VW hauls out big guns at Festival of Motoring
A super GTI and a Polo Vivo pimped for the veld are part of an eye-catching line-up
Volkswagen SA was one of the busiest brands at last weekend’s Festival of Motoring at Kyalami, unveiling a number of production cars, racers and concepts. Here is a rundown of the highlights.
GOLF GTI TCR
VW unveiled the potent TCR version of its Golf GTI, which will go on sale here in the first quarter of 2020.
The front-wheel drive hot hatch, named after the international TCR racing series, had its world unveiling in January and is powered by a muscled-up version of the GTI’s 2l turbo petrol engine.
The TCR’s outputs of 213kW and 370Nm solidly outgun the standard Golf GTI’s 169kW and 350Nm, though they still fall short of the all-wheel-drive Golf R with its 228kW/400Nm.
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The TCR has a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of 5.6 seconds and top speed of 250km/h (or optionally 260km/h) and only 300 units — all individually numbered — will be brought in for local Golf fans.
Power is fired to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG auto gearbox, and the car’s equipped with a front-axle differential lock and perforated disc brakes.
The TCR is identified by a sportier front splitter, a roof spoiler, diffuser, black 18-inch mags and black exterior mirrors. The cabin is revved up with premium front sports seats with unique red-and-black upholstery and a perforated sports steering wheel.
This will likely be the last special-edition model of the Golf 7 before the new eighth-generation Golf is launched worldwide early next year. The local order books are open and while VW hasn’t yet revealed the exact price, it will sell for under R700,000.
Volkswagen‘s Amarok double cab V6 joins the blacked-up bakkie trend with the special-edition Canyon model.
The matte black parts include the door handles, radiator grille, wheel arches, side tubes and styling bar, while the 17-inch Aragua alloy wheels are a metallic-and-black combination. It’s also available in a Honey Orange metallic exterior paint exclusive to this model. The interior’s jazzed up with orange accents and stainless steel pedals.
Standard features in this highly-specced Amarok include Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, parking camera, and an infotainment system with voice control. Comprehensive safety includes six airbags and stability control.
The 3.0l V6 turbo diesel engine sends 165kW and 550Nm to all four wheels via 4Motion all-wheel drive, for claimed performance figures of 0-100km/h in eight seconds and a 193km/h top speed.
The Amarok Canyon will be available for order from September 2019 priced at R799,000.
The all-new T-Cross, which will join the Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg in VW’s SUV line-up from next month, is a compact crossover based on the popular-selling Polo.
The front-wheel drive SUV will be pitched against rivals such as the Ford Ecosport and Renault Captur. It will be launched in SA initially with an 85kW 1.0l three-cylinder petrol engine in four derivatives retailing from R334,600 to R365,000.
A 70kW version will be launched in the first quarter of 2020 priced from below R300,000.
The electric Volkswagen ID.R which generates 500kW and 650Nm of torque, accelerates faster than a Formula 1 car.
The ID.R is Volkswagen’s first electric race car and the technical forerunner to a new generation of battery-powered production models. Since its world premiere in April 2018, the ID.R has broken records at Pikes Peak, the Nürburgring-Nordschliefe and the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb.
POLO VIVO DUNE
It looks ready for a continent-crossing expedition through Africa, it was conceived right here in SA, and it’s called the VW Polo Vivo Dune.
Based on the Vivo Maxx crossover, the Dune has been pimped for the bushveld with accessories that include underbody protection, roof carrier with integrated LED light bar, a snorkel and off-road tyres. It’s destined to be one of the most noticeable vehicles in the sand dunes with its bright orange colour scheme, honeycomb grille, LED headlights, side styling bars with decals, and black wheels.
At the rear, a shark-fin antenna, tailgate spoiler, spare wheel on a carrier, chrome exhaust tail pipe and mud flaps add to the rugged look.
Interior pizzazz includes dash trim inserts in customised colour, accent stitching, orange leather seats with "Dune" embroidery and sports pedals, while adventure capability is enhanced by off-road navigation and a two-way radio.
A project car built by Volkswagen SA’s product engineering department, the Vivo Dune is geared for adventure with its 40l fridge, a collapsible table and chairs, a storage box with a gas stove and fire extinguisher and a water dispenser.
The Vivo Dune is a concept vehicle and won’t go on sale in its current form, but some features are likely to trickle down into special-edition versions of the locally-built Polo Vivo, which has been a great sales success for VW SA since its launch in February 2018.
A reborn version of the previous-generation Polo, the Vivo has gone on to become the country’s second best selling passenger car, behind the latest-generation Polo.