Category Archives: Volkswagen

Volkswagen Unveils 2018 Tiguan R-Line Ahead Of L.A. Auto Show

Volkswagen has alot riding on the recently launched 2018 Tiguan CUV, and has introduced a sportier R-Line trim level to help add some spice to the venerable Tiguan for the new model year.

The first immediate item that strikes the eye is how heavily inspired it is by the GTI hatchback. The front bumper is newly redesigned for this trim, and features exaggerated air intakes, more gloss black accents, and slightly tweaked headlights. The equally unique rear bumper features a gloss black diffuser that should help add even more street presence, which should compensate for the minimal effect it will probably have on actual performance numbers. Bigger wheels and fender extensions round out the package, and they help make the Tiguan appear lower and wider than it really is.

The interior checks all the typical Tiguan boxes, but it will be impossible for buyers to not know that they are in an R-Line model. This is due to the numerous R-Line logos sprinkled through out the cabin, as well as the stainless steel door plates, metal pedal covers, and trim exclusive black headliner. Performance hardware remains unchanged, which means the standard 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and its 184 horsepower is still present and accounted for.

Buyers looking to add this trim to their Tiguan purchase will have to shell out an extra $1,795 to add the package to SEL grade models. SEL Premium owners actually see a slight discount, and only have to pay $1,495 for the package due to that model already incorporating the ParkPilot system. Look for the R-Line Tiguan to make its debut at the 2017 L.A Auto Show, with the first units being shipped to dealers shortly afterwards.

Volkswagen Unveils Europe Bound T-Roc CUV

Volkswagen has always been known for its diverse segment portfolio, but a noticeable void  existed in the compact CUV segment. The German auto giant has solved this problem with the unveiling of the 2018 T-Roc CUV.

 

Slotted just below the Tiguan, the T-Roc is a curious mixture of style, muscle, and dare we say it unconventionality. The latter item really shows when you select one of its three trim levels ( Yorkville, Style, and Sport) with the Style trim living up to its name by offering buyers three different roof colors as well as four different coordinating interior colors.

Look for this particular trim to appeal to young urbanites that want a high dose of style in their small CUV purchase. Regardless of which trim is selected the T-Roc amps up its bold credentials in other ways. The wheel arches are pumped up with the rear fascia and haunches also drawing stares thanks to their bold lines. The nose and roof shapes are clearly derived from the T-Roc two door crossover concept which is a good thing since it was one of our favorite concepts from 2014.

The interior is also a bold youthful environment with sharp geometric shapes and squared off elements that further enhance its ruggedness. As a bonus neither the Tiguan nor the Atlas boast nearly the sheer levels of color that the T-Roc possesses which is a nice change of pace from the dark cabins that define many of its current models.

The T-Roc also puts technology at the forefront thanks to its standard 6.5 inch infotainment system which can be swapped out for a bigger 8-inch unit. Volkswagen’s familiar Digital Cockpit system is also available as an option, and it is nice to see this nifty piece of technology finally begin to trickle down to some of the company’s more mainstream models.

Performance for the T-Roc comes from six different engines that cover both the gasoline and diesel sides of the spectrum while also producing between 115 and 190 horsepower. The 190 horsepower engines are only available with all-wheel drive and a 7 speed dual clutch automatic. Meanwhile, the other engines are available with front wheel drive and can be equipped with both a manual transmission and front wheel drive.

Currently, Volkswagen has no plans to bring the T-Roc to the U.S. which is a baffling decision given the high demand for crossovers in our country. Volkswagen even admitted that fact in a prior press release saying that “Crossovers are the next big thing.” In addition, Volkswagen also has room in its U.S. lineup for the T-Roc thanks to the Tiguan growing in size as well as its stylish looks which would allow it to compete with rivals like the Kia Soul, Toyota C-HR, as well as the Nissan Juke. Lastly, its MQB roots would make any conversion to U.S. specifications relatively easy.

If the T-Roc does eventually make its way across the pond, look for it to only offer the 150 and 190 horsepower engines, and have the dual clutch automatic as the sole transmission choice, due to the equally steep decline in demand for manual transmissions especially in the crossover segment.

Volkswagen Unveils I.D. EV Concept

With Volkswagen still navigating the stormy waters that it’s ongoing emissions scandal has unleashed on its long term future, the beleaguered German car company has unveiled a glimpse into what could be a new chapter in its history, with the I.D. concept car.

The exterior styling of the I.D. is largely a design study, but it is roughly the size of the current generation Golf hatchback and as a I.D. rear stylingresult shares that model’s basic profile and shape. However its aerodynamically sculpted styling helps enhance its aerodynamic profile, while small cameras replace the side mirrors presumably in an attempt to reduce drag.

Along with these green oriented touches, the I.D. also boasts plenty of showcar touches including enormous wheels, equally sizable windows, as well as narrow LED lighting elements.

Volkswagen has released little information about what’s lurking underneath the I.D.s hood but seperate reports suggest that the I.D. can I.D. side profileachieve up to 375 miles on a single charge. Look for more information to be revealed later this week when the I.D. makes its official debut in Paris.

While the I.D.’s chances at production in its current state are slim, technology from this concept could eventually trickled down to future Volkswagen models. In particular the lessons learned from the I.D. could be beneficial to Volkswagen’s goal of greatly expanding its EV and hybrid vehicle lineup.

Volkswagen Axes Two Door Golf, GTI For 2017

With sales of two door hatchbacks in a state of total collapse in both the U.S. and its home market in Europe. Volkswagen has admitted defeat, and revealed that it will be pulling the two door GTI and Golf hatchbacks from production for 2017.

The move was revealed in an interview Car & Driver magazine did with Volkswagen of America’s marketing chief Hendrick Muth. Muth went straight to the point with his remarks revealing ” The trend is clearly shifting towards four-door models.” Volkswagen’s decision follows on the heels of similar decisions in Europe by Ford, Renault, and Peugeot to axe their two door hatchback offerings.

While this decision will certainly ruffle the feathers of enthusiasts that lovingly embraced the model since it’s 1972 debut. The elimination of the slow selling two door can help Volkswagen save money on production costs, while also allowing the company to become more streamlined at the same time. Lastly the four door models would also help improve passenger access to the rear seats which can be a challenge in a two door layout.

This decision also comes on the heels of a prior report that suggested that the same fate is in store for the smaller two door Polo hatchback with Audi using slow sales as a reason to reevaluate the future of the two door A1 and A3 as well as the A3 convertible via alleged remarks made by Audi chief Rupert Stadler.

Volkswagen GTI Clubsport S Shatters Nurburgring Record, Not Coming To U.S.

With the arrival of May showers and the first rays of spring, it’s once again time for Volkswagen’s annual trip to the Worthersee festival in Austria. This event is a focal gathering place for VW enthusiasts, and the company has a special treat just for them, the GTI Clubsport S.

Designed to push the limits of the GTI, the Clubsport S adds several upgrades to the formula that amps up the overall driving experience. The bulk of the updates are found golf_gti_clubsport_s_6084lurking under the hood with Volkswagen engineers shoehorning the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that is inspired by the Golf GTI TCR racecar. Volkswagen claims that the engine is only “technically” based on the stock 2.0 liter, but that’s a good thing thanks in part to the healthy 306 horsepower it produces. The tuned engine also makes 280 lb-ft of torque and allows the hot hatch to rocket to 62 mph in a blistering 5.8 seconds. This is a 0.7 second improvement over the stock GTI, and should really help the car excel in spirited track work.

In addition to the spicy engine upgrades, the Clubsport S also benefits from an extensive diet with the company releasing it as a two door with a standard issue six speed manual golf_gti_clubsport_s_6066transmission. The bulky backseat was also pitched in the name of weight savings, and allows the car to weigh in at 2,998 lbs which is 30 lbs lighter than the lightest spec model that U.S. buyers can purchase.

However, it’s headline accomplishment was setting a new record for front wheel drive vehicles on the famed Nurburgring race track. VW revealed that the car posted a 7:49.21 lap time on the challenging course which helped it smash the old record, and claim the distinction of being the fastest front-wheel drive car to ever lap the circuit. This is mainly due to a track specific setting for the Dynamic Chassis control system as well as sticky Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires.

Volkswagen claims that production will be limited to 400 cars that will be scattered worldwide. The only exception to this, of golf_gti_clubsport_s_6067course, is the U.S. market where tougher emissions and safety regulations will keep this tasty treat from reaching our shores

Volkswagen Cancels R400 Hot Hatch

Following a strong debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, the prospect of a 400 horsepower Golf seemed bright and on track for production. However, insiders within Volkswagen revealed that the model has been cancelled due to the aftermath of the ongoing diesel emissions scandal.

Before it was cancelled, the model recieved strong internal support within Volkswagen and was backed by former chief of research and design Heinz-Jakob Neusser. The model even recieved approval for U.S. showrooms a year after it debuted in Beijing (a rare feat for a new concept.) Unfortunately the emissions scandal took hold, and Neusser was one of the first casualties of the scandal, with the exec submitting his resignation earlier this year. After he resigned, the company put the model on the shelf and pursued no further development on it.

A seperate report that was released by Automotive News claims that while the R400 in its current form has been axed, Volkswagen is still committed to a higher performance Golf variant, albeit in a completely rethought form. Volkswagen is still working on a production version of the concept’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that could indeed surpass 400 horsepower. But instead of debuting in the Golf, it would make its apperance in future Audi performance models like the next generation RS3.

That said, it is rumored that Volkswagen engineers will put their focus on cutting weight, and incorporating more lightweight materials into the next generation Golf R. While the engine will still see a modest bump in horsepower over the current model, the weight savings would allow the upcoming Golf R to be lighter than the current generation GTI and have a better power to weight ratio as a result. In addition, the car would also boasts better braking hardware, and a more refined all-wheel drive system to cope with the extra performance.

Audi Unveils Updated TT RS Coupe And Roadster

Audi has big ambitions for its newest crop of RS models, and has given the world a compelling taste of this future with the unveiling of the newly updated 2017 TT RS Coupe and Roadster.

The exterior styling of both models doesn’t stray too far from the standard TT, but Audi designers have given the car a much needed dose of aggression. This is thanks to a Audi TT RS Roadsterredesigned front fascia that features bigger lower air intakes and a slightly modified front grille, while the rear fascia incorporates all new OLED tailights. These new lights incorporate a 3D design, and will be making there production debut on the TT RS.

The driver-centric interior of the TT RS has also seen its fair share of updates with many cues being lifted from the brand’s racing program. This is especially true with the button happy steering wheel that incorporates satellite controls for the car’s handling settings as well as a race inspired start/stop button borrowed Audi TT RS Coupéfrom the R8 supercar.  The RS also features aluminum or carbon fiber accents as well as a special RS screen that allows drivers to access key information such as tire pressure, torque, and the amount of g-forces being exerted on the car.

Performance for the 2017 RS comes from an all new turbocharged 2.5 liter five cylinder engine that now pumps out a solid 400 horsepower and an equally stout 354 lb-ft of torque. This is sixty more horsepower than the old car, and Audi TT RS Coupéshould allow the RS to hold its own against rivals such as the CLA45 AMG, and even the BMW M2. All of this powered is channeled to all four wheels through a seven speed S tronic automatic which allows the RS Coupe to make the sprint to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds with the roadster posting a slightly higher 3.9 seconds time. Braking comes from ventilated and drilled discs up front and solid discs at the rear but Audi will offer carbon fiber ceramic disc brakes as above option. Handling has also been enhanced with Audi engineers equipping the car with electronically controlled adaptive dampers and several chassis tweaks to help eliminate body roll.

Look for the 2017 TT RS to make its way to European showrooms this fall with the coupe starting at 66,400 Euros and the roadster featuring a 69,200 euro price. It’s unclear if Audi will offer the model here in the U.S. but if it does look for it to cross the pond sometime next year.

Volkswagen Unveils 2017 Golf Alltrack

Volkswagen first teased the 2017 Golf Alltrack at last year’s New York Auto Show with the company revealing preliminary details about the upcoming model. This year Volkswagen has let the cat out of the bag and has unveiled the production version of the Alltrack ahead of its official debut.

Essentially a more rugged version of the standard Golf SportWagen, the Alltrack stands out thanks to its standard 4Motion all-wheel drive system, a one inch suspension lift, as well2017_golf_alltrack_5969 as copious amounts of exterior body cladding. The equipment package does remind us of the A4 Allroad but unlike the Audi, Volkswagen is aiming to bring this newfound capability in a smaller package.

“We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system,” stated Joreg Sommer Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Volkswagen of America, Inc. “We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers.”

Performance for the Golf Alltrack comes from the standard car’s 1.8 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which is good for 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. For the moment, a six speed dual-clutch automatic 2017_golf_alltrack_5967transmission is the sole choice avalible but Volkswagen did reveal that a six speed manual variant will appear sometime after launch.

The interior of the Alltrack does not radically depart from what has already been seen in standard SportWagen’s, but the model does gain some welcome upgrades including leatherette seating surfaces, a 6.5 inch 2017_golf_alltrack_5965touchscreen infotainment system, and a rear backup camera. The Alltrack also features an exclusive “Off Road Mode” that features hill descent control and alters the car’s stability control to allow it to handle rough terrain though don’t expect it to get the jump on more off road focused vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler anytime soon. Instead, this suite of features will help the Alltrack become a better companion in inclement weather especially snow and ice.

Look for the 2017 Volkswagen Alltrack to go on sale in fall with pricing as well as final fuel economy figures being released closer to its official launch.

Volkswagen Appoints Matthias Mueller As New CEO, Promises Sweeping Changes

Confirming recent rumors that were revealed late last week, Volkswagen has officially appointed Matthias Mueller as the new CEO of the Volkswagen Group amid the fallout from the company’s worsening diesel emissions scandal.

Mueller takes the place of the recently resigned former CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn who stepped down as the scandal was just beginning to receive national attention. Mueller will still remain in his role as the chairman of Porsche until a suitable successor can be found. Mueller will have his work cut out for him as he tries to navigate the Wolfsburg based firm through the stormy waters created by the scandal, but did release a statement vowing to ensure maximum transparency and accountability.

“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group- by leaving no unturned and with maximum transparency as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation.” “Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry.”

Curiously, the official statement released by VW’s supervisory board did not elaborate on the respective fates of the company’s three R&D bosses Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Ulrich Hackenberg, and Wolfgang Hatz who ran VW, Audi, and Porsches R&D departments respectively. All three were allegedly sacked by the board after the scandal first broke, and would’ve been key figures in the part of the company where the “defeat devices” were allegedly created. The statement however did reveal that Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO Michael Horn would keep his post, but amid a reorganization that will formally merge the company’s U.S. Mexico, and Canada operations with former Skoda chairman Winfred Vahland serving as leader of the new entity.

The company’s marketing and sales chief Christian Klinger will also be leaving the company, but unlike the scandal related purges. Klinger’s departure does not appear to be related to the scandal at all and is instead due to “differences with regard to business strategy.”

In addition to the management shakeup and the planned corporate restructuring, VW Passenger Cars chief Herbert Diess revealed that the company is “working at full speed” on a technical solution to its non-compliance with emissions standards. Recent rumors suggest that the company could soon order a recall of the affected models, and while it is unknown how the problem will exactly be fixed. It is believed that it will most likely involve a software fix to either reduce engine performance, or fuel efficiency for diesel vehicles that are currently on the road. It will depend however if TDI models in other world markets are found to be outfitted with defeat devices which could cause  the cost of such a campaign to substantially rise.  Another proposed solution is the retrofit of an all new urea-injection system to the affected vehicles, but it is also costly, and would require customers to add a long term expense to their budgets due to periodic refills of the urea fluid. For its part, Volkswagen has not officially confirmed any formal details of a potential fix but expect that to be unveiled in the near future.

“Our aim is to inform our customers as quickly as possible, so that their vehicles comply fully with regulations” stated Diess. “I assure you that Volkswagen will do everything humanly possible to win back the trust of our customers, the dealerships, and the public.”

VW Group CEO Winterkorn Resigns Amid Growing Emissions Crisis

In an announcement released earlier today, Volkswagen Group CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn revealed that he has resigned from his post in the midst of Volkswagen’s ongoing and ever growing emissions scandal involving its TDI lineup of automobiles.

“As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested to the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.”

Winterkorn elaborated further stating “I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is, and always will be a part of my life.”

Winterkorn’s successor has not been named as of yet, but he or she will have to help the company successfully navigate the rough seas generated by the emissions scandal a formidable task in and of itself. Speaking of those turbulent waters, the government revealed that it has expanded its probe into Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles and is now including the 3.0 liter TDI diesel engine in its list of affected engines. The power plant sees duty in the Audi Q3, A6, A7, A8, and the Volkswagen Touareg. The Porsche Cayenne is also involved despite the brand not being listed in the original probe. Audi however was already part of the original probe, so the inclusion of more Audi vehicles in this revised list is not surprising.

The EPA is also looking into all 2016 TDI model’s with notable mentions being the Beetle TDI, the recently unveiled 2016 Passat, Golf TDI, and the Jetta TDI. As a result, the agency banned Volkswagen from selling diesel powered automobiles until the Wolfsburg based firm can prove that it is fully compliant with U.S. emissions standards.

Meanwhile, the formal legal investigation into the scandal reached a new tempo when it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice plans to prosecute more executives for various white collar crimes. This decision rescinds the rather light handed method of dealing with the problem that was spearheaded by former Attorney General Eric Holder. As a result of these initial prosecutions, the government could bring even more indictments targeting executives as well as key low level workers if evidence suggests that they were involved in the illegal installation of the defeat devices.

Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for the latest developments on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal as they become available.