Archive for June, 2010
This is the latest series of awards from the motoring press to be bestowed upon Skoda. The brand has received two accolades at the prestigious Practical Caravan Towcar Awards 2010. The Octavia Estate 1.6 TDI CR GreenLine was given the Green Award and the Superb Estate 2.0 TDI CR 170 SE was named best car in the 1575-1724kg class.
Skoda has received a number of awards in the last few years from the Towcar Awards and these latest accolades follow the Superb Hatch, which won the top award in its class at last years awards. In addition to the Towcar awards, Skoda has also been recognised this year in the Which? awards and the Auto Express Driver Power survey.
Practical Caravan claims its awards, backed by What Car? and The Camping and Caravanning Club, are “the UK’s most vigorous and thorough towcar assessment programme”. All cars are put through a series of stringent tests by a panel of six judges who look at the cars ability to tow, the cost to buy and own the car, drive quality when not towing and practicality.
This years panel of judges were particularly impressed by the Superb Estate and its value for money and fuel economy. Practical caravan went on to say: “The estate is simply huge. There are 633 litres with the seats upright and a huge 1865 litres if they are folded forward. Rear-seat space is exceptional for a family estate, with enough head- and legroom to rival some luxury cars. Size isn’t everything, however, and fortunately the Superb tows, well, superbly… The Škoda’s stability was even more impressive than its acceleration.”
The Octavia Estate GreenLine was, according to Practical Caravan: “One of the best [‘green’ cars] we’ve tested.” The judges praised the GreenLine’s towing ability, price tag and fuel economy: “Official economy figures are exceptionally good for a car as large and roomy as this one. The Octavia’s 64.2mpg makes it one of the most fuel-efficient cars on test, and carbon dioxide emissions of 114g/km will keep road tax bills low, too.”
Audi has claimed it’s ninth Le Mans title since 1999, set a new distance record of 3,361 miles and equalled Ferrari’s position in the roll of honour at the French endurance classic on Sunday 13th June 2010. Timo Bernhard, Mike Rockenfeller and Romain Dumas were the team responsible for this impressive performance. The team, who drove the Audi R15 TDI plus managed to break the distance record which was set in 1971 by Dr Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep in a Porsche 917. The new distance record now stands at 3,361 miles.
Audi also managed to secure the other two podium places at Le Mans, with Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer coming in second place and the team of Capello, Kristensen and McNish battled into third place. The win was by no means easy for Audi with all three teams being pushed by Peugeot, who were looking for the second consecutive victory. Unfortunately mechanical errors forced four of Peugeot’s 908s to retire in the later part of the race.
The victory was a landmark for Audi and its chairman, Rupert Stadler had this to say: “Everyone at Audi can be proud of this historic exploit. Reliability, efficiency and sustainability are particularly important topics for car manufacturers today. And these are exactly the areas in which we have demonstrated our expertise this weekend.
“It was one of the most thrilling races in Le Mans history – a do-or-die battle. This one-two-three victory is the fourth for Audi at Le Mans and no doubt the most valuable victory claimed after the fiercest battle in our company’s history. Peugeot was a formidable rival that required us to give everything. We express our respect to the French squad for this.”
Škoda has received the top accolade at the annual Which? Awards by being named Best Car Manufacturer at the ceremony, which was held at the British Museum on 19th May 2010. Škoda beat off competition from other nominees, including some premium brands because of its outstanding customer service and product range.
Announcing the awards was Which? Chief Executive, Peter Vicary-Smith who said “Škoda is a car company ideally suited to the times, as people demand more but want to pay less. It offers a great range of reasonably-priced, well-built cars.” Peter then added “The winner of this award is a car brand much praised by its customers, with high scores on dealer satisfaction for both sales and servicing. Owner satisfaction is also high, with most Which? members rating it as very good. The company also achieved a number of best buys for the various models we tested, making Škoda an obvious choice for Best Car Manufacturer 2010.
Richard Headland is the Editor of Which? Car and he added “’People might know Škoda as a purveyor of value, but what they might not know is that this brand should be equally recognised for its quality of product, its reliability and its excellent retailer network.”
Receiving the award for Škoda was their UK Director, Robert Hazelwood, who said “We’re really pleased to win this award. It shows just how highly Which? rates our products and service. We’re very proud of the excellent engineering and great value in every one of our cars, and pleased that Which? has recognised the outstanding personal service our retailers give their customers.”
There was some great news for Audi drivers this week, after it was announced that Audi drivers can expect to pay significantly less for their car insurance, compared to owners of equivalent models from other German manufacturers in the premium sector. This great news was announced after analysis of data sourced from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) group ratings database.
The insurance group ratings database has been updated on a monthly basis with new car insurance rating data since the 1980’s and includes all model, engines and variants of cars. The database is managed by the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre in Thatcham on behalf of the ABI and Lloyds Syndicates. The data provided has been used to calculate average insurance group ratings for Audi models and their equivalents from BMW and Mercedes. In the vast majority of models, Audi produced considerably lower average ratings than its competitors, resulting in Audi owners paying lower insurance premiums in most cases.
Insurance group ratings are defined by a system which gives penalty points to every vehicle, based on a variety of factors, including the purchase price, the cost of key parts, and the ease, and cost, of repair following an independent crash test undertaken by the Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR). So the higher the associated costs with these factors, the higher a cars penalty points score and subsequent insurance group rating.
In addition, security performance is a critical factor in determining a vehicles insurance group rating. Audi’s commitment to security can be demonstrated by four British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards (BIVSA) and three What Car? Magazine Security Awards for ‘Best Overall Manufacturer’. Audi has also won the top BIVSA award for ‘Best Overall Manufacturer’ for four consecutive years since 2006.
Award-winning security protection is achieved across the Audi range through features including Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser technology with interior ultrasonic protection and anti-tow sensors, Thatcham Category 4 locking wheel bolts and extensive covert and overt marked parts.