Monday, October 31, 2016

Bertie the Beetle Will be the Welsh Rally’s Fourth VW


By: Sebastien Bell


On October 27 Sebastien Ogier, fresh off his championship winning performance in Spain, will be in Wales fighting to get his team, Volkswagen Motorsport, the manufacturer’s title. With him, he’ll have his two teammates, and some moral support from Bertie the Beetle
Bertie is a 1958 Volkswagen Beetle that spent its formative years driving the people of Hereford, UK around as a taxi. Following an accident with a bus it was repaired and then prepared for rally duty by Bill Bengry, a legendary VW specialist, in the early ‘60s.
Bertie the Bettle contesting the 2015 WRGB National Rally 2

It rallied and raced extensively in the day, then was put into storage. In 1990, Bertie got a new lease on life, competing in the Monte Carlo Rally that year.
To mark the 25th anniversary of that adventure, Bob Beales entered the Beetle into last year’s Wales Rally Great Britain and won his class.
“Competing in Wales Rally GB last year was a brilliant experience,” says Beales. “It was very hard on the old car and the weather made it all the tougher – there was lots of aquaplaning. But that’s what makes it such a great event – it’s a monumental challenge.”
Bertie the Bettle contesting the 2015 WRGB National Rally 3
The rally was such a success that they’ve decided to enter again. Beales doesn’t really expect to keep up with the Polo R WRCs, though.
“The technology in those cars is just brilliant, although I’m not sure if I’m man enough to give one a go,” he says. “That said, I actually passed one of the Polos on last November’s event when Jari-Matti Latvala got  stuck in a ditch.”
And he isn’t the only one who remembers it: “I reminded Jari-Matti  about it when I saw him at Goodwood ealier this year, and he remembered seeing Bertie going past—it’s one of those cars you just can’t forget.”



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Sunday, October 30, 2016

More From the Volkswagen Atlas Launch


By: Sebastien Bell

Volkswagen is focusing its efforts in North America with the launch of its latest product, the seven-seat Atlas.
When it hits showrooms in spring 2017, it will be the biggest Volkswagen on sale in America thanks to its three rows, seven seats, and ample cargo capacity. To get it up to speed, owners will have a choice of two engines: Volkswagen’s trusty 2.0-liter TSI—pumping out 238 hp—and the 3.6-liter VR6—making 280 hp.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see, the VR6 engine sits quite low in the engine bay. That, according to Matthias Erb, VP of engineering at Volkswagen Group of America, is to keep the center of gravity low. The a-pillars, too, have been designed to be small to keep visibility as unimpeded as possible.
Keeping the center of gravity low, the visibility high, and squeezing performance out of the Atlas was a big deal to VW, which wanted to be sure that the new addition the line was as fun to drive as any of its other cars.
To that end, an R-line model, says Hendrick Muth, president of product marketing and strategy, isn’t out of the question down the line, though a sport model with, say, the R badge is less likely.
Unfortunately, torque figures aren’t being shared yet, though Muth says that they’ll be higher than you’d expect in the market segment.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
As far as outright size is concerned, the Atlas won’t trump the competition, but it will fit right in, beating the Honda Pilot for length and the Dodge Durango for width. Inside, meanwhile, Volkswagen is promising it will have among the largest cargo capacities on the market.
Unfortunately, along with torque figures, Volkswagen isn’t letting us know how much you can expect to pay for the Atlas, but it has said that the price will be competitive in the market so expect it start in the low $30,000 range.
More on the brand-new Atlas when it becomes available.



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