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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.
When a concept car is introduced at a major auto show, it provides a glimpse into the future of an automaker’s next model. Some concepts are really cool. Some are not. Most never make it into production. A few do. The Baja Bug-inspired VW New Beetle Dune Concept was unveiled at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show. It was an off-road-ready New Beetle powered by a 2.3-liter VR5 that sent its power to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
More than a decade later, a similar, but water-downed, Beetle Dune Concept was shown at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. That car was raised two inches, had a 210 horsepower engine, a cool ski rack, but was front wheel drive. That concept car finally made it into production this year with relatively minor changes — but should it have?
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Investigators are still probing Volkswagen’s actions in the diesel emissions scandal, but the board that oversees the actions of the company’s top brass isn’t too concerned.
The supervisory board, made up of investor and labor interests, just cleared Volkswagen’s management of any breaches of duty in 2015 in preparation for their annual shareholders meeting, Bloomberg reports.
To say 2015 was an eventful year for Volkswagen is akin to saying Neil Armstrong had fun in the late ’60s. It was so eventful, its CEO took a permanent vacation. Many medicine cabinets in Wolfsburg were likely renovated to handle an influx of new prescriptions. Read More >
After agonizing over a fix for its 2.0-liter diesel models, Volkswagen is close to finalizing a plan for vehicles powered by the 3.0-liter TDI V6.
The first fix forced Volkswagen into a wildly expensive buyback-and-fix program for the nearly half million 2.0-liter TDIs sidelined by the diesel emissions scandal, but that won’t be needed for the bigger engines, sources close to the issue tell Bloomberg. Read More >
In the 1970s, the Audi 80 was sold in the United States as the Audi Fox. In the following decade, Volkswagen decided to sell the Brazilian-made Volkswagen Gol as a Volkswagen Fox in the United States, presumably using the Fox name because it was so good.
The Fox was cheap and disposable and most were crushed before the end of the 1990s, so this ’88 wagon is an unusual find these days. Read More >
Volkswagen’s “Everything Americans want in one lovely package” SUV has been talked about and teased seemingly forever, but now there’s some physical evidence to look at.
The automaker just issued a photo of the midsize SUV’s first assembled test body at its Chattanooga, Tennessee facility, where production of the model kicks off later this year. Read More >
“Do those non-diesel things, only better,” seems to be Volkswagen’s mantra these days.
The aftermath of the continuing diesel emissions scandal saw the embattled automaker dive deep into cleaner technology, and it now looks like VW wants its name on a relatively cheap electric vehicle, Autocar reports (via Carscoops). Read More >
They’re on a little break right now, but Volkswagen plans to saunter back to America’s door, flowers and chocolates in hand.
As the diesel emissions scandal plods along to its buyback conclusion, the automaker plans to woo U.S. buyers with desirable products and a less confusing brand strategy, Automotive News reports.
Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess told reporters in Germany last week that the U.S. was still a target market primed for growth, but first the company must convince those buyers that it has changed its ways, and that it’s ready for commitment. Read More >
The automotive media slobbered over the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen GTI sporty hatchback ever since its introduction two years ago. I put 13,500 miles on mine over the past year and I agree that it is one of the great all-around fun cars available today.
I just went through the process of selling it, and that is when the real fun began. Read More >
Diesel? What’s that?
Volkswagen is embracing a far less controversial type of fuel with its new 1.5-liter TSI engine, unveiled yesterday at the Vienna Motor Symposium.
The ultra-efficient four-cylinder uses variable turbine geometry (VTG) in its turbocharger to generate peak torque at a low 1,300 rpm, then maintain a flat torque curve until about 4,500 rpm. This leads to fuel economy gains and a better driving experience. Read More >
Rival automakers salivating at the thought of snapping up a castoff from Volkswagen’s brand portfolio will have to sit and wait.
Amid grim fourth-quarter financial data and ongoing expenses linked to the diesel emissions scandal, the company is standing by its assets, but admits they might have to jettison some if unexpected expenses crop up. Read More >