Volkswagen is reviving a historic (or infamous, depending on your perspective) nameplate for the 2014 model year, as it drops the 2.5L 5-cylinder engine. In its place is a 1.8L four-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
Having dangled the GTD in front of us for so long, Volkswagen has finally confirmed that the diesel powered sports Golf will come to America, according to Automotive News.
While Volkswagen claimed to have had a business case for the car, it wasn’t quite a done deal for the 7th generation Golf. VW is on track to sell 100,000 TDI cars this year, and thinks that the $27,000 GTD could account for 5-10 percent of diesel Golf sales. The GTD will go on sale in the summer of 2014.
“It is good for the future of diesel in the USA that a domestic producer also uses a diesel engine,” said Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg today. “If the volume of diesel engines is increasing, then it makes sense to produce diesel engines in the U.S.A. That would be great for us and the customer,” Hackenberg said. (Read More…)
As Volkswagen gears up for a decision on expanding their Chattanooga factory, a member of Volkswagen’s supervisory board told the Handlesblatt that any new product would be contingent on VW adopting a works council (explanation by our own veteran of Volkswagen BS here) for the plant.
Uh-oh: Audi is running out of good ideas. Last year, Audi’s R&D chief Michael Dick (his real name) was sacked and replaced by Wolfgang Dürrheimer. Now Dürrheimer has to go. Hackenberg is dispatched to whip Audi in shape. (Read More…)
If the first half of my automotive life was informed by Honda products, the second half was largely colored by “Sport Compact Car” magazine, which I still consider to be America’s finest automotive print magazine. From the age of 13 onward, I faithfully purchased SCC every month, enthralled by the idea of low-budget import car builds and sweeping California canyon roads. I liked that they took a different tack than most of the other tuner magazines; they weren’t as dogmatic as the other rags were with respect to the “Japan rules, America sux” dichotomy that seemed to pervade the lesser publications. There were no photo spreads of Asian women in flourescent bikinis. Unlike the editorials in Grassroots Motorsports, the budgets for their projects seemed realistic.
One shot that has stuck with me is this shot of an ancient 323 GTX sliding through the dirt; I can’t remember if it was an SCC project car or not, but it encapsulates what I always pictured Southern California to be; an automotive playground free of rust and full of roads that are appropriate for whatever driving conditions you could want. The 323 GTX’s near me are either terminally oxidized or going for absurd amounts of money ($6,000 for a barely running 26 year old Mazda that would amputate my legs in a crash? No thanks) but Mazda was kind enough to lend me a Mazdaspeed3 for my first trip to Los Angeles so I could live out my canyon run fantasies on the Angeles Crest Highway, albeit in front-drive form only. If that wasn’t enough, TTAC contributor Jeff Jablansky brought along his own Volkswagen GTI MKVI for comparison.
In 1973, I had a little hand in launching the Volkswagen Golf. It hit the market in 1974. Today, it hit a new record. I wish I would have received a buck for every Golf sold. I would have $30 million by now. Today, the world’s 30 millionth Golf rolled past “Zählpunkt 8” and off the assembly line in Wolfsburg.
Most large automakers are working on a modular architecture of some sort. Farthest ahead appears to be Volkswagen, which already is rolling out new car after new car on one of four related kit architectures, and which is rumored to be working on one master kit. The other day, Toyota showed me glimpses of its new kit architecture, first cars to be expected in 2015. Today, GM showed us this chart. And there are no kits on it. (Read More…)
The next generation European-market Volkswagen Passat will be delayed until at least the end of 2014, as Volkswagen follows an industry-trend in Europe of neglecting their slow-selling D-segment cars.
After enduring what The Motor Report calls “a spiraling and damaging media campaign – run, in the main, by Fairfax media,” Volkswagen spoke up. According to Reuters, “Australian Managing Director John White told Australia’s Fairfax newspaper on Friday that VW “have issues” after car owners complained of transmission and engine failures causing loss of power, but did not order a general recall.” (Read More…)
MAN is now officially part of the Volkswagen empire. MAN stockholders approved a profit and loss transfer agreement that “ends MAN’s autonomy,” as Automobilwoche [sub] reports.
A bit kinkily, that agreement is called a “domination” agreement in Germany. It defines a corporate power exchange.
Having taken my driver-training classes, circa 1982, in a VW Rabbit Diesel, I thought I’d experienced the slowest car available in the United States during the second half of the 20th century. I was wrong! The oil-burning Dasher (which is what the V.A.G. called the first-gen Audi 80 aka VW Passat in North America) had the same 49 (!) horsepower diesel as the Rabbit, and it weighed between 100 and 400 pounds more. I hadn’t seen a Dasher of any sort for at least a decade, and I don’t recall ever having seen a Dasher Diesel, so this find in a San Jose-area self-service wrecking yard was startling. (Read More…)
The Skoda Octavia vRS is almost like the VW Jetta GLI we should have gotten. Using the MK7 GTI’s MQB platform and 217-horsepower four-cylinder powertrain, the Octavia vRS is also available with a 2.0 TDI engine making 180 horsepower – and both powertrains can be had with the wagon bodystyle you see above.
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The death of an Australian woman who was rear-ended two years ago is making new headlines. In 2011, 32-year-old Melissa Ryan was killed when a truck with two trailers hit her Volkswagen Golf from behind. A coroner is looking into the matter. The report is expected to be completed in July. In the meantime, Australian media does not let simple technical facts get in the way of a bad story. (Read More…)
“Have you driven the new Jetta Hybrid?” popped up in my Faceache message box. It came from Captain Leslie, an E-3 Sentry driver, consummate professional, a current Jetta TDI pilot (with a manual), and friend from a tour in the Middle East and Oklahoma City. Unable to resist her profile smile, I went in search of the elusive electrically motivated VW in a sea of 2.5L sorority mobiles. As she has saved my ass in the past, I shall attempt to repay the favor. Leslie, skip the Hybrid, get another TDI… but make sure its a Golf…wagon…in brown…with a manual.