Drive Type: Manual
Model: Beetle - Classic
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Clarklake, Michigan, United States
Michael Andretti and Volkswagen have both been involved in Global Rallycross for a couple of years, but not together. Andretti Motorsports Marketing organized the final round of the 2012 GRC series in Las Vegas, and there were rumors then that Andretti was going to get in. Around the same time there were news reports that Volkswagen was preparing a 600-hp Polo Mk5 to race in the SuperCar class; the photo above is racer Anton Marklund in his privateer Marklund Motorsports Polo at the 2013 X-Games round in Los Angeles.
Now it's official: Andretti Autosport will campaign the 2014 GRC season with VWs. That's all that's been said for now, Andretti being busy at the moment launching four entries for IndyCar, two for Indy Lights and two for Pro Mazda. We have a feeling we'll be seeing the MkVII Golf involved, but the cars and the driver lineup will be presented at the Chicago Auto Show on February 6.
If you thought there was nothing wrong with the Volkswagen Up! that a little body cladding wouldn't fix, you're in luck. VW has officially pulled the wraps off the production version of the Cross Up!, and its wheel arches and rocker panels are full of the black plastic cladding you've been yearning for.
In addition to the "particularly rugged design and tough, lifestyle qualities" that the cladding exudes, VeeDub has also seen fit to put its Cross Up! on a new set of 16-inch alloy wheels clad in 185/50-series tires. Inside, there are new kick plates to go along with a dash pad that can be had in red, black or silver.
All that cladding must equal additional off-road readiness, right? Well, sure... just so long as you're fine with the same 75-horsepower three-cylinder engine that all other Up! models also feature, along with a five-speed manual transmission sending power to the front wheels, again, just like all other Up! models. The Cross Up! appears to have a taller ride height than other models, but we haven't been able to find out what - if any - changes have been made.
Diesel lovers rejoice. Volkswagen is bringing the latest iteration of its 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine - dubbed the EA288 - to the 2015 model year Golf, Jetta, Passat, Beetle (2013 model pictured above) and Beetle Convertible, and the cars will be on sale in the second half of 2014.
While it shares its moniker with the old diesel, the new engine produces 150 horsepower, a 10-hp boost, and 236 pound-feet of torque. VW promises improved fuel economy as well, but it hasn't announced specifically what amount yet. The company claims that despite the same displacement, only the bore spacing is shared with the previous version. The mill includes new features like exhaust gas recirculation, an intercooler integrated into the intake manifold and low-friction camshaft bearings.
VW Group of America has had great success with diesels in the US recently. Vee-Dub and Audi sold 105,899 diesel-equipped models in 2013. It was the first time the group ever sold over 100,000 diesels in a year, and they accounted for 24 percent of sales. Scroll down to read the full press release about the announcement.