Button vs Coultard – RallyCross

There is so much to like with this video, especially if you’re an F1 fan.

(Source BBC)

The tightest car in the world

Golf TDI Guinness World Record

Well, not sure that’s quite a true statement, but you have to give it to the Gold TDI for rounding the lower 48 states on less than $300 of diesel. Settting a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the “lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car” with a remarkable 81.17 mpg, the car  traveling 8,233.5 miles in total. Taking 16 days and using $294.98 of Shell® Diesel fuel, the Golf beat the previous mark of 77.99 mpg by more than 3 mpg, and also beat the hybrid vehicle record of 74.34 mpg by more than 6 mpg.

Golf R Pre-Order Details

Golf R 2015 Blue

If you want to be the first on the block for a new Golf R (and given all the love various magazines/tv shows and friends have given it back over in Europe, why would you not), VW are giving you the opportunity to put your $500 down to reserve your spot at the top of the list. The pre-order will go live on VW.com/GolfR on January 8th for the first 500 cars. 

These first Golf R models will be identical: the topline Golf R with DCC® & Nav and the six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. All the cars will be painted in Lapiz Blue Metallic and feature the 292 horsepower 2.0-liter TSI® engine; 19-inch “Cadiz” aluminum-alloy wheels and summer performance tires; 4Motion® all-wheel drive; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights; DCC® adaptive damping system; Park Distance Control; a navigation system; and the Fender® Premium Audio System. The Golf R with DCC & Nav has a starting MSRP of $39,090, plus $820 destination and delivery charge.

These first 500 owners will receive an exclusive, numbered Volkswagen Driver Gear R accessory kit, which consists of:

  • An exclusive, serialized Volkswagen R watch
  • A serialized carbon fiber and stainless steel keychain
  • A serialized and VIN-specific certificate

There will only be 500 of these Volkswagen R accessory kits ever made available to customers, and these will be serialized to match the VINs of the Golf R pre-Order vehicles.

Personally if I was getting one (although I’m pretty sure I’m not) I’d hold off for the 6 months or so to get my hands on the manual version, but I’m sure either version will put plenty of smiles on your face.

Golf R Pricing (and a Variant)

289397_Golf R-15-1404-DigThe latest generation Golf R is now available for pre-order at VW.com and pricing has been released. Nothing too surprising – $36,595 for the “base” and $39,090 for an upgraded model with dynamic controlled dampers (DCC), navigation, 19 inch wheels and an upgraded sound system.

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All initial models are priced with DSG – the manuals don’t arrive until later next year (but worth the wait if you’re asking me, although the DSG will get you to 60 0.2 seconds faster and keep your left leg from getting overworked in rush hour traffic).

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Another little Golf R version was also announced at the LA Motor Show the other week – the Variant (or Station Wagon or Estate in normal terms). I don’t think this one is coming to the US, which is a bit of a shame as it seems to be the perfect answer to any family’s car for everything question if they can’t quite stump up the $100k for an E63 AMG Wagon…..

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Volkswagen XL Sport

VW XL SportWhat happens if you pair a futuristic (and light) body with a Ducati Superleggera V-Twin engine? I guess the guys at VW were interested in finding out.

276850_DB2014AU01207The XL Sport achieves the best ratio between weight (1962 pounds), power (147 kW/197 hp) and aerodynamics (CdA of 0.44 square meters) of any car. It’s a combination that allows it to reach an impressive top speed of 168 mph on just 197 hp.

276863_DB2014AU01212There are a number of individual features that contribute to the XL Sport’s arrow-like performance, in addition to the uncompromising styling. These include special vanes that direct the air at the front into specific channels, wheelarch vents, an optimized underbody, lift-reducing air ducts in the hood, an extendable rear spoiler (powered by the same unit as in the Lamborghini Aventador), and adaptive air vents incorporated in the rear hatch.

276887_DB2014AU01226The significantly redesigned chassis, high-revving engine, and aerodynamic performance firmly plant the XL Sport in the racing realm. The chassis incorporates high-strength steel subframes which house upper and lower control arms at the front with pullrod actuation for the dampers, while the control arms at the back have pushrods—similar to the layout for a racing car. The forged magnesium-alloy wheels, which save 53 pounds compared to aluminum-alloy rims, are fitted with 205/40 R18 front and 265/35 R18 rear high-performance tires. The XL Sport has a powerful ceramic brake disc setup.

New VW Scirocco – US Bound?

Scirocco R 2014 BlueWhile the press release doesn’t confirm it, it does leave the door somewhat open to the option at some point in the future. Here’s what they say

“The sports car will be launched initially in Europe from the middle of August. Shortly afterwards, the other high-volume markets such as China, Argentina, Turkey, Australia, Russia and South Korea will follow.”

My theory is if VW can find a way to make it worthwhile to export the beautiful cousin of the Golf to South Korea, there must be a way to get it over to the good old US of A you’d think? Or maybe I’m completely wrong  – only time will tell.

VW Scirocco 2014 Rear Blue

In the meantime, let me give you a few of the details of the new model.  The external characteristics of the Scirocco “2014” include its newly designed front and rear sections with redesigned H7 or bi-xenon headlights and LED rear lights. The rear and now swivelling VW logo was designed as a handle for opening the boot lid. The interior is equipped with sport seats and a leather sport steering wheel as standard, while the sports car also features new materials and colours. New technical features include the Dynaudio Excite sound system developed specifically for the Scirocco and the park steering assistant (ParkAssist). Also new on board as standard are auxiliary instruments (charge pressure, chronometer, engine oil temperature) which pay tribute to the original Scirocco.

VW Scirocco R 2014 Interior

What is of more interest (to me anyway) is the Scirocco R – pushing out around 280 bhp, it’ll be the high performance model of the range, with a suitably beefed up suspension and upgraded interior. No performance figures just yet – I guess we have to wait a couple of months before this gets in the hands of some testing equipment.

Front Scirocco R VW Blue

Beetle Rally Car

GRC Beetle Rally Cross CarThere are some things in life that you find hard to believe, even when confronted with the facts, and I have to be honest – this was one of them. Volkswagen are entering the Red Bull Global Rally Cross series, and not with the regular Polo they use back in Europe, but with the pictured heavily modified GRC Beetle.

Bettle Rally Car GRCNot only does it have 4-wheel drive, it spits out over 560 bhp. Racing as part of the Volkswagen Andretti Rally Cross team with be Tanner Foust (rally driver and presented of US Top Gear) and Scott Speed (former F1 driver, more recently seen in Nascar). I just can’t wait to see one of those rear spoilers end up on road car…..

Next Golf R Confirmed for US

2015 Golf RDespite some relatively lackluster sales in 2013, VW are (happily) continuing their efforts to bring the highest performing Golf to the US markets.

2015 Golf R  rearWith an estimated 290 horsepower, the new Golf R has 34 hp more than the previous version, but is expected to be considerably more fuel-efficient than its predecessor with a manufacturer estimated highway fuel economy rating of 31 mpg with the six-speed manual transmission, up from 27 mpg.

2015 Golf R interiorLike all three previous Golf R models, the new model transfers its turbocharged power to the road via a permanent all-wheel-drive system; in this case, the latest version of the 4MOTION® system with a fifth-generation Haldex® coupling. To ensure great chassis dynamics, there’s a new sport suspension, the “progressive” variable-ratio steering system, and a stability control system (“ESC Sport”) which can now be deactivated for track driving. The deactivation of the electronic nanny system could be worth the extra cost on it’s own given the new GTi version won’t allow this.

2015 Golf R lightsUnfortunately VW are continuing their other tradition of holding out on the US release until well after our European brethren – it won’t be available over here until early 2015, and as with the last version, in the 4-door version only (which makes VW’s press release photos of just the two door version a little weird…..).

Golf GTI “Design Vision”

Golf GIT Design VisionVW kept up it’s reputation of bringing futuristic and super fast Golf GTI versions to show with the latest Design Vision incarnation.

The “Design Vision GTI” ups the ante with 503 hp, developed at 6500 rpm. Just like the engine in the regular GTI, the concept car has a turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine — except that this is a 3.0-liter V6 using twin turbochargers instead of a 2.0-liter four cylinder with a single turbo. Two three-way catalytic converters are arranged close to the engine to optimize emissions behavior. The V6 TSI engine develops 369 pound-feet of torque from as low as 2000 rpm, with a maximum figure of 413 lb-ft at 4000 rpm.

186653__MG_1924All this power and torque is distributed to the wheels via a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. With this powertrain and a specially tuned chassis, the “Design Vision GTI” eats any type of racetrack. On a dragstrip, it will sprint from zero to 62 mph in an impressive 3.9 seconds.

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