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  1. From the album: 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI

    © 2012 Cheersandgears.com

  2. From the album: 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI

    © 2012 Cheersandgears.com

  3. From the album: 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI

    © 2012 Cheersandgears.com

  4. More bad news for Volkswagen this week. Speaking with German publication Wirtschaftswoche, California Air Resources Board's (CARB) chair Mary Nichols said in their testing, only Volkswagen TDI models were found to have cheating devices. "So far we have found in vehicles of other brands no fraudulent shutdown. This does not mean that all emissions are as we would wish. But there is nothing that comes close to the magnitude of the excess in VW vehicles," Nichols said CARB will continue testing diesel vehicles. Meanwhile, Automotive News reports that Volkswagen has halted production of 2016 Passat TDI models at its Chattanooga, TN plant. No word on production was ended as a spokesman tells AN that he only learned about it today, but it's safe to assume it had to be some after the company withdrew its application for EPA certification on 2016 models equipped with the 2.0 TDI. Automotive News says Volkswagen continued production of the Passat TDI even after the EPA announcement that the 2.0 TDI was found to cheat back in September. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wirtschaftswoche, Reuters
  5. Volkswagen is gearing up expand their Chattanooga, TN plant, and that expansion could add as many as 2,400 jobs. Chattanooga currently builds the North American version of the Volkswagen Passat sedan and the expansion will be to grow capacity to build a new Volkswagen mid-size crossover SUV due in late 2016 as a 2017 model. Part of the expansion will be a new Engineering and Planning center that will bring 200 jobs. The addition to the production facility will add another 1,800 new jobs once the plant is operational. A study by the University of Tennessee Center of Business and Economic research estimates that on top of the 2,000 jobs provided by the plant expansion, another 7,800 job will be added to the economy via indirect jobs at auto parts suppliers and other ancillary jobs in the state. During the construction and tooling phases, which are underway now, there will be around 5,300 temporary jobs added. Volkswagen has shown a few mid-size crossover concepts in the auto show circuit in recent years. While we don't know the planned name yet, expect the SUV to look similar to the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept and Volkswagen Crosscoupe GTE Concept. Source: VW Media Press Release on Page 2 Herndon, VA (May 27, 2015) – A University of Tennessee Center of Business and Economic Research (CBER) study released today indicates that the expansion of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing facility to produce a new midsize-SUV and the opening of a North American Engineering and Planning Center could create approximately 9,800 jobs and add $370 million in additional annual income, once the plant is fully operational. “The findings in the CBER study demonstrate that the incentive package recently passed by the Tennessee legislature will result in an economic growth multiplier of several times the state’s investment,” said David Geanacopoulos, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and General Counsel, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “We would like to thank Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd for their leadership in fostering a business environment within Tennessee that is mutually-beneficial for the state and local economy as well as for companies like Volkswagen that have operations in the state.” In addition to the 2,400 Tennessee workers directly employed by Volkswagen, the study projects that Volkswagen’s $704 million investment in the Chattanooga plant expansion, including the opening of a new North American Engineering and Planning Center, has the potential to: Generate $217 million of new income and more than 5,300 indirect and direct jobs in Tennessee during the construction and tooling phase Create roughly 9,800 jobs, once the plant is fully operational, including 1,800 potential jobs at the production plant, 200 engineering jobs at the VW North American Engineering and Planning Center, as well as positions at auto parts suppliers, and other jobs throughout Tennessee Be responsible for $370 million in additional annual income, once the plant is fully operational “Extensive supplier linkages and good incomes earned by Volkswagen employees account for the significant employment gains and economic multiplier effects in Tennessee,” said William Fox, the study’s author and Director of the Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Tennessee. “This includes jobs in many industries across the state, such as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls and construction.” Construction for the Volkswagen Chattanooga expansion project is currently underway, and is expected to be completed during the summer of 2016. Production of the Volkswagen midsize-SUV is scheduled to commence at the end of 2016, marking the second Volkswagen model to be produced in Chattanooga, in addition to the Passat. “The study underscores Volkswagen’s commitment to Tennessee, and we are excited to grow our team and the Chattanooga plant as we gear up for the production of our first-ever seven-passenger SUV for the U.S. market,” said Christian Koch, President and CEO, Volkswagen Chattanooga. “We appreciate our partnerships with Hamilton County Mayor Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Berke, as well as Governor Haslam, for their ongoing support of Volkswagen’s expansion in Chattanooga.” The CBER study is commissioned by Volkswagen Group of America. Findings within the study are independent calculations by CBER researchers. A full copy of the new study is available here: http://cber.haslam.utk.edu/pubs/bfox309.pdf. CBER’s press release is available here: http://tntoday.utk.edu/2015/05/27/ut-study-volkswagen-plant-expansion-add-9800-jobs-state-economy/.
  6. Volkswagen has a double feature for next week's Detroit Auto Show. One will be a production model, while the other one is a concept. First up is the production model which is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R for North American. Like its European counterpart, the Golf R will come with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 290 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. New for the North American version is the choice between a six-speed manual or DSG transmission. Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system will get all of that power to the wheels. 0-60 MPH is quoted at 4.9 seconds for the DSG and 5.3 seconds for the manual. Other changes for the 2015 Golf R will include a stability control that can be fully turned off, a new adaptive suspension system, xenon headlamps, and daytime LED running lights. Volkswagen says the Golf R will go on sale in the first quarter of 2015. Now onto the concept which is a concept Passat that gets up to 42 MPG. The surprising part? Its not a hybrid or a diesel. Meet the Passat BlueMotion Concept which shows the German automaker's idea of producing a high mileage gasoline powered vehicle. The Passat BlueMotion concept features a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a DSG dual-clutch transmission. Other fuel saving tricks for the BlueMotion cylinder deactivation, start/stop system, and coasting function which decouples the transmission from the engine when a driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. One item that will be appearing on Passats very soon is the Reef Blue Metallic color that the concept wears. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R MAKES ITS U.S. DEBUT AT THE 2014 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW - Most powerful production Golf ever for the North American market - New car has an estimated 290 horsepower, but is more fuel efficient than previous Golf R - EA888 TSI® 2.0-liter engine propels DSG® equipped Golf R from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds - Car features new 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system - Golf R will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015 Herndon, January 8th, 2014 - The North American International Auto Show will see the U.S. debut of the latest Golf R, the most powerful version of the Golf ever to be sold in this market. With an estimated 290 horsepower, the new Golf R has 34 hp more than the previous version, which was sold as a 2013 model. Despite the additional horsepower, the new R model is expected to be considerably more fuel-efficient than its predecessor: on the European cycle, the car is gets a combined figure of 33 mpg with the six-speed manual transmission, up from 28 mpg. Like all three previous Golf R models, the new model transfers its turbocharged power to the road via a permanent all-wheel-drive system; in this case, the latest version of the 4MOTION® system with a fifth-generation Haldex® coupling. To ensure great chassis dynamics, there's a new sport suspension, the "progressive" variable-ratio steering system, and a stability control system ("ESC Sport") which can now be deactivated for track driving. Other highlights include the optional DCC dynamic chassis control system. Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the Golf R will reach 62 mph from rest in 5.3 seconds, an improvement of 0.4 seconds over the old car; with the six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, the car completes the sprint in just 4.9 seconds. The new Golf R is equipped with an extensive package of exclusive features. Along with specially designed bumpers, side skirts, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, the Golf R can also be visually distinguished from the GTI by details such as standard Bi-Xenon headlights with newly designed LED daytime running lights (in a dual-U design) and a two-branch exhaust system with four chrome tips. Inside, the Golf R underlines its position as the flagship of the model range with sport seats with leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped three-spoke sport steering wheel, ambient lighting, and R-specific instrumentation. The most powerful and fuel-efficient Golf R will be launched in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015 in four-door form only. High-tech turbocharged engine The Golf R has an even more advanced version of the EA888 four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® 2.0-liter engine that's fitted to the new Golf GTI. The engineers boosted power to an estimated 290 hp, delivered at 5500 rpm, thus creating one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines in the world. Maximum torque has been increased to 280 pound-feet, available over a broad speed band from 1800 to 5500 rpm. To attain this output, the Golf R model's 1984-cc engine was subjected to a motorsports-style development program. The following components were modified or completely redesigned compared to the GTI engine: the cylinder head (together with exhaust valves, valve seats, and springs), pistons, high-pressure injection system, and turbocharger. The Golf R model's EA888 series engine has innovative engineering solutions such as water-cooled exhaust gas channels running through the cylinder head to the turbocharger (to help efficiently reduce full-load fuel consumption) and a dual injection system with direct and multi-port injection. Thanks to its new fully-electronic coolant control system, the Golf R TSI engine has much more efficient thermal management with a reduced warm-up phase that reduces frictional losses and fuel consumption. In addition, the TSI engine has variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides, as well as two-stage exhaust-valve lift. This helps enable optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy, and lower emissions. 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system The Golf R has always used 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive. Using refinements such as the Haldex 5 coupling, the latest-generation 4MOTION system is activated before any wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate nearly all traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the Haldex coupling, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump. A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels. If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear wheels. In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, four electronic differential locks (EDS) that are a function of the electronic stability control system act laterally. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side. In addition, the Golf R is equipped with the XDS® cross differential lock at the front and rear. The latest version, known as XDS+, applies this functionality to a larger range of dynamic performance, helping make the vehicle more agile. When the car is being driven at highway speeds, brake pressure is applied to the inside wheel to help restore optimal traction as soon as the electronics detect excessively light loads. XDS+ thereby operates like a limited-slip differential and thus compensates for understeer during faster cornering. The new Golf R is equipped with "ESC Sport" as standard. The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the center console. When the driver presses this switch briefly, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the "ESC Sport" mode. In very fast driving on a race track, the ESC system has a higher threshold in this mode. When the ESC button is pressed for longer than three seconds, the system is fully deactivated for high-performance track driving, a feature that is available only on the Golf R. Chassis features The Golf R features a sport suspension setup that is specifically tuned to the car. Compared to the base Golf, the ride height was dropped by 0.8 inches, which makes the Golf R lower by 0.2 inches than the GTI. In the Golf R, the strut-type front suspension has a newly developed lower control arm and the multi-link rear suspension was enhanced with different tuning of the toe-link bearings. The engineers designed the running gear of the new Golf R for maximum driving fun combined with extraordinary stability and good long-distance comfort. Compared to the previous model, steering response was improved thanks to the new "progressive" variable ratio steering rack. In addition, maximum attainable cornering speeds were significantly increased and understeer all but eliminated. With progressive steering, there are 2.1 turns of the wheel (380 degrees) from lock to lock, compared with 2.75 turns (500 deg) for less powerful Golf models. The new steering operates with a progressive gear ratio, perceptibly reducing steering effort in maneuvering and parking. On country roads with lots of bends, the experience is enhanced because the steering is more direct. The new Golf R can be ordered with the second-generation DCC dynamic chassis control as an option. DCC offers three driving modes: 'Comfort', 'Normal', and 'Sport', which are selected and displayed via the center console touchscreen as part of the "Driving Profile Selector" functionality. In "Sport" mode, the dampers are stiffened for more agile handling. The DCC system adaptively controls the damper valves via a further developed and refined control algorithm. DCC takes input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle information from the Chassis-CAN bus to compute these values and adaptively adjust the optimal damping force. Moreover, damping forces are selectively applied to the four wheels individually. With the new generation of DCC, it is now possible to independently vary rebound and compression damping while cornering. Race mode. The Driving Profile Selector has three programs in the Golf R, and four in conjunction with DCC: "Normal", "Individual", and a "Race" mode that has been specially designed for the Golf R. In combination with DCC, "Comfort" mode is also available. All modes were specifically tuned for the Golf R. In "Race" mode, which is designed for high-speed track driving, damping is increased and engine response and the shift points of the DSG transmission are configured to be even sportier. In the "Individual" driving profile, the driver can combine mode settings for various individual parameters. Brakes. The Golf R has the uprated brakes from the GTI Performance model. At the front, the car has 13.4-inch diameter vented discs that are 1.2 inches thick, while the rear rotors are 12.2 by 0.9 inches. The black brake calipers have the R logo on them. Up front, the brake pistons are 2.4 inches in diameter and are 1.7 inches at the back. Exterior Volkswagen R GmbH has developed numerous new exterior elements for the flagship Golf. They include the bumpers, side skirts, rear diffuser, dual chrome exhaust tips per side, the lights, and standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The Golf R is distinguished at the front by a new bumper design with exceptionally large air inlets, a modified radiator grille that sports an "R" logo, and newly developed daytime running lights that are integrated into the Bi-Xenon headlight housings. The LED daytime running lights form a distinctive dual "U" design beneath the headlights. From the side, the Golf R is characterized by newly designed 18-inch "Cadiz" aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 225/40 tires, black brake calipers with the "R" logo, body-color "R" style side skirts, "R" badges on the front fenders, and "Matte chrome" door mirror caps. Rear details that define the new Golf R include an "R" design diffuser, four chrome tailpipes, and an "R" logo on the trunklid. Interior As in the three previous Golf R models, Volkswagen R GmbH has extensively upgraded the interior. The most powerful Golf is equipped with sport seats in the front and leather seating surfaces that feature outer seat surfaces, inner side support panels, and head restraints upholstered in dark "Carbon" Nappa leather. Meanwhile, the center sections of the seats are trimmed in dark or light Nappa leather. Leather is also used to trim the upper and lower grip zones of the three-spoke "R" sport steering wheel, which has a chrome "R" logo on its lower cross bar. The decorative inlays of the dashboard and door trim panels feature the "Carbon Touch" design; ambient lighting is also integrated in the door trim panels as standard. The door sill kickplates, pedals, and foot support are designed with a stainless-steel look. The instruments and the touchscreen's start menu were also customized. When the ignition is switched on, the illuminated light-blue tachometer and speedometer needles sweep once across the entire scale to their end pins. The instrument needles are also automatically illuminated as soon as the driver's door is opened. The radio or navigation-system touchscreen shows an animated "R" logo on startup. The new-generation radio and radio/navigation systems will be available with a 5.8-inch screen on U.S. market Golf R models. The touchscreen features proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode. VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT BLUEMOTION® CONCEPT MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW - Estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg - Highly efficient powertrain uses 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine and DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission - Engine is world's first inline four cylinder with cylinder deactivation Chattanooga/Detroit - The Passat BlueMotion® Concept that is being presented by Volkswagen of America at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit shows just how fuel-efficient a non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size sedan can be. Based on the current Passat that was developed specifically for North America, the BlueMotion label defines the version that has the best efficiency in the model lineup. The Passat BlueMotion Concept features an all-new version of the Volkswagen 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine with direct injection and turbocharging. On top, this Passat also offers Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology, previously seen on the European Volkswagen Polo and Golf models. ACT deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three for situations when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds. Another Volkswagen innovation that helps save gas is the coasting function, used also on the Jetta Hybrid. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the DSG® transmission decouples the engine, allowing the Passat to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components. Additional fuel savings come from the stop/start system, which shuts off the engine when the car comes to a temporary stop. As soon as the driver lifts their foot off the brake, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine starts again. All these measures result in a manufacturer estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg. The Passat BlueMotion Concept also delivers 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The Concept's striking Reef Blue Metallic color will be introduced on other Passat models, too. The interior of the Concept also offers two-tone seats that carry blue dividing lines between the darker and lighter leather seating surfaces. The stitching indicates this is a member of the BlueMotion family, which has been rolled out globally since 2006 on many highly fuel-efficient Volkswagen models.
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 8, 2013 Volkswagen announced this week that the 2015 Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat will come with a new turbodiesel engine. The aptly named EA288 TDI Clean Diesel will take the place of the current 2.0L TDI engine. Performance specs are 150 horsepower (up ten horsepower from the current engine) and 236 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen made a number of changes to the engine that improves throttle response and lower emissions thanks to a complex exhaust-gas recirculation system and integrating the intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold. The engine will arrive in the second half of 2014. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 08.06.2013 VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA UNDERLINES DIESEL STRATEGY WITH NEW ENGINE LINE Fuel efficient EA288 engine will debut second half of 2014 in the 2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle Herndon, VA - Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America confirmed the timing of the company’s newest, most fuel-efficient, TDI Clean Diesel engine, designated EA288. During a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., Schmidt announced that the new engine will power the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, which are set to hit dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014. The announcement underscores Volkswagen Group of America’s continued success with diesel technology: Year-to-date the Volkswagen Group of America has sold more than 47,000 clean diesel vehicles, including more than 10,000 in the month of July alone. This represents nearly 78 percent of the diesel sales for passenger cars in the United States this year. “The Volkswagen Group is a leader in clean diesel technology,” said Schmidt. “With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient and powerful. “ The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models. The engine is a turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 hp over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation. A number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with high pressure EGR and a cooled low-pressure EGR); integration of the water-cooled intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine by combining the DPF with the SCR Catalyst. The engine also has a number of modifications to help minimize friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 5, 2013 Volkswagen has reportedly begun planning a competitor to the Subaru Outback. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen has given a green light to an AWD version of the next-gen Golf-based Jetta SportWagon. Sources say the company is deciding whether to make into Outback competitor with a higher ground clearance and body-cladding. Now Volkswagen currently sells something like this in parts of the world. The Passat Alltrack takes a Passat wagon and raises the ride height and adds body cladding. Volkswagen showed a concept version of the Passat Alltrack at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. It seems Volkswagen has entered the megalomaniac stage. According to German publication Autobild, Volkswagen is planning a new premium midsize model to take on the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This new model is expected to come in the form hatchback sedan (think Audi A7) and a station wagon. The U.S. and China will get the sedan only, while everywhere else will have both options. As for what will underpin the new model, Volkswagen is debating whether to use its own MQB architecture or use Audi's MLB platform. Power will come from a range of four and six-cylinder diesel and gas engines. This new model is expected to go on sale towards the end of this decade. Source: Autobild
  10. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 13, 2013 Volkswagen is using the term 'concept' very lightly with the introduction of the Passat Performance Concept before the Detroit Auto Show this week. The concept uses a modified version of Volkswagen's 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horspower and send its power to a six-speed automatic. Other performance modifications on the Passat Performance Concept include a lowered sport suspension and electro-mechanical steering system. Style-wise, the Passat Performance Concept has a dual exhaust system, 19-inch “Luxor” alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, LED taillights, and carbon applications on the mirror caps. Inside, there are carbon-like inserts are on dashboard and on the two-tone seats, complemented by a black headliner and side pillars. Source: Volkswagen Album: Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept 2 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 01.11.2013 GLOBAL DEBUT OF VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT PERFORMANCE CONCEPT AT 2013 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW All-new 1.8 TSI engine delivers 250 horsepower and gives a sneak-peek at upcoming sport sedan Bi-Xenon-Headlights with Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS) and LED taillights Carbon-style detailing inside and out Herndon, VA - 2012 will go down in the Volkswagen Passat’s history as its best sales year ever, with 117,023 units sold of the designed-for-America, Chattanooga-built family sedan. In an exercise to hint at Volkswagen’s efforts to explore this practical four-door’s sportier side, Volkswagen will unveil the Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show® in Detroit. The most notable alteration in this concept isn’t something you’d see right away—it’s under the hood. The Passat Performance Concept features a unique modification of the Volkswagen EA888 1.8 liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI® four-cylinder engine, which delivers 250 horsepower (184 kW) and is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. In its existing form, this engine is already available—and popular—among the European and Asian markets. The Passat Performance Concept further differentiates itself from the regular Passat with a dual exhaust, 19-inch “Luxor” alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights including Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS) and LED taillights and carbon applications on its mirror caps. Inside, carbon-like touches dominate the dashboard, matching the carbon-style inserts on two-color leather seating surfaces and complementing the black headliner and side pillars. A lowered sport suspension and electro-mechanical steering enhance the handling.
  11. Whenever you walk onto a dealer’s lot and look at the selection of midsize sedans, they are for the most part equipped with their base four-cylinder engine. It is what most people buy as they provide the balance of power and fuel economy they are looking for. But among the base four-cylinders lie a few of the models equipped with the more powerful engine, whether it be a turbocharged four-cylinder or V6. Are you missing out by not going with the larger engine? We decided to investigate this with the recently updated 2016 Volkswagen Passat and its optional V6. The V6 in question is a 3.6 with 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This engine also powers the CC and Touareg. Drop it into the Passat and it makes the vehicle a hot-rod. If you’re not careful with the accelerator when leaving a stop, you will spin the front tires easily. Once you figure out how lightly you need to step on the accelerator when the light turns green, you’ll be impressed at how fast the Passat pickups speed. More impressive is how V6 goes about its business with barely any noise or vibrations. I know four-cylinders, in general, have gotten better in terms of NVH, but the V6 still holds a clear advantage in this regard. There are some pitfalls the Passat’s V6 option. First is the standard DSG dual-clutch transmission. At low speeds, this transmission exhibits hesitation and causes the vehicle lurch and even bog down. The DSG does get its act together at higher speeds where it delivers some of the fastest shifts in the class. But I can’t help but wonder how much better it would have been if the V6 was paired with an automatic. Second is fuel economy. The Passat is rated by the EPA at 20 City/28 Highway/23 Combined, which is the lowest fuel economy numbers in the class. Our average for week reflects this with an average of 22.1 MPG. In terms of the ride, the Passat feels like a big American sedan. Bumps and road noise barely make their way inside, making it the perfect long-distance cruiser. Around corners, the Passat shows a little bit of body roll. Steering feels direct, but I did find myself wanting a bit more weight. Volkswagen made some much-needed changes to the Passat’s exterior. The front end gets a larger grille, new headlights, and a reshaped hood. Other changes include a new trunk lid and revised wheels. Yes, the Passat still looks a bit dull when compared to the competition. But to be fair, the changes do give the Passat some semblance of style. The interior hasn’t changed much since we checked out the Passat back in 2014, and that isn’t a bad thing. There is still the well laid out dashboard and a spacious back seat that could rival flagship luxury sedans. New for 2016 is the ability to run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through the infotainment system. Unlike some of other the vehicles I have tried with CarPlay, I didn’t run into any issues. The system recognized my phone within seconds of plugging it in and brought up the CarPlay moments thereafter. Also, I found that none of the apps I used through CarPlay crashed or have some sort of other problem. There is one big problem with the V6 option for the Passat, the price. To get into the V6, you need to opt for the top SEL Premium trim which starts at $36,835. Add in destination and you’re looking at a final price of $37,655. You do get a lot of equipment such as blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, dual-zone climate control, navigation, and Fender audio system as standard. But that same amount of money can get you into a decently equipped luxury sedan. Making this more problematic is you can get the SEL Premium with the 1.8 turbo for only $2,300 less. The 1.8 turbo is a great engine as it delivers decent power and refinement, and features excellent fuel economy figures (25 City/38 Highway/29 Combined). The Passat’s V6 option isn’t as great as you might think. The engine gives the model some real thrust, but, the 1.8T feels just as fast and doesn’t have to visit the gas station as often. Plus the high point of entry makes this a non-starter for more people. Think of it this way, the Passat V6 is the model that will sell you into getting a lower trim of the Passat or even another midsize sedan. Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Passat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Volkswagen Model: Passat Trim: V6 SEL Premium Engine: 3.6L FSI VR6 Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,200 Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 2,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/28/23 Curb Weight: 3,571 lbs Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, Tennessee Base Price: $36,835 As Tested Price: $37,655 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A View full article
  12. More bad news for Volkswagen this week. Speaking with German publication Wirtschaftswoche, California Air Resources Board's (CARB) chair Mary Nichols said in their testing, only Volkswagen TDI models were found to have cheating devices. "So far we have found in vehicles of other brands no fraudulent shutdown. This does not mean that all emissions are as we would wish. But there is nothing that comes close to the magnitude of the excess in VW vehicles," Nichols said CARB will continue testing diesel vehicles. Meanwhile, Automotive News reports that Volkswagen has halted production of 2016 Passat TDI models at its Chattanooga, TN plant. No word on production was ended as a spokesman tells AN that he only learned about it today, but it's safe to assume it had to be some after the company withdrew its application for EPA certification on 2016 models equipped with the 2.0 TDI. Automotive News says Volkswagen continued production of the Passat TDI even after the EPA announcement that the 2.0 TDI was found to cheat back in September. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wirtschaftswoche, Reuters View full article
  13. Volkswagen is gearing up expand their Chattanooga, TN plant, and that expansion could add as many as 2,400 jobs. Chattanooga currently builds the North American version of the Volkswagen Passat sedan and the expansion will be to grow capacity to build a new Volkswagen mid-size crossover SUV due in late 2016 as a 2017 model. Part of the expansion will be a new Engineering and Planning center that will bring 200 jobs. The addition to the production facility will add another 1,800 new jobs once the plant is operational. A study by the University of Tennessee Center of Business and Economic research estimates that on top of the 2,000 jobs provided by the plant expansion, another 7,800 job will be added to the economy via indirect jobs at auto parts suppliers and other ancillary jobs in the state. During the construction and tooling phases, which are underway now, there will be around 5,300 temporary jobs added. Volkswagen has shown a few mid-size crossover concepts in the auto show circuit in recent years. While we don't know the planned name yet, expect the SUV to look similar to the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept and Volkswagen Crosscoupe GTE Concept. Source: VW Media Press Release on Page 2 Herndon, VA (May 27, 2015) – A University of Tennessee Center of Business and Economic Research (CBER) study released today indicates that the expansion of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing facility to produce a new midsize-SUV and the opening of a North American Engineering and Planning Center could create approximately 9,800 jobs and add $370 million in additional annual income, once the plant is fully operational. “The findings in the CBER study demonstrate that the incentive package recently passed by the Tennessee legislature will result in an economic growth multiplier of several times the state’s investment,” said David Geanacopoulos, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and General Counsel, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “We would like to thank Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd for their leadership in fostering a business environment within Tennessee that is mutually-beneficial for the state and local economy as well as for companies like Volkswagen that have operations in the state.” In addition to the 2,400 Tennessee workers directly employed by Volkswagen, the study projects that Volkswagen’s $704 million investment in the Chattanooga plant expansion, including the opening of a new North American Engineering and Planning Center, has the potential to: Generate $217 million of new income and more than 5,300 indirect and direct jobs in Tennessee during the construction and tooling phase Create roughly 9,800 jobs, once the plant is fully operational, including 1,800 potential jobs at the production plant, 200 engineering jobs at the VW North American Engineering and Planning Center, as well as positions at auto parts suppliers, and other jobs throughout Tennessee Be responsible for $370 million in additional annual income, once the plant is fully operational “Extensive supplier linkages and good incomes earned by Volkswagen employees account for the significant employment gains and economic multiplier effects in Tennessee,” said William Fox, the study’s author and Director of the Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Tennessee. “This includes jobs in many industries across the state, such as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls and construction.” Construction for the Volkswagen Chattanooga expansion project is currently underway, and is expected to be completed during the summer of 2016. Production of the Volkswagen midsize-SUV is scheduled to commence at the end of 2016, marking the second Volkswagen model to be produced in Chattanooga, in addition to the Passat. “The study underscores Volkswagen’s commitment to Tennessee, and we are excited to grow our team and the Chattanooga plant as we gear up for the production of our first-ever seven-passenger SUV for the U.S. market,” said Christian Koch, President and CEO, Volkswagen Chattanooga. “We appreciate our partnerships with Hamilton County Mayor Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Berke, as well as Governor Haslam, for their ongoing support of Volkswagen’s expansion in Chattanooga.” The CBER study is commissioned by Volkswagen Group of America. Findings within the study are independent calculations by CBER researchers. A full copy of the new study is available here: http://cber.haslam.utk.edu/pubs/bfox309.pdf. CBER’s press release is available here: http://tntoday.utk.edu/2015/05/27/ut-study-volkswagen-plant-expansion-add-9800-jobs-state-economy/. View full article
  14. It seems Volkswagen has entered the megalomaniac stage. According to German publication Autobild, Volkswagen is planning a new premium midsize model to take on the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This new model is expected to come in the form hatchback sedan (think Audi A7) and a station wagon. The U.S. and China will get the sedan only, while everywhere else will have both options. As for what will underpin the new model, Volkswagen is debating whether to use its own MQB architecture or use Audi's MLB platform. Power will come from a range of four and six-cylinder diesel and gas engines. This new model is expected to go on sale towards the end of this decade. Source: Autobild View full article
  15. VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA REPORTS FEBRUARY 2016 SALES RESULTS Mar 1, 2016 -February sales totaled 22,321 units- Tiguan delivered 3,245 units, a 78.4 percent increase, marking the best February ever for the vehicle The e-Golf delivered 198 vehicles, the best February ever for the vehicle Herndon, VA — (March 1, 2016) Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) today reported sales of 22,321 units delivered in February 2016. The Tiguan produced the best February results on record for the vehicle with 3,245 vehicles delivered, a 78.4 percent increase. “We were pleased to see increased retail sales at our dealerships in February, supported by vehicles like the Tiguan,” said Mark McNabb, chief operating officer, Volkswagen of America. “Even though overall sales were down due to seasonal fleet business, we are encouraged by showroom activity this month.” This month also marked the best February ever for the e-Golf with 198 vehicles delivered, a 52.3 percent increase versus last year. Feb. 16 Feb. 15 Yr/Yr% change Feb. 16 YTD Feb. 15 YTD Yr/Yr% change Golf 887 1,650 -46.2% 1,873 3,690 -49.2% GTI 1,633 1,779 -8.2% 3,129 3,757 -16.7% Golf R 292 362 -19.3% 769 362 112.4% e-Golf 198 130 52.3% 526 311 69.1% Golf SportWagen 635 - N/A 1,341 - N/A Total Golf Family 3,645 3,921 -7.0% 7,638 8,120 -5.9% Jetta Sedan 9,375 10,219 -8.3% 17,550 18,539 -5.3% Jetta SportWagen * (now Golf SportWagen) - 592 -100.0% 2 1,241 -99.8% Total Jetta 9,375 10,811 -13.3% 17,552 19,780 -11.3% Beetle Coupe 551 1,262 -56.3% 1,217 2,159 -43.6% Beetle Convertible 361 640 -43.6% 634 1,132 -44.0% Total Beetle 912 1,902 -52.1% 1,851 3,291 -43.8% Eos 110 118 -6.8% 233 274 -15.0% Passat 4,380 6,309 -30.6% 7,966 12,614 -36.8% CC 251 417 -39.8% 630 948 -33.5% Tiguan 3,245 1,819 78.4% 5,773 3,292 75.4% Touareg 403 413 -2.4% 757 895 -15.4% TOTAL 22,321 25,710 -13.18% 42,400 49,214 -13.85%
  16. I happen to be one of those few people who liked the current Volkswagen Passat. Aside from the stale design which makes the Toyota Camry look like the Mona Lisa, there were a fair number of items that I liked. From the large interior space, comfortable ride, and value for money proposition. One huge drawback I noted in my review back in 2012 was the base 2.5L five-cylinder. Not only did the engine had to be worked to get it to move the vehicle, it was one of the noisiest engines engines I had ever driven. But last year, Volkwagen announced that the 2.5 would be going the way of the dodo bird and a new turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder would take its place. I had the chance to sample it in a 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL. Would this fix one of the Passat's biggest problems? Oh yes. The 1.8T makes 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Both have the same horsepower, but the 1.8T has seven more pound-feet. This makes a difference when leaving a stop. The 1.8T feels much more punchy when leaving a stop and has more than enough oomph to move you along at a rapid pace. As for noise, the 1.8T is noticeably quieter. The six-speed automatic delivered quick and smooth shifts. Fuel economy wise, the 1.8T gets 24 City/34 Highway/28 Combined. In my week long test, I got an average of 29.2 MPG. Otherwise, the 2014 Passat is pretty much unchanged which for the most part is very good. The interior was well equipped in this SEL tester with dual-zone climate, touchscreen navigation, leather, and heated seats. Ride quality was excellent as the Passat was able to ride over bumps and provide a quiet ride. Those who want a bit of sporting might want to look at either a Honda Accord or Mazda6. The Passat corners decently, but the rubbery steering does let it down. Volkswagen fixed one of the major problems with the Passat by dropping the 2.5 and putting in the 1.8T. This makes the Passat a more compelling choice in the class. Also, when you consider that this top line 1.8T model costs $31,715 with destination, its also quite the bargain. Now if they could only work on the design... Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Passat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Volkswagen Model: Passat Trim: SEL Premium Engine: 1.8L Turbocharged Inline-Four Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 4800 Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 1500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/34/28 Curb Weight: 3,230 lbs Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN Base Price: $30,895 As Tested Price: $31,715 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  17. Volkswagen has a double feature for next week's Detroit Auto Show. One will be a production model, while the other one is a concept. First up is the production model which is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R for North American. Like its European counterpart, the Golf R will come with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 290 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. New for the North American version is the choice between a six-speed manual or DSG transmission. Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system will get all of that power to the wheels. 0-60 MPH is quoted at 4.9 seconds for the DSG and 5.3 seconds for the manual. Other changes for the 2015 Golf R will include a stability control that can be fully turned off, a new adaptive suspension system, xenon headlamps, and daytime LED running lights. Volkswagen says the Golf R will go on sale in the first quarter of 2015. Now onto the concept which is a concept Passat that gets up to 42 MPG. The surprising part? Its not a hybrid or a diesel. Meet the Passat BlueMotion Concept which shows the German automaker's idea of producing a high mileage gasoline powered vehicle. The Passat BlueMotion concept features a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a DSG dual-clutch transmission. Other fuel saving tricks for the BlueMotion cylinder deactivation, start/stop system, and coasting function which decouples the transmission from the engine when a driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. One item that will be appearing on Passats very soon is the Reef Blue Metallic color that the concept wears. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R MAKES ITS U.S. DEBUT AT THE 2014 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW - Most powerful production Golf ever for the North American market - New car has an estimated 290 horsepower, but is more fuel efficient than previous Golf R - EA888 TSI® 2.0-liter engine propels DSG® equipped Golf R from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds - Car features new 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system - Golf R will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015 Herndon, January 8th, 2014 - The North American International Auto Show will see the U.S. debut of the latest Golf R, the most powerful version of the Golf ever to be sold in this market. With an estimated 290 horsepower, the new Golf R has 34 hp more than the previous version, which was sold as a 2013 model. Despite the additional horsepower, the new R model is expected to be considerably more fuel-efficient than its predecessor: on the European cycle, the car is gets a combined figure of 33 mpg with the six-speed manual transmission, up from 28 mpg. Like all three previous Golf R models, the new model transfers its turbocharged power to the road via a permanent all-wheel-drive system; in this case, the latest version of the 4MOTION® system with a fifth-generation Haldex® coupling. To ensure great chassis dynamics, there's a new sport suspension, the "progressive" variable-ratio steering system, and a stability control system ("ESC Sport") which can now be deactivated for track driving. Other highlights include the optional DCC dynamic chassis control system. Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the Golf R will reach 62 mph from rest in 5.3 seconds, an improvement of 0.4 seconds over the old car; with the six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, the car completes the sprint in just 4.9 seconds. The new Golf R is equipped with an extensive package of exclusive features. Along with specially designed bumpers, side skirts, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, the Golf R can also be visually distinguished from the GTI by details such as standard Bi-Xenon headlights with newly designed LED daytime running lights (in a dual-U design) and a two-branch exhaust system with four chrome tips. Inside, the Golf R underlines its position as the flagship of the model range with sport seats with leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped three-spoke sport steering wheel, ambient lighting, and R-specific instrumentation. The most powerful and fuel-efficient Golf R will be launched in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015 in four-door form only. High-tech turbocharged engine The Golf R has an even more advanced version of the EA888 four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® 2.0-liter engine that's fitted to the new Golf GTI. The engineers boosted power to an estimated 290 hp, delivered at 5500 rpm, thus creating one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines in the world. Maximum torque has been increased to 280 pound-feet, available over a broad speed band from 1800 to 5500 rpm. To attain this output, the Golf R model's 1984-cc engine was subjected to a motorsports-style development program. The following components were modified or completely redesigned compared to the GTI engine: the cylinder head (together with exhaust valves, valve seats, and springs), pistons, high-pressure injection system, and turbocharger. The Golf R model's EA888 series engine has innovative engineering solutions such as water-cooled exhaust gas channels running through the cylinder head to the turbocharger (to help efficiently reduce full-load fuel consumption) and a dual injection system with direct and multi-port injection. Thanks to its new fully-electronic coolant control system, the Golf R TSI engine has much more efficient thermal management with a reduced warm-up phase that reduces frictional losses and fuel consumption. In addition, the TSI engine has variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides, as well as two-stage exhaust-valve lift. This helps enable optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy, and lower emissions. 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system The Golf R has always used 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive. Using refinements such as the Haldex 5 coupling, the latest-generation 4MOTION system is activated before any wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate nearly all traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the Haldex coupling, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump. A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels. If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear wheels. In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, four electronic differential locks (EDS) that are a function of the electronic stability control system act laterally. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side. In addition, the Golf R is equipped with the XDS® cross differential lock at the front and rear. The latest version, known as XDS+, applies this functionality to a larger range of dynamic performance, helping make the vehicle more agile. When the car is being driven at highway speeds, brake pressure is applied to the inside wheel to help restore optimal traction as soon as the electronics detect excessively light loads. XDS+ thereby operates like a limited-slip differential and thus compensates for understeer during faster cornering. The new Golf R is equipped with "ESC Sport" as standard. The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the center console. When the driver presses this switch briefly, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the "ESC Sport" mode. In very fast driving on a race track, the ESC system has a higher threshold in this mode. When the ESC button is pressed for longer than three seconds, the system is fully deactivated for high-performance track driving, a feature that is available only on the Golf R. Chassis features The Golf R features a sport suspension setup that is specifically tuned to the car. Compared to the base Golf, the ride height was dropped by 0.8 inches, which makes the Golf R lower by 0.2 inches than the GTI. In the Golf R, the strut-type front suspension has a newly developed lower control arm and the multi-link rear suspension was enhanced with different tuning of the toe-link bearings. The engineers designed the running gear of the new Golf R for maximum driving fun combined with extraordinary stability and good long-distance comfort. Compared to the previous model, steering response was improved thanks to the new "progressive" variable ratio steering rack. In addition, maximum attainable cornering speeds were significantly increased and understeer all but eliminated. With progressive steering, there are 2.1 turns of the wheel (380 degrees) from lock to lock, compared with 2.75 turns (500 deg) for less powerful Golf models. The new steering operates with a progressive gear ratio, perceptibly reducing steering effort in maneuvering and parking. On country roads with lots of bends, the experience is enhanced because the steering is more direct. The new Golf R can be ordered with the second-generation DCC dynamic chassis control as an option. DCC offers three driving modes: 'Comfort', 'Normal', and 'Sport', which are selected and displayed via the center console touchscreen as part of the "Driving Profile Selector" functionality. In "Sport" mode, the dampers are stiffened for more agile handling. The DCC system adaptively controls the damper valves via a further developed and refined control algorithm. DCC takes input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle information from the Chassis-CAN bus to compute these values and adaptively adjust the optimal damping force. Moreover, damping forces are selectively applied to the four wheels individually. With the new generation of DCC, it is now possible to independently vary rebound and compression damping while cornering. Race mode. The Driving Profile Selector has three programs in the Golf R, and four in conjunction with DCC: "Normal", "Individual", and a "Race" mode that has been specially designed for the Golf R. In combination with DCC, "Comfort" mode is also available. All modes were specifically tuned for the Golf R. In "Race" mode, which is designed for high-speed track driving, damping is increased and engine response and the shift points of the DSG transmission are configured to be even sportier. In the "Individual" driving profile, the driver can combine mode settings for various individual parameters. Brakes. The Golf R has the uprated brakes from the GTI Performance model. At the front, the car has 13.4-inch diameter vented discs that are 1.2 inches thick, while the rear rotors are 12.2 by 0.9 inches. The black brake calipers have the R logo on them. Up front, the brake pistons are 2.4 inches in diameter and are 1.7 inches at the back. Exterior Volkswagen R GmbH has developed numerous new exterior elements for the flagship Golf. They include the bumpers, side skirts, rear diffuser, dual chrome exhaust tips per side, the lights, and standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The Golf R is distinguished at the front by a new bumper design with exceptionally large air inlets, a modified radiator grille that sports an "R" logo, and newly developed daytime running lights that are integrated into the Bi-Xenon headlight housings. The LED daytime running lights form a distinctive dual "U" design beneath the headlights. From the side, the Golf R is characterized by newly designed 18-inch "Cadiz" aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 225/40 tires, black brake calipers with the "R" logo, body-color "R" style side skirts, "R" badges on the front fenders, and "Matte chrome" door mirror caps. Rear details that define the new Golf R include an "R" design diffuser, four chrome tailpipes, and an "R" logo on the trunklid. Interior As in the three previous Golf R models, Volkswagen R GmbH has extensively upgraded the interior. The most powerful Golf is equipped with sport seats in the front and leather seating surfaces that feature outer seat surfaces, inner side support panels, and head restraints upholstered in dark "Carbon" Nappa leather. Meanwhile, the center sections of the seats are trimmed in dark or light Nappa leather. Leather is also used to trim the upper and lower grip zones of the three-spoke "R" sport steering wheel, which has a chrome "R" logo on its lower cross bar. The decorative inlays of the dashboard and door trim panels feature the "Carbon Touch" design; ambient lighting is also integrated in the door trim panels as standard. The door sill kickplates, pedals, and foot support are designed with a stainless-steel look. The instruments and the touchscreen's start menu were also customized. When the ignition is switched on, the illuminated light-blue tachometer and speedometer needles sweep once across the entire scale to their end pins. The instrument needles are also automatically illuminated as soon as the driver's door is opened. The radio or navigation-system touchscreen shows an animated "R" logo on startup. The new-generation radio and radio/navigation systems will be available with a 5.8-inch screen on U.S. market Golf R models. The touchscreen features proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode. VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT BLUEMOTION® CONCEPT MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW - Estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg - Highly efficient powertrain uses 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine and DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission - Engine is world's first inline four cylinder with cylinder deactivation Chattanooga/Detroit - The Passat BlueMotion® Concept that is being presented by Volkswagen of America at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit shows just how fuel-efficient a non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size sedan can be. Based on the current Passat that was developed specifically for North America, the BlueMotion label defines the version that has the best efficiency in the model lineup. The Passat BlueMotion Concept features an all-new version of the Volkswagen 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine with direct injection and turbocharging. On top, this Passat also offers Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology, previously seen on the European Volkswagen Polo and Golf models. ACT deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three for situations when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds. Another Volkswagen innovation that helps save gas is the coasting function, used also on the Jetta Hybrid. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the DSG® transmission decouples the engine, allowing the Passat to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components. Additional fuel savings come from the stop/start system, which shuts off the engine when the car comes to a temporary stop. As soon as the driver lifts their foot off the brake, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine starts again. All these measures result in a manufacturer estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg. The Passat BlueMotion Concept also delivers 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The Concept's striking Reef Blue Metallic color will be introduced on other Passat models, too. The interior of the Concept also offers two-tone seats that carry blue dividing lines between the darker and lighter leather seating surfaces. The stitching indicates this is a member of the BlueMotion family, which has been rolled out globally since 2006 on many highly fuel-efficient Volkswagen models. View full article
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 8, 2013 Volkswagen announced this week that the 2015 Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat will come with a new turbodiesel engine. The aptly named EA288 TDI Clean Diesel will take the place of the current 2.0L TDI engine. Performance specs are 150 horsepower (up ten horsepower from the current engine) and 236 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen made a number of changes to the engine that improves throttle response and lower emissions thanks to a complex exhaust-gas recirculation system and integrating the intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold. The engine will arrive in the second half of 2014. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 08.06.2013 VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA UNDERLINES DIESEL STRATEGY WITH NEW ENGINE LINE Fuel efficient EA288 engine will debut second half of 2014 in the 2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle Herndon, VA - Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America confirmed the timing of the company’s newest, most fuel-efficient, TDI Clean Diesel engine, designated EA288. During a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., Schmidt announced that the new engine will power the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, which are set to hit dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014. The announcement underscores Volkswagen Group of America’s continued success with diesel technology: Year-to-date the Volkswagen Group of America has sold more than 47,000 clean diesel vehicles, including more than 10,000 in the month of July alone. This represents nearly 78 percent of the diesel sales for passenger cars in the United States this year. “The Volkswagen Group is a leader in clean diesel technology,” said Schmidt. “With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient and powerful. “ The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models. The engine is a turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 hp over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation. A number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with high pressure EGR and a cooled low-pressure EGR); integration of the water-cooled intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine by combining the DPF with the SCR Catalyst. The engine also has a number of modifications to help minimize friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation. View full article
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 5, 2013 Volkswagen has reportedly begun planning a competitor to the Subaru Outback. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen has given a green light to an AWD version of the next-gen Golf-based Jetta SportWagon. Sources say the company is deciding whether to make into Outback competitor with a higher ground clearance and body-cladding. Now Volkswagen currently sells something like this in parts of the world. The Passat Alltrack takes a Passat wagon and raises the ride height and adds body cladding. Volkswagen showed a concept version of the Passat Alltrack at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 30, 2012 Volkswagen's tenure in the U.S. has been one of many changes. When introduced into the U.S. market during the 1950’s, Volkswagen was the funky value choice with a lineup including the Beetle and the Bus. In the 1970’s, Volkswagen would morph into the brand that would offer high-quality budget cars. The high quality would solider on, while the budget part would be pushed aside for premium from the 1980’s to the late 2000's. Starting in this decade, Volkswagen made some ambitious plans, selling 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018. That meant changes once again to the lineup which caused some outrage in the automotive enthusiast world; shedding the luxury and sportiness that most enthusiasts have come to know about the German brands. The Jetta and Passat would shed some of their premium trimmings to bring back the value oriented aspect that Volkswagen originated with. However, consumers have been going with crazy with the Jetta and Passat, both seeing huge sales since being introduced. At the end of last year, the Jetta saw a 54.5% increase in year to date sales and the Passat saw a 124% increase in year to date sales. So what do consumers see that enthusiasts don’t in the Jetta and Passat? To find out, a 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE was dropped off for a week’s evaluation. Next: The Outside View Exterior Plain. That's the best word to describe the Passat's exterior. There are no flared wheel arches, coupe like roof, short decklid, and other design cues that are in use today in the midsize sedan market. Instead, Volkswagen went for a safe, conservative look with the new Passat. You’ll still be able to tell its part of the Volkswagen family due in part to the large, angular chrome grille and wide stance. Chrome trim on front air dam and the door window frames, and a set of seventeen-inch alloy wheels complete the look. Next: Step Inside Interior Space, the final frontier. Those words I’m sure were written on the board for the team handling the Passat’s interior since how much space is inside. Head and legroom for both front and rear passengers either place the Passat at the top or within the top five in the class. Plus, the interior is bright and airy, helping the illusion of more interior space As for the materials, the new Passat drops the luxury materials from the last generation and goes for a mix of soft and hard-touch materials. Materials are average for the class. As for the Passat’s build quality, that is above average. This being the SE model, you do get a lot of standard features for $25,525 (as tested price); V-Tex leatherette covered seats, an eight-way power seat for the driver, heated front seats, and automatic climate control. For your entertainment, the Passat SE comes with a five-inch color touch screen radio that provides AM/FM/SirusXM/Aux/Bluetooth and runs through an eight-speaker sound system. The touchscreen is very responsive and bright. Next: Under the Hood Powertrain Like all of the other players in the midsize sedan market, Volkswagen offers a variety of powertrains to meet a person’s needs, ranging from a base 2.5L five-cylinder, to a 2.0L turbo-diesel four, and a 3.6L V6. Our Passat was equipped with the base 2.5L five-cylinder engine producing 170 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices are between a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. Volkswagen takes a lot of abuse for the performance of the 2.5L five-cylinder, but most of it is deserved. Leaving a stop, you’re left wondering where the power is until the engine reaches above 2000 RPM and the power decides to show up. Also, compared to other four-cylinders in the market, the 2.5L is a bit noisier. Thankfully, the six-speed automatic does a good job of providing smooth shifts and keeping the Passat in the right gear. EPA rates the 2.5L in the Passat at 22 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. Our average for the week was 28.2 MPG, the majority of the driving taking place on suburban and rural roads. Next: Shall We Go For a Drive? Ride & Drive The Passat trades in the BMW-on-a-Budget handling for something a bit softer. It won't be popular with enthusiasts, but hey, this this is a People's Car and the general public tends to like their suspensions a bit softer. If enthusiasts want a Volkswagen product that competes with BMW, that's what Audi is for. On highways or city roads, the Passat’s suspension does a good job of minimizing the shock of bumps and other road imperfections. As for sound insulation, the Passat minimizes road and wind noise very well. But don’t think the Passat is a big soft sedan. Volkswagen did leave some sharpness for the new Passat. The suspension does have enough damping to cope with enthusiastic driving. The steering is weighted just right and direct. Now, the Passat won’t run rings around competitors like the Kia Optima, but for most buyers who want a little bit of fun with their comfort, the Passat will serve their needs. Visibility for the Passat is very good with the front and side giving a good view of the road. Rear visibility is hindered due to a smallish rear window and tall trunklid. This causes a problem when backing-up. Next: And the Verdict.. Verdict The new Passat appears to be a winner in Volkswagen’s lineup. The first six months of 2012 saw Volkswagen moving 10,252 Passats compared to 2010 when only 747 Passat sedans were sold. Throw the Passat wagon into the mix and the number jumps to 1,108 sold. Now, the U.S. doesn’t get the Passat as a wagon like the European market. Also, the European market gets a Passat Alltrack, a Passat wagon kitted with AWD and a higher ride height. Volkswagen did show the Alltrack at this year’s New York Auto Show to gage reaction, so there could be a chance of the Alltrack coming to the U.S. in the next few years. To accomplish this sales success, Volkswagen did make some concessions with the new Passat. But the majority of buyers won’t care about the lack of luxury materials that were in the previous Passat. Nor will they cry when they realize the new Passat doesn’t have the same driving dynamics of the previous model. What most buyers will notice is the amount of interior space, high exterior and interior quality, range of engines, and the low pricetag. However, not everyone will like the plain-jane styling of the new Passat. Also, the 2.5L five-cylinder is an unimpressive engine, despite delivering an impressive fuel economy number for the week. Is the new Passat a winner in my books? Yes, it accomplishes Volkswagen's goal of increasing US sales by catering more to the tastes of the US market and its not a bad midsize sedan to boot. Cheers: Interior Space Build Quality Fuel Economy Six-Speed Automatic Smooth Ride Jeers: 2.5L Engine Plain Styling Disclaimer: Volkswagen provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gas. Year - 2012 Make – Volkswagen Model – Passat Trim – 2.5 SE Engine – 2.5L inline-five Driveline – Front Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 170 @ 5700 Torque @ RPM - 177 @ 4250 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25 Curb Weight – 3221 lbs Location of Manufacture – Volkswagen Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN Base Price - $24,825.00 As Tested Price - $25,525.00 (Includes $770.00 Destination Charge) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  21. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 13, 2013 Volkswagen is using the term 'concept' very lightly with the introduction of the Passat Performance Concept before the Detroit Auto Show this week. The concept uses a modified version of Volkswagen's 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horspower and send its power to a six-speed automatic. Other performance modifications on the Passat Performance Concept include a lowered sport suspension and electro-mechanical steering system. Style-wise, the Passat Performance Concept has a dual exhaust system, 19-inch “Luxor” alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, LED taillights, and carbon applications on the mirror caps. Inside, there are carbon-like inserts are on dashboard and on the two-tone seats, complemented by a black headliner and side pillars. Source: Volkswagen Album: Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept 2 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 01.11.2013 GLOBAL DEBUT OF VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT PERFORMANCE CONCEPT AT 2013 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW All-new 1.8 TSI engine delivers 250 horsepower and gives a sneak-peek at upcoming sport sedan Bi-Xenon-Headlights with Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS) and LED taillights Carbon-style detailing inside and out Herndon, VA - 2012 will go down in the Volkswagen Passat’s history as its best sales year ever, with 117,023 units sold of the designed-for-America, Chattanooga-built family sedan. In an exercise to hint at Volkswagen’s efforts to explore this practical four-door’s sportier side, Volkswagen will unveil the Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show® in Detroit. The most notable alteration in this concept isn’t something you’d see right away—it’s under the hood. The Passat Performance Concept features a unique modification of the Volkswagen EA888 1.8 liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI® four-cylinder engine, which delivers 250 horsepower (184 kW) and is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. In its existing form, this engine is already available—and popular—among the European and Asian markets. The Passat Performance Concept further differentiates itself from the regular Passat with a dual exhaust, 19-inch “Luxor” alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights including Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS) and LED taillights and carbon applications on its mirror caps. Inside, carbon-like touches dominate the dashboard, matching the carbon-style inserts on two-color leather seating surfaces and complementing the black headliner and side pillars. A lowered sport suspension and electro-mechanical steering enhance the handling. View full article
  22. By Chris Doane January 7, 2013 It’s midweek and I’m cruising down the interstate when I come up behind one of the Passat TDI’s diesel brethren from a few decades prior: An early 1980’s Mercedes 300D. The tortured Benz was loud, emitting a smoke screen, and judging from its’ lack of ability to pass a semi-truck, the non-turbocharged 300D. A quick look at the trunk lid badging confirmed that. Back in the 1980’s, I’m not really sure what the appeal of the 300D would’ve been. Gasoline was around $1.20 a gallon and luxury buyers wouldn’t have thought twice about filling up at that price. The 300D had 83hp, 120 lb-ft of torque, and without the turbocharger, looked to have “John Deere” acceleration qualities. Fuel economy usually fell between the high 20’s and low 30’s. As it turned out, the biggest redeeming quality, realized years later, was that the diesel motors in the 300 were built to be absolutely bombproof. The first 100,000 miles on these motors was simply the break-in period. These days, Mercedes 300D’s reaching half a million miles, or more, is not uncommon. The one I saw looked as though it might be past the half-million mark, but there it was, still going. Well, sort of. Pulling my mind back into the cabin of the Passat TDI, the contrast is pretty stark. I’m driving at a casual 72mph, and the car isn’t even breaking a sweat, humming along at 2200rpm. No diesel racket, no smelly gray cloud, no lack of ability to pass at highway speeds. Thirty years of diesel technology advancements had now turned a car that roared, coughed and smoked into a sedan that behaved like all the rest and sipped diesel at a minuscule rate. Same, but different Walk onto a Volkswagen dealer lot, and the only real visual cue to tell the diesel Passat apart from the gasoline model is “TDI” badge on the back. Once you pop the hood, you’ll be face to face with the TDI’s biggest change: The 140hp, 2.0L four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. As with all diesels, it’s the 236 lb-ft of torque that really gives the Passat TDI its’ oomph. Past the different power plant, the other significant change is waiting for you in the trunk where the urea filler spout is located. Urea, or AdBlue as VW dubs it, is a liquid that is injected into the exhaust, greatly reducing the terribleness of diesel exhaust and allowing the car to meet U.S. emissions regulations. That might sound like an added hassle, but one tank of urea in the Passat should last you 10,000 miles, and is timed to be part of your regular oil changes. If the urea tank does happen run low, as it did during my week with the Passat, the car gives you somewhat of a stern warning, but it comes well in advance of the urea tank going dry. With 800 miles of urea range remaining, the warning light advised the engine would not be able to start once the tank was empty. The good news is a gallon of urea cost me only $6.99 at a local auto parts store and took all of three minutes to buy and pour into the tank. If you can’t manage to do that within 800 miles, the problem might be sitting in the driver’s seat. Both the diesel and gasoline-powered Passats feature a smooth shifting, 6-speed DSG transmission. You’ll barely feel the first two shifts, and you’d have to have your eyes glued to the tachometer to know the cogs are swapping once you’re into third gear. MPGs The Passat TDI is a pretty purpose driven vehicle. It’s meant to be a comfortable, mid-size cruiser that gets phenomenal fuel economy, and it reaches those goals with ease. The interior feels quite large, front and back, and the materials have not been cheapened in the way that the Jetta’s have. While I’m still pretty sure the only people fingering the dashboards are automotive writers, if you feel the need, you will find it’s fairly soft. More importantly, the 8-way power seats are “drive all day” comfortable. The most impressive part, and the reason you’ll buy this sedan, is the fuel economy. With the automatic transmission, the EPA says the Passat will get 30mpg in the city and 40mpg on the highway. However, that’s not really accurate. One of the quirks with diesel engines is that it takes longer for them to break in than gasoline motors. 10,000 miles is usually the number most TDI aficionados use for a good break in period. During that break in period, the piston rings in the engine will become better seated and the compression in the engine will improve. The end result of that is even better fuel economy. The Passat I drove had nearly 17,000 miles on it by the time I slid behind the wheel, so this diesel engine should’ve been operating much closer to its full potential than a brand new engine. Much of the driving I did was on hilly roads, and with a less-than-light foot. Despite that, the Passat still averaged 42-44mpg. That’s 2-4mpg above the EPA highway rating while driving like a teenager who’d just got his license and the keys to dad’s car. Once I eased off the throttle and returned to a regular pace, the mpg started creeping towards 50mpg. Use the cruise control for all your highway driving, and a mileage number just past 50mpg wouldn’t be out of the question. On the downside, the Passat’s fun factor rates somewhere around “mashed potatoes.” The suspension is tuned much more for comfort than it is for cornering. There is a decent helping of body roll in the corners, and over large bumps, or rough road, the Passat can feel downright floaty. That’s great if your mom is in the passenger seat, but not so good if you want to go hunting for the corner apex. Additionally, the turbo lag is pretty noticeable. Floor the accelerator, and for the first two seconds, not much happens. That can make jumping out into traffic from a dead stop a pretty interesting gamble. Once the turbo is spooled up, power delivery is adequate. The Highway Choice In the end, I can forgive the Passat TDI for not being a sport sedan because that just isn’t what it’s supposed to be. In the same way that a hybrid or electric car makes sense for city drivers, this VW makes huge sense for people who spend most of their commute on the highway. Unfortunately, a fun-to-drive diesel doesn’t really exist in the U.S. market yet, but a midsize sedan that can achieve 50+ mpg can’t be ignored. Going out to the car the next morning and thinking “didn’t the fuel gauge say that yesterday morning?” was certainly not a bad feeling. 2012 VW Passat TDI SEL Base price - $32,915 Destination - $795 Total = $33,710 Album: 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI 6 images 0 comments View full article
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 11, 2012 As I teased in the Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC interactive review, there are two vehicles in the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage this week. The second vehicle is this, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE. Its a midrange model and comes equipped with a 2.5L five-cylinder engine producing 170 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. You have the choice between a six-speed manual or as in this Passat, an automatic. First impressions so far: Exterior is a bit plain. 2.5L is a bit of odd engine with acceleration. Starting off, there seems to be no power. Get a little higher in the RPMs and boom, there's power and rapid acceleration. Like the touchscreen radio, now if they would do a large navigation and not a three inch deal. How is Volkswagen getting away calling this a midsize? The large back seat alone makes you think this. I'll have more updates as the week goes on. Until then, drop your questions about the Passat off. Update #1: Sorry for not updating this till today. Unfornately, I've been busy with a few other items that took up my time. Anyways, the Passat is impressing me.. Mostly. The 2.5L is not the best engine for the Passat or any Volkswagen vehicle. Not the most powerful, nor the smoothest engine in its class. I wonder if it would rather be doing something else, like knitting. However, the 2.5L has been delivering some impressive fuel economy. My average so far is 28.2 MPG, which happens to be an MPG higher than the Kia Optima from last week. Also, I was able to match the Passat's highway fuel economy number of 31 MPG over the weekend. The Optima does beat it by 2 MPG though on that same loop. The exterior and interior are growing on me. It's clean and simple. For most buyers in the midsize market, thats what they really want. I'll have another update before the Passat heads back with some more thoughts. Drop off your questions in the meantime. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  24. We are currently on our way to Ann Arbor in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI we are reviewing. My first four days with the Passat in swamped and gridlocked Pittsburgh driving netted me 26.9 mpg. While that is lower than the EPA city rating, all non-hybrids get 0 miles per gallon while idling in traffic. Over the next three days, we will be doing almost exclusively highway cruising across Northern Ohio and up into Michigan. You have two chances to win one or two of two $10 fuel gift cards. Your first chance is by guessing my fuel economy on tonight's trip (Pittsburgh to Ann Arbor) without going over. You get a second guess for the fuel economy for my trip from Port Huron Michigan to Pittsburgh PA on Monday evening. Winners will be announced Tuesday, August 14th at 12pm Eastern time. To enter, simply reply in the comments of this thread with your two guesses. For example "Friday= 48.9mpg, Monday = 43.2mpg". Here are the rules: You must be a registered user of CheersandGears.com to enter, guest posts are disqualified. You can sign up easily clicking this link and even use your Facebook or Twitter account to speed things along. No purchase or paid subscription is necessary to win. Entries are taken in the order the server time stamps them. If two people guess the same number, the number with the earliest date/time stamp wins. Volkswagen of America is not in any way affiliated with this contest aside from providing the test vehicle. Entries must be received by 9 am Eastern, August 14th, 2012 Good Luck! View full article
  25. August 7, 2012 Drew Dowdell Managing Editor CheersandGears.com A couple of weeks ago William gave us his review of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5. While William loved the roominess and quality of the interior, he was less impressed with the 2.5 liter gasoline 5-cylinder motivation. I have driven the Volkswagen 5-cylinder in the Passat and a few other vehicles and I'm inclined to agree with him. In response to that, the Passat is taking another turn in the CheersandGears.com garage this week except this time with an oil burner under the hood and me at the helm. Diesel powered cars have been enjoying a rapid increase in sales lately and Volkswagen is one of the largest purveyors of diesel cars in the US. Diesels accounted for 19.4% of Volkswagen’s sales in July of 2012. This 2012 Passat TDI has a sticker price of $28,665 and is equipped with sunroof, and automatic climate control. At first that may sound high for a conservative mid-size car, but given the amount of room, equipment, and of course fuel economy, the Passat TDI starts to look quite the bargain. The Passat TDI is EPA rated at 30mpg city and 40mpg highway with a combined rating of 34mpg. The only other mid-size cars that can touch that are the hybrids from Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia. However, the Passat TDI regularly gets real world numbers that beat the EPA rating by a substantial margin. As for power, the 2 liter turbo diesel is rated at just 140 horsepower but also sends 235 ft-lb of torque through the 6-speed DSG to the front wheels. All 236 ft-lb becomes available at just 1,500 rpm which I unwittingly found out when making a left hand turn during my initial drive and ended up slapped by the traction control nanny as the front wheels broke loose. The pull from the engine around town is a lot stronger than anyone expects from a 2 liter 4 cylinder. For this week, I will be driving my normal commute till Friday to get a good read on the city fuel economy. Starting Friday evening until Monday afternoon, I will be taking the Passat on a long distance trip so I can get a good reading of the cruising fuel economy. Even just the first 5 miles of driving the Passat reinforced my “smooth but different” opinion of the Volkswagen 6-speed DSG transmission that was established during the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo review. So gear up your questions for this week’s interactive review of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @Cheersngears View full article

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