AD #1240 – VW Eyes Diesels for China, BMW Axes 1 Series, Lambo Builds More Venenos

October 21st, 2013 at 11:55am

Runtime: 8:14

The head of Volkswagen’s operations in China says that he sees an opportunity to start selling diesels in the country due to new rules regarding the fuel. BMW announced that it will no longer offer the 1 Series next year but it’s already teasing its replacement. Lamborghini announced it will build more models of its wicked-looking Veneno supercar but with one slight difference. All that and more, plus a look at the new Range Rover Sport.

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Hello and welcome to a brand new week of Autoline Daily. I’m Sean McElroy filling in for John but now on to the day’s top stories.

China is enacting new rules to clean up diesel fuel and VW now sees an opportunity to sell diesel passenger cars there. Speaking at an industry conference in Wuhan, Jochem Heizman, the CEO of Volkswagen China, says clean diesel fuel will allow the introduction of clean diesel technology. Currently, diesels are only sold in commercial trucks and busses. Heizman says China’s fuel economy standard is tougher than it looks. While Europe’s fuel economy standard is set at 4 liters per 100 kilometers, or about 58 mpgs, and China’s standard is 5 liters, or about 47 mpgs, China’s passenger car fleet does not include diesels, which can save 1 liter per 100 kilometers. Plus, China’s test cycle is tougher than Europe’s. Heizman says the clean fuel will provide the opportunity to sell diesels in China.

Ford revealed details about the new taxi version of the Transit Connect. The 2014 model is powered by a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a six-speed automatic. It can also be converted to run on CNG or LPG, the only taxi in the U.S. with that option. The new model is slightly lower to allow for signs on top of the vehicle and its also a little longer than before for more cargo space. Ford, which controls 60 percent of the taxi market in the U.S., is taking the vehicle global. The company just announced that the Transit Connect Taxi will be in service in Hong Kong.

And speaking of Ford, the company will have an eye-popping 57 customized models at next month’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. Ford will have modified versions of its Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, F-150 and Super Duty. In addition to the cars, Ford says it will have a major announcement about its racing program at the show.

BMW announced that it will no longer offer the 1 Series next year. As a matter of fact, production of the convertible version ended in July, while the coupe stopped in August. We here will miss the car because it was one of those vehicles that could be used as a daily driver but was still powerful enough to sling around or be run on the track, kind of like Ford’s Fiesta ST that we have been raving about lately. But have no fear, the company is already teasing its replacement, the 2 Series, in this YouTube video. And even though you pretty much only see an outline of the car, you won’t have to wait too long to see the whole thing when it makes its official debut later this week.

Back in March at the Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the wicked-looking Veneno. At that time we were told only three would be built and that they had already been spoken for at just under $4 million each. Now the company has announced that another nine will be built but with one slight difference, no roof. The supercar is powered by the same 6.5 liter V12 but it does take a fraction of a second longer to sprint to 100 km/h at 2.9 seconds although we doubt one would notice the difference. The only major change, besides the lack of a roof, is the price. The roadster is $600,000 more expensive than the coupe at $4.5 million.

Coming up next, a look at the new Range Rover Sport.


(Our Range Rover Sport review is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

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33 Comments to “AD #1240 – VW Eyes Diesels for China, BMW Axes 1 Series, Lambo Builds More Venenos”

  1. kurt w Says:

    Nice reporting as usual, but the 21″ of suspension travel you refer to in the Range Rover Sport (RRS) must really be reference to its wading depth, as a number of other sites report RRS’s suspension travel in the 10 – 11″ range (quite a bit in any event).

  2. Phoenix Mark Says:

    BMW should have made the 1 Series more like the old 2002, 4 cylinders and less electronics.

    Ford has 60% of the taxi market, is that total fleet or new sales? With the Crown Vic gone, I think it’s total fleet not new sales.

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    #2 we can always dream!! That will never happen with any current OEM, it may take a China company to do so!

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m with kurt (post #1) on the Rover’s suspension travel; they are probably combining the front suspension travel with the rear suspension travel.

  5. Bradley Says:

    5.0 V8 sounds a lot like Land Rover’s former owner might of had some influence with that engine. Does the 5.0 V8 have any Ford in it?

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    21 inchs of travel on that luxo barge is highly unlikely imho.I just don’t see that it has more travel then a JK Rubi.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2, I suspect Ford has 60% of the current taxi fleet, but rapidly declining, with the Crown Vic gone.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think that 5.0 V8 traces its roots to the Jaguar/Ford engine used in various Jaguars, and also Lincoln LS and Thurderbird.

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    Range Rover Sport ? 21″ of travel ?

    Horsefeathers and poppycock ! It’d take a serious after market lift kit to even get a TRD equipped Tacoma or a full on JK that much suspension travel !

    And .. with only 6.8 inches of ground clearance ( CAR ) what good does even ten inches of travel do you when off road ! None .. unless your idea of ‘ off road ‘ is the gravel parking lot of your kids soccer field

    Oh well ,,,, not that it matters . As C&D has so often said about Land/Range Rovers products ;

    ” They’ll get you there in style …. just don’t plan on them getting you back ”

    BTW – The motor . Same ole PAG/Ford/Jaguar developed V8 as ever … with I might add last years Range Rover underneath .. e.g . Nuthin new here … just a bit of subtle repackaging and branding

  10. XA351GT Says:

    Always amuses me to hear Brits say Aluminum as Alu-mini-um .

  11. RS Says:

    Her Majesty is NOT amused by your crass pronunciation either

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is some history of the spelling/pronunciation differences in Britain and the U.S.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Like Peugeot

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It was always a mystery to me why Brits often pronounce Peugeot as “per-zho.” I couldn’t find a good explanation with a search either. I guess it must the same reason a well educated John Kennedy pronounced the name of that island south of Florida as “cuber.”

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    You mean I am a Cubern???

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yep, you’re a Cubern.

  17. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 11: Who cares what THEY think.We won the revolutionary war, ;}>

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    #17 not only that, their cars SUCK!

  19. XA351GT Says:

    I work for Brits, You should have seen the look on their face the day someone asked them where they hell they learned to speak English . LMAO The owner replied ” That would be England” , Doh. LOL

  20. Lew Frank Says:

    Please hand Mr. Broussard a tissue so he can stop drooling over Range Rover Sport. I want objective reviews, not free advertising to keep manufacturers happy! From other sites as well as publications, sport is very expensive and reliability is not a strong point!

  21. Bradley Says:


    Speaking of things English, I passed a Jaguar XJL on the freeway. It was an impressive looking car.

    Most cars in that price range, I am sure are impressive.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sir Davy named it aluminium, to sound like sodium, potassium, and plutonium. Well, not plutonium, which hadn’t been discovered yet.

  23. Chuck Grenci Says:

    By the article Kit provided, the standardization of the word Aluminium has been certified so we Americans ARE saying it wrong. But if saying it is wrong; I don’t want to be right. :) Now we can move on to ‘Jag U ar’ and ‘Zed’ for our “Z”.

  24. T. Bejma Says:

    Looks like the Lexus IS missed the mark…

    Should not affect ATS sales…

  25. T. Bejma Says:

    Note the slam on the Q50 at the end of the article as well ;-)

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The only late model used car, and the only “premium brand” I have ever bought was a first generation IS, the hatchback, of course. The fit and finish were impeccable, it was stone reliable, but it was a bit disappointing.

    It had more cabin noise than I would have expected, and while the power train was smooth and adequately powerful with the Supra-derived inline 6, it was kind of thirsty for a car that size, and needed premium.

    Subsequent IS’s haven’t interesting me at all, partly because they no longer have a hatch, but also, it seems that the Germans, and now Cadillac, do a better job with their cars in this class. Still, I’d put my bets on the Lexus’ reliability over the others.

  27. T. Bejma Says:


    Really not liking the hourglass grille, the pointy wrap around taillights and the sharp lower rocker on the new version either. The interior is even worse where they tried to class it up with the looks-add-on stitching, plain dash and tries-to-look-like-a-manual automatic shifter. Lexus, what happened?

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The controls of the first gen IS were simple and user friendly, but the IP was a little gimmicky, designed to look like a Breitling watch, or something. Still, it was a nice car, and I got it at a good enough price that I came out ok when selling it after two years.

  29. Bradley Says:


    I really think there are very few people that are doing comparable shopping between the ATS and IS.

  30. T. Bejma Says:


    Lexus IS250 – Rear Wheel Drive, small sport sedan, V6, priced about $38K

    Cadillac ATS – Rear Wheel Drive, small sport sedan, priced about $38K

    Yeah, you’re right, not comparable at all…

  31. Bradley Says:


    Lexus IS owners that I know, could careless what Cadillac is doing. The car seems to attract young professional males.

    I don’t know any ATS owners…

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30, The IS and ATS, being the “non-Germans” are direct competitors, maybe more than any other two cars in that segment. The IS350 and ATS 3.6 compete very directly with each other, including V6 engines of similar power.

    At the bottom of the line, the power trains are different, with the IS250 having a V6, while the ATS of comparable power has a turbo 4.

  33. Marshall Says:

    When I win the lottery I will buy a Range Rover Sport. With that said, there are several thing I do not like about the new version.

    Why did they have to make it look so much like the (overstyled,poser) Evoque? That rear sloping roof line, and deeply slanted rear window really kill the available rear cargo area and its usefulness.