In an interview with AutoExpress, VW’s Sales and Marketing Boss, Jurgen Stackmann, said, “The R brand is going extreme. The role of R is that it can go beyond the rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400bhp, but is there a place [for it?]. Certainly, and that’s the turf of R.”
Those are pretty bold words, and the craziest part is that the next-gen Golf R is expected to use the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-banger under the hood now. It may be massaged to deliver a little more power, but the engine is only capable of handling so much reliably. A such, the Golf R will probably benefit from the 48-Volt mild hybrid system that VW recently promised to roll out across the whole line. This will, however, mean that the Golf R might not deliver that kind of power all of the time.
See, that mild-hybrid system has a small battery system and only delivers a power boost for a short period of time. Unless VW is willing to (or finds a way to) tune the current engine to 400 ponies, engineer a new four-banger that’s more powerful than any other, or come up with a way to deliver a constant power boost, the 400-horsepower specification will be a part-time thing.
Stackmann also said that it will be more expressive, which probably means it’ll take on its most aggressive look yet. Of course, the trade-off is probably going to be an increase in price as expressed by this quote:
“With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things. It [the R brand] can find its place in a different league of pure performance, and there’s a space where customers are willing to pay a significant amount of money.”
One part of me is extremely excited to hear this. I’m a big fan of the Golf R, and it’s always sucked that it delivered subpar performance compared to the competition. But, I’m concerned about that mild-hybrid system and just how long the next Golf R will be able to deliver that extra boost in performance. After all, that small battery and temporary boost will be good for quick acceleration here and there but will it be able to repeat performance time after time or will the Golf R fail to deliver a good portion of the time?
I highly doubt that Volkswagen is capable of tuning the 2.0-liter in the current model to deliver that much power. It may be able to deliver 340 horsepower or so, but anything beyond that would push the limits of its engineering. The other big problem here is that VW’s sales and marketing boss is about to make the same mistake they did with the Touareg and step outside of their place in the world: “there’s a space where customers are willing to pay a significant amount of money.”
This should be obvious, but that’s exactly why the Touareg failed. VW tried to step out of the affordable car market where it belongs and into the luxury segment. It didn’t work out so well, and that’s why the Touareg isn’t sold in the U.S. anymore. The Golf R is already priced at about $40,000, which means VW is going to probably going to try to pass it off as a $50,000 hatchback. VW has always had a problem with thinking it’s more upscale than it is, and now the Golf R is about to get put through the ringer too.
It’s certainly interesting to see how this is going to turn out.
The all-new, eighth generation Golf has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring for the first time. Hidden underneath a pushed and pulled current-gen Golf body, Volkswagen is promising the Mk8 will be the biggest technical leap in a single generation in the Golf’s 44-year history. On top of the usual emphasis on fuel saving, the new tech will also benefit the next GTI and R models as they turn to electrification to push the boundaries of hot hatch performance.
The core of this new performance will be the adoption of a new 48V hybrid system. As well as supporting fuel-saving technology such as engine-off coasting and an integrated starter-motor and generator, the 48V system will also allow VW to develop electrically driven turbochargers to improve performance on models such as the GTI and R. Unlike a number of its rivals, Volkswagen will offer its next Golf as both three- and five-door options, as well as an estate, while the GTI’s classic red design clues and understated looks should also remain intact.
The next Golf R, meanwhile, is rumoured to be moving towards an all-wheel-drive system with an electrically driven rear axle, replacing the previous Haldex system. Apart from the added performance benefits of integrating an electric motor into the Golf R’s powertrain, the rear-axle motor will also give engineers the ability to apply finer control to the power distribution between the front and rear axles, rather than relying on the reactive Haldex system that has a front-axle power bias.
Although the new Golf will be based on the same basic chassis as the current model, the new car will be both longer and wider, offering greater interior space and providing packaging solutions for any future electric drivetrains. Regular Golf models will be powered by a selection of three- and four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines, with a new diesel unit also under development. The demand for the current GTE plug-in electric hybrid has all but guaranteed the Mk8 will also have a GTE model in its range, although it’s expected a fully electric Golf will be sidelined as VW ramps up its I.D. range of electric cars. A manual gearbox will still be offered in the majority of new Golfs, but it is expected that VW will also introduce a new, more efficiency-focused automatic gearbox.
The all-new Golf will also receive an all-new interior and infotainment system. The latest Polo and Touareg SUV have both been revealed with new ‘stacked’ designs, placing large, glossy infotainment screens high in the driver’s eyeline in conjunction with Volkswagen’s virtual dials. We expect the Mk8 Golf to offer a similar set-up, likely integrating the all-new Touareg’s 15-inch infotainment system on higher trim lines, along with the latest autonomous driving and active safety technology.
Audi, SEAT and Skoda’s next generation of mid-sized hatchbacks (A3, Leon and Octavia respectively) will also benefit from the Golf’s development, with engine, gearboxes, connectivity and autonomous technology feeding through the group.
We’ll see the first production Mk8 Golfs in the spring of 2019, with deliveries expected by the summer of next year. The GTI and R models are expected towards the end of 2019.
VW has broken its silence over the next-generation Golf, revealing a total investment of £1.6 billion has gone into development of the Mk8 model and confirming a production schedule.
The first cars are due to roll off the production line at the firm’s flagship Wolfsburg plant 75 weeks from now – equating to late June 2019. The announcement was made at the Golf 8 Supplier Summit, presented to 120 key suppliers for the eighth-generation model.
According to Ralf Brandstätter VW Group Board Member for Procurement, the launch of Golf 8 next year is on par with the introduction of the firm’s I.D electric cars in terms of importance.
Karlheinz Hell, Volkswagen’s small car boss, said: "The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety."
The Golf will undergo its biggest transformation in 43 years for the next generation as the German brand prepares to roll out hybrid technology, slim down the model line-up and completely revamp the interior design. An unveil for the Mk8 Golf hatchback has been earmarked for the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019 but at last year's Frankfurt show, we gained new information on that high-tech interior.
Volkswagen’s next Golf will feature a “revolution” in its cabin, the company’s chief of design has promised. The Mk8 car is due on sale in Britain in 2020. It will continue to be based on the current car’s MQB platform, and will feature many of its same engines and transmissions - and this level of continuity has allowed VW to focus on other areas.
VW’s design boss Klaus Bischoff has revealed to Auto Express that chief among these requirements is to be “ready for the next generation of connectivity and digitisation” - and that this has caused a “total rethink” on how the car’s cabin will look.
“It’s a revolution,” said Bischoff. “It’s really a total digital environment; the only analogue aspect is basically the steering wheel.” That means that a development of the current Golf’s fully digital instrument panel is likely to be standard across the range, instead of being an option for higher-end versions.
The arrival of the next Golf – previewed in our exclusive images – will coincide with the roll-out of Volkswagen’s I.D. electric car family, which begins with the Golf-sized I.D. hatchback. However, boss Herbert Diess has said that despite the aggressive EV offensive, which will see at least five dedicated battery-powered VWs launch by 2025, the next Golf remains the brand’s focus.
Last year, Diess told Auto Express: “The priority is Golf because in the next generation it will be our main core product; and that’s where the focus goes. Public attention, press and our communications have been a lot on the electric cars because we believe in it. But I’m convinced it [the Golf] will remain our core product in the next generation.
“[The] next generation of Golf – which we are, let’s say, quite advanced in the work on – will be the versatile car,” Diess continued. “You might call it once again ‘Das Auto’ because it is such a good package for a five-seater; it works so well.”
VW will use an updated version of the MQB chassis for the next-generation hatch, which is expected to shed up to 70kg due to the use of more lightweight materials. The shape or indeed the exterior of the Golf won’t change dramatically, but a more svelte front end with a lower bonnet and sleeker LED headlamps will feature, as our images show. More changes are evident at the rear, where the Golf will get more squared-off shoulders, while Golf lettering will appear beneath the VW badge for the first time, similar to the new Arteon.
As well as offering petrol and diesel engines, the next Golf will be the first VW to feature mild hybrid technology, thanks to the adoption of a 48-volt electric system on at least some variants. Diess said: “Mild hybrid systems will play a major role in the next generation of Golf; that will be the first application.
Then probably further ahead it will also be in smaller segments.” In the face of the VW emissions scandal and rising cost of diesel technology, mild hybrid powertrains will offer a cleaner alternative to diesel with similar levels of efficiency. Conventional powertrains will remain with a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine being joined by a new 1.5 diesel, which will replace the current 1.6.
Variants such as the GTI and R will benefit from performance boosts, with power up to 250bhp and 350bhp respectively. The plug-in hybrid GTE will also be offered, but the e-Golf won’t make it to another generation due to the arrival of the I.D. family, Diess confirmed.
Right then people. Our little Elves have been hard at work for you this Xmas. We're giving you the chance to win 2 tickets and VIP paddock passes to the fabled Autosport International Show on the 11-14th of January 2018.
All you have to do is log in / sign up, comment with the correct answer, cross your fingers.
We've also managed get our grubby mitts on a second pair of tickets for the runner up (minus the paddock passes).
Winners will be chosen at random and contacted on 5th January 2018 via email and then announced here on 6th january
The Volkswagen T-Roc R is being developed to become the most agile offering in its class, with chassis development guru Karsten Schebsdat and professional racing racer Benny Leuchter on hand to ensure its competitiveness.
Speaking at the launch of the new Volkswagen Polo GTI, Schebsdat, who has led the development of models such as the Golf GTI Clubsport S and previously headed up chassis development at Porsche, said the T-Roc is already well suited to a performance application and therefore would be an effective R model.
" I think the standard T-Roc with 4Motion [four-wheel drive] and the DCC chassis with 19in wheels is the most agile SUV in that class," he said. "If there will be a T-Roc R, it will definitely be even more fun."
The model, a rival to group stablemate the Seat Ateca Cupra, will have 306bhp and has been spotted testing recently at the Nürburgring. Leuchter has been drafted in to provide input for the car's set-up. He was a key contributor to the Clubsport S's final technical settings and was the man behind the wheel when it set an earlier Nürburgring front-wheel drive lap record.
Leuchter said he has been pushing for more agile set-ups on Volkswagen models that reduce the understeer previous models had become synonymous with, suggesting that the T-Roc will be given playful characteristics in order to appeal to driving enthusiasts. Leuchter's input with the Polo GTI, for example, has increased its adjustability.
The hot SUV will be powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as its main rival, the Ateca Cupra. However, the VW model is likely to come with a slight power advantage over its 300bhp sibling to help justify a higher price - mimicking a trend seen with the Golf R and Leon Cupra.
Much will be shared with the hot Golf, because the T-Roc is based on the same MQB A underpinnings as the hatchback. But even with the same outputs, the T-Roc R's additional weight and higher centre of gravity will ensure it falls short of matching the 4.6sec 0-62mph time and dynamic handling of its smaller sibling.
In typical VW R style, the future performance T-Roc's styling will likely remain restrained, giving it an understated look like the Golf R.
This early 'in the metal' sighting comes four weeks after VW research and development boss Frank Welsch told Autocar that he had comissioned the build of a development car to test the T-Roc R formula. Welsch said he "liked the idea" and expected it to "go well in the UK".
VW chairman Herbert Diess revealed earlier this year that the fastest T-Roc would bypass the GTI name because "GTI is for us the hot hatch; a sporty car, classless and accessible for many. It should be this car - a hot hatch". For an SUV, Diess said "we have another sub-brand, R".
The T-Roc R would sit above the current most potent 187bhp T-Roc, which Welsch believes will help the model stand out in its busy segment. “We have a 187bhp T-Roc, which is more than the competitors offer," he said, "and we’ll see if lots of people take that."
Further T-Roc range expansion
The commonality of parts for cars using the MQB A platform on which the T-Roc sits also raises the prospect of the new SUV being sold in plug-in hybrid GTE form along with, potentially, a warm GTD set-up. However, the future of diesel engines in smaller cars remains up for debate as manufacturers weigh up the cost of meeting new emissions regulations for diesels against how much of a premium buyers will be willing to pay. A pure-electric version of the T-Roc is unlikely, however, as VW is set to launch a bespoke family of electric models on its MEB platform from 2020.
Welsch’s openness to branding a fast T-Roc as an R model rather than a GTI also signals a clear policy to reserve the latter badge for its famous hot hatches. Even so, the firm is looking to broaden the appeal of its GTI range, with the entry-level Up GTI set to launch early next year.
As the SUV sector booms, car makers are looking to exploit sales niches while creating halo models that attract attention to a line-up. For example, Nissan launched Nismo models of its Juke, but VW’s decision to launch an R version of the T-Roc would signify a step up in the mainstream performance SUV stakes.
*Courtesy of VW Vortex - See the full article and more pics here
Spy pics of a Tiguan testing in Germany! And, despite the fact that there’s very little in the way of camouflage, this may be one of the Volkswagen Group’s most mysterious test cars!
Whereas it usually goes for dazzle camo, VW has this time decided to go with conflicting information. What you see is clearly a Tiguan body, that much is clear, but what isn’t so clear is why there are so many Audi bits attached to it.
Those oval tailpipes? Pure Audi Sport. The wheels? Audi. The Ingolstadt license plate is another Audi hallmark. And finally, the engine, we’re told, has the distinct sound of an inline 5.
We’ve known that a Tiguan was testing with Audi’s engine since late August when a video emerged of the car testing at the Nurburgring. Back then, we thought it might be because the Tiguan would get that engine, but now the online consensus seems to be that this is an RS Q3 wearing an elaborate disguise.
It wouldn’t be the first time that the VW Group went to such lengths. Volkswagen dressed up Atlas test cars like Jeeps and Kias when they were testing. They didn’t own the badges, though, so they couldn’t fully commit to the camo. With both vehicles owned by the same group, it could be that Audi just decided to follow through.
It does make sense, meanwhile, that VW would plug a Golf R engine into a Tiguan R since the engine fits the chassis. Audi has been working with its Group-mates lately, though. Audi and Porsche have been using the same twin-turbo V6 and twin turbo V8 a lot lately, so the idea of the brand sharing its engine with VW isn’t farfetched.
Notice the giant oval pipes make another appearance on a potential VW R...
Whatever the case, we’ll continue to follow this story as it develops.
Articles in AutoBild Magazine this month reveal that “Dieselgate” has indeed delayed the release of the new Golf R, with the MK 7.5 Facelift R filling the gap until the MK8 is unveiled, most likely at the Frankfurt IAA Show in September 2019. The R has always followed on a year later from the base models, so what can we expect to see in 2020?
A slippery, lower, aero efficient front end apparently, together with smaller cooling grilles. Sharper taillights at the rear along with the badging in the centre of the tailgate. So pretty minor and run of the mill evolutions rather than revolution changes to the appearance.
No mention of a hybrid boost unfortunately, although hope springs eternal as they say. The engine is likely to push out 350bhp, an uplift of around 40 horses from the current facelift variant, which can likely be achieved through more robust turbos running at higher boost. VWROC members simple Stage 1 remaps can already get close to that.
The body of the car is likely to be up to 70kg lighter, although in R form the Haldex system will add to that somewhat. Still it’s a move in the right direction and could lead to an even better balanced chassis. Is this even possible, some might ask?
The interior is where the tech has been updated, to Minority Report levels. The entire cockpit has been replaced by digital displays, a little bit like the current S-Class. We saw a flavour of this in the Worthersee Golf R special “Touch” edition in 2015. See video below:
Better still it’s operated by gesture control, although in the UK I’m not sure it would recognise many of the gestures motorists currently use whilst driving!
Augmented Reality Heads-Up-Displays will also feature with navigation arrows projected and mirrored onto the street ahead in 3D.
In addition, there will be assistants that fully automate parking and keep track of speed and distance. Apparently the driver could be allowed to read newspapers or check emails while driving at speeds of up to 35mph. Drivers will login to the car and it will learn your preferences, habits and weaknesses (ours are craft beers and crisps). It’ll learn your favourite music and preferred temperature. It’s almost like an Amazon Alexa’s been lost down the back seat. As we all know though, the problem with tech in most mid-range cars is that its way out of date by the time the car reaches the consumer. All we really want is a great screen that’s capable of properly integrating apps from our phones seamlessly.
Be warned though as by 2025 VW are planning to have a totally networked car that will drive pretty much by itself, and that ladies and gentlemen, marks the beginning of the end of the fun! The final blow coming in 2040 when petrol and diesel new cars sales will be banned. Our poor kids!
After a short stint at McLaren Racing, the man responsible for VW’s WRC victories returns to Wolfsburg
News of a car executive moving from one company to another wouldn’t usually even register on evo’s radar. But Jost Capito is no ordinary boring suit, and the announcement of his move from CEO of McLaren Racing back to Volkswagen is worth mentioning.
Capito is an engineer and racer at heart. Before he graduated from Munich Technical University with a master's degree in mechanical engineering, he started racing motocross bikes and entering endurance motorbikes.
In 1985, after university, Capito started working for BMW, developing its high-performance engines. He still found time to compete in motorsport though, and managed to win the Paris-Dakar truck category.
> Read our review of the Volkswagen Golf R
He moved to Porsche’s motorsport department in 1989 where he stayed for seven years before making the step into the tumultuous world of Formula 1. He then managed the Sauber F1 team during the late 1990s.
Arguably his most significant and influential role with the car industry started in 2001 when he joined Ford. Capito was initially responsible for Ford’s RS division and lead a project between two of the company’s departments, Special Vehicle Engineering and Ford Racing, which helped bring the Mk1 Ford Focus RS to market.
As well as launching a ground breaking hot hatch under his tenure, the motorsport department also won the World Rally Championship manufacturers' title in both 2006 and 2007. He eventually went onto to manage all of Ford’s performance cars, globally.
Capito carried on his success at managing rally teams when he joined Volkswagen as director of motorsport and led the team to the first three of its four WRC manufacturer and drivers’ titles.
Now, after only a year as CEO of McLaren Racing, Capito has returned to Volkswagen to head-up the department in charge of the company’s performance cars, Volkswagen R GmbH, and its accessories and equipment division, Volkswagen Zubehör GmbH.
> Read about VW's future motorsport intentions
As well as creating the Golf R and the R-line packages, Volkswagen R has also been responsible for the Polo WRC. But now that Volkswagen has diverted its motorsport attention to its customer racing programs, Capito won’t have an international race team to get his teeth into. If his attention is mostly focused on road cars instead, his résumé suggests there will be plenty to look forward to.
Worthersee is a huge show for both VW and its fans alike, the Austrian festival the perfect place to celebrate Volkswagens old and new. You’ll hopefully be familiar with the apprentice-built concepts at each gathering too – see last year’s GTI Heartbeat, for example – and 2017 is no different: welcome to the Golf GTI First Decade.
The name signifies the fact that apprentices have been building Worthersee GTI concepts for 10 years, but it’s far more interesting than just that. Why? This is the first GTI with electric propulsion. Don’t worry, it’s not an EV GTI, instead a hybrid version that uses a 410hp petrol engine for the front wheels – a brave enough move already, you would think – combined with a 48-volt electric motor for the rear wheels with a maximum output of 16hp. Certainly a mild hybrid then. The First Decade car can be run as front-wheel drive only – that’s what we meant about brave – as an all-wheel drive hybrid or in EV, rear-wheel drive mode. Don’t go getting carried away with that 16hp now.
Joking aside, the electric mode is there for short urban journeys or stop-start traffic; the batteries are then charged through regenerative braking the rest of the time. The drive modes are selected via the infotainment display.
Just in case there wasn't enough blue...
How close are we to a hybrid GTI? It doesn’t sound all that far off, VW’s Head of Automotive Technology Training Peter Christ saying the project means “our apprentices learn about the complexity and future challenges of automobile production.” Could these apprentices be working on the production car in just a few years time?
Hopefully they will have grown out of their young people design tastes by then, at least. The GTI First Decade features Atlantic Blue paint with ‘Satin Ocean Shimmer’ foil as a contrast. There are rally stripes in three shades of blue and the 20-inch wheels are from mb-Design. And inside, being young people, there are 11 loudspeakers, a subwoofer and 1,690 watts of sound system power. Sick.
As always, this apprentice concept is not a Golf for production. It does seem to preview upcoming GTI features though – and not just the 20-inch wheels – which could be along even sooner than you may think.
A high-performance Volkswagen T-Roc R could be launched in 2018.
Plans for the hot SUV are under discussion, according to VW’s head of development Frank Welsch, and if launched it would be a sister car to the upcoming Seat Ateca Cupra.
The most likely engine is the 306bhp 2.0-litre turbo unit from the Golf R hot hatch. This gives the Golf a 0-62mph time of 4.6sec when it's equipped with the optional automatic automatic gearbox. However, the T-Roc’s greater weight and less aerodynamic shape are likely to make it slighty slower.
“If demand is there for a more powerful car, we can likely satisfy it. There is a great deal of potential in the car that we can unlock if customers want it,” said Welsch.
The T-Roc is a Golf-based SUV and is set to be revealed this summer, ahead of going on sale in the autumn.
Because the T-Roc sits on the same underpinnings as cars such as the Golf, Ateca and Audi Q2, it is relatively easy for engineers to fit similar engines to all the cars. As a result, the T-Roc is also likely to be sold in plug-in hybrid GTE form and as a fast GTD diesel.