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2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI

Bigger engine, but not a lot of extra power...

Volkswagen’s most iconic model after legendary Beetle, the Golf became a performance hatchback all the way back in 1976, only two years after the nameplate was introduced. A popular model since day one, the Golf GTI inspired Volkswagen to design a higher performance version of the smaller Polo too. Although the first Polo GTi didn’t arrive until 1995, the model can trace its roots back to the first-generation G40 version. Following a limited-edition introduction in the 1990s, the GTI has become a regular member of the Polo family, and 2017 brought the latest-generation hatch into the spotlight.

Launched at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the latest Polo GTI is based on the latest, sixth-generation subcompact, also unveiled in 2017. Built on a new platform, it uses an updated design language based on the latest Golf and a redesigned interior that moves the new Polo into a higher class, closer to the premium market. More importantly, the new GTI gained a 2.0-liter engine instead of the old, 1.8-liter unit. On the flipside, if you were expecting a new Polo GTI with significantly more power, you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. But more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Volkswagen Polo GTi.

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2014 Volkswagen XL1

2014 Volkswagen XL1

Volkswagen’s dream of developing a 235-mpg car (1 liter per 100 kilometers) has finally been realized, as the new XL1 will be making its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. To make things even better, the first details have been released today. Volkswagen describes it as "a spectacular appearance – a car of the future, built for today."

On the exterior, the model remains pretty much identical to the concept unveiled at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show, including those cool gullwing doors. Still, the car is a little bit better than VW hoped, because its fuel consumption goes down to an impressive 0.9 liters per 100 kilometers, or 261 U.S. mpg.

The model will be unveiled next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and the first production batch will consist of just 50 units, with any other unit being developed on demand.

Updated 6/27/2014: Volkswagen has announced that the XL1 is ready for launch, and the first car was delivered to a German buyer in May 2014. It is also now available in the UK at £98,515 ($167,736 as of 6/27/2014) on the road.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen XL1.

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2013 Volkswagen Golf R-Line

2013 Volkswagen Golf R-Line

After unveiling the Golf Estate Concept R-Line at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen has finally updated its Golf lineup with a new R-Line package. To be completely honest with you, there are three R-Line packages: R-Line Exterior, R-Line Interior and R-Line Sport"

The R-Line Exterior package includes a new rear spoiler, a radiator grille with an "R-Line" logo, a specific grille in gloss black, new front and rear bumpers with "R" logos, and a black-painted diffuser. This package is priced at €995 ($1,300) on Highline variants and €1,180 ($1,500) on Comfortline models. You can also add in “Salvador” rims sized 17 or 18 inches for an added fee.

The Interior package adds inlays in aluminum look "Black Lead Grey" for the dashboard and door panels; front door sills and pedal caps in stainless steel; sports seats in "Race" design cloth with microfiber bolsters and “R-Line” logos on the front seats; a leather multifunction sports steering wheel with "R-Line" logo and decorative stitching in gray crystal; a leather-wrapped gear shift knob; and an "R-Line" logo on the Home screen. The interior package is priced from €640 ($830) for Highline models to €945 ($1,230). You can opt for “Vienna” leather and bring the total package price to €1,755 ($2,284) on highline models and €2,115 ($2,752) on Comfortline models.

Finally, for another €430 ($560), the Sport package will add a sport-tuned suspension, a revised steering system and tinted side and rear windows.

Click past the jump for more details on the standard Volkswagen Golf.

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2014 Volkswagen Polo R

2014 Volkswagen Polo R

Volkswagen’s compact hatchback positioned right between the Up! and the Golf – the Polo – is all set to put on its big-boy pants. That’s right; VW is giving the Polo the “R” treatment. No, we’re not talking about the “R-Line” treatment, which is little more than some aesthetic changes. We mean the balls-to-the-wall high-performance “R” treatment, much like what the Golf is getting.

The details on this model are not yet complete, but we do know that it will borrow the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine from the outgoing GTI mk6. VW will then punch up its horsepower to the 225-pony range and ship it to the front wheels – no AWD option. According to reports, the Polo R will bolt to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds and give it a 150 mph top speed, making it extremely quick for its class. Sure, the Focus ST will smoke it, but it’s a step under the Focus’ class.

Much like the Polo R-Line, the Polo R will feature some extra ground effect and larger rims to give it a sportier look, but the complete details on the exterior are not yet known. We also expect the suspension to be lowered and the brake system to be upgraded, giving it better handling and braking to better work with the 45 extra ponies.

According to reports, the Polo R is all set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013. Rumors are also afloat that the Polo R will hit European showrooms in mid 2013, but there is no confirmation yet. Of course, the Polo will not be offered in the U.S.

We expect to see the Polo R to go head-to-head against the Renault Clio RS and the Peugeot GTi, which each feature a 197-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine. Depending on the weight difference, this could give the Polo R a significant advantage.

We’ll add more information to this review as VW releases more details.

Image Note: All images are of the Polo R-Line

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2013 Vokswagen Touareg Edition X

2013 Vokswagen Touareg Edition X

Just about 10 years ago, VW introduced an all-new SUV bearing a name that only those with the most talented tongues could pronounce: the Touareg. It was such an odd name that VW actually made a commercial poking fun at the fact that no one really knew how to pronounce it, much like the Merkur tongue twister in the mid-1980s.

In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, VW is releasing a special edition Touareg Edition X. On the outside, you have a standard Touareg – one of the more stylish crossover SUVs available – but it features a set of 19-inch “Moab” wheels, silver anodized roof rails, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime runners, and smoked taillights. You also get the “Chrome & Style” package, tinted windows, and “Touareg X” logos.

On the inside, your hind side is supported by luxurious Amber Brown Nappa leather in a braid embossed style. You get real ebony inlays on the door panels and on the instrument panel to add a little elegance to the package. The front door sills boast illuminated “Touareg X” decals and you also get color-coordinated stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear shifter, and the floor mats.

You have a wide array of engine and drivetrain options in the Touareg Edition X, as there are five different options available, including a hybrid drivetrain. The only option that VW offers us any details on it the 150 kW (201-horsepower) 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engine. This model with the 8-speed automatic transmission runs €61,025 ($79,363 at the current exchange rates). That’s a ridiculous €10,500 premium over the base SE model for minimal additions. According to the press release, the Touareg Edition X is available now, but there is no mention of its U.S. availability.

Once VW releases all of the official standard features we can better assess it. For now, it just seems way overpriced.

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Correction: Audi Does NOT Own Ducati, Lamborghini Does

Correction: Audi Does NOT Own Ducati, Lamborghini Does

Okay, for ease of understanding we always just place Lamborghini under Volkswagen AG’s umbrella, but in reality, VW owns 99 percent of Audi AG who in turn owns Lamborghini... got it? In a third party, back-door kinda way, yes, VW does own Lamborghini... sort of. So earlier in the year, we mentioned that Audi had secured the Italian motorcycle builder, Ducati, for about $1 billion.

According to Audi’s financial report, it is not the owner of Ducati. How in the world does that kind of error slip through the cracks, right? Well, apparently, Audi follows the same school of thought as its parent company, Volkswagen AG, and tries to push the bounds of legality to get things done, a la Porsche getting a share of VW to exempt VW from paying taxes on the buyout.

Instead of Audi buying Ducati, Lamborghini actually bought it. This does two things for VW, Audi, and Lamborghini. First, it allows it to retain its Italian roots and secondly, it helps push Lamborghini’s overall fuel economy and emissions closer to the European standards that have plagued it in recent years.

So VW has found a way to slither its way through the EU rulebook and find a way around a very important law. Touché, VW, we bow to your supreme rule-bending abilities and the way you do it without us even noticing sometimes.

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2011 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line Package

2011 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line Package

The Qatar Motor Show gave Volkswagen the opportunity to present two impressive Touareg concepts - the Touareg Gold Edition Study and the Race Touareg 3 Qatar</b - and although the concepts were attractive in their own way, VW is now offering a package that will actually be available. It is called the R-Line Package and will improve the Touareg’s look. The new package is available only on the European market.

The Touareg R-Line package includes new features that compliment the sporty look of the Touareg: there is a textured diffuser in matte black, oval exhaust tips, a redesigned front apron, body colored side sills, a rear roof spoiler, chrome door trim parts, and, of course, the R-Line badge on the side panels. The entire exterior look is finished by a new set of 20-inch light-alloy wheels in the "Mallory" design, combined with sportier chassis tuning.

For the interior, the R-Line package adds a leather multifunction steering wheel with decorative inserts in "black shiny", stainless steel pedals, a leather selector lever, sports seats, and some aluminum inlays across the dashboard.

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Could Alfa Romeo Be A German Company?

Could Alfa Romeo Be A German Company?

A German news organization is reporting that automotive giant, Volkswagen, has a strong interest in Alfa Romeo. That would mean that Fiat would have to sell Alfa to the Germans, something that they don’t seem to want to do.

Volkswagen has already said that they plan to become the world’s largest car company before 2018 and, in order to accomplish that goal, the company has set aside a $22.3 billion rainy day fund, in case they need to acquire a new company.

Automobilwoche is reporting that Volkswagen has a strong interest in the Italian brand. One VW official was quoted as saying, “If such a treasure could be had, we must not hesitate … too long.”

VW has wanted Alfa for quite some time, because their rival brand Seat, has not been able to sell well outside of its home market. VW believes that they could solve this problem with a historic brand such as Alfa Romeo, but they will need to find a way to get Fiat to sell.

“As already said by (Fiat CEO Sergio) Marchionne, there is no plan to sell the Alfa Romeo brand,” a Fiat spokesman told Reuters on Monday.

We hope that Volkswagen doesn’t get Alfa, because part of the reason why we love them so much is down to their Italian flair and design. Their passionate and soulful engineering is what has made automotive journalists love them so much.

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2010 Volkswagen Passat CC Exclusive

2010 Volkswagen Passat CC Exclusive

Volkswagen has decided to add a couple of packages this past year to keep the interest in the Passat CC at a reasonable level for VW standards. Towards the end of last year, they came out with the R-line package for the Passat CC and this year they are coming at us again with another package. The new Volkswagen Exclusive options package is now available from 35,225 € ($42,100 US) in Germany. This special model can be combined with all engine variants of the Passat CC.

The Exclusive package comes with two-tone leather upholstery for the six-way electrically adjustable comfort seats - "Nougat" combined with black Nappa leather. There are also illuminated door entry strips, ambient lighting, an extended chrome package, "Black Piano" lacquer trim, and other identifying features of the Passat CC Exclusive.

For the exterior Volkswagen is offering the "Moonlight blue pearl effect" paint which is reserved for only the Exclusive models. There is also a set of 18-inch alloy wheels in a black color version.

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Volkswagen reclaims top spot from Ford in sales charts in Europe

Volkswagen reclaims top spot from Ford in sales charts in Europe

All’s right in the world again, at least as far as Volkswagen is considered. A month after losing its spot to Ford as the best selling brand in Europe, VW has regained its spot as the number one selling brand in Europe with 138,304 sold units. Ford’s reign (87,721) was pretty short-lived - and might be a case of the fluke, too - as it actually fell from first to fourth in April, being leap-frogged by not just VW, but also by Renault (99,642 sold units) and Peugeot (88,721).

Ford’s month-long reign came as a result of scrappage schemes that spiked the sales for subcompact vehicles like the Ford Fiesta and the Ford Ka Now that most of those programs have ended, so did Ford’s number one position. Add that to the continued strong showing of the Volkswagen Golf VI, which helped VW return to the top of the sales charts, and the VW ship was righted faster than Ford could have hoped for.

Full story after the jump.

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2011 Volkswagen Touareg Exclusive

2011 Volkswagen Touareg Exclusive

Over in Europe, customers can already order their new Volkswagen Touareg, and if you happen to be one of the first to avail of VW’s new SUV, you’ll get the opportunity to opt for select options of the Volkswagen Exclusive product brand.

Among the features included in the interior Touareg package includes an interior option for seat covers in a two-tone leather combination in "Nappa" Cool Leather: a Pepper Beige – Titan Black combination or a Dark Burgundy – Titan Black option. What’s more: customers can also get heated front seats with electric 12-way adjustment, electro-pneumatically adjustable lateral seat supports and head restraints with longitudinal and height adjustment, leather door inserts, elegant tread plates and a black roofliner. The package is finished by machine-polished 19-inch "Girona" alloy wheels.

Press release after the jump.

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Eibach tuned Volkswagen Scirocco

Eibach tuned Volkswagen Scirocco

The German suspension manufacturer Eibach has teamed up with Volkswagen Zubehör, the automotive conglomerate’s aftermarket division in order to create one outstanding package for the Volkswagen Scirocco. While the lowering springs are available directly from the factory, Eibach has also developed a set of high performance sway bars and spacers to improve the hot hatch’s handling in order to guarantee that the Scirocco goes exactly where the driver demands it to.

The beauty of this kind of suspension package is that the spring and shock combination have already been tuned to work in harmony with one another and provide the vehicle with the right amount of chassis lowering, a common problem with infinitely adjustable coilovers is that most owners tend to slam their vehicles to the ground in an attempt to make it look cool, but what they don’t know is that they are wreaking havoc on the suspension geometry and in some instances might even be quicker around a turn with the stock setup.

Volkswagen Zubehör steps in with their own appearance package for the Scirocco that consists of an aggressive front lip spoiler, a set of lower side sills and a blacked out rear apron made with an integrated diffuser while above the Scirocco wears a stylish roof spoiler and a set of stunning 19 inch 10 spoke motor sport wheels, although that 2010 Scirocco R is looking pretty fine just like it comes from the factory.

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