Audi Q7

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Posted by pompos 04/14/2009 @ 17:13

Tags : audi q7, audi, cars, leisure

News headlines
AVUS Audi Q7 - Autoblog.nl
Het koppel neemt toe van 760 Nm tot een zeer nette 880 Nm. De Audi gaat van 0-100 in 6 seconden, dat is inclusief 23-inchers… De topsnelheid is 245 km/u. The Audi Q7 – better known as a Sport Utility Vehicle – is one of those cars you cannot ignore....
AUDI Q7 For 2010: Clean, Mean, Driving Machine! - Zigwheels.com
The Audi Q7 has dominated the SUV scene since its inception. Its sheer size and road presence have made it a legend of sorts and there is no denying the fact that the Q7 is a formidable vehicle. The fact that it possesses some serious horsepower under...
Q7 has presence - Ayrshire Post
THE sheer size of the Audi Q7 4x4 gives it much more presence than the Mercedes M-class or the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yet precise steering and the feel of a much smaller vehicle make it quite easy to drive and even to manage in confined spaces....
2010 Lincoln MKT With EcoBoost - First Drive Review - Car and Driver
Based on the Ford Flex—itself based on a stretched Taurus X platform— the MKT is a unique three-row crossover that the company expects to compete with the likes of the Audi Q7 and Acura MDX. The MKT makes the boldest statement yet about Lincoln's...
Celebrities and what they drive - Luxvelocity
Justin was recently spotted in NYC with a new white Audi Q7 TDI. Although not as flashy as a modified Ferrari F430, the Q7 is a hot SUV that offers luxury , elegant looks , and great mpgs.This may or may not be promotional vehicle given to him by Audi...
Finding a niche - WA today
Off-roading capability comes courtesy of a quattro all-wheel-drive system and adjustable electric dampers borrowed from Audi's only existing luxury 4WD, the Q7. The Cross Cabriolet's ride height can be raised by 40mm in four seconds....
First Drive: 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost and MKS EcoBoost - Autoblog
For our preview drive, we had the chance to compare the EcoBoost-equipped MKT against a more SUV-minded crossover, the 4.2-liter V8-powered Audi Q7. The Audi was chosen because, like the Lincoln, it can accommodate seven occupants (five in actual...
New Audi diesel Q7 sport-utility quiet, clean, fuel-efficient - Charleston Post Courier
By Jim Parker (Contact) A 2009 Audi Q7 TDI is for sale for $62000 at McDaniels Audi of Charleston. The dealership will be receiving the 2010 diesel-engine models by summer. A turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine in the Audi Q7 diesel produces...
Preview: 2009 Audi Q7 TDI - Canada.com
Audi claims its Q7 TDI is 30% more fuel efficient than its gasoline-powered sibling. Judging by the fuel economy I achieved on a two-day trip that was composed mostly of highway driving, that seems about right. I averaged 9.8 litres per 100 kilometres...

Audi Q7

2007 Audi Q7 (US)

The Audi Q7 is a full-size luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by German automaker Audi since its unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006.

In its name Q7, the "Q" denotes a new family of vehicles for Audi, and the designation "7" marks its placement between the A6 and A8 in Audi's model range.

The Q7 utilises a modified version of the Volkswagen Group 7L platform, the 4L. Based on the Audi Pikes Peak quattro concept car, the Q7 is designed more for on-road use, and was not meant for serious off-road use where a transfer case is needed. In an off road test through the Australian outback it fared well for a "soft roader", but in a test published in The Sunday Times it was described as "an absolutely useless off-roader". Although it lacks a low-range transfer case, it has quattro permanent four wheel drive system with a central differential lock, and an adjustable-height air suspension which helps in off road situations.

Audi's 350 PS (345 hp/257 kW), 440 N·m (325 lb·ft) 4163 cc V8 engine and 280 PS (276 hp/206 kW), 360 N·m (266 lb·ft) V6 engine 3596 cc petrol engines, both with Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) technology, are offered. Interestingly, Q7 using either engine has the same 0 - 100 km/h performance.

Two Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engined options are available; a 240 PS (237 hp/177 kW) 3.0L V6 and in mid-2007 the 4.2 litre 331 PS (326 hp/243 kW) diesel with 760 N·m (561 lb·ft) torque known from the Audi A8 was introduced. Audi is reportedly going to introduce a hybrid version of the Q7 sometime in the future.

To underline the racing success of its diesel engined Le Mans-winning R10 racer, Audi presented a concept-version of the car with a new V12 TDI Q7 at the 2006 Paris Auto Show. It uses piezo fuel injectors. The twin-turbodiesel six-litre engine generates 500 PS (493 hp/368 kW) and 1,000 N·m (738 lb·ft) of torque, making it the most powerful diesel engine, and also the only twelve-cylinder diesel engine, used in any passenger car. The diesel can pull the Q7 from rest to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.

Audi presented the Audi Q7 Hybrid at the Hanover Motor Show.

In early 2005, Nissan sued Audi over the use of the letter "Q" as a model name.

Audi is using the "Q" for the designation of their quattro four-wheel drive system, used in production cars for over twenty-five years (Audi's quattro trademark is actually an umbrella term for several types of four wheel drive systems developed by Torsen, Haldex Traction AB, and Borg-Warner, the latter being used in the Q7). Nissan's Infiniti marque had been using Q as the name for sedans (the Q45) and SUVs (the QX4 and QX56) since 1989.

A settlement between Audi AG and Nissan was reached in late 2006. The agreement stipulates that Audi will only use the Q-prefix for two models, the Q5 and the Q7.

Despite its multiple airbags and safety electronics, such as Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), the Q7 scored only four stars out of five () in the Euro NCAP crash test for adult occupant protection. According to Audi, this was caused by a design error, and has since been fixed in cars manufactured after the test which should allegedly lead to five stars, official tests to prove this remain to be done as of March 2009.

However in the USA, the Q7 received five out of five stars () from the NHTSA safety test for both front and side impacts. The IIHS awarded the Q7 its Top Safety Pick, with Good ratings in all 14 measured categories of the front and side impact test.

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Audi hybrid vehicles

The Audi metroproject quattro, a concept vehicle showcasing Audi hybrid technology

Audi hybrid vehicles are hybrid electric vehicles created by the German carmaker, Audi.

The original Audi Duo was created in 1989, and was based on the Audi C3 100 Avant. It was a gas/electric hybrid concept vehicle.

Audio 100 Duo second generation was introduced in 1991. It featured quattro four-wheel drive.

Little is known about the Audi Duo II. It was based on the Audi C4 100/A6 Avant, and made sometime in the early to mid 1990s.

The Audi Duo III was introduced in 1997 based on the Audi B5 A4 Avant, and was the only Duo to ever make it into production. The Duo III used the 1.9L TDI engine, which was coupled with an 29 hp electric motor. There was a switch inside the cabin for switching between the electric motor and the engine. The batteries would be recharged during highway/country driving or by plugging the car into an AC outlet.

The hybrid was unable to achieve fuel efficiency much greater than the standard 1.9L TDI because of the extra weight the batteries added.

Unfortunately there was little demand for the hybrid due to its high price, and thus only about sixty Audi Duo's were produced. Up until the release of the Audi Q7 hybrid, the Duo was the only European hybrid ever put into production.

Audi unveiled their Q7 hybrid at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. Audi plans to have the Q7 hybrid as a part of their 2008 model line up.

In the third quarter of 2007, just before its official announcement at the Tokyo Motor Show, Audi leaked information about "metroproject quattro". The metroproject quattro is a supermini/sub-compact, intended to compete with the MINI.

Under the bonnet/hood is a 150PS 1.4L TFSI engine. However, in the back of the car, beneath a plexiglass peephole, is a 41-hp electric motor, designed to create a zero-emissions driving experience in residential or city areas, and increase torque while the 1.4 TFSI is accelerating.

A lithium-ion battery pack supports a range of up to 100 km (62 miles). In electric mode, the car has a top speed of more than 100 km/h (62 mph).

A four-door concept is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show in October 2008.

Audi is planning an alliance with the Japanese electronic giant Sanyo to develop a pilot hybrid project for the Volkswagen Group. The alliance could result in Sanyo batteries and other electronic components being used in future models of the Volkswagen group.

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Volkswagen

Volkswagen factory with its own power plant

Volkswagen Passenger Cars, also known as VW, an automobile manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Germany, is the original brand within the Volkswagen Group, as well as the largest brand by sales volume.

Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, in which it is pronounced . Its current tagline or slogan is Das Auto (in English The Car). Its previous German tagline was Aus Liebe zum Automobil, which translates to: Out of Love for the Car, or, For Love of the Automobile, as translated by VW in other languages.

Adolf Hitler had a keen interest in cars even though he did not like to drive. In 1933, shortly after taking over as leader of Germany, he teamed up with Ferdinand Porsche to make changes to his original 1931 design to make it more suited for the working man, thus founding Volkswagen. Hans Ledwinka discussed his ideas with Ferdinand Porsche, who used many Tatra design features in the 1938 "KdF-Wagen", later known as the VW Käfer—or Volkswagen Beetle. On 22 June 1934, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche agreed to create the "People's Car" for Hitler.

Changes included better fuel efficiency, reliability, ease-of-use, and economically efficient repairs and parts. The intention was that ordinary Germans would buy the car by means of a savings scheme ("Fünf Mark die Woche musst Du sparen, willst Du im eigenen Wagen fahren" — "Save five Marks a week, if you want to drive your own car"), which around 336,000 people eventually paid into. Volkswagen honoured its savings agreements in West Germany (but not in East Germany) after World War II. Prototypes of the car called the "KdF-Wagen" (German: Kraft durch Freude — "strength through joy"), appeared from 1936 onwards (the first cars had been produced in Stuttgart). The car already had its distinctive round shape and air-cooled, flat-four, rear-mounted engine. The VW car was just one of many KdF programmes which included things such as tours and outings. The prefix "Volks" ("People's") was not just applied to cars, but also to other products in Nazi Germany; the "Volksempfänger" radio receiver for instance. On 28 May 1937, the Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH was established by the Deutsche Arbeitsfront. It was later renamed "Volkswagenwerk GmbH" on 16 September 1938.

Erwin Komenda, the longstanding Auto Union chief designer, developed the car body of the prototype, which was recognizably the Beetle we know today. It was one of the first to be evolved with the aid of a wind tunnel; unlike the Chrysler Airflow, it would be a success.

The building of the new factory started 26 May 1938 in the new town of KdF-Stadt, now called Wolfsburg, which had been purposely built for the factory workers. This factory only produced a handful of cars by the time war started in 1939. None were actually delivered to any holder of the completed saving stamp books, though one Type 1 Cabriolet was presented to Hitler on 20 April 1938 (his 49th birthday).

War meant production changed to military vehicles, the Type 81 Kübelwagen ("Bucket car") utility vehicle (VW's most common wartime model), and the amphibious Schwimmwagen which were used to equip the German forces.

The company owes its post-war existence largely to one man, British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst, REME. In April 1945, KdF-Stadt, and its heavily bombed factory were captured by the Americans, and subsequently handed over to the British, within whose occupation zone the town and factory fell. The factory was placed under the control of Oldham-born Hirst. At first, the plan was to use it for military vehicle maintenance. Since it had been used for military production, and had been in Hirst's words a "political animal" rather than a commercial enterprise, the equipment was in time intended to be salvaged as war reparations. Hirst painted one of the factory's cars green and demonstrated it to British Army headquarters. Short of light transport, in September 1945 the British Army was persuaded to place a vital order for 20,000. The first few hundred cars went to personnel from the occupying forces, and to the German Post Office.

Some UK Service personnel were allowed to take their VW Beetles' back to the UK when they were demobilized, and one of the very first Beetles brought back in that way (UK registration number JLT 420) is still owned by Peter Colborne-Baber, the son of the original proprietor of the UK's first official Volkswagen Importer, Colborne Garages of Ripley, Surrey.

By 1946 the factory was producing 1,000 cars a month, a remarkable feat considering it was still in disrepair. Due to roof and window damage, rain stopped production and steel to make the cars had to be bartered for new vehicles.

The car, and its town changed their Second World War-era names to "Volkswagen", and "Wolfsburg" respectively, and production was increasing. It was still unclear what was to become of the factory. It was offered to representatives from the British, American and French motor industries. Famously, all rejected it. After an inspection of the plant, Sir William Rootes, head of the British Rootes Group, told Hirst the project would fail within two years, and that the car "is quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer, is too ugly and too noisy ... If you think you're going to build cars in this place, you're a bloody fool, young man". In an ironic twist of fate, Volkswagen would manufacture a locally built version of Rootes' Hillman Avenger in Argentina in the 1980s, long after Rootes went bust at the hands of Chrysler in 1978—the Beetle outliving the Avenger by over 30 years.

Ford representatives were equally critical: the car was "not worth a damn" Henry Ford II, the son of Edsel Ford, did reportedly look at the possibility of taking over the VW factory, but dismissed the idea as soon as he looked up Wolfsburg on the map and found it to be too close for comfort to the East German border.

In France, Citroën started the 2CV on a similar marketing concept. Meanwhile, in Italy, the Fiat 500 "Topolino" was developed.

In Occupied Germany, the Allies followed the Morgenthau Plan, to remove all German war potential, by complete or partial pastoralisation. As part of this, in the Industrial plans for Germany, the rules for which industry Germany was to be allowed to retain were set out. German car production was set at a maximum of 10% of the 1936 car production numbers.

The Volkswagen factory at Wolfsburg came under UK control in 1945, it was to be dismantled and shipped to Britain. Thankfully for Volkswagen, no British car manufacturer was interested in the factory; "the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motor-car ... it is quite unattractive to the average buyer ... To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise". The factory survived by producing cars for the British Army instead. Allied dismantling policy changed in late 1946 to mid 1947, although heavy industry continued to be dismantled until 1951. In March 1947 Herbert Hoover helped change policy by stating: "There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a 'pastoral state'. It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it". Thanks to the protection of British Army Major Ivan Hirst, Volkswagen survived the perilous times, and became part of the German economic recovery.

From 1948, Volkswagen became a very important element, symbolically and economically, of West German regeneration. Heinrich Nordhoff (1899–1968), a former senior manager at Opel who had overseen civilian and military vehicle production in the 1930s and 1940s, was recruited to run the factory in 1948. In 1949 Major Hirst left association with the company, as it was now re-formed as a trust, controlled by the West German government, and the government of the State of Lower Saxony. Apart from the introduction of the Volkswagen Type 2 commercial vehicle (van, pickup and camper), and the VW Karmann Ghia sports car, Nordhoff pursued the one-model policy until shortly before his death in 1968.

Volkswagens were first exhibited and sold in the United States in 1949, but only sold two units in America that first year. On its entry to the U.S. market, the VW was briefly sold as a "Victory Wagon". Volkswagen of America was formed in April 1955 to standardize sales and service in the United States. Production of the Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle increased dramatically over the years, the total reaching one million in 1955.

Sales soared — due in part to the famous advertising campaigns by New York advertising agency Doyle, Dane Bernbach. Led by art director Helmut Krone, and copywriters Julian Koenig and Bob Levinson, Volkswagen ads became as popular as the car, using crisp layouts and witty copy to lure the younger, sophisticated consumers with whom the car became associated. Despite the fact it was almost universally known as the Beetle (or the Bug), it was never officially labeled as such by the manufacturer, instead referred to as the Type 1. The first reference to the name Beetle occurred in U.S. advertising in 1968, but not until 1998 and the Golf-based New Beetle would the name be adopted by Volkswagen.

Although the car was becoming outdated, during the 1960s and early 1970s, American exports, innovative advertising, and a growing reputation for reliability helped production figures surpass the levels of the previous record holder, the Ford Model T. On February 17, 1972 the 15,007,034th Beetle was sold. Volkswagen could now claim the world production record for the most-produced, single make of car in history. By 1973, total production was over 16 million.

To commemorate its passing the Ford Model T's record sales mark and its victories in the Baja 1000 Mexican races from 1967-1971, Volkswagen produced its first limited-edition Beetle. It was marketed as the "Baja Champion SE" in the United States and the "Marathon" Superbeetle in the rest of the world. It featured unique "Marathon Blau" metallic blue paint, steel-pressed 10-spoke 15-inch mag wheels, a commemorative metal plate mounted on the glovebox and a certificate of authenticity presented to the original purchaser. Dealer-installed options for this limited-edition Superbeetle included the following: white stripes running the length of the rocker-panel, a special shifter knob, bumper overriders, tapered exhaust tips, fake walnut inserts in the dash (behind the steering wheel and the glovebox cover) as well as Bosch fog lights mounted to the front bumper.

VW expanded its product line in 1961 with the introduction of several Type 3 models, which were essentially body style variations (Fastback, Notchback, Squareback) based on Type 1 mechanical underpinnings, and again in 1969 with the larger Type 4 (also known as the 411 and 412) models. These differed substantially from previous vehicles, with the notable introduction of monocoque/unibody construction, the option of a fully automatic transmission, electronic fuel injection, and a sturdier powerplant. Volkswagen added a "Super Beetle" (the Type 113) to its lineup in 1971. The Type 113 differed from the standard Beetle in its use of a MacPherson strut front suspension instead of the usual torsion bars. Also the nose of the car was stretched 2 inches (51 mm) to allow the spare tyre to lie flat, and the combination of these two features significantly increased the usable front luggage space. Despite the Super Beetle's (marketed outside North America as the VW 1302, later 1303) popularity with Volkswagen customers, purists preferred the standard Beetle with its less pronounced nose and its original torsion bar suspension. In 1973, Volkswagen introduced the military-themed Type 181, or "Trekker" in Europe and the UK, "Thing" in America, recalling the wartime Type 81. The military version was produced for the NATO-era German Army during the Cold War years of 1970 to 1979. The US Thing version only sold for two years, 1973 and 1974, due at least in part to Ralph Nader's automobile safety campaigns.

In 1964, Volkswagen succeeded in purchasing Auto Union, and in 1969, NSU Motorenwerke AG (NSU). The former company owned the historic Audi brand, which had disappeared after WW2. VW ultimately merged Auto Union and NSU to create the modern day Audi company, and would go on to develop it as its luxury vehicle marque. However, the purchase of Auto Union and NSU proved to be a pivotal point in Volkswagen's history, as both companies yielded the technological expertise that proved necessary for VW to survive when demand for its air-cooled models went into terminal decline as the 1970s dawned.

Volkswagen was in serious trouble by 1973. The Type 3 and Type 4 models had sold in much smaller numbers than the Beetle and the NSU-based K70 also failed to woo buyers. Beetle sales had started to decline rapidly in European and North American markets. The company knew that Beetle production had to end one day, but the conundrum of replacing it had been a never-ending nightmare. VW's ownership of Audi / Auto Union proved to be the key to the problem - with its expertise in front-wheel drive, and water-cooled engines which Volkswagen so desperately needed to produce a credible Beetle successor. Audi influences paved the way for this new generation of Volkswagens, known as the Polo, Golf and Passat.

The Volkswagen Polo was in fact simply a re-badging of the short-lived Audi 50, which had been hastily developed from a sedan design, the Audi 60. However, VW produced it shortly after the introduction of the Polo as the Volkswagen Derby. In the rear of the car can plainly be seen that panels are added to the Polo structure to make a "three-box" design of saloon (sedan), or saloon with a boot or trunk.

The Volkswagen Passat (Dasher in the U.S.), introduced in 1973, was again simply a fastback (available as either a hatchback or with separate boot) version of the Audi 80, using identical body and mechanical parts, and the Audi 80 was later produced on the same line in Wolfsburg as the Passat. Estate/wagon versions were offered for overseas markets, however, for two years, if British and South African customers wanted an estate/wagon version, they had to go considerably up-market and buy the Audi 80 GL estate.

However, the pivotal model which would turn Volkswagen's fortunes emerged as the Volkswagen Golf in 1974 (marketed in the United States and Canada as the Rabbit until 1985 and as the Golf until 2006, when the Rabbit name was re-introduced). This was a car unlike its predecessor in most significant ways, both mechanically as well as visually (its angular styling was designed by the Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro). Its design followed trends for small family cars set by the 1959 Mini — the Golf had a transversely mounted, water-cooled engine in the front, driving the front wheels, and had a hatchback, a format that has dominated the market segment ever since. Beetle production at Wolfsburg ended upon the Golf's introduction, but continued in smaller numbers at other German factories (Hanover and Emden) until 1978, but mainstream production shifted to Brazil and Mexico.

While Volkswagen's range of cars soon became similar to that of other large European automakers, the Golf has been the mainstay of the Volkswagen lineup since its introduction, and the mechanical basis for several other cars of the company. There have been six generations of the Volkswagen Golf, the first of which was produced from the summer of 1974 until the end of 1983 (sold as the Rabbit in the United States and Canada and as the Caribe in Latin America). Its chassis also spawned the Volkswagen Scirocco sport coupe, Volkswagen Jetta saloon/sedan, Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet convertible, and Volkswagen Caddy pickup. North American production of the Rabbit commenced at a factory in New Stanton, Pennsylvania in 1978. It would be produced in the United States as the Rabbit until the spring of 1984. The second-generation Golf hatchback/Jetta sedan ran from late 1983 to late 1991, and a North American version produced in Pennsylvania went on sale at the start of the 1985 model year. The production numbers of the first-generation Golf has continued to grow annually in South Africa as the Citi Golf, with only minor modifications to the interior, engine and chassis, using tooling relocated from the New Stanton plant in Westmoreland Pennsylvania when that site began to build the Second Generation car.

In the 1980s, Volkswagen's sales in the United States and Canada fell dramatically, despite the success of models like the Golf elsewhere. The Japanese and the Americans were able to compete with similar products at lower prices. Sales in the United States were 293,595 in 1980, but by 1984 they were down to 177,709. The introduction of the second-generation Golf, GTI and Jetta models helped Volkswagen briefly in North America. Motor Trend named the GTI its Car of the Year for 1985, and Volkswagen rose in the J.D. Power buyer satisfaction ratings to eighth place in 1985, up from 22nd a year earlier. VW's American sales broke 200,000 in 1985 and 1986 before resuming the downward trend from earlier in the decade. Chairman Carl Hahn decided to expand the company elsewhere, and the New Stanton, Pennsylvania factory closed on 14 July 1988. Meanwhile, Hahn expanded the company by purchasing a greater share of the Spanish car maker SEAT, which VW bought outright in 1990; the Czech car maker Škoda Auto was acquired the following year.

Volkswagen had entered the supermini market in 1976 with the Volkswagen Polo, a stylish and spacious three-door hatchback designed by Bertone. It was a strong seller in West Germany and most of the rest of Western Europe, being one of the first foreign small cars to prove popular in Britain. The second generation model, launched in 1981 and sold as a hatchback and "coupe" (with the hatchback resembling a small estate car and the coupe being similar to a conventional hatchback), was an even greater success for Volkswagen. It was facelifted in 1990 and was still selling well after 13 years, when it was replaced by the third generation Polo in 1994.

In 1991, Volkswagen launched the third-generation Golf, which was European Car of the Year for 1992 (the previous two generations were nominated but lost to the Citroën CX in 1975 and the Fiat Uno in 1984). The Golf Mk3 and Jetta arrived in North America just before the start of 1994 model year, first appearing in southern California in the late spring of 1993. The sedan version of the Golf was badged Vento in Europe (but remained Jetta in the USA, where its popularity eventually outstripped the Golf).

The late 1990s saw a gradual change in perception of the company's products - with Audi having elevated itself into same league as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen moved upmarket to fill the void left by Audi; with SEAT and Škoda now occupying what was once VW's core market. The first tangible evidence of this was the fifth-generation Passat in 1996 with its high-quality interior trim and standards of build quality which were demonstrably a cut above the run-of-the-mill Ford Mondeo, Opel/Vauxhall/Holden/Chevrolet Vectra and Peugeot 406.

This move upmarket was continued with the Golf Mk4, introduced at the end of 1997 (and in North America in 1999), its chassis spawned a host of other cars within the Volkswagen group — the Volkswagen Bora (the sedan, still called Jetta in the USA), New Beetle, SEAT Toledo, SEAT León, Audi A3, Audi TT and Škoda Octavia. However, it was beaten into third place for the 1998 European Car of the Year award by the winning Alfa Romeo 156 and runner-up Audi A6.

The other main models have been the Polo, a smaller car than the Golf, and the larger Passat for the segment above the Golf. The Scirocco and the later Corrado were both Golf-based coupés.

By the early 1990s, Volkswagen's annual sales in the United States were below 100,000, and many car buyers found the company's products to be lacking in value. Some automotive journalists believed that Volkswagen would have to quit the North American market altogether. VW eventually realized that the Beetle was the heart and soul of the brand in North America, and the firm quickly set about creating a new Beetle for American and Canadian showrooms.

In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the J Mays-designed Concept One, a "retro"-themed car with a resemblance to the original Beetle but based on the Polo platform. Its genesis was secret and in opposition to VW management, who felt it was too backward-looking. Management could not deny the positive public response to the concept car and gave the green-light to its development as the New Beetle. The production car would be based on the Golf rather than the Polo, because the Polo frame was too small for the car to pass crash test standards in the U.S. It has been quite popular in the North America and is now gaining in the EU.

Volkswagen's fortunes in North America improved once the third-generation Golf and Jetta models became available there. Sharp advertising and savvy promotional stunts, like including Trek bicycles, and accompanying bike racks with a limited edition of the 1996 Jetta sedan, were credited for the firm's recovery in the U.S. and Canada, but the introductions of the New Beetle and the fifth-generation Passat were a major boost to the brand.

In the UK, Volkswagen's market share grew throughout the 1990s. In 1990, the Golf was Britain's 12th most popular car with nearly 50,000 units sold. The Mk3 Polo achieved similar success in the mid 1990s, but in 1999 the Mk4 Golf was Volkswagen's first-ever entrant in Britain's top 10 list of most popular new cars. Its success continued into the 2000s, while the Polo and Passat were never far outside the top 10. Bad news for Volkswagen during this era was a dip in customer satisfaction. A brand which had built its reputation on reliability was now being overtaken by marques whose reputations had been damaged by quality problems. This bad press took several years to eradicate.

Volkswagen began introducing an array of new models after Bernd Pischetsrieder became Volkswagen Group CEO (responsible for all Group brands) in 2002. The fifth generation VW Golf was launched in 2004, came runner-up to the Fiat Panda in the 2004 European Car of the Year, and has spawned several cousins: SEAT Toledo, Škoda Octavia and Audi A3 hatchback ranges, as well as a new mini-MPV, the SEAT Altea. The GTI, a "hot hatchback" performance version of the Golf, boasts a 2.0 L Turbocharged FSI direct injection engine. VW began marketing the Golf under the Rabbit name once again in the U.S. and Canada in June 2006. (The GTI had arrived to North America four months earlier). The fifth-generation Jetta, and the performance version, the GLI, are also available in the United States and Canada. The sixth-generation Passat and the fifth-generation Jetta both debuted in 2005, and VW has announced plans to expand its lineup further by bringing back the Scirocco by 2008. Other models in Wolfgang Bernhard's (Volkswagen brand CEO) "product offensive" include the Tiguan mid-sized SUV in 2008 and a Passat Coupé. In November 2006 Bernd Pischetsrieder announced his resignation as Volkswagen Group CEO, and was replaced by Audi worldwide CEO Martin Winterkorn at the beginning of 2007. Winterkorn is credited with making Audi a challenger to the dominance of BMW and Mercedes, and his design-led strategy has led to Audi being considered one of the most important brands in the world. It remains to be seen how Winterkorn's focus on design shapes the Volkswagen brand's future. Nevertheless, Volkswagen continues to have complicated relations with both unions and shareholders. The German state of Lower Saxony owns significant stock in VW, as does sportscar manufacturer Porsche. Recently Porsche has announced to buy the majority of Volkswagen's stock, thus becoming the new owner of Volkswagen.

In North America, VW faced many challenges. After rising significantly between 1998 and 2001, VW's North American sales began to fall sharply leading to a 2005 loss of roughly US$1 billion for its operations in the U.S. and Canada. Profitability has not been strong, and the lack of reliability of the company's cars appears to bear some of the responsibility for this situation. By 2005, its models sat near the bottom of Consumer Reports reliability ratings, and J.D. Power and Associates ranked VW 35th out of 37 bands in its initial quality survey. Attempts to enter a new market segment also compromised Volkswagen's standing in North America. In 2002, Volkswagen announced the debut of its Phaeton luxury car, which was critically acclaimed but not well received in the marketplace. VW announced its discontinuance in the U.S. market for the 2007 model year due to the disappointing sales.

Volkswagen in 2005, despite challenges, still maintained North American sales of 224,195 -- a dramatic increase from the low in 1993 when US sales totaled only 49,533 vehicles. Momentum continued for fiscal 2006, as VW's North American sales for the year were 235,140 vehicles, a 4.9 percent increase over 2005, despite a slump in domestic North American manufacturer's sales. VW plans to close out the decade with the release on several new vehicles worldwide and a barrage of advertising. In conjunction with the introduction of new models, production location of Volkswagen vehicles also underwent great change. The 2007 Eos, a hardtop convertible, is produced in a new facility in Portugal. All Golf/Rabbit and GTIs as of 2006 are manufactured in Wolfsburg, Germany, rather than VW's Mexican factory in Puebla, where Golfs and GTIs for the North American market were produced from 1989 to 1998, and the Brazilian factory in Curitiba, where Golfs and GTIs were produced from 1999 to 2006. (The Jetta has primarily been made in Mexico since 1989). VW is also in the process of reconfiguring an automotive assembly plant in Belgium. The new models and investments in manufacturing improvements were noticed immediately by automotive critics. Favorable reviews for VW's newest cars include the GTI being named by Consumer Reports as the top sporty car under $25,000, one of Car and Driver magazines "10 Best" for 2007, Automobile Magazine's 2007 Car of the Year, as well as a 2008 Motor Trend comparison ranking the midsize Passat first in its class. J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study scored Volkswagen fourteenth overall with strong performances by its new Jetta and Passat models.

Volkswagen is recognized as one of the leading small diesel engine manufacturers, and is partnering with Mercedes and other companies to market BlueTec clean diesel technology, calling it BlueMotion. Volkswagen has offered a number of its vehicles with a TDI Turbocharged Direct Injection engine, which lends class-leading fuel economy to several models. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, four of the ten most fuel efficient vehicles available for sale in the U.S. in 2004 were powered by Volkswagen diesel engines. They were a three-way tie for 8th (TDI Beetle, TDI Golf, TDI Jetta) and ninth, the TDI Jetta Wagon. As of 2007, VW has not yet offered a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain such as that in the Toyota Prius (though a diesel-electric hybrid 5th generation Jetta was produced as a test vehicle). In addition, all Volkswagen TDI diesel engines produced from 1996 to 2003-2006 can be driven on 100% biodiesel fuel. For the 2007 model year, however, strict U.S. government emissions regulations have forced VW to drop most diesels from their U.S. engine lineup, but a new lineup of diesel engines compatible to U.S. standards are due for 2008.

Volkswagen long resisted adding a utility vehicle to its lineup, but it finally relented with the introduction of the Touareg in the early 2000s, sharing major components with the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 sport utility vehicles. Though acclaimed as a fine handling vehicle, the Touareg has been a modest seller at best. Some automotive analysts blame the Touraeg's absence of a third-row seat, the relatively poor fuel economy, and the high vehicle mass. VW plans to add a compact SUV with styling influences from its "Concept A" concept vehicle. On July 20, 2006, VW announced that the new vehicle would be called the Tiguan. One major irony of Volkswagen's current North American lineup is the absence of a minivan, considering that VW is credited for inventing the minivan with its original Transporter, but the firm is currently developing just such a vehicle for the U.S. and Canadian markets with DaimlerChrysler named the Volkswagen Routan, with current plans to introduce it in 2008. Volkswagen is also considering a new entry-level model for the North American lineup. A venture with DaimlerChrysler to produce such a vehicle was considered but dropped as of September 2006. Due to technical difficulty adapting the Polo to meet North American vehicle regulations, VW presented in 2006 the "Iroc" as a concept of the proposed 2009 Scirocco as a potential new small model.

In September 2006, Volkswagen began offering the City Golf and City Jetta only for the Canadian market. Both models were originally the Mk4 Golf and Jetta but were later replaced with the Brazilian versions of the Golf Mk4 and Bora. The City Golf and City Jetta were introduced to compete with the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit. Volkswagen's introduction of such models is seen as a test of the market for a subcompact and, if successful, may be the beginnings of a thriving subcompact market for Volkswagen.

When Martin Winterkorn became the eighth postwar CEO of Volkswagen, the company made several personnel changes in Wolfsburg. Though the VW Group already had their presence in India with Škoda Auto, Volkswagen introduced the Passat and Touareg with TDI engine to India's automobile market in September 2007.

The VW 1L will be available in 2010, in limited numbers. The 1L is a lightweight two person vehicle made out of a magnesium frame covered by an unpainted carbon fiber skin. Every component of the vehicle is intended to reduce the vehicles weight. Aluminum brakes, carbon fiber wheels, titanium hubs, and ceramic bearings all contribute to the vehicle’s light weight of a mere 290 kg. To reduce the weight even further, and to increase the aerodynamics of the vehicle, there are no rear view mirrors. Instead, the car is equipped with cameras that display visual information to the driver via the internal LCD screen. The car is extremely fuel efficient, each gallon of fuel will take you over 235 miles. The fuel tank holds just 1.7 gallons, making the entire travel distance capability about 400 miles per tank. Its top speed is 120 km/h (75 mph), which although isn’t too fast is a welcome trade off for the huge savings in gas consumption.

On July 15, 2008 Volkswagen announced that they will construct an automobile assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This plant will produce cars specifically designed for North America beginning with the New Midsize Sedan, which will be more competitive with North American market leaders Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2011 and is expected to end more than five years of losses in the world's largest auto market.

Volkswagen has always had a close relationship with Porsche, the Zuffenhausen-based sports car manufacturer founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the original Volkswagen designer. The first Porsche car, the Porsche 64 of 1938, used many components from the Volkswagen Beetle. The 1948 Porsche 356, continued using many Volkswagen components, including a tuned engine, gearbox and suspension.

The two companies continued their collaboration in 1969 to make the VW-Porsche 914 and 914-6, whereby the 914-6 had a 6-cylinder Porsche engine, and the standard 914 had a 4-cylinder Volkswagen engine, and in 1976 with the Porsche 912E (USA only), and the Porsche 924, which used many Audi components and was built at an Audi Neckarsulm factory. Most 944s also were built there, although they used far fewer VW components.

The Porsche Cayenne, introduced in 2002, shares its entire chassis with VW Touareg and Audi Q7, which are built at the Volkswagen factory in Bratislava.

In September 2005, Porsche announced it would increase its 5% stake in Volkswagen to 20% at a cost of €3 billion, with the intention that the combined stakes of Porsche and the government of Lower Saxony would ensure that any hostile takeover by foreign investors would be impossible. Speculated suitors included DaimlerChrysler, BMW, and Renault. In July 2006, Porsche increased their ownership again to 25.1%.

On February 13, 2007 Advocate General Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo ruled that a German law preventing any shareholder in Volkswagen from executing more than 20% of the total voting rights in the firm was illegally restricting the flow of capital in Europe. This again opened the possibility of a hostile takeover of VW and so on 26 March of the same year Porsche took its holding of Volkswagen shares to 30.9%. Porsche formally announced in a press statement that it did not intend to take over Volkswagen, but intended the move to avoid a competitor taking a large stake and to stop hedge funds from dismantling VW. As expected, on October 22, 2007 the European Court of Justice ruled in agreement with Ruiz-Jarabo and the law was struck down.

On October 26, 2008, Porsche finally revealed its plan to assume control of VW. As of that day, it held 42.6 percent of Volkswagen's ordinary shares and stock options on another 31.5 percent. Combined with the state of Lower Saxony's 20.1% stake, this left only 5.8% of shares on the market most of which were held by index funds who could not legally sell. Hedge funds desperate to cover their short positions forced Volkswagen stock above one thousand euros per share, briefly making it the world's largest company by market capitalization on October 28, 2008.

Volkswagen of America Inc. promotes its work in developing "clean diesel", and other fuel-efficient technologies, in order to increase U.S. sales to environmentally conscious consumers. One of the promoting vehicle is the 2009 clean-diesel Jetta TDI, which has a 16-valve, four-cylinder common rail direct injection engine which reduces emissions by 90 percent. Volkswagen also claims that this model has the advantage of fuel economy in the mid-50s and mid-40s in city conditions. Stefan Jacoby, CEO of America's Volkswagen, said that it will be released in a sedan and sport-wagon model in May 2008 in California, becoming the first 50-state clean diesel offering.

Volkswagen and Sanyo have teamed up to develop a hybrid vehicle battery system.

Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn has confirmed the company plans to build compact hybrid vehicles. There will definitely be compact hybrid models, such as Polo and Golf, and without any great delay", with gasoline and diesel engines. For example, Golf is the ideal model to go hybrid as the Golf 1.4 TSI was recently awarded the “Auto Environment Certificate” by the Oko-Trend Institute for Environmental Research, and was considered as one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles of 2007. Also underway at Volkswagen's Braunschweig R&D facilities in Northern Germany is a hybrid version of the next-generation Touareg, due in 2010.

VW intends all future models to have the hybrid option. “Future VW models will fundamentally also be constructed with hybrid concepts,” VW head of development Ulrich Hackenberg told Automobilwoche in an interview. Hackenberg mentioned that the car based on the up! concept seen at Frankfurt motorshow, as well as all future models, could be offered with either full or partial hybrid options. The rear-engine up! will go into production in 2011. Nothing has been said about plug-in hybrid option.

VW's Chief of research, Dr. Jürgen Leohold, said the company has concluded hydrogen fuel-cell cars are not a viable option.

Like its competitors, the Mini, the Citroën 2CV and the Fiat 500, the original-shape Beetle long outlasted predictions of its lifespan. It maintains a very strong following worldwide, being regarded as something of a "cult car", owing to its 1960s association with the hippie movement. Currently, there is a wide array of clubs that are concerned with the Beetle. The fans are quite diverse. Looks include the resto-look, Cal Look, German-look, resto-Cal Look, buggies, Baja Bugs, old school, Disney's Herbie the Love Bug replicas, ratlook, etc. Part of their cult status is attributed to being one of a few cars with an air-cooled, horizontally-opposed engine design, and the consequent ease of repair and modification, as opposed to the more conventional and technically complex watercooled engine design. The original flat-four boxer design had less than 200 moving parts.

In the late 1990s, a group of Volkswagen enthusiasts formed "Volkswagenism", a satirical religion based on owners' devoted loyalty to both the Beetle and the company. Under the leadership of founder Jason Gaudet, this "religion" has gained notoriety through radio, television and print coverage from around the world...turning ordinary fans of the car into Volkswagenists.

By 2002, over 21 million Type 1s had been produced. And they were also called bugs because of this model.

On 30 July 2003, the last Type 1 rolled off the production line in Puebla, Puebla, Mexico. It was car number 21,529,464, and was immediately shipped off to the company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. In true Mexican fashion, a big celebration and a mariachi band serenaded the last car in the 68-year-old history. The last car was nicknamed El Rey, which is Spanish for "The King", named after a legendary Mexican song by José Alfredo Jiménez. The last 3000 type 1s were called the "Última Edición" or the last edition.

In the United States, Volkswagen enthusiasts frequent large Volkswagen-themed car shows, especially in the summer months. Many of these shows feature camping, a car show called a "show 'n' shine", drag racing, parts swap meet, raffles, burnout contests, and other events. Die-hard and loyal "VW-heads" or "Dubbers" attend these shows regularly, often traveling 500 miles (800 km) or more (even abroad) to attend their favorite event.

In the winter, a group of drivers of the "Splitscreen" bus model (1951-1967 Microbuses, trucks, campers, and panel vans) drive from Willits, California, to Mount Shasta, California, largely on unpaved back roads. This event is called the "Mt. Shasta Snow Trip Challenge" and is a good example of VW enthusiasts' trust in the durability of their 40-plus-year-old cars.

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Haldex Traction

Haldex Traction AB is a division of the Swedish manufacturing company Haldex AB. It specialises in the development and manufacture of All-Wheel Drive systems. Haldex is currently producing their fourth generation AWD system called, by Saab, XWD (Cross-Wheel Drive). The first generation of Haldex’s four-wheel drive system was introduced in 1998. Through continued product development, the system characteristics have been refined and improved for each new generation. Haldex is one of the leading suppliers of four-wheel drive systems.

The Haldex Coupling made its first appearance in the Audi TT and VW Golf with a en electronically controlled hydraulic-mechanical All-Wheel-Drive concept. This system attempts to engage the rear wheels when the front wheels start to slip.

The second generation of Haldex coupling is an electronically controlled permanent 4x4 system with a Haldex differential calculating how much drive should be directed to the rear wheels. The Haldex system automatically distributes power between the front and rear wheels depending on slippage, but normally sends 95% of the power to the front wheels. It can react in as little as one seventh of a revolution of any wheel. Power transfer in the second generation is much more effective. Electronic sensors and controls can modify the system's response characteristics, for better operation in conditions ranging from dry pavement to loose gravel, snow, ice, or mud. A pre-charge pump charges the hydraulic system to allow the coupling to engage so quickly. This pump is improved again for the third generation to allow for greater speed.

The third generation of Haldex coupling made its appearance on the newly re-designed Land Rover Freelander 2 (LR2 in the United States). With enhanced capabilities, It allows more immediate off road response. The Freelander's 4x4 system has been developed in conjunction with Haldex, whose centre-coupling technology continuously alters the front-rear torque split, normally through a hydraulically operated multi-plate wet clutch. However, Land Rover wanted an electronically controlled centre coupling – linking the propshaft to the rear differential – that could pre-engage at rest to reduce wheelspin from standing starts, engage quickly when traction loss was detected and disengage quickly without compromising stability control systems. The system also had to transmit the necessary torque to achieve Freelander 2's off-road traction demands. The result is used exclusively on Freelander 2, and pre-emptively engages four-wheel drive quickly and completely. An improved high-pressure pre-charge pump charges the hydraulic system as soon as the engine is started, allowing for full-time 4x4 from rest. It also reduces the time taken to achieve full torque once wheel-slip has been detected – within 15 degrees of wheel-slip rotation (compared with 50 degrees of wheel-slip rotation with the previous generation Haldex). The Freelander 2's Haldex unit is designed to allow up to 1500 Nm of torque transmission. An accumulator also speeds up the unit's response. Full torque transmission can be achieved in 150 milliseconds. In effect, the new Haldex coupling gives the benefits of full-time 4x4 and the efficiency and fuel economy of an on-demand system.

This generation of Haldex coupling is later shared with Volvo's complete lineup (Manufactured 2005-2008, depending on model) and is called "Instant Traction" in documentation by Volvo.

Saab introduces a unique combination of Haldex Couplings on its 9-3 Turbo-X in late 2007. Called XWD (Cross-Wheel Drive), it allows enhanced traction, safer driving, and better control. The main components of the new Haldex system are the Power Take-Off Unit (PTU), Limited Slip Coupling (LSC) and eLSD (Electronic Limited Slip Differential). The PTU is the final drive unit at the front of the vehicle that transmits power to the front wheels and sends power down the driveshaft to the rear wheels. It is not a Haldex design, but is required to adapt the system to a front-wheel drive vehicle. The LSC sits at the rear of the vehicle in-line with the driveshaft. It controls the torque split between the front and rear wheels of the vehicle. The LSC sends torque to the eLSD that sits between the rear wheels. The eLSD transfers torque to the two rear wheels. Like with XWD, previous generation Haldex systems also included an LSC and an LSD. However, with the new system Haldex significantly redesigned the workings of their LSC. The LSC is still a clutch pack that adjusts torque split depending on hydraulic pressure. It is the method of fluid flow through the device that has changed.

A large complaint about the old system was its lagging response time. LSC versions 3.0 and earlier used a built-in pump to create hydraulic pressure on the clutch pack to increase the torque drive to the rear wheels. While efforts were made on Haldex's part to create pre-emptive torque by adding a check valve and feeder pump to provide some instant pressure when triggered by wheel slippage, it was still limited in capacity. That is why for version 4.0 Haldex made an effort to improve response time by eliminating the hydraulic pump built in to the LSC, which also reduced its overall packaging size. Instead they have added a proportional pressure release valve with an accumulator that is kept filled by a detached feeder pump. This provides more instant response by holding the valve open to limit the torque drive to the rear wheels and keeping the hydraulic fluid flowing through the system. That way when rear torque is demanded, the valve closes and hydraulic pressure is already there.

The LSD used by Haldex 4.0 is also not the mechanical limited-slip differential of old. They swapped the old system LSD for an electronic unit. The eLSD works in much the same way as the LSC, a feeder pump and pressure relief valve are used to control hydraulic pressure on the differential clutch pack. This allows for complete control of the rear differential lock-up without the need to wait for wheel slippage to occur. The system has its own control unit contained in the LSC. This control unit communicates between the vehicle systems to get sensor input for data such as wheel speed, rpms, throttle position, steering wheel input, etc. It also works with anti-lock brake and traction control systems.

The XWD system can transmit 100 percent of available torque to either the front or rear wheels. However, for those conditions to occur one end of the vehicle would have to lose all traction, like driving on ice for instance. During a standing start the rear wheels are put to use, without the need for any slip to occur. Then under straight-line cruising conditions, to conserve fuel and driveline wear, the torque split to the rear wheels is reduced to a level between 5 and 10 percent. Also up to 85 percent of torque can be transferred by the eLSD between to any single rear wheel if necessary. The system can adjust torque splits based on calculated conditions, such as those that indicate an aggressive lane change manoeuvre, to effectively reduce overstreer or understeer without any wheel slip occurring. In the event that some wheel slip does actually get to occur, the system can react more timely and efficiently than in the past.

Thanks to this technology, the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X, with only 280 bhp (210 kW) can run a slalom faster than many high performance sports cars, beating German and Japanese rivals, including the Porsche 911 Turbo. Saab has an agreement with Haldex for exclusive first year access to the technology. Haldex is currently developing a XWD system for Hyundai Applications.

NOTE: The term XWD is a trademark owned by Saab Automobile AB, and thus cannot be used by any other make.

NOTE: The fourth generation Haldex AWD used in new Volvo automobiles is not capable of transferring power from left to right using an eLSD. Currently, the eLSD is still limited to SAAB.

NOTE: Actually OPEL (VAUXHALL) Insignia is using full version of Haldex including eLSD right-left power transfer.

The Haldex LSC has been used in 4WD models of Volkswagen by the name "4motion", and Audi cars under the name of "quattro". The same labels have also been applied to Torsen-based, permanent full-time 4WD systems from both Volkswagen and Audi, which has led to confusion, and some heated debate as to the relative merits of each system. This is due to confusion over nomenclature; based on the fact that the original Audi Quattro coupé did use a torque-sensing centre differential (not Torsen, however), many fans believe that "quattro" refers to said type of 4WD system, not realising that it is simply a trademark. (It is interesting to note that "quattro" is also used on the Audi Q7 SUV, which uses neither Torsen nor Haldex; instead, it uses a BorgWarner system).

As can be seen, the Haldex LSC is used in conventional road-going cars, crossovers, and full-on SUVs.

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Source : Wikipedia