Tag Archives: Volkswagen Golf

Spy Shots: Next-gen Volkswagen Golf R spied while running the 'Ring

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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The launch of a new Volkswagen Golf is never a small thing, and things are already looking up for the subcompact hatchback after it was named 2013 World Car of the Year. While we’ve already seen the base and GTI versions of the next-generation Golf, now we’re getting our first look at the sportier Golf R.

Although this prototype wears GTI lettering on the front fenders, it’s more than just the roll cage and Sparco racing seat hinting that this is something a little more serious. Unlike the Golf and GTI, this car shows that the Golf R will continue to flaunt massive air intakes on each side of the fascia, and the rear of the car (though it’s hard to see) has quadruple exhaust outlets. We still don’t have an official word on power, but rumors indicate that the next Golf R could be pushing close to 300 horsepower, making it the most powerful production Golf ever. As much fun as we had during our first drive of the Golf R Cabriolet in the cold, snowy French Riviera last month, more power is a warming idea.

Next-gen Volkswagen Golf R spied while running the ‘Ring originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Volkswagen Golf named 2013 World Car of the Year

By Steven J. Ewing

Volkswagen Golf wins 2013 World Car of the Year

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The second day of the New York Auto Show festivities have just kicked with the annual World Car of the Year awards, and we’ve just learned that the top honors for 2013 go to the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf. The win marks the second in a row for Volkswagen, which also collected the hardware in 2012 for its Up! supermini.

The World Car awards are handed out by a panelist of 66 auto journalists from around the world, including Autoblog European Editor, Matt Davis. Runners-up for the big award included the Audi A3, Land Rover Range Rover, Mazda6, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Peugeot 208, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 and Volvo V40.

Also announced this morning is the winner of the 2013 World Performance Car award. In this category, the Porsche Boxster and Cayman has been picked by the jury over a number of other contenders, including the Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi RS5, BMW M6, BMW M135i, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, Renault Clio Sport and the Toyobaru triplets.

Moving to more eco-friendly matters, the World Green Car award has been handed to the – surprise, surprise – Tesla Model S. The all-electric sedan topped the Renault Zoe, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid and Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid Diesel.

Lastly, the annual World Car Design laurels have been awarded to the impossibly pretty Jaguar F-Type, besting other attractive finalists including the Aston Martin Vanquish, Renault Clio, Land Rover Range Rover, Mazda6 and Volkswagen Golf.

Have a look at all the World Car winners in our galleries below.

Continue reading Volkswagen Golf named 2013 World Car of the Year

Volkswagen Golf named 2013 World Car of the Year originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Mar 2013 09:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York: 2014 VW Golf brings storied hatchback's seventh generation to US

By Zach Bowman

2015 VW Golf, GTI and Golf TDI

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The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf in US-specification officially debuts at the 2013 New York Auto Show. The new model is the first VW in the States to ride on the company’s MQB architecture, and as such, it makes use of plenty of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel to keep weight down. All told, the new shell is 51 pounds lighter than the outgoing generation, despite the fact that the finished car is a full 2.2 inches longer and .5 inches wider than the 2013 model.

Buyers can expect to find a base model powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (blue car above) with 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That means the powerplant delivers the same horsepower as the old naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder while weighing less and producing seven extra pound-feet of torque. TDI (silver car above) buyers, meanwhile, will enjoy a new 2.0-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder mill. VW says the engine yields 10 more horsepower than the old lump, which means the Golf TDI now boasts 150 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.

GTI (red car above) buyers will now get their hands on a revised 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with approximately 210 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque – Volkswagen hasn’t finalized power numbers for that machine. We’re happy to see that the GTI still features its trademark plaid seats. Volkswagen says the new Golf and GTI will go on sale as a 2015 model, but doesn’t say when the car will actually hit dealerships.

Check out the press release below for more information.

Continue reading 2014 VW Golf brings storied hatchback’s seventh generation to US

2014 VW Golf brings storied hatchback’s seventh generation to US originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Mar 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: World Car Of The Year down to its final four

By Zach Bowman

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - front three-quarter view, dynamic

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Judges for the World Car of the Year Award have narrowed down the finalists to just four vehicles. Out of a total of 42 entries, only the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT-86 and Volkswagen Golf remain standing. For Volkswagen, this marks the second consecutive year the company has had an entry among the finalists, and the fourth time since 2009. In order to qualify, a vehicle must be on sale on two continents during the span of time between January 1, 2013 and May 30, 2013. A panel of 66 journalists from 23 countries then vote on the finalists.

Three vehicles have made the cut for the last round of voting on the 2013 World Performance Car as well, with the Cayman/Boxster and FR-S/BRZ/GT-86 running against the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Meanwhile, the Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S and Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid are duking it out for the World Green Car Award. Finally, the World Car Design of the Year Award is up for grabs between the Aston Martin Vanquish, Jaguar F-Type, and the Mazda6. Check out the full press release below. Overall winners will be presented at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

Continue reading World Car Of The Year down to its final four

World Car Of The Year down to its final four originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Mar 2013 10:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: US-spec 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI to finally debut in New York

By Steven J. Ewing

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The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf is hardly new to us. In fact, we’ve already driven it. And elsewhere in the world, the new Golf is already winning awards. Even so, we still have yet to see the US-spec version of the car, though that won’t be the case much longer. As part of the New York Auto Show festivities later this month, Volkswagen will finally show off the 2015 Golf models destined for our shores.

Three different versions of the Golf will debut under the lights of New York City’s Javits Center: the turbocharged TSI, oil-sipping TDI and hotter GTI. The first model in that list uses Volkswagen’s new 1.8-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, replacing the outgoing 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline five-cylinder. The latter two models use familiar engines: the 2.0-liter TDI diesel and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, respectively.

Even though the new Golf officially debuts later this month, it won’t go on sale in the US until the first quarter of 2014. We’ll be waiting patiently.

Continue reading US-spec 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI to finally debut in New York

US-spec 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI to finally debut in New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 13:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Witness this insane 736-hp VW Golf immolate its front tires

By Jonathon Ramsey

736-hp Volkswagen Mk1 Golf smoking its tires - video screencap

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There’s torque steer and then there’s what we’ll from now on dub “The Boba,” as in Boba Kettler. The German tuner has a way with the Volkswagen Golf, and the MkI example you see above has been touched with 736 horsepower – that’s right, 96 more ponies than a new SRT Viper, all trying to get to ground through those two front wheels.

The 2.0-liter, 16-valve engine has an 8,800 rpm redline and is aided by a Garrett GTX3582R turbocharger shoving 50 psi through the internals. Other upgrades include a new ECU (natch) and a six-speed ‘box among other treats. The rubber is Toyo R888s – street-legal competition tires. The result is enough smoke for three Chinese New Years when the lights go green. Indeed, the standing start isn’t its forte, but it can apparently get from 62 miles per hour to 124 mph in five seconds.

Watch it go in the video below. And know that this isn’t even Boba’s best work; he’s got a 900-hp MkII Golf that’ll do 0-62 mph in 2.3 seconds.

Continue reading Witness this insane 736-hp VW Golf immolate its front tires

Witness this insane 736-hp VW Golf immolate its front tires originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Mar 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Volkswagen Golf voted 2013 European Car of the Year

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf just went on sale in Europe, but it is already off to a promising start. Announced as the Geneva Motor Show kicked off, the newest Golf was named European Car of the Year for 2013 in dominating style over cars like the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 twins, Volvo V40, Ford B-Max and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

According to Automotive News Europe, the MkVII Golf won handily over its rivals with a total of 414 votes. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 received 202 votes finishing in a distant second, while the Volvo V40 (189 votes), Ford B-Max (148 votes) and Mercedes-Benz A-Class (138 votes) round out the top five. The new Golf marks the third Volkswagen product to receive the prestigious award with previous cars including the MkIII Golf and the most recent iteration of the Polo.

Continue reading Volkswagen Golf voted 2013 European Car of the Year

Volkswagen Golf voted 2013 European Car of the Year originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Mar 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pot Smoking, LaFerrari Revealed, Corvette Stingray Convertible Debut: Today's Car News

Today at The Car Connection, Volvo’s looking to make the roads safer at night and Zipcar said many Americans don’t want to own a car. Ferrari and Lamborghini unveiled new supercars, and the Volkswagen Golf won an award. All this and more in today’s car news, right here on The Car Connection. Volvo’s looking to innovate headlight technology to make… …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at The Car Connection

Geneva: Volkswagen hatches hotter GTI in Geneva

By Steven J. Ewing

2014 Volkswagen GTI - live on stand at 2013 Geneva Motor Show

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The all-new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf hasn’t even launched here in the United States, but over in Geneva, we’re already getting our first glimpse at the hotter GTI hatchback. The fancy new Mk VII Golf is already off to a healthy start with positive reviews in Europe, and we have no doubt that this next GTI will work hard to regain its title as king of the hot hatches.

The big news for this generation of GTI is that for the first time ever, Volkswagen is actually offering two different power grades for the model, both relying on the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. Standard cars pack 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but an optional performance pack ups the horsepower number to 230. Hitting 60 miles per hour takes 6.5 seconds (6.4 with the performance pack) and top speed is quoted at 153 mph (or 155 with the performance kit). Volkswagen will continue to offer the GTI with both six-speed manual and dual-clutch transmissions.

On the visual front, the sub-3,000-pound GTI adds the usual bit of hot hatch aggression over the standard Golf, and those changes carry over to the interior with a flat-bottomed wheel and, of course, plaid seats. She’s certainly a looker, and while some of us do find the new Golf’s design to be a bit staid and evolutionary, the enhancements for the GTI indeed tug on our enthusiast heart strings.

European customers can purchase the 2014 GTI in May, and North American deliveries will likely start in about one year’s time.

Continue reading Volkswagen hatches hotter GTI in Geneva

Volkswagen hatches hotter GTI in Geneva originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Mar 2013 10:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Europeans get first crack at new Golf Variant wagon

By Seyth Miersma

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Just last week, when we brought you news of a new Volkswagen Golf variant out and testing in Europe, we had no idea we were being so literal with out description. For it seems that VW has every intention of calling its new Golf wagon, making its Geneva debut, the “Golf Variant.”

Odd/interesting sobriquets taken as read then, there’s a lot to like about this new small wagon from VW. The Variant will shed some 232 pounds in this generation, and will come to market with two efficient TDI engines. Volkswagen isn’t giving us displacement figures for either yet, but we’re told the diesels will come with outputs of 110 and 150 horsepower. The 110-hp TDI BlueMotion Varient will be good for a whopping 71.3 miles per gallon on the European cycle, when mated to the six-speed manual transmission.

The German automaker has brought along an all-wheel-drive 4Motion version of the Gold Variant to bow in Geneva, as well, and a natural gas-burning TGI BlueMotion is said to be “in the pipeline.”

No word yet has to when or how the Golf Variant will make its transition to the US market, though there’s a decent likelihood that some version of it will become our new Jetta SportWagen. Europeans can expect the Variant to appear for sale in August of this year.

Continue reading Europeans get first crack at new Golf Variant wagon

Europeans get first crack at new Golf Variant wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Next Volkswagen Golf R to get 286 horsepower?

By Steven J. Ewing

2012 Volkswagen Golf R - front three-quarter view

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The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf hasn’t launched in the United States just yet, but we’re already setting our sights on the range-topping R model. According to Autocar, the next Golf R will be more powerful than the current version, producing 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production Golf ever.

Powering the new Golf R will be a further evolution of Volkswagen’s well-liked 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, and when mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the hotter hatch will reportedly be able to sprint to 62 miles per hour in five seconds flat. That’s over half a second quicker than the current US-spec model.

Other updates for the new Golf R include the addition of VW’s Haldex 5 all-wheel-drive system found in the latest iteration of 4Motion. Furthermore, thanks to the use of lightweight materials, the new R is expected to weigh in around 2,650 pounds – that’s a massive 675 pounds less than the current US-spec car. The exhaust has reportedly been reworked to provide more aural delight, as well.

Herein lies the rub, though: It’s unclear whether or not Volkswagen will offer this same power upgrade in the States. After all, the current US-spec Golf R is rated at 256 hp and 243 lb-ft while its Euro counterpart produces 270 hp and 258 lb-ft. What’s more, European versions can be had with the delicious six-speed DSG, whereas US models are only available with the six-speed manual ‘box. Volkswagen’s US arm tells Autoblog that since the car is still so far off, “there is no final decision” on whether our car will be identical to the Euro model.

Autocar reports that the Euro-spec Golf R will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, with the first cars hitting the streets of Europe in early 2014.

Next Volkswagen Golf R to get 286 horsepower? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Feb 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Nissan to build Golf-fighter in Spain

By Jeremy Korzeniewski

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Nissan hasn’t had a proper European entry in the ridiculously popular compact hatchback segment since it stopped offering its somewhat staid and uninspiring Almera (above) in 2006. According to Automotive News Europe, the new machine, which will not be called Almera, will be marketed against the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus – two extremely popular models in Europe. Production is slated to begin in July of 2014.

The new compact will be built in Barcelona, Spain, at the factory that currently builds the Pathfinder, Navara pickup and NV200 commercial van. An investment of $178 million will be made to assemble the compact car, and an additional $27 million will go to the plant to create more trucks and transmissions for electric vehicles.

The decision to invest in Spain comes after the automaker successfully renegotiated contracts with local unions. Similar talks are underway in France, where Nissan partner Renault is based, but as of yet no new agreements have been struck. Feel free to browse through the official press release below.

Continue reading Nissan to build Golf-fighter in Spain

Nissan to build Golf-fighter in Spain originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Feb 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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With the Chicago and Geneva auto shows not even out of the way yet, the automotive world’s sights are set on the New York Auto Show for the naming of the 2013 World Car Awards, and the top 10 finalists for World Car of the Year and World Performance Car were recently announced and will be voted on by 66 journalists from around the world (including our own European Editor, Matt Davis).

Vying for the top award are the Audi A3, 2013 Range Rover, 2014 Mazda6, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Peugeot 208, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, the trio of Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86, Volkswagen Golf and the Volvo V40. Since its inception, past winners of this award include Volkswagen Up! (2012), Nissan LEAF (2011), Volkswagen Polo (2010), Volkswagen Golf (2009), Mazda2/Mazda Demio (2008), Lexus LS 460 (2007), BMW 3 Series (2006) and the Audi A6 in the award’s inaugural year.

The competition is no less fierce for the performance car of the year with the Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi RS5, BMW M6, BMW M 135i, Ferrari F12Berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG and SLS AMG, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Renault Clio Sport and the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86. This award was first handed out in 2006 with previous recipients including Porsche 911 (2012), Ferrari 458 Italia (2011), Audi R8 V10 (2010), Nissan GT-R (2009), Audi R8 (2008), Audi RS4 (2007) and the Porsche Cayman S (2006).

The top three finalists for each award will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5, and the winners will be revealed on March 28.

Continue reading 2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced

2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Feb 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

2015 Volkswagen Golfs Bound For the U.S. will Be Made In Mexico

By Jens Meiners

The U.S.-bound, seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf will be made in Mexico. The German automaker has announced that production of the new model will commence at its Puebla, Mexico, plant in early 2014. VW says that the decision to build the Golf in Mexico safeguards from currency fluctuation, protecting the brand in the fight between the weakening Euro and strong U.S. Golf sales. The Golf will join the Jetta, the Jetta SportWagen, and the Beetle, all of which currently are produced in Mexico.

European markets will continue to get their Golfs from local plants—Puebla-built Golf models are reserved for just the American markets. But the production site should not imply that quality and equipment are inferior to European-built models. Puebla-built Jettas, Beetles, and SportWagens are exported to markets all around the globe, including Germany.



Although the Golf MkVII already is available in Europe, the car won’t be sold in the U.S. some time in the first half of 2014, according to VW of America. Despite the delayed launch, the Golf VII is likely to be worth the wait over the sixth-generation hatchback currently on offer. The 2015 Golf will be significantly lighter and more agile than the MkVI, and it will ditch the five-cylinder engine in favor of a turbocharged four.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

The Continental: Corporate Collaborations, Designer Yachts, and the Best Off-Roader

By Jens Meiners

The Continental

Each week, our German correspondent slices and dices the latest rumblings, news, and quick-hit driving impressions from the other side of the pond. His byline may say Jens Meiners, but we simply call him . . . the Continental. 

Toyota and BMW collaboration

BMW and Toyota have announced the next steps in their cooperation: Following an exploratory phase, they have come to binding agreements to work on a fuel-cell system, high-energy lithium-air batteries, light-weight technology, and a mid-size sports car. The feasibility study on that sports car will be finished by the end of 2013, and it could lead to a common platform. The project is connected to the light-weight technology effort, which will contribute know-how to the sports car’s development, if it comes to fruition.

We already know about BMW’s contract to supply Toyota with 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engines. BMW can be congratulated on finding a partner that actually means business; previously announced contracts with Saab and Carbon Motors have led to nothing. Toyota is obviously as serious about becoming a maker of sporty cars as BMW is about becoming “green.” Toyota’s new strategy is a welcome change seeing as how memories of the Celica, MR2 and Supra have been buried under an onslaught of hybrids and J.D.Power–inspired family barges.

Nissan Juke NISMO

Meanwhile, Nissan is underscoring its sporty credentials with the launch of its NISMO sub-brand in Europe. The first two dedicated models will be the Juke NISMO and the 370Z NISMO. The Juke receives a body kit, red mirror caps, 225/45 rubber on 18-inch rims, and a mild power and torque boost that raise output from 188 horsepower to 197 and from 177 lb-ft of torque to 184. The cheerful car on steroids comes with either a six-speed manual and front-wheel drive, or a CVT automatic and all-wheel drive. Neither of these two combinations, I regret to say, is particularly pleasant. A more-powerful version with around 220 horsepower is in the works. No details on the 370Z Nismo are available yet.

Fiat and Mazda have finally signed the contract to produce an Alfa Romeo roadster at the Mazda plant in Hiroshima, Japan, beginning in 2015. The rear-wheel-drive two-seater will be a sister model to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and it will fill a gaping void in Alfa Romeo’s lineup. The brand last offered a Spider in 2010. The Alfa Romeo and Mazda versions will have unique engine portfolios, according to the companies’ joint statement.

Meanwhile, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne promises that the mid-engine Alfa Romeo 4C sports car will hit North American turf before the end of the year. I hear it will be an expensive car, rivaling the Porsche Cayman and Boxster, and that its styling language should not be seen as indicative of future Alfa Romeo models. The face of the 4C, like those of the MiTo and the Giulietta, is still inspired by the 8C Competizione. Other future Alfa Romeo models will be more angular and contemporary in style.

Opel Cascada convertible

Some German Cars

Opel has announced pricing for the Astra-based Cascada convertible, which begins at €21,802, before taxes, or $29,350 at current exchange rates. At this price, it comes with a 118-hp gasoline engine, fabric seats, and hubcaps. However, Opel is trying to position the droptop as an Audi A5 cabriolet and Mercedes-Benz E-class competitor, the latter of which costs twice as much as the Cascada. But the Cascada’s true competition is the Peugeot 308 CC, Renault Mégane coupe-cabriolet, and the slightly more compact Volkswagen Golf cabriolet. The Cascada is priced right and should do well in this less-expensive yet competitive field.

Volkswagen T3 kint sweater

Volkswagen shows that you don’t have to take your heritage all that seriously by displaying a T3—known in the U.S. as the Vanagon—fully clad in knitware. A couple of VW commercial vehicle employees spotted a classic bus thus treated while vacationing in Thailand and decided to replicate the application. It turns out that the employees’ female spouses were required to finish the ambitious project. About 2500 hours went into the 100-pound-plus knit sweater for the unique T3, which can be admired in the Volkswagen Museum until the end of March.

The German magazine Auto Bild reports that Audi will launch a Q6 crossover, positioned just above the Q5. Following the recipe of the rakish BMW X6, it will be distinguished by a steeply raked windshield and a low, fastback roofline. The car will be built in Mexico, according to Auto Bild.

Outremer 5X catamaran

Former Renault chief designer Patrick Le Quément, one of my personal design heroes, not only is creating a new design school, but also works as a successful designer of upper-crust yachts. Two of his designs, the Outremer 5X catamaran (pictured above) and the trawler Garcia GT54, were just named European Boats of the Year at the Düsseldorf boat show. Congratulations!



Mercedes-Benz G550

Highway Tested: Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen

Have I ever mentioned I am in love with the Mercedes-Benz G-wagen? It has been a couple of years since I last drove a one, but I recently had the pleasure of spending a week in a G550. Since then, the G received an interior makeover for 2013, which works well. I was surprised at the standard, 5.5-liter V-8′s aggressive tuning and growl—this Benz sounds like an AMG, and it takes off with a vengeance. Although the cabin is lavishly equipped, the G-Wagen does not and cannot hide its roots as a military vehicle engineered in the 1970s.

But it is relatively quiet, comfortable, effortless, and fast. It is a miracle, considering what the original G-wagen handled like (it was bad), and Mercedes has not exactly invested vast funds into updating the vehicle. There are a bunch of dashboard components from the corporate parts bin, and the exterior trim is off-the-shelf fare. But all that is part of the G’s charm. I wonder if Land Rover could pull off a similar job with the Defender, instead of reinventing it at the risk of turning it into a Toyota-FJ-Cruiser-like caricature.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Teased: Watch this doggone hilarious VW Golf ad

By Zach Bowman

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Volkswagen Golf dog ad - oveseas - screencap

We’ve had some pets with some pretty strange proclivities. There was the long-haired dachshund that preferred climbing trees and riding skateboards to chasing cars, the doberman with a penchant for Krystal hamburgers and the border collie that loved herding cats more than chasing them, but we’ve never seen anything quite like the pup in the video below. The latest ad for the new Volkswagen Golf in the Netherlands features a one very confused little dog as it harries its owner over the course of a normal day.

From strange behaviors to an unusual series of barks, it would seem this particular dog was raised in the garage. You can take a closer look at the video below to see just what we mean. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have to go train our cats for a new range of tricks.

Continue reading Watch this doggone hilarious VW Golf ad

Watch this doggone hilarious VW Golf ad originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jan 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Next-Generation Audi A3 to Get Sedan-Based Droptop Variant

By Jens Meiners

The 2015 Audi A3 cabriolet will be based on the A3 sedan, rendered here.

Audi is hard at work to counter Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming CLA in the premium-compact-sedan segment, and the result of that work will be the A3 sedan that’s scheduled to debut later this year. Now our sources in Ingolstadt tell us that Audi will do one better by offering an A3 cabriolet, which will be based on the A3 sedan as rendered above. The current, not-for-the-U.S. A3 convertible is based on the two-door hatchback, and it’s a rather-compact vehicle, similar in style to the Volkswagen Golf cabriolet—which also isn’t available stateside. Choosing the sedan for a foundation will make for more classic proportions, but, best of all, it’s a strong indication that such a car would be U.S.-bound. We understand that there’s a good chance there will be an S3 convertible, while an RS3 cabrio is possible, technically, but very unlikely (unfortunately).

The A3 convertible will be yet another vehicle from the VW Group to make use of the Group’s light-weight, modular-transversal MQB architecture. That means the droptop will be available with front- and all-wheel drive, and there is a vast corporate parts bin full of potential electronics and powertrain parts. In theory, Audi can take this vehicle in many directions.

Despite the number of powertrain options afforded by the versatile architecture, Audi is likely to remain conservative with the A3 cabriolet. The backbone of this model will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine, or a 2.0-liter TDI.



The Audi A3 convertible will see competition from other compact premium convertibles, such as the BMW 1-series convertible and the upcoming 2-series that will replace it. Those A3 cabs that tick all the boxes on the options sheet are likely to be cross shopped with the upcoming BMW 4-series, the Mercedes-Benz E-class cabriolet, and, of course, the A5 convertible—whether Audi likes it or not. Of course, there’s also Volkswagen. As long as the Eos is on the market, it will be a challenge to this new Audi.

The Audi A3 convertible is likely to come to market in late 2014 or early 2015. Base models should start well below $40,000, while those at the highest reaches of the droptop’s pricing shouldn’t have any trouble cresting $50,000.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Official: European Car of the Year finalists announced

By Chris Tutor

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Electric cars may have won the European Car of the Year award two years in a row now (Opel Ampera in 2012, and Nissan Leaf in 2011), we can say without reservation that the 2013 ECotY will be a petrol-burning, internal combustionizer. That’s because not a single electric vehicle made it to the contest’s final round. But eight other cars did.

At the top of the alphabetical list is Ford’s Fiesta-based, B-Max MPV. Five doors, good ride and fuel-efficient, award-winning engine choices are some of the reasons it makes the list. Next is the Hyundai i30, known as the Elantra GT Stateside, with either five or three doors, a roomy cabin and a 1.6-liter CRDi engine. The nominating committee commends the handsome hatch for improved exterior aesthetics and a multilink suspension that “shows in ride and handling.”

Mercedes gets the next spot with its hot hatch: the turbocharged A-Class, followed by another hatch, the Peugeot 208. The next finalist is from another marque we haven’t seen in the States for quite some time – the fourth-generation Renault Clio, followed by the Subaru/Toyota dynamic duo of BRZ and the GT86. The last two contenders are the all-new Volkswagen Golf and the svelte Volvo V40.

The European Car of the Year will be announced in early March after the jury has tallied its votes.

European Car of the Year finalists announced originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Dec 2012 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: Autoblog