Cars Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
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VW gave the Golf a face lift and some new technology!

As a model that has been around since the mid-1970s, there’s a certain standard that we’ve all come to expect from the Volkswagen Golf. With the current-gen model being introduced as early as 2012 at the Paris Motor Show we’ve been expecting to see a facelifted model anytime, and sure enough, Volkswagen has made some exciting changes for the 2017 model year. Building on the hatchbacks basic but sporty nature, VW has redesigned the front fascia, restyled the headlight lenses, integrated a whole new generation of infotainment systems, introduced some new engine options and announced a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission that will slowly replace the current six-cog unit. On top of this, the 2017 model year also brings some new safety features, including traffic jam assist, emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, and emergency assist.

For a car that is so widely loved – VW has sold more than 33 million examples since its introduction in the 1970s – the Golf is definitely a fan favorite, but its appearance in standard or non-GTI form has traditionally been somewhat mundane without a whole lot of character compared to models it competes with like the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and Fiat 500. But all that changes now that the Golf has all these sporty updates, which should be enough to keep the car fresh until the next-gen model debuts sometime toward the end of the decade.

It’s pretty clear that we have a lot to talk about, so let’s dive on in and see what’s up with the 2017 Volkswagen Golf. It’s sure to be the sportiest model that you’ve seen to date.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf.

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10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018

10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018

When you gotta go fast for not much cash

Although it’s easy to get lost in the deluge of noise surrounding fully self-driving, electron-powered commuter bubbles, there’s still a strong number of gas-powered sports machines out there to enjoy. And we aren’t talking about six-figure unobtanium supercars either - nope, we’re talking about loads of driving goodness to be had in the far more reasonable $20k to $30k price range. As such, we put together the following list of the 10 Most Affordable Sports Cars on the market today.

Looking over the list, some of you out there will undoubtedly point out how several entries aren’t your typical “sports car,” whether it’s the body style, drivetrain layout, or both. Regardless, every single one of these models comes packed with maximum smiles per miles, and for a lightweight price tag to boot. As such, we’ve included a few hot hatchbacks, a rally car, and a few others that fall outside the traditional sports car spectrum. Of course, there’s plenty of RWD coupes in there as well, so fear not and read on.

Continue reading for the full list.

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8 Cars With Amazing Front Wheel Drive Systems That Prove You Don't Always Need AWD

8 Cars With Amazing Front Wheel Drive Systems That Prove You Don’t Always Need AWD

Have you ever seen a front wheel drive car making a one wheel burnout? You have? Great! That’s the problem many manufacturers have been trying to circumnavigate or completely resolve on FWD cars. Not so much to deter you from making one wheel burnouts, but to make the car corner better and safer with putting down the power to the wheel that actually has some grip. The reason a FWD car (or any car for that matter) tends to send power to the wheel with least grip is the so-called open differential - a system designed to send power to the wheel with 50 percent of power reaching one wheel and 50 percent the other. However, as opposite wheels on cars must spin at different rates (like when cornering), the open differential cannot be locked, thus allowing for some extreme tendencies to send the power through the path of least resistance. Simply said - to the wheels with the least grip. Using this system saves a ton in R&D, the simple design of open differential makes it cheap to produce, and it doesn’t put too much strain on the various drivetrain elements. However, some tend to make fun of open diffs. “They are just like a one-wheel drive.” Is there any truth to this? After all, the power always goes to the wheel with the least resistance.

While an open diff works great in normal conditions (on a surface and in conditions that provide similar grip to both wheels,) more extreme circumstances (cornering fast, driving on slippery surfaces and the like) do limit its effectiveness fast. That is why manufacturers found a number of ways to circumnavigate these problems with mechanical means. Those cars using systems to defeat the limitations of open diffs are usually in the upper echelons of the car world, and I am presenting you nine of them.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

When the production models gains massive fenders and a rear wing

Established in 2015, the TCR series has become increasingly popular with each season, now being contested by several automakers from Europe and Asia. Volkswagen is one of them, having joined the series with a race-spec version of the Golf GTI in 2016. Following the first full season, in which the Golf GTI TCR won 17 races and two championships, the German firm made improvements to the car in order to continue its good run.

The hatchback’s aerodynamics were updated, while the technology under the hood has also been fine-tuned. The updated car was again used by Liqui Moly Team Engstler, which tackled the German ADAC TCR, TCR Asia, and the TCR Middle East series. The revised GTI also returned to the International TCR series with Team Leopard Racing, which won the championship the previous year. Let’s find out what’s new in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

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The 2020 Volkswagen Golf R Will Grow Mean with 400 horsepower

The 2020 Volkswagen Golf R Will Grow Mean with 400 horsepower

This will make it the fastest road-going Golf to roll off the production line

The Volkswagen Golf R has always been a traditional go-to in the hatchback market. More specifically, it’s the go-to for guys that want performance. Unfortunately, it kind of trails behind the competition with models like the Honda Civic Type R and the Focus RS, among others, delivering more power and better performance times. Volkswagen now reports, via AutoExpress, that all that that’s going to change with the next-gen model in 2020. The word? The Golf R will deliver at least 400 horsepower. There’s going to be a trade-off, though.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf R Abstract Concept

2018 Volkswagen Golf R Abstract Concept

The Volkswagen Golf doesn’t really need an introduction. It’s one of the hottest hatchbacks on the market, and it’s well-known across all of the major markets on the planet. Unlike the Tiguan, the Golf manages to sell well, so it doesn’t really need any special attention, but VW decided to give it some anyway. That’s why you’re looking at this crazy-looking Golf R with a custom wrap, aftermarket wheels, performance exhaust, and new side skirts among other things. Based on the new Golf R, it’s the best-equipped car showcased at this year’s SOWO event in Georgia.

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Volkswagen Showcases Four New Concepts at SOWO in Georgia

Volkswagen Showcases Four New Concepts at SOWO in Georgia

Some of these are actually pretty damn cool

Volkswagen has a bit of a reputation for providing some pretty boring concepts, but the four new concepts it brought to SOWO this hear are cool as hell. Volkswagen says they represent the tastes of Volkswagen enthusiasts, which isn’t exactly a good explanation of why there’s so much bright yellow. What we have here is a modified Golf R, Jetta R-Line, Tiguan R-Line, and an Arteon R-Line, all with their own special way of standing out that is quite intriguing and refreshing at the same time.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Concept

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Concept

It’s a go-faster GTI with a sexy interior

Volkswagen has just showcased the Golf GTI TCR Concept – a model that will sit between the standard Golf GTI and Golf R as far as power is concerned. On top of an extra 45 horsepower over the standard GTI, the concept shows off an intriguing exterior look and an attractively upholstered cabin. The concept is set to become an official road-going model, despite its classification as a design study, by the end of 2018. As a model that’s derived from motorsport and based on the TCR race car, it’s quite likely the concept will end up being a special-edition model, but it could wind up being the car that fills the gap between the standard Golf GTI and Golf R, two models separated by more than 60 horsepower.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf Estate TGI GMOTION

2018 Volkswagen Golf Estate TGI GMOTION

Adding spice to a CNG five-door

The annual GTI Fest at Lake Worthersee in Austria is currently underway, and per tradition, Volkswagen is bringing along a pair of custom rides built by a select group of apprentices to show off the next generation’s skill set. In addition to the GTI Next Level that we featured earlier this week, there’s also this spruced-up five-door wagon dubbed the GMOTION, intended to bring a combination of “sporting character, elegance, and off-road capabilities.”

Continue reading to learn what makes the Volkswagen Golf Estate TGI GMOTION special.

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2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI

2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI

The next-generation GTI arrives in 2019

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI may still be the most popular hot-hatchback out there, but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth after more than four years on the market. With Ford already working on a new-generation Focus ST, which will be significantly more powerful than the current Golf GTI, Volkswagen needs to roll out a new hatchback really soon. Fortunately, the Germans are already testing the next-generation Golf GTI, which is rumored to break cover sometime in 2019.

Not much is known about the upcoming performance hatchback, but it should borrow many design features seen on recently introduced Volkswagen models, including the sporty Arteon sedan. The company also promises a revolution inside the cabin, including a "total digital environment," according to design chief Klaus Bischoff. Set to use a revised version of the company’s MQB platform, it will also a new engine with power ratings of up to 250 horsepower. Let’s find out more about that in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Volkswagen Golf GTI.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Next Level

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Next Level

One very hot hatchback built by a select group of rising car stars

Every year, Volkswagen drops the sheets on a unique, customized Golf at the annual GTI Fest at Lake Worthersee in Austria. As a showcase of the skills of its various apprentices, the custom ride is typically a real jaw-dropper, and this latest example is no different.

Continue reading to learn what makes the Volkswagen Golf GTI Next Level special.

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Volkswagen forced to halt Golf GTE's orders due to high demand

Volkswagen forced to halt Golf GTE’s orders due to high demand

Now, who would’ve expected that? Not Volkswagen for sure!

What does a company do when its powerful hatch is slapped with a hybrid option? Advertise the product and convince the customers to go for it? Not in the case of Volkswagen, at least. The second-largest car manufacturer in the world has stopped taking orders for the new Golf GTE due to high demands! How crazy is that?

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The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Will Bridge the Big Gap Between the Golf GTI and Golf R

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Will Bridge the Big Gap Between the Golf GTI and Golf R

A special-edition version of the TCR race car will be up for grabs soon!

In just a couple of days, Volkswagen will show up to the Worthersee Enthusiast Festival with a prototype of the road-going Golf GTI TCR. Once it goes into production, it will be sold as a special edition model and will be powered by a 2.0-liter that’s good for 286 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Those figures, in combination with the more aggressive looks, place the car in a position to bridge the gap between the Golf GTI and Golf R – If Volkswagen prices it correctly, anyway.

Volkswagen says that maximum horsepower is available between 5,000 and 6,800 rpm while torque comes into play between 1,600 rpm and 4,300 rpm. The only transmission available will be a seven-speed dual-clutch, so don’t expect to row your own with this one. It does, however, come standard with a limited-slip differential which should help improve traction and handling when things get a little dicey. Top speed will, naturally, be limited to 155 mph (because Germans) but can be increased to 164 mph if you’re willing to pay for it.

As far as pricing goes, we’ll have to wait until this prototype shifts into production, but that’s where Volkswagen will make it or break it. Even as a special edition, it’s not quite as powerful as the Golf R, so it would be hard to justify paying more than what you would to sit down inside a Gold R. Granted, it only falls short by six horsepower and 7 pound-feet but, if you’re a numbers guy, those small numbers can make all the difference. On that note, it will be significantly more powerful than the base GTI. In comparison, the GTI TCR will deliver an extra 66 horsepower and 15 pound-feet over the standard GTI, so don’t expect it to go for near-GTI money, either.

We haven’t gotten an official look at the prototype yet, but the few renderings released by Volkswagen should be enough to tame your curiosity until the prototype debuts on May 9 in Worthersee.

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The Next-Gen Volkswagen Golf Will Feature a Mild-Hybrid System

The Next-Gen Volkswagen Golf Will Feature a Mild-Hybrid System

VW is looking to add electrons for extra efficiency

Introduced alongside a new turbocharged 1.5-liter engine powered by natural gas and a new 2.0-liter diesel hybrid TDI engine, Volkswagen has unveiled an upcoming 48-volt mild hybrid system intended for service across VW’s lineup. First in line to receive the 48-volt system is the next-generation Golf.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Volkswagen Sets Sights on Turning "R" Cars into Mercedes-AMG's Nightmare

Volkswagen Sets Sights on Turning "R" Cars into Mercedes-AMG’s Nightmare

It comes with an increased cost, but if it’s possible if customers want it

Volkswagen is looking to give its “R’ brand of performance models a new philosophy, one that would turn it into a more performance-oriented lineup that would be able to compete against Mercedes-AMG. According to Volkswagen sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann, the move to unleash the R brand is possible, provided that its customers are willing to pay the increased cost that comes with exploring new levels of performance.

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Video of the Day: Volkswagen Gold GTi vs Hyundai I30 N

Video of the Day: Volkswagen Gold GTi vs Hyundai I30 N

Can the newcomer to the segment, the Hyundai i30 N, take on an old dog like the Volkswagen Golf GTi? Well, it certainly can, and it does it well, but everything isn’t always as it seems since the Golf GTi used in this video isn’t the highest-producing dog in the stable. As such, the I30N had a good 45 horsepower on it. So, it wasn’t exactly fair, but it’s still fun to watch the Hyundai cream the Volkswagen back-to-back-to-back. Check out the video below for yourself!

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Visual Comparison: 2019 Kia Ceed vs 2018 Volkswagen Golf

Visual Comparison: 2019 Kia Ceed vs 2018 Volkswagen Golf

Two hatchbacks looking for segment dominance

Ahead of its world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the third-generation Kia Ceed is already generating plenty of attention. The new model arrives with a fresh design born from Kia’s latest style language. It adopts plenty of the automaker’s distinctive features, most notably the “Tigernose” front grille that’s flanked by a pair of more aggressive swept-back headlamps. The new Ceed also has a sportier profile, emphasized in part by a more sculpted hood, aggressive body lines, and a more pronounced rear section than the model it’s succeeding. The Ceed’s new presentation sets it up nicely as a viable competitor to the Volkswagen Golf. The question then has to be asked: which looks better, the Kia Ceed or the Volkswagen Golf?

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Hyundai Throws Shade at Volkswagen, Claims The i30 N is Better Than The Golf GTI

Hyundai Throws Shade at Volkswagen, Claims The i30 N is Better Than The Golf GTI

German automaker returns fire with a putdown of its own

Three weeks into 2018 and we’re already seeing a brewing word war between Hyundai and Volkswagen. Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann is apparently not a fan of the Volkswagen GTI, and he made his thoughts known by calling out the German hot hatch as a lightweight compared to the i30 N. It didn’t take long, though, for Volkswagen to return fire, dismissing Hyundai as an upstart that still needs to know its place in the hot hatch hierarchy. Let the word war continue.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven

2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven

Luxe compact hatchback, no schnitzel

When my friends talk about compact hatchbacks, sometimes the Volkswagen Golf gets left out of the conversation. But it really shouldn’t be that way: The Golf is far and away the best-selling compact in Europe. There are good reasons for that, not least of which is the Golf’s supreme practicality.

Here in America, we don’t get quite as many Golf variants as Europe does. We get the highlights, though: regular Golf, sporty GTI, raucous Golf R, cargo-friendly Golf Sportwagen, and most recently, soft-road-ready Golf Alltrack.

Volkswagen has sent me two Golf Rs in the last year. You might consider those the most evolved version of the car, in terms of overall performance. Fast and fun to toss around the twisties, the R also happens to be the most expensive version of the Golf — expect to pay $40,000 if you want one. But this time, VW sent me a regular Golf TSI SEL, a luxurious hatchback without all the high-performance hype — and it’s 25% cheaper than the Golf R, even though it’s loaded with options. It proved itself to be a great little transportation pod for my family of four.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf Facelift launched in the U.S.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Facelift launched in the U.S.

The Golf line-up gets a humble facelift across its range. This includes the Golf hatch, Alltrack, SportWagen, GTI and the R. Some models get just the cosmetic updates, while the others get changes under the hood. Although they are mere updates and not new models altogether, the changes are significantly prominent to differentiate them from the older versions.

There are a few common changes across the range - the LED DRL’s being made standard on all models, slightly tweaked LED Tail-lights which complement the all-new rear bumper, rain sensing wipers, and automatic headlamps. The interiors get a new infotainment touchscreen, which according to Volkswagen, feature the latest software and react faster to touch inputs.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf R - Driven

2017 Volkswagen Golf R - Driven

It Ain’t Broke, So VW Ain’t Fixing It

The Volkswagen Golf R is not the paper champion of the hot-hatch segment. Others in the field might make more horsepower or put down a faster quarter-mile drag time. That could lead some bench-racers to opine that VW needs to ante up and “fix” the Golf R by adding power or decreasing weight. But those armchair critics miss the point of the Volkswagen Golf R. It’s a solid-feeling, rip-roaring hot-hatch, sure. But it’s also easy to live with on a daily commute — something others in this class may not excel at.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Volkswagen Golf R.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade

VW’s interpretation of what an electric Golf GTI could look like

The Worthersee Treffen is one of the more unique auto events on the calendar. It’s far from a traditional auto show, but it’s been home to some pretty incredible debuts over the past few years. Remember, this is the same event where companies like Audi and Volkswagen make yearly concept debuts. VW, in particular, holds Worthersee in high esteem because, in addition to debuting models at the event, it uses the venue to introduce apprentice-built concepts of the Golf GTI the Volkswagen Vocational Training program. This year, 13 apprentices are headed to Worthersee to unveil the newest one-off model of this unique lineage: the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade.

For those who aren’t familiar with the VVT program, it’s essentially a training ground for up-and-coming designers and engineers. These trainees are given the opportunity to design their version of the ultimate Golf GTI. This year, the Golf GTI First Decade takes center stage as the first GTI concept to feature electric propulsion. While it is a concept car by definition, it’s interesting where these young minds see the future of Volkswagen. Whether an electric future actually happens or not is another issue entirely, but if it does, consider the Golf GTI First Decade as a precursor to what that future could look like.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI First Decade.

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Volkswagen Debuts Five Enthusiast Builds With Tasty Modification Ideas

Volkswagen Debuts Five Enthusiast Builds With Tasty Modification Ideas

More performance? More capability? More style? VW has you covered

Veedub enthusiasts are everywhere, as evidenced by the vast number of meets, clubs, and events that take place all over the world in celebration of some of the German automaker’s most popular models. One of the latest is happening right now at Hutchinson Island, in Savannah, Georgia. It’s called SoWo: The European Experience and, in addition to bringing out a diverse selection of vehicles from the Old Continent for some show, shine, and racing, Volkswagen is debuting five enthusiast builds in a lineup of show-ready compacts.

The debuts include a Beetle, a Jetta, and three Golfs, each of which arrives bearing a unique style and standout modifications that will surely draw interest from the attendant crowd. Volkswagen has a history of showing up at enthusiast events with factory-fresh modded models, and it’s great to see that tradition continued at SoWo. If you didn’t get a chance to see the cars in person, read on for a brief description of each, and let us know which is your favorite in the comments section!

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ditch The SUV And Try One Of These Wagons Instead

Ditch The SUV And Try One Of These Wagons Instead

Ready to break away from the herd? One of these wagons might be the solution…

In case you haven’t noticed, American consumers are still enamored with the idea of driving around in a tall-bodied, relatively off-road capable SUV with loads of space to haul around many people and lots of things. Sales of such vehicles continue to rise, and automakers are responding by churning out new models by the truckload. But is there a better means to achieve similar ends? What if, for example, you want something with the capability, cargo space, and attitude of an SUV, but the maneuverability, ease of use, and comfort of a regular passenger car? Luckily, such a combo does exist, and we’ve got five of the best examples on the market lined up right here in this in-depth comparison article.

The five vehicles in question are (in alphabetical order) the Audi A4 Allroad, the Mini Clubman All4, the Subaru Outback, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, and the Volvo V60 Cross Country. That’s right folks – wagons, representing a diverse price range and wide array of tastes. Once the torchbearer of utility and practicality, the wagon body style has declined in popularity with the rise of the SUV. But just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it’s good, right? Read on to find out what makes these five vehicles fantastic alternatives to the SUV status quo. You rebel, you.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Volkswagen Updates the Golf Line, But Don't Expect Too Much

Volkswagen Updates the Golf Line, But Don’t Expect Too Much

One might argue that it’s all about the details...

The seventh-generation Golf is entering its sixth year of production for 2018, but instead of updating the model extensively or bringing about a new generation, VW decided to provide some minor updates across the whole line. This includes LED taillights and daytime running lights as standard equipment on the outside to go with new trim panels and material options on the inside. Those looking to upgrade their headlights can now opt for full-LED units as opposed to the Bi-Xenon option of yesteryear. But, when it comes to the 2018 model year, it’s really about technology. Entry level models across the line will see an upgrade that replaces the outdated five-inch infotainment screens with 6.5-inch units. SE and SEL trim levels will now get eight-inch touchscreen units, while the Golf R gets Volkswagen’s digital cockpit as standard equipment.

Golf S models will now get automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and a new chrome grille, while SEL models now include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and an auto-dimming mirror. Do I have any GTI fans out there? If so, you’ll be happy to know that the base Golf GTI gets a power update for 2018 that brings it up to par with the Sport and higher trim levels. Instead of getting 210 ponies and 258 pound-feet (on premium fuel, of course) the base model will now deliver the same 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet available at 4,700 rpm and 1,500 rpm, respectively. All three trim levels of the GTI still get the option of a six-speed DSG or six-speed manual. (Save yourself the heartache and just get the manual, okay?)

The Golf GTI S model gets a new stop-start feature when equipped with an automatic transmission and a new design for those 18-inch rollers. SE trim gets the performance brakes from the Golf R to go with the limited-slip VAQ differential. The GTI Autobahn trim gets new DCC suspension control. You’ll find all of the aforementioned updates, include the LED headlights DRLS, will show up in the Golf R.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Each has five doors, FWD, sells for around $20K, and is fun to drive – but which will be crowned the winner?

Here’s the scenario – you want a car, but it has to be the right car. It’s gotta be practical and comfortable, but it can’t be a complete snooze-fest behind the wheel either. You don’t want a crossover, and a sedan isn’t gonna cut it. What you want is a hatchback, something with a little zest and personality, but something that won’t break the bank. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, but which to choose? To help you decide, we’ve gathered six of the top contenders and put them head-to-head in the following comparison article. Let’s get ready to rumble.

To keep it all apples-to-apples, each of the entries in our comparison comes packaged in a five-door body style, gets standard FWD, and is instilled with at least a hint of sportiness. Each is also tagged with an MSRP around the $20,000 mark. With criteria like that, we decided to include the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda 3 Hatchback, Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door, and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

While all six of these hatchbacks are solid choices in their own right, the question remains – which is the best? Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport by ABT Sportsline

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport by ABT Sportsline

The fastest get faster as German tuner drives up the Golf GTI Clubsport’s performance credentials

When you have a car that already holds the Nürburgring lap record for a front-wheel drive production car, there’s little reason to expect the car to be capable of bigger and better things. While that may be true in a production sense, the aftermarket world is a different beast altogether. Previously thought of to be improbable are being made possible with the right program and no more is that evident than ABT Sportsline’s newest aftermarket program, one that specifically takes on the record-setting Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport, otherwise known as the king of the ‘Ring as far as FWD cars are concerned.

So how exactly did ABT Sportsline get to improve on a car that already packs 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in standard guise and a ridiculous 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque in its more powerful “S” configuration? The short answer, of course, is tuning know-how. The German automaker is one of the most respected tuners in the aftermarket scene, a level it has attained after years of churning out impressive tuning kits for a wide range of makes and models.

ABT’s program for the Golf GTI Clubsport is no different as it packs a comprehensive list of upgrades that includes a new aero kit, interior upgrades, suspension improvements, and of course, an engine program that revolves around the tuner’s award-winning New Generation tuning module.

The results on the Golf GTI Clubsport and the Clubsport S are significant. The GTI Clubsport, for example, gets its power up to 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque while the Clubsport S sees its output shoot up to 365 ponies and 339 pound-feet of torque. For a hot hatch that already boasts of being the standard-bearer among all hot hatches, it seems unfair that both versions of the Golf GTI Clubsport still has a room for improvement.

Then again, that’s why ABT Sportsline is considered as one of the best in the business.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport by ABT Sportsline.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf R-Line Package

2017 Volkswagen Golf R-Line Package

A dose of exterior and interior upgrades for Volkswagen’s resident hatchback

The Volkswagen Golf may not be regarded as a flagship model but it is an important one to the German automaker as it continues to pick up the pieces left behind by the disaster that was Dieselgate. With the model having recently undergone a facelift, the Golf is beginning to exude confidence again, which is likely a big reason why Wolfsburg is releasing a new optional R-Line package specifically for the hatchback and wagon versions of the company’s little mighty mouse of a car.

Nope, the Volkswagen Atlas isn’t the only one getting the R-Line treatment. The Golf is getting one too, and judging by the options included in this particular package, there are plenty of them to go by for discerning would-be Golf owners. Exterior and interior upgrades abound in the Golf R-Line, most of them coming in aesthetic and cosmetic varieties. Some of these options come with aerodynamic improvements too so that’s another pretty important selling point, especially when you take into account one of the R-Line package’s most important attributes.

Essentially, think of the Golf R-Line in the vein of the model’s range-topping variant, the Golf R, minus the extra power that the latter has at its disposal. The Golf R-Line doesn’t carry the same power and performance numbers as the actual Golf R, but at the very least, the package helps the Golf look a lot like its more powerful sibling. That in itself makes the Golf R-Line that more appealing because ultimately, if you can’t add on to a car’s power numbers., might as well just make the said car look the part of one instead.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf R-Line Package.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40

Not a bad way to celebrate the GTI’s 40th anniversary.

It might be hard to believe, but it’s been 40 years since a group of German engineers, managers, and enthusiasts met in a room and created the Golf GTI – one of the hottest hatchbacks to ever grace the roads we drive on. Since 2001, VW has launched an anniversary model of the Golf GTI every five years to commemorate the amazing hatch, and this year it’s launching the Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40 – a special hatch with a few bespoke features, a mild power upgrade, and a special feature to give you a little extra pep in your step when you need just a little extra juice.

The Clubsport 40 should come as big news for those who were hoping to get their hands on the Golf GTI Clubsport S that was produced in just 150 examples in the U.K. This model is being produced in 1,000 examples, so there a bigger chance you’ll get one. And with that extra bump of juice, it comes pretty close to the 306-horsepower output of the Clubsport S. We haven’t had a chance to get our hands on one of these special-edition models yet, but word is that performance is right on point, and there’s more than just a special-edition badge to set this baby apart from the crowd.

With that said, let’s dive on in and take a good look at this special edition model before all iterations of it are snatched off of the market as well.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport Edition 40.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf R Comes With More Power And Better Looks

2018 Volkswagen Golf R Comes With More Power And Better Looks

Still not as powerful as the Ford Focus RS

In November 2016, Volkswagen launched the facelifted, seventh-generation Golf, unveiling all versions of the popular hatchback save for the range-topping R. With 2017 just around the corner, the German car maker has quietly revealed the Golf R too. As expected, the beefed-up hatchback arrives with a slightly more powerful engine and an updated exterior.

Design-wise, the R model received the same updates as the rest of the Golf lineup. Up front, there’s a revised radiator grille with a chromed lower strip that extends through the new LED daytime running lights. The LED headlamps are also new and included in the standard package. Below, there’s a redesigned bumper with a larger opening in the middle and revised side vents with black-painted surrounds. The new bumper gives the Golf R a more aggressive stance compared to the outgoing model, which looked rather bland. Around back, notable changes include taillights with a new LED pattern and larger lamps in the bumper. The hatchback also rides on new, double-five-spoke wheels.

Inside, the R carried over with almost no changes in terms of styling, but got a wide array of new tech, starting with a new touchscreen with gesture control. There’s also a new fully digital instrument cluster measuring 12.3 inches and offering five different information profiles. Other novelties include the Media Control App, which provides an infotainment interface for tablets and smartphones, the Security & Service package with various apps and access to immediate assistance in the even for a crash or a breakdown, and an online anti-theft alarm.

Under the hood, the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine received a mild power hike. Much like the Seat Leon Cupra, the Golf R now benefits from extra 10 PS (10 horsepower), which takes the total output to 310 PS (306 horsepower). The hatchback needs 4.6 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. European pricing starts from €40,675 for the hatchback with the manual transmission and from €44,800 for the Variant wagon version with the DSG. U.S. pricing information is not yet available.

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The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S Is The Monster Of The Green Hell: Video

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S Is The Monster Of The Green Hell: Video

German hot hatch destroys its own lap record

Life can be a little boring when you already own the front-wheel drive lap record at the Nürburgring. So when you’re at the top, the only way you can go a little higher is when you take a stab at your own record. Lo and behold, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S did just that when it went back to the ‘Ring to upend its own record.

Taking full advantage of ideal weather conditions (46°F) back in late October, the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S put in a scintillating lap time of 7:47.19, eclipsing its previous record of 7:49.21 by more than two seconds. Not only did it smash its own record, but it also extended its lead over the Honda Civic Type R, which held the record with a lap time of 7:50.63 before the Golf ran roughshod over it during its initial run at the Green Hell. Do some calculations and the Golf GTI Clubsport S’ new lap record is 3.44 seconds faster than the Civic Type R.

The new lap time is made more impressive when you line it up against the overall lap times around the 13-mile race track. With this lap time, the Golf GTI Clubsport S positions itself between the Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 and the BMW M3 GTS, two performance cars that know their own business around the Nürburgring.

At the very least, the VW hot hatch just made it a lot more difficult for other front-wheel drive cars to break its new lap record. Not that it would’ve been easy to do with the old record, but now, the German automaker can take comfort knowing that it’s lap record is going to be as safe as can get, at least for the time being.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

The electric Golf gets new tech and significantly better range

Unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the e-Golf went on sale globally in the summer of 2014, about two years after the Golf Mk7 it is based on made its public debut. In the U.S., the e-Golf arrived in late 2014 as a 2015-model-year vehicle. Essentially a standard Golf with the gasoline engine swapped for an electric motor and a battery pack, the e-Golf crossed the pond to North America with 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rated the hatchback at 83 miles on a single charge, which put it on par with EVs like the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf. For 2017, the e-Golf received a comprehensive update that added new technology, a new battery, more power, and an extended range.

Unveiled only a few weeks after Volkswagen debuted the regular Golf range, including the performance GTi model and the GTE hybrid, the facelifted e-Golf benefits from the same upgrades as the standard hatchback. While exterior changes are minor, customers now have access to new technology and features, including the optional gesture control function that Volkswagen unveiled in 2015. The revised e-Golf offers better performance, with the tweaked motor and larger battery delivering more horsepower and torque. Also quicker and able to reach a higher top speed, the e-Golf comes with 50-percent more range than the outgoing model.

The new tech and powertrain puts the e-Golf above its traditional rivals, but it’s not yet ready to go against the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt. Find out how it compares with its most important competitors in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen e-Golf

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Updated Volkswagen e-Golf Debuts in L.A. With New Battery, More Driving Range

Updated Volkswagen e-Golf Debuts in L.A. With New Battery, More Driving Range

It also gets all the cool new features introduced with the facelifted Golf Mk7

Following the unveiling of the facelifted Golf Mk7 family, including the GTi and GTE, earlier in November, Volkswagen took the wraps of the updated e-Golf at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Originally introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the all-electric hatchback now offers a more powerful motor, improved range, and new features inside and out.

Design-wise, the e-Golf follows in the footsteps of its conventional siblings, sporting a mildly revised exterior with new bumpers, and LED headlamps and taillights. The same goes for the cabin, where customers will find new decor and seat trim. More significant updates were made in the technology department, including a 12.3-inch color instrument cluster, optional "Discover Pro" infotainment with 9.2-inch display, gesture control, and a wide range of driver assistance systems.

By far the most important changes lurk under the shell, where Volkswagen added an upgraded electric motor rated 134 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of maximum torque. These figures account for a 19-horsepower and 15-pound-foot increase over the previous model. The extra oomph brings improved performance figures too. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is achieved in 9.6 seconds, more than a second faster, while top speed increased from 86 to 93 mph.

Volkswagen also developed a new lithium-ion battery with energy capacity increased from 24.2 kWh to 35.8 kWh. The range also goes up from 83 to 124 miles with this update, meaning a 50-percent improvement over the original e-Golf. What’s more, the on-board 7.2 kW charger is now standard on both SE and SEL Premium trims, charging the battery at 100 percent in less than six hours at a traditional charging station. When equipped with DC Fast Charging, which is optional on SE and standard on SEL Premium, the battery can be charged to 80 percent within an hour at a DC fast charging station.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The classic gets a facelift packed with tech

Volkswagen first introduced the Golf way back in 1974. In the forty-two years that followed, the German manufacturer ushered in no less than seven individual generations, establishing the Golf as one of the most versatile compacts on the market. The Golf has been offered in a wide variety of body style, including wagons, two-door convertibles, five-door hatchbacks, and three-door hatchbacks, but the best of the bunch has traditionally been the hot-to-trot Golf GTI. Although the R eventually replaced the GTI as the fastest, most powerful Golf variant in the lineup, the GTI is still a nice blend of practicality and speed, offered in a upscale, premium-feeling package, both inside and out. Now, VW is introducing a mid-life refresh for the GTI’s 2017 model year, and with it comes tweaked styling and a few more ponies. However, the biggest upgrade is undoubtedly in the technology department, where infotainment and driver assistance features get a major boost across the board.

While not quite as liquid hot as the Honda Civic Type R or Ford Focus RS, it should still be remembered that the Golf GTI more or less established the whole hot hatch formula we know and love today. And while a new R variant is expected to take the fight to the H badge and the Blue Oval, the GTI marches on as a more sensible, yet still highly entertaining alternative.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise Volkswagen spent so much time refining the car’s technology. Read on to get the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf GTE

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTE

Facelift brings new tech and revised exterior, but no drivetrain upgrades

Introduced for the 2015 model year, the Golf GTE is the very first plug-in hybrid version of the popular compact hatchback. It’s also the model that debuted Volkswagen’s new family of GTE vehicles, which now includes the Passat, Passat Variant, and Tiguan. Essentially identical to its gasoline and diesel sibling inside and out, save for a few hybrid-specific features, the Golf GTE uses a drivetrain that marries a small-displacement TSI engine and an electric motor. With a theoretical combined range of more than 900 km (at least 500 miles), the Golf GTE became a major success in Europe, becoming the second-best selling plug-in hybrid in its first full year on the market.

Come 2016, and Volkswagen launched a mid-cycle facelift for the seventh-generation Golf, which has been in production since 2012. Although the GTE is still relatively new, it was included in the upgrade and gained a handful of new features on the outside and loads of new technology on the inside. Unlike the regular Golf and GTi though, the hybrid carries over with the same drivetrain. However, this isn’t unexpected, as the powertrain is potent enough as it is and its estimated mileage is as competitive as they get.

The upgraded Golf GTE is all about good news really, but Volkswagen has yet to say whether it will make it to the U.S. or not. Chances are it won’t cross the pond in the current generation, meaning customers will have to settle for the all-electric e-Golf for the time being. Until that changes, let’s have a closer look at what the revised Golf GTE brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTE.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf

VW gave the Golf a face lift and some new technology!

As a model that has been around since the mid-1970s, there’s a certain standard that we’ve all come to expect from the Volkswagen Golf. With the current-gen model being introduced as early as 2012 at the Paris Motor Show we’ve been expecting to see a facelifted model anytime, and sure enough, Volkswagen has made some exciting changes for the 2017 model year. Building on the hatchbacks basic but sporty nature, VW has redesigned the front fascia, restyled the headlight lenses, integrated a whole new generation of infotainment systems, introduced some new engine options and announced a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission that will slowly replace the current six-cog unit. On top of this, the 2017 model year also brings some new safety features, including traffic jam assist, emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, and emergency assist.

For a car that is so widely loved – VW has sold more than 33 million examples since its introduction in the 1970s – the Golf is definitely a fan favorite, but its appearance in standard or non-GTI form has traditionally been somewhat mundane without a whole lot of character compared to models it competes with like the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and Fiat 500. But all that changes now that the Golf has all these sporty updates, which should be enough to keep the car fresh until the next-gen model debuts sometime toward the end of the decade.

It’s pretty clear that we have a lot to talk about, so let’s dive on in and see what’s up with the 2017 Volkswagen Golf. It’s sure to be the sportiest model that you’ve seen to date.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant

2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant

The seventh-gen compact gets mid-cycle facelift, loads of new tech, and new turbo engine

The seventh-generation Golf was unveiled in 2012 and went on sale in Europe for the 2013 model year and crossed the pond to the United States for the 2015 model year. Built on the same MQB platform as the Audi A3, Seat Leon, and Skoda Octavia, the Golf Mk7 sports a more angular design and a longer wheelbase, while also being longer and wider than its predecessor. The roomier cabin gained new features and technology, including adaptive cruise control, a collision avoidance system, and driver fatigue detection. The compact arrived with a couple of brand-new engines, while the units that carried over were upgraded. Like its predecessor, the Golf Mk7 was made available in a variety of body styles and versions, including three- and five-door hatchback, wagon (Variant), GTi, GTE, and R. Now, the high-selling compact received its mid-cycle facelift in 2016.

Unveiled for the 2017 model year in Europe and the 2018 model year in North America the facelift brought new engines, a sharper design, new driver assistance systems, and a completely new generation of infotainment systems to all iterations of the seventh-generation Golf. The wagon version, also known as the Variant in Europe, will also benefit from these changes including the new exterior features front and rear and the brand-new, 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine.

There’s no official word as to when the revised Golf wagon will cross the pond to the U.S., but it’s safe to assume that it will arrive in dealerships alongside the hatchback sometime in 2017. Drivetrain details are also incomplete as of this writing, but Volkswagen should release more data closer to the car’s showroom introduction. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the Golf Variant, or SportWagen as it will be known here in the U.S.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf Variant.

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2016 Volswagen Golf R - Driven

2016 Volswagen Golf R - Driven

Functionality meets fun

The Volkswagen Golf R has been long awaited here in the U.S. where customers have pining for this Europe-only car to make its appearance Stateside. Now with the 2016 model year, that wish has finally come true. The anticipation is justifiable when considering Volkswagen first debuted the Golf R32 back in 2003. It featured the first dual-clutch gearbox in any production car and had VW’s then-new 3.2-liter VR6. It set the bar extremely high in the hot hatch segment.

Volkswagen has plenty of competitors out there, but the Golf R still holds its own. It comes with 4Motion AWD, a standard six-speed manual or the optional six-speed DSG automatic, and of course, the 292-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Those mechanicals are good for a sub-five-second launch to 60 mph and more fun on public roads than Johnny Law will allow.

At the same time, the Golf R is still… well, a Golf. It boasts 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room with the second row folded. There’s still 22.8 cubic feet of room with the second row locked in place. That means the Golf R is not only fun, but it’s functional. Obviously, that’s the appeal of a hot hatch. There’s little compromise unlike a 2+2 sports coupe or larger, heavier crossover.

I recently spent a week with the Golf R fitted with the DSG, DCC, and no N-A-V. Punny acronyms aside, the car was well equipped, but not loaded. Thankfully it had Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto) so I was able to use my iPhone for navigation. So what’s it like to live with the Golf R? I’ll let you know below.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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Volkswagen to Reveal Updated Golf in November

Volkswagen to Reveal Updated Golf in November

Popular hatchback to get a mild design upgrade and new technology

Volkswagen has just announced that the updated version of the seventh-generation Golf will make its official debut in early November 2016. The German brand describes the facelift, which is less than a month away, as a "major update," but gives no specific information as to what the new hatchback will bring to the table. Instead, Volkswagen brags that it has sold more than 32 million Golfs between the nameplate’s introduction in 1974 and the end of 2015, whle also listing other records the hatchback has broken so far.

For instance, it reminds us that the Golf outsold the iconic Beetle in 2002 and that it is being built in five different factories and exported to 155 countries. Volkswagen also takes pride in the Golf being the only car in the world that is available with five drivetrains: gasoline (petrol), diesel, hybrid, electric, and gas.

Pretty impressive, but this says nothing about the upcoming update. So what will change with the facelift?

To be honest, not much. The Germans may view it as a "major update," but the facelifted Golf VII won’t get more than just a few nips and tucks. If the past is any indication, Volkswagen will only meddle with the front grille, add new wheel designs, and maybe a couple of new exterior colors. More changes are in store inside, but mostly in the technology department, with the design layout to remain unchanged. If previous reports are accurate, the Golf should get the infotainment system and instrument cluster from the Golf R Touch Concept. The 9.2-inch display should also include gesture control, a feature that Volkswagen debuted at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf R

2018 Volkswagen Golf R

The company’s hottest hatch yet gets mild updates

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf was introduced in 2012 in Europe, but it didn’t make it to U.S. soil until 2014, when it was launched for the 2015 model year. Slightly larger and sportier than its predecessor, the Mk7 also gained a revamped interior, new convenience and safety features, and a wide range of gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines. The new-generation Golf also spawned a new GTi model, but a more powerful R version was also launched for 2015. With the regular model having received a facelift in 2016, an updated version of the Golf R followed for 2017.

As it is the case with most Volkswagen facelifts, the mid-cycle update doesn’t bring too many features. However, the Golf R is a bit sportier on the outside and benefits from the many technological improvements made to the lineup. The turbocharged engine was also uprated, but while the Golf R is now slightly more powerful than the Honda Civic Type R, it’s nowhere near as brawny as the impressiveFord Focus RS. How does it compare to the competition? Let’s find out in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf R.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport by Speed-Buster

2016 Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport by Speed-Buster

German hot hatch gets even more ferocious

The Volkswagen Golf VII GTI Clubsport S made headlines in April 2016 for breaking the Nürburgring lap record for a front-wheel drive car when it posted a time of 7:49.21, besting the Honda Civic Type R’s time by 1.4 seconds. It was an impressive achievement that didn’t go unnoticed by aftermarket tuner Speed-Buster, which is now offering a tuning program for the less-powerful Golf VII GTI Clubsport with the promise of bringing its output up to 326 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque, head and shoulders clear of the output of the “S” version.

While I’m off the belief that Speed Buster should have developed a similar program for the Golf VII GTI Clubsport S, I can’t complain about what it was able to do for the standard model. With the resulting power under its hood, the Speed-Buster-tuned Golf VII GTI Clubsport is not only more powerful than the standard S version, it also clears past the Golf R, thus establishing itself as a bonafide hot hatch on wheels.

The only caveat to this program is that it’s strictly made up of an engine tune. That means that it has no exterior and interior upgrades, no suspension modifications, and no new set of wheels. But where it lacks in those sections, those who are interested in the engine tune should take comfort knowing that they’re getting a legitimately more powerful Golf VII GTI Clubsport without having to burn too many holes in their wallets.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf Club Sport GTI by ABT Sportsline

2016 Volkswagen Golf Club Sport GTI by ABT Sportsline

There’s no replacement for a tuner that knows what it’s doing

ABT Sportsline is adding another program to its long list of tuning upgrades for Volkswagen models. This latest offering is for the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport and just like past kits for VW’s resident hot hatch, this one comes with a mix of everything, from exterior upgrades to performance enhancements that bring out as much as 340 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque out of the car’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

As suave as the work on the engine is, the aerodynamic upgrades are just as important. True to its reputation, ABT Sportsline built an aero body kit that touches on all sections of the hot hatch. Likewise, the Golf GTI Clubsport’s chassis and suspension modifications weren’t spared from the tuning prowess of the German aftermarket company. The only thing missing from the kit are interior upgrades, although knowing ABT Sportsline, don’t expect these enhancements to go past the usual tuner-sourced pedals and floor mats.

All told, the kit is what you’d expect from an aftermarket company as renowned as ABT Sportsline. The tuner has been in the game for a long time and it’s with kits like this one that provide a clear example of the experience that comes with having some years in the business.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf Club Sport GTI by ABT Sportsline.

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EVO Pits The Ford Focus RS Against The Volkswagen Golf R In A Hot Hatch Drag Race: Video

EVO Pits The Ford Focus RS Against The Volkswagen Golf R In A Hot Hatch Drag Race: Video

The American pocket rocket takes on the German scuttlebug

The Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS present an interesting conundrum for those looking for a hot hatch worth its salt. Both models can arguably claim to being the best of the lot and both make valid points for doing so. On paper, the Focus RS has the edge. It’s got almost 50 horsepower and 67 pound-feet of torque over the Golf R. It also has a smoother gear transition, particularly on the lower gears, making it easier for the Focus RS to get off the block quicker than the VW rival. On the flip side, the Golf R is around 80 pounds lighter than the Ford and that lighter weight makes up for some of the VW’s perceived shortcomings.

And so, when it comes to figuring out which of the two is better, there are some ways to do it, including having both the Golf and Focus RS line up side-by-side for good ‘ol fashion drag race. EVO took the task of doing just that by setting up a race between the two pocket rockets. As expected, the Focus RS shot off the line much quicker than the Golf R, quickly establishing a 0.5-second gap in the race to 60 mph. But just as quickly, the Golf R comes roaring back and by the time the two cars hit the quarter-mile, the Focus RS’s lead drops to just 0.2 seconds, the same difference between the two cars when they both hit the half-mile.

In the end, the Focus RS nudges past the Golf R in the race to 130 mph, beating the Volkswagen by 0.6 seconds. For a car that supposedly has close to 50 horsepower on the other, that’s not much of a difference. All this points to one undeniable truth: both the Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS are worthy contenders to the title of the best hot hatch in the market.

And since the Focus RS is finally headed to the U.S., it’s now important to look at the price comparison between the two. Not surprisingly, it’s almost dead even too as the Volkswagen Golf R retails for $36,595 compared to the Focus RS’s starting price of $36,605. That’s a $10 difference, by the way.

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Own Or Lease A Cheating VW Diesel? This Is How To Get Paid

Own Or Lease A Cheating VW Diesel? This Is How To Get Paid

Volkswagen got caught, now the customers get the money

Last week, it was announced Volkswagen must pony up a whopping $14.7 billion to settle claims stemming from last year’s Dieselgate scandal. The settlement applies to nearly a half million U.S. passenger vehicles equipped with “defeat devices” that enable “cheating” in emissions tests (for an overview of Dieselgate, click here). Included in the settlement are options for vehicle buybacks, lease termination, and equipment modification, plus hefty cash restitution (between $5,100 and $10,000). We’ve put together a comprehensive synopsis of the settlement proposal, including how to get paid if you own or lease an affected car.

The settlement covers 2009 to 2015 model year Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, including: 2013 – 2015 VW Beetle, 2010 – 2015 VW Golf, 2009 – 2015 VW Jetta, 2012 – 2015 VW Passat, 2010 – 2013 Audi A3, and 2015 Audi A3. It’s the largest auto-related class-action settlement in history, affecting roughly 15 percent of all new VW and Audi models sold in the U.S. during the relevant six-year timespan (475,000 of 3,099,678 total units sold, source: Wikipedia).

To make matters worse for VW, the settlement only applies to models equipped with a 2.0-liter diesel engine. The 80,000 or so vehicles equipped with a cheating 3.0-liter engine will be settled separately.

At the moment, the settlement proposal is still pending, with a preliminary approval court hearing scheduled for July 26. However, it looks more than likely the plan will go through, in which case notices will be mailed to inform owners and lessees of the settlement terms.

Read on for a breakdown of who is entitled to compensation, the options on the table, how much money you might get, and how to get it.

Continue reading to learn more about the massive VW settlement.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf R Mk VII By O.CT Tuning

2016 Volkswagen Golf R Mk VII By O.CT Tuning

Austrian tuner offers four different performance upgrades for one of the most beloved hot hatchbacks in the segment

The Volkswagen Golf Mk VII has been around since 2012 and in the past four years, it has evolved into a favorite among aftermarket tuners. Programs from ABT Sportsline and MTM have been released in the past few years, and now O.CT Tuning is jumping aboard with its own tuning kit for the VW hot hatch. The biggest thing about this particular program is its versatility, specifically with the number of engine upgrades that are available, including one that bumps the Golf R’s output to an impressive 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

All in all, the tuner is offering a total of four engine upgrades for the Golf R. Each of these kits come with its own set of advantages that are created to address the needs of a particular Golf R owner. Some might prefer the powerful version whereas others may be content with either of the first two stages of the program. The point is that there’s an engine upgrade for every discerning customer.

Obviously, some people might frown upon the absence of anything relevant outside of the modifications to the Golf R’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That’s something O.CT Tuning can’t escape from, but the tuner knows that already. In its mind, this particular tuning kit is all about extra power and extra performance, and for what it’s worth, it did a great job addressing those needs. Sometimes with a hot hatch like the Golf R, that’s really all the car needs to really take its chops to the next level.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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Eight Cars That Give the Word "Sleeper" New Meaning: Video

Eight Cars That Give the Word "Sleeper" New Meaning: Video

Those sleepers will get you every time!

Okay, humor this situation for a minute. It’s 1:00 A.M. on a Friday night. You’re sitting all alone at a four-lane intersection in your 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. As you’re sitting there waiting for the light to change, someone rolls up in a Volkswagen Golf MK2 and begins revving his engine, challenging you to a race. Of course, you have 707 ponies on tap, and there’s no way that German-made box on four wheels can beat you, right? So, you decide to give this kid a beating he won’t forget, but as the light turns green, it becomes blatantly apparent that something is wrong. That’s no regular Golf – that’s one hell of a sleeper with 1,200 horses screaming at you as your Challenger meets its first pair of taillights. Bummer!

Unfortunately, we don’t have that on video… yet. But, what we do have is a video that showcases eight different “sleepers” that will really make you question the next car that tries to race you. For the record, the Challenger Hellcat is nowhere near being a sleeper, so you won’t see one in this video, but there is a 1,200 horsepower Mk2 Golf, a Volvo with a 2JZ engine swap, and a clunker of a Suzuki minivan with a freaking rotary engine crammed into it, to name a few.

Needless to say, this is a video you want to watch because, well, it’s just amazing to see how much potential some of these otherwise boring cars really have. My favorite is the MK2 Golf that is displayed first in the video. You get an inside view of the launch, and let me tell you, this thing hits 62 mph (100 km/h) almost instantly. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg, though, so if you like fast cars and entertain the idea of sleepers, hit play and enjoy the video.

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Riding Shotgun in a VW Golf R Driven by Scott Speed: Video

Riding Shotgun in a VW Golf R Driven by Scott Speed: Video

Pro driver for VW’s Rallycross team gives TopSpeed a hot lap in a Golf R

During our recent visit to the Texas Motor Speedway with the Texas Auto Writers Association’s Springtime Auto Roundup, we had the privilege of riding shotgun with famed racing driver Scott Speed. The action took place in a bone-stock 2016 VW Golf R – a 292-horsepower, AWD hatchback with a proper six-speed manual transmission and a light, 3,300-pound curb weight.

The video above is Scott showing us just how capable the Golf R is around a road course. If the video makes the car look slow – its an illusion. Speed and his skills push the car around the track with each tire screaming for mercy, the tachometer nudging redline, and the brakes letting of their distinctive smell. Speed simply makes it look easy.

Race fans from several genres of motorsports will instantly recognize the name Scott Speed. He started as a youngster racing karts before graduating to open-wheel racing in 2001. A year later Speed was racing for RedBull in Formula Three. Speed soon moved up to Formula One, becoming the first American to compete since Michael Andretti in 1993. He spent time racing GP2, Gran Prix, ARCA, and even several NASCAR series.

Nowadays Speed can be found co-driving with Tanner Foust for Andretti Autosport and Volkswagen in the RedBull Global Rallycross. In a mix of dirt-road rally driving, drifting, and stadium-truck-style jumps, Rallycross is one of the fastest growing motorsports. Speed and Foust pilot a 560-horsepower VW Beetle with AWD a sequential six-speed gearbox, and a full safety cage. Missing from every Rallycross car is any sort of traction aid – meaning slides and wild maneuvers are a common sight during a race.

That’s why Volkswagen had Speed on hand to demonstrate the 2016 Golf R’s abilities on track. It’s easy to appreciate the Golf R’s smooth clutch, notchy shifter, versatile AWD system, and weighty steering when driving on the street, but it’s another thing altogether to experience the car with a man who’s completely familiar with the chassis, tires, and handling characteristics. For more on our Golf R driving impressions, click “continue reading.”

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2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Heartbeat

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Heartbeat

Designed to quicken the pulse of enthusiasts

In June of 1976, Volkswagen introduced a sportier variant of the Golf, dubbing it the GTI. In the four decades that followed, this speed box helped define the very essence of the term “hot hatch,” offering tire-roasting output, corner-carving suspension tuning, and even a place in back for cargo. Now, in celebration of that history, VW is introducing a custom one-off called the Heartbeat, and it’s bringing all the stock GTI goodness, plus showstopper styling, a monster stereo, and a considerable power boost under the hood.

The Heartbeat is actually part of a duo of one-off show concepts VW is debuting at the 35th annual Worthersee car meet this year. Held on the banks of Lake Worthersee in southern Austria, the event regularly attracts tens of thousands of enthusiasts from around the world, who arrive to rejoice in all things within the VAG spectrum. 

Since 2008, VW has brought along a new GTI project car to help fan the flames. The custom rides are produced as part of the Volkswagen Vocational Training program, which offers VW apprentices the chance to create their vision of the ultimate GTI. This year, 12 fresh-faced trainees designed and built the Heartbeat in less than nine months, honing their skills in five different areas of expertise. The team consisted of five women and seven men, aged 20 to 26, and included interior fitters, vehicle paint technicians, automotive mechatronics technicians, a technical product designer, and a process technician specializing in plastics and rubber engineering.

So what do you get when you leave 12 young and talented VW devotees alone with a GTI? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Heartbeat.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S

The car that beat the Civic Type R around the Nürburgring

The GTI event at Lake Worthersee has officially kicked off, and with that kickoff, Volkswagen has debuted the new king of the Golf GTI lineup: The Golf GTI Clubsport S. The car is based on the Golf GTI Clubsport, but has gone through numerous upgrades and refinements to make it the fastest and lightest Golf GTI yet. In short, Volkswagen engineers were able to reduce the car’s overall weight to 2,998 pounds while upping permanent engine output to an impressive 306 horsepower – that’s a 30 horsepower increase over the standard Golf Clubsport. The Clubsport S will be produced in just 400 examples.

The whole idea of the Clubsport S came about during the testing of the final version of the Golf GTI Performance. Karsten Schebsdat, the Head of Chassis Tuning, said, “It was obvious to all of us that this GTI had immense potential, so we decided to get the most performance possible out of this car. A small team went through the entire process, from bottom to top, pretty much like it was back when the first Golf GTI came into being.” Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy task and VW engineers had to put in a lot of work, but that work paid off.

The payoff came when the Golf GTI Clubsport S smashed the lap record at the Nürburgring for front-wheel-drive production cars. With Benny Leuchter behind the wheel, the car hit the lap in 07:49:21 – that’s 1.4 seconds faster than the previous record that was set by a Honda Civic Type R. To make this possible, the Clubsport S received a special sport chassis, refined interior, and an extensively adapted engine control unit that all helped to raise the crowned Clubsport S above the standard Golf GTI Clubsport it was based on. So, with that said, let’s take an in-detail look at what makes the Clubsport S so much better than the regular Clubsport.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack

A Golf wagon on stilts

It’s been a full year since Volkswagen showcased the Golf SportWagen Alltrack in prototype form at the 2015 New York Auto Show, and the production model is finally set to make its global debut at the 2016 edition of the same event. In essence, this is a compact station wagon version of the Golf we all know and love, only this time it’s on stilts. With a higher ground clearance, wider wheel arches and a Haldex-based all-wheel-drive system, it is probably the most adventurous-looking Volkswagen that isn’t an SUV.

Unlike the European version that debuted at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the American one features the "SportWagen" nameplate, but other than that it is identical. The Golf SportWagen Alltrack will go on sale in fall 2016, offering a non-SUV alternative to the slightly larger Tiguan.

“We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America. “We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers.

Updated 03/21/2016: Volkswagen announced it will bring the production version Golf SportWagen Alltrack at the 2016 New York Auto Show. The model is set to go on sale later in the fall.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

The Golf GTI TCR is ready for the 2016 racing season

Back in June of 2015, Volkswagen dropped news of the Volkswagen Golf TCR that was basically a 2013 Seat Leon Cup Racer with a Golf body. That car was a concept that was designed to see how the gold could stand up in racing events. Its final testing was completed by Liqui Moly Team Engstler, which led to a win at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in 2015. With that initial testing Volkswagen was able to add the finishing touches to its customer-focused race car, and now we’re graced with this – the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

You’ll notice a striking resemblance to the Golf GTR concept that proved itself at the Red Bull Ring, but the finalized product is a little more refined and sports its own subtle little differences. It still boasts a rather powerful four-cylinder engine and still has the blood of the Seat Leon Cup Racer flowing through veins, but this car will surely find itself right at home at the track, just as the Golf TCR did last year, and the Seat Leon Cup Racer has for the past few.

This car is an exciting development, and if you’ve had a chance to drive the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport or the lesser 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI, you already know why. The road going variants of the Golf are responsive and handle quite well, which is why the Golf – at least in some form – deserves a place on the track. There’s just something about a hatchback racer that works, and this Golf GTI TCR is no exception. Keep reading to find out more about Volkswagen’s new race car.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Limited Edition

2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Limited Edition

VW adds new model to the Sportwagen lineup, bridging gap between S and SE models

Volkswagen’s Golf SportWagen lineup has had a huge gap in it. Currently, there are three trim levels – the S that goes for just over $21,000, the SE, which goes for just over $27,000, and the SEL that goes for almost $30,000. Now, Volkswagen is released a new SportWagen limited edition to slot between the S and SE trim levels, effectively closing that rather large gap between the base and mid-grade trim levels.

This new model is said to be loaded with popular equipment like driver assistance features, better interior appointments, and technology. Unlike other manufacturers, VW strayed away from including bespoke equipment only available to this model and instead focused on offering options that customers choose most often as standard on the S trim levels, creating a “value package,” if you will. That said, there is nothing incredibly different about the Limited Edition compared to other models, and naturally, the SE and SEL trims will still offer just a little more.

With this model slotting between the S and SE trim, it will retail for $24,995 when it hits showrooms later this month. But, for what it includes as standard equipment, it really is somewhat of a value. Until now, customers have been tasked with paying extra for options on the S trim, or paying more for the Sportwagen SE and features they don’t specifically want. The induction of this limited edition model in the Sportwagen lineup will give customers a middle point to go to without all the drama of picking and choosing. Finally, something that makes a little sense.

Keep reading to find out about all the standard appointments that come along with the Sportwagen limited edition.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Limited Edition.

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Auto Express Lines Up The Ford Focus RS Against The Audi RS3 And The Volkswagen Golf R: Video

Auto Express Lines Up The Ford Focus RS Against The Audi RS3 And The Volkswagen Golf R: Video

Who’s the new king of the hot hatch market?

The 2016 Ford Focus RS is already being hailed as one of Ford’s most impressive cars in recent years. Surely, the hype has been real for a lot of people, including yours truly. But, has the Focus RS really ascended to the top of the hot hatch pound-for-pound rankings? It’s a fair question to ask considering that there are other hot hatches that can make a case for that (mythical) title.

Auto Express sought to answer that question by lining up the Focus RS against two of its German counterparts, namely the Audi RS3 and the Volkswagen Golf R. Both the RS3 and the Golf R have their own claims compared to the Focus RS. The Audi, for instance, has more power than the Ford whereas the VW has less power, but is also cheaper than the Focus RS.

Each model also offers its own line of benefits that its two rivals don’t have. But even when you use the tale of the tape, differentiating one from the other two really boils down to what a customer wants in his hot hatch. All three are great options and offer, in their own way, a sporty experience in a practical package. That is, after all, the essence of what a hot hatchback is supposed to be.

So which one did Auto Express pick from the three? No spoilers here, so you better watch the video to find out the verdict. I can tell you that picking among these three cars is harder than it looks.

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