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North American car buyers get a bit of a slap in the face when it comes to delivery schedules for new the Volkswagen Golf and pumped-up GTI models. We'll just repeat the old chestnut: It's worth the wait... even though it still stinks. This time around, Western Europe is taking deliveries of the new Golf as we speak, and GTI deliveries start between May and July. North America doesn't get the Mk7 Golf or GTI until about July of 2014.
So we approached our first drive of the new GTI with this chip on our shoulder: "You're making us wait? Well, then at least give us the exact car we'll be able to buy. No compromises, mein freund." And so it was that we extracted nearly all of our drive impressions from behind the wheel of what, for the United States, will technically be a model year 2015 two-door Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance with the standard six-speed manual.
This time around, Volkswagen in Wolfsburg and in Herndon, VA, explain the wait in very practical terms. Whereas before it was just a long wait while Volkswagen slowly realized it needed to properly invest in North America, the wait this time is because VW needs to get its Puebla, Mexico, factory completely on-line to build all of North America's Golfs and GTIs. The deadline for this happening is... July 2014. We're still gonna whine about it though, because that's how we roll.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The 2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD has officially bowed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Engineers managed to squeeze an additional 14 horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque out of the familiar 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, nudging total output to 184 hp and 280 lb-ft for 2014. The figures are good enough to earn the GTD the honor of being the most powerful diesel Golf in Volkswagen history. A start/stop system helps improve efficiency over the previous generation with the new model consuming 56 miles per gallon on the EU cycle. That's up from the 2013 model's 46 mpg. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment, though a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox is also available.
The GTD also offers buyers a few aesthetic tweaks to help separate the hatch from its less potent siblings. Those include a more aggressive front fascia, special badges and 17-inch alloy wheels. Expect to find the GTD in one of three exterior colors, including Tornado Red, Black and Pure White. Check out the quick press release below for more details.
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.Permalink | Email this | Comments