Volkswagen and Audi collectively made a big splash at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, with the former unveiling the latest edition of an important halo model and the latter making a strong statement about its confidence in the future of alternative fuels in North America. The corporate siblings are collectively riding high on years of surging sales and enhanced customer prestige, with VW still focused on its pursuit of becoming the world’s largest volume automaker.
The big news at the Volkswagen display was the unveiling of the all-new 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible. Priced at just under $25,000 in the United States, and featuring the availability of a 140 horsepower four-cylinder turbodiesel drivetrain (alongside a 170 horsepower, 2.5-liter normally-aspirated four-cylinder and a 200 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder), the Beetle Convertible adopts the same macho looks associated with the recently redesigned Beetle Coupe. This is true even with the top up, as the model’s flat roofline harkens back to the Beetle drop tops of the late 1940’s. Transmission choices for the new Beetle Convertible include a six-speed automatic (standard on the base model), a six-speed manual (TDI, turbo) and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual (TDI, turbo).
Also joining the VW party was the R-Line edition of the 2013 Volkswagen CC mid-size four-door. The slope-roofed sedan gains a body kit, new wheels, and paddle shifters for the vehicle’s DSG transmission. Left out of the fun was the Volkswagen Eos, as it was revealed that the retractable hard top convertible will not be redesigned at the end of its lifecycle.
Audi’s focus at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show was on diesel power – specifically, introducing its turbodiesel technology into four new models over the course of the coming year. The Audi A6, Audi A7, Audi A8 and the Audi Q5 will each gain a new turbodiesel drivetrain, joining the Audi Q7 and the Audi A3 which already feature diesel-burning engines. Audi cited the significant customer uptake on its turbodiesel models, as well as the fuel savings associated with the engines, as the primary reasons for bringing a host of fresh diesel models to North America. 30 percent was the average fuel efficiency improvement quoted by Audi representatives at the auto show.