120 years of Renault is celebrated this summer at Brussels Autoworld.

If you visit Brussels this summer, know that Europe’s capital has something in store for car lovers. Indeed, the Brussels Museum Autoworld has opened its doors every day of the week until September 2 to show you the magnificent history of Renault.

Pre-war glory: A 1937 4,1 litre 6 cylinder Vivasport… just dream away behind this sporting version of the Renault Vivastella sedan

We were present at the opening reception, and show you here some photos of the formidable and iconic cars which are on display, and we lift a brief veil on their history…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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A (very) first glimpse of BMW iNext…

At the Annual General Meeting, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Harald Krüger, unveiled an initial design concept for the BMW iNEXT. The pure-electric BMW iNEXT will be built at Plant Dingolfing from 2021. The company’s new technology flagship incorporates all major strategic areas of innovation in a road-ready vehicle. It is not much to go for yet, but nevertheless, a silhouette is a silhouette, but at eleast the shareholders, and you dear reader, got an idea of it.

Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, commented: “The iNEXT project is our building kit for the future. It will benefit the entire company and all our brands. For the first time, we are combining all key technologies for future mobility in one vehicle. The iNEXT is fully electric, fully connected and also offers highly automated driving. Later this year, we will be presenting the BMW iNEXT as a Vision Vehicle.”

We are indeed keen to see more of this soon…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

The star and the four rings: a marriage which happened 60 years ago…and led to the post-war renaissance of Audi

Prototyp eines kompakten Mercedes-Benz Personenwagens (W 119), 1962. Exterieur, Sicht von rechts vorne. Zu einer Serienfertigung kommt es nicht. 955 Mille Miglia: Mercedes-Benz senior engineer Ludwig Kraus (far left) with Rudolf Uhlenhaut, Denis Jenkinson, Stirling Moss and Dr. Hans Scherenberg (left to right).
Prototype of a compact Mercedes-Benz Passenger car(W 119), 1962. It will not make it into series production. 

In the spring of 1958, decisive motor history was written: In april of that year, the then Daimler-Benz AG acquired a majority in Auto Union GmbH. All the remaining shares followed on 31 December 1959.

By 1960, Auto Union was therefore a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler-Benz. This meant that all the brands of Auto Union, which included Audi, now could be revived.

And so Daimler did, to let the public forget the two stroke image of Auto Union and DKW. Of course, they had one small car adventure with the two stroke engined DKW Junior, wich actually proved quite popular.

But Mercedes rather more loved the four cylinder engines and the nobler Audi image, which would fit perfectly. So they made efforts – which we will explain here further – to bring a revolutionary four srtoke engine into the existing Auto Union/DKW  F103, and started work on the development of an all new Audi.

Daimer strategy changed however, and so they sold on 1 January 1965 the majority of the shares of Auto Union to Volkswagen, and offered  them Audi on a plate…in the form of a already extensively developed Audi four dour model, and they even sold the engineer who developed this car with it!

Das Mercedes-Benz Werk Düsseldorf ist das größte Transporterwerk der Daimler AG. Rund 6.600 Mitarbeiter produzieren dort heute den Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Historisches Foto der Montage des Transporters T1 aus den 1980er-Jahren. The Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf is the largest van plant of Daimler AG. Around 6,600 employees produce the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at the plant. Historical photo of T1 van assembly in the 1980s.

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf is the largest van plant of Daimler AG. Around 6,600 employees produce the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at the plant. Historical photo of T1 van assembly in the 1980s.

In the meantime, from 1961 onwards, the major Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf was constructed on a site previously operated by Auto Union. With a workforce of some 6600 and an annual output of around 150,000 vans, Düsseldorf is now Daimler AG’s main factory for vans. All the closed variants of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – i.e. panel vans and crewbuses – roll off the production line there. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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A 1937 Škoda steals the jury’s hearts at the Zoute Concours d’Elégance®

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We promised you, dear reader, that we would come back to you with more reports about the delightful 2017 edition of the Zoute Grand Prix®.

The cars presented at the Zoute Concours d’Elégance® certainly turned heads, and there was one little gem, brought from the Škoda Museum, a 1937 Škoda Popular “Monte Carlo”. A rare car indeed, lovingly restored to former glory by the craftsmen of the museum, as engineer Michal Velebný explained us. We show him here with the car in the following two films, and some photos, and treat you to an interesting story…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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The Renault Trezor wins French prize of most beautiful concept car of 2016

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The French have a gift for elegance and beauty. And we must admit that the Renault styling department is going from strength to strength lately.  The 32nd Festival Automobile International at the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, France, has singled out on January 31st the Renault TREZOR as the most beautiful concept car of 2016.

“I would like to thank the jury for this award which will inspire us to pursue our design strategy,” says Laurens van den Acker, SVP Corporate Design, Renault. “The TREZOR’s powerful, sensuous lines pave the way for the styling and technologies that will be features of our upcoming models. It also marks the beginning of a new cycle of Renault concept cars which will be revealed soon.”

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“The jury decided this award should go to the TREZOR because of the extreme beauty, sensuality and elegance it exudes,” observes Rémi Depoix, President of the Festival Automobile International. “It is the epitome of a concept car and we were notably won over by the cohesion of its overall design and the attention that has been paid to the details. It is a fine creative work which, we hope, will inspire Renault’s future roadgoing models.”

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A harbinger of the styling language of future Renaults

The lines of the Renault TREZOR are warm, sensuous and refined, while its assertive front end incorporates signature C-shaped lights. In terms of their styling, Renault’s upcoming models will draw their inspiration from the TREZOR’s DNA as their forms become even more fluid and mature.

The TREZOR’s interior design, meanwhile, places the emphasis on driving enjoyment and features a large enveloping touchscreen display that reinforces the cockpit feel. This customisable, connected interface juxtaposes warming, prestige materials like wood and leather. The interiors of upcoming Renault models will take their inspiration from these increasingly refined styling trends and connected technologies.

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For the duration of this year’s Festival International de l’Automobile, the Renault TREZOR will be on display at the Hôtel des Invalides alongside other concept cars selected by the jury.You will have to hurry though: this display will be open to the public from February 1-5, 2017. For further information, go to www.festivalautomobile.com/gb/index.php.

In the meantime, just have a look at this beauty…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

VW at CES Las Vegas: Your profile travels with you in any VW you drive…

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Experiencing your personal digital world in a vehicle is made possible by VW at the latest CES.

In the future, your own profile and preferences will always be with you – regardless of which Volkswagen model you’re driving.  Volkswagen presents the next milestone in ease of use Visionary I.D. electric car being shown for first time in the USA.

We just tell you here somewhat more about Volkswagen’s show highlights…just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Audi shows at 2017 CES piloted driving with artificial intelligence…

Audi Q7 Piloted Driving Concept
Audi Q7 Piloted Driving Concept

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key technology for piloted driving – that’s why Audi and strong partners from the electronics industry are jointly developing game-changing know-how in the field of machine learning. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Audi is presenting the Audi Q7 deep learning concept, a piloted driving car made possible thanks to collaboration with NVIDIA.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Mercedes-Benz “Fit & Healthy” at CES in Las Vegas: Comfort is becoming even more intelligent

Mercedes-Benz Fit & Healthy steht für Komfort, Sicherheit und Vitalität. Damit fördert das Fahrzeug der Zukunft stärker als je zuvor das Wohlbefinden seiner Passagiere im Auto und mit Mercedes me auch darüber hinaus. (englische Version) ; Mercedes-Benz Fit & Healthy stands for comfort, safety, and vitality. Therefore, the car of the future promotes the health of its passengers more vigorously than ever before while in the car and also beyond the car, with Mercedes me.;

Mercedes-Benz Fit & Healthy stands for comfort, safety, and vitality. Therefore, the car of the future promotes the health of its passengers more vigorously than ever before while in the car and also beyond the car, with Mercedes me.

Mercedes-Benz vehicles of tomorrow will enhance the fitness and well-being of their passengers in an even more individualised way while offering worlds of experience for all the senses. In connection with Mercedes me, Mercedes-Benz is also planning a holistic ecosystem to assist the user with an active and healthy lifestyle also when away from the vehicle.

Just read more below…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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New strategy, new culture: Mercedes-Benz Vans at CES in Las Vegas

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van - Exterior ; Mercedes-Benz Vision Van - Exterior;

Mercedes-Benz Vans exhibits for the first time at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The presence at the Consumer Electronics Show underpins Mercedes-Benz Vans’ transformation into a supplier of holistic system solutions for the transport sector – a process initiated by the van manufacturer’s strategic future initiative adVANce. Mercedes-Benz Vans’ exhibits at CES include the van study “Vision Van”, which was presented to the public for the first time in September 2016.

Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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BMW at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas: shaping the future of mobility…

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At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017, taking place in Las Vegas on 5 – 8 January 2017, BMW reveals a vision of an interior whose architecture and user interface are extensively adapted for fully automated driving on board a vehicle that is seamlessly integrated into the driver’s digital life.

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BMW is also showcasing the potential of connected mobility with demonstration drives in a prototype based on the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. Drivers experience innovative digital services underpinned by BMW Connected and the flexible Open Mobility Cloud platform.

Just read further…

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