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2012 VW Beetle Gets $18,995 Price Tag In US

2012 Volkswagen Beetle


The new generation of the Volkswagen Beetle was launched a couple of weeks ago, featuring a more masculine look and pretty decent engines. The German automaker has revealed a couple of days ago the price list for the U.S. model, which costs from $18,995.

For this money you’ll get the 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine that produces 170 hp (172 PS / 127 kW) and 177 lb.-ft (240 Nm) of torque. This entry-level model rides on 17-inch alloy rims and features an 8-speaker audio system and a steering wheel wrapped in leather.

For $23,395 you could get the 2.0 TSI model that is powered by a 4-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-liter unit, capable of outputting 200 hp (203 PS / 149 kW) and a peak torque of 207 lb.-ft (280 Nm). This model also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and bigger brakes with red calipers. Inside the cabin, the Beetle sports ambient lightning, alloy pedals and iPod / Bluetooth support.

Next year, a new engine will be available, a 2.0-liter TDI that will deliver 140 hp (142 PS / 104 kW) and 236 lb.-ft (320 Nm) of torque. No word about the price yet…

Source: VW via WCF

VW Polo R WRC Packs 300 HP

VW Polo R WRC

Starting with 2013, Volkswagen will enter the WRC world with its own team, featuring a 300-hp Polo R WRC. The car is still under development and the German automaker revealed a prototype yesterday in Italy. Under that hood it will have a direct-injection, turbocharged 1.6-liter TSI engine, coupled to a four-wheel drive system. This power unit is expected to deliver about 300 hp and a peak torque of 258 lb.-ft (350 Nm).

VW Polo R WRC

In order to comply with the FIA regulations, the car will have a 33-milimiter air restrictor at high engine speeds. That engine is going to be mated to a sequential gearbox, while the total weight will be 2,645 lbs (1,200 kg).

VW Polo R WRC

As you can see from these pictures, the Polo R WRC will feature an aerodynamically-optimized body, with extra-wide wheel-arches and a huge wing out in the back. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if VW will eventually launch a road-going “R” version of its popular Polo model.

VW Polo R WRC

The WRC factory team will be run by Volkswagen Motorsport, which is the highly successful racing division that managed to win the last three Dakar rallies. The team started working on the Polo R WRC back in February, and we should see the first chassis later on this year. Next year an extensive testing program will be conducted. The team will get better acquainted with the competitive world of WRC this year, by entering Skoda cars in selected rally events at the end of the season.

[youtube width="470" height="344"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xs4donyiQgo[/youtube]

Source: Volkswagen via Carscoop

VW and BMW Evacuate Employees From Japan

The current situation in Japan has affected almost all of the car manufacturers and the latest news is that BMW and Volkswagen have decided to evacuate some of its employees from the country. According to Automotive News Europe, the German automaker BMW has 750 people working in Japan, and about 50 of them have returned to their homeland already.

As far as Volkswagen is concerned, they have approximately 600 workers in Japan, and about 30-40 of them have left the country due to the earthquake and the tsunami that up until now killed more than 10,000 people and did incommensurable damages.

Most likely, other manufacturers will do the same thing in the following period.

Source: Automotive News Europe via Autoblog

VW, Not Giving Up On Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

VW has been trying for a while to buy Alfa Romeo but the CEO of Fiat-Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, said no more than once. This time around, the VW Group s offering a little incentive in proposing that the Alfa Romeo marquee under the German group umbrella will benefit from engines borrowed from Porsche. To be more specific, a new 4-cylinder power unit that Porsche is developing for an entry-level roadster that will be placed under the Boxster.

However, a spokesperson for the Fiat Group said to Autocar, “we shut the door in their (VW’s) faces and now they’re trying to get in the window.” Just a few weeks ago at the 81st edition of the Geneva Motor Show, Ferdinand Piech who is the Chairman of Volkswagen AG, said that they will quadruple Alfa’s sales to 400,000 units within 5 years if they could purchase it.

The Fiat Group and Sergio Marchionne have consistently affirmed that the Alfa Romeo brand is not for sale. More than that, Fiat is even planning to bring the Alfa brand to the North American market in the years to come.

Source: Autocar

VW Prepares For WRC Entry

According to Autocar, the German automaker VW will join the WRC competition before the end of March and they will make it official on the 22nd, at a party hosted to celebrate its Dakar rally raid triumph. Although the first rumors that appeared suggested that VW will prepare its new WRC rally car based on the sexy Sirocco, the same sources say that a Polo-based model will be joining the WRC world.

The man responsible with the development of this new car is Francois-Xavier Demaison, a French engineer that worked in the past for Peugeot, Citroen and Subaru. There isn’t any information regarding the drivers, but it won’t be very hard to find a German driver. Autosport suggests that Volkswagen has tried, and failed, to sign Sebastien Loeb and one of the possible candidates at the moment for the Polo WRC is Petter Solberg.

This decision has been heavily debated within the VW Group and Skoda was less than pleased because its WRC aspirations have been pushed aside in favor of a VW program. However, Skoda will continue in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, but it isn’t as prestigious as WRC.

Source: Autocar

VW-Porsche Merger, Not Over Yet

This talk about Volkswagen taking over / merger with Porsche is been going on for ages, but it’s still not over yet. The giant VW Group is having tax and legal issues in its planned merger with Porsche, because of the Porsche Holding SE, which is Porsche’s parent company and has a very significant debt to pay. The latter will need a major cash infusion before they can be financially stable enough for a proper merger.

As a reminder, Volkswagen AG currently has 49.9% of Porsche cars while the Porsche SE owns the rest of the 51.1%. VW really wants this merger to take place as soon as possible as its plans are to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018 and sell more than 10 million cars annually. Needless to say, Porsche is a very successful brand (although the designing team is almost inexistent) and both the companies have already established many projects as a part of a $971.1 million investment per year in shared synergies.

Source: Reuters via WCF

Italdesign Giugiaro Tex and Go! Volkswagen Concepts Unveiled

The famous designers at Italdesign Giugaro have revealed their two latest concepts for VW. Both the VW Tex and the VW Go! are small efficient cars that measure less than four meters and were born out of the design firms’ research into the potential future of the German automaker.

Let’s start with the Go! It is a tiny yet roomy MPV that has the same wheelbase as the Passat – 2700mm. The length of this car is 3990mm and is a Blue E-motion model that can travel for up to 149 miles (240 km) on electric mode. The car’s battery pack is split between the front and rear seating, leading to a 59/41 weight distribution. The company didn’t say anything about the battery and the electric motor of the car.

However, they’ve offered more information about the other car, the VW Tex, a vehicle that uses a Twin Drive hybrid plug-in built by VW. It has a conventional turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that works in tandem with an 85 kW (116 PS / 114 hp) electric motor. On electric mode, the car can travel for up to 35 km.

The combined power offers 295 lb.-ft (400 Nm) of torque and thanks to the 7-speed Direct Shift transmission, the VW Tex can sprint to 60 mph in about 6 seconds, onto a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h).

In order to maximize the visibility and the passenger enjoyment, the car has many glass surfaces plus an A-pillar that was moved forward for the same purposes. For increasing the comfort of the cabin they’ve raised up the seats and thanks to the electronic tailgates, loading/unloading is easier to do. Italdesign Giugaro has also used LED lightning and xenon headlights for this model.

Source: Italdesign Giugiaro via WCF

Two Giugiaro Volkswagen Concepts Leaked

Giugiaro Volkswagen Concept

A few hours ago, the images of two brand new Giugaro concepts made for the German manufacturer Volkswagen have leaked over the Internet. Most likely, the cars will be presented in Geneva next month and then we will be able to offer more information about them.

Giugiaro Volkswagen Concept

The first one looks like a 3-door small hatchback that resembles a little bit like with the VW Scirocco. It might be a preview of a future smaller version of the Scirocco or even the next generation model. The second concept has just about the same proportions as the Polo. Again, it might be previewing the next generation model. These are only speculations and remarks based on these images.

Giugiaro Volkswagen Concept

We’ll have more accurate info probably in a couple of days.

Giugiaro Volkswagen Concept

Volkswagen Preparing Golf24 For Nurburgring Race

Volkswagen Golf24

The German automaker Volkswagen will be taking the Golf24 to this year’s Nurburgring 24-hour race. Under the hood of this Golf the engineers installed a 5-cylinder 2.4-liter turbo engine that produces 440 hp (324 kW) and 540 Nm.

Volkswagen Golf24

Other important modifications in comparison with the standard production model would have to be the permanent four-wheel drive and the sequential 6-speed gearbox with paddle shifters.

The race will be organized in June, and until then, this Golf24 will be thoroughly tested. Its racing debut will occur in the Endurance Championship on the famous Nurburgring-Nordschleife circuit.

Volkswagen Golf24

We’ll let you know how fast this Golf on track is once it starts participating in some official races.

Preview – 2011 Chicago Auto Show PART 3

Welcome back to the third and final part of our extensive article about the most important cars that will delight us at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Let’s start with Land Rover and their Range Rover Evoque.

2012 Land Rover Evoque

The car will be available in 2-door and 4-door variants, both of them featuring the same engine, which will be a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged that outputs 240 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Evoque will come with an all-wheel drive system as well as the company’s new Terrain Response System.

2011 Lexus CT 200h

One of my personal favorites, Lexus, will bring the CT 200h which is a 4-door / 5-passenger hybrid hatchback, featuring a conventional 4-cylinder 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a battery-powered electric motor, both of them offering a combined power of 134 hp. The new C200h will use a CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission and can run on one or both of the power sources (without having to charge it).

2012 Mercedes SLK

Mercedes will be heading out to Chicago where they will have three new production models: the beautiful 2012 SLK, the 2012 CLS and the 2012 C-Class. We’ve talked about the SLK on rpmGO.com before; it will be available in two variants: the SLK250 and the SLK350. The entry-level model will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter that outputs 201 hp, linked to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The SLK350 is going to have a more powerful V6 3.5-liter engine, good for 302 hp. This model will be available with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

The CLS will be available in two models: CLS550 and the AMG CLS63. The first one has a V8 4.7-liter turbocharged engine that outputs 402 hp while the other comes with a V8 5.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 518 hp. The CLS550 has a 7-speed automatic gearbox while the CLS630 AMG will get a 7-speed automated manual gearbox.

The 2012 C250 will be offered in two trim levels: Luxury and Sport, both of them featuring a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter unit that churns 201 hp. The C300 will have the same trim levels, but it will be equipped with a V6 3.0-liter engine, good for 228 hp. The C350 will have the same engine, but this time it will output 302 hp. The high-end model will be the AMG version C63 which will most likely come with a V8 6.2-liter that outputs 451 hp.

2011 Mini Countryman

Mini will be bringing their 2011 Countryman, which will be the first four full-sized doors Mini model sold in the United States. The car will be available in two trim levels: Base and S. The entry-level will get a 4-cylinder 1.6-engine that churns 120 hp while the high-end variant will feature a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter that produces 180 hp. Both of the models will get front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Mitsubishi will show us their Outlander Sport model which will be available in two trim levels: ES and SE. Both of the versions will pack a front-wheel drive system and a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that outputs 148 hp. The ES will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox while the SE will get a CVT transmission and steering-wheel paddles for manual changing.

2011 Nissan Juke

Another Japanese automaker that will be heading out to Chicago this year will be Nissan with three models: the award-winning Leaf, the funky Juke and the sporty 2012 GT-R. We talked about the Leaf thousands of times, but here is a small presentation. The car will be available with two trims levels – SV and SL. Both of them will have the same lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor that outputs 107 hp. It can be charged at either a 110-volt or a 220-volt outlet. For the first type it will need 20 hours while for the second type it will need only 8 hours.

Porsche Cayman R

The guys over at Porsche will be bringing their 2012 Cayman R. This two-seater sports coupe will come with the third and newest trim, dubbed “R”. Unlike the entry-level trim or the S mode, the R has a 6-cylinder 3.4-liter power unit that outputs 330 hp, linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard. It is also available with an optional 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

2011 Scion iQ

If you can’t afford the Aston Martin Cygnet, the next best thing is the Scion iQ. Featuring a 4-cylinder 1.3-liter engine that outputs 90 hp, this certainly won’t be the most powerful car at the Chicago Auto Show.

Scion will also be bringing the 2011 tC 2-door hatchback coupe which will be fitted with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder power unit that cranks up 180 hp, mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Toyota Prius v

Scion will not be going to Chicago without its parent company Toyota. Despite the fact that the Japanese automaker is the largest manufacturer in the world, they will be bringing only one model here (one that they already took to Detroit) – 2012 Prius v. The heart of the car will be a conventional 1.8-liter gasoline engine which will be paired with a battery-powered electric motor. The combined power will be 134 hp.

2012 Volkswagen Passat

The German automaker Volkswagen will be heading out to Chicago with the recently-launched 2012 Passat and the 2012 Eos. Presented first at Detroit, the Passat will be available in three different trim levels: S, SE and SEL. Engine options include the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter unit with 140 hp, 5-cylinder 2.5-liter with 170 hp and the high-end V6 3.6-liter with 280 ponies. The diesels will be available with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual gearbox. The 5-cylinder 2.5-liter will get either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The V6 engine will be fitted with a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

The EOS will come with a power-retractable hardtop with an integrated sunroof. Under the hood it will feature a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that produces 200 hp, mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission.

2011 Volvo S60

Sweden will be represented at Chicago by Volvo with their sexy 2011 S60 model. This premium-midsize car will benefit from a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter turbocharged engine that will produce 300 hp and will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. At first, the car will be available in one single trim level, the T6. Later on this year, the Swedish automaker will be introducing the T6 R-Design which should be a real looker.

These are the most important cars that will be presented at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Some of them you might have already seen while others are a premiere (not many unfortunately).  From February 9th to February 20th, the automotive capital of the world will be Chicago. Next month we will have another important auto show to review at Geneva. Stay tuned for a comprehensive coverage.

PS: Part 1 and 2 of the article are here and here. Enjoy the reading.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line Announced

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

Yesterday, the German automaker Volkswagen announced the 2012 Touareg R-Line which will be first available for the German market. The car will feature both interior and exterior updates. However, the Touareg R-Line will not benefit from any performance mods, at least not at the beginning.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

As far as the exterior changes are concerned, the R-Line of this SUV will offer a redesigned rear bumper that will feature an integrated matt diffuser along with new oval tailpipes, a new R-Design front spoiler lip and side skirts. The car will roll on new 20-inch light alloy rims and according to VW; the car will have a sportier chassis setting.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

Inside the cabin, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line will come with stainless steel still pedals and plates, new front sport seats finished in a two-tone color combination with electric 12-way adjustment, aluminum and leather gear knob and a leather multifunctional steering wheel.

The R-Line package will be available with all the engines of the Touareg, except for the TSI V6 Hybrid.

2012 Volkswagen Touareg R Line

Here is the price list for the package: V8 TDI 1.840, – € (V6 2.200, – €), the “R-Line package in the eight-cylinder 2935, – € (V6 3670, – €) and the R Line “Plus” package in the V8 TDI 3540, – € (V6 8330, – €).

Source: ZerCustoms.com

VW Pimps Out The Touareg

VW Race Touareg 3 Qatar

At the Qatar Motor Show, VW brought two new Touareg concepts – one of them is the Race Touareg 3 Qatar while the other is the Touareg Gold Edition. The first one is in fact a street legal version of the very successful racecar that participated in the 2012 Dakar. The latter is a very special and unique model decorated with 24-carat gold parts. As you can see, these are two different cars that suit different tastes; although I believe that there are plenty of sheiks out there that wouldn’t mind buying them both.

VW Race Touareg 3 Qatar

Let’s talk more about the Race Touareg 3. It has a power unit that develops 310 hp and can reach 60 mph from start in less than 6 seconds which is quite impressive for a car of this size. Needless to say that it was built with the know-how obtained in the Dakar Rally, the toughest race in the world – at least in my opinion.

VW had to make this car legal so they had to modify the 2-meter wide body of the Touareg and they took out the racing-spec 16-inch wheels and installed these very attractive 18-inch BBS alloy rims that are paint in gold. Speaking of gold, the same color was used for the “Race Touareg” inscription on the car’s sides and the German automaker also said that the “Morning Magic” paintwork has a little bit of gold shimmer to it.

VW Race Touareg 3 Qatar

Inside the cabin, everything was changed except for the safety cage. This Race Touareg 3 comes with a sporty steering wheel, a sequential gearbox, Recaro bucket seats and a digital instrument panel. The vast majority of these elements are covered by high-quality materials like Nappa leather and carbon fiber.

VW Touareg Golden Edition

Moving along, let’s talk about the Gold Edition. Packing a 360-hp engine, this car rolls on massive gold-plated 22-inch rims and has gold-plated insertions on the mirror caps, window frames, protective guard strips, roof rails and also on the fascia. To round up the design, this VW model has a “Touareg V8” inscription and that same “Magic Morning” body color we mentioned before.

VW Touareg Golden Edition

Inside you will find the same obsession with gold as most of the dials; switches along with other various elements are covered in 24-carat gold, rounded up by the exquisite leather and the Walnut Burr accents. The car’s seats are covered by the finest cream Nappa leather with ornamental stitching and the dashboard is wrapped in natural brown leather.

VW Touareg Golden Edition

Volkswagen XL1 Revealed

Volkswagen XL1

Remember that a few years ago Volkswagen promised us that it will launch a car capable of having a fuel consumption of only 1l / 100 km? Well, it seems that they will keep their promise as with the introduction of the XL1 concept (that consumes 0.9 l / 100 km), the 1-liter car dream might become a reality in the years to come.

This rather odd-looking car measures 3,888 mm in length, 1,665 mm in width and 1,156 mm in height. The XL1 has a 2,224 mm wheelbase and features a plug-in hybrid powertrain which is connected to the rear-wheel drive system that packs an 800 cm3, two-cylinder TDI power unit that develops 48 PS / 35 kW and a torque level of 120 Nm.  The electric motor offers an additional 27 PS / 20 kW and 100 Nm of torque.

Volkswagen XL1

The VW XL1’s engine is linked to the proprietary seven-speed DSG gearbox and has a lithium-ion battery pack, making the car Euro VI compliant.

With these hardware features, the car is capable of doing the 0-60 mph sprint in 11.9 seconds, onto a top speed of 160 km/h (electronically limited) – remember that this is a hybrid so these figures are not bad at all. As mentioned in the first paragraph, the VW XL1 has a very low fuel consumption of only 0.9 l / 100 km and also a very nature-friendly level of CO2 emissions – 24 g/km.

Volkswagen XL1

The German automaker affirmed that the car has an electric range of 34 km and a combined range of 550 km.

Toyota Is Still World’s Largest Automaker

Toyota was the world’s biggest car manufacturer in 2010, for the third year in a row, as a recovery in global car demand outweighed a decline US sales. Toyota managed to sell 8% more cars in 2010, reaching 8.42 million units (including Lexus and deliveries from affiliates Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor). General Motors grabbed the second place, reaching 8.39 million units, 12% more in comparison to 2009.

Toyota sold 0.4% less cars in the United States in 2010, managing to deliver 1.76 million units. They did better in China where sales boosted by 19% but General Motors managed to sell 29% more cars in that same period.

Rounding up the top three is Volkswagen AG who managed to sell 7.14 million cars last year which is 14% more than 2009 and according to sale chief Christian Klinger, sells will grow in 2011 by 5%.

On December 21, Toyota officials stated that they expect to sell approximately 8.6 million cars this year. Without the Daihatsu and Hino units, Toyota managed to sell 7.53 million cars last year which is an 8% increase over 2009. Daihatsu’s sales rose by 4% to 783,000 units last year while Hino, which makes trucks, sold 107,000 units, 35% more than in 2009, according to Toyota.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Audi And BMW Will Expand Their Factories This Year

According to Bloomberg.com, it seems that BMW, Mercedes and Audi AG (the world’s three largest luxury-car manufacturers), will expand their factory units in 2011 in order to keep up with the increasing customer demand.

Audi is targeting to overtake BMW as the largest manufacturer of premium cars by 2015 and for this reason it plans to increase the production of their cars and sport utility vehicles to more than the 1.15 million produced last year.

Mercedes and BMW have just about the same plans as Volkswagen AG’s Audi, with increased output at the Stuttgart and respectively Leipzig plant.

Juergen Pieper is a Frankfurt-based analyst for Bankhaus Metzler and he said that “the top three are poised for further growth”. “The momentum in luxury markets will continue this year and also in 2012.” He also recommends buying BMW, Daimler and VW shares.

This targeted increase in production output is directly linked to the continuous expansion of China’s market which became in the last years one of the two largest automotive markets in the entire world, after United States. To satisfy this increasing request, Audi is planning on spending $15.7 billion (11.6 billion Euros) through 2015 on plants as well as new models. Since 2009, BMW has already spent 1.5 billion Euros for the German plants and Daimler is at the moment building a small-car plant in Hungary for which they will invest a total of 800 million Euros.

BMW plans on selling more than 1.5 million units of their BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini models in 2011. In order to prepare the production of the highly-anticipated Mega City electric vehicle which is due in 2013, BMW is spending 400 million Euros at its factory unit located in Leipzig, Germany. The company also announced that it will roll out 20 new models by 2015 while Audi affirmed that they will launch 13 new models and upgraded cars in 2011.

As far as Volkswagen is concerned, they plan on investing more than 5 billion Euros for two of their factories in Germany, the one in Neckarsulm and the other in Ingolstadt, where the new Audi A6 model will be made. In addition, Audi said that pretty soon they will begin working on expanding the output of their factory located in Gyor, Hungary to 125,000 units per year.

In 2010, BMW finished a $750 million expansion of its United States factory, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in order to create the facilities for making the facelift version of the X3 SAV. The company has plans of increasing its production in South Africa, India and most important, China.

Source: BMWBlog via Bloomberg.com


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