from Germany, long the bastion of small cars of
the economy kind, blossoms with a complete lineup
of models for 2004 that include VW's first sport-utility
vehicle and the first VW ultra-luxury car.
is the name of the elite full-size sedan coming to Volkswagen. It measures up
to big-car status and brings big powertrain options with a 330 hp V8 or massive
double-V 12-cylinder plant developing 414 hp. VW's 4MOTION all-wheel-drive (AWD)
system is standard on Phaeton, along with premium equipment such as an air suspension
with electronic damping controls, high-intensity-discharge (HID) xenon headlights
and a deluxe digital audio system with 12 speakers scattered around a leather-lined
new Volkswagen SUV - Touareg
- is a five-door model in the mid-size class built
with a tightly tuned unibody structure and geared
for high performance and sporty maneuvers on pavement
or off. Powertrains stock six or eight or even
ten cylinders and all editions carry VW's new
4XMotion AWD system.
recognized car in Volkswagen's fleet is the roly-poly New Beetle, a modern treatment
of the original VW. Four different engines are available for the 2004 Beetle,
including a feisty dual-cam 1.8-liter plant fitted with turbo-charger and inter-cooler.
It fires up the Turbo S edition. Beetle also extends the convertible version that
debuted in 2003 and appears now in two trims with a six-speed automatic transmission.
mid-size Passat in sedan and wagon styles also returns with a five-seat passenger
compartment filled with the appointments of a luxury car. The 4Motion AWD system
puts traction to all wheels for confident grip all the time on pavement with various
Passat issues, while a Passat W8 luxury model uses the 4Motion equipment plus
VW's unique double-V eight-cylinder engine. And a new 2.0-liter turbo-diesel plant
becomes an option on Passat later in the 2004 model-year.
Golf hatchbacks and a souped-up GTI performance model share several powertrains,
including the 1.8T turbo.
four-door notchback Jetta sedan derived from Golf adds the 1.8-liter turbo four-pack
as a powertrain choice for Jetta GL, but there's also a VR6 4V Jetta drawing from
a six-cylinder plant with Tiptronic automatic transmission for clutch-less shifting
like a manual. Late in the year expect a new VW sports car with R32 riding on
the GTI Golf chassis. It shows a larger VR6 engine and uses a six-speed manual
stick plus 4MOTION traction.
enters the supercar league when new Phaeton debuts in the 2004 line. Destined
to become the elite new flagship for this marque, Phaeton will be an ultra-premium
limousine riding on an extended 118-inch wheelbase and equipped with sophisticated
mechanical systems and elaborate luxury gear aimed at the champagne-and-caviar
high-powered engines will be available - a 4.2-liter
high-output V8 producing 330 hp and connected
to a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic shifter,
or VW's remarkable W-shaped 12-cylinder engine
at 6.0 liters with 414 hp through a five-speed
The W12 powertrain is unlike any other, the result of Volkswagen's inventive VR
cylinder geometry that originally combined two V6 engines in parallel arrangement
for cylinders distributed in two V-shaped banks to forge the W-shaped 12-cylinder
Expect a long list of standard equipment on Phaeton, including controls like the
4MOTION AWD traction system and a four-wheel air suspension with electronic damping
control, anti-slip regulation (ASR) skid controller and xenon headlights.
cabin, lined in fine hardwoods and soft leathers, will provide an automatic climate
system segmented into four zones, a top-end audio system, telematics and navigation
gear, infrared reflective glass, even a power-motivated sunshade for the rear
The name may sound strange (say, "TOUR-egg") but it describes Volkswagen's
not-so-strange new sport-utility vehicle.
sleek and sophisticated in style, large in scale
for the mid-size ute class and it provides a big
cabin fitted with seats for five and appointments
skewed toward luxury mode with fixtures in wood
and chrome and fine leather.
a structure with Porsche's new Cayenne SUV, the Touareg gets VW's new 4XMotion
AWD traction device and an electronically-activated locking center differential
plus optional locking rear differential and air suspension. Engines for Touareg
contain six, eight or even ten cylinders.
to arrive will be the Touareg with a 3.2-liter
V6 rated at 220 hp and coupled to a six-speed
automatic transaxle with Tiptronic clutch-less
shift mode. That one will be followed by an optional
4.2-liter V8 worth 310 hp or, later, a massive
turbo-diesel 5.0-liter V10 good for 313 hp.
OF RTM SUV of the YEAR AWARD]
our Review: Volkswagen
profile of Volkswagen's too-cute coupe, so sleek and smooth and simple, catches
the eye and stands apart from the shape of any other vehicle on a street.
interior matches the smooth look of the exterior. Layout consists of 2+2 seating,
with front buckets and a small bench in the rear.
power, the standard gasoline-powered 2.0-liter in-line-four achieves 115 hp. An
optional new direct-injection 1.9-liter turbo-diesel with VW's sophisticated unit-injector
technology nets 100 hp plus high fuel economy figures, while the 1.8T turbo kicks
to 180 hp. Models consist of Beetle 2.0L GL, 2.0L GLS, GLS TDI, GLS 1.8T, plus
the Turbo S that uses the turbo plant with a six-speed manual.
S wears unique fascia front and rear with foglamps and blinker lights plus side
markers, as a fixed spoiler on the tail replaces the former power spoiler.
wheels apply to all 2004 models, and there are new dual-stage frontal air bags
aboard plus new head-thorax side-mounted air bags. A new stereo with in-dash CD
deck and AM/FM radio with MP3 capability becomes an option later in the model-year.
New Beetle Cabriolet
variation for New Beetle is a modern conversion based on the coupe and worked
out by Karmann Coachworks in Germany. With its top raised, the convertible maintains
the familiar arched roof of the New Beetle coupe, so the generous dimensions in
a spacious cabin remain relatively the same.
fabric-lined top has three layers for insulation plus a rear window constructed
from glass and imbedded with a defroster element. Top opens and closes by either
a manual mode or optional semi-automatic power. When the lid's down, it rests
in a ring behind the rear seats and looks similar to the top-down style of the
vintage Beetle convertible.
Beetle as a convertible in 2004 comes with a choice of two different trims (GL
and GLS) and two four-cylinder engine options, manual or high-tech automatic transmissions
plus manual or semi-automatic pop-top operation. And it appears in cool paint,
including new shades like Cyber Green.
Volkswagen splits the mid-size Passat series into two formats as a four-door sedan
or five-door wagon. Each packs a four-cylinder or V6 engine, manual or automatic
transmission and standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) or VW's optional 4Motion AWD.
A base GL Passat has a feisty dual-cam 1.8-liter plant with turbo-charger and
inter-cooler hitting 170 hp. Coupled to the turbo is a manual five-speed that's
a mechanical treat for those who like to work a shifter, but Passat also offers
an optional five-speed automatic with Porsche's Tiptronic.
Later in the year a new direct-injection turbo-diesel at 2.0 liters will be available
with a power rating of 134 hp. A V6 drops into any version of Passat. Displacing
2.8 liters, the longitudinally-mounted plant pumps out 190 hp with the manual
velour seat fabric becomes the standard on GL and GLS models with leatherette
also available, while wood trim is included with the optional leather package
variation in the mid-size Passat line slanted toward luxurious motoring totes
VW's unique W-shaped eight-cylinder engine, hence the model name of W8.
The W8 produces high power and high torque, yet also high fuel efficiency and
minimal emissions. Displacing 4.0 liters, it generates 270 hp with fuel economy
numbers climbing to 25 miles per gallon at highway speed.
splits the W8 into two formats as a four-door sedan and five-door wagon. Each
contains the W8 engine and a five-speed electronic automatic transmission or optional
manual six-speed, plus VW's 4Motion AWD coupled to an electronic stabilization
exterior elements show up on the sleek shell like xenon headlamps, monochromatic
body treatment with accents in chrome plus chrome-tipped dual exhaust tips and
special alloy wheels.
series of three-door and five-door hatchbacks use a stiff platform fixed with
precise mechanical controls like power rack and pinion steering, an independent
suspension and disc brakes.
for 2004 appears in two trims with the base GL and up-level GLS for both three-door
and five-door styles. A naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine worth
115 hp is standard, but VW's new direct-injection 1.9-liter turbo-diesel with
unit-injector technology is available for 100 hp and high fuel economy ratings.
Telematics become optional now, and a Monsoon sound package is standard on GLS.
A variation of the Golf three-door hatch with firm suspension settings and superior
equipment goes by the tag of GTI. VW's 1.8-liter turbo four-pack is the base plant
in GTI GLS, delivering 180 hp through a five-speed automatic with Tiptronic feature.
VR6 upgrades to a twin-cam 2.8-liter V6 with six-speed manual. The cabin sets
two buckets in front of a two-place jump seat with space in the hatchback bay
maximizes equipment on GTI GLS, and new alloy wheels roll out at 16 inches for
GLS and 17 inches on VR6.
takes the five-door hatchback Golf and adds a bona fide trunk to create this compact-class
four-door notchback sedan, historical best-seller for VW's fleet in North America.
provides a respectable amount of room for five adults to travel in comfort, offers
a choice of powertrains that range from economical to exuberant, stocks a long
list of standard convenience items, yet holds a tight grip on bottom-line prices.
Engine choices start with a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-in-line borrowed
from Golf with 115 hp. Then there's the new 100 hp TDI for Jetta GL and GLS. A
2.8-liter V6 engine, available for Jetta's top edition of GLS VR6, reaches to
201 hp with a five-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission. Jetta's fourth engine
-- the 1.8-liter turbo four -- makes 180 hp.
A notchy five-speed manual works well with the 1.8T, but VW also offers the five-speed
automatic Tiptronic. A revamped color chart for Jetta shows shades like Red Spice
and Wheat Beige.
about the aggressively-styled new Volkswagen sports car is sketchy at this point,
but it's due late in the model-year based on the Golf platform and toting a 3.2-liter
VR6 engine tuned to 237 hp through a six-speed manual transmission and linked
to VW's 4MOTION AWD traction system.
INFORMATION FROM VOLKSWAGEN]