VW & Audi at New York International Auto Show

Showcasing the shiniest, newest, best and brashest of the automotive world, the 2017 New York International Auto Show ran from 14th – 23rd April. We look at three offerings from the VW group that debuted there.

The R8 gains a monster GT4 version

Audi R8 GT4
The gorgeous R8 GT4. Photo courtesy Jonathon M Gitlin at ArsTechnica.

First up is the headline-grabbing, frankly ferocious-looking R8 LMS GT4. This is a customer racing version of the popular R8 at a (comparatively) affordable price. The existing race version, the GT3, costs close to a cool half-million dollars. According to Car and Driver, the new GT4 will probably be less than half of that.

Audi will be building the GT4 at Böllinger Höfe  — the same site that produces the road version of the R8 coupe — and the two models share 60% of their components. The 5.2 litre V10 will push out anywhere up to 495 bhp. As might be expected, the interior will be stripped out and a roll cage fitted.

According to Stephan Winkelman, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH:

Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time.

With the pedigree of the widely-feted R8 to draw on, the GT4 looks set to be a real contender in this emerging global market.

North America tastes RS3 power

Audi also launched the 2018 RS3 sedan. Produced specifically for the US market, the RS3 is powered by Audi’s new five-cylinder engine. Paired with a seven speed transmission, the 2.5 litre lump kicks out 400hp. Impressive enough, but Audi’s engineers have managed to achieve full torque — all 354lb-ft of it — at 1700 rpm. That means neck-straining power is available from way down in the rev range. No wonder 0-60mph comes up in just 3.9 seconds. The RS3 gallops on to a limited 155mph.

Audi says that the first US vehicles will be:

 …preconfigured with carbon fiber inlays, Audi virtual cockpit with MMI® Navigation plus, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, 19-inch, five-arm-blade design wheels with titanium finish, red brake calipers and the RS sport exhaust system with black tips.

What can we say but we want one? Now.


Another round of Golf

The New York show saw Volkswagen’s launch of the 2018 VW Golf. The hatchback has been given exterior and interior makeovers that are functional or add visual appeal.

Inside, the new Golf retains as standard the Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect, power reclining front seats, cruise control and the leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. What more could you want? Well, the new version sees the 5 inch touchscreen supersized to 6.5 inches, with an 8 inch screen for the SE and SEL versions. Motor Authority report that the old instrument cluster has gone, replaced by VW’s Digital Cockpit. This LED display features a configurable centre display along with standard digital tachometer and speedometers.

A whole raft of driver aids and other goodies are available in the SEL trim, including Lane Assist, Light Assist, Parking Distance Control and Park Assist.

Outside, the standard Golf now features:

  • LED tail lights
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
  • automatic headlights
  • rain-sensing wipers
  • a new chrome grille

The 1.8 litre engine pushes out a healthy 170 bhp and generates 184 lb-ft of torque in the manual, or 199 lb-ft in the auto.

All in all, the 2018 iteration of the Golf looks to be a nicely revamped version of this beautifully engineered crowd-pleaser.

That’s all for this post. Don’t forget that whether your VW group vehicle is still gleaming or getting long in the tooth, we’re the specialists who can service, MOT or repair it without voiding any warranties. Get in touch today.

Photo courtesy of Jonathon M. Gitlin at ArsTechnica.