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Archive for February, 2015

Golf R400 VW

Are you ready for the Volkswagen brand to further expand in the U.S.? If you paid attention to what Han-Jakob Neusser (VW brand research and development chief) stated at the recent 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, then you should know that VW is considering new vans and a Golf hatchback.

The decision to expand isn’t final yet. However Neusser did mention that VW had good conditions to manufacture the cars for the U.S. market.

The Golf R400 made its debut as a concept car at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2014. The R400 produces 395 horsepower and does 0 to 60 mph is less than 4 seconds.

Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen of America, said that the new vans, the Volkswagen Crafter and Caddy could be heading to the U.S. market soon. VW is now determining the feasibility of bringing either or both vans to the U.S.

The Volkswagen Crafter van is a commercial vehicle inspired by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter that was built for VW by Daimler AG. That contract expires next year. The Crafter will be manufactured at VW’s new €1.1 Billion Euros plant in Wrzesnia, Poland and is estimated to be on the market in 2016.

The Volkwagen Caddy is smaller compared to the Crafter and is based in VW’s MQB architecture; which is similar to what the Golf and their other compact vehicles ride on. The VW Caddy has been on the market since 2003 and the 2017 model year will have a completely new design.

Whatever Volkswagen decides to do with the Golf R400, Crafter or Caddy, they will be expanding their line-up to include more SUVs. This SUV blitz is an attempt to increase sales worldwide, but especially in the U.S. market.

The offensive began at the recent Detroit Auto Show, when Volkswagen unveiled the U.S. manufactured 7-seater SUV, the Cross Coupe GTE. This Volkswagen SUV will begin production at their Chattanooga, Tennessee plant next year. It will also arrive to other U.S. dealers, like the Tucson VW dealer, in the first quarter of 2017.

Also coming to the U.S. market is the new redesigned long- wheelbase, Tiguan compact crossover. Like the Cross Coupe GTE, the Tiguan will also be manufactured in the U.S. and is expected to be on the market in the second quarter of 2017.

 
To find out more about VW’s latest models or for test drives, visit Chapman Tucson.

VW_EV Infrastructure

In order to support their upcoming line of electric cars, Volkswagen is investing of $10 million to build an electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.

Volkswagen has partnered with BMW and ChargePoint. Chargepoint is a company that has developed fast charging direct current (DC) outlets on the east and west coasts.

Even with VW’s commitment to invest its own funds into the build out, VW reps not too long ago pointed out that greater legislative assistance is necessary for EV adoption. Until then, Volkswagen must wait for EV production to expand to the U.S. market.

Jörg Sommer, Volkswagen’s vice president for product marketing and strategy in America, addressed the 2015 Electric Drive Congress on Feb 10 in Washington DC. He stated automakers have done their part by producing cars that will meet the driving needs of most Americans. He wants to see federal support for building fast charging networks in cities and along the interstate and highly travelled highways. He further urged federal organization to invest in cleaner fleets by purchasing PHEVs and EVs.

The questions that arise from Sommer’s comments can become a political hot potato. Should any level of government subsidize the build out of EV charger infrastructure?
It could be argued that government should encourage the use of EV, and in doing so help to put the infrastructure in place to make it happen faster; the environment being the ultimate beneficiary.

Most automakers are losing money on their EV line of vehicles. Until an infrastructure for quick convenient recharging is in place it will be difficult for EV to grow as quickly as automakers would like. VW is playing catch up is some sense and it appears that they don’t want to foot the full bill for setting up the network needed for their new line of e cars.

Even if Volkswagen builds a network, how will they monetize these stations? Customers are going to expect the recharging to be free as shown by the Tesla example. If any level of government comes into the picture, how will they make money? These recharging stations are critical for any significant EV growth to happen in the near future.

Should the government pitch in with taxpayer’s money to help VW build their EV infrastructure? When the question is posed that way, it sounds like VW is looking for a hand out. Thus the taxpayers will be left holding the bill for big business once again.

Perhaps they can take a page from the Tesla example. Tesla built their entire SuperCharger network without a dime from the government and the recharging stations are FAST & FREE!

 
Visit your Volkswagen dealer at Chapman VW Tucson to find out more about the latest vehicle lineup. Take your favorite Volkswagen model for a test drive!

2015_VWSportWagen

What is the usual response by carmakers when the public asks, ‘why aren’t the European wagon models offered in the U.S.?’. The answer: Americans do not buy wagons!

Despite this belief, Volkswagen first broke into the American market with the Passat and Jetta wagons. Now Volkswagen is offering the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. The 2015 version of the Golf SportWagen features bigger cargo space, better fuel-efficiency, and is lighter than the Jetta SportWagen it’s replacing. VW has once again proven that there is a market for wagons in the US. You might begin to see a shift in other automakers offering wagons as an alternative to crossovers and SUVs, especially if the demand for more family-friendly vehicles continues.

The overall dimensions of the new Golf SportWagen are slightly bigger. You get an extra 1.1 inches in length and about 0.7 inches in width. Although the roof is roughly an inch lower, passengers get one extra inch in headroom and 10% more cargo space.

The SportWagen comes with a 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque turbocharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, which replaces the 2.5 litre inline 5-cylinder engine. Drivers will get a choice of either a 5-speed manual or an automatic 6-speed transmission. The 5-speed manual gives you 36 mpg for city driving and 43 mpg on the highway.

The 2.0 litre turbo diesel (TDI) model comes with 150 horsepower and 236 lb-ft torque. With this model you can decide between a 6-speed manual transmission, or a 6-speed automatic transmission with a dual-clutch. The car feels structurally solid and has an athletic response with electric power steering that is light but also linear and precise.

From the inside you will get plenty of rear passenger legroom, as well as more elbow and arm room.

Volkswagen fans will still receive the premium feel of the traditional SportWagen with trim pieces finished with chrome, aluminum and piano-black, along with the extra soft touch surfaces.

The standard and optional features include a panoramic sunroof, 18-inch wheels, 12-way power driver seat, parking sensors, adaptive xenon headlights, and post-collision braking that stops the car from moving after a crash.

The Golf SportWagen arrives on sale at the beginning of 2015. Compared to the Volvo V60 and BMW 3 Series wagons, the new 2015 Golf SportWagen is a steal with the price range of $21,400 to $26,300 (diesel price).

 
The 2015 VW Golf SportWagen is an excellent value considering a heavy load of features, including its versatility, cargo space and powerful riding height. To test drive the new 2015 Golf SportWagen, visit Chapman VW Tucson.

Volkswagen 2015 beetle

If you dare to reinvent an icon be prepared for an avalanche of feedback.

Do you remember when Volkswagen (VW) revealed the new redesigned Beetle in 1998? Some automotive writers were very harsh with their criticisms. One writer even said the then New Beetle looked like something “drawn by Fisher Price”. When the convertible version came out 5 years later, the critics said it hardly drew a glance anymore. The criticism didn’t end there, in 2011 when VW reshaped the exterior of the Beetle, comments included – it look “deflated”, as for performance it was “un-sporty” and “unexciting”.

What do the critics really know? Not much, according to the people who really matter the most, the customers. The 2011 redesign struck a nerve with consumers as the sales of the Beetle was up 48% in 2013 over the previous year. In the US, The Beetle is now VW’s 3rd bestseller behind the Jetta and Passat sedans.

VW just gave birth to the new sporty Beetle R-Line.

The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line isn’t as powerful as its sporty Golf R and Scirocco R sport model cousins. Though with 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, the 2015 VW Beetle R still packs a good punch. The Beetle R-Line is in essence a 2013 Beetle Turbo. A gasoline turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder engine powers it. Some of the outward R-Line items include redesigned front and rear bumpers and doorsill kick plates.

Some interior designs exclusive to the R line include 19-inch aluminium wheels and brushed matte gray aluminium finish on the dash and leather seats. If you think the 2015 Beetle R is more of a cosmetic upgrade than a performance upgrade, you might not be far off the mark. According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association, U.S. customers spent $12.52 Billion in 2012 on styling and accessories alone. None of these funds included performance upgrades. In other words it is better to “look sporty” that to be actually sporty in terms of performance!

With its 210 horsepower, the Beetle’s R Line feels enjoyable and crazy at the same time and can go from 0-to-60 in 6.7 seconds. You can thank the Anti-Slip Regulation system. The R Line handles cornering really well, with extensive power transferring to the wheel. While driving in the city, the suspension has a plush feel to it. Although the planted look of the Beetle R might suggest otherwise. When push along curved roads, the suspension firms up quite nicely. The Beetle R receives 23 MPG in the City and 31 MPG on the highway.

The six-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission of the R-Line has a “Drive” and “Sport” setting. In the drive setting, gentle acceleration is suppressed to 1,500 rpm. The easy acceleration is good for fuel economy. Additionally, the Beetle emits a sporty feeling with the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

Do you want to test drive the Beetle R-Line for yourself? Head over to Chapman VW Tucson to take this new sporty VW for a spin.

VW Beetle Chicago

When you think of a Volkswagen Beetle, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the brute horsepower that it puts out, and raw performance which lays underneath the hood? While that’s probably not your first thought, it’s an interesting concept. To make this concept a reality, Rally cross driver Tanner Foust teamed up with RAUH-Welt Begriff, a group of Porsche tuners. The team took an otherwise inconspicuous Volkswagen Beetle, and transformed it into a very awesome piece of machinery. While the vehicle’s body still vaguely resembles the shape of a Beetle, the equipment under the hood has been tweaked, tinkered and enhanced. The result is one amazingly unique car. So unique in fact, that it has made its debut in a very prominent Las Vegas convention.

The custom Beetle has been showcased at SEMA at the ENEOS Motor Oil booth. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is a massive convention in Las Vegas, showcasing a variety of vehicles and mechanical equipment. Being showcased at SEMA is a big deal, and serves as a testament to the popularity and novity of this vehicle. Only the biggest and best mechanical creations get to experience the spotlight of a SEMA convention. This vehicle was met with large amounts of enthusiasm and passion as onlookers had the chance to marvel at this beautiful work.

Converting this Volkswagen has taken meticulous precision and a substantial time. The conversion involved adding around 8 inches of width to the body. In addition to body changes, the wheels were replaced with custom Montegi Racing Traklite wheels. In the interior, the accessories are a big feature, with a new shift knob and pedal set. More work is anticipated on the Volkswagen in the future, so the current style will be further changed and upgraded as time goes on. Perhaps the most exciting future performance upgrades are those that will affect the engine, as the company plans to upgrade the already 210 bhp stock engine.

Tanner Foust – one of the driving forces of this project – has expressed his love for the Volkswagen brand in the past. Foust admires the engineering and practicality that Volkswagen puts into their vehicles. He mentions that the capability of the engine in combination with the Beetle’s somewhat exotic style gave him the inspiration for the project. Foust wishes to blend the performance of this Beetle’s engine with the beauty and design features of exotic vehicles to create something truly unique.

RAUH-Welt Begriff – a group of famous tuners – have their own opinions on the motivation behind this project. For them, the resemblance between the Porsche and the Beetle is what started this project. Their perspective and goal is to make the Beetle more like the Porsche; not only in terms of visuals and aesthetics, but also in terms of performance.

Volkswagen is famous for their creation of the Beetle. Interesting in learning more about the Volkswagen Beetle? Visit Chapman Volkswagen and speak to one of our friendly representatives.