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Volkswagen

The fact that most major manufacturers are now investing serious amounts of time and money in battery electric vehicle (BEV) development is proof positive that an electric automotive future will soon be upon us. While some, like Mitsubishi and Nissan, are already leading the charge onto the driveways of more and more folks around the globe, others prefer to take a more considered approach. Such is the case with Volkswagen. After giving us a glimpse of its plans for an electric Golf back in 2010, the company has now announced that a nine-month pilot scheme is to start next month in the U.S., to evaluate a prototype electric version of the company's popular hatchback ahead of commercial production. Read More
Audi's newly revealed R18 e-tron quattro race car is designed to win the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hour Race. Whatsmore, the turbodiesel, electric flywheel hybrid, all-wheel drive prototype will ensure the 2012 race will be a battle of the hybrids (against Toyota's new TS030 ultracapacitor hybrid race car), and a fascinating study of new technologies under race conditions. The car uses electric motors to add 75 kW (102 bhp) of power to each front wheel, and a 375 kW (510 bhp) V6 TDI engine powers the rear wheels. The Williams Hybrid Power electric flywheel hybrid captures energy similarly to the unit Porsche used to such great effect in its GT3 R Hybrid last year with the rear axle powered conventionally, and the front wheels by electric motors. Audi calls it "the electrification of the drive" and it will be a story worth following as battle begins on the racetrack. Read More

Volkswagen's Polo BlueGT was shown at Geneva this week running a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine.The most interesting aspect of the motor, is that it is the first of the new EA211 series of engines which shut down two of the engine's four cylinder under light and medium loads (below 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of less than 100 Nm). Does it work? You bet 140 bhp, a top speed of 210 km/h and using the seven-speed DSG tranny, 4.5 litres per 100 km (62.8 mpg) consumption and CO2 emissions of 105 g/km. Read More

We first saw Volkswagen's plug-in petrol-electric hybrid Cross Coupé concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Now there's a new Cross Coupé concept to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show this week that use a turbodiesel direct injection engine (TDI) and two electric motors to achieve 1.8 liters per 100 km (around 157 mpg) with CO2 emissions of just 46 g/km. Read More

Dub box USA offers a new solution for nostalgic folks yearning for a camper as cool as the Volkswagen Type 2 of the 1950s and 60s. Its line of camping trailers is inspired by the classic VW buses, and is offered without the expense and headaches of restoring an old Type 2. You get out-of-the-box convenience with timeless, retro looks. Read More

The new Golf GTI Cabriolet will be shown next week at the Geneva Motor Show. It uses the same 154 kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four as the GTI hatchback, mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox, enabling a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 7.3 seconds (versus 6.9 seconds for the hatch), and a top speed of 237 km/h (147 mph). Read More

It was over thirty years ago that Volkswagen first started offering “pop tops” on its camper vans. In the years since, the soft-sided interior height-extenders have become a common sight on VW vans parked in campgrounds all over the world. Now, Welsh company Overlander Motorhomes is offering what it sees as the logical compliment to the pop top – it’s the DoubleBack, a sliding insulated pod that extends the interior length of Volkwagen’s T5 Transporter van. Read More
When the likes of Jaguar, Porsche, Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Renault and Chrysler introduce a new model series, it is equally or more reliable than the model it replaces. Right? Wrong! New information has been released this week which indicates all of the above companies have replaced major models with less reliable models in the last decade - the worst three examples were 60%, 54% and 40% more likely to break down than their predecessor. Read More
Following hot on the heels of Volkswagen’s announcement of a five-door version of its up! subcompact vehicle, the Czech Republic-based Volkswagen subsidiary Skoda has announced that a five door version of its Citigo subcompact will make its public debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March. The three-door Citigo was introduced in Skoda’s home market late last year, marking the company’s first entry into the growing subcompact segment. The five-door model will be successively launched alongside the three-door model in European markets from mid-May. Read More
Volkswagen has unveiled the latest addition to its "New Small Family" series of ultra-compact city vehicles based on the first Volkswagen up! concept car that debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. Since then we've seen numerous up! concept cars such as the up! Lite, the E-up! and the Space up!, and even before the production launch of the three-door up!, which hit showrooms last December, Volkswagen had already hinted a five-door model was in the works. Now the company has revealed that this new addition will be available in Germany from May, and the rest of Europe by mid-year. Read More
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