Safety Issues Volkswagen

It’s the hot weather, stupid

Volkswagen Golf VI

Volkswagen UK has felt the need to clarify a few things after being asked if they would join countries like Australia, China, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and the United States in carrying out a voluntary recall relating to the 7-speed DQ200 DSG transmission.

In short, the answer is: No!

“It is a problem that relates only to temperate countries with a high incidence of stop and start driving,” explained a VW UK spokesperson. “It requires a set of circumstances—humidity, temperature, dust and congested driving conditions—that we simply don’t see in the UK.

“We have robust systems in place to monitor potential problems and, although we have around 48,000 cars on the road equipped with DQ200 gearboxes, we haven’t seen any failures that we can attribute to this problem.”

Mechanically speaking, the specification of DQ200 transmission is the same for UK delivered cars as it is for models sold in Australia. There are country-specific software differences, though.

Volkswagen UK is at pains to point out that they have not received any complaints in line with the issues encountered in Australia. “The DSG mechatronics are programmed differently according to the country in which a vehicle will be sold,” a VW UK statement reads. “The issues recently experienced by some customers in Australia have not been repeated in the UK, nor indeed in other temperate countries.”

Volkswagen UK may very well be correct in their statement regarding the differing climate between the UK and elsewhere; we’re not suggesting it isn’t. However, prior to initiating their own voluntary recall Volkswagen Australia, too, fobbed off local complaints saying there were differences between Australia and other countries that had already issued recalls.

[Source: Autocar]


Volkswagen Golf GTI “Edition 35”

Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35

Volkswagen has released new images of this Golf GTI “Edition 35”. As its name suggests, it’s been created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the original Mk1 GTI.

Official press text is thin on the ground at the moment, but we can tell you the Edition 35 has an 18kW increase on the regular GTI. That means peak power is up from 155kW to 173kW.

Outside, there’s model specific 18″ “Watkins Glen” alloy wheels, as well as model specific “35” badging. The front spoiler has also been given a slight tweak. Inside, the “35” theme continues with badging on the door sills and honeycomb trimmed seats. Also included is a dimpled gearknob, a feature honouring the Mk1 once more and previously seen on other special edition GTIs.

The Golf GTI Edition 35 will make its public debut at the annual Wörthersee show in early June. We expect more technical details will be revealed then. We don’t expect this model will find its way down under, but we will ask the question to Volkswagen Australia.

UPDATE 11 May: A brief press release from Volkswagen AG has been added below.

Volkswagen WRC

VIDEO: Introducing the Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Following the written confirmation, here is video confirmation of Volkswagen’s plan to enter the WRC with a new Polo R WRC. The only shame of today’s announcement is we have to wait until 2013 for it to be realised.

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.


Volkswagen Passat – Australian pricing & specs

Volkswagen Passat

The new Volkswagen Passat has just been released in Australia. There’s three models on offer, all available in sedan and wagon configuration. Pre on-road pricing for the sedan models start at $38,990 for the 118TSI, $43,990 for the 125TDI and $57,990 for the V6 FSI featuring 4motion. Add an extra $2000 if you want the added cargo space offered in the wagon.

There’s some impressive technology featured with the new Passat. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before in more expensive marques, but seeing such things as Fatigue Detection, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and City Emergency Braking filter down to more affordable models is welcomed.

Full details from Volkswagen Australia can be read after the break.


The Beetle R already on the cards

Volkswagen The Beetle

It was only released overnight, but already the speculation of a high-powered R version of The Beetle is doing the rounds. So much so, that Car and Driver in the US is reporting that The Beetle R has already been confirmed for the US market.

Apparently, The Beetle R will remain front-wheel drive only. That means, in basic terms, then, we can expect R GmbH to grab a 195kW Scirocco R and reskin it with Beetle clothing. That should go alright.

[Source: Car and Driver]


Volkswagen unleashes The Beetle

Volkswagen The Beetle

Volkswagen has released photos and details of its new New Beetle. Except, it’s not called the New Beetle anymore; simply, The Beetle.

It’s a more masculine design, according to the marketing blurb, and we’re not entirely sure it hits the right notes. Although, The Beetle certainly does look much sportier than the New Beetle. And that’s a good thing.

While first impressions are pretty good, closer inspection of the pics has us asking if the proportions are right. We may need to wait until we see this car for real until we can pass final judgement. That means early 2012 for our Australian eyes.

The Beetle has been totally redesigned, with no carry over parts from the old model. Early reports from those attending launch events in New York and Shanghai seem positive for the most part.

Take a look at the small gallery of pics after the break and let us know what you think. There’s plenty of detail from Volkswagen AG for you to read as well.

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.”