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    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 17, 2012
    For the past couple of years, the future of the Volkswagen Phaeton was in question. Some said the Phaeton would disappear within a few years, while others said a redesign is in the cards.
    Now, a decision has been made on the Phaeton’s future. Motor Trend reports that Volkswagen is very interested in keeping the Phaeton alive.
    "There will be a show car first, then we will build it," a Volkswagen source tells Motor Trend, "The car will be their legacy."
    Who’s legacy? Most likely the source is talking about Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and product development head Ulrich Hackenberg. The two have been locked into their roles recently, but are also speculated to retire around 2016.
    The source goes onto the say the Phaeton was likely going to be canned, but the burgeoning car market may have saved it. So, what will the new one look like? The source says,
    "The new one will have the same positioning: a straightforward sedan for the person who's successful but doesn't feel the need to show it. Volkswagen doesn't change course between generations of a car. It's always easier to keep the customers you have than to lose them and go find new ones."
    So expect the new Phaeton to stick with conservative styling, but come with extensive engineering and technology. The new Phaeton is expected within three years and come back to the U.S. market.
    Source: Motor Trend

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 9, 2012
    The Volkswagen BlueSport roadster, the on and off vehicle could be back on. EVO Magazine spoke with with Uli Hackenberg, the head of engineering with Volkswagen. Hackenberg said he’s been frustrated by the low sales predictions.
    “dealers are always looking backwards, not forwards… this is particularly the case when a new model is being considered as they don’t have any reference point to guide them, so they look around at the current market and give an estimate based on that,” Hackenberg said.
    Hakenberg said that the rise of vehicles like the Toyota GT 86 (Scion FR-S) and Subaru BRZ, alongside the upcoming next-generation Mazda MX-5 shows buyers could be putting money down to buy one. Also, the U.S. dollar is beginning to regain its strength, meaning European vehicles start to look even more competitive.
    As a result, Volkswagen is asking their dealers again to gauge demand for a mid-engine convertible. The BlueSport will need to see estimates of at least 50,000 units worldwide in order to get the go-ahead from corporate. Even if it gets the green light, it will take three years for it to appear in the market.
    Source: EVO Magazine
    Related:
    Volkswagen BlueSport’s Future Is In Trouble
    Porsche’s Sub-Boxster May Not See The Light Of Day

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 1, 2012
    Volkswagen showed their most important new platform, named MQB (a German acronym for “Modular Transverse Matrix”) today at their Wolfsburg HQ. MQB will underpin as many as 60 different vehicles of all different shapes and sizes.
    MQB brings forth many advantages for the next generation of Volkswagen vehicles. First, MQB brings a uniform mounting position for all available engines. MQB also allows current alternative fuels to work as well.
    MQB also allows Volkswagen to tailor vehicles to specific markets in a more cost effective manner. The cost reduction will help grow Volkswagen market share in emerging markets.
    MQB will make its debut in the new Audi A3 and Volkswagen Mk.7 Golf.
    Source: Motor Authority

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 28, 2012
    Back in November, we reported on Volkswagen was planning on dropping the 2.5L for a 1.8T due to the company simplifying their manufacturing and to increase fuel economy. Now, there is another engine in play.
    Volkswagen executives told Car & Driver the Jetta could drop its 2.5L for a 1.4T engine. The 1.4T made its first appearance in the Jetta Hybrid shown at the North American International Auto Show in January. The 1.4T produces 150 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque, both of which would be reasonable numbers in the Jetta’s segment. Plus, the 1.4T should deliver better MPG than the 2.5L.
    Plans for the swap haven’t been finalized, but executives seem confident in the plan being approved. And if the 1.4T is approved for Jetta, expect it to find a place in the Beetle and Golf.
    Source: Car & Driver
    Related:
    Rumorpile: Volkswagen Dropping 2.5 Inline-5, In It’s Place A Smaller Turbo-4

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 20, 2012
    Earlier this week, General Motors announced that it sold 9.03 million vehicles in 2011, making it the world’s largest automaker by volume. However, Volkswagen is challenging the claim, stating GM included sales of automakers it doesn’t even fully own.
    Volkswagen's beef with GM's claim is that it includes sales of Chinese automakers SAIC Motor Corp. and Wuling Motors Co. GM has stakes in both companies, but not a majority stake in either. Some analysts exculde Wuling and SAIC in their sales report.
    Wulling accounted for 1.29 million vehicles, while SAIC accounted for 1.2 million. Remove those two out and Volkswagen would be the top automaker in volume with 8.16 million vehicles. That figure is expected to grow even higher when MAN and Scania trucks announce their sales within a few weeks.
    What does GM think of VW's accusation?
    “Our goal is to be the best, not necessarily the biggest. If we had announced plans on world domination, we probably would have been quibbling with the sales of our competitors and that’s as far removed from focusing on the customers as you can get,” said GM Spokesman, Jim Cain.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 19, 2012
    Volkswagen currently sells four diesel models in the U.S.; the Golf, Jetta, Passat, and Touareg. Now, there’s word that a fifth diesel is joining the lineup.
    Autoblog has been told by Volkswagen that a diesel Beetle will premiere at next month’s Chicago Auto Show. No details about the diesel engine in the Beetle have been release, but bet on the 2.0L engine in the Golf, Jetta, and Passat ending up in the car also.
    More interesting is Volkswagen could offer the diesel engine in the upcoming Beetle convertible. We won’t know if this will actually happen or not until the drop-top Beetle is shown.
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 16, 2012
    The Volkswagen VR6 engine, found in the Passat, Touareg, and Porsche Cayenne could be saying good-bye. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, a member of the Volkswagen board of management who oversees research and development said the company is deciding whether to keep the VR6 in production or scrap it.
    As it stands, the VR6 engine is expensive to build and import, and doesn’t sell in many vehicles. Hackenberg said the company is deciding whether to put the VR6 into more vehicles or to ditch it. Hackenberg says he is interested in “a turbo five, as we just used in the Audi [TT RS].” The U.S. version of the TT-RS produces 360 HP and 343 lb-ft of torque.
    If Volkswagen was to go with a turbo-five, the engine could be built in the U.S. with the Passat and Touareg being possible canidates.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 14, 2012
    The Volkswagen BlueSport concept, a mid-engine diesel powered concept shown at the 2009 North American International Auto Show has been hitting some bumps in the road to production. According to Autocar, the future of the BlueSport is in danger due to the company not finding enough sales to justify it. The biggest problem lies with Volkswagen of America, which believes having a sports car in its U.S. lineup is low-priority at the moment, even though Volkswagen has a plan to sell 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018 and the U.S. being the world’s largest market for sports cars.
    “To get to 800k units, we don’t need to keep adding to our portfolio of models. We’re concentrating on our core models,” said VW of America boss Jonathan Browning.
    Without the backing of Volkswagen of America, the BlueSport likely won’t get anywhere near the roughly 50,000 projected global sales per year it requires to get off the ground.
    “There is no official release for the project. It’s not a technology problem, but of finding enough customers. I don’t have enough [sales] volume to get the go-ahead,” said Volkswagen’s engineering boss, Uli Hackenberg.
    Hackenberg said the enginnering of the vehicle is done, now they’re just waiting to see if Volkswagen can make a business case.
    The delays are also causing the BlueSport’s design to date quickly which could play a factor into whether the vehicle is produced or not. Also, the delays are causing problems for Audi and Porsche which are producing sister models to the BlueSport.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 21, 2011
    Volkswagen's plan for world domination is now entering it's next stage. Starting with the next Audi A3, Volkswagen will begin to standardize components and technologies across forty different models.
    Volkswagen says the plan will help it lower production costs by 20%, cut assembly times by 30%, and save the company up to $6.5 billion per year. The plan will also let Volkswagen to build cars from different brands at the same plant.
    However, not everyone likes the idea of standardization.
    “If something goes wrong, then one may get hit by an epidemic plague. The more connected the structures, the higher the threat of contagion,” said Christoph Stuermer, an analyst with IHS Automotive.
    Toyota is a good example of "contagion". More than 8 million Toyotas were recalled in the US in 2009 at a cost of over $48.8 million as a result of the “unintended acceleration” mess.
    Volkswagen believes they will avoid these pitfalls.
    "Risks exist when you undertake far-reaching improvements, but the implementation process is manageable," said Volkswagen production chief, Hubert Waltl.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    Volkswagen is looking to add a seven-seat crossover to their lineup within the next few years. Car & Driver reports the crossover will be priced around the Honsa Pilot and the Ford Explorer, meaning somewhere in the low $30k range.
    Engines will most likely be Volkswagen’s 3.6L V-6; a 3.0L diesel V-6 could be optional.
    The crossover will most likely be built at VW’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, though Mexico remains another possibility.
    The crossover will come out within a few years.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    Volkswagen unveiled their new CrossCoupe concept at the Tokyo Motor Show today. The concept gives us a glimpse of what the future of Volkswagen's crossovers will look like.
    The design of the CrossCoupe features a low window line and a simplistic style bolstered by frameless windows and flared fenders.
    The CrossCoupe length is 171.1 inches, which puts it between the Volkswagen Golf (165.4 in) and Tiguan (174.5 in).
    Power comes from a 148 HP TSI engine and a 54 HP electric motor for the front axle while the back axle has a 114 HP electric motor. The power goes through VW's seven-speed DSG to all four wheels. Volkswagen says the 3,854 lbs CrossCoupe can run up to 60 MPH around 7 seconds and travel on electric power up to 25 miles thanks to 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    VOLKSWAGEN CROSS COUPÉ MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT AT THE TOKYO MOTOR SHOW


    Compact hybrid crossover SUV mixes style, performance, and efficiency
    Wolfsburg/Tokyo , Nov 29, 2011 - At the Tokyo Motor Show, Volkswagen is revealing the Cross Coupé, a concept SUV that looks towards the future. This all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid vehicle shows how Volkswagen designers could envision a crossover that’s part four-door coupe, part compact SUV. The design team, led by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff, has created an intriguing study that impressively combines the best of the two worlds. Original, strong in character, and sculptural and dynamic, the Cross Coupé hints at the future of SUV design at Volkswagen.
    The sporty Cross Coupé concept is based on Volkswagen’s new modular transverse matrix (MQB)—the first time a vehicle has been shown off this platform. The four-seater SUV is powered by two electric motors and a direct-injection turbocharged gasoline (TSI®) engine. The Cross Coupé can drive a distance of up to 25 miles purely on electric power.
    Long wheelbase, short overhangs
    The concept car is longer than a VW Golf and shorter than a Tiguan at 171.1 inches overall. At 73.5 inches wide and 60.0 inches high, it also falls neatly in between these two bestsellers. The Cross Coupé is thus sized in the globally popular A-segment. With a very long wheelbase of 103.5 inches—two inches longer than a Golf and an inch longer than the Tiguan—compared to its overall length, the Cross Coupé has correspondingly short overhangs: 33.7 and 33.9 inches, respectively, at the front and back. The powerful, muscular proportions are underscored by the wide 62.4-inch front and 63.5-inch rear track dimensions.
    The Cross Coupé is still designed to be practical off-road as well as on pavement. The front approach angle, for instance, is 24.2 degrees and the rear departure angle is an impressive 32.5 degrees. The Cross Coupé reinforces its off-road credentials with excellent ground clearance.
    Forward Looking Design
    The defining features of the Cross Coupé’s styling are the long hood, a completely new frontal aesthetic, the set-back passenger compartment, and the low window line for an SUV. The Cross Coupé looks like it has been milled from a solid block, with extremely precise and modern lines. It also shows the direction in which Volkswagen design is developing.
    One striking element is a shoulder line—the tornado line—that looks as if it has been cut with a razor blade. This runs just below the frameless windows, extending from the front to the rear fenders. The decidedly flared fenders create a very powerful stance and produce a silhouette that is reminiscent of a sports car, allied with the robustness of an SUV. The 20-inch alloy wheels, equipped with 265/45-section tires, enhance the sporty look. At the rear, a voluminous coupe-like C-post rises up over the wheelarches.
    Radical Front Lights: The potential of the Volkswagen design DNA developed by Walter de Silva (Group Chief Designer) and Klaus Bischoff (Volkswagen Chief Designer) is shown in the concept car’s front section. In this instance, the characteristic horizontal lines of the “Volkswagen visage” become a link between present and future. Unlike today’s models, the designers have physically merged the twin bi-xenon headlamps with the radiator grille’s chrome-plated fins. Two chrome bars that ascend to the sides of the vehicle and link the headlamps are part of an entirely new lighting concept; the lower of the two chrome fins contains the Daytime Running Lights and the fin above it incorporates the turn signals.
    The center of the bumper has an area painted in the vehicle’s color: a precisely shaped character line extends upwards to form a homogenous unit with the bars of the radiator grille. Right at the bottom of the bumper is another air intake, which is fitted with two additional smaller chrome bars. To the left and right of each inlet are the LED foglights.
    Coupe-style roofline: The shallow line of the side windows also influences the rear of the car. The steeply raked rear window is typical of a coupe. The rear edge of the hatchback is finished off by a spoiler, which optically extends the roof surface and also optimizes the aerodynamics. The rear light clusters are kept slim and, in similar fashion to their counterparts on the latest production models such as the new CC, they feature a delicate, pale, horizontal bar that makes them look very elegant. The chunky rear bumper is, however, typical of an SUV and features integrated exhaust pipes on either side.
    The Best of Both Worlds
    Inside, the worlds of the SUV and the coupe form an exciting alliance. This four-seater has a significantly sportier design than conventional SUVs. For example, the dashboard has the precise lines of a coupe’s, yet is raised up like an SUV’s. The surface of the dashboard exudes a very refined quality, yet is also very robust. This robustness is also a feature of the controls and touch points inside the vehicle: for instance, the stability control systems and driving modes are controlled via two aluminum-alloy rotary switches, with the button for the electric parking brake located between them. The strikingly wide shift lever for the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (DSG®) transmission is also made of aluminum: as well as providing some visual fun, it also is pleasing to the touch. Two robust but elegant grab handles are a feature of the center stack, which also incorporates the HVAC controls and air vents, and a touchscreen display that monitors all relevant vehicle functions, from on- and off-road navigation to the sound system.
    Programmable instruments: Arranged behind the three-spoke steering wheel is a user-programmable instrument cluster. The driving mode‘s rotary control knob can be used to select between “Sport,” “City,” and “Offroad.” The screen display varies according to the mode selected: for instance, “Offroad” mode features a compass and a topographic map. Each of the three modes has a customized screen layout and different color scheme. Positioned centrally between the twin round dials is another multifunction color display that shows vehicle information, the phone menu, audio details, and additional navigational information.
    Designed for long journeys: The Cross Coupé is fitted with four individual bucket seats that have solidly integrated headrests. The four passengers have ample leg-, head- and shoulder-room. The backs of the rear seats and the front passenger’s seat can be folded fully forwards to accommodate bulky items such as surfboards and bicycles. The seat backs have an outer synthetic covering so that they form a durable surface for such loads when they are folded down. There’s 13.4 cubic feet of trunk space behind the rear seats, which expands to 43.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
    Innovative Hybrid Powertrain
    The Cross Coupé has not one but three power sources, which work together efficiently as a hybrid system. Underhood, there’s a 148-horsepower (110 kW) TSI engine that delivers 155 pound-feet of torque as well as an electric motor that makes 54 hp (40 kW) and 133 lb-ft. Together or individually these two motors power the front axle. If the Cross Coupé is to be used in all-wheel-drive or pure electric mode, a further electric motor that is integrated as a co-axial drive unit in the back axle powers the rear wheels. This second electric motor generates up to 114 hp (85 kW) and develops 199 lb-ft of torque. The overall output of the system (gasoline engine and electric motors) is a maximum of 262 hp (195 kW).
    Because the battery is mounted low, inside where a conventional driveshaft would run in the “transmission tunnel,” the vehicle has a low center of gravity. Combined with the balanced layout of the power sources, the concept has the dynamic handling of a coupe while retaining the functionality of an SUV.
    Electric Avenue: When the vehicle is being driven purely on electric power, the motors receive their current from an eight-module 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. An electronic power control module, operating at around 370 volts and integrated into the engine compartment, manages the flow of high-voltage energy to and from the battery and the electric motors. Meanwhile, the Cross Coupé’s low-voltage electrical system is supplied with the necessary 12 volts through a DC/DC converter. The battery is charged either via 230-volt external sources or—when in motion—via the TSI engine and front- and rear-axle regeneration.
    Highly Efficient: With a full tank of fuel the Cross Coupé weighs 3854 pounds, distributed 58 percent front and 42 percent rear. The payload is 992 pounds.
    In purely electric mode, the vehicle can be driven up to 25 miles, emissions free. In the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the fuel consumption is 87 mpg (2.7 liters/100 km), equating to CO2 emissions of just 62 g/km. With a 14.5-gallon fuel tank, the theoretical range in hybrid mode is 506 miles: add in the electric range, and the Cross Coupé can do 531 miles without stopping for fuel.
    Sustainable and Sporty: Despite the focus on sustainability, the concept car is still sporty. The Cross Coupé accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.0 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph. In electric-only mode, the top speed is governed to 75 mph. Both the gas mileage and driving performance are positively influenced by the Cross Coupé’s excellent aerodynamics and low overall height (for an SUV), with an overall drag coefficient of just 0.329.
    How the hybrid drive system works: Both electric motors help (boost) the gasoline engine (TSI) during acceleration. As mentioned above, however, they can also power the concept car on its own for a distance of up to 25 miles, depending on conditions. In this instance, by opening the clutch, the TSI is disconnected from the drivetrain and switched off. The clutch on the gearbox side, however, remains closed and the seven-speed DSG thus remains connected. Cross Coupé drivers can also choose to drive relatively long distances on pure electric power (as long as the battery has enough charge). To do so the driver simply presses the relevant driving mode button on the centre console next to the shift lever. As soon as the TSI needs to be brought back into play due to the battery’s level of charge or any other parameters, the engine starts up—almost imperceptibly for driver and passengers—and smoothly engages with the drivetrain.
    Charging at the press of a button: Whenever the Cross Coupé’s brakes are applied, both electric motors act as generators, utilizing the braking energy to charge the battery (regeneration). The driver can (via another button next to the shift lever) also consciously charge the battery from the TSI engine—for instance, in order to have sufficient electric power to drive later in a regulated zone that’s preserved exclusively for zero-emission electric vehicles. At all times, the current electric range and the Cross Coupé’s overall range are displayed on the instrument panel.
    Multi-mode Drivetrain: Based on the amount of drive (for instance, loss of traction on the front axle) or through the driver consciously switching to all-wheel or electric mode, the rear electric motor engages in an instant. In general there are three driving modes available to the driver: City (eco-mode with minimal fuel consumption); Sport (dynamic driving); and Offroad (permanent all-wheel drive).

    William Maley
    With automakers building/bringing over subcompact cars to the US, one automaker is missing in the action. That automaker is Volkswagen which built it’s empire on small vehicles (Beetle and Golf). When asked if the company would bring over any subcompact vehicles, like the Polo or new UP!, Volkswagen said no.
    Volkswagen cites the traditional argument of small cars having a small profit margin, especially when they have to be imported like the Polo and UP!
    Futhermore, Volkswagen recently re-established a production facility in the US and plans to expand capacity in an effort to become a true volume player over here. Because of their plans, Volkswagen will be expanding their dealer network and supply chains, which means the timing to introduce a subcompact doesn’t make sense.
    But that doesn’t mean Volkswagen will never introduce a subcompact model. Volkswagen product planner Rainer Michel said to Car & Driver that, if needed, VW “could bring the Polo here tomorrow.”



    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    Currently Volkswagen has 588 dealers in the U.S., and sold 256,830 vehicles last year. But coming up in seven years, VW has set a goal of selling 800,000 vehicles in the U.S., and the current number can’t handle that goal.
    Back in April, head of VW of America Jonathan Browning, said there would be an "evolutionary" increase in dealers for the next couple of years, after which a "radical change" would be necessary.
    When would this radical change happen?
    "But by 2014/15 we will have to add dealers across the U.S. to achieve our long-term objectives," said Browning said to Automotive News this week.
    Browning said he predicts the brand to sell in excess of 300,000 cars this year and improve on that by a "double-digit" amount next year.



    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    The Volkswagen 2.5L Inline-five found in the current Golf, Jetta, and Passat has been ok engine during it’s life. Now, Volkswagen is changing the guard.
    Car & Driver has learned from a couple of sources that Volkswagen is looking to replacing the 2.5 with a 1.8L turbo four. There are two reasons for the change. One is due to Volkswagen simplifying their manufacturing lines because the 1.8L turbo would be based on the same family as the 2.0L turbo. The second reason is due to how close the 2.5 and 2.0T are in fuel economy. A Jetta 2.5 equipped with a manual gets a MPG rating of 23 city/33 highway while the 2.0T equipped with a manual gets 22 city/33 highway.



    Source: Car & Driver

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