1985 Vw Westfalia Vanagon Gl 98,158 Original Miles Runs Smooth Ready To Roll on 2040-cars
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Auto blogWed, 18 Sep 2013
This really was a matter of when, rather than if. Volkswagen will apparently be the first manufacturer to phase out naturally aspirated engines in favor of turbocharging its full slate. VW is kind of responsible for ushering in this push towards small-displacement, turbocharged engines that's taken the industry by storm. When it dropped its direct-injection, 2.0-liter turbo in the 2005 GTI it demonstrated that strapping an iron long to an engine can enhance the powertrain as a whole. VW made fuel economy gains, while also giving a linear, non-laggy turbo experience that it has replicated, model-after-model, to this day.
Speaking with The Detroit News, Volkswagen's executive Vice President of Group Quality, Marc Trahan, told the paper that, "We only have one normally aspirated gas engine, and when we go to the next generation vehicle that it's in, it will be replaced. So three, four years maximum."
Really, it's hard to get teary-eyed about either of these engines going away. VW has access to smaller powerplants that could easily match the performance of the 2.5 five-cylinder and the 3.6 V6, while gobbling up less fuel and providing a better driving experience. What we are sad about is that a similar statement about the extinction of NA engines came from the Vice President of Powertrain Engineering at Ford, Joe Bakaj. We'd certainly get teary-eyed over a world without Ford's excellent 5.0-liter V8.
General Motors released its first quarter sales figures this week, reporting that it sold 2.36 million cars and trucks worldwide. That figure represents an increase of 3.6 percent when compared to the same period last year. GM's growth was attributed to many factors, including global Cadillac sales that were up 26 percent and Chevrolet posting a one percent increase over last year (this marked Chevy's tenth straight year of record global sales).
Volkswagen came in just behind GM, as the German automaker reported global sales from January through March at 2.27 million vehicles, an increase of five percent when compared to last year. While that number was strong, VW is cautioning that markets outside China and the US, such as those in Europe, are becoming a challenge as economies falter.
Yet to report sales is Toyota, current holder of the global world sales crown (the Japanese company sold 9.75 million cars last year, against 9.29 million sold by GM and 9.1 million vehicles sold by VW). Even though GM and Toyota both say they don't care who sells the most units, it is unquestionably a strong bragging point and sales equate to revenue. That said, Toyota will report its first quarter numbers next week.
Volkswagen looks to be getting ready to jump into the large three-row crossover game. The automaker has officially pulled back the curtain on the CrossBlue Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
Designers and engineers penned the machine specifically for the Canadian and US markets, and with a plug-in diesel electric hybrid drivetrain, the hulking five-door, at least in concept form, should offer substantially better efficiency than anything else on the market. The drivetrain pairs a 2.0-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a combined output of 305 horsepower and a ludicrous 516 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch gearbox handles shifting detail, while one electric motor spins the front wheels. The second motor spins the back axle independently, make the CrossBlue a through-the-road hybrid.
As a result, the crossover can pop to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Perhaps more impressively, the CrossBlue can whir around on all-electric propulsion for up to 14 miles at up to 75 mph. Once the diesel four kicks in, the drivetrain can yield up to 39 mpg, though Volkswagen says the hardware can hit 89 MPGe on a full charge thanks to a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Check out the full press release below for more information.