Sub Model: Thing
Exterior Color: Orange
Interior Color: Black
Drive Type: Rear
Palm City, Florida, United States
Volkswagen built a stonking, narrow-angle V6 in the 1980s and 1990s that was found in three different generations of the Golf (their performance iterations, obviously), three generations of the Passat, the New Beetle, the Corrado and the Touareg, among other VWs, a spate of Audis, Seats, a Skoda, and even the Porsche Cayenne. It was a sad day when it was announced that it'd be put out to pasture.
Rejoice, though, fans of the venerable VR6, because Volkswagen has a new, modern variant in the works that, according to AutoWeek, features direct injection and can easily be fitted with forced induction. In fact, AW mentions Volkswagen insiders that claim this unit will spawn a production version of the twin-turbo V6 shown on the Design Vision GTI from this year's Wörthersee festival. That unit produced an epic 503 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.
Don't expect a production unit with that level of power (although it would make a hardy RS4 powerplant), though. In reality, AutoWeek is suspecting anywhere from 340 to 450 horsepower from the new mill. When it arrives at an undisclosed date in the future, it'll likely be found in the Passat and Passat CC as well as the production version of the CrossBlue.
Volkswagen is recalling about 1.1 million vehicles in China and North America in a newly announced campaign affecting the rear suspensions on some models. For the US, the action covers about 442,265 vehicles, including 400,602 examples of its 2011-2013 Jetta and 41,663 units of the 2012-2013 Beetle and Beetle Convertible. According to Reuters, the recall affects a further 126,000 vehicles in Canada and about 581,090 in China, including related market-specific models like the Sagitar.
The problem can occur if the affected models have a collision to the rear or the side-rear of the vehicle. It's then possible for the trailing arms on the torsion-beam rear suspension to be damaged. If the harm isn't noticed, then the part could fracture while driving. Obviously, a broken rear suspension is going to have an adverse effect on handling.
To fix things, VW dealers will inspect the trailing arms on the models, and they will all receive a sheetmetal part that will make a distinctive sound if broken in the future. If already damaged, the entire torsion beam will be replaced. Obviously, this work will be done at no charge to owners.
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.