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Volkswagen releases new model details during live event


Live from the Wolfsburg, Volkswagen event

Volkswagen lifts wraps on surprise ID.4 electric SUV, confirms new Golfs.

After the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled due to Swiss laws on gatherings amid the Coronavirus outbreak, carmakers are going live online. The annual event often sees some of the biggest names in the automotive world release new vehicles and concept cars.

Other car brands, like BMW and Porsche, also put together ad hoc broadcasts. We'll keep you updated over the coming days.

Here's a summary of the Volkswagen live press event:
  • VW showed us an all-electric SUV, called the ID.4. More info is expected in the second half of this year.
  • The company announced that its fastest performance SUV, the Touareg R, will also be built as a hybrid.
  • We got some more info about the expanded Golf range, including the GTE hybrid model.

Live from the Volkswagen digital press conference

Here's our minute-by-minute coverage of Volkswagen's online press conference, as it happened:

8:10: We're live with VW for its first digital-only launch in Wolfsburg.

8:11: A VW spokesperson says it was the best decision to cancel the show.

8:12: A presenter asks why their first electric car, the ID.3, was so important? The interviewee explains that climate change is a real problem and so VW is releasing eight all-electric cars soon. They are investing €1 billion into environmentally friendly cars.

8:13: By 2030, half of VWs on the road will be electric.

Volkswagen ID4 electric SUV concept

8:14: VW is showing us the ID.4 concept, which is coming this summer. It looks like a crossover SUV and is fully electric. VW is promising a range of 500km. It will be built in China, Europe and America.

Volkswagen ID.4 specs:
  • Based on MEB platform like the ID.3
  • Carbon neutral vehicle
  • 500km range

8:15: We're now watching a video of the Touareg R. It's the first R model from VW with plug-in capabilities. They are planning four more PHEVs this year. The R has an electric motor, a big V6 and 340kW. A spokesperson explains that it will tow 3.5 tonnes, making it one of the best towing SUVs on the market.

The new Volkswagen Touareg R

Volkswagen Touareg R specs:
  • The most powerful VW model, with combined 340kW output
  • Most average commutes can be covered in electric-only mode
  • Has a 140km/h electric-only top-speed
  • Has a V6 turbocharged petrol engine with a 100kW electric drive motor

A look under the bonnet of the Golf GTE hybrid

8:17: We've just watched a funky video showing the Golf GTE, which has 30% extra battery capacity now, improving electric-only range.

VW Golf GTI on track

8:19: And now, for what we've all come for, the GTI. The sporty, iconic hatchback. A spokesperson lays out the formula: You take a compact, lightweight car and improve the performance – it's the perfect sportscar for everyone. The representative says the GTI surprised even VW with its sales. Originally, they thought they'd sell just 500 units a year, but they've gone onto a record two million sales.

8:20: This new, eight-gen GTI has a wider look. It has trademark honeycomb grille inserts, a digital interior and other modern features. The GTI and GTE both have 280kW.

There's no confirmed release info for any of these cars yet, though we understand that the Mk8 GTI will be here in early 2021. The ID.4 is a concept vehicle, but we will likely see it become a full production model in the future. Its sibling, the all-electric ID.3 hatch, lands here sometime in 2022.

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Picture: Supplied

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