Highlights from the VW Booth at NAIAS 2014

Posted by: Kenny Chan onJanuary 14th, 2014

In addition to bringing the us-spec 2015 Golf R to Detroit for the 2014 NAIAS, Volkswagen brought the all-electric e-golf which has made several appearances on the auto show circuit already as well as a couple concept vehicles. The e-Golf will be available later this year in select US states (it’s not coming to Canada) and will be powered by a relatively small electric motor that pushes out 115 horsepower and just under 200 lb-ft of torque rocketing (hah!) the car from 0-100km/h in 10.4 seconds. It’s funny that VW is quoting a performance figure of 4.2 seconds for the e-Golf to reach 40km/h. Will this be a start of a new performance metric for smaller alternative fuel vehicles? Range for the e-Golf is up to 145km in ideal conditions and the battery can be charged in about four hours using the 220-volt charger but up to 20 hours if using a standard household 120-volt plug.

Volkswagen brought out a couple concepts to the show, the first is what they call an urban dune buggy concept built on the VW Beetle R-Line (shown above). The VW Dune Buggy concept is aimed at those that love the outdoors whether its hitting the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding or making a trip to surf the biggest waves. Two inches of extra ground clearance improves the VW Beetle’s offroad performance and since interior cargo room is at a premium, Volkswagen has built in an innovative roof rack that integrates with the rear spoiler to help transport your skis, snowboards and surfboards. There is a fun body color-matched interior to help round out the package.

The VW Passat Bluemotion is an interesting take to improve fuel economy. VW is showcasing the industry’s first four-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation technology. This, combined with automatic start-stop technology helps the Passat BlueMotion achieve a fuel economy rating of 5.6L/100km. However, with 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque this technology will likely be reserved for vehicles smaller than the Passat unless it is paired up with an electric motor.

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