2015 Volkswagen Passat brings plug-in power to Europe

Volkswagen (and many other European automakers) have a storied history of launching products in their home market before bringing those wares over to the United States. Look at the seventh-generation Golf, for example, which just arrived in the US as a 2015 model but first debuted at the Paris Motor Show back in 2012. So while you might assume that the slick new Passat seen here will show up in US showrooms in another year or two, you’d actually be wrong. Sorry, folks – we’re missing this one.

That’s kind of a shame, too, as this Passat is one handsome – if conservative – automobile. It has more of a rakish, CC-like appearance, and it’s built on Volkswagen’s scalable MQB architecture, so it’s a fair bit lighter than its predecessor. Powertrain options include VW’s 1.4-, 1.8-, and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines, as well as diesel mills in 1.6- and 2.0-liter displacements. There’s also the 215-horsepower Passat GTE, which can operate as an EV for up to 31 miles. That GTE will even be offered as a sexy wagon variant (called the Variant, actually).

Check out the not-for-US Passat in our gallery above, then scope out the press blast below to learn more about that plug-in GTE.




Twin-engine 14-cylinder VW Jetta exists because it can

Bravo to people with a crazy idea and enough time to actually make it a reality. Without them, we would never see insane creations like this one.

This builder took a Volkswagen Jetta with a VR6 up front (already a good place to start), chopped out the rear seats, put in a roll cage and mounted a W8 engine back there. To make it all work together, he hooked the throttles together, but each powerplant still operated with its own transmission with VR6 using a manual and the W8 having an automatic.

Amazingly, at first glance, this 14-cylinder Volkswagen looks like a mostly stock Jetta. However, the ability to hide out is instantly erased as soon as you hear this thing or take even the quickest glance in the rear. With the two engines shifting completely separately from each other, the result is a wall of glorious automotive sound.

Check out the video to see the guy’s handiwork and see what happens when he mashes the throttle to make two VW engines motivate this Jetta on a dirt road.


2015 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack jacks up onto stage

Subaru has its Outbacks. Volvo the Cross Country models. Audi has Allroad. Volkswagen labels the wagons it ruggedizes for off-roading (or at least soft-roading) under the name Alltrack, and this is the latest.

Joining the Passat Alltrack and making its grand debut at the Paris Motor Show, the new Golf Alltrack is based on the Golf SportWagen (which itself effectively replaces the Jetta wagon) but upgrades with a more rugged appearance and equipment. It’s got 4Motion all-wheel drive, an electronic differential lock and a raised suspension, along with black lower body cladding and wheel arches and metallic trim on the bumpers, side sills, wind mirrors and roof rails.

All of which makes the Golf that much better suited to driving where the paved road ends, if not where the dirt road ends too.


Volkswagen XL Sport brings Ducati power to Paris

One of the biggest deals at the 2014 Paris Motor Show is this, the Volkswagen XL Sport Concept. Boasting an engine donated by the wild Ducati 1199 Superleggera motorcycle and based on the limited edition, fuel-sipping XL1, the XL Sport is a tantalizing blend of lightweight technologies, extreme aerodynamic focus and high-performance punch.

While yesterday’s news focused on the performance aspects of the XL Sport, including the 197-horsepower V-twin, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and slippery 0.258 drag coefficient, we’re going to focus on the car’s looks this time (mostly because we have some spiffy new live images), which in our eye, are exquisite.

The XL Sport maintains two of the XL1’s most defining features: a wide, low shape and a kammback rear end. For performance duty, Volkswagen sacrificed the smooth body of the XL1 in order to fit large cooling ducts behind the rear doors, to better feed air into the Ducati engine.

The front end is more aggressive, with a prominent chin spoiler, while a significantly larger and wider wheel/tire package delivers additional grip and aesthetic appeal at the expense of aero efficiency. The door’s character lines look more defined, likely to better feed air into the side-mounted intakes while a substantial rear spoiler helps keep the rear-end pinned at the XL Sport’s 168-mile-per-hour top speed. Our team on the ground in Paris, meanwhile, reports that this concept’s matte paint is a particular highlight of the low-slung VeeDub. We can’t be certain, but we’re pretty sure it’s Sepang Blue, a matte shade found on the Audi R8.

Inside the cabin, a set of aluminum-alloy shift paddles have spawned from the back of the flat-bottomed steering wheel, while anodized accents, red contrast stitching and a digital instrument cluster round out the most significant interior upgrades.

Take a look up top for our complete round up of live images of the new XL Sport Concept direct from the floor of the 2014 Paris Motor Show.


VW beams in Star Trek stars to promote e-Golf EV

Volkswagen just set its e-mobility commercial phasers on stunning. The German automaker has cast Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame (i.e., actors William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) in a new advertisement for its growing stable of electric vehicles. Even though it’s in German, we think you can get the idea.

VW went Hollywood and cast the two veteran actors in a futuristic-themed 45-second ad, which sees Shatner cruise up in the e-Golf (with a toothy Trek-fan kid in tow) while Nimoy rocks the XL1 and the Trek theme blares in the background. Forget for a moment that the kid in the commercial wasn’t even born when Shatner started pitching for Priceline, let alone the original Trek series and just enjoy the wholesome good humor of Shatner saying that the electric powertrain is just like the one in a spaceship. If you’ve got any familiarity with Spock, you should be able to understand his punch line, too. Of course, if you’d rather your German vehicle advertisements were set in the Star Wars universe, we recommend clicking here.

VW will bring the e-Golf to the states in November at a price of $35,445, about $6,500 higher than the Nissan Leaf’s starting pricetag. You can see the new ad and a number of related behind-the-scenes videos (in English) below. Our Quick Spin of the E-up! are available here.



VW Phaeton to offer plug-in hybrid, diesel powertrains when it returns in a few years

Volkswagen of America honcho Michael Horn has already promised to bring the slow-selling but excellent Phaeton back to the United States in 2018 or 2019. Beyond the confirmation of the nameplate, though, there’s really very little in the way of concrete data on what the next generation of VW’s range-topping sedan will look like, be powered by or cost.

According to Automotive News, we have at least partial potential answers to all three of those questions. The digital publication is reporting that we’ll see both plug-in hybrid and diesel powertrain options when the Phaeton returns to the US market, though it’s not clear what the base engine option will be for cars carrying a rumored starting price of around $70,000. If AN’s sources are accurate, the V8 TDI will put out some 450 horsepower to go along with what we’d assume are bucketfulls of torque, while the hybrid V6 would offer up more than 400 ponies.

Further, AN tells us that the Phaeton will be based on VW Group’s MLB Evo architecture, which would have it sharing underpinnings with Audi’s range of sedans and crossovers, including the top-of-the-line A8. We asked VW of America if it could confirm or deny any of these rumors, and the answer was, rather predictably, a negative. “At this stage, they are just rumors,” says VW representative Mark Gilles.

It remains to be seen how American buyers react to such premium pricing this second time around, having mostly avoided the Phaeton the first time it was offered Stateside, due, at least in part, to the perception gap of a car wearing the VW badge costing as much as what are seen as more premium nameplates, such as VW’s own Audi.


Get Inspired by Volkswagen’s New Ad


Volkswagen has given A-ha’s iconic pencil-sketch music video for ‘Take on Me’ an automotive spin with its latest advertisement. The spot features a Volkswagen Passat driver cruising to the head of the pack in a storyboard-style race scene before it is revealed that the sketches are being drawn by a businessman who is singing the falsetto chorus at full volume in a meeting.

The year was 1985 and A-ha was at the top of the charts with their single “Take on Me,” complete with a pencil-sketch video that raked in six MTV Video Music Awards.

Volkswagen looks back at this pop culture phenomenon in their latest advertisement, “Feeling Carefree,” directed by David Shan

A Tribute to the Volkswagen Microbus

It’s known by many names: the Microbus, the Minibus, even the Hippiemobile. But Volkswagen’s official moniker was the Kombi or the Type 2. And now it’s dead. Not that you knew it was still alive.

Originally, the Kombi packed a measly 28-horsepower from a wheezing 1.2-liter flat-four mounted in the rear, but the engine grew in displacement and sophistication. The latest iteration is a water-cooled 1.4-liter running on sugar cane ethanol that puts out 80 HP. Not a bad power bump after six decades.

Volkswagen and Discovery Channel Shark Week

Volkswagen of America Sponsors 25th Annual Shark Week on Discovery Channel

What could be better than a mix of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and the Volkswagen Beetle? Making a shark cage out of a VW Beetle!!!

In honor of its sponsorship, the automaker is building a unique Beetle shark cage that will put viewers “in the driver’s seat” as it cruises along the ocean floor.

The project will be unveiled in three, one-minute segments during Shark Week. Tune in and sign on to our McDonald VW Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you think!


VW Pull-Ahead Program

VW pull ahead program

The VW Pull-Ahead Program Is Going On Now AtDenverArea Volkswagen Dealer, McDonald VW

McDonald Volkswagen has recently announced their Volkswagen Pull-Ahead Program in which soon expiring lessees can get the four remaining months of their lease paid off

Denverarea Volkswagen Dealership, McDonald Volkswagen, has recently announced the VW Pull-Ahead program in which current lessees can get up to four of their remaining lease payments covered with the purchase or lease of any new Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Pull-Ahead program offers current VCI lease or balloon customers whose contracts are expiring February 1st 2013 to April 30th 2013 the opportunity to get into any new Volkswagen and have up to 4 months of remaining payments waived.

Drivers that are close to their mileage limit or just want the newest technology available can take advantage of this outstanding opportunity. Safety and convenience features such as Bluetooth phone connectivity help drivers stay focused on the road because their hands never leave the steering wheel making it a safety feature as well as a convenience. The touch-screen radios are used in many of the new vehicles and provide easy to use setup and compatibility with Apple’s i-Pod with the appropriate MDI cable.

McDonald Volkswagen encourages customers interested in the Volkswagen Pull-Ahead Program or those who simply want to learn more about the 2012 Volkswagen models to stop by their dealership located just south ofDenver inLittleton.

McDonald VW is known for being the premier Volkswagen dealership for Colorado car customers due to their great selection of new and used VW models and their log-standing reputation for outstanding customer service. Buyers are sure to find exactly what they are looking and the customer  service they deserve when they visit the McDonald Volkswagen lot.

For more complete information about the Volkswagen Pull-Ahead Program, the 2012 VW Beetle, the 2012 VW Jetta, the 2012 VW Passat, or any other new Volkswagen model, please contact your Colorado Volkswagen dealer, McDonald VW, at 6000 S. Broadway in Littleton or online at www.mcdonaldvw.com.

About McDonald VW:

The McDonald family has been selling and servicing vehicles from theLittletonlocation since 1965. Today, with three sons by his side, Douglas McDonald and his family own and operate some of the largest and fastest growing dealerships in theUnited States. In addition, Douglas McDonald has served as chairman, vice-chairman and district director for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and chairman of the National Volkswagen Dealer Council. In 1991, Time Magazine, in cooperation with the National Automobile Dealers Association, honored him with the Quality Dealer Award. McDonald Automotive Group shares their success with the community by supporting many charities and clubs, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with an annual golf tournament. (www.mcdonaldvw.com)