On this episode, we cover the highlights from Detroit, discuss what we're driving, and spend your money.
The Volkswagen brand sold 407,704 cars last year, a 6.95-percent decline compared to 2012, and it's down a further 8.36 percent through the end of April 2014 compared to this time last year. In order to to put the sales football between its Strategy 2018 goal posts, the brand would need to add 100,000 more sales every year to achieve the lofty 800,000-unit target. Coming to grips with how unreasonable that is, VW US CEO Michael Horn has said, "For now, we have to have realistic targets."
Diesel lovers rejoice. Volkswagen is bringing the latest iteration of its 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine – dubbed the EA288 – to the 2015 model year Golf, Jetta, Passat, Beetle (2013 model pictured above) and Beetle Convertible, and the cars will be on sale in the second half of 2014.
Volkswagen has been responsible for its fair share of witty, clever commercials. "Tiny Vader" might be the most popular, but somehow, we think this newest spot will find a big audience. VW delivers not so much a cover, but a reimagining, of 1980s Norwegian pop band A-ha's famous music video for "Take On Me."
Volkswagen has announced the company's Passat TDI has set a new world record for the category of "lowest fuel consumption-48 US states for a non-hybrid car." Drivers Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger managed an impressive 77.99 miles per gallon over 8,122 miles, trouncing the previous record of 67.9 mpg. The duo also sailed past the hybrid record of 64.5 mpg, another record set by Gerdes. As the founder of CleanMPG.com, Gerdes spends his time squeezing the best fuel economy possible out of passenger c
It hasn't been without incident or union organizing drive, but the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN has built its 250,000 Passat in just a little over two years. The Night Blue Passat TDI with black leather has come just two years and five weeks after the first customer car came off the line on April 18, 2011.
Each year, the Vienna International Motor Symposium showcases some of the up-and-coming technologies automakers are engineering for the use in passenger cars, and Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn revealed some big developments VW is working on for its future products. Winterkorn discussed a multi-faceted approach that VW is looking to reduce its fleet fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Volkswagen has just announced a new Passat Wolfsburg Edition, which slots between the base S and mid-grade SE trims in terms of content and price. The automaker has not released any official photos of the car as of this writing (aside from the badge shot you see here, of course), but the Wolfsburg Passat will be visually set apart from the rest by a unique set of 16-inch alloy wheels.
The redesigned Volkswagen Passat has been a decent seller since its debut in 2011, but sales have apparently dropped off enough that the automaker is trimming some of the employees from its Chattanooga, TN assembly plant. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen will be cutting shifts and laying off 500 contracted workers in response to slowing sales.
As we learned when we visited last fall, Solazyme is doing some interesting things in its South San Francisco lab. Now, our friends over at Translogic put together a video showing the algae-derived diesel being used in a Volkswagen Passat TDI – as well as getting burned by the US Navy.
In December 2011, the Volkswagen plant near Chattanooga, TN was certified LEED Platinum. That's a difficult level to reach – as we described at the time – but the one billion dollars the company spent there fit snugly into the VW corporate storyline: we're going to make cleaner cars at cleaner plants. We're going to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent (between 2006 and 2015). We're going to make sure our production facilities are 25 percent more "environmentally compatible." We're goi
As part of its 2013 Detroit Auto Show debut package, Volkswagen has rolled out a sportier version of the Passat sedan, though it's strictly conceptual for now. A small dose of go-fast visuals have been added to the handsome Volkswagen, including 19-inch wheels, carbon-capped mirrors, an advanced front lighting system, LED taillamps and dual exhaust. Some carbon bits and upgraded leather are found inside the cabin, as well.
The last time Volkswagen moved this many vehicles in America in one year, Richard Nixon was still a President in good standing, Let It Be was a radio hit and each car wearing the VW badge boasted an air-cooled engine. That's right, with a grand total of 580,286 vehicles sold in the US last year, the VW Group has broken its own four-decades-old sales record by 2,899 vehicles.
Ahead of its official unveiling at next week's Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen has released some preliminary details and images of its Passat Performance Concept – a car that, as its name suggests, adds a little more spice to the automaker's midsize sedan formula. VW makes no mention of any production intent for this road-ready-looking sedan, simply stating that the Performance Concept is a way to "explore this practical four-door's sportier side."
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed its annual list of Top Safety Picks, an award that highlights automobiles it says offer "superior crash protection." A new and still more significant award, the Top Safety Pick+ honor, is given to those vehicles that earn good ratings for occupant protection in four out of five areas of measure. And while some 117 vehicles were given the TSP seal of approval for 2013, just 13 passed muster for TSP+.
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