Volkswagen

Volkswagen cars

The Dark Knight Rises has been heating up cinemas for the past few days, so it seems only fitting that with the last part of the trilogy in cinemas today, we take a look at one of the most enduring stars of the famed DC super hero movie franchise. No, we’re not talking about Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl character from Batman and Robin. What we’re referring to is the Batmobile, the Dark Knight’s very own ride-of-choice.

In this section though, we’re going to pay tribute - we use that word loosely - to the five worst Batmobile replicas we’ve ever seen. Some are more eye-cringing than the others, but rest assured, none of them would pass the standards of Bruce Wayne.

Heck, we don’t even think the Joker would be caught dead riding in one of these so-called Batmobiles.

So here it is, folks. Prepare to cringe, laugh, or whatever emotion these pictures will do to you.

Find out TopSpeed’s five worst Batmobile replicas after the jump

For the better part of the last decade, Volkswagen Automotive Group has been snagging up various automakers and auto groups in an attempt to build an empire that would likely make Darth Vader cower in fear. It looks like one of VW’s Stormtroopers is turning its back on the “Dark Side,” as Suzuki , a company that VW bought some $2.1 billion worth of shares in 2009, is taking VW to court in an attempt to force VW to return the 19.9 percent of Suzuki stock that it owns.

The issues that run between the two are your typical automotive wah-fest, as Suzuki is boo-hooing over the fact that VW did not share enough technical information with Suzuki, which was a stipulation of the stock sale. VW, on the other hand, is crying foul because Suzuki opted to source a small-displacement engine from Fiat instead of VW. Oddly enough, VW is fighting Suzuki to keep its shares, while Suzuki has filed suit against VW in a London court to force VW to sell its shares back.

Another odd turn of events is the fact that Suzuki is willing to pay market value to VW for said shares, giving Volkswagen a cool $300K to $400K in profit.

Overall, this is a very strange turn of events, as we are not quite sure exactly what in the world VW would want with the Suzuki Suzuki brand under its umbrella. The brand has been really struggling in the last decade and looks to eventually go the Isuzu route and pull out of the American market altogether . Then again, VW has been apt for turning around struggling car companies, a la Audi.

We’ll keep you posted on any new happenings in this legal battle.

Source: MotorTrend
Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

With the development of the Volkswagen Polo R WRC car well under the way, an awesome video was released showcasing the car’s ability in a secluded Finnish forest, with racer Sebastien Ogier behind the wheel of this intense little rally car.

The Volkswagen Polo R WRC will enter the world-renowned rally series for the 2013 season, and the following video shows that VW has created what appears to be a true competitor for the World Rally championship. The launch of the car late last year has helped mark what could be a new generation of WRC racing.

Just a few years ago, major manufacturers, such as Subaru, were continually pulling out of the championship, but with VW prepping their new entry for the series, Skoda set to graduate into the WRC with its Super 2000 Fabia, and Hyundai suspected to reenter the series soon , the World Rally Championship’s future has never been so exciting.

As you may recall, the Polo R WRC features a 1.6-liter TSI engine delivering an impressive 300HP and an advanced four-wheel drive system. Tipping the scales at just 2,645 pounds, the Polo R is a true performance car and we wish Volkswagen all the best for its future WRC endeavors.

For the most part, business deals are massaged with care and come together with relative ease and little drama. We guess the Germans must do things a little differently, as the VW takeover of Porsche was anything but easy and drama-free. In fact, it was closer to the exact opposite.

Seven years ago, Porsche was sitting pretty and decided it wanted to expand, but bit off way more than it could chew when it tried to buy out Volkswagen Volkswagen . This attempted takeover split Porsche’s ownership group and eventually resulted in Porsche falling into extreme debt and abandoning the takeover plan.

In 2009, the script flipped and VW ended up indirectly owning 49.9 percent of Porsche and striking an agreement in 2009 to buy up the remaining 50.1 percent. That agreement turned south when VW realized that the resulting tax payments for the purchase were its responsibility. Well, after some nifty dance steps with the taxman , VW managed to avoid paying taxes on the purchase and the deal was all but complete.

Now we can finally announce that the deal is 100 percent complete, and VW is now the sole owner of Porsche AG. The total purchase deal is going to send €4.46 billion ($5.59 billion) and a single common share of VW stock to Porsche SE. Volkswagen plans to integrate Porsche into its automotive group on August 1, 2012. Porsche SE will also receive an additional €320 million ($401 million) in lost dividend payments and net synergies, due to the rapid integration of Porsche AG into VW’s ownership group – basically VW is paying off Porsche SE to gain quicker control of its automotive group.

With this, VW’s impressive automotive group grows yet again. We are starting to wonder how big Volkswagen AG can really get before it’s too big for its own good.

Click past the jump to read the full and complicated presser from VW.

We all know that when you buy or sell anything of significant worth, the gummament is not too far away with its hand out asking for its share. It doesn’t care which side it comes from, just as long as someone pays “The Man.” Well, when VW AG decided it was time to buyout the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche and get its former ownership group completely out of the picture, we were talking billions of Euros, €4.5 billion to be exact.

Well, even in Germany, “The Man,” or better yet “Der Mann,” is there in the form of the Baden-Württemberg Finance Mini Mini stry asking for his cut of the deal, which would total about €1.5 billion ($1.9 million). This was just about the breaking point of the entire deal, as a part of the buyout was that VW pays the tax.

After five months of massaging the numbers, looking at the laws, and manipulating things in ways that would make a business ethics major cringe, VW and Porsche are about to pull off this deal 100 percent tax free. How they pulled this off was simple enough… The only real sticking point was the fact that VW had to find out how to manipulate the deal into a corporate restructuring, as opposed to a sale.

To achieve a restructuring classification instead of a buy-sell classification, VW gave Porsche the €4.5 billion buying price, but included in that price a single voting share of VW stock… Yeah, that’s it. One little piece of paper that says “I can vote on important issues” saved VW €1.5 billion. Gotta love those tax attorneys.

The deal has yet to be approved by state authorities, but sans any omissions or errors, this looks to be a final deal that gives VW the title to Porsche, instead of just a rental contract.

TV buffs get the Emmys, movie buffs get the Oscars, and music lovers get the Grammys; so, where does that leave us gearheads? Well, the International Engine of the Year Awards, of course, and the 2012 results are hot off the press!

Ford took home the top prize of International Engine of the Year, with its 999 cc engine found in the European Focus . This engine, despite its petite size, cranks out 125 PS (123 horsepower) and manages to squeeze out 56.5 mpg. The 1.0-liter engine didn’t win a close battle either, it took home top honors by a full 113 points. Points are accumulated based on fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and drivability and each engine can only receive 15 of each voter’s total 25 points to give. Needless to say, that was quite a landslide victory.

That’s not the biggest news though, as BMW brought home top honors in four different categories. Bimmer took home the 1.4- to 1.8-liter prize with its 181-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine found in the MINI Cooper S . In the 1.8- to 2.0-liter class, BMW took first prize with its 241-horsepower, 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged four-pot. In the 2.5-liter to 3.0-liter class, BMW wrapped up top honors with its bi-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and its 335 horsepower. Last, but certainly not least, BMW took home 1st place in the 3.0- to 4.0-liter class with its 414-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-8 engine.

Despite all of the accolades, the highest mark that BMW achieved in the Engine of the Year award was 5th place, with its 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-banger.

Click past the jump to see all of the results of each class.

A report indicates that there are some major shakeups coming in Volkswagen Automotive Group in 2018 and it appears as if those changes are already beginning. Audi North America’s CEO, Johan De Nysschen, a man who once reportedly called the Chevy Volt a “car for idiots,” has resigned from the company that he has worked at for the past 20 years, 7 of which were in the CEO role.

It is unknown as to whether this move was forced, mutual, or if De Nysschen resigned on his own accord, but a company spokesperson is quoted saying “He is moving to another job, we believe it’s in the industry.” By that statement, we would assume the move was initiated by De Nysschen. Also, given the growth that Audi has seen during his reign would lead us to believe that Volkswagen AG would have kept him on board as long as he wanted.

Then again, the automotive industry is a weird one where one minor difference in opinion can ultimately cost you a job. In the meantime, Audi’s COO, Mark Del Rosso, will be the interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement to help reach Audi’s goal of competing more closely with BMW and Mercedes-Benz .

Interestingly enough, Audi wasted absolutely no time taking De Nysschen’s CEO profile down from its site, leaving a “Page Not Found” message where his proud image once sat.

Audi’s statement that De Nysschen would be heading to another company in the industry was 100 percent accurate, as we received word that he has signed up with Nissan . His new title is Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Company in charge of the Infiniti division. His first task at hand is one he is rather familiar with, sharply increasing sales and guiding the luxury automaker deeper into developing markets, starting in China.

Best of luck to Mr. De Nysschen and we have a feeling that VW and Audi will be missing him in the coming years.

Late last year we announced that Volkswagen was displaying a new concept car, the Beetle Fender Edition, and they were working toward possibly putting the model into production. Well, the “possibly “ part can be eliminated, as the production model 2013 Beetle Fender Edition has been put on display at the Leipzig Auto Show for all to see.

While the 2013 VW Beetle Fender Edition may not boast any significant performance upgrades, it certainly does feature a ton of audio and visual upgrades, which is exactly what you would expect of a Fender Edition car.

Volkswagen was kind enough to provide us with a press release that lays out all of the specs and features that this special edition bug boasts, as well as a good amount of high-quality images. The rear test is to see how this special edition stacks up to its competition and if it is really worth sinking the extra money into.

UPDATE 10/31/12: Volkswagen has officially priced the Beetle Fender Edition. How much is it going to cost? Hop on over after the jump to find out.

All of these answers and more are addressed in our full review after the jump.

Volkswagen E-Bugster Speedster Concept

Volkswagen has a long history of doing things the right way, especially when it comes to the maker’s storied past. One of the key moments in VW’s recent history was the release of the New Beetle back in the late-1990s. In this instance, Volkswagen made sure to build a car that was new, but still paid tribute to its historic predecessors. When Vee-Dub redesigned the New Beetle in 2011, dropping the “New” in the process, it hit a homerun in terms of making it look even more retro, yet remaining modern.

Volkswagen is now in for yet another change for the Beetle and it is again paying direct tribute to its past. This new change is the upcoming convertible models , which will debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. According to a Car and Driver report, VW is making three special edition Beetle convertibles that pay homage to its past generations, one for the 1950s, one for the 1960s, and one for the 1970s.

There is no mention of what each decade’s special edition will come with, but we do know that they will include: unique color schemes, custom upholstery and white-wall – yes, white-wall – tires. From what we can tell, these three launches will not gobble up every Beetle convertible, so there should be plenty of normal convertible Beetles available for those that don’t want a special edition.

We all have to stand and applaud VW for not being afraid of paying homage to its very humble roots as the “People’s Car” and a car that was not the most popular amongst hot rodders of the day. As soon as we know more details on these special dedicatory Bugs we will let you know. One thing we hope for are a nice set of dog dish rims that came on the Bug through its early years.

The Leipzig Motor Show may not mean much to Americans, but in Germany it is a great opportunity for local auto makers to promote their vehicles and reveal new special edition models. One such German automaker taking advantage of the show is Volkswagen with this very cool Scirocco GTS. This special edition is based on the 2.0 TSI 210 HP version and adds some pretty impressive features.

The Scirocco GTS features a very cool white exterior paint finish combined with black-and red "go faster" strips, red exterior mirrors, a new set of 18-inch "Thunder" wheels, and a new rear spoiler and diffuser similar to the ones seen on the Scirocco R .

The GTS’ interior gets an exclusive gear knob, beautiful leather upholstery with red stitching, and a logo.

UPDATE 10/18/12: Volkswagen has officially released pricing details for the Scirocco GTS. The car, which is now available across Europe, has been given a price range from €28,100, which is about $36,700 based on current exchange rates all the way up to €33,525, or about $43,800, which, again, is based on current exchange rates.


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