Volkswagen will complete a quartet of ID electric concepts later this year with the unveiling of a saloon, possibly at the Frankfurt show in September. It will join an ID SUV, set to be unveiled at the Shanghai show next month, alongside the already revealed ID Buzz MPV and ID hatchback. VW design chief Klaus Bischoff has promised a “surprise” for the saloon, which apparently prompted “wows” from his colleagues when they saw it for the first time. Continue reading “Volkswagen Readies Are Going For The ID Saloon Concept”
FOR YEARS IT seemed Volkswagen had perfected the family hatchback recipe, as the Golf saw off rival after rival. The current model has been squeezed by the more practical Skoda Octavia and the classier Audi A3, though, so this update is timely. Exterior visual changes are limited to restyled bumpers, new LED head and tail-lights, and Audi-style ‘animated’ indicators which flow in the direction you’re turning. Continue reading “Volkswagen Golf: Same Comfort, Updated Performance”
AS THERE EVER BEEN a more exciting time for hot hatches? There’s a Leon Cupra with what feels like in excess of 300hp, a four-wheel-drive Focus RS with a drift mode, a turbocharged Civic Type R with a fabulously unnecessary complement of aero add-ons, and, of course, the Renault Sport Megane, recently retired but still utterly sublime. And let’s not forget the smaller hatches: Peugeot finally finding its mojo again with the 208 GTi, and Ford’s Fiesta ST hopping into the desirability spot recently vacated by the RS Clio. Continue reading “VW Golf GTI”
Mild tweaks aim to keep the Golf at the peak of its powers
Has Volkswagen really done enough to distinguish the facelifted Golf from its hugely successful predecessor car that notched up more than 900,000 sales worldwide in 2016 alone?
What it is: A stylish four-door– hatchback replacement for the aged Volkswagen CC. If its name is a portmanteau, we take it to mean art for the ages.
What it is: VW’s new three-row crossover, challenged with lifting the smoggy skies that have been shrouding the brand since the diesel cheat broke. This Honda Pilot–sized SUV packages seating for six or seven along with ample cargo space. For the time being, the pricier, two-row Touareg will continue to sell alongside the Atlas.
A new small Volkswagen SUV will be launched by the end of 2018. The new model will sit on the Polo platform and take its inspiration from the T-Cross Breeze first revealed at the Geneva motor show last March.
The new Polo features a more dynamic-looking exterior that, VW officials suggest, will help broaden its sales appeal. Redesigned headlights, a more heavily sloping roofline and a more structured rear-end design were among the elements evident in recent sightings of a clay model of the new Polo at Volkswagen’s design base in Germany.
This is how the Volkswagen Golf has consistently stayed as Europe’s no. 1 car for years
The Volkswagen Golf has been Europe’s favorite car for the last eight years. Going further back, it has been shown that ever since the car debuted in 1974, the Golf has steadily endeared itself to the European car-buying public. They were taken by its style, performance, and reliability, making it a true car for the masses in the way VW had envisioned the Beetle to be.
Volkswagen is planning a squeaky clean future.. luckily Honda still knows how to make them mean
Well, it hardly takes a professor of automotive semiotics to decipher what’s going on here. The signs are clear. There’s something of the night about the Honda. Wearing brushed-black paint, it gesticulates with razor-edged aerodynamic aids and shouts with open-gob air intakes.
VOLKSWAGEN’S Tiguan SUV is set to become more of a rival for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Nissan X-Trail when a seven-seat version arrives next summer. It’s called the Tiguan Allspace, and we’ll see it first when it gets its world debut at next month’s Detroit Motor Show, but Auto Express was able to drive pre-production versions on the dirt tracks of the Kalahari. There was very little disguise on the cars we drove so it was difficult to distinguish the Allspace hom the standard Tiguans also on test; just a longer rear door marked it out. Continue reading “Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace”
THE Arteon is the car that VW says encapsulates its new, more emotional approach to its design, and product development boss Dr Franck Welsch is clearly excited by it. “Did you see how the new front looked when the car is in your rear-view mirror?” he asked. “It’s got much more purpose with the wider grille running into the headlight units, which get a new LED look.” Sadly, we haven’t had the view of an undisguised car that Dr Welsch has, but even behind the swirly camouflage you can see the shape of a large-ish five-door with an Audi A5-style curve to the rear. Continue reading “VW Arteon – CC Replacement Promises Stylish Looks And Move Upmarket”
THINGS are changing at Volkswagen – and fast. Stung by the emissions crisis of 2015 and seeing much of the company’s senior management change, 2016 was all about finding a way forward. And 2017 will see the first signs of the changes the new team in charge is making, not only to the company and its products, but also the way it does business. According to VW’s new board member with responsibility for product development, Dr Frank Welsch, it’s all about “cars, cars, cars”. Continue reading “Driving A Volkswagen Behind The Wheel Of Future”
A Golf. Short of needing seven seats or some genuine off-road ability, those two words can answer just about any car requirement you care to throw our way.
Stratospheric mpg from an unashamedly prosaic hatchback? Buy the diesel BlueMotion. Tech-heavy hybrid to coo over and feel environmentally cocksure about? Try the GTE. Serious track-day toy that will genuinely thrill? The GTI Clubsport S (a real 2016 highlight) has got that covered.
And among all of those, there’s a crossovery estate, a high-rise mini-MPV and a 4WD hyper-hatch that quite a lot of us would have over a Ford Focus RS.
The one we’re focusing on here, though, the one car that’s the answer to any sensible question you care to ask, is probably the least glamorous: the 1.0-litre TSI petrol. Its engine possesses just 999cc and three cylinders, but as is so often the way with these little turbocharged triples, it’s the pick of the range if you don’t cover 20,000 miles a year or frequently buy multi-lap passes for the Nürburgring.
Not that it would entirely shame itself there: the engine makes 113bhp and 148lb ft, ample to move a 1.2-tonne hatchback. A 9.7-second 0-62mph time should suit most people. The uneven cylinder count means it produces a charismatic noise, too, if not one as aurally appealing as a Clubsport S at full pelt. Perhaps more key is that it’s serenely quiet at a cruise and doesn’t groan like a strained, underused bicep when worked hard. Combined 65mpg fuel economy and 99g/km of C02 emissions are also uncommonly good for a car powered by petrol. If VW’s recent past has you rolling your eyes, then even our lead feet had the trip meter reading mpg in the 50s. And that C02 figure exempts you from road tax.
Still need convincing a reasonably sized car can survive with such a weeny-sized engine? Trust us, it’s the best of all worlds option. The turbocharger ensures adequate speed, the small cylinder count brings diesel economy without the smelly refuelling or agricultural cold starts, and the three-cans-of-Coke size means a nice, light blob of mechanicals up front. Which in turn means the sharpest steering Golf without a GTI or R badge.
Yeah, yeah, we all know Volkswagens are sensible cars, and among sensible cars they’re among the most desirable. But there’s a widespread assumption that you pay for that combination. If we’re giving an award for Best First Wheels, surely cost is pretty well paramount? It turns out the littlest Volkswagen is a bit of a winner here too.
Because of two things. First, it has high residual values. Second it’s got a lot of safety equipment so insurance is (relatively) cheap. And if you’re young and it’s your first car, insurance is likely to be the cost. Bigger even than buying the thing.
The chance does exist that you might be able to buy a car more cheaply than the Up. We’ve highlighted the Sandero. Or you might go secondhand. But a used car will be just as expensive to insure as our Up. So you might as well get the car you desire. And the Up is it.
Why you want one. The up doesn’t really feel like a baby car: it’s refined and has supple suspension, and runs true on motorways. But it does have the impish sense of fun of the best small cars. Its distinctive unfussy design is proving beautifully timeless, which helps if you’re getting it on a four-year PCP.
Time to trade in the family wagon?
VW Golf GTI Clubsport: Middle class sportswagen celebrates 40th birthday with more power, real downforce and tasteful GTI nods. Only 1000 coming to the UK too, so think of a good hiding place.
Mercedes-AMG A 45: Elder if not elderly statesman of the group inserts four-wheel drive, DCT gearbox and four-cylinder turbo unit into the familiar A-class shell. Bread delivery round optional.
Cheap as chips or sell the kids?
VW Golf GTI Clubsport: There are many flavours of Golf GTI these days and the Clubsport requires dropping an additional £3k over standard. But then you do get 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds, tartan, much downforce and a plaque.
Mercedes-AMG A 45: Not cheap. 40 big ones before options, £51 k as tested, the A45 is every millimetre a premium prospect. You get that shiny star and the best performance here, but also increased likelihood of singledom.
Everything in its place or waste of space?
VW Golf GTI Clubsport: Little compromise over a regular GTI here so acceptable front and rear room with a useful boot. But if you’re considering a Golf your kids will be at boarding anyway.
Mercedes-AMG A 45: Looks like a van with windows from the outside, curious impression of a small saloon from the inside. Okay in the front but back-benchers will be revolting.
Luxury palace or Crystal Palace?
VW Golf GTI Clubsport: VW has its own almost-premium furrow that the Clubsport is happy to plough. You’re essentially a boy racer who’s been to finishing school in a Paul Smith off-the-peg.
Mercedes-AMG A 45: Most of the materials are good quality but the design is a little old-school now and of dubious taste, like a bank vault decorated by Katie Price.
Nuclear powerstation or lacking motivation?
VW Golf GTI Clubsport: This flexible 2.0-litre can be wound out to almost 300 but you get 261 brake horsepower, with the ability to access a 10-second ecstatic burst of 286bhp before you need to clean up.
Mercedes-AMG A 45: Quite the former. Revisions pump up the 2.0-litre petrol to an absurd 376bhp. It might sound like a didgeridoo played through The Who’s PA but who cares when 0-62mph takes 4.2 seconds?
Handles on rails or railing on the handles?
VW Golf GTI Clubsport: Retuned suspension keeps things taut, balanced and controlled. Will adopt stupid cornering angles if you really try, but it’s more Iceman than Maverick. Or for the under 30s, more Superman than Batman.
Mercedes-AMG A 45: Stiffer than an Icelandic bar bill even with the Dynamic Plus option box. Unshakeable grip and traction to shame a Chieftan but the steering is as interactive as a postal vote.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40
Engine: 1984cc turbo 4-cyl
Power: 261bhp @ 5350rpm
Torque: 258lb ft @ 1700rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic with manual override, front-wheel drive
Top speed: 155mph
On sale: Now
Mercedes-AMG A 45 4Matic
Engine: 1991cc turbo 4-cyl
Power: 376bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 350lb ft @ 2250rpm
Transmission: seven-speed automatic with manual mode, four-wheel drive
Top speed: 155mph
On sale: Now
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40:
Indulge your hot-hatch itch without ditching all semblance of sanity and comfort. GTI Extra. 4/5
Mercedes-AMG A 45 4Matic:
AMG magic spread too thinly leaves A45 lacking direction, unless it’s forwards. 3/5
Volkswagen has revealed what will will be its star at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March – a sleek new four-door coupe saloon called the Arteon.
VW bosses say it’s a “totally new model” that will sit above the Passat saloon in the manufacturer’s range and replace the current CC, although they’re also keen to stress that the Arteon is a step up in class and isn’t a direct replacement.
VW Arteon will be pitched as a rival to the BMW4 Series Gran Coupe and will hit showrooms next summer, with prices from around £30,000. As well as boasting sleek coupe styling, the Arteon will introduce a new “horizontally accentuated” brand look.
“The sketches reveal that the design stays true to the Sport Coupe Concept GTE unveiled last year”
The large grille with horizontal slats extends into the 3D-styled headlamps, while LED exterior lights will emphasise the car’s premium image.
The sketches also reveal that the design stays true to the Sport Coupe Concept GTE unveiled at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, which previewed the production model.
In addition, VW has confirmed that the Arteon will feature frameless windows, as well as a maximum 1,700-litre load area with the rear row of seats folded flat.
No images of or details about the interior have been revealed but, given the coupe’s position in the range, we’re expecting an emphasis on technology. Features such as Volkswagen’s Active Info Screen cockpit display should come as standard, while gesture control from the facelifted Golf could also find its way into the newcomer.
The Arteon’s engine range is likely to mirror the Passat’s, which means it will get four-cylinder turbo petrols and diesels. But the Sport Coupe Concept GTE debuted a 374bhp 3.0-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain, which could eventually make it into showrooms in an Arteon GTE. That powertrain claimed fuel economy of 118mpg and CO2 emissions of 46g/km.
When the affable James Taylor asks me to review a new car I’m always keen. All cars are interesting, every new model a fresh challenge, nothing I could conceivably be asked to drive would necessitate me asking “what is it?’ before committing.
This time I should have asked. Regret flooded my body fester and more comprehensively than a shot of anabolic steroids through a pre-event athlete. This – despite my innate insistence not to pass judgement until tested – would likely not end well for this special edition of the ageing second-gen ‘new Beetle’.
For one thing, Volkswagen spuriously claims the Dune is somehow inspired by (and pays tribute to) the achingly cool and oft-competitive Baja bugs of old. This gaudy, marketing-mobilised, street-going pram could do them no justice.
The Dune also clocks in more than the equivalent regular Beetle Cabriolet, yet its equipment list is ominously devoid of the likes of climate, cruise control and heated seats. Perhaps – you would assume – compensation comes in the form of a set of skid plates, a decent lift and all-wheel drive? I could see the appeal in that concept; an easy-going soft-top that you could easily mooch around on the beach in, revelling in our microfortnight-lang summer.
Alas, the Dune’s premium nets you a fruitless 10mm lift in ride height, ‘off-road’ bumpers, arch protectors, bespoke wheels and paint. You get some decals to inform other motorists just how awry your purchasing decision has gone, too.
If you don’t like the looks, you’ll find little solace elsewhere. The 1.2-litre TSI, tasked with dragging all 1.5 tonnes of Dune around, feels inadequate out of town and teeth-grindingly coarse when pushed. It’s not aided by the light-duty seven-speed DSG, which seems calibrated to provoke the engine into delivering noise but not motion. A 2.0-litre TSI would transform this car, at least into something capable of getting you and it out of sigh t quicker. Then there’s the dated instrument cluster, rear seats that are more upright than a flagpole and a boot aperture that apes the slot on a postbox to perfection.
There are, however, elements that deserve praise. Powertrain aside, it’s pleasant to drive (provided you cut big enough holes in your paper bag) with easily judged responses and a solid, steadfast feel. It’s also comfortable at motorway speeds with the roof down, and you don’t have to crank the stereo to eleven to reach an audible volume. I even like the comparatively thin-rimmed wheel, reminiscent of many a motor past, which is perhaps the sole personally pleasing design choice in the entire car.
Make no mistake, the regular Cabriolet with the right engine is a serviceable drop-top. If you want one – which is the only reason to buy one – you won’t be disappointed by it. But please, avoid the Dune and save yourself a lot of money. Perhaps you could put it towards a better car.
The revamped Mk7 Volkswagen Golf “marks the beginning” of a renewed brand line-up by 2020, according to Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess. Describing the revised C-segment hatchback as “smart, safer and more connected” at its unveiling in Wolfsburg, Germany, Diess said the Golf is the most important model in the VW range and “the essence of the brand”. On sale from next spring, with an expected slight price rise to around £18,000 for an entry-level model, the new Golf features minor design tweaks, revised infotainment controls and fresh safety systems.
Visual changes are limited to restyled bumpers, new LED headlights and tail-lights and so-called ‘animated flowing’ indicators, with styling similar to that seen on Audis. The biggest changes are inside, with revised trims and technology systems, which now include gesture control. A 9.5in touchscreen can now be specified, while the smallest is 6.5in (previously 5.0in). The range-topping system allows the use of hand gestures to control various functions, such as changing radio stations or accepting calls.
It’s the first time the feature has appeared in a compact class car, having previously been seen only on larger luxury models such as the BMW 7 Series. The interior, in line with other recent VW models, receives the option of an Active Info Display directly in front of the driver. It features a 12.3in high-definition screen and can be ordered in place of a standard analogue instrument pack. The model also gets the latest generation of VW’s online services, including the updated App Connect, which integrates with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink.
Along with the additional tech, more personalisation options have been made available. A driver’s individual settings can be saved via the car’s key and managed through the menu, allowing drivers easy access to their for preferences for features such as lighting, automatic air conditioning settings, lane assist, park assist and the infotainment system. The revised Golf also adopts new safety systems, including Lane Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control.
A new Traffic Jam Assist feature combines functions of the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist systems to offer semi-autonomous driving in stop-start traffic at speeds of up to 37mph, while an improved City Emergency Braking system now detects pedestrians as well as vehicles ahead. The most significant change to the engine line-up is the introduction of the new turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine, which has the same power output as the 1.4-litre engine it replaces. The 1.5 TSI Evo delivers 148bhp, along with 1841b ft of torque at 1500rpm.
No performance figures have been released for the 1.5 TSI, but VW quotes a combined fuel consumption figure of 57.7mpg and a C02 output of 110g/km. These represent 2.4mpg and 9g/km improvements over the outgoing 1.4 TSI. A more economical Bluemotion version of the same engine will also be available. Delivering 128bhp, along with 1471b ft at 1400rpm, it has an extended coasting function that shuts down the engine when the driver releases the accelerator. VW claims combined economy of 61.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 104g/km for the Bluemotion.
Among future developments being pursued by VW for its latest petrol engine is a particulate filter, which is claimed to further reduce exhaust pollutants. Other confirmed changes to the engine line-up include the retuning of the Golf GTI’s existing turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit. The standard GTI now delivers 226bhp, 10bhp more than before, while the GTI Performance makes 242bhp. Engine developments also include the replacement of the current diesel engine line-up, with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit expected to replace the existing 1.6 TDI.
However, Diess would only confirm that there will be a next-generation diesel. “We are working on this, but it will arrive later,” he said. Further drivetrain advances include the introduction of a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which will replace the existing six-speed unit and be offered alongside the six-speed manual in more powerful models. VW says the move contributes to a reduction in CO2 emissions.
While the refreshed Golf hatchback, GTI, GTE and estate have been revealed, there are more Golf updates to come. The Golf R’s power output is expected to rise to 316bhp, up from 296bhp, while the company is rumoured to be working on a mild hybrid powertrain for the hatchback. The updated Golf will be on sale until the arrival of the eighth-generation Golf in 2019. Diess said that car will “be very innovative, a major milestone and will come with the more traditional drivetrains [compared with its all-electric range, such as the ID concept]”.
Meanwhile, the revised e-Golf is being unveiled at this week’s Los Angeles motor show. Already previewed at the Paris motor show, it uses a 3S.5kWh lithium ion battery in place of today’s 24.2kWh unit and is claimed to offer a range of 186 miles, 68 miles more than the current version.
Volkswagen’s long-mooted new electric car, seen here in a series of sketches, will make its debut at the Paris motor show this week, marking the firm’s fightback after 12 months of Dieselgate fallout. Described by VW EV boss Christian Senger as a “car of the future” and a “mobility device in a connected eco system”, the Golf-sized five-seater will be online and connected 24 hours a day and offer a range of 250 miles. VW also claims it will give best-in-class interior space thanks to a new ’skateboard’ chassis, known as MEB, with batteries slotted between the front and rear axles inside a flat, sandwich floor.
The EV, as yet unnamed, will signal a new era for VW as the company unveils a new brand strategy at the show. A ’Think New’ tag line will be linked to the car maker’s strategic shift towards E Vs and matched to imagery of the Beetle. Mk1 Golf and the new electric hatchback. Sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann said: “VW has always been innovating and changing. The change from Beetle to Golf was significant. Now we are changing to electric vehicles. That’s just as significant.”
VOLKSWAGEN’S NEW ID electric car will completely reinvent vehicle instrumentation systems when it is launched at the end of the decade, according to VW brand design boss Klaus Bischoff. He told Autocar that by moving the motor to the rear of the car and much of the climate control system into the nose, he and his team have been able to push the dashboard forward by at least 200mm. Releasing this extra space will enable VW engineers to use a new technology called ‘augmented HUD’(head-up display). Bischoff said the new system will be able to project information and pictograms to appear as if they’re some 15 metres ahead of the driver. The upshot is that navigation directions such as turn arrows will appear as if they are on the surface of the road itself.
By the time the technology hits showrooms, this feature will expand well beyond navigation. It will also be able to highlight approaching hazards, such as pedestrian crossings and stationary obstructions in the carriageway, and zero in on parts of a slippery road surface. This depth of information will become available as more and more vehicles are connected to the HERE mapping cloud. The HERE system – owned by Audi, BMW and Daimler – uses both hyper-accurate Lidar-based 3D maps and information gathered from millions of vehicle sensors to distribute live information and safety warnings to vehicles currently being driven on those roads.