Volkswagen unleashes Amarok ute into NZ market

February 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen NZ has officially launched it’s new Amarok ute into the competitive kiwi market and is ready to take on the big boys of the segment.

At a special event held for NZ’s motoring press, VW issued heavy-footed journalists an Amarok to test on a course of paved road, gravel road, beach and difficult off-road sections. The Amarok was impressive on every surface and was unbeaten by any obstacle. So should other ute makers be scared? You bet, the Amarok is competitive in every area and easily class-leading in some.

Amarok is the fifth model series by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the first ute by a high-volume European producer in New Zealand. Meaning “Wolf” in Inuit this ute is no wolf in sheepŸs clothing — the exterior design is based on the new Volkswagen “design DNA” with design features also found on the latest Golf and the new generations of the Transporter, Multivan, Caravelle and California.

Potent Powertrain

The high performance Twin Turbo TDI 120kW Amarok produces a hefty 400Nm of torque, whereas the 90kW TDI delivers 340Nm of pulling power. All models offer diesel engines with a 6-speed manual transmissions. The optional 4Motion model gives shiftable all-wheel drive with high/ low gear ratio for almost every type of terrain, while the Amarok is equipped with rear wheel drive as standard. With the higher-spec Twin Turbo TDI models, two exhaust turbo chargers provide an impressive vehicle response at low revs and more powerful performance at high revs. Despite the high performance the Amarok has fuel consumption from just 7.3 litres per 100 km. Continue reading “Volkswagen unleashes Amarok ute into NZ market” »

New Volkswagen Passat launched in NZ

February 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen NZ launched its all-new Passat at a special event for the motoring media this week.

With over 15 million Passats sold globally since the model debuted back in 1973 VW’s Passat arrived with great expectations and delivered nicely. In its technology, design and comfort the Passat is squarely aiming at a move to the next class up but without an increase in cost. New technology and further improvements in build and materials are what will separate the 2011 Passat from competitors in a hard-fought market segment. In terms of power the new Passat 2.0-litre diesel models output an impressive 320Nm of torque in the 103kW Trendline specification or 350Nm in the 125kW Comfortline. The newly available 1.8-litre petrol-powered TSI 118kW model includes a 7-speed DSG transmission with Direct Injection and accelerates from 0-100km/h in a brisk 8.5 seconds.

But it’s not just about power with the Passat in fact it is the economy figures which are most impressive. The TDI diesel Passats feature VolkswagenŸs BlueMotion Technologies which include energy recovery (regenerative braking), a Start-Stop system (automatic engine shutoff, such as at red lights) and tyres optimised for low rolling resistance.

The driving range of the new Passat BlueMotion Technology is exceptional. With an average fuel consumption of just 5.2/ 100km combined diesel fuel consumption; and with CO2 combined emissions of 135 (g/km).

When it comes to exterior design the Passat is looking modern and sleek with VW’s now familiar family face and new alloy wheels filling the guards. Available in two trim specifications – the Trendline Passat recieves 16″ Alicante alloy wheels with 205/55 tyres as standard and on Comfortline models  you can expect 17″ Fontana with 235/45 self sealing tyres. Continue reading “New Volkswagen Passat launched in NZ” »

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift model – revealed

February 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following on from recently leaked photos, Volkswagen has released official details and photos for the 2012 Tiguan facelift.

The Tiguan is the latest in VW’s range to receive updates after the 2011 Passat and Eos convertible, making it one of the few Volkswagen models to be updated rather than replaced by an all-new model.

In terms of styling the 2012 Tiguan is given the newer VW corporate face with a new headlight design, grille and at the rear new sleeker tail-lights.

In the cabin the Tiguan appears largely unchanged except for a new steering wheel. But the production model could sport more major updates.

Mechanical specifications will be revealed when the updated Tiguan debuts at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Continue reading “2012 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift model – revealed” »

VW to put the XL1 economy car into limited production

January 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When Volkswagen decided to show off the latest version of its ambitious one-litre car at the Qatar Motor Show, many wondered if such a vehicle could be put into production. Those questions have now been answered with confirmation that the concept named Formula XL1 will be produced on a very small scale.

Apparently Volkswagen is ready to back itself with a small run of just 100 XL1s to be built as regular production vehicles. This means they will be offered for public sale. Details are scarce for the moment and there’s no word yet on what powertrain will move the production models. The concept features a two-cylinder TDI engine, electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With that amount of tech on board the XL1 can achieve an amazing 0.9L/100 km fuel economy.

The German domestic market will apparently be allocated the first examples with sales expected in the United States and China as well. Continue reading “VW to put the XL1 economy car into limited production” »

Volkswagen takes concept Touaregs to Qatar Motor Show

January 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Qatar Motor Show is a new entry on the on car show calender but it is already drawing out some very interesting concept vehicles. Volkswagen has brought two special Touareg concept cars that are sure to turn heads in the desert state.

The first vehicle takes the hardcore looks of the Race Touareg 3 Dakar rally vehicle and puts it into a street legal SUV. Named the Race Touareg 3 Qatar the vehicle is painted in “Magic Morning” metallic white with gold flakes and has some spiffy Race Touareg graphics along the flanks. The SUV also swaps its 16-inch wheels for blinging gold painted 18-inch BBS wheels.

Inside is where the real changes over the Dakar vehicle have taken place with a full stealth look achieved. It’s equipped with Recaro race seats finished in perforated Nappa leather.  There’s bits of matte carbon fibre trim and a roll cage painted in “Serpentino Grey Metallic”. A special tribute is paid to the Dakar Rally where all VW’s ictories are etched in the anodized aluminum of the center console. Even with the added weight, the 228 kW Race Touareg can still perform the sprint to 100 km/h in under 6 seconds.

The Race Touareg 3 Qatar is joined on Volkswagen’s show stand in Doha by the Touareg Gold Edition. As you might have already guessed the Gold Edition is all about bling and is tailor-made for the local crowds. It is fully decked out in 24-karat gold trim inside and out. The gold coating includes the 22-inch wheels, roof rails, window frames, door mirrors, grille surround and badging. The interior is also appointed with gold trim. Other highlights include an Alcantara roofliner, Nappa leather seats, natural brown leather and Walnut Burr veneers. Continue reading “Volkswagen takes concept Touaregs to Qatar Motor Show” »

VW to reveal new 1-litre economy concept in Qatar

January 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For the last ten years the engineering team at Volkswagen have been chasing their own holy grail – a car that can average just 1 litre/100 km fuel economy. It’s been a tough road but VW isn’t throwing in the towel just yet and according to recent reports will reveal another “One Litre” concept at the Qatar Motor Show.

The oil rich nation of Qatar seems an odd place to unveil an extreme fuel-sipping machine and information remains scarce at this stage. The car will likely feature a two-cylinder diesel engine and an electric motor that is powered by a lithium-ion battery. The premise is very similar to VW’s L1 concept (pictured) which debuted at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but this time the plug-in hybrid motor will further increase fuel efficiency beyond the already amazing 1.2 L/100 km achievement from the L1.

The concept should be officially unveiled later this month and could possibly see some form of production as early as 2013. Continue reading “VW to reveal new 1-litre economy concept in Qatar” »

2011 VW Polo GTI arrives in NZ next month

January 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Polo GTI is back in New Zealand and it’s no toy either, packing a 132 kW/ 250Nm torque punch.

The light 1,194kg Volkswagen hot hatch will hit 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 229 km/h. Under the bonnet lives VW’s award-winning twincharged 1.4-litre TSI engine (turbo plus supercharging). It’s a very strong motor considering its size and has proved a very popular mill in other VW product. The engine puts its power to the front wheels via a globally adopted 7-speed DSG gear box.

The new Polo GTI also has excellent fuel economy thanks to the downsizing of the 1.4-litre TSI engine and the 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. The new Polo GTI is now 25 percent more fuel efficient with a fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100 km.

Comfort features include electro-hydraulic power steering, electric windows in front and rear, central locking, driver seat height adjustment, climatronic air conditioning, cruise control, green tinted insulated glass and privacy glass in rear window and rear side windows with 65% light absorption. And, multimedia is far from overlooked with RCD 510 radio CD system with large high resolution, colour touch screen, 6-disc CD changer, MP3 and MWA file compatible and AUX-IN multimedia socket, iPod adapter cable and Bluetooth phone preparation.

The GTI will be the first Polo to be available with optional bi-xenon headlights with cornering lights, LED daytime running lights and corner marker lights.

VW GTI-specific features are always standard, such as red trim on the radiator grill and honeycomb on air intakes and front fog lights as well as a sport seat system with distinctive “JackyŸ upholstery, leather covered multi-function steering-wheel with GTI design DSG paddles, sports suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels in the telephone dialler design.

The NZ Golf GTI will be in a four-door body shape and will have safety features consisting of a highly effective airbag network, belt tensioners, front head restraints designed to avoid whiplash trauma as well as Isofix points on the rear bench seat. An electronic transverse differential lock (XDS) reduces the tendency to understeer and improves handling especially for quick driving through curves. Like all versions of the model series, the Polo GTI also comes equipped with the standard ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including hill hold control.

The New Zealand 4-door Polo GTI will be available at an RRP of $37,500 in February 2011. Continue reading “2011 VW Polo GTI arrives in NZ next month” »

New 2011 Volkswagen Touareg now available in New Zealand

November 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has launched its completely redeveloped Touareg into the New Zealand market with a special event held this week.

The 2011 Touareg is coming out swinging into the competitive luxury SUV market with an updated range of engines that are up to 25 percent more fuel efficient. There’s also some clever new driver assistance and safety systems. The Touareg V6 TDI with 7.4 litre combined fuel consumption now posts among the best value in the segment.

The new standard model Touareg was lightened by over 200 kgs, but has greater torsional rigidity and is built lower to the ground with improved aerodynamics. Together with front end styling based on the new Volkswagen family face, this results in a smaller frontal area. All engines are now offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission.

The V6 TDI models feature VolkswagenŸs BlueMotion Technologies — which include a revolutionary start-stop system that automatically shuts off the engine when the car is stationary, a regenerative braking system which recycles braking energy and low friction tyres.

Also modified in pursuit of reduced fuel consumption was the standard all-wheel drive system. All new generation Touaregs have all-wheel drive (“4Motion”) with a Torsen limited-slip differential. The Touareg also has an “Off-road driving programme”, which – at the press of a button – tunes the ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road duty, activates Hill Descent Assist and adjusts the automatic gearshift points. The V6 TDI can also be ordered with an optional “Terrain Technology” package that includes a traditional transfer case designed for off-road duty. It includes reduction gearing and centre and rear differentials, each with up to 100 percent locking.

Continue reading “New 2011 Volkswagen Touareg now available in New Zealand” »

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