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European Honda Civic Hatch and Type R Could be US-Bound

Hot hatch buyers could benefit from strong dollar, weak European sales.

by on Mar.20, 2015

Honda introduced the Civic Type R in Geneva.

Honda generated plenty of buzz when it unveiled the new Civic Type R in Geneva earlier this month – though it was more like a chorus of groans here in the U.S. when the maker said it had no plans to bring the hot hatch to the States.

Well, that might be about to change. According to a report out of Japan, Honda apparently is rethinking its decision. It appears quite likely American buyers will soon have the opportunity to buy the standard-issue hatchback which would be imported from a plant in England. And the Civic Type R could also be U.S.-bound.

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“We’ve made no announcements,” stressed Steve Kinkade, a Detroit-based Honda spokesman. But he also would not discuss the Japanese maker’s plans for its news conference at the upcoming New York Auto Show.


VW Golf R Touch Actually Can Use Touchless, Gesture Controls

“Future mobility will be even more intelligent.”

by on Jan.06, 2015

The Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept vehicle features an infotainment system that incorporates gesture control as the next step in the area of intuitive control.

In the sci-fi adventure, Minority Report, actor Tom Cruise sorts through a series of images that seem to be floating in the air simply by flicking them with his fingers. You may soon be able to do something similar in your car.

Automakers are showing off an array of virtual reality displays at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. That includes Volkswagen, which is giving a glimpse of what it has in mind with a concept car it has dubbed the Golf R Touch. But the name is something of a misnomer because you don’t necessarily have to touch anything to change the volume, adjust the temperature or operate other vehicle functions.

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Instead, the concept vehicle is equipped with a stereoscopic camera system that tracks your hand movements, reading your gestures rather than relying on your touch. (more…)

First Drive: 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI

Worth the long wait.

by on May.29, 2014

The U.S. version of the VW GTI arrives about a year after its European launch.

It’s been a frustrating year for Volkswagen fans, the automaker forcing them to watch the roll-out of its all-new, seventh-generation Golf in Europe and much of the rest of the world while waiting for the Golf and GTI models to make the jump across the Atlantic.

Finally, they’ve arrived – but are they worth the wait? The all-new 2015 VW Golf and its sporty spin-off, the GTI, certainly seem to have everything going for them.  They’re bigger, roomier, more visually appealing, and while more powerful, they’re also more fuel-efficient, whatever your powertrain choice.


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That seemed like an awfully difficult formula to dismiss as we headed out West to take the new compact models for the requisite test drive through the San Francisco Bay area. And, as we quickly discovered, the Golf and GTI more than lived up to our initial expectations.


VW Updating Sporty Scirocco Coupe

But you still can’t have one, at least not in the U.S.

by on Feb.17, 2014

The latest incarnation of the VW Scirocco will debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The Volkswagen Scirocco has long been one of the most visually appealing models in the expansive VW line-up, and also among its sportiest.  So, it’s good news to hear that there’s a new model coming to the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Here’s the bad news: if you live in the U.S., you’ll have to admire the 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco from afar.  Unless the German maker finally has a change of heart, it appears the facelifted coupe still won’t make the trans-Atlantic jump.  But we keep hoping.

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Actually, the 2015 version is more than just a facelift, with plenty of new technology and a lot happening under the hood that makes the update both more powerful and as much as 19% more fuel-efficient.


Volkswagen Getting into Hot Hatch Game with Golf R

But you’ll have to wait.

by on Jan.08, 2014

Performance hatchback fans have been waiting to see if the Golf R will come to the U.S. It will. Next year.

Volkswagen is getting into the hot hatch market, finally confirming it will bring the gen-four version of its Golf R to the U.S. market. But expect to wait. With American drivers still waiting for the latest version of the mainstream Golf, the new R won’t reach U.S. showrooms until the first quarter of next year.

Is it worth the wait? For many fans, the answer is likely to be a resounding yes considering this will be the fastest Golf ever, Volkswagen claims. At 290 horsepower it gets a 34 hp bump from the previous-generation Golf R. The turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four will meanwhile make 280 pound-feet of torque.

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By the way, how you feel about this will likely reveal whether you see the gas tank as half-empty or half-full. The Euro-spec Golf R actually gets another six horsepower for reasons VW has not revealed. (more…)

New Volkswagen Golf R – More Powerful and More Fuel-Efficient

But U.S. motorists are in for a wait.

by on Aug.20, 2013

The new Golf R debuts in Europe by autumn.

While American motorists will still have to wait awhile to see even the base version of the new Volkswagen Golf reach showrooms, VW is already offering us a look at the next-generation Golf R performance model.

And the hot hatch will deliver a combination of more power and improved fuel-efficiency, the maker says, while offering the latest version of VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

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Already on sale in Europe, the seventh-generation Golf has been generating quite a bit of buzz with its new lightweight platform and features. And that carries over to the new Golf R which adds some touches as its progressive steering and Dynamic Chassis Control, or DCC, systems, as well as a new sport suspension.


First Drive: Volkswagen Golf R

Maker reveals pricing, specs for mean little hatch.

by on Oct.05, 2011

At 256 hp the new 2012 VW Golf R makes 6 more horsepower than the 2008 Golf R32 VR6.

Few makers have been doing better in the U.S. market, in recent months than Volkswagen, which posted a solid 36% jump last month as new models like the 2012 Passat and third-generation Beetle rolled into showrooms.  Anyone who wonders whether VW can keep the momentum going might just consider what else is in the product pipeline – starting with the 2012 Golf R.

The German maker is just making things formal, releasing pricing and specs on the mean little hatch – which we had a chance to spend a brief bit of time scooting around the Virginia countryside in a few weeks back.

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With its well-equipped interior – and a 256-horsepower turbocharged inline-four – the Volkswagen Golf R is destined to change the perceptions of anyone out there who might think the German 5-door is just a gussied-up econobox.

First, the numbers: the 2012 Golf R will set you back $33,990 plus destination charges.  That’s very definitely not econobox territory.  This is a sporty compact for those who believe that very good things can come in small packages – if you’re willing to pay the price.

The 2012 VW Golf R will be offered in both 3- and 5-door packages.