Displaying items by tag: VW

Volkswagen ID. Life, which debuted at the Munich Motor Show, is a concept of a compact urban crossover that provides insight into a production car that should arrive on the market during 2025 with an affordable price, but also with a lot of power.

The high price of electric cars has aroused many skeptics about the future, but Volkswagen claims it has a solution. Due to the well-known affair with diesels, the German company first started with huge investments in electromobility, and that is now coming to fruition.

ID concept. The life shown in Munich is a real "car for the people", because it brings electromobility at an affordable price. However, don't think that the price of 20,000 euros means that this car is intended for easy transport from point A to point B. Quite the opposite, because it is powered by an electric motor that develops 234 hp, which, as Volkswagen claims, is enough to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 7 seconds. Unlike the ID model. 3 and ID. 4, which in the basic version have rear-wheel drive, the electric motor in this concept transmits power to the front axle.

ID. Life uses a specially tuned version of the MEB platform with a shorter wheelbase of 2,650 mm. The design of this concept has a lot of similarities with other models from the ID range, but in a minimalist style. The concept also has a removable roof, which reduces weight and contributes to greater range. When it comes to range, the 57 kWh battery provides an autonomy of about 400 kilometers according to the WLTP standard.

The minimalist design continues in the cabin as well. The driver can find all the information on the instrument panel that is part of the steering wheel, as well as on the head-up display. There is no screen on the center console, but it is intended for the mobile phone to serve as a screen for controlling the infotainment system. The materials inside the vehicle are largely recycled, and Volkswagen has also offered an innovative solution for those moments when you are waiting for the car to charge.

Namely, the game console and projector are part of the standard equipment, and the screen is a canvas that can be pulled out and placed in front of the windshield. So VW ID. Life becomes a cinema or gaming station, so you can easily have fun while the car is on the charger.
When the serial version appears on the market in a few years, it is expected that the basic model with the announced price of 20,000 euros will have a very modest list of options, but it will be fully equipped. The reason lies in the possibility of unlocking additional content, because it will be possible to include a number of options by paying a surcharge via the Internet.

Volkswagen has once again justified its name, and if the production version has the performance, autonomy and technology of this concept, we are sure that it will be a real revolution in the transition to electromobility.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Monday, 16 November 2020 05:09

Volkswagen Amarok Still Impresses from Afar

While VW's next Amarok pickup will be based on the Ford Ranger and may possibly come to the United States, it's a shame the current truck never made the trip.

A few years ago, we asked a Volkswagen executive why the Amarok pickup truck wasn't offered in the United States, where pickups are a default mode of personal transportation. His answer: It's too good and, therefore, too expensive. He added that if VW had partnered with one of the established truck manufacturers, it could be a different story.

In the United Kingdom, the Amarok's base price was about $35,000 before taxes and destination charges, stretching to around $52,500 for a top-of-the-line Aventura model with the most powerful engine. You can see how that would be a tough ask in the U.S., where a Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 costs less than $45,000.

The Amarok's premium price reflects the ambitions of former CEO Ferdinand Piëch, who commissioned the project to get VW into the mid-size pickup market. Typical of mid-2000s Volkswagen, the company chose the most difficult path, designing the Amarok from scratch. Now, a decade after its introduction, the Amarok has reached the end of its life cycle as the remaining stock in the European market dwindles. The factory where it's built, in Hanover, is switching over to produce the new Multivan and electric ID. Buzz, and import tariffs make it prohibitively expensive to import the Amarok from VW's plant in Argentina. The Amarok will continue to be built and sold in South America, though, for a few more years.

Depending on the market, the Amarok is powered by four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines or by an Audi-designed turbocharged diesel V-6. It's available in rear- or all-wheel drive and as a single cab or a four-door crew cab. We drove a top-level version, an Amarok Dark Label special-edition crew cab, with all-wheel drive and a 201-hp 3.0-liter diesel V-6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Ten years after its debut, the Amarok is still well-proportioned and pleasantly subdued in appearance—unless it's specified with Dark Label trim. Riding higher than a regular Amarok, the Dark Label is fitted with a roof-mounted LED light bar and a snorkel, standing tall above European traffic.

Once you've climbed up into the cabin, the Amarok feels familiar. Straight, clean lines reflect the design language that was en vogue in Wolfsburg circa 2010. The buttons and switches feel thick and provide satisfying feedback. And the materials, while not quite Audi grade, are better than you'd expect in a mid-size truck. The touch-sensitive navigation screen is a bit small by today's standards, but it includes seamless connectivity.

The turbo diesel that made its debut in the 2014 Audi A6 and A7 assumes its duty with a quiet, reassuring purr. The torque-rich 3.0-liter is familiar from other Volkswagen Automotive Group vehicles, including performance and luxury cars. And while this one is in a mild state of tune, a diesel V-6 is unusual in this segment, where most competitors deem a gasoline-fed turbo-four or large-displacement V-6 to be entirely sufficient. This engine's potential was demonstrated by the 2019 Amarok Red Rock concept, which cranked out 350 horsepower but never made it to production.

The Dark Label's 201-hp rating translates into a claimed zero-to-60-mph time in the 9.0-second range and a terminal velocity approaching 120 mph. The most powerful Amaroks offer 255 horsepower and top out at a claimed 129 mph, which would make them the fastest pickups in the U.S. The version we drove serves up maximum torque of 369 pound-feet from 1250 to 2750 rpm. While the engine's growl remains subdued even under high loads, the snorkel system emits a delicious hiss that can be modulated with the throttle and reliably manages to turn heads while prowling the city.

The single-turbo V-6 operates with surprisingly little turbo lag, and the bountiful torque means that the Amarok feels quicker than its leisurely shove to 60 mph would suggest. On an empty autobahn, 110 mph is a comfortable cruising speed. We observed fuel economy in the 23-mpg range, although aggressive driving will drop that to around 17 mpg.

Piloting the Amarok at triple-digit velocities feels remarkably safe. It tracks steadily, and the low-effort steering offers ample feedback. The suspension is designed for truck stuff—hauling and towing—yet even an empty Amarok feels comfortable enough for long trips. It might not challenge the Honda Ridgeline's on-road manners, but the Amarok manages to deliver plenty of off-road capability and utility while doing a credible impression of a Piëch-era VW sedan on the highway.

In fact, with the optional aluminum tonneau cover, you can use the Amarok as a sedan that happens to have an exceptionally large trunk. That cover kept the luggage—in my case, a boxed collection of rare books—totally dry during an unexpected downpour.

Despite its refinement and capability, however, the Amarok's run is over. At least VW has promised a successor. Slated for a launch in late 2022, the next-gen Amarok will be co-developed with the Ford Ranger. It will still be called Amarok, and a diesel engine will continue to be offered. But this time around, the price should follow the trajectory of other post-Piëch projects and take a healthy drop. And this might finally make the Amarok a feasible product for the country that can't get enough pickup trucks.

Source: caranddriver.com

Published in Volkswagen

An early prototype drive in VW’s upcoming Taos subcompact ute reveal its new Miller-capable 1.5-liter turbo-four should enliven the low end of VW’s lineup.

Oxnard, California, is an overlooked American automotive nerve center. The city surrounds Port Hueneme, where massive car-carrying ships disgorge vehicles for at least 18 manufacturers. It's also the port from which Tesla vehicles leave for export to Asia. That's led some of the carmakers to establish engineering and design facilities in the area. BMW has one there. And now, so does Volkswagen of America—a five-acre campus on Del Norte Boulevard, across from a Shell station with an integrated Subway sandwich shop.

So, while VW was dazzling the world's assembled press in September with the all-electric ID.4 small crossover, it simultaneously invited a select group of marginalized journalists to Oxnard to tour the company's facility, sample the company's upcoming 2022 Taos—a conventionally powered compact crossover—and do a deep dive into its new 1.5-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine.

Nearly a foot shorter, the Taos is more compact than the Tiguan, sized to compete in the red-hot twerp-ute market, a burgeoning segment that includes the trendy Nissan Kicks, stalwart Honda HR-V, sweet Mazda CX-3, and lackluster Ford EcoSport. It's an important genre, not only because of its insane sales growth, but because cheap crossovers are often the entry point for young customers buying into a brand for the first time. And that's that for the business school marketing lesson.

The pre-pre-production prototypes on hand were lightly camouflaged to avoid startling observers psychologically unprepared to contend with the profound visual impact of a small SUV that looks like a dehydrated Tiguan. On the outside they were wrapped in white vinyl, with subtle graphic elements taped to the headlights and covering the logos. On the inside, a fuzzy dash pad covered most everything but the tachometer and speedometer. That included the air vents, and it was a pretty hot day.

The drive itself would consist of a 30-or-so-mile lap through Oxnard and neighboring Camarillo and back to VW's campus. And during this tour of verdant, culturally diverse Ventura County, we would be shadowed by a VW representative so that if something went wrong or we tried to keep the prototype for ourselves, they could do … something. Maybe our proctor had a roll of duct tape with him. Or a shotgun. We obeyed the rules.

The featured attraction here was truly the new 1.5-liter turbo engine. It's destined to replace the 1.4-liter turbo four that's currently the standard powerplant in the United States-market Jetta and Golf. The 1.5-liter has a slight increase in piston bore diameter to reach its new displacement, but the big change is the use of some technology from the EA888 turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four found in the Tiguan. The new engine will be capable of operating on Volkswagen's modified Miller-cycle combustion under light load conditions, which they've named the Budak cycle after its developer. When operating on Budak, the intake valve closes earlier that it would during normal operation, thus reducing the amount of fuel and oxygen drawn in and returning more efficiency. The 1.5-liter will also use a variable vane turbocharger to increase its responsiveness.

VW rates the new engine at 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, which will be the sole engine in the Taos. That vaults right over competitors like the 141-hp Nissan Rogue Sport, 147-hp 2.0-liter Kia Soul, and 148-hp Mazda CX-3. And the VW will push that advantage by backing the engine with an eight-speed conventional automatic transmission in front-drive versions of the Taos. All-wheel-drive versions will get the familiar seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The new 1.5-liter will be built at VW's engine plant in Silao, Mexico, which opened in 2013. And the Taos, designed for the North American market, will also be built in Mexico.

The route chosen for us by VW was flat and not curvy. There was a short blast southward on Highway 101, but no roads were challenging. There were several opportunities along the way, however, to stop and buy strawberries freshly picked from the coastal plain's fields.

As an evaluation of the Taos, this was just a bit of early exposure, severely limited in its usefulness. But the engine does seem to make excellent low-end grunt, the transmission didn't do anything untoward, and the suspension didn't collapse riding along smooth pavement. The details that matter were covered up inside, so there's no way to positively say how well the interior is laid out. Naturally, a big-ass touchscreen is likely destined for the dashboard's center because everything now has a big-ass touchscreen.

The front wheel-drive Taos will make its official debut this month and is scheduled to hit dealerships around the middle of next year. And since it's destined to compete in one of the most price-conscious segments of the market, there's no reason to expect it to cost any more or much less than other cute-overs. So, figure it'll start at around $20,000 at the bottom and knock on $30K at the top of the range.

Back at the facility, there were Volkswagen products from around the world on hand for all sorts of testing. There were even a couple of prototype ID.4s, with technicians carefully peeling away their camouflage after that day's public debut of the car. There's something going on here.

That something is an inflection point, one where manufacturers are still developing vehicles powered by internal combustion engines while simultaneously prepping for the electrified future consumers will either want or will have forced upon them. Volkswagen was caught with its pants down in the diesel scandal and can't afford to screw up in the immediate future. So, right now it's wearing multiple pairs of pants. Jeans and chinos. Dockers and slacks. Snow pants and baggy shorts.

As the day was dying off, the assembled litter of journalists were led to a conference room set up with appropriate social distancing. There we enjoyed the comedy stylings of Johan de Nysschen, the still new senior executive of Volkswagen Group North America, who is this generation's Bob Lutz tinged with a hint of John Force. He likely said something profound and hilarious, but I really just wanted to write "comedy stylings."

It turns out that VW doesn't use Port Hueneme as a port of entry for its vehicles. So, why the company decided to plop down its latest facility in Oxnard is a mystery. Maybe it's because Oxnard is where the action is. Or maybe they just wanted to build somewhere with easy access to a Subway.

Source: caranddriver.com

Published in Volkswagen
Sunday, 29 March 2020 13:25

Volkswagen suspend production

Volkswagen Group suspend production at plants in Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain and is preparing to shut down the rest of its factories across Europe due to the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). VW, like Ford, FCA, and Toyota, is looking to resume some manufacturing operations wherever it can.

Volkswagen spending about $2.2 billion (about 2 billion euros) a week on fixed costs. So this year the VW group probably will have a significant loss in balance sheet.  

Production will be halted at VW's Spanish plants, Setubal in Portugal, Bratislava in Slovakia and the Lamborghini and Ducati plants in Italy before the end of this week.

VW Group's powerful works council has concluded it's not possible for workers at its plants to maintain a safe distance from one another to prevent contagion and recommended a suspension of production.

VW Group, which owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands, said on Tuesday that the uncertainty about the fallout from the pandemic of Coronavirus (Covid-19) meant it was impossible to give any forecasts for its performance this year. Definitely, 2020 will be a very difficult year. The Corona pandemic presents us with unknown operational and financial challenges. At the same time, there are concerns about sustained economic impacts.

Only last month Volkswagen had predicted that vehicle deliveries this year would be stable at 2019 levels and forecast an operating return on sales in the range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in 2020, but said this depended on external factors.

CFO Frank Witter said it is uncertain how severely or for how long the spread of coronavirus will also affect the automaker. "Currently, it is almost impossible to make a reliable forecast," he said.

VW Group said its full-year operating profit rose 22 percent to 16.9 billion euros ($18.5 billion) in 2019, thanks to strong sales of higher-margin cars and lower diesel charges, defying an industry downturn that has cut the earnings of rivals.

Earnings were driven by higher profits at its VW, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands, and a return to profitability for Bentley.

Improvements in the mix and price positioning in particular compensated for lower sales of Volkswagen Passenger Cars models and for launch costs and negative exchange rate effects, the company said.


Published in Volkswagen

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