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Tiguan R-Line, new Scirocco R, expanded Golf range, new Polo GTI, revised Jetta and new Passat to help maintain Volkswagen sales growth.
Volkswagen has a range of revised and new models planned to help maintain the brand's current sales strength, despite the overall Australian new car market being down 2.1 per cent so far this year.
VW Australia's managing director John White expects these new models to help strong sales of the existing Golf, Polo, Tiguan and Touareg to top the brand's 54,892 unit 2013 result, particularly considering the 32,562 units sold by VW to the end of July already represent a 3.8 percent increase year to date. "Overall this year, we believe that even with a market that's going to be down, we  should be ahead of last year," he said.
Starting with the revised Polo light hatch that arrives in showrooms this week, a revised version of the strong-selling Tiguan SUV will also touch down in September, strengthening its appeal ahead of an all-new model that is still at least two years away.
This will see the Tiguan fitted with a standard reversing camera, rear parking sensors and a colour touchscreen display for the first time, plus the addition of a performance-themed Tiguan R-Line model with a 130kW turbodiesel engine as a new range-topper.
GOLF R-LINE WAGON
A wagon version of the Golf R-Line will appear in October, based on the success of the sports styled option pack available on existing Highline Golf hatch models.
This will be followed in November by the surprise arrival of the refreshed Scirocco R performance coupe, which was widely tipped as a non-starter for Australia after the also slow-selling Up and Eos models were discontinued in April.
The revised Scirocco R made its first appearance at the Geneva motor show in March, with styling that has been brought in line with the Mk7 Golf R that arrived here in April.
Mr White cited a positive response from the public, media and dealers as a key reason for the model's return to our shores, but it will be accompanied by a new sales strategy.
"There is going to be significant simplification in terms of colours and option packs, and significant reduction in the expectation of sales, where we are going to focus on making the Scirocco R a low volume, highly desirable vehicle," he said.
A revised version of the hot Polo GTI is set to appear at the Paris motor show in September, before arriving down under in the first half of 2015. The GTI will score similar visual and interior upgrades to the regular Polo, but will boost power from 132-141kW and is also tipped to bring a manual transmission for the first time in a Mk5 Polo GTI.
A refreshed Jetta mid-size sedan will also make its way to Australia in the first half of 2015, and John White is expecting the new model to better challenge segment leaders like the Toyota Camry and Mazda6, unlike the current model which has fallen 35 per cent year to date and is currently outsold by the 6 by more than 3:1.
"We're taking a look at the way that we're going to be configuring the car line, and you can count on the car line having more features and benefits to it, as we look to maximise the opportunities for the Jetta and make it a much better volume competitor," he said.
Mr White also confirmed the local future of a high-riding all-wheel drive Golf Alltrack wagon near the end of the first half of 2015, with the new model to follow a similar formula to the Alltrack version of the Passat wagon.
Rounding out 2015 for Volkswagen will be the all-new Passat that is due to make its public debut at the Paris motor show in September. Mr White confirmed that we will see the new model late next year, and will be available in sedan, wagon and Alltrack bodystyles.
VW Australia Polo product manager Todd Ford confirmed there are no plans to put a Polo R into production, despite various reports to the contrary and the media being given the chance to drive prototype versions of the Audi S1 mechanical twin earlier this year.
"We'd love it if we could, but there won't be an R version of the current generation Polo," he said.
Mr Ford was also unable to shed any light on the expected Golf R wagon's local future, despite several prototypes being spied testing in recent months.
"There has been no [Golf R wagon] model confirmed for production, so I cannot speculate on any Australian future," he said. He also reiterated that there are no plans to bring the Mk7 version of the hot diesel Golf GTD to Australia, due to a lack of suitable business case.
Upcoming Volkswagen models
Tiguan spec upgrade and R-Line – September 2014
Golf Wagon R-Line – October 2014
Scirocco R update – November 2014
Polo GTI update – first half 2015
Jetta update – first half 2015
Golf Alltrack – mid-2015
Passat redesign – late 2015