The Volkswagen brand is on track to introduce 34 models globally in 2020. While some, like the ID.3, will be new to the portfolio, others are variants of familiar faces with many of those being electrified. Much stricter emissions rules come into effect in Europe starting January 1st and will force every company that sells on the continent to rethink their lineups.
For Volkswagen, that means that most of their internal combustion powered vehicles will gain an available hybrid powertrain. Volkswagen says they will be introducing hybrid versions from the Golf to the Tiguan, to the Touareg. There will also be a number of cars coming that aren't hybrids or EVs. The next generation Golf is coming to Europe in 2020 with GTI, GTD, R, and Wagon variants to follow, though not all will make it to the U.S.. The Atlas will receive a refresh and the Atlas Cross Sport goes into production soon. Over in Europe, VW will be launching the T-Roc Cabriolet, the Arteon Shooting Brake, and Tiguan R. Plus there will be other announcements coming for the brand. With that in mind, these 34 vehicles are just for the VW brand and don't count what Audi, SEAT, Skoda, are up to. So there is likely to be even more in the pipeline.
This whole push is to help get the Volkswagen brand to a 4 percent to 5 percent operating profit for 2020.
Volkswagen is working both ends of the SUV size spectrum lately. Their Atlas model has become an excellent seller, moving 74,108 copies as of November 2019. That an increase of 40% over the prior year to date figures. Though it's first model year was 2018, Volkswagen feels that it is nearly time for a refresh for 2021. The update will be mostly visual with new head and tail lights, new front and rear bumpers, and a revised grille. Volkswagen says it will also have updated and new driver-assistance features on top of the suits of technology the Atlas already sports. The changes will bring the full-size Atlas more into visual alignment with the new Atlas Cross Sport just hitting the market now.
Also coming will be a new crossover slotted below the Tiguan that will compete more directly with the Jeep Compass, Nissan Rogue Sport, and others in that class. While details are scarce, we do know what it won't be, it won't be the European T-Roc currently on sale overseas. The new model will be designed specifically for North America and built in Mexico. It should launch in the U.S. sometime in the Summer of 2021.
For those of you lamenting the demise of the sedan, Volkswagen did manage to take a shot at the U.S. manufacturers by saying, "While some brands have walked away from car sales, we are focused on making smart decisions in this segment which is still a big part of the market."
One of the safety issues surrounding electric vehicles is that they are nearly silent at low speeds with only limited tire noise emanating from them. This is a hazardous situation for pedestrians who may not hear an EV creeping up being them.
Volkswagen is working on a solution to the issue by hiring composer and music producer Leslie Mandoki to produce a sound for the upcoming ID series of cars to make when operating at low speeds. One advantage of this is that brands, including Volkswagen, can craft their own voice for their cars to have. The Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System operates both inside and outside of the car and fades away when the car reaches cruising speeds where wind and road noise are sufficient.
“An electric vehicle’s sound defines its identity. The sound should be confident and likable. It may well sound futuristic and must also impress with its unique character”, Dr. Frank Welsch explains as the Chief Development Officer of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.
To hear the sound of the upcoming Volkswagen ID series, click below.
Volkswagen has broken ground on an $800 million expansion of their plant in Chattanooga, TN. The expansion is for additional capacity to build electric vehicles for North America. The body shop will increase by 564,000 square feet and a new 198,000 square foot battery assembly center will be constructed. Overall the expansion will add about 1,000 permanent jobs. Production of a long range vehicle, the ID. Crozz / ID. 4 is expected to begin in the expanded plant in 2022.
Chattanooga currently builds the Passat, Atlas, and Atlas Cross Sport.
Volkswagen has release the pricing on the redesigned 2020 Passat and now it is roughly $2300 cheaper than the 2019 model. It also becomes one of the least expensive midsize sedans you can buy, clocking in just $250 more expensive than the least expensive 2020 Subaru Legacy.
Some of that cost savings comes from carrying over a bunch of the bones of the car from 2019. The platform is the same, not updated to the new MQB platform like China is getting with their version. The 2.0-liter Turbo carries over as well, albeit with some improvement to the torque. Horsepower remains the same at 174 hp, while torque jumps 22 lb.-ft to 206. The transmission remains a 6-speed automatic driving only the front wheels.
The 2020 Passat gets and exterior and interior refresh with new materials in the cabin and an updated instrument cluster.
The trims will be S, SE, R-Line, and SEL. The cheapest S model still comes with forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The SE, which starts at $26,765, gets additional chrome trim, keyless entry, push-button ignition, leather wrapped steering wheel, leatherette over the headed front seats, dual zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise, and lane keep assist. The R-Line, which starts at $29,565, comes with all of the above, plus a standard sunroof, alarm, 19-inch alloy wheels, a body kit, and paddle shifter. The top of the line SEL, at $32,015, comes with high beam assist, leather seats, heated rear seats, navigation, parking sensors, and a Fender audio system.
The 2020 Passat will continue to be manufactured in Chattanooga, TN and arrives in dealers in the next few weeks.
Volkswagen unveiled one of the loosest kept secrets in the automotive industry, the Atlas Cross Sport. The 5-seater mid-size features a more rakish back glass to give a coupe like appearance.
While the Atlas Cross Sport is 2.8 inches shorter, it still rides on the same 117.3 inch wheelbase and boasts almost as much cargo space (77.8 cu. ft.) as the bigger Atlas (96.8 cu. ft.) with the seats folded. The Cross Sport is also 2.3 inches lower to the ground adding to its racier profile.
Inside there are a few upgrades over the Atlas with a new steering wheel with more intuitive controls, available stitching accents on the doors and seats, and available wireless charging for mobile devices. The Atlas already comes with a suite of safety technology including Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Braking, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Traffic alert. Available on upper trims are Adaptive Cruise control and Park Distance Control. The Cross Sport also adds available Traffic Jam Assist that helps maintain distances front and back, and on Cross Sports with Navigation, the system will display relevant traffic signs like speed limits, no passing zones, school zones, and work zones.
Powering the Cross Sport will be a selection of two engines. The 267 horsepower V6 and a 235 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder. Either engine routes power to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic and available 4-motion All-Wheel Drive. When equipped with the V6, the Cross Sport can tow up to a rated 5,000 lbs when equipped with the towing package.
There will be eight trim levels: S, SE, SE w/Tech, SE w/Tech R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium, and SEL Premium R-Line. More details and pricing will be announced ahead of the launch in the Spring of 2020.
...De Nysschen hailed an Uber and got into Volkswagen...
Johan De Nysschen has landed on his feet after being abruptly fired as President of Cadillac in April of 2018.
JDN will take over as Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen of America starting October 1st. This is not JDN's first experience with Volkswagen Automotive Grou (VAG), he was once a star executive in the Audi organization. He later moved on to Infiniti where he moved the headquarters to Hong Kong and renamed all the vehicles to the Q or QX designation. Infiniti has since moved back to Japan. Once his time at Infiniti was up, he moved on to become President of Cadillac. There, he moved Cadillac's headquarters to New York City for a time before being abruptly fired in April 2018. Cadillac has since moved their headquarters back to Detroit. During his first full year as Cadillac boss, 2015, Cadillac sales fell over 11%.
"Johan will help make us faster, better and smarter. He'll speed our decision-making and dive deep into our day-to-day business so we can continue to make this brand matter again," Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said about the new hire.
...We won't get the ID.3, but the ID.4 will be coming here...
When the Volkswagen ID.3 debuted this week at the Frankfurt Auto Show we reported that the ID.3 would not be coming to the U.S.. That is still true, however we got a tease of the ID.4, which will be the next iteration of the ID family from Volkswagen during the ID.3 intro.
The ID.4 is based on the ID Crozz concept from the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show and it is this model that will be VW's first ID model in the US. While no details have been released, expect the ID.4 to follow the ID.3 mechanical specs pretty closely with 3 different battery options available and a rear axle mounted electric motor. There is the possibility of a dual motor variant coming as well as the concept was powered that way with 302 total system horsepower.
After the ID.4 launch, VW is expected to release an EV version of the ID Buzz concept, a modern take on the Microbus. The ID Buzz, or whatever it will be named, is expected in 2022.
...Not ready to throw in the oil soaked towel yet...
Volkswagen is introducing a new generation of diesel engines with the 2.0 TDI Evo. This new engine is said to greatly undercut the limits of the tough new Euro 6d-Temp emissions standards. Volkwagen posted an interview with Sebastian Willmann, the Head of Diesel Engine Development at Volkswagen. In that interview he says that VW was able to reduce fuel consumption by 0.4 L/100km compared to the previous engine and reduce CO2 emissions by 10g/km. They did both of these things while also increasing power output.
He further went on to explain that while there is a stigma surrounding diesel engines because of dieselgate, the diesel is still quite popular for its efficiency, range, and torque. Now, with this new engine, it is also substantially cleaner compared to prior engines. He says that diesels will remain especially effective for vehicles that require a longer range or extra torque for towing.
These statements are in contrast to the direction that VW as a whole is taking in the segment of electric vehicles. VW has committed billions of euros to the development of an entire EV range. The first EV, the ID.3 is expected in Europe in early 2020 with top line models having a range of 342 miles on a charge. Reservations of the Volkswagen ID.3 topped 10,000 in its first 24 hours it was available.
Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the 2020 T-Roc Cabriolet ahead of the Frankfurt International Auto Show in September. Volkswagen says the T-Roc Cabriolet offers just the right combination of SUV flexibility and the open air experience of a convertible. The soft top opens in just 9 seconds, can open or close while the car is in motion up to 18.6 mph (30 km/h), and locks or unlocks electrically.
On the safety front, the T-Roc Cabrio has roll-over protection. The system can detect a roll-over and the system springs upwards just behind the rear headrests. The windshield frame is also reinforced.
It comes with an optional digital cockpit that has an "Always-On" connectivity to the internet and Volkswagen services.
Two engines are available, a 1.0 three-cylinder engine with 113 horsepower or a 148 horsepower 1.5 liter four-cylinder. A 6-speed manual is standard on both engines while the more powerful engine also has a 7-speed DCT available as an option.
Launching in Spring of 2020, the T-Roc Cabriolet remains Forbidden Fruit in the U.S. like its hard top brother. Volkswagen calls the vehicle in the pictures a "near-production" concept car, so expect some changes between now and launch.
Volkswagen: No T-Roc For America, But We're Working On Something
...No official word as yet on a potential return...
As we reported in May, Volkswagen is making big cuts to the Golf lineup in the US. Already announced for end of production in 2019 are the Golf Sportwagen and Golf Alltrack.
For 2020, the current base Mk7 Golf returns and will be offered in just one trim, called the Value Edition that includes features like Keyless entry, Wifi, heated seats, and 16-Inch alloy wheels while the GTI will come in S and SE trims. Missing from the 2020 lineup is the Golf R. Volkswagen has confirmed to Motor Authority that the Golf R has reached end of production for the current generation.
The Mk8 generation will likely see the base Golf removed from the US lineup and the GTI and Golf R will be the only entries. We'll see the Mk8 generation Golf introduced in the fall of this year for European production in 2020, but the U.S. won't see the new version of the Golf/GTI at dealerships until the 2021 model year.
The march towards majority SUVs continues on and the two newest casualties are the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen and the Golf Alltrack. As we predicted a month ago, Volkswagen will end production of the two vehicles in the 2019 model year, though in the case of the Alltrack, production will be extended to December.
Volkswagen says that with 50 percent of their sales being SUVs, consumer tastes have shifted strongly to SUVs, and VW is responding by releasing three new SUVs over the next 2 years. First up, will be a 5-seater Atlas Cross Sport being unveiled later this year, then the ID.CROZZ electric SUV early next year, and a just announced SUV to slot below the Tiguan is planned for 2021. While Volkswagen says their new ID EV platform can be used for bodystyles of the past, apparently the station wagon is not one planned.
Drivers in Europe can now place deposits for Volkswagen's new ID.3 all electric vehicle. This is the car that Volkswagen expects to compete with the Tesla Model 3 in the compact EV space. The target starting price for the ID.3 is under €30,000 which translates to $33,585 at the time of this writing. Initial vehicles offered will be special edition ID.3 1st. With an initial run of 30,000 vehicles, the ID.3 1st starts around €40,000 ($44.803) and comes equipped with voice control, navigation system, larger wheels. There is also an ID.3 1st Plus that ads IQ Light and bi-color design while a Max adds a panoramic glass roof and an advanced heads-up display.
The 3 in the name ID.3 marks the vehicle's importance to Volkswagen's history as the most important vehicle after the Beetle and Golf, and also signifies the ability for VW to expand the ID brand in either direction.
The entry level ID.3 can travel up to 205 miles on a single charge while mid-grade can go 261 miles and top-line models get as far as 342 miles.
Volkswagen expect production to start in late 2019 with initial deliveries happening in mid-2020. No word yet on when the model will hit US shores.
Rumors are swirling that Volkswagen may be cutting most of the Golf lineup from the US market with the next generation of Golf. The standard version of the Golf, e-Golf, Golf SportWagen, and Golf Alltrack would be dropped in the US while the GTI and Golf R continue on. The e-Golf will be replaced by something in the ID lineup.
Looking at the sales numbers, it is easy to see why Volkswagen may make this move. Sales of the base Golf in 2018 numbered just 6,642, down 51% from the year prior. GTI and Golf R combined sold more than triple that amount (20,152). The one head-scratcher is the Golf Sportwagon, which sold nearly as many units (14,123) as the GTI (16,684), but if Volkswagen is looking to shed the econo-car image of the Golf and stick with just the hot-hatch image, then dropping the Sportwagen may make sense.
As the next generation of Golf hasn't actually been released yet, Volkswagen is declining to comment.
The Volkswagen Arteon is taking the scenic route to the US with a delayed launch brought on by some delays in getting its engine certified for the US. The US version of the Arteon debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 2018 and we recently reported that the Arteon would finally go on sale sometime in early summer.
Volkswagen has announced pricing for the U.S. model will start at $35,845 plus $995 destination charge for the base SE front-wheel-drive model and $37,645 for all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available on all trims, generally costing about $2,000 for the upgrade.
Arteon SE comes with heated 12-way power seats with faux leather, three-zone automatic climate control, rain sensing wipers, and an 8.0 inch diagonal infotainment screen including Android Auto and Apple Car Play. 18" alloy wheels and LED headlights are standard.
Arteon SEL starts at $39,995 for FWD and $41,795 for 4Motion AWD. It adds adaptive front lighting, panoramic sunroof, remote start, Napa leather seats, driver seat memory, ambient lighting, navigation, a 12.3 inch digital cockpit systems, and adaptive cruise control.
Arteon SEL Premium starts at $44,945 and features standard 4motion, heated steering wheel, paddle shifters, ventilated front seats, massaging driver’s seat, heated rear seats, brushed aluminum, tri-color ambient lighting, and a 700-watt premium audio system with 12 speakers.
The R-Line Package is available on any trim level and includes 19-inch alloy wheels for $1,265 or 20-inch alloy wheels for $1,765
The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission has filed suit in San Francisco on Thursday alleging that from April 2014 through May 2015, Volkswagen fraudulently issued more than $13 Billion in bonds and securities in the U.S. market. During that time, the SEC alleges that Winterkorn and other senior management knew about the problem with over 500,000 diesel vehicles that exceeded legal emissions limits.
The suit says:
Winterkorn resigned within days of the scandal braking in 2015.
Volkswagen said in a statement that the lawsuit is "legally and facturally flawed" and "the company will contest it vigorously".
Volkswagen has already agreed to pay more than $25 billion in a settlement over the dieselgate scandal to buy back defective vehicles, paying fines, and setting up funds to help build out electric vehicle infrastructure. Winterkorn has already been charged in the US.
Volkswagen has announced it will cut between 5,000 to 7,000 jobs through attrition and early retirement at its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. Most of the job cuts will be administrative staff. While cutting those job, VW will be creating 2,000 new software and electronics jobs. The cuts are part of a cost savings plan to drive 3€ Billion in annual savings by 2020 and 5.9€ billion by 2023.
The move comes the day after the company announced it will increase its EV plans to build 22 million units over the next decade. Electric vehicles are less complex to build and require fewer workers.
Volkswagen is building a new EV platform and the first vehicle to arrive on the market will be the I.D. Neo, expected sometime in 2020. The I.D. Neo will be built at a plant in Zwickau, Germany. Future electric vehicles will be built in 7 additional factories including Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Increases goal from 15 million to 22 million over the next decade.
Volkswagen has announced they are increasing their goal to build fully electric vehicles from 15 million to 22 million over the next decade. The company is moving to electric vehicles after a disastrous diesel emissions cheating scandal hit sales and resulted in record breaking government fines, and European and Asian government impose new restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions.
The core Volkswagen brand saw profits fall, while the overall company profits rose 6% to 12.2€ Billion.
Likely to appear this summer after more than a year delay.
The delayed launch of the Volkswagen Arteon may be nearing its end. MotorTrend is reporting that the Chairman of Volkswagen has said that the Arteon will hit U.S. shores this year.
The original cause of the delay was a backlog of certifying vehicles under the World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The Arteon in the U.S. will use a 268 hp 2.0 liter Turbo from Audi that had yet to be certified. VW sells the Arteon in Europe using a different engine.
The Arteon debuted at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show and is priced above the Passat in the Volkswagen lineup.
But Volkswagen is planning on selling EVs in all 50 states
In Europe, Volkswagen offers a couple of plug-in hybrid models such as the Golf GTE. But don't expect any those plug-in hybrids to come to the U.S.
"It's a bridging technology," between internal-combustion and full-electric cars, said Matthew Renna, Volkswagen North America Region's vice president of e-mobility yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show.
"It's very cost-prohibitive to have two different powertrains on one platform."
Volkswagen has made no secret about their electric car ambitions, with plans to launch a full lineup within the next few years. While Europe will get a small hatchback based on I.D. Concept, the U.S. will get a production version of the Crozz concept. Volkswagen is also planning on selling their upcoming EVs in all 50 states, not only in those that require automakers to sell certain number of EVs.
"The plan is to sell nationwide. The goal is a nationwide roll-out ASAP," said Renna.
Next year will see Volkswagen unveil the next-generation Golf GTI. It was reported that the model would utilize a mild-hybrid setup to boost fuel economy and improve low-end response. This decision was made under the leadership of former Volkswagen chairman Matthias Müller and would have become the flagship model for a new range of mild-hybrid models badged as IQ. But a new report from Autocar says the new chairman, Herbert Diess has canned the powertrain.
No reason was given as to why this decision was reversed. Volkswagen is still planning to do mild-hybrid versions of the standard Golf that will utilize a 48-Volt electrical system.
Autocar says the next-generation GTI will use an updated version of the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing either 252 or 286 horsepower. The current model in the U.S. punches out 227 horsepower. A six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch will be the available transmissions.
Volkswagen has released some sketches of the upcoming 2020 Passat that will be debuting next month at the Detroit Auto Show. It is clear that the automaker is addressing one of the biggest complaints about the current model, the boring exterior. Volkswagen is taking some ideas from the smaller Jetta with a larger, upright grille; creasing along the side, and new trunk lid design. Aside from the roof, Volkswagen says all of the body panels are new or modified.
According to media who got the chance to see the car in person during a preview event, the 2020 Passat's interior features a new center stack with an updated infotainment system. Overall interior space is still expansive.
We were hoping that the next Passat would transition over to the MQB platform, but the model will remain on the PQ46 platform that underpins the current model. Why is that?
“This segment is shrinking, and we figured that we can give the customers all they need with the current platform instead of spending to switch to a new one,” said Kai Oltmanns, product manager for the Passat to Motor1.
Automotive News reports that the 2020 Passat will retain the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and six-speed automatic.
Pricing for the 2020 Passat will be announced near to its release date, expected to sometime next summer.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Motor1, Volkswagen
Interesting they are choosing Chicago for the debut
We have been talking about the next-generation Jetta GLI for almost a year. The next-generation model is expected to get some infusion from the GTI with the same turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It will also swap the torsion-beam rear suspension for a multi-link setup. The one item we have been wondering is where Volkswagen is planning on debuting it. For some time, we thought the Detroit Auto Show in January would be the place. But Autoblog reports that the Windy City will be the place for the GLI.
A Volkswagen representative told the outlet the next GLI would be premiering during the Chicago Auto Show's Press Days - February 7th and 8th.
Volkswagen has announced their next-generation of gas and diesel engines, launching in 2026 will be its last.
“Our colleagues are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral. We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum,” said Michael Jost, strategy chief for Volkswagen.
The German automaker has set aside $50 billion over the next five years to begin transforming itself into an electric car builder. The first rollout is beginning very soon with the Audi e-tron SUV and Porsche Taycan. By 2030, Volkswagen is planning to have more than 300 electric versions of cars, vans, trucks, and motorbikes.
But the fading out of gas and diesel engines isn't going to be a quick thing. Jost said that Volkswagen would continue to "modify its combustion engine technology," in the coming years after the new platform for "vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral". After 2050, Volkswagen may still be offering some gas and diesel models in places "where there is insufficient charging infrastructure."
Volkswagen is planning a lineup of electric vehicles which include a hatchback, crossover, and small van. But a new report says the German automaker has ambitions to launch an electric vehicle with a pricetag of about 18,000 euros (about $21,000).
Sources tell Bloomberg the model in question will be a subcompact crossover and begin selling sometime after 2020. According to Reuters, the model is currently known as "MEB entry". Volkswagen is planning a production volume of 200,000 vehicles that will take place at three factories. This vehicle hasn't been approved by Volkswagen's supervisory board. According to sources, a discussion on the vehicle is expected to take place during their next meeting on November 16th - the same meeting that is reportedly where a discussion on possible expanding their partnership with Ford is expected to take place.
Sources also mentioned another electric model, the I.D. Aero. The midsize sedan and wagon would be built at Volkswagen's Emden plant in Germany. Emden is currently home to the production of the European Passat sedan and wagon, but sources say production of the model would move to the Czech Republic in 2022. Having the Aero take the Passat's place would help keep jobs at Emden.
Volkswagen declined to comment.
Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required), Reuters