Category: Volkswagen

Volkswagen E-Bugster Plug-in Brings Impressive Charging and Battery Advancements

January 12, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

By Laurent J. Masson
PluginCars.com

To some onlookers, the Volkswagen E-Bugster concept unveiled at the North American International Auto Show was a disappointment. As we say in French, this E-Bugster is déjà vu. We’ve seen it before. Really. Seven years ago, exactly at the same place, Volkswagen unveiled the Ragster concept, which looked pretty much the same. After so much time, you might assume this E-Bugster is a production model, but it isn’t. It’s another concept.

So how is the E-Bugster any different from the dozens of other never-to-be-made concepts you see at motor shows? First of all, it is a functioning automobile. In addition, it has something you don’t find in one-off prototypes—use of a standardized drivetrain, which actually pretty big deal.

Sharing Is Caring

The Volkswagen group sold a record 8.16 million vehicles to its customers in 2011. Record profits are on the way, thanks in no small part to the use of shared platforms and engines. It’s less common in America, but in Europe, the Skoda and Seat brands sell cars with a Czech or a Spanish flavor (respectively), that are 100 percent Volkswagen cars underneath.

How does this relate to EVs? Barely two months ago, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi unveiled an electric A3 e-tron concept. It had the same motor found in this E-Bugster—which is also the one we saw the year before, when Volkswagen introduced an electric Golf called Blue-e-Motion. Eighty of them are currently undergoing a test in Berlin, and preliminary results have reportedly been very positive.

Without much fanfare, Volkswagen has been hard at work on electric mobility, making it better in every aspect, and they’re already getting results. Power from the motor is 85 kW (115 hp), the same as it was the Golf Blue-e-Motion, but the motor has been made lighter. Its weight is down to 80 kg (176 lbs).
The battery pack has more capacity. It was 26.5 kWh in the Golf, and now that’s up to 28.3 kWh. Volkswagen says that it enables a range of at least 110 miles. It’s unknown what cells Volkswagen is using—it tested cells from numerous manufacturers—but it’s unlikely that they will be small cells like Tesla uses.

Charging Ahead

The E-Bugster also shows a huge improvement on the charging side. Thanks to a new Combined Charging Systems (CCS), which was developed in cooperation with all the other German carmakers, as well as Ford and GM, the car can be charged via a unique interface, with different currents.

The E-Bugster uses the same plug connector to charge from a standard American 110-Volt wall outlet, and up to an ultra-fast 50 kW DC current at electric charge stations. That’s way beyond the simple standardization of the plug connector. Volkswagen’s plan is to outdo the other car manufacturers that have designed their cars with several charging systems. The idea here is to have one smart charge controller, and a versatile unique electrical architecture to make the most of the current available, wherever the driver plugs in.

At best, the 28.3 kWh battery in this E-Bugster can be charged in 35 minutes. Volkswagen will invest what it takes to make this impressive feat a reality in all of its electric vehicles. Electric cars using the Blue-e-Motion electric powertrain will go into production in cars like the Golf as soon as next year, with others likely to follow.

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga Plant Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

December 9, 2011 lacarguy Green Auto Technology, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant has been awarded platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program. This makes VW the first automaker to reach the notoriously difficult, highest level of LEED certification.

To earn LEED certification, the project must satisfy all prerequisites and qualify for a minimum number of points to attain the established ratings. Once the basic prerequisites of the program are satisfied, applicant projects are then rated according to their degree of compliance within the rating system. The Green Building Council rates structures based on their environmental impact and other criteria such as energy and water consumption, use of raw materials, and recycling rates. Certifications are awarded according to the following scale:

Certified: 40-49 points
Silver: 50-59 points
Gold: 60-79 points
Platinum: 80 points and above

The new 1,400-acre facility where the U.S. Passat is built has been fitted with sophisticated technology as well as simple measures to conserve energy and water. These include using rainwater collected on the roof to cool welding equipment and flush toilets, constructing an ultra-clean paint shop, which is estimated to save 50 million gallons of water over 10 years, and installing LED lighting that uses two-thirds less energy.

Volkswagen is committed to the US market,” said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “During the worst recession in the past century, we never wavered with our investment of a billion dollars to create this world-class facility. This certification underscores Volkswagen’s commitment to engineering excellence.”

The Volkswagen Academy was also certified by the USGBC as a Platinum LEED facility. The primary purpose of the Volkswagen Academy is to prepare new employees for work at the new plant. In conjunction with Chattanooga State and Tennessee Tech, the Academy also offers an Industrial Technology degree and an apprenticeship program. “We are very pleased that the Volkswagen Academy has been Platinum LEED Certified because this reflects the level of excellence that we expect and produce in the academy,” said Hans-Herbert Jagla, EVP of Human Resources.

The Volkswagen Chattanooga plant produces the all-new 2012 Passat, which has recently been named Motor Trend magazine’s 2012 Car of the Year, as well as having earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating, the highest possible from the non-profit safety research organization. The Passat TDI – the

Volkswagen’s Fun Theory

December 5, 2011 lacarguy Green Articles, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

The Fun Theory (thefuntheory.com) is about changing human behavior for the better by making it fun to do. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

Although Volkswagen’s contest is over, we wanted to share the various fun and clever ideas that were submitted by people from all over the world. If this sparks any ides, do share them with us. Let’s see if we can do something about them.

The Play Belt
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AbQSE4ZKvk&w=560&h=315]

The Bottle Bank Arcade Machine
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSiHjMU-MUo&w=640&h=360]

The Speed Camera Lottery
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iynzHWwJXaA&w=640&h=360]

Piano Staircase
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw&w=640&h=360]

The World’s Deepest Bin
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbEKAwCoCKw&w=640&h=360]

Volkswagen Settles On Standard Electric Car Battery, From China

November 29, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicles, Green Articles, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

By Alysha Webb

Volkswagen will use the same battery module design for all its electric vehicles globally across all its brands according to Dr. Tobias Giebel, head of the Volkswagen Research Lab in Shanghai. Those battery modules and the battery cells in them are likely to be sourced from China, he said.

Volkswagen's electric cars, like the upcoming e-Up, will likely use battery cells and modules sourced from China

“You have to be focused beyond the cell level. That is the only way,” said Giebel at the EV Battery Forum Asia 2011 in Shanghai. The Forum took place on November 7 – 9, 2011.

Volkswagen’s Giebel was optimistic about Chinese battery makers’ capacity to one day build low-cost, high-quality vehicle batteries. In an interview with PluginCars.com, Giebel said Volkswagen is working with local battery manufacturers in China to produce a product that meets Volkswagen’s global standards. “We believe the future of battery cell sourcing is in China,” he said. Today, China’s lithium-ion battery makers are focused on consumer technology, said Giebel. Its automotive-grade batteries are not up to the high-level vehicle traction battery manufacturers in Korea or Japan, he said.

But Volkswagen is working closely with about 20 of China’s more than 100 battery producers, and is already seeing improvement. “We think in a couple of years we will have really strong suppliers in fully domestic companies,” said Giebel. When they are, Volkswagen will use the same source for its Asia, Europe, and the United States operations, he said.

That could mean a significant amount of business because Volkswagen will use a standard module for all electric vehicles across all its brands. That means all hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles produced under the Volkswagen Group’s 10 nameplates, which include Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Seat, Bentley, Porsche, Scania, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen commercial vehicles.

“The module shape and number of cells will be the same,” said Giebel. “The module is not part of any international norm. It is a company internal standard.” Inside the module, Volkswagen might adapt the connection between the cells to vary the number of parallel and serial cells, said Giebel. The module is a company internal standard, he added.

Volkswagen’s current parallel hybrid models, including the Touareg SUV, have a different technology, but the company will use the standard module concept first on battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric models, said Giebel. “The extension to parallel hybrid (HEV) will be decided later,” he said.

Volkswagen Passat Named Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year

November 21, 2011 lacarguy Awards, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

At the Los Angeles Auto Show last week, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat was announced as the winner of the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award, which is the most prestigious honor bestowed upon an automotive manufacturer by Motor Trend.

This year’s group was a record at 35, all-new or thoroughly redesigned, 2012 model year vehicles. The all-new for 2012, made in America, Volkswagen Passat edged out its European, Japanese and American contenders in an exhaustive evaluation process that included the full complement of Motor Trend performance tests, track-based ride and handling evaluations, and real-world driving on city streets, freeways, and two-lane roads.

“The well-equipped Passat is a breakthrough car for Volkswagen, as it has been designed to suit the North American market and is being built in a brand-new, state-of-the-art assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.,” said Motor Trend editor-in-chief, Angus MacKenzie. “It has one of the roomiest interiors of its class, a wide choice of powertrains and a well-tuned chassis. A compelling new entry in the toughest, most competitive vehicle segment in the U.S. today; it’s a terrific all-around family sedan.”

For the past 62 years, the editorial staff of Motor Trend has met to determine the best new car for the following model year. The Car of the Year process is not a comparison test; the winning vehicle is the one that, in the judges’ opinions, best fulfills six key criteria: advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function.

The Passat’s styling is clean and simple, but executed with precision normally seen on expensive luxury cars. Car of the Year judge Tom Gale, Chrysler’s former design chief, noted, “…like the Audi [A6], what is remarkable is the restraint shown with the handling of the design. Clean, beautiful surfaces have been refined for an engaging result.”

With options that include a 2.5-liter five-cylinder gas engine, a powerful V6 or a highly efficient turbo diesel–each with the option of being mated to a standard transmission or the seamlessly smooth dual-clutch auto-manual unit–Motor Trend found the powertrains of the Passat to be perfectly matched to the car. Editors particularly praised the diesel engine mated to the dual-clutch auto-manual gearbox. Engineering guru, Chris Theodore noted of the combination, “…without the compromise that mainstream green vehicles impose–a true technological achievement.”

The standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine returned 26.5 mpg in testing while the optional turbo-diesel returned an average of 34.3 mpg. The Passat has the best fuel economy stats among this year’s finalists over the course of 11 mixed-driving loops.

Between government mandates and consumer expectations, pretty much all vehicles in this segment gets a standard complement of passive safety gadgets that include six airbags, stability control, tire-pressure monitoring, ABS, and brake-assist, among numerous other electric aids. “What’s more fun to talk about under the safety rubric is how well the Passat’s chassis is tuned to keep it out of trouble, because well-driven, agile cars are less likely to plow into things than poorly controlled, flabby, clumsy ones,” said Motor Trend technical editor, Frank Markus.

And by investing in a facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. to build the Passat, VW has reduced the potential for currency fluctuations to negatively impact the price, as happened with the previous imported model. With initial costs lower and overall ownership costs suppressed–thanks to improved build quality and VW’s Carefree Maintenance Program–the 2012 Volkswagen Passat stands as a great value in a market segment driven by price-conscious consumers.

The 2012 Passat was inteneded to be an affordable, roomy, efficient mid-sized sedan for the American family, and the car delivers perfectly on the mission statement. Car of the Year judge, Chris Theodore summed it up best, “I was expecting a large, cost-reduced VW that had lost its Fahvergnugen, but it’s still there, just cloaked in Brooks Brothers.”

This is only the second time Volkswagen has won Motor Trend’s highest honor, the first being in 1985 for the then American-built TDI.

The 2013 Volkswagen CC Will Debut At The L.A. Auto Show

November 8, 2011 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

When the Volkswagen CC debuted four years ago, it was the first affordably priced four-door coupe on sale in the U.S. What looked at first like a niche has developed into a completely new segment: nearly 270,000 people around the world have bought Volkswagen’s sedan that has the looks and heart of a sports car. The CC mixes practicality with style and attainability.

Volkswagen is presenting a technically and visually updated version of the vehicle at the LA Auto Show, held at the LA Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles between November 18 and 27. With new front and rear styling and an extended range of standard equipment that includes Bi-Xenon headlights with the Adaptive Front Lighting System and LED taillights, the new CC makes an even bolder statement in the entry-luxury class. The 2013 Volkswagen CC will go on sale in the Spring in the U.S.

Volkswagen Confirms 2013 Production of XL1 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid

November 4, 2011 lacarguy Concept Vehicles, Diesel Vehicles, Green Articles, Green Auto Technology, High MPG Vehicles, Hybrid Vehicles, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Zack McDonald from HybridCars.com contacted us and asked if he could be a guest blogger for LAcarGUY, we were happy to oblige!

Remember the Volkswagen L1 that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2009? If not, here’s a brief refresher: The carbon-fiber bodied L1 concept was powered by a 0.8-liter two-cylinder diesel engine that cranked out 27 horsepower. That diesel engine was supplemented by a 10-kW electric motor housed inside the L1’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With a curb weight of only 838 pounds, Volkswagen claimed the L1 would return upwards of 170 miles per gallon.

Then, in January of 2011, Volkswagen unveiled the third generation of its fuel-sipping concept. The third-gen vehicle differed from its predecessor in several ways, but most notable was its addition of a port, which transformed the concept into a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Called the XL1, Volkswagen’s lightweight concept boasted an electric-only range of 21 miles and measured in at 153-inches long, 66-inches wide and only 45-inches high. Weight shot up to 1,753 pounds, but the output from its diesel engine jumped to 48 horsepower and its electric motor cranked out 20 kW. Volkswagen claimed the XL1 concept could zip from zero to 62 miles per hour in 11.9 seconds and top out at 100 mph.

Most importantly, the XL1 retained its streamlined body and its ultra-efficient hybrid powertrain. At the time, Volkswagen announced the XL1 would return a remarkable 261 mpg—a questionable figure since it’s based on Europe’s lenient fuel economy test cycles. Nevertheless, we’d expect the production version to return approximately 150 mpg in “real world” driving, and word is a production version is coming soon.

According to Automotive News Europe, Volkswagen chief executive officer, Martin Winterkorn, officially confirmed the 2013 launch of the two-seat XL1. ANE quoted Winterkorn, “We will start small series production by 2013—in Germany.”

That most likely equates to VW whipping out 100 or so production versions of the XL1 and selling them to the general public over in Germany. So, more of a field trial than a full-scale production vehicle, but hopefully VW brass will decide to eventually give the XL1 plug-in hybrid the mass production green light.

Local Community Heroes Receive Their 2012 Beetle's From Oprah Winfrey Show

October 14, 2011 lacarguy Pacific Volkswagen, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Santa Monica Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

LAcarGUY’s two Volkswagen stores, Pacific Volkswagen and Volkswagen Santa Monica, handed over the keys of the newly redesigned 2012 Beetle to three local Oprah Winfrey fans, as part of the show’s “Ultimate Favorite Things” giveaway!

These three lucky fans were given the surprise of their lives during a November 2010, Oprah “Ultimate Favorite Things” episode, when audience members, all specially selected community heroes, found out that they would be receiving a brand new 2012 Beetle.

Excited to participate in such a deserving promotion, LAcarGUY’s Volkswagen Santa Monica was proud to give Gina Elise, the “calendar angel,” her new, Silver 2012 Beetle. Gina is the founder of PinUpForVets.com, a project that supports hospitalized Veterans and deployed troops.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4YHYTN8OSw?rel=0&hd=1&w=560&h=315]

The other local recipients were a couple, Evelyn and Rob Calip, who picked up their Red and Blue 2012 Beetles at Pacific Volkswagen earlier today. Evelyn is a breast cancer survivor who started a non-profit, Evelyn’s Breast Friends Forever! to provide support to other women going through the same journey.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJlDrdl3QQ4?rel=0&hd=1&w=560&h=315]

Redesigned for only the second time in history, the sportier 2.5L 2012 Beetle is a modern interpretation of the iconic Beetle design. Balancing classic beauty with a contemporary edge and enhanced performance, the 2012 Beetle provides an exhilarating driving experience.

“LAcarGUY is thrilled to offer Los Angeles the 2012 Beetle, reborn and reengineered for the 21st century,” said Mike Sullivan, Owner of LAcarGUY. “I’m especially pleased that we are giving these Beetles away to such a deserving group of local heroes.”

Oprah Community Heroes pick up their 2012 Beetles from LAcarGUY

Oprah Community Heroes pick up their 2012 Beetles from LAcarGUY

Oprah Community Heroes pick up their 2012 Beetles from LAcarGUY

Oprah Community Heroes pick up their 2012 Beetles from LAcarGUY

Oprah Community Heroes pick up their 2012 Beetles from LAcarGUY

Oprah Community Heroes pick up their 2012 Beetles from LAcarGUY

Volkswagen Announces Pricing For The New Golf R

October 5, 2011 lacarguy Pacific Volkswagen, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Santa Monica Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

• Well-equipped two-door model starts at $33,990
• Sunroof and Navigation models have MSRPs of $35,490 (two-door) and $36,090 (four-door)
• Most powerful Golf production engine to be sold in the U.S.
• Six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive standard
• Predicted fuel economy of 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
• Bi-Xenon headlights and LED DRLs standard on all models
• On-sale early 2012 as a 2012 model, in both two- and four-door versions

Intelligent downsizing. That’s what the new Golf R represents. The heir to the 2004 and 2008 Golf R32 models, the new R manages to have more power, more performance, and consume less gasoline than its illustrious iconic performance forebears. And it offers all this for just $33,990, plus destination, for the two-door Golf R model.

Whereas the R32 models used 3.2-liter VR6 engines, the new Golf R is fitted with a high-output version of the award-winning turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI® engine. This engine makes 256 horsepower, six more than the VR6 fitted into the 2008 R32. As well as offering more power and performance, the Golf R is also more economical, with manufacturer estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway compared with EPA estimated mileage of 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for the prior model.

Like the previous R32 models, the Golf R is equipped with Volkswagen’s 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system: the latest generation of this system can divert up to 100 percent of the torque to the rear wheels, if needed. All Golf R models sold in the U.S will be equipped with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. For the first time, the Golf R will be available in two- and four-door guises as well as in two trim levels: well-equipped Golf R and luxurious Golf R with Sunroof and Navigation.

Exterior

The Golf R is a refined vehicle that’s marked by clean, minimalist lines that are mixed with sharp, intricate detailing. The style is sleek and contemporary, yet timeless and elegant.

The changes made for the Golf R are subtle yet striking, in keeping with the car’s mission of providing sophisticated and understated performance. Up front, there’s a new bumper that incorporates LED daytime running lights and three large black air intakes that help cool the engine. The radiator grille is finished in gloss black and features an “R” logo that sets the front of the car apart from the rest of the Golf range. Unique Bi-Xenon headlamps that are framed in black also have the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), whereby the lights turn with the steering wheel, up to a maximum of 15 degrees, to provide better visibility around bends.

The car’s streamlined profile continues toward the rear, with a pair of subtly flared side skirts running along the lower edge of the body. The new 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels expose gloss-black-painted brake calipers that incorporate the “R” logo; the exterior mirrors also have a gloss-black finish.

There’s further differentiation at the back of the R, where a new rear bumper was needed to accommodate the central twin pipes for the exhaust system, similar to the tailpipes fitted on the original 2004 R32. The bumper also features a gloss-black diffuser. The back end is highlighted by a slightly larger tail spoiler than that of the GTI and a subtle “R” badge. The R is available in five colors: Rising Blue, Candy White, Carbon Steel Gray, Black, and Tornado Red.

Interior

Just like the exterior, the interior has been enhanced to make it even more purposeful and demonstrate its role at the apex of the Golf range.

On opening the door, the driver and passenger will note aluminum “R” kickplates on the sills, before sliding into deep bucket seats. These are adorned with an “R” logo on the head restraint and are upholstered in supple leather.

The squared-off steering wheel is also swathed in leather, with gloss-black-finished spokes that carry through from the exterior design. Other R-specific features include: blue pointers for the instruments; the shifter knob with an “R” motif; aluminum trim for the dashboard and doors; and aluminum pedals.
The Golf R comes extremely well equipped, even in base form. Fully automatic dual-zone climate control is standard, along with a multifunction steering wheel, Premium VIII audio with eight speakers, aux-in, a Media Device Interface with iPod® connectivity, and Bluetooth®. The Golf R with Sunroof and Navigation adds the RNS 315 touchscreen navigation system; a 300-watt Dynaudio® sound system; a sunroof; and Keyless Entry with push-button start.

Just like the rest of the Golf range, the R is practical and versatile. The high-lifting tailgate provides easy ingress and egress to a load area that offers 15.3 cubic feet of space. And with the folding rear seat back split 60/40—and featuring a pass-through—there’s real flexibility for load carrying.

Engine and Transmission

The Golf R is fitted with the most powerful Golf production engine ever seen in the U.S. The car uses an updated version of the EA113 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, rather than the EA888 engine used in the current GTI. Like the EA888, the EA113 uses direct fuel injection and double overhead camshafts with variable intake timing. Because the Golf R develops more power and torque than the GTI—256 horsepower and 243 lb-ft compared with 200 hp and 207 lb-ft—a number of changes have been made. The cylinder block is reinforced, stronger connecting rods are fitted, and a BorgWarner K04 turbocharger is used, boosting at up to 17 psi. With manufacturer estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, this is the most fuel-efficient Golf R model ever sold in the U.S.

The Golf R is offered with a slick shifting, close-ratio six-speed manual transmission that features a magnesium selector housing and cable operation with very short lever movements. The latest-generation 4Motion all-wheel drive is also standard on the Golf R. This system uses a Haldex® clutch pack that continuously varies the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels, depending on whether slippage is detected at the front. In normal driving, the Golf R acts like a front-wheel-drive machine, which has benefits for fuel economy. However, if needed, up to 100 percent of the torque can be directed to the rear wheels for traction on more challenging surfaces.

Suspension

The Golf R has unique calibration for its suspension, even compared with the GTI. At the front, it uses a damper-strut layout with lower control arms and a stiff, tubular anti-roll bar that combine to help keep the front tires planted during hard cornering, reducing body roll and heightening steering feedback.

At the back, there’s a compact multilink independent layout that features coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar. The four-link layout features three lateral control arms—the spring mounting, the track rod and upper control arm, and a trailing link at each wheel. Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle subframe and, as at the front, rubber and metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to help ensure the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively.

The spring and damper units are located separately on each side of the car at the rear, with the coil spring bearing directly on the trailing link and the damper attached to the wheel hub assembly. This enables the suspension geometry on the compression stroke to generate a toe steering effect that maintains neutral behavior, or some slight understeer, in all driving and load-carrying situations. It also helps ensure excellent driving stability on rough, uneven road surfaces. Stylish 18-inch-diameter aluminum-alloy wheels are shod with 225/40 all-season performance tires.

Steering and Brakes

The Golf R uses a third-generation electro-mechanical power steering system that is able to vary the feel of the steering to suit the speed and driving situation. It is firm and direct when driving at highway speeds, requiring less effort at parking speeds. Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centering action, and its ability to help compensate for driving hazards like crosswinds and steep road cambers. In the Golf R, the steering ratio is quicker than the GTI’s for an even sportier on-road feel.

The brakes were modified to cope with the Golf R’s higher level of performance as compared to the GTI. Golf R gets vented 13.6-inch-diameter front and 12.2-inch rear discs, up from the GTI’s 12.3-inch-diameter vented front and 10.7-inch solid rear discs. Naturally, anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard, along with electronic brake pressure distribution (EBS) and hydraulic brake assist (HBA). The latest version of HBA is able to discern whether the braking is “normal” or an emergency according to the speed with which the pedal is depressed. In the event of an emergency, HBA helps increase the brake pressure and activates the ABS.

Safety and Security

The 2012 Golf R comes with an array of standard safety features. For driving security, enhancements include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), and an Electronic Differential Lock (EDL). A hill holder function automatically applies the parking brake when the vehicle comes to rest and the brake is depressed in traffic, preventing the car from rolling backwards or forwards. The brake is released once the driver presses the accelerator pedal. This is especially useful in slow traffic on long inclines.

Should the car be involved in a crash, the occupants are protected by driver and passenger front and front side thorax airbags together with Side Curtain Protection® head airbags for front and rear passengers. Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and even switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions.

Like all 2012 Volkswagen models, the Golf R is covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. All scheduled maintenance is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty—three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

Model Line-up

The base Golf R is a sophisticated and luxurious performance car, with a high level of standard equipment.

Golf R

Starting at $33,990, the two-door Golf R comes equipped with Bi-Xenon headlights; dual-zone Climatronic® air conditioning; cruise control; leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel; power windows with auto up/down function; leather seating surfaces; 60/40-split folding rear seat with pass through; aluminum pedals; a leather shifter knob and brake lever; and Bluetooth® technology. The eight-speaker sound system has an in-dash six-CD changer, AM/FM/SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio, and auxiliary input jack along with an iPod® adapter.

Golf R with Sunroof and Navigation

Starting at $35,490 for the two-door model, this adds: a power tilt-and-slide sunroof; Keyless Entry with push-button start; the RNS 315 touchscreen navigation system; and the eight-channel 300-watt Dynaudio® premium sound system.

All-New 2012 Passat, 8th Volkswagen to Receive a 2011 Top Safety Pick Award

September 12, 2011 lacarguy Pacific Volkswagen, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Santa Monica Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Having moved North American production to Chattanooga, Tennessee, the all-new Volkswagen Passat has now been repositioned to compete at the heart of the mid-sized sedan market. Now it has earned the coveted Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating for 2011, which is the highest possible for the non-profit safety research organization.

This annual rating recognizes vehicles that perform best in protecting passengers in the Institute’s front, side, and rear crash test evaluations, along with the newly required roof-strength test evaluations. Top Safety Pick ratings are only awarded to vehicles that are fitted with electronic stability control and head protection airbags.

The Passat is the eighth Volkswagen vehicle to win the award for 2011. Among its winning siblings is the CC 2.0L TSI, Jetta, Jetta Sportwagen, Tiguan, Touareg, and four-door GTI models.

“Performance of the Passat is another example of Volkswagen’s ongoing commitment to engineer vehicles that earn the highest safety ratings,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “Top Safety Pick winners achieve that status by earning the top ratings in the Institute’s four demanding tests, and by having electronic stability control, the most important feature in helping drivers avoid many kinds of crashes in the first place.”

“The new Passat is an important vehicle for Volkswagen,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “It has been engineered in Germany specifically to compete in the heart of the North American mid-sized sedan segment.”

“To have IIHS recognize the Passat as the Top Safety Pick is a great statement for this new car–and to have eight Volkwagen models with this significant award is an equally great statement for the brand. It’s a testament to our commitment to make safety such a high priority in vehicle development, using advanced techniques such as laser seam welding and the extensive use of high-strength steel to build exceptionally strong structures.”

The Passat will hit our showrooms in the third week of September. Join our Facebook community or follow us on Twitter to be one of the first to know! Or contact us today and have one of our sales consultants contact you personally as soon as the vehicle arrives.