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Auto blogSun, 13 Jan 2013 18:00:00 EST
The last time Volkswagen moved this many vehicles in America in one year, Richard Nixon was still a President in good standing, Let It Be was a radio hit and each car wearing the VW badge boasted an air-cooled engine. That's right, with a grand total of 580,286 vehicles sold in the US last year, the VW Group has broken its own four-decades-old sales record by 2,899 vehicles.
Of that 580k total sold, 438k were Volkswagens and 139k were Audi products - increases of 35.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively, in year-over-year sales. The ultra-premium members of the VW group also fared well; Bentley delivered 2,315 vehicles for a 23.3-precent increase, and Lamborghini delivered 520 units for a 52.9-percent jump. Bugatti, we're told is "right on track."
Jetta (pictured) sales paced the marque with 170k models sold, and Passat also finished very strong with sales of 117k total. Tiguan also racked up its best year on file, with 31,731 models shifted.
We'll step right out and say we like the TT Offroad Concept, but there's something that's just a bit too... familiar about it. Yes, this yellow five-door looks like a not-so-distant relative of the Allroad Shooting Brake Concept that debuted at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. So, we've seen the production TT, a super-light, high-performance model and now we're seeing a crossover. Does any of this sound familiar? Considering the Detroit concept earned an editors' choice award for that show, you can imagine how we feel about the strikingly similar TT Offroad, which is debuting at the Beijing Motor Show.
The two concepts share a propulsion system - a high-performance version of Audi's E-Tron plug-in-hybrid drivetrain. Total system output sits at 408 horsepower, thanks to a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and a 40-kilowatt electric motor in front and an 85-kW motor on the rear axle, for all-wheel drive. 62 miles per hour arrives in 5.2 seconds, while the TT Offroad is limited to 155 mph. Fuel economy is impressive, with a claimed 123.8 US miles per gallon on the European cycle.
The most obvious different between these two, then, are their looks. The TT looks a bit tougher, thanks to its larger 21-inch wheels and narrower headlights, but its more conventional belt and roofline give it more of an Audi Q3's look. Out back, a slightly restyled bumper is the sole differentiator between the two vehicles.
It's relatively common to hear about unethical valets taking a joyride and wrecking high-performance cars. However, a recent 'accident' in Monaco might be one of the weirdest cases ever. Of course, now the lawyers may get involved.
Andreas Belzek, owner of tuning firm Prior Design, was driving his highly modified, black with gold pinstripes, widebody Audi R8 (pictured above) to the Hotel de Paris in the famously rich city on the shores of the Mediterranean. Upon arriving, he was going to check in but wanted to park the supercar himself, which was against the hotel's rules. He protested to the valet but eventually gave in and handed over the keys. Then the problems began.
The Audi barely moved before the valet herniated a disk in his back and couldn't leave the car. The police and paramedics arrived to the scene, which had to be quite a crowd in a city as tiny as Monaco. To get the guy out, the rescue crew had to hook him to a special hoist and carry him out, according to Germany's Focus Online. Belzek claims the efforts to save the man caused roughly 10,000 euros ($13,622) in damage to the car's carbon fiber, Alcantara and Nappa leather interior.