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.


More ways to keep up to date with Dakar 2011

Carlos Sainz, Dakar 2011

If you want to keep up to date with Dakar 2011 here’s two methods you might consider. Firstly, the official Dakar Rally YouTube channel is posting daily highlights; clips from Stages 1 and 2 can be viewed right here after the break.

Those who prefer to sit on their couch can tune in to the SBS TV highlights show broadcast at 5:30 every afternoon (thanks to Tim for the tip). If that timing is not suitable for you, then fear not, you can watch the extended highlights at your leisure online via the SBS Dakar website.

Volkswagen also has a free Dakar 2011 App available on the Australian iTunes Store. There is an official Dakar 2011 App available, too, but only via the French iTunes Store and, of course, not it’s in English anyway.


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.

Formula 1 Volkswagen

Volkswagen rejects move into Formula One

Daniel Ricciardo in Volkswagen powered F3 winning car

According to a report in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech has decided against entering VW into Formula One. Such a move was previously intimated by a number of sources, including brand ambassador Hans Stuck.

Volkswagen enjoyed open wheeler success last year by powering young Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull sponsored Carlin Motorsport machine to the 2009 F3 title. It was understood new engine rules for F1, to be introduced in 2012, would provide an ideal opportunity for VW to move into motorsport’s premier category as an engine supplier. Reportedly there was interest from Red Bull Racing and even McLaren to partner with VW.

However, it now appears the Volkswagen Group may focus its motorsport endeavours on the WRC and Le Mans 24 hour race through its Audi and Porsche brands.


Formula 1 Motorsports Volkswagen

Volkswagen to discuss F1 and NASCAR in November

Hans-Joachim Stuck

Hans Stuck, Volkswagen ambassador and former F1 driver, says VW has a meeting scheduled for November in which its “strategy will be discussed.” That all seems fairly innocent, but in late 2009 Stuck floated the idea of Volkswagen, or one of its many subsidiaries, returning to Formula One.

The regulations for engine suppliers in F1 are due to change in 2013 and it is then that the VW Group could become involved in F1, rather than as a full manufacturer. Porsche and Audi loom as the most suitable fit to F1, but perhaps we’ll have new speculation to ponder after this meeting in November.

Indeed, this may very well be true; according to reports Stuck has also hinted strongly at Volkswagen participating in NASCAR. Why?

[Source: World Car Fans]

Motor Shows Volkswagen

AIMS 2010: Volkswagen Polo GTI

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Volkswagen Australia drove the new Polo GTI from underneath its red cover at AIMS yesterday to mark its Australian debut. A neat trick that easily got the gong for the most innovative way to remove a cover from a car.

After sitting inside the car and pushing all of its buttons it’s clear the new Polo GTI has taken a big leap forwards in interior refinement and layout compared to the old model. From the outside it definitely looks the part. Although, those 17″ Denver alloy wheels, first seen on the Mk5 Golf GTI back in 2004, do nothing to enhance the sharp lines of the current Volkswagen design language.

Apart from seeing the car in the flesh little other detail was given in regards to specification or pricing for the company’s latest hot hatch. We do know the Polo GTI will be offered in Australia in both 3 and 5 door configurations. We also know the Polo GTI will be powered by a 132kW twincharged 1.4 litre engine. And we also know that as far as transmissions go you’re going to have to settle for a 7-speed DSG as there are no current plans to incorporate a manual gearbox in the Pogo. Put all those numbers things together and Volkswagen reckon the Pogo can reach 100km/h in 6.9 seconds, the same time as its bigger Golf GTI sibling, no less.

The Australian launch of the Polo GTI is due in a couple of weeks and full details will be confirmed then. When AUSmotive asked one Volkswagen employee for a scoop on the pricing all we were told was “you will not be disappointed.”

After running that comment through the AUSmotive price predictor we guesstimate the 3 door will hit the market at around $28,950 while the 5 door will be $30,450. That pricing might be a little ambitious, perhaps, but we should know for certain by early November.

Motor Shows Volkswagen

AIMS 2010: Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok

The reveal of the Volkswagen Amarok was one of the better executed unveilings at AIMS yesterday. Three different scenarios were presented, with a family beach holiday the most plausible. The other themes were a Dakar Rally inspired motorsport reveal and a suburban couple on their way to a romantic dinner, presumably. Although this was, perhaps, the least convincing scenario.

Interesting to note that no farmers or tradies were seen during this presentation. When you consider Volkswagen are expected to target the Hilux market quite aggressively this could be considered a questionable exclusion.

Inside the Amarok things look pretty good, for a work truck. But don’t go in expecting Golf or Passat level interiors. And whatever you do, do not, under any circumstances, choose the dual-tone grey and brown interior as seen inside the brown Amarok at AIMS. While some might consider the all grey/dark theme from the white Amarok on show a tad bland, it is, by far, the better option of the two!

The Amarok goes on sale in Australia next March and we’ll have full details as soon as Volkswagen Australia releases them. In the meantime you can see more pics from the motor show after the break.