DETROIT--Volkswagen has been much better known for its high-mileage diesel models than hybrids. Yet here at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, VW showed a concept car featuring a new transmission that will let it turn almost any car in its lineup into a hybrid. The company also showed a new, more efficient direct-injection 1.8-liter engine making 250 horsepower.
The CrossBlue concept, a diesel hybrid, relies on what VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg referred to as an eDSG in an interview with CNET. The eDSG is a new version of VW's Dual Shift Gearbox (DSG), a transmission … Read more
Automakers, recognizing some buyers' need for speed, oblige by tuning up their inexpensive compact models, delivering more power and better handling. At the same time, most of these cars retain their basic practicality, whether it is the stylish and easily parked Fiat 500 Abarth or the cargo-friendly hatchback design of the Focus ST.
Not only do these cars cost less than top performance models, they can also work as your only car, good for the daily commute, a road trip, and maybe even a track day.
Here are five cars designed to perform. … Read more
When Apple announced the iPhone 5's new Lightning connector, a replacement for the 30-pin connector of past iPhones, iPads, and iPods, it also announced an adapter to maintain compatibility with 30-pin accessories and docks. I tested the iPhone 5 with its biggest 30-pin accessory, a Volkswagen.
Volkswagen uses the same iPod integration system as Audi, which it calls the Media Device Interface. This system consists of a proprietary port in the car with adapter cables for 30-pin iPod connector, USB, Mini-USB, and auxiliary input. As Volkswagen has not come out with a Lightning cable for its Media Device Interface, you have to get Apple's 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter, and connect it to the car's adapter cable. Not exactly an elegant solution.… Read more
As so many struggle with the ins and outs of advertising cars on Facebook, one piece of sublime inspiration from Sweden might show there are other media with more promise.
An employee of Fiat near Stockholm, Sweden noticed that Google's fine Street View drivers were making a sweep of the area.
As the Daily Mail reports it, he drove a Fiat 500 and parked it in front of Volkswagen's HQ in Sodertalje, around 30 miles south of Stockholm. He thought it might make for a fun picture when the Street View car came around. He was right.
Sure … 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
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