Volkswagen – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:50:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 Volkswagen I.D. Concept Debuts in Paris, Coming to Market in 2020 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-d-debuts-concept-paris-headed-market-2020/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-d-debuts-concept-paris-headed-market-2020/#respond Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:00:48 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=996500 Volkswagen has revealed a concept electric car that it hopes will hit the market by the end of the decade. The Volkswagen I.D. makes its first appearance at the Paris Motor Show this week, showing off a new electric drive system and autonomous features. Although VW hasn’t yet released all the details, we do know...

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Volkswagen has revealed a concept electric car that it hopes will hit the market by the end of the decade. The Volkswagen I.D. makes its first appearance at the Paris Motor Show this week, showing off a new electric drive system and autonomous features.

Although VW hasn’t yet released all the details, we do know the compact car offers an electric motor that produces around 168 hp.  The automaker says the I.D. has a range between 400 and 600 kilometers (249-373 miles) and will launch parallel to a new Golf in 2020.

Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarter 1

 

The I.D. will be the first product to come out of Volkswagen’s new commitment toward electric vehicles. As we previously reported, VW plans to launch more than 30 battery electric cars by 2025. The I.D. is based on the flexible new MEB toolkit, which should also be able to accommodate larger vehicles the size of the BUDD-e concept van that debuted earlier this year as a preview to the automaker’s EV efforts.

After the I.D. comes to market, VW says it will add a fully automated driving mode to the vehicle. In this mode, which arrives in 2025, the steering wheel retracts into the dashboard providing more room inside the already spacious cabin. The I.D. will also be capable of receiving packages if its owner isn’t home, a new feature that reminds us a bit of the in-car delivery service we’ve seen from Volvo.

Stay tuned for more information on the Volkswagen I.D. as the Paris Motor Show unfolds.

Volkswagen I D Concept rear three quarter 3 Volkswagen I D Concept front view 1 Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarter 1 Volkswagen I D Concept top view 02 Volkswagen I D Concept top interior view Volkswagen I D Concept steering wheel Volkswagen I D Concept side Volkswagen I D Concept side profile 2 Volkswagen I D Concept rear three quarters 2 Volkswagen I D Concept rear three quarters 02 Volkswagen I D Concept rear three quarter 2 Volkswagen I D Concept rear three quarter in motion Volkswagen I D Concept rear three quarter 02 Volkswagen I D Concept interior view Volkswagen I D Concept front view Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarters Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarter lights Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarter in motion Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarter in motion 02 Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarter charging pads Volkswagen I D Concept front side Volkswagen I D Concept front side profile Volkswagen I D Concept front end 2 Volkswagen I D Concept front end lights Volkswagen I D Concept front end 03 Volkswagen I D Concept center stack Volkswagen I D Concept battery life view Volkswagen I D Concept app Volkswagen-I-D-Concept-front-end-1 Volkswagen-I-D-Concept-rear-three-quarter-1 Volkswagen-I-D-Concept-side-profile-1 Volkswagen-I-D-Concept-rear-three-quarters-1 Volkswagen I D Concept front three quarter e1475081177625 Volkswagen I D Concept top view 1 Volkswagen I D Concept scan Volkswagen I D Concept battery 06 Volkswagen I D Concept battery 05 Volkswagen I D Concept battery 04 Volkswagen I D Concept battery 03 Volkswagen I D Concept battery 02 Volkswagen I D Concept battery 01

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI – Four Seasons Wrap-Up http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2015-volkswagen-golf-gti-four-seasons-wrap-up/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2015-volkswagen-golf-gti-four-seasons-wrap-up/#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2016 11:00:28 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=991800 It’s a day seared into my memory. We were let loose on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with three Four Seasons cars: the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Volkswagen Golf GTI. Each proved to be stellar in unique ways, but I remember being the most impressed by our four-door GTI after eight magical...

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It’s a day seared into my memory. We were let loose on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with three Four Seasons cars: the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Volkswagen Golf GTI. Each proved to be stellar in unique ways, but I remember being the most impressed by our four-door GTI after eight magical hours running flat-out around the legendary circuit. It didn’t matter whether I was attacking the curbing in the Corkscrew or four-wheel drifting through Turn 3, the VW proved utterly unflappable, all day long.

With seven generations of refinement, it wasn’t exactly a shock how well the newest GTI performed—more like awe. This is the hot-hatch progenitor after all, the Prince of Fahrvergnügen. It’s among the most-awarded cars in this marque’s history. And after our year behind the wheel of the 2015 Mk VII GTI S, we’d happily give it another trophy or two, just for kicks.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI cabin 02
Much has changed over seven generations, but the GTI keeps its crown by remaining true to its fun and user-friendly roots.

But solid performance is only part of the GTI’s charm. This nimble machine proved more than capable of deftly navigating L.A.’s urban jungle. The added functionality of its hatch and two extra doors made it possible to take out-of-town family on tours around Hollywood, haul a couple of bikes up to the hills above the city (with the Golf’s 60/40-split folding rear seats flat), and chauffeur a raucous group of girlfriends from party to party. Its versatility made it a popular choice for longer trips, too. Contributor John Lamm took the GTI on a jaunt from L.A. to rural Colorado, sinking comfortably into the tartan-black (aka Clark plaid) cloth driver’s seat as he drove some 800 miles.

“There was a wonderful road that twisted along a fast-flowing river. The GTI just danced agilely along the two-laner as we straight­-lined the esses and bent through the long, carving corners,” Lamm recalled. On the way back home, however, the tire pressure sensor and the master warning light suddenly came on. He had hit a pothole hard and thought maybe that had something to do with it, but a check of tire pressures and engine fluids found nothing out of the ordinary.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 12

“This car is great. It is easy to live with and a blast to drive. … I would almost certainly own this generation GTI.”

We took the GTI straight to the dealer upon his return to L.A., and as it turned out a hungry rodent had dined extensively in the GTI’s engine bay and triggered the faults. The positive battery cable, hood heat shield, and an air hose were among the items on the multiple-course menu, which ended up costing us a cool $1,236.52.

The GTI went on another big trip, from L.A. to Detroit, with former staffer Joey Capparella and his brother. Along the way, they stopped at their family compound in Nashville, where a set of Bridgestone Blizzak LM­32 winter shoes we ordered up from our friends at Tire Rack were put on the car ($951.95 in all) for its winter of discontent in Michigan. Capparella’s verdict after 2,800 miles behind the wheel? “I only grew to enjoy driving it more and more, and I struggled to come up with a situation in which it falls flat. I’d buy one of these in a heartbeat. It does everything right.”

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI seats 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI shifter 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI instrument cluster 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI engine

That was the overwhelming refrain from everyone who spent time in the GTI, and the car’s logbook ended up full of flattery: “This car is great. It is easy to live with and a blast to drive.” “I feel like Kate Hudson in ‘Almost Famous’ when I say this, but if I lived in the ‘real world’ and didn’t drive different cars every day, I would almost certainly own this generation GTI.” “Did I mention I love the GTI? Love the sound of the engine purring at high rpm. Love, love, love the flat­-bottom steering wheel and fluid steering. Love the sightlines. Love the simplicity of the interior.”

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 02

Eric Weiner recommended to his brother that he buy a brand-new GTI. Big bro listened … and opted for a DSG-equipped car.

So yeah, we had a hard time finding much to complain about during the GTI’s 22,909-mile run with us. It averaged just a half tick under its 28 mpg EPA combined rating. The rodent feast was the only real problem we encountered, and you can’t fault the car for being delicious. The windscreen picked up a rock chip, which we had filled. We took the GTI in for two checkups, one covered under warranty, and a 20,000-mile service that cost $270.39. There were a few minor callouts, including the somewhat shabby stereo unit, the annoying absence of a USB outlet, and a phantom rattle from the rear hatch that one staffer swears he heard.

Interestingly, the GTI’s manual transmission received a fair bit of criticism as well.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI cabin 01

“I’d like the gearbox to feel just a bit notchier, to lose its looseness,” remarked Detroit bureau chief Todd Lassa. “The long clutch travel and ropey shifter are probably the weakest elements of the car,” said Capparella. Given how impressive Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission has become, the manual had a lot to live up to. When road test editor Eric Weiner recommended to his brother that he buy a brand-new GTI, big bro listened (possibly for the first time ever) and opted for a DSG-equipped car.

“I think my brother made the right move,” says Weiner. “There’s nothing explicitly wrong with the six-speed manual and golfball shifter, but there’s nothing especially engaging about it that makes me want it more than the fiercely capable dual-clutch automatic. The clutch is a little light and vague, and the shifter could use a bit more positive feedback entering and exiting each gate.”

But that’s where our soft-handed demerits ended. The GTI is a car that any one of us would happily drop $28,695 on, without question. It’s a car Volkswagen needs to relentlessly push as it attempts to get past recent troubles. It’s a car that will happily dance with you all day long at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca or any highway, byway, or back road you travel.

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Club vs 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Take the GTI to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for a lesson in cheap thrills and chassis tuning.

Pros & Cons

+ Sublime chassis
+ Impressive performance
+ Refined overall package
– Loose manual shifter
– Lack of device inputs
– Pedestrian style

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Running Costs

Mileage

22,905
Warranty
3-yr/36,000-mi bumper-to-bumper
5-yr/60,000-mi powertrain
12-yr unlimited-mi limited warranty against corrosion perforation
3-yr/36,000-mi 24-hour roadside assistance
Scheduled Maintenance
9,000 mi: Oil change, oil filter, $0
19,859 mi: Oil change, oil filter, cabin air filter, $270.38
Recalls
Fuel pump, sealing cap, and steering
Out-Of-Pocket
7,138 mi: Repair rodent
damage to battery cable, air hose, heat shield, fender liner, wiring harness, $1,236.52
17,201 mi: Purchase, mount, balance Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 225/40R-18 tires, $951.95
20,855 mi: Safelite windshield chip repair, $118.37
22,909 mi: Mount and balance summer tires, $80.00
Fuel Consumption:
EPA city/hwy/combined
25/34/28 mpg
Observed: 27.46 mpg
Cost Per Mile $0.23
($0.63 including depreciation)
Trade-In Value
$18,950
*Estimate based on information from Intellichoice

Our Test Results
0–60 mph 5.8 sec
60-0 mph 108 ft
1/4–mile 14.4 sec @ 99.2 mph
Skidpad 0.92 g
2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 09 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI side profile 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter in motion 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI grille 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion lead 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI tail light 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter in motion 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear end 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI headlight 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end 05 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI wheel 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end 04 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear end static 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter in motion 05 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI caliper 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter in motion 04 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI badge 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear end 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI tail light 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter in motion 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 08 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 04 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 06 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end static 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 06 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 05 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 05 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear end 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 07 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 04 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear end static 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end static 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter in motion 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI side profile 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 06 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front view in motion 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI side profile 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI side profile 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 04 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter in motion 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 14 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 04 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 09 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 11 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 12 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 10 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 13 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 06 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 05 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 08 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 07 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 082 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front end 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 02 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI grille 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 01 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 03 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter 04 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI side profile 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI front three quarter 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI rear three quarter in motion 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI wheel

Overview

  • Body style 4-door hatchback
  • Accommodation 4-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest.) $27,700
  • As tested $28,895

Powertrain

  • Engine
  • 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
  • Displacement 2.0 liters (91 cu in)
  • Power 220 hp @ 4500 rpm
  • Torque 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
  • Transmission 6-speed manual
  • Drive Front-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 25/34 mpg city/highway

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.1 turns
  • Turning circle 35.8 ft
  • Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented discs
  • Wheels 18-inch aluminum
  • Tires Bridgestone Potenza S001
  • Tire size 225/40R-18

Measurements

  • Headroom F/R 38.4/38.1 in
  • Legroom F/R 41.2/35.6 in
  • Shoulder room F/R 55.9/53.9 in
  • Wheelbase 103.6 in
  • Track F/R 60.6/59.7 in
  • L x W x H 168 x 70.5 x 56.8 in
  • Passenger Capactity 93.5 cu ft
  • Cargo capacity(rear seats up/down) 22.8/52.7 cu ft
  • Weight 3031 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 60.7/39.3%
  • Fuel capacity 13.2 gal
  • Est. fuel range 370 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • 18-inch aluminum wheels
    • Front and rear independent sport suspension
    • Electronic limited-slip front differential lock
    • Front and rear vented disc brakes
    • Alloy pedals
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Leather-wrapped brake handle and shift knob
    • Plaid-pattern cloth seats
    • Heated front seats
    • Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
    • 5.8-inch touchscreen display
    • Bluetooth
    • Satellite radio connectivity
    • USB/iPod interface
    • 8-speaker audio system
    • Cruise control
    • Front daytime running lights
    • Air conditioning
    • Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
    • 60/40-split folding rear seats

Options

  • options for this vehicle:

    • Lighting package – $995
    • 18-inch summer performance tires – $0
    • Six-speed manual transmission – $0

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Volkswagen Teases its EV Concept Ahead of Paris Debut http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-teases-ev-concept-ahead-paris-debut/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-teases-ev-concept-ahead-paris-debut/#respond Fri, 16 Sep 2016 18:30:07 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=991438 Volkswagen has teased a design study for its upcoming compact electric car, based on a new EV-specific architecture called MEB. The concept doesn’t have a name yet, but will debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month. From the rendering, we can see headlights that use a grid of LEDs, similar...

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Volkswagen has teased a design study for its upcoming compact electric car, based on a new EV-specific architecture called MEB. The concept doesn’t have a name yet, but will debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month.

From the rendering, we can see headlights that use a grid of LEDs, similar to Audi’s Matrix LED lighting system, along with LED accents that outline the headlight housing. The VW logo also appears to be backlit by LEDs. A video posted to Twitter shows more of the car’s roof and rear end, which appear to suggest a hatchback body style. Whatever it is, it looks small. We’ve heard that the car will be sized similarly to the Golf hatchback, though the MEB toolkit is scalable so the wheelbase can be altered to fit multiple applications, including  vans such as the Microbus-like BUDD-e concept that debuted at CES. Volkswagen says its presence at the Paris show will showcase the theme “Think New,” a play on the “Think Small” ad campaign that made the brand popular in the 1960s.

We know that VW is targeting a roughly 300-mile range with its new electric car, which will house its battery pack in the floor like many other modern EVs. The concept will eventually spawn a production car in 2018 or 2019. VW says that by 2025 there will be more than 30 Volkswagen Group EVs available across its brands. To support that number, VW is rumored to be looking into building a large battery plant similar to Tesla’s Gigafactory. This big push for electrification follows the wide-reaching diesel emissions cheating scandal that broke in 2015, an event the company is still recovering from.

We’ll see Volkswagen’s EV concept in Paris on September 29.

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Volkswagen B-SUV Horsepower Figures Revealed in New Video http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-b-suv-horsepower-figures-revealed-new-video/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-b-suv-horsepower-figures-revealed-new-video/#respond Thu, 15 Sep 2016 18:45:25 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=991054 Volkswagen released a video with some new details about its upcoming three-row crossover. The video doesn’t reveal the CUV’s name, but at least we know how much power its two engines will make once it goes on sale in North America in spring 2017. As previously reported, the new crossover, which VW refers to as...

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Volkswagen released a video with some new details about its upcoming three-row crossover. The video doesn’t reveal the CUV’s name, but at least we know how much power its two engines will make once it goes on sale in North America in spring 2017.

As previously reported, the new crossover, which VW refers to as the B-SUV (B is for big), will get a base 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that’ll make 238 hp. The VW B-SUV will join the growing list of large crossovers that offer turbo-four options, which also includes the Ford Explorer and Mazda CX-9, though those two models have slightly larger engines making more power (280 and 250 hp, respectively).

Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front three quarter in motion 23

For more power, the VW B-SUV will offer a 3.6-liter six-cylinder rated at 280 hp, the same as the five-passenger Touareg. Both engines will be mated to an eight-speed automatic.

VW also revealed the B-SUV’s overall length, which spans 198.5 inches. VW says that’s about 2 inches more than the CrossBlue Concept that served as a preview for the B-SUV. It’s also in the same ballpark as most competitors like the CX-9 (199.4 inches), Explorer (198.3 inches), and Honda Pilot (194.5 inches). However, VW claims its crossover will offer superior interior packaging, which could equate to more passenger room and clever storage tricks.

As previously reported, the B-SUV will be built at VW’s plant in Tennessee alongside the Passat. VW will likely debut its new CUV later this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, or perhaps early next year in Detroit.

Volkswagen-Midsize-SUV-Prototype-rear-three-quarter-01 Volkswagen-Midsize-SUV-Prototype-side-profile-02 Volkswagen-Midsize-SUV-Prototype-front-view-in-motion-07 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front view in motion 12 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype wheels Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype rear three quarter in motion 06 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype headlamp 02 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-b-suv-horsepower-figures-revealed-new-video/feed/ 0 Volkswagen B-SUV Horsepower Figures Revealed in New Video | Automobile Magazine Volkswagen released a video with some new details about its upcoming three-row crossover. The video doesn't reveal the CUV's name, but at least we know how much power its two engines will make once it goes on sale in North America in spring 2017. As previously reported, the new crossover, which VW r Volkswagen Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front three quarter in motion 23 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03 Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype front end 03
Ford Focus RS Battles Volkswagen Golf R in New Head 2 Head http://www.automobilemag.com/news/ford-focus-rs-goes-head-2-head-volkwagen-golf-r-new-video/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/ford-focus-rs-goes-head-2-head-volkwagen-golf-r-new-video/#respond Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:18:10 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=990146 The Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R are two of the most powerful (and expensive) hot hatches on the market today. But that may be just about the only things they have in common. On the latest episode of “Head 2 Head,” hosts Jason Cammisa and Jonny Lieberman set out to find which one...

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The Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R are two of the most powerful (and expensive) hot hatches on the market today. But that may be just about the only things they have in common. On the latest episode of “Head 2 Head,” hosts Jason Cammisa and Jonny Lieberman set out to find which one is more worthy of the “hot hatch” name: the well-mannered VW or its brutish alternative.

Under the hood, the Golf R features a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Although slightly heavier, our Focus RS tester packs 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque from its 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four.

Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R Head 2 Head

One of the Golf’s greatest assets is its ride quality. Cammisa, although admitting to be a VW fanboy, declares it “drives like an AMG S-Class.” According to Lieberman, “It’s brilliant, however it’s brilliant to a bunch of engineers.”

Meanwhile, the Focus RS offers up a much more visceral driving experience. Despite its harsh, noisy ride, it benefits from more power, more personality, and a torque-vectoring differential. “This is about as good as a front-wheel-drive-based car can get in terms of steering,” says Lieberman.

Check out the video below to find out which hatch was crowned the winner.

2016 Ford Focus RS on Road 2016 Ford Focus RS front three quarter in motion 03 2 2016 Ford Focus RS front three quarter in motion 51 2016 Ford Focus RS front three quarter in motion 37 2016 Ford Focus RS front three quarter in motion 081 2016 Ford Focus RS rear three quarter in motion 05 1 2016 Ford Focus RS side 02 2016 Ford Focus RS interior view 04 2016 Ford Focus RS front interior seats 2016 Ford Focus RS gauges 2016 Ford Focus RS instrument cluster 2016 Ford Focus RS front interior seats 02 2016 Ford Focus RS front interior seats 2015 Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter in motion 6 2015 Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter in motion 5 2015 Volkswagen Golf R front view in motion 2015 Volkswagen Golf R front three quarter in motion 2 2015 Volkswagen Golf R passenger profile in motion 3 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter in motion1 2015 Volkswagen Golf R rear three quarter in motion

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2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Priced at $26,670, Nets 22/30 MPG http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-starts-26670-nets-2230-mpg/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-starts-26670-nets-2230-mpg/#respond Tue, 13 Sep 2016 21:00:19 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=989544 Volkswagen has released final details on its rugged variant of the Golf SportWagen. The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack arrives in U.S. dealerships in October netting 22/30 mpg city/highway. Essentially a Golf SportWagen with body cladding, all-wheel drive, and 0.6 inch of additional ride height, the Alltrack will be available in three trims. The base S...

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Volkswagen has released final details on its rugged variant of the Golf SportWagen. The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack arrives in U.S. dealerships in October netting 22/30 mpg city/highway.

Essentially a Golf SportWagen with body cladding, all-wheel drive, and 0.6 inch of additional ride height, the Alltrack will be available in three trims. The base S model equipped with a six-speed dual clutch starts at $27,770 when it launches in October. It won’t be until early 2017 that buyers can opt for the six-speed manual, which brings that price down to $26,670. Standard features on the S model include leatherette seats, front seat heating, cruise control, an eight-speaker audio system, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with rearview camera.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack side profile 01

Upgrading to the SE model brings prices past the $30,000 mark. At $31,350 with the automatic (and $30,250 with the manual transmission available early next year), the SE adds a panoramic sunroof, keyless access with push-button start, and a Fender audio system. The top-of-the-line SEL model is only available with an automatic transmission and boasts navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, and power driver seat with power lumbar. Prices for this model go for $33,710.

Available on the S and SE, an $845 driver assistance package tacks on adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, parking steering assist, and rear park distance control. A package available on the SEL trim adds all these safety features, plus features like lane departure warning, high beam control, and bi-xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting, for a total of $1,995. Speaking of safety, the Alltrack has nabbed a five-star safety rating from NHTSA.

Just like the standard SportWagen, which goes for as little as $22,400, the Golf Alltrack receives a 1.8-liter inline-four producing 170 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes paired with standard all-wheel drive. At 22/30/25 mpg, it shares the same EPA fuel economy estimates with the new 2017 Golf Sportwagen 4Motion.

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Volkswagen’s New U.S. Trajectory? http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagens-new-u-s-trajectory/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagens-new-u-s-trajectory/#respond Fri, 02 Sep 2016 19:26:09 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=986396 Volkswagen still hasn’t revealed the name of its new mid-size SUV, the long overdue Honda Pilot competitor scheduled to go on sale in the second quarter of 2017. That launch will come four years after the automaker unveiled a concept version at the North American International Auto Show. So far, all VW will say officially...

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Volkswagen still hasn’t revealed the name of its new mid-size SUV, the long overdue Honda Pilot competitor scheduled to go on sale in the second quarter of 2017. That launch will come four years after the automaker unveiled a concept version at the North American International Auto Show. So far, all VW will say officially is that U.S. management will be in charge of coming up with the name. It won’t sound like “Touareg,” “Tiguan,” or “Passat.”

May I suggest calling it “Beetle”?

Road test editor Eric Weiner, who just returned from a quick drive of the midsize VW SUV prototype in Chattanooga, Tennessee, didn’t see much humor in my proposal, either. Volkswagen is, of course, still trying to match sales for its best year ever in America, calendar year 1970, when it sold 582,573 cars and buses here, most of them Type 1 Beetles.

When the U.S.-specific VW Passat launched in late 2011, Volkswagen of America was working toward a goal of selling 800,000 units in the country by 2018. But even before Dieselgate, VW had begun to quietly back away from that goal, which sought to conquer Nissan, Honda, and Toyota customers. With annual U.S. sales of between 1.3 million for the Nissan brand (exclusive of Infiniti) and 2.1 million for the Toyota brand (no Lexus) in ’15, these were good targets for the German company.

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VW now aims to target Subaru instead, Eric says, which sold 582,675 cars and crossovers last year, coincidentally passing VW’s best U.S. year ever for the first time by 102 units. Like Subaru, VW won’t be getting into pickup market, which is lucrative, but tough for non-American brands. It would have to assemble pickups in a NAFTA country to avoid President Johnson’s famous “chicken tax,” which forced out its Microbus-based pickups from the U.S. market more than 50 years ago.

Even if Volkswagen cuts prices to better match the Japanese and South Korean competition, it will still have better margins with the new midsize SUV, the (hopefully more competitive) second-generation Tiguan compact SUV, and a growing lineup of models with all-wheel-drive options. Despite a pretty good launch, the 2012 Passat that was supposed to propel VW into the U.S. mainstream failed to make any dent in the tough—and now shrinking—midsize sedan segment, which is no longer that important for smaller automakers.

The U.S.- (and China) specific VW Passat was scheduled for redesign in calendar 2018, when it would switch to VW Group’s uber-flexible MQB platform (Golf, new Tiguan, and new midsize SUV), but that may be delayed to calendar 2020 or 2021, Automotive News reported this week. The delay would realign the U.S. Passat with the smaller European Passat, AN continues, which would make the car what it was before Volkswagen started building it in its new Chattanooga assembly plant: too small and too close in size to the compact Jetta for the U.S. market.

That might actually turn out to be okay. It will work if Volkswagen, coming to the large-midsize three-row SUV segment at least half a decade late, can sell a decent number of them (again, at higher profit margins) and keep the Chattanooga factory chugging.

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Meanwhile, AN says that the VW Group – again, that includes VW, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, etc. – will close its North American design center in Santa Monica, California this November, and will open a new design center in Malibu just for the Audi brand. It’s a sign VW management has figured out the advantages of chasing profit margins instead of quantity. Until this year at least, the premium and luxury segments have been outperforming the mass market since The Great Recession.

Audi also is taking the lead at VW Group in developing electrified vehicles, which now have a better future than diesel-powered models. Audis also command premium pricing in Uber’s model, and they’re more desirable for car-sharing young urbanites after status and cushiness. This can’t be a new revelation for VW Group, which sells more VW Golfs in Europe than any other car, but at virtually no profit margin. Across the Atlantic, high-volume Audis like the A3, A4 and Q3, and Skodas built in the former Soviet bloc, are the moneymakers.

When Dieselgate broke almost a year ago, I asked whether Volkswagen is toast in the United States. The answer is no, not exactly. But even as VW negotiates with the feds toward an anticipated October settlement over 3.0-liter turbodiesel emissions cheating, Audi looks to come out of this pretty much unscathed, so it’s the brand that deserves resources and attention. Meanwhile, the VW brand goes forward in this country with its new SUV and the remainder of its lineup that appeals mostly to its longtime fanbase. As Audi continues to set sales records, that would not a terrible place for the VW brand to be – growing without turning off its small, but loyal niche customers. Just like Mazda, which it now barely outsells, and Subaru, which it now envies. Perhaps Volkswagen isn’t too many years away from finally catching its 46-year-old U.S. sales record.

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagens-new-u-s-trajectory/feed/ 0 Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior
Volkswagen Passat GT Concept to Debut at 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-passat-gt-concept-debut-2016-los-angeles-auto-show/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-passat-gt-concept-debut-2016-los-angeles-auto-show/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 20:00:57 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=984158 On our recent visit to Volkswagen’s Chattanooga production facility, we stopped by the Engineering and Planning Center (a research and development hub for North American product planning). There we spotted in full view an upcoming concept bound for the 2016 Los Angeles auto show—the Volkswagen Passat GT. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos,...

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On our recent visit to Volkswagen’s Chattanooga production facility, we stopped by the Engineering and Planning Center (a research and development hub for North American product planning). There we spotted in full view an upcoming concept bound for the 2016 Los Angeles auto show—the Volkswagen Passat GT.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos, but we’ll do our best to paint the picture.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI front three quarters

We don’t know what Volkswagen has stuck under the hood, but on the outside, the Passat GT concept looks a whole lot like the Jetta GLI. It shares a similar, more aggressive front end compared to the standard Passat, complete with shiny black plastic and fender strakes matching the Golf GTI. The grille is also black, positioned beneath a new red stripe, to match the window surrounds, black-trimmed wheels, and mirror caps. Around the rear, the Passat GT gets black-colored badging, taillight surrounds, a thin trunk-mounted black spoiler, bumper trim, and a dual exhaust system.

Volkswagen chief engineering officer for North America Matthias Erb tells us that although what we saw was indeed an LA-bound concept, the company is looking into potentials fairly seriously and it has a good shot at reaching production. At the moment, the Passat’s sportiest variant is an R-Line, but that model keeps the same 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Assuming the Passat GT won’t be just an appearance package, the logical powertrain here is the 220-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four TSI engine used in the GTI and the Jetta GLI. Most likely, VW will gauge interest for the Passat GT in LA before deciding anything official. There’s a good chance the hum-drum Passat sedan will get a much-needed dash of spice to compete with cars like the Honda Accord Sport, but don’t expect anything close to the performance of the new Ford Fusion Sport.

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First Drive: Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-midsize-suv-prototype-first-drive-review/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-midsize-suv-prototype-first-drive-review/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 19:00:34 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=983832 CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee – After years of speculation, announcements, and what felt like a dozen concepts, Volkswagen’s midsize SUV is here. Well, almost. As VW’s Chattanooga plant prepares to start official series production of the still-nameless three-row seven-seater in the last week of 2016, we popped down to Tennessee for a chance to visit the production...

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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee – After years of speculation, announcements, and what felt like a dozen concepts, Volkswagen’s midsize SUV is here. Well, almost. As VW’s Chattanooga plant prepares to start official series production of the still-nameless three-row seven-seater in the last week of 2016, we popped down to Tennessee for a chance to visit the production line and get behind the wheel of a prototype on some gravel roads and gnarly dirt trails.

It’s hard to overstate how important this vehicle is for Volkswagen. One look at VW’s stable reveals gaping holes in red-hot small, midsize, and large SUV segments that have long since moved on from the pricey Touareg and dated Tiguan. More than 600,000 square feet have been added to the Chattanooga plant to integrate production with the Passat line, and 700 jobs are on the way by January.

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If it’s done right, this midsize SUV could be the glimmer of hope VW needs to start chasing legitimate sales volumes that have been healthy breadwinners for Honda, Ford, and Toyota with the Pilot, Explorer, and Highlander. To that end, Volkswagen chief engineering officer and executive vice president for engineering and planning in North America, Matthias Erb, focused on meeting customer demand. “This is definitively an Americanized car,” he says. “We took the family-friendly approach very seriously.”

Multiple members of Volkswagen’s team point out how rare of an opportunity this look behind the curtain was. You can imagine this degree of transparency feels a little new to some at VW, so the prototype we saddle up in is still camouflaged quite a bit. Both the front and rear bumpers are covered in black cladding, and most of the interior (which we were not permitted to photograph) is similarly disguised. We can see the doors, seats, steering wheel, instrument cluster, rear-seat climate controls, storage areas, and that’s about it.

During our plant visit, we spotted a unit that had been left uncovered on the factory floor as well as one on the production line. A quick once-over revealed proportions and body lines very similar to the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept shown at the 2013 Detroit auto show, but with chunkier styling and sharper lines to appeal to the Chinese market. We can also look forward to a more interesting color palette than we’ve seen from VW in the past, including an outrageous gold color resembling that of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE from the 2015 Geneva show.

Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype side profile in motion 02

Like the CrossBlue concept, this midsize SUV is built on VW’s tried-and-true MQB platform used for the Golf and its variants. But this thing is big. Really big. Volkswagen isn’t revealing exact dimensions, but it says only the Chevrolet Traverse is longer within the segment. Overall it’s roughly the same size as the last-generation Audi Q7.

Wisely, the interior has the space to match the SUV’s sizable footprint. The back seat is substantial, with excellent head and legroom, but by far the most impressive innovation is the tilting trick engineered for the second row. You can actually tilt the entire second row forward on its axis and then slide it ahead to reveal a generous path to the third row, without ever folding the seat. For parents with car seats, this will relieve your blood pressure. The third row is actually inhabitable by normal-sized adults, owing to the SUV’s usable headroom all throughout the interior. Overall, Volkswagen says its interior dimensions are among the largest in class. As VW spokesperson Mark Gillies notes, “We’re a small-car company, so packaging is something we do well.”

What Volkswagen has also done well is make the midsize SUV feel open and airy. An enormous panoramic sunroof will be offered, which definitely helps, but from the driver’s perspective, it’s all about visibility. The beltline isn’t too high, revealing plenty of side glass and the A-pillars are thin and swept back out of the way to allow for clear sightlines all around. Bravo, VW. It’s not easy to make a big car feel this manageable.

Although it’s camouflaged, we could tell the prototype we’re in is an SEL Premium model. The giveaways are the comfy and supportive leather seats, inlaid wood trim on the doors, Fender audio system, second-row heated seats and dual USB access, and buttons for parking distance control and automatic parking. The infotainment system is an evolution of the MIB II unit we know from the Passat, which can be had with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as well as VW App-Connect. Like the Passat, expect the midsize SUV to be offered with lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

The interior was still fitted with pre-production parts. It felt like it was assembled well, though the design is a bit uninspired. This restrained styling shouldn’t be a problem compared to the Pilot and the Highlander, but for real premium or luxury feel, the Mazda CX-9 won’t have to watch its back.

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The prototype we snake along dirt trails and gravel paths features a 3.6-liter V-6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (front-wheel drive will also be offered). For those more fuel-conscious and less likely to tow, VW will also offer a 2.0-liter turbo-four with exclusively front-wheel drive. The V-6 is the same mill used in the top-trim Passat (also built in Chattanooga), and it’s not likely to get much massaging beyond the 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque it currently produces. Those figures are competitive with the Explorer, Pilot, and Highlander, none of which sell relatively significant volume with four-cylinder engines (the Pilot doesn’t even offer one). VW’s 2.0-liter turbo-four, the TSI engine used in the GTI, makes the same 258 lb-ft of torque as the V-6 although power may grow slightly compared to the 220 hp seen in the hot hatch.

Our biggest takeaway from our off-road romp is how quiet and refined Volkswagen’s midsize SUV feels. Over nasty bumps and uneven sections the structure feels stiff and composed at all times, and the cabin remains particularly placid save for the faint purr of the V-6 up front. The crunch of gravel roads barely reaches our ears, although to be fair we didn’t have the chance to spirit away the prototype to the highway to get a sense for how well it isolates wind and road noise at speed. The SUV stays flat and controlled at all times thanks to its relatively firm suspension, but impacts are impressively damped to rarely punish passengers.

Throttle response proves excellent and very precise, although the same cannot be said for the steering, which is alarmingly light and distant-feeling. Apparently CEO Matthias Muller previously decreed the steering too quick and heavy and engineers scrambled back to the drawing board in response. They overcorrected, but VW assures us that steering, suspension, and braking are all still being calibrated.

Volkswagen Midsize SUV Prototype side profile in motion

Perhaps intentionally, the Volkswagen midsize SUV drives much like a bigger, heavier Golf. That’s not a bad thing at all, especially when you consider that this new SUV is meant to fill a key gap in the showroom. Familiar driving dynamics and interior touchpoints could be the hook VW needs to keep growing families from jumping ship to another brand.

A name has apparently been chosen, and we’ll learn what it is when the vehicle is officially revealed in late September. Deliveries are scheduled begin in the second quarter of 2017.

Volkswagen still has a long way to go before the storm clouds are in the rear view, but for the first time in recent memory, it’s entering a booming segment with a well-considered product to match. The recovery will probably be slow and steady—former dreams of 800,000 global units are now buried in the wishes of yesteryear—but Volkswagen might just be able to spur itself on if it can deliver this midsize SUV on the mark.

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VW to Debut 300-Mile EV at Paris Motor Show, Says Report http://www.automobilemag.com/news/vw-debut-300-mile-ev-paris-motor-show/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/vw-debut-300-mile-ev-paris-motor-show/#respond Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:00:36 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=979094 Volkswagen says electric vehicles will play an important role in its diesel scandal recovery plan, and now the automaker is ready to put that theory to the test. At the Paris auto show next month, Volkswagen will debut an EV prototype with a range of at least 248 miles, reports Electrek. Speaking with German magazine...

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Volkswagen says electric vehicles will play an important role in its diesel scandal recovery plan, and now the automaker is ready to put that theory to the test. At the Paris auto show next month, Volkswagen will debut an EV prototype with a range of at least 248 miles, reports Electrek.

Speaking with German magazine Wirtschafts Woche, Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess revealed the vehicle is sized similarly to the Golf but has the cargo space of a Passat. The vehicle will achieve a range between 400 and 600 km (248 and 372 miles), he noted.

The range estimate is likely based on the standards of the New European Driving Cycle, which is more generous than the EPA in its ratings. Still, it’s a huge improvement from the range offered by Volkswagen’s current electrified stable. The automaker says its 2017 e-Golf will achieve an NEDC range of up to 186 miles of range by the end of the year. Electrek estimates the EV prototype for Paris will have a range of about 300 miles, which jibes with what we’ve heard about future VW EVs.

While the Paris model is apparently just a prototype, the automaker has confirmed plans for such a vehicle to go into production. According to Diess, the concept will closely resemble the final model, which should come out in 2018 or 2019.

Volkswagen says it will introduce a new MEB platform specifically designed for EVs. Accommodating a flat-floor type battery, the platform should make plenty of space available for electrical storage. Vehicles on this platform should be able to achieve a range of 300 to 500 kilometers (about 190-310 miles), Diess told our affiliates at Motor Trend last year.

The new concept is a step toward achieving Volkswagen’s goal for 2025. By that time, VW wants to have launched more than 30 battery electric cars. VW expects EVs to represent about 25 percent of its total sales volume, accounting for about 2-3 million pure EVs annually. Meanwhile, the automaker is also reportedly cooking up a large battery factory which could resemble Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Pictured is the Volkswagen BUDD-E Concept, which previews the automaker’s MEB platform.

 

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