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Auto blogMon, 13 Jan 2014
On the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn has confirmed the imminent arrival of a new crossover. The model, previewed at the same show last year by the CrossBlue concept pictured here, will be unique to the North American market when it arrives here in 2016. The new three-row, seven-seat crossover is part of an ambitious expansion plan on the part of Volkswagen and Audi in North America, where the two brands aim to sell a million vehicles by 2018.
That's a mighty big increase over the 600,000 vehicles which the Volkswagen Group sold here last year, but it's moving in the right direction: That number is already a 100-percent increase of what it sold here just five years ago. At that rate, VW should have little trouble meeting its goals, particularly with the arrival of the new crossover and the introduction of Golf production at its assembly plant in Puebla, Mexico. Read the full statement below for more.
How does Audi plan to reach two million units in annual sales and pay for the 11 new models it's adding to its lineup - an expansion that may include models named SQ2, Q9 and F-Tron? By increasing its investment to 22 billion euros ($30.3 billion US) between now and 2018. That figure represents an increase of about 500 million euros over the previously planned outlay, according to a report by Automotive News, and that could be due to Audi wishing to goad the momentum that pushed it to 1.5 million annual sales two years ahead of schedule.
It's also about staving off the challenges from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Now that BMW has been able to turn some of its attention away from its "i" series of Megacity cars, it will reportedly spend more than planned in 2014 as it continues the rollout of ten all-new vehicles and 15 new-generation vehicles through the end of next year. Mercedes, having been dropped to third in the sales race, is preparing to add 13 new cars over the next six years.
Audi's money is going into technology, into product like the next-generation TT and the Q1 and production expansions and upgrades all over the world. The expenditure represents just under a fourth of Volkswagen's 84.2 billion-euro ($115.7 US) outlay devoted to taking the number-one global automaker title away from General Motors and Toyota by 2018.
The upcoming version of the Volkswagen Golf R is nearly ready for prime time, if this video of the car flying around the Nürburgring is any indication. The all-wheel-drive R seems to make quick, neat work of the corners we see here, and sounds pretty devilish in the process.
Expectations are that the new Golf R will run a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (what else?), tuned to produce even more than the current car's 256 horsepower. (Some sources have indicated outputs as high as 286 horsepower, with 280 pound-feet of torque. It's still not clear if Volkswagen will bring the six-speed dual-clutch transmission to the US-spec Golf R in this next go-round or if we'll stick to having only... eh... the stick.
In either case - watching the video below will only whet your appetite for the new, highest performing member of the Golf family.