July 2019 GLOBAL NEWS
VW SAYS ADIOS TO THE ICONIC BEETLE
Final Car Rolls Off Mexico Assembly Line…
First introduced in the U.S. in 1949, the Volkswagen Beetle’s quirky design and fuel-sipping habits quickly won the hearts of consumers worldwide, accounting for the global sale of 21.5 million cars. And while still popular in its current iterations as both a coupe and a convertible, the time has come for Volkswagen to bid farewell to a mainstay brand.
The final car—a Denim Blue Coupe—rolled off the assembly line recently at Volkswagen de Mexico’s Puebla plant. The car will be displayed at Volkswagen’s museum in Puebla as a lasting tribute to the car’s rich and storied heritage. The last car built for the U.S., a pair of special-edition Kings Red vehicles with custom dashes, keys and quilted seats, will join Volkswagen of America’s collection of historic vehicles.
“It’s impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be today without the Beetle,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “From its first import in 1949 to today’s retro-inspired design, it has showcased our company’s ability to fit round pegs into square holes of the automotive industry. While its time has come, the role played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished.”
Sold in coupe and convertible variants, the second- and third-generation Beetles have collectively been produced in 23 different exterior colors, 32 interior trims, 13 varying engine configurations and 19 special editions. All second- and third-generation Beetles were built at Volkswagen de Mexico, Puebla, and have been sold in 91 countries. With the end of Beetle production, the Puebla plant’s resources will shift to production of a new SUV tailored to the North American market.
From the time it hit the U.S. shores in 1949, the classic VW Beetle (shown here), and its second- and third-generation variants, became a global automotive phenomenon, ultimately racking up sales of 21.5 million cars worldwide.
WET-WEATHER DRIVING TIPS FROM IAM ROADSMART
How To Keep Your Car Above Water…
Britain is no stranger to wet road conditions. But given the increasing frequency of heavy rain and thunderstorms, IAM RoadSmart, Britain’s largest independent road-safety charity, has assembled some tips to help drivers safely navigate slick roadways.
- When driving on a dry road, the braking distance between your car and the one in front should be two seconds and at least four seconds on a wet road. If driving on icy surfaces, IAM RoadSmart recommends up to 10 times the braking distance.
- Keep windshields clean and wipers in good condition.
- Rule of thumb: If wipers are needed, the headlights should be on.
- Beware of puddles on the road surface—a car is as risk of aquaplaning when water forms in front of the tires and lifts them off the road surface.
- To recover, ease gently off the accelerator, firmly grip the steering wheel and avoid sudden steering actions. The car will eventually regain traction.
- Avoid standing water if possible, especially if the water is more than six inches deep.
- Do not attempt to drive through fast-flowing water. Your car may be swept off the road.
- Proceed slowly if determined to drive through the flooded area. Test the brakes after passing through the flood to determine they are dry and working properly.
- Avoid splashing pedestrians. Even if done accidentally, you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your license for driving without due care.
“With British weather the way it is, we should all be well practiced at driving in the rain,” said Richard Gladman, head of IAM RoadSmart driver and rider standards. “Keeping your car maintained and the rubber in good condition will help you stay safe. In the recent extremes, we have seen that standing water and floods are becoming more commonplace, so take extra care and if possible avoid driving through standing water. If you’re in any doubt about the depth or surface underneath a flood, then it’s best not to take any chances.”
For complete details, visit the IAM RoadSmart website, www.iamRoadSmart.com.
Britain’s IAM RoadSmart urges drivers to play it safe when it comes to driving on wet or flooded roadways and offers helpful advice to drive safely in the rain.
MCLAREN TEAMS UP WITH GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
McLaren STEM Ambassadors Connect And Engage With Students…
At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, held on the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England, McLaren STEM ambassadors encouraged teenagers from 18 schools in Hampshire and West Sussex to focus their studies on core subjects, science, technology, engineering and math.
The initiative included a series of talks designed to inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists and mathematicians, and inform them of the many career pathways within automotive, technology and racing companies. As part of McLaren’s outreach, the McLaren Automotive display featured the full-scale LEGO McLaren Senna car along with company’s STEM ambassadors, who were there to speak with parents and students.
“We’re passionate about science and engineering at McLaren and want to use that, and our amazing products, to help inspire the next generation to value science, math, engineering and technology,” said Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive. “Working closely with Goodwood means we have a great opportunity at the festival to promote STEM careers and to showcase to girls, boys and parents alike what a fulfilling and exciting career they can have by studying STEM subjects at school and beyond.”
LEGO STEM activities give children a hands-on opportunity to put into practice science, technology engineering and math skills. In teaming up with Goodwood, McLaren aims to motivate students to become the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
LAND ROVER REVEALS NEW DEFENDER
Off-Roader Offered In Multiple Configurations…
According to a recent news report, Land Rover will offer three variants and four personalization options to widen the appeal of the new Defender SUV. The three variations—all of which resemble the original iconic boxy shape—include the three-door Defender 90 with five- and six-seat options and will grow in length to 170 inches, and be significantly larger than the previous generation.
The five-door Defender 110 will offer five-, six- and seven-seat configurations and will increase in length to 187 inches. The third variant, the Defender 130, will be a five-door, eight-seat passenger vehicle with a length of 201 inches.
In an effort to expand its market beyond hardcore off-roaders—and admittedly draw customers away from independent aftermarket modifiers, a long-standing (and unfortunate) OEM strategy—the new Defender will offer four personalization lines. Each will feature different accessories and features. The versions include the Country for weekends in the countryside, Adventure with “grand tourer” features, the Urban for cities and the suburbs, and the Explorer with features that make it a “go anywhere” off-roader.
The new Land Rover Defender, offered in three configurations and four special editions, stays true to the SUV’s original boxy shape.
SALON PRIVÉ SHOWCASES CELEBRATED CLASSICS
14th Annual Event Marks Bentley’s 100th Anniversary…
Blenheim Palace, built in 1702 and still the primary residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, is the site of the annual Salon Privé, a four-day extravaganza featuring some of the rarest and most coveted supercars, racecars and vintage vehicles.
Slated for September 5 – 8 on the expansive grounds of the majestic Blenheim Palace, the annual Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance is billed as the most luxurious garden party. The four-day event, which draws the rich, famous and wannabes, offers a premium collection of supercars, exotics, classic cars and the latest models from leading auto brands from the U.K., Europe and the U.S., along with yachts, helicopters and, of course, luxury retail and fine dining experiences.
This year, in honor of Bentley’s centenary celebration, Salon Privé will host more than 50 iconic models from around the world. “What better way to celebrate the centenary of one of the greatest-ever British automotive marques than at Britain’s greatest palace, the Blenheim Palace,” stated David Bagley, Salon Privé co-founder and sales director.”
The display will include three special models previously owned and commissioned by Bentley Motors Limited Chairman Captain Woolf Barnato. They include the one-of-a-kind 1930 4-1/2-liter “Blower” Bentley fitted with elegant Gurney Nutting coachwork and the 1934 Barnato Hassan Special, which broke the Brooklands lap record with an average speed of 142.60 mph. The third vehicle will be the 1936 4-1/4-liter by H. J. Mulliner featuring a unique streamlined body and concealed hood.
Bentley will also toast its 100th anniversary at Salon Privé with a look to the future—showcasing its all-electric Bentley EXP 100 GT concept grand tourer. The sleek and futuristic battery-powered grand tourer weighs 4,188 lbs. and features a mesh grille with up to 6,000 LED bulbs, boasts a range of up to 435 miles (700 km) and is adorned with the hood-mounted “Flying B” ornament.
In honor of the company’s 100th anniversary, Bentley Motors will display its futuristic concept grand tourer, the battery-powered Bentley EXP 100 G.