2012 Volkswagen Model PreviewPosted on September 2nd, 2011
Diversified lineup gives car lovers more to love
By Nina Russin
Car enthusiasts love German brands for the passion they inspire. The precision engineering which is the hallmark of all German cars elevates them from a means of transportation into something transcendent.
In today’s tough financial climate, luxury brands such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are beyond reach for many customers. Volkswagen, however, is not. The most affordable German brand is making hay by offering car fans its most diversified model line-up.
Building on popular models such as the Jetta, Passat and third-generation Beetle, Volkswagen adds refreshed Eos hardtop convertible and CC coupe; spices up the GTI with new convenience options, and makes Bluetooth connectivity standard on the Jetta Sportwagen.
A refreshed Tiguan compact sport-utility vehicle now comes with a fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission. The Routan SEL minivan gets keyless ignition.
An all-new Golf R follows in the tradition of the R32s, powered by a turbocharged 256-horsepower inline engine and six-speed manual gearbox. All-wheel drive is standard on both two and four-door models.
The Touareg remains the automaker’s go-to-vehicle for off-road driving enthusiasts, with a choice of three powertrains and an eight-speed automatic transmission. There are two green options: a three-liter V-6 turbo-diesel, and a supercharged 380-horsepower supercharged hybrid.
Focus on the United States market
Volkswagen has set a goal of selling 10 million cars globally by the year, 2018. The United States is a key player in the company’s marketing strategy. This spring, the company opened its Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant to build the new Passat. Volkswagen is also investing 10 million dollars in its Auburn Hills, Michigan campus for engineering.
The company’s carefree maintenance plan which comes with the factory new-car warranty includes complimentary scheduled service for the first three years or 36,000 miles, containing cost of ownership. Improvements in initial quality surveys have also greased paths into US dealerships.
Volkswagen sales in the United States were up 21.7 percent in July compared to 2010: the best July performance the company has seen since 2002. Sales in August were up 10.4 percent compared to last year.
Pillars of the brand
The Volkswagen Jetta, Passat and Beetle are the brand’s three core models. Sales for the Jetta are up 60 percent year over year, following the introduction of an all-new model for 2011. This year, a new Jetta GLI comes with a turbocharged 200-horsepower gasoline engine, six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic transmission, and sport-tuned suspension. Base price for the Jetta GLI is $23,495.
Pricing for the 2012 Passat starts below $20,000, with three engine options including a two-liter turbo-diesel. The four-cylinder Passat TDI has a highway fuel economy rating of 43 miles-per-gallon, and a driving range of 795 miles between fill-ups.
The third-generation Beetle rolls out in 2012, replacing the New Beetle first introduced in 1998. The Beetle is the world’s third best-selling nameplate, with more than 22 million cars sold worldwide since the model was first introduced.
There are two engine choices for the 2012 Beetle: a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter block rated at 170 horsepower, and a 200-horsepower turbocharged gasoline engine. A turbo-diesel variant follows for the 2012 calendar year. Pricing for the 2.5-liter car starts at $18,995, while MSRP for the turbo is $23,395.
Refreshed Tiguan gets new exterior design
The 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan gets a redesigned grille with available LED daytime running lamps and bi-xenon headlamps (SEL model). Buyers of the upscale SEL grade can also add a new 19-inch alloy wheel and sport-tuned suspension.
Power for the Tiguan comes from a two-liter turbocharged engine. The new six-speed automatic transmission, standard on all grades, increases highway fuel economy by two miles-per-gallon, up to 27 mpg.
Volkswagen builds the Tiguan alongside the Golf at its Wolfsburg, Germany assembly plant.
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