All posts in “Volkswagen”

VW ID.R Goes to China for Big Gate Road Record Attempt

Not content with the record’s it has already managed to secure, Volkswagen has announced a date for its Tianmen Mountain, Big Gate Road, record run.

The Volkswagen ID.R has been travelling the world breaking records at the hands of Romain Dumas. In recent years it has secured the overall record time for the spikes Peak International Hill Climb, the electric car record for the Nurburgring and the overall record time for the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb.

The Big Gate Road

Each time, Volkswagen has adapted the ID R for its record breaking runs. The secret to its success lies within its 680 hp electronic motors which give it a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) time of 2.25 seconds. It is Volkswagen’s first electric race car with the chassis co-developed by Norma, French Sports Prototype and hillclimb specialists.

The challenge this time is to set a competitive time up China’s Heaven’s Gate (or Big Gate) Mountain road. The road opened in 2006 and has since been the scene for many feats of endurance. Very few cars have been allowed to race up the 11 km (7 mile) road with its 99 bends. While the resulting run will likely prove impressive promotional material, ultimately, Volkswagen will be setting a benchmark rather than attempting to beat one this time around!

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1945 Volkswagen Beetle

Hopefully you still have space left in your garage for a new vintage score. Who are we kidding, really — you probably do. So, check out this 1945 Volkswagen Beetle, now up for auction care of Hemmings.

From 1938 to 2003, Volkswagen made 21.5 million Beetle cars, which effectively makes it one of the best-selling cars of all time. This particular unit is going for $280,000, and we understand if you’re rolling your eyes right now. That price is unacceptable, especially for something so widespread, anyway. But hear us out for a minute, would you?

This is not just any 1945 Volkswagen Beetle. This is actually an ultra-rare Typ 51 Beetle, imported to Australia for evaluation by the Australian government in 1947 as part of Germany’s reparations for the Second World War. Built in 1945 as its name suggests, this car is three inches higher and has an engine made in 1946.

It received a pretty rigorous restoration job using the original body panels. The car comes in its original flat black color and is in excellent running condition. Mileage is at just 69,435, which isn’t so bad. Yes, the Beetle enjoyed a pretty massive production run. At that, this car is effectively, well, unspecial. Still, any early Beetle is an icon, and you need to act fast if you want this under your garage roof. You can hit the link below to know more information about the 1945 Volkswagen Typ 51 Beetle sale.

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Photos courtesy of Hemmings

This Could Be the Only Remaining Australian 1945 Type 51 Volkswagen Beetle

Despite some missteps in terms of design and overall build quality during the aughts, it’s impossible to deny the impact and importance of the Volkswagen Beetle. If vintage VWs are your thing—and they should be—you…

VW’s ID R Sets A New Nurburgring EV Record

This Is One Fast Battery-Powered Machine

VW’s ID R was already known to be a super-fast car, but now it has further proof. The car obliterated the EV Nurburgring time. It smashed the record by cutting off 40 seconds from the old record. 40 seconds. Good Lord that’s a lot of time. It’s actually the second fastest car ever to make the lap of the racetrack. 

The car manages to lay down a 6:05.3 lap time, which puts the Nio EP9 securely in the rearview. Forget the Nio, the ID R is the new king by a long shot. The only car that’s beaten the ID R’s lap time is the 919 EVO with a time of five minutes and 19 seconds, according to Car Throttle. That means we’ll need to update our list of top Nurburgring lap times.

“For this evolved version of the ID R, the aerodynamic configuration was more strongly adapted to the highest possible speed, rather than maximum downforce,” said François-Xavier Demaison, the program’s tech boss. By not worrying quite so much about downforce, the car was truly able to fly around the racetrack.

The reduction in downforce may have raised top speed, but that would have made the car a little less stable around the corners. Still, it doesn’t seem to have mattered. Romain Dumas, the French racing driver who set the pike’s peak record in the ID R last year, was obviously able to handle it. 

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Volkswagen California Camper Van 30th Anniversary Edition

Volkswagen has done something special to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its iconic California Camper Van. The German automaker has announced a brand-new edition of the vehicle.

Designed for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, the California 30 Years edition builds upon the classic’s already superb offerings with a unique badge showing its production number. Plus all the gear and built-in equipment you need to ensure efficient, no-frills outdoor expeditions.

The California Camper Van comes with programmable heating and double-glazed windows as standard. Both these should make the car feel like home away from home, wherever you may be. Bright wood cabinet trims make the interiors more homey and liveable. There’s a popup sleeper compartment, and even an external shower, to boot.

Let’s not forget the kitchenette. While you’ll likely be spending lunches outside because camping’s more authentic that way, it’s still a nice little addition. You also get a full-length cabin bed for a good night’s rest. Tons of storage are available inside to put all your knick knacks in, and there are many tech features to toy around with, as well.

Volkswagen since the California Camper Van has been a symbol of individual freedom since 1988, and we’re inclined to agree. Made for pure adventure, it’s remains an iconic household name to this day. Note that just 999 units will be made, and only 30 are coming to the UK. If you want one, better order fast. As a side note, hopefully Volkswagen puts something more special than just a badge for the car’s 60th year.

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Photos courtesy of Volkswagen

Volkswagen Is Making an All New Electric Dune Buggy Concept

Volkswagen just announced that they’re breathing new life into their lineup with a few teaser shots of a one-of-a-kind electric dune buggy. What they’re actually doing is resurrecting the idea of the Beetle-based buggy that…

VW Golf GTI TCR Road Car Review

VW had to drop their standard GTi leaving only their Golf GTi Performance Pack and in the current day culture of a niche-within-a-niche this seemed to be a problem.

So they’ve launched a newer, more powerful version above it. Which means the ‘Performance Pack’ is now technically the standard pack. And to add some confusion on top of that you can also get a Performance Pack for the new, more powerful, GTI TCR version.

What do you get with the GTI TCR? An increase of 20bhp to 290bhp which results in a 0.6s faster 0-100km/h and more aero bits like deeper side-skirts and a bigger diffuser.

To find out how it feels I was shipped off to Portugal to give it a go. It was my first time at the fantastic Portimao race track and was given the keys to a flat grey Golf GTI TCR with almost free will to thrash it around the track.

VW Golf GTI TCR

I got lucky with my allocated track day with cool dry conditions and on top of that I arrived before all the other journalists which allowed me the opportunity to hit the track immediately and on my own.

Since the VW Golf GTi is basically the 911 of the VW group it’s not easy to immediately tell how it differs to Golfs that have come before it. However upon whipping out my microscope I spotted the bigger diffuser and more aggressive front end containing bigger intakes and a splitter.

Once you get into the car you’ll have an easier time to tell it’s a bit special with uniquely sculpted seats, clothed in Alcantara and custom stitching and the steering wheel also has a neat red racing stripe to help you know which way you’re turning.

VW Golf GTI TCR

My favorite part though was the digital dial interface. It was really easy to use and the interface was intuitive enough that I learned my away around it in a few moments. The same cannot be said for the touch interface in the center console but more on that in a bit.

As familiar as the exterior is the same cannot be said for the driving experience. Having personally owned a few GTI’s in the past I do have a pretty good reference but I have to say that the TCR is quite a big step from previous generations.

Let’s start with the steering which is communicative and super sharp. If I just looked at the steering wheel the car wanted to turn and once you started turning the car responded beautifully.

VW Golf GTI TCR

As I approached the corner on the brakes I was struck by the ‘liveliness’ of the rear end, moving around just enough to give the feeling that the car is alive and by no means flat or overly-safe. You could even argue that it was too communicative for a Golf but personally I was enjoying myself so much that I hope all future fast-Golfs feel like this.

Heading towards the apex I anticipated a bunch of on-power understeer but was shocked to feel the car continuing to rotate around the corner and head to the exact place I wanted to be at the exit. Zero understeer. The new limited slip diff has been brilliantly calibrated but I think the electronics also do a good job of smoothly kicking-in in a natural way that does not detract from the experience.

Once completing my track time I headed out to some back roads which were even better than the track itself. Hard to believe. Once on some less refined tarmac it was immediately clear how stiff this car is compared to previous versions. Even at a medium speed the car was moving around a lot over the bumps which is very fun and involving for any driver but I can imagine this kind of character wearing you down over a long drive.

But I don’t think you buy this for the long drive. You buy this car because you love the way it feels. You buy it because you enjoy your driving and want your car to tell you exactly where it is at all times.

Criticisms? I do wish it was louder. After driving the race version of the GTI TCR it was even more apparent that this car could have gotten away with a bit more exhaust noise when in Sport mode. Given how the car feels on the road and the way it responds to your inputs the increased sound would have been justified.

VW Golf GTI TCR

I’m also not a fan of the latest touch screen trend as they’re distracting with overly complex interfaces. Just give me some buttons please.

But these are nitpicks. I like this car a lot and if it was my own money I’d have a hard time choosing something else.

The GTI is fast becoming the 911 of the hot-hatch world, evolutionary design with great build quality but more importantly incredibly fun to drive. It’s amazing how far this car has come since the Golf 5. Well done VW.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Jetta has been one of Volkswagen’s best sellers stateside. No surprise there. The car is excellent, and although it has remained unchanged since the previous-generation Jetta in 2011, it’s still segment-competitive.

That said, Volkswagen needs to step it up since new compact sedans are hitting the market rapidly.

Enter the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. It’s completely new from the ground up with a new platform, gearbox, plus a redesigned interior and exterior. That and plenty of new features for good measure. The only thing that Volkswagen didn’t change here is the engine. Not a bad thing, really. It was the only thing on the last Volkswagen Jetta that didn’t need fixing.

The car feels like it costs more than it actually does, a sentiment most apparent once you’re inside. Here, you’ll find (if you opt for the Execline trim) a 12.1-inch Digital Cockpit infotainment system. You get leather seats and steering wheel, too. Plus heated and ventilated front seating and a new sound system courtesy of BeatsAudio Premium. Not to mention a 10-color customizable ambient lighting system that matches whatever mood you’re in.

You also gets loads of security features that are otherwise absent on compact sedans in the same price range. Like forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, and active blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert. There’s also a lane keeping system with lane assist, automatic high beam control, and adaptive cruise control. Rear view camera and intelligent crash response systems are also in place.

Pricing starts at $18,545 for the base S model. However, you can opt for different trims at varying prices. Choose the standard model to get a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission. That amounts to 147 horsepower. Alternatively, add $800 to get the 8-speed automatic.

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Photos courtesy of Volkswagen

2019 Volkswagen Touareg

Even without the confirmation that it’s headed to American soil, we cannot stem our excitement for the 2019 Volkswagen Touareg. Automotive experts are already showering the upcoming SUV with praises and suggesting that it will be more innovative than the next-generation Audi Q7. However, all hope is not lost as insiders tease a likelihood that the model will come out in the United States, albeit with the different label.

The bit of good news stated above does not end there. We speculate that the manufacturer will delegate the production of five-seater’s US version to its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The elimination of international shipping might introduce a beneficial outcome—there is a possibility that the reduced costs will translate into a discounted price for American buyers.

You might be overwhelmed by the range of engine trims offered by VW for its new luxury SUV. There is only one gasoline-powered selection which is a 3.0-liter V6 at 355hp with 332lb-ft of torque. Diesel variants start off with a 3.0-liter V6, available in 228hp and 282hp configurations. Finally, a 4.0-liter V8 version that outputs 417hp and 664lb-ft of torque tops the list. All options are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Safety features such as traffic jam assist, autonomous emergency braking, driver assist systems, lane-keep assist, and a night vision camera are all included. With rear-wheel steering on board, you can tackle challenging parking situations with ease.

That star of the show lies inside the 2019 Volkswagen Touareg. Just like most modern luxury-tier vehicles, analog components have been upgraded into digital. Nevertheless, VW seamlessly merges its 15-inch infotainment module with the 12-inch instrument panel screen into what the company calls the Innovision Cockpit system. The result is a stylish touch-enabled display with flowing curves minus the buttons. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are likewise fully supported.

2019 Volkswagen Touareg

Photos courtesy of Volkswagen

VW Group plan puts Porsche in charge of a ‘super-premium’ division

An Automobile report looks into what’s happening on the organizational and technical sides of the Volkswagen Group, and what those changes could mean for the premium brands. The wide-angle view is that Porsche appears to have been anointed to “coordinate the future activities” at Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini. Audi would cede Lamborghini guardianship to Stuttgart, and Ducati — via a new concern called Ducati Enterprises — would become the shepherd for VW’s other Italian investments. Executives target Jan. 1, 2019, to complete the reshuffle.

VW wants to save a boodle by tying up four of its five top-tier brands, and putting the one with the highest ROI in charge. Porsche, within its own house, wants to reduce expenditures by $2.3 billion per year over for four years, the savings already earmarked for improving internal processes like R&D and production. Having Porsche share those gains as well as lead development of platforms, components and future-tech strategies for the sister sports car brands could benefit everyone.

In the near-term, the brands have their own plans:

Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann is said to want a Chiron Superleggera, a roofless and “completely reskinned” Chiron Aperta, and a track-only Chiron SS. The Superleggera could take the Chiron Sport‘s and Divo‘s Jenny Craig routines even further. The Aperta seems a natural successor to the Veyron Grand Sport, a natural evolution of the recently introduced Sky View roof, and a reskin might include numerous Divo cues. It’s also said Bugatti’s considering “an all-electric high-end model” in conjunction with Porsche, Rimac, and Dallara, but name one supercar or hypercar manufacturer that isn’t considering a lightning-fast EV.

Lamborghini, deep into work on follow-ups for the Huracán and Aventador, might get a bit of a bump with the new plan. The carbon “monofuselage” for the next V12 flagship is said to be too far developed and too complex to scrap. It puts two electric motors on the front axle, batteries in the middle, and a naturally aspirated V12 with around 770 horsepower plus another e-motor with 402 horsepower in back.

The Huracán is said to get a version of the same carbon architecture at the moment, but the corporate reorganization might press pause on it. Automobile says options include continuing the Huracán/Audi R8 twinning, but that depends on Audi saying “Ja” to a third-gen R8 with Lamborghini bones. Beyond that, the Huracán could move to the Mimo II platform created by Porsche for the in-limbo-since-2011 mid-engined 960, or the entire premium group could get a new aluminum architecture for a “modular multi-brand sports car.”

Bentley and Audi need the most help at the moment. The UK carmaker needs to flesh out its current financial issues and vision for the future, and the latter relies in large part on the former. Audi remains in upheaval — the Automobile piece calls the brand “seriously overstaffed and worryingly over budget.” — and we can’t know when that will end. The ex-CEO who made the brand VW’s highest earner remains in jail, and we wouldn’t be surprised by any new bombshell that drops when he gets his days, or weeks, in court.

A total reintegration, if it all comes off, means monumental work. Yet according to a Bloomberg corporate analyst, potential rewards from going all the way with the plan might make it impossible to resist. Bloomberg said that if VW created a premium group and floated it on the markets, the result “could be valued at more than 120 billion euros,” when the stock market capitalization of the entire VW Group right now is 67 billion euros.

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Volkswagen: Pikes Peak Hill Climb Record Holder

Over the weekend, Volkswagen sent out their all-electric prototype to crush the Pikes Peak Hill Climb record. A century-old race that has 12 miles and 156 curves, Pikes Peak has been setting laps and letting cars chew up miles for greatness up top.

Jalopnik reports that the 670-horsepower Volkswagen I.D. R prototype set a climbing record in under eight minutes (7:57.148, to be exact),

The goal was to beat the EV record set by Rhys Millen in a 1,595-HP car in 2016, which was 8 minutes and 57 seconds. The I.D. R, instead, became the first car to run Pikes Peak in under eight minutes, beating the all-time record for any car set by Sébastien Loeb in 2013. The I.D. R ran a 7:57.148 with prior Pikes Peak champion Romain Dumas at the wheel, compared to the 8:13.878 Loeb ran in an 875-HP Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car.

For something that was developed in 9 months, Volkswagen worked with Porsche to create an efficient hill-climbing monster. There are some amazing engineering involved in this record-breaking attempt which included:

  • Two electric motors producing 670 horsepower; one in each axle
  • Aerodynamic design to produce more downforce because the air becomes less dense as you climb up in altitude
  • Charging stations powered by glycerol, which is a bio-diesel byproduct (More on that here)

Kudos to Volkswagen in pursuing electric technology for racing and pushing the limits on what it can do. It’s amazing because they’re paving the way for the future.

Official: Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak

Winning the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb is one of the biggest motorsports achievements out there. The Pikes Peak track measures 12.42 miles (19.99 km) with 156 turns and 1,440 miles of height gain. Volkswagen have never won the event. They are hoping that this years will be the year! Faster than both Formula E and Formula 1 cars; its competitor will be the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak.

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak is a fully electric super sports car. Volkswagen claim 680 hp with 650 Nm of torque in a package weighing less than 1,100 kg. These statistics allow a 2.25 second sprint to 100 km/h. The car is powered by two electric engines with lithium ion batteries which are 20 percept replenished during the drive from engine recovery.

The targets for the Volkswagen project include the existing record of 8:57.118 minutes for electric cars at the “Race to the Clouds”. That time was set by Rodney Millen in Latvian creation e0 PP100. Sebastien Loeb’s overall, unlimited record, set with the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak seem unobtainable at 8:13.878!

The iconic Pikes Peak hill climb will take place on 24 June 2018. Volkswagen have secured the services of reigning Pikes Peak champion, Romain Dumas.

‘That 70s Show’ Volkswagen Samba Van

Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Shaggin’ Wagon’ from “That 70s Show” is up for sale. The 21-window Volkswagen Samba Bus from the beloved television series can be yours on April 14, 2018, at Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach Auction.

Powered by a 1600cc 4-cylinder engine matched with a 4-speed manual transmission, the iconic hippie van (model year 1967) has had the brakes and engine recently serviced, and it rides on new tires. It boasts a green/white exterior and beige interior.

The ‘Love Bus’ is offered with no reserve (be prepared to shell upwards of $300K though) and includes an original “That ’70s Show” handbag signed by some of the cast, including Mila Kunis and Laura Prepon.

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1961 Volkswagen Type 2 Single-Cab Pickup

Going up for auction this Saturday, March 10 is this highly collectible 1961 Volkswagen Type 2 Single-Cab Pickup. Due to the more limited production numbers and unique look, this original model is far rarer than the Microbus and Van variants.

Fully-restored in 2009, with mechanical work done by Paul Wilson of the automobile racing team Brumos Porsche, the vehicle is complete and ready to go. All of its tray back sides fold down, while a center section provides additional storage.

Finished in a sweet, two-tone red & white colorway, with chrome accents, and bumpers front and back, the highly coveted pickup is offered without reserve and is expected to fetch between $35,000-$45,000.

Bid Here