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Volkswagen Golf R

The Frankfurt Motor Show, and under its hood is an increase in power that dwarfs the prior three generations.

Recall that the first Golf R32 produced 237 horsepower, and the one that followed made 247 hp. The outgoing third-gen model offered 261, which means the latest Golf R, with its turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder engine now producing 296 hp, has received the biggest bump in power by far. In fact, the 36-hp bump is more than the R-line has seen in its first three generations combined.

That engine also makes 280 foot-pounds of torque, which can be carved up by either a six-speed manual or dual clutch transmission. As before, a Haldex all-wheel-drive system sends power where its needed most among the four contact patches. Those wheels can now be ordered in 18- and optional 19-inch sizes, the latter of which fit snugly in the fender wells of a body that’s been lowered an extra 0.2 inches compared to the GTI. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system now also offers a Race mode, which stiffens the dampers and quickens shift times, as one of its four settings.

Of course, since the MKVII Golf hasn’t even yet gone on sale in the US (we’re expecting it to arrive next year as a 2015 model), the Golf R is even further out for us. But unlike much of the hardware we’ve been exposed to in Frankfurt, this one will be seeing the grass on our side of the fence eventually.

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Volkswagen E-Load Up!

Large delivery vans might make sense in American cities with broader boulevards and ample parking day or night, but crowded European city streets demand something a little smaller. And so Volkswagen has unveiled the e-Load Up!

Based on the existing Frankfurt. The electric motor produces 81 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque, juiced by an 18.7 kWh lithium-ion battery under the floor to run from 0-62 miles per hour in a positively pedestrian 12.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 81 mph, traveling up to 99 miles on a single charge.

What sets the e-Load Up! apart from the passenger version, however, is its cargo capacity. Whereas the passenger Up! can take up to 951 liters (33.6 cubic feet), this version can swallow up to 1,400 liters (49 cu ft) and 306 kilograms (675 pounds) of stuff – enhanced by the fold-up passenger seat next to the driver’s. Volkswagen, for whatever reason, chose not to display the car during press days here at the show, but you can check out the few images we did scrounge up, in the gallery above, along with the press release Comments

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2014 Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan

Golf Sportsvan, and this concept is about as close to production as concepts get.

With a length that slots neatly between that of the shorter Ford C-Max hybrid in the US, offering an upright seating position and loads of cargo space and flexibility.

Indeed, with its interior configured for maximum stowage, the Sportvan Concept can swallow 1,512 liters of cargo. Xenophiles will note that is 53.4 cubic-feet of space (more than the C-Max’s 52.6 cubes), and the Sportvan can still handle 17.6 cubic feet of cargo with its seats in their upright and locked position.

When it launches in Europe next year, the Golf Sportvan will be offered with no less than six engine choices (four gas, two diesel), which VW claims are up to 19-percent more miserly with fuel than before and include a stop-start system as standard equipment. Other nice hardware notes include the XDS+ electronic locking differential swiped from the Comments

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2015 Volkswagen e-up!

We finally have some shots from the show floor of the Volkswagen e-Up!, one of two new electric vehicles from the German automaker. The e-Up! comes equipped with a 18.7 kWh lithium ion battery and 60 kW electric motor (81 hp) with 155 lb-ft of torque, a combination that gives the little five-door hatchback a range of 99 miles.

Along with the e-Golf, it represents the first foray by Volkswagen into high-volume EV production. According to VW, the e-Up! takes the honors of being the most efficient EV, consuming just 11.7 kW of electricity per 62 miles. It’s definitely not the quickest form of electrified transportation, crawling from 0-62 miles per hour in 12.4 seconds, or the fastest, with a top speed of 81 mph, but that’s besides the point.

With three drive modes, Normal, Eco and Eco+, one can tailor the EV to use progressively less energy per mile. Eco and Eco+ ramp down the electric motor’s power and other functions, such as air-conditioning, to extend mileage. Drivers also will have a choice of four regenerative braking levels, D1, D2, D3 and B, the first of which offers the least amount of power recovery and the last of which recuperates the most. Of course, the slowing effect of the electric motor (similar to engine braking) increases as regeneration levels increase from D1 to B, which not only will recover more energy, but also will change how the car drives.

The car is charged via a port behind the passenger-side rear door, and a standard 230-volt wall socket charger can fill the battery from empty within nine hours. Upgrade to a wall box charger for the garage or carport, and you’re looking at an empty-to-full charge time of six hours. Be sure to take a look at the Comments

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2014 Volkswagen e-Golf

Frankfurt Motor Show.

The e-Golf is powered by an 113-horsepower motor that generates 199 pound-feet of torque with juice supplied by its 24.2-kWh battery. VW board member Christian Klingler tells Volkswagen Top News that the hatchback is slated to come to select North American markets in early 2015, but declined to confirm whether the car will be available for purchase or a lease-only scheme.

Either way, when it arrives, the electric Comments

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Volkswagen unveils the e-Golf at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Volkswagen unveiled two new electric models today, the e-Up! and e-Golf powered by lithium ion batteries and electric motors giving them ranges of 118 miles and 99 miles, respectively. The pair of VWs were designed in-house by the automaker, and critical components, including the motors, gearboxes and batteries, will be built in Germany at VW’s Kassel components plant.

Let’s start with the five-door hatchback e-Golf. It has a higher-capacity 24.2-kWh lithium ion battery mounted in the floor, and being the more upscale car, it also has a more powerful electric motor, rated at 199 pound-feet of torque from 0 rpm and 85 kW (114 horsepower). Accelerating from 0-62 miles per hour takes 10.4 seconds in the electrified seventh-generation Golf, according to VW, and top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph. As stated earlier, the powertrain gives the e-Golf a range of 118 miles, and VW is quick to point out that the car, helped by its low drag coefficient of 0.28, manages to use about 12.7 kWh of energy per 62 miles, depending on driving style.

The e-Up! is the smaller of the two EVs, a three-door hatchback with a higher drag coefficient of 0.31. The EV based on the up! is equipped with an 18.7-kWh lithium ion battery, also mounted in the floor, generating 155 lb-ft from 0 rpm and 60 kW (81 hp). With a top speed of 81 mph, a 0-62 mph time of 12.4 seconds and a range of 99 miles, there’s only one measure of performance at which it beats the e-Golf, and it greatly matters in a vehicle trying to be ultra efficient: the e-Up! uses just 11.7 kWh per 61 miles, which VW says makes it the “efficiency world champion.”

Both EVs have three drive modes, Normal, Eco and ECO+, the latter two of which progressively limit electric motor power and torque levels and vehicle functions to obtain the best fuel economy. Four levels of regenerative braking are featured on both models, D1, D2, D3 and B. Starting from level D, progressively higher levels of regenerative braking allow the e-Up! and e-Golf to recover more energy to store in the battery. The process has an effect on how the car drives as well, so as levels are raised from D to B, drivers will notice a stronger slowing effect from the electric motor – similar to engine braking in a car with a traditional engine.

Standard 230-volt wall-socket chargers will fully charge the e-up!’s 18.7 kWh battery from empty within nine hours, VW claims, and can do the same for the e-Golf’s 24.7 kWh battery within 13 hours. Step it up with an optional wall box charger for garages or carports (and charging stations) and the e-Up! will go from empty to full within six hours; it will do the same for the e-Golf within eight hours. The quickest charge comes courtesy of an optional combined charging system (CCS) using a DC power supply. Using that, the e-Up! and the e-Golf can be charged from empty to 80 percent in half an hour.

The e-Up! and e-Golf launch in Spring 2014 in Europe, followed by North American and Asian markets in late 2014 or early 2015, VW says. The automaker provided an in-depth press release for its new EVs, which you can peruse Comments

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Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan

Just ahead of this week’s Golf Plus. VW describes this compact family car as “one of the most versatile vehicles of the compact class,” noting that it offers a mix of hatchback and minivan features in a sporty package.

That sportiness comes from the Sportsvan’s styling (perhaps more sleek wagon than minivan) and performance features it shares with the Golf GTI – including the XDS+ electronic differential lock, which is integrated into the Electronic Stability Control system to improve agility. At the same time, the Sportsvan’s six engine options, which include a turbodiesel, are up to 19-percent more fuel-efficient than their predecessors.

On the inside, VW touts this multi-purpose vehicle’s additional cargo space and more spacious rear seating as improvements over the model it replaces. The multifunctional rear bench seat splits 60/40 and features individual adjustment of each section. Additional highlights include the option for advanced assistance systems such as the Blind Spot Monitor and premium comforts such as steering wheel heating.

According to VW, the Sportsvan will see production as soon as mid-2014. However, don’t expect this model to make its way to US shores. For more details, take a look at the Comments

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The power of ions has overcome two models in the Frankfurt Motor Show. The e-Up uses a 60-kW motor producing 155 pound-feet of torque, gets from 0-to-62 miles per hour in 12.4 seconds an on to a top speed of 81 mph. It’s 18.7 kWh battery will get it a range of 100 miles, and VW figures that its ability to go 100 kilometers with 11.7 kWh of electricity will cost just three euros and two cents at current rates.

The larger e-Golf gets more powerful internals, a 24.2-kWh battery powering an 85-kW motor producing 199 lb-ft of torque, getting it from standstill to 62 mph in 10.4 seconds and on to an electronically-limited of 87 mph. It has a range of 118 miles, its cost to do 100 km only slightly higher than the e-Up at three euros and 30 cents, or 12.7 kWh.

Driving dynamics can be controlled through two driving modes and four regenerative brake modes. Each car also shares standard features like climate control and navigation, and both can be charged to about 80 percent of battery capacity in thirty minutes using the powerful CCS chargers in Germany. The e-Golf goes further, getting LED headlights as standard – the first VW to get the high-tech eyes.

There’s a press release Comments

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