Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport concept revealed

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport

Next year the Golf GTI will turn 40 and to start the celebrations Volkswagen has revealed this Clubsport concept model at its annual Wörthersee show.

Volkswagen says the Golf GTI Clubsport will go on sale in 2016. The special edition GTI gets a power boost to 195kW and revised model-specific body styling designed to improve downforce.

The images revealed show the wheels filling out the guards nicely, although it remains to be seen if that’s anything more than Photoshop trickery. You’ll also notice the tyres shown are semi-slicks, which is rather interesting. That means you should also expect the Clubsport to boast other mods such as a revised exhaust plus uprated brakes and suspension.

The BMW-like “air curtain” featured in that new front spoiler will also help keep your bigger brakes a bit cooler. Indeed, this looks like being one very cool GTI.

It looks good. It will drive well. And, finally, a Clubsport to which we can say: “I just want one.”


Audi RS3 Sportback priced from AU$78,900

Audi RS3 Sportback

Australian pricing for the new Audi RS3 has not been officially announced but plenty of local dealers will happily sign you up to buy their new 270kW/465Nm hot hatch. When they do the first figure they’ll put down is $78,900, that’ll be the base price, before on road costs.

At first that doesn’t seem too bad; mid-80s driveaway for an RS3 is okay value, maybe. But that’s before you start ticking the options boxes.

One of the two RS Performance Packs offered will add $6490, they include things like bigger wheels and tyres, better stereo, magnetic ride, carbon fibre interior bits and a fresh lick of paint for your brake calipers. If you want some extra driver aids, such as adaptive cruise control, you’ll need to tick the $1600 Assistance Pack.

The RS Design Pack, to jazz up your interior, will add another $1950. And if you want to customise the outside of your new RS3 then the extended styling packs (matt silver or gloss black) up the price by a further $1600.

More usual extras like metallic paint ($1495), crystal effect paint ($2015) and a pamoramic sunroof ($2535) are also likely to prove popular.

All of a sudden you could be looking at a six-figure sum for your growling five-pot quattro. And that’s before you’ve asked about ceramic brakes (front only) or racing style bucket seats.



An update on the mighty Golf R400

Volkswagen Golf R400 Concept

Over the last week or so there’s been some talk about the Golf R400 being signed off for production. This is a good thing, I’m sure you’ll all agree, but it’s not actually new news. It’s over a year ago now that Car and Driver reported that Volkswagen’s powertrain boss Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser told them the R400 would become a reality.

What is news is that the R400 might actually be an R420. That’s to say instead of boasting 400 horsepower it might actually have 420PS to play with. Dr Neusser is again the source of the latest discussion, as reported by Car.

“We have the Golf more sporty than ever before, since we soon will have the Golf R400—we will do this car,” Neusser confirmed. “We are in fact in development of it right now.”

So where does this R420 bit come from? Cast your mind back to the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and the Audi TT quattro sport concept. Yep, its EA888-based 2.0 litre turbocharged four-pot had 309kW or 420PS.

It may be that Volkswagen will leave Audi to the top-spec version of this revised high-output engine. For now, though, let’s pretend we’re going to see a Golf R420 because, well, it’d just be a bit cooler to comfortably exceed 400 horsepower in a standard production model Golf don’t you think?!

Even cooler is the suggestion that the production-spec Golf R400/R420 will debut at the Frankfurt show this September, with deliveries to follow shortly thereafter.

Bring it!

[Source: Car]


BMW M135i LCI photo gallery

F20 BMW M135i LCI

LCI—the three most important letters to the F20 1 Series range—they stand for Life Cycle Impulse which is BMW speak for get the fugly out of here!

Finally, the 1 Series has been give a front-end makeover and here is the new M135i. True, it’s still not the world’s prettiest car, but at least its dorky eyes have been lost in favour of a treatment more inline with the much more visually pleasing 2 Series.

For Australian readers enjoy these pictures, because they’re as close as you’ll ever get to a three-door M135i. Not only that, the car in these pics is fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Remember them?

Honda Motor Shows

Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R

This is it! You’re looking at the production-ready Civic Type R. At last!

Its numbers, then, what are its key stats? Power from the 2.0 litre VTEC mofo engine is rated at 310PS (228kW) at 6500rpm, while peak torque is 400Nm at 2500rpm. A lot for a front-wheel drive hot hatch, yes, but it’s what we’ve come to expect these days.

The 0–100km/h sprint is all over in 5.7 seconds and the new Type R has a v-max of 270km/h. Thankfully that’s all done via a proper 6-speed manual transmission as well.

The marketers have triumphed with the naming of the magic +R button. When that button is pressed the lab coats have ensured the car becomes more responsive with a more more aggressive torque-map, reduced power assistance for the steering and stiffening up the Adaptive Damper System by 30 per cent.

Marketing very much triumphs over engineering with the GT pack, which is nothing more than a collection of frilly options. There’s no extra power or suspension beefiness to be found here.

And speaking once again about marketing, Honda has published a video of the Civic Type R lapping the Nürburgring in 7 minutes 50.63 seconds. Take that Renault!


2016 Ford Focus RS previewed

2016 Ford Focus RS

Ford has given us a preview of its third generation Focus RS. It goes into production later this year and will be built in Germany. And, yes, it is coming to Australia!

The all-new Focus RS will be powered by a 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine pumping out “well in excess of 320PS”. That’s 235kW in modern lingo.

All that power to the front wheels will be a bt stupid won’t it? Well, yes, it appears Ford’s engineers have given up trying to tame big horsepower front-wheel drive hot hatches. This time the Focus RS will boast an all-wheel drive system. But not just any old AWD system, no, this one will be special, Ford claims. It’s best to just go straight to their press guff:

The Ford Performance AWD system is based on twin electronically-controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit. These manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and also can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the “torque vectoring” capability, which has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

The control unit in the rear drive unit continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 per cent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 per cent of the available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel.

“This AWD system is a breakthrough technology, capable of delivering supreme cornering and handling at the limit,” said Dave Pericak, director, Global Ford Performance. “We have ripped up the rulebook which says that AWD hatchbacks cannot be fun to drive, and have created a car which will surprise and reward in equal measure.”

The new Focus RS will officially debut in Geneva next month.

MINI MINI Challenge Video

VIDEO: 3rd-gen MINI Challenge car

MINI JCW Challenge car

MINI Challenge cars are very, very cool. Take one road-going JCW hardtop, rip its guts out and turn it into a bona fide racecar. Do that a few times over and put them all on a track and you have a recipe for fun and rubbing doors.

The 3rd-gen MINI Challenge car is ready to terrorise circuits around England. We trust you’ll enjoy this video brought to us by Xcar.

Aston Martin BMW Ferrari Porsche Video

VIDEO: Three days of fun

Chris Harris on Cars, COTY 2014

Chris Harris and mates at Portimao with his favourite cars from 2014. There’s no agenda, no forced result to pick a winning car. It’s simply a recipe for fun. Enjoy!

[Thanks to Richard for the tip]


2015 Audi RS3 Sportback revealed

Audi RS3 Sportback

Audi UK has gone first with details of the new RS3 Sportback and it’s very good news too. Powered by the charismatic 2.5 litre inline five cylinder turbo engine the new RS3 pumps out 270kW (367PS) and 465Nm to all four wheels via its quattro all-wheel drive system. That’s a 20kW/15Nm increase over the previous-gen RS3.

Coupled to a 7-speed S tronic transmission the RS3 sprints to 100km/h in only 4.3 seconds. Sub 4.5 second 0–100 times in a family hatchback!

And that’s not the best news, either. No, the best news is, as first reported on AUSmotive back in October 2012, the RS3 will be offered for sale in Australia. Expect it to hit your local Audi dealer in late 2015.

Featuring the expected RS cosmetic enhancements the new RS3 looks great with its aggressive front grille and spoiler. Large oval-shaped exhaust tips set-off the back very nicely and perhaps the only disappointment is the new style 19″ alloy wheels.

For now we only have four images to work with, but no doubt more will be coming from Audi AG very soon. We’ll bring those to you when we can, along with all the detailed press material we can get our hands on.

UPDATE #1: Audi AG press release added below.
UPDATE #2: 13 new pics now available after the break.


2015 MINI JCW details announced (official)

F56 MINI John Cooper Works

MINI UK has quickly responded to the overnight leak of information for the new John Cooper Works hatch by publishing a short press release. You can see that after the break, along with more 2560px images.

In side profile the new JCW looks pretty good and dare we say it, we’re even starting to soften our views on that god awful front body kit. A 2.0 litre engine knocking out 170kW/320Nm is nothing to sneeze at, even if we suspect it’s marketing reasons only from preventing the hottest MINI hatch from having more power to play with. And four-pot Brembo brakes are a nice touch too.

There’ll be more info in a few weeks when Detroit lights up and we’ll bring you up to speed then as well.

UPDATE #1: 15 page press kit now available for download (165kb PDF).
UPDATE #2: 11 new pics added below.


Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R – Australian pricing

Renault Megane RS275 Trophy R

Renault is bringing the Megane RS275 to Australia and we’re getting a fair whack of the limited edition model, too. Out of the 250 to be sold worldwide, 50 will be coming down under—Australia is one of the highest selling markets for Megane hot hatches.

As the image above suggests this car has lapped the Nürburgring Norschleife in under 8 minutes and lays claim to being the fastest front-wheel drive production car around the famed track money can buy. And to buy it in Australia you’ll need 61,990 monies.

For those monies you’ll get one RS275 Trophy R, with its race-tuned Ohlins suspension, super sticky Michelin rubber, crackly Akrapovic exhaust system and the weight saving benefits of throwing out the rear seat. Yep, the Trophy R is an out and out two-seater.

Also included in the asking price is the Nürburgring Accessory Kit, of which a Brembo brake kit, lightweight lithium-ion battery and six-point harness belts are the most notable items.

Australian deliveries of the RS275 Trophy R are scheduled for January 2015, so best get down to your local Froggie dealer soon if you want to be one of the 50 coolest hot hatch kids on the block.

Video Volkswagen

Sebastien Ogier tries out the Golf R Estate

Volkswagen Golf R Estate

So you’re carving through the mountains in your hot hatch, having a fun time and then some bloody upstart in a station wagon rocks up sticking his nose in where it’s not wanted. Except it’s not any old upstart and he’s not driving any old wagon.