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Beetle Convertible: The open air Volkswagen

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Volkswagen’s iconic Beetle has been a favorite for decades. It was a fixture on college campuses back in the 1970s primarily because it was so inexpensive to own and operate. The Beetle’s engine was also so easy to work on that wanna-be mechanics like myself could perform easily tune-ups and other minor repairs.

Today, Beetles are more expensive and not as easy to work on, but they’re still a great value and can whip the pants off any Bugs from back in the day.

Take the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, for example. Volkswagen adds a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine to the Beetle lineup for 2015. The new 150-horsepower turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder gets 40 highway miles per gallon and can scoot around town for 30 miles on a gallon of fuel. Continue Reading

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Volkswagen Golf-R: A wolf in sheep’s clothing

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There’s more than one reason the 2015 VW Golf is the North American Car of the Year — not to mention earning a few other honors as well since its debut late in 2014. The seventh generation of the most successful European car of all time was completely redesigned for 2015, and the Volkswagen Golf lineup has become one of the most extensive vehicle families of compact hatchbacks, featuring both three and five-door body styles and multiple powertrain combinations.

I’ve had occasion to drive them all — including the all-electric eGolf, as well as the diesel version — which were showcased at a recent press event. I drove another version in my regular weekly rotation, and yet another as a courtesy loan during a personal business trip to Atlanta.

The 2015 Golf lineup features the gasoline-powered Golf TSI and energetic GTI models, in two, and four-door hatchback configurations. Also available is the four-door, diesel-powered Golf TDI, and the aforementioned all-electric e-Golf. Also, VW just recently debuted the roomy 2015 Golf SportWagen. It seems there’s a Golf for just about every driver’s needs — except the hot rodder. Until now…  Enter the high-performance Golf R, which is a rocket, pure and simple. Continue Reading