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Volkswagen will be debuting the new up! GTI at this year’s GTI Meet at Lake Wörthersee, which will take place from 24th to 27th May 2017. The performance up! builds upon the the small and cheerful city car making it into an improved performance car with decent handling characteristics. Whether or not the market is ready for such a performance city car remains to be seen, but based on past history, VW has been known for disrupting trends and generating an interest in a whole new genre of vehicles that people didn’t know they wanted.

The GTI moniker was first introduced in the 1970s when the German automaker decided to make a performance version of its standard family hatchback, the Golf. Back in the day, only big sedans and expensive sports cars had the performance to offer heart-racing driving action. Their big displacement engines and raw power made the vehicles very expensive and out of the reach of the common man. Well, Volkswagen was having none of that, and set out to create car that offered sports car-like performance but on a shoestring budget.

Their efforts eventually came to fruition with the introduction of the first generation GTI. There were very few subtle cues that set the car apart from the average run of the mill Golf. It had a thin red stripe stretching across the entire length of the front grille, black double stripes across the side sills, black stripe on the tailgate and of course, several GTI badges. The car had a near 110bhp engine and weighed just 810kg, which meant 0-100km/h sprints could be accomplished in just 9.0 seconds and the car had a stop speed of 182km/h.

Over the years, the GTI has grown in size and weight to comply with safety regulations as well as the needs and wants of the modern consumer. Due to this fact, The present day GTI hasn’t retained much of the original’s DNA. But with the up! GTI, things are a lot more similar. It weighs 997kg and under the hood is a turbocharged 113bhp TSI engine, which allows the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 8.8 seconds. In essence, the up! GTI can be considered as the modern day equivalent of the first generation GTI.

It comes with with the usual GTI striping on the bodywork, 17-inch alloy wheels, a spoiler for better downforce, leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, GTI gear knob and the iconic “clark” seat pattern.

One can be so bold as to call the up! GTI a direct descendant of the iconic car that started the hot hatch revolution and hopefully, paves the way for the development of many more performance-based small city sized hatchbacks.

The resto mod market has has been steadily gaining ground over the past few years. Demand for such vehicles has been on the rise thanks to people like Magnus Walker, who, after restoring classics, have managed to preserve the beauty and essence of these vehicles yet incorporate certain amount of modernity to make them practical for today’s world.

Resto Mod is essentially the term used to describe a classic vehicle that has been restored by fusing the original body, panels and switchgear with modernized running gear. Considered sacrilege by purists, the popularity of resto modded vehicles have soared as of late. This is because, despite the vehicles looking just as they did 30 or 40 years ago, underneath, are mechanicals that allow vintage/classic cars to be driven in modern day traffic conditions, without breaking down or spewing oil all over the road.

Such is the case here with a BMW 2002, which was featured on Jay Leno’s Garage Youtube channel. It was brought in by founder of the well-known Bavarian Workshop. Marc and his team were responsible for the restoration project with this particular 1976 BMW 2002, which has been modified to keep up with today’s econoboxes but look infinitely cooler cruising down the highway.

Check out this video to learn more about the restoration process and the immaculately clean BMW 2002 that resulted from it.

Chinese automaker, Haval, has extended its market reach to include Batam, Indonesia. The ultimate goal is to make Malaysia its assembling hub, which will enable better support of Haval vehicles in the ASEAN region, which includes Batam. Go Auto, the sole distributor of Haval vehicles locally, are tasked with making the manufacturer’s plans a reality.

Car buyers in Batam will now be able to choose from three different Haval models, the H1, H2 and H8. It is one of the various markets, including Singapore that has seen a significant increase in demand for the Chinese make SUVs. However, the automaker is adamant that the interest in its vehicles are mainly due to the quality of its products rather than pricing.

Speaking of the launch in Batam, Haval’s Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Azam Sulaiman, said, “We have received almost 100 units of bookings for Batam market and we are optimistic that the number will increase after the official launch. We also have demands coming in from Singapore which we think is fascinating. Haval’s arrival in Singapore will be a benchmark for the brand in ASEAN.”

Indonesia is just the latest addition to the string of countries that Haval has made its presence felt, including Cambodia and Brunei with plans of including Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar before the end of next year.

If you didn’t already know, Haval, is an abbreviation for “Have All” which the automaker says portrays the essence of the brand – offering affordable vehicles that incorporate the latest technology. Haval is owned by Great Wall Motor Company Limited(GWM) and it is said to be the largest Chinese SUV and Pick-up manufacturer in China. Visit the automaker’s Malaysian website to know more about the Haval brand of vehicles.

The one millionth Porsche 911 has rolled off the production line in Zuffenhausen, Germany. This is an incredible milestone for the company, which has improved on the 911 with each new iteration for the past 53 years, turning it into the most practical supercar on the market today.

The car, was of the Carrera S variant painted in a special Irish Green bodycolour. It is still owned by Porsche and will be placed in the automaker’s museum, after it embarks on an epic road trip across the globe, gracing places like the Scottish Highlands, the Nurburgring, as well as certain locations in the USA, China and other parts of the globe.

Speaking of the car that has made history for the nameplate, Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG said, “54 years ago, I was able to take my first trips over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road with my father. The feeling of being in a 911 is just as enjoyable now as it was then. That’s because the 911 has ensured that the core values of our brand are as visionary today as they were in the first Porsche 356/1 from 1948.”

The 911 is still an important model for the German automaker. Its signature rear engine, rear-wheel-drive platform has proven to be favoured by customers and enthusiasts all around the world. According to Porsche, more than 70% of all 911 cars built to date are still in driveable condition, which is a testament to their appeal.

On the track, over half of all 30,000 race wins that Porsche accumulated in its Motorsports history can be accredited to the 911, it is considered a favourite of racing drivers and teams of numerous racing series around the world.

In 2016 alone, Porsche produced 32,365 cars of the 911 model. And the reason Porsche has been able to cope with market demand is due to its facility in Zuffenhausen. This is where the German manufacutrer builds all of its two-door cars. It also happens to be where the new Mission E car will be built too. The assembly workers are skilled at handling 200 different tasks on the production line. Their knowledge, skills, work ethic and attention to detail are the reason why Porsche is able to produce a sizable volume of vehicles while ensuring that quality control does not suffer.

The recently launched Volkswagen Tiguan has been well received here in Malaysia. Demand for the German mild off-roader is so strong that VW have had to ramp up production at its Pekan plant to cope with the booking orders.

According to the automaker, the reason people have flocked to the Tiguan instead of its rivals is because it offers solid build quality, balance of style and versatility, decent seating capacity, power and attractive pricing, making it the vehicle a ‘complete package’.

Speaking of the popularity of the Tiguan, Managing Director of VPCM, Mr Erik Winter said, “We are pleased to announce that the Tiguan Highline has been very well-received by Malaysians, and the Comfortline has also caught the eyes of those looking for quality, value-for- money German engineering. The Pekan Plant is working hard on its production timeline to guarantee stock availability, and customers can rest assured that we will be doing our utmost best to ensure and smooth and fast delivery to our new owners.”

The Tiguan is priced at RM148,990 for the Comfortline and RM168,990 for the Highline variant. And to entice customers further, Volkswagen have made the SUV available in a new body colour, called Crimson Red. Both variants of the Tiguan are offered with a 5-year warranty and 5-years’ roadside assistance. But, for limited period, Volkswagen is offering the App Connect function as a complimentary feature for the Tiguan Highline.

If you are interested to know more about this vehicle or other VWs, visit the automaker’s site or your nearest authorized dealer.

In a recent article on Car Throttle, it was reported that Volvo is currently in the process of moving away from diesel engines. A pioneer of oil burner powerplants, Volvo seems to be abandoning diesel for electric power citing Tesla’s ability to produce exceptional cars that are in very high demand right now.

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, Volvo’s short term plan is to provide some form of electrification for all models in its current line up. And at the same time, It’s also gearing up to produce its first ever all-electric vehicle, which is slated to hit markets around the world in 2019.

The move to halt R&D of future diesel engines was revealed by Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. That said, the Swedish automaker isn’t moving away from diesel engines completely. Electric and petrol powered engines/motors still lack the torque and range of large and powerful diesel engines. And Volvo, being a major player in the trucks segment, isn’t just going to give up its share of the market. Until it finds a viable alternative, diesel power will remain the mainstay of Volvo trucks.

This decision, for now at least, will mainly impact passenger vehicles. The requirements for cars and SUVs are far lower than whats expected from trucks. Expect to see the automaker downsize its petrol powered options for electrified ones as it moves to offer cleaner and more environmentally friendly vehicles for its customers.

Source: Car ThrottleFrankfurter Allgemeine


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