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2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Comes with Serious Upgrades

volkswagen golf gti (6)

The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI just removed its covers days before the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. The hot hatch features major upgrades in its performance and looks.

Although the base model of the Golf will not be arriving in the US, Volkswagen has confirmed that the GTI and R trims of the range will be offered there.

Here are the key features of the new Golf GTI:

Exterior

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The Golf GTI comes with a new look that distances it from its base model. Among the cosmetic upgrades include an illuminated bar with red accents above the front radiator grille. Then the car can be further customized through the new optional LED lights behind the honeycomb mesh of the front bumper. Going around, the LED taillights are now narrower in design compared to the outgoing model and a new spoiler stands out in the rear. The hatch retains its signature red brake calipers while its wheels have angular five-spoke styling.

Interior

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The cabin of the Golf GTI is highlighted by its plaid seats with red stitching and red accents, as well as its 10-inch infotainment system in the center console with 30 themes to choose from. The display can be optionally upgraded into 10.2 inches. Meanwhile, the center console features some tweaks particularly in the shift-by-wire gear selector for the DSG transmission, steering wheel, and start/stop button.

Performance

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The Europe-bound Golf GTI possesses a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine. It produces 245 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Volkswagen is yet to confirm the U.S. configuration of the auto.

The power of the hot hatch is distributed via a six-speed manual or the optional seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission. It utilizes a McPherson front axle and multi-link rear suspension coupled with an adaptive chassis control system. The system is also called the DCC, which adjusts the dampers instantly in varying road conditions depending on the steering input, braking, and acceleration of the driver to improve the sport and comfort drive modes of the car.

Volkswagen Will Continue to Offer Cars in the US

volkswagen passat

Despite the strong preference of buyers for sport utility vehicles over cars, and with the likes of GM and Ford abandoning their sedan segment in the U.S. in favor of the bigger autos, Volkswagen promises to keep on offering their cars in the market.

“While some brands have walked away from car sales, we are focused on making smart decisions in this segment which is still a big part of the market,” said Volkswagen during its special media event today in Michigan. With that, the brand will continue selling the Jetta, Arteon, and Passat in the country.

During the event, the German automaker also revealed some of its plans for its SUV range. The company stated that it will be introducing an electric compact SUV in 2020. No names were dropped but we have a reason to believe that it might be the ID.4 we spied a few months ago.

The ID.4 will be based on the ID.Crozz concept. The electric crossover is expected to deliver up to 300 hp from its twin-motor specification.

Volkswagen hinted at another crossover that will be positioned below the Tiguan in the company’s hierarchy. The auto will be their answer to the likes of the Jeep Compass, Nissan Rogue, and Kia Sportage in the summer of 2021. Some suspect the unit to be based on the Nivus, which will be assembled in Mexico for the North American region.

Lastly, Volkswagen confirmed a facelifted model of the Atlas for 2021. Aside from the minor refresh in the exterior, the SUV will be getting a new steering wheel, touchscreen display measuring 8 inches, and updated driver assistance system. The unit will be longer by three inches too. It wasn’t clear though whether the new figure will translate to more legroom in the vehicle’s cabin.

2000 Volkswagen Beetle Given Off-Road Capabilities

Due to the very compact and low stance of the Volkswagen Beetle, many people may not realize that it has off-road potentials. Since the 1960s, however, we have been seeing the Baja Bug versions of the car, which is rigged with off-road modifications. The video above shows one example of this amazing car in action on a snowy and muddy track.

The subject is based on a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle GLS. It features a few cosmetic modifications such as orange accents, off-road lights, skid plate, and bumper guard. Beneath the car is a suspension kit that adds around three inches to its ride height. Then it is equipped with 16-inch wheels wrapped in off-road tires. A spray-on bed coating has been applied to its body for extra paint protection. Meanwhile, it is also fitted with a Magnaflow exhaust to provide the Beetle with a louder engine sound, and because of the age of the car, its exhaust needed to be replaced already.

The rest of the Beetle appears to be stock. There are no indications that the interior has been touched by the upgrade. The bug is still using its original 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 115 hp while a four-speed automatic transmission distributes power to the front wheels.

The Beetle here was christened as Baja Bob. It was taken on a trip in the cold snowy trails of Moab in Utah by the people at TFLoffroad to test its off-road potential.

They drove over at the muddy road, tested its climb on snow, and crossed it over a creek. Although it encountered a few hiccups on its way to Utah as narrated in the video, and it struggled in the ditch due to lack of momentum, it surprisingly withstood the whole ordeal.

4 Questions You Need To Ask About The 2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet

2020 volkswagen t-roc cabriolet (1)

Convertible SUVs are not too popular these days. There’s a plunge in the demand for them but fortunately, you can still get your hands on one if you want to. German automaker Volkswagen came up with the new T-Roc Cabriolet, a high-riding compact car with a drop-top.

Why Make The T-Roc A Convertible?

VW already axed the Eos, the Golf Cabriolet, and the Beetle Cabriolet. This means there’s room in its lineup for a small drop-top convertible. What you get when you mix that gap with the need for a crossover is the T-Roc Cabriolet.

The brand also needs at least one convertible in its range so the T-Roc will be the only convertible in the VW lineup for the foreseeable future. It looks the same as the regular five-door T-Roc except that it has a soft drop-top, a raked windscreen, and only two larger doors.

Should You Get The VW T-Roc?

Absolutely! This is the first crossover cabriolet in the compact segment. If that seems to be a lot of combination, just think about this: it combines an extroverted design with the raised seating that’s characteristic of an SUV. The trunk isn’t as big as the regular T-Roc crossover but the 284 liters are just enough. When the soft top comes down, that capacity decreases to just 161 liters.

Speaking of the drop-top, it folds electronically at speeds of 30 km/h or 19 mph. The shape is alike the top created for the Golf Convertible.

What Platform Is Used For The T-Roc Cabriolet?

The drop-top version of the regular T-Roc used the same MQB platform that underpins everything from the Audi A1 to the Passat. The structural rigidity of the car, however, was affected because of the drop-top. VW said it used four cross braces and a front cross strut in key areas to make the car sturdier.

When Will The T-Roc Cabriolet Be Available In The Market?

The T-Roc will officially be revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12 to 22. The market debut should be sometime in the spring of 2020. There are two packs that buyers can choose from: Style will include color themes for the interior, standard mood lighting, and 17-inch rims with a distinctive lacquered finish while the R-Line adds standard fog lights and sports seats for a sporty look.

The Volkswagen ID.4 SUV Is Ready For Production

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The Volkswagen ID.4 SUV, which will come a year after the ID.3 hatchback arrives in dealerships, has been spotted in its production form for the first time. The SUV is due to come in showrooms by the summer of 2021.

As expected, this bodywork has more conventional SUV proportions than the ID. Crozz concept, on which the ID.4 SUV was based on. The concept was introduced at the Shanghai Auto Show last 2017. Instead of the concept’s coupe-inspired rear liftback, the ID.4 SUV has a practical tailgate, as well as B-pillars and wing mirrors, both of which are missing from the ID. Crozz concept.

Many features have been retained from the concept such as the trademark ID, LED headlights, daytime running lights, raked windscreen line, blanked-off radiator grille, and the rugged plastic moldings for the side skirts and wheel arches.

The ID.4 SUV is based on the MED platform. This means that Volkswagen will likely offer the SUV in a range of drivetrain options with probably different power outputs. The less expensive variants are expected to feature a single electric motor, two-wheel drive, and smaller battery packs while the more expensive ones will likely arrive with a pair of motors and four-wheel-drive.

The battery packs will range from 45kWh to 77kWh in size. It will offer an electric range between 200 and 300 miles.

Volkswagen has yet to announce the exact technical and performance specifications of the ID.4 SUV although the ID. Crozz concept features a pair of electric motors that have power outputs of 302bhp, a top speed of 112mph, an all-electric range of 500km (311 miles).

The production form gave us a peek of the car’s interior. It has that “floating” infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster. Since the ID.3 is expected to come packed with voice control and satellite navigation, we should see the same in the ID.4.

Volkswagen to Discontinue the Golf SportWagen and Golf Alltrack in the US

golf sportwagen alltrack

The Golf SportWagen and Golf Alltrack are the only two remaining wagons of Volkswagen in the US. The automaker recently confirmed that both will be discontinued in 2020.

According to USA Today, the German automaker cited the very low demand for wagons in the country. It should be noted that even compact cars are suffering the same fate, which resulted in the phase-out of the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus as well as the entire lineup of the Scion brand Daimler’s Smart division. The trend is a result of the ever-growing slice of sport utility vehicles and crossovers in the market.

The streamlining effort aims to let the brand put more focus on its SUV models. The current best-sellers of the automaker in this department are the Atlas and the Tiguan.

Scott Keogh, CEO of VW America, acknowledged the shift of preference of buyers from wagons and minivans to SUVs. He said that the latter has assumed the role of “family haulers”.

The exec revealed that they are expanding their SUV lineup. He is looking forward to a warm reception in their upcoming five-seater Atlas Cross Sport and ID. electric vehicles.

Car review site Edmunds noted that wagons only took a 0.6% market share when it comes to the overall vehicles sales in the US. It dived by 0.3% compared to sales in 2014.

The sales of the Golf range contributed to the decision of VW too. From January to June, only 18,958 Golf units were delivered to customers. That’s a 22 dip from the same period of last year. Meanwhile, the total sales of the vehicle in 2018 were only 42,271, which was down by 39% compared to its performance in 2017.

Ford and Volkswagen Partner for EV Platform and AI Sharing

ford and volkswagen

Various automakers have established alliances amid the narrowing profit margins to pool their resources and save on production costs. The latest major partnership to emerge is the one between Ford and Volkswagen.

The agreement of the companies covers many areas including platform sharing for electric vehicle production. The EV tie-up deal allows Ford to use VW’s MEB platform.

meb platform

The MEB platform has a modular and flexible architecture that can be used in various vehicle types. Ford plans to utilize it in the production of over 600,000 cars intended for European customers in the span of more than six years. The American automaker is currently thinking about developing two vehicle models based on the platform.

In addition, the partnership also covers VW’s investment in Argo AI, which is a Pittsburg-based autonomous vehicle startup initially backed by Ford. The backing of the two big names in the automotive industry would certainly launch Argo AI into a global company with operations in both the US and Europe. The support is estimated to increase the staff of the startup by 40% too.

It should be noted though that Argo AI still identifies itself as a private company separate from Ford and VW. The German carmaker committed an investment amounting $1 billion into the startup. They are looking into buying more Argo AI from Ford for $500 million in the next three years. Meanwhile, Ford promised an investment of $1 billion into the AI developer. The American automaker is already on its way of putting the remaining $600 million of its commitment to Argo AI.

The move of the two key players in the automotive scene effectively makes them a formidable challenger in the race to produce a fully self-driving car. Just a few days ago, bitter rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW announced their partnership to develop technologies to be used in their future autonomous vehicles.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Nears Release

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The German company Volkswagen revealed at last year’s New York auto show that it plans to release a two-row version of its Atlas crossover. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport concept will supposedly come into production this year and it seems that Volkswagen kept its promise.

When the Teramont X was released to the overseas market a couple of months ago, many thought this was the Cross Sport crossover that the German automaker promised. However, recent spy shots of another VW crossover showed how the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport will be different from the Teramont X.

The spy photos showed the Cross Sport’s prototype wrapped in camouflage but this clearly is a diversion. The crossover is ready for production and its on the final stages of testing. The overall shape is similar to the Teramont X. It has that boxy, old-school profile. The rear hatch, however, leans far forward, similar to many luxury coupes. It also has a very thick D-pillar.

The Cross Sport’s front fascia is similar to the concept, unlike the regular Atlas and the Teramont X. It can be said that it rallies close to the VW Jetta with the grille dipping below the headlight line. The grille opening in the middle of the front bumper is also positioned much lower than the outboard ones.

Moving to the back, the Cross Sport is fitted with taillights that have redesigned LED bars like the ones found in the VW Golf.

We can expect the Atlas Cross Sport to enter production in the next few months. It should be ready in dealerships before the year’s end as this will be a 2020 model. The competition is tough, though, as it should be ready to compete with the likes of the Nissan Murano, the Honda Passport, and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The Chevrolet Blazer and the Ford Edge are competitors, too.

New 296-HP 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan R Is Coming Soon

volkswagen tiguan r (1)

The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan R is scheduled to be revealed later this year. This means the German company is constantly testing the car to prepare it for the release. Spy shots of the Tiguan R revealed a new performance SUV that used the same platform found in the recently-launched Cupra Ateca.

According to reports, the new Tiguan R will be powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 296 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque on the Ateca. That power will go through a seven-speed DSG to an all-wheel-drive configuration that allows the car to go 62 miles in around six seconds.

The test mule has the same R-Line version of the SUV, which means it will sport the model line’s front bumper, rear valance, and large rear spoiler. The only difference will lie on the twin-exit exhaust tips. Volkswagen may want to make the Tiguan R sportier before its big reveal but that’s all up in the air for now.

Other features that are to be expected are adaptive suspension, updated performance brakes, a choice of alloy wheels, and a sophisticated traction control system.

The cabin should also be similar to a Tiguan R-Line with a pair of leather-trimmed sports seats, a sports steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, a digital instrument cluster, an eight-inch infotainment screen, and a premium audio system all coming as standard. Extras would be a tow-bar and three-zone climate control.

The Tiguan R is in line with Volkswagen’s plan to expand its SUV lineup. This new Tiguan R will follow the T-Roc R, a mini-performance SUV with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. The T-Roc R and the Tiguan R also have similar interior specifications.

We expect the Tiguan R’s debut before or during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon Is Priced At $36,840

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The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon starts its price tag at $36,840 and though that’s strangely higher than most of its competitions, which are less than $10,000, the more upscale styling and feature content and powerful engine more than make up for the cost.

The Arteon competes nicely with other premium hatchbacks such as the Kia Stinger (starting at $33,495) and Buick Regal Sportback (which starts at $25,995 but rises to the mid-$30,000s when similarly equipped).

All variants of the 2019 Arteons use a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 268 horsepower by sending it through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard to all Arteons is the front-wheel drive though buyers have the option of purchasing the 4Motion all-wheel drive costing $1,800 extra on the SE and SEL trim levels and coming standard on the top-of-the-line SEL Premium.

You may also opt for the R-Line sport appearance package that adds a different look to the car’s aesthetics. The package includes a different front fascia, either 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, a black rear spoiler, metal-look interior trim, contrast stitching inside, and R-Line badges. The R-Line sport package is available for all of the trim levels for $1,265 with the 19-inch wheels and $1,765 with the 20-inch wheels.

Volkswagen said that Arteon’s build-your-own tool will soon launch on the website. It will show more information about the exterior and interior colors.

The SE trim level, costing $36,840, comes standard with these equipment: adaptive dampers system proximity-key entry, three-zone automatic climate control, forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and heated power front seats.

The SEL trim level, which can be purchased for $40,990, adds a panoramic sunroof, remote start, Nappa leather upholstery, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, adaptive cruise control.

The SEL Premium, which starts at $45,940, will have heated steering wheel, paddle shifters, cooled front seats and heated rear seats, massaging driver’s seat, power liftgate, premium audio system, and 19-inch wheels.

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