Volkswagen unveils more connectivity at 2015 CES

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is all about technology. More and more, technology is being embraced and embedded into almost every new vehicle. Consequently, the CES featured a lot of cars, trucks, and press conferences by automotive manufacturers. Volkswagen was one of these that took advantage of having a large display at the Las Vegas Convention Center. VW also held a media press conference on the first media day at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

– by ALAN GELL

VW demonstrated an entire fleet of vehicles just so they could show off the interaction of car and computer in their cars and how that interaction will continue into the future. The primary focus of VW at the 2015 CES show was about four areas. These were the integration of smartphones and vehicle apps, operation of vehicles intuitively, computer-controlled drive systems, and autonomous (and semi-autonomous) driving. Almost all car manufacturers are pushing ahead for self-driving cars and VW is no exception.

Dr. Martin Winterkorn is the CEO of Volkswagen AG and he commented, “The two inventions of the century, the car and the computer, are gradually coming closer together. We need to design future mobility to be even more intelligent and even more networked.”

GOLF R TOUCH – The Golf R Touch is a concept vehicle. In the past concept vehicles were introduced at the major car shows, but with the interaction in today’s world, VW unveiled the Golf R Touch and displayed for the first time at the 2015 CES. It features an infotainment system that uses hand gestures to control. A simple hand movement in front of the display allows the touchscreen to be operated without actually touching it.

CONNECTED GOLF – Volkswagen is showing off the networking potential of the car in the display called a Connected Golf. It is an e-Golf that is equipped to interact with a variety of apps, smartphones, and tablets. One such example shown off was the Parking Guide that is part of the navigation system. It uses technology that locates parking sites nearby that have a high probability of having available parking spaces.

E-GOLF INTELLIGENT CHARGE – VW used an e-Golf to illustrate how electric cars can be utilized more conveniently in the future. This proposal shows how a small electric car can be parked on a large ‘charging’ mat instead of hooked up with a cable-based charging system. It works much like laying a smartphone or tablet on a small mat at a counter or desk for charging rather than hooking up a cord of some type. Combined with this could be the ability to use the navigation system to locate convenient charging spots.

E-GOLF PERFECT PARKING – VW showed off their Park Assist which helps guide the car into perpendicular or parallel parking spaces. Whether the car is exiting a space or parking, the system assists the driver by making optimal movements of the steering wheel. At the 2015 CES, the more advanced stage of Park Assist was introduced and is being called Trained Parking. A camera mounted in the base of the rear-view mirror scans a frequently used path into a parking space, then the computer takes over and semi-automatically parks the car. The driver does not even have to stay in the car, but can control the parking operation using his/her smartphone, much like a remote control.

There is much more technology being used by Volkswagen and there was much on display at the VW exhibit at CES. These are the major highlights, but it gives a clue as to what is coming in the future and VW is keeping their customers and vehicles up-to-date and connected.

2014 Volkswagen Golf GTI MkVII

Inside the vehicle, the cabin remains much the same as the one that appears in the 2014 Golf. There are, however, contrasting red stitching on some of the leather surfaces, a flat-bottom steering wheel and a traditional GTI tartan pattern on the seats. Standard features include air conditioning, a new fatigue detection system, a unique GTI instrument cluster, red ambient lighting, and brushed stainless steel pedals and door sills.

Note, these specs are for the European model, which goes on sale early next year. Look for U.S. specifications closer to the GTI’s local launch in the second half of 2013

These official images reveal predictable styling for the seventh-generation of the GTI. Traditional elements include the honeycomb grille with a red bar running its length, the new iteration of the GTI’s ‘Denver’ style wheels, and twin exhaust tips finished in chrome.

Compared with the regular Golf, the GTI sits some 15 millimeters lower, features sportier bumpers, and upgraded brakes with red calipers. Wheel sizes range from 17 to 18 inches, and in addition to the Denver style wheels, customers will be able to order Detroit, Glendale or Brooklyn patterns.

Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine once again, but this time rated at 217 horsepower, a gain of around 17 horsepower compared to the outgoing MkVI GTI. For the power hungry, an available performance pack lifts output to 227 horsepower, giving the 2014 GTI a better chance against the latest Ford Focus ST and Mazda Mazdaspeed3.

Drive still goes to the front wheels only, via a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, and all GTI’s will come with an engine stop-start system. VW predicts a 0-60 mph time of approximately 6.6 seconds and top speed of 152 mph. With the new performance pack, look for a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

The performance pack not only offers a boost in power, but also in handling: instead of 16-inch brakes, this version gets huge 17-inch brakes (with GTI badges on the calipers) and a front axle differential lock (VAQ). Designed to offer what the automaker claims is “more agile steering behavior,” the VAQ system has already been shown to cut Nürburgring lap times by up to eight seconds when compared to a model without the system.

It’s based on a multi-plate coupler that is located between the differential cage and the right drive shaft. The pressure required to actuate the VAQ is produced and regulated by an electrically-powered hydraulic pump. A control unit continually adjusts for the optimal locking power as a function of the driving situation. In dynamic driving, VAQ applies the drive torque to the wheel on the inside of the curve and the outer wheel on the road according to the different vertical wheel forces. The vehicle remains very neutral right up to its performance limits by this torque vectoring effect, and traction is also improved when driving on loose and wet road surfaces and in turning situations.

On top of this, the new GTI also gets a speed-sensitive electronic power steering system, as well as lighter construction than the current model–around 200 pounds less–thanks to the latest MQB platform.

VW Golf GTI Cabriolet





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