April 16th, 2010 by Car and SUV
In 1976 Volkswagen practically invented the hot hatch with its first Golf GTi, but despite its peppy nature it wasn’t really enough. VW then reinvented the hot hatch as a V6 with the Golf VR6 and the following Golf R32 but that still wasn’t enough. Now, still hunting down hot hatch perfection, VW has returned to its four-cylinder roots with devastating results. What’s spawned from VW’s latest efforts is an evolutionary machine that can lay claim to being the most powerful and hardest accelerating Golf ever built. Car and SUV took a drive in the simply named Golf R to sample its distinctive formula of practicality and pure excitement.
Where the outgoing Golf R32 had a naturally aspirated V6 hiding under the bonnet the new Golf R comes packing a turbocharged four in what’s best described as a ‘more from less’ approach. The hard-tuned 2.0-litre engine thumps out 199kW of power a 15kW increase over the outgoing R32 and 350Nm of torque a 30Nm increase. Maximum boost runs at 17 psi and all available grunt comes on at 6000rpm.
The engine isn’t an improved version of the current Mk VI GTi’s unit but is based on the older Mk V GTi mill. The block has been reinforced and the cylinder head replaced, new pistons, conrods, injectors and a new turbo are all used. The results are impressive and the Golf R will sprint from standing to 100 kph in just 5.5 seconds and won’t give up till it reaches a top speed of 250 kph.
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March 29th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The Scirocco R has just arrived in New Zealand and offers an impressive performance package with a strong engine and chassis, unique looks and exclusive features.
A turbo charged four-cylinder TSI engine is being used in the new Scirocco R. Its strength is in its high power and torque values with significantly reduced fuel consumption. With a 6 speed DSG transmission, just 8.0L of petrol flows to the combustion chambers via direct injection per 100km of driving. That corresponds to CO2 emissions of 187 g/km pretty good for a 250 km/h (electronically limited) sports car.
Back in May 2009 at the 24 hour race on the NuÌˆrburgring — Volkswagen proved how much dynamic potential the Scirocco possesses. Three Scirocco GT24 race cars powered by a TSI petrol engine with 230kW entered the marathon ride through the “Green Hell” there. Each of them bore a close resemblance to the production vehicle, both technically and visually. By the end of the 24 hours, the Scirocco GT24 team scored a victory in the class of vehicles with two-litre turbo engines.
While its no GT24 race car the Scirocco R for New Zealand is highly specified. As standard, it features an alarm system for security, 18″ žTalladegaŸ alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, auto light control, rain sensing wipers, an auto dimming interior mirror, ParkPilot for the rear, privacy glass, Climatronic dual zone air conditioning, heated front seats, RCD 510 6 CD stereo system with touch screen and MDI media device interface for connectivity with media devices. The price for the Scirocco R is $68,250.
Dean Sheed, Volkswagen General Manager for New Zealand, welcomes the latest member of the R family to New Zealand: “The Scirocco has found homes with many kiwis since we launched it almost a year ago — over 100 customers in fact — making it the most popular sports coupe in 2009. The Scirocco R, like its sibling the Golf R, takes driving dynamics to a whole new level.”
To find out more click here to visit the Volkwagen NZ website.
March 18th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Volkswagen has now officially launched its R performance subsidiary. Ever since VW first showed off its new Golf R and Scirocco R, it was rumored that the automaker would be creating a separate R division, solely focused around creating new performance models, as well as special design packages.
Now that’s become a reality the new division is set to meet the “increased global demand for individualized vehicles with contemporary sportiness and exclusivity” and the subsidiary will handle sales and development of high performance models. What it all means is that VW now has its R division like BMW has M and Mercedes’ AMG.
Self-described as the “specialist for sporty exclusive models from Volkswagen in the future,” the R division has already cut its teeth on developing the Scirocco R, the Golf R The new firm has also created some R-Line design packages.
Based in Warmenau, Germany (near Volkswagen’s headquarters) the R division already employs a staff of more than 350 people. Look out for more products from Volkswagen’s R division shortly.
March 8th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Volkswagen’s bottle bank arcade.
March 5th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Volkswagen makes throwing stuff away fun
March 4th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Volkswagen makes taking the stairs fun.
February 19th, 2010 by Car and SUV
One of the best things about playing mini golf is that you get much of the pleasure of golf only condensed down into a simpler form. While the concept of mini golf works well as an activity for dating teen couples it hasn’t always worked so well for Volkswagen’s Polo. The Polo model has been around for 35 years making it only slightly younger than its Golf big brother. The Golf has gone on to be one of the most successful cars in history while the Polo has seen solid sales but has still shivered in its shadow as a smaller, less attractive substitute. Now, the Polo has entered its fifth-generation and unlike the Mark VI Golf is an all-new vehicle designed entirely from scratch.
The new Polo was created as a poster boy for VW to show its current focus on technology and simple modern design. It’s working well with the new Polo already winning the European Car of the Year Award for 2010. Car and SUV had some seat time in the latest Polo to see just what makes it so special.
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January 18th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Volkswagen has won the Dakar Rally for the second time in succession and including 1980 for a third time. After a ‘showdown in blue’ the Volkswagen duos and their TDI powered Race Touareg prototypes celebrated a one-two-three podium lockout at the finish of the toughest challenge in motorsport. In the process, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz triumphed by only 2 minutes 12 seconds ahead of his team mates Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk in a thrilling finale on the closing 202 kilometre sprint on the 14th and final rally day. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford claimed third position. Last year’s winners Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz finished seventh.
VW remains the only manufacturer to have won the car category of the Dakar Rally with diesel power. TDI technology was already dominant in 2009 in Argentina and Chile. In addition to the efficiency of the Volkswagen Group’s diesel direct injection technology the Race Touareg’s reliability was the key to the 2010 “Dakar” victory: Despite the extreme demands the powerful 300 hp Race Touareg proved to be not only the most robust, but also the fastest vehicle: Seven of 14 possible stage victories and eleven days in the lead were credited to the four-wheel drive racers from Wolfsburg.
The result of the rally kept observers and fans alike on tenterhooks up to the finish line: Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk and Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford led in this order since the fifth Dakar Rally stage. However, at no point did any driver duo have an unassailable lead. In a strong final burst Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk edged ever closer, repeatedly taking seconds from their Volkswagen team mates Sainz/Cruz and, in doing so, staged a hard but fair duel for the leading position. The Qatari/German duo made up ground specifically in the dune sections — which once again formed one of the “Dakar’s” core elements — while the Spanish duo Sainz/Cruz controlled proceedings on the fast, twisty gravel sections.
As varied as the fight in the overall standings was — two stage wins went to Sainz/Cruz, four to Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk, one to Miller/Pitchford. So challenging proved the 32nd running of the Dakar Rally: In addition to the varied stages across soft, in part powder-like sand and through towering and endless dune fields of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile there were also gravel sections and tracks through enormous boulder fields on the agenda. The multi-faceted acid test with its terrain changing several times a day, two Andes crossings, passages through the world’s driest desert, the Atacama, as well as parts of the legendary Pampa.
For the new “Dakar” champions Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz a winning streak continued in front of millions of fans lining the daily stages in Argentina and Chile. As newly formed duo in the Volkswagen Race Touareg the Spanish pair remained unbeaten in their third competition together and secured a new superlative in “Dakar” history: Never before have two Spaniards won the legendary desert rally’s automobile category.