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New W8 Passat and Jetta GLI Introduced

Volkswagen of America, Inc. introduced its first eight cylinder equipped car ever at this yearís Los Angeles International Auto Show. The model also will be shown at next weekís North American International Auto Show and will go on sale this spring.

The 2002 Volkswagen Passat W8 becomes the top-of-the-line Volkswagen Passat andthereby the German automakerís flagship sedan and wagon the world over. At the heart of the Passat W8 is a newly designed 4.0 liter, 32-valve engine that creates 271 horsepower and 273 lbs. ft. of torque at just 2,750 revolutions per minute. In European tests, the Passat W8 can accelerate from 0-to-61 mph in about 6.5 seconds (manual version).

The Volkswagen W8 meets Europeís strict EU4 emission standards that will not go into effect until 2005. Its unique design, which resembles a “W”, makes it compact and efficient for its size and weight. It further employs the efficiencies of modular design, whereby the W8 cylinder head consists of two V4 modules. The cylindersí Vs are set at the very small angle of 15 degrees to each other. The basic W-shaped layout is the product of a double V with a cylinder bank angle of 72 degrees. The result is an extremely compact engine with a balance and smoothness close to that of an ideal in-line six.

The new Passat W8 and all the Volkswagens premiering in LA also will be on display days later at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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As Volkswagenís flagship sedan and wagon, the Passat W8 comes with a very comprehensive list of standard features including such high-end items as full leather seating surfaces; 4MOTIONô all-wheel drive; Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP1) System; heatable eight-way power front seats; an eight-speaker Monsoon® sound system; walnut wood trim; ABS; a fully automatic climate control system; a multifunction, two-program trip computer (with a display location in the bottom center of the instrument cluster and a dot matrix font); an anti-theft alarm system; a power glass sunroof; heated windshield washer nozzles; rain sensor; 16î alloy wheels; Bi-Xenon GDL, a self-dimming rearview mirror; dual chrome exhaust pipes; and much more.

Volkswagen announced the Passat W8 will be priced at $37,900, making it the lowest priced German-built eight cylinder sedan and wagon sold in the United States.

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NEW BEETLE TURBO S

Also premiering in Los Angeles is the exciting New Beetle Turbo S modelñthe most powerful and sports equipped New Beetle ever available in the United States.

Equipped with 180 horsepower, ESP, and the automakerís first six-speed-manual transmission in this market, the 2002 New Beetle Turbo S becomes available in January at dealerships throughout the United States. With its new brawn, the Turbo S can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 7.4 seconds; it is capable of reaching an electronically governed top speed of 130 miles per hour and employs a speed activated rear spoiler that helps maintain rear-end stability at very high speeds.

This sport version of the New Beetle is the first Volkswagen passenger car to include the Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) system. ESP automatically uses the Turbo Sís engine power, braking, and the transmission system to help the driver stabilize the car in very demanding driving situations such as emergency maneuvers to avoid oncoming objects or other cars in the road.

The price tag for this incredibly unique and highly equipped version is $23,400. Volkswagen plans to sell 5,000 of this model in 2002.

While retaining the classic and desirable profile of the New Beetle, the Turbo S model is specially clad to evoke its more sporty nature. In the front, the New Beetle Turbo Sís wardrobe includes integrated foglights, newly designed turn signals, and an air-slicing front spoiler. In the back, a newly designed rear bumper, a subtle “Turbo S” badge and dual chrome exhausts cunningly hint at the 180 ponies locked in front under the Turbo S hood.

Also new are special standard 17-inch alloy wheels that are only available on this particular model. As in the New Beetle GLX and the GLS with the 150 horsepower, the Turbo S comes with a speed-activated back rear spoiler that stays hidden at the top of the rear hatch until a speed of 45 mph is reached at which time it deploys automatically.

Exterior colors for this special model include Reflex Silver metallic (no extra charge), Black and Red. Early next year, Platinum Gray will be added to the color palette.

Inside, the driver and passenger happily find another of Volkswagenís renowned interior environmentsñoccupant space that is tastefully and intricately sculpted from high-quality textured plastics and textiles. It is this extreme attention to detail and use of top quality materials that give all Volkswagenís a one-of-a-kind touch and feel that other car companies try to imitate with little regard for authenticity.

This carís sporty inclination is most pronounced in the Turbo S by its special leather seating surface sports seats (heated in front) with gray inserts highlighted with gray stitching. Other special Turbo S features include stainless steel pedals with fashionable but functional grip holes. This brushed alloy look is found throughout the cabin at the shift knob, glove box handle, on three spokes of the sport steering wheel and door lock sticks. Even the famous New Beetle bud vase goes heavy metal with a brushed alloy trim that screams for something other than a colorful daisy.

Completing the Turbo Sís sporty look is a leather wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel, black leather brake grip, and black leather shift boot.

In addition to the Turbo S, Volkswagen is also showing a special limited edition special color concept car that will go on sale soon. This New Beetle GLS 1.8T is called Double Yellow, with the yellow exterior color finding its way into the interior leather seating surface inserts, door panels, center armrest and stitching on the leather steering wheel, shift boot and knob, brake grip, and even the floor mats.

JETTA GLI

The Los Angeles Auto Show will give many true-blue Volkswagen fans reason to celebrate. At the show, Volkswagen is bringing back its popular Jetta GLIña model designed to appeal to the true VW driver enthusiast who wants the power, performance and dynamic style of the automakerís best engineering but does not necessarily want to buy a long list of standard luxury equipment.

The Jetta GLI will soon hook up with the upcoming GTI VR6 to become Volkswagenís highest powered V6 car ever. Using the highly acclaimed VR6, Volkswagen has added four valves per cylinder to this engine, boosting its output from 174 horsepower to 200 horsepower. Just as importantly, the engine creates 195 lbs. ft of torque at 3,200 rpm.

Both the new Jetta GLI and higher-powered GTI, which both go on sale this May, offer the first six-speed manual transmission in the Jetta or GTI model line up. Built for ultimate driver control, the six-speed manual allows the driver to pick the perfect gear and rpm range for his or her driving style or situation. Uniquely, the six speed offers two final drives in fifth and sixth, allowing for optimal performance control and economy.

ESP is also standard in this GLI model and the GTI VR6 to come.

As you would expect, the Jetta GLI is dressed for performance, coming standard with special 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhausts with chrome, GLI badging, special cloth sports seats, a three-spoke leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, boot and handbrake.

Colors will include Black Uni, Reflex Silver, Galactic Blue and Tornado Red. It will be priced at $22,950.

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