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Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry

In this week's round-up of automotive gossip, Volkswagen explains why the Nürburgring isn't as important as most think it is, Citroën finally feels understood, Cupra gives an update on its first electric car and more.

Nürburgring overrated, according to VW

The Nürburgring may be the go-to place for firms to hone their performance cars, but Volkswagen tech chief Matthias Rabe believes the reputation of the circuit itself is exaggerated. “It’s not the Nürburgring itself, it’s to sort the best balance on both the circuit and the nice country roads leading to it,” he said. Rabe said the goal for the new Golf GTI was to make a car “so good you’re happy to drive home from the Nürburgring”.

Cupra's electric fight

Cupra's first electric car isn’t a certainty just yet, despite an overwhelmingly positive response to the concept – but the brand’s CEO is confident of success. “We’re fighting like hell to get the Tavascan signed off,” said Wayne Griffiths. “First of all, we have to prove we’re on the right track with the Cupra story to our investors in the [Volkswagen] Group. Which we’re doing: the numbers are great.”

Bentley's cool runner

Bentley recently made a near-production-spec Continental GT for the GT Ice Race in Austria, and engineering boss Werner Tietz claims this wasn’t just for marketing: “It was useful to find out what we can do on a low-grip surface with chassis adjustments and how to manipulate the car for different behaviour.”

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Citroën's clear improvement

No one says PSA “doesn’t understand Citroën” any more, according to Europe boss Maxime Picat. “We’ve made the most comfortable cars in the industry and we are doing something really different,” he said, adding that EVs present a great opportunity for Citroën to continue its upward trend. It’s currently the fastest-growing marque in Europe.


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Peter Cavellini 28 April 2020


 Maybe the Nürburgring is overhyped, but there can't be many testing facilities with views like there are at the Nürburgring.....