VW shows Golf BlueMotion concept

September 9th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion concept fq

Volkswagen has today unveiled the remarkable Golf BlueMotion concept vehicle, a car capable of achieving a combined 3.17l/100km while emitting just 99 g/km of CO2.  This matches the economy of the Polo BlueMotion, itself among the most efficient vehicles currently on sale.

The BlueMotion label was first attributed to the Polo in 2006 (read a road test of the Polo BlueMotion by clicking here) and represents the most efficient model in each of Volkswagen’s passenger car ranges.  Since the Polo made its debut, BlueMotion versions of the Golf Mk V, Golf Estate, Golf Plus, Jetta, Touran, Passat, Passat Estate and Sharan have been launched in various markets worldwide.

The new Golf BlueMotion concept is powered by a highly-efficient and refined 1.6-litre TDI common rail diesel engine developing 105 PS and 249Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm.  Despite the focus on economy the Golf BlueMotion concept can reach 100kph from rest in a respectable 11.3 seconds.

As with all BlueMotion models the Golf BlueMotion adopts a series of changes to drivetrain and aerodynamics in order to maximise the vehicle’s efficiency.  A set of low rolling resistance tyres are joined by optimised aerodynamics and revised ratios in the five speed gearbox.  The resulting combination of changes works to reduce loading on the engine to drive up economy and reduce emissions.

In common with every diesel model in the forthcoming new Golf range the BlueMotion concept is fitted with a diesel particulate filter.

The UK gets the new BlueMotion Golf in mid-2009; New Zealand and Australian dates have not been announced yet.

Will VW resurrect the Microbus concept?

September 8th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

VW Microbus concept fq

Back in 2001 VW showed a Microbus concept. People liked it, and it was rumoured to be going into production in 2005, but that didn’t happen. The project got expensive, the US dollar wasn’t doing well, and then-boss Bernd Pischesrieder killed it off.

But aging hippies everywhere have danced around campfires, played djembes and offered gifts of lentils and mung beans to the tree fairies in the hope that VW would bring back their favourite form of transport: the Kombi. Now, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that VW may produce a Microbus at the Chattanooga, Tennessee facility. An unnamed Volkswagen suit told the SMH that the Microbus won’t make it to Europe; another spokesperson hinted that the vehicle may be able to be produced.

What does that mean for NZ? Well, should it be produced and gain enough traction over in the US, right-hand drive markets are sure to want a piece of it. So, within the next 3-4 years we could see the new Microbus touring around our fair country with a new generation of hippies.

Volkswagen takes 3rd place from Ford in world rankings

August 29th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

The Volkswagen Group has taken its place among the world’s top three automakers thanks to the Wolfsburg-based company’s outstanding delivery figures in the first half of 2008. Rival Ford has to settle for fourth position.

“We are delighted that the Volkswagen Group has made it to the global automobile industry’s top three for the first time. This shows that we are on the right track with our ever-stronger international presence and, above all, our product program. We will systematically push ahead with our growth course even in the present difficult market environment,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, commented.

With 3.31 million vehicles delivered in the first half of 2008, the Volkswagen Group increased deliveries in the first six months of this year by 7.2 percent, moving up to third place in the global vehicle sales ranking and overtaking its rival Ford, which announced vehicle sales of 3.22 million for this period.

Volkswagen Passat CC on sale in New Zealand now

August 28th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

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Volkswagen is extending the model range of the Passat car line by adding a third variation the Passat CC, which is on sale in New Zealand now with deliveries expected to start in October.

Its fully independent body design, an interior that has sporty individual bucket seats in the rear too, an impressive powertrain and technological highlights worthy of the luxury class, meld together to create a unique vehicle in the Passat’s market segment. The Passat CC (Comfort Coupe) is an elegant sedan and a dynamic coupe simultaneously. The concept and design of this Volkswagen are defining fresh, new directions beyond the mainstream.

The coupe philosophy is reflected in the interior with its four seat layout. In both the front and rear, ergonomically designed sport seats of the highest calibre are used. Overall, it can be said that Volkswagen has succeeded in further refining seating comfort and controls on this four-door coupe.

The engine in the Passat CC is a 3.6 litre six cylinder delivering 220 kW at 6,600 rpm.

It develops maximum torque of 350Nm from 2,400 rpm and accelerates the four-door coupe to 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds. The Passat CC V6 is offered with the latest generation of 4Motion full-time all wheel drive and is shifted via the automated DSG dual clutch transmission.

The Passat CC has a RRP of $88,990.

Volkswagen Caddy adds interesting roof feature

August 28th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

volkswagen-caddy-topdeck

Among the display of leisure vehicles and campers on the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles stand at Europe’s largest recreational vehicle show that starts in Düsseldorf, Germany this weekend will be an interesting Caddy Topos Sail design concept which takes its nautical theme to the extreme of having a wooden boat deck on its roof.

The Caddy Topos Sail design concept, based on the smallest model in the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle van range, uses design cues from classic yachts and has its multi-functional roof covered with wooden decking surrounded by aluminium roof rails.

The wooden sun deck on the roof is accessed via four matching wooden and aluminium steps in the Caddy’s tailgate, and to complete the design theme there are wooden inserts along the side of the vehicle and in the rear bumper.

Volkswagen CC to go on sale this year but not in New Zealand

August 21st, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen Passat CC fq2

To kick off the market launch of the Passat-based CC, Volkswagen of America has debuted a CC Gold Coast edition at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The CC Gold Coast highlights the luxury sports coupe with powerful performance, strong lines and luxury touches combining the emotional and expressive stance of a sports coupe with the convenience of a luxury sedan.

The unmistakable Volkswagen front-end, with two cross-struts and a centrally placed Volkswagen logo between trapezoidal headlamps is highlighted by the ground effects on the CC Gold Coast. A high-end tri-coat paint, DuPont’s Pepe Pepper, features a rich mix of gold, brown and silver tones that compliment the cars design characteristics.

The rear end of the four-door coupe-style CC is also marked by large-surface dual taillights that produce an unmistakable visual image day and night. A spoiler with additional rear-end ground effects helps further enhance the vehicle’s sporty nature. The CC Gold Coast sits on 19 inch propeller style wheels, which provide a combination of sharp style and improved curb appeal.

Volkswagen’s attention to detail is shown off in the interior of the CC Gold Coast with four ergonomically formed sport seats wrapped in luxurious leather, a combination of Latte Macchiatto, Cornsilk with Bronze Piping on the seats with matching accents on the dash and door trim.

The CC Gold Coast edition features the 3.6L TFSI, rated at 280 horsepower and 360Nm of torque, with the innovative DSG double-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, yet another example of the car’s dual nature. The DSG system not only offers the driver the advantage of choosing between fully automatic operation or full manual selection, DSG also changes gears more quickly and smoothly than a conventional transmission, while improving fuel economy.

The CC will be released in the U.S. market in the fourth quarter of 2008, with a starting price under $27,000 (NZ$38,000).

There are no plans as yet to bring the CC to New Zealand.

New Volkswagen Golf coming to New Zealand

August 6th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

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Five generations, 34 years and over 26 million vehicles after the original first went on sale, the sixth generation of the Golf has been unveiled.

The new model continues the evolution of an icon. The new Golf is the safest, most technically advanced and most dynamic iteration yet. Not only does the new Golf promise great value, but it aims to set benchmarks in quality, style, safety and the reduction of emissions.

The new look aims to combine the elements that define the Golf across five generations while bringing them up to date. The result is a clean, elegant design that’s easily recognisable as a Golf yet remains an all-new shape.

The same elements of simplicity and attention to detail were applied to the vehicle’s interior. A new level of quality is established in the Golf with the adoption of materials and equipment usually associated with a vehicle in a higher segment.

Clearly defined white backlit dials sit in recessed, individual cowells behind a three-spoke steering wheel with the option of controls for entertainment and communications functions.  High quality, soft touch plastics are integrated with tasteful aluminium and chrome highlights. The new look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seals, a new damping film that supports the windscreen and a new engine mounting system. The result is new levels of acoustic damping to make the new Golf the quietest yet.

Aiding this refinement are advanced new petrol and diesel engines. The new 2.0-litre TDI 110 PS common rail diesel engine emits just 119 g/km of CO2 while returning 4.5L/100km on the combined cycle. Other diesel variants are available with 90 PS, 140 PS and 170 PS outputs linked to a choice of six-speed manual or DSG gearboxes.  Many of the petrol engines adopt highly efficient TSI technology with outputs of 80 PS, 102 PS, 122 PS and 160 PS.

For the first time, Volkswagen’s Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) will be offered on the Golf. This is available on the Passat CC and standard on the new Scirocco, and allows the driver to select from normal, comfort or sport modes to define the desired suspension, steering and accelerator response settings for any particular journey.

Automatic Distance Control is also offered, which monitors the area around the vehicle through a series of sensors and will, if necessary, reduce the vehicle’s speed should an obstruction be identified. In extreme cases the vehicle can be brought to a complete stop using the system.

Building on the technical advances are new levels of safety equipment including the addition of a knee airbag for the driver to bring the total number of airbags fitted as standard to seven. A new head restraint system designed to reduce whiplash injuries and rear seat belt detection sensors are joined by new, more advanced Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) software.

Prices and specifications for the new Golf will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch towards the end of the year.

The new Golf goes on sale in the UK in January with New Zealand sales expected to commence soon after.

Volkswagen lightweight mid-engine Elise-beater on the cards

July 22nd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

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Rumours of a lightweight mid-engine car from VW-Audi continue to circulate and look to climax with the unveiling of a such a Volkswagen at the Los Angeles Motorshow later this year.

There are also rumours that this car could also be the Audi R4, the phantom-like unconfirmed but believed-to-exist model, that has auto-nuts blabbering like alien conspiracy theorists.

A third shot in the dark (that could still hit the target) is that with Porsche owning part of Volkswagen a resurrection of the 914 tag could be on the cards.

Facts will dissolve speculation when the L.A Motorshow opens in November.