Volkswagen wowed audiences at the recently concluded 2017 Detroit Auto Show with its retro/futuristic Microbus that the German automaker used to showcase its cutting-edge suite of autonomous driver technologies.
Autonomous Bus Creates Buzz.
VW claims that the “I.D. BUZZ” concept is the world’s first electric multi-purpose vehicle with a fully autonomous driving mode. This futuristic microbus will have a total of 369 horsepower with a range of 270 miles. The zero-emission vehicle will reportedly accelerate from 0-60 mph in around 5 seconds, with a governed top speed of 99 mph.
New All-Electric Platform Unveiled.
The underpinnings of the I.D. BUZZ are built on VW’s groundbreaking new “MEB Platform” that will form the foundation of the automaker’s new family of electric vehicles. Innovations include configurable seating for 8 with swiveling seats, a large heads-up display (HUD) providing an “augmented reality” view of the road, a radical-looking steering wheel that would retract into the dash when not in use, and a 110-kWh battery that could be wirelessly recharged to 80% of capacity in just 30 minutes.
Restyled 2018 Tiguan Crossover Debuts.
VW takes on the red-hot crossover SUV segment head-on with the American-spec version of its highly successful European Tiguan model. The Tiguan’s “clean, timeless look” features LED-accented headlights, standard LED taillights, an athletic new front grill, four new wheel styles, and large trapezoidal chrome-tipped exhausts.
Exceptional Comfort & Versatility.
VW has redesigned the Tiguan’s already spacious interior to offer more versatility and seating capacity with 3rd -row seats standard on all front-drive models and up to 57% more interior space. The split 40/20/40 layout of the 2nd-row seats offers a broad range of cargo and passenger configurations. Plus, the seats slide backward and forwards by 7 inches to allow for easy access.
The 2018 Tiguan will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct injection TSI engine generating 184-hp and 221 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission offering improved fuel economy and sporty acceleration.
Super-Sized Atlas SUV Introduced.
But the biggest news by far was an unveiling of epic proportions. According to VW, the all-new Atlas “…aims at the heart of the U.S. midsize SUV market.”
The Atlas’s contemporary design features a long rectangular grill with LED-accented HID headlights, sporty lower fascia with available LED fog lights and large rectangular LED taillights.
Bigger Is Better.
VW’s new versatility champ offers up to 96.8 cubic feet of storage space, 3 rows of seating for up to 7 passengers, and unique folding 2nd-row seats. Ambient lighting, VW’s exclusive “Digital Cockpit, and an array of VW’s most advanced safety features are just some of the highlights.
Powering the new 2018 Atlas will be either a 238 horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder or an available 3.6-liter V6 engine pumping out 280 horsepower. Choose from four distinct driving modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Custom. The made-in-America Atlas will be built at VW’s advanced Chattanooga, TN production facility.
Watch the official VW 2017 NAIAS press event:
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