- The embarrassingly long foreplay for the cheap SUV
- SUV study, the third!
- Volkswagen’s downsizing-free zone
- Touareg at the price of the Tiguan
- This is Mercedes’ answer to the BMW X6
The embarrassingly long foreplay for the cheap SUV
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Sleek taillights, exhibited wheel arches: VW is now presenting a third study on the low-cost SUV that the manufacturer is planning for the US market.
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Despite rather poor business in North America, VW says it will not be able to put a production version of the all-wheel drive in Touareg format on the wheels before the end of 2016.
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The car as a people mover would be just right now to boost the Wolfsburg-based business in the USA.
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While the SUV itself is not intended for customers in Europe, details such as the tidy cockpit will probably also make it in cars for the home market.
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The showpiece shows the manufacturer Volkswagen at the Auto Show in Detroit.
For the third time, VW is showing the concept car of a planned, affordable SUV. It is surprising that the car will not come until the end of 2016. Right now, VW desperately needs a success in the US market.
A.merika is and will remain a promised land for the German carmaker and stands for record results in the past and rosy prospects in the new year. So the German car managers are in the best of spirits. All? No, because VW boss Martin Winterkorn has his worries.
Ironically, the largest German manufacturer is not making any headway in the world’s most important market. The Lower Saxony last year was able to maintain its previous year’s result in December. But overall sales in 2014 fell again by ten percent to just under 370,000 cars. Arch-rivals Toyota sold more Camry in America than VW with its entire fleet.
Now the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer is pulling the rip cord, or at least trying to: Because its plan to shape Volkswagen into the world’s largest automaker can stow Winterkorn in a drawer if it can’t get the US business under control.
At the moment, all hopes are resting on a large off-road vehicle for little money that will come from the VW factory in Chattanooga and stand up to the big people movers of the American and Asian brands. The idea is not bad, and the prospects for such a big ship are bright – especially since with gasoline prices below $ 2.50 per gallon, nobody asks about the price of fuel anymore.
SUV study, the third!
But there is a catch: it will take almost two years to start production. Because the bearer of hope will not be ready before the end of 2016.
In order to bridge the waiting time, VW is practicing an almost embarrassingly long foreplay and is now entering the third round at the Detroit motor show: Another study is to get the Americans in the mood for the cheap SUV: the VW Cross Coupe GTE.
Volkswagen’s downsizing-free zone
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Phaeton and Touareg are no longer offered as twelve-cylinder, but you can still order the Audi A8 with them.
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The W12 unit has even been extensively modified for the current A8.
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The displacement grew from six to 6.3 liters, and the fuel is now injected directly. The engine has an output of 500 hp.
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The Bentley Flying with twelve cylinders, however, remains below the six-liter limit.
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The W12 has exactly 5998 cubic centimeters.
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But since the machine is ventilated by two turbochargers, its output exceeds that of the top A8 by 125 hp. The top speed is 320 km / h.
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If you like it a bit sportier, you can also use the Bentley Continental in the Volkswagen Group. Both the Coupe GT and …
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… the GTC luxury convertible is available in two different twelve-cylinder versions. In the "normal" W12 variant, the Continental has 575 hp, and as the W12 Speed even 625 hp.
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There may soon be another series with a W12 unit. Although it has not yet been pronounced openly, it is reasonable to assume that the announced SUV …powered by a twelve-cylinder Bentley.
The current version of the show car is a four-door coupe with a sloping roof and a steeply sloping rear. The 4.85 meter long showpiece is still far from the series version, the distinctive folds above the wheel arches are emphasized far too much and, on top of that, the study lacks the third row of seats, which is essential for success in America. But at least the front and the format, so you can hear from Wolfsburg, are close to the final draft.
The inside of the Cross Coupe is furnished like the Golf Touch that VW showed last week at the electronics fair CES: It has a virtual cockpit, a huge navigation screen and a second touchscreen for climate control. There is a plug-in drive under the hood, hence the abbreviation GTE.
Touareg at the price of the Tiguan
The developers combine a V6 petrol engine with a displacement of 3.6 liters and 280 hp with two electric motors. One has 54 HP, is integrated in the front of the transmission and is used for recuperation, energy recovery, or as a generator when the battery is empty.
This is Mercedes’ answer to the BMW X6
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In January 2015, the Mercedes GLE will celebrate its world premiere at the Detroit Motorshow, but it is still on the road as a Erlkonig during the voting drives in the Nevada desert.
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Despite the camouflage, it can be clearly seen that it is a mixture of an off-road vehicle and a coupe.
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Technically, the GLE, which weighs at least 2120 kilos, is based on the well-known Mercedes ML.
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The drive power of the nine-speed automatic is brought to the road via the 4MATIC all-wheel drive with fixed torque distribution in a ratio of 50:50 over all four wheels.
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M-Class drivers are familiar with this switch. This means that the modes Snow, Comfort and Sport can be selected. The GLE also has an infinitely variable air suspension…e active roll stabilization and a Sport + program with response times of less than one and a half tenths of a second.
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“Welt” author Jurgen Zollter (right) was on a coordination drive with Andreas Zygan, the development manager responsible for this series, in the Nevada desert.
The second e-machine with 115 hp is located on the rear axle and thus ensures all-wheel drive that is appropriate for an off-road vehicle. The motors are fed by a lithium-ion battery with a socket connection. Because the GTE with a total of 360 hp and a maximum speed of 209 km / h can drive up to 32 kilometers electrically without a combustion engine, the standard consumption according to the US regulations is reduced to the equivalent of around 3.4 liters.
The idea of an SUV in the format of the Touareg for the price of the Tiguan is impressive – and not just from the point of view of US customers. But the Lower Saxony have so far excluded export to Europe for the bearer of hope. After all: the idea of a tidy cockpit with a virtual instrument cluster and double touchscreen in the center console and the concept of a hybrid package with electric all-wheel drive will probably make it to other markets as well.
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