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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating certain Volkswagen Tiguan models after receiving more than two dozen reports of vehicles experiencing a loss of exterior lighting – brake lights, headlights, turn signals, etc. So far, 26 people have reported this problem to NHTSA, but it could possibly affect an estimated 61,000 Tiguans between the 2009 and 2011 model years.

Of the Tiguan models that had a partial or complete loss of exterior lighting, some were found to have an overheated or melted fuse. The NHTSA investigation notice, which is posted below, doesn’t mention whether or not the driver was warned when the lights failed, but it would probably be a good idea for potentially affected Tiguan owners to keep an eye on the lights and even the fuse until the investigation is concluded. Fortunately, there have been no accidents or injuries reported.

Continue reading NHTSA probing 61,000 VW Tiguan CUVs over loss of lighting

NHTSA probing 61,000 VW Tiguan CUVs over loss of lighting originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 10 Nov 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volkswagen Twin-Up Concept

We’ve received multiple reports that Volkswagen will be bringing a diesel-electric concept to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, set to take place later this month. The car, called the Twin-Up!, is based on the Up! city car, with some sources claiming this is a thinly veiled concept that will eventually enter production.

According to Automotive News Europe, the Twin-Up! will reportedly return 214 miles per gallon on the US cycle by combining an 800-cc, two-cylinder diesel and an electric motor. It will also boast plug-in capabilities, and will be able to cover 30 miles on electric power alone.

Autocar has a more complete picture of the Twin-Up!’s powertrain, though, claiming it’s a modified version of the hybrid system found in the Volkswagen XL1. The Twin-Up! will get a more potent, 47-horsepower electric motor to the XL1’s 27-hp unit, but will retain that car’s 47-hp turbodiesel. The battery pack will also grow, from 5.5 kilowatt hours to 8.6 kWh. Both of these increases are necessary due to the increased weight of the Twin-Up! – it’s some 900 pounds heavier than an XL1.

Despite the weight gain, the Twin-Up! should still feel spritely in dense, urban settings. It’ll hit 62 mph in a leisurely 15.7 seconds, but will reach 37 mph – a reasonable city speed – in 8.8 seconds. The top speed is 99 mph.

We’ll have much more on the Twin-Up! when it makes its debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show on November 20. Until then, be sure to check back as more info leaks out in the coming weeks.

VW to unveil diesel-electric Twin-Up! in Tokyo originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Nov 2013 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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If it had a bit more ground clearance and we didn’t know any better, we’d ask when Forge Motorsports’ first-generation Volkswagen Golf racecar competed in Group B rally, thanks to almost every one of its exterior design/aero elements and the crazy 400-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four (crank up the boost from 1.0 bar to 1.8 bar and the engine will make 500 hp easily), but Volkswagen never raced the little hatch in that World Rally Championship class.

Besides the Group B-like aerodynamics package and high-strung turbocharged mill, the right-hand-drive 1982 Golf gets a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential to put the power to the ground, according to Auto 123. Additionally, the cooling system has been moved to the rear (check out those cooling fans) to help even out the weight distribution of the front-wheel-drive hatch.

A Forge Motorsports representative tells us that the car will run a time attack at Road Atlanta next year, and that the company wants to bring it to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb; we’re crossing our fingers that it runs at both events.

Until then, check out our photo gallery of one of the fastest VWs at SEMA.

Forge Motorsports Mk1 VW Golf goes Group B all over SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Nov 2013 17:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 VW Golf

Volkswagen brought just three vehicles to SEMA this year (compare that to Ford’s 57 show cars): two Jettas and a Golf. Both Jettas showcase the automaker’s new turbocharged EA888 four-cylinder engines – one of which is heavily modified – and the Golf is the first seventh-generation model tuned in North America (it launches here next year).

The Golf concept showcases the latest suspension bits from H&R: a coilover setup for the new Golf that lowers the car 1.5 inches up front and 1.75 inches at the rear. 19-inch Rotiform wheels accentuate the stance and cover a Brembo brake setup. The aggressive styling is achieved with a VW Accessories body kit, rear spoiler, center exit rear valance and dual exhaust muffler.

FMS tuned the two Jettas: one equipped with the new 1.8-liter engine, and the other blessed with the new 2.0-liter engine, albeit heavily modified. The white, widebody Jetta concept gets the 2.0-liter, endowing the car with 425 horsepower. The blue Jetta concept is a visual tribute to the 1989 Jetta GLI Helios Special Edition and is fitted with the 1.8-liter version of the turbo four, but FMS left it stock with 170 hp. Plenty of suspension and cosmetic upgrades adorn both sedans.

Check out the press release below for more information on VW’s show cars.

Continue reading VW flaunts seventh-gen Golf, two Jettas and 425 hp from 2.0 liters

VW flaunts seventh-gen Golf, two Jettas and 425 hp from 2.0 liters originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Nov 2013 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volkswagen Jetta by FMS

While you’re bound to see more American and Asian cars at SEMA than you will European ones, Volkswagen stands as a notable exception. This year VW is showcasing its new EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder engines with a pair of customized Jettas.

First up is the Racers Dream in Black and White, a Jetta sedan fitted with the new 2.0-liter turbo four and fettled by FMS Automotive. They’ve fitted a Stage 3+ turbo kit, installed new rods, wristpins and pistons, a carbon-fiber intake and intercooler. The result is more than double the stock output at 425 horsepower. To keep it all under control, FMS fitted an H&R coil-over suspension, 19-inch TSW alloys with Z-rated Nitto rubber and Brembo brakes. It’s all capped by the front end and side skirts from the Golf R, the grille from a Jetta Hybrid, widened fenders and rear bumper and dual exhaust tips. Gloss trim contrasts with a matte white paintjob, and the interior features Recaro buckets, a custom infotainment system and more.

For its second project, FMS paid tribute to the original 1989 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Helios Special Edition. The blue and black Jetta packs a 1.8-liter turbo, a VW body kit, Golf R-spec brakes, custom exhaust, Recaro seats and more. H&R is also turning up in a tuned version of the new seventh-generation Golf which Volkswagen is introducing to the North American market. You can read all about them in the press release below and scope out the FMS projects in the pair of galleries top and bottom.

Continue reading VW reveals customized turbo Jettas for SEMA

VW reveals customized turbo Jettas for SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Walk Off The Earth

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen music made with the help of cars, but it’s pretty inventive all the same. Walk Off The Earth, a Canadian band perhaps best known for its cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” teamed up with Volkswagen to film its latest music video.

The song, entitled “Gang of Rhythm,” is a catchy pop anthem of sorts, and three separate versions were recorded for the video. The first, called “Playful,” is the one that uses the car, in this case a red VW Beetle, to best effect. The second and third styles, “Soulful” and “Powerful,” don’t make nearly as much use of the Bug.

Want to see and hear the music video yourself? Scroll down below to check it out.

Continue reading Band turns Beetle Convertible into percussion section

Band turns Beetle Convertible into percussion section originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 02 Nov 2013 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volkswagen allegedly is trying to coerce factory workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant to join UAW.

United Auto Workers has been pushing to unionize Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, TN plant, and Volkswagen seems to be open to the idea – the two parties already have discussed an employee “works council” for the factory, which would require UAW organization – but the automaker says it will only recognize UAW if employees approve the move via a formal secret ballot. But now some workers are claiming that VW is coercing them into joining the union, The Tennessean reports.

Specifically, four workers at the plant, which builds the Passat, filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that a senior member of VW’s German management said the factory might not get another vehicle to build – a future three-row crossover – unless workers agree to join the union. The workers say that if VW refuses production of a vehicle at the plant because they don’t join UAW, it interferes with their right “to choose whether or not to engage in self-organization to form, join, or assist labor organizations,” The Tennessean reports. That’s illegal under federal law.

In the Southern US, foreign automakers and their factories have traditionally rejected UAW organizing drives, such as Nissan and its Smyrna, Tenn. plant, so VW’s seemingly pro-union stance goes against the norm. That coupled with Chattanooga workers’ hesitancy to join UAW makes the situation unique, and this latest allegation adds a dose of complication.

Making matters more urgent, the Chattanooga plant is competing with a Mexican plant to build the aforementioned crossover, and a decision on its production is expected by the end of the year.

UAW says it has gathered signatures of support from more than half of the plant’s workers, and it wants VW to recognize the union without a formal vote. But, as stated above, VW says it wants a formal secret ballot cast before it recognizes the union.

Update: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Nissan’s Canton, Miss. plant had rejected a UAW organizing drive. The text has since been corrected.

Are VW execs pushing workers to unionize in Chattanooga? UPDATE originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Oct 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

The Tiguan pledged Volkswagen’s R-Line fraternity way back in 2008, survived the hazing and humiliation to become a certified member of the ancient German trim-package society (by “ancient,” we mean 10 years old). The 2014 Tiguan R-Line is the scion of that first-generation compact crossover and joins the Touareg, Beetle and CC in the brotherhood.

What it provides is better looks for the same heart: every Tiguan carries a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TSI engine up front, turbocharged and intercooled, sending the same 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet either to the front wheels or to all four via a Haldex-clutch-equipped 4Motion system. Volkswagen touts the option of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, but such buyer discretion only applies to the front-wheel-drive model. If you want 4Motion, you have to get the automatic, and the R-Line cannot be had with a manual. Both FWD and AWD models are rated at 26 highway miles per gallon, but in the city, the manual FWD returns 18 mpg, the automatic FWD gets 21 mpg and the AWD gets 20 mpg – none of which is terribly pleasing for a compact crossover, particularly when premium fuel is recommended.

Driving Notes

  • On the outside, beyond the badging, R-Line spotters will take note of body-color side skirts, black wheel arch extensions, a roof spoiler, HID headlamps and power folding side mirrors.
  • R-Line interior extras include leather seating surfaces and power front seats along with a flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and aluminum sill plates. The interior is a premium VW affair with leather that exudes all the right vibes and everything else feeling soft to the touch. The choice materials and two-tone instrument panel overcome the minimalism of the center console and the huge sunroof keeping the cabin bright. A very nice Fender audio system is standard, and so is a trial of Volkswagen’s new Car-Net connected services suite (the People’s Car version of OnStar).
  • VW charges the Tiguan with “putting the ‘Sport’ in SUV,” crediting it with having the soul of the GTI (but not the same heart), and we didn’t scoff at the bombast after a couple of hours behind the wheel. As we mentioned in our recent First Drive of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee – even though we drove the Tiguan before it – there are crossovers that are finally and truly delivering on the promise of a car-like ride, the Tiguan R-Line being a prime example. We threw it at the same scrunched-up Sonoma Valley curves we had just tackled in a base-trim 2014 Jetta with the new 1.8-liter base engine. The 115-hp Jetta got a gold star for being capable and fun, but the compact crossover that looks like a big shoe is a perfect hoot to drive.
  • It’s almost always mentioned that the R-line doesn’t add more horsepower, but few mention that in applications like the Tiguan, the R-Line can do more with its power – it has larger 19-inch wheels wearing 255/40 R19 Pirelli Scorpions (versus 17- or 18- inch wheels on less aggressive rubber) and a firmer, sport suspension tune means it isn’t only about appearance. Plus, the Tiguan R-Line is the only trim to get shift paddles on its steering wheel.
  • Yet we almost never touched the paddles. That 207 lb-ft of warthog grunt comes on from 1,700 rpm, same as the 200 hp, and the six-speed transmission didn’t need help knowing where to be in the rev range when called to attention. With 4Motion all-wheel drive there for the assist – the Haldex center diff can move almost 100-percent of the torque to the rear wheels, during acceleration, for instance – they easily get the 3,591-pound crossover connecting one uphill ess to the next, that firmer suspension and those Scorpions taking over to get one through those corners as wished. On milder runs at highway speeds, the cabin is quiet and composed, and the staccato flow of urban drive is like being in a VW sedan with a booster seat.
  • For 2014, there are five Tiguan trims, with a healthy price climb from bottom to top. The base S starts at $22,995 and the range-topping R-Line begins at $36,535, or $37,400 after you add $865 for destination. Check the 4Motion box and you’re at $39,355. The Tiguan we drove had been optioned up to $39,625 with the addition of four Monster Mats, a trunk liner and a first aid kit. That’s more money than a base Audi Q5 with the same engine.
  • A quick run through a few configurators put the Tiguan at about $1,400 more than a similarly equipped Chevrolet Equinox, about $3,700 more than a Ford Escape and roughly $7,000 more than a Mazda CX-5 – the first two of those being among the eight vehicles VW lists in the Tiguan’s competitive set. All of them have more headroom, legroom and cargo space than the Volkswagen. They are also all down on power compared to the Tiguan, in some cases quite a bit down, and only the Mazda can come close to the driving experience. But the competitors (in four-cylinder guise) do get better gas mileage on less-costly regular fuel. If you don’t need the R-Line features, the SEL trim omits the look-faster and turn harder kit and provides an instant $4,000 discount with an MSRP of $32,670. It will take more than that to explain the huge disparity in sales between the Tiguan and its competitors, of course.
  • The Tiguan – any Tiguan, but especially the R-line – strikes us as a lifestyle choice in a segment guarded by the twin sentinels of Practicality and Value, those watchmen ready to disembowel the sales of non-conforming competition. Remember when the Internet’s circuit boards glowed red because of enthusiasts raging at the ‘dumbing down’ of the 2011 Jetta, livid that VW acceded to market dictates and unveiled a vehicle that was a far better competitor for a segment also guarded – even more intensely – by practicality and value? The Jetta has sold in five-digit quantities every month since that happened, something that could not be said of it before. In fact, its sales are still climbing two years after it hit the market. The Tiguan, meanwhile, remains representative of the VW that demands premium money for a premium product no matter the trim and no matter the segment, and it has sold more than 3,000 units in a single month only once since January 2010. As a lifestyle proposition, though, the Tiguan R-Line is a good one; it’s slightly smaller and less frugal, but it’s good looking, more powerful, nicer inside and a lot more fun to drive than most of its rivals.

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Oct 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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