Volkswagen has reached an agreement with its workers to cut 30,000 jobs as it tries to restructure the company for the future. The decision comes as VW faces a watershed moment in the wake of a self-made disaster.
Though today’s hybrids have popularized it, the idea of installing more than one engine in a car to supplement power isn’t particularly new or innovative. In fact, it’s almost as old as the automobile itself.
There are plenty of historical examples of multi-engine cars; probably the most notable are absolute land speed record attempts. Just last week, for example, was the 51st anniversary of the American-made Goldenrod’s 409 mph record, set using no less than four 426 Hemi V8s borrowed from Chrysler.
But even further back, Alfa-Romeo had tried to break the stranglehold of the Silver Arrows in Grand Prix racing by utilizing two straight-eights in a P3 Grand Prix chassis. The solution was innovative, if not particularly successful.
But the exploits of sticking multiple motors in a vehicle to boost power and traction were not limited to exotic racers and record setters. In the 1980s, the concept was reintroduced in a few interesting packages. As it became increasingly clear that Audi’s all-wheel drive would revolutionize the world of rally, Volkswagen Motorsport director Klaus-Peter Rosorius felt Volkswagen shouldn’t play second fiddle to the Quattro.
Instead, they’d play with a second engine.
A concept, or the first of many? That’s what Volkswagen execs need to decide once feedback rolls in from the conservatively sporting Passat GT concept shown off at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Hot, but not too hot, a Passat GT would be an affordable enthusiast offering for the embattled automaker, spicing up an aging model that’s slipping in the U.S. market. The public’s reaction — be it interest or yawns — is the real deciding factor, but here at TTAC, we’ve been of two minds. Read More >
In the wake of its diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen proclaimed its destiny as tomorrow’s top dog of electric automobiles. However, its e-Golf never really felt like the future. It felt like the past with an electric motor wedged inside — a strategy many companies took while dipping a toe in the EV pool. The result was a green vehicle with an acceptable, but not very impressive, range.
Well, today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, VW announced that it has made the e-Golf more competitive by extending its legs and broadening its horizons.
Volkswagen’s disastrous diesel debacle could nearly be over in the U.S.
Bloomberg has reported that sources close to the issue claim VW and U.S. regulators have agreed on a plan for the roughly 80,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles equipped with emissions-cheating 3.0-liter engines. Those sources have also revealed how many vehicles will be bought back and scrapped, and how many will live to see another day. Read More >
As U.S. and European authorities gear-up for another round of investigations, Volkswagen confirmed Audi did produce cars equipped with software that can distort emission test results. Although VW was careful not to be too committal in its wording, hinting at it being a handy driver’s assist instead of a defeat device.
This must be a great time to be a corporate lawyer.
The journey Volkswagen’s uber-American midsize crossover took between CrossBlue concept and Atlas production model was a long one, but it isn’t over.
Though production begins next month in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the model created in the hopes of tapping America’s utility vehicle addiction leaves many questions about its future unanswered. Read More >
No, you aren’t losing your mind. This isn’t a completely new form of transportation or an abstract piece of rolling art. What you are seeing is Volkswagen’s venerable hatchback after its mid-cycle update.
This mutilated Golf may be confusing at first, but the more you look at it, the more familiar it begins to appear. The cabin, however, has a surprise in store.
Thanks to U.S. regulators and a new consumer advocacy lawsuit, Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal now includes gasoline-powered Audis!
That, Continental still believes in rubber, the NHTSA plans on staying the course after their captain leaves the ship, and Toyota takes a knee on Superbowl LI… after the break!
Some California tuners are in hot water with Ford after bringing a custom Mustang to SEMA that intentionally looks like the blue oval’s flagship supercar.
That, Michigan’s historic Willow Run factory may be paving the way for the automotive future, Volkswagen is being sued by yet another state, and VW’s chairman is getting back up on the hook as German prosecutors place him back under the microscope… after the break!
In automotive terms, Volkswagen’s go-to MQB platform might end up having a lifespan somewhere between a Fox and a Panther.
Eager to stretch its meager dollars to Gumby-like proportions, the embattled automaker has announced that the platform underpinning most of its vehicles won’t die after two generations. Nah, let’s make it three, VW brand chief Herbert Diess said.
That means some vehicles, such as the stalwart Golf, will eventually ride on a platform old enough to drink in the United States. Read More >
The sudden termination of historian Manfred Grieger’s contract with Volkswagen is generating controversy in Germany, with some accusing the automaker of trying to put a lid on its dark past.
Grieger spent 18 years on the VW payroll, and was hired specifically to air the automaker’s dirty laundry. During his time with the company, Grieger penned detailed accounts of Volkswagen’s wartime use of forced labor from concentration camps while opening up the company’s archives to journalists and historians.
The New York Times reports that his contract came to an end this week. Some suspect that Grieger’s criticism of a report on Audi’s past led to his departure, and they worry VW could be trying to downplay revelations about its history with the Nazis and Brazil’s military dictatorship. Read More >
Federal authorities busted numerous nefarious organizations for selling illicit auto parts at the SEMA show this week.
That, the automotive industry loses Martin Leach, endangering lives has led Takata to mull bankruptcy, and VW’s diesel emissions scandal continues as the company races for the finish line… after the break!
Volkswagen’s expensive diesel emissions scandal has forced cost cutting on anything that isn’t electric and its rally team is next on the chopping block. Quitting while ahead is ideal but abandoning a program due to financial woes and public shame after a hot streak doesn’t exactly smack of going out on top.
That, Toyota invents a box that allows anyone to use your car, Tesla’s zero-emission credits may soon be worth less, and Ford makes peace with its Canadian autoworkers at the buzzer… after the break!
The Atlas, Volkswagen’s entry into the hotly contested three-row crossover segment, is here — and it has the company’s future fortunes resting on its shoulders.
Volkswagen has not been doing well in the United States. Since 2012, its best sales year this millennia, VW has shed 30 percent of its sales volume. The brand that invented the compact car in the eyes of many Americans now finds itself in 14th place on the brand leaderboard with a 1.6 percent market share.
Dieselgate didn’t help, but its unbalanced product range may be the more nagging culprit. This is VW’s first mainstream, three-row crossover.