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Volkswagen CEO’s mea culpa on noxgate

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, offers up this mea culpa in response to noxgate; the diesel NOx emissions issue which Volkswagen says affects up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.

In a new statement Volkswagen says all new diesel vehicles which meet EU6 emissions are not affected by this scandal. However, if your diesel powered Volkswagen or Audi A3 is powered by an EA189 2.0 TDI engine then your car is right in the middle of the deceit which Volkswagen has overseen.

For some technical explanation as to why Volkswagen might have thought cheating emissions tests was a good idea, check out this reddit thread.

This is going to be a very sticky mess for Volkswagen to extricate itself from.

If you own a car affected by this deceit please tell us below how you feel. Can Volkswagen ever win back your trust?

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Volkswagen shares go up in smoke


Volkswagen’s shares have plummeted more than 18% in Germany as the company suffers the fallout from its diesel emissions scandal in the United States.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Volkswagen and Audi are in breach of California’s Clean Air Act after the manufacturers created software to deliberately cheat emissions testing. As a result, the EPA claims four-cylinder diesel powered models built between 2009–15 emit as much as 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than tests showed.

Over 480,000 vehicles are affected and Volkswagen could face penalties of up to US$18 billion, with fines of US$37,500 per vehicle in breach of the relevant laws.

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters.”

For its part Volkswagen is preparing to take its medicine with Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, issuing a statement apologising for the breaches.

“I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Winterkorn said. “We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case.

“We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law,” Winterkorn added. “The trust of our customers and the public is and continues to be our most important asset.”

Affected diesel-powered models include:

  • Audi A3 (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Beetle (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Golf (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Jetta (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Passat (Model Years 2009–2015)
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Detroit 2014: Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept

2014 Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept

Volkswagen has rocked up to Detroit with this Beetle Dune thingy. Officially it’s a concept model, but Volkswagen is making plenty of noises stating if the demand is there they will build it.

“Everything about this car is feasible—practically a production vehicle,” Volkswagen’s press release states.

So what do you get that makes it different from your garden variety Beetle? Most obviously there’s a bunch of model-specific cosmetic enhancements, inside and out. But the Dune has been raised by 50mm to give it that crucial urban clearance. And, check this out, it has ski racks on the back window. Yes, ski racks! You know for the snow. Where the roads are slippery and you often need to fit chains, unless you have an all-wheel drive car.

That’s probably the exact reason why the Dune concept is front-wheel drive. Hang on, that’s not right is it? Why didn’t they chuck in a 4 motion system? Cheapskates!

They’ve managed to put a decent engine in the car; a 155kW 2.0 litre turbo. So why leave it front-wheel drive? Even with the supposed weaknesses of the Haldex-sourced systems Volkswagen uses it would still add to the Dune’s abilities.

Interestingly, the front and rear track has been widened by 29mm and that should offer improved road holding, but we wonder if that would be one of the features lost if the Dune does become a series production model.

We actually don’t mind the look and basic idea behind the Dune concept, it looks fun. We just wish it had a bit more substance.


2013 VW Beetle – Australian pricing & specs

2013 Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Australia launched The Beetle (aka the new New Beetle) in the middle of last month. So while we’re a tad late bringing you the details we hope to make up for it with the quantity of information on offer after the break.

First, though, The Beetle will be available in Australia with just one engine option, the 118kW/240Nm 1.4 litre TSI twincharged motor. With a 6-speed manual it is priced from $29,990 or $32,490 with the optional 7-speed DSG.

In June buyers will also be able to choose the Beetle Fender Edition for $34,490. This model uses the same 1.4 litre TSI engine and comes standard with a 7-speed DSG and a 400W stereo. It pays homage to the Fender guitar and you can have it in any colour you like, so long as it’s black. Yes, really.

Volkswagen has added The Beetle to its capped price service program. The schedule runs for six services (up to 90,000kms or 72 months) and amounts to $2,623 with prices ranging from $375 to $638 per service.

Full details are available after the break and if you’re interested in buying a new Beetle we suggest you download the PDFs we’ve made available for you.

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LA 2012: Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

Volkswagen has lifted the lid off its latest Beetle and given the new Cabriolet version a world premiere at the LA Auto Show.

It’s the third time they’ve made a ragtop Beetle and this new model can take you from covered roof to open sky in 9.5 seconds. The roof can be opened at speeds up to 50km/h. Closing the roof takes a little longer, at 11.0 seconds.

Well over 500,000 Beetle Cabrios have been made in the past, including nearly a quarter of a million of the previous-gen New Beetle Cabriolet. Volkswagen will be hoping their latest model will achieve similar success.

The Beetle Cabriolet is on sale in the United States now and will launch in Europe early next year. It will be coming to Australia, with an official launch date still to be scheduled. We reckon it’ll be here before the end of 2013.

For the LA show Volkswagen has created three special themed examples of the Beetle Cabriolet, based on the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. They’re pretty cool, too, you can check them out, and more, after the break.


The Beetle R already on the cards

Volkswagen The Beetle

It was only released overnight, but already the speculation of a high-powered R version of The Beetle is doing the rounds. So much so, that Car and Driver in the US is reporting that The Beetle R has already been confirmed for the US market.

Apparently, The Beetle R will remain front-wheel drive only. That means, in basic terms, then, we can expect R GmbH to grab a 195kW Scirocco R and reskin it with Beetle clothing. That should go alright.

[Source: Car and Driver]


Volkswagen unleashes The Beetle

Volkswagen The Beetle

Volkswagen has released photos and details of its new New Beetle. Except, it’s not called the New Beetle anymore; simply, The Beetle.

It’s a more masculine design, according to the marketing blurb, and we’re not entirely sure it hits the right notes. Although, The Beetle certainly does look much sportier than the New Beetle. And that’s a good thing.

While first impressions are pretty good, closer inspection of the pics has us asking if the proportions are right. We may need to wait until we see this car for real until we can pass final judgement. That means early 2012 for our Australian eyes.

The Beetle has been totally redesigned, with no carry over parts from the old model. Early reports from those attending launch events in New York and Shanghai seem positive for the most part.

Take a look at the small gallery of pics after the break and let us know what you think. There’s plenty of detail from Volkswagen AG for you to read as well.


Volkswagen’s new New Beetle caught naked

VW new New Beetle

First we were told Volkswagen’s new New Beetle was going to be radical. Then Oprah showed off its silhouette, after VW helped her promise a car to eleventy billion of her closest friends (okay, it’s only 275). Now, KGP Photography and Autoblog bring us photos of a completely unclothed new New Beetle (click source link below for more pics).

The new New Beetle uses the current Mk6 Golf platform and will be built in Mexico alongside the Jetta. While it can sometimes be folly to judge a car based solely on photographs, we think this new New Beetle looks okay, but perhaps the wheel arches are too over the top. It looks like it’s driving on kiddy wheels that are out of proportion with the rest of the car.

While we’re discussing proportions, what about the back arch and C-pillar? The chiselled edge around the window detail is very nice, we admit, but we think there might be a bit too much Quasimodo in this new New Beetle for us to declare it a loveable evolution/revolution, like the the old New Beetle was a decade ago.

[Source: Autoblog]


Oprah shows off new New Beetle silhouette

Volkswagen New Beetle

Oprah Winfrey has revealed the profile of Volkswagen’s new New Beetle. Of course, who else! Well, what do you think? It looks a bit old skool 911, if you squint your eyes, hold breath and think of flowers in your hair in San Francisco.

Apparently the stunt is all part of Oprah’s goodbye tour in which she will be giving a fleet of 275 Beetles away to audience members. Due for release in 2012, or possibly late in 2011, the New Beetle is scheduled for production at Puebla, Mexico from around September next year.

There has been previous speculation that VW will reveal their new “icon” at the Detroit Auto Show in January. However, this rumour was quashed by Volkswagen of America boss, Jonathon Browning, when he confirmed that Oprah had been granted an early preview of the New Beetle. He went on to say that the public wouldn’t get to see the car until their Spring in 2011 (our Autumn).

We’ve spared you the video of Oprah’s audience hooting and hollering, but if you must, follow the source link below to the see the drama for yourself.

[Source: Autoblog]


The new New Beetle to reveal “radical design”

Volkswagen New Beetle rendering

According to a report from UK publication Autocar, Volkswagen sources have confirmed with them the new New Beetle will be a “radical design”. The rendering above is Autocar‘s interpretation of that comment. It looks okay. I guess. Radical? Not greatly. If the above rendering is on the money, then the Beetle will be taking on a more masculine look than the first New Beetle.

Apparently, we’ll know for sure what the new New Beetle will look like at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show in January, if not a bit before.

The Beetle will be built in Mexico alongside the new Jetta. The two cars will share many chassis and engine components. It is expected the new New Beetle will be on sale in Europe before the middle of next year. Add somewhere in the vicinity of 9 months for an Australian release, maybe pre-Christmas 2011 at a guess. A convertible New Beetle will follow in 2012.

[Source: Autocar]