2005 Volkswagen Touareg Base Sport Utility 4-door 4.2l on 2040-cars
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Auto blogMon, 11 Feb 2013
This was bound to happen. Volkswagen's relentless drive for big volume has the brand mining seemingly every niche it can find for additional sales worldwide. And with its CLS Shooting Brake, fellow countryman Mercedes-Benz has already shown that a wagon based off of a "four-door coupe" can look dead sexy and command extra dollars. So it follows that the Volkswagen CC (whose existence is all but directly attributable to the success of the original CLS sedan) will also get a load-lugging variant. That's according to the UK's Autocar, which notes that the five-door will come in the CC's next generation.
According to the report, the next CC will be available in front and all-wheel drive variants with the usual assortment of gas and diesel four-cylinders found in the Wolfsburg empire, with the possibility of a gas plug-in hybrid model, too. The rakish estate will ride atop VW's MQB architecture, a shorter variant of which is also found underneath the new Golf. The scalable chassis is set to spread like kudzu throughout the company's lineup, but the CC probably won't happen until after the launch of the next European-market Passat in 2015.
Will we get it in North America? Hard to say. Volkswagen sells the standard CC saloon here, but not in particularly large numbers, and when the company moved to a North American-specific Passat, it dumped the wagon variant. The traditional VW estate apparently continues to pick up sales momentum abroad, however, making the CC Shooting Brake a seemingly natural fit for buyers who still want the utility of a two-box form but can afford to sacrifice a bit of cargo room in the name of style.
The case of Dupont and Honeywell's refrigerant R-1234yf is doing the exact opposite of keeping things cool. The two chemical companies have spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars developing R-1234yf to replace R-134a, the new refrigerant shown to be 99.7-percent kinder to the environment than the one it is meant to succeed. Part of that development has been years of testing by governments, outside safety agencies and automakers to approve the chemical for use in cars. It passed the protocols necessary for the European Union to declare that new and significantly revised cars from 2013 onward needed to use R-1234yf, and mandated that every car as of 2017 must use it.
Enter Daimler AG. The automaker created a head-on collision test with a B-Class at their Sindelfingen test track that would lead to the pressurized refrigerant being sprayed on the engine. The result in 20 out of 20 test was that the refrigerant burst into flames as soon as it hit the hot engine, while Daimler says that R-134a does not catch fire in the same test. Another unexpected result of the R-1234yf test was the release of hydrogen flouride, a chemical far more deadly to humans than hydrogen cyanide, emitted in such amounts that it that turned the windshield white as it began to eat into the glass.
Said a Daimler engineer in a Reuters piece, "It was scarcely believable. The most complicated lab tests conducted using the most sensitive measuring instruments around found nothing and all we do is drive a car around a couple of times, open a tiny hole in the refrigerant line and the next thing you know the car is on fire." So Daimler said it wouldn't use the refrigerant, and it recalled the cars it had already shipped with R-1234yf.
As Volkswagen prepares for the launch of the seventh-generation Golf, it continues to show off some of the car's different variants. With the standard Golf and the ultra-efficient BlueMotion Concept out of the way, now we're finally starting to see some of the sportier versions planned for the hatchback. Confirmed for a debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen has now given us our first glimpse at the Golf GTD.
Just think of the GTD as a diesel version of the GTI with all the handling and styling upgrades, and then add a torquey engine to the equation. (We had the chance to sample the current GTD over the summer, so click here to read more.) To go with the new body style, VW also gave the GTD a new TDI engine consisting of a similar turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four layout but with an output of 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque - that's an increase of 14 hp and 22 lb-ft over the current GTD. That's a pretty good oomph, but the GTD won't be setting any acceleration records with VW quoting a 0-62 mile per hour time of 7.5 seconds thanks to the car's 3,036-pound curb weight.
The styling of the MkVII Golf lends itself quite well to the more aggressive body kit found on the GTD (and likely matching the GTI). The new front fascia and blacked-out grille give the GTD a sporty look up front, while 17-inch sport wheels, rocker panel extensions and smoked LED taillights finish off the visual changes. The GTD will only be offered in three exterior colors: Tornado Red, Black and Pure White. As expected, the interior gets the plaid seat inserts and flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, but the car also gets stainless steel pedals, a black headliner, ambient cabin lighting and a specific gauge cluster readout.