Tag Archives: Volkswagen

Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti EB Veyron (chassis No. 001)

Bugatti Veyron wows in 1/18 scale …Autoart's Bugatti EB Veyron

Some numbers can’t be ignored.

Bugatti’s sleek Veyron has a top speed of 258 mph, according to Road & Track magazine, with 1,184 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet. of torque. Cost? $2.6 million. That’s monster!

Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti EB Veyron (chassis No. 001)

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Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti EB110 GT

Autoart recreates Bugatti’s first modern supercar, the EB110 GTbug1

Bugatti’s existence is best characterized by a rollercoaster. Its ups have been spectacular, and its downs, well, also were outs.

But in September of 1991 its new owner introduced the new mid-engine EB110 GT, the 110 signifying the 110th anniversary of company founder Ettore Bugatti’s birth. The EB110 was a supercar ahead of its times in several ways. Sadly, sales results weren’t one of its successes.

Now Autoart has creates a 1:18 version of the 110 GT with its usual eye to detail, and in four colors, blue, white, silver and the dark red of our sample.bug6

The History

Bugatti, an Italian who built his successful company in France, created beautiful high-performance cars for years, its heyday being the 1920 and 30s. But the company floundered after World War II and ceased production in 1963, only to be revived in 1986 by Romano Artiolli. When it appeared in 1991, the 110 GT was Bugatti’s first car in roughly 40 years and it was spectacular.

The supercar featured the low lean look that Ferrari and Lamborghini had been taking to the bank for years, but added scissor-style doors and a 3.6-liter quad-turbo V12 and all-wheel-drive to make it both racy looking and giving it top-shelf performance. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti EB110 GT

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL

Passat’s diesel economical and we’re not blowing smoke!

Perception often matters as much as reality, especially in the retail world of which the auto business is a top dog.vw1

So the perception of a diesel engine being loud, smoky and not terribly pleasant to drive remains Volkswagen’s biggest obstacle when selling its pleasant mid-size front-drive Passat. This and the Chevrolet Cruze are the main turbo diesel cars available on our market today.

Their advantage is excellent fuel economy and reduced engine maintenance. That’s the case for both.

But VW has been offering its turbo diesels (TDI in VW parlance) for years, so you’d expect its version to perform better and feel more refined. It does not. My test earlier this year of the Cruze shows it to be quieter, run smoother and feel, well, more refined.

However, the tested champagne silver Passat TDI SEL, got excellent fuel mileage. Rated 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, I got a stellar 41.4 mpg in about a 50-50 mix of city and highway driving. The Cruze, while rated at 27 mpg city and 46 mpg highway netted me just 35 mpg in a drive tilted toward highway miles. Continue reading 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel

New Cruze Turbo Diesel promises great fuel mileage

Give Chevrolet full credit on this one, it took a turbo diesel it uses in Europe, a hot bed for turbo diesels, and plunked it into its popular Cruze for the U.S. market.Cruze D1

Why the accolades for Chevy? Well, it’s the first U.S. automaker to give us a clean turbo diesel that gets way above average mileage and is affordable. Oh, and it also outperforms its only competition, Volkswagen, in the vital highway mileage department. Bravo!

Plus, because Milwaukee is a leading market for diesel sales (no one is sure why!), we get first crack at the new Chevy turbo diesel, while other Midwest markets may have to wait months to see one. A GM spokesman tells me the Cruze diesels should be in Milwaukee area dealerships shortly.

But I got my hands on one already and I can tell you it was pretty impressive.

Here are the basics. Chevrolet is using its proven 2.0-liter I4, turbo diesel from its European branch in the mid-size Cruze, already a favorite with young families and stingy Baby Boomers who know a bargain when they see one. The diesel delivers about 148 hp, but a whopping 258 ft.-lbs. of torque smoothly via a 6-speed automatic transmission. Continue reading 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel

Die-cast: Autoart VW Beetle impressive

Volkswagen Beetle’s popularity continues, in die-cast now

vw1Everybody loves the Beetle. I mean more than 21 million Beetles were made and sold since going into production in 1938, the final original style Beetle rolling off a Mexican assembly line in 2003.

That makes Volkswagen’s Beetle the most produced car ever, at least using one basic design.

So it’s no surprise that a diecast car maker, Autoart, has taken up the Beetle’s cause for 1:18 scale collectors.

Autoart nailed it.

Most folks, especially us Boomers, know the story of Hitler demanding a “people’s car” (Volkswagen) for Germany in the 1930s and car maker/designer Ferdinand Porsche coming up with the bug-like design. Only a few were made before WWII, but vehicles based off the design, known as Type 82 Kubelwagens, were built for the German war effort. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart VW Beetle impressive

2013 Audi S5 Cabriolet

Convertible adds fun to fast, sure-footed Audi

What’s more fun than a sports coupe? Well, a convertible version of a sports coupe with a supercharged V6 and all-wheel drive, to be sure.Audi S5 Cabriolet/Standaufnahme

That’s what you get with Audi’s S5 Cabriolet Quattro, compared with its standard A5 coupe. The S5 comes as either a coupe with solid top or cabriolet, meaning it has a soft convertible top. Entry price is $50,900 for the coupe, with manual transmission and the super quick 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that will kick you in the pants to the tune of 333 horses.

The “ice silver” ($475 extra) convertible version I drove shoe horns that same engine under its hood and it’ll knock your socks off. Well, maybe just lower them a bit, but the supercharged power plant feels and sounds strong with a throaty, but not overly showy, exhaust note. No lag upon acceleration either. Continue reading 2013 Audi S5 Cabriolet

2013 Volkswagen CC Sport

Streamlined CC Sport shows what VW can do

When Volkswagen launched its sporty CC in 2009 it went head-to-head with its own Passat, at the time a dowdy midsize sedan that was in need of a restyling.1VW

Now, Passat is coming off a facelift last year to thin it’s body to blend more with the other mid-size sedans that sell well, Toyota’s Camry, Honda’s Accord, Ford’s Fusion and Chevrolet’s Malibu. So the CC, which VW calls a coupe, but is indeed a midsize sport sedan, stands out as a distinct step up from Passat, if performance and looks tickle your lederhosen.

CC is sleek with a swept-back rear window and trunk lid giving the car a coupe-like appearance, despite its four doors. Its profile is low and lean, so low in fact that I could stand with my arm resting on its roof and not even strain a tendon. Not many cars are this streamlined looking and the CC actually is more exciting looking in person than in even VW’s press photos. Continue reading 2013 Volkswagen CC Sport