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Volkswagen mid-engined roadster and compact 4x4 on the way

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Volkswagen has confirmed that it is working on a compact 4x4, likely to be launched in 2007, according to thecarconnection.com. US boss Len Hunt told the American website that although Volkswagen sales had slipped 15 percent in the US last year (to just 256,000 vehicles), VW was confident it would stabilise this year and regain momentum in 2006 with a series of new models: nine new models will reach the US in the next 18 months, including the Mk5 Golf already on sale in Europe, and the upcoming new Jetta (Bora), Passat and updated Beetle. The large Touareg off-roader is doing reasonably well, but Hunt said that "we need more SUVs, and we're working on a smaller one." He admitted that poor product planning and some quality defects had affected sales.

Volkswagen chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder also spoke more about an upcoming sports car based on the Concept R roadster shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003 (pictured). Not to be confused with the smaller, Golf-based Concept C - already confirmed for production - the R is mid-engined and rear wheel drive. The show car featured a 265bhp V6 good for 155mph and 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, and the DSG clutchless transmission. Pischetsrieder said it would be introduced in "two to three years". It will be the first rear-wheel drive Volkswagen since the Beetle, Microbus, Variant and Karmann Ghia.

Pischetsrieder was also open with thecarconnection.com about mistakes Volkswagen had made. He said that the Phaeton - the pet project of his predecessor, Ferdinand Piech "was, quite frankly, a misjudgement" though it would continue in production for another four or five years and would be replaced, though not by another saloon-style model. The next Phaeton could well be a crossover-style model like the Mercedes R-Class or roomy luxury MPV as under development by BMW. He also said that the Phaeton factory in Dresden, a showcase facility currently working well under capacity, would be used to make the closely related Bentley Continental GT; the Bentley facility in Crewe is currently struggling to meet demand. Dresden is also likely to build the upcoming GT-based Bentley saloon.

Pischetsrieder made further criticism of Dr. Piech by putting current difficulties down to the legacy of his management. "One of the problems is that we are missing a whole generation of managers because in 1993, Dr. Piech eliminated a whole layer of management. Now, 45 percent (of current managers) will be going into retirement in the next three or four years", he said. He admitted as well that "we had some disastrous quality problems" and that VW had not been differentiating its Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat products that well. "We have to provide different products for different brands, especially for Volkswagen, that accentuate the brand character", he said. He also confirmed that a US manufacturing plant was under consideration, but "not within the next five years, because we simply have too much capacity. First we must fill (that) and then the first choice will be the United States."


Concept R

2003_fms_conceptr_1.jpg

2003_fms_conceptr_2.jpg

2003_fms_conceptr_3.jpg



Concept C

c_750.jpg
 
no, i like it the most! :x



:D

(i think the R looks better though
 
R is too prototypey, C is more realistic.
 
YES YES YES YES YES!

Finally, an exciting VW drop top! Oh man, my GTI might not be in my possession for very long if they come out with a mid-engined roadster! :woot: :woot: :woot:
 
Very nice the Concept C looks far better :shock:
 
That concept C looks like a Audi A4 Cabriolet with a Golf front I like it though.
 
I like it.. The C looks astonoshing
 
The C was basically a Passat convertible (hardtop too...woo!), as evidenced by the headlights (they're the same as the new Passat). So basically...yeah, it's an A4 Cabby.

The Concept R is FAR more interesting to me...unlike anything VW's produced in recent memory.
 
So has anyone read the story about the Concept R on any VW websites? If not, here it is:

http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publish/volkswagen_news/article_1154.shtml

Dr. Pischetsrieder has confirmed with VWvortex that Volkswagen does indeed plan to produce a vehicle very similar to the two-seater Concept R roadster first introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2003.

B-concept_R_fram_stor-p.jpg


At a press dinner held during the North American International Auto Show, Dr. Pischetsrieder confirmed that Volkswagen will build a similar vehicle that will follow the concept's mid-engine rear-wheel drive layout. He mentioned that the goal is to produce a vehicle that is actually slightly smaller than the Concept R (which was built on a Golf V platform), make it as light as possible and add a folding soft-top convertible roof. The goal is to get the weight as close to 2,500 lbs. as possible, yet still retain all the safety features and structural rigidity normally associated with VW products. Lastly and most importantly, it will be coming to North America.

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When it came to the discussion of powerplants for the new car, he only smiled and mentioned they are working on something new. Recent reports in the German press mention Volkswagen working on a low-displacement 4-cylinder gasoline engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged and has direct injection (FSI). On the surface, the complexities and costs associated with an engine like this sound too far-fetched for actual production. However, German publication Auto Motor und Sport claims that prototypes have been seen around Wolfsburg and that development of the car and engine are moving along at a good clip.

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When asked about the inspiration for such a vehicle in the Volkswagen lineup, Dr. Pischetsrieder told us that the Volkswagen needs to inject some fun and soul back into the brand. The GTI and forthcoming GLI models both show that VW still remembers how to produce decent drivers' cars in affordable packages. The Concept R takes that a step further with a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive roadster that will be relatively affordable. He mentioned his love of roadsters and that he favors a rear-wheel-drive layout on certain cars as that is the "purest" form of a true sports car. Pressed on a price, he only offered that they are targeting a Mazda Miata price point. When we joked about a hardtop Coupe version he only smiled and said, "Anything is possible, let's see how we do with the roadster first".

In other discussions we asked about the likelihood of an R32/R36 version of the Jetta V and Dr. Pischetsrieder told us that he would like to see something like this produced. He mentioned that Volkswagen of America managed to sell 5,000 Golf R32 models with little to no advertising, and if the Golf was successful in this market, a Jetta version would likely do even better.

This is what stands out to me:

When it came to the discussion of powerplants for the new car, he only smiled and mentioned they are working on something new. Recent reports in the German press mention Volkswagen working on a low-displacement 4-cylinder gasoline engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged and has direct injection (FSI).
OMG OMG OMG OMG :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:
 
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