Article by Peter Groschupf

"Autonis" design award: Audi five times first, BMW "best design brand of the year" and Mercedes-Benz creates "best interior design"

When auto motor und sport calls for the selection of the best design innovations every year, one thing is certain: the readers decide. Not an expert jury, but those who buy cars and say what they like best.

No fewer than five Audi models were awarded this year, while BMW was voted “Best Design Brand of the Year”, a prize to which Mercedes-Benz was previously subscribed and this time it was awarded for “best interior design”. In total, there were more than 100 new models from various manufacturers to choose from. Around 16.000 participants cast their votes in the readers' poll.


In one word: "Turn" - how words (can) conceal the truth

Whoever speaks of the “mobility turnaround” can only mean turning away from individual mobility. A “turn” signals nothing other than a radical U-turn, a reversal in the opposite direction. In plain language: away from automotive mobility, back into the sluggish world of immobility.


VW Passat GTE: Plug-in Hybrid - actually the best when it comes to e-mobility

Electrified driving without fear of range: This is automotive mobility with a high-tech plug-in hybrid like the VW Passat GTE. Even if no charging station is available, the battery can be fully charged while driving with the combustion engine. It is then good for around 50 kilometers of all-electric driving. Plug-in hybrid: the ideal compromise when it comes to electromobility.

This is really optimal: (Almost) endless range thanks to the petrol engine and being able to drive 50 kilometers electrically in the city without emissions are convincing arguments for the plug-in, which, in terms of registration numbers (September 2020), aims to overtake purely battery-powered cars. Although Volkswagen in particular relies fully on the battery car card with the ID.3, and other manufacturers have also declared the battery car to be a drive system with no alternative in the long term, customers are clearly skeptical. The majority of car buyers still turn out to be battery grumpy. It remains to be seen whether that will change.


The hypocrisy of politics and the EU knows no shame - "The constant criticism of the car is bearing fruit"

The automotive supplier Continental is under heavy pressure. The campaign against internal combustion engines initiated by the Greens and politicians threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs. The closure of the Aachen tire factory in 2021 and massive austerity measures have now led to a wave of outrage from the union and politicians. Two prime ministers criticize that Continental is now doing what was foreseeable a long time beforehand.

Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil and IG-BCE boss Michael Vassiliadis criticized the company's management for the planned job cuts. And would-be chancellor candidate Armin Laschet even speaks of “cold capitalism”. Steingart's morning briefing quotes him with the sentence: "Are you really serious about snubbering all of your interlocutors and simply closing a plant?"


BMW 4 Series Cabriolet: The romance of a convertible

An open car is luxury, a car for special occasions, for a drive into the sunset or to your favorite café. When the metal folding roof came up, the cabriolet repositioned itself as a vehicle for the whole year. But this characteristic was due to the elegance - and the trunk volume. Fabric tops have long been suitable for year-round use; and BMW is taking the lead with the 4 Series: The new 4 Series Cabriolet, like its predecessor generations, has a soft top again, which still appeared as a 3 Series.

Not only the line benefits from the new hood, which is not only available in black, but also with a metallic shimmer. It is also 40 percent lighter than the retractable roof of the previous model. It can be opened or closed up to speeds of 50 km / h in 18 seconds, and the trunk grows by an impressive 80 to 300 liters.


Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess sees his electric strategy endangered by the low diesel fuel price

It should be clear that Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess does not make friends with his diesel customers with the demand for a higher diesel fuel price. In Wolfsburg, there is hidden criticism "that our boss is acting as a socialist planned economy".

In the discussion it becomes clear that the schizophrenic balancing act between making money with combustion engines and expensive e-mobilization is almost tearing the company apart strategically. While Diess is the tightening of the CO2- believes that limit values ​​are feasible for Volkswagen, entire armies of engine developers see not only their performance discredited, but also the "politically enforced path to electromobility poses a great risk because it ignores basic market laws and the wishes of customers".


Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid: Nothing is impossible - not even low SUV consumption

The fact that the new Toyota RV4 plug-in hybrid with a system output of 306 hp is only supposed to consume 1,2 liters of petrol per 100 km is only due to the very complex calculation method under EU law. Because the 18,1 kWh battery power must of course be added to the consumption. Nonetheless, the new SUV all-wheel drive actually proves to be really economical beyond complex dimensioning parameters. No other plug-in SUV currently available on the market can move 75 kilometers from the (full) battery without starting the gasoline engine.

What did they smile in some development departments and specialist editors when Toyota launched the first hybrid car, the Prius, 23 years ago (!). "Two heavy drive systems in one car are inefficient nonsense," said a BMW CEO at the time. Toyota was not deterred, not even by us motor journalists. All well-known car manufacturers now have not only hybrids on offer, but also plug-in hybrids. And you can feel that the development of this technology has made great strides. Not all plug-ins are more economical than equally powerful solo burners; but most of them have been found to be very economical with liquid fuel.


The EU Commission's 1000 billion flop

For Ursula von der Leyen, the patron saint of the consulting industry, the “Green Deal” should finally bring what she has to show neither as a family nor as a defense minister: success.

While the consultancy industry close to it can look forward to a lush source of money, others clap their hands over their heads. Anyone who wants to spend a trillion euros in tax money like von der Leyen should be able to ensure success. From a factual point of view, there can be no question of this in this case. Because nothing will change in the climate, even if Europe reduces the CO2- would reduce emissions to zero.


Comment from guest author Holger Douglas: The abolition of the auto industry continues

At the video conference between the Chancellor and the big players in the auto industry, there was no mention of any help for the suppliers who were in dire straits. Instead, electric cars are to be pushed into the market with government support.

The car with a combustion engine is »through«, the abolition of the important automotive industry is to continue. That is, in summary, the result of yesterday's »car summit«, which was held in the form of a video conference with Chancellor Merkel, representatives of the auto industry and ministries. There should be no state purchase premiums for cars with internal combustion engines, only electric cars should be pushed into the world with all their might. But so far hardly anyone wants that.


"Umwelthilfe" criticizes plug-in hybrid consumption figures - not entirely without good reason

If a 560 PS hybrid Porsche is specified with an average consumption of 2,2 liters per 100 kilometers, the physical question arises as to whether that is even possible. Answer: theoretically yes, unlikely in everyday reality. The official value is in part actually window dressing that has been devised at many green tables in Brussels and approved by our government. It was to be expected that the car opponents from the “Environmental Aid” association would make these surreal consumption figures a topic.


BMW 120 d: The end of rear-wheel drive prejudice

It's time again to throw prejudices overboard: thanks to its rear-wheel drive, the BMW 1 Series has long been considered a solitaire in the compact class and a guarantee of sporty, demanding driving characteristics. The departure from the powered rear axle, criticized by BMW enthusiasts (including me!), Would not only scratch the brand's sporty image, but also its driving behavior, was assumed. The BMW 120 d we are currently testing has vanished all front-wheel drive concerns.

I also criticized BMW for abandoning the iron rear-wheel drive principle in favor of front-wheel drive technology. Now with “front experience” I refuse to shout about the downfall of Bavarian driving pleasure, which in our (earlier) imagination only seemed to be achievable with rear-wheel drive. No matter how much the camshaft lyricists mourn: Driving pleasure does not depend on rear-wheel drive, as we experienced in the 120d.




What will car presentations look like after Corona? No different, but smaller.

Massive savings programs at the automakers and Corona seem to be the synthesis of serious changes in terms of product launches. In some companies, it was even briefly considered to completely cancel driving ideas for new cars and only communicate digitally. All-clear: Despite Corona, all companies do not want to do without personal contact with journalists.

"Our boss suggested that we could save the money for driving events in view of Corona for the next few years," reports a PR man who "does not want to be called" because "I then blocked this attempt to attack our press work." have". It may be that other managers have also thought of using the future corona normality to save in product communication; But they have not completely renounced the savings idea either.


Because they often don't know what they're saying

Daimler CEO Ola Källenius is not alone with the most misunderstood word in the German language. When he was asked to explain why the cars are painted black in front of the Formula 1 race in Spielberg, he said the wrong thing, even though he meant the right thing.

Daimler wants to show tolerance. Anyone who realizes that tolerance from Latin actually means toleration immediately understands that tolerance cannot be used to campaign against racism. Tolerance is when you “tolerate” opinions other than your own without having to adopt them. You can (and should) tolerate people you don't like. You have to respect and respect everyone, that shouldn't be a question.


Guest contribution by Holger Douglas / UTR eV: Leading climate activist apologizes for scaremongering.

"On behalf of environmentalists around the world, I would like to formally apologize for the climate fear we have created in the past 30 years," writes an ex-climate activist. Is the front of the climate Japanese collapsing now?

No joke, but remarkable words from a former leading propagandist of man-made climate change. "Climate change is taking place," he tweets. 'It's just not the end of the world. It's not even our most serious environmental problem. «