2010 - 2014

Australian Volkswagen History

By Phil Matthews



The Golf 6 sweeps all the major 2009 Australian car awards, announced in the new year. Firstly the Golf wins the CarsGuide Car of the Year Award (News Ltd), the first Volkswagen to do so since the awards began in 1997. A week later the Golf wins the Drive Car of the Year Award (Fairfax Ltd), as well as their Best Small Car Over $20k award. The GTI again wins the Drive Best Performance Car Under 60k. While VWs have won numerous Drive minor awards in the past, this is the first major award for Volkswagen since the Drive awards began in 2006. The Golf also wins the Best Car Best Midsize Car Over $30k Award, organised by the NRMA, RACV and RACQ. The Golf GTI wins the Top Gear Australia Car of the Year award.

The Golf then wins the 2009 Wheels Magazine Car of the Year Award, the longest-running and most prestigious of them all. This is just the third Wheels award for Volkswagen, and the first since the original Golf won it 33 years earlier, back in 1976.

Other VW to claim motoring awards are the Passat CC (Drive Best Luxury Car Under $60k); Eos (CarSales Best Sports Car); and Transporter (CarSales Best Light Commercial Van).

The latest redesigned 5th generation (6R) Polo, the current World Car of the Year, is released in Australia. Sourced either from Spain or South Africa, the new Polo wears the sharp new VW ‘family’ face and a host of dynamic and ergonomic improvements. The new Polo has 5 EuroNCAP and 5 ANCAP stars, the first such car in its class, and brings a new dimension of quality to the Australian small car market. The range features two petrol engines and one diesel. The base 63 kW petrol Polo Trendline 3-door starts at $16,690 for the 5-speed manual, or $2,500 for the 7-speed DSG. The higher-spec 5-door 77TSI Comfortline petrol is $19,850 for the 6-speed manual, with the same DSG option. The 66TDI Comfortline diesel drinks just 5.5 L/100 km, the most frugal VW ever sold in Australia, and starts at $22,350 for the 5-speed manual. Again the DSG is a $2,500 option.

A BlackOrange limited edition New Beetle is released. It features sports suspension and 17” wheels, leatherette trim and aluminium highlights. Only two colours are available – black with silver highlights, or Red Rock metallic with black highlights. The BlackOrange is available from $27,500, only $800 more than the normal New Beetle petrol and diesel options. The Cabriolet BlackOrange price is $37,700, same as the regular Cabriolet.

The Golf Wagon is released onto the Australian market for the first time. Australia never saw the station wagon versions of the Golf 3 or 4, while the Golf 5 ‘Compact Wagon’ was displayed in Sydney in 2008 but not released. The new Golf 6 Wagon (‘Variant’ in Europe and ‘Estate’ in UK) has a 690-litre rear compartment, or 1,495 litres with the back seat folded down. For Australia four models are available. The 90TSI Trendline is $26,990 and the 77TDI Trendline is $29,490 for the manual versions; the 7-speed DSG is $1,500 extra. The 118TSI Comfortline is $33,990, and the 103TDI Comfortline is $36,490, with the DSG as standard for the two top models.

Another Golf joins the Australian range, the Golf GTD. Its 2.0-litre 16-valve turbo-diesel engine produces 125 kW / 350 Nm, more than the first three generations of Golf GTI. The new GTD does 0-100 km/h in 8.1 seconds, faster than a Commodore V6, yet averages just 5.5 L/100 km. The GTD has most of the GTI’s trim and details, with a chrome highlight grille and a wide range of options. Only imported in 5-door, the 6-speed manual GTD is $39,290 and the 6-speed DSG is $41,790.

In July the ultimate Golf – the Golf R – is released in Australia. Instead of using a 3.2-litre V6 like the discontinued R32, the new Golf R uses a high-tech 2.0-litre turbocharged four. In Australian-spec the Golf R produces 188 kW (slightly less than Europe due to our poorer fuel and hotter climate), but more than the old R32, and does 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds (DSG). The Golf R features a distinctive aggressive look and a wide range of options. The 3-door R is $48,490 (6-speed manual) or $50,990 (6-speed DSG). The 5-door is $49,990 (manual) or $52,490 (DSG).

In September the limited edition Golf GTI Adidas is released, with special ‘Adidas’-themed trim, 18” wheels and classic Candy White or Tornado Red paint. Unlike the earlier Golf Pirelli, the GTI Adidas is not souped up and uses standard Golf GTI mechanicals. The 5-door, 6-speed DSG Golf GTI Adidas is listed for $45,990, $3,000 more than a regular Golf GTI.

In October the Golf gets a new ultra-affordable ‘entry level’ with the introduction of the 77TSI petrol. Its turbo engine is just 1.2 litres but produces 77 kW. Fuel consumption is 6.1 L/100 km. In spite of its economy, the 77TSI shares most of its trim and equipment with its larger 1.4-litre 90TSI brother. The Golf’s new entry level price with the 77TSI is just $21,990 for the 6-speed manual, or $24,490 for the 7-speed DSG.

A special edition of the Eos is announced, the Eos White Night. It becomes the fourth Volkswagen model (after the Golf, Passat and Touareg R models) built by ‘Volkswagen Individual’ to be sold in Australia. The Eos White Night features Candy White body work with a Deep Black roof, custom leather interior, new body kit with special trim and 18” wheels. It sells for $53,990 for the 103TDI and $55,990 for the 147TSI, a price premium of $3,500 over the normal Eos models. Later in the year the Eos 155TSI is added to the local range, the new top model fitted with the 155 kW Golf GTI engine and extra options. It starts at $48,990.

The Passat range is revised, with improvements to the trim specification, changes to the engine lineup and a new entry price. The 2.0-litre 103TDI and 147TSI models are discontinued. The Passat 125TDI (the most popular model) enjoys a Highline upgrade, while the V6 FSI Highline gains additional standard equipment. The R36 gets improved dark tinting and a better Media Device Interface. The RMS510 is available across the range. Pricing starts at $38,990 for the new entry 1.8-litre 118TSI, up to $66,990 for the top model Passat R36 Wagon.

The popular Tiguan SUV is updated, with 7-speed DSG replacing the old automatic gearboxes. The Tiguan 125TSI petrol is $33,990 for the 6-speed manual, with the DSG a $2,500 option. The 103TDI diesel 6-speed manual is $36,690, with the same DSG option. The top 147TSI is $42,990 and comes with 7-speed DSG as standard.

Volkswagen Group Australia begins work on their new Australian corporate headquarters on Muir Rd, Chullora. The $28.5 million development will include a three storey head office, international training centre, service facilities and a warehouse distribution centre. This will replace the small leased head office at Lord St Botany that VWGA has occupied since 2002, and has outgrown. The new centre will employ 200 people and take five to six container-loads of supplies from Port Botany every day. The first stage is scheduled for completion in 2011.

The updated ‘T5½’ Transporter arrives in Australia. Externally it has the new Golf-style nose but most of the improvements are within. All previous 5 and 6 cylinder engines and auto transmissions are discontinued, replaced by three different new generation 2.0-litre TDI turbo diesels and the option of VW’s DSG gearbox and 4Motion AWD. The three Transporter choices are now the 75 kW TDI ($36,490); 103 kW TDI ($37,990) and 132 kW TDI ($41,990). The top two models can be ordered in long wheelbase ($2,000 extra), and with DSG ($3,000 extra). Only the 132 kW TDI has 4Motion ($3,500) or 4Motion with DSG ($6,500). The Caravelle uses the 103 kW TDI ($49,990), while the top Multivan Comfortline has a choice of the 103 kW TDI ($49,990) or the 132 kW TDI ($56,990). Crew Van and Double-cab Chassis versions are also available, all with 132 kW 4Motion and/or DSG if required.

At the end of the year the Transporter Single Cab Pickup returns to Australia. It comes as the long-wheelbase with aluminium rear tray fitted, and the 103 kW TDI engine. It is the first complete single-cab Transporter to sell in Australia since the T3 was discontinued in 1991, although the previous T4 was available (as a single cab chassis only, with no tray) up to 2003. The Single Cab 2.0 TDI 6-speed manual is $40,990, and the 7-speed DSG is a $3,000 option.

Several new Volkswagens make their public debuts at the Sydney Motor Show – the long-awaited Amarok 4WD double-cab ute (in both civilian and Dakar Service guises); the Polo GTI, and the Golf BlueMotion. The VW stand also features a cutaway twincharger engine and a DSG gearbox. The Sydney show is now held in alternate years with Melbourne.

Australian VW sales grow by an amazing 26.3%, finally breaking the 46-year-old Australian sales record of 31,419 set way back in 1964 (34,588 VWs were actually made in Clayton that year; the extra 3,100 were exported). Apart from this new record, VW also sets new Australian sales records for Passenger Cars (26,799) and SUVs (6,590), and for the Polo, Golf, Caddy, Multivan, Tiguan and Crafter. The 500,000th VW passenger car since 1954 is sold in November, and the 150,000th VW Commercial since 1954 is sold in October. VW finishes 7th in passenger car sales, overtaking Mitsubishi for the first time ever, and 10th overall for the fifth year in a row. VW is Australia’s most popular European make, for the sixth consecutive year.

38,016 Volkswagens are sold – 3,195 Polos, 326 New Beetles, 136 New Beetle Cabriolets, 15,425 Golfs, 2,391 Jettas, 985 Eos, 3,494 Passats, 260 Caddy Lifes, 477 Multivans, 110 Caravelles, 1,630 Transporters, 174 Cab-Chassis, 1,983 Caddys, 840 Crafters, 6,216 Tiguans and 374 Touaregs.



As the Golf did the previous year, the Polo sweeps all the major 2010 Australian car awards, announced in the new year. The Polo wins the CarsGuide Car of the Year Award (News Ltd). A week later the Polo wins the Drive Car of the Year Award (Fairfax Ltd), with the Golf finishing runner-up. The Polo also wins the Best Car Best Light Car Over $20k Award, organised by the NRMA, RACV and RACQ. The Polo GTI wins the Motor Magazine ‘Best Bang For Your Buck’ award.

The Polo then wins the 2010 Wheels Magazine Car of the Year Award. This is the fourth prestigious Wheels award for Volkswagen, and the second one in a row after the Golf won last year.

Other VW to claim motoring awards are the Passat CC (Drive Best Luxury Car Under $60k, again); Jetta (Best Cars Best Medium Car Under $50k) and Tiguan (Best Cars Best SUV Under $40k).

Club Veedub celebrates two Volkswagen milestones at the CMC’s annual Eastern Creek Classic Car Show. 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Type 3’s European release, and also the 40th anniversary of the Superbug.

The Polo GTI is released for local sale, the first new VW in a busy year for new Australian launches. This much-anticipated ‘hot hatch’ has a twin-charged (turbo and supercharged) 1.4-litre TSI engine that produces 132 kW and 250 Nm, rather more than the previous Polo GTI’s 1.8-litre 110 kW engine. The latest Polo GTI does 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, 1.3 sec faster than the previous Polo GTI and exactly the same as the ‘big brother’ 155 kW Golf GTI. For Australia the new Polo GTI is available only with 7-speed DSG; a manual is not offered. The 3-door is $27,790, and the 5-door is $28,990.

The updated Caddy appears in February. The Caddy is the biggest-selling small van on the Australian market and the only one now with ESP as standard. The updates also include Hill Start Assist, more airbags, a better entertainment system, redesigned seat mountings and a new range of engines with a new naming convention – instead of using the power rating (kW), the Caddy now uses the torque (Nm). Thus the 1.2-litre 63 kW TSI petrol is now the ‘TSI160’ and the 77 kW is the ‘TSI175’. The 1.6-litre TDI with 75 kW is now the ‘TDI250’ and the 2.0-litre 103 kW TDI is now the ‘TDI320’. Both Caddy vans have petrol and manual options, but the Life passenger version is TDI250 only. The bigger Life Maxi is DSG only. Only the Maxi van and Maxi Life have the TDI320 option. The 11-model Caddy range starts at $21,990 for the TSI160 van and up to $41,990 for the TDI320 DSG Maxi Life. Three months later the 4Motion 4WD system is offered on the top TDI320 Maxi Van and Maxi Life models for an extra $3,500.

The Amarok twin-cab 4WD ute goes on sale in March after its showing at the Sydney Motor Show last year. The new fourth line of VW Commercial vehicle – after the Caddy, Transporter and Crafter – offers a new standard in this market segment compared with the crude Japanese alternatives Australians have been used to. The Amarok is the first Argentinian – in fact the first ever South American – built Volkswagen ever sold in Australia. The Amarok is available only with one engine, the 2.0-litre 120 kW / 400 Nm TDI diesel, and six-speed manual gearbox. Australian Amaroks come in three levels. The base Amarok has a choice of 2WD only or Selectable 4WD, at $33,990 or $43,990. The Amarok Trendline (Selectable 4WD) is $47,990. The Amarok Highline (Selectable 4WD) is $52,990. The top of the range is the Amarok Ultimate, for $58,490 (choice of Selectable or Permanent 4WD). The 4WD Amaroks are awarded 5 ANCAP safety stars, the only 5-star vehicles of this kind on the Australian market.

In May the updated ‘B7’ seventh generation Passat is launched; it’s the European Passat, not the cheapened basic US version. It has a new ‘family’ nose and all new panels except for the roof and glasshouse. The new Passat also has a selection of technical innovations such as a fatigue detection system; optional City Emergency Braking; Front Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control and Park Assist 2. The new Passat also has improved safety (already ANCAP 5-star), refinement and fuel economy. Both sedan and wagon Passats are available, with three engine choices – the 118TSI petrol, 125TDI diesel and the V6 FSI, all models with DSG only. The base 118TSI Passat sedan starts at $38,990, up to $55,990 for the V6 FSI Highline. Station wagons are $2,000 extra.

At last, the VW Scirocco (in ‘R’ spec only) is slated for Australian release early next year and goes on display at the Melbourne Motor Show. VW Group Australia says the Scirocco R will replace the two-door Golf R on the Australian market in 2012, and will actually undercut the 2-door Golf R by $1,000 (as it's FWD, not 4Motion AWD). It’s just the second time the Scirocco has ever been on display in Australia, after the Mk1 appeared at the Sydney Motor Show in 1976 (but it was not released for sale). The 1980s Mk2 Scirocco wasn’t seen in Australia at all.

The updated and freshened Eos cabriolet coupe is released in June. It has a new nose and rear that follows the current VW ‘DNA’ of the other models, as well as an expanded standard equipment and accessories list. The Australian range is simplified, with only two engines offered – the 2.0-litre 155 kW TSI petrol (from the Golf GTI) and the 2.0-litre 103 kW 320 Nm TDI turbo diesel. Both models come exclusively with the 6-speed DSG – the manual gearbox is no longer available. The 103TDI DSG starts at $49,990 and the 155TSI DSG at $51,990.

The updated Mk2 Touareg is released in two stages. The restyled ‘VW DNA’ 2011 model appears in July, with a longer wheelbase and a choice of four models. The 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine is available in 150 kW / 400 Nm or 176 kW / 550 Nm, the latter with the option of VW’s beefed-up ‘4Xmotion’ with reduction gearing and centre/rear diff locking, and choice of five modes – On-road, Off-road, Low, Centre Lock and Rear Lock. The fourth model is the 3.6-litre V6 FSI petrol engine with 260 kW. All four models come with an 8-speed automatic as standard, BlueMotion stop/start systems and brake energy recuperation. In September the 2012 models are released, with slightly more power for the second TDI (180 kW), better economy across the range and a better on-board 360-deg camera system. The base 150TDI is $62,990; the V6 FSI and V6 TDI are both $77,990 and the top V6 TDI 4XMotion is $82,990.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Multivan (European release), the Multivan Edition25 is released. It is based on the normal Multivan Comfortline but only with Candy White paint, matt black roof and black-toned highlights, Nappa leather interior and black 18” sports wheels. The Edition25 has the 2.0-litre 132 kW 400Nm TDI with DSG, and is available from $66,990.

The latest redesigned Jetta is released in September, based on the Mk6 Golf platform but not sharing any panels with the hatchback. The new Jetta shares the new VW ‘family DNA’ with the rest of the range, and is 16 cm longer than the previous Jetta. Interior room and comfort are increased, together with a new range of safety features. The new Jetta is offered with three engines – the 118TSI petrol, 103TDI diesel and the top 147TSI petrol – with only the 118TSI having a 6-speed manual option; otherwise the 7- and 6-speed DSGs are standard. The 118TSI manual is $26,490, with the DSG an extra $2,500. The 118TSI Comfortline is $32,490; the 103TDI is $34,990. The top Jetta is the 147TSI Highline, at $37,990. With the Sydney Swans AFL team sponsored by Volkswagen Group Australia, it’s perfect for the Swans’ Lewis Jetta to pose next to the new VW Jetta.

In October another special edition European Golf GTI is released locally, the GTI Edition35, first seen at the Wöthersee VW show in Austria. It has bi-xenon lights, special front bumper, ‘Watkins Glen’ alloy wheels and ‘Jacky’ trimmed seats with optional Vienna leather. The normal GTI’s 155 kW is increased to 173 kW, making the Edition35 the most powerful 2WD Golf ever sold in Australia (beating the earlier GTI Pirelli), with a 0-100 km/h time of 6.6 seconds. Only 200 are imported, in just four colours – Tornado Red, Candy White, Carbon Steel Metallic or Deep Black Pearl - at $43,490 for the 6-speed manual or $45,990 for the 6-speed DSG.

The Tiguan compact SUV also gets the current ‘VW DNA’ update, with a new sharper nose and tail. There is now a new entry-level 1.4-litre TSI with the option of just 2WD, while the 2.0-litre engine gets slightly more power. There is also a new top version, a 2.0-litre TSI with the 155 kW engine from the Golf GTI. BlueMotion technology with stop/start is available across the range, in 2WD form for the base 1.4 118TSI and for the 4Motion system on the rest of the range. The Tiguan 118TSI (2WD) starts at $28,490; it is six-speed manual only. The 132TSI 4Motion is $33,490 (6-speed manual) or $2,500 extra for 7-speed DSG. The economical 103TDI is $35,990 (6-speed manual), with the same DSG option. The top Tiguan 155TSI is 7-speed DSG only and is $42,990.

The Golf Cabriolet returns to Australia for the first time since 2003 (when the old ‘Mk 3½’ Cabrio is replaced by the New Beetle Cabrio). The new Golf Cabrio has a newly-designed fully automatic three-layer fabric roof that opens in only 9 seconds (at speeds up to 30 km/h), and like the Eos has no intrusive anti-roll bar that marred the earlier Golf Cabrios. The new Cabrio has 17” alloy wheels, tinted windows and Golf R-style LED taillights. Only one engine option is available to Australians – the 1.4-litre twin-charged 118TSI. It retails for $36,990 for the 6-speed manual or $39,490 for the 7-speed DSG.

Australian VW sales grow another 17.7% over 2010, setting another new all-time sales record. VW overtakes Subaru (overall) for the first time since 1976, and Honda (overall) for the first time since 1973, and moves up to 8th place overall. The Golf finishes as the 11th most popular car on the Australian market with a record 18,383 sales, only a few hundred behind the Mitsubishi Lancer and the Ford Falcon. This is the fifth-best ever VW one-model one-year total, behind only the VW 1200 Beetle in 1963, 1962, 1964 and the record 1960 (24,388). VW also sets new Australian sales records for the Polo, Golf Cabriolet, Caddy Life and Multivan. VW sells 31,077 Passenger Cars, the highest number ever, and finishes 6th in Cars for the first time since 1967. The Amarok helped VW sell the highest number of commercial vehicles since 1975. VW sells 7,032 SUVs, the highest number ever. Volkswagen is Australia's most popular European brand, for the seventh year in a row.

44,740 Volkswagens are sold – 4,358 Polos, 141 New Beetles, 58 New Beetle Cabriolets, 18,383 Golfs, 299 Golf Cabriolets, 1,667 Jettas, 130 Sciroccos, 706 Eos, 3,422 Passats, 637 CCs, 364 Caddy Lifes, 783 Multivans, 129 Caravelles, 1,842 Caddys, 1,486 Transporters, 185 Cab-Chassis, 2,649 Amaroks, 469 Crafters, 6,069 Tiguans and 963 Touaregs.



Thanks to Club webmaster Aaron Hawker (www.vwwatercooled forum), the redesigned and much enlarged and improved Club Veedub Sydney website is launched. It has more content (which you are reading now), and gains more hits, than any other VW club site in Australia. This is a year of milestones for Club Veedub; apart from the redesigned website, the magazine 'Zeitschrift' will be now be distributed as a digital full-colour PDF; and it will be the 25th running of the VW Nationals.

After the Golf and Polo swept the major Australian car awards in 2009 and 2010, VW misses out on any major awards for 2011. However the Polo 77TSI wins the Drive Best City Car award, and the Golf Cabriolet the Drive Best Convertible award. Five VWs win NRMA/RACV Best Car Awards – the Polo 66TDI won Best Light Car Over $20,000; the Golf 90TSI won Best Small Car Under $35,000; the Jetta 118TSI won Best Medium Car Under $50,000; The Tiguan 103TDI won Best SUV Under $40,000, and the Touareg V6 TDI won Best Luxury SUV Over $60,000.

Volkswagen Group Australia opens their big new corporate headquarters on Muir Rd in Chullora, in south-western Sydney, opened by federal member Tony Burke, and VWGA boss Anke Koeckler. The new state-of-the-art premises, built on old railway land, provide a 16,000m2 spare parts and accessories warehouse; 5,930m2 of office space; a 4,720m2 workshop and training area; a large showroom and reception area, and even a coffee shop, Das Café. There is ample accommodation for the 180 people employed on-site, with more space for future growth. It is VW Group Australia's third HO since 2001, and VW's biggest Australian headquarters since the Melbourne VW factory operated in the 1960s. Coincidentally, it's also just around the corner from Club Veedub's long-time monthly meeting venue, the Greyhound Club on Rookwood Rd.

Volkswagen Group Australia announces another busy year for new Australian model releases. The new models announced for local release in 2012 include the Scirocco R, the Amarok Single Cab, Passat Alltrack, CC, Up! And Beetle. Except for the CC (which is being updated), none of these new models have ever been seen before in Australia, and are eagerly awaited.

In February new 'entry level' models of the Amarok are released, the TSI300 and TDI340. Both are 4x2 models, sitting below the more powerful and expensive TDI400 4x2 and 4x4 range. The TSI300 is the first petrol Amarok sold in Australia, with a 2-litre 188 kW / 300 Nm turbo engine that uses just 9.6 L/100 km (combined). The TDI340 uses a detuned version of the 2-litre TDI engine, producing 103 kW / 340 Nm. This is now the most economical Amarok in the Australian lineup, with just 7.4 L/100 km. Both models have a choice of comfort or heavy-duty suspension, and are available as twin-cab or cab-chassis layout. No auto is available; the new models are manual-only. All variants come with daytime running lights as standard. The Amarok TDI340 starts at $29,990 and the TSI300 starts at $30,590.

The much-awaited Scirocco sports coupe finally goes on sale in Australia, after a wait of some 36 years – the 1970s Mk1 and 1980s Mk2 versions were never sold here. Unlike the wide variety of engine choices available to Europeans, Australia sees only the 'range-topping' model, the 188 kW Scirocco R. It features the same 2.0-litre turbo engine fitted to the AWD Golf R, but the Scirocco R is FWD only. VW Australia boss Anke Koeckler admits they were concerned at possible impact on Golf GTI and Golf R sales; the 3-door Golf R is discontinued to make way for the beautiful Scirocco. The Scirocco R comes standard with Adaptive Chassis Control and electronically-adjustable dampers, plus huge 19” wheels and ultra-low profile tyres. The Scirocco R also comes with LED daytime running lights, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, bi-xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, multifunction trip computer, Bluetooth with audio streaming and heated sports seats. Like the Golf R the Scirocco R's engine is detuned from 195 kW to 188 kW, due to Australia being a 'hot country'. The Scirocco R is priced from $47,490, just below the 5-door Golf R (from $49,990).

The Polo range is revised, with the base Trendline now 5-door only – the previous 3-door has been discontinued, to be replaced later by the Up! The 5-speed manual Polo Trendline starts at $16,990, with the 7-speed DSG another $2,500. Prices are reduced by $860 for the 77TSI and 66TDI models, either 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG, which now range from $18,990 to $23,990. The only 3-door Polo now available is the GTI, selling alongside the 5-door GTI. Available only with the 7-speed DSG but adding a 16.5 cm touchscreen with SD slot and 6-CD changer, climate control, rain-sensing wipers an auto-dimming rear view mirror, the Polo GTI's pricing is unchanged at $27,790 (3-door), or $28,990 (5-door).

The Tiguan 132TSI Pacific special edition is added to the local range. Instead of a DSG, VW has fitted a conventional 6-speed Aisin automatic, plus added lots of extra features at no charge. These include automatic headlights, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, and VW's Park Assist 2 system. The Tiguan Pacific's 2-litre petrol engine produces 132 kW / 280 Nm and feeds the 4Motion AWD system. Pricing is the same as the regular Tiguan 132TSI, $33,990 for the 6-speed manual, or $36,490 for the auto.

Veteran VW racer from the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s, George Reynolds, sadly passes away in Kilmore, Victoria, aged 83. He was brother-in-law of fellow VW Trials driver Eddie Perkins (father of V8 race driver Larry Perkins), and the two first set a cross-Australia driving record in a 30-bhp 1100 cc VW in March 1954. He finished second in the 1957 Ampol Trial, and tenth in the 1958 Ampol Trial. He raced a 1200 VW in the first Amstrong 500 at Phillip Island in 1960 and 1961, and in 1962 won Class D (under £900). He finished third at the first Bathurst 500 in 1963, then in 1964 shared a Ford Cortina GT with Bob Jane – and won the race outright. In later years he raced Formula Vees with great success, and drove a VW in the 1993 Lombard London-Sydney and the 2003 Redex Trial rerun. He remained a VW enthusiast throughout his long life.

The Australian Amarok range is expanded further, with the release of the 'single cab' body style and the option of an 8-speed automatic on the TDI400 and TDI420 models. Volkswagen is the first light-commercial maker to offer an 8-speed auto – a conventional torque converter auto, not a DSG. With the dual-cab Amarok available in TSI300, TDI340, TDI400 and TDI420 versions; ute or cab-chassis; 2WD or 4WD; Trendline, Highline or Ultimate; 6-speed manual or 8-speed auto; and now single-cab Amaroks in TSI300, TDI340 or TDI400; ute or cab-chassis, the Australian Amarok range now runs to 24 different variations – the largest choice of one VW model in Australia ever. Prices range from $24,490 for the TSI300 2WD single-cab-chassis, right up to $61,490 for the twin-cab TDI420 Ultimate 4Motion 8-speed auto. A large choice of options is also available.

The updated VW CC four-door coupe is released. Volkswagen has now removed the previous 'Passat' name for this model, naming it just the 'Volkswagen CC'. The new model shares the current VW family nose, the last model to be so updated, with more standard features and better fuel efficiency. Two models are available – the 2.0-litre FWD 125TDI, and the 3.6-litre V6 4Motion FSI (220 kW). Both have VW's 6-speed DSG as standard; no manual version is offered, although there are plenty of options to choose from. Australia also gets the Euro choice of a 2- or 3-person rear seat. The VW CC 125TDI is $54,990, and the CC V6 FSI is $64,990.

Two limited-edition versions of VW commercial vehicles are released locally, the Caddy and Transporter 'Runner' models. They feature harder-wearing trim on the seats, plus 'Runner' decals, as well as electronic stability control, hill hold assist, daytime running lights and manual air-conditioning. Yet both editions offer significant savings over the previous base models, with the Caddy Runner (63 kW 1.2-litre turbo petrol) starting at $21,990 and the Transporter Runner (75 kW 250 Nm 2.0 TDI) at $36,740.

The updated 2013 model year Passat range is released, with new features added while prices remain unchanged. Sat-nav with a high-res touch screen is now standard across the range, with voice control, 30GB HDD and rear camera display. The wagon has an automatic tailgate, and the V6 FSI gets steering wheel gearshift paddles. The 2013 Passat sedan range starts with the 118TSI from $38,990, through the 125TDI Highline from $43,99, and the V6 FSI from $55,990. The wagons are an extra $2,000.

The Touareg SUV range is updated and rationalized, with petrol versions discontinued and just diesel-versions with 8-speed autos the only models now available for Australia. The entry-level 2.0-litre 150TDI includes new comfort and safety features such as reversing camera and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lamps, and bigger 18” wheels. The V6 TDI has a slight prise but more standard features than before, including 20” wheels and air suspension with adaptive dampening control. The top model, the V6 TDI 4XMotion shares the same upgrades, plus new chrome mouldings, grille and exhaust tips. All 2013 Touareg models include VW BlueMotion and driver fatigue systems as standard, while city emergency braking is optional. The Touareg 150TDI starts at $62,990; the V6 TDI starts at $78,990 and the V6 TDI 4XMotion from $83,990.

Another special version of the popular Caddy is released, the Caddy Edition 30. This celebrates the 30th anniversary of the first VW Caddy model in 1982. That was a European version of the US-designed Rabbit (Golf) pickup from 1980, but built in Yugoslavia from 1982. It was never sold in Australia, nor was the SEAT Ibiza/Inca-based second-generation Caddy that appeared in 1996. The third Caddy, based on the Golf 5, appeared in 2003 and was the first to go on sale in Australia (in 2005). The new Caddy Edition 30 is a short-wheelbase model, with the 103 kW TDI320 from the Caddy Maxi. It also has a special gloss black roof, painted bumpers and unique 17” wheels. Inside it has leather seats and steering wheel, and climate control. The limited edition Caddy Edition 30 is listed at $37,990, some $5,000 more than the normal base Caddy Trendline.

VW's new city car, the ultra-cute Up!, is released , the smallest Volkswagen ever sold in Australia and the first-ever 3-cylinder VW sold here. It undercuts the previous smallest model, the Polo, in both size and price. For our market the Up! is available only with 1.0-litre 55 kW/95 Nm 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine, and 5-speed manual gearbox – no auto or DSG is offered. The Up! comes with four airbags and electronic stability control, and is the only small car on the Australian market with autonomous braking (scanning ahead and auto-braking to avoid accidents). The Up! Is Australia's cheapest ANCAP 5-star car. The Up! has a large choice of extra options, such as the choice of Maps+More with 5” touch screen, sat nav and Bluetooth, multi-function trip computer and micro-SD slot. VW also offers a $600 Comfort Drive package, adding cruise control, rear park sensors and multi-function trip computer. A $2500 Comfort Drive option offers 15” alloys, front fog lights, carpet floor mats, heated front seats, leatherette upholstry with white stitching, and leather steering wheel, handbrake and gearknob. With a VIN model code of 'AA' the Up! is the first VW ever to have a non-numeric code. The Up! Three-Door starts at just $13,990, and the Up! Five-Door starts at $14,990. An optional panoramic electric glass roof is $1,400.

The Australian International Motor Show returns to Sydney (it now alternates years with Melbourne). Volkswagen Group Australia has one of the largest and most impressive displays of all makers, with an Amarok display outside and a big 24-car display inside the show hall. This befits their current strong position on the Australian market. The entire Australian range (except for the Crafter) is displayed, and there are three new models to see. The just-released Up! features three different cars, in red white and black (with white stripe), while the upcoming Passat Alltrack, and the much-awaited 2013 Beetle, are also on display. Classic VW owners are happily welcomed for free coffee and a VW goodies bag.

Shortly after the Motor Show ends, the Passat Alltrack is indeed released on the Australian market, for the first time. The Alltrack is an off-road oriented Passat Wagon, with slightly raised suspension, increased ground clearance (165 mm up from 135 mm) and 17” wheels (18” optional) with 225/45 self-sealing tyres. 4Motion AWD is combined with the Passat's 350 Nm 125TDI engine (with stop / start technology) and 6-speed DSG remapped with VW's 'off-road driving program.' Key safety features include eight airbags, daytime running lights and electronic stability program.The Passat Alltrack comes with a long list of optional features, including electronic park brake with auto-hold, leather trim, dual-zone climate control, brushed stainless pedals, and parking sensors. The Passat 125TDI Alltrack starts at $47,790.

Club Veedub Sydney displays eight classic VWs at the official opening of Northshore Volkswagen, the new VW dealer at Artarmon in Sydney's north and the largest in Australia. In a VIP red-carpet evening hosted by VW boss Anke Kockler, we display four Kombis, three Beetles and a Type 182 among the host of shiny new VWs in the large glassy showroom. Club members and the VIPs enjoy beer and champagne, finger food and entertainment. Northshore replaces the previous long-standing north shore dealer, Chatswood Classic Cars, who had been the longest-existing Australian VW dealer (formed 1989); both are owned by Inchcape Ltd.

Australian VW sales grow an amazing 22.6% over 2011, setting another new all-time sales record and passing 50,000 sales for the first time ever. VW stays well ahead of Subaru and Honda, and finishes in 8th place (overall) for the second year in a row – just 4,033 sales behind Mitsubishi. New all-time records are set for all three VW categories - Passenger Cars (34,944), Commercials (11,001) and SUV (8,890). The Golf is the 14th most popular car on the Australian market with a slight 5.9% drop to 17,289 sales, but the popular Volkswagen outsells the Ford Falcon for the first time ever as Australians turn away from the 'big Aussie six'. New all-time sales records are set for the Polo, Golf Cabriolet, Scirocco, Passat (breaking the record from 1975!), Amarok, Tiguan and Touareg. Volkswagen is Australia's most popular European brand, for the eighth year in a row.

54,835 Volkswagens are sold – 531 Up!s, 5,925 Polos, 3 New Beetle Cabriolets, 17,289 Golfs, 823 Golf Cabriolets, 2,637 Jettas, 712 Sciroccos, 765 Eos, 4,362 Passats, 282 Passat AllTracks, 848 CCs, 348 Caddy Lifes, 620 Multivans, 81 Caravelles, 1,852 Caddys, 1,569 Transporters, 6,742 Amaroks, 838 Crafters, 6,871 Tiguans, and 1,737 Touaregs.



The Volkswagen Up! just misses out on both the WHEELS and CarsGuide COTY awards, held back only by its lack of manual gearbox. However the Polo wins the Drive Best City Car award (for the third year in a row), and the Golf Cabriolet wins the Drive Best Cabriolet award (for the second year in a row). The NRMA Best Car Awards go to the Polo for Best Light Car Over $20,000, and the Touareg V6TDI for Best Luxury SUV Over $60,000.

VW Australia's MD Anke Koeckler reacts to increasing customer service complaints, and low rankings on JD Power quality surveys, by implementing new quality control systems and a new customer care system. Of the 80 workers hired by VWA in 2012, over half were assigned to after-sales and customer service roles.

Fixed-price servicing for Volkswagens is reintroduced to Australia for the first time since the 1970s, when Volkswagen Group Australia rolls out the scheme for the Up! Volkswagen was the first maker to offer fixed, standard-price servicing on our market in 1957, with the introduction of the VW Service Booklet. VW Service was legendary in the 1960s but gradually faded away in the 1970s. Other makers have copied VW's lead with capped-price servicing in recent years.

The Volkswagen Beetle (the second generation 'New' Beetle) is launched. Based on the current Golf 6, the Beetle is offered with just one engine – a 118 kW twin-charged 1.4-litre – and the choice of either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG. Australian Beetles come with 17-in alloy wheels, space-saver spare, front fog lights, front and rear parking sensors, tinted windows, black diffuser with twin chrome tailpipes, and rear spoiler. Inside, the Beetle has cruise control, duel-zone climate control, auto wipers, auto-dimming mirror, eight-speaker system and 16cm touch screen, six CD stacker, USB/SD inputs and Bluetooth. The ANCAP 5-star Beetle starts at $29,990 for the manual, and $32,490 for the DSG. Also available is the Beetle Fender Edition, with 18-in wheels, Fender badging, 'sunburst' dashboard, Deep Black Pearl paint, unique upholstery and premium Fender audio system. The Beetle Fender Edition starts at $34,490. VW's new Fixed-Price Servicing is extended to the Beetle range.

The Touareg V8 TDI R-Line model debuts, the first V8-powered Touareg on the Australian market since 2006. It is also the first 'R-Line' model to appear in Australia. Not to be confused with the 'R' performance badge, 'R-Line' is a styling and extras package. The new Touareg has a 4.2-litre turbo-diesel V8 that produces 250 kW and 400 Nm; not far short of the 2009 Touareg R50's giant V10 that made 258 kW/850 Nm, but the new Touareg R-Line is both faster to 100 km/h (5.8 sec), as well as cleaner and more fuel efficient. Nappa leather seats, sat nav, 620-watt audio, climate control, adaptive cruise, auto braking, blind spot assist and nine airbags are standard. The Touareg V8 TDI R-Line starts from $112,990, the most expensive Volkswagen in the local lineup.

VW's Australian boss Anke Koeckler resigns to take up study leave in Germany. She had been boss since August 2009, and oversaw local sales increase from 30,000 to 55,000 in that time. She had also opened VW's Chullora head office, and implemented new customer service initiatives and fixed-price servicing. She is replaced by the former boss of Volkswagen Canada, John White. Previously he had been with VW for 20 years, mostly in regional Canada but also directing sales operations at Volkswagen of America from 2000-03. He was vice-president of VW Canada from 2004 before becoming boss in 2007. “I am excited about my upcoming move to our growing Australian operation,” Mr White said.

Australian Volkswagen ads in newspapers begin adding a small logo of a Beetle, and '60 years in Australia.' Unfortunately this is slightly premature. The first Volkswagens were not imported until late in 1953, going on display at Regent Motors in South Melbourne. Their official launch was at the Melbourne Motor Show in March 1954, and the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April 1954. No VWs were actually sold in 1953. The first sales were not until March 1954, when 13 were sold around Australia – 9 in Victoria, 2 in Tasmania, and 1 each in NSW and South Australia. Club Veedub Sydney points this out to VWA. The little '60 years' logo lasts a few more months then is quietly replaced by a 'Capped Price Servicing' logo.

This is because VW Australia has now rolled out the capped-price servicing initiative to its entire passenger car range. It covers all new passenger vehicles sold since 1 January 2013, not to May when the announcement is made. Prices for standard dealer service is fixed for the first six years, or 90,000 km, meaning six visits under VW's 12-month service periods.

Four new VW Commercial 'Runner' editions are launched locally. The Caddy and Transporter Runners appear first, soon followed by the Amarok and Crafter Runner models. These special additions have extra accessories and 'Runner' badges. The Caddy TSI 160 Runner starts from $19,990; the Transporter SWB TDI 250 Runner from $29,990; the Amarok 2WD single-cab TSI300 Runner for $26,990; and the Crafter 35 MWB Runner from $39,990.

The Passat range gains an improved choice of TDI engines. The 2.0-litre turbo four now comes with 130 kW and 380 Nm, some 5 kW and 30 Nm more than before. Even so, fuel economy is also improved. The Passat sedan now averages 5.6 L/100 km, while the Wagon and CC just 5.4 L/100 km. Prices are revised; the Passat 130TDI sedan is now $44,490, while the 130TDI Wagon is $46,490. The Passat Alltrack is $47,790, and the CC is $55,490.

Volkswagen Germany's board of management development boss, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, visits Australia for the upcoming launch of the new Golf 7. He says that VW should be selling more cars in Australia, matching Hyundai (90,000+ sales), but customer service needs to improve. “I think Volkswagen has big potential in Australia,” he said. “ We are fighting to get this volume, especially with the sales organisation here. And for that it is absolutely necessary that the quality (of our vehicles) fits to the demand of the customers. We have to do everything to realise it.”

Australian VW boss John White agreed. “Clearly we need to do better with that (customer service)”, he said. “I've seen some examples of where we can take some action. We can take our share of the improvements here, and with the dealer body. We need to work on that, and we will.”

Volkswagen Australia then extends the Fixed Price Servicing to the Commercial range, the only models not previously covered. Volkswagen is the first European maker in Australia to offer a six-year capped-price service scheme on its entire Commercial vehicle range. For Australia, this includes the Caddy, Transporter, Multivan, Caravelle, Amarok and Crafter. This update now means the entire Australian Volkswagen range is covered by Capped-Price Servicing.

The Golf 7 range is launched, a major revision for the best-selling model in the local range. The new Golf is the first VW to use the new MQB modular architecture. It gains 5 ANCAP stars. The Golf 7 is 56mm longer, mostly in the wheelbase, but 28mm lower and 13mm narrower than the old Golf 6, and 23 kg lighter. All models now come with stop-start technology, improving fuel economy by up to 16%. The range is simplified, with only three engine choices. The range starts with the 90TSI 6-speed manual 90 kW 1.4-litre turbo at $21,490, $500 less than the old 77TSI. A six-speed DSG 90TSI is $23,990. The base model has a choice of Comfortline trim for an extra $3,500. The top petrol Golf is the 103TSI, with a 103 kW 2.0-litre turbo. It is the fastest, with 0-100 km/h in just 8.4 sec. The 103TSI is DSG only, and starts at $31,990. The 110TDI 2.0-litre turbo-diesel makes 110 kW, up from 103 on the Golf 6, and 320 Nm. It is the most economical Golf, now averaging just 4.9 L/100 km. The 110TDI starts from $34,490. The 103TSI and 110TDI are only available in Highline trim. A large range of extras are offered, including metallic paint ($500), Driver Assistance Package ($1,300), sunroof ($1,850), sat nav ($950), bi-xenon headlamps ($2,150), and Vienna leather upholstery ($2,950).

Volkswagen Australia announces a voluntary recall of 25,928 Australian VWs, as well as several thousand Audi and Skoda models. Those affected are those fitted with the 7-speed DQ200 DSG gearbox, and produced between June 2008 and September 2011, and includes Polo, Golf, Jetta, Passat and Caddy models. The recall draws considerable press, due to a coincidental investigation in Melbourne of a fatal Golf crash. The left-wing Fairfax press is particularly scathing of Volkswagen Australia, predicting local sales to slump in 2013. However in due course the Victorian Coroner finds VW not at fault, with the crashed Golf being a manual GTI, and the young female driver being on a mobile phone at the time. The DSG recall goes ahead, with affected VWs inspected and, if required, parts replaced free of charge. This follows similar VW DSG recalls in China and Japan, those ones much larger in scale.

VW Australia boss John White flies to VW Germany to update the company on the local situation. “Safety, it's our top priority,” he said. “At Volkswagen Australia, we have always been committed to our customers' safety and peace of mind, and continue to focus on delivering engineering excellence.” VW Australia's public relations manager Kurt McGuiness agreed, saying, “We think that it's a really good thing for our customers to know, that we're standing behind our products. This recall does not affect any of the vehicles that we are selling right now.” Nonetheless, online agency sportsbet,com.au offer odds of $1.75 that VW would sell fewer cars in 2013. This turned out to be a dumb bet – VW would go on to set another new sales record in 2013 (see below).

The 2013 Melbourne Motor Show is cancelled, due to a lack of support from car makers, and shortly after it is announced that the 2014 Sydney Motor Show is also cancelled. A pity, as the VW stand was lately one of the largest and most impressive of all the makers. The only way now to see the new models and collect VW brochures and souvenirs, is to visit your local Volkswagen dealer.

Thanks to donations from club members, the State Library of NSW now has a complete collection of every issue of Zeitschrift, from issue 1 in February 1985 to today. These are available for perusal at the Macquarie St wing, requesting call # NQ629.2220994/5. This is the only complete collection of Zeitschrift available to the pubic. Only issues from 2007-on are available for download on our website, plus an edited selection of the best earlier articles.

The Tiguan range is updated, with the base 118TSI model now available with a choice of six-speed DSG in addition to the six-speed manual. The manual is $28,490, and the DSG is $30,990. This is $5,000 cheaper than the previous Tiguan base DSG, the 132TSI Pacific.

The Volkswagen Motorsport Polo WRC of Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia wins Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour, the first time Volkswagen has ever won a WRC rally in Australia. It is Volkswagen's first international rally win in Australia since Barry Ferguson and Dave Johnson won the Southern Cross Rally in 1967. The Polo WRC would go on to win 10 of the 13 rounds in 2013, giving Volkswagen its first-ever WRC Manufacturers Championship (if you don't count Audi in the 1980s) first year competing, and Sebastien Ogier his first Drivers Championship.

The Golf 7 GTI joins the rest of the Golf 7 range in Australia. The three-door is discontinued; only 5-door GTIs are available. The new GTI is 45 kg lighter, and the 2.0-litre turbo engine now makes 162 kW / 350 Nm, 7 kW more than before. There is a choice of 6-speed manual, or 6-speed DSG. Both boxes give the new GTI a 0-100 km/h figure of 6.5 sec, with consumption of just 6.2 L/100 km for the manual. The Golf 7 GTI gets more standard equipment, including sat nav, adaptive dampers with Comfort, Auto and Sports modes, reversing camera, premium trip computer with lap timer, and 18-in Austin alloy wheels. The Golf 7 GTI is $41,490 (manual), or $43,990 (DSG).

The Golf 7 90TSI wins Money magazine's 'Best Value Small Car' award. This is the third such award for Volkswagen; the 118TSI won the same award in 2010, while the Tiguan 147TSI was Best Value SUV the same year.

Australian VW sales consolidate for 2013 and record a slight rise of 57 vehicles (+0.10%), creating another new all-time Australian record sales figure of 54,892 VWs. This comes in spite of relentless negative press in the media over the DSG recalls. VW again stays ahead of Subaru and Honda, and finishes in 8th place (overall) on the Australian market for the third year in a row. New all-time Australian sales records are set for the Up!, ‘Beetle’, Amarok and Touareg. Volkswagen is Australia's most popular European brand, for the ninth year in a row.

54,892 Volkswagens are sold – 1,440 Up!s, 5,582 Polos, 799 Beetles, 17,342 Golfs, 476 Golf Cabriolets, 2,476  Jettas, 445 Sciroccos, 404 Eos, 3,280 Passats, 931 Passat AllTracks, 631 CCs, 296 Caddy Lifes, 725 Multivans, 100 Caravelles, 1,915 Caddys, 1,724 Transporters, 7,522 Amaroks, 608 Crafters, 6,441 Tiguans, and 1,755 Touaregs.



The Golf 7 is honoured by the local motoring groups. News Ltd names the VW Golf the CarsGuide Car of the Year, just the third such award for VW after the Golf 6 in 2009 and Polo in 2010. The competing leftist Fairfax media group did not concur, snubbing VW over its DSG recalls and awarding their Drive COTY award to the Mazda 6, but did award the Golf Cabriolet as Drive Best Cabriolet. The NRMA/RACV/RACQ gave two awards to VW – the Golf 7 GTI as the Best Sports Car Under $50,000, and the Touareg V6 TDI as Best Luxury SUV Under $60,000.

More significantly, the Golf 7 was awarded the Wheels Car of the Year award, the longest-running and most prestigious of the Australian car awards. This was the third victory for the Golf, after previously winning the award in 1976 and 2009. “From the smallest thoughtful details to the biggest basics, this is a car that never falters,” wrote motoring editor John Carey. “Its breadth of talent, it’s almost annoyingly persistent perfectionism and unrelenting satisfaction make it something truly rare – a car for all reasons. This is one of the most worthy Wheels Car of the Year winners ever.”

The wagon version of the Golf 7 is added to the local lineup, the first Golf wagon based on VW’s modern MQB platform. It’s 165 kg lighter than its predecessor, yet holds 100 litres more boot space, 605 litres in total. For the Australian market there is a choice of three trim levels and three turbo fours – two 1.4-litres (90 kW / 103 kW) and one 2.0 TDI (110 kW/320 Nm). All models are DSG only – 6 speeds for the diesel and 7 for the petrol models, No manual transmissions are offered. The basic 90TSI starts at $25,540 and the Comfortline 90TSI from $29,290. The 103TSI Comfortline starts at $33,840, and the TDI Highline from $36,340.

An uprated version of the Golf GTI, called the Golf GTI Performance, debuts in Australia. It takes the normal GTI and adds an extra 7 kW (169 kW in total), as well as larger front and rear brakes and a specially tuned front differential lock. A DSG gearbox is standard; no manual is offered. The GTI Performance is 0.1 seconds faster to 100 km/h than the normal GTI (6.4 sec) but averages the same fuel consumption, 6.6 L/100 km. In extra kit the GTI Performance gets bi-xenon headlights, dark-tint LED taillights, tinted glass, 10-inch alloy wheels, and unique tartan upholstery with Alcantra leather inserts. The GTI Performance is priced from $48,490, compared with $41,990 for the normal manual GTI and $44,490 for the normal DSG GTI.

The top-of-the-line version of the Golf 7, the R, also makes its introduction. The improved model shares its EA888 2.0-litre turbo engine with the Audi S3. In European trim this engine produces 221 kW and 380 Nm, but because Australia is classed as a ‘hot climate’ market our version is detuned to 206 kW (same torque figure). The Golf 7 version is 60 kg lighter than the Mk6 and accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds. This makes the Golf R the quickest Volkswagen ever sold in Australia, beating the 5.7 seconds of the previous best, the 2008-11 Passat R36 and Passat CC. The new Golf R starts at $51,990 for the 6-speed manual and $54,490 for the 6-speed DSG.

R-Line trim packages for the Golf and Beetle are introduced. These include sports suspension lowered by 15 mm, ‘progressive’ steering, 18-inch alloys, bumper extensions with larger air intakes, widened side sills, sports rear bumpers with diffusers, rear roof spoiler, tinted glass and R-line badges. The Beetle R-Line is an additional $2,200 over the regular Beetle ($29,999), and Golf 103TSI Highline ($31,990) and 110TDI Highline ($34,490). These models join the R-Line package already available on the Touareg V8 TDI.

Later in the year the R-Line styling package range is expanded further. The move to add more R-Line packages is a conscious one to offer consumers ‘tougher-looking’ cars. The Golf Wagon R-Line debuts, priced from $36,040 for the 103TSI Highline R-Line, and from $36,540 for the 110TDI Highline R-Line. In addition, R-Line options are also available for 3 versions of the Tiguan. The 132TSI R-Line starts at $39,490; the 130TDI R-Line from $42,490, and the 155TSI R-Line from $44,990, the top model coming in R-Line trim as standard.

The Amarok Canyon Special Edition joins the local Amarok range. Based on the Amarok Canyon, it adds gloss black sports and side bars, 17-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli Scorpion AT-R tyres, a tray liner, tinted rear lamps and Canyon decals. Inside there’s satellite navigation, a reverse camera and two-tone Nappa leather with orange stitching. There are four colour choices – white, black, silver and a special metallic Copper Orange. The six-speed manual Canyon TDI400 starts at $56,990, and the eight-speed auto Canyon TDI420 from $59,990.

The face-lifted and upgraded Polo range is released, with revised styling, new engines and lower pricing. The old 1.4-litre engine is gone, replaced by a new 1.2-litre turbo four, lighter and more efficient than before but with equivalent power output. No TDI is offered. The Polo gets a revised grille, headlight and bumper changes, and inside a new touchscreen media system and revised fabrics. The range starts with the 66TSI manual from $16,290 and the 66TSI DSG from $18,790, both of them $700 cheaper than before. Then the 81TSI manual starts at $18,290 and the 81TSI DSG from $20,790, both $950 cheaper than before. A Sports Package is available for an extra $1500, which supplies alloy wheels, tyre monitoring, lowered sports suspension, dark tinted rear glass and front fog lights.

The 2015 Tiguan range hits local showrooms at the end of the year, with all models ganing vital new equipment. All models have six airbags (dual front, front side, full length curtain) as standard. All Tiguan models also gain a reverse-view camera, rear parking sensors and a touchscreen media system. The base model is the 118TSI, which also includes a 6-CD stacker, Bluetooth, cruise control, driver fatigue system and 16-inch alloys. The six-speed manual starts at $28,990 and the six-speed DSG from $31,490. The 132TSI, with 7-speed DSG and 17-inch alloys, climate control and Alcantra trim, starts at $36,990. The sole diesel, the 130TDI, gets the same equipment as the 132TSI and starts at $39,990. The top model is the 155TSI, also with 7-speed DSG as standard (no manual), gets R-Line trim as standard and starts at $44,990.

Volkswagen Australia rationalises its local range, discontinuing both the Eos hard-top convertible and the much-praised Up! city car. “There’s very aggressive pricing in the light segment,” VW PR manager Karl Gehling explained, “and we can’t continue to compete at that level.” VWA also never offered the Up! locally with an automatic option, hurting its sales among young (especially female) buyers. The Eos was discontinued due to high costs compared with the less complex and more popular Golf Cabriolet.

With a change of ownership at Snap Printing Kingsgrove and some dark muddy printing, Club VW moves its magazine printing to Minuteman Printing at Peakhurst. Bruce does a fantastic job and the magazine is now, for the first time, printed in full colour. While earlier issues had to be printed in black and white, full-colour PDFs of all back issues, back to late 2006, can be downloaded for free from here.

For the second year in a row, the Volkswagen Motorsport Red Bull Polo WRC team win Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour, finishing a dominating 1-2-3. The Sebastien Ogier Polo WRC is first outright; the Jari-Matti Latvala Polo WRC is second and the the Andreas Mikkelsen Polo WRC is third. A Citroen is fourth, over a minute behind the winners. With its unassailable lead, Volkswagen wins the World Rally Championship, for the second year in a row, winning 12 of the 13 rallies held in 2014.

Australian VW sales again remain steady in 2014, with a drop of just 91 vehicles (-0.17 %) on 2013, but still recording the third-best year ever. VW stays ahead of Subaru and Honda, and finishes in 8th place (overall) among the Australian market car makers for the fourth year in a row. New all-time sales records are set for VW’s mainstream models, the Polo, Golf, Amarok and Touareg. The Golf finishes in the top 10 best-selling vehicles list for the first time ever, in 7th place up from 14th in 2013. However sales of the ‘niche’ models – the Up!, Eos, Beetle, Scirocco and CC – collapse (some of these are now discontinued). Volkswagen is Australia's most popular European brand, for the tenth year in a row.

54,801 Volkswagens are sold – 321 Up!s, 6,607 Polos, 476 Beetles, 19,178 Golfs, 367 Golf Cabriolets, 2,006 Jettas, 183 Sciroccos, 239 Eos, 3,079 Passats, 956 Passat AllTracks, 289 CCs, 124 Caddy Lifes, 602 Multivans, 87 Caravelles, 1,855 Caddys, 1,296 Transporters, 8,285 Amaroks, 321 Crafters, 6,604 Tiguans, and 1,926 Touaregs.


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