Archive | Events and shows

24 July 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Classic enters Polo G40 at Auto Zeitung Youngtimer Classic event

1990 Volkswagen Polo G40, Youngtimer Classic 2013

Volkswagen Classic entered a 1990 Polo G40 at the recent running of the Auto Zeitung Youngtimer Classic 2013 car rally. Once again the event – the fourth – started and ended in Frankfurt, and was open to cars built from 1969 to 1993. Around 100 classics took the roads around the city, completing a timed 280km course. Volkswagen Classic usually sends cars to the event from its ‘rolling museum’ and this year sent a pristine Polo G40 (we think the same car used to launch the Polo GTI in the UK in 2010), as well as a 60bhp 1989 Golf and a Golf Limited-powered, 210bhp Corrado G60 from the same year. The 1990-1994 Polo G40 developed 112bhp from its supercharged 1.3-litre engine, and posted a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds. Another G40 and a 1978 Audi 50 (Mk 1 Polo) driven by Audi Tradition also took part on the event.

1990 Volkswagen Polo G40, Youngtimer Classic 2013

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28 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Rally-winning Polo R WRC set to star at 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Rally Monte Carlo 2013

The 315bhp Polo R WRC will star at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, celebrating Volkswagen’s 60 years of importing cars into the UK. The event, staged from 12-14 July at Goodwood House near Chichester, will also see Volkswagen’s latest rally-winning car sprint up the famous Goodwood hill climb. Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, outgoing Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for development, will pilot the Polo WRC. Alongside the bespoilered Polo will be the XL1, Volkswagen’s high-tech ultra-frugal car, capable of 313mpg. The latest versions of the Golf GTI and Golf GTD will also be available for Festival of Speed visitors to see. Click here to purchase tickets for the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Follow Volkswagen on Twitter to find out more details about its present at the event as more details are confirmed.

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27 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI ‘concept’ unveiled at Paris motor show

2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI concept

Just as the doors open on the 2012 Paris motor show, Volkswagen has pushed the newest version of its legendary Golf GTI into the world. Also public debuting the seventh-generation of the Golf at the event, the GTI has certainly made a splash, if the online coverage of the show at Porte de Versailles is representative of what the public thinks, too.

Officially a ‘concept’, Golf GTI VII looks ready to go, and although appearing not much changed from Golf GTI VI, a lot has been altered. Power is up for a start, with 217bhp (an increase of 10bhp) now developed from a new 2.0-litre, turbocharged direct-injection, and there’s still more to come. For the first time in the model’s long history, a ‘performance pack’ will be available, which, Volkswagen says, will boost power to 227bhp.

2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI concept

On the ‘standard’ car, maximum torque of 258lb ft is now the same as the current Golf R, helping the 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds. Top speed is now 153mph. The more powerful performance pack car boosts top speed by 2mph, and cuts 0.1seconds off the 0-62 benchmark. Opt for the speedier car, and Volkswagen will also throw in larger front brake discs, and a front axle differential to help counter nasty understeer.

Both cars get a variable ratio steering system to reduce steering input (worryingly, seemingly needed on a sports model) as well as red brake calipers, smoked LED rear lights, twin exhausts, tartan seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel and red ambient lighting. Nods to the past include a Golf GTI golf ball gear knob, while slashes of the future include a red trimmed grille, which sees the red trim extending into the headlights – a neat trick.

2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI concept

As is the current trend, the newest Golf GTI (and indeed the standard Golf VII hatchback) is lighter than its immediate predecessor, which benefits fuel economy and emissions. Stop/Start now makes an appearance on a GTI, and fitted with a six-speed a manual gearbox, Volkswagen quotes a 47.1mpg figure (an 18 per cent improvement over the outgoing model) and a CO2 reading of 140g/km. A six-speed DSG ‘box is also available.

More details about the latest in the line of sports-orientated and driver-focused Golfs will be revealed nearer the UK launch date. Due to hit mainland Europe’s roads in early 2013 (most probably after a worldwide public reveal at the Geneva motor show in March), but if you can’t wait until then, visit Mondial de L’Automobile, Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles, Place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris before 14 October and see it for real.

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21 September 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Event report – 2012 Goodwood Revival

The annual Goodwood Revival celebrates motorsport and racing glories in a pre-1970 world. On 16 September, Rich Gooding donned his tank top and flat cap, headed to Chichester and stepped back into a bygone era…

We don’t just like Polos here at As I’ve advanced in years, the more I appreciate older four-wheeled machinery, so when the chance to reacquaint myself with the time-warp event that is the Goodwood Revival, it was too good an opportunity to turn down. I last attended the historic race meeting around 10 years ago, and always intended to once again mingle with the vintage-costumed folk down in Chichester on Lord March’s country estate. Celebrating pre-1970 motorsport glories makes the Goodwood Revival somewhat special in an enthusiast’s book, especially as event-goers are encouraged to dress up on full-on vintage regalia. I didn’t participate on my last visit, but this time, tank top and flat cap were put on, to take part in the event fully.

2012 Goodwood Revival: St Mary's Trophy

As soon as you step through the car park gates, you are immersed into the bygone Goodwood Revival experience. It’s so impressive how many attendees run the complete gamut with their costumes – 1930s fighter pilots rub shoulders with ‘60s Pan Am pilots and crew (complete with authentic bags!), while fur-coated ladies hang onto the arms of their trilby-toting partners. Should you forget your costume, there are numerous stalls inside the event from which to find a replacement, in addition to vintage nick-nack outlets, car brochure and press photo shops, and even a recreation of a 1950s/1960s Tesco store, complete with repro groceries! With other buildings styled to represent a 1950s Earls Court and 1960s BMW and Mini dealerships, the attention to detail really is superb.

Of course, a major draw for the 146,000 people that attended this year was the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ gathering of Silver Arrows racing cars from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Housed in a specially-built recreation paddock, the 1930s racers were certainly an impressive sight. But it’s the racing which also plays a major part in the Goodwood Revival meeting. We caught the 1950s touring car race, the St Mary’s Trophy, which pitted small Austin A40s against mighty Jaguar saloons, not to mention a fearsome elongated Saab 99-alike Tatra T603 from the Czech Republic with the largest exhausts I have ever seen!

Another aspect of the Goodwood Revival is the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation, a prestigious concours d’elegance for historic aircraft. Almost as enjoyable to walk around as the displays of cars (and just as pretty as some of their land-based counterparts), the be-winged behemoths attracted just as much attention. 2012’s Revival also saw the 50th anniversaries of both the AC Cobra and Ferrari 250 GTO sports cars with displays and track time devoted to each. The rather more humble Ford Cortina also celebrated the same historic birthday, and there were examples of the saloon dotted around the main infield. The RAC is a big sponsor of the Goodwood Revival, and so provided older vehicles from its fleet for the public to inspect – a blue Ford Anglia in particular got its fair share of attention.

With displays of bygone aircraft overhead and the sound and smell of historic racing cars, the Goodwood Revival really is a convincing step back in time. Where else can you eat cake and drink tea in the NAAFI tent and watch 1950s Butlins Redcoats dance to Doo-Wop singers, for example? That’s precisely why I like the event – it’s a chance to escape modern life and soak up the atmosphere of a golden age. And it even extends to the roads surrounding the meeting, too. We were in convoy with an MGB, a Jaguar E-Type and a Ferrari 250 leaving the event, and with Dusty Springfield on the CD player, the Ferrari’s exhaust note bouncing off the sunlit village walls and people waving from outside pubs as the cars drove by, it was a drive home to remember, too. See our gallery for what tickled our fancy.

[Images: Rich Gooding, Audi, Ford Motors and Goodwood]

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31 July 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Polo R WRC stars in AutoMuseum Volkswagen motorsport exhibition

AutoMuseum Volkswagen 'Motorsport with Volkswagen' exhibition

If, like us, you’ve yet to see the 300bhp, four-wheel-drive Polo R WRC up close and personal, AutoMuseum Volkswagen is offering you the chance to do just that. It stars in a new exhibition, ‘Motorsport with Volkswagen’, which charts the development of the company’s motorsport programme over the past 60 years. Starting with the 1930s Berlin-Rome car, there’s also the Mille-Miglia Beetle from the 1950s, as well as 1960s Formula Vee racers, which laid the cornerstones from which the company’s motorsport activities are derived from today. Rally-winning Golfs also feature, as does a Dakar Rally Race Touareg. The Polo R WRC is the newest exhibit on display, and appears to be the non-running prototype car presented to the motoring press in Sardinia in May 2011.

The AutoMuseum Volkswagen is a 5000sq m building in which Volkswagen displays notable versions of its past and present models, just a stone’s throw away from the main plant, HQ and tourist attraction Autostadt in Wolfsburg. Opened in April 1985, it displays 140 vehicles on a rotation basis, so no two visits are likely to be the same. The Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen can be found at Dieselstraße 35, 38446 Wolfsburg, Germany. The motorsport exhibition runs until 30 September 2012.

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