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Since the Geneva International Motor Show to be cancelled, Volkswagen has shown off the production concepts that the brand had set aside for displaying at the event
Amid fears of the spread of Coronavirus, the Geneva International Motor show was cancelled, that too on very short notice. This led to many manufacturers, who had quite a few concepts slated to be displayed at the show in a lurch. Among them was Volkswagen that was set to show off a whole host of concepts, and the brand did so via an online video from its plant in Wolfsburg, where it showed off the ID.4, Touareg R, Golf GTE and 2020 Golf GTI.
At the offset, Ralf Brandstatter, COO Volkswagen, said how Volkswagen had been the first carmaker to commit to the Paris climate goal and spoke about how the brand is aiming for its products and production processes should be carbon neutral by 2050. Moving swiftly to the plans for the cars, he stated that the ID. 3 is the beginning of a large-scale model rollout, and that Volkswagen will launch as many as eight electric cars in this year. Adding to this number is Volkswagen’s claim, as made by Frank Welsch, Volkswagen’s chief development officer, who said that the brand has also readied four plug-in hybrids for launch within this year.
Further, the brand aims to invest 11 billion euros in electric and hybrid mobility by 2024, more than any other car brand, in a bid to make EVs more affordable for all. Additionally, the brand claims that by 2030, every second VW car driven in Europe and China will be powered by electricity.
We now move to a brief description of each of the cars showcased:
The first hybrid among the R models borrows its powertrain from the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, combining the turbocharged V-6 with an electric motor, making 456bhp and 700Nm of torque, which endows the Touareg R with a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes!
Volkswagen had first unveiled the ID.4 in concept form back in 2017, under the name ID Crozz (since it is the brand’s first crossover EV). The ID.4 will launch with rear-wheel drive with an all-wheel-drive version coming at a later date. The brand claims a 77 kWh battery, that will deliver 202bhp and 310Nm of torque, and a range of close to 500km in a single charge!
The GTE is a plug-in hybrid and uses a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine making 148bhp coupled with a 114bhp electric motor that combine to match the Golf GTI’s 241bhp power figure, along with 400Nm of torque. The GTE’s engine is mated to a six-speed DSG. Being a plug-in hybrid, the GTE is also capable of electric-only operation for approximately 50km and at speeds up to 130kmph.
The Golf GTI has been no less than a runaway success for Volkswagen. When launched in 1976 it was projected to sell 500 units per year. however it has sold 2 millon cars so far. Now, we have already spoken about the eighth-gen Golf GTI previously, but that doesn’t stop us from once again enjoying a few unique details of the new Golf GTI. First comes the illuminated grille with honeycomb design integrated fog lights and LED lights giving wide muscular stance, and yet retaining the signature GTI front.
Stepping inside, the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit (the brand’s variation of the Audi Virtual cockpit) comes as standard, replacing traditional driver gauges with a customisable high-resolution digital display that gives drivers all of the information they need while on the road at the touch of a button. The Volkswagen Digital Cockpit stores up to four different driver preferences and can update display settings and interior options like temperature and mirror angles automatically. On the dynamics front, Volkswagen says the slider-operated suspension setup on the 2020 Golf GTI is ‘infinitely variable.’ As mentioned, the power outputs of the Gold GTE and GTI are identical.
Volkswagen has pulled off a masterstroke with its Wolfsburg webcast, piquing the curiosity of enthusiasts in a typically matter-of-fact German way. Though we are not aware of when (or even if) these cars will make it to our shores, we still hope against hope that we get to see these cars in the flesh, especially the Golf GTI which even Frank Welsch admitted was his pick of the bunch!