Volkswagen

“Rugged” Passat Alltrack – For the off-road businessman

Volkswagen has today released the first images of the new Passat Alltrack. Making its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next week, the new Passat Alltrack is based on the popular and versatile Passat Estate.

But hold on just one minute, this is no ordinary Passat Estate… the Alltrack adds 4MOTION four-wheel drive and a raised ride height that give it greater agility off-road. Now for the adventurous businessman, say the type who consider fields as a genuinely viable route to work, this is excellent work, bravo!

VW have also gone to town on the Alltrack, stylish body enhancements provide some protection from scrapes when covering rough terrain, including stainless steel-look front and rear underbody protection panels and flared side sills, matt chrome roof rails, window surrounds, grille and exterior mirror casings. The suspension is raised to increase ground clearance from 135 to 165 mm, which also improves the ramp breakaway angle, “significant when crossing the crest of a hill” say VW, which is no doubt a constant obstacle on the morning school run.

In the UK, the Passat Alltrack will be available as a 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS with six-speed manual gearbox or a 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS with six-speed DSG transmission. Standard equipment will include Alcantara upholstery, 2 Zone electronic climate control, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring system, MDI iPod connectivity, Bluetooth telephone preparation, 18-inch alloys, an ice pick, snow boots and the national flag of your choice to plant in your conquered peak. (I might have added those last three)

Retailers in the UK are expected to start taking orders for the new car in April, with first deliveries scheduled for July so should you ever wish to take your Estate mountain climbing, this is definitely the car for you.  

Volkswagen eT! – The Reinvention of The Delivery Vehicle?

For over 60 years now, commercial vehicles from Volkswagen have maintained a visual presence on the world’s streets. “They are helpers in everyday life, which bring us people, goods, services, postal deliveries and occasionally emergency assistance” say Volkswagen Group Research, Deutsche Post AG the University of Art at Braunschweig. Which interestingly is according to VW, responsible for the “world of tomorrow” quite a large task for an automotive manufacturer, a post office and some art students.

Anyway this triumvir of our utopian future decided amongst themselves that the most impending threat to human civilization was medium sized logistics, and thus formed a think tank on transport and mobility issues (we’re thinking VW probably held the pen during this session). Eventually these research activities led to a completely new vehicle concept for the delivery and logistics field: eT!

But is the eT! The reinvention of the delivery vehicle it claims to be? In a word, no.

We can see what happened, basically… after being given a picture of a VW transporter by Volkswagen and whilst on a break from occupying corporate money grabbing wall street (fight the power!), the art students were let loose with crayons, the result being this ‘cool concept van’ which while admittedly having excellent ‘concept’ environmental credentials, and which would probably almost definitely make Postman “Patz” life easier… just isn’t that cool. 

eT! Go home…

Volkswagen Beetle R Concept Joins the Jet Set in LA

The interesting Beetle R Concept has made its American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show following its unveiling in Frankfurt earlier this year. It’s no wonder that this attention-grabbing (seeking?) machine has crossed the Atlantic to try and steal Los Angeles limelight. The US was the biggest market for the previous New Beetle and that’s likely to remain the same this time around, we can imagine an whole new generation of ‘Mean Girls with surf boards’ making this the car of “sweet sixteen” parties everywhere… However on a design level, while the familiar outline of the latest Beetle is still clear, the R Concept adds the kind of muscled enhancements that seem entirely appropriate in California, so much so we expect it may be the choice of A&F models everywhere…

As for the engine… the Beetle R’s production siblings, the Golf R and Scirocco R, use a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit providing 270 PS and 265 PS respectively, can we expect the same?

For fans of the old ‘new beetle’ the new ‘new beetle’ concept is certainly something to be excited about and we can see its popularity making waves… surfs up, dudes.

VW new Passat CC

The new CC, which will be officially unveiled at the LA Auto Show on November 16, may look very familiar and by all accounts it is, minus a few noticeable changes. Since its launch over 270,000 people across the world have been won over by its predecessor the Passat CC’s blend of four-door practicality and sleek coupé-like styling has proved very popular.

Tweaks to design are something VW do very well and the new CC is no exception, to at the front the new radiator grille has strong horizontal lines that represent Volkswagen’s new design DNA, flanked by new bi-xenon headlights and topped with a reprofiled bonnet. The bumper is different too, with a new extra air intake, and silver-coloured ‘winglets’ that frame the fog lights. Along the side, the frameless doors are carried over from the previous model, but more sculpted sills, revised bumpers and the new bonnet add up to create a subtly updated silhouette.

At the rear the bumper has also been completely redesigned, with more emphasis on horizontal lines and a reworking of the characteristic chrome strip. The tail lights are new as well, not just in their more dramatic design, but in their use of LEDs. As before, the Volkswagen logo doubles as the handle for the boot, and it can now optionally contain a rear-view camera.

However one noticeable difference to the rear stands out above the others… ‘Passat’ has been dropped from the name.

While the name may have changed, a comprehensive list of standard equipment remains and expands to include features such as the standard driver alert system, as found on the Passat, and front head restraints with four-way adjustment to reduce the risk of whiplash. New options include High Beam Assist, which automatically controls dipping of the headlights; Side Assist, which monitors the vehicle’s blind spot; Lane Assist and adaptive cruise control with City Emergency Braking function; front climate seats with massage function; and an electrically deployed towbar.

From launch, the UK engine range will comprise 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS or 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS petrols and a 2.0-litre TDI common rail diesel with either 140 or 170 PS. All models with 170 PS or more also now get a standard XDS differential, an electronic cross-axle traction control system for improved traction and handling.

The CC makes its LA Auto Show debut before going on sale in the US in early 2012. Retailers in the UK will start taking orders for the new car around the same time with first deliveries due in March. More details including pricing will be available nearer the launch date.

 

 

Volkswagen up! An Alternative Perspective

Volkswagen are known very well for their build quality and more 'revserved' (boring) interiors and style - But one thing you can always count on is that you will be happy driving a VW and although your average VW (GTI and 'R' range excluded) won't be that exciting, it won't dissapoint you either.

Possibly that's about to change with this rather interesting looking city car.  The VW up!

 

A little bigger in dimentions than you'd normally find a city car to be, the up! boasts the ethos of maximum space, on a minimal footprint.  Focusing on their amazing bluemotion technologies the up! will feature small petrol engines that put out a maximum of around 70hp.

The interior is a step away from the VW grey standard, being colourful and rather (dare I say) more exciting to look at, but then that's definately needed within the citycar market.  Hopefully it drives like the bigger siblings within the brand, as that's where VW can really take some sales from the likes of smart and Peugeot - but until it's slowing you down around town we have these pictures and a focus on the little motor at Frankfurt to look forward to.

Volkswagen unveil the 21st Century Beetle at MTV World Stage Event

Headlined by Belgian Duo 2manydjs, MTV's World Stage event will be broadcast live online (www.worldstage.mtv.com) but unfortunately not in the UK so we will just have to wait for the highlights across the MTV channels.

However, this has not stopped VW using this mammoth occasion to pull the cloth off the latest generation Beetle - ‘The Beetle is an icon of the automotive world, just like MTV is an icon of the music world.  In the context of this marketing alliance, we are taking the new Volkswagen directly to our customers and fans of the Volkswagen brand – and we are doing it globally.  We are certain that the car’s one-of-a-kind styling combined with the latest technology will be very well received by customers,’ said Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing for the Volkswagen Group and for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand.

So keep your eyes peeled on the 18th April for a new species of bug.

Parkers' New Car Awards

Being as I keep seeing press release after press release from each manufacturer about 'who won what' in Parkers' New Car Awards, I thought I'd put together an overview of the winners. Parkers judge their cars as follows:

- All winners based on cars with the best running costs

- Costs include depreciation through to road tax and fuel

- 11 separate category winners with one overall winner

"The Parkers' New Car Awards are unique. Rather than being based on the performance of the car or solely on the opinion of the Parkers team, our winners are all founded on robust scientific facts and figures taken from the Parkers Cost of Motoring tool in order to determine the cars that make your cash go further. Our Cost of Motoring tool reveals the total cost of buying a car. This includes everything from depreciation, services and repairs, road tax costs, any loan the buyer may have taken out for the car, the price of insurance and even breakdown cover." (taken from Parkers.co.uk)

Winners:

City Car - Renault Twingo 1.2 Bizu 3dr

Small Hatchback - Audi A1 1.6TDI SE

Medium Hatchback - Kia cee'd 1.4 VR-7

Family Car - Skoda Octavia 1.2 TSi S

People Carrier - Ford Focus C-Max 1.6 TDCi Titanium

Family Estate - Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0CDTi (160) ecoFlex Exclusiv

Crossover - MINI Countryman One 1.6D

Eco Car - Honda Jazz 1.3 IMA HE Hybrid CVT

4X4 - Land Rover Freelander 2.2 TD4S

Sports Car - VW Scirocco 1.4 TSI 122

Executive Car - BMW 520d SE Business Media saloon

Overall Winner - Kia cee'd 1.4 VR-7

VW showcase all new 'Bulli' MicroBus Concept...

Yup, after revealing a rather questionable Taxi concept earlier this year, the German brand has this for us...

The Bulli is a 3+3 (6 seater) bus, create as a design evolution to represent the iconic Camper we all know and love from VW.  Last week they announced the Golf Cabrio, could we see another re-make of an updated Campervan?

I wasn't too excited when they brought the Golf convertible back, as there was no thought about what could've featured in a remake of another VW icon (the Golf Clipper), so if they do end up with a new Campervan, then I'm just hoping it has some essence of the original - and isn't just another cash-in for VW.

But the Bulli is quite attractive when you actually take a look at it, after the sudden gasp of disgust upon first impressions. Featuring elements like a removable iPad centre console and an electric engine (although can accommodate a petrol/diesel) the next evolution for this concept will be something to look out for.

The Golf Cabrio is Back!

Volswagen has just announced the brand new Golf Cabrio!  This has me very excited, after being such a massive fan of the original Clipper I can't wait to be driving this already.

Pretty much looks like a Golf, with a soft top.  So it's basically an A3 Cab, with a VW badge...

Regardless, summer is on it's way and it looks like a good game of topless golf is on the menu.

 

 

Volkswagen Take the Bug to the Superbowl

Volkswagen took the opportunity to advertise the Passat and the all new Beetle at the Superbowl, reaching millions upon millions of viewers, teasing them with a mere silhouette of the iconic bug arriving in Autumn 2011.

Very cool advert though, I shall name the bug 'Herbie'...

 

...and then the Passat Advert, which if the Passat does this, I'll be playing that trick all the time!