Volkswagen lifts the lid on new Golf GTI Cabriolet

The most powerful production Golf Cabriolet ever is set to be unveiled next week at the Geneva Motor Show.

Pictured here for the first time, the Golf GTI Cabriolet packs in all the performance and practicality of the GTI hatchback, and adds the pleasures of open-air motoring for four, thanks to an electrically powered fabric roof which can be folded away in just 9.5 seconds, even while travelling at speeds of up to 18 mph.

Visually, the Golf GTI Cabriolet has all the classic GTI design cues.  The radiator grille has a honeycomb structure with red edging and the GTI badge, while the front bumper incorporates a deep honeycomb air dam and distinctive vertical fog lights.  Side sill extensions help give the GTI a wide, well-planted stance, while a bespoke rear diffuser is framed by a chrome tailpipe on either side.  Smoked LED tail lights complete the look.  As on the GTI hatchback, standard wheels are 17-inch ‘Monza’ alloys.

Under the insulated fully automatic roof are four individual seats covered in the classic tartan ‘Jacara’ cloth upholstery; ‘Vienna’ leather upholstery is optional.  The bespoke GTI multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as are the handbrake and gear lever gaiter, all finished with contrasting red stitching.  The pedals have brushed stainless steel caps, while there are black ‘Edge’ decorative inlays on the doors and facia.  The hood lining and roof pillar trims are all finished in black.

Under the bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the GTI hatchback, mated to either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox and producing 210 PS.  The benchmark zero to 62 mph sprint is covered in 7.3 seconds with either transmission (versus 6.9 seconds for the hatch), while top speed is 147 mph (146 mph for the DSG).

Maximum torque of 206 lbs ft (280 Nm) is available from just 1,700 rpm to 5,300 rpm, at which point maximum horsepower is achieved.  This broad torque band helps to make the GTI an excellent cruiser – even at low revs in a high gear, the reserves of torque make the GTI’s performance easy to tap in to.  A standard EDS electronic differential lock and XDS transverse differential lock help to ensure that the power is easily transferred to the road.

Safety is every bit as much a priority as performance.  As with all Golf Cabriolet models, the GTI comes with automatically deploying rollover protection, front and side head/thorax airbags and a driver’s knee airbag as standard, all of which helped it to achieve a five-star (96 per cent) rating for adult occupancy in Euro NCAP crash tests.

The Golf GTI Cabriolet goes on sale in the UK in the second half of the year.  Prices and further specification details will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Jetta Hybrid brings electric power to a new class of Volkswagen

 

The new Jetta Hybrid has made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, bringing electric drive to a new class of Volkswagen.  Propulsion comes from a high-tech 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS petrol engine and a 20 kW zero-emissions electric motor.  Together, these provide not merely fuel consumption that is around 20 per cent better overall than an equivalent petrol-powered vehicle (at 45 mpg US – around 54 mpg Imperial), but also sporty performance, with the benchmark 0 to 60 mph sprint taking less than nine seconds.

Like the Touareg Hybrid, the Jetta is a parallel hybrid, using a decoupling clutch that can disengage the petrol motor for pure electric drive (or when coasting or braking), disengage the electric motor (for higher speeds or when the battery charge is low), or combine the two units for maximum power.  Using electric power alone, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven at speeds of up to 70 kmh (44 mph) and over a distance of two kilometres (1.3 miles), depending on conditions.  For maximum performance, both the TSI engine and the electric motor combine, giving peak power of 170 PS.  This is the first use of the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine in America, and it offers the same power and more torque (250 Nm, 184 lbs ft) than the normally aspirated 2.5-litre engine that is commonly used in the Jetta there. 

A lithium-ion battery supplies the energy for the electric motor.  It is located behind the rear seat bench, making no compromises on interior space.  The battery is made up of 60 individual cells, each with an energy capacity of five Ah.  Together they produce a nominal voltage of 220 Volts and an energy capacity of 1.1 kWh and weigh 38.5 kg.  Cooling is provided by an integrated fan, operated by the battery’s own management system that performs diagnostic, monitoring and safety functions, including disconnecting the battery in the event of an accident.

Power is directed to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch DSG gearbox, which is efficient and lightweight, at 74 kg.  Despite the extra weight of the battery, electric motor and extra safety modifications to the vehicle’s structure, the Jetta Hybrid weighs only 100 kg more than the non-hybrid Jetta at less than 1,500 kg in total.

Provided the battery contains sufficient charge, the Jetta Hybrid is switched to electric drive mode either automatically (at speeds of up to 60 kmh or 37 mph) or at the press of a button next to the gear lever (up to 70 kmh or 44 mph).

When the driver releases the accelerator pedal at higher speeds (up to 135 kmh or 84 mph) the TSI engine is decoupled, reducing drag torque losses, and maximising fuel efficiency.  Under braking, the Jetta Hybrid switches to a battery regeneration mode, which decouples the TSI engine and uses the electric motor as a generator.  The generating power of the motor rises with increased brake pedal travel.  At higher speeds, or when the battery charge is depleted, the TSI motor provides extra power to recharge the battery, however even in these situations the charging is interspersed with electric driving phases to maximise fuel efficiency.

Externally, the Jetta Hybrid can be identified by aerodynamic modifications including a new front spoiler, a rear diffuser and a rear spoiler that help to improve the car’s Cd value by 10 per cent.  There are also new headlights with LED running lights, LED rear lights and unique 15-inch alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres.  ‘Hybrid’ badges adorn the front wings, bootlid and modified front grille, where the Volkswagen logo is presented on a blue background for the first time.

The interior of the Hybrid is very much like that of any other Jetta, although the electric drive, along with a newly designed exhaust system, an acoustic windscreen and thicker front side windows help to make this the quietest vehicle Volkswagen has ever offered in this class.

One key interior difference is in the instruments.  If the driver selects the ‘Hybrid’ menu in the multifunction display, the current drive mode is shown, while a meter indicates energy flow via arrows.  The same screen also shows the battery charge state.  Beneath the energy flow diagram is what is known as the ePower meter, which indicates the power provided by the electric motor.

The tachometer is replaced by the Power meter, a multifunction display on the left of the instrument cluster.  This informs the driver of the operation of the hybrid system: ‘Ready’, ‘Charge’, ‘Eco’, ‘Boost’ or ‘TSI’.  The audio system, meanwhile, has a ‘zero emissions’ menu.  This offers a graphical display of the past 30 minutes of driving time, with a bar showing emissions each minute: a full, 100 per cent bar represents no emissions at all.

Standard equipment on the US-spec SE model includes a 2Zone climate control system that works without the TSI engine running, a ‘Premium 8’ sound system, Bluetooth phone integration, MDI interface for iPod connectivity and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel.  Moving up to SEL1 specification adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a glass sunroof, RNS 315 satellite navigation, electric driver’s seat adjustment, heated front seats and keyless entry.  The top SEL2 specification adds to this further, with 17-inch wheels, fog lights, bi-xenon headlights with cornering function, a reversing camera and a 400-Watt Fender sound system.

The Jetta Hybrid launches in North America in November 2012; there are no current plans to sell this model in the UK.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Volkswagen Passat voted best company car of the year

The Volkswagen Passat was voted the best new company car of 2011 at a ceremony attended by almost 1,400 fleet industry representatives this week.

The annual Fleet News Awards also witnessed BMW crowned as the Fleet Manufacturer of the Year in another headline award voted for by readers of the trade publication.

The ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on March 21 also saw awards for Ford, Skoda, SEAT, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and BMW in the car categories.

Cars were judged on a range of criteria, including operating costs (depreciation, fuel, servicing, maintenance and repair, lease rates, tax liability), suitability for their use as business cars and the level of support from the manufacturers and their corporate sales teams.

The Ford Fiesta and Focus won the Best Small Car and Best Lower Medium Car categories, while the Volkswagen Passat also won Best Upper Medium Car.

Other winners included the Skoda Superb estate, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 5 Series, Toyota Land Cruiser, SEAT Alhambra and Nissan Qashqai.

Meanwhile, Toyota and Lexus were given the award for Green Manufacturer of the Year, while Skoda was judged the Most Improved Fleet Manufacturer of the Year.

A panel made up of fleet industry experts as well as senior members of the Fleet News editorial team were involved in the lengthy judging process, chaired by former SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan and audited by Deloitte.

New Company Car of the Year and Fleet Manufacturer of the Year are voted on by fleet operator readers of Fleet News. The circulation database is used to allocate a code that allows voting only once to those who qualify.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Volkswagen presents latest efficiency technology system: Worlds first cylinder shut-off in four-cylinder TSI

Volkswagen is the first manufacturer in the world to implement cylinder shut-off on a four-cylinder TSI engine in high-volume production.  The primary goal of the high-tech system is to reduce fuel consumption significantly by temporarily shutting off two of the four cylinders under low to medium loads.  In fact, cylinder shut-off reduces fuel consumption of the 1.4-litre TSI by 0.4 litre per 100 km in the NEDC driving cycle. When Start/Stop functionality is integrated, which deactivates the engine in neutral gear, the savings effect adds up to about 0.6 litre per 100 km.

The greatest benefits of the cutting edge technology are realised while driving at constant moderate speeds.  At 50 km/h, in third or fourth gear, savings amount to nearly one litre per 100 km.  This new fuel efficient TSI will therefore also fulfil the future EU6 emissions standard.  High efficiency does not exclude driving comfort: even when running on just two cylinders, the 1.4-litre TSI – with its excellent engine balance – is still very quiet and low in vibration.

Cylinder shut-off is active whenever the engine speed of the 1.4-litre TSI is between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm and its torque is between 25 and 75 Nm.  This applies to nearly 70 per cent of the driving distance in the EU fuel economy driving cycle.  As soon as the driver presses the accelerator pedal sufficiently hard, cylinders 2 and 3 are reactivated imperceptibly.  The system takes its information from the accelerator pedal sensor to detect the mode of driving.  If the driving exhibits a non-uniform pattern – for example, while driving in roundabout traffic or in a sporty style on a country road – shut-off functionality is automatically suppressed.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

New Volkswagen CC to make debut at Los Angeles Auto show

Volkswagen has today released the first images of its new CC, which will be officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16.  If it looks familiar, don’t be surprised: over 270,000 people across the world have been won over by its predecessor the Passat CC’s blend of four-door practicality and sleek coupé-like styling.

At the front, the new radiator grille has strong horizontal lines that represent Volkswagen’s new design DNA, flanked by new bi-xenon headlights and topped with a reprofiled bonnet.  The bumper is different, too, with a new extra air intake, and silver-coloured ‘winglets’ that frame the fog lights.

Along the side, the frameless doors are carried over from the previous model, but more sculpted sills, revised bumpers and the new bonnet add up to create a subtly updated silhouette.

The rear bumper has also been completely redesigned, with more emphasis on horizontal lines and a reworking of the characteristic chrome strip.  The tail lights are new as well, not just in their more dramatic design, but in their use of LEDs.  The numberplate lights are also now LED.  As before, the Volkswagen logo doubles as the handle for the boot, and it can now optionally contain a rear-view camera.

There’s one last change at the rear, too: ‘Passat’ has been dropped from the name.

While the name may have changed, a comprehensive list of standard equipment remains and expands to include features such as the standard driver alert system, as found on the Passat, and front head restraints with four-way adjustment, to reduce the risk of whiplash.  New options include High Beam Assist, which automatically controls dipping of the headlights; Side Assist, which monitors the vehicle’s blind spot; Lane Assist and adaptive cruise control with City Emergency Braking function; front climate seats with massage function; and an electrically deployed towbar.

From launch, the UK engine range will comprise 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS or 2.0-litre TSI 210 PS petrols and a 2.0-litre TDI common rail diesel with either 140 or 170 PS.  All models with 170 PS or more also now get a standard XDS differential, an electronic cross-axle traction control system for improved traction and handling.

The CC will make its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show before going on sale in the US in early 2012.  Retailers in the UK will start taking orders for the new car around the same time with first deliveries due in March.  More details including pricing will be available nearer the launch date.

For more information on the Volkswagen range visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

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