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Volkswagen has Adolf Hitler to thank for its start. In 1933 Hitler asked Ferdinand Porsche (yes, that Porsche) to discuss the idea of an affordable car that could carry five people. Prototypes appeared shortly and the KdF-Wagen was released in 1938. The KdF-Wagen would later become known as the Beetle and go on to sell in the millions.
The recent news that Volkswagen is pondering an all-wheel-drive Golf for U.S. customers surprised many.
“All-wheel drive is now part of the Volkswagen DNA,” commented Dr. Hendrik Muth of Volkswagen at the U.S. launch of the Alltrack.
That means Volkswagen will be taking on Subaru, the reigning king of all-wheel drive for the masses in the U.S. And since the Golf is already fairly dear in price, adding an all-wheel-drive option to the hatch will make Volkswagen’s compact a near-luxury item. At that price, why wouldn’t you just buy an Audi? It’s the brand with the all-wheel-drive expertise in the VAG clan.
But the reality of an all-wheel-drive Golf is now 20 years old.
Let’s take a look back at nine of the more interesting pre-Alltrack, pre-4Motion versions of the Golf that most U.S. customers have never even heard of.
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It’s not the podium an automaker wants to find itself on top of.
After marking the first anniversary of its emissions debacle, former “clean diesel” builder Volkswagen finds itself staring down the barrel of $9.15 billion in investor lawsuits, the Wall Street Journal reports.
When it comes to being sued by investors, no German company can match Volkswagen’s performance. Read More >
The Volkswagen Vanagon has a global cult following, for reasons I have never understood, and the Westfalia camper version is an object of heavy-duty veneration among Vanagon zealots. You hear about the crazy prices that any Westfalia Vanagon will fetch … but it turns out that most serious Volkswagen fanatics are too cheap to pay the prices they quote so knowledgeably. So, rough examples of the Vanagon show up often at cheap self-service wrecking yards.
Here’s an ’82 that I found last week in the Denver area. Read More >
At the dawn of recorded history, a German auto manufacturer unveiled a concept vehicle and promised North America — then weighed down by the oppressive bulk of towering ice sheets — a new midsize SUV.
Okay, that was only 2013, but it seems that the Volkswagen Teramont (VW hasn’t confirmed the name) has been in development for eons. Billed by some as the automaker’s make-or-break model in the U.S., the Teramont is a seven-seat SUV that borrows its design language from the CrossBlue concept. The automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant will give birth to the model next year.
Now we know what lies under its hood. Read More >
(Reuters) – Volkswagen AG said on Wednesday it has not decided if it will resume selling diesel vehicles in the United States, even if it were allowed to, in the wake of the automaker’s emissions cheating scandal.
The German automaker has been barred from selling diesel vehicles in the United States since late 2015 after it acknowledged using “defeat devices” to evade U.S. diesel emissions standards. Read More >
Volkswagen is two weeks away from unveiling the future of its company, with high hopes that it will scrub away some of the stigma left by the diesel emissions scandal.
The automaker plans to pivot from oil to electrons with a heavily electrified vehicle lineup, and a showpiece concept heading to the Paris Motor Show precedes an actual EV with up to 373 miles of range, Autoblog reports.
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The U.S. federal indictment of Volkswagen engineer James Liang, stemming from the automaker’s effort to cheat on emissions testing of their supposedly “clean” diesel engines, mentions an as-yet unindicted co-conspirator, “Company A”.
That firm allegedly helped Liang and his team at VW develop the software routine that only activated emissions controls when vehicles were being emissions tested. Company A was identified in the indictment as a Berlin-based automotive engineering company that is 50 percent owned by the Volkswagen group, which is also Company A’s biggest customer. Read More >
It’s a sad day for Volkswagen Golf GTI purists and fanboys. The GTI — one of autodom’s quintessential hot hatches — will lose its two-door variant in the U.S. as the scandal-rocked automaker jettisons low-volume offerings.
A very familiar face and name broke the story at Jalopnik after a Volkswagen product manager mentioned the cancellation during the company’s Golf Alltrack media test drive. Read More >
Volkswagen is heavily considering adding an all-wheel-drive variant of the Golf hatchback to its North American lineup, TTAC learned during the media launch for the all-new Volkswagen Alltrack, itself an all-wheel-drive version of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.
Dr. Hendrik Muth, vice-president of product marketing and strategy, explained the addition of 4Motion production to Volkswagen’s Puebla manufacturing facility in Mexico has opened up more possibilities, including the addition of all-wheel drive to the standard Golf hatchback.
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On September 9th, Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty after being indicted on a variety of crimes related to VW’s deliberate use of a software routine that cheated on government diesel emissions testing.
Until his guilty plea was entered in United States District Court in Detroit, Liang’s indictment was under seal. Now that it has been made public (full PDF version here), we know more details about VW’s cheat and it turns out that the German automaker even updated the original software cheat — apparently to work more effectively — with a patch delivered in the guise of fixing emissions related warranty claims.
As the scandal was breaking, Volkswagen also deliberately supplied government agencies with false data to make the problem appear to be the result of a mechanical malfunction, not a defeat device. Read More >