Volkswagen Golf GTI 2013 Review

October 15th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

Looking slightly more chiselled than its predecessor, the Golf GTI tempts you with a strong engine and handling setup to use those angles to slice through the wind at high speed. The six-speed DSG gearbox eggs you on with gear changes that seem impossibly fast, and acceleration that’s almost as rapid, repeating each rev range as you gain speed like a record skipping the groove. Depending on the quality of passenger the accelerator pedal will make them either swear or giggle. There isn’t any middle ground.

volkswagen-golf-gti-2013-dcc-driving-modeFive modes are available to fine tune the performance of the Golf: comfort, normal, sport, eco or individual (where you can choose from a number of settings and store your favourite combination). They are selected using the touchscreen in the centre of the dash.

volkswagen-golf-gti-2013-rear-quarterSport mode is a huge amount of fun, blipping the throttle automatically on the downshifts and making you sound like you know what you are doing with the heel-toe technique. It’s completely redundant in the city…except that it sounds brilliant.

volkswagen-golf-gti-2013-sideNormal mode is what you will probably use the Golf in that majority of the time, unless you’re trying to be frugal (in which case, why would you buy the GTI)? Even using it in sport mode most of the time I didn’t notice that fuel economy was particularly bad.  The other modes? Well, who cares because you buy a GTI to have fun, not save the planet. Continue reading “Volkswagen Golf GTI 2013 Review” »

Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 2011 Review

November 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been 35 years since Volkswagen’s Golf GTI trail blazed a new automotive sub-genre – the hot hatch. To celebrate the birthday of the iconic GTI badge VW has released a special anniversary model named the Edition 35 and the good news for kiwi Golf fans is that 60 of the 5-door cars are heading down to NZ.

So what’s so special about the Edition 35? Well, it’s built for true GTI enthusiasts and comes packing a boost in power, some subtle styling treats and an air of exclusivity. It’s for Golf GTI junkies who crave just a little bit extra GTI. Car and SUV took a dose of the Edition 35 to test if its effects are mellow or mind mashing addictive.

Any special edition will find itself graded in three core areas over the standard model it’s based on. These are; how much harder it goes, how much sleeker it looks and what extra features are included. The Edition 35 improves on the Mk VI Golf GTI in these three areas but by varied strengths.

Visually, it’s a ‘Spot the Difference’ game to find every exterior styling tweak the Edition 35 has over its stock sibling. Perhaps most noticeable are the new “Watkins Glen” alloy wheels, which at 18-inches fill out the guards and are well suited to the Golf shape. Harder to spot is the remodeled front bumper and bi-xenon headlights with LED running lamps. Along the flanks there are discrete “35” badges on the front fenders, there’s lower side skirting and gloss black wing mirror caps. The unique exterior design is finished at the rear with darkened tail lamps. Overall, the updates are subtle but fitting for the GTI, a model known for deft styling touches and a sleeper aesthetic. The Edition 35 is available in four colours – Tornado Red, Deep Black, Carbon Steel Grey and our sweet-looking test car was finished in Candy White. Continue reading “Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 2011 Review” »

Volkswagen NZ lands 60 Golf GTI 35 Edition models for kiwi market

August 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For 2011, Volkswagen is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its iconic Golf GTI with a special Edition 35 model. The big news is that Volkswagen New Zealand have managed to secure 60 of the limited-edition 4-door Golf GTI Edition 35 models.

Much like the Edition 30 Golf model that we saw here in 2006 this new anniversary machine benefits from an upgraded powerplant and some discreet styling tweaks.

Punching out 173kW of power and 300Nm torque the upgraded Golf produces 18kW more grunt than the standard model. It will reach a top speed of 247km/h and take just 6.6 seconds to sprint from 0 – 100km/h. The engine in the Edition 35 is a turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine of the EA113 engine series, sharing the same engine base as the Golf R. The 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes mated to a 6-speed DSG gearbox. Fuel economy is quoted at 8.0 litres per 100km combined.

Keeping its dynamic credentials in check is a XDS electronic differential lock that compensates for the typical understeering of front-wheel drive vehicles during quick driving through bends. The Edition 35 also sits 15mm lower than on a conventional Golf and uses the familiar MacPherson suspension at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. Continue reading “Volkswagen NZ lands 60 Golf GTI 35 Edition models for kiwi market” »

VW considering Polo R hot hatch based on WRC car

May 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Polo is seen by many to be the weaker and slightly more girly sibling for the Volkswagen Golf, but now with the smaller hatch’s entry in to the 2013 WRC that perception could change.

The high price of petrol and factors like the popularity of Gymkhana has changed the way the Ford Fiesta is viewed and the same could happen for VW’s Polo. This fact isn’t lost on the German carmaker and its getting busy scheming up a hot R version of the Polo that may be given the ability to embarrass more powerful machines. The Polo R WRC rally car (pictured), has plenty of branding for VW’s R division and some styling cues that could be toned down and included in a production hatchback. So it looks promising.

Ulrich Hackenberg, VW board member said in a recent interview that the WRC entry has made a Polo GTI-topping model “more likely”. “You can see how the World Rally Championship program would increase the probability of an R version of the base model,” said Hackenberg, who said that the launch of the Polo R would coincide with the start rally program in 2013.

If this micro menace does enter into production it will likely use a more powerful version of VW’s 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged engine currently seeing service in the Polo GTI. To be a true hot hatch the power figure will need to be over 150kW with the Polo GTI at 132kW. What isn’t known is if the Polo R will be offered with an all-wheel-drive system or, like the Scirocco R, be a front driver.

We’ll bring you more details on this Euro hot hatch as they come become available. Click here to read more and view a clip about the Polo R WRC car.

Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special

May 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

VW has just unveiled its newest Golf special edition the GTI Edition 35 which will mark the 35th anniversary of the very popular European hot hatch.

Like previous ‘Anniversary Edition’ models, the Edition 35 comes with an increase in power, as well as updated looks and some extra kit. Power comes from a reworked version of VW’s 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine that develops 173 kW which marks an 18kW increase over the standard GTI.

Styling upgrades on the Mk 6 GTI body include a new front bumper, branded aluminum door sills and various ’35’ badges.

The world debut of the Golf GTI Edition 35 is scheduled for the annual VW enthusiasts event the 2011 Tuning World Worthersee at the beginning of June. Sales of the anniversary edition Golf are set to commence later that month. Continue reading “Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special” »

2011 VW Polo GTI arrives in NZ next month

January 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Polo GTI is back in New Zealand and it’s no toy either, packing a 132 kW/ 250Nm torque punch.

The light 1,194kg Volkswagen hot hatch will hit 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 229 km/h. Under the bonnet lives VW’s award-winning twincharged 1.4-litre TSI engine (turbo plus supercharging). It’s a very strong motor considering its size and has proved a very popular mill in other VW product. The engine puts its power to the front wheels via a globally adopted 7-speed DSG gear box.

The new Polo GTI also has excellent fuel economy thanks to the downsizing of the 1.4-litre TSI engine and the 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. The new Polo GTI is now 25 percent more fuel efficient with a fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100 km.

Comfort features include electro-hydraulic power steering, electric windows in front and rear, central locking, driver seat height adjustment, climatronic air conditioning, cruise control, green tinted insulated glass and privacy glass in rear window and rear side windows with 65% light absorption. And, multimedia is far from overlooked with RCD 510 radio CD system with large high resolution, colour touch screen, 6-disc CD changer, MP3 and MWA file compatible and AUX-IN multimedia socket, iPod adapter cable and Bluetooth phone preparation.

The GTI will be the first Polo to be available with optional bi-xenon headlights with cornering lights, LED daytime running lights and corner marker lights.

VW GTI-specific features are always standard, such as red trim on the radiator grill and honeycomb on air intakes and front fog lights as well as a sport seat system with distinctive “JackyŸ upholstery, leather covered multi-function steering-wheel with GTI design DSG paddles, sports suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels in the telephone dialler design.

The NZ Golf GTI will be in a four-door body shape and will have safety features consisting of a highly effective airbag network, belt tensioners, front head restraints designed to avoid whiplash trauma as well as Isofix points on the rear bench seat. An electronic transverse differential lock (XDS) reduces the tendency to understeer and improves handling especially for quick driving through curves. Like all versions of the model series, the Polo GTI also comes equipped with the standard ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including hill hold control.

The New Zealand 4-door Polo GTI will be available at an RRP of $37,500 in February 2011. Continue reading “2011 VW Polo GTI arrives in NZ next month” »

Volkswagen confirm return of Golf Cabrio in 2011

November 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Last week, VW confirmed that the Golf Cabrio would return in 2011 with a brand new version of the iconic model. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen made and announcement that the 2011 VW Golf Cabrio will enter production next year at the company’s plant in Osnabruck.

While no details of the new Cabrio have officially been released yet, it’s expected to be a soft top, just like its predecessors. With the Golf Cabrio in production, 1,800 jobs will be created at Volkswagen’s Osnabruck plant by the end of next year.

In terms of engines, the new rag-top Golf will most probably offer the same choices as the hatchback. This means it should receive both petrol and TDI diesel engines. As far as the top of the line performance model’s go, no details have been revealed. However, a 2011 VW Golf GTI Cabrio seems very likely as does a GTD model.

Check back as we bring you more details and specs on the future 2011 VW Golf Cabrio, as they become available.

Volkswagen makes it official with new Polo GTI

May 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has announced the latest edition to its new generation Polo lineup with the introduction of a GTI variant. This latest hot hatch matches its predecessor in terms of power but now achieves it on one-quarter less petrol. The GTI produces 177 horsepower (132kW) from a twin-charged 1.4-litre TSI inline-four with direct injection and twin-charging with a turbocharger and a mechanical supercharger. The combined fuel efficiency is now rated as an impressive 5.9l/100km on the EU test cycle.

The Polo GTI gets similar ‘telephone dialer’ five spoke alloys as its big brother, the Golf GTI, along with red accents on the brake calipers and trim on the grille. A new lighting package is included with the Polo receiving LED running lamps and corner markers along with bi-xenon headlamps. In keeping with the GTI theme, the seats are covered in a plaid fabric just like the originals of three decades ago. Interestingly, with the growth of the Golf over its six generations, this Polo is almost exactly the same size as the original Mk1 Golf.

Putting power to the ground is VW’s smooth shifting seven-speed DSG gearbox helping limit the 0-100km sprint time to just 6.9 seconds and will top out at 229km/h. Handling will be aided by VW’s electronic differential lock, which should reduce unwanted oversteer.

To find out more, read the full press release below:

Continue reading “Volkswagen makes it official with new Polo GTI” »

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