Thursday, August 31, 2017

Volkswagen T-Roc Is Definitely Not Coming to America Now (and Probably Not Ever)


By: Timothy Cain
Volkswagen is perpetually late to the SUV party. That much we knew already. The VolkswagenTouareg came late, and was improperly positioned. The Volkswagen Tiguan was much later, and it too was overpriced and undersized. The Volkswagen Atlas, the brand’s first three-row crossover, only arrived in America this spring.
The Volkswagen T-Roc was clearly not the first guest to arrive, either. The Nissan Juke, MiniCountryman, Subaru Crosstrek, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-3 have been collecting U.S. sales for years. But it’s not as though Volkswagen was the only major automaker late to the party. Ford’s EcoSport still isn’t here, the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic were unveiled only recently, and Toyota’s C-HR is a fresh release that lacks an all-wheel-drive option.
But the Volkswagen T-Roc, revealed last week, will be more than just late to the party. In the United States, the Volkswagen T-Roc has returned its invitation by ticking the wrong box. Regret to decline.
Volkswagen of America has confirmed that the Volkswagen T-Roc will not come to the United States, probably not ever.
But it’s highly unlikely that Volkswagen will leave the Tiguan Limited — the new de-contented, low-priced Tiguan that’s already been replaced by a new Tiguan — to take the fight to America’s growing fleet of subcompact utility vehicles. Instead, expect a different small utility vehicle, a small crossover that might appeal more directly to the U.S. masses, to set foot on American shores.
Is the T-Roc too small, too big, too costly, too… something to earn its way against the JeepRenegade and Honda HR-V and Buick Encore? Volkswagen won’t say precisely why the T-Roc is unfit for U.S. duty. The decision is an odd one. Five months ago, after Volkswagen’s U.S. boss Hinrich Woebcken acknowledged the brand’s woeful under-representation in the U.S. SUV/crossover sector, reports suggested Volkswagen’s U.S. dealer network was entirely ready to sell T-Rocs.
So far this year, only 14 percent of Volkswagen’s U.S. volume is derived from utility vehicles. More than 40 percent of the vehicles now sold in America are SUVs/crossovers.
Yet Volkswagen is now pointing out that most small utility vehicles sold globally are sold in Europe and China. To be fair, the U.S. subcompact crossover market is small. With fewer than 320,000 sales through 2017’s first seven months, the subcompact crossover sector generates far fewer sales than the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which combined for nearly 450,000 sales during the same period.
But it is a growth sector, and it’s one that Volkswagen appears perfectly willing to neglect, at least for a little while longer. According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen plans seven new utility vehicles by the end of next year.


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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

VW Celebrates 150,000,000



By: Sebastien Bell
On Thursday, August 24, a blue Golf GTE rolled off the line at Wolfsburg. Normally, that wouldn’t be cause for celebration, but this GTE was the 150,000,000th car ever produced by VW.
“150 million vehicles – that means we have made the dream of owning a car come true 150 million times for customers all over the world,” said VW CEO, Dr. Herbert Diess. “You and your day-to-day work are the basis for this success. My colleagues on the Board of Management join me in thanking all Volkswagen employees – at all our sites. This anniversary would not have been possible without your commitment.”
It took VW 80 years to reach that milestone. With the first Beetles rolling off the same line in 1945. Eventually 21 million of the bugs would be made, helping considerably in the quest to make this many cars. But it wasn’t the biggest help. Amazingly, the Golf had outsold the Beetle by 2007, and now more than 37 million have been produced in total.
Really, though, it’s the whole lineup that helped bring VW to this point. With 20 million Passats in the world, 19.5 million Jettas, and 17 million Polos all contributing to bring VW to this point. Wolfsburg alone, as the oldest VW plant, has contributed more than 44 million vehicles to the brand’s total.
“[150 million] is a truly incredible number,” said Bernd Osterloh, head of the VW union. “It is 150 million Volkswagens that have taken their drivers hundreds of thousands of kilometers, commuting to work, enjoying leisure time, going on vacation, or traveling on business. This anniversary proves our colleagues have done a splendid job for generations. Here at Volkswagen, we build top-quality cars. And we will continue to do so in future. Our workforce has every reason to be proud of that.”


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lamborghini has an Off-Road Ready Huracan Safari in the Works


Lamborghini has several Huracan variants in the pipeline, including a ‘Huracan Safari’ that would be capable of doing some mild off-roading and trail driving.
This surprising bit of intel comes from Automobile Magazine, who says the off-road ready Lambo will feature height-adjustable suspension, larger wheel arches, body protection panels, four-wheel steering and, of course, all-wheel drive. The V10 trail hunter will also be available in both hardtop and convertible versions. Weird.
The Safari is one in a number of Huracan variants Lamborghini is cooking up. Apparently, the automaker also has Speedster and Barchetta versions of the supercar in the works, along with a high-performance SV and an extra hardcore GT3 Stradale. The Speedster, Barchetta and GT3 Stradale models we understand, but Lamborghini has typically reserved the SV badge for its V12 models and that performance niche has already been filled by the Huracan Performante, so we’re a bit skeptical.
Automobile also says the replacement for the Aventador could have up to 1,000 horsepower. Lamborghini had considered using a 900 horsepower twin-turbocharged V12 engine in the car, but has instead elected to use an 800 horsepower naturally aspirated V12. Two electric motors making at least 160 horsepower a piece will be present on the front axle, resulting in a total output of over 1,000 horsepower and 885 lb-ft of torque. It’s due to arrive in 2020.
After the arrival of the next-gen V12 Lambo will be the replacement for the Huracan. The 5.2-liter V10 that has become a staple of the smaller Lambo will die off, replaced by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing about 650 horsepower. A hybrid version may also arrive, which could offer up to 900 horsepower.
Finally, the report also indicated Porsche will take control of Lamborghini and also Audi from Volkswagen. This would leave Porsche with control of VW Group’s luxury and sports brands (Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Audi) while VW leads Seat and Skoda.
It’s not clear when the Huracan Safari and the other Huracan variants may arrive, but they’ll probably appear over the course of the Huracan’s lifecycle in order to keep the model relevant. Perhaps we’ll see one of the wild models mentioned here debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March.


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Monday, August 28, 2017

Next VW Scirocco to be a Sporty EV Hatchback


By: Sam McEachern

The next-generation VW Scirocco will be a sporty-looking EV with styling cues borrowed from the VW I.D. Concept, according to a new report.
The new Scirocco, which isn’t expected to arrive until after 2020, will supposedly ride on VW’s new MEB dedicated electric vehicle platform. AutoExpress predicts its electric powertrain will make around 175 horsepower and boast anywhere from 200 to 375 miles of range. The dimensions would likely stay similar to the current version of the coupe and futuristic styling cues would make its status as an EV obvious.
While the current Scirocco isn’t offered in North America, we could see that changing for this new model. American shoppers don’t usually gravitate toward two-door hatchbacks, but if the next-gen Scirocco is indeed an EV, they may just convince more of them to take a look at the coupe. VW is also eager to let everyone know it’s committed to zero emissions vehicles in this post-dieselgate world, and what better way to do that than with a stylish, sporty product like a Scirocco EV?
“For me, we can only use [the Scirocco name] for a sporty two-door coupe,” VW’s head of R&D, Dr. Frank Welsch, told AE in a recent interview. “We are not clear on how we will do such a car, and are thinking whether we do an interesting concept based on our electric platform; this could be a great and fun car.”
The production version of the more mainstream VW I.D. Concept will land before the new Scirocco does – and that car isn’t expected to arrive at VW dealers until 2020. That means if the Scirocco EV does come to fruition, we probably won’t see it for at least three or four more years. That leaves lots of time to contact VW and let them know how badly you want the next-gen Scirocco to be sold stateside, VW fans.


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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Carbon build up on TSI engines.










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Friday, August 25, 2017

Find of the Day: Time Capsule Type 2

By: Christopher Compton 

If you haven’t heard, Volkswagen announced earlier this week that the I.D. Buzz (a.k.a. the new Microbus) will go into production in 2022. What better way to celebrate this news than by highlighting a bus as our Find of the Day? And while we cautiously, yet excitedly hope that this all-new Type 2 will actually grace North American showrooms, we can’t help but wonder if a Westfalia camper is in the cards as well.
To start, this 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia camper is a true survivor with only 64,000 miles. Looking at the photos you can see this Westie is a real time capsule vehicle. Sure the body has a few dings and scratches, but these blemishes help show the history of the little van. The white fiberglass pop-top contrasts the orange paint well, and there’s cheeky pinstripe that runs around the body. And it’s easy to believe the stripe is real paint, not the stick-on vinyl common today.
s-l1600-13
Step inside the van and you’re instantly transported back to the seventies. You can almost smell the incense and patchouli. All the original Westfalia amenities are intact: the icebox, sink, clothes storage, and even the window curtains. But the element that tops this all off are the plaid seats. The color combo of green, yellow, black, and orange is like nothing seen today. VW, if you’re reading this, make sure to include a wild plaid interior in the new Microbus just like you’ve brought back the Clark plaid in the most recent GTIs. It’s only fitting
The seller has made a few updates to the van. It has new tires, new canvas side curtains for the pop top, and new window seals. The auction listing states the van runs and drives very well. It appears to be a turn-key driver.
If you haven’t noticed, bay window buses are quickly increasing in value. And this one is no exception. As of this writing, the current bid is $12,100. But if you’re looking for a classic camper that needs little to no work, this may be the one for you.


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