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First Ever Golf Racecar Up for Auction

This is the coolest Mk 1 Volkswagen Golf we’ve ever seen. It’s a Group 2, stripped-down, 175 hp beast that is also said to be the world’s very first racing Golf. The first one!

It was built by Ralph Nothelle, who ran a racing shop in Duisburg building cars from NSU, Porsche, Audi, and VW. He wanted to see what this newest compact hatch from VW could do, and as it turned out it could do a lot.

The car will be going up for sale at RM Sotheby’s Essen auction at the end of June, and it comes with a complete racing history from new as well as a load of spare parts and it’s been fully restored.

The car was originally put on track with a 1.6L OHC four making 162 hp at 8,000 rpm, later replaced by a 175 hp 1.6. It has upgraded brakes, a Uniball suspension, and a host of other modifications to make it ready for Group 2. The car was first raced at Zolder and took its first win at the Hockenheimring with Bernd Lilier behind the wheel.

It was rebuilt by Marcus Nothelle back in 2011 on behalf of Volkswagen and the car was then shown off at the Techo Classica show in Essen the next year. The auction listing says that this classic is ready to race and is in excellent condition.

With a history like this one, we expect this car to go for big money. But having the very first racing Golf in the world would be a heck of a thing. And it’d look right at home at the Goodwood Revival next year!

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Car Reviews

Gallery: ABT Modifies the Golf 8

Although ABT hasn’t yet upped the power, it has revealed what it would do to give the eighth generation of Golf look a little more special.

The look starts out with lowering springs because “lowering is essential to create a sporty appearance,” writes the tuning house in a statement. In all, it can be lowered from 25 to 30 mm (0.9-1.2 inches) depending on what you opt for.

Naturally, the look is rounded out by some bigger wheels. And although there’s a variety of choices, ABT has decided to show off a set of 20s.

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Auto News

Next Golf R to Make Use of Tech “Nobody Expects,” Won’t be Hybrid

The next Golf R will be a surprising beast, Jost Capito, head of R GmbH, told Motor Trend. Along with some evolutionary changes, there will be plenty to talk about.

As you might expect, Capito called the next Golf R a “real driving machine” and added that there would be lots of small improvements and even that it would have some tricks up its sleeve, using “technology nobody expects.”

Unfortunately, Capito wouldn’t cop to exactly what those were. He did, however, confirm that it would not be hybrid technology. Development costs simply wouldn’t allow for it.

The only reason the Touareg R was able to use a hybrid drivetrain was because it shares a platform with the Bentley Bentayga hybrid (among others), so R didn’t have to foot the development bill.

Capito argues that R GmbH wouldn’t have been able to afford to get an appropriately powerful hybrid system in the Golf R, which sounds a bit like a burn to the Golf GTE.

The R was expected to be unveiled at Goodwood this summer, but as with everything these days who knows when delays will hit.

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Car Reviews

Volkswagen Golf GTE PHEV Hot Hatch Debuts Ahead Of Geneva Reveal

Has more torque than the GTI and 37 miles (60 km) of pure-electric range.

Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off its eighth-gen Golf GTI and along with it, the diesel-burning GTD and the plug-in hybrid GTE were also revealed. The latter has as much torque as the oil burner and a battery twice as big as that of the previous-gen GTE.

Just like the upcoming Skoda Octavia RS and Cupra Leon plug-in variants, the latest Golf GTE is motivated by a 1.4-liter engine that puts out 147 horsepower and a 112 horsepower electric motor. Their maximum combined output is 242 horsepower, while peak torque comes in at 400 Nm; the only transmission option is a six-speed DSG automatic.

VW equips the Golf GTE with a 13 kWh battery pack that provides a claimed pure-electric range of 37 miles (60 km), and it can push the car up to a speed of 81 mph (130 km/h) without starting up the internal combustion engine.

On the design front, it looks very similar to the GTI and GTD. It has the same sportier front bumper as they do, but VW decided to give it a much less sporty looking rear bumper that comes with – wait for it – fake exhausts, which is quite unfortunate for a hot hatch. The GTI gets two exhausts, while the GTD gets a single dual exit exhaust and the GTE’s rear bumper looks pretty bad by comparison.

The GTE also doesn’t come with the lowered suspension as the GTI and GTD. Those two models are 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) lower than the standard Golf and the fact that the GTE isn’t factory lowered is a questionable decision on VW’s part – not only does a lower ride height enhance the car’s cornering capability, but it also makes it more aerodynamic and thus more efficient (which is important for a plug-in hybrid).

Gallery: 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTE


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So between the higher ride height, its economy car rear bumper with faux exhausts and wheels that don’t look as aggressive as those on the GTI or GTD, the GTE doesn’t look quite as aggressive as those two. This is at odds with what SEAT did with the new Cupra Leon plug-in which can only be distinguished from the regular 2.0-liter car by the charge port on the front left fender.

This trio of performance-minded Golfs will make their official debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show if it doesn’t end up being cancelled as per the coronavirus outbreak. It’s also worth noting that VW says all three variants are near-production concepts, so they are still subject to change before they go on sale.

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Auto News

The New 242bhp Mk8 VW Golf GTI Is Pleasantly Unsurprising

The New 242bhp Mk8 VW Golf GTI Is Pleasantly Unsurprising - News

The new VW Golf GTI has been revealed, and it isn’t in any way surprising. We mean that as a compliment – the worst thing VW could have possibly done is fiddled with the recipe, so it’s a relief to see that we’re seeing the usual blend of a reasonably powerful inline-four petrol engine, lightly tweaked suspension and a six-speed manual gearbox.

The powerplant in question is an evolution of VW Group’s extensively used EA888 2.0-litre turbo unit, here making 242bhp. That matches the output of both the new GTE and the old GTI Performance while representing a 15bhp increase over the standard version of the Mk7.5 GTI.

The New 242bhp Mk8 VW Golf GTI Is Pleasantly Unsurprising - News

Performance figures haven’t been revealed yet, but we’re expecting the 0-62mph time to be roughly similar to the GTI Performance at around 6.2 seconds, with the top speed no doubt electronically limited at 155mph.

While it seems VW won’t be producing a Performance version this time around, the VAQ locking differential it came with is expected to be offered as an option, along with adaptive dampers.

The New 242bhp Mk8 VW Golf GTI Is Pleasantly Unsurprising - News

As with the last GTI, there’s not a whole lot to visually separate it from the simultaneously revealed Golf GTD nor the GTE which was unveiled late last year. It has the same front bumper design with “strikingly arranged” lights that blend into the honeycomb lower grille, and a light bar that stretches between the headlamps.

Look closer, though, and you will see the telltale GTI red stripe just above that bar, a theme continued through the light clusters. The rear bumper design is unchanged, meanwhile, but the GTI is given away by its two exhaust pipes that exit either side.

The New 242bhp Mk8 VW Golf GTI Is Pleasantly Unsurprising - News

The inside isn’t all that different from the rest of the Golf range either, save for the inevitable inclusion of tartan ‘Clark’ chequered seats. A 10.25-inch display is used for the instrument cluster, while just to the right, there’s a 10-inch touchscreen on infotainment duties. With the latter, it’s possible to fine-tune the (where fitted) adaptive dampers using a sliding scale.

Prefer something more hardcore? A TCR version is in the works and should be revealed at some point in 2020.

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