Tag - volkswagen

2012 NAIAS: Volkswagen Bugster Concept

This is the Beetle based e-Bugster concept from Volkswagen for the 2012 NAIAS.  While this chopped hot rod Beetle is just a concept, VW hopes to highlight the “Blue E-motion”  114hp all-electric powertrain which Volkswagen says has a range of 100+ miles.  The e-Bugster uses a 695 lb. lithium-ion battery which sits where the rear seats would normally be in a regular Beetle.

While this all sounds good on paper, we’ve yet to see VW actually build any of the concepts it shows at the NAIAS.  That’s a shame, because the e-Bugster is the best looking Beetle yet.

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Volkswagen Announces Passat Alltrack

Volkswagen has announced an addition to the Passat lineup with the Passat Alltrack for the European market.  Available only in estate form, the Passat Alltrack features Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system and is powered by a 2.0-liter TDI engine in either 140 PS or 170 PS flavors.  The 140 PS models are mated to a six-speed manual transmission while the 170 PS models get a six-speed DSG transmission as standard.

To back up the Alltrack name, Volkswagen has fitted the Passat with front and rear underbody skid plates, and has increased ground clearance from 135mm to 165mm.  As a result, breakaway angle has increased from 9.5 degrees to 12.8 degrees and restyled bumpers increase approach angle from 13.5 to 16 degrees.  Volkswagen has also altered the ESP programming on the Passat Alltrack to make it better suited for loose surfaces by making use of an electronic differential to control wheel spin.

The Passat Alltrack will make its debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show and will go on sale in Europe in July, though there is no word on this model making its way over to the North American market.

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Driven: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Photos courtesy of Volkswagen of America. If you read my review of Volkswagen’s 2012 Golf R, you already know I found it to be a bit of a let down. The R isn’t a bad car by any means, but it didn’t quite stack up quite the way I’d hoped it would. No small part of that is due to the other two cars I drove the same day. In fact, if the Golf R had been the only performance Volkswagen in the bunch, I probably would have thought much more highly of it. After all, just about anything can be good in a vacuum. But the R won’t exist on its own as a sporty compact in this market. Indeed, it won’t even exist as such in its own showroom. For 2012, Volkswagen will sell no fewer than four compact cars powered by some variant of their two-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder–the aforementioned Golf R, the GTI, the new MkVI GLI, and the new (lower case “n”) Beetle. Read More

Driven: Volkswagen Golf R (European Spec)

Yes, we’re a little late to the game. Most of the mainstream publications have already been invited to drive Volkswagen’s European market Golf R, but with your humble author’s 9-5 day job and our modest (read: non-existent) travel budget, well, we just didn’t have the opportunity. So when Volkswagen extended an invitation to sample their full U.S. line-up (caveat to be explained later) near their U.S. headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, well, I just couldn’t pass that up. Doing my best impression of modern journalistic largesse, I promptly reserved my space in the event (and my room at the hotel which, mind you, is only about sixty miles from my home outside Annapolis, MD).

What can I say? They don’t give out bonus points for good behavior. Might as well enjoy it.

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Lord Byron — Big Enough to Fail

Some of my regular readers have been inquiring as to my backlog of reviews. Fear not; they’ll be along shortly. I’m currently dealing with some logistical issues which have repercussions for the release of two of these pieces. Once that shakes out, we should be back to our regularly-scheduled programming. For now, enjoy some Volkswagen.

Friend and fellow SSL regular Jack once called the Volkswagen Phaeton “The best car in the world.” He should know, I suppose, as he had two of them. And it was quite good. In fact, it’s one of few cars I have ever known to be as satisfying from the back seat as it was from the driver’s. It was a wonderful piece of engineering that deserved all of the praise it received.

And now that Volkswagen appears to be back in the “on again” phase of what some of our esteemed colleagues depict as an ongoing deliberation as to the future of the Phaeton in America, I feel it’s appropriate to issue a gentle warning to our friends across the pond:

The Phaeton cannot and will not succeed in the United States.

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