Drive Type: Manual
Model: Beetle - Classic
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Clarklake, Michigan, United States
This really was a matter of when, rather than if. Volkswagen will apparently be the first manufacturer to phase out naturally aspirated engines in favor of turbocharging its full slate. VW is kind of responsible for ushering in this push towards small-displacement, turbocharged engines that's taken the industry by storm. When it dropped its direct-injection, 2.0-liter turbo in the 2005 GTI it demonstrated that strapping an iron long to an engine can enhance the powertrain as a whole. VW made fuel economy gains, while also giving a linear, non-laggy turbo experience that it has replicated, model-after-model, to this day.
Speaking with The Detroit News, Volkswagen's executive Vice President of Group Quality, Marc Trahan, told the paper that, "We only have one normally aspirated gas engine, and when we go to the next generation vehicle that it's in, it will be replaced. So three, four years maximum."
Really, it's hard to get teary-eyed about either of these engines going away. VW has access to smaller powerplants that could easily match the performance of the 2.5 five-cylinder and the 3.6 V6, while gobbling up less fuel and providing a better driving experience. What we are sad about is that a similar statement about the extinction of NA engines came from the Vice President of Powertrain Engineering at Ford, Joe Bakaj. We'd certainly get teary-eyed over a world without Ford's excellent 5.0-liter V8.
Lightweight and low drag are hallmarks of great sportscar design. But when paired with a super-efficient, hybrid powertrain, you have the Volkswagen's XL1 that has been formally introduced in Geneva today.
When the 1,700-lb, carbon-fiber-bodied two-seater hits the road, its claimed 261 miles per gallon will make it the world's most-fuel-efficient production car. Though "production car" might be a stretch since VW said in a February press release that the XL1 would be built using "handcrafting-like production methods." We translate that to mean you won't be seeing many of these cars on the road. Though no one at VW has mentioned pricing yet, early rumors suggested a six-figure price tag.
That's supercar budget for a vehicle that has a 47-horsepower, two-cylinder diesel engine and a 27hp electric motor. With numbers like that, owners can expect 0-62 mph times of 12.7 seconds and top speed near 100 mph.
The sequence of events from 2007 that began with Porsche's secret attempt to take over Volkswagen, and instead lead to Porsche being taken over by VW, continues to instigate lawsuits against the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer. A group of hedge funds that suffered over $1 billion in losses sued the car company in New York. Porsche had publicly stated it wasn't trying to buy VW, the hedge funds in question were shorting VW stock, and when Porsche's actual intentions were revealed, the stock shot up and the hedge funds took a beating.
The case was thrown out over the issue of jurisdiction, then appealed, only to see another suit filed on top of that. After that, most of the hedge funds withdrew their claims in New York and Porsche offered a 90-day window to refile in Germany where it is already fighting a number of other suits over the same issue. The hedge funds accepted the offer, refiling in Stuttgart for $1.8 billion in damages. According to Bloomberg, Porsche hasn't commented on the refiling, but as the same plaintiffs are involved, it's safe to assume that the carmaker still feels the case is "unsubstantiated and without merit." It has fared alright so far even in German courts, with two lesser cases against it thrown out last year.