The Volkswagen Empire Strikes the Paris Motor Show
Audi TT Sportback Concept
A scaled down A7? Maybe a little. With the TT Sportback Concept, whose style has progressed so far that it could easily become a production model, the Ingolstadt-based automaker is making public its intention to produce a series of variants based on its sports car. This decision is perfectly in line with the current trend in the automobile industry, which involves taking a well-known platform—the MQB platform in this case—and building new vehicles on it in a bid to target a niche market while pushing the limits of the brand’s design.
This vehicle comes with 400 ponies, a seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. All this shoots the TT Sportback Concept up to 100 kilometres per hour in 3.9 seconds. Much like the TT Coupe and Roaster, the TT Sportback Concept uses Audi’s virtual cockpit.
People often forget that the Italian motorcycle brand Ducati is part of the Audi group within the Volkswagen empire. But that explains why the new Scrambler was on display in Paris under the four-ring logo, an appearance immediately following its official launch at the Intermot Show in Cologne, Germany. With its retro style emphasized by its fuel tank and its cutting-edge technology symbolized by a technically advanced rear suspension, the Scrambler combines tradition and modernity. The 170-kilogram bike is powered by a 75-horsepower L-twin engine (borrowed from the Monster), enough to guarantee a sporty ride. It is scheduled to hit the market in March 2015 with a starting price of $8,595, which is a steal for a Ducati.
Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4
This is the first hybrid model developed by the Sant’ Agata brand. The Asterion name evokes the infamous Minotaur—a half human, half bull hybrid creature—and the 910-4 designation indicates that it delivers 910 horsepower to all four wheels. The naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 is taken from the recent Huracan and finds itself paired with a trio of electric motors for a 0-100 kilometre sprint of 3.0 seconds and top speed of 320 kilometres per hour. Lamborghini claims that the vehicle has 50 kilometres of range in all-electric mode. “Lamborghini is always looking to the future, investing in new technologies and attaining new milestones by delivering the unexpected,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of the Italian brand, when the Asterion premiered at the Paris Motor Show.
Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
First came the Panamera S E-Hybrid and 918 Spyder, and now the German automaker has added a hybrid drivetrain to its Cayenne. The vehicle features a 3.0-litre V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 95-horsepower electric motor that runs off a lithium-ion battery pack. At this rate, can we expect to see a hybrid version of the 911 Carrera in the near future?
Volkswagen XL Sport
When the XL1 launched at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Ferdinand Piëch indicated that he wanted to develop a sports car based on the new champion of fuel economy. By widening the XL1’s rear track and giving it the same engine as the Ducati 1199 Superleggera (whose red zone starts at 11,000 rpm), Volkswagen’s engineers presented their boss with the sports car he had been dreaming of. Just as the XL1 will be limited to 250 units, the XL sport will keep its number to 500.