VW unveiled this car at the Tokyo motorshow earlier this year. It was styled by Italdesign (the company that designs most exotic European supercars), and was designed to use VW's new W12 engine, shown below. It is made of composite materials, and has 4wd, at least this version does. There is also an open-top roadster, which looks totally cool. Aircool salutes Volkswagen for this car! There will be 200 of these coupes produced, and 100 of the roadsters. Too bad I didn't win that $195 million lottery...
Here is another shot of this car. It has 19" wheels, and has a very unusual looking
interior, mostly constructed of carbon fiber. If you look closely, you can see
how the doors are scissor type, and open straight up and towards the front.
This is the W12 from the rear: the view that you are most likely to see,
especially if you're in an inferior race car... Definetely cool looking.
Whoa! This is the W12 engine that I keep talking about. At first glance, it
doesn't look much different from a normal V style engine. Try to imagine this:
2 VR6 engines (VR6=Volkswagen V6) spliced together at the bases of their crankcases in
the shape of a V. The VR6 engine only has 15 degrees between each bank of cylinders:
the VR6 uses a single cylinder head for both banks of cylinders, even though it is of
V design. Anyway, the 2 VR6 engines are forced to share the same specialized crankshaft.
Think: from the outside, it looks like a V engine, but on each side, (each "bank") there
is an individual VR6: the W12 is essentially a double V engine. If you are wondering about
the crankshaft, it has 7 bearings to support it. In total, the engine produces 420hp.
Volkswagen is going to put this in their W12 supercar, and in some of their future
luxury sedans. Since this engine isn't much longer than a V6, I bet it will show up
in some tuner cars after it appears to the public in the luxury cars...COOL! Aircool
salutes Volkswagen for this engine!
The Volkswagen Golf is Europe's best selling car. Believe it or not, when
VW unveiled their 4th generation Golf (A4), they spent more than twice as much money
in the presentation than they did for the elaborate presentation for
the New Beetle at the Detroit Auto Show. The New Beetle isn't going to break the company
if it doesn't succeed (I don't think popularity and publicity are a problem for the New Beetle),
but Volkswagen would be greatly impacted if its Golf wasn't such
a popular car in Europe. Here in the USA, the Golf isn't as hot: the Jetta is the
most popular modern Volkswagen. Here, many people think the Golf is a dinky little family
car. Europeans think of it as the opposite: the Jetta is an "old lady's car."
Go figure! I talked to a dealer about the Golf recently, and he claimed that it wasn't
going to be produced at all next year, due to poor sales. I guess he didn't hear about
the VW in Germany...