Motorsports Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf Racing revealed

Volkswagen Golf VII Racing

Volkswagen Motorsport dropped these images to our inbox overnight and we like what we’re seeing. This is the 243kW/410Nm Golf Racing. It’s been built to compete in the final four races of the 2015 Touringcar International Series (TCR) and will make its competition debut at the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

The production-based concept will test the waters for Volkswagen Motorsport to see if there’s a market to offer this as an ongoing customer racing model for the 2016 season. The Volkswagen group is already represented in TCR with the Seat Leon and Audi TT.

Taking power from an uprated 2.0 litre Golf R engine the Golf Racing puts its power to the ground through the front wheels only, using a 6-speed DSG and 18-inch wheels and tyres. The somewhat extreme bodykit is in keeping with its competitors and is 400m wider than a standard Golf VII.

Officially still in a development phase, the Golf Racing will be run by Liqui Moly Team Engstler for the remainder of the TCR season, which has rounds to follow Austria in Singapore, Thailand and Macau.

“The newly created TCR category provides a promising platform for customer racing—on a national and international level,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “With exciting races, production-based technology and reasonable costs, it offers a new outlook for private racing teams.”


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.


Volkswagen Golf Alltrack revealed

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Volkswagen, what has taken you so long? The stupid public has been demanding SUV crossovers for years and, finally, in 2014, you guys wake up and give the Golf the Alltrack treatment.

Don’t tell anyone, but we think this is pretty cool and are sheepishly standing in that group we just called the stupid public. It’s a euro Estate, so that’s a tick and with its pleasing styling and extra practicality this would make a very useful addition to any family-friendly car fleet.

Put it this way, we reckon it’s a better option than a Tiguan. And it looks a fair bit nicer than the plain Jane Variant model on which it is based.

The Golf Alltrack has “up to 20mm” more ground clearance and 4motion all-wheel drive to enhance its modest off-r0ad capabilities. Sure it’s never going to rival a proper four-wheel drive, but nobody is claiming that.

When it hits European showrooms in Q2 2015 the baby Alltrack will have four engine options to choose from. There’s a 132kW/280Nm 1.8 litre petrol engine and three TDI engines: 81kW/250Nm 1.6 TDI, 110kW/340Nm 2.0 TDI and 135kW/380Nm.

There’s no word yet from Volkswagen Australia to confirm they will be bringing the Golf Alltrack down under, but they’d be mad not to. A model like this would sell pretty well, don’t you think?

Motor Shows Volkswagen

Geneva 2014: Volkswagen T-ROC concept

Volkswagen T-ROC Concept

Volkswagen has revealed this T-ROC SUV concept at its pre-launch event ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. We’re told it’s a design study for a new model to sit beneath the Tiguan, while also providing a glimpse of what to expect from all future SUVs adorned with a Volkswagen badge.

Not that it matters too much, but the concept is powered by a 135kW/380Nm 2.0 TDI mated to a 7-speed DSG. Designed around Volkswagen’s MQB architecture includes three different driving modes: Street, Off-road and Snow.

The targa-style removable roof panels are pretty cool, too. Shame they won’t make it to production.

Audi Mercedes-Benz Volkswagen

Volkswagen to ignite hot hatch power war

Volkswagen Mk7 Golf R

Mercedes-Benz makes much of the fact its A45 AMG features the most powerful four-cylinder production engine in the world. But that’s all about to change with word Volkswagen is set to trump the output of the hand-built AMG motor.

The 2.0 litre turbo in the A45 AMG produces 265kW/450Nm and the lab coats from Wolfsburg reckon they can better that with their warmed over 2.0 litre four-pot aiming for a minimum of 283kW (380hp). Volkswagen R engineers also reckon they can push towards 500Nm of torque.

An unnamed VW source claims: “It’s going to be a very fast car. Because it will be able to use all of its torque in first gear, it’s going to get to 100km/h in the very low four-second bracket.”

The A45 AMG limits torque in the first three gears to help protect its dual-clutch transmission. The new Volkswagen engine, able to be fitted to any of the group’s MQB-based cars, will be mated to an all-wheel drive system and specially developed 6-speed DSG which can cope with the predicted torque in all gears.

The engine is “based on an old generation engine block, so it’s cheaper to make than the AMG motor, too, and a lot less complex,” the source added. “It will move the game on again.”

Sounds like fun and games, and that’s just around the Audi and Volkswagen boardrooms as the two stablemates fight over who gets first dibs. Audi thinks its new TT would be a good fit, while Volkswagen has its sights set on the new Scirocco featuring the engine, which should be developed and ready to rumble late next year.

A preview of the engine may come in a concept car later this year, at September’s Paris Motor Show perhaps.

Naturally, Mercedes won’t take any challenge to its power crown lying down, with speculation an A45 AMG Black Series could boast a mighty 300kW.

This is going to be fun!

[Source: | Thanks Richard to for the tip]


Volkswagen Golf VII Variant revealed

Volkswagen Golf VII Estate

Following an official preview at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen has now revealed preliminary information and a gallery of new images for its latest Golf Variant. We’ll probably know it as the Golf Wagon in Australia (release date to be confirmed).

Based on the Golf VII hatchback, VW has utilised its flexible MQB platform to help increase cargo space by up to 125 litres and reduce weight by as much as 105kg. Included as standard equipment is the XDS+ electronic differential lock and dynamic chassis control (DCC), with a 10mm lower ride height, will be available as an option. Hmm, Golf R Estate anyone?

In overseas markets up to seven different engine specs will offered and fuel consumption ratings are as low as 3.9l/100km (77kW TDI) or 5.0l/100km (77kW TSI BlueMotion). Local engine options are yet to be specified, but we expect referring to the local hatchback offerings will be a good place to start (90TSI, 103TSI and 110TDI).

You can read and see more from Volkswagen after the break.


Volkswagen Golf VII GTI in detail

Volkswagen Mk7 Golf GTI

Following the international press launch of the all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI comes a raft of new information and details about the company’s much loved hot hatch.

To recap, the new Mk7 Golf GTI is lighter, faster, more efficient and better equipped than any previous GTI. It comes in two specifications, the regular 162kW/350Nm model and the 169kW/350Nm Performance Pack.

The Performance Pack brings with it a few extra goodies to go with its modest power increase, most notably larger brakes and an XDS+ electronic differential lock. And it’s that electronically controlled mechanical diff that’s grabbing many of the headlines.

You’ll find all the detail you want about the new Golf GTI after the break, but in Volkswagen’s own words here’s some more detail on the XDS+ diff to get you started:

A newly engineered electronic front differential lock is being used exclusively in the Golf GTI Performance. To date, Volkswagen is the only carmaker to utilise an electronically controlled differential lock in a front-wheel drive production model. Compared to purely mechanical locks, the front differential lock integrated in the Golf GTI Performance offers advantages such as a variable degree of locking and comprehensive interfaces to the ESC, EDS and XDS+ functions. This makes it possible to completely avoid negative effects on steering response and steering precision that otherwise occur with mechanical locks.

Motor Shows Volkswagen

Geneva 2013: Volkswagen Golf Variant

Volkswagen Golf VII Estate

Today has been a great day at Geneva. The Porsche 911 GT3 was revealed, and that way over the top Lamborghini Veneno, too. As we speak the covers have just come off the Alfa Romeo 4C and Ferrari’s Enzo replacement is moments away from its debut. But, never mind any of that! There’s a new Volkswagen Golf Variant! It’s sure to steal away the limelight from those tinpot models already mentioned.

The Golf VII “Variant” is so versatile it can be called a Variant in Europe, an Estate in the United Kingdom and a Wagon in Australia. Plus, it can fit up to four boxes in the boot. It’s true, there’s even a picture to prove it.

Thankfully, though, the new Golf Variant Estate Wagon is actually pretty nice to look at. For a Golf Variant Estate Wagon. At least, it’s a whole lot better looking than the old abomination it replaces.

Actually, what does sound quite interesting, and sadly there’s no pics from VW HQ just yet, is the Golf Variant R-Line. It features a flash body kit, a 110kW/320Nm 2.0 TDI engine and the latest Haldex V all-wheel drive system. Now that is something that sounds like it could be the perfect family planner Variant Estate Wagon.


2013 Audi S3 revealed

2013 Audi S3 (8V)

Here’s something for Volkswagen Group fans, the all-new Audi S3. This car will set the tone for a few other models to follow, most notably the next Golf R. Now featuring an EA888-based engine the latest S3 is good for 221kW, up from 195kW (or 188kW in Australian-spec). Torque has been increased by 30Nm to a new total of 380Nm, available from 1800–5500rpm.

We’ll never see the three-door S3 in Australia, but we will get the S3 Sportback. The three-door will go on sale in Europe early next year and the five-door Sportback model will follow in the second quarter of 2013. By our calculations we could see the S3 Sportback in Australia as early as the third quarter; yet to be confirmed by Audi Australia, of course.

With an optional 6-speed S tronic transmission Audi reckons it can hit 100km/h in only 5.1 seconds. If you insist on changing gears yourself you’ll need 5.4 seconds to reach triple figures. But here comes the sweetener, claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 7.0l/100km for the manual and 6.9l/100km for the double-clutch jobbie. Assuming the S3 Sportback can match those numbers, that should be enough to scrape the S3 under the Australian Government’s Luxury Car Tax threshold.

The new S3 rides on the same sized 7.5″ width rims as the old model and the 225/40/18 sized tyres are also the same. However, handling should benefit from the front axle being moved 52mm forward and the 148kg engine, 5kg less than before, being angled back towards the bulkhead by 12 degrees.

That’s all due to the now ubiquitous MQB platform. The modular architecture has also helped contribute to a weight loss of 60kg over the old S3, but at 1395kg it’s still not going to be the lightest hot hatch going around. Of course, some of the weight is due to the quattro all-wheel drive system. The provided press text is light on for detail in this regard, but it sounds as though the quattro system used is very similar to the Haldex IV system used in the 8P S3.

A sophisticated suspension system should ensure handling improvements for the new S3, helped along in no small terms by the optional Audi magnetic ride as standard equipment. A total of three different tunes, also affecting throttle response and steering, can be chosen from the Audi drive select programs. The S3 also sits 25mm lower compared to its garden variety 8V A3 siblings.

You certainly couldn’t say Audi has brought anything radical to the table with its third-generation S3. But we do think think this clear case of minor improvements over the previous model will make for very pleasing car to drive. We can’t wait until the S3 Sportback lands down under so we can sample it for ourselves.

There’s another 30-odd pics for you after the break, along with Audi’s introductory press release. If they add anything new when the car debuts in Paris we’ll be sure to share it with you.

UPDATE: Audi’s 10 minute promo video for the new S3 has been added below.


Volkswagen Golf VII revealed

Volkswagen Golf VII

Here’s your first official look at the new seventh generation Volkswagen Golf. It’s roomier and more technologically advanced than the 29 million Golfs to have gone before it. It’s also up to 100kg lighter than the previous model, enough to help it become 23% more efficient.

It’s no surprise to see Volkswagen has taken an evolutionary path for its most important model. We can’t say we’re completely won over by the new look. But the more you absorb the pictures you see here the more you appreciate some of the smaller details. Having said that, it’s very a much a safe step forward. Although, the image above, with larger wheels, shows the Mk7 in a good light and we hold high hopes for the look of the forthcoming GTI and R models.

The Mk7 Golf is built on the MQB platform which uses a raft of standard measures to help Volkswagen save some cash, while being versatile enough to underpin several models and classes of cars across the Volkswagen Group brand portfolio.

We’ve already gone over the basic dimensions of the Golf VII with you. But to recap, the new model is 56mm longer, 13mm wider and 28mm lower than the Golf VI. The front wheels have been moved 43mm forward, while the overall wheelbase has been extended by 59mm. Overall the new Golf is 4255mm long, 1799mm wide and 1452mm high. Its drag coefficient of 0.27 is 10% better than the previous generation.

Inside the car those new exterior dimensions allow for more rear seat legroom, more shoulder and elbow room for all passengers as well as increased cargo space in the boot.

The centre console is now slightly angled towards the driver and all models of Golf, from entry level to top of the range, feature a full colour touchscreen display. Sizes start 5.8″ and go up to a maximum of 8″. Finger gestures, as seen with smartphones, are used to control the system.

Volkswagen has followed the recent trend of removing traditional handbrake levers in place of an electronic switch. They say this gives front seat passengers a bit more room. They’ve also managed to house a universal mobile phone holder in the central storage compartment with the added benefit of an inductive aerial for improved reception.

As you’d expect VW has packed the Golf VII with a host of new safety features. As well as the now default system like ABS, EBD and ESP new braking features such as multi-collision braking, Front Assist and City Emergency Braking are available. These can complemented by things like the PreCrash system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System, a camera-operated Lane Assist system, Dynamic Light Assist and Park Assist.

Preset driving modes are also available on the new Golf. Standard settings include Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. Those opting for a DSG transmission can boast a fifth setting, called Comfort.

Steering for the Mk7 is now handled by a variable ratio system, which brings greater manoeuvrability at low speeds, while being more composed and direct at higher speeds.

At launch Volkswagen has announced a modest engine range of two diesel and two petrol units. The TDI engines start with a 1.6 litre offering 77kW and a 2.0 litre with 110kW. Respectively, their combined fuel usage figures are 3.8l/100km and 4.1l/100km. The petrol powered range begins with a 1.2 litre TSI offering 63kW of power and fuel consumption of 4.9l/100km. A 1.4 litre TSI provides 103kW and with the addition of Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders, sips fuel at the rate of 4.8l/100km.

More detail on the Golf VII will be published when the cars hit the stands at the Paris Motor Show, at which point we also hope to see a GTI concept. For now there’s an additional 19 pictures and press guff for you after the break, including a 44 page PDF for you to download.

UPDATE: Three new PDFs have been added ready for download. We recommend sinking your teeth into the first two.

UPDATE #2: This just in from Volkswagen Australia: “We are planning to launch the Golf VII in the 2nd qtr 2013.”

Audi Motor Shows

Geneva 2012: Audi A3

2013 Audi A3

Audi has released images and details on its all-new A3 model, codenamed 8V. As is the case with most of the major German marques the new model is a clear evolution of the car it replaces. In general terms we think the new A3 looks pretty good and expect it will do well for Audi.

So far we’ve only got images of the 3-door hatchback to show you. We received unofficial word a while back that it’s unlikely Audi will offer the 3-door for sale in Australia. That includes the range-topping S3 as well. We expect to see details from Audi on the 5-door Sportback before the year is out.

It’s also worth noting that Audi has been a bit cheeky with these pics by fitting most of the cars shown with the optional S-line bodykit. Check out the studio pics of the white TDI model towards the end of the gallery below to see what a ‘plain Jane’ A3 will look like.

New technology from the larger cars in the Audi range has filtered down to the A3, which includes things like adaptive cruise control, side assist, active lane assist and traffic sign detection, among others. Full LED headlamps will also be made available as an option at a later date. For now if you want trick lights you’ll just have to make do with bi-xenons and LED tail lights.

The interior of the new A3 is a nice step from the previous 8P model and some of the ergonomic issues of that model have been addressed in the all-new A3. The now dated infotainment system is in desperate need of an upgrade too, so the features in the new A3 will be most welcome.

Although, it’s not what the new A3 has gained that is most impressive, but rather what it has lost. By following this maxim: “The right material in the right place for optimal function,” Audi has shed 80kg from the previous model. An entry level A3 now weighs 1175kg, which is quite good really. The bonnet and front wings are aluminium while a mixture of steel forming techniques has been used to make the rest of the body. Remember, this is the first model to be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform so we can expect many more cars from the Volkswagen Group to be lighter in the future as well.

Audi has announced three engines to begin with: a 90kW 1.4 TFSI, a 132kW 1.8 TFSI and a 105kW 2.0 TDI. A 7-speed S tronic is standard equipment in the 1.8 TFSI, while the other models come with a 6-speed manual, although the S tronic can be optioned. As the model range increases so will the engine line up.

The third-generation A3 goes on sale later this year in European markets. Our guess is you’ll be seeing the new A3 in Australian showrooms early next year, following an appearance at the Australian International Motor Show in October. If we hear anything different from Audi Australia we’ll let you know.

There’s a raft of information for you after the break, along with over 50 images. Oh, it looks like those leaked pics were the real deal too.

UPDATE 7 March: On the new A3, Audi Australia says, “Australian launch date, pricing, and specification is not yet available.”

Audi Seat Skoda Volkswagen

Volkswagen introduces versatile MQB platform

Volkswagen MQB platform

Over the next few years, and especially in the short–medium term, you’re going to be reading a lot about Volkswagen’s MQB platform, otherwise known as the Modular Transverse Matrix. MQB will be used in the small-medium segments across the Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen brands.

In the context of VW it will be used to for forthcoming Polo, Beetle, Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, Touran, Sharan, Passat and Volkswagen CC models. The Golf VII will be the first model from Wolfsburg to use MQB architecture.

Volkswagen is getting very excited about this new platform which affords it a multitude of engine and wheelbase configurations. In conjunction with MQB comes a modular engine system which brings with it a uniform mounting process, regardless of engine type or capacity. It’s the flexibility in wheelbase dimension that helps make this possible (see diagram above).

Vehicles built using the MQB will also bring with the some pretty tricky technologies. Things like nav and entertainment systems with touchscreens featuring proximity sensors and a look and feel as though they have come direct from Cupertino. There’ll also be a multicollision braking system designed to reduce the impact of secondary impacts.

Also of note is the fact that MQB models will be at least 40kg lighter than their predecessors. In the case of the Golf GTI it could be up to 100kg lighter. We’ll have more news on the Golf GTI shortly.

If you’re a bit of an engineering nerd we reckon you’ll be getting right into the adaptability of the MQB and expect you’ll want more than the handful of paragraphs from Volkswagen below. So we’ve got this more detailed PDF (210kb) for you which should satisfy you for a while.