There has been much speculation in the automotive world about VW looking into buying Proton from DRB-Hicom, and later came the announcement that VW’s labor group would not support additional acquisitions. It looks like - at least the smoke and mirrors make it look like - VW is done buying any more projects for the foreseeable future.
This all comes thanks to a report from Bloomberg, through Handelsblatt, that VW’s CEO, Marin Winterkorn, has said “We have enough to do at the moment in taking our twelve brands to where we want to be” in response to the company possibly buying Proton. He also said “We need to grow in Southeast Asia,” then followed that up with “but that does not mean that we will buy Malaysia’s Proton, like some are speculating.”
In the world of automobile acquisitions, you can always take a CEO’s words with a grain of salt, as they are saying what is true at any given second. At the drop of a hat, that truth can suddenly change, especially if DRB-Hicom decides to offer up Proton at a bargain price. Add in the fact that VW has been very shady with its business tactics lately – avoiding the tax man and sneaking Ducati under Lamborghini’s umbrella to help it meet mpg standards – and you can see why we don’t believe a word of what Winterkorn says.
VW will say what it needs to say in order to keep its labor group happy, but ultimately it is in the automobile manufacturing game to make money. If Proton and/or Lotus are seen as potential profit, VW will tell the labor group to suck it up, as they ink a deal for the Malaysian automotive group.
We’ll keep a close eye on this whole situation and see if VW stays true to it word or reverses ship if Proton falls in its lap.
First details on the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf will be revealed tomorrow, September 4th. But of course that Volkswagen couldn’t keep the secret until then, as today the first images of the new Golf have leaked on the internet.
As no surprise, exterior changes for the new generation Golf aren’t very significant: they are just a simple evolution of the previous Golf VI. On the other hand, the interior comes with quite some improvements: the center console for example, has been angled towards the driver’s side. But that’s pretty much all the details revealed by these three leaked images, the rest will be revealed tomorrow.
As for the engines found under the hood, Volkswagen will be offering a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines, including a new 1.4 TSI engine delivering 140 HP and a new TDI with 105 HP.
The new Volkswagen Golf VII will be making its official debut at the Paris Auto Show, with sales to begin shortly after.
The new generation Volkswagen Golf VII was scheduled to do the debut strip tease at the end of September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, but it looks like the company has decided to offer a few details on the new Golf early. We’ve got a few snippets already, but Volkswagen is also planning on unveiling more on September 4th.
The first details on the Golf VII reveal that it will be built on the company’s MQB platform and will be about 220 lbs lighter than the current model. Volkswagen will also work on making the model more spacious, safer, and more comfortable.
Under the hood, Volkswagen will place a choice of both petrol and diesel engines, including a new 1.4 liter TSI with 140 HP and a new TDI with 105 HP. All engines will get a 23% reduction in fuel consumption.
Next to these updates, the new Golf VII will offer an impressive list of features, including a proactive occupant protection system, standard XDS electronic differential lock, ACC adaptive cruise control plus Front Assist and a City Emergency Braking function, among many others.
While the standard Golf R is still covered from head to tail in dizzying cammo, the Convertible version of the speedy hatchback is now stripped down to reveal its R logo goodies at the front and back. This just proves that the cammoed Golf we saw a few weeks back was indeed the "R" in GTI clothing.
With the uncovered goodness that are these spy shots, we can see that the front bumper of the Golf R will have LED daydriving lights, bigger brakes and wheels, more marked side sills, and a small spoiler on the trunk. The rounded GTI exhaust pipes have also been removed to reveal the bigger oval-shaped pipes that will be used for the Golf R.
Power for the 2013 Volkswagen Golf Convertible R will come from a revised version of the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder found in the current model. This engine produces 256 HP in the US version and 270 HP in the European model. That engine will be mated to a DSG or a 6-speed transmission, which will push power to all four wheels.
We are all set to get our first glimpse of the Beetle convertible when the 2012 Los Angeles Motor Show opens it doors, though we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, thanks to the E-Bugster convertible that we saw in Beijing. Well, now we got our first preview glimpse of the upcoming Beetle, but not directly from Volkswagen. This preview comes in the form of a scaled-down model of the upcoming drop top from Schuco Modell.
This 1:43-scale Beetle, which comes in black, white, and light blue, shows off the retro styling that VW has been talking about with the new Beetle and some pretty intense details. Volkswagen was obviously careful not to give Modell too much information, as to leave its 2012 release still somewhat of a mystery.
The Beetle convertible is expected to hit the UK market sometime early next year, to the tune of ₤18,000 ($28,602 at current exchange rates). We attempted to find a price and ordering medium for this model, but there is no information available.
Until we finally get to see the VW Beetle convertible in dealerships and parking spaces of men (and women) everywhere, we will just have to gaze at this petite model of the drop-top Bug.
Following in the footsteps of the new, standard Golf, Golf GTI, and Golf R Convertible, the standard Golf R model has recently taken its first trip to the testing grounds somewhere in Europe. In full public view, the Golf R is finally treating our spy photographers to a few details on it future rendition.
The exterior of the new Golf R was caught wearing a larger, lower grille opening at the front , as well as an intercooler and a radar sensor for adaptive cruise. The side of the vehicle gives us a view of the "R" wheels, low-profile tires, and bigger brakes. At the back, the Golf R is sporting four exhaust tips, which is two more than the setup in the current Golf R. Underneath all of those changes, the future Golf R will be sitting on Volkswagen’s MQB chassis (also found on the future Audi A3) which will make the hatchback about 150 lbs lighter than the current model.
In terms of power, the 2014 Volkswagen Golf R will be powered by a revised version of the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder found in the current model. This engine produces 256 HP in the US version and 270 HP in the European model. That engine will be mated to a DSG or a 6-speed transmission, which will push power to all four wheels.
Expect to see the new Volkswagen Golf R launched sometime in 2013.
Updated 09/11/2012: Today we have a very cool rendering for you for the upcoming Volkswagen Golf R. we hope you’ll like it!
There have been rumors circulating that Volkswagen AG is interested in Proton, which includes the Lotus debacle, as either minority owners or a controlling stake. But if VW’s labor union officials have any say, this will not take place. Bend Osterloh let the Handelsblatt know that the labor union will not support VW acquiring Proton, Lotus, or any other brand.
Osterloh was quoted saying “We already have 12 brands and we first have to stabilize the group.” Osterloh also agrees that VW needs to increase its presence in Southwest Asia, but the labor union still won’t support VW in this potential purchase.
Osterloh holds a seat on the supervisory board, so he has a little pull in the company, but not that much pull. VW is looking to overtake GM as the world’s largest auto manufacturer by 2018 and we doubt a puny labor union will stop VW. Even the taxman couldn’t put the brakes on VW’s expansion when it purchased, err, restructured Porsche.
We are pretty sure that VW will own at least a portion of Proton before the end of 2013, it just has to figure out how to let its labor union know that it can either come along for the ride or step aside. This should be a pretty interesting one, as we all know exactly how well auto unions and automakers play together, so we may be in for a pretty big power struggle.
Grab the popcorn... We’ll keep you updated.
World speed records are usually associated with vehicles like the Bugatti Veyron, which can hit a high mark of 267 mph and look great while doing it. Advances in hybrid technology, however, have now made it essential to include vehicles like the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid on the list of top speed records. No, the Jetta was not able to dominate the Veyron’s top speed, or even come close to it, but it has achieved a land speed record of its own at the Bonneville Salt Flats. During the Southern California Timing Association’s Speed Week at Bonneville, the Jetta Hybrid was able to record a 185.394 mph top speed, marking the fastest speed ever achieved by a production-based hybrid on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
"Achieving this speed at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class,” said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, VW Group of America. “As well as being expected to achieve combined fuel economy of 45 mpg, the Jetta Turbo Hybrid also retains the fun-to-drive nature you expect from a Volkswagen in a segment dominated by less exciting vehicles.”
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline powerplant generating 150 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque. The gasoline engine is then combined with a 20kW electric motor with a lithium-ion battery that’s produces an additional 27 HP and weighs less than 80 lbs. The Jetta’s top speed record was achieved by implementing a few changes to the setup. Volkswagen R&D in Wolfsburg, Germany modified the engine to provide a few more ponies, while A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering, based in Camarillo, California, provided project integration and other modifications. Everything was finalized with an engine calibration and a once-over by the folks at the Volkswagen Test Center California in Oxnard, CA
Almost all of the major car manufacturers are figuring out ways to go to smaller displacement engines with fewer cylinder, yet the same horsepower. This is leading to turbocharged V-6 engines replacing V-8 engines and turbo V-8s replacing V-10s and V-12s. From the looks of things, Bentley is taking a different approach.
According to reports, Bentley is moving toward larger 12-cylinder engines and away from their turbocharged V-8 engines. We’re not sure exactly why Bentley is going this route, as it is opposite of the trend, but that very well may be the only reason. This would give Bentley the exclusivity that it needs to get a leg up on its rival, Rolls Royce.
Then again, maybe Volkswagen has a slew of 6.0-liter W-12 engines left over from its W-12-powered Phaeton, which was cut from the lineup in 2012, and is deciding to fit V-8 Bentleys with this massive hunk of 444-horsepower-producing metal.
Then again, with the Azure T’s 6.8, err, we mean six-and-three-quarter-liter engine pumping out just 450 horsepower and getting 9 mpg, the 12 mpg and 444 ponies that the W-12 pumps out looks tempting. Add a little boost to it to increase the torque from its 406 pound-feet mark and you have an engine that is not only more powerful, but gets better fuel economy than the turbocharged Bentley V-8 engine.
We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know what Bentley’s plans are just as soon as we know what exactly is going on.
Volkswagen is making it their personal goal to compete with just about every single auto manufacturer in the world, be it from acquiring the Porsche brand or making their own car to compete with someone. The latest rumor afloat in the automotive realm is the BMW X6 Competitor, the Volkswagen Touareg CC.
The information on this new crossover SUV is very scarce, but based on our knowledge, we were able to come up with a rendering of what we think the Touareg CC will look like. One thing that we are fairly certain of is that the Touareg CC will be modeled after the Cross Coupe Concept we saw in Geneva, boasting an aggressive-looking front end with an array of sharp body lines and a stylish chrome grille up front. On the rear, you’ll get exaggerated rear fender wells and arches, semi-oval taillights, and a raked rear hatch. You also get a pair of oval exhaust exits directly under the rear bumper.
Down the side of the Touareg CC, you have a profile that looks more like a coupe, almost like the profile that Nissan gave to the Juke. Unlike the Juke, however, you will have an exposed rear door handle, giving away its status as a 4-door model.
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