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Volkswagen will introduce seven new products this year.
The German automotive brand, which has long been dominant in the South African compact passenger car market, has confirmed some new models and enhancements due in 2023. First (and fastest) of these will be GolfR.
Although Volkswagen no longer sells the regular Golf range in South Africa, there remains adequate demand for its high-performance derivatives. South Africans have an established loyalty and affinity for the Golf GTi and Golf R nameplates. As such, Volkswagen will expand its performance car offering with the GolfR, during Q1.
With 235kW and 400Nm of torque, the eight-generation GolfR is Volkswagen’s quickest-ever production car in the local market. What’s the stat that earns it that distinction? It’s capable of 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and a 270km/h top speed. Harmonising the GolfR’s potent performance offering is an advanced all-wheel drive system.
Volkswagen returns to the bakkie market
The other Q1 introduction is unquestionably Volkswagen’s most important new vehicle for 2023: Amarok. Now locally sourced, built in Tshwane by Ford, the second-generation Amarok is crucial for Volkswagen’s local dealership profitability. Double-cab bakkies are hugely in-demand and buyers are reasonably price resistant, offering strong margins with little incentive for discounting.
A proudly local Volkswagen development will also come into the product portfolio during Q1. Polo Vivo GT will benefit from slight upgrades, keeping the continuation strategy robust, with Volkswagen’s ‘older’ Polo.
Diesel power for Volkswagen’s ‘gravel travel Golf’
As summer turns to autumn, Volkswagen will add a turbodiesel engine to the current Tiguan. This should appeal to those who regularly embark on long-distance drives, where a turbodiesel engine can dramatically lower overall fuel consumption for a given distance.
In the crossover market, Q2 will also see Volkswagen add a Trendline trim level to its T-Cross. There’s a lot to note about this announcement, as T-Cross is effectively replacing a lot of legacy Polo and Polo Vivo sales, thanks to its crossover configuration, which is in-demand among local buyers.
A more affordable version of the T-Cross (what Volkswagen’s Trendline trim is), would bring the Polo-based crossover into a broader purchasing spectrum for more South African buyers.
Touareg update for Christmas
Mid-winter and springtime won’t see much happening for Volkswagen’s local product portfolio. But Q4 delivers the final two updates. The first of these will be Polo sedan.
Crossovers might have been the end of sedans in most markets, but local sedan demand remains, especially for smaller four-door vehicles. Why? Because they are popular with government and fleet buyers. And with a lockable steel boot, sedans offer more secure storage for laptops and other sensitive equipment than a tailgate, which has a large glass panel that can be smashed and accessed
Volkswagen’s premium model range is the last product update for 2023. Expectations are that the Touareg facelift will become available at local dealerships deep into Q4.