This futuristic looking car is not a prototype or a concept car, but a fully-functional plug-in hybrid. According to E.U. tests, this two-seater gets 261MPG. Production of this model will be very limited as Volkswagen only plans to make 250 of XLI, mostly to be sold in Germany and Austria. Volkswagen Group of America CEO Jonathan Browning has requested a few be sent this side of the Atlantic, to showcase them to the U.S. public as well.
The XLI is just one facet of Volkswagen’s approach to alterative powered automobiles. They already sell the record-breaking Jetta Hybrid, and they are planning to release an electric Golf next year.
The e-Golf has an electric motor that produces 115HP. It will have an ECO mode that will limit the HP and top speed, but it should get you about 70-80 miles per five to seven hour charge.
2013 Jetta Hybrid
Volkswagen has added an apprentice program at the plant in Chattanooga, TN. They are offering 55 apprentices training in mechatronics, the interplay of mechanical and electronic functions. This joins the on-site courses they have been holding for students since January. These practices are common in Europe, and look to be catching on here in the U.S.
With the Hybrid Jetta and Touareg already in production, the XL1 going into limited production for now, and the e-Golf coming soon, you would figure that Volkswagen had enough green-car irons in the alternative-fuels fire.
Parent company Volkswagen Group has plans for at least six plug-in hybrids across its brands, including a plug-in hybrid Passat and Golf. There is also a strong possibility that the Jetta and Touareg hybrids could also spawn plug-in variants.
You can also add the E-Bugster and CrossBlue concepts to potential additions, and if the Up! Is ever brought over to the United States, Volkswagen has made an electric version called the e-Up!.
The e-Up! Has more HP than the Up with a combustion engine, but tops out at 80MPH.
Serious Volkswagen fans might want to head out East Ridge, TN, a town not far from the Chattanooga plant. For 15 years people have been gathering to share their love of all things Volkswagen. Along with 50 different classes of autos to see or even compete in, there is also a festival aspect to enjoy, as well as an opportunity to camp or RV. The less “outdoorsy” will be greeted with special hotel rates. There is a $4 entry fee that is donated to charity (12 and under go free.) The event is held April 20-21 this year. You can visit the official site here.
Though the Passat missed the 10,000 mark, Volkswagen did not miss anything in January as they posted another increase over the previous year. The Passat did beat its January numbers of 2012; by a whopping 40 percent.
The Jetta remains the top seller with 10,522 units sold and that includes the 1,433 SportWagens that left the lot this month.
As a whole, Volkswagen America was up 6.7 percent over last year at this time, and had its best January since 1974.
The Chicago Auto Show has brought great news for Beetle fans and car enthusiasts as the unveiled the second edition of the Gelb Schwarzer Renner (GSR) or “Yellow Black Racer.” The first one was released in the 1970’s and used the shell of the 1973 Beetle. It harnessed 50HP and only 3500 were ever produced.
The 2014 GSR will also have a limited production of 3500 units, half of which will be made available to the United States. It will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder TSI engine that generates 210 horsepower. The interior will be trimmed in leather with sport seats and steering wheel. The steering wheel will feature a number that corresponds with the car’s order of manufacture: 1-3500. This will not be a bare bones racer; just like the Beetle Turbo with the Sunroof and Sound trim level, it will have the Fender Premium Audio System, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, and Bluetooth connectivity. You can have your hands on this hot number in the fall.
In case you missed the Super Bowl ad that Volkswagen ran this year, you can catch it here.
Many Volkswagens have been honored as Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Top Safety Picks, and now the IIHS has added a new distinction. Vehicles that pass the new “small overlap test” will be called a “Top Safety Pick+.” This new test simulates what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a car’s front end on the driver side strikes a five-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. The Passat scored high enough on the test to receive this new distinction.
Also getting new awards before the New Year are the Golf and the GTI. Car and Driver magazine named both vehicles to their 10Best list as a joint entry. Both vehicles have won this award three years running, and for the GTI this is the seventh such honor overall.
In their review of the 10Best, Car and Driver called the GTI “… the car that every hatchback would like to be when it grows up.”
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Volkswagen has called on local and federal governments to partner with them to fund educational programs for future automotive employees. Volkswagen already has a model partnership in place, where their plant in Tennessee works alongside Chattanooga State Community College. They offer three-year programs; permitting students to gain classroom work as well as paid, on-the-job training.
They also point to the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a group states that include North Carolina and Tennessee, as an example to follow. Educators and industry leaders combine to help young adults obtain education in a viable field that is prominent in their area. This insures a “win” all around, as the funds and efforts will be realized as profits and lower unemployment.
With the Tiguan and Passat having record sales for the month of October, Volkswagen looks to surpass the second place automaker in sales for 2012. Although two months remain in the year, Volkswagen has already sold more autos than they did in 2011 and are currently up 35.6 percent year to date. They outsold their closest competitor by 40,000 units, and their third quarter growth was triple that of the world number two.
The Jetta still leads overall sales with 13,476 and TDI powered autos are up almost 30 percent compared to last year at this time.
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Tagged top sales volkswagen, Volkswagen Jetta, volkswagen jetta tdi, volkswagen nc, Volkswagen Passat, Volkswagen Tiguan, vw charlotte, vw dealer charlotte, vw dealer north carolina, VW Passat, vw tiguan
The Phaeton is indeed coming back, so either the CC is doing well enough to convince Volkswagen that America wants large, luxury sedans, or they have tired of all the Phaeton fans harassing them. It will utilize the modular design technique that Volkswagen has been implementing in the new generations of its models. That means it will be using the light-weight, high-tech aluminum that will improve its MPG and it will share parts with other cars, which should lower the cost. It is planned to be in full production by 2015.
Also being talked about is the Tiguan, and yes they used the same letters as the Tiguan on purpose. Smaller than its name sake it is basically a CUV version of the UP! It is powered by a turbo-charged 1.0L 3 cylinder capable of putting out 108HP. It is expected to exceed a combined 40MPG. It is currently being small and cute at the Sao Paulo Motor Show. If it catches enough eyes, we might get to drive these around.
At the Sao Paulo show, Volkswagen confirmed that they are going ahead with plans to produce an SUV, nestled in-between the Touareg and the Tiguan. It will most likely go into production next year, and might debut as a 2013 model. No decision has been made about where the SUV will be built, but since this is aimed directly at the U.S. market, there is a good chance it will be made at the Chattanooga facility. The plant in Mexico is also in the running, as they have more relaxed trade relationships with the foreign market.
Led by the three Jetta models, Volkswagen had their best October since 1972. Sales were up 22.4 percent over last October, and are up 35.6 percent overall, when compared to this time last year. Though the Passat missed the 10,000 mark, its 8,355 units sold was still up almost 66 percent; good enough for second best seller. The three Golf variants, up 14.5 percent, come in at third. Diesel versions comprised almost a quarter of all October sales.
The Keffer family, associates, and friends would like send out our best wishes to every one affected by the severe weather this past week. Volkswagen has pledged to provide matching funds to any employee donations made to the American Red Cross or the organization of their choosing. The have also announced they have made a donation of $500,000 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. The donation will help cover costs of shelter, food, and other assistance to those affected by the storm.
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