It’s only been a few days since rumors about a new Volkswagen baby-SUV began and now, at the 2012 São Paulo International Motor Show, the company has unveiled the new Taigun concept - a preview version of a new New Small Family by Volkswagen.
The Taigun is painted in a breezy "Seaside Blue" exterior paint finish and was designed using the latest Volkswagen design DNA. It measures 3,859 mm long, 1,728 mm wide, and 1,570 mm tall, but despite these compact dimensions, it still offers interior space for up to four passengers and a boot-space of 280 liters. This boot space can be increased to 987 liters when the rear bench seat is folded down. Its looks come from its bigger brother in the lineup - the Tiguan - and includes the same double-split front grill, sharp headlamps, and an overall look that is less rounded and more aggressive, much like the rest of the Volkswagen lineup. The look is perfected with a set of 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 205/50 R17 tires.
The Taigun is powered by a 1.0-liter TSI engine that delivers a total of 110 HP and 129 lb-ft of torque. With a total weight of 2171 lbs, the concept will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 115 mph, all while delivering a fuel economy of 52 mpg.
Volkswagen’s compact hatchback positioned right between the Up! and the Golf – the Polo – is all set to put on its big-boy pants. That’s right; VW is giving the Polo the “R” treatment. No, we’re not talking about the “R-Line” treatment, which is little more than some aesthetic changes. We mean the balls-to-the-wall high-performance “R” treatment, much like what the Golf is getting.
The details on this model are not yet complete, but we do know that it will borrow the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine from the outgoing GTI mk6. VW will then punch up its horsepower to the 225-pony range and ship it to the front wheels – no AWD option. According to reports, the Polo R will bolt to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds and give it a 150 mph top speed, making it extremely quick for its class. Sure, the Focus ST will smoke it, but it’s a step under the Focus’ class.
Much like the Polo R-Line, the Polo R will feature some extra ground effect and larger rims to give it a sportier look, but the complete details on the exterior are not yet known. We also expect the suspension to be lowered and the brake system to be upgraded, giving it better handling and braking to better work with the 45 extra ponies.
According to reports, the Polo R is all set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013. Rumors are also afloat that the Polo R will hit European showrooms in mid 2013, but there is no confirmation yet. Of course, the Polo will not be offered in the U.S.
We expect to see the Polo R to go head-to-head against the Renault Clio RS and the Peugeot GTi, which each feature a 197-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine. Depending on the weight difference, this could give the Polo R a significant advantage.
We’ll add more information to this review as VW releases more details.
Image Note: All images are of the Polo R-Line
Back in August 2012, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid established an impressive speed record of 185.394 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Just a couple of short months later, the vehicle returned to the scene of the victory to break its own record, and succeeded in doing so! The car averaged 186.313 mph over two runs during the SCTA’s World Finals event, eclipsing the previous record by 18.8 mph. Even more impressive is that, during the first round, it hit a top speed of 187.147 mph.
For those who do not remember, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid combines a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline generating 150 HP and 184 lb/ft of torque with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery that produces an additional 27 HP. The battery consists of 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah.
"We’re very proud that the Jetta Hybrid has not only posted the fastest speed for a hybrid at Bonneville, but that it has gone out and broken an SCTA land speed record as well," said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, Volkswagen Group of America. "Achieving this record at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class, offering excellent fuel economy while retaining the fun-to-drive nature expected from a Volkswagen."
Just about 10 years ago, VW introduced an all-new SUV bearing a name that only those with the most talented tongues could pronounce: the Touareg. It was such an odd name that VW actually made a commercial poking fun at the fact that no one really knew how to pronounce it, much like the Merkur tongue twister in the mid-1980s.
In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, VW is releasing a special edition Touareg Edition X. On the outside, you have a standard Touareg – one of the more stylish crossover SUVs available – but it features a set of 19-inch “Moab” wheels, silver anodized roof rails, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime runners, and smoked taillights. You also get the “Chrome & Style” package, tinted windows, and “Touareg X” logos.
On the inside, your hind side is supported by luxurious Amber Brown Nappa leather in a braid embossed style. You get real ebony inlays on the door panels and on the instrument panel to add a little elegance to the package. The front door sills boast illuminated “Touareg X” decals and you also get color-coordinated stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear shifter, and the floor mats.
You have a wide array of engine and drivetrain options in the Touareg Edition X, as there are five different options available, including a hybrid drivetrain. The only option that VW offers us any details on it the 150 kW (201-horsepower) 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engine. This model with the 8-speed automatic transmission runs €61,025 ($79,363 at the current exchange rates). That’s a ridiculous €10,500 premium over the base SE model for minimal additions. According to the press release, the Touareg Edition X is available now, but there is no mention of its U.S. availability.
Once VW releases all of the official standard features we can better assess it. For now, it just seems way overpriced.
Well, we guess not only good things can come out of car shows, as we often find out our fair share of bad news. The latest out of Volkswagen is a killer though. A model that we have been speculating on and that has been turned on and off more than a public restroom hand dryer is finally confirmed as D.O.A., for now. Sadly enough, this highly anticipated model is the Bluesport roadster.
The last we heard of the Bluesport was when Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s head of R&D, told EVO that the Bluesport project was alive and well, despite rumors of its demise. He even went as far as to place a roughly £30,000 price tag on it.
After an interview with Autocar at the Paris Motor Show, Hackenberg said that there is “no business case” and “we didn’t find a market for it” in reference to the Bluesport, tossing a bucket of ice on all of our hopes in the process. In the same breath, however, Hackenberg also made it clear that this isn’t the end of the Bluesport, but rather just a suspension until the market shakes loose.
The reasoning Hackenberg gives for suspending it is to avoid the death blow, which is an outright rejection of the project by upper management. He made it clear that if a market open up for the Bluesport in VW’s lineup it will be quick and easy to install it and get things rolling.
So for now we just have to accept the fact that Vee-Dub will continue on without its sporty roadster for the foreseeable future. As always, we’ll keep a close eye on this one, as Volkswagen is a tricky lot sometimes and could pull a complete 180.
We saw the first rendition of the Golf BlueMotion Concept about five years ago and it was impressive, boasting a 62.8 mph rating and emitting just 119 grams of CO2 per km. We then got a look at the second-gen model in 2009 with its 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2. Here we are at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and Volkswagen has the third generation BlueMotion Golf ready to show off.
Volkswagen really has something to prove in the mpg department, as it is one of only a handful of automakers available in the U.S. that has openly protested the new CAFÉ standards. VW has attempted to make it clear that its reasoning behind protecting the standards is not because it doesn’t want to build fuel-efficient vehicles, but rather because it feels the yearly improvement numbers are skewed to making it easier on American car and truck manufacturers.
Well, here stands a chance for VW to truly prove that it is all in on saving us money at the pump. So let’s have a look at what Vee-dub-ya has served up.
Click past the jump to read our review on the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Concept. Full story
This year’s Paris Auto Show will feature the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf, but we’ve long known what that will look like, so we’re eagerly waiting for its GTI version to be let out. Unfortunately, the Paris Auto Show will only bring us a concept version of the GTI, so we created rendering for the production version in an attempt to help us all get a better idea as to what it will look like. Let’s face it, the concept version always comes out looking stellar with a ton of technological goodies and the production model is always less appealing.
Rumors suggest that the production version Golf GTI will be powered by an updated version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that will deliver about 260 HP. With the extra 60 HP, the next GTI will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds and will be capable of hitting a top speed of 153mph.
The official debut of the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI will be made at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
With the Paris Auto Show quickly approaching, we are awaiting the release of the GTI version of the Golf Mk VII. Unfortunately, VW has been pretty stingy with its information on the upcoming GTI trim, but the sneakiness that is the Internet, has picked up on some images and information on the upcoming Golf VII GTI Concept that is reportedly a near-production version.
We have already received just about all of the information available on the 2013 Golf Mk VII, but this sports edition is one that tuners everywhere seek out. The outgoing GTI is peppy enough, boasting a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that rips off a 0-to-60 sprint in just 7.3 seconds. While that’s no Ferrari, it is pretty sweet for a hatchback that gets 33 mpg on the highway.
With the performance and stylish appearance that the 2013 Golf VII GTI offers up, can VW really do anything to make this compact hatch even more desirable?
Click past the jump to read our full review on the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI to find out. Full story
It has been a little while since we last checked in on Lotus and its ongoing woes, but we have a small bit of news to pass on. There has been much speculation that DRB-Hicom has been considering offloading some or all of the Proton and Lotus money vacuum to the highest bidder. We all assumed it would be Volkswagen AG, but V-Dub has recently said that it is done with acquisitions, for now.
Reports out of Malaysia say that DRB-Hicom is now working on bringing in a “Foreign partner” to Proton Holdings Bhd, Lotus’s direct parent company. The reports are stating that the talks about this introduction are still in preliminary phases, but the announcement of talks alone is enough to tell us that DRB-Hicom is seriously looking into a way to stop the bleeding via an outside source.
With Volkswagen saying that it has stopped only acquisitions leads us to suspect that it has a small hand in these talks. Volkswagen and DRB-Hicom could easily enter into a nudge-wink type of relationship, much like the VW-Porsche takeover, and reap the benefits without much risk by simply becoming partners then later deciding to “restructure” the partnership.
This would ultimately give VW a clear port of entry into Southeast Asia – something it sorely needs – and give DRB-Hicom some much-needed financial relief and maybe a little boost in sales. Also, with Volkswagen’s reputation of turning around faltering car companies, a Volkswagen-DRB-Hicom-Proton Bdh partnership could ultimately save Lotus from potential extinction.
As we said, the discussions are preliminary and there is no confirmation that the talks even involve VW. It just seems like a perfect fit for every party involved. We’ll keep you updated on this as more information comes out.
We understand all too well that companies tend to change things up just for the sake of change in some cases. We see it every year in the automotive world. Fortunately, in our world, this typically doesn’t affect you all too much if you had a car just before a drastic and utterly meaningless upgrade occurred. You just keep on motoring.
Well, when it comes to some electronics, these changes can spell disaster if you are not well informed and prepared. Case in point is the new iPhone 5, which iFolk are iTrading their iPhone 4s like iHotcakes to get their iHands on, but there is a problem that they may run into when trying to dock up their flashy new iPhone 5 to their iPhone-ready car… The new “Lightning” interface connector will not connect, even if you just snagged up a 2013 model year.
The only way to rectify this issue is to go to the store and pick up $29 (Apple licensed) adapters for your car and the other numerous doo-dads that you hook it up to. Additionally, for those that have ever tried using cellphone adapters of any sort, please think of the last one you bought – licensed or not – that actually worked the way it was supposed to. Not too often, huh?
So this may, create a small tizzy in the automotive industry, as owners may take to the dealerships up in arms as to why the car companies had no idea that the iPhone 5 would not fit their massive 30-pin receptacle. This could result in automakers like Kia, Hyundai, Audi, and VW, all of which have the old-style iPhone connector, having to offer all of its new-car buyers these adapters – possibly free of charge to avoid legal issues.
This just shows how something as little as a change in the connector for seemingly no reason at all can lead to serious headaches for your customers. Apple really should have included the adapter with the iPhone 5 and very well may decide to retroactively do so in the future, if the issue becomes too big.