I hear a new version of the electric VW Golf could have an astonishing range of 300 kms.
The off-road section was challenging enough to prove this vehicle would have little trouble negotiating a rugged trail back to civilization.
Lovers of Vee Dubs turned out in their hundreds for the second Simply VW rally in the grounds of the UK’s National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.
The event attracted 425 Volkswagens from early Beetles, buggies, Karmann Ghias and campers, through Polos, Golfs and Jettas to modern-day Passats, panel vans and motorhomes.
Classic VW camper vans made a strong showing in the line-up, with their owners unfolding camping chairs, brewing up drinks on their stoves and enjoying the day’s sunshine.
Split-screen Type 2 campers were joined by the later, hugely popular ‘bay window’ versions, along with the squarer Type 25 and modern day T4, T5 and T6, while camper conversions by Dormobile, Westfalia, Devon and Autosleeper could also be seen.
Beetle fans were spoilt by rare early examples on show, from an immaculate 1953 oval window Beetle, to a highly modified split-window example. Visitors could see two examples of the stripped-out, military-themed VW 181, along with a pair of buggies and even an off-road Baja Beetle. Rare ‘Synchro’ four-wheel drive versions of the Golf Mk2 and Type 25 camper were parked up in the show, along with an astonishing VW XL 1 electric/diesel hybrid, one of only 250 built.
Popular with many visitors was a Transporter van, kitted out inside like a miniature 1950s American diner and even complete with a jukebox.
Simply VW is one of Beaulieu’s 2016 rally line-up, which includes Simply Japanese, Simply Land Rover and Simply Smart. For the full list of Simply rallies and other Beaulieu events, see www.beaulieu.co.uk/events or follow @Beaulieu_Hants on Twitter.
The Volkswagen BUDD-e concept is the ultimate in automotive interconnectedness.
In fact, the German manufacturers describes the hi-tech van as a mobile interface that connects with the world around it rather than merely a vehicle.
It is capable of seamlessly communicating with any smart Home or office, featuring next-generation infotainment technologies and offering an advanced new method of operation and information processing, BUDD-e turns travel into a fully interactive, intuitive experience: featuring touch and gesture controls which enable the removal of switches and buttons inside the cabin.
Individual displays blend into large infotainment panels, and digital screens instead of analog mirrors, provide the driver with a viewer of what is following. The convergence of these new, interactive infotainment and operating systems provides a view of potential applications in Volkswagen products in the next decade.
Volkswagen claims its new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform will enable a series production car to have pure electric range that is on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars by the end of the decade. The BUDD-e has a range of 373 kilometres when fully charged.
The time required to charge the batteries to 80 percent of capacity is anticipated to be reduced to about 30 minutes by then, marking an operational breakthrough for EVs.
The new platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics. The 101 kWh battery is flat, to save space, and integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor. It powers two electric motors, one to drive each axle.
MEB will allow for spacious interiors with the smallest possible footprint to enable easy and nimble transportation. In addition to their space, MEB vehicles will offer high levels of functionality and networking thanks to the new vehicle architecture, instrumentation, and operating systems. New and enhanced assistance systems will provide passengers with safer transport.
With BUDD-e’s interface design, Volkswagen eliminates the traditional distinction between the electronic instrument cluster in front of the driver and the centre console infotainment system. In a move towards comprehensive digitalization and the individualization of the driver’s workplace, these two areas have been merged to form a single information hub.
All of BUDD-e’s systems are operated intuitively by gesture control, touchscreen (displays and touch slider) or voice control. The driver can choose between various intuitive control modes (multi-modal interaction).
For example, a simple “Hello BUDD-e” activates the vehicle’s voice control. The system also offers completely natural speech interaction. For example, if the driver asks “turn the heat up a bit, please”, the car will respond immediately and appropriately.
The system is also able to locate the passenger giving the commands, and react accordingly. If, for instance, someone sitting in the left rear seat says “It’s too hot here”, BUDD-e can immediately lower the temperature in that passenger’s zone.
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The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI Clean Diesel, part of the family of vehicles that won the 2015 North American Car of the Year, has set a new Guinness World Record.
The award is for achieving the “lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car” with an impressive 81.17 miles per US gallon of diesel (2.89 L/100 kms).
Travelling 13,250.53 kms (8,233.5 miles) around the United States in 16 days on $294.98US of Shell Diesel fuel, the Golf beat the previous mark of 3.01 L/100 kms.
Read: ‘The VW Lineup: Diesel Will Do If a Hybrid Is Too Pricey‘ by Alexandra Straub (Driveway Canada)
“Covering 8,233.5 miles on just 101.43 gallons of Clean Diesel fuel is a remarkable accomplishment, and solid proof of the efficiency and fuel economy of Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel vehicles,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Whether on a long road trip, or even in daily commuting, the great mileage and long range of our TDI models is a pure convenience factor that few other vehicles on sale can match. It’s a simple formula: Less Stop, More Go!”
The record-setting Golf TDI departed from Volkswagen of America’s headquarters in Herndon, Va., and returned there to claim the record.
Wayne Gerdes, automotive journalist and founder of cleanmpg.com, was the primary driver. His co-driver was Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects. Gerdes is an expert hypermiler who has set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles. In 2013, Gerdes set the previous record in a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI.
“Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel engines are just amazing,” said Wayne Gerdes. “I don’t think people realize the potential mileage you can get from them. In our experience, it is possible to get truly impressive mileage results by using just a few simple fuel-saving techniques.”
The 2015 Golf TDI uses Volkswagen’s advanced turbocharged and direct-injection Clean Diesel engine to achieve an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
For the attempt, the Golf TDI used Shell ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires which feature a fuel-saving tread compound to help increase fuel efficiency and offer confident all-season traction.
Contact the writer at keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca
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