volkswagen at the 2012 beijing motor show

Apr 22, 2012

►E-Bugster: Volkswagen lifts the lid on electric mobility

Volkswagen is lifting the lid on the E-Bugster concept car at the Beijing Motor Show, which opens its doors to the press on Monday 23 April.  The E-Bugster made its debut as a coupé at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but this time the electric concept’s hard-top has been removed, giving the best hint yet of the look of the future Beetle Cabriolet, and also showing the potential for Volkswagen’s future all-electric drivetrains.

An electric motor provides the E-Bugster with 85 kWh (115 PS) of power, which can propel it from 0 to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds, and yet offers a range of at least 110 miles from the 28.3 kWh lithium-ion batteries.  If the E-Bugster needs a top-up, a fast-charging function allows complete recharging in just 35 minutes from a specialist DC source, or slower charging from an AC source such as a 230-volt domestic outlet.

The E-Bugster also charges itself as soon as the driver’s foot leaves the accelerator pedal, when kinetic energy is transformed into electricity and stored in the battery.  Applying the brakes increases the intensity of regeneration, a function that is indicated to the driver in the instrument panel.  Other instruments include driving range and battery state indicators, and a meter that shows how much energy the driver is requesting via the accelerator pedal.

The E-Bugster’s speedster look is created partly by a 90 mm lower windscreen, and also by the distinctive shape of the panel that covers the lithium-ion batteries behind the seats.  Both front and rear bumpers have been substantially modified from those of the production Beetle.  At the front, LED daytime running lights at the outer edges of the central air intake form a C-shape on the left that is mirrored on the right – a signature of Volkswagen’s electric vehicle concepts.  At the back, reflectors take the place of LEDs. 

At 4,278 mm long and 1,838 mm wide, the E-Bugster is the same length as a standard Beetle but 30 mm wider.  Beneath the flared wheel arches sit 20-inch alloy wheels with 235/35 tyres. 

►Cross Coupé: diesel-electric hybrid makes Chinese debut

Also making its Chinese debut is the Cross Coupé concept.  This diesel-electric hybrid was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show and promises a combined cycle figure of 1.8 litres per 100 km (around 157 mpg) and emissions of just 46 g/km of CO2.  This is possible thanks to a drivetrain consisting of a turbodiesel direct injection engine and two electric motors, which together produce 306 PS (225 kW) of power.  That’s enough to propel the 1,858 kg Cross Coupé to a top speed of 220 kmh (137 mph).

The Cross Coupé is built on Volkswagen’s new modular transverse matrix (MQB).  This revolutionary platform standardises certain parameters across models (such as the distance between the accelerator pedal and the front axle), but makes many other parameters variable, creating huge flexibility for developing a wide range of models.  This means it is as easy to make a Cross Coupé that uses a petrol-electric hybrid system as a diesel-electric hybrid, or to use combustion engines alone, or electric power alone for example.

The Cross Coupé uses many elements of the new MQB modular toolkit: MQB front and rear SUV suspension, plus the new 190 PS TDI EA 288 engine, in this case mated to a six-speed DSG transmission.  Added to this is a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery in the centre console, plus a 40 kW electric motor at the front and an 85 kW motor at the rear.  Together, these can propel the Cross Coupé from zero to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds.

The 2.0-litre TDI engine alone provides the Cross Coupé with 295 lbs ft of torque (400 Nm) from just 1,600 rpm, while the front E-motor provides 133 lbs ft (180 Nm) and the rear E-motor a further 199 lbs ft (270 Nm)  The drive system can provide a maximum of 516 lbs ft (700 Nm) at any one time.  This helps give the Cross Coupé the performance of a sports car, but with efficiency greater than that of a city car.

In pure electric mode, the Cross Coupé can cover up to 45 km (28 miles) at speeds of up to 120 kmh (75 mph).  If the TDI is needed (for example if the battery’s charge is depleted), it seamlessly re-engages within fractions of a second.  So that in theory, the Cross Coupé’s 55-litre fuel tank gives it a range of 1,287 km (800 miles).

The Cross Coupé is a concept vehicle, and there are no plans to put it into production. 

►New Lavida: new version of one of China’s best-sellers

Making its world premiere at Beijing is the New Lavida, presented by Shanghai Volkswagen.  This redeveloped and completely restyled saloon follows in the footsteps of its highly successful predecessor, the Lavida, which launched in June 2008.  Since then, over 700,000 of these A-segment saloons have been sold, making the Lavida among the best-selling vehicles in Chinese automotive history.

New Lavida is offered with a choice of three engines and four equipment lines.  Standard equipment includes ABS, ESP and front airbags.  It is not available in Europe.

►CC 3.0-litre V6

FAW Volkswagen is expanding the CC line-up with this new V6 version.  It is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 producing 250 PS at 6,300 rpm and torque of 228 lbs ft (310 Nm) at 3,300 rpm.  A six-speed DSG gearbox helps the CC to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in just 7.4 seconds, while fuel economy is 9.4 litres per 100 km (around 30 mpg).

►Tiguan R-Line, Scirocco R and Phaeton Exclusive Concept

Also making their Chinese debuts in Beijing are the Tiguan R-Line, Scirocco R and Phaeton Exclusive Concept.  The Tiguan R-Line offers stylish looks to match the performance of the 170 PS TSI engine, including R-Design bumpers, 19-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension and ‘Vienna’ leather upholstery for the R-Line sports seats.

The Scirocco R is similar to the model available in the UK, but for China the engine produces 255 PS and maximum torque of 243 lbs ft (330 Nm), where the UK version offers 265 PS and 258 lbs ft (350 Nm).

The Phaeton Exclusive Concept, which made its European debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, was developed with Poltrona Frau, an upmarket Italian company that is one of the world’s top sources for finely crafted leather upholstery.



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