Summer is upon us, which means that it's officially open-air motoring season. However, not all cabriolets are created equal; there are actually many different types of convertibles to choose from. We've rounded up seven of the most obvious convertible classes and the best examples of each. … Read more
California is not known as a carmaking state, but every carmaker is here. And few have been in Silicon Valley longer than Volkswagen Group with its Electronics Research Lab. There they try to crack the code on loading cars up with social media, connected navigation, portable integration, and more without distracting you to death.
I spent a day with wide-ranging access to the VW lab, in conversation with its director, Peter Oel. I came away with the impression that VW, like the rest of the industry, feels the tech cat is out of the bag and we aren't going back to a day when our cars are digital ghettos. That's also because carmakers know that high-touch technology is a key way they'll clobber their competitors, but they also keep their eye on the rear view as the government makes more and more noises that sound like distraction regulation. … Read more
When you think of a basic, affordable vehicle that everyone can buy, a hover car doesn't immediately come to mind. But that's what emerged from the People's Car Project launched by Volkswagen in China last year.
Volkswagen, which translates to "people's car" in English, challenged China residents to submit their ideas of what the car of the future should look like. The company sifted through more than 119,000 ideas submitted to the project Web site and compiled three concepts, including the Hover Car.
The Hover Car is a two-seater zero-emissions vehicle that hovers … Read more
During a day spent torture-testing Volkswagen performance models in the Santa Cruz mountains, I took a time out to drive the eGolf, the electrical vehicle based on the Golf hatchback. Volkswagen just kicked off a test program in the U.S. with 20 eGolfs spread around the country.
I got a look at the eGolf last month in Volkswagen's Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL). The car uses a 26.5 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack to give it an estimated 93 miles in range. … Read more
During a drive program in the Santa Cruz mountains, I had the chance to drive the 2012 Volkswagen Golf R and GTI, if not back-to-back, at least on the same day. The Golf R proved a speedy, sure-footed little hatchback, but ultimately I had more fun in the GTI.
On paper, the Golf R looks great: 256 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged, direct-injection, 2-liter, four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive for added cornering grip, and a six-speed manual, the only transmission available, setting the tone for driver engagement.
With 56 more horsepower than the GTI, I expected the Golf R to show a lot of lag from a larger turbo.… Read more
How's this for an inspiring DIY project: three generations of a family whipping out the tools and working together to save a vintage car from the scrap heap.
That's essentially what's come about since CNET's own Jared Kohler bought a battered 1969 VW squareback for 500 bucks, with an eye toward getting it back on the road.
The tale involves not only a family bond but also the bond we form with things, be they iPhones, computers, or cars. It also speaks of how these two types of bonds are sometimes themselves bound together.… Read more
An initiative by the German government calls for 1 million electric cars on its roads by 2020. To meet that goal, Volkswagen began a development program for its own electric vehicle, the eGolf. CNET looked at the first eGolf to be shipped to Volkswagen's Electronic Research Laboratory in Belmont, Calif.
This eGolf is the first of 20 that will be used for testing in the United States. Overall, Volkswagen will build 500 of the vehicles for testing its new electric powertrain. This drive system is fairly conventional by today's standards. It uses an electric motor to drive the … Read more
With the 2011 Jetta update, Volkswagen made some compromises to get the price low, but the GLI restores handling and power to this otherwise humble model.
Significant additions to the Jetta GLI are a multilink rear suspension and rear disc brakes. The most important part of the package is one of the best power trains available today, Volkswagen's TFSI 2-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to its Direct Shift Gearbox. That engine combines good economy and power.
Cabin tech options mirror what can be found in other high-trim Jettas, with an available navigation system and iPod connectivity. We raved about the … Read more
So you like the new Volkswagen Beetle, but you wish it were a bit more fuel efficient?
If so, you should stay tuned to next week's Chicago Auto Show because that's where VW will be debuting its new 2013 Beetle TDI.
As the name suggests, this new Beetle variant will be powered by one of Volkswagen's TDI engines--and no, unfortunately it's not that TDI engine. The Beetle TDI's power train is essentially a cut-and-paste of the engine that lives beneath the bonnet of the 2012 Golf TDI and 2012 Jetta TDI. The much-loved 2.0-liter … Read more
Volkswagen developed a new vehicle platform, called Modular Transverse Matrix, that it will use for its Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, and Skoda brands, intended to enable more efficient manufacturing and the dissemination of advanced technologies among its smaller cars.
Many people don't know that Volkswagen owns the Audi brand, but small cars bearing the VW badge and Audi rings are about to become more similar, under the skin at least. The next Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf models will be the first built on the new architecture. The Modular Transverse Matrix was designed for A and B segment cars. Under … Read more