Porsche Volkswagen

Porsche boss takes on VW CEO position

Matthias Muller

Matthias Müller will move from his role as Porsche CEO into the Volkswagen Group CEO seat left vacant by the disgraced Martin Winterkorn.

On his appointment Müller said: “My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group—by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation.

“Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry.”

Of course, you’d expect there to be glowing praise for Müller coming from inside Volkswagen and Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group Works Council, has stepped up stating: “When it comes to leadership appointments the Volkswagen Group does not need hasty decisions. We know and value Matthias Müller for his determination and decisiveness. He does not work on his own, rather he is a team player. That is what Volkswagen needs now.”

Müller began his Volkswagen Group with Audi in the 1970s and and has also held positions with Seat, Lamborghini and Volkswagen during his rise to the top of the Volkswagen Group tree.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen says that five million of the 11 million vehicles affected worldwide by the noxgate scandal are Volkswagen products and those fitted with the affected EA189 2.0 TDI engines include the Golf VI, Passat VII and Tiguan.

Dr Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand stressed: “We are working at full speed on a technical solution that we will present to partners, to our customers and to the public as swiftly as possible. Our aim is to inform our customers as quickly as possible, so that their vehicles comply fully with regulations. I assure you that Volkswagen will do everything humanly possible to win back the trust of our customers, the dealerships and the public.”

For its part Volkswagen Australia remains eerily silent on the issue, with no official press releases or comment on its website about the noxgate drama.

Audi Video Volkswagen

Volkswagen CEO’s mea culpa on noxgate

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, offers up this mea culpa in response to noxgate; the diesel NOx emissions issue which Volkswagen says affects up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.

In a new statement Volkswagen says all new diesel vehicles which meet EU6 emissions are not affected by this scandal. However, if your diesel powered Volkswagen or Audi A3 is powered by an EA189 2.0 TDI engine then your car is right in the middle of the deceit which Volkswagen has overseen.

For some technical explanation as to why Volkswagen might have thought cheating emissions tests was a good idea, check out this reddit thread.

This is going to be a very sticky mess for Volkswagen to extricate itself from.

If you own a car affected by this deceit please tell us below how you feel. Can Volkswagen ever win back your trust?

Audi Volkswagen

Volkswagen shares go up in smoke


Volkswagen’s shares have plummeted more than 18% in Germany as the company suffers the fallout from its diesel emissions scandal in the United States.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Volkswagen and Audi are in breach of California’s Clean Air Act after the manufacturers created software to deliberately cheat emissions testing. As a result, the EPA claims four-cylinder diesel powered models built between 2009–15 emit as much as 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than tests showed.

Over 480,000 vehicles are affected and Volkswagen could face penalties of up to US$18 billion, with fines of US$37,500 per vehicle in breach of the relevant laws.

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters.”

For its part Volkswagen is preparing to take its medicine with Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, issuing a statement apologising for the breaches.

“I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Winterkorn said. “We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case.

“We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law,” Winterkorn added. “The trust of our customers and the public is and continues to be our most important asset.”

Affected diesel-powered models include:

  • Audi A3 (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Beetle (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Golf (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Jetta (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Passat (Model Years 2009–2015)
Safety Issues Volkswagen

Volkswagen AG announces international recalls


Volkswagen AG issued an international recall notice on Friday which will affect over 2.6 million vehicles worldwide.

A total of three campaigns are being run:

  1. Tiguan vehicle lights (affecting approximately 800,000 vehicles)
  2. DQ200 DSG oil change (affecting approximately 1.6 million vehicles)
  3. Amarok fuel pipe (affecting approximately 240,000 vehicles)

Tiguans built between 2008–11 will have a fuse replaced to remove the possibility of a faulty fuse blowing and causing one of the two light circuits to fail.

All vehicles fitted with a DQ200 7-speed DSG which use synthetic oil will be recalled to replace the synthetic oil with mineral oil. This is to prevent “electric malfunctions” on vehicles “subject to a hot and humid climate, coupled with a high proportion of stop and go driving”.

Volkswagen Australia says it has already issued a recall covering 25,928 vehicles with DSG gearboxes built between June 2008 and September 2011. About 40% of owners affected by this recall have already had their gearbox oil changed and they will not need to return their vehicles for further attention as a result of this new recall.

Some Amarok models fitted with a 2.0 litre TDI engine can suffer from a leaking fuel pipe in the engine compartment. Volkswagen Australia will contact owners of affected vehicles and bring them in to fit a chafe protector to the affected areas.

Green Machines Volkswagen

Zero-emission Golf blue-e-motion on sale by 2013

Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion

You’re looking at the Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion. It looks most like any other Golf, except this one is a fully electric creation. VW say it will commence sales in late 2013; Australian buyers will have to wait until 2014.

The front-wheel drive Golf blue-e-motion has an electric motor under the bonnet in the traditional position and its power is stored in a lithium-ion battery. Three driving profiles are offered, “Normal”, “Comfort+” and “Range+”. Each setting alters peak power and top speed accordingly. You’ll need Comfort+ for all the herbs, which gives you 85kW and a dizzying v-max of 135km/h. Normal mode reduces power to 65kW and the top speed is 115km/h. Using the Range+ setting deactivates the air conditioning system and cuts power to 50kW, offering a top speed of 105km/h.

Performance is clearly not one of the blue-e-motion’s strong points, then, and you’ll need near on 12 seconds to reach 100km/h. Of course, going fast is not high on the agenda for this car, so its the range that can be travelled that will be key here. And, wouldn’t you know it, Volkswagen are keeping quiet on that front saying only that prototype models can go as far as 150km before needing a recharge. We’ll get full details closer to launch.

For more on the blue-e-motion, check out the official press release after the jump.


Volkswagen confirms Golf VI Cabrio

Golf VI Cabrio rendering

The Motor Report brings word that Volkswagen has confirmed production for a Golf VI-based cabrio. They’ve even come up with this rendering to show how such a car could look. The soft-top Golf will be built in Osnabrück at the former Karmann factory, which Volkswagen picked up after the body specialists filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Production should commence in 2011 with deliveries for late that year or possibly beginning in 2012. Following a near decade-long hiatus the re-introduction of the Golf Cabrio would likely signal the end of the Eos convertible. Check out the source link below for more.

[Source: The Motor Report]

UPDATE 4 November: A press release from Volkswagen AG has been added below, which confirms a new Golf Cabrio will be built at Osnabrück.


2010 Golf Wagon – Australian pricing

2010 VW Golf Wagon

Volkswagen Australia have just released an Estate version to their volume selling Golf range. Known in Australia as the Golf Wagon, it will be initially offered in two model lines—Trendline and Comfortline.

Entry level pricing, before those nasty delivery and government charges, starts at $26,990. That gets you a 90kW 1.4 TSI Trendline with 6 speed manual. The top of the range model, 103kW 2.0 TDI Comfortline with 6 speed DSG, is priced from $36,490. The usual range of options is also available and a list of prices is available below.

Four engines will be available for those wanting the maximum 1495 litres of cargo space the Golf Wagon provides. Two 1.4 TSI engines, with either 90kW or 118kW are complemented by a 77kW 1.6TDI and a 103kW 2.0 TDI. The full gamut of Volkswagen transmissions is on offer, including 5 and 6 speed manuals in addition to 6 and 7 speed DSG offerings. At a basic level you can choose a manual or DSG with all engine choices, the numbers of cogs you get depends on the engine choice.

This is the first time we have seen a Golf Estate/Variant/Wagon in Australia and it remains to be seen how successful this addition to the Golf line up will be. I know one thing, though, they’d sell a lot more of them if they bothered to get Volkswagen to design the rear of the car. Instead, it looks like they just picked up some 1990s Honda Accord tail lights, stuck them on the back and thought, that should do it. When the rest of the Volkswagen range is, generally, so expertly styled—and of particular note here is the Passat Wagon—one has to wonder just how on earth they came to this conclusion.


Volkswagen Golf wins 2009 Wheels COTY

Volkswagen Golf - 2009 Wheels COTY

Wheels magazine announced today that the Volkswagen Golf VI has won their coveted Car of the Year award. Ged Bulmer, Wheels editor said, “The turbocharged, five-door hatch VW Golf range is outstanding. The Golf oozes sophistication, refinement and development—in an energetic package that comes with fundamentally good steering and balance.”

The local award rounds out a solid 2009 at the awards table for Volkswagen with the Golf claiming the World Car of the Year title, among a raft of Australian awards, as well. The new Polo was also awarded the 2010 European Car of the Year title.

The sixth generation model is the first Golf since the original Mk1 model in 1976 to win the Wheels gong. Volkswagen’s Golf edged out the Toyota Prius, Skoda Superb and Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan after judges cut the original 22-car field down to a final four.

UPDATE: Volkswagen’s PR machine is on the case and their press release can be viewed after the jump. Anke Koeckler, Volkswagen Group Australia managing director is naturally keen to promote the Golf as best-in-class, “The Golf’s selection as Wheels Car of the Year is the crowning achievement of an extraordinary year for the new Golf after already being named ‘Best Mid size car over $30,000’ by Australia’s Best Car Award and winning the 2009 Cars Guide Car of the Year and 2009 DRIVE Car of the Year awards.

“Winning the Wheels Car of the Year is proof the new Golf is at the pinnacle of automotive design and engineering yet is still attainable, a winning combination obviously.”

If you have a modicum of common sense you will have missed the live announcement on the abominable A Current Affair last night. The edited clip featuring just the Wheels COTY segment can now be seen at ninemsn video.

[Source: CarPoint]


Volkswagen’s Golf joins Estate bandwagon

Volkswagen Golf Estate

Volkswagen Australia will be launching the Golf Variant next year. Expected to arrive by March 2010 the car will be marketed here as the Golf Wagon, dropping the usual Variant label used in overseas markets.

The front end is, pretty much, all regular Golf. The back end, is all new, of course, and while the side profile is quite smart, the rear detailing is not so successful. The rear tail light assembly, in particular, is a bit ugly, quite frankly. Still, practicality is the order of the day here, and such details probably won’t bother too many potential customers.

Pricing hasn’t been confirmed, however, Volkswagen Australia Managing Director, Anke Koeckler, has indicated it will be “several thousand dollars” more than the volume selling Golf hatch. Currently, entry level pricing for the Mk6 Golf begins at around $26,000 for a 1.4 TSI or a shade over $33,000 for a 2.0 TDI. It is probably safe to expect engine options will match closely to those announced when the Mk6 Golf was launched in February this year.

So, this wagon won’t be the cheapest kid on the block. But with up to 1550 litres of storage space on offer Volkswagen will be hoping it’s mix of fuel efficient engines, renowned build quality and mid-premium status will attract young families, and possibly even some fleet sales, to the Golf Wagon.

A European press release, and a variety of images follow after the jump.

UPDATE: Here’s a quick review from Autocar.

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

News Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf VI – World Car of the Year 2009

Golf VI wins WCOTY 2009

The Volkswagen Golf VI has been named World Car of the Year for 2009. The announcement was made overnight at the New York International Auto Show.

After making the final cut, the Golf had to beat the Ford Fiesta and the Toyota iQ to claim the 2009 World Car of the Year title.

“We are honored that our new sixth generation Golf was named World Car of the Year. The Golf is Volkswagen’s best selling nameplate with more than 26 million units sold in over 120 countries,” said Stefan Jacoby, President/CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.

Full details available below in press releases from Volkswagen and WCOTY.


2009 Volkswagen Golf image gallery

2009 Volkswagen Mk6 Golf

With just a few days until the official Australian launch of the Mk6 Golf here is AUSmotive’s biggest image gallery yet.

The gallery features 50 images and showcases 5 door and 3 door models, interior details and cutaway graphics, with a few other tidbits thrown in as well. You can click on all images to load a 2000px super image, perfect for wallpapers and desktop backgrounds.

For more information on the new Golf read these earlier AUSmotive entries:


Golf R20 rumours gather pace

UPDATE 15 September: Details have now been confirmed on the Golf R—CLICK HERE!

UPDATE 16 July 2010: To read our Drive Thru review of the Golf R—CLICK HERE!

Is this the new Golf R20?
Is this the new Golf R20?

UPDATE 15 September: Details have now been confirmed on the Golf R—CLICK HERE!

Speculation about a 200kW top of the range Golf GTI model has been rampant since it was revealed there would be no plans for a Mk6 R32. At first, GTI-R was the label most favoured, but in recent times the rumour mill has become more enamoured with the R20 moniker (or possibly R20T).

Never one to be shy to have a play in Photoshop, AutoExpress have published images of what they say the Golf R20 will look like. The AutoExpress images certainly look the part even if they’ve knocked off the wheels from an Audi R8 V10 and looked at one too many Porsche 911s when mocking up those LEDs in the lower grille.

Believed to be powered by what would essentially be the Audi TTS engine, the R20 was given something of a preview with the Scirocco Studie R at the 2008 Bologna Motor Show. It makes sense that the Studie R and the Golf R20 wold use the same running gear. With any luck the stunning seats from the hot Scirocco will also make it to the hot Golf.

The only major guess left is which wheels will be doing the driving. You’d like to think that 200kW would be given access to all four wheels, but the Studie R made no mention of 4MOTION. However, with all wheel drive being available in the Golf IV and Golf V ranges, there is still hope for the hottest Golf yet to be granted access to Haldex hardware.

With any luck all will be revealed for certain if the rumoured official announcement takes place at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

(Thanks to Rich for the tip.)