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Volkswagen is not messing around when it characterizes its new MQB architecture as modular. It's already underpinning the VW Golf, Audi A3, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia, and will soon form the basis for many more. And here is the latest.
Unveiled at the Chengdu Motor Show in China this weekend is the new Volkswagen Lamando, a four-door coupe similar in size to a Jetta but with the svelter roofline of the larger Passat-based CC to go after the Mercedes-Benz CLA. It's essentially the production version of the New Midsize Coupe concept that previewed its arrival at the Beijing Motor Show this past April, and will be built locally for local consumption by VW's joint venture with SAIC.
Power comes from either a 1.4- or 2.0-liter turbo four mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with an equivalent price tag below $30,000. Whether this or any similar vehicle ever arrives in North American showrooms remains to be seen, but we'll be watching to find out. In the meantime you can scope it out in the trippy video below and the photos in the gallery above.
If you thought the Volkswagen Group was about to wind down the endless stream of concept cars based on the new Up! city car, think again. Because not only is the Volkswagen brand itself keeping the train a-moving, so are its sister brands.
Skoda has its own version of the Up called the Citigo. But what racing fans know the Czech subsidiary for best is its rally program that has become a dominant force in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and the basis for VW's own foray into the World Rally Championship. Now Skoda is bringing the two together with an exciting concept car previewed by the rendering above and confirmed in the press release below.
Following in the footsteps of the tantalizing Fabia roadster unveiled last year, the Citigo Rally concept is to be the centerpiece of the Skoda display at the Volkswagen Group's annual hot-hatch gathering at Lake Wörthersee in Austria. Details are scarce, but the show car will feature rally-inspired bodywork complete with 18-inch white alloys packed into aggressively flared wheel arches, a substantial rear wing and vents aplenty.
Enthusiasts like nothing more than to crucify modern interpretations of their favorite performance models for failing to live up to some imagined ethos. Even the Volkswagen GTI has suffered its fair share of slings and arrows for growing in size and curb weight. Chris Harris recently spent some time with the all-new MK VII GTI to find out if growing up means giving up on what makes the machine so special.
Judging by his comments, Harris certainly doesn't think so. Yes, the new GTI is considerably more comfortable than its predecessors, but that's hardly a bad thing. The multitude of driving modes actually seem to add depth to the car rather than simply try to force one tool to do many jobs, and Harris even finds the machine's electronic power steering tolerable. As a result, Harris goes so far as to call the Volkswagen GTI "one of the best cars to actually own." How's that for high praise? You can watch the video for yourself by scrolling below.