Volkswagen Unveils a Larger Tiguan

January 9, 2017 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , , ,

At the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen made it very clear that it plans on releasing a bigger and badder version of its Tiguan SUV. The SUV will be about 11 inches longer overall and offer a total of 57% more interior space than the current Tiguan does. That’s a pretty major increase in size, and the best part is that it ups the maximum seating capacity to 7 people.

Three Row Tiguan

Three Rows

The next Tiguan is going to come with the option for three rows, rather than the two rows that it’s known for. It will up-size the overall amount of spaced offered dramatically, giving buyers around 50% more interior space to work with. Other than offering more seating space, this also makes the SUV more useful for hauling things or for taking trips. Camping will be easier with this beast, and so will family trips.

Standard on Front Wheel

If you decide that you want the front-wheel drive version of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, it will come standard with three rows and seating for seven. That means you won’t have to pay extra for the added size, and just buying the base version of the Tiguan will get you that added seating capacity.

Optional Safety Features

In order to keep up with the times, Volkswagen will add a slew of optional safety features to the Tiguan, making it possible for you to outfit the vehicle to be safer than ever. It will come with the option for blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision system, monitoring for pedestrians and a system that watches for lane departure.

Not Standard on All-Wheel Drive

If you opt for an all-wheel drive of the 2018 Tiguan it won’t come fitted with the three-row configuration as standard. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get it though. You’ll simply have to add the third row as an option to the vehicle. That means if you do only want two rows, you’ll have to buy the all-wheel drive version of the Tiguan, because all front-wheel drive versions come with the third-row as a standard feature that you can’t opt out of.

The bigger Tiguan is supposed to be one additional way that Volkswagen can appeal to American autobuyers. It’s just one more step toward improved performance in the American market overall.

Volkswagen Shows off the R-Line Atlas

January 3, 2017 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , ,

Volkswagen unveiled its Atlas SUV last year, showing off its larger size and advanced tech features to help the automaker appeal to US buyers. Now VW is showing off a performance version of the SUV as well, and it’s nearly as exciting as the original release of the vehicle. This version of the Atlas boasts added power as well as some nice finish enhancements to the vehicle. It’s dubbed the Atlas R-Line and it’s a pretty cool ride.

Volkswagen Atlas R

Enhanced Power

The Atlast R-Line SUV comes with two different power options, depending on how much performance you want. The base version of the R-Line puts out 235-HP from its four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The more powerful version offers a total of 280 HP from the 3.6 liter turbocharged six cylinder engine. Either way you get a whole lot of power from the SUV and it should feel quite a bit faster. Both versions of the SUV are equipped with an eight-speed auto transmission that should be nice and smooth no matter how hard you stomp on the gas pedal.

New Looks

The SUV comes with all the badging that you would expect, denoting that it’s an upgraded R-Line vehicle all over the place. It also comes fitted with larger 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels that really look nice on the Atlas. The SUV comes with a custom R-Line dashboard on the multimedia system, that will likely function much the same.

Same Great Features

While the Atlas R-Line is going to come with added power and some custom appearance modifications, it’s going to come with all the same features that makes the Atlas such an appealing ride. It should be fitted with an advanced multimedia system, should come in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and should be designed with a drive-select mode, allowing the driver to switch between different driving dynamics depending on needs.

If you were thinking of the Atlas, but didn’t’ want something lacking in power, the R-Line could be a good option for you. It will of course come with a higher price tag than the standard Atlas does, but anyone that’s dead set on getting the more powerful variation of the SUV likely won’t mind the higher price to have it.

If you’re interested in the R-Line SUV, it’s expected to be available around the same time as the standard Atlas, sometime this year when Volkswagen is ready to roll out the vehicle. It’s a major move for Volkswagen and marks its entry into the full-sized SUV market.

 

Volkswagen Hires 1,000 IT Experts to Develop Self Driving Cars

December 29, 2016 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , ,

Automakers are beginning to push artificial intelligence technology and other autonomous systems into their vehicles. A few automakers have something for self-parking, a couple luxury vehicles come equipped with the technology to navigate through traffic at slow speeds without help from the driver and there are adaptive cruise control features on a range of models today. While each of those features is pretty darned impressive, they all pale in comparison to what the automakers, including Volkswagen, are planning for the future. They want to create ultra-intelligent vehicles that can handle a wide range of decision-making tasks on their own, which is exactly why Volkswagen is recruiting IT specialists so heavily at the moment.

2015-volkswagen-egolf

Hiring 1,000 New IT Experts

In order to keep up with all the new tech demands that come with remaining at the leading edge of innovation in the automotive industry, Volkswagen is hired a total of 1,000 new IT specialists, and they’re going to work hard to develop autonomous driving systems for VW over the next three years. It’s a tall order to get them to develop such advanced systems in that period of time, but with such a strong workforce Volkswagen should have a solid set of features by the end of the period.

Are Self driving Cars Possible for VW?

Self-driving cars are possible for every automaker, and Volkswagen clearly believes that it can develop vehicles that will drive themselves capably, which is why it’s making such a big investment into the technology now. There’s no guarantee that Volkswagen will be able to develop self-driving vehicles within the next 3 or even 5 years, but with prototypes out that are already handling some aspects of autonomous driving, it’s not hard to believe that it will happen.

EVs and Autonomous Vehicles the Future of VW?

Volkswagen is betting big on electric vehicles and autonomous driving, especially in countries lik the United States where the technology is gaining rapid interest. Volkswagen already has a full-electric out, the e-Golf, but it has big plans for more capable EVs in the future, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they eventually drive on their own as well.

The technology possibilities for Volkswagen are exciting, and they’ll likely remain at the forefront of the industry over the next decade thanks to the strong emphasis they’re putting into development and technological improvements, but only time will tell for sure. In the meantime, if you would like to make use of a pretty capable little EV, the e-Golf travels close to 100 miles on a charge and it’s a solid car sold at many Volkswagen dealerships around the country.

This Latest Panamera Turbo Executive Customization Proves You Can Get Anything You Like for a Price

December 28, 2016 lacarguy Porsche Tags: , , ,

Porsche is known for its special edition vehicles and exclusive models that are only available for the select few, and no we aren’t talking about standard Porsche vehicles. One new select model that Porsche is showing off is the Panamera Turbo Executive. This hot red hatch is exciting both inside and out, it packs some impressive power figures and it’s a car that I wouldn’t mind having sitting in my garage. Though the Executive itself is rare enough, this is actually a special edition of the vehicle by Porsche Exclusive, meaning it has even more special features to brag about.

porsche-panamera-turbo-executive-custom-interiorout Porsche Exclusive

Porsche Exclusive is a special segment of the company that specializes in bringing custom Porsche vehicles to life. If you have a special request that can’t be accommodated by the standard customization features for a particular Porsche vehicle, this department can help grant your wishes for a price. For instance, back in the 1950’s a customer had a Porsche 356 covered in fur for a very custom looking ride. Of course this probably isn’t something that you’d want done today (or maybe you do, we’re not judging!) but it just shows that the automaker is willing to customize the vehicle as much as you’d like them to if you have the cash to back up the wishes.

Custom Modifications

This latest entry from the Porsche Exclusive department offers some pretty cool customizations. The car comes equipped with a black and Bordeaux Red interior lined with custom leather and red stitching. The clock is red-faced and there is a set light-up doorsill guards made from carbon fiber. The key fob is also a matching red and black tone that helps complete that special custom look.

Getting Custom Designs in the States

In the old days customers concerned with  getting a custom Porsche would have to hop on a flight over to Zuggenhausen or travel to Leipzig. That’s not necessary any longer. Now it’s possible to get all the customizations set up right at the Atlanta Experience Center, or in Los Angeles. The company also offers a car configurator tool, allowing you to adjust all the different features of a vehicle before finally meeting for the appointment.

This particular custom vehicle has a starting price of $161,050 with another $3,300 for the red paint job, another $6,000 for the SportDesign package, and we’re betting a bit more for the other enhancements throughout. It’s a small price to pay for a custom Porsche with both power and sophistication, and many people are willing to pay to get exactly what they are looking for.

The Golf GTI Could be a Surprisingly Good Track Car

December 27, 2016 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , ,

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S special edition car was used to set the front-wheel drive lap record at Nurburgring back in May with a pretty impressive time of just 7 minutes and 49 seconds. That same car has since been used to achieve an even more impressive time of 7 minutes and 47 seconds, putting it more than 3 seconds ahead of the next fastest front-wheel drive vehicle tested there, the Honda Civic Type R. While this special edition of the VW Golf isn’t available stateside, there are plenty of Golf GTI models that are, and they offer similar performance specifications as well.

2017-golf-gti

Why the Golf ClubSport S Can Set Records

There are a few different things that allow the Clubsport S to beat out other cars like the Honda Civic Type R. One of the main things that it has going for it is a lightweight body. Careful considerations make the Clubsport S one of the lightest cars to go around the ring.

Volkswagen opted for a six-speed manual clutch instead of the heavier dual clutch setup. The automaker also went with aluminum parts whenever possible and removed the rear seat, as well as floor mats and sound proofing material to shed a bit more weight. Overall it went down to an impressively low weight figure that made the most of the 310 HP offered by the 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

Excellent Handling and Lightweight Body

There are two things that make the Golf Clubsport S an excellent track car that it shares with the Golf GTI, a lightweight body and excellent handling mechanics. No matter which version of the vehicle you go with, you get excellent handling and a car that can take on the sharp corners without issue. If you opt for the Golf GTI you’ll enjoy a total of 210 HP and 258 lb.-ft. of torque to play with. Not only will you have all that power, but you’ll also have a lightweight vehicle that makes excellent use of it. The Golf is a small car that doesn’t weigh much at all, so when you consider that before thinking about the level of power it has, it’s easy to see why the Golf GTI is a good solid track car.

While the standard Golf GTI isn’t going to achieve lap speeds like the Clubsport S, it would probably hold its own nicely and command a decent time. Even if it isn’t a race car, the 2017 Golf GTI looks to be a very fun vehicle and a decent option for drivers that want something little and exciting to tool around in.

The Toyota Parking Lot Sonar Technology Really Works

December 26, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

Toyota is regularly coming out with new tech improvements to its vehicles, but one of the most beloved by customers recently is the parking sonar system. This system detects objects around the Prius as it moves through a parking lot. It’s proven to be highly successful at prevent collisions and helps drivers remain safe while out on the road.

toyota-parking-sonar

Major Safety Improvements

According to a survey performed in Japan between the months of January of 2015 and June of 2016, the Toyota parking lot sonar system, also known as Intelligent Clearance Sonar, help reduce parking-lot accidents by about 70 percent. That’s a huge safety boost and makes the feature something that everyone with a Prius should consider picking up.

What Does the Feature do?

The system makes use of two different sensors that both look out for obstacles at the rear and front of the vehicle. These sensors communicate with the smart system built into the car to let it know that there is an issue nearby. Once the Prius knows about the issue, it immediately engages the brakes to help prevent an accident, or at the very least reduce the severity of it. The system works at up to 9 MPH, and is pretty effective at helping drivers avoid most obstacles in parking lots.

Backing into Spots Has Never Been Easier

The sonar system makes it easy to back into parking spots that would have been difficult to navigate before. The system will pick up nearby obstacles while you back up, slowing the car if you are heading toward a curb, a nearby parked car or another obstacle like a wall. That means you can easily back up without fear of hitting an obstacle. The system also works with parallel parking, and there is an advanced parking assist feature that offers automatic parallel parking support so that you don’t have to deal with the task on your own.

Toyota is continually working on parking technology and should release new features and updates to the current ones as new technology comes out. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to realize just how effective the system is though, so give it a try before buying your next Prius.

You Can Finally See when Lights will Change: Well in Southern Nevada You Can

December 23, 2016 lacarguy Audi Tags: , , , , ,

Remember when we covered the new technology Audi was planning on releasing that allows drivers to see when lights are turning green? While that tech has gone from planned to existing on current vehicles. That’s right! If you pick up a modern Audi, there are some situations where you’ll be able to see when lights are going to change from red to green. This technology is still very limited and will only work in specific areas, but its exciting to see it start getting rolled out anyway.

traffic-light-image

Where it’s Available

The technology was tested out in Las Vegas first and now that it’s available on more widespread vehicles it’s still only working in Southern Nevada. That means you’ll have to pick a spot in that area to live if you’re truly interested in using the technology right now. If you’re fortunate enough to live in that area already, you could obtain this technology, but you’ll have to pay a small premium for it.

How it works

The Audi “Time to Green” feature actually taps into nearby traffic light timers and uses that information to let drivers know exactly when they can expect the light to change. The tool is highly accurate and makes driving much more enjoyable. There’s no more awkward wait for the light to change.

Getting the Service

If you live in southern Nevada and you decide you can’t live without the service, it’s actually pretty easy to obtain. You just have to pay for the Audi Connect Prime service. It’s $199 for six months of connectivity, and the tech comes along with a bunch of additional services as well. You’ll enjoy dozens of features overall, which should make driving around more enjoyable.

It’s Sure to Spread

It’s a bit sad that the technology is only available to such a small subset of people at the moment, but it’s not going to remain that way. With the success of this small trial run, the tech is sure to spread to other major cities around the country and then to the smaller rural locations as well. It’s just a matter of waiting for it to become more commonplace.

Lexus Plans Additional Variants for LC 500 Flagship Model

December 22, 2016 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , ,

The Lexus LC 500 is an exciting vehicle and it’s currently the flagship model offered by the automaker. Even though the car just only came out, it seems like Lexus has more planned for the big model than just the basic version that’s gracing the streets around the country currently. Many people believe that a convertible model is in store and that it will be released in the next year or two. Others are expecting an all-wheel drive version or a more aggressive LC 500 F. Nothing is confirmed, but Lexus could go in a lot of directions with this impressive machine.

lexus-lc-500

Why a Convertible?

There’s a really good reason for Lexus to release a convertible version of its vehicle, and that’s to compete. In order to compete with the likes of BMW and Jaguar a convertible would be a powerful and helpful tool. Lexus will likely want to capture a bit more of the market share, and a convertible will allow them to do that effectively.

It’s a Possibility

While there is no official word on whether or not Lexus is going to release a convertible version of the LC 500, it’s definitely possible to make one according to the chief engineer responsible for the LC. He claims that the structure is there to make it a possibility, it just needs the green light from Lexus to happen. There is no guarantee that it ever will, but many think it’s a possibility now.

Maybe a Performance LC or an All Wheel Variant as Well

The chief engineer also said that the car could be fitted with an all-wheel drive setup, but there was no word on whether or not that was going to happen either. It’s very likely that a more powerful and aggressively styled LC F will be released in the future, but Lexus hasn’t given an official word on that either.

There is a lot in store for this new flagship vehicle, but nothing can be confirmed at the moment. We’ll all just have to wait and see what changes are in store for the coupe next, and hope that they are going to be as good as we are expecting they will be.

 

Porsche Takes a top Spot on the 2016 Consumer Reports Customer Satisfaction Survey

December 21, 2016 lacarguy Porsche Tags: , ,

Porsche is known for being a desirable vehicle, and an automaker that buyers are happy to go back to again and again. The latest survey from Consumer Reports only serves to increase that idea even more. It’s the second year in a row that Porsche has been one of the leading automakers on the list.

2016-porsche-911

How the Owner Satisfaction Survey Works

Each year Consumer Reports puts out a survey from past car buyers about their experience with the vehicle. In order to decide which manufacturer should be out on top, Consumer Reports counted up the number of people that said “definitely yes” when asked if they would be willing to purchase the same vehicle all over again.

This is a pretty strong indicator that Porsche buyers are happy with their purchases, and it’s something that others should take note of.

Why Porsche Vehicles Take a Leading Spot

Porsche vehicles often rank highly on this list for two different reasons. The first is because it’s a luxury model that’s finely crafted and designed for performance and enjoyment above all else. The second is because the automaker works very hard to make sure new buyers are comfortable with their vehicles and that they get the service they need. Overall Porsche just tries really hard to satsify new buyers, and that approach seems to be working nicely.

The Top 4

Porsche didn’t snag the very top spot this year, and instead came in at number two behind Tesla. The automaker was followed up by Audi and Subaru on the list of vehicle types most desirable and with the greatest customer satisfaction overall.

If you’re looking for a vehicle that you can be happy with, consider picking up a new Porsche. Porsche owners are some of the most satisfied in the country, and that’s one good reason to justify the higher price tag that comes along with these beautiful luxury vehicles.

The 2017 Toyota Prius is as Fun as it is Efficient

December 20, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

The Toyota Prius is recognized as an efficient vehicle, but efficiency isn’t the same thing as fun, fast or enjoyable. For that reason, for years only the most practical have picked up the Prius, but is all that about to change? According to recent reviewers, the 2017 Toyota Prius is quite a bit different than its predecessors. Not only is it highly efficient and practical, but it’s also a blast to drive around, or at least that’s becoming the common consensus. This car isn’t a high-performance sports vehicle by any means, but it’s not the sluggish econobox that it once was either. It’s a good blend of the two, and it’s something that’s growing on a lot of reviewers.

2017-toyota-prius

The Numbers

You probably already know, but I’m going to go over a few of the most important numbers for the 2017 Prius before talking about how it drives. It comes with a four-cylinder 1.8 liter engine and two motors to create a total of 121 HP to drive the vehicle forward effectively. All the power produced by the system is held in a 3.6 amp Li-ion battery pack, that offers acceleration at lower speeds when it’s most efficient. The car is rated at 54 MPG in the city, 50 on the highway and a blended MPG of 52 MPG, which is of course impressive. Okay, now the numbers are out of the way and we can get to how it drives.

The Driving Experience

I’m not going to dwell on the actual features of the vehicle for long, because most people already know that it’s efficient, or that it relies on a hybrid power setup to go from standing still to moving around. That’s not the story I’m interested in telling. Instead I’ll focus on how this little beauty handles, because that’s the exciting part.

The Prius relies on its electric motors to whir it into motion. These motors are highly efficient at low speeds and dramatically increase fuel efficiency by handling early acceleration, but they also offer plenty of torque. You’ll be amazed at how fast this little car takes off, and it does so nice and smoothly.

Sure it loses steam as you get into the higher range, but it’s not sluggish by any means. The Prius is a smooth rider that provides an almost tranquil driving experience as you glide along down the road. It blends regenerative braking with hydraulic disc brakes to create smooth stopping power that’s highly effective. The 2017 Prius is also remarkably light on its feet, this is largely because it’s a very lightweight vehicle at around 3,000 lbs.

The car offers exceptional viewing and decent maneuvering power thanks to well-positioned mirrors that give a nice full view of what’s behind you. This car is more than capable of dicing through rush hour traffic and you won’t have a second thought about speeding past some of the slower drivers that get in your way.

Sure the Prius isn’t the fastest car out on the road, but it’s far from the slowest either. It’s capable, comfortable and pretty fun to drive around, and it’s a worthy option for anyone that likes fuel efficiency and straightforward driving.