Volkswagen will return to CES® in 2016. Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, is scheduled to make a keynote address on Tuesday, January 5, the evening before the show opens its doors. The main focus of his speech will be on the latest developments in electric mobility as well as next-generation connectivity.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 3.00.32 PM.pngVolkswagen will present a completely new concept vehicle at CES® to illustrate the potential future direction of the brand. This significant world premiere marks the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electric mobility. Other innovations will demonstrate the benefits of the increasing interconnectedness of the automobile and how smart technology will play a pivotal role.

New display and operating concepts will also debut in Las Vegas, providing a clear glimpse into the future of infotainment. These exciting technologies, along with developments from the Golf R Touch concept displayed at the CES 2015, will provide a sneak peek into tech that will hit showrooms in coming years. CES® 2016 will take place January 6 through 9, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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  • Golf GTE Sport is powered by a 395-horsepower plug-in hybrid system
  • Drivetrain combines two electric motors, World Rally Championship turbocharged engine, and innovative all-wheel-drive system
  • Bridges the gap between road and racing cars
  • Lightweight carbonfiber construction
  • GTE Sport accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds, has a top track speed of 174 mph

Los Angeles, CA — Volkswagen of America, Inc. will show the Golf GTE Sport concept for the first time in North America at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The concept car blurs the lines between road and motorsport vehicles, because it features the drivetrain, suspension, body and interior of a pure-bred sports car in combination with an advanced plug-in hybrid system that’s capable of zero-emission driving.


The 1.6-liter TSI engine is adapted from the two-time World Rally Championship winning Polo R WRC and delivers 295 horsepower and maximum torque of 295 pound-feet. The four-cylinder engine is assisted by two electric motors, one in the front of the car and one in the rear. The front motor develops 113 horsepower and maximum torque of 243 lb-ft, while the rear motor has the same power output and 199 lb-ft of torque: the total system torque is 494 lb-ft. Wherever possible, the concept car operates as an electric vehicle. In sporty “GTE mode” all three motors work together, giving the all-wheel-drive Golf GTE Sport a zero to 62 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph. In the NEDC cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the GTE Sport’s fuel economy is an impressive 118 mpg.


The design of the Golf GTE Sport illustrates how Golf GT models could develop in future. The car’s striking silhouette features C-pillars with a unique two-level design.  This C-pillar treatment is not only dynamic from a design standpoint—with the vehicle taking an hourglass shape from front to back—but also functional, as the airstream flows between the two levels and contributes to the aerodynamic downforce and cooling for the rear brakes.

The body of the Golf GTE Sport is largely made of lightweight carbonfiber, following the high-tech example set by other Volkswagen Group vehicles like the Volkswagen XL1 and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. The concept car is painted in pearlescent “White Club” and has two gullwing doors that swing forwards. The upper part of each door extends into the roof and is entirely made of dark exposed carbonfiber. A three-dimensional side sill is integrated in the door cutout and also enhanced at the top with carbonfiber. Other elements receiving the carbonfiber treatment are the door mirror caps, the door window frames and the lower sill area. The wheelarches are filled with 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels fitted with 235/35 tires at the front and 275/30 tires at the rear.

At the front of the car, there’s a blue crossbar running across the width of the vehicle, a cue that is borrowed from the production Golf GTE. Three black chrome crossbars extend across the center air intake under this blue strip. Another air intake below the crossbars is framed at the top and to the sides by a carbonfiber aerodynamic element, while a carbonfiber double spoiler rounds off the front. The high-gloss black grille has the honeycomb structure typical of Volkswagen GT models and C-shaped LED daytime running lights frame the grille at the sides, transitioning into sharp LED headlights.

At the rear, the double C-pillars give the Golf GTE Sport a wide and powerful stance, tapering at an angle to the rear and merging with the bumper. The tailgate is typically Golf with the added detail of a black carbonfiber spoiler. A large exposed diffuser integrates round stainless-steel tips for the twin-pipe exhaust system.


The interior, clad in carbonfiber and microfiber, consists of two completely separate areas for the driver and passenger. Racing bucket seats with five-point belts are positioned to the rear of the car and the steering column projects further into the interior, like a race car. The motorsport steering wheel includes paddle shifters for the transmission.

On the dash, three transparent instrument displays are arranged behind one another. The display closest to the driver is the smallest and shows the selected gear and the battery status, while the center display shows the power delivered by the drivetrain and the electric boost of the plug-in system. The third display is the largest and has the speed and driving range constantly in the driver’s field of vision. In “GTE mode” the current lap is displayed (i.e. 9 of 16), as well as a virtual indicator of the ideal driving line—valuable assistance for safe and fast driving on racetracks.

The operating mode switch for selecting “E-Mode”, “GTE-Mode” or “Hybrid-Mode” is situated in the roof, like in a jet plane. The multifunction switch for starting and stopping the hybrid drive system and controlling the six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission is ideally positioned to the right of the driver for easy access. There is a control panel next to it for further vehicle functions including a button for activating a fire extinguisher system. The passenger side of the vehicle features a display to show current speed, gear and the engine speed in “Info Mode” and acceleration and g-force figures in “Data Mode”.

Drive Modes

In normal operation the Golf GTE Sport drives just as quietly as the production Golf GTE. In “E-Mode” the concept car solely uses the battery to drive emission-free for up to 31 miles on a single charge. When the minimum battery charge is reached, the 1.6 TSI engine is automatically switched on and the Golf GTE Sport drives in “Hybrid” mode. As soon as the battery reaches a certain charge level again, “E-Mode” can be reactivated at any time via a switch in the overhead console. In “E-Mode”, the rear electric motor is primarily responsible for powering the vehicle—when high performance is demanded, the front motor is activated to provide more power.

As soon as the drive system or the driver deactivates “E-Mode”, the Golf GTE Sport becomes a classic full hybrid with regenerative braking to charge the battery. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal, and the battery is sufficiently charged, all drive sources are shut off. If the driver releases the accelerator pedal or brakes, and the battery is insufficiently charged, the two electric motors operate as generators and charge the lithium-ion battery with the energy recovered from braking. The battery’s energy content can be deliberately kept constant by the driver in “Battery Hold” mode or increased with “Battery Charge” mode. When the 1.6-liter TSI engine is the sole source of propulsion, the GTE Sport is a pure front-wheel drive car.

When the driver activates the “GTE” switch, the character of the Golf GTE Sport’s drivetrain changes drastically. The full system power of 395 horsepower is available—the turbocharged 295-hp gas engine is combined with the electric drive components. The Golf GTE Sport sprints from rest to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds.

If necessary, the system’s power can be distributed to all four wheels thanks to the rear electric motor and an “electric propshaft.” In “GTE-Mode” and as soon as the situation necessitates it, the drive power of the Golf GTE Sport is distributed to both axles. In this case (and if battery charge is low), the front electric motor—which is now being supplied with kinetic energy via the gasoline engine—acts solely as a generator and a source of electricity for its counterpart at the rear axle. Since the energy for driving the rear wheels flows by wire and not mechanically, this is referred to as an “electric propshaft.” Because the TSI engine drives the rear electric motor via the front electric motor, the all-wheel drive system also operates when the battery’s charge state is low—an invaluable advantage in terms of driving dynamics.

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Drawing inspiration from classic Baja Bugs, the Dune offers striking new design features plus premium content

  • 2016_beetle_dune_5660.jpg
  • Offered as both a coupe and a convertible
  • More aggressive exterior styling features new bumpers, side moldings, wheel design, and raised ground clearance
  • New technology for Beetle lineup includes LED taillights and Park Distance Control
  • Standard equipment for Beetle Dune Coupe includes VW Car-Net® App-Connect technology, USB connectivity, and rearview camera
  • New available Lighting and Technology Packages

Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the production version of the 2016 Beetle Dune, which will go on sale early next year.  Inspired by classic Baja Bugs, the vehicle will enter the Beetle family as a new trim, offering a rugged addition to the rest of the model lineup.

“The new Dune successfully captures the iconic spirit of Baja Beetles, with a more rugged feel and amenities never before offered on the third-generation Beetle,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “With its sporty and aggressive design and a number of the new technology features, we are confident that the new Dune will appeal to both new and returning Beetle customers.”

Overall, the Beetle Dune has a more aggressive appearance than the rest of the Beetle range, thanks to the fitment of new front and rear fascias and pronounced black wheelarch extensions that flow into the bumpers. Additionally, the Dune’s raised ride height of 0.4 inches and track that is 0.6 inches wider give it a more rugged stance.

Highlighting the front end’s sporty look, the new front bumper features a large central air intake that widens towards its bottom edge, and a black honeycomb screen has an aluminum-look surround that morphs into the front skid plate. On either side of the intake, two black honeycomb vents contain the foglights. A Lighting Package will be available, which will add Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and LED license plate lighting.

The side of the vehicle is characterized by the contrast between the polished aluminum sills and the black trim strips that are reminiscent of the original Beetle running boards. Distinctive 18-inch Canyon aluminum-alloy wheels are fitted with 235/45 all-season tires. The side mirrors have contrasting black lower portions and Reflex Silver uppers, and “Dune” graphics are displayed on both doors. At the back, the Dune features a large rear spoiler, standard LED taillights, and a new bumper design that integrates matte black and aluminum elements, as at the front of the car. The rear diffuser also acts as a skid plate.

Inside, the 2016 Beetle Dune features sport seats with contrasting orange stitching and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. Standard equipment includes the latest generation MIB II infotainment system, which serves as the foundation for Volkswagen’s available Car-Net® suite of features. VW Car-Net connectivity includes App-Connect technology which allows integration with the three major smartphone platforms—Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®—allowing seamless integration for compatible smartphones.

The Dune is fitted with the Composition Media infotainment system that has a 6.3-inch screen with a capacitive touch sensor (similar to smartphone and tablet technology) that enables gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming. MIB II also features a proximity sensor, which detects when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features. USB and Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible devices are standard, along with a rearview camera and the Park Distance Control system. A Technology Package will also be available, which adds Climatronic® dual-zone automatic climate control, the award-winning Fender® Premium Audio System, KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, and a tilt-and-slide sunroof.

The 2016 Beetle Dune will be available in three exterior colors: Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White, or Deep Black Pearl. Sandstorm Yellow cars have an interior that features body color upper door trims and dashpads, whereas the Pure White and Deep Black Pearl vehicles have black door and dashpad trim.

At launch, the Beetle Dune will be equipped with a 1.8-liter direct-injection and turbocharged TSI® four-cylinder engine, offering 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Dune coupe will go on sale in the first quarter of 2016, while the Dune Convertible will arrive in showrooms in the third quarter of the year.

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The ATHENA Award Program celebrates the potential of all women as valued members and leaders of the community and recognizes those who support them.

If you know someone who is deserving, print out the nomination form and bring it to the Lawrence Chamber or you can fill it out digitally and email your submission.

The ATHENA Award recipient will be recognized, the evening of Friday, January 29, 2016, during the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, to be held at Abe & Jake’s Landing. The recipient and guest will attend the event as honored guests of The Chamber.ATHENA INFOATHENA NOMINATION FORM

The 2016 Volkswagen Passat Crashes Its Way to Top Safety Pick+

It can’t sell you on its “clean” diesel engines anymore, but Volkswagen is confident that despite the loss of its beloved-turned-reviled powertrain, the German brand can sell you on something else: Safety.

Volkswagen’s safety is actually a matter of personal interest for me. In 2001, my great-grandfather died at the ripe old age of 100, and my mom set out — in her 2000 Passat wagon — to be with my grandmother. While she was away, my brother suffered an acute medical emergency in the middle of the night (he was about 9 years old). My mom left almost immediately after hearing from my Dad at the ER to head back north, and at about 4 hours and 45 minutes into the 5-hour trip, she fell asleep at the wheel and flew off the interstate at roughly 70 miles per hour, rolling the car multiple times before it eventually settled on its roof. She walked away without a scratch.

She did what most sane people would then do in that situation: She went out and bought another Passat, this time a 2002. Fortunately, we never had to test the airbags in that car, but that incident solidified my opinion of Volkswagen vehicles from an early age.

The 2016 Volkswagen Passat is a very different car than that 2000 model, but in the latest barrage of safety tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it showed that it can do its predecessors proud. It scored well enough to be designated a Top Safety Pick+, thanks to a commendable award of “Good” in the small frontal overlap test — regarded to be one of the most difficult to pass.

The small frontal overlap test involves crashing the car so that a portion of the hood makes contact with the object, and bisects the front of the car. Because many cars rely on the full frontal structure for rigidity, anything other than a full-frontal collision can have — and has had — extraordinarily bad ramifications for the front seat occupants. Since the IIHS began testing for the small frontal overlap in the last couple of years, automakers have been working hard to ensure that the front end is reinforced enough to handle a partial overlap collision.

The efforts appear to have paid off well for Volkswagen. Though the exterior damage looks severe, you’ll notice that the passenger cell of the car is virtually untouched despite the impact. Volkswagen says that its suite of passive and active safety tech — pedestrian warning, automatic braking, lane departure, etc. — helped mitigate the potential for further damage.

The small frontal overlap test is often the most common in real-word driving — obstacles like trees, corners of buildings, barriers, and other vehicles are rarely hit directly head-on. Therefore, the most common accidents were, for a long time, the least protected against. “The Passat’s IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award demonstrates Volkswagen’s longstanding commitment to vehicle safety and the development of innovative technologies,” said Mark McNabb, the chief operating officer for Volkswagen of America, in a statement. “Features such as Active Blind Spot Monitor and perpendicular Park Assist are unique to the segment and not typically seen outside of the luxury market.”

For me, Volkswagen proved its effectiveness at safety 15 years ago. Proving it to the rest of the world is much harder, but it seems VW has its work cut out for it.

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VW Goodwill Package Info

On September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board notified Volkswagen that certain 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI vehicles do not comply with applicable emissions regulations.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve apologized to our loyal customers about the 2.0L TDI emissions issue. As we work tirelessly to develop a remedy, we ask for your continued patience.

In the meantime, we’re providing affected 2.0L TDI® owners with a $500 Volkswagen Prepaid Visa® Loyalty Card, a $500 Volkswagen Dealership Card, and no-charge 24-hour Roadside Assistance for three years*. We sincerely hope you see this as a first step toward restoring your invaluable trust.

When registering please do not use symbols or punctuation such as periods (.) , pound signs (#) or backslashes (\).

Please note that VW Touareg TDI models are not included in this program.

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