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VW Golf Alltrack Photo: Supplied
VW Tiguan Allspace Photo: Supplied
 
 

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Alex Rae | Aug, 10 2018 | 0 Comments

Volkswagen says there won’t be any more diesel passenger cars when the updated 2019 Golf range arrives, but it doesn’t mean diesel is dead for the German car maker in Australia.

The brand recently hit a wall in production and supply as it didn’t have enough equipment to smoothly transition to new Worldwide Harmonised Light-Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) emissions standards – an infliction affecting other manufacturers required to make the mandatory changeover.

Unlike previous requirements, the new system is geared towards real-world emissions testing.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess already said in June this year that the issues would cause bottlenecks in supply at its Wolfsburg, Germany plant.

“Within the Volkswagen brand alone, we need to test more than 200 model variants and have them type-approved within a very short space of time,” he in a statement. “To master this challenge, our test rigs have been and will be operated virtually round-the-clock.”

Diess also confirmed the maker would only be able to supply certified vehicles: "We will only build vehicles after the works holiday that fulfil the new standards.”

The restriction in supply has affected VW Australia which no longer has access to diesel Golf models and some important petrol variants such as the price-sensitive front-wheel drive Tiguan 110TSI. Missing in action until next year, it leaves an over $10,000 gap before the new entry model 132TSI 4Motion at $42,390 plus on-road costs.

VW Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger told Drive.com.au at the launch of the brand’s new seven-seat Tiguan Allspace that the omission of an entry model five-seat Tiguan will hurt, despite sales being strong higher up the model line.

“It’s not great not to have an entry-level car,” he said. “But we’re somewhat heartened that people continue to buy the Highline level cars.

“You don’t want the premium in price to be too great and we don’t consider ourself a rival to some cars that people do. But as always customers lead the way and tell us what they want – take the 2019 Golf GTI for instance.”

Fortunately for hot hatch buyers the current 169kW/350Nm GTI will not be available due to WLTP regs and VW will bring in the more powerful 180kW/370Nm car, though with a DSG automatic only.

“Production restrictions from WLTP means no 169kW GTI, restrictions on 110TSI Golf production and no 110TSI Tiguan NWB [normal wheelbase, five-seat] until next year,” Pottinger said.

But the changeover in testing standards that has restricted the available range appears only to be temporary, with the local arm suggesting diesel will make a comeback in the Mark 8 Golf that’s due in two years.

“We’d say that it would desirable, especially in Alltrack configuration,” Pottinger said.

“In terms of diesel, we have no TDI Golfs from the MY19 changeover. That’s likely to prevail for the remainder of the lifecycle. The Mark 8 Golf is due in 2020. Fortunately Passat diesel production returns next year. Though there are no TDI Tiguan NWBs, there are two TDIs in the Allspace range as this vehicle is sourced from Mexico rather than Germany.”

 
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