Volkswagen WRC

Volkswagen to enter WRC from 2013

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Overnight Volkswagen confirmed two rumours, one directly, the other indirectly. First, Volkswagen confirmed its plans to enter a factory-backed team in the World Rally Championship from 2013. By nominating a new Polo R WRC as the car of choice we think VW has also indirectly confirmed plans to manufacture the on-again, off-again Polo R road car.

Speaking about the company’s decision to move into WRC Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Management Board of the Volkswagen Brand, Development Division said, “The new Technical Regulations of the World Rally Championship are an ideal fit for Volkswagen’s philosophy with respect to the development of production vehicles.

“Downsizing, high efficiency and reliability are top priorities for our customers. The timing of the WRC debut is optimal for Volkswagen. The big task of engineering a vehicle that is competitive and capable of winning at a large number of challenges holds great appeal for us.”

Volkswagen reckon their strong success in Dakar not only gives them a solid grounding for a WRC effort, but also the desire to reach new heights. Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director explains, “We can draw on an experienced and proven squad which has done an outstanding job in top-calibre sport in the past few years. Even though the WRC is new territory for us and involves learning in many areas the team already meets some important prerequisites now as it brings an unwavering professional attitude and resolve to deliver absolute perfection to this commitment.”

One thing is certain, the Polo R WRC concept car you see in these pictures looks fantastic! A full gallery and press release can be viewed below.


CONFIRMED: Scirocco R coming to Australia

Volkswagen Scirocco R

Great news for fans of the Volkswagen Scirocco with confirmation today that the range-topping R version will launch in Australia early next year. Ahead of its local launch, the Scirocco R will be on display at this year’s Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne (1-10 July).

Proving that you have to give a little to get a little, Volkswagen will make space in its Australian product range by removing the three-door Golf R from its line up. While pricing details are yet to be confirmed, we can probably expect the front-wheel drive only Scirocco R to slot in under the $50K bracket. Currently the Golf R 3dr is priced from $48,490.

The Scirocco R uses the same 2.0 litre turbocharged motor found in the Golf R. It’s worth noting that the Scirocco R is more than 100kg lighter than the Golf R and its handling is said to offer a few more thrills as a result. In Euro markets the Scirocco R is rated at 195kW, however, we anticipate our warm climate will see that spec reduced to 188kW, as is the case with the Golf R and Audi S3.

Availability of the all-wheel drive Golf R 5dr will remain unaffected by the introduction of the curvaceous Scirocco.

We’re massive fans of the Scirocco here at AUSmotive and while we welcome this news with great anticipation we do wonder, three years after the Scirocco first launched overseas, if it’s all a bit too late? We’d love to hear what you think.

[Source: | Thanks to Al for the tip]

UPDATE: Volkswagen has set up a web portal allowing people to register their interest in the Scirocco R.


Official: Volkswagen R GmbH announced

Volkswagen Scirocco R

Volkswagen have announced the formation of a new performance division; titled Volkswagen R GmbH. The company will be based in Warmenau, a few kilometres from VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters. Today’s news confirms speculation which first came to light in late January.

With over 350 staff assigned to the program Volkswagen R will assume responsibility for existing models such as the Golf R and Scirocco R as well as the R Line and Volkswagen Exclusive range of cosmetic enhancements (generally not available in Australia).

The scope of Volkswagen R appears to closely mirror quattro GmbH’s role for stablemate Audi. So let’s hope we see a few more cars adorned with R badging and the associated performance upgrades. Australian customers should get their first look at the 188kW Golf R in a few months when it goes on local sale.


EXCLUSIVE: VW Scirocco one step closer to Australian shores

Volkswagen Scirocco R

Cast your mind back to December last year, when news emerged that the 155kW Scirocco 2.0 TSI and 195kW Scirocco R had been granted approval under the Federal Government’s Specialist & Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme (SEVS). A post in the comments section of AUSmotive’s article revealed that this approval had been sought not by Volkswagen Australia, but by Melbourne-based importers the Australian Vehicle Import & Compliance Company (AVICCO). At the time I promptly fired off an email to AVICCO seeking further clarification of what this SEVS deal involved. Nothing…

…until yesterday morning. That was when I received the following news from a representative of AVICCO, “After a few ups and downs over a few months, we got the good news yesterday that we can bring USED Sciroccos under the RAWS scheme into Australia.”

Okay, the key word there is “used”. Perhaps not the way many Scirocco fans in Australia were hoping the car would arrive here, but given Volkswagen Australia’s apparent lack of willingness to introduce the model down under, this is a welcome step indeed. The variants of the Scirocco approved under the scheme, as noted, are the 2.0 TSI and R versions.

AVICCO have confirmed with AUSmotive that they have a client ready and willing to pony up the cash to bring in a sample car, sourced from the UK, to be used for compliance purposes. Assuming that process is given the sign off by the Feds, AVICCO expects to be in a position to offer the Scirocco to Australian customers in the second half of 2010.

Warranty and pricing information is still unconfirmed at this stage, but the 2.0 TSI version could well be in the same ball park as the current Golf GTI.

It’s hard to believe that it is as far back as May 2008 that it first became clear the Volkswagen Scirocco had a willing audience here in Australia. Now, almost two years on, it appears someone is ready to do what Volkswagen Australia won’t, and that is to bring the reality of the Scirocco on Australian shores within touching distance.

If you would like to be kept up to date on the progress of the Scirocco coming to Australia, I have been asked to invite you to send an email to AVICCO:

UPDATE 14 March: Further clarification from AVICCO has been received on what the definition “used” might mean for their planned Volkswagen Scirocco imports. To qualify as a used vehicle under the relevant scheme a car only needs to have been registered in the original country, in this case the UK, before being put on a ship. For example, the registration period could be as little as one day. According to AVICCO, Australian customers could order a Scirocco to their exact spec and they will handle the rest. Sounds a bit better than importing a low mileage car that could have some question marks over it.


SEAT León Linea R

SEAT Leon Linea R

It’s fresh, it’s funky, it’s fast, and its not available in Australia! This is the SEAT León Linea R. Okay, so the Linea R range is not much more than a fancy body kit, and it’s only fast if you tick the 147kW 2.0 TSI engine option from the three choices available—but it does look the business. The other engines have been raided from the VAG parts bin and include the 125kW 2.0 TDI (as seen in the Golf GT) and the 118kW 1.8 TSI (as seen in the Audi A4).

The León Linea R also gets a bunch of goodies thrown in such as 18″ ‘Supercopa’ alloys, dual zone climate control, TCS (traction control), ESP and, of course, the funky body kit, complete with Linea R badging.

While the exterior of the León Linea R makes you take notice, the inside is not quite up to Golf standards. It looks sporty enough, but the fine detail is just not there and the low placement of the Sat Nav unit is questionable, to say the least. Never mind that, SEAT’s generally drive just as well as their Volkswagen cousins, and normally offer more bang, for less buck. You gotta be happy with that!