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VW Eyes Opportunity for Commercial Battery Vans with e-Co-Motion

Clean delivery option for polluted megacities.

by on Mar.04, 2013

VW sees opportunities for a battery-battery commercial van in crowded and polluted megacities.

While battery power has severe range restrictions, automakers see great potential for small city car applications. But with the e-Co-Motion concept it unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week, Volkswagen has yet another opportunity in mind.

The German maker’s truck subsidiary sees a promising niche for short-distance commercial vans that could meet growing demand for clean vehicles in polluted megacities.

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VW’s e-Co-Motion concept vehicle offers a large cargo area and the carrying capacity of eight hundred kilograms – nearly 1,800 pounds — of payload, while also producing zero emissions from its electric drive system, VW officials said.

“Electric mobility – especially in light commercial vehicles – could play a crucial role in meeting the growing transport needs of the world’s megacities,’ explains Eckhard Scholz of the Brand Board of Management.

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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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Other VW Models to Share 261 MPG XL1 Drivetrain

Diesel plug-in will also power version of Volkswagen Up! minicar.

by on Feb.26, 2013

A high-mileage "Lite" concept version of the Volkswagen Up! minicar could wind up sharing the diesel plug-in system going into the VW XL1.

Volkswagen apparently has big plans for the high-mileage diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain that will be used in its little XL1 microcar.

Reports from Europe suggest the drivetrain – which will yield an astonishing 261 miles per gallon under the hood of the XL1 – also will make an appearance as an option for VW’s little Up! minicar. And versions of the powertrain could show up in other models, as well.

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The XL1 is the latest version of VW’s ongoing 1-liter car project, that a reference to its goal of using just 1 liter of gasoline to travel 100 kilometers. In U.S. terms, that works out to about 240 mpg – a target the XL1 reportedly will beat by about 10%.

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Volkswagen Explores its Future with Go! And Tex Concepts

Possible replacements for Golf and Scirocco?

by on Mar.04, 2011

The Volkswagen Tex, one of two ItalDesign concepts.

Wonder what the future of Volkswagen looks like?

We’re getting a good indication on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show, over at the Italdesign stand, where two design studies commissioned by the German maker are on display.

ItalDesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro gets credit for doing the original Golf and Scirocco designs, so one should ignore the new VW Go! and Tex concepts at your own peril.

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Both reflect the realities of an evolving global automotive market, where downsizing is the norm and powertrain flexibility will be critical, reflecting the fact that what motorists – or regulators – demand in Beijing won’t be the same as they want and need in Berlin or Boston.

The goal of the project, says Giugiaro, was to come up with “cars (that) for the most part (were) designed for the city with our highly personal interpretation.”

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First Look: 2011 Volkswagen Sharan

Third-generation minivan makes Geneva debut, alongside new VW Amarok pickup.

by on Mar.02, 2010

One of Volkswagen's oldest models, the Sharan, finally gets an update.

Geneva Motor Show-goers will get a chance to check out the third-generation people-mover from Volkswagen, and there’s a lot more to look at as the German maker has stretched the Sharan in virtually every critical dimension.

The new design is decidedly more modern than the outgoing VW offering.  No surprise.

The 2011 Volkswagen Sharan replaces one of the longest-running product lines in VW history, the minivan making its debut 15 years ago.

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The added dimensions have a definite pay-off, especially in terms of third-row seating, which now can accommodate adult passengers, rather than cramped kids. A rear sliding door improves access, as well.

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