Three-cylinder TDI engines were never sold in the United States.
Not unlike some other motor racing disciplines, the World Rally Championship tends to be ruled by dynasties. The late 1980s were dominated by Lancia, Toyota won a succession of titles in the early 90s, Mitsubishi and Subaru traded top spots in the late 90s and Citroën dominated from 2003 through 2012. But these days its all about Volkswagen.
The degree of love for the Volkswagen Golf GTI at Autoblog is at or above that for any other hatchback sold in the US market. That's undoubtedly influenced by the fact that what may be the best GTI in the VW stable, the Polo GTI, isn't sold here. Were it, we guess the Ford Fiesta-sized bomber would have a legitimate shot at joining its brother at the top of AB hot hatch heap.
Volkswagen uses a number of performance badges on different models. Depending on the market, buyers can get a Jetta GLI, a Scirocco R, a diesel Golf GTD and of course the most iconic hot hatch of them all, the GTI. And those are just the front-drive models. But though it's the performance Golf that wears those letters exclusively in the US market, overseas it's not the only one: So does the smaller Polo GTI, and now Volkswagen is introducing a new version.
In America, Volkswagen's offerings don't get any smaller than the Golf (or Beetle, really). But elsewhere in the world, there are a host of smaller-than-that vehicles from VW, perhaps the best-known being the cute little Polo. And while there still aren't any plans to bring the Polo to our market (last we heard, anyway), the small hatchback has been given a number of updates that should keep it a popular choice for customers overseas.
A report in Motor Trend says that CAFE requirements are driving Volkswagen to develop the next-generation Polo – as well as a crossover to slot below the Tiguan – for the US market. If so, the two new models would join a few other VW products with elevated mile-per-gallon numbers, including the Golf GTD and a potential hybrid two-fer in the Touareg and Jetta PHEVs. However, Volkswagen won't give the CAFE-busting XL1 a resident's visa for the States.
The annual GTI festival at Lake Wörthersee in Austria has exploded over the years into a celebration of all things hot-hatch in the Volkswagen Group – including concept cars and new debuts from Audi, Seat and Skoda – but the event has always been about VWs at heart. And the brand central to the empire isn't about to sit it out.
Rumors surrounding a prospective motorsports expansion in the Volkswagen Group have been swirling around for years now. One of the largest automakers in the world, VW's factory-supported racing activities are largely limited to Audi and its considerable Le Mans program and Volkswagen's own Dakar efforts, with a handful of lower-level initiatives and non-works entries in other series. We're still expecting a big shake-up, but the first step, according to reports, will see the Volkswagen brand lau
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