Golf GTD continues to set benchmarks for user-chooser desirability, reckons Alex Grant

Can you think of many more complete user-chooser cars than the Golf GTD? Efficient, practical and low on tax, yet packed with kerbside appeal and great fun to drive, it strikes a brilliant compromise between commuter workhorse and entertaining weekend car. The diesel hot hatch may have become a more common, more appealing, proposition in recent years, but Volkswagen has had three decades to perfect its offering. Only five years separated the arrival of the GTI and GTD badges in the UK with the Mk1 Golf, and it’s since grown from an economy-focussed model with a few sports bolt-ons to be a far more convincing performance car. So much so, that in the last generation Golf, the GTD accounted for almost 6% of all UK volume and, even in its final year on sale, this single trim was only 500 units adrift from the…

Blue light ‘as good as coffee’ behind the wheel

// Blue lights could be the key to combatting sleep-related road accidents according to a new study. Researchers from the Université Bordeaux Segalen in France found constant exposure to blue light to be as effective as coffee in improving a driver’s alertness. And we’re not talking about the flashing blue type adorning emergency vehicles – but blue LED lamps fitted to a car’s dashboard. According to the study published in the journal PLoS One, tiredness causes one third of all motorway fatalities. It’s hoped the researchers’ findings could mark the first steps towards developing electronic anti-fatigue systems in cars, which go further than the current crop of driver safety aids such as lane departure warning systems and focus specifically on addressing drivers falling asleep at the wheel after dark. Blue light is known to stimulate retinal nerve cells which are linked to the nerve…

New Golf Bluemotion reduces CO2 to 85g/km

In late summer 2013, Volkswagen will launch the 1.6-litre TDI Bluemotion Golf. This all-new engine offers 110bhp, 5bhp more than the standard 1.6 TDI, and reduces emissions from 99g/km to just 85g/km, with fuel efficiency of 88.3mpg. It will be priced slightly higher – expect an £800 premium – and while Volkswagen will run both models side-by-side for a time, it has not ruled out dropping the lower powered engine at some point. That decision rests on whether it decides to bring the Bluemotion in both S and SE trim – the current car is available only in one trim. Volkswagen predicts sales to be largely unchanged from the existing model’s 60,000, which account for almost three-quarters of total Golf registrations. For now, the 1.6-litre TDI SE 105bhp five-speed manual will be the key model. Fleets can order from October 18; deliveries begin in…

Prices announced for new VW Golf

Prices for the all-new Volkswagen Golf have been revealed. Not only is the new car lighter, more advanced, more spacious, more efficient and better equipped than previous generations of Europe’s best-seller, of which over 29 million have been sold, but it also offers better value, with UK prices starting at £16,330 – lower than its predecessor. From launch, the Golf will be available in the UK in three trim levels: S, SE and GT (the GTI and BlueMotion models will join the line-up in 2013). Four petrol engines and two diesel engines will be available to order. The petrol engine range starts with a four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI unit producing 85 PS, rising via a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS and a 1.4-litre TSI 122 PS motor to the all-new 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS engine with Active Cylinder Technology. This helps to create an engine capable…