VW Arteon launches in Ireland

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The Volkswagen Arteon has just gone on sale in Ireland, priced at €43,295. Volkswagen’s CC replacement, the Arteon slots in just above the Passat, a five-seater fastback that combines plenty of space with sporty driving dynamics and looks.

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Volkswagen’s talking cars

Volkswagen pWLAN

Before the decade is out, cars will be able to talk to each other while out and about. Not like in Pixar’s Cars, but using a new technology known as pWLAN, developed by Volkswagen. Due to be fitted to the first models in 2019, pWLAN will allow for the exchange of information between cars and transport infrastructure (like traffic lights) within a 500m range, such as current traffic and accidents.

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Arteon unveiled

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Volkswagen has given the world a sneak preview of its upcoming Arteon fastback, ahead of next month’s Geneva International Motor Show.

A four-door grand tourer that will be positioned above the Passat, the Arteon replaces the outgoing CC, though Volkswagen has claimed that the new model will be a little more upmarket. It’s not simply a name change, however – the front end has been redesigned with the headlights and radiator grille merging into one flowing section.

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Blast from the past – Porsche’s tractors

Some people are often surprised to learn that their favourite supercar brands also produce vehicles that are more at home in a field. The first Lamborghinis, for example, were tractors, and are still manufactured today (after approaching Ferrari about a broken clutch on one of his cars, Ferruccio Lamborghini was told that as a tractor manufacturer he couldn’t know anything about sports cars, a mistake that led Lamborghini to peruse the creation of the perfect grand tourer). Then there’s Aston Martin, which was acquired by Sir David Brown, founder of a company of the same name that began manufacturing tractors with Harry Ferguson in 1936. Brown later purchased Aston Martin in 1947 and, although the two companies are no long aligned, what has become known as the ‘David Brown era’ saw the production of the famed DB series, the best known of which is probably the DB5.

Porsche falls under the same category. Their older tractors are quite rare, and quite expensive if they’re in good condition – late last year a lovingly restored 1959 Porsche Master 419 was put on sale via Done Deal for €49,500.

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Skoda Starts Again

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If, by some chance, you’re in the market for a lime-green, Audi/VW-inspired saloon car, with massive alloys and a Skoda badge, you’re in luck.

20140226_SKODA_VisionC_rearThat’s because Skoda have just announced their VisionC concept model, “the next stage in the development of Skoda design language” as Skoda themselves put it, in that form of English known only to marketing executives.

So far we’ve learned that it’s a five door coupé with room for four people and (unsurprising in a Skoda) plenty of space for luggage in the boot. Under the bonnet is a 1.4 TSI turbo engine with 108bhp running on either petrol or natural gas, with estimated fuel-efficiency figures of around 70mpg. 20142026_SKODA_VisionC_front

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Driven – the Audi A8

IMG_7995The new and improved Audi A8 has been officially launched this week at the suitable location of Carton House in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Car Craic tagged along to see if all the fuss is deserved.

In short – it is.

Like the Mercedes S-Class, Audi’s flagship A8 is undoubtedly a big car. But it’s the little things that make it. Though at first glance you mightn’t notice too much difference from the previous model, as the proportions haven’t actually changed, extra lines down the bonnet add a sleeker, sportier look, as do new rear lights and a more sculpted boot. New chrome lines through the rear lights and above the redesigned twin rhomboid exhaust pipes add to the new, more sporty A8 design.

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Bentley’s SUV – Beast turned Beauty?

Good news for everyone with well over €150,000 to spend on a luxury SUV in 2016 (read: very few) – the Bentley SUV has been given the green light and, more importantly, it won’t look anything like the slightly baffled-looking beast which made its début in Geneva in 2012, the imaginatively-named EXP 9 F Concept.

This news has been quite widely welcomed, considering that instead of completely redesigning a new SUV, all Bentley had appeared to do with the concept was shorten previous models, and make the product a little taller. The result, according to quite a lot of people, wasn’t great, something Bentley Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Schreiber has taken into account.

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