October 2015

Will Volkswagen endure the pain of 11 million cars recalled?

I'm sure most of you have heard the biggest story of the past few weeks: Volkswagen was caught cheating on US emission tests, with the company admitting the use of a secret software code on specific diesel models that allowed the vehicle to turn off emission controls while driving on-road and to turn them back on while testing for emissions at a standstill.

Since the news broke, the media have been tearing VW apart, and the German giant has had to recall 11 million cars worldwide. However, some of them have confused NOx emissions with CO2, which was the issue with the 2.0 liter TDI engine, but they are totally unrelated.

Competitors such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover should not feel too satisfied, however, for they are now under scrutiny in case they have engaged in an equivalent tactic as well. They are blameless until proven otherwise, of course, but VW, for its part, will have to endure the pain of its "clean" TDI technology campaign rebounding for a long time.

After all the mess and the resignation of Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen announced that Matthias Müller will become the group's new chairman. Prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany, have opened a criminal probe into the Martin Winterkorn case. Matthias Müller, who was considered the strongest candidate for Winterkorn's position, will remain chairman of Porsche at the same time until a successor has been found. The 62 year old German is taking one of the hottest seats in the automotive industry right now, as Volkswagen tries to deal with likely the most major scandal of its history.

So what's in our October issue?
We cover the Frankfurt Motor Show which has the hottest debuts this year. Our cover story was dedicated to a newly launched segment, the premium compact hatchback, by Infiniti: the Q30 (project done in parallel with Daimler).

We tested the 2016 Jaguar F-Type equipped with a 6 speed manual gearbox and AWD. In Dubai, Ershad tested both the new Toyota Camry and Honda CRV. In Beirut, I tested the Chevy Corvette Stingray, Infiniti Q50 2.0L Turbo and both Mercedes CLA250 and GLA250.

Philip flew to the UK for an interesting technology workshop with JLR. The main highlights were about the innovative technologies the British firm is working on.

A classic car parade was held in Lebanon, starting from the 'old souk' of Byblos and ending on the Amchit corniche. And finally, in our motorbike section, Govind drove the 2015 BMW R9T in Abu Dhabi.

The Dubai Motor Show is next month. We expect to see you there from November 10 to 14. Pass by our booth!

As usual, we are always online via Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Apart from the magazine, you can check out some amusing videos on our web TV, www.arabwheels.tv.

- Issam Eid, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story: Infiniti Q30



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