VW

New – Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S takes Nürburgring record

Did you honestly think everyone had forgotten about hot-hatch Nürburgring lap times, after Honda’s Civic Type-R effort last year? No, of course not. So what better way for VW to celebrate 40 years of the Golf GTI than by setting a new Nordschleife record of 7:49.21.

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S We’ve already seen the regular GTI Clubsport, and it’s actually on sale now, but the ‘S’ version has been cranked up to 11 to ensure it can beat that pesky Civic around the ‘ring. That means more power, less weight, and a special Nürburgring mode for the driving profile selector. Yeah, we’re not convinced ‘engage Nürburgring mode‘ is quite catchy enough for us to consider rebranding. Sorry, Volkwagen. However, we can say the S has cured the slight indifference we felt  from first reading about the normal Clubsport when announced last year.

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S The Nürburgring mode tunes the suspension, engine, steering, and exhaust to best suit attacking the twisty German circuit. Racking up a decent ‘ring lap isn’t all about rock-solid suspension, due to numerous bumps and dips littered along the 12.9 miles of tarmac.  (more…)

Frankfurt 2015 – Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport

Hitting 40 is kind of big deal, so Volkswagen has decided to celebrate four decades of the Golf GTI in their usual style. Adding a little more power, some bigger wheels, and interior trinkets to create the 2016 GTI Clubsport.

2016 VW Golf GTI ClubsportVW showed off the Golf GTI Clubsport as a concept at the Wörthersee show earlier in the year, and the car has made it through to production format virtually unchanged. It’s hardly revolutionary, following a similar pattern to that introduced by the Mk4 25th Anniversary, but does make for a rather powerful GTI.

2016 VW Golf GTI Clubsport

Power is upped to 261bhp (265PS) from the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s an output familiar to anyone who bought a SEAT Leon Cupra 265 SC, but makes this the most powerful production GTI to emerge from the Wolfsburg factory. There’s also the ‘over boost’ function which allows the Clubsport to produce 286bhp (290PS) but only for ten seconds at a time. Surely a quick remap will result in having all the power, all of the time.

Acceleration is improved over the regular GTI, with 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds for the DSG car, with the six-speed manual just behind at 6.0 dead. The DSG loses out by 0.3mph to the 155mph top speed of the manual car, but nobody is going to really mind. Well, except on internet forums, perhaps. Naturally as it’s not a Golf R power only goes to the front wheels.

2016 VW Golf GTI Clubsport

Externally Volkswagen claims there’s an entirely new bodykit with redesigned front bumper, rear diffuser and side skirts though it is hardly a dramatic change. The strakes on the front end now sit proud of the bumper, and get a gloss black finish. In fact VW has gone slightly mad with gloss back, using it on the wing mirrors, and bigger rear spoiler also. (more…)

Game On – Volkswagen GTI Supersport Vision GT

Gran Turismo 6 has been kicking around for a while now, with a next-generation console GT7 still some way off. As such, Polyphony is still encouraging manufacturers to add more content to the PS3 game in the form of ‘Vision’ concepts.

VW GTI Supersport Vision Gran Turismo

Volkswagen has already contributed to Gran Turismo 6 with the mental Vision Roadster from last year. But it’s decided to offer up another digital concept in the form of this GTI Supersport. Safe to say, it’s also pretty crazy.

VW GTI Supersport Vision Gran Turismo

With a 503PS turbocharged VR6 engine and a 7-Speed DSG gearbox, there’s no doubting the virtual firepower of the GTI Supersport Vision GT. Unlike a normal Golf GTI, there’s a 4MOTION 4WD system to keep all that power under control, and 20″ wheels to, well, just look cool! The 0-62mph sprint happens in just 3.6 seconds, and there’s a top speed of over 186mph.

Freed from the shackles of practicality and road safety laws, it’s also meant Volkswagen’s designers could really let loose with the bodywork. The GTI Supersport does, however, still maintain obvious Golf GTI cues like the red trim running through the grille and headlights, and the daytime running lights in the outer reaches of the front bumper. (more…)

Volkswagen Golf R Estate – Your new favourite wagon

Been wanting a performance estate car based on a mid-sized family hatchback? Not quite taken with the Ford Focus ST? Good news; Volkswagen has the answer in the shape of a 300 PS 4WD Golf R Estate, announced at the LA Auto Show this week. 

Der neue Volkswagen Golf R VariantThis one has certainly come out of the left field. Prototypes had been spotted testing around the world, but the idea of true fast Golf Estate just seemed a little… unbelievable? In the past there’s been the European-spec Mk3 VR6 Variant with 190 bhp, and 1.8T / 2.3 V5 versions of the Mk4 estate – both of which had 150 bhp – but there’s no real dedicated lineage for a quick Golf wagon.

2015 Volkswagen Golf R Estate 002

Mechanically it’s identical to the normal hatchback, with the 2.0 litre petrol TSI engine making 296 bhp (300 PS) with a corresponding 280 lb-ft of torque. The 4Motion 4WD system is also borrowed from the regular R, although at present the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission appears to be the only option available for shifting cogs. (more…)

Paris 2014 – Friday Photo – The Volkswagen Polo GTI (again)

Full disclosure; we only featured the new Polo GTI as a Friday photo two weeks ago. But, to coincide with the full launch of the car at the Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen revealed more details of the baby GTI. Including one that’s very important to EngageSportMode.

Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, (right) Volkswagen board member for ‘Development’ is possibly our new favourite person.

The XL Sport may have stolen the show in Paris, but Volkswagen also used the French event to release more details about the new Polo GTI. Unlike EngageSportMode’s prediction, the new GTI doesn’t feature a 750 bhp V12 engine, 4WD, or ten-speed automatic gearbox. Well, we guess you have to save some things for the ‘R’ version…

What it will have, is a 1.8 litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 189 bhp – 12 more than the previous 1.4 TSI – and 236 lb-ft of torque. That’s sufficient for 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 147 mph; not bad for the smallest GTI in the Volkswagen family.  In fact, that’s only 0.2 of a second slower to 62 mph than the bigger Golf GTI. A six-speed manual gearbox now comes as standard, meaning buyers are no longer forced to endure a DSG transmission. The seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box does remain on the options list, however.

The biggest news, for ESM at least, is the optional ‘Sport Performance Kit’ that features a Sport button on the dashboard. Yes, the new Polo GTI will have a Sport Mode; we rejoice! Along with changing the stiffness of the optional ‘Sport Select’ suspension, the Sport button will also increase steering weight, sharpen the throttle response, and make the engine noise inside the car louder through the sound actuator. Quite frankly, Volkswagen has ticked every single box on the Sport Mode checklist when putting together the Sport Performance Kit, for which we’re truly happy.

They're not kidding!

They’re not kidding. Best VW switch since the Mk4 Golf ‘Funk’ button?

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Paris 2014 – Volkswagen XL Sport – News and Photos

Volkswagen’s XL1 eco-car is already a thing of wonder. So, how could you make the lightweight, low-drag, special even better? By slotting a 200 PS Ducati motorbike engine into it; that’s how.

For those unsure why an Italian motorbike engine is sitting in the rear of a German sportscar concept, it’s best to remind you that the Volkswagen Group bought Ducati back in 2012, through its Lamborghini subsidiary. So, in some respects, it’s just the same as that EA888 2.0 litre engine appearing in both a VW Golf GTI and the Audi S1. Kind of.

The engine in the XL Sport isn’t just any old Ducati unit though. It’s the 200 PS (197 bhp) V-twin 1,199cc motor taken from the limited edition Ducati Superleggera. It also happens to be the world’s most powerful production two-cylinder engine, and is capable of revving to 11,000 rpm, thanks to some trick titanium connecting rods. Torque is, inevitably, motorbike-engine low at just 99 lb-ft but what more do you need in a carbon-fibre monocoqued car weighing just 890kg?

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Volkswagen TRISTAR Concept

We don’t usually feature commercial vehicles here on EngageSportMode, but even we’ll admit that Volkswagen’s TRISTAR concept is rather cool. They’ve even painted it orange, so we’re pretty much inclined to like it just for that.

2014 Volkswagen TRISTAR Concept 001

Set to be officially premiered at the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, the TRISTAR concept brings back a name used by Volkswagen in the 1980s whilst showing off the new design direction for the new T6 range.

2014 Volkswagen TRISTAR Concept 003

It actually looks rather good to our eyes, with the short wheelbase pick-up body mounted on suspension that’s raised 30mm. There’s also permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive and a mechanical locking rear differential to help out when things get really tough. Power comes from a 2.0 litre four-cylinder TDI engine with 201 bhp and 332 lb-ft of torque; enough to shove the TRISTAR to 62 mph from rest in only 10.0 seconds. It’ll also reach a top speed of 115 mph, so could easily mix it in the outside lane of a motorway! The TRISTAR concept is fitted with a very uncommercial vehicle like 7-speed DSG dual clutch transmission. (more…)

Friday Photo – New Polo GTI

Having owned a total of six Polos amongst the team of EngageSportMode’s contributors, it’s fair to say we’re fans of the Volkswagen supermini. We’re even bigger fans when it comes to the GTI version, with ESM’s editor describing his beloved 6N2 GTI as ‘the best car he’s ever owned’. So excitement was understandably high when photos emerged of the latest iteration of Wolfsburg’s junior hot-hatch.

In some slight press office weirdness, Volkswagen has released the photos for the new Polo GTI, but no actual accompanying details. As such, we’ve been left to mere speculation as to what is underneath (some more fanciful than others) the subtly revised bodywork.

The general consensus is a 1.8 TFSI petrol engine with around 180-190 bhp thus ditching the 1.4 twin-charger unit which, although powerful, had developed a poor reputation for excessive oil consumption. In addition, the interior pictures show what is quite obviously a manual gearbox, again dispensing with the DSG ‘box found in the pre-facelift version.

It’s a good looking car, with lots of nice details borrowed from the bigger Golf GTI. Those alloy wheels are particularly special, and the interior is resplendent with red GTI trim. Perhaps the biggest question will be cost. Volkswagen needs to position the Polo GTI carefully to avoid being too close too both the Golf GTI, and Audi S1 on price. Anything more than £22,000 in the UK may really stunt sales.

We’ll bring you all the actual information on the Polo GTI when Volkswagen actually releases it, which we presume will be closer to the car’s official unveiling at the Paris Motor Show in a two weeks time.

New Volkswagen Jetta – UK Prices and Specs

After one American-market orientated four-door, comes another, with a little less power than yesterday’s Dodge. The Volkswagen Jetta often gets a raw deal in the UK, being seen – unfairly – as the poor relation of the Golf, with resulting landslide-like depreciation. But, as two EngageSportMode contributors will attest, it’s a hugely underrated car. Will the latest revised version do anything to change the Jetta’s reputation? 

2014 Volkswagen Jetta 001

Volkswagen isn’t exactly known for radical mid-lifecycle facelifts (see the New Polo for example) but the revised Jetta must surely be one of the subtlest in a long time. We’re not lying when we said we had to double-check that it’s definitely a new car in these photos, because even we were struggling to spot the differences.

Aimed at making the Jetta more aerodynamically efficient – by some 10% in fact – the reprofiled bumper and new grille are the changes up front. At the back, a new boot lid incorporates a somewhat Audi-like lip spoiler, which continues down into the wings. Updated tail lights and tweaked rear bumper complete the minor cosmetic update.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta 002

Inside… well. There’s new steering wheel designs!! Oh, and don’t forget updated trim and upholstery options; please contain your excitement. Unfortunately Volkswagen haven’t released pictures of the interior, so you’ll have to stay in suspense for now. (more…)

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept – Now it’s real

Recently we brought you teasing sketches of the VW Golf R 400 Concept. Now Volkswagen has actually unveiled the proper car, so we can now give you photos, instead of just drawings of the 395 bhp super-hatch.

The Golf R 400_01

Revealed at the Auto China Show in Beijing, the R 400 is intended to display the potential of the flagship Golf R. Whether this means the potential for a limited production run is still very much debatable; this could just be VW getting in early for the Wörthersee-Treffen event in May, which has featured previous exotic Golfs such as the 2007 GTI W12-650. Volkswagen does, at least, have a track record for producing limited production versions of tuned Golf models. The Mk2 Golf G60 Limited made in the late 1980s packed over 200 bhp, with just 71 cars being produced.

The Golf R 400_04

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