Volkswagen Golf R headed to U.S. for 2012

volkswagen golf r20 630 011 450x300 Volkswagen Golf R headed to U.S. for 2012

It’s been a couple of years since Volkswagen’s heavyweight hot hatch, the R32, graced America’s shores, but now we have official word of a successor. Tuned by the in-house R team at Volkswagen, the Golf R should be a good bit more exciting than its already entertaining forebear, and hopefully, it will shave a few pounds off, too.

Unlike the R32, which was powered by VW’s popular VR6, the new model will be powered by Volkswagen’s ubiquitous turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. And while Volkswagen isn’t quoting power output for the new U.S. model, the European version currently on sale conjures up 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All of that gumption will be routed through VW’s fourth generation Haldex 4Motion all-wheel drive system, which means the VW should once again be a good foil for cars like the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

Along with the power increase, VW is promising bigger brakes, an uprated suspension, 18-inch wheels, center-exit dual exhaust and a more liberally tuned ESP. Perhaps most interestingly, the Golf R will be available in both two and four doors and be paired exclusively with a manual transmission. That’s right, we said it.

Although the press release after the jump doesn’t mention when it will debut (our money’s on Detroit), additional R accoutrements include model-specific aero bits and badging, along with upgrated trim and a new steering wheel, shift knob, and so on.

In other words, it’s time to get excited.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - December 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

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Video: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle caught making the rounds

2012 vw beetle 450x225 Video: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle caught making the rounds

Before the keys land in the hands of the Oprah faithful, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle still has to make its world debut. Until then, we have to rely on spy photographers for glimpses of der neue New Beetle. The latest clip gives us a good view of the redesigned VW as it hits the street on one of its innumerable test drives. Hit the jump to see for yourselves.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - December 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

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Volkswagen rules out use of two-cylinder engine in Up! city car?

vw up live 1280 14 450x300 Volkswagen rules out use of two cylinder engine in Up! city car?

Fiat’s recent introduction of the two-cylinder TwinAir engine in the 500 has not swayed Volkswagen to reconsider placing a two-piston mill in its own Up city car. If anything, Fiat’s TwinAir debut has convinced VW that two-cylinder engines are simply too costly and complicated to develop.

VW actively pursues engine downsizing, witnessed by its use of three-cylinder gasoline engines and sub-2.0-liter diesel mills but, according to the company’s research and development chief, Ulrich Hackenburg, downsizing is nearing the limits and dropping the cylinder count to just two is not in the automaker’s near-term plans.

Hackenberg told Autocar that further downsizing is not practical, framing it:

Improvements can now only be made in performance and economy, not in making the engines any smaller. Instead, the Up will make use of three-cylinder engines that will really advance the technology and make strong use of it.

VW technical boss, Michael Hinz, added that even three-cylinder engines can be challenging to develop, stating:

I’ve seen two-cylinder cars running, but from a production point of view it’d be very hard. Even three-cylinder engines are very expensive as they’re not as smooth or refined as we’d like. But we’re not going to abandon them.

If Fiat can produce a two-cylinder engine, then other automakers could, too. However, VW displays no immediate interest in tackling the complicated development of a two-pot engine, instead electing to stick with motors packing three pistons or more.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - November 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

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Video: VW’s Fun Theory creates a speed camera lottery

vwfuntheoryscl 450x244 Video: VWs Fun Theory creates a speed camera lottery

Volkwagen’s Fun Theory experiments have been all about proving that people will do the right thing if you make the right thing fun to do. For instance, people threw recyclables into a bin just to hear the noise it made. The latest hijinks come courtesy of Kevin Richardson, an American whose idea was selected for the next Fun Theory experiment.

This time, the challenge was to make driving the speed limit rewarding, and Richardson’s idea was a speed camera lottery. Although it doesn’t sound the least bit compelling, his idea worked. We won’t spoil the surprise here, so follow the jump to see it in action.
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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - at 12:44 pm

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta SEL

04 2011 volkswagen jetta re 450x298 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SEL

The Jetta has always disguised its cost controls beneath a veneer of high quality materials and tidy manners. Interiors have been like Audis in training, with suspensions so supple the world’s largest automakers dissect the bushings to learn their secrets. This long view emphasizes the recent disappointment with this new larger, U.S.-centric Jetta.

Early reports sounded the alarm; the new Jetta is shockingly cheap. That’s a positive statement regarding the $15,995 base price, down from $17,735 for the 2010 model, and Volkswagen is touting it prominently with its “Great for the price of Good” advertising tagline. While some cry foul, sales are up. For its first month on the market, the 2011 Jetta posted 12.6 percent better numbers than the old model managed for the same month a year prior.

To achieve that sub-$16,000 number, things had to go, though good stuff remains. We wanted to give der neue Jetta a chance to wow us, so we spent a week with a Jetta 2.5 SEL to find out if it’s been overwhelmed by a too-intense focus on price.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - November 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm

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