Volkswagen WRC

Volkswagen to announce WRC plans next month

Volkswagen Motorsport - Dakar 2011

Autosport brings word that Volkswagen are set to announce their intention to enter the World Rally Championship in 2012. It is understood Volkswagen had hoped to launch their new program ahead of Rally Portugal, however, final sign off was not achieved in time. It is now expected VW will confirm their WRC entry prior to Rally d’Italia on Thursday 5 May.

Following the path set by MINI and Prodrive, Volkswagen will run a reduced program in 2012 before tackling the full WRC calender in 2013. Indeed, earlier this year, it was Prodrive chairman Davie Richards who gave us the biggest hint yet that VW were serious about WRC.

It is believed Volkswagen will use the Polo as the basis for its WRC car. Petter Solberg, 2003 WRC champion, and Nasser Al-Attiyah, reigning Dakar title holder, are two names being considered for a place behind the wheel.

[Source: Autosport]

Green Machines Volkswagen

Volkswagen confirms limited production for lean, green XL1

Volkswagen XL1 concept

According to German publication Automobilwoche Volkswagen chief Dr Martin Winterkorn has confirmed the diesel-electric hybrid XL1, revealed at the Qatar Motor Show earlier this week, will be built. It’s due in a couple of years and just 100 are likely to be made utlising the production facilities at Wolfsburg or Dresden.

At a mere 795kg and with a combined fuel consumption figure of just 0.9l/100km the XL1 shapes as being one of the best eco-conscious cars money can buy. But is it likely to be any good, or will it be little more than a meek marketing gimmick? With such limited production plans it looks like Volkswagen is hedging its bets.

However, Autocar journo Hilton Holloway was in Qatar during the week and he had the opportunity to drive the two-seat city car concept. If his thoughts are anything to go by, Volkswagen should feel optimistic. Here are a few of his comments:

“I’ve just been scurrying around Doha in the sole Volkswagen XL1. And although it’s a very early prototype, the concept is clearly right on the money.”

“What was so surprising was that the XL1 felt so safe and secure, despite me having to mix it with wayward Toyota Landcruisers.”

“One other thing struck me. With a bigger motor, the XL1 would probably make the most amazing eco-supercar.”

    [Source: Automobilwoche (translated) via engadget]


    Volkswagen’s new New Beetle caught naked

    VW new New Beetle

    First we were told Volkswagen’s new New Beetle was going to be radical. Then Oprah showed off its silhouette, after VW helped her promise a car to eleventy billion of her closest friends (okay, it’s only 275). Now, KGP Photography and Autoblog bring us photos of a completely unclothed new New Beetle (click source link below for more pics).

    The new New Beetle uses the current Mk6 Golf platform and will be built in Mexico alongside the Jetta. While it can sometimes be folly to judge a car based solely on photographs, we think this new New Beetle looks okay, but perhaps the wheel arches are too over the top. It looks like it’s driving on kiddy wheels that are out of proportion with the rest of the car.

    While we’re discussing proportions, what about the back arch and C-pillar? The chiselled edge around the window detail is very nice, we admit, but we think there might be a bit too much Quasimodo in this new New Beetle for us to declare it a loveable evolution/revolution, like the the old New Beetle was a decade ago.

    [Source: Autoblog]

    Motorsports Volkswagen

    Volkswagen Motorsport: 2011 Dakar photo gallery

    Volkswagen Motorsport - Dakar 2011

    It’s about a week or so since Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk claimed victory in the 2011 Dakar Rally. If you missed the action, or would simply like to see what the lads got up to, then here’s a photo gallery sourced from Volkswagen Motorsport showing the mighty Race Touareg 3 in action. There’s over 100 pics, so you might want to put the kettle on first!

    Volkswagen WRC

    Volkswagen confirmed for WRC in 2012?

    Volkswagen Scirocco R

    Has Prodrive Chairman Dave Richards spoiled Volkswagen’s party by announcing the German marque’s forthcoming entry to the WRC? In a recent interview at Autosport International Richards claimed, “It’s very clear that Volkswagen are about to announce their return to the World Rally Championship, as well; under the Volkswagen brand rather than Skoda.”

    Serious rumours about VW joining the new WRC party emerged last August when Rally Germany was used as the launch event for the Race Touareg 3, which just filled the podium at Dakar 2011. At the same event the course car was biogas powered Scirocco (pictured above). A Scirocco WRC would be a welcome sight in world rallying, let’s hope that’s the model they choose.

    If we assume Volkswagen do sign up to the WRC, possibly from the 2012 season, they will join fellow newcomers MINI, along with established players in Citroën and Ford. Richards says it might be hard to attract more factory support, “Quite frankly, it’s difficult to attract many more. There’s not enough prizes to go around.”


    Has Volkswagen pulled a New Mediocre Stunt?

    It's just a Passat folks!

    Last week Volkswagen released a new teaser to let us know they would be unveiling a New Midsize Sedan at Detroit. Word has come through today that this car will be badged as the, wait for it, Passat. Yeah, that’s right, the same name it’s called everywhere else in the world.

    So, we went and found a profile pic of the European Passat and placed it over Volkswagen’s teaser image and guess what—it’s a perfect fit!

    Until official details are known (possibly later today) let’s give VW the benefit of the doubt and let them think we’re expecting some new details. But, at this stage, it’s looking like any differences between the US Passat and the real Passat are likely to be cosmetic only.

    [Source: Autoblog]

    UPDATE: Check out Motor Authority for a gallery of leaked images. It’s a super-sized Passat in Jetta clothing.


    New Volkswagen sedan coming to Detroit

    VW US NMS teaser

    In the last six months Volkswagen has revealed a new Jetta and an all-new Passat. Both are Only the new Jetta is available for sale in the United States. But, that’s not enough for Volkswagen US who have announced, via their website, they’ll be showing off a “New Midsize Sedan” at the NAIAS in Detroit next week. It will replace the outgoing European-sourced Passat, which is considered expensive and hasn’t exactly lit up the sales charts.

    This new toy has been designed with the US market in mind. So expect comfy seats and lots of supersized cupholders, then. It will be built at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facility, although it will be destined for overseas markets as well, and is expected to be sold for several thousand dollars less than the old Passat.


    Volkswagen Polo GTI – Australian pricing & specs

    Volkswagen Polo GTI

    Volkswagen Australia has just released pricing and specifications for its newest hot hatch, the Polo GTI. There’s good news, too, as the pre-delivery list pricing comes in under $30K and both 3-door ($27,790) and 5-door ($28,990) versions are available.

    Standard equipment includes a 132kW twincharged 1.4 litre engine, a 7-speed DSG transmission, an XDL electronic diff, ESP with Hill Start Assist, six airbags and 17″ alloys. For the first time on a Polo model xenon headlights with LED daytime running light can be added as an option ($1600). Unfortunately, there is no option for a manual transmission at this stage.

    The usual GTI colour palette is offered with two flat colours Candy White and Flash Red (pictured). While an extra $500 will get you pretty sparkles in your Shadow Blue, Reflex Silver or Deep Black Pearl Effect colour options.

    Performance is both brisk and efficient, with the baby GTI matching its larger Golf GTI cousin by reaching 100km/h in 6.9 seconds. While the 6.1l/100km fuel economy rating is first class for a car in this segment.

    Press statements from Volkswagen Australia are available after the break, including a gallery of 24 local images.

    UPDATE: Thanks to Corey_R who has left a note in the comments section that all Polo models in Australia can be ordered with a Panoramic Glass Sunroof. This will be a $1700 option and will be available from January 2011 build. There is nothing official from VW Aus just yet, but the information comes from a credible source.


    Volkswagen Microbus back on track

    Volkswagen Microbus

    It’s been a couple of years since there was a decent rumour suggesting the Volkswagen Microbus was on the way back. But, thanks to AutoExpress we can, once again, start to think how we’d all look with flowers in our hair.

    We probably won’t see anything new until 2012, or even later, but Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design said, “I would not be doing my job at Volkswagen properly if I was not thinking of bringing back the Camper.”

    Elaborating further Bischoff went on to say, “The key question is ‘what sort of car should we build?’ It could be a traditional MPV, with a conventional interior, or we could be much bolder, designing a more flexible, versatile machine – perhaps one that is closer in spirit to the original model. It is not yet decided.”

    The original 2001 concept still looks as good today as it did back then. Sadly it was money issues that put a stop to the rebirth of the “Kombi” back in 2005; with any luck the project won’t stall a second time around.

    [Source: AutoExpress]

    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 Jetta R on the cards

    Volkswagen Jetta

    Last week Volkswagen held the European launch of its latest Jetta saloon in Munich. Same old fare, really. That was until you realised there was a Jetta R on display with everything to show except the official R badging.

    Well, that might be stretching the truth a little, but according to Autocar there was Jetta present fitted with a 3.6-litre V6 with an undisclosed power rating. Also featured in this Jetta R-in-hiding was a 6-speed DSG and 4motion all-wheel drive.

    The chances of the R’s future appear to lie with consumer demand, “If there are customers asking for it, we will do it,” claims Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen R&D boss, “It wouldn’t be a problem for us. The Jetta’s platform can take four-wheel drive.”

    It would seem, then, that this is America’s best chance to jump on the R performance bandwagon, which currently misses out on the Golf R and Scirocco R.

    [Source: Autocar]


    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.