Posts Tagged ‘Volkswagen’

2014 NAIAS: Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept

January 17th, 2014 No comments

We have to admit we were expecting a more extreme conversion to the off-road adventure-themed Beetle that was the star of this year’s Volkswagen press conference, but it turns out the Dune concept is just a sandy hill away from dealer showrooms. Or at least it looks that way. The Beetle uses the production 2.0-liter turbo four for power and packs an all wheel drive system but it’s been raised 2 inches for more ground clearance over the, well, presumably sand dunes, and the wheel/tire package is a bit more aggressive. Other than that we’re looking at a Beetle with a kyack rack and some extra lights. Would it sell? We doubt it, but the soft-roading crossover phase is reaching new heights everyday, so maybe VW already has this penciled into showrooms sometime in the next year.

2013 NAIAS: Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

January 15th, 2013 No comments

      Volkswagen is not new to the SUV and crossover market. Having offered a relatively large Toureg since 2002 and the small Tiguan since 2007 it is somewhat surprising that VW has never offered a three row crossover under its people’s car brand. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming VW unveiled the six-passenger CrossBlue concept. Looking alarmingly similar to Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, executives assured that the CrossBlue concept could easily be predictive of a future production model. They also assured that the future model would offer seven passenger seating replacing the concept’s middle row captain’s chairs with a bench seat. The CrossBlue is equipped with a diesel engine mated to two electric motors, a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and an electric all-wheel-drive system. VW estimates 89 mpge in combined electric mode and 35 mpg as a hybrid. This powertrain produces up to 305 horsepower and an stump-pulling 516 pound-feet of torque. At 196.3 inches long and 79.3 inches wide, VW calls this concept a midsize crossover and expects that a production version would slot between the Tiguan and Toureg in its lineup. This is a curious assessment since the Toureg only seats five and stretches about 189 inches long. Whatever the logic, we say Volkswagen has everything to gain by finally entering the seven passenger crossover segment. Read more…

Video Review: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo

December 18th, 2012 No comments


      To put it bluntly; the average guy was about as likely to purchase a previous-gen Volkswagen Beetle as he was to schedule a mani-pedi and DVR The View. Volkswagen knew this and as a result has done a commendable job at injecting some testosterone into the 2012 Beetle Turbo that we recently sampled. Of course we like the 2.0-liter turbo that is rated at 200 hp in this application, but we especially like the cooperative 6-speed manual, 19” wheels and sensitive brake pedal. This Beetle is a joy to motor around town in and far more skilled than its predecessor at managing coiled back roads. The body rolls a bit more than we’d like when pushed, but the suspension takes a nice set in the corners and the ride is one of best in the $25k class. The interior is a monumental improvement over the New Beetle and we like the fake carbon fiber accented dash and moderately bolstered seats. Rear headroom and cargo capacity are never going to be the Bug’s strengths but if you like the new look—and we do—you’ll enjoy driving the Beetle enough that jabs from your buddies won’t even bother you. Read more…

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Video Review: 2012 Volkswagen Golf R

December 6th, 2012 No comments


     The most potent Golf in Volkswagen showrooms has a lot going for it. The iconic shape still offers an airy cabin with plenty of headroom, a useable rear seat once you climb back there (or choose the 4-door and make it easy) and family-friendly hatchback utility. VW’s beloved 2.0-liter turbo engine has been cranked up to 11 and now sends 256 hp to all four wheels and the only way you can get it is with a proper 6-speed manual. The Lamborghini-esque steering wheel makes you feel like you’re in something from the other end of Volkswagen’s empire and our Sunroof & Nav trim came with exactly zero options. So why can’t we recommend it to driving enthusiasts? Because at $36k the hardware isn’t enough to justify the premium over other thrill machines like the brilliant Scion FR-S and even Volkswagen’s own legendary GTI, which will get you 85% of the R’s performance for a whole lot less outlay. And it’s not anywhere on our top 10 priorities list, but even then, 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway is pretty hard to swallow from a 4-cylinder in twenty-twelve. If your best memories have always been in Golf’s you’ll love everything about this one just as we did. Everything but the price, that is.

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2012 NAIAS: Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid / E-Bugster Concept

January 9th, 2012 No comments

2013 Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept

      Volkswagen used its press conference to tout its first Jetta Hybrid and found a fun way to package an electric car within its latest Beetle with the two-seat E-Bugster Concept. The concept would have a 100 mile range thanks to a nearly 700 pound lithium-ion battery and a 114 horsepower electric motor. Read more…

2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

May 9th, 2011 No comments

2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

 Diesel Power and 28-MPG

      Much the same as many ground breakers, the first generation Volkswagen Touareg sought to set the world on fire with its 5.0-liter 310hp and 553 lb-ft of torque V10 turbodiesel. But it didn’t. The price of entry was too high, $64,565, and then of course there is the fact that most American’s don’t like diesels, unless it’s under the hood of a Golf or Jetta. No matter, because Volkswagen is trying again. Read more…

Video Review: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

March 31st, 2011 No comments

      Editors Gernand and Muxlow take a little road trip to get a gauge for just how fuel efficient the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI can be. Tune in to the Automotive Trends Garage Episode 2 for final details on how the Touareg fared.

2012 Volkswagen Passat (Design Critique)

January 27th, 2011 No comments

     Once upon a time, Volkswagen was known for selling simple and inexpensive cars. The unconventional simplicity of the automaker’s designs carried over into the brand’s straightforward nomenclature designating its vehicles as the Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3. Somewhere in its history, VW decided to be more than just the company that provided Beetles and Microbuses. Read more…

NAIAS 2011: 2012 Volkswagen Passat

January 10th, 2011 No comments

      For more than a year Volkswagen has promised a larger midsize sedan to replace the long lived Passat name. The car was to be designed to fit US consumer’s tastes and buying habits and be built in a brand new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Code named the NMS (for New Midsize Sedan) Volkswagen had the industry waiting with baited breath for the official name of the Passat replacement. Our collective breath was held in vain only for VW to reveal that the NMS would be designated – wait for it – the Passat. Read more…

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2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI

August 17th, 2010 2 comments

Debunking the Diesel Stereotype

      Diesels have intrigued me from the time I was old enough to make basic automotive observations. Much to my delight, on family road trips my parent’s diesel 1978 Olds Custom Cruiser would fill up alongside the big-rig trucks. This fascination was bolstered by an uncle who owned a yellow diesel Rabbit in the ’80s followed by a diesel Ford Tempo, complete with the secondary battery mounted in the trunk. When it came time to find a light duty long distance tow vehicle I purchased a ’92 Chevrolet C2500 Silverado with a 6.5L turbo diesel. For all of their actual and perceived faults, each of these vehicles were compelling in some significant way. And yet diesels remain merely a niche in America’s automotive market. What is the reason for this? Is this simply due to undeserved stereotypes that won’t die, or a deficiency in the vehicles themselves? Read more…

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