VOLKSWAGEN brought its roadshow to the Cotswolds last week to show off some of the latest
VOLKSWAGEN brought its roadshow to the Cotswolds last week to show off some of the latest additions to its new model range.
I tried three very different cars: one was a well-proven model that has upped considerably its green credentials; the second was a city slicker that has gone funky to appeal to young drivers; and the third was a ripping R (quick) version of a personal favourite of mine.
To begin with I drove the Golf GTE, which is driven by two engines — a 1.4-litre 150 PS TSI direct-injection petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor. Together they have a theoretical range of 580 miles. Its six-speed DSG gearbox (very good) developed for hybrid vehicles is standard.
The Golf of course needs no introduction and this GTE version struck me as the embodiment of the shape of things to come in cars (future technology will of course take them even further along this evergreen route).
There are five operating modes: E-mode, GTE mode, Battery hold, Battery charge and Hybrid Auto. In electric mode, the Golf GTE can travel up to 31 miles. Electric power can also be saved: in electric mode, the GTE can top 81mph.
With the TSI engine engaged as well, the Golf GTE can achieve 0 to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 138mph, yet returns a combined cycle figure of 166mpg and COÂ² emissions of 39g/km. As such it is expected to be exempt from VED and the congestion charge.
Next up was a funky version of the successful VW up!, called the Street up! and though aimed at appealing to drivers a lot younger than myself, I found it fun to drive (and it didn’t look half bad either).
You could be forgiven for getting a little confused with your VW up!s as there are Take up!, Move up! and High up! For 2015 comes the Street up! and Club up!, both highly stylised versions of the original.
Actually what struck me while driving the Street up! was that if I was to buy a VW up! I would go the whole hog and purchase the excellent all-electric e-up!
It kind of makes sense to me that, while not denigrating the idea of these trendier versions, the up! ethos is best served by the all-electric model.
Lastly, I tried the fine new Scirocco R. The spirit of the first Scirocco GTS (which made its debut in 1982) has been carried forward into 2015 with the new GTS which I look forward to driving at a later date.
The Scirocco R, which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March last year, is another cracker of a sports car. It is marvellous to drive and puts that secret Scirocco smile on the face of the driver.
I think the reason for this is that the Scirocco is quite a modest beast: its understatement in the past has been kept in check. But the new R I drove somehow comes out of its shell, stylistically speaking, with refined new headlights and tail lights, as well as revised bumper styling.
This new look gives the car an additional purposeful look as if it now means business and this becomes apparent to onlookers.
• Golf GTE costs £28,035 with government’s £5,000 plug-in car grant
• Street up! 1.0 75 PS five-door costs £12,370 (price as tested)
• Scirocco R costs £32,580 (manual) or £34,080 (DSG gearbox)