Tag: Pac VW

Meet Pacific Volkswagen Product Specialist Gorkem Gercek

May 22, 2013 lacarguy Pacific Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

America is a melting pot, people come to this country from all over the world for kinds of different reasons, and here at LAcarGUY, we are a microcosm of that.  We have a great diversity of people that we are proud to call employees here at LAcarGUY.

Gorkem Gercek

As part of a new feature we want to highlight some of the great people who work here, and help you, be it as a sales person, a service technician or someone in the back office.  The first person we are going to feature is Gorkem Gercek, one of the Product Specialist at Pacific Volkswagen.

Gorkem was born in and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side.  Istanbul is a unique city in a number of different ways, one of them is it is a city that is on two continents, both European continent and the Asian continent separated by the Bosphorus Straights, one of the busies sea lanes in the world.

Gorkem was born into a Volkswagen family, it’s all his family has every owned!  So, it should come as no surprise that his first car was a Beetle, and then after that, he owned five Polo’s before coming to America for college in 2007.

When you are born into a Volkswagen family, and are a Volkswagen enthusiast, and you have to write your thesis for your M.B.A., what’s your subject?  “How Volkswagen Can Better Cater To The U.S. Market”!

It’s interesting that many of the points in Gorkem’s thesis, more affordable, better distribution, focus on value, are many of the items VW, has move towards in the last few years.  While he was at National University here getting his M.B.A. what car did he buy?  Why a Volkswagen of course!  It’s a 1998 Wolfsburg Edition Jetta, and it’s daily driver still.

We asked Gorkem what makes you stand out at Pacific Volkswagen.  He said that everyone comes to him with questions about Volkswagen’s because he knows the products and the brands worldwide.  A great example was recently one of his colleagues at Pacific Volkswagen came to him and asked if VW make pickup’s because he saw a a pickup with VW badging over the weekend.  Gorkem was able to show him pictures of the Amarok, which is sold in Mexico and throughout Asia.

We asked Gorkem is there was a car in Volkswagen’s world lineup that he’d like to see sold in America that is not, and he said without a doubt it’s the Polo.  He feel’s it’s a great car for what young people are asking for.  A small, really affordable car ($15,000-$16,000) that also is safe and gets great fuel economy.  He points out that the BlueMotion TDI Clean Diesel gets over 70MPG!

We are proud to have Gorkem on our team at Pacific Volkswagen, and if you have any questions about VW’s world wide, he’s your man.  The next time you stop in, make sure you say hello.

Volkswagen Introduces "Golf R Drivers Forever" iPad App

January 18, 2012 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

With the arrival of its performance icon to LAcarGUY dealerships this month, Volkswagen announced today that it is bringing the all-new 2012 Golf R to a mass audience via an iPad® app. Created with the enthusiast community in mind, the “Golf R Drivers Forever” app provides access to everything one needs to know about the Golf R. From the history of the popular Golf model and the community that rallies around it, to the focused engineers of Volkswagen, this app covers it all.

Told through the perspective of Volkswagen enthusiasts and drivers who helped bring this car to the United States, the app provides an interactive narrative on the evolution of the Golf from its days as the Rabbit in the 1970’s all the way to the present 2012 Golf R model. Filled with exclusive interviews, articles and footage, this is one app all Volkswagen fans will want to interact with.

“The Golf R app was created to celebrate and thank the Volkswagen brand’s community of enthusiasts because they represent what makes the Golf R special,” said Jon Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “The app will help build awareness around the Volkswagen brand heritage and we are excited to offer this innovative approach that illustrates the performance of the Golf R.”

The editorial-driven iPad app features:
*Exclusive videos, photos, interviews and Golf footage. Highlights include:
*A mini-documentary about the world of Volkswagen including footage of the world-famous Autostadt, created by AWOL Films
*An exclusive interview with designer Chip Foose discussing his passion for the VW brand and love for the Golf
*Accounts from key members of the Volkswagen of America Product Marketing team and Volkswagen R GmbH team
*Fan testimonials and enthusiast stories
*Interactive timeline spanning the history of the Golf
*Golf R brochure with tech specs, photo gallery and 360° view of the car

The “Golf R Drivers Forever” iPad app launches in the iTunes App Store on January 17, 2012 and is free to download. You may download the here: Golf R iPad app

The 2012 Golf R is the most powerful Volkswagen sports performance vehicle ever sold in the U.S. With 256 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, the 2.0-liter TSI® engine offers performance and fuel efficiency, thanks to intelligent downsizing. 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 and come standard with top of the line features including dual-zone automatic climate control, Bi-Xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights, and unique 18” alloy wheels. For the first time, the Golf R will be available in two-and four-door models.

Stay in touch with us on our Facebook, Twitter and G+ pages to see when the Golf R arrives!

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.

Pacific Volkswagen Blood Drive

November 10, 2011 lacarguy Charity, Pacific Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

Tis the Season of Giving so Drop By the Dealership to Donate!

Monday, December 5th
11 am – 4 pm on the Showroom Floor
All donors will receive a Pacific Movie Ticket!
call 310.531.9400 or email Andrea at andreagarcia@lacarguy.com to schedule your appointment!

Please remember to EAT WELL and INCREASE your FLUID INTAKE the day of your donation

We Require Identification

For more information, please visit the website: www.gotblood.ucla.edu

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

Pacific Volkswagen Passat Test Drive Event October 14-16

October 11, 2011 lacarguy Pacific Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

You’ve heard about the all new Made In America Volkswagen Passat, now it’s time for you to find out just how good this car is! Pacific Volkswagen is having a test drive event this weekend, October 14-16 at our store at 14900 Hindry Ave in Hawthorne.

We will have all trim lines of the 2012 Passat available for you to look at, sit in and test drive. We will also have VW Specialists on hand to answer all the questions you may have. Test drive one of the new Passats during the weekend and you will receive a $25 gas card!

If you come on Friday, lunch is on us!!! We will have the World Famous Grilled Cheese Truck here from 12-2pm providing all their great eats!

Also during this event we have special pricing for 2012 Passat leases, that make getting into a new Passat easy for everyone. Come on down to Pacific Volkswagen and see just out impressive the new Passat is.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4QBTwJwhuw?rel=0&hd=1&w=560&h=315]

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.

The 2012 Passat Resists the Dark Side

August 11, 2011 lacarguy Pacific Volkswagen, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Santa Monica Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Reposted with the permission of acarisnotarefrigerator.com.

The adorable little kid in the Darth Vader outfit who starred in VW’s popular Super Bowl commercial, The Force, won’t need to invoke The Force to compel consumers to buy the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat. I’m relieved to report that the car is good enough to sell itself. [For the record, that commercial turned out to be a very good investment for Volkswagen as it went viral and has been viewed more than 41.4 million times on YouTube alone. ]

Like most auto enthusiasts, I was concerned and apprehensive last year when VW announced that its new mid-size car was going to be a US-only Passat with an inflated size and a deflated sticker price. To do this, VW built a beautiful, shiny, new $1 billion factory in lovely, noisome Chattanooga, Tennessee. And they did it all with “only” around $557 million in state and local taxpayer incentives.

Volkswagen’s new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Right now, the only model built there is the 2012 Passat.

The new Passat was announced after the 2010 launch of the all-new 2011 Jetta. I found the new Jetta disappointing in almost all metrics save for the wonderful TDI engine option. The Jetta had been stripped of suspension parts and fitted with interior plastics courtesy of Walmart. Built in VW’s Puebla, Mexico plant, the Jetta is now cheap enough to compete with the Asians. Ugh. In short, the new Jetta had turned to the Dark Side to boost sales.

Americans respond to big price reductions, so sales of the Dark Side Jetta are up. I mourn the loss of a Jetta sedan with a class-leading interior, independent rear suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. I’ve always been a fan of VW because the little German-engineered cars were günstiger.

The 2011 VW Jetta – knock knock – come on, wake up!

The 2012 Passat, with a base MSRP of $19,995, is targeted directly at the mid-size family sedan leaders: The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu. It’s thousands less than the previous German-built Passat, primarily due to cost cutting and elimination of the profit-sucking exchange rates.

Where the Jetta’s styling redefines anonymous, the new Passat is more detailed and mature, albeit as conservative as the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Pictures don’t do the Passat justice and color makes a significant difference. All the promos show the car in a pale color; however, my black tester really popped with its controversial, bright, rapper-size fore and aft VW badges and sinister-looking polycarbonate shades streamlining the halogen headlamps into the prominent 3-bar corporate chrome grille. It may look like Darth Vader, but it hasn’t gone to the Dark Side.

The front of the 2012 Passat looks a bit menacing in black. The VW badge is certainly prominent.

I contacted VW Santa Monica (part of the LACarGuy group) ahead of time to make sure they had a diesel Passat available to test. The test car was just that – a VW tester sent directly to the Santa Monica dealer to make the rounds of local events and provide a dedicated test vehicle for 40 mpg-hungry LA-area greenies.

No window sticker, just a nice “gift” to Santa Moncia Volkswagen. Note the QR (quick response) code on the sticker. You can read it with an app on your smartphone.

I’m sure the base Passat 2.5L, saddled with VW’s unremarkable 170 hp 5-cylinder hamster wheel, will be the volume leader. Inexpensive always sells. VW also offers a top-line Passat with a 3.6L 280 hp V6; but here in green veneer L.A., the marquee model is the TDI with the 2.0L 140 hp 236 lb-ft torque turbo-diesel direct-injected engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or VW’s 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automated gearbox.

Why the excitement? Well it’s because the manual version is rated at 31 mpg city, 43 mpg highway and the automatic is rated at 30 city/40 highway. The Passat’s highway mileage meets or beats any mid-size sedan, including the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata Hybrids. Anecdotal evidence from numerous sources suggests that the TDI’s highway mileage will actually be higher. With its 18.5 gallon tank, the Passat TDI has a cruising range exceeding 700 miles. Vegas road trip anyone?

The rear of the 2012 Passat is more defined than the Jetta. It won’t win any design awards, but it’s well executed. Note the large VW badge and the TDI SEL on the right trunk lid.

It was a nice day for a drive in Santa Monica where the blistering summer heat was all the way up to 73 degrees — a daunting test for the Passat’s standard dual zone automatic climate control.

The little diesel engine feels right at home in the Passat and has no problem tugging around its 3,360 pounds. I experienced a bit of hesitation from the DSG when I punched it into a turn from a stand still; however in normal driving in city traffic, the transmission shifted smoothly. I never felt a lack of power because of the gobs of torque available from only 1,400 rpm.

All in easy reach: The handsome DSG shifter, start stop button and dual zone automatic climate control. The digital temperature settings can be read in the center infotainment screen.

The new electromechanical power steering felt light, somewhat isolated, but on center. It retains enough German precision to make it a better driver’s car, particular in DSG sport mode. The front wheels tracked dead straight. As with most VW products, torque steer has been all but banished by the engineers in Wolfsburg.

I did my usual tap and scratch test on the interior plastics of the new Passat and I have good news: This isn’t the Jetta. The dash cowl is covered in a pleasing, textured, soft-touch plastic. The “Autumn Nut Burl” trim, while not real, is convincing enough. The door trim above armrest level is textured and softened while the trim below the arm rest and below the dash belt line is a harder plastic that taps a bit hollow.

The driver’s side door panel is pleasing and the various plastic panels all match despite being of different quality. I like the way the grab handle was integrated into the design.

The tilt/telescope three-spoke multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel felt good in my hands and adjusted for a perfect view of the instruments. Basic functions were all easily accessible and my hand fell naturally both to the shifter and adjacent start/stop button.

I was grateful for the 8-way power sports seat with driver’s side memory that are part of the $4,300 TDI SEL2 option package. It took a bit of fiddling, but I found a comfy position for my 6′ 1″ lanky frame. The heated and leather-trimmed seats have Dynamico ® (synthetic suede) inserts that tether you in for an added sporty dimension.

It’s not a great picture; but you can see the power seat controls.

I didn’t test the navigation system, but the smallish 6.5″ touch screen had sharp graphics and was easy to read. The Fender Premium Audio System has a 30 GB hard drive, Bluetooth, satellite radio and iPod control. The interior is almost Lexus-quiet, with surprising little engine or road noise infiltrating the airy cabin. This modern advanced “clean” diesel engine is both quiet and odor-free.

The smallish – 6.5 inch – infotainment screen. Here you see some of the controls for the Fender Premium Audio System.

I missed a backup camera or sensors that would be an inexpensive add-on to the existing navigation system. There were no rain-sensing wipers either. And I’d prefer the iPod controls in the center armrest area rather than the glove box.

The 2012 Passat has class-leading front and rear legroom and its cargo capacity is almost at the top with 15.9 cubic feet. The standard 60/40 split rear bench folds down so that long flat cargo (think flat boxes at IKEA) are an easy fit. The trunk was completely lined and flocked; however, the trunk lid was naked and sported goose neck hinges rather than gas-pressure struts. I smell a diligent cost accountant at work.

The back seats look inviting and you can see the suede-like material inserts.

The capacious trunk has a fairly low lip, so it’s easier to load stuff. It’s nicely lined too. Note the little pulls at the top of the opening that allow you to drop the rear seats for more room. Also you can see the naked trunk lid and cheap goose neck hinges.

Base MSRP for the 2012 Passat TDI with DSG is $27,895. The SEL2 package is $4,300; however, you get almost every luxury feature and infotainment upgrade you could want. In fact, there are no other options offered. Add the $770 destination charge and the fully-loaded car is $32,965. This prices the 2012 Passat TDI smack in the middle of its similarly-equipped fuel sipping hybrid competition and it is, by far, the frugal enthusiast’s pick of the bunch.

TDI Panamericana Pit-stop at Pacific Volkswagen

July 25, 2011 lacarguy Green Team, Pacific Volkswagen, Volkswagen Santa Monica Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

We are proud and excited to announce that renowned adventurer and off-road racer, Rainer Zietlow, and his team will be making a stop at Pacific Volkswagen on August 3rd on route to completing the TDI Panamericana Endurance Challenge.

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Pan-American Highway, Zietlow and his team have taken on the ultimate endurance challenge–a fast, two-week drive from Argentina to Alaska on the longest road in the world. The team will cover 14 countries and nearly 16,000 miles in a 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel SUV. To check out the teams progress, view their website www.tdi-panamericana.com.

So drop by Pacific Volkswagen on August 3rd to cheer the team on and join in the celebration.

Amazing! Volkswagen’s Iconic Beetle to Retail at a Base Price of Just $18,995

June 7, 2011 lacarguy Pacific Volkswagen, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Santa Monica Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

We have some great news for you! Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that the new Beetle will start at just $18,995 which is fantastic value for the agile, driver-oriented coupe whose design draws from the vehicle’s reminiscent past while still looking toward the future.

“The 21st Century Beetle is an automotive icon reinvented, a nod to the heritage and character of Volkswagen and our remarkable history,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “This new interpretation of the original Beetle holds true to the traditional spirit of the car, with all the benefits of modern technologies and efficiencies.”

The 2012 Beetle is sportier, more dynamic, and features bolder styling than previous models. It is also 3.3 inches wider, 6.0 inches longer, and half an inch lower, giving it a much more muscular appearance which will have a much broader appeal. The Beetle will be available is three trim lines which might include the transparent, panoramic tilt/slide glass roof that is 80 percent longer than on the previous models.

So what do you get for $18,995? The 2.5L model equipped with a 170-horsepower in-line five cylinder engine. It offers fuel economy that is improved by up to 10 percent over the past 2.5L model. When equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, mileage is estimated at U.S. ratings of 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. The optional six-speed automatic transmission offers U.S.-rated EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

That’s not all. Standard are split folding rear seats, aux-in for portable audio players, a leather steering wheel, unique and customizable 17-inch alloy wheels, and an eight-speaker audio system. Options you might want to consider include a kaeferfach additional glovebox that is similar to that of the original Beetle, Bluetooth technology, iPod connectivity, heated front seats, three-color interior ambient lighting, and leatherette seating surfaces.

The sportiest model is the 2.0L TSI which will have a starting MSRP of $23,395. It comes equipped with Volkswagen’s critically acclaimed 2.0-liter in-line four cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. As well as providing genuine performance, the four-cylinder engine with automatic transmission offers a U.S.-rated EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.

Standard equipment on the 2.0L are a six-speed manual transmission, with the option of Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. Along with standard equipment from the 2.5L, also standard is Bluetooth technology, iPod connectivity, three-color ambient lighting, larger brakes with red calipers, a kaeferfach which is an additional glove box that is similar to the original Beetle, sport seat surfaces, 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, fog lights, three additional gauges on the dashboard, and alloy pedals.

In 2012, a TDI Clean Diesel model will become available, powered by VW’s highly efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. This will be the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever produced, with an expected highway estimate of 40 mpg.

For the music enthusiast, the Beetle comes standard with the RCD 310 sound system with eight speakers. While the optional premium VIII audio system features a CD changer, interface for SD cards, and a touchscreen. The Beetle will also offer concert-quality sound with an available Fender Premium Audio System, designed exclusively for Volkswagen. The partnership combines quality automotive engineering and quality sound engineering where Volkswagen and Fender team up to bring the raw emotion of live music to the driving experience.

And safety features include Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pumps, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in some type of accident. The Beetle is also covered under the no-charge, 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled Carefree Maintenance Program.

To be one of the first to find out when the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will arrive in our showrooms, make sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to stay informed. Or contact one of our sales consultants today to have them contact you immediately when the first car arrives!