Episode #389 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Chris Paukert, and Mark Pereira from Autoblog Canada talk about Johan deNysschen's move to Cadillac, rumors of more BMW nomenclature changes, a second generation for the Subaru BRZ, and cars from 2004 that we miss. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with time
Enthusiasts like nothing more than to crucify modern interpretations of their favorite performance models for failing to live up to some imagined ethos. Even the Volkswagen GTI has suffered its fair share of slings and arrows for growing in size and curb weight. Chris Harris recently spent some time with the all-new MK VII GTI to find out if growing up means giving up on what makes the machine so special.
The upcoming version of the Volkswagen Golf R is nearly ready for prime time, if this video of the car flying around the Nürburgring is any indication. The all-wheel-drive R seems to make quick, neat work of the corners we see here, and sounds pretty devilish in the process.
As is the case every year, Volkswagen engineers have built and brought a new toy to their fans at the annual Wörthersee festival in Reifnitz, Austria. Called the Design Vision GTI, this track toy is a Golf that's been widened, lowered and given an injection of twin-turbo V6 steroids.
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf is hardly new to us. In fact, we've already driven it. And elsewhere in the world, the new Golf is already winning awards. Even so, we still have yet to see the US-spec version of the car, though that won't be the case much longer. As part of the New York Auto Show festivities later this month, Volkswagen will finally show off the 2015 Golf models destined for our shores.
There's torque steer and then there's what we'll from now on dub "The Boba," as in Boba Kettler. The German tuner has a way with the Volkswagen Golf, and the MkI example you see above has been touched with 736 horsepower – that's right, 96 more ponies than a new SRT Viper, all trying to get to ground through those two front wheels.
The all-new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf hasn't even launched here in the United States, but over in Geneva, we're already getting our first glimpse at the hotter GTI hatchback. The fancy new Mk VII Golf is already off to a healthy start with positive reviews in Europe, and we have no doubt that this next GTI will work hard to regain its title as king of the hot hatches.
The upcoming Geneva Motor Show is going to be stocked with important new production models and sexy concept cars, but hot hatch enthusiasts will undoubtedly see it as the coming out party of the MkVII Volkswagen GTI. And while we've only got European specifications and pricing to go on for now, we can tell from the get-go that the new GTI will be a proper heir to VW's hot hatch legacy.
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf hasn't launched in the United States just yet, but we're already setting our sights on the range-topping R model. According to Autocar, the next Golf R will be more powerful than the current version, producing 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production Golf ever.
The Volkswagen booth at this year's Chicago Auto Show was filled with various special edition models of the Beetle and GTI. In addition to the GTI Wolfsburg Edition, the Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition helps to wrap up the 2013 model year as VW readies the all-new MkVII Golf next year.
Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in covering cars already deemed classics, is out with its annual Hot List predicting this year's ten cars that will be future collectibles. Even though it stays under $100,000, it spans almost $74,000 in MSRPs starting with the $23,700 Ford Focus ST on the affordable end and peaking with the $97,395 SRT Viper.
Forgive us for having the distinct feeling of déjà vu, but it certainly feels like we've been here before. By that we are referring Car and Driver and the announcement of its annual 10Best vehicles for 2013. To be sure, it's an impressive selection of cars that combine heart-pounding performance and frugal sensibilities, but it also represents something of a broken record on the part of C/D. We're not so sure that's a flaw, though, as the resulting list is tough to argue with.
This week's Los Angeles Auto Show plays host to the coming out party for the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, which once again gives the German automaker a pair of four-seat convertibles clustered within striking distance of each other's price ranges. That won't be the case for long, however, as the recently refreshed Eos folding hardtop convertible won't get a successor.
Ken Block and Vaughn Gittin, Jr. are two of the masters of artistically abusing automobiles, so you know a video with both men in it is going to be a good one. In the fourth installment of the Focus ST Sessions series from Ford, Gittin and Block are given the keys to a 2013 Focus ST and a Volkswagen GTI, and then let loose in an abandoned neighborhood.
We're something of a broken record on Volkswagen's TDI family of diesels – torquey and efficient, they're really well-suited to the way Americans drive. We put that sentiment to a year-long test with a Jetta TDI Cup Street Edition not long ago, and enjoyed our time in what was basically an oil-burning GTI with a trunk. That is, until an unsolved catastrophic engine failure saw VW yank it away after just eight months. They subsequently replaced our Cup Street with a bog-standard Jetta TDI (
Way back in 2004, Volkswagen took umbrage with Suzuki being granted permission to use the nameplate "SWIFT GTi" for a performance variant of its small-car offering (2012 equivalent seen here). Now, eight years and surely some very steep legal bills later, VW has finally dropped its claim against Suzuki.