Volkswagen reveals its new-again 2012 Beetle

April 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The original VW Beetle was in production for decades and the new Beetle didn’t do too badly either with a production run of over 12 years. Now, the next-generation Beetle has been revealed in a set of images and promo videos before its official debut at the Auto Shanghai show later this week.

This next-generation 2012 VW Beetle, has now dropped the word ‘new’ from its name and comes out 73 years after the launch of the original Beetle in 1938.

The 2012 VW Beetle differs in styling from the previous generation with a lower-slung more unisex design with a flatter roof and more upright back end. The overall styling is less bulbous and sharper cut when compared to its predecessor. In terms of size th new Beetle is also wider than its predecessor by 8.4 cm and longer by 15.2 cm.

The interior has also been given a complete refit with many cute features like the dashboard vase dropped. There’s highlights like a flat-bottomed steering wheel, an extra top-hinged glovebox and optional navigation systems on a 6.5-inch screen. There’s also talk of a sunroof that has 80% larger glass than on the previous model. Cargo capacity in the hatch has also been increased to 310 litres. Continue reading “Volkswagen reveals its new-again 2012 Beetle” »

Volkswagen revives Kombi spirit with Bulli concept

March 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has just unveiled its latest retro concept the Bulli which represents a modern take on the iconic Kombi.

This isn’t the first time VW has tried to reinvent the Kombi, back in 2001 another retro-inspired concept looked promising but management changes at VW killed the concept before it could be seriously considered for production.

Now, a decade on, VW is positioned very strongly and is trying out the concept again at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. This time around it’s called the Volkswagen Bulli, and like its 2001 predecessor, is designed to look and function like the brand’s famous Kombi. This Geneva concept is powered by an 84kW electric motor drawing charge from a lithium-ion battery pack. When fully charged, the Bulli has a theoretical range of around 300km before needing recharging. When a top up is required, VW says the Bulli can be fully charged in less than an hour.

The Bulli’s metal keeps true to the original Kombi layout and shape, which means a flat load floor and clever use of interior space. There are some modern tricks inside too with VW incorporating an Apple iPad which controls the stereo, navigation, bluetooth and air conditioning from its port on the console. The iPad directly communicates with a Fender USA-designed stereo system, which should pump out some serious beats.

Volkswagen hasn’t released any details on when or if the Bulli will make it into production, but don’t expect anything before 2014 at the earliest. Continue reading “Volkswagen revives Kombi spirit with Bulli concept” »

VW drops covers and top off new Golf Cabriolet

February 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The upcoming 2011 Geneva Motor Show will mark the return of the drop-top Golf Cabriolet after a near decade-long absence.

The new 2012 Golf Cabriolet is based on the platform of the latest generation Golf hatchback and features a soft top with an electro-hydraulic drive that can be raised or lowered in just 9.5 seconds at speeds up to 30 km/h. It’s a two-door but can seat four and has similar styling to the current Mk6 Golf but it features a unique rear section, lower profile roof line and more swept-back angle of its front windscreen frame.

For safety the Golf Cabriolet gets a pop-up rollover protection system similar to the one found on the A3 Convertible. With the exception of the 2+2 seating layout, the Cabriolet’s interior is identical to that of the hatchback.

In comparison to VW’s other convertible model, the Eos hardtop, the Golf Cabriolet is 208mm shorter but the two models share a 2,578mm wheelbase, meaning very similar interior space for all four passengers. With the roof down the Cabriolet still offers 250 litres of boot space.

In Europe, this latest Golf variant will be available with a wide range of six turbocharged direct-injection engines whose power outputs range from 78kW to 156kW. These include four petrols and two diesel options. Continue reading “VW drops covers and top off new Golf Cabriolet” »

Volkswagen unleashes Amarok ute into NZ market

February 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen NZ has officially launched it’s new Amarok ute into the competitive kiwi market and is ready to take on the big boys of the segment.

At a special event held for NZ’s motoring press, VW issued heavy-footed journalists an Amarok to test on a course of paved road, gravel road, beach and difficult off-road sections. The Amarok was impressive on every surface and was unbeaten by any obstacle. So should other ute makers be scared? You bet, the Amarok is competitive in every area and easily class-leading in some.

Amarok is the fifth model series by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the first ute by a high-volume European producer in New Zealand. Meaning “Wolf” in Inuit this ute is no wolf in sheepŸs clothing — the exterior design is based on the new Volkswagen “design DNA” with design features also found on the latest Golf and the new generations of the Transporter, Multivan, Caravelle and California.

Potent Powertrain

The high performance Twin Turbo TDI 120kW Amarok produces a hefty 400Nm of torque, whereas the 90kW TDI delivers 340Nm of pulling power. All models offer diesel engines with a 6-speed manual transmissions. The optional 4Motion model gives shiftable all-wheel drive with high/ low gear ratio for almost every type of terrain, while the Amarok is equipped with rear wheel drive as standard. With the higher-spec Twin Turbo TDI models, two exhaust turbo chargers provide an impressive vehicle response at low revs and more powerful performance at high revs. Despite the high performance the Amarok has fuel consumption from just 7.3 litres per 100 km. Continue reading “Volkswagen unleashes Amarok ute into NZ market” »

New Volkswagen Passat launched in NZ

February 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen NZ launched its all-new Passat at a special event for the motoring media this week.

With over 15 million Passats sold globally since the model debuted back in 1973 VW’s Passat arrived with great expectations and delivered nicely. In its technology, design and comfort the Passat is squarely aiming at a move to the next class up but without an increase in cost. New technology and further improvements in build and materials are what will separate the 2011 Passat from competitors in a hard-fought market segment. In terms of power the new Passat 2.0-litre diesel models output an impressive 320Nm of torque in the 103kW Trendline specification or 350Nm in the 125kW Comfortline. The newly available 1.8-litre petrol-powered TSI 118kW model includes a 7-speed DSG transmission with Direct Injection and accelerates from 0-100km/h in a brisk 8.5 seconds.

But it’s not just about power with the Passat in fact it is the economy figures which are most impressive. The TDI diesel Passats feature VolkswagenŸs BlueMotion Technologies which include energy recovery (regenerative braking), a Start-Stop system (automatic engine shutoff, such as at red lights) and tyres optimised for low rolling resistance.

The driving range of the new Passat BlueMotion Technology is exceptional. With an average fuel consumption of just 5.2/ 100km combined diesel fuel consumption; and with CO2 combined emissions of 135 (g/km).

When it comes to exterior design the Passat is looking modern and sleek with VW’s now familiar family face and new alloy wheels filling the guards. Available in two trim specifications – the Trendline Passat recieves 16″ Alicante alloy wheels with 205/55 tyres as standard and on Comfortline models  you can expect 17″ Fontana with 235/45 self sealing tyres. Continue reading “New Volkswagen Passat launched in NZ” »

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift model – revealed

February 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following on from recently leaked photos, Volkswagen has released official details and photos for the 2012 Tiguan facelift.

The Tiguan is the latest in VW’s range to receive updates after the 2011 Passat and Eos convertible, making it one of the few Volkswagen models to be updated rather than replaced by an all-new model.

In terms of styling the 2012 Tiguan is given the newer VW corporate face with a new headlight design, grille and at the rear new sleeker tail-lights.

In the cabin the Tiguan appears largely unchanged except for a new steering wheel. But the production model could sport more major updates.

Mechanical specifications will be revealed when the updated Tiguan debuts at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Continue reading “2012 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift model – revealed” »

Volkswagen takes concept Touaregs to Qatar Motor Show

January 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Qatar Motor Show is a new entry on the on car show calender but it is already drawing out some very interesting concept vehicles. Volkswagen has brought two special Touareg concept cars that are sure to turn heads in the desert state.

The first vehicle takes the hardcore looks of the Race Touareg 3 Dakar rally vehicle and puts it into a street legal SUV. Named the Race Touareg 3 Qatar the vehicle is painted in “Magic Morning” metallic white with gold flakes and has some spiffy Race Touareg graphics along the flanks. The SUV also swaps its 16-inch wheels for blinging gold painted 18-inch BBS wheels.

Inside is where the real changes over the Dakar vehicle have taken place with a full stealth look achieved. It’s equipped with Recaro race seats finished in perforated Nappa leather.  There’s bits of matte carbon fibre trim and a roll cage painted in “Serpentino Grey Metallic”. A special tribute is paid to the Dakar Rally where all VW’s ictories are etched in the anodized aluminum of the center console. Even with the added weight, the 228 kW Race Touareg can still perform the sprint to 100 km/h in under 6 seconds.

The Race Touareg 3 Qatar is joined on Volkswagen’s show stand in Doha by the Touareg Gold Edition. As you might have already guessed the Gold Edition is all about bling and is tailor-made for the local crowds. It is fully decked out in 24-karat gold trim inside and out. The gold coating includes the 22-inch wheels, roof rails, window frames, door mirrors, grille surround and badging. The interior is also appointed with gold trim. Other highlights include an Alcantara roofliner, Nappa leather seats, natural brown leather and Walnut Burr veneers. Continue reading “Volkswagen takes concept Touaregs to Qatar Motor Show” »

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” »