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” »

Facelifted VW Tiguan receives R-Line treatment

November 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen is stepping things up on its recently facelifted 2012 Tiguan SUV with the release of the R-Line trim specification.

Making your new Tiguan and R-Line is possible with the choice of two packages – one for the interior and one for the exterior. Both packages include a range of visual tweaks.

Opt for the exterior package and you receive more aggressively designed front and rear bumpers, a hatch spoiler, a black rear diffuser, aluminium door sill plates and R-line badging. Filling the wheel guards are freshly designed 19-inch alloys with 255/40 tyres.

If you want to dress up your interior appointments the R-Line cabin package includes sports seats up front, unique trim, sports steering wheel, aluminum pedals and more R-Line logos. Continue reading “Facelifted VW Tiguan receives R-Line treatment” »

New Volkswagen Phaeton on track for 2015

September 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The first-generation Volkswagen Phaeton didn’t achieve the sales VW desired but the carmaker is ready to give it another go. In 2015 VW will unveil its second-gen Phaeton flagship and according to reports it will be a substantially different machine.

The new Phaeton will be developed under the VW631 codename and is expected to use Audi’s new MLM Evo platform which should be lighter and offer much improved handling. While the current model is offered in sedan form only, the MLM Evo platform could lend itself to a variety of body styles including an S-Class Coupe rival, a five-door hatch and even a ‘shooting brake’ variant.

Little is known about what powerplant options VW will offer under the bonnet but it’s likely engine offerings will be much smaller than the current V8 and W12 mills. Possible options are four-cylinder units, six-cylinders and plug-in hybrid powertrains. Continue reading “New Volkswagen Phaeton on track for 2015” »

VW Amarok 8-speed auto transmission arriving next year

September 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When Volkswagen’s Amarok ute launched earlier this year it was heaped with praise and Car and SUV was impressed by its ability on, and off the tarmac. But without an automatic transmission option the Amarok was always going to miss out on some sales in NZ.

Now, VW has announced that the Amarok will be available with an 8-speed automatic transmission from the mid 2012. The new gearbox is expected to be a smooth unit that will assist with overall fuel economy figures for the 1-tonne ute.

The automatic transmission will work with the Amarok’s permanent four-wheel drive and new 132kW/420Nm Twin Turbo TDI engine. Amaroks with the new automatic gearbox will also have an increased towing capacity of 3.2 metric tonnes (up to 12% gradient).

With the auto box the TDI engine will work even more effectively in every rev range, and 8th gear has been configured as a fuel-saving overdrive gear that operates at reduced engine speed.

The new automatic transmission with its maximum torque of 420 Newton metres offers a top speed of 179 km/h and takes just 8.5 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h. Towing capacity has been increased to 3.2 metric tonnes (up to 12% gradient). Continue reading “VW Amarok 8-speed auto transmission arriving next year” »

Volkswagen reveals single-seater Nils concept

September 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Volkswagen Group is backing small electric cars in the future with the proof being two ‘pod’ style concepts unveiled before the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Audi’s Urban concept features a two-seat configuration but VW’s recently revealed Nils concept is strictly a single seater. The tiny concept uses two polycarbonate gullwing doors (plus a rear hatch) in a unique shape that envisions a future style of transportation for European commuters.

The Nils weighs just 450kg and rides on four exterior wheels with individual guards. The concept is powered by a 15kW electric motor that allows a range of around 64 km, but it has a overboost feature which takes output up to 25kW. This can move the Nils from 0-100kph in 11 seconds, top speed is rated at 128kph. Continue reading “Volkswagen reveals single-seater Nils concept” »

VW drops covers off production model Up!

August 23rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has just given the motoring world the low down on its up! The up! is VW’s new compact city car and will become the brand’s entry-level machine in many global markets.

As you’d expect the up! is a very small machine being just 3.54 metres long, 1.64 m wide and 1.48 m tall with a wheelbase of 2.42 m. There’s 251 litres cargo capacity in the hatch expanding to an impressive 951 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Under the bonnet there will be two variants of VW’s three-cylinder, 1.0 litre petrol engine with BlueMotion technology. Power output will be either 44kW or 55kW respectively. Economy is extremely frugal at just 4.2 litres/100km and 4.3 liters/100 km, depending on power grade.

A special feature of the up! will be optional City Emergency Braking – a safety system that works at speeds under 30 km/h, detects an imminent collision and apply the brakes automatically. Continue reading “VW drops covers off production model Up!” »

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” »

Volkswagen Passat TDI Wagon 2011 Review

August 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

In the sensible world of mid-size automobiles Volkswagen’s Passat has always been a quiet achiever. A competent journeyman that possesses all round ability but isn’t one to snatch at the limelight. The Passat has maintained this image for 38 years and seven generations. It’s proved a successful tactic too, with more than 15 million Passats being sold globally, making it the 11th biggest selling nameplate in history. Not bad for the quiet kid, but it might not be enough anymore. The Passat is beginning to exhibit some more extroverted tendencies. First there was the go-hard Passat R36 model released in 2008 and then the Passat CC (Compact Coupe) gave the model a sleeker profile. Now for 2011 the Passat wagon/sedan has been reworked for its seventh generation with sharp new sheet metal, tweaked engines and more equipment. So will this latest Passat break the well-formed mold, or play to traditional strengths? Car and SUV took a week long test drive in a Passat TDI Wagon to find out more.

The most obvious visual change to the new Passat is the inclusion of VW’s latest corporate face. The chrome-edged grille is broad and blends into wrapped-back headlights to create a wider, lower look. The chrome work is repeated around the window line and under the front fog lamps and lower air dam. All the panels have been replaced in the new Passat and the result is a more angular and purposeful machine. The short front, creased flanks and higher rear end give the Passat an athletic stance. Detailing like a subtle rear spoiler, integrated roof rails and twin exhaust tips finish the modernised look nicely. The standard wheel fitment on our tested 4Motion Comfortline model are 17-inch alloys with 18-inch designs an available option. Continue reading “Volkswagen Passat TDI Wagon 2011 Review” »