Volkswagen just can’t seem to get the diesel stench out of its hair. Just when we thought it had overcome the whole dieselgate scandal, a new report now claims the company exposed monkeys to harmful diesel fumes in a 2014 experiment.
According to the , the monkeys watched cartoons in an airtight room while diesel fumes from a Volkswagen Beetle were funneled into the chamber. I wish we were making this up.
Volkswagen wasn’t the only automaker in the experiment — BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler also took part in it. Apparently, the trio sought to produce a paper that declared modern diesel emissions were clean and safe compared to older ones.
The Beetle used in the test was one of the models equipped with cheating software to emit fewer noxious emissions during government testing than in everyday use. In real world driving, the rigged cars produced 40 times the allowable NOx in order to improve performance. The exposure of this cheating in 2015 led to a worldwide recall of 11 million cars sold between 2009 and 2015.
All three automakers and Bosch, which also had a finger in the pie, have since distanced themselves from the experiment, claiming that while they provided funding for the tests, they did not design the methods that saw monkeys being placed in what can effectively be considered a gas chamber.
The experiment was brought to light during a lawsuit brought against Volkswagen as a result the diesel scandal. For all their work, the experimenters failed to achieve the desired results.
It all seems straight out of a twisted comedy.
Porsche Builds Its Last Diesels To Focus On EVs
Less than a decade after it introduced its first diesel model, Porsche has stopped production of its last two diesel models as parent Volkswagen Group pviots towards electrification.
The German automaker cites a “cultural shift” among its customers as the prime reason for discontinuing the Macan S Diesel and Panamera 4S Diesel, but it’s not the only reason.
Apparently, the decision was also related to “another software update” and ongoing talks with authorities, which analysts view as evidence that Porsche no longer finds it worthwhile to invest in keeping its diesel fleet compliant with stricter emissions regulations.
The writing was on the wall — in 2017, the diesel-powered Panamera only accounted for 15 percent of all Panamera sales, while the gasoline versions accounted for 35 percent and the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid made up the remaining 50 percent.
The company is currently working on a Tesla-rivaling Mission E and will follow it up with a second all-electric model, likely an SUV similar to the Macan. It expects half of all its sales to come from electrified models by 2025.
New, 2019 Chevy Silverado Debuts With Diesel Engine, 450-lbs Lighter
It’s hard to believe Chevrolet has been making trucks for over 100 years. To celebrate the centennial of Chevy Trucks, General Motors made the public unveiling of the all-new, 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.
This is a clean-sheet design for the new Silverado, and GM brought its A-game. Compared to its predecessor, the truck is notably lighter; roomier all around and more comfortable; more practical and versatile; more fuel-efficient; safer; and, to our eyes, more attractive inside and out.
When Ford went mostly all-aluminum for its latest F-150, many expected GM to do the same for its next half-tonne. It didn’t, choosing instead to stick with old-fashioned steel for its fixed panels and frame. Only “Swing” panels — anything on a hinge, such as the doors, hood and tailgate — are all-aluminum.
The new Silverado is slightly bigger than the old model, boasting a longer wheelbase and slightly increased overall length. Some of that extra room went to the bed, which is now a multi-piece configuration that opens up more than six inches of lateral bed space wall-to-wall, giving the Silverado’s short box more raw volume (63 cubic feet) than even the standard-length beds of the F-150 and Ram 1500 — up to 20 percent more, in fact.
Larger cutouts in the class-exclusive CornerStep bumpers provide better accommodation for steel-toed boots, while an available 120-volt power outlet and LED task lighting make the cargo bed even more useful. As a first, there is also an available a power up / down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, interior button or by hand.
Despite the larger size, the 2019 Silverado manages to be 450 pounds (204 kg) lighter, an impressive weight reduction considering its still mostly made out of steel. Buyers will have the choice of six engine and transmission combinations, including a new 5.3L and 6.2L V8, as well as a new 3.0L six-cylinder turbo-diesel.
The 3.0L diesel and 6.2L V8 are mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission that GM co-developed with Ford, while the 5.3L V8 and base engine (likely a V6) will make due with the existing six-speed auto.
Inside the cab, the redesigned Silverado offers more interior volume thanks to the increased length, with crew-cab models now having 3 inches more rear-seat legroom than before. Chevrolet promises improved refinement, higher quality materials and, of course, the latest safety and convenience tech, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connections.
General Motors will release full specs, pricing and sales date at a later date. Until then, what do you think about the all-new, 2019 Chevrolet Silverado?
Land Rover Discovery Can Tow A “Train”, Impressed?
The new Land Rover Discovery is a truly capable vehicle on or off the road, and to prove just how strong it is, Land Rover towed a train with one. By train, we mean a 121-ton ‘road train’.
The unmodified Discovery HSE Td6 managed to pull the road train — measuring 328-foot long — for nearly 10 miles across the Australian Outback, demonstrating the award-winning towing capability of the improved Discovery, notably the HSE Td6 model with its 3.0-liter diesel engine that produces 254 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque.
Despite having a tow rating of only 7,716-lbs, the Discovery Td6 successfully towed 34 times that weight over a respectable amount of distance.
This isn’t the first time that Land Rover has tested the strength of its vehicle using a train. At its 1989 launch, the original Discovery was used to pull a train, and in 2016, the Discovery Sport premium compact SUV towed a trio of rail carriages 85ft above the Rhine River.
Are you impressed?