Drive Type: Manual
Model: Beetle - Classic
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Clarklake, Michigan, United States
The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is getting a baby brother at this year's 2014 Paris Motor Show in the form of a new Golf Alltrack. Like its larger sibling, the little wagon is supposed to offer light-duty off-road driving ability combined with a more rugged look to show it off.
To give the Golf Alltrack that soft-road ability, VW is outfitting the wagon with its latest 4Motion all-wheel drive system from Haldex. The setup can decouple power from the rear-axle when not needed to save fuel. To further improve traction, the Alltrack gets VW's electronic differential lock, and the car can individually brake its inside wheel during hard cornering for better handling.
Volkswagen also wants the Alltrack to be able to visually show that it can handle getting away from the pavement, even though it starts life as a standard Golf wagon. That means jacking up the suspension an extra 0.75 inches and adding black moldings all the way around the car. There are also redesigned bumpers for the front and rear and silver underbody protection, plus new accents like anodized roof rails and silver mirror caps. The interior is essentially unchanged from the wagon, except for altered trim and Alltrack badges.
Three weeks ago an analyst increased projections for European car sales this year, expecting them to climb three percent compared to last year instead of 2.7 percent. That number is a postive sign after years of hard times but it turns out February was especially good, overall European sales climbing eight percent on a wave of southern European recovery and discounts - and this comes after five months of gains including January's 7.2-percent jump over the year before.
The only country of Europe's five largest markets to post a decline was France, just as it did in January, Germany, the UK and Italy posting solid double-digit numbers, Spain rocking the charts with an 18-percent increase because of a government program to encourage trade-ins.
The only brand to miss the wave was Volkswagen, dropping 0.8 percent as it watched the double-digit growth at sister brands Audi, Seat and Skoda lift the Volkswagen Group sales up by seven-percent. Peugeot overcame flat sales at Citroën to improve the group by 3.5 percent, BMW and the Mercedes-Benz/Smart combo rose by four percent, the Fiat group jumped 5.8 percent, Ford was up 11 percent, the Renault Group 11.5 percent, General Motors 12 percent and the Toyota clan by 14 percent.
The 911 Of Hot Hatches Takes The Compact Game To New Levels
North American car buyers get a bit of a slap in the face when it comes to delivery schedules for new the Volkswagen Golf and pumped-up GTI models. We'll just repeat the old chestnut: It's worth the wait... even though it still stinks. This time around, Western Europe is taking deliveries of the new Golf as we speak, and GTI deliveries start between May and July. North America doesn't get the Mk7 Golf or GTI until about July of 2014.
So we approached our first drive of the new GTI with this chip on our shoulder: "You're making us wait? Well, then at least give us the exact car we'll be able to buy. No compromises, mein freund." And so it was that we extracted nearly all of our drive impressions from behind the wheel of what, for the United States, will technically be a model year 2015 two-door Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance with the standard six-speed manual.