RUMOUR HAS IT...
You’re under arrest
The CEO of Audi, Rupert Stadler, has been detained by German police over Dieselgate
The global CEO of Audi, Rupert Stadler was arrested by German police early on Monday morning. His arrest is the latest in a string of arrests and raids in connection with the Volkswagen Group Dieselgate scandal.
Stadler was denied bail on Monday after police said they had evidence that he was planning to collude with other parties involved in the emissions cheating scandal that has cost the Group billions and dramatically changed the future for diesel engined vehicles as well as the automotive industry.
On Tuesday Stadler was temporarily suspended from the board of Volkswagen Group with the company saying in a statement that "the supervisory board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft accepted the request of member of the Group Board of Management Rupert Stadler to release him from his duties as member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. The release is a temporary measure, put in place until the circumstances surrounding Stadler’s arrest have been clarified." Abraham Schot takes over as the temporary chairman of the board at Audi.
No local Navarra
We have been reporting for the past few years on Nissan’s plans to produce the latest generation Navara at its plant in Rosslyn near Pretoria. Now it seems those plans have been shelved completely, at least for the current model.
A senior source within Nissan SA told us the factory is at capacity and cannot take on the Navara production.
Instead, the company is planning to produce the updated Navara in a couple of years’ time which the executive described as a "big facelift".
Suzuki released official images of its new Jimny this week. Details remain sketchy but the next generation of the popular little off-roader clearly adopts a more serious design image although you can still see elements of the outgoing model in the design behind the plastic cladding.
Suzuki has confirmed that the Jimny will feature a ladder frame chassis, three-link rigid axle suspension and part-time four-wheel drive with low range. Interior images also show a move slightly more upmarket with a touchscreen infotainment system and what appear to be better quality materials and switchgear.
Alfa Romeo has introduced Nurburgring limited editions of the Stelvio and Giulia. Badged the NRING editions, just 108 of each model will be made available in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Each will be available in Circuito Grey and feature carbon ceramic brakes, Sparco racing seats, unique trim items and premium sound packages. Owners will also be invited to take part in an Alfa Romeo experience at the famous Nurburgring circuit.
Ford’s new figo
Ford launched the new Figo in SA this week. Priced from R181,300, the company says it features a new 1.5l petrol engine with the TDCI diesel no longer available.
The Figo gets revised exterior styling as well as changes to the interior. The company has also ditched the Powershift gearbox in favour of a more traditional six-speed automatic while a five-speed manual is also available.
Q8 to get RS treatment
No sooner had Audi released details of the new Q8 than our spies spotted the RS Q8 being tested in Europe. The RS version is likely to feature a 4.0l biturbo engine developing around 336kW, the same as the Lamborghini Urus with which it shares a platform.
Externally it will feature more aggressive styling together with large elliptical exhausts while the interior will also get the full RS treatment. Expect it in SA in 2019.
Yet another M4
If you thought BMW was finished with churning out M4 models then think again. Our sources have told us that the company is developing an even more extreme version of the already extreme GTS.
We have been unable to get power figures but expect a hike over the existing GTS model’s 373kW.
The new variant will also get major enhancements to aerodynamics including a bigger front splitter, more aggressive rear diffuser and a rear wing that’s even bigger than the big rear wing on the existing version.