Monday, October 27, 2008

North America-bound Scirocco not as dead as we thought

While parts of Europe are enjoying the Scirocco revival, North America has been left in the dark by Volkswagen. Fearing the Scirocco would cannibalize sales of the GTI, not to mention a strong euro, they decided to leave the low-slung hatch out of this market. Or have they?

Speaking with Automotive News, Volkswagen of America spokesperson Steve Keyes said that enthusiasts have made their wishes clear that they want the Scirocco in the North American market. This coupled with the success of the Scirocco in Europe have Volkswagen higher-ups rethinking their position on the topic. Volkswagen seems more willing to make the Scirocco work here. Keyes revealed that a final decision has yet to be made on the Scirocco's availability here and added that if they do decide positively, it would have to be marketed "a little bit differently". Whatever it takes is what I say.

This could be the breakthrough we've all been looking for. We hope Volkswagen makes the right decision.

Source: Autoblog

Porsche increases holding to 42.6%

On Sunday, Porsche made a move to increase its stake in Volkswagen to 42.6%. Porsche hopes to increase this to 75% and full control of Volkswagen by 2009, with an interim goal of 50% by November.

Just last month, Porsche increased it's stake to 35.14%, thus gaining control of Volkswagen. This puts the many brands under the Volkswagen umbrella in jeopardy, with Porsche wanting access to Audi.

Source: Autoblog.

Volkswagen releases (vague) details on US-built NMS

Volkswagen has presented their plans for their forthcoming plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee to a delegation 50-strong from the state in a meeting last week in Berlin. Among the attendees were the Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen, the Mayor of Chattanooga, Ron Littlefield, as well as media from the city.

Volkswagen is eager to keep their plans a secret for as long as possible, offering up only vague details on a planned model that will be built at the plant. A list of market requirements were outlined for the Jetta/Passat replacement in North America codenamed "NMS" (for New Midsize Sedan) during the meeting. Some of the elements that must be met according to Volkswagen are legroom, cupholders, trunk space, premium audio, among other things. From the sound of it, this car is going to be massive, just how Americans like it, I guess? Anyway, Volkswagen also outlined some of the NMS's attributes which include a variety of FSI and TDI engines, DSG, and driving dynamics.

The plant is due to start churning out cars in 2011 with the NMS debuting at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. Volkswagen hopes to build over 150,000 each year.

A more detailed plan after the jump.

Source: Carscoop

Market Requirements to Be Met:

* Spacious legroom
* Large trunk volume
* Number and size of cupholders
* ABS with front and rear disc brakes
* Airbags front/rear
* Child seat anchors
* High performance radio
* Interface for mobile devices

Volkswagen NMS Attributes:

* Superior driving dynamics
* Dynamic powetrain / acceleration
* Double clutch transmission (DSG)
* FSI engines
* TDI Engines
* Superior design transporting sustainable values

Volkswagen unveils SP2 rendering; piques interest

Nameplate revivals are alive and well at Volkswagen. First the Scirocco and now the SP2, a car little known outside of South America that was built in Brazil for that local market. It came during the 1970s when imports were blocked and the Karmann Ghias were the only sports cars in the market. When the Ghia started becoming long in the tooth in the South American market, Volkswagen decided to take the Type III Karmann Ghia's underpinnings and slap a more modern body on top. Thus, the SP2 was born.

Back in the day, it was powered by a rear-mounted 4-cylinder boxer that produced 65 hp. The lack of power didn't help sell the SP2 to people and, after a little over 10,000 units, production stopped in 1976. Some did find their way into Europe.

So, that brings us to some renderings that Volkswagen has released of what a present day SP2 could look like. It's really a love-it-or-hate-it design. But whatever you feel about it, Volkswagen has definitely piqued the world's interest. Build it, or at the very least bring it to concept car stage and we'll see what we've got.

Photos after the jump.

Source: Carscoop

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Paris 2008: Mk. VI GTI

As the Mk. VI GTI photos were released few weeks ago, we now know that we will be getting a sportier, tighter looking GTI. What we didn't know then was the engine of choice for the hothatch. Volkswagen will be putting a 2.0L TFSI making 210 hp and 207 lb. ft. or torque. That should get the GTI to 60 in 7.2 seconds. The GTI will also come with driver aids such as an electronically controlled limited-slip XSD differential to send torque to the wheel with the most grip, keeping torque steer at bay.

Exepect the GTI in your driveway by the spring, if you live in Europe. You'll have to wait a little longer for the GTI as it arrives by the Summer, coming in before the Mk. VI Rabbit. However long we have to wait, it looks like the new GTI will be very much worth it.

Press release and photos after the jump.

Source: Volkswagen

Sharp and sovereign – The new Golf GTI
The bestseller with the best values: 240 km/h, 210 bhp, 7.5 litres
Wolfsburg, 25 September 2008 - Since the debut of the first and the discontinuation of the fifth generation, more than 1.7 million buyers made the GTI to the world's bestseller. Now the new GTI is at the ready: at the Paris Motor Show (4th to 19th October 2008) Volkswagen will be demonstrating the design study of the new Golf GTI at its world premiere.

The GTI suspension with a new electronic limited-slip diff (XDS) defines curves and traction in a completely new way. A GTI with a top speed of 240 km/h that with its 155 kW / 210 bhp strong turbocharged engine is even more fun and, on average, only uses 7.5 litres.

The sixth generation Golf GTI will go into series production in the spring of 2009 – as usual with a unique connection between sporty suspension and agile engine. The engine develops already at 1,800 rpm a maximum torque of 280 newton metres. The sprint from 0 to 60mph is achieved in 6.9 seconds. A stand-off between wind resistance and output occurs only just at 240 km/h.

Lowered by 22 millimetres and equipped with a new sports suspension, the springs, shock absorbers and rear anti-roll bars of the design study have been completely reworked. Furthermore, the optional adaptive chassis control DCC feature will also be available for the future GTI.

"We wanted a purposefully clear GTI design. A car that has power but also style," summarises the Volkswagen AG's chief designer Walter de'Silva. The design study of the sixth generation presented in Paris blends in both style elements of the GTI icons. Details like the typical honeycombed radiator grill and the V-shaped bonnet, stretching over the head lights, contribute to the GTI V. The clean and horizontal structure clearly originates from the GTI I. Because of the styling as well as the underlining horizontal graphic of the front section the Golf GTI design study appears visually wider (1.78 meter), lower (1.47 meter) and more dynamic than any other car in its class.

DOWN: Volkswagen reports September results

HERNDON, Va.— Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced September 2008 sales of 17,109 units, a 9.4 percent decrease over the September 2007 sales of 18,891 vehicles. On a year-to-date basis, 2008 Volkswagen sales are 0.2 percent ahead of 2007 sales through September.

“This is the toughest economy we’ve seen in a long time” said Mark Barnes, COO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “We’re extremely pleased that we are still ahead of last years sales. With the arrival of our all-new luxurious CC and our seven passenger minivan, Routan, which are arriving in dealerships now, combined with our other new products launched earlier this year, such as our 50-state compliant clean diesel Jetta TDI, we see opportunity to continue to grow our business.”

Demonstrating that customers are looking for better fuel economy choices, the all-new Jetta TDI and Jetta SportWagen TDI continue to sell as fast as dealers get them in. 2008 has been a big year for Volkswagen new product launches, with five new vehicles launched, including the Jetta SportWagen, Jetta TDI, Tiguan, Routan and CC.

Source: Volkswagen

Friday, September 26, 2008

Paris Preview: GTI photos are out

Just a few days before the Paris Motor Show, shots of the Mk. VI GTI hits the web. It's an evolutionary design to the current GTI looking tighter, leaner, and sharper. The front end is even more aggressive with the wide airdam and foglights off to the sides. The signature GTI red line on the grille that returned on the current Mk. V GTI after a long hiatus continues for the 6th iteration. Around back, the GTI gets R32-like treatment with tailpipes off to the sides.

Under the hood will be a 207 hp TFSI engine and the GTI will come equipped with an electronic limited-slip differential and the Scirocco's adaptive chassis. DSG should be the gearbox of choice though a manual will probably be offered as well. We should know more in a few days time.

More photos after the jump.

Source: evo via Autoblog

Monday, September 22, 2008

Volkswagen unveils pickup concept

For almost a decade, we've been hearing about Volkswagen's entry into the pickup truck market. It began with the AAC, which turned into the precursor to the Touareg when it reached production. After the AAC, Volkswagen remained largely silent on the topic though the rumours persisted. It wasn't until early this year when Volkswagen decided to publicly announce that a Volkswagen pickup is back on the table.

It seems all those Toyota Hilux test mule photos were meant to really distract us from the fact that Volkswagen actually had another Japanese maker in mind. The Concept Pickup, as it is currently called, looks decidedly like the Honda Ridgeline. Good thing or bad, you decide but one thing for sure, it looks miles better than the Ridgeline. The grille to the headlights are all quintessential Volkswagen of late and actually fits the schnoz of the Concept Pickup perfectly. The massive wheel arches and bars alongside the bed are nice touches. The Concept Pickup's design is perhaps one of Volkswagen's best yet. Engine choices are not set in stone yet however expect a mix of gasoline and diesel power plants mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6- or 7-speed DSG.

It is important to note that the Concept Pickup is designed to for emerging markets, specifically South America. Whether we see this in North America is unknown (though conventional wisdom dictates that it should do well here). More information should be coming this week.

More photos after the jump.

Source: Autoblog

Volkswagen working on three Mk. VI variations

I'll admit, this summer has been bereft of Volkswagen news, aside of course from the occasional rumour or spyshot. But the fall is coming and that also means we are closing in on the Paris Motor Show this October. Ahead of the show, we are now receiving details on some of the Mk. VI Golf's variants, namely the GTI, the R version, and the GTD.

The GTI (spyshot pictured), a concept of which is said to be unveiled at Paris, will receive a power bump by 10 bringing the total output to 210 hp. Much like the current GTI, the 6th gen GTI should reach 60 in under 7 seconds and have a top speed of 150 mph. Expect this out in the (European) market middle of 2009. Sources also say that, like the launch of the Mk. V in the US, the GTI will be brought to North America ahead of the Rabbit (or Golf if Volkswagen decides to return to the classic nomenclature).

The R version of the Mk. VI as we've mentioned before will forgo the six banger in favour of a 4 cylinder engine. Fans are already foaming in the mouth. But don't worry too much, the next R version is said to make 270 hp and will also have AWD. I must admit, 270 hp and AWD in a much lighter car thanks to a 4 cylinder sounds pretty sweet! The next R version is expected to arrive near the end of 2009.

Lastly, the GTD, a diesel version of the GTI, is expected to produce 170 hp from its common rail diesel engine. Release is expected in April of next year.

Source: Autoblog

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Caddy & Caddy Maxi Sportline for the UK Revealed !!!!!

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK have released the first image of the new Caddy Sportline and Caddy Maxi Sportline models which will be released in October.

Both vans will feature sporty alloy wheels, lots of chrome, wicked side steps, body coloured bumpers and a roof spoiler added to this the Caddy Sportline range will be powered by VW's popular 140hp / 103kW TDI engine that propels the Caddy from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in around 10 seconds.

Click link for the Press Release.


Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has released the first images of two exciting new models in its stylish Sportline range – the Caddy Sportline and Caddy Maxi Sportline vans, set to go on sale next month.

They join the existing Transporter Sportline panel van (short and long wheelbase) and Transporter Sportline kombi to make a range of five models in Volkswagen’s dynamic Sportline range. Each vehicle combines aggressive yet tasteful styling additions while retaining the versatility for which the vehicles are renowned to provide customers with a vehicle that’s equally suited to commercial or leisure applications.

Full details of the specification and prices will be announced in October, but as the preview photographs indicate the distinctive styling of the Caddy Sportline and Caddy Maxi Sportline includes alloy wheels, a lower front spoiler with fog lights, chrome upper and lower grilles, chrome side rails, body coloured bumpers and door mirror housings, plus a rear roof spoiler.

‘We’re excited by the potential for the Caddy Sportline and Caddy Sportline in the small and medium-sized van market,’ said Gemma Cox, Product Manager, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

‘Judging by the popularity of the Transporter Sportline with customers wanting to create a distinctive and dynamic image for them and their business, we’re sure the Caddy Sportline and Caddy Maxi Sportline will be just as successful,’ she continued.

Source:Volkswagen UK

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Monday, September 08, 2008

UP: Volkswagen reports August sales results

HERNDON, Va.— Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced August 2008 sales of 22,292 units, a 2.9 percent increase over the August 2007 sales of 21,655 vehicles. On a year-to-date basis, 2008 Volkswagen sales are 1.3 percent ahead of 2007 sales through August.

“We’re extremely pleased with our August sales results,” said Mark Barnes, COO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “This is a tough economy and for Volkswagen to be ahead of last year’s sales is a true testament to the strength of our brand. With our recent launch of all-new 50-state compliant clean diesel Jetta TDI, Jetta SportWagen, Tiguan and our other exciting new product offerings, like the CC and Routan arriving late September, we’re looking forward to continued success.”

August represents the best Jetta month for Volkswagen since May 2006. With fuel economy becoming a key purchase criterion, consumers are looking at more economical vehicles, which positions Volkswagen very well. Volkswagen’s all-new 50-state compliant clean diesel Jetta TDI is selling about as fast as the dealers can get them into their showrooms, with a turn rate of close to 75 percent.

Source: Volkswagen

Friday, August 29, 2008

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles celebrates 20 Years of the California & debuts Caddy Topos Sail Study @ the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are celebrating 20 years of the VW campervan nameplate the California at the 2008 Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf.

The California name is new to Volkswagen as prior to 2003 the California was built by famed Motorhome maker Westfalia for Volkswagen, that deal ended when Westfalia was bought by DamilerChrysler (Damiler).

The T5 based California is now fully built and designed by VW Commercial Vehicle's Special Business Unit in Hannover making Volkswagen one of only two manufacturers that build motorhomes within their global range.

Also making its debut is the Caddy Topos Sail Study taking the yacht theme to a new level, with its innovative bumper that turns into a step drawer with a ladder built in to the rear hatch which gives you access to the roof which is truly German engineering at its best with a deck that flaps into seating positions and also hide storage areas.

Stay tuned for more pics and info as the show starts tomorrow.

Gallery after jump.
-Success story of a touring vehicle: more than 80,000 California have been sold

-Caddy Topos Sail design study and mosaic module for the California Beach as further highlights

Hanover / Düsseldorf, 22nd August 2008: The most successful and popular touring vehicle in its class – the California made by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – is celebrating an important birthday at this year's Caravan trade fair (30.8. to 7.9. in Düsseldorf). New ideas for the leisure time vehicle will also be presented within the scope of the anniversary "20 Years California": the design study Caddy Topos Sail shows similarities towards yachting design; two vehicle interior concepts extend the scope of application for the California Beach.

The success story of the Volkswagen California began in 1988: that was the kick-off for the first Volkswagen touring vehicle built on the basis of the Transporter with a rear engine. Three generations – from the California on the basis of the T3 through to the current T5 – have been extremely popular with customers. More than 80,000 vehicles have already been sold. This makes the California the most successful touring vehicle in its class.

Further highlights at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles trade fair stand in Hall 16 at the Düsseldorf trade fair are the Caddy Topos Sail study as well as two vehicle interior concepts which demonstrate the flexibility of the California Beach.

The concept study Caddy Topos Sail shows a link to yachting, in particular through the multi-functional roof with wooden planking. The appearance of the new "Woody" is avant-garde and modern. Clothed in a wooden outfit, the design of the Topos is reminiscent of exclusive sports boat construction in the 1950's. Brushed or polished aluminium as well as a pool ladder with four steps in the tailgate further emphasise this character.

It all started with a mosaic programme for individual construction. The VW bus driver of more than 50 years ago was already able to set the vehicle up according to their requirements. This is now also possible with the California Beach. Two or three seat benches can be anchored as required using the rails on the floor. This option for a four or five-seater vehicle then further influences the layout of the modular camper with water boiler, sink and cooker.

20 years of the Volkswagen California – 20 years of mobile leisure

-Successful model celebrates its birthday
-Around 80,000 vehicles built
-Optimal vehicle for long journeys

The Volkswagen California touring vehicle is twenty years old. Since its market launch in the summer of 1988, around 80,000 vehicles have been produced to date. Around 5000 California vehicles currently roll off the assembly lines each year.

When the Caravan Salon opened its doors in Essen in 1988, an in-house touring vehicle was exhibited on the Volkswagen stand for the first time. Its name: California. In the press context: "VW brings movement to leisure." For 39,900.00, Deutschmarks, this took the following form: A folding bench seat for two people in the rear, which can be laid flat to make a bed if required, and a narrow kitchen range with a refrigerator, gas hob and sink plus stowage space on the left-hand side. All of this bridged by a pop-up roof offering two additional berths.

"Volkswagen is making leisure beautiful", could be read next to the VW insignia in the sales brochure. Around 22,000 purchasers were to heed this call during the California T3's three-and-a-half year production period.

"The Volkswagen California has remained unbeaten in its segment for twenty years. Its success constantly leads us to reflect on further variants for the future", says Stephan Schaller, spokesman for the Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge brand's board of management.

In 1990, Volkswagen revealed the new California based on the new T4 Transporter. The successor was familiar and nevertheless completely different. Because the new Transporter generation no longer had a great deal in common with the old generations. From then on, the engine and drive train were located at the front: "The first double bed with front-wheel drive". Production began in 1991.

Shortly afterwards, the California Coach came onto the scene. The rear left panel and the omission of double glazing and other minor features enabled a price of around 48,000.00 DM from the very start of series production in 1993. The California was also available as a long wheelbase "Tour" and "Club" version. The highlight was the California Exclusive in 1994. This offered the autonomous "absolutely carefree package" for 59,890.00 DM.

The new face and various technical innovations offered by the passenger car variants of the T4 also came into play for the California as of 1996. And: From then on, the California formed part of the product range of the newly established Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge brand. Significant highlights were introduced in 1998. The Syncro was available with the 102 hp TDI, for example. The top TDI engine offered a whopping 150 hp.

The California fleet was ready: From then on, an attractively priced special model was on offer at each Caravan Salon; this was distinguished from the series production version by bundling various features which otherwise incurred a surcharge. The second generation was discontinued in 2003. Around 39,000 T4-based California vehicles were built, with some 14 percent of these being exported.

"The California is less dependent on the economy than on the zeitgeist. A California is often purchased in the same way as a sports car, because it is the fulfilment of a dream for many customers. Today, we can look back at sales of around 80,000 vehicles", says sales and marketing director Harald Schomburg.

The third California generation, based on the new Transporter, stood in the spotlight at the 2003 Caravan Salon. The new California once again made use of its predecessor's tried-and-tested outline. The furniture consisted of aluminium plates with a corrugated core. The pop-up roof was also manufactured from aluminium and opened electrohydraulically at the push of a button. The raised bed in the new California was longer and wider, and promised high reclining comfort thanks to a slatted frame.

Three years after first being presented, the California was also available with a solid high roof. The "no limit" design study was additionally presented completely in white. Series production of the "NoLimit", in slightly modified form, was scheduled to start just prior to the 2007 Caravan Salon. Only 222 of these numbered and extensively equipped vehicles, including a manufacturer's certificate, were available for sale to customers.

The very same year, the California was joined by its puristic brother: The "Beach". The two-passenger bench seat, which could be folded into a bed, was located on the right in the rear. A stowage box for widening the bed was situated to the left of this. An upholstered luggage compartment cover extends the length of the bed. Side pockets and a luggage net were fitted as standard in the model version with standard roof. These were not installed the pop-up roof.

To kick off the 2008 model year, Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge is presenting an attractively priced special model with a rear bicycle rack. The "Biker" is characterised by its extensive standard equipment and its price advantage of 3890 euro. The California is therefore an ideal sports companion. Belgian racing legend Jacky Ickx is of the same opinion; since mid-2008, he has been travelling to various events in a California 4MOTION, and calls the touring vehicle "the optimal vehicle for my trips".

Source:Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

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Volkswagen on course for world domination

Last year, Volkswagen announced plans to become the world's largest automaker by 2018. Needless to say, many in the industry dismissed Volkswagen's plans as a distant goal at best. Here was Volkswagen, 4th largest in the world, hoping to surpass The Toyota Way in a mere decade? It seemed impossible.

But oh, how times have changed. Almost a year later, things are shaping up for Volkswagen. Since Volkswagen announced their plans, Toyota has since reported a 40% drop in profits and has also reduced their sales goal by 7% from a predicted 10.4 million vehicles sold in 2009 to only 9.7. Still a large margin but a sign that the world's largest automaker is hurting, too. Just last month, Toyota saw an 18% drop in sales. Compare that to Volkswagen's mere 4%. This despite the perceived halo effect of the Prius.

So it looks like Toyota is starting to lose its lead. But what about Volkswagen? Well, the big news today is that Volkswagen has surpassed Ford as the 3rd largest automaker in the world, after Toyota (1st) and General Motors (2nd). Europe's largest automaker beat out the Blue Oval by selling 3.31 million (7.2% over the previous year) vehicles worldwide compared to Ford Motor Company's 3.22 million. While the results are only for the first half of the current fiscal year and could still change within the rest of the year, it shows that Volkswagen has the capability to really take the lead in the industry. Volkswagen is obviously doing something right.

Continued success in emerging markets such as China and India, the forthcoming production plant in the US, and improvements in quality and pricing will all contribute to Volkswagen's success.

Press release after the jump.

Source: Volkswagen, Autoblog


Volkswagen Group in the fast lane: Wolfsburg automaker now holds third place in global vehicle sales ranking

WOLFSBURG, Germany - The Volkswagen Group has taken its place among the world's top three automakers thanks to the Wolfsburg-based company's outstanding delivery figures in the first half of 2008. Rival Ford had to settle for fourth position.

"We are delighted that the Volkswagen Group has made it to the global automobile industry's top three for the first time. This shows that we are on the right track with our ever-stronger international presence and, above all, our product program. We will systematically push ahead with our growth course even in the present difficult market environment," Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, commented.

With 3.31 million vehicles delivered in the first half of 2008, the Volkswagen Group increased deliveries in the first six months of this year by 7.2 percent, moving up to third place in the global vehicle sales ranking and overtaking its rival Ford, which announced vehicle sales of 3.22 million for this period.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sixth generation GTI spied

The forthcoming Mk. VI Golf will undoubtedly spawn many variations and one of them will be the GTI. Overall the Mk. VI GTI looks like the angrier, meaner brother of the Mk. V with sharper lines (inherited from the Mk. VI Golf) and (thankfully) all those holes in the honeycomb grille. That must mean something good for what goes under the hood. Around back, we get a dual tailpipe setup mounted at each end, giving this version of the GTI something much more special.

Rumors are circulating that the Mk. VI GTI is slated for an introduction at the Paris Motor Show. In the meantime, hit up the link below to see more shots.

Source:, photo: KGP

Friday, August 22, 2008

2009 Gol Sedan First Official Photo

VW Brazil have released the first photo of the Gol NF based sedan ahead of its official release in October at the Sao Paulo Motor Show.

The photo shows an obvious design change to the rear end from our prevoius post scoop of a mini Passat CC like rear end, instead designers must be going for a more conventional three box design.

Stay tuned for more info and news as it comes to hand.

Source: VW Brazil

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