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    VW has started off 2021 in America with an outstanding sales increase of 21% compared to 2020 sales. VW also started delivery of their first electric auto, the ID.4 started customer deliveries in March hitting 474 ID.4 sold and delivered into the hands of customers.

    21% overall sales increase is nothing to ignore and while the sales numbers for themselves are impressive across the whole VW family as is shown by this chart, the focus is on VW moving forward into an EV world of sales as they delivered 474 during the Month of March to customers.

    The VW ID.4 is an all new electric SUV for 2021 and kicks off the start of the EV onslaught for North America. Already the ID.4 is getting critical praise from the press. The ID.4 made Autotrader's 10 Best Car Interiors under $50,000 for 2021. 
    The ID.4 delivers on the following:
    MSRP starts at $39,995 for ID.4 Pro before potential $7,500 Federal tax credit Compact SUV will launch with rear-wheel drive 201-hp 82 kWh models; all-wheel-drive 82 kWh configuration available later this year EPA-estimated 250 miles of range on Pro S and 1st Edition RWD models Three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost Modern design pairs with high-tech features, like IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology and a smart infotainment system, using voice and touch  The ID.4 1st Edition model which has sold out was priced at $43,995 before Federal tax credit. There are additional models coming from the base RWD Pro starting at $39.995 to the Pro S @ $44,995 and the AWD Pro S starting at $48,175 available later this year.

    VW is offering a lease option on the ID.4 EV @ $379.00 a month with 10,000 miles a year for 36 months with an EPA certified range of 250 miles. This gives you 104 MPGe city, 89 MPGe highway, combined 97 MPGe. The ID.4 has a .28 drag coefficient, sits squarely in the middle of the Compact SUV segment with all types of tech features from the Dash to the rear seats with modern USB-C ports for charging portable electric devices including a 30 color ambient lighting system with pre-set mood lighting.

    Warranty is 4yrs / 50,000 miles bumper to bumper with a 8 years / 100,000 mile battery warranty and includes a 2yr / 20,000 mile scheduled maintenance and a 3yr / 36,000 mile roadside assistance program.

    VW has stated this will compete against the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.
    Additional details of the ID.4 can be read at the Volkswagen US Media Site, link below.
    Volkswagen of America reports Q1 2021 sales results - Volkswagen US Media Site (vw.com)
    Volkswagen US Media Site (vw.com)
    Volkswagen ID.4 EV named to Autotrader list of 10 Best Car Interiors under $50,000 for 2021 - Volkswagen US Media Site (vw.com)

    William Maley

    To Begin at $39,995 and Offer 250 Miles of Range

    Volkswagen's electric car offensive has already started in Europe with the ID.3. The next step is taking on the U.S. with the next electric vehicle, the ID.4 introduced today.
    The ID.4 looks very close to the concept that was first shown back in 2017 with such details as the VW logo smack dab in the middle with a light bar running across; wide air dam for the front,  flowing lines, and a full-length lightbar at the rear. In terms of size, the ID.4 is about 4.6 inches shorter, 1.9 inches lower, and 0.5 inches wider than the Tiguan sold in the U.S. No word on weight.
    For the interior, Volkswagen went minimalist. The driver faces 5.3-inch digital display and is able to change gear via a knob on the right side of bezel - similar to the BMW i3. Either a 10 or 12-inch touchscreen display handles the infotainment duties. Interior space is quite generous with 99.9 cubic feet of passenger space and 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
    At launch, the ID.4 will only be available with a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle providing 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. An 82-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack provides the juice. Range is estimated at 250 miles. A dual-motor version with 302 horsepower and all-wheel drive will come out sometime next year.
    For charging, Volkswagen says that on a Level Two charger, the ID.4 takes around 7.5 hours from an empty battery. If you can find a DC fast charger, the recharge time drops significantly: Volkswagen claims that the battery can reach an 80% charge in 38 minutes.
    Pricing for the ID.4 will begin at $39,995 for the base Pro when it arrives at dealers at the end of the year. No mention on destination. But Volkswagen is planning to drop the price of the ID.4 once production begins at the Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Volkswagen unveils the all-new 2021 ID.4 electric SUV
    Sep 23, 2020
    Reservations for the ID.4 start online today with 50-state launch in early 2021 MSRP starts at $39,995 for ID.4 Pro before potential $7,500 Federal tax credit Estimated 250 miles of range on ID.4 1st Edition Compact SUV will be available in rear-wheel drive 201-hp 82 kWh (launching first) and all-wheel-drive 302-hp 82 kWh configurations Three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost Modern design pairs with high-tech features, like DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology and a smart infotainment system, using voice and touch Localized production in Chattanooga, starting in 2022 with anticipated MSRP around $35,000 Herndon, VA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. revealed the all-new ID.4 electric SUV today—the brand’s first long-range EV to be sold stateside. This compact SUV will offer all the best features of Volkswagen’s current lineup—hallmark driving dynamics, bold design, and advanced technology—along with long-range EV capability and three years of fast charging with Electrify America for no additional cost, to customers in the largest segment in the U.S., all with a price point aimed at the heart of the segment.
    “The ID.4 was engineered, loaded and priced to win the hearts of SUV owners who are simply ready to go electric—and fall in love with Volkswagen again,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “It drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan and the purpose of the Beetle. All the best things about VW in one package.”
    Powertrain & Charging
    The ID.4 electric compact SUV is based on the modular electric drive architecture (MEB). While it is the brand’s newest platform, it also represents a return to Volkswagen’s roots, with the electric motor located at the rear, just like the original Beetle.
    The heart of the ID.4 is a battery pack comprised of 288 pouch cells in 12 modules, positioned in the underbody to create a low center of gravity for optimal driving dynamics as well as extremely well-balanced weight distribution. It is housed in a lightweight aluminum structure that is bolted to the frame, helping to improve rigidity.
    At launch, the vehicle will be offered with an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen estimates that the ID.4 82kWh RWD 1st Edition models will have a range of 250 miles with a full charge on the EPA cycle. A powerful, electric all-wheel-drive variant with 302 hp will follow later in 2021.
    The ID.4 also comes with three years of fast charging with Electrify America at no additional cost, helping to reduce range anxiety. The ID.4 can be charged with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) fast-charging capability. The 11 kW onboard charger allows the ID.4 to charge the battery 33 miles in about one hour, and charges to full in around seven and a half hours at a home or public Level 2 charger. At a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes.
    The ID.4 is designed to be strong, yet agile. The chassis and body are made from steel. The front suspension is a strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar. In the rear, the ID.4 uses a multi-link rear axle with coil springs, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. With 3.5 turns lock-to-lock and a stellar curb-to-curb turning radius of 33.5 feet, the ID.4 feels nimble, especially among other compact SUVs.
    A combination of brake types is used on ID.4. It features disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear—the difference being specific to electric vehicle needs. As EVs rely on regenerative braking, disc brakes on the rear can be less effective than drums after long periods of not being put to heavy use.
    Like the platform, the design of ID.4 represents a move towards the future with a nod to the past. At the front, the Volkswagen logo is able to be positioned centrally because there is no radiator grille, as it was on the Beetle. Large LED headlights flow backwards, hinting at the aerodynamic nature of the car, while a sculpted front bumper with large intake-like scoops and honeycomb accents give the car a powerful presence. Models fitted with the Statement package add an illuminated Volkswagen logo and an illuminated light line that stretches outward from it, creating a striking light signature.
    Front to back, clean, flowing lines alternate with crisp edges for a refined, yet futuristic look. A softly molded side section curves under the crisp rising shoulder line and flush illuminated door handles. The low greenhouse runs out into a strong C-pillar—a classic Volkswagen design feature—and into a long spoiler. The ID.4’s aerodynamically refined exterior helps it achieve an excellent drag coefficient of 0.28.
    The ID.4 sits squarely in the middle of the compact SUV segment, size-wise. It is 4.6 inches shorter than the Volkswagen Tiguan, at 180.5 inches, with a 0.9 inch shorter wheelbase at 108.9 inches. It is 1.9 inches lower than Tiguan at 64.4 inches high for the rear-wheel drive model, and 0.5 inches wider, at 72.9 inches.
    The ID.4 will available in six exterior colors—Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Grey, Scale Silver Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic and King’s Red Metallic. All models come with a body color roof, black roof rails, and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The Statement package adds a panoramic fixed-glass roof, premium LED projector headlights with Volkswagen’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) and power-folding side mirrors with puddle lamp signature, while the Gradient package (sold on top of the Statement package) upgrades to 20-inch wheels, black roof, and silver roof rails and accents.
    Volkswagen’s first fully-electric SUV features ample space and a modern design. Passenger volume is similar to the Tiguan despite the overall smaller footprint, with 99.9 cubic feet total. Legroom is a comfortable 41.1 inches for front passengers and 37.6 inches in the rear seat. Cargo volume is 30.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 64.2 cubic feet with the seats folded.
    The interior of the ID.4 mirrors the futuristic look of the exterior, with functionality almost completely controlled by touch or voice control. The 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit (digital driver display) replaces the traditional instrument cluster and is operated with touch-sensitive controls on the leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel. Three tiles show the most important information, with the display for battery status and range underneath. The traditional gearshift is replaced by a large rocker switch on the right of the ID.Cockpit, and a control panel to the left of the steering wheel integrates the lighting functions, including automatic headlights.
    A 10-inch Discover Pro touch infotainment display is located in the middle of the dash panel, angled slightly towards the driver. This screen can be configured to driver preference, and manages the standard navigation system, all telematics, entertainment, driver-assistance systems and vehicle settings; it is upgraded to a 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display with the Statement package. Menus can be moved using gesture control, simply swiping one’s hand in front of the screen. Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display.
    “Hello ID.” natural voice control is standard in the ID.4. The car follows the instructions spoken by the driver and passengers and is capable of understanding many commands from everyday language, such as “Hello ID., I’m cold” to turn up the heat.
    The ID.4 will feature ID. Light—a light strip below the windshield to support drivers in a host of situations with intuitive lighting effects in different colors and sound prompts. For example, ID. Light signals to the driver that the vehicle’s drive system is active and that the car has been unlocked or locked. It accentuates information issued by some of the driver-assistance and navigation systems and signals, both visually and acoustically, details like charge status indicator, braking prompts and incoming phone calls.
    The steering wheel, steering column, and the housings for the display and control panels in the doors are finished in Piano Black. Seats in the ID.4 are finished in black cloth on entry models and Lunar Gray or Galaxy Black leatherette on models with the Statement package. Entry ID.4 models feature six-way adjustable seats with power recline, while the Statement package adds 12-way power seats, with massage lumbar and memory, as well as 30-color ambient lighting.
    ID.4 offers a range of comfort and convenience features found throughout the rest of the brand’s lineup. Standard features include rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone Climatronic® climate control, and KESSY® keyless access. To manage cold temperatures, the ID.4 features a standard heated steering wheel, heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, and, on all-wheel-drive models, a heated windshield. The Statement package adds SiriusXM® satellite radio with a three-month trial, an adjustable trunk floor, and a power tailgate with Easy Open & Close.
    To complete the high-tech package, ID.4 offers standard wireless mobile charging, wireless App-Connect, and Volkswagen Car-Net® with in-car WiFi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more—all at 4G LTE-enabled speed.
    Safety & Driver Assistance Technology
    To help protect occupants, the ID.4 provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard—front and side airbags for front passengers, and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions. Additionally there are a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
    With regards to the battery, an extruded aluminum frame protects the battery system against damage in the event of a crash, and a replaceable aluminum underbody panel protects the battery against the road. Additionally, the battery is also disabled if the vehicle is involved in a serious accident.
    With the standard IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology, all ID.4 models include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist); Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); Travel Assist; and Emergency Assist. In addition to IQ.DRIVE features, the ID.4 includes Dynamic Road Sign Display; Park Distance Control; and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
    Pricing & Sales
    Pricing for the ID.4 starts at $39,995, for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro (available in the first quarter of 2021), before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500 is applied. With those credits, the entry price of ID.4 is on par with the 2021 Tiguan SEL.  For highly qualified customers through Volkswagen Credit, the monthly lease payment for a 36-month lease with 10,000 miles a year, is $379 per month with $3,579 due at signing, excluding tax, title, license, options and dealer fees.
    Starting later in 2021, the ID.4 AWD Pro ($43,695) will be available. Both Pro models carry largely the same equipment, with AWD models putting out 302 hp, and adding a heated windshield and tow hitch. These models can be additionally outfitted with two packages—Statement ($4,500), and Gradient ($1,500), which is only offered with Statement.
    The ID.4 launches with a limited-run ID.4 1st Edition (MSRP $43,995). The 1st Edition models feature the same content as the Pro model, and Statement package (minus illuminated VW logo) and Gradient package come standard. These models also include unique features including accelerator and brake pedals with “play” and “pause” logos, the steering wheel and column, radio bezel and door island finished in Electric White, 1st Edition badging, black mirror caps, and a tow hitch.
    Volkswagen plans to offer the ID.4 electric vehicle across all 50 states, and throughout its network of more than 600 dealers. A reservation platform debuts today on VW.com, allowing customers to reserve an ID.4 before it hits dealer showrooms, with a fully refundable $100 reservation fee. As vehicle production starts, reservation holders will be invited to confirm their order with an additional fully refundable $400 vehicle deposit. From placing a reservation, to production and through delivery, the customer can see where they stand and when they can expect their ID. 4 to arrive at their preferred local VW dealer in a simple, transparent process. At that time, the customer can transact with their dealer and complete their purchase.

    William Maley

    Subtitle Changes Outside, Major Changes Inside 

    Volkswagen unveiled an updated 2021 Arteon tonight. Now you might be thinking this is a quick turn around as the Arteon has been on sale in the U.S. for only a year. But you need to keep in mind that Volkswagen has been selling the Arteon in Europe since 2018, so a refresh was in the cards.
    Changes for the exterior are subtile with a more prominent grille, new lighting, updated Volkswagen badging, and new choices for paint and wheels. The interior is a bit more dramatic with updated dash featuring revised air vents and climate control system with touch controls. A new steering wheel with touch controls, improved materials, and the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit becoming standard on all Arteons finishes off the changes.
    Power for the U.S. will remain the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic that routes power to either the front or Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
    There are some versions we'll be missing out on such as a new Shooting Brake (aka wagon), a 315 horsepower R model, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
    No word on pricing, but you'll be able to pick up a 2021 Arteon at your Volkswagen dealer sometime in November.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2

    2021 Volkswagen Arteon world premiere

    Jun 23, 2020
    Brand halo is updated inside and out—a new front end impresses with sharpened design elements and available illuminated grille, while inside, a new cockpit offers greater levels of refinement Digital Cockpit standard across lineup European offering includes new Arteon Shooting Brake, as well as plug-in hybrid (160 kW / 218 PS) and Volkswagen R-developed performance (235 kW / 320 PS) powertrains Herndon, VA — The Arteon is Volkswagen’s Gran Turismo—marrying the sleek design of a premium coupe to the space of a midsize sedan. For 2021, Volkswagen is introducing an extensive product line update to the brand halo, including sharpened design elements, interior refinements, and intelligent comfort systems. In Europe, Volkswagen is enhancing the product line with a second version—the new Arteon Shooting Brake—alongside new powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid drivetrain generating 160 kW (218 PS) and Arteon R versions with 235 kW (320 PS).
    For 2021, the U.S. market Volkswagen Arteon features a simplified trim lineup—SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line.
    The refreshed Arteon features a refined front end with sharpened design elements. The long, wide hood stretches across the entire front profile to the wheelarches to form the shoulder section. At the front it reaches far down into the grille, emphasizing the ample width of the Arteon with its crossbars. It’s not just avant-garde, it’s also aerodynamic—with a drag coefficient of a mere 0.265.
    For the first time, the Arteon can also be configured with an illuminated grille. On midrange models, new LED daytime running lights (DRLs) connect to form a central light bar in the grille, surrounding the new Volkswagen logo and using light as the new chrome. Consequently, the Arteon has been given a new and unmistakable daytime and night-time lighting signature.
    The lower section of the front profile, the front apron, has also been modified. Up to now, this area featured four chrome bars. These have now been transformed into three significantly more striking chrome bars. The outer and bottom segments of the front apron are always the same color as the vehicle’s paintwork (except the lateral air intake grilles). How the equipment scopes differ: the SE trim now has two additional, separate air intake openings in front of the front wheels, as well as a chrome bar that has been integrated above the front spoiler. In contrast, the R-Line features one larger, continuous, bottom air intake above the front spoiler that is surrounded by a C-shaped section on the outside in front of the front wheels, which has been painted in the main vehicle color.
    As drawn, the character line runs around the entire car. It visually presses the body’s volume downward to the ground, giving it a dynamic appearance. The character line starts in the radiator grille at the front and runs smoothly across the silhouette up to the tail light clusters. At the rear it transforms into a sharp undercut that visually reduces the Arteon’s height and carries the strong shoulder section towards the rear. At the rear, the VW badge and Arteon lettering have been redesigned.
    Three new colors are added for model year 2021—Oryx White, Kings Red Metallic, and Lapiz Blue.
    On the inside, Arteon has been equipped with a redesigned cockpit that has been refined to match the model’s exclusive nature. Volkswagen’s interior designers have redesigned the entire dash panel—consisting of surfaces, air outlets, and trims—the center console, including infotainment section and air-conditioning control, and the top sections of the door trims. The fabrics and leather in the vehicle interior have also been upgraded.
    At the dash panel’s top-most level, new leatherette surfaces stand out by having been refined are more pronounced with decorative seams to visually build a bridge to Volkswagen’s luxury-class SUV, the Touareg. On the second level, new aluminum décor graces base models, while midrange models offer translucent aluminum décor with 30-color ambient lighting The air outlets, stretching up to the third dash panel level, have been redesigned and also fully integrated here.
    A new generation of multifunction steering wheels featuring digital touch surfaces are used in the Arteon. In combination with the Travel Assist system (see below), the steering wheel rim additionally features touch-sensitive surfaces which, once Travel Assist has been activated, detect whether the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel for safety reasons.
    The temperature can now be set intuitively via a touchslider for the optional three-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. The same applies to the blower function in the manual mode. Seat heating, windscreen and window defrosting functions as well as other air conditioner regulations are also controlled using new touch-sensitive surfaces in the center console.
    The Arteon is equipped with the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which allows the driver to configure the instrument display. The graphics of the 10.25-inch display are clear and of a high quality. The driver can quickly and easily switch between three basic layouts using a View button on the multifunction steering wheel.
    Arteon adopts the all-new MIB3 infotainment system, integrated in a clearly visible and easy-to-reach position above the new air-conditioning controls. All models come standard with the 8.0-inch Discover Media system with navigation. MIB3 offers natural voice control, multi-phone pairing that can easily switch between devices, and wireless App-Connect. Wireless charging is also new for 2021.
    Volkswagen is also offering a newly developed, high-end sound system made by audio specialists harman/kardon for the very first time. It has been specifically geared towards the Arteon product line. The system uses a 700-watt, 16-channel Ethernet amplifier to power a total of twelve high-performance loudspeakers. One loudspeaker acts as the center speaker in the newly designed dash panel while another operates as a subwoofer in the trunk. The remaining treble, mid-range, and bass loudspeakers have been arranged in the doors. The infotainment system coordinates the individual sound control of the harman/kardon sound system which also provides pre-configured settings, such as Pure, Chill out, Live and Energy.
    The Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® shifting; 4Motion all-wheel drive is available on SEL R-Line models and standard on SEL Premium R-Line models.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...but that is globally...

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Burning the candle at both ends...

    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."

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Meet George Jetson!...

    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.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...All to build more EVs...

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Now a more affordable People's Car...

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...A downsized version of the Atlas...

    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.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...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.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...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.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Now another convertible crossover...

    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

    Drew Dowdell

    ...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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...get your longroof VW while you can...

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Europe only for now...

    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.


    Drew Dowdell

    ...GTI and R to survive...

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ... better late than never.

    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

    Drew Dowdell

    ... sues to recover "ill-gotten gains"

    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.

    Drew Dowdell

    Most will be in Wolfsburg, Germany

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    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. 

    William Maley

    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.
    Source: Roadshow

    William Maley

    Regular Golf will still offer it

    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.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Updated styling, but retains the same platform

    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

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