park'. In this case, reprogramming of the transfer case control module has been entailed to the eliminate the safety risk.

So, what does these recalls mean? Does the number of recalls mean anything? Maybe Canadian motorists can take stock the fact General Motors is acting prudently to fix any potential issues of an important vehicle. After all, the same auto company has become an entity of mistrust due to what has been concluded as lengthy delay in addressing faulty ignition switches. As important as it is for auto companies to sell products to the public, Canadian motorists are owed the respect from your choice brand. Perhaps a recall notice is best served as an auto company seeking this respect reaffirming to consumers that we count above anyone else.

Information and photo source: Chris Nagy, Transport Canada

Monday, October 27, 2014

Recalls Result in Rough Entry for Some All-New 2015 Vehicles

2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan

This is a time of the year we commonly associated as the period where the auto industry looks forward. Even though the calendar says we have two months remaining in 2014, 2015 is now the mindset of Canadian new car sales lots. Some models released earlier this year have already been set in the upcoming year while others are now becoming the candy for buyer car consumers. New designs, technologies and sometimes a chance to see something entirely new from a favoured brand. If you are one of those people, 2015 model year promise to be a tantalizing time to be wooed.

More than ever, motorists realize potential problems with vehicles are addressed with recall notices. For what is the second-most expensive purchase many of us make, automobiles is perhaps the most complicated products available. In the case of cars, trucks and crossovers that are all-new or significantly retooled for 2015, introduction marks a vulnerable moment for all the testing auto manufacturers have done prior to a product's sale still reveals weaknesses. Inconveniently, recalls routinely throws off the balance of what auto brands would wish to be a precision launch. Fixing an important safety issue, early recalls are most important for vehicles coming into the marketplace. These days, motorists understand the recall process and can grant some manufacturers some acceptance as long as the remedy is performed swiftly.

As days remain in 2014, several new vehicles have already been initiated with the Canadian automobile market through the recall process. Below is a large sampling of the 2015 recalled by the end of October (a note that these the following safety recalls have been addressed or under attention from manufacturers):

Chrysler 200

2015 Chrysler 200 Blue

Nature of Recall: Electrical (August 6, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 81

Suspension (July 3, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 5,313 including the Jeep Cherokee and Ram 1500 truck

The most important Chrysler product launching in North America for the 2015 model year, the 200 sedan is a needed ingredient for defining an upscale brand and use of global technologies. During the summer, the Chrysler 200 has been part of two recall notices. The first recall in July affected the 200 sedan as well the Jeep Cherokee and Ram 1500 pickup truck. Certain vehicles may have mounting ring loops on the rear shock absorbers prone to failure allowing the shock to separate. Loose shock absorber could vehicle stability problems or may come in contact with the brake lines and/or tires. In August, 81 examples of the 2015 Chrysler 200 have received a recall notice regarding driver's door wiring harness potential of overheating. Both cases, the vehicles are to have undergone inspection and potential replacement of problem pieces if necessary.

Hyundai Sonata

Nature of Recall: Brakes (June 27, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 39

Hyundai has come a long way in North American in 30 years. From inexpensive vehicles exhibiting subpar quality Hyundai is today held in much higher regard. Winning over customers with quality, cars like the 2015 Sonata also allows Hyundai to gain points in the styling department. In June, the suave, new mid-sized sedan was recalled due to improperly manufactured front brake calipers. An issue affecting a certain group of 39 Hyundai Sonatas sold in Canada, the caliper could fracture causing a reduction in braking effectiveness. In the case of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, the recall was addressed prior to the cars being transferred to new owners.

Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Truck

Nature of Recall: Airbag (October 15, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 149

General Motors conceded to North American demand for a smaller pickup truck offering with all-new version of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon for 2015. Just as the new trucks are undergoing preparation for duty by owner, a recent recall has affected early examples of the vehicle. Incorrectly connected wire may cause the two-stage airbag system to deploy in opposite sequence. The problem could result in a higher risk of injury or death in the case the airbags system will deploy. General Motors will reprogram the system on all Canadian Chevrolet Colorados and GMC Canyons to correct the issue.

Acura TLX

Acura TLX at 2014 Motorexpo Toronto

Nature of Recall: Label (September 30, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 84

The 2015 Acura TLX is an eagerly awaited choice for drivers seeking a new premium sport sedan. An example there is no small problem that can't be taken seriously by an auto manufacturer, Acura is recalled the 84 TLX sedans sold in Canada because of a labelling mistake. Compliance label bears an incorrect Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and Gross Axle Weight Rating. The inaccurate labels could result in overloading the 2015 Acura TLX and causing an increased accident risk. Labels have been replaced with correct labels by Acura/Honda dealers.


Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Nature of Recall: Steering (September 30, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 1,106

Mercedes-Benz is one of the most storied brands existing in the auto sector. After-all, Karl Benz was credited for creating the first practical version of what is now realize as the automobile. Even though a lot has changed since 1886, automobiles are still prone to faults. In the case one of Mercedes-Benz's newest production cars, the 2015 C-Class, an early fall recall affected 1,106 Canadian models. The problem relates to the steering column possibly being installed incorrectly. Sliding shaft could potentially become disengaged from the steering coupling socket causing noise, steering backlash and loss of steering control. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class are to undergo a visual inspection insuring the steering column interlock mechanism is in the locked position.

Subaru Outback

Nature of Recall: Accessories (September 22, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 1

One of the longest-running vehicles fitting the term crossover, the Subaru Outback has received a more muscular exterior appearance while retaining the Boxer engines and all-wheel drive system for 2015. The 2015 Outback boasts the ability to tow up to 1,360 kilograms but a recall in September indicated some concern to the activity with the vehicle. Dealer-installed trailer hitch mounting hardware have been over-tightened resulting in reduce strength of the fasteners. Potential a trailer could attach from the vehicle if fasteners fail. Subaru's remedy to the issue consists of inspect the hardware and replace if needed. According to Subaru's notice in Canada, this recall affected a single 2015 Outback at the date of the notice.

Lincoln MKC

2015 Lincoln MKC Crossover

Nature of Recall: Visual System (August 6, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 117

Thee MKC premium compact crossover is seen as Lincoln's best chance of matching wits with luxury car companies such as Cadillac, Audi, Acura and BMW. The 2015 Lincoln MKC was warmly welcomed as a production just a year after its first appearance as a concept car. Making its transition from auto shows to driveways, the MKC has encountered a small bump. Glazing materials used on windshield. Air may have been trapped during the manufacturing process. Could result in decreased visibility. The concern will be inspected by Ford service personnel and the windshield was replaced if required.

Even with the recall, the arrival of the Lincoln MKC is still fairing people than its platform sibling the Ford Escape with several early faults in 2012 needing correction.

Porsche 918 Spyder

Nature of Recall: Suspension (July 29, 2014)
Number of Affected Canadian Vehicles: 1

Proving recalls are not unique to general, high volume production cars, the Porsche had to report an issue with their plug-in hybrid supercar in late July. The problem relates to rear longitudinal and transverse control arms. Under certain conditions, it is believed the components could break causing a lose of handling.

At the time of the recall, there was only one Porsche 918 Spyder in Canada. In September, two of the supercars existed in the country until the 918 Spyder belonging to CBC Dragons' Den personality Michael Wekerie perished at a gas station.

In addition to the vehicles presented in this posting, there has been another group of products that will receive special attention as recalled on more than one occasion.

Information and photo source: Acura Canada, Chris Nagy, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Hyundai Motor America, Porsche North America, Subaru of America, Transport Canada

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2015 Nissan Micra Cup Will Apply Super-Low Cost Formula to Canadian Motorsports

A reoccurring tale of many organized sports is the cost to compete. Tragically, the various expenses of even minor league sports (namely the proud Canadian past time of hockey) has caused a social disconnect. Arguably the most expensive competition for an individual to attempt is auto racing. The vehicles, operating costs such as fuel and tires, as well as considerations such as storage of race equipment makes maintaining the sport prohibitive for athletes. In Canada, the auto company with the most affordable new car in the marketplace will bring some racers a chance at budget-minded competition. Using the exact under car starting at a $10,000 base price, Nissan has paired with JD Motorsports and Motorsport in Action (MIA) to ready the Micra for the race track.

Launching next year in the province of Quebec (a province long-regarded as a haven for small car sales), the one-vehicle Nissan Micra Cup is slated to compete during five race weekends under the Auto Sport Quebec sanctioning body. At the time of the series' introduction only that the tour will start May 2015, Nissan has not released to location of the events or their specific dates. Nissan Micra Cup race weekends will consist of a 30-minute trail, 30-minute qualifying session and a pair of 30-minute races. The upcoming Canadian racing series is being billed as the most affordable. Remaining in Quebec for 2015, Nissan has stated expansion of the Micra Cup program to other provinces is possible starting in 2016.

Using a four-door subcompact as the basis for competition, the race car is largely a Nissan Micra S. The 1.6-liter double overhead cam four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual are identical to what is available on the showroom Nissan Micra. Maintaining a stock powertrain, the Micra Cup car is enhanced by a NISMO S-Tune suspension system kit, altered exhaust, high-performance brake pads and Fastwheels wheels attached to Pirelli low-profile high performance tires, The remainder of the modifications for motorsports consist of safety equipment. A full safety cage is located within the interior area of the subcompact Nissan in addition to an FIA-approved racing seat with five-point harness, driver safety net and fire extinguisher. Most stock interior components such as the seating and door panels will be removed from the Micra Cup car.

Motorsport specialists including the accomplished French-Canadian sports car driver Jean-Francois Dumoulin handled the extensive testing and evaluation for the Nissan Micra Cup race car challenging it against two of Quebec's more notable race tracks. "I really enjoyed every minute I spent testing the Nissan Micra at Autodrome Saint-Eustache and Circuit Mont-Tremblant. For a car which is still almost stock, the Nissan Micra, is quite fast and so fun to drive", said the 2007 Rolex 24 of Daytona GT Class co-winner.

Prepared by MIA, Nissan Micra Cup race vehicles can be ordered from JD Motorsports. The completed price for the brand-new race car will be $19,998.

Information and photo source: Nissan Canada

Monday, October 20, 2014

Audi RS7 Piloted Driving Concept Completes Driverless Lap at Hockenheim

Yesterday, a monumental display in 21st century automobile technology proceeded under the presence of a large motorsports crowd. As the content of a previous article on Car FYI announced, a special Audi RS7 concept car lapped Germany's famed Hockenheimring lacking one detail typically associated with lapping vehicles; a driver.

Taking part ahead of the main race for the 2014 DTM series finale at the world famous race track, An exhibit of computer-controlled autonomous driving provided by Audi was placed behind the starting line of the Hockenheimring. Driven into the P1 starting spot by a human, the doors of the vehicle opened to a small reception of press and other Audi-related personnel. Preparations for the live display Piloted Driving has arrived to an ambitious live display. While Audi previously tested the RS7 Piloted Driving concept car leading up to the one-lap performance on Sunday, the perceived freshness of the technology could have left the window open to any varieties of snafus. On the other hand, a successful effort would prove to audiences in 2014 what endurance runs of early automobiles demonstrated in the early 20th century.

In position, the driverless car sat empty ahead of its cue to start its lap. One of two Audi RS7 Piloted Driving concept cars in existence, the car entrusted to take the 4.574-kilometer lap around the Hockenheim Grand Prix was named "Bobby" (the second car is recognized as A.J.). As a green flag flew, Bobby's Piloted Driving system was engaged launching the 560-horsepower RS7 Sportback. Under guidance of its GPS data transmitted over wireless communications and 3D cameras, the Audi RS7 Piloted Driving concept car navigated the race track. Lacking a driver, top speeds of 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) was estimated for over the course of the lap. Dealing with each of the 16 corners of the race course, Audi's Piloted Driving one-lap demonstration ended as a textbook success. In fact, the autonomously-driven vehicle appeared to handle Hockenheim with the ease that many humans enjoy a Sunday drive.

Audi had estimated the lap time of the RS7 Piloted Driving Concept at as little as 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Launching from a standing start, the single lap attempted by the Audi Piloted Driving system took roughly 2 and a half minutes around the Hockenheimring (according to my measurement of the web video). Average speed on the car's single lap is appraised at around 109.77 kilometers per hour (68.2 miles per hour). The time was a full minute slower than the DTM competitors in Saturday qualifying but those vehicles are race-purpose machines.

About the only hiccup related to the Piloted Driving exhibit was problems related to Audi's online live streaming. Whether it was a basic technical difficulties or perhaps the influx of viewers at the time of the demonstration, the virtual viewing world missed out on the live experience of the RS7 Piloted Driving lapping at the Hockenheimring. For those who missed it live(including myself) or just missed the demonstration, Audi has prepared the following video documenting the full event:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Audi Acting Alone: Piloted Driving RS7 Hockenheimring Run To Be Streamed Live

On Sunday, drivers of the German DTM series will converge for their final race of the 2014 season at the famed Hockenheiming. A league of drivers topped by BMW's Marco Wittman in 2014 (Wittman has locked-up this year's championship), DTM sees Audi RS5, BMW M4 and Mercedes C-Class race cars muscled around race tracks due to the direct result of the human element at the controls. For the last race weekend of 2014, a special, attention-grabbing Audi RS7 Sportback will be navigated around the famed German road course absent a driver.

Scheduled to make an appearance on-track Sunday prior to the main feature for DTM, the Audi RS7 Piloted Driving concept vehicle will negotiate the 4.574-kilometer Hockenhiemring circuit guided only by its autonomous drive technology. A 560-horsepower supercar many human drivers will simply long to wheel, the Audi RS7 five-door coupe conversion to a driverless concept vehicle involved few changes over the production vehicle with the quattro all-wheel drive and eight-speed tiptronic still present. Audi Piloted Driving technology added to the RS7 Sportback involves an intelligent network of controls for steering, throttle, braking and gear shifting guided by a GPS data transmitted through WLAN.

Early in 2013, an autonomous Audi TTS was given a drivers license in the state of Nevada. The driverless sports car now approved to be experimentally tested on Nevada roads has been the result of Audi working with Stanford University and Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab. In what has been previously one of Audi's greatest public exhibitions of their Piloted Driving technology, a TTS was launched up the historical hill of Pikes Peak in 2010. In that exhibition, the driverless car accomplished the hill climb in 27 minutes travelling at an average speed of just 27.6 miles per hour in that run. As a testament to the advancement of autonomous Piloted Driving technology from Audi, the auto brand estimates the driverless RS7 Sportback will achieve a full lap in 2 minutes and 10 seconds around the Hockenheimring on Sunday.

The Hockenheimring run is shaping to be the most public exhibits of Audi Piloted Driving technology. Easily over 100,000 race fans is expected to be on-hand to witness the Audi RS7 Piloted Driving concept running at performance thresholds few driverless cars have trekked. Additionally, Audi is preparing to live stream the run on the Internet.

Please take note this Car FYI article has included the Audi's live video stream. The live broadcast will start at 6:45 am eastern time with a behind the scenes look at the Audi RS7 Piloted Driving car with track time scheduled at 6:50 am.

Information and photo source: Audi AG

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Volkswagen XL Sport Concept Features Ducati Motorcycle Power

Can a vehicle travel at a top speed of 168 miles per hour, achieve 0 to 100 kilometer per hour acceleration times in just 5.7 seconds from the momentum of two cylinders? The Volkswagen XL Sport concept car presenting itself to the world for the first time in Paris this month boasts those exact impressive performance numbers from a high-revving motorcycle engine.

Think of the Volkswagen XL Sport as a motorcycle with four wheels and a full car body. The concept vehicle was derived from the limited production Volkswagen XL1 plug-in hybrid. On the surface, the XL Sport fits all the criteria to be called a supercar. Radical exterior sculpting of the Volkswagen XL Sport concept results in a 0.258 drag coefficient. Lamborghini's active aerodynamic features including an extendable rear spoiler and adaptive air vents augments the vehicle to achieve an optimum level of downforce. Extensive carbon fiber construction, LED lighting and 18-inch forged magnesium wheels are also characteristics shaping the XL Sport concept design.

The concept vehicle is based on the Volkswagen XL1 plug-in hybrid. A car itself based on a far-out idea car from 2011 that combined electric power with a tiny one-liter turbocharged diesel engine. Defying the thoughts of many, Volkswagen began producing a small run of 250 street-going versions of the XL1. The XL Sport is longer and wider than the XL1 in order to more positively invoke the sense of athletic performance. Wing doors of the Volkswagen XL1 remain intact with fixed polycarbonate windows for decreased weight.

Powering the XL Sport, the concept car relies solely on a 1,199 cc V-twin engine. This engine is from no other than the Ducati 1199 Superleggera motorcycle. the most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle on a production motorcycle, the 1,199 cc V-twin generates 197 horsepower and can roar up to 11,000 rpms. In 2012, Ducati was integrated with the Volkswagen Group (VW Group) of companies. Officially purchased by VW Group subsidiary Audi, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer has kept true to its image prior to Audi's purchase of the company. The Ducati 1199 Superleggera motorcycle production is a premier superbike with only 500 to be built.

While a motorcycle engine powering an actual car is not the norm in the current global vehicle market, there have been a number of production vehicles that have been propelled through this type of powerplant. Several early Honda vehicles such as the S500 sports car as well as the N360 city car were powered by their company's own motorcycle engines. In Formula 1 during the late 1950s, the innovation Cooper race cars that eventually led to the extinction of front-engined grand prix and Indy-style cars originally started with building vehicle using motorcycle engines as the basis.

The Volkswagen XL Sport will be one of many interesting concepts to be previewed ahead for week's opening of the Paris Motor Show.

Information and photo source: Volkwagen AG