The Volkswagen Group has had a tough few years. The Dieselgate scandal rocked the automotive industry and cost the car manufacturing giant a vast amount of money. The Dieselgate-effect, plus an fairly uninspiring range of vehicles, was the cause of a drop in sales and a lack of confidence in the company. Fortunately, the Dieselgate wounds are beginning to heal, and the Volkswagen name is once again something to be in awe of.
In 2019, Volkswagen saw a nice boost in sales, with the company reporting growth across the board, especially in months like August and November. In August, Volkswagen enjoyed a 9.6% boost up from last year, with a total of 35,412 vehicles sold that month in the USA. November enjoyed gains, but not as big. In total, November saw 29,218 vehicles sold in the USA, which is a modest increase of 9.1% from the previous year. Despite looking good, Volkswagen has lowered its sales outlook, citing pragmatism about contracting markets being the main reason.
Despite the increase in sales and the return to form, the after-effects of Dieselgate still loom over Germany’s largest automaker. If you’re not familiar with Dieselgate—or the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal, as it’s also known as—it involves Volkswagen’s unfair tampering with emissions testing on their turbocharged direct injection diesel engines, allowing them to conform to US standards. Despite looking good on paper, it was discovered that Volkswagen had cheated and that their vehicles produced far more harmful emissions than originally reported. The subsequent discovery and lawsuit rocked the auto-industry.
Dieselgate-aside, Volkswagen is well aware that things need to change. In a poignant speech at the Frankfurt Motorshow in September 2019, VW CEO Herbert Diess explained how the future of transportation needs to evolve to become more efficient, whilst also recognizing that the Volkswagen Group is responsible for 1% of the world’s greenhouse emissions. Shortly after delivering his speech, the revolutionary ID.3 range was unveiled, alongside a number of exciting ID-branded vehicles that promise a brighter electric future for Volkswagen.
2020 will already feature a number of interesting models from Volkswagen, but 2021 and beyond looks even more exciting. While there’s going to be a huge push in hybrid and electric technology, there are also plenty of regular internal-combustion-engine powered models on the cards too.
Let’s take a look at some of the most hyped vehicles on the roster:
The Most Anticipated 2021 Volkswagen Cars!
2021 Volkswagen Atlas
Despite talk of electric vehicles and eco-friendly ways, let’s start the ball rolling with the hotly anticipated 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. This large-scale three-row SUV is one of Volkswagen’s greatest hit, making up roughly 40% of all US sales—if 2019 data is anything to go by. So while Volkswagen dreams of a greener future, they still need to belt out a few internal-combustion crowd pleasers, and the Atlas is very much headlining that stage.
From what we can see, the new Atlas will enjoy a revised front and rear, with revised styling that brings it into line with other models like the Cross Sport. In fact, there’s a lot of the new Cross Sport woven into the 2021 model Atlas’s DNA. There’s a deeper grille sitting in pride of place at the front, with updated LED headlights and quirky DRLs, and a bigger and more pronounced bumper. At the rear, the rear lights replicate the front DRL shape, and a redesigned bumper now sports a wide reflector.
The interior has a few surprises too. The influence from the Cross Sport can be found on the new Atlas’s steering wheel, which will be a D-shaped unit. The infotainment system is expected to be upgraded, with more advanced software and wireless charging for your devices. Other on board tech advances are slated to include Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Centering, and Stop and Go technology. There’s likely to be more surprises but rather than speculate, we’ll wait until we find out more.
For now, it’s not known what powertrains will be available. It’s highly likely that the Atlas will remain in the standard configurations: a four-cylinder option, or a V6. It has been mentioned that AWD will be available for the four-cylinder model. So far, that’s pretty much all there is to say.
This 2021 Volkswagen SUV is scheduled to be unveiled at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show in February.
2021 Volkswagen I.D Crozz
While the Volkswagen I.D3 didn’t turn up stateside (yet), the I.D Crozz is expected to. The I.D Crozz is an electric crossover that should take the US by storm. While we’ve seen what the I.D Crozz is supposed to be, there’s still a lot of mystery that surrounds it, and details aren’t as available as with other models. First previewed at the 20107 Shanghai Auto Show as a concept, the I.D Crozz still provokes more questions than answers.
We do know that it will be built at the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee—so it’s definitely going to be available to the US market!
The I.D Crozz will feature an all-electric powertrain with two motors, that Volkswagen claims is capable of producing an impressive 302 horsepower, 332 lb-ft of combined torque, and achieve a limited top speed of around 112 mph. The twin motors are mounted on the front and rear axles, with the front motor providing the primary power, rated at 201 hp. The rear motor adds additional power of 101 horses, bringing the total to 302 hp. In terms of range, the I.D Crozz is estimated to be able to travel up to 310 miles on a single charge.
In terms of dimensions, the I.D Crozz isn’t a small car. The original concept was 182 inches long, 74.5 inches wide, and 64 inches tall, which puts it firmly between the Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace. The overall wheelbase is 109 inches. It’s a great size, with ample cargo space on the inside too. No doubt the 2021 model will use that space for improved driving aids and bucket loads of modern technology.
Two production versions are also on the cards: a coupe-SUV, and an all-out SUV model. But at the moment, that’s all we know. And what’s the price likely to be? Between $40k and $50k seems like a sensible gamble, and of course, there will be trim options and upgrades available. We will have to wait and see.
2021 Volkswagen Golf GTi & Golf R
The new Golf is coming to the USA in 2021. Now, whether the standard Volkswagen Golf is coming is still being decided behind closed doors, however, a VW spokesperson has been very clear that the more advanced, performance-focused models, the legendary GTi and Golf R models will be available to US customers. Hurrah! Different sources are querying this information though. While Europe might be getting the goods in 2020, it seems more likely that the performance-variants won’t be arriving in the US until 2021. Hard to say at this moment.
From what we can see from these official images, the new breed of Gold will be very similar to the last iteration, but with some nice stylistic tweaks that make it a touch more contemporary. For example, the new Golf models will have more aggressive headlights, a lower front grille, a rear light redesign, and faux exhaust outlets on the rear bumper. In terms of the overall styling, the exterior isn’t that much of an improvement on the last gen models. But like most things, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
The new Golf’s interior features an ergonomic dashboard with clear, simple controls, and digital instrument cluster. The big focal point is the upgraded infotainment system, sitting in pride of place in the middle, giving the driver access to everything from the radio station to the air con. But what about the engine?
There will be a number of engines available for Golf enthusiasts to swoon over, with four gasoline configurations and two diesel lumps, all turbocharged with direct injection. Each of these engines features a six-speed manual gearbox, but a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available as an optional extra.
Volkswagen aren’t done yet though. There’s more.
Three mild hybrid powertrains are on offer with gas engines mated with a powerful 48v lithium-ion battery pack. And there are more variants too.
Volkswagen also offers to plug-in hybrid offerings, one with an improved range, and another geared towards performance. The former sports 201 hp, while the latter boasts 245 hp. They both share a 1.4 liter engine, with an electric motor.
And the price? You’d be looking at starting prices from $26,000 and up, depending on what variation and what technology upgrades you opt for.
2021 Volkswagen T7 Van
An all-new Volkswagen T7 is expected to make its debut in 2021. Not just an update, but a full on redesign with a modern drivetrain and improved technology too. Now, at this moment, there’s only speculation to work with. You see, the upcoming T7 has been spied and photographed in test-mule garb, but it’s mainly the work of informed graphic designers that really grabs our attention. These graphic designers have taken what the spy shots have to offer, and turned them into renderings that show what a new T7 could look like. And if VW does anything remotely like these designs, then they’re on to a good thing.
Stylistically, it’s the next step in the evolutionary chain, taking elements from the T6 and upgrading them for the future. While everything else is leaning towards the electric and a greener future, the T7 won’t be turning its back on conventional locomotion. According to VW’s Commercial Vehicle CEO Thomas Sedran, the T7 will be available with a choice of petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid powertrains. This is mainly because electric technology isn’t quite there yet for when it comes to powering and hauling heavy-duty work vans. In a practical sense, at least.
An all-electric T-series van will come eventually, maybe even as soon as 2022, but certainly not before then. Until then, the drivetrain options are all a bit vague. What are the specifics? We couldn’t even guess at this stage. Does it have anything to do with VW’s strategic partnership with Ford? It might. It very well might.
What Else Is On The VW Horizon?
There’s no doubt that the upcoming I.D range is arguably the most exciting thing to come out of Wolfsburg. While we were spellbound while we sat in the audience of the grand unveiling of the I.D 3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, it was the models that were standing off-stage that were even more exciting. There was an I.D branded electric bus, and an I.D branded buggy too. Will they be coming in 2021? Well, probably not – but just in case, let’s take a look at the bus (because that’s easily the coolest of the two).
Volkswagen ID Buzz “MicroBus”
We’ve seen the prototype, and it has already been confirmed for the United States. This is the updated version of the legendary Type 2 Microbus, reworked into a modern electric bus that we’ve seen in the form of the Volkswagen I.D Buzz concept. We know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of when it arrives—and what state it arrives in.
So far, we know that it will have an All-Wheel Drive electric powertrain that features dual front and rear motors, one on each axle, which work together to produce a combined power output of 369 horsepower. We also know that there will be a cargo version, which is geared towards hauling cargo rather than people, which will have rear wheel drive in the form of a rear axle mounted electric motor that produces 201 horses. A second, front axle mounted motor will be available as an optional extra for those cargo pros who want to experience All-Wheel Drive.
At the moment, there’s talk of a 48 kWh battery that can be upgraded to a 110 kWh unit, with an overall working range that varies between 200 and 340 miles depending on what package is equipped and in what mode it’s being driven. However, it’s worth noting that those figures are probably a bit optimistic and real-life driving will probably see those numbers fall by a bit.
Still, the word from VW is that the fast DC charging capabilities of the new VW Microbus will be able to recharge a battery from 0% to 80% in just 30 minutes.
Lastly, there’s the interior. All we’ve seen so far is that the interior is incredibly versatile and has multiple configurations for a wide range of purposes. Removable seats? Obviously. Spin-able seats, including the front seats, though? Oh yes, those really are a thing too.
That’s about all for the Volkswagen 2021 range that we know of so far. But since you’re here, take a look at that awesome buggy we mentioned earlier. It’s so good that it just won a design award. And quite deservedly so.