Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept: First Look

VolkswagenGolfR400Concept

Looks like: A Volkswagen Golf R that came back from summer break between junior high and high school rocking a more athletic build and edgier fashions for freshman year
Defining characteristics: Sharper edges, defining creases and a squared-off shape on the outside; race-ready appointments on the inside; amped-up engine under the hood
Ridiculous features: Bolstered-and-badged sport seats with supersized head restraints resembling a sad space invader
Chance of being mass-produced: Seems pretty esoteric, most fitting as a tribute to VW's racing history

Attention race fans and hot-hatch enthusiasts: Volkswagen has taken its performance-focused compact hatchback, the Golf R, and tricked it out for the track. Following its global debut earlier this year at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show, the rally-sport-themed Golf R 400 concept will make its first North American pit stop next week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept car's purpose is to pay tribute to VW's racing history.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

According to the automaker, the Golf R 400's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gets a hefty 100-plus-horsepower boost to 394 hp compared with the regular R's 292 hp, which VW says is delivered at roughly 200 hp per liter — on par with the output of a supercar. That's in addition to a torque increase from 332 pounds-feet from 280 pounds-feet. Power to the all-wheel-drive system is channeled through a six-speed manual transmission for a zero-to-62-mph sprint of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph. Two driver-selectable modes include ESC Sport for "spirited driving" and Race mode for "high-speed track driving."

By Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen GTI Roadster Concept: First Look

Gti-roadster-concept

Looks like: Video game meets reality

Defining characteristics: Large rear wing, scissor doors, Gran Turismo Red exterior

Ridiculous features: It wears the GTI name, but is anything but in terms of styling

Chance of being mass-produced: Very unlikely since VW says its designers "were able to overlook production constraints like price and production feasibility" to build it

Volkswagen's newest concept isn't quite new — the GTI Roadster was originally created as a computer-generated concept for Sony PlayStation's "Gran Turismo 6" video game, and VW is bringing the car to life next week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The sleek convertible seats two and has a very real powertrain: Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 makes 503 horsepower and 413 pounds-feet of torque and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive. VW says the car sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 192 mph.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta, Passat

2015VolkswagenJettaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 400 model-year 2015 Volkswagen Jetta and Passat sedans manufactured between Sept. 23 and Oct. 9 and equipped with manual front seatback recliners

The Problem: The seatback recliner retaining bracket may not engage correctly, resulting in unexpected movement of the seatback; this could distract the driver, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Volkswagen began notifying owners in October, and dealers will inspect the assembly of the seatback recliner retaining bracket, correcting it as necessary for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call VW at 800-893-5298 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volkswagen GTI Real-World Mileage With the Manual Transmission

VWGTIMileage

We already put a redesigned Volkswagen GTI through a mileage challenge as part of our recent $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge. It bested the field with its optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission during that contest. When a six-speed manual transmission model arrived at Cars.com's Chicago office right around the time of a road trip to Milwaukee it seemed like it would be a good opportunity to see how it compared.

Related: 2014 Mini Cooper S Versus 2015 Volkswagen GTI

EPA ratings for the two transmissions are almost identical. Both are rated at 25 mpg city and 28 mpg combined, but the manual gets slightly better highway ratings at 34 mpg versus 33 mpg highway for the automatic.

By David Thomas | November 13, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volkswagen Passat: Car Seat Check

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When it comes to Car Seat Checks, some cars are memorable because of how easy it is to install child-safety seats in them. The Volkswagen Passat is one of those cars. With its roomy backseat and easy-to-access lower Latch anchors, this midsize sedan made quick work of the car-seat installation process.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | November 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Mini Cooper S Versus 2015 Volkswagen GTI

Mini Cooper vs VW GTI

In our recent $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge the Volkswagen GTI bested a field of eight contenders to take the win. However, the redesigned Mini Cooper was not part of that test. Things don't always work out the way you want, but getting a new Cooper S with a manual transmission at the same time as a new GTI with a manual transmission seemed like karma telling us we needed to go driving. OK, maybe it was just a really good excuse to get out of the office.

Related: $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge

Both cars were similarly equipped to the gills with sticker prices totaling more than $33,000 including destination — not exactly "cheap." When all was said and done after a Chicago-area drive route traversing city, suburban and highway roads, the face-off was ridiculously close with the final scoring decided by one point overall.

By David Thomas | October 29, 2014 | Comments (14)

Recall Alert: 2013-2015 Audi A4, S4

2015AudiA4Recall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 102,000 model-year 2013-15 Audi A4 and S4 sedans

The Problem: The front-impact airbags may not deploy as designed in a crash due to improper algorithm/coding within the airbag control module, according to The Detroit News. Front-seat occupants may not have the intended protection from the frontal airbag system in a secondary impact, putting them at risk for an injury, the newspaper reported. The automaker discovered the problem during routine quality-assurance testing, and no accidents or injuries have been reported; the issue is not related to the massive ongoing Takata airbag recall.

The Fix: Audi will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the airbag software for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Audi at 800-253-2834 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta, 2012-2013 Beetle

2013VolkswagenJettaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly half a million Volkswagen cars, including more than 400,000 model-year 2011-13 Volkswagen Jetta sedans and nearly 42,000 model-year 2012-13 Beetle hatchbacks and convertibles

The Problem: A rear or side-rear collision could damage the rear suspension trailing arms; if this damage is not repaired, the trailing arm could fracture suddenly, resulting in a loss of vehicle stability and increasing the risk of a crash, Volkswagen said in a statement about the voluntary recall. No accidents or injuries related to the issue have been reported, the automaker said.

The Fix: Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear suspension of vehicles that have been involved in rear or side-rear collisions to determine whether the trailing arms have been damaged. On cars that do not have damaged trailing arms, the dealer will fit a sheet-metal inlay on the rear trailing arms, which will emit a distinctive sound if the car is later involved in a rear-end collision and will be a signal for the owner to take the car back to a dealer for inspection. Work will be done for free. The automaker has not announced a notification schedule, but said it will contact all owners of affected vehicles and instruct them to arrange an appointment.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call VW at 800-893-5298 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Unexpected Family Car: 2015 Volkswagen Golf

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When my husband and I became parents, we embraced our new roles with enthusiasm - except when it came to what it might mean for us out on the road. No disrespect, but we just aren't the minivan types and we both enjoy smaller cars with a little more pizazz than your average family crossover. But it didn't take long for us to realize how much a car seems to shrink with a rear-facing car seat in the backseat and a stroller in the trunk. We chose the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta as our family car, which had the largest backseat and cargo area in its class at the time. Now life's become a little simpler with a preschooler, and Mama's thinking about a new car.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI: First Drive

The timing was right for my family to test the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. I had some concerns about this stylish compact hatchback, but we were off to a great start with its family-friendly lower Latch anchors. The Golf's anchors are covered by plastic doors that flip up to reveal the anchor. No digging, no sweating to install my daughter's car seat; we were off and running.

By Carrie Kim | September 26, 2014 | Comments (5)

2014 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Review

2014VolkswagenTouaregHybrid

"The Touareg has improved drastically over the years, and VW's even jumped onto the 'green' bandwagon by adding a Touareg Hybrid to the mix. Unfortunately, the 2014 VW Touareg Hybrid is an expensive SUV proposition without a major return on your hybrid investment in terms of fuel economy," said Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela. Check out Varela's review for more.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Kristin Varela

By Matt Schmitz | September 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

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