Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Volkswagen Bulli Concept

The Volkswagen bus, like no other car, stands for the spirit of freedom. It debuted over 60 years ago in 1950 with a contagiously simple design. Its internal Volkswagen code name was T1 for Transporter 1. The Germans called it the Bulli, and to Americans it was the Microbus. It was driven on all continents. And the world's first van is still appreciated by a fan base which spans the globe. Now Volkswagen is reinterpreting the compact original form of this automotive legend and sending it into the future - in the form of a concept vehicle for a new generation VW Bulli! It is spacious like it was in 1950, it is as inspirational as ever, and it has clean styling like never before.

In this vehicle, Volkswagen is finishing what it started in 2001: ten years ago, the vision of a new Volkswagen Bulli led to an unforgettable concept vehicle known as the Microbus. But some visions need to mature before they yield something new. Now, the time is right for this vision. That is because the concept was sharpened, and the necessary, sustainable technologies are now at hand. More compact and affordable than the earlier concept vehicle, it is now being shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The new VW Bulli - powered by an electric motor and fitted with six seats and infotainment control via iPad.

This concept has the potential to establish a new, fifth brand of people carrier next to the Caddy, Touran, Sharan and its large counterpart - the Caravelle. The Volkswagen Bulli could even become an icon like the T1 Samba that still trades at extremely high prices today - one of those few vehicles that simply do not fade with time.
Volkswagen Bulli Concept (2011)

Zero emissions - up to 300 km on a single battery charge

Thanks to highly advanced drive technologies, the Bulli being shown in Geneva is what is referred to as a 'zero emissions vehicle,' because the concept is electrically powered. Zero emissions at the tailpipe. The VW Bulli's electric motor outputs 85 kW of power and an impressive 270 Newton metres of torque. As is usual with this type of drive, its maximum forces are generated from standstill. The silent motor is supplied with energy from a lithium-ion battery with a maximum storage capacity of 40 kWh. This electrifying combination enables driving ranges of up to 300 km - a high value for an electric car. When the Bulli's battery is charged at an "electric refuelling station" specially designed for electric vehicles, the charging process takes less than one hour.

The new Bulli accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds, and its top speed is 140 km/h (electronically limited). Its range and driving performance not only make the compact vehicle ideal for short distances; but also ideal for most commuters and recreational activities with zero tailpipe emissions.

Naturally, the concept can also incorporate Volkswagen's extremely efficient petrol and diesel direct injection engines as alternative drives. Engines with 1.0 or 1.4 litre displacement that are fuel efficient yet strong; this is downsizing by the book. Ideal for anyone who wants to cover maximum distances with minimal fuel consumption.

Bulli - the idea goes back 64 years

Without the Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon, the T1 might not have existed, and of course neither would the Volkswagen Bulli concept vehicle at Geneva. That is because Pon was the person who on 23 April, 1947, sketched a picture of a compact bus in his notebook. Actually, the Dutchman's drawing was a simple side view of a radically shortened public omnibus placed over the wheelbase of a Beetle with an "m" for "motor" written on it. That was it. The world's first van was born. Great ideas usually just take a few strokes of the pen, but then they require a dedicated effort to implement them. Volkswagen designers took this sketch and created the bus that became an automotive icon with the characteristic "V" in front.

The Bulli concept vehicle now follows in the footsteps of the original bus and demonstrates the concept of maximum space utilisation with the characteristic "V" with VW logo at the front end and the cleanest of proportions. In the process, the concept vehicle's design follows the maxims of the new Volkswagen "design DNA." Retro? Hardly. It is a Volkswagen! The team led by Walter de Silva, Head of Volkswagen Group Design, and Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen brand, developed the "design DNA" for the modern era based on styling principles of the bestselling Beetle, Golf I and T1.

Design - visual world of a masterpiece

The new edition of the Bulli is 3.99 metres long, 1.75 metres wide and 1.70 metres tall. The T1 was somewhat longer and taller, but narrower. With a wheelbase of 2.62 metres, the Volkswagen Bulli utilises the overall length very well. Also striking here are the Bulli's relatively large track widths (1.50 m front and rear) in relation to body width.

Front end: Like the Samba bus before it, the Bulli being presented in Geneva also has two-tone paint - in this case white and red. The "V" on the bonnet, is kept white. The bonnet does house the engine: instead of rear-wheel drive with a boxer engine, as on the Samba, the Volkswagen Bulli has an electric motor located forward of the front axle and front-wheel drive. Here it is a compact integral drive whose primary components are an E-motor, high-voltage pulse inverter and DC/DC converter for the 12-Volt electrical system.

In keeping with the Volkswagen design DNA, there is a horizontal layout of the narrow dual headlights with L-shaped LED daytime running lights and turn indicators implemented as LEDs arranged in an inverted L shape at each outer corner. Incidentally, LEDs not only exhibit tremendous luminous power and long life; due to their low energy consumption they are ideal for the electrically powered Bulli of 2011. Located between the headlights in the bonnet is, as always, the VW logo. On the level beneath, one finds - once again arranged in a horizontal line - the air intakes for the passenger compartment and for battery cooling or for cooling the alternative conventional drives.

Finally, the bumper that is seamlessly integrated in the front end completes the design. Laterally, it exhibits a large round fog light on each side, another air intake in the middle, and a front spoiler in black below. This line matches the lines of the side sills.

Side profile: The Bulli's two-tone paint also distinguishes the sides. Treated in white is the entire area above what is known as the character line. Originating in the wings is a white stripe that runs to the distinctive D-pillars; above them, the entire roof section is painted in this colour. The continuous line of windows creates an especially striking contrast between the white sections. Here the visually slender black pillars executed in the style of the 2001 Microbus concept are visually striking. Painted in red are the door mirror housings protruding from the line of windows.

Beneath the character line is the red body area. Design elements such as the distinctive wheel housings, the additional shape modulation in the door surfaces above the side sills and the headlights that wrap around to the sides with minimal seams are details that would not have been possible to manufacture in this form and precision on a T1. Concealed in the sandwiched floor behind the sills is the 1,450 kg Volkswagen Bulli's lithium-ion battery. The white door handles are practical, opening in the direction of pull. The 18-inch alloy wheels are especially attractive. At their centres are stylised chrome hubcaps - another tribute to the bus of years past. Shorter than ever are the overhangs at the front and rear.

Rear section: The Volkswagen design DNA with its horizontal lines also dominates the rear of the new Bulli. Viewed from the bottom upwards, above the body-coloured bumper (including black, stylised diffuser) there is the tailgate that extends across the entire width of the vehicle. In the tailgate, the narrow LED rear lights continue a theme from the Microbus concept of 2001. At the centre, but smaller than at the front end: the VW symbol. When all six seating locations are fully occupied, there is a 370 litre bootspace behind the tailgate.

Interior space - melding of car and iPad

Like the body design, the interior is also marked by a level of clarity whose consistent application can only be found at Volkswagen. The passenger compartment - immersed in light during the day thanks to its panoramic sunroof - also harbours some surprises.

A practical highlight: like the T1 in times past, thanks to its level floor the new Bulli is also equipped with a single bench seat in front. The van offers space for three in the rear as well.

An infotainment highlight: a removable iPad in the centre console serves as a multifunctional touchscreen. Along with Internet-based iPad applications and the media centre, it also handles control of such functions as Bluetooth hands-free telephone and a navigation system. Integrated right on the iPad mount are controls for the climate control system and the centrally located hazard warning switch.

Typical Volkswagen: all cockpit details are clearly organised and designed to be intuitive. Running laterally across the entire width is a line with air vents. In front of the driver, there is a speedometer in the shape of a semicircle. A colour multifunction display, also semi-circular in shape, can be used to view and control (via multifunctional keys in the steering wheel and on it) the navigation system, telephone, trip computer and media centre - the entire unit of speedometer and multifunction display also communicates with the iPad. The key word here is sound: a system produced by legendary guitar and amplifier manufacturer Fender (USA) ensures that the music sounds as though it were being performed live. At Woodstock in 1969, Jimi Hendrix played "The Star-Spangled Banner" - the American national anthem - on a Fender Stratocaster guitar.

What is not found in the Volkswagen Bulli is a tachometer (unnecessary with an electric motor) or a conventional gear shift or gear selection lever (also unnecessary with an electric motor). The latter is replaced by a rotary switch to the right of the driver, which is used to activate forward and reverse gears. A pushbutton in the same switch is used to start and stop the motor. Another rotary switch to the left of the driver is used to control the lighting functions.

Seats become reclining surface in an instant

The outer and middle seat positions of the front bench seat can be folded down (2/3 split); the rear beach seat, meanwhile, can be completely stowed. When the rear bench seat is stowed, cargo capacity increases to 1,600 litres. In addition - and here the new Bulli is reminiscent of its legendary ancestor - the seat system can be transformed into a large reclining surface with just a few manual movements. This turns the compact MPV into a compact camper - the ultimate companion for a weekend trip.

At least as important for many users, however, is that the seating system should not only be versatile but also offer maximum comfort. The seat position is comfortably high and is equally relaxing. As an added benefit, it offers an optimised view forward as well. And that is how it was in the T1 too. Contributing to peace of mind aboard today's vehicle is the fact that the new era Bulli is equipped with all conceivable safety features. And that is the crucial difference: the car has essentially been reinvented since the days of the first T1 aka the Bulli aka the Microbus.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

In its presentation of the new Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen is writing a new chapter of a global success story. The four-seater has an innovative soft top with an electro-hydraulic drive that opens the Golf's top in just 9.5 seconds.

The new VW Golf Cabriolet's styling follows that of its hard-top three-door counterpart, but it shows a high level of independence with a new rear section, lower profile roof line and more swept-back angle of its front windscreen frame. The convertible's image is especially dynamic when ordered with optional bi-xenon headlights. Always a standard feature: the LED rear lights like those of the GTI. Other standard safety features offering peace of mind are the automatically deploying roll-over bar, front airbags, side head/thorax airbags, knee airbag for the driver and ESP.

The new VW Golf Cabriolet is one of the quietest convertibles today. Its soothing quietness is attributable to the new soft top that was optimised in specific ways. It also has a standard hydraulic drive that opens the Golf's top extremely quickly. The top can also be opened or closed during driving at speeds of up to 30 km/h.

Ideal for cruising with a convertible are the six turbocharged direct-injection engines whose power outputs range from 77 kW / 105 PS to 155 kW / 210 PS. Four of the petrol engines (TSI) and one diesel (TDI) are available with the DSG dual-clutch gearbox; while three of the engines are available with energy-saving BlueMotion Technology. Just how efficiently the new Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet handles fuel is illustrated by the 1.6 TDI with 105 PS and BlueMotion Technology: It only consumes 4.4 l/100 km (equivalent to 117 g/km CO2).

In Germany, advance sales begin tomorrow with prices starting at 23.625 Euros. Essentially, all of the features offered in the classic, hard top Golf are also available in the new Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet. The only feature that will definitely not be offered is a sunroof...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced the debut of the new 2012 VW Jetta GLI, which combines the comfort and sophistication of a Jetta with aggressive performance and handling in a sporty yet sleek package. The all-new Jetta GLI is the most differentiated Jetta GLI model ever made by Volkswagen. With a rich heritage that dates back to 1984, the new Jetta GLI is sure to appeal to both automotive enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike.

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI offers exceptional features and options, for equally impressive pricing. Available in three trim levels, the Jetta GLI has a starting MSRP of $23,495. The GLI Autobahn, with an MSRP of $25,545, adds 18" alloy wheels, sunroof, dual zone climate control, heated V-Tex Leatherette seats and the Fender® Premium Audio System. The top of the line Jetta GLI Autobahn with Navigation adds the RNS-315 navigation system and keyless access with push-button start technology for an MSRP of $26,445.

Engine and Transmission

The sporty Volkswagen Jetta GLI boasts the award winning 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine, generating 200 horsepower and a full 207 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,700 rpm, contributing to drivability and response of the vehicle in both everyday and performance situations. The Jetta GLI is offered with a six speed manual transmission as standard equipment. This new model is significantly lighter than the previous Jetta GLI and it offers power and performance coupled with German sensibilities. While EPA figures are not yet available, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is expected to deliver 31 mpg highway with the manual and 32 mpg highway with the DSG® automatic.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI (2012)

Additional performance features for the VW Jetta GLI include:
Track tuned four-way Independent Performance Suspension for superb handling
DSG® automatic gearbox that offers steering wheel mounted paddles shifters, super quick shift times and rev-matched downshifts
XDS® cross differential system that debuted on the Volkswagen GTI, that helps prevent inside wheel spin during cornering
Four wheel disc brakes with floating red calipers

Premium Features

To make life on the road a little easier, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI offers sophisticated, German engineered premium appointments. Features include standard 6.5" touch screen premium VIII radio with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, standard one-touch up/down power on all four windows, standard multifunction display (for vehicle status, trip, radio and navigation information when equipped), available dual zone climate control, available RNS-315 navigation system and available keyless entry with pushbutton start.

The 2012 Jetta GLI Autobahn and Autobahn with navigation models come standard with a Fender® Premium Audio System, bringing the concert stage to the vehicle for the ultimate music experience. Designed exclusively for Volkswagen, the Fender® Premium Audio System is embedded in the vehicle design and features proprietary Panasonic® speaker technology. The system covers the cabin with directional sound from front door speakers that generate imaging beyond the capabilities of traditional speaker designs. It cuts through the noise and other distractions with front dual voice coil speakers, with extended range for all musical genres.

The sound system features lower inter-modulation distortion and smooth mid-range response to eliminate harshness. It is harmonically complex, with extended range tweeters and properly voiced 16cm speakers revealing original instrumentation timbre and harmonic richness, bringing the raw emotion of live music to the driving experience.


The Volkswagen Jetta GLI combines performance, space and comfort in one sleek package. At 182.2 inches long, 57.2 inches tall and 70 inches wide, it is more than 2.9 inches longer than previous Jetta models.

The front end of the car is defined by prominent horizontal lines. The VW Jetta GLI grille and the car's trapezoidal headlights help create a distinct look. Below the bumper is a cooling air intake and tray-shaped front spoiler that completes the masculine look of the car. The upper front end section shows a powerful transition from the v-shaped engine hood to the fenders on the sides while the shoulder section provides dynamic and muscular styling.

The aggressive styling of the Volkswagen Jetta GLI is powerfully emphasized by the arches of the wheel wells available with 17" or 18" alloys. Sleek lines and sporty shoulders dominate the rear section. The smoked taillights stand out with two distinct sections extending on either side from the fender into the tailgate above the dual exhaust tips.


Like the exterior, the interior of the Jetta GLI stays true to its sport and performance roots. Featuring sport bucket seats with red stitching and a sport flat-bottom steering wheel with red stitching, the GLI logo and aluminum accents, the interior styling consistently follows the clean, sporty lines of the car. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI is available in cloth or V-Tex Leatherette and also features sleek alloy pedals, shifter, dash and door trim.

Intuitive controls and well-arranged instruments allow drivers to enjoy a comfortable and ergonomically designed gear shift grip. Further up on the center console are the newly designed and intuitive controls for climate and radio. The console is also slightly inclined toward the driver to heighten comfort behind the wheel.

To increase versatility, the rear bench seatback is split 60/40 and folds. The trunk can also be opened from inside the car by a remote unlock switch.


The VW Jetta GLI includes several features designed to enhance driver and passenger safety including electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring and Volkswagen's advanced Intelligent Crash Response System, which initiates automatic safety protection in some types of collisions — the electrical supply to the fuel pump is shut off, the doors unlock and the hazard lights switch on.

As part of the equipment package, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI also features driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags in front and Side Curtain Protection® airbags in front and rear.

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

The new Volkswagen Tiguan is taking a great leap forward in schedule: advance sales of the technically and visually refined bestseller already begin today. The reason: Volkswagen accelerated the start of advance sales several weeks, because sustained high demand for the previous model has resulted in it being sold out. The new VW Tiguan's world debut will be on March 1st at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show, yet Volkswagen is already announcing the base price of the new Tiguan today: 24,175 euros will be the SUV's price in Germany as a Trend & Fun version with 1.4 TSI (90 kW / 122 PS) engine. This means that the Volkswagen Tiguan is still at the same price level as the previous model despite numerous improvements.

The debut of the Volkswagen Tiguan in 2007 marked the advent of one of the great success stories in the German automotive industry. Practically from a standstill, this Volkswagen advanced to become SUV market leader in Germany. That is still true today: The German Federal Bureau of Motor Vehicles reported on 6 January 2011 that the bestselling SUV between Hamburg and Munich continues to be the Tiguan. Now, its successor is launching, and headlines about the new prototype have already appeared in some automotive magazines. The reasons for the VW Tiguan boom are obvious: with five stars in EuroNCAP crash testing, the VW Tiguan is one of the safest SUVs, and with its TDI and TSI engines it is also one of the most fuel efficient SUVs; it offers great comfort and quality as well. So, its overall price-to-performance ratio sets a new benchmark, as confirmed by numerous comparison tests in the automotive media.

The Volkswagen Tiguan has long been one of the most popular Volkswagens in the world. Its highest volume markets: all of Europe, Russia, USA, China, Brazil and Australia. In Germany, its average market share in the segment of compact SUVs grew to about 21 percent in the year 2010, and across Europe it was twelve percent. Globally, a total of 572,000 Tiguans have been delivered since it was first launched in autumn 2007. The Touareg's smaller brother is now poised to continue this success story with a new look and advanced technologies.


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