VW’s Spanish Brand Name Seat to Reveal ‘el-Born’ Concept

VW Group’s Spanish brand name—Seat—will provide a first-look at its full electric concept car at the annual Geneva auto show. The model, el-Born, will offer autonomous features and connectivity options. The concept vehicle takes its namesake from an famous neighborhood of Barcelona.

In the WLTP test cycle the concept vehicle el-Born achieved a range of 261 miles according to Seat. Taking an 80% charge in just 47 minutes the el-Born concept’s 62 kWh battery is companionable with supercharging to a rate of 100 kW DC. The concept car has a power output rating maximum of 150 kW and will hit 62 mph in about seven and one-half seconds.

El-Born also employs an innovative thermal managing system to maximize the concept vehicle’s range even in radically hot and cold environments. El-Born’s heat pump minimizes the electrical heat consumption which in turn saves up to 60km in autonomy.
The el-Born production model will be created from the parent company’s MEB electric-car’s construction. This will underline the Volkswagen brand family identity along with their Skoda models and the Audi EV compact.

Seat’s production el-Born is slotted to be available in the coming year.

ID Lounge, VW’s New Luxury SUV


At the Shanghai motor show in April, Volkswagen will introduce the tentatively titled ID Lounge as their new seven-seat SUV. Similar in dimension to the 3rd gen Toareg, the ID will be sold as a top range luxury model.

As used by the ID Buzz MPV, the ID Lounge will be based around Volkswagen’s largest, new version of the MEB platform. It will likely arrive in 2021 and could rival Tesla Model X and Nio ES8.

Again like the ID Buzz, expect the ID Lounge to come with a four-wheel driveline. It will employ two electric motors, one per set of rear and front wheels. Output is expected to be around 369bhp.



VW Leaks Info on Fastest Golf Yet

VW has leaked drawings of a new Golf GTI TCR setting between the GTI Performance and Golf R as far as power ratings. It will be the fastest Golf to date, reaching max speeds of 164MPH. This new Golf is a road-ready version of the 345bhp GTI TCR Racer—the car that races in the World Touring Car Cup.

The new Golf isn’t dissimilar from the 2016 Clubsport Edition 40. The GTI’s 40th birthday edition. The TCR is ready to rock with 286bhp. No times are yet confirmed, but the new TCR will beat the GTI Perf. Model’s 0-62mph benchmark of 6.2 secs.

Its turbo engine reaches 286bhp at 5-6k rpm. It has a max torque of 273lb ft. It is a seven speed, dual-clutch and includes a front axle differential lock that VW claims will give it “perfect traction”. It’ll be revealed at the GTI meet at Wörthersee.

V.W. I.D. Crozz Concept Car: “the future is a little creepy”

Greg Fink reported on the new Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Concept Car for Car and Driver:

“If there’s one thing today’s cars are missing, it’s headlights that emulate the movements of the human eye. Volkswagen is working to change this, and its all-electric I.D. Crozz concept joins the brand’s I.D. and I.D. Buzz predecessor concepts by offering headlights that can wink, squint, and even stare at people and objects. The VW of the future is a little creepy.”

Fink suspects that the I.D. Crozz may be the concept for the electric vehicle V.W. plans to produce in 2020. Like its I.D. predecessors, the Crozz uses Volkswagen’s new, EV-specific MEB platform. It has approximately 109 inch wheelbase and is about 182 inches long. Similar to the Tiguan. An 83-kWh lithium-ion battery is located under the floor, and two electric motors, one at each axle, are contained within the front and rear subframes.

Fink states that:

“Passengers enter the I.D. Crozz through either the electrically opening front doors, which can swing out 90 degrees, or the electric sliding rear doors. Once seated, the driver can either take control of the wheel or waive driving duties by pressing the steering wheel’s VW logo for three seconds to activate the I.D. Pilot autonomous-driving mode. In that self-driving mode, the steering wheel retracts into the dashboard, the ambient cabin lighting switches from blue to violet, four laser scanners rise from the roof, and the headlights do their best imitation of a human eye by purposefully “looking” in the direction of travel or staring at pedestrians to make sure they’re thoroughly befuddled, made aware of the approaching VW, or both.”

While this concept car sounds a bit more like science fiction, than science fact if the specs of a production vehicle based off this concept come near the ballpark of the concept specs, V.W. may have a winner on their hands.

The Crozz has a 101-hop front motor and 201-hp in the rear motor. V.W. is claiming a top speed of 112mph and the driving range is listed at 311 miles. Volkswagen asserts that the crossover’s battery pack can be recharged to 80 percent full in only 30 minutes with a DC fast charger.

Fink reports that V.W. plans to sell a million EVs worldwide by 2025.

Volkswagen will defrost your windshield – with silver!

Autoweek reported that German automaker Volkswagen is rolling out a brand new windshield defrosting. This is just another iteration of the old “tiny wires in the glass” trick. Volkswagen has discovered a way to add a super-thin, conductive layer of invisible silver within glass used for windshields. The invisible silver layer can take between 400-500 watts of electricity, which is enough to improve defrost time. They are also offering customers an option that will keep their windshield wipers deiced as well. The technology is available for the following models: Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Tiguan, Sharan, Passat and its European variants.

This new invisible silver technology isn’t just for winter driving, however. The silver will also act as a passive heat shield to keep cars cooler in the summer. The silver, according to Volkswagen, will reflect up to 60 percent of summer heat. That is about 15 degrees more protection than conventional tinted windshields.

Prices for the new tech option will start at around $360.

Joe Victor

For the economy-minded: Here are the 10 Coolest Cars under $18,000

Kelly Blue Book has a list of the 10 Coolest cars under $18,000.

  1. 2013 Chevrolet Spark
  2. 2013 Honda Civic
  3. 2013 Volkswagen Jetta
  4. 2013 Fiat 500
  5. 2013 Mazda MAZDA3
  6. 2013 Dodge Dart
  7. 2013 Honda Fit
  8. 2013 Kia Soul
  9. 2013 Ford Focus
  10. 2013 Hyundai Veloster

(When you go the Kelly Blue Book site (link above) you will be asked for your zip code so you will get the current pricing for your area.)

~ The Victor crew

Hi Jody, Ever see a Volkswagen rolled into a ball?

This week I found a nifty little blog on the site www.popsci.com. Just a mish mosh of some pretty cool articles like:

  • A 495-Horsepower Monster From Jaguar
  • An electric motorcycle that recharges in 10 minutes
  • Self-driving cars
  • Happy 50th Birthday, Lamborghini!
  • As always more Flying Cars
  • And just more cool stuff!

See it all here http://www.popsci.com/cars

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 12 Best in Class Car Values, 2012

Kiplinger’s Best in Class winners top the msn.com rankings in each of 12 categories, based on performance, value and safety — plus driving impressions from road tests. Iasked Jody Victor to tell us about it from an article by Jessica Anderson of Kiplinger and msn.com.

Jody Victor: All except one of the msn.com Best in Class winners are also Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Picks (no sports cars made that list this year). Her’s the first five.


Sticker price: $19,995 (Eco, manual)
Invoice price: $19,225
TrueCar national average price: $19,889
3-year resale value: 57%, 5-year: 40%
City mpg: 28, Hwy: 42

Introduced last year to replace the Cobalt, the Cruze quickly shot to best-seller status. It’s wallet-friendly on many fronts, blending a low price with impressive fuel efficiency and high resale values. Its stylish and nearly silent interior, plus solid handling, push it to the front of the compact pack.


Invoice price: $23,451
TrueCar national average price: $23,619
3-year resale value: 62%, 5-year: 46%
City mpg: 30, Hwy: 42

The Jetta offers German engineering at a budget price but without a budget feel. It’s as spacious inside as compacts come, and as nimble, whether you’re parallel parking or navigating city traffic. The diesel version gets top honors for its powerful, fuel-efficient engine and stellar resale values.

CARS $25,000-$30,000: KIA OPTIMA

Sticker price: $25,850 (2.0T EX)
Invoice price: $24,205
TrueCar national average price: $25,205
3-year resale value: 52%, 5-year: 36%
City mpg: 22, Hwy: 34

The Optima’s redesign last year shook off the bland styling, adding sharp creases and an aggressive front end complete with fog lights and wraparound headlamps; it also won Kiplinger’s Best New Car award for its category. The turbo-boosted four-cylinder engine puts out more horsepower (274) than most in its class, a difference you’ll feel on the road. Add value pricing and a five-year warranty and you’ve got serious swagger.

CARS $30,000-$40,000: FORD TAURUS

Sticker price: $38,950 (SHO)
Invoice price: $35,820
TrueCar national average price: $35,005
3-year resale value: 54%, 5-year: 39%
City mpg: 17, Hwy: 25

A Kiplinger’s top pick since its 2009 reintroduction, the Taurus earns its plaudits with a mix of fuel efficiency and power. The V6 EcoBoost engine gives it the power of a V8 without guzzling gas. The Super High Output (SHO) badge means it gets a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes and paddle shifters.

CARS $40,000-$50,000: BMW 5 SERIES

Sticker price: $47,575 (528i)
Invoice price: $43,840
TrueCar national average price: $44,838
3-year resale value: 54%, 5-year: 37%
City mpg: 23, Hwy: 34

Direct injection and turbocharging make the 528i one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. An eight-speed automatic transmission also lends a hand, as does start/stop technology, which shuts the engine off when you’re stopped and automatically restarts it when you press the accelerator.

Thanks, Jody! More next time!

Joe Victor


Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Cars for Summer Sports II

Summer is just around the corner so if you have a favorite activity you like to do all summer long you may want to choose your vehicle to match your sport. I aksed Jody Victor  to tell us more about it from an article by Claire Martin of MSN Autos and msn.com.

Jody Victor: Hey Joe, it certainly makes your activities a lot more fun when the vehicle you use gets you there and back with ease. Here’s the last five that could make your weekend fun, even more fun!

Kayaking | Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is watertight, thanks to a special hot-wax treatment that fills in the tiniest nooks and crannies, which means no rust, even if you routinely expose your car to saltwater and sea air while traveling to your favorite kayaking destinations. Heavy-duty floor mats and a trunk liner keep your wetsuit and other gear from wetting down the fabric or carpeting after a paddling session. Roof rails accommodate an aftermarket kayak rack, and the panoramic sunroof lets your passengers keep an eye on your boat while you drive.

ATV Riding | Ford F-250 Super Duty

Few pickup trucks have beds long enough to accommodate an all-terrain vehicle without the tailgate down. The F-250 Super Duty, with an 8-foot bed, is one such vehicle. This allows you to load your ATV with several inches of room to spare. The F-250’s V8 engine also makes it well-qualified for towing, if that’s your preference. Telescopic rearview mirrors let you keep an eye on your trailer. A 6-speed automatic transmission helps you navigate the diciest of terrain as you make your way to sand dunes or desert flats.

Rock Climbing | Subaru Forester

The Forester has just the right amount of room for ropes, carabiners, shoes and a cooler to store après-climb refreshments. The extra ground clearance is essential for when you tackle dry riverbeds or seemingly vertical mountain roads to get to the best climbing spots. The car’s symmetrical all-wheel drive (as opposed to a front-wheel-drive car with added rear-wheel capabilities, or vice versa) provides peace of mind along the way.

Sailing | GMC Yukon Denali XL

When you’re hauling boats, you need the extra horsepower of a vehicle such as the Yukon Denali XL. With a 6.2-liter V8 engine that provides 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque, you won’t have to worry about whether it can handle your diminutive Sunfish sailboat or a bigger yacht. With a cargo area that’s 81 inches long and that boasts 109 cubic feet of storage space, you’ll have plenty of room for your sailing gear and other accessories. An integrated trailer-brake controller helps you apply the appropriate amount of brake force when you have a boat in tow.

Fishing | Ram 1500

Fishing is dirty business. You need some serious cargo space for rods, tackle, buckets, bait and all the other gear for a day out on the water, and you want it to be ventilated — fish stink. And if you’re going fly-fishing in some remote locale, you’ll need something pretty rugged to find the most productive fishing holes and tackle the dirt roads leading to them. The Ram 1500 is perfect. It is one of the most versatile half-ton pickups on the market, with plenty of power from the all-new 305-horsepower Pentastar V6, which is 20 percent more efficient than previous engines, a smooth ride on or off road, and slick styling. Plus, Ram offers some cool truck-bed storage options.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check them all out!

Joe Victor