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VW Offering Two Extreme Golf Concepts at LA Auto Show

Golf R 400 and GTI Roadster to make North American Debuts.

by on Nov.14, 2014

The Volkswagen GTI Roadster first debuted in digital form for the popular Gran Turismo racing game.

It’s already won strong kudos, most recently landing honors as Motor Trend Car of the Year. But Volkswagen plans to show that it can keep the excitement building for its new Golf “family” with the North American debut of two extreme concept versions at next week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Designed to “erase the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds,” the GTI Roadster was originally designed as a CGI competitor for the classic PlayStation game GranTurismo 6. A sheet metal version was revealed at the annual Worthersee enthusiast gathering in Austria last May.

What a Concept!

The Golf R 400 concept, meanwhile, “shows just how far the Golf R can be taken using the experience gained from VW’s involvement in World Rallycross,” the maker explains. The “400” in its name refers to the 400 PS – 394-horsepower – 2.0-liter TSI engine under the hood. It’s enough to propel the rally car concept from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 173 mph.

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VW Golf Tabbed Motor Trend 2015 Car of the Year

Magazine picks entire Golf line-up for the honor.

by on Nov.13, 2014

Motor Trend named the Golf line-up its 2015 Car of the Year: one of several honors its earned recently.

Volkswagen’s efforts to bolster sales in the U.S. may have just gotten the high-profile shot in the arm needed to offset its nearly two year trend of falling sales in the U.S.: the Golf was named 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

The award was actually given to the entire Golf line-up, which started with the GTI that debuted this spring and was followed by the Golf 1.8T, Golf TDI Clean Diesel, and e-Golf models.

Keeping the Conversation Going!

VW’s seen sales drop every monthly for some time in the U.S. Its total sales in 2013 were down 6.9% and through October the company’s sales are off 12.2%, although GTI sales are up nearly 23% for the year. (more…)

Volkswagen Getting into Hot Hatch Game with Golf R

But you’ll have to wait.

by on Jan.08, 2014

Performance hatchback fans have been waiting to see if the Golf R will come to the U.S. It will. Next year.

Volkswagen is getting into the hot hatch market, finally confirming it will bring the gen-four version of its Golf R to the U.S. market. But expect to wait. With American drivers still waiting for the latest version of the mainstream Golf, the new R won’t reach U.S. showrooms until the first quarter of next year.

Is it worth the wait? For many fans, the answer is likely to be a resounding yes considering this will be the fastest Golf ever, Volkswagen claims. At 290 horsepower it gets a 34 hp bump from the previous-generation Golf R. The turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four will meanwhile make 280 pound-feet of torque.

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By the way, how you feel about this will likely reveal whether you see the gas tank as half-empty or half-full. The Euro-spec Golf R actually gets another six horsepower for reasons VW has not revealed. (more…)

Booming Sales Put Volkswagen of America Back in the Black

First profit in over a decade.

by on Mar.29, 2013

Workers at the new VW plant in Tennessee have had trouble meeting the growing demand for the American-made Passat.

For the first time since the original Beetle dominated the American import market, Volkswagen of America is moving solidly back into the black.

The German maker’s U.S. sales and marketing arm had steadily lost sales, share – and lots of money – ever since Asian rivals like Toyota and Honda became dominant forces in the market back in the late 1970s. In fact, VW’s decline was so severe that the maker came close to abandoning the U.S. in the early 1990s.

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But, over the last several years, it has picked up significant momentum with a mix of new products, aggressive marketing – and the addition of its first U.S. factory in decades, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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The Long Wait for New VW Golf is (Almost) Over

VW's familiar hatchback will debut as a 2015 model.

by on Mar.27, 2013

The seventh-generation, or G7, Volkswagen Golf.

Take a good look.  If you like what you see, you’ll have time to start saving your pennies. A half-year after the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf made its debut at the Paris Motor Show it has finally rolled into the U.S., VW unveiling the ever-popular hatchback at this week’s 2013 New York Auto Show.

Unfortunately for those who’d like to rush out and place an order, the new model is still nearly a year away from actually reaching American showrooms. But Volkswagen is hoping you’ll be willing to wait for what will be sold as the 2015 Golf, promising the 5-door will be not just bigger and more spacious than the model it replaces but is also lighter, and as much as 15 percent more fuel-efficient.

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The maker is showing off three different versions of the 2015 Golf at NY’s Jacob Javits Convention Center: the turbocharged Golf TSI, the “oil-sipping” TDI diesel, and the “hotter” GTI.

The 2015 Golf is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the outgoing Gen-6 hatchback. It is also 1.1 inches lower and the co-efficient of drag has been reduced by almost 10% compared with the Golf 6. The interior package has been optimized to give 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom and 1.2 inches of additional shoulder room in the back.

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Volkswagen to Reveal U.S. Golf at NY Auto Show

But U.S. buyers will still have to wait.

by on Mar.12, 2013

The VW Golf was named European Car of the Year last week. Americans will have to wait til 2014 to see if they agree.

American motorists will finally get a good look at the new Volkswagen Golf when it makes its formal debut at the New York International Auto Show later this month. But the unveiling – which comes a half-year after the seventh-generation hatchback debuted in Europe – will still be little more than a tease.

VW doesn’t plan to actual start selling the newest version of the Golf here until the first half of 2014, it reconfirms, the maker waiting until it can shift production from Germany to a plant it is updating in Puebla, Mexico.

We Deliver!

In an advanced press release, VW promises that. “Three different versions of the Golf will debut under the lights of New York City’s Javits Center.” That includes the turbocharged Golf TSI, the “oil-sipping” TDI diesel, and the “hotter” GTI.

What’s notably absent from the list is the so-called GolfVariant, the wagon that VW introduced at the Geneva Motor Show just last week.

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Volkswagen Golf Named European Car of the Year

Americans will have to wait another year for new hatchback.

by on Mar.04, 2013

The VW Golf is named European Car of the Year - for the second time.

The Volkswagen Golf has been named the European Car of the Year for 2013, beating out a wide array of alternatives from around the world.

The seventh-generation VW hatchback soundly beat out its closest competitors in balloting by 58 automotive journalists from 22 European countries. The Golf scored 414 votes compared to 202 for the Subaru BRZ sports car, which took second place, and the 189 votes tallied by the Volvo V40.

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“People are looking for commitment and trust,” said Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management, during an award presentation the night before the formal opening of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. “They are looking for substance and value more than ever before.”

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VW Reveals Next Jetta SportWagen

German maker fills in the blanks after images leak out ahead of Geneva unveiling.

by on Mar.04, 2013

What VW has dubbed the GolfVariant may land in the U.S. as the next Jetta SportWagen.

To Europeans, it may go by the decidedly un-hip name of the new Golf Variant but motorists back in the States could soon know it as the next-generation Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen.

As they say, a rose by any other name…Volkswagen hopes this one will smell sweet to buyers around the world. The new “Variant” is based on the next-generation Golf hatchback introduced late last year and is not only more modern in appearance but lighter, more fuel-efficient and markedly better-equipped, according to the German maker.

Hitch Your Wagon!

VW was saving the launch of the new Golf Variant for the Geneva Motor Show but a number of images leaked out ahead of time. Specific details, however, remained top secret until a Monday night auto show preview. Among the key improvements, the next-generation Golf Wagen will weigh in about 232 pounds lighter than its predecessor. And for Europeans, at least, a new TDI BlueMotion diesel version is expected to yield more than 71 miles per gallon.

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First Look: Volkswagen Jetta Wagon

Three images leak out before Geneva unveiling.

by on Mar.02, 2013

What VW has dubbed the GolfVariant may land in the U.S. as the next Jetta SportWagen.

Preparing for an auto show involves a bit of cat-and-mouse interaction between automakers and automotive journalists. The industry “flacks” often give trusted reporters an advance look at the products they’re planning to introduce but occasionally, someone jumps the embargo and it becomes fair game for all.

As has happened with the three images you see here of what Volkswagen has been calling its “Golf Variant.” A better way to think of it is as the next-generation Jetta SportWagen.  The original plans called for the new 2-box design to make its formal debut at a splashy debut staged prior to the formal opening of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

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Unfortunately, we’ll still have to wait for that event to get VW officials to spill the complete story but here’s what we’ve learned so far: The GolfVariant, as its name suggests, is based on the all-new MQB small car platform Volkswagen has adopted – one that will be used for a wide range of products sold not just under the VW brand but also for marques as diverse as Skoda and Audi.

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VW Bringing Sporty New GTD, GTI Models to Geneva

Only one of the hot hatches will make it to the U.S.

by on Feb.27, 2013

The new VW GTI will debut in Geneva next month but won't reach the U.S. until 2014.

Volkswagen will launch a pair of hot hatches at the Geneva Motor Show early next month, including one that could surprise folks who haven’t figured out what modern diesels are capable of doing.

For U.S. fans, the big news will be the debut of the seventh-generation Volkswagen GTI, the latest version of this German pocket-rocket now to be offered with an optional performance package that will churn out a hefty 230 horsepower, enough to launch it from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in just 6.4 seconds on the way to a 155 mph top speed.

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For those who want some neck-snapping performance and good fuel economy, the GTD will deliver with a 2-liter turbo-diesel rated at 184 horsepower and a tire-spinning 280 pound-feet of torque.  VW isn’t saying what it’ll do in 0 to 60 launch mode but the GTD boasts a top speed of 143 mph.

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