Volkswagen had a bit of genius when they built the CC. Obviously they took the coupe-sedan idea from the Mercedes CLS, but unlike the Mercedes, the CC was generally affordable. It sold like hotcakes because, while underneath it was just a VW Passat, its exterior appearance was nothing short of magnificent. Now many of the early CCs are coming off lease, and are available on the secondhand market for what seems to be a great value. So now the question is, what lies under the CC’s pretty facade, and is it worth spending your money on?
I should disclose that I am considering getting myself a CC like this one, so this drive was as much for me personally, as it was for this article. I love having two sports cars, my Subaru STi and Mazda Miata, but lately I have wanted something a bit more comfortable for daily driving. It would be nice to have a car I could go places in, and not have a little devil on my shoulder, constantly telling me to break the law. That said, I don’t want some gutless econobox either, I want a proper luxury car. Read the rest of this entry »
The Golf R carries on the torch, held by the R32 before it, as the ultimate Volkswagen Golf. The R32 first came on the scene in 2002, sharing most of its mechanical features with the top spec Audi TT. It was placed above the famous GTI in the Golf lineup, and offered a bigger VR6 engine that sent power to all four wheels, opposed to just the front in the GTI. The Golf R has changed from the original R32 in many of its details, but still offers the same package in the modern lineup. America was not originally supposed to receive the Golf R when it debuted in 2010, but there was so much outspoken demand for the car that they were landing on our shores by the spring of 2012. This is a car I have been wanting to test for a while now, and as it turned out my family decided to buy another Volkswagen. So after we committed to the buy, I asked if I could have a drive in the Golf R to sweeten the deal a little, and they were more than happy to oblige. Read the rest of this entry »
The Stance Movement has become quite a big thing in recent years. For those unfamiliar with the trend it is sort of like a neo-lowrider thing. People have been taking cars of all sorts and dropping them down as low as they can go, all in the name of “Stance”. Nowhere is this fad bigger than in the Volkswagen crowd, as can be seen at a host of water themed events that take place all over the country. My friend Justin spent months scouring the forums to find a slammed VW of his own, and he finally found the clean ’98 GTI you see here. He was nice enough to let me take it out recently so I could see what a slammed car is all about from the driver seat. What followed was a very interesting experience. Read the rest of this entry »
Volkswagen’s Jetta is one of the old reliable pals of the automotive world, a solid everyday package for everyday people. In America Jettas have always been seen as a slightly nicer, better built alternative to Japanese and American compact cars. Volkswagen means “people’s car” in German, and the Jetta continues to be an exemplary specimen of those ideals. The Jetta you see here is not just any Jetta though, this is the GLI, the hot version. In the VW lineup GLI is to Jetta as GTI is to Golf, and they are basically the same car other than the body style. I liked the GTI when I drove it against the Beetle Turbo last year, but I wanted to see how the package transferred to the larger Jetta platform. Read the rest of this entry »
This incredible rat rodded Beetle was out for the Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan. It is an entirely custom built car with the engine actually hanging off the back. I have seen many customized air-cooled Beetles over the years, but nothing quite like this car. One really cool feature is the car’s shift lever, which is actually a titanium hip replacement that has been repurposed for changing gears. I was assured the artificial hip was not a used part, but one of those usually costs around $14,000 when being used for medical purposes. Among the thousands of cool cars in the area during the Cruise, this Beetle was one of the ones that stood out the most to me. This is a very different kind of slammed car for the Volkswagen community. Enjoy the gallery.
We we in attendance for the 6th Annual Tristatetuners Spring Meet in Pennsylvania. Here are the highlights.
We were in attendance for Street Wars 8. The show was a lot smaller than last year due to organizational issues, but there were still plenty of quality cars to see. Photos are by both myself and Dan Valanzola. Enjoy the gallery. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the Audi R8 in its original form, the V8 model that was designed to slip under the Lamborghini Gallardo (with which it shares its chassis) and compete head to head with the Porsche 911. Anyone who knows cars knows the fierce competition in this area of the market and how deeply rooted the Porsche 911’s success is. The R8 entered the segment boldly though, and was quickly heralded by many as being superior to the almighty Porsche. Since its debut in 2006 Audi has sold over 15,000 R8s, quite a large number for a car costing six figures, so it would seem they have succeeded in making a really great car. I recently had the opportunity to take one for a few laps around the track at Exotic Rides in Cancun, Mexico, so I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. Read the rest of this entry »
Although I was not in the country for this year’s NAIAS, I followed it closely from my phone when I was in Israel for the past two weeks or so. Overall, I have to say there’s a lot to look at this year, and the new model debuts give me hope that 2012 is going to be even more exciting than 2011 was. The market is changing fast, and as I watch everyone attempt to catch up, there are some clear indications that some brands in particular have most of their ducks in a row. Then again, there’s indications that some are definitely struggling to come up with new ideas. I’m going to go through each country, by major manufacturer, and discuss what I think are the best and the worst of this year’s show. Read the rest of this entry »
As some of our readers might know, my very first post on Mind Over Motor was about the upcoming diesel option on the new Volkswagen Passat. Well, it’s here. And, somewhere along the way, the Passat won Motor Trend‘s 2012 Car of the Year award, one of the most prestigious in the business. This was likely due in no small part to the new diesel model, among other things. But, I had to find out for myself just what else makes this new Passat “Car of the Year”. A local dealer had one ready for a drive, so I took the opportunity and drove it around to find out. Read the rest of this entry »
I first saw the new VW Beetle up close at the New York International Autoshow this past year. I was very excited to see that the new version had become more of a sporting machine and less of a decorated flowerpot. On the surface the Beetle is on the same chassis as the Golf, and the one I was interested in, the Beetle Turbo, basically has the same mechanics as the famed GTI. This made me wonder how similar they really were to each other because I know VW would not want to steal sales from themselves. I decided to go try them both out back to back and compare. Read the rest of this entry »