VW design boss lets slip on new Kombi

November 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It might just be time to dust off the dream of a new Volkswagen Kombi with news that Klaus Bischoff, chief designer for VW, believes a new version of the classic Camper is a fundamental part of his job. This rumour isn’t new and has certainly come around before, but with the success of the New Beetle’s ten-year production their may be a sound business case for a full Kombi revival.

At one point, there were plans to offer a production version of the 2001 Microbus concept that made waves at that year’s Detroit Motor Show, but potential costs put an end to that project. Now, a new Microbus seems back on, according to Bischoff, and Volkswagen is trying to figure out how conventional or creative to go with it. Volkswagen design offices around the world are being asked to offer input to help develop a vehicle with broad influences. At this stage possible platforms and powertrains are unknown but if it all goes ahead a new Kombi concept is likely in 2012.

New 2011 Volkswagen Touareg now available in New Zealand

November 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has launched its completely redeveloped Touareg into the New Zealand market with a special event held this week.

The 2011 Touareg is coming out swinging into the competitive luxury SUV market with an updated range of engines that are up to 25 percent more fuel efficient. There’s also some clever new driver assistance and safety systems. The Touareg V6 TDI with 7.4 litre combined fuel consumption now posts among the best value in the segment.

The new standard model Touareg was lightened by over 200 kgs, but has greater torsional rigidity and is built lower to the ground with improved aerodynamics. Together with front end styling based on the new Volkswagen family face, this results in a smaller frontal area. All engines are now offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission.

The V6 TDI models feature VolkswagenŸs BlueMotion Technologies — which include a revolutionary start-stop system that automatically shuts off the engine when the car is stationary, a regenerative braking system which recycles braking energy and low friction tyres.

Also modified in pursuit of reduced fuel consumption was the standard all-wheel drive system. All new generation Touaregs have all-wheel drive (“4Motion”) with a Torsen limited-slip differential. The Touareg also has an “Off-road driving programme”, which – at the press of a button – tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points. The V6 TDI can also be ordered with an optional “Terrain Technology” package that includes a traditional transfer case designed for off-road duty. It includes reduction gearing and centre and rear differentials, each with up to 100 percent locking.

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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.

VW Amarok scoops up International Pick-up Award

October 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new Volkswagen Amarok still hasn’t launched here in NZ but it is already picking up awards overseas. The Amarok recently took top honours in the inaugural International Pick-up Awards 2011.

It wasn’t easy either with the Amarok facing some well proven competition for the award, against the current generations of the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, Isuzu D-Max and the kiwi-favourite Toyota HiLux.

In taking the title the Amarok scored marks for its “effortless off-road abilities” and best-in-class on-road performance. The Amarok’s interior was also a source of points scoring and contributed largely to its victory.

“The new Volkswagen Amarok distinguishes itself by fantastic driving qualities, both on- and off-road. It sets new standards in the pick-up category in respect to load capacity, interior room, comfort, ergonomics and fuel consumption,” a statement from the Award jury read.

Kiwi buyers keen to take a closer look at the 2011 Volkswagen Amarok will have to wait for the official launch in the first half of 2011.

Official details for the NZ-spec Amarok haven’t been released but it should be initially launched with a double cab body and a single cab may follow later. In terms of engines the Amarok will be powered by a bi-turbo 2.0 TDI diesel engine developing 120kW and 400Nm of torque, and achieve an impressive fuel economy of just 7.8l/100km.

VW Eos updated with GTI engine and design refresh

October 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has pulled the covers off its mid-life updates for its convertible Eos model. Along with a number of interior and equipment updates, the updated Eos now features the Golf GTI’s 2.0 litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engine, replacing the previous range-topping 147TSI.

The 155kw GTI motor will be made available with either a six-speed manual or VW’s dual-clutch transmission  and will take the 1580kg Eos to 100kph in a respectable 7.8 seconds.

Volkswagen has also included Hill Start Assist standard on the 2011 Eos, along with classy Vienna leather upholstery, heated seats, 17-inch wheels and an updated grille and taillights. The exterior tweeks will visually bring the Eos into line with the rest of the brand’s small car lineup.

VW Passat Bluemotion smashes economy world record

October 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

So you think your cars is pretty economical because you once got 700kms out of a single tank, or pehaps 900kms if your were running on diesel. It’s not time to be patting yourself on the back just yet because a Volkswagen has just smashed the world record for distance covered on a single tank of diesel.

A team from the UK’s Sunday Times set off from Kent, England with a VW Passat BlueMotion and a full tank of diesel — then drove to the south of France and back again.

Averaging around 73kph, the team managed to travel a staggering 2,457 kilometers before it ran dry. The 1.6-litre TDI-equipped VW Passat BlueMotion used was a completely standard production model which features a lower ride height, Stop/Start tech, longer gearing and low rolling resistance tyres. As two witnesses drove behind them to verify the attempt for the Guinness Book of World Records, the Passat achieved around 2.61 l/100km economy — much higher than the officially quoted 3.66 l/100km rating.

New specs revealed on the Volkswagen Amarok Single Cab

September 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has announced today the new details and images of its two Volkswagen Amarok Single Cab utility vehicles.

The new two-seater is set to have its world debut at the IAA Auto Show in Hanover. According to the specs released by Volkswagen, without the rear seats, the Amarok Single Cab offers a generous 3.57 square meters loading surface, creating plenty of additional space. The tray is 2205 mm in length

The Amarok Single Cab will be available with a choice between two 2.0 TDI engines, creating 122 hp and 163 respectively, and with two-wheel-drive or the company’s popular 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but VW has said it will be in showrooms globally by next year.

Be sure to check back for future updates on the Volkswagen’s Amarok ute range.

Volkswagen builds 100,000th Scirocco

August 9th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The third-generation of the Volkswagen Scirocco has followed in the footsteps of it’s predecessors in being a quietly successful vehicle. The 100,000th new third-gen Scirocco has just rolled off the production line at Volkswagen’s Autoeuropa plant in Portugal, just two years after the sporty coupe was launched into the market. It’s quite an achievement considering the car isn’t offered in North America. The landmark car number ’100,000′ is a Scirocco R 2.0 TSI, in a Rising Blue Metallic exterior finish, with a Titan Black interior.

Autoeuropa Plant Manager, Andreas Hinrichs got a bit sentimental on the occasion, saying, “The Scirocco is one of the most important cars that we produce. For myself personally, it was a moving moment.”

The first two generations of the Scirocco sold a total of 795,650 vehicles from 1974 up until 1992, when the model was shelved.

The new Scirocco is offered with a variety of diesel and petrol engines ranging in output from 122HP (1.4 TSI) to the high power 265HP (‘R’ 2.0 TSI).

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the Volkswagen Scirocco R.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSI.