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Is the U.S. Ready for a VW Pickup Truck?
At the New York International Auto Show in 2019, VW debuted its second SUV at the show in history. This time, the Volkswagen Tarok Concept was on display. The purpose of this showcasing is to tease buyers in the U.S. From there, VW can decide if to bring the Tarok to the United States… or not. Currently, the Tarok is going to hit production for sales in South America. So, will the Tarok make it to the U.S.? Well, only time will tell. Is there demand for a German pickup truck? Probably… but is it enough?
Turbocharged 1.4-Liter Engine with 147 Horsepower
The Volkswagen Tarok Concept sports a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that offers 147 horsepower. Backing this up is a 6-speed transmission and 4Motion AWD system. This is the same engine as seen in the VW Golf Hatchback. These specs may be a major mistake if joining the U.S. market is a goal. Many pickup trucks sold in the U.S. sport at minimum a V6, but preferably a V8. So, would U.S. buyers consider a 1.4-liter engine? Possibly. With the EV pickup truck battle taking place, smaller engine pickups may catch on… or not. Honestly, this is why the car was put on display as a concept, as nobody knows. Surely, VW will decide in the near future on this car’s production.
How are the Tarok’s Towing Capabilities?
As with any pickup truck, it needs to be able to haul quite a bit of weight. So, VW was sure to reach for high expectations. The Tarok can handle 2,271 pounds with 73.2” in freight space. This is due to the foldable panel behind the rear seat. By adjusting the seat, the area in the truck bed can expand quite a bit. So, will the engine deter buyers, or will they embrace this vehicle? Truthfully, only time will tell.
Twenty Years Since the Pagani Zonda C12 Debut
At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Pagani celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Zonda. It was first at the 1999 Geneva Auto Show that Pagani revealed the first Zonda, the C12. Ever since, the Zonda has been a legendary sports car known for its prowess, price tag, and racing abilities. After the C12, there was the Zonda S, Zonda F, Zonda Cinque, and more. Now, the successor is on the market – the Pagani Huayra. But, that doesn’t mean the Zonda is dead. It is no less an amazing vehicle today than in 1999.
Specs of the Original Pagani Zonda C12
The Pagani Zonda C12 sports a 6.0-liter Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 engine. This motor produces 444 horsepower and 572 lb.-ft. of torque. This works in combo with a 5-speed manual transmission. Not surprisingly, this car could reach 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and 100 mph in 9.2 seconds. In total, only 5 Zonda models were built with the 6.0-liter engine. From there, the Zonda upgraded to a 7.0-liter V12 in the S model. And, obviously, each model further receives more power as well as more capabilities.
The Pagani Zonda is a Legendary Car
Ever since its debut in 1999, the Pagani Zonda has become a legendary car. Whether viewed in real life at an auto show, in the streets, or via a video game, this car has obtained the respect of car lovers worldwide. Owning a Zonda is a rare opportunity that many people would love to enjoy. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a Zonda. But everyone can appreciate the engineering feat that this car is in the auto market. Overall, the Zonda is an amazing sports car – congrats to Pagani Automobili!
Note: The featured image is by Alexander Migl of Wikimedia.
How Could This Happen!?
On March 12, 2019, the Italian cargo ship “Grande America” was carrying a shipment of over 2,000 European cars across the Atlantic. Unfortunately, the ship sank off of the French Atlantic coast. All of the 27 crew members are thankfully all ok. But the vehicles are lost at the bottom of the ocean. Furthermore, this shipment’s load includes four Porsche 911 GT2 RS models. With a value of $293,200.00 USD MSRP, that’s over 1 million worth of RS models! How could this happen!? Well, there was a fire that broke out on the ship, damaging the ship enough to sink it. So, even if the ship were to not have sunk, the vehicles were most likely a lost cause either way. In all honesty, as even Audi and Porsche would probably agree, the lives of the people outweigh saving any of the 2k cars. But the story doesn’t stop there!
Porsche Restarts Production of 911 GT2 RS
Due to the circumstances, Porsche will restart production of the 911 GT2 RS models to deliver the four units. Now, that’s how a top-notch company takes care of its customers. A Customer of Porsche Brazil sent a letter to Carscoops showing this information. As per the other Porsche vehicles on the ship, there are quite a few on the list. This includes the Boxter, Cayenne, and Cayman. But, the ship didn’t only have Porsche models. Audi was using the ship as well to deliver many vehicles. The non-confirmed list includes the Audi A3, A5, RS4, RS5, and Q7.
Now, to make it worse, the ship loss includes RS4 and RS5 models. Hopefully, the ship and the manufacturers were using insurance on this shipment. Imagine the disappointment after waiting 3 months for a vehicle order. Then, finding out its sitting at the bottom of the ocean. Wow. Hopefully, everyone receives the right car at some point within the next few months. It seems Porsche is hustling along with their orders, so Audi will probably do the same.
A Rare Occurrence on the Ocean Blue
On the ocean blue, ships sinking are a rare occurrence. Especially, cargo ships and cruise liners that travel the world every day. Right now, there are ships arriving and departing mostly every continent. Maybe not as often from Antarctica, but people still live there at research facilities and so forth. So, deliveries are necessary for survival. Either way, this happening is definitely a shock to the manufacturers and customers alike. From experience, ordering a car from the manufacturer with a delivery date is an amazing adventure. So, it’s great news that the Porsche 911 GT2 RS will go back into production. In conclusion, Porsche deserves a tip of the hat for their willingness to satisfy customers.
Christmas Tree Transport Safety 101
During “the most wonderful time of the year” (Christmas), trees are a tradition leading to roughly 25 to 30 million individual sales per year. Yes, over 25 million trees are sold every year for the holiday season. With this concept arrives the question, how to transport Christmas trees safely on a vehicle? Well, the reason for this article is to provide tips on exactly that! A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that debris on U.S. roadways led to over 200,000 accidents over a 3-year period. Some of these accidents were due to trees falling off vehicles. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure you follow the tips below to minimize risk in transporting the beloved tree!
Tips for Christmas Tree Transport
Now, the purpose of this section is to provide tips how to transport Christmas trees safely on a vehicle. The National Christmas Tree Association has quite a few tips for how to handle this. Here, the tips are broken down into simpler, more straight-forward terms for ease of understanding:
- Ask for Tree to be Netted prior to Loading onto the Vehicle
- Ensure Tree Trunk is Pointing forward Towards the Front Bumper
- Ensure Tree Fits within Cargo Area or on Roof Rack Properly
- Use Rope to Secure Tree in Cargo Area or on Roof Rack
- A Blanket, Sheet, or Tarp Should be Used in Cargo Area or on Roof to Protect the Tree & Vehicle
- Tug Tree to Ensure it is Properly Secured to Vehicle
- Drive Slowly & Avoid Highways While Transporting Tree
Note: Tips #1 & #2 help reduce wind damage to pine needles.
Note #2: If the vehicle is a pick-up truck, avoid “hot spots”. These areas include regions above the exhaust, where the metal may be warmer than other spots of the trunk bed. This will help protect the tree furthermore.
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
To millions of people worldwide, the holiday season is “the most wonderful time of the year”. Hence, this article brings to light the concept of transporting trees safely. Now, there’s no reason to wonder how to transport Christmas trees safely on a vehicle. Simply follow the tips above and this should help with the overall task at hand. This guide DOES NOT GUARANTEE the safety of the car or tree during transport. That is solely up to whomever is in control of the transport work. Also, plenty of tree pop-ups and stores offer delivery, and even setup. Consider this option to save oneself the hassle of struggling with the transport. This may save the Audi A5 or BMW M5 from roof damage. In conclusion, transporting Christmas trees safely is important to everyone on the road, and the tree itself.
Note: The featured image is from Good Free Photos.
Ford vs. European Manufacturers
In 2018, Ford decided to stop manufacturing sedans such as the Focus and Fusion. Some may believe this is for a grander plan. Others may think it is a publicity stunt. The truth is, Ford’s passenger vehicle sales have dropped for the most part in 2018. A major reason for this is lack of competition with the European saloon market. With competition from Europe and Asia, Ford was unable to increase sales, declining instead. For now, the U.S. manufacturer will focus on selling the F150 and Mustang.
European Manufacturer Sales in June 2018
In June alone, European auto makers have sold over 100,000 vehicles. BMW is at the top of the list while Smart barely gains any traction. Surprisingly, Audi falls drastically behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz sales. As per Alfa Romeo and Mini, their sales figures are in the expected realm. For June 2018, these are the sale figures by manufacturer:
- BMW: 29,404
- Mercedes-Benz: 28,999
- VW Division: 28,941
- Audi: 19,471
- Porsche: 4,892
- Mini: 4,146
- Alfa Romeo: 2,249
- Fiat: 1,426
- Smart USA: 126
As can be seen, the sales start to dwindle after VW and hit a rock bottom at Smart. Alfa Romeo and Fiat, both subsidiaries of Chrysler, need more sales. Sadly, Alfa Romeo is no longer producing the 4C for the U.S. market.
Will Ford Ever Compete with Europe Again?
RIP Cars: Ford Kills These Five Cars – Is This The End of Ford Cars in America? – The Fast Lane Car – YouTube
Whether a possibility, or lost forever, will Ford ever manufacturer sedans again? The truth is, nobody knows for sure, except maybe the administration of the company. With falling U.S. sales, the manufacturer made a tough decision to exit its own country’s saloon sales market. This couldn’t have been an easy step for the decision makers of the company. But, in the end, the European manufacturers are still there with their modern, top notch automobiles. Unless, President Trump decides to start a tariff war with European auto manufacturers. Then, it won’t only damage Europe’s sales, but also strike back at U.S. manufacturers.
Reference for Statistics: https://www.statista.com/statistics/243596/vehlce-sales-of-european-car-brands-in-the-united-states/