Category Archives: Volkswagen

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.

Volkswagen Unveils 2016 Passat, New Styling And Technology Highlight Updates

Looking to breathe new life into the Passat’s sluggish sales numbers, Volkswagen has unveiled the updated 2016 Passat which brings bolder styling cues and a whole suite of new technology that aims to help it stand out better when viewed against rivals from Honda and Toyota

The exterior styling for example ditches the current model’s bland but understated cues and adds a dose of much needed aggression and boldness to the package. Volkswagen claims that virtually every piece of sheet metal is all new and that only the roof, doors, and2016_passat_5399 the sides of the car are carried over from the old model. The front fascia serves as a key example of this newfound freshness and features crisper headlights that allow the Passat to fall in step with the company’s current design language while an all new three slat grille and rippled hood help add a hint of sportiness to the Passat’s mug. The rear fascia also benefits from the updates and features new tail lights and a redesigned trunk lid.

Buyers looking for a more performance oriented experience will be pleased with the R-Line package (pictured). Following the same script as other R-Line models, it features a tweaked package exclusive front bumper that incorporates GTI inspired black accents, side skirts, a rear diffuser, and 19 inch alloy wheels shod with ZR rated Continental tires that promise more grip than the standard all season tires.

The interior (a favorite target of critics due to its cheap plastics and bland design) has also been reworked to appeal to more younger buyers. A new steering wheel greets the drivers 2016_passat_5381hands, while an updated instrument cluster and a slicker center console round out the changes and incorporate several new technologies to enhance the driving experience further.

Our favorite bit of technology is the all new MIB II entertainment system that is fully compatible with both Apple Car Play and Android Auto. This is a pleasant change from older Volkswagen’s which were only compatible with Apple products and forced Android users to buy a costly adapter before hooking their products up to the stereo. A rear view camera is also standard issue and should please safety conscious buyers.

Speaking of safety, Volkswagen engineers have equipped the 2016 Passat with the company’s all new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System which applied the brakes after the initial impact to reduce the damage from a secondary collision. Other welcome safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, a lane departure warning system, and autonomous emergency braking capability.

Performance hardware for the 2016 Passat is largely carried over from the old model with the 1.8 liter turbocharged four cylinder continuing its service in the base model Passat, with higher trims featuring a 280 horsepower 3.6 liter VR6. A 2.0 liter TDI turbodiesel is also 2016_passat_5392available but look for that particular engine to make its debut much later thanks to the effects of Volkswagen’s rapidly growing emissions scandal which has resulted in the company not being able to sell its diesel products due to an ongoing ban. The 1.8 liter and the 2.0 liter TDI can be ordered with either a manual or an automatic transmission, but the VR6 is only available with the company’s dual-clutch transmission.

Look for the 2016 Passat to begin arriving in dealer lots later this year with a base MSRP of $22,440. Volkswagen is keeping the rest of the pricing ladder under wraps though expect that particular bit of information to be revealed when the Wolfsburg based firm opens up pre-ordering for customers.



Volkswagen Unveils Redesigned 2017 Tiguan

With the 2016 Frankfurt Motor Show currently underway, Volkswagen has released new details regarding the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan while also showcasing the higher tier GTE trim.

The revised SUV would be the first non car product built on the company’s MQB platform an incredibly flexible architecture that has already proven to be a nifty piece of engineeringtiguan_european_model_5346 in the Golf and GTI hatchbacks and is expected to eventually be incorporated into other VW and Audi products.

The exterior styling seen here is for the European market, but look for the U.S. bound Tiguan to retain much of its Cross Coupe concept inspired styling as well as the availability of an optional CC (Cross Coupe) model. The styling itself does look a bit bland from certain angles, but it still retains a subtle hints of handsomeness especially at the rear of the Tiguan.

The interior of the Tiguan also showcases Volkswagen’s attempts to rectify it’s biggest weakness its relatively small size. While it’s compact oriented design was loved in Europe, it proved to be a big handicap on U.S. soil where it’s predecessor was outclassed by many rivals in its segment. This forced the Tiguan to compete with smaller SUVs that were often tiguan_r-line_european_model_5332lighter and had a lower price point. For 2017, Volkswagen aims to end this trend by offering two different seating configurations for the first time ever. Buyers can choose from either two or three row variants that will allow the Tiguan to be more of a contender in its segment especially in passenger space. It is currently unknown if Volkswagen will take a page out of Hyundai’s playbook and market both the standard model and the CC under one model name (similar to the Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Sport.)

Speaking of passenger room, it has grown substantially thanks to the extra 2.4 inches on length that the MQB platform provides as well as its 1.3 inches of extra width. These changes along with an extra 3 inches on the wheelbase help increase cargo capacity by 2 cubic feet, and also helps improve headroom and legroom especially in the rear a key weak spot in the last generation Tiguan.

Performance hardware for the 2017 Tiguan will depend on what market it is being sold in. But look for the U.S. version to feature a 1.8 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that tiguan_european_model_5343will see duty in base models as well as an optional 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder for higher trims. A seven speed DSG gearbox will most likely be the only transmission choice avalible with front wheel drive standard. Buyers in snowy locales can opt for the avalible all-wheel drive system that allows the Tiguan to stay sure-footed even in the toughest of weather conditions.



In addition to the standard Tiguan, Volkswagen also showcased an eco-friendly concept of the Tiguan that will share the stage alongside the production version in Frankfurt.

Known formally as the Tiguan GTE Concept, Volkswagen undertook a multi pronged effort when it came to constructing this concept  versus what has been seen with past plug-in tiguan_gte_european_model_5324 (1)hybrid models. All the usual suspects are present and accounted for ( a 150 horsepower gasoline engine, a 13 kWh battery pack, and an electric motor,) But Volkswagen has raised the bar a few notches by going the extra mile when it comes to recharging the vehicle thanks to a roof mounted solar panel that helps boost the conventional AC charging system.

While this is not the first time that solar panels have been seen on hybrid vehicles, Volkswagen’s application allows drivers to complete roughly a mile or so of commuting without plugging the GTE into the wall, or using a single gallon of gasoline. Of course, drivers will have to avoid using any accessories to maximize range but a Volkswagen representative revealed the full potential of this setup stating

“Under ideal conditions, the energy that it generates annually is sufficient to add up to 1,000 km of driving range (Germany 500 km, Southern Europe 800 to 1,000 km) depending on the regional solar radiation power.” When converted to imperial measurements, this translates to 320 miles on the low end, and 620 miles when pushed to maximum range.

When it is not being used for maximum MPG’s, the GTE can also transform into a potent performance CUV thanks to all the electrical components being designed to moonlight as tiguan_gte_european_model_5326 performance enhancers. This occurs when the driver selects GTE mode, and allows this unique Tiguan to use all the system power for maximum acceleration. As a result, Volkswagen claims that the GTE concept is capable of hitting 62 mph in 8.1 seconds which is quite commendable for a hybrid SUV.

It is unknown if this latest iteration of the hybrid power train will ever make it into production, but looking back on the lukewarm reception that greeted the now discontinued Touareg Hybrid. It is possible that this model would meet the same fate, and prove to be unfavorable to U.S. buyers. However, there is a slim chance that it could make an appearance as a Europe only offering thanks in part to that market’s higher gas prices.