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Each year, the Vienna International Motor Symposium showcases some of the up-and-coming technologies automakers are engineering for the use in passenger cars, and Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn revealed some big developments VW is working on for its future products. Winterkorn discussed a multi-faceted approach that VW is looking to reduce its fleet fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Some of the bigger news he discussed included a "high-performance" diesel engine that will produce 134 horsepower per liter and a 10-speed DSG automatic transmission. While no specific applications were mentioned, we can only hope this is for the Audi R4 we keep hearing about.
Another topic he touched on that caused us to perk up our ears was had to do with VW's plug-in hybrid technology. While we know the PHEV versions of the Audi A3 and Porsche Panamera are on the way, Winterkorn also said that these two models will be followed up by Golf, Passat, Audi A6 and Porsche Cayenne plug-in models. Scroll down for a press release highlighting the automaker's future fuel-saving initiatives.
Commenting on the rush of events that rocked beginning and end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Paul Truswell of Radio Le Mans said "the race is about the ability to endure, not just the ability of drivers to do what they do for a long time." The entire race machine, all the way down to the pit boards and radios, has to survive the stress and abuse of the entire day. This was the race to prove those words.
There were two Toyotas, two Porsches and three Audis, five of the seven led the race at some point, six of the seven ran in the top three. Toyota will be hugely disappointed that it didn't win when its car and drivers were so, so strong, but they gave Audi the kind of scare we haven't seen since the best of Peugeot's days, and Toyota did a better job of it even in the loss. Porsche blew away everyone's expectations, falling 3.5 hours short of a fairy tale ending that would have made Disney cry.
But Le Mans doesn't really do fairy tales. Well, not that fairy tale. Audi's Twitter handle during the event was #welcomechallenges. As usual, Le Mans answered for the entire field.
Perhaps one of the most iconic sports cars in the world, it was no surprise that the Porsche 911 showed up in numbers to the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Although the original 911 launched 50 years ago, the original and current models are instantly recognizable as 911s, and since the 911 has a storied racing background, there were probably just as many racing versions of the coupe as there were street-legal versions.
As the show's 2013 honoree, one of the prime racing examples was a 1970 Porsche 911 S raced by Sam Posey. There were so many cars in attendance, we didn't know where to look, but a 1985 911 Speedster concept and a Porsche-owned, rally-ready 911 Type 953 were definitely among the more impressive standouts. As an added bonus, Jacksonville-based Brumos Porsche had many of its classic racecars on display including a beautiful 959.