VW Golf R boosted to 246kW by Sport-Wheels

June 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

You couldn’t exactly describe the performance of the Volkswagen Golf R as sluggish, but that hasn’t stopped brazen German tuning firm “Sport-Wheels” from further enhancing the performance credentials of VW’s hottest hatch.

The tuning shop has taken output from the standard 270-horsepower and 350Nm of peak torque to 330HP and 450Nm. Getting that much more power from the R wasn’t hard and all it took was a recalibrated ECU as well as a custom sport exhaust system for the car’s 2.0-litre TSI engine.

A sport suspension and lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels from O.Z. cloaked in 235/30 R20 tyres are also included in the package. For those who want to go against the subtlety of the Golf R and shout out how badass it really is, then ‘Sport-Wheels’ also offers an optional loud decal set.

To read a Car and SUV review of the VW Golf R, click here.

Volkswagen taking orders for new CrossPolo

June 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Smaller cars are a popular choice in the current buying environment but that doesn’t mean the tough and rough image of the SUV has dropped off the radar. Which explains why softroader vehicles have been achieving solid sales here in NZ and abroad. Now, Volkswagen has just released images and details of its new CrossPolo with a fresh blend of off-road styling in a compact form.

VW gave the automotive world a brief look at the new CrossPolo at the Geneva Motor Show, but is only officially revealing the full range now. Based on the new Polo hatchback, the CrossPolo gets an increased ride height and some token body cladding to give it rugged appeal. A new front bumper finished with dark gray plastics and blending into the wheel arches, new quarter panels and rear bumper — plus 17-inch alloys and integrated roof rails round out the package. Six engine options are being made available to European customers — three gasoline and three diesels. In terms of colour schemes, there are six exterior shades, including two colors unique to the CrossPolo.

Volkswagen NZ announces Football NZ partnership

May 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

As the All Whites World Cup Squad heads to South Africa to represent New Zealand at the World Cup, Volkswagen has just announced a new partnership program with Football New Zealand.

The new partnership between Volkswagen and New Zealand Football is aimed at developing the game here in NZ. With interest in football at all an all time high on the back of World Cup qualification it’s an ideal time to invest in grassroots development activities and to grow the game from the ground up.

It’s not just here that VW has an interest in football, “Volkswagen has a strong commitment to football globally, based out of our headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany” commented Dean Sheed, Volkswagen General Manager for New Zealand. “We already have developed Junior Football Masters programmes in 20 countries, across 5 continents and have our own team, “VfL Wolfsburg” in the German Bundesliga” he added.

This new partnership will see Volkswagen providing support for children at local Saturday morning club games all over the country through to the further development of the Small Whites development program and all the way up to the elite level representative teams.

“The announcement of Volkswagen supporting New Zealand Football nationally and particularly at grass roots levels further drives our ability to develop the sport and individual talent”, announced Michael Glading, CEO of New Zealand Football. “Also, given Volkswagen’s global association with the sport, there’s already a shared passion for the game and a mutual desire to reinforce the existing plans that we have in place. It’s an exciting time for football and we are looking forward to further exploring the opportunities that a brand such as Volkswagen can bring to the table and to capitalising on the profile that the football is currently enjoying” he added.

The All Whites first outing on the road to the World Cup will be against Australia on May 24th.

Volkswagen Golf Variant 2010 Review

April 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

What happens when you grab the back of a VW Golf and take two steps backwards? It’s a riddle that Volkswagen has recently solved with its new MkVI Golf Variant. But the stretched Golf is no joke and is set to cater to fleet buyers and anyone who requires a larger cargo capacity and hybrid-rivalling fuel economy. The current Golf has been heaped with praise in its hatchback form but is the wagon set to follow suit. Car and SUV spent some time inside the Golf Variant’s expanded interior to find out more.

The dimensions of the Golf Variant don’t differ from the standard hatch as much as you’d initially assume. Obviously there is an increase in length of 44cm but all other measurements remain exactly the same, including the wheelbase. At the front very little distinguishes the Variant from the hatchback with both sharing a black plastic grille and gaping low air-intake in the bumper. In profile, there’s no hiding the Variant’s extra length that is concentrated in the rear overhang and highlighted by integrated roof rails. Rear styling is unique to the Variant and consists of slightly awkward taillights and a wide opening tailgate that when lifted creates a generous loading aperture.

The Golf Variant is available in NZ with only one trim level: the lower-spec ‘Trendline’. While the only exterior evidence of this basic fit-out is the hub-capped 16-inch wheels, the cabin is fairly Spartan. However, the Golf is known for its high quality interior and even in its most simple form remains impressive. Soft touch plastics integrate with subtle aluminium and chrome highlights to create an excellent overall surface quality. A thick leather-wrapped steering wheel and large easily read instruments help make driving a pleasurable experience. The central control stack is basic and logically laid out with separate stereo and climate controls. The seats are finished in a dark durable-looking cloth and although supportive may not prove too comfortable on longer journeys. Head and legroom is ample all around with rear passengers receiving slightly raised seating and their own air vents.

Continue reading “Volkswagen Golf Variant 2010 Review” »

Volkswagen officially announces ‘R’ brand

March 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

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.

VW CrossPolo to join range

February 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen will be using the stage at this year's Geneva Motor Show to widen its Polo range, which now includes a high-efficiency Bluemotion model, the GTI version unveiled last week and the CrossPolo revealed today. The latest generation CrossPolo borrows from the hatchbacks sharp new styling and gives it the crossover treatment with black plastic molding around the wheel arches, across the sills and bottom of each door, as well as on the front and rear bumpers. The front bumper gets a wide honeycomb styled low air intake and integrated silver anodized roof rails feature up top. The look is finished off with new 17-inch two-tone wheels.

Globally, Volkswagen will offer no less than six engine options, although it's unlikely all of them will make it to NZ. There are three gas-powered engines that include a 1.2- and 1.4-litre four-cylinder, as well as a 1.2-litre TSI engine that features direct injection and turbocharging. For European customers there are also three diesel engines available and a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or 7-speed DSG automatic.

Check back as we bring you more updates on the upcoming Geneva Motor Show

Volkswagen Polo 2010 Review

February 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

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.

Continue reading “Volkswagen Polo 2010 Review” »

Volkswagen reveals reworked 2011 Touareg

February 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Described as the most technically innovative Volkswagen ever created, the 2011 Touareg makes use of many modifications to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

The exterior design remains familiar but dimensions have changed 4.3 cm longer, 2.0 cm lower, and has a 4.0 cm longer wheelbase –  width remains unchanged. Design details include a new corporate face grille, a reshaped profile, and distinctive taillights.

Inside, the cabin has higher quality materials, more comfortable seats, and additional rear leg room. The rear seats can be folded down via a press of a button to free up 1,642 liters of cargo space (it has 580 liters of space with seats up). Other equipment includes a standard 6.5 inch touch-screen, a 6-disc CD changer, an available GPS navigation system (with an 8-inch touch-screen), and a variety of different trims.

Weighing in at 208 kilograms less than the outgoing model, the 2011 Touareg offers a choice of FSI, TDI, TSI, and Hybrid engines. The V8 petrol, V10 TDI, and W12 engines are no longer offered.

The Touareg Hybrid is motivated by a supercharged V6 TSI petrol engine that produces 245 kW and an electric motor with 34 kW. With a combined output of 279 kW and 580 Nm of torque, the Hybrid can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and push on to a top speed of 240 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 8.2 L/100 km, while CO2 emissions come in at 193 g/km. The hybrid can also drive up to 50 km/h in pure electric mode.

The 3.6-liter V6 FSI has 206 kW of power and 360 Nm of torque. It drinks 9.9 L/100 km, and has a CO2 emission rating of 236 g/km.

On the diesel side Volkswagen offers two TDI engines. The V6 TDI cranks out 176 kW and 550 Nm of torque. It consumes 7.4 l/100 km. On the other hand, the new 4.2-liter V8 TDI has 250 kW and a whopping 800 Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is rated at 9.1 L/100 km.

The engines send power through two all-wheel drive systems. The base 4Motion version has a Torsen limited-slip differential and an off-road driving program. If that isn’t enough for your off-road adventures, the V6 TDI offers an available 4XMOTION all-wheel drive system.  It allows the Touareg to climb grades of up to 45 degrees thanks to reduction gearing, locking differentials (center and rear), and a rotary terrain switch (which offers five modes – On-Road, Off-Road, Low, centre differential lock, and rear differential lock).

The new Touareg will start arriving in dealerships globally from April.