Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen North America, talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com about the Golf-R and E-Golf being unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show.
VW’s Press Release:
Winterkorn: “We are starting at exactly the right time”
Wolfsburg/Frankfurt am Main, 09 September 2013 – The Volkswagen Group has set it’s sights on global market leadership in electric mobility. “We are starting at exactly the right time. We are electrifying all vehicle classes, and therefore have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in all respects, including electric mobility, by 2018”, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said on the eve of the 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main.
Winterkorn is convinced that Volkswagen is strongly positioned: “We have the most comprehensive approach to tomorrows mobility. From highly-efficient, eco-friendly diesel, gasoline and natural gas-fuelled engines to classical hybrids, purely battery-driven vehicles and plug-in hybrids – no other automaker can match the broad range we have to offer.” The company wants to win new customers with electric vehicles that are technically mature, practical in everyday use, safe and affordable, and is showcasing models such as the all-electric e-up! and e-Golf as well as the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid and the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, also a plug-in model, at the auto industrys leading motor show.
According to Winterkorn: “The electric car cannot be a compromise on wheels, it must convince customers in every respect.” He said that environmental compatibility and sustainability were increasingly becoming the main purchasing criterion: “From the zero-emission city car, through the plug-in hybrid all-rounder to the three-liter sports saloon: It is our customers who decide for themselves just how much e-mobility they want.” He went on to say that electric-drive vehicles were a key building block for achieving the ambitious climate protection targets, and that the plug-in hybrid had the greatest market potential.
Initially, a total of 14 models from several Group brands will be available with electric or hybrid drive technology by 2014. If there is sufficient demand, up to 40 new models could be fitted with alternative drivetrains. Winterkorn underscored that Volkswagen had placed electric mobility “at the center of the Group”: “We have developed the know-how for electric motors and battery systems at our own components plants, we have recruited 400 top experts for electric traction and qualified almost 70,000 development, production and service employees in this new technology “ the biggest electrification training program in our industry.”
The Volkswagen Group invests over seven billion euros in research and development each year. A significant share is spent on developing technologies and components for electric mobility “ more than in any other field.
The key to rolling out electric mobility swiftly and efficiently across all brands and vehicle classes is the modular toolkit systems which from the start have been designed for assembling electric drives. Production in Bratislava, Puebla, Wolfsburg, Leipzig or Ingolstadt can now respond flexibly and at low risk to demand as it arises and can reduce both weight and costs through the use of proven components.
According to Winterkorn, anyone who genuinely takes ecological responsibility seriously goes one step further: “We must have a holistic mindset and a comprehensive approach to mobility “ from generating energy through development, production, retail and vehicle operation right down to recycling. Our clear goal, therefore, is to lead with holistic, modern mobility concepts.”
In Europe, Volkswagen Group brands currently offer 420 model variants with maximum CO2 emissions of 130 grams per kilometer, 302 models emitting a maximum of 120 g/km, 50 models emitting up to 100 g/km and 23 models emitting 95 g/km or less. The Volkswagen XL1 plug-in hybrid has the lowest emissions. The worlds most efficient series production vehicle has CO2 emissions of 21 g/km, consumes 0.9 liters of fuel and has a range of 500 kilometers, making it the companys technological spearhead.
Golf R celebrates it’s world premiere at the IAA
Wolfsburg, 02 September 2013 – The most powerful Golf in the model range excites with 300 PS of power and a sprint time of just 4.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h. The vehicles distinctive styling also highlights it’s sporty character.
The new Golf R was conceptualised by Volkswagen R GmbH, and it’s aim is dynamic performance. The sports car is powered by a newly configured 300 PS (221 kW) TSI engine, which is not only 30 PS more powerful, but also 18 per cent more fuel-efficient than the previous engine. Its maximum torque was boosted by 30 Nm to 380 Newton meters. To attain these values, the engine went through a development program similar to that of an engine in motorsports. The perfected 4MOTION all-wheel drive system delivers optimal traction under all driving conditions both on the street and on the race course.
In the new Golf R, a successful concept was carried over to the next generation in terms of styling as well. Signs of the vehicles sporty character are found in it’s distinctive air intakes, specially designed bumpers and side sills and, last but not least, in it’s dual-branch exhaust system with four chrome tailpipes. The Golf R emphasises sportiness and performance in it’s restrained yet prominent appearance. Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design, explains: “The Golf R creates an exciting balance between seriousness and sportiness and between restraint and differentiation.”
The new Golf R launches on the market at the end of 2013, and customers can choose between a manual gearbox and an automatic dual clutch gearbox (DSG). Standard vehicle features include the newly developed progressive steering, bi-xenon headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 tyres.