Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2010 Volkswagen Touareg

2010 Volkswagen TouaregThe current Volkswagen Touareg is one of those inbetweens that never really panned out. It’s more premium than those in its direct class but it can’t compete with the likes of Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes.

The new Touareg is due in 2010 and VW seems to have cleaned up the mid-size SUV.

First, it turned the SUV into a seven seat with increased efficiency by using more aluminum to lessen weight. The 2010 Touareg will come with a 208kW 3.2 liter V6 petrol, or gasoline, engine or a 257 kW 4.2 liter V8. Diesels are also on the table with either a 2.7 or 3.0 turbodiesel being offered. All are matched with a six speed automatic gearbox.

Additional details and images can be found at the original article. Our take? The Touareg seems intent on maintaining its inbetween spot between the true luxury SUVs and the less expensive competitors. Maybe VW's trying to carve a new niche? We don’t know…. The middle is not necessarily a good spot.

Source: automotive

Audi R8 V10

Audi R8 V10Them's fightin words, but when we're talking about a V10-powered version of the Audi R8, you'd better be taking them seriously. According to an Audi insider as reported by Auto Motor und Sport in Sweden, the more powerful R8 will set a new lap record for a production car at the Nurburgring. That would mean coming in under the 7:26 lap time claimed by the Corvette ZR1 (and taken by the Pagani Zonda F), and faster than the Nissan GT-R's 7:29, but the big question remains whether it could out-gun the GT-R V-Spec's purported 7:25.

The R8 V10 – with whatever name it will adopt – is expected to make its production-guise debut at the Paris Motor Show this coming October. That'll make for some delicious eye-candy, but the real treat will be to see how the German supercar holds up against the Americans and the Japanese on the 'Ring.

Source: autoblog

Audi Q5 spied in Malibu

Audi Q5

A reader over at the Burlapp Car Page snapped a photo of a completely unmasked 2009 Audi Q5 in Malibu basking in the warm glow of the brilliant Pacific sun. We assume this is an early tester out measuring how many and what kind of Jamba Juice containers will fit in the cupholders. Though the Audi Q5 leans a bit heavy on the jellybean looks, when it lands in America it should be motivated by a turbocharged inline-four mated to the twin-clutch 7-speed steptronic transmission out of the 2009 Audi A4, allowing it to run circles around your neighbors Lexus RX.

Source: jalopnik

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

VW Golf TwinDrive: Inside report

VW Golf TwinDrive

VW's been toying with electric vehicles for some time now — there have been full electric CityStromer models sold to the public in Europe, based on both the MK2 and MK3 Golfs, that can drive on full electric power for over 60 miles at speeds up to 100 mph. There have been 1.4-liter parallel TDI hybrids (like Toyota's Prius) running around labs since the '90s, and they even dangled that delicious TDI Hybrid Golf carrot in front of us at Geneva.

It shouldn't really come as a surprise to learn that yet another electric model has come out of Wolfsburg - this time an extended-range electric car similar in concept to Chevy's Volt. It's called the Golf TwinDrive, and it's based on a standard-issue MK5 Golf, except with a 122-horsepower TDI engine and an 82-horsepower electric motor under its hood.

Unlike a normal hybrid, where the electric motor exists to supplement the power being delivered by the internal combustion engine, the Golf TwinDrive relies on its electric motor for its primary propulsion, and the diesel engine exists to take over once the electric motor has depleted its batteries. The diesel engine will also be equipped with start-stop technology to prevent wasting fuel in stop-and-go traffic, and regenerative braking will help recharge the electric motor's battery pack using otherwise wasted interia while the car is stopping. The Golf TwinDrive uses lithium-ion batteries, the technology for which is being further developed thanks to a $769 million, seven-year partnership with Sanyo, and VW's estimates show that the battery pack, which is located under the rear cargo area where the spare tire normally sits, is good for 31 miles of all-electric motoring.

Beginning in 2010, VW and the German federal government are going to launch a four-year durability test with a fleet of 25 Golf TwinDrives. As an added bonus, the government is cutting a consortium of research and development companies, including Volkswagen, battery manufacturers, and universities, a $23.5 million check to help put the spurs to electric vehicle development.


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