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Vehicle manufacturer specific technical subforums.

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  • Audi/Porsche/Volkswagen
    The Audi brand of luxury cars and sporty SUVs may seem to be rooted in the European auto tradition of power with style. This German auto maker has much humbler roots that demonstrate why their engineers and dealers are committed to getting drivers into the cars on a daily basis. Beginning in 1899 with rudimentary designs by August Horch, the Audi idea was used to spawn Germany's first automobiles. The idea was housed within the German manufacturing giant Auto Union until the postwar period when it was sold to Volkswagen. The common misconception about the German automaker is that their vehicles have always been conservative. The new models and sales figures do not bear this concept out. The new lines for this popular European car company include sleek SUVs and stylish sedans that possess a computerized control system to help drivers stay safe on the road. The company's expansion into the African and Middle Eastern markets has allowed it to grow rapidly in the 21st century.

    The Porsche AG or simply Porsche manufacturing company was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, who was the same engineer that created the first Volkswagen. Today, Porsche is a top auto manufacturer with a name that is synonymous with luxury and class. In fact, a survey by Luxury Institute in New York awarded Porsche the number one most prestigious automobile brand in May 2006. Porsche (pronounced PORSH-uh) goes right for the top of the luxury line with sports cars being their primary product. They are considering branching out into a luxury sedan, but will continue to cater to high end customers with their high quality automobiles and incredible luxury. The Porsche Company is known for retaining financial stability in changing market conditions, and with their focus on incredible autos, will likely continue to do so for years to come.

    Volkswagen is based in Wolfsberg, Germany and is listed as the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world after Toyota, GM and Ford respectively. Volkswagen means 'people's car' in German and the company tagline is 'for the love of the car'. The car company got its start when Adolf Hitler requested Ferdinand Porsche to change the 1931 design of his vehicle for the working class people. Porsche together with Hans Ledwinka made the Kdf-wagen born in 1938, which would later become known as the Beetle. The Beetle, VW's most prominent and well known car created a cult following over the decades and is back after a hiatus with a stylish new look. Volkswagen produces a few different types of vehicles, however most notably are their small and midsized cars. However, the market has extended to include vans, minivans and SUVs.
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    Last post by 4N2NR
    07 Mar 2009, 11:24
  • Saab
    For a really streamlined design, the ideal auto manufacturer is a company with experience in designing machines with incredible drag coefficients. This is what Saab delivers, with car manufacture arriving after years of successful military aircraft manufacture. The first Saab automobile, the Saab 92, was created in 1937 as an effort to produce a new source of income once World War II ended and the need for Swedish military aircraft would begin to decline. This first model featured a two cylinder, two stroke engine and an incredibly streamlined design, and was the first of a new line of cars created by the Saab aircraft manufacturers. The company remained independent until 1990, when 50% of the automobile division of Saab was acquired by GM with the option to buy the other 50% in a decade. In 1995, Saab became profitable again for the first time since 1988, and in 2000, GM acquired the rest of the company.
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  • BMW
    The BMW name has been associated with craftsmanship and utility for nearly a century. Founder Karl Rapp began the company in 1917 to help create aircraft engines for the German military during World War I. Many European auto companies began in a similar way but Rapp's vision was larger than working for his country's government. His team of engineers developed the company's first motorcycle in 1924 and the next three decades saw the brand name grow into a force in the European auto market. The diversity of BMW cars and specialty vehicles was born out of the adversity of creating products in a war ravaged area. The company's SUVs utilize a powerful V12 engine and possess a body constructed with safety in mind. The intense focus of the brand's engineers and mechanics has allowed its line of luxury sedans and coupes to take new markets by storm. The high popularity of the company's vehicles in the United States and Western Europe has led to the term "beemer" becoming a part of each region's vocabulary.
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  • Mercedes
    Daimler Benz was originally started in June of 1926. The company was a merger of Daimler and Benz. The two men were credited with the invention of the automobile. Benz is given the bigger credit, as he not only had an engine in his vehicle but a unique chassis for it to be mounted upon. Daimler's vehicle was an engine mounted to a carriage. With this merger of these two inventors; they began to market the Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Benz has been a respected name in the automobile industry since its inception. Karl Benz was credited with designing a true automobile with a chassis and an internal combustion engine. Since that early beginning the Mercedes Benz has been known for quality and reliability. Their reputation for both racing cars and road cars has a proud history. Their other vehicles like trucks and buses have also been noted for their quality. Many of the Mercedes Benz dealerships arose from the deal they had with Studebaker in the United States. When Studebaker ceased operations in the United States their dealers were offered the opportunity to become Mercedes Benz dealers.
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  • Lamborghini
    From its founding in 1963 by the owner of the same name, Lamborghini has always represented quality in design, speed, and performance. Ownership changed hands several times after being sold by the original owner, but since 1998 the company has come under the Audi group of automobiles. These powerful sports cars are put together piece by piece in the factory at Sant 'Agata. Italian craftsmanship and German precision efficiency combine to manufacture vehicles with the superior power of V10 engines and the capability of delivering over 500 horsepower for the driver. To some extent, assembly line production has been modified, shortening the time spent at each station. There are more stations and more workers at each station, as well, which means less time is involved for each stage in the manufacture of the newest models. However, details and quality are not sacrificed by Lamborghini, and many components are still hand finished. New designs and modern technology only enhance the legendary eye-catching appeal and popular demand for these remarkable super cars.
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  • Ferrari
    Ferrari was a company first established by Enzo Ferrari in the year 1929 under the name Scuderia Ferrari. Before he established his own auto company, Enzo worked for Alfa Romeo during the 20s. As Scuderia Ferrari, the company was one that focused on the manufacturing of racecars. Later, in the year 1947, the company shifted its primary focus from the establishment of racecars to vehicles that could be used on the road. Ferrari soon became the manufacturer of prestigious vehicles, and while the company still partakes in racing endeavors, the wealthy and elite covets the models produced by Ferrari. The year 1947 saw the first road legal Ferrari. In the 50's and 60's, Ferrari manufactured vehicles under the design house known as Pininfarina and made popular vehicles like the 250 GT and 275 GTB. Later years saw the emergence of vehicles like the 308 GTS, the Testarossa, and the 550 Maranello. In the late 60's, Scuderia Ferrari was sold to Fiat, but it still maintains a headquarters in Maranello, Italy, even after the company became a subsidiary of the Fiat Group. The Fiat Group now retains eighty-five percent control of the Ferrari Company.
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  • Aston Martin
    One of the ways you can tell the high quality and production values of an Aston Martin is its presence in popular culture. The British auto maker has been in business for nearly a century and their origins as Bamford and Martin in 1913 means that the current line was born out of a commitment to tradition. The V6 and V8 engines, aerodynamic body and high level of customization mean that any offering by this company is perfect for movie stars and celebrities. The presence of Aston Martin cars in the media goes back to their use in the French Grand Prix of the 1920s. The maker's products were used in all of the James Bond films featuring Sean Connery in the 1960s and Timothy Dalton in the 1980s. This vehicle line has also been featured as the vehicle of choice for Hugh Laurie's Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster as well as part of the mayhem in The Italian Job.
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  • Bently
    There are few auto makers with the lineage and historical importance of Bentley. The company started in January 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley as a manufacturer of engines and parts for British aircraft during World War I. While the beginnings of this brand are typical, its development has been quite unique. Popularity for the auto maker's cars was increased throughout the 1920s due to a legendary race from Cannes to London while driving one of the early sporting models.The Bentley brand name has been used by auto luminaries like Rolls Royce and Volkswagen to add higher class offerings to their dealerships. Rolls Royce owned the brand's line of luxury sedans for nearly 60 years in an effort to add an affordable option for customers who wanted a high quality vehicle. The Volkswagen Group purchased the brand in 1998 to bring the class, style and high performance of the company's V8 and V12 engines in their inventory.
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  • Jaguar
    The sleek, powerful and fast Jaguar cars were first manufactured in 1935 by SS Cars Ltd, which was founded in 1922 in the United Kingdom. The company became Jaguar Cars Ltd in 1945, then British Motor Holdings in 1966 after joining with British Motor Corporation, before becoming British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) after merging with Leyland and Rover in 1968. In 1975, BLMC had financial troubles and faced nationalization. It became BL Ltd, only to float Jaguar Cars Ltd in 1984 as an independent business on the stock market. Purchased by Ford Motor Company in September 1989, Jaguar Cars Ltd became part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group. Currently, Jaguar cars are manufactured at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham and Halewood, Liverpool but its headquarters are at Coventry in the West Midlands. The hood of Jaguar luxury coupes, convertibles and sedans all bear the distinguishing silver jaguar insignia, and the cars all possess Royal Warrants from both HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Charles.
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    Last post by 4N2NR
    07 Mar 2009, 12:34
  • Land Rover
    The legendary Land Rover is British made and has a long-standing reputation for sturdy, reliable service. Since it was first manufactured in 1944 as an all-terrain vehicle, it has been in use by the British military for many years. It is one of the most highly advanced off the road vehicles made today, able to meet any driving challenge in any type of weather. Its modern technology features a terrain response dial that immediately adapts to road conditions, whether it's across sand dunes, frozen rivers, on safari in the jungle, or climbing mountains. Some of the latest models are being built at the Halewood factory in Liverpool, where quality is ensured. Land Rover even offers extensive training courses with qualified instructors at experience centers in the U.S., the UK, and in other countries around the world. This remarkable vehicle is considered the safest vehicle on the roads in the UK today, consistently maintaining a better safety record than its closest competitors.
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  • Lotus
    In 1952, a company was formed in England named Lotus Engineering Ltd. A 24-year-old engineering superstar started it by the name of Colin Chapman. He ran the company for 30 years until his death from a heart attack in 1982. During his tenure, the Lotus reputation for outstanding suspensions and lightweight super handling racing cars and production cars was built. The company is located at a former RAF base in Hethel. It has modern facilities and a test track, which uses some of the old runways from the base. The Lotus name became famous from its association with Formula One racing. They have won the Formula One World Championship seven times. After 1986 the company was bought and sold several times. The new owners included General Motors for a time as well as some other prominent automakers. While in the GM family Lotus was involved in developing a 4-cylinder engine which was used in some of the GM cars. According to the new management there are no plans to return to Formula One racing.
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  • Maserati
    Over 100 years ago the Italian company Maserati, the manufacturer of racing and sports cars was started in 1914 in Bologna, Italy. A family of six brothers started this company. Three of the brothers were builders of Grand Prix cars for Diatto until this company stop making racing. Maserati's long association with racing and its ability to build winning cars has earned a very good reputation as a car builder. Maserati won the Indianapolis 500 in both 1940 and 1941. After 1957 Maserati still built racing cars for others, but concentrated in building road cars that competed with cars at the high end of the market. Meanwhile the company has been bought and sold several times. It has been owned by both Citroen and Fiat, and then owned by Ferrari and then repurchased by Fiat. In early 2002 Maserati began again selling its high-end models in the United States. It has also re-entered the racing scene.
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  • Maybach
    Maybach one of the original suppliers to Zeppelin of diesel and gas engines is today selling the custom made Maybach in association with Mercedes Benz. These very high-end cars are designed with the back seat rider in mind as far as comfort is concerned. Wilhelm Maybach and his son Karl Maybach started Maybach in 1909. After 1918 they became the maker of classic cars that were custom made for the buyer. This continued to 1940. They also built large diesel engines for marine and railway clients. During the war they built tank and boat engines for the Wehrmacht. After the war the market for luxury cars was non-existent so they survived by building engines for the French. Move forward in time and the Maybach name came back to life in an association with Mercedes Benz and again started making custom cars. After the early 2000s the new opulent Maybach was again being sold in the United States. This car is marketed in direct competition with the Rolls Royce.
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  • Mini
    The BMW MINI has retro flair, the feel of the 1960's iconic car, and modern technology in a small, city-perfect package. This model began as a product of the British Motor Company, and was manufactured from 1959 to 2000. Today, capital letters distinguish the BMC versions and the BMW versions of the classic design. This small and practical vehicle began with the goal of creating a petite, fuel saving and affordable car, and today is still a popular choice for those looking for a fun to drive and playful urban vehicle. The Mini has appeared in multiple versions over the years, from a small pickup truck to a family vehicle to a sportier model with a more powerful engine. Today's versions include powerful engines, modern safety features, current technology, and even a convertible model on a slightly larger base than the original. Retro styling, trim and details remain a feature of this flashback to the past.
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  • Rolls Royce
    The recent history of the Rolls-Royce Company has grown much more confusing since the company was founded by partners in 1906. The British automaker and aero-engine manufacturer split in 1973, with the auto making portion of the business gaining the name Rolls-Royce Motors. The company was acquired by Vickers seven years later, and in 1998 was sold again to Volkswagen, which was actually after the Rolls-Royce owned Bentley. The aero-engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce plc, licensed the Rolls-Royce name and logo to BMW instead of Volkswagen. This meant that Volkswagen had the rights to the Rolls-Royce mascot and the radiator grille design, but that BMW had the rights to the name. Later in 1998, a solution was finally reached that allowed Volkswagen to continue to produce the Rolls-Royce cars under the licensed name until 2002, at which time BMW would take over the Rolls-Royce, leaving Bentley for Volkswagen.
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  • Smart
    The original Smart car, which is short for Swatch Mercedes ART, was based on the idea of a vehicle capable of fitting length-wise in a parking space. The goal of this new automobile design was to make parking easier within Europe?s narrow parking slots. Swatch originally approached Volkswagen with the concept but the partnership never reached fruition. They ended up teaming up with Daimler-Benz, owner of Mercedes-Benz, in a joint venture. The result in 1994 was a new company called Micro Compact AG to manufacture the microcars. Later, the name Micro was changed to Smart GmbH. Before its separation Swatch DaimlerChrysler formed as a partnership between American automaker Chrysler and Daimler-Benz and announced that it would sell the smart car in the US beginning in 2008 through the Penske Automotive Group. Smart USA received over 30,000 in preorders before the subcompact car went on sale in January 2008, selling out its inventory for the year.
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    Last post by 4N2NR
    09 Apr 2009, 04:35
  • Volvo
    The Swedish Volvo manufacturer trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine and industrial drive applications, aerospace components and financial services to this day. The company was founded officially on April 14, 1927 in Gothenburg. The company name means ?I Roll? in Latin and the company name was officially registered in 1911. The automobile creating offshoot company of the Volvo Group didn?t show any activity until August 10, 1926 after preparing 10 vehicle prototypes for release. The first Volvo Series, the OV4, left the factory line on April 14, 1927, which was cumulated as the official founding date of the company. The first Volvo truck came off the production line in January 1928, and then exported to Europe for the first time in the early 30s. The first bus was launched in 1934, and then aircraft engines were added to the product line in the early 40s. In 1998, Volvo Group sold the business end to Ford and focuses on commercial vehicles, however a variety of smaller vehicles are still produced for sale.
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  • Fiat
    Fiat has held a leading role in the automotive industry since its conception, which occurred at the dawn of the Italian industrialization era. From the moment it first appeared on the market, Fiat has been extensively developed and is recognized worldwide. Its logo is a great status symbol because of the superior cars the Company produces and the prestige of its history and tradition. The charter of Societa Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino was signed on July 11, 1899. Giovanni Agnelli was on the Board of Directors. He was determined Fiat would be highly successful and had great strategic vision. He became Managing Director of Fiat in 1902. Fiat experienced a growth of production in the mid 1960s, as well as a growth in exports. The grandson of founder Giovanni Agnelli, Gianni Agnelli, and his namesake, became President of Fiat in 1966. He ensured the Company followed a trend toward increased automation in the production process. This helped Fiat continue on the path of technological innovation while coping with the global oil crisis. 2007 saw the Fiat 500 have stiffer suspension, wider fenders and a 150 hp turbo 4-cylinder engine that will run from zero to 60 in eight seconds. Fiat continues on the path of innovation and superior technology into the 21st century.
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  • Citroën
    The interesting and colourful history of Citroën automobiles began. In 1934, Citroën presented their first front-wheel drive cars and started a revolution in auto production. André Citroën was born in 1878. A successful student, he attended the Polytechnical school in Paris and worked for some time with the car company "Mors". In 1905, at the age of 27, he founded his first company, "André Citroën & Cie", which was changed to "Société des Engrenages Citroën" (Citroën Cog Factory ) in 1913. From the beginning of 1932, the C4 and C6 were equipped with the "Floating Power" engine which was mounted in a new way, using a Chrysler patent. The engine was secured with rubber mounts instead of being bolted directly to the chassis, thereby eliminating major engine vibrations. The first cars using this new engine mounting were recognizeable with a stylized swan in front of the Citroën double chevrons. During the Paris Car Show of 1948 the 2CV was introduced. Smiled at by all, this comfortable small car of 375 cubic cm started a long life around the world. In 1955, we start to see the end of the Traction Avant. "La Déesse" , "The Goddess", was presented and the automobile world was once more astonished by Citroën. "This is not the car of tomorrow, it's the car of today. It's just that all the other cars are from yesterday..." was one of the publicity slogans. Indeed, it was and continues to be an unusual streamlined car - with front-wheel drive, height adjustable hydraulic suspension, power steering, semi-automatic gear box, one spoke safety steering wheel, and much more. It took up to 25 July 1957 until the last of the famous Tractions, an 11CV Familiale, rolled off the production line. Today, the owners and friends of the Traction Avant are united in classic car clubs all over the world. Spare parts are reproduced, meetings are held. In Switzerland there must be about 1000 of the varying Traction Avant versions left.
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  • Other European Makes
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    Last post by 4N2NR
    31 Jan 2010, 19:42
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