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Journeys : Feb March 2012
Life on the move 2012 Golf Cabriolet 118TSI Where too much choice is never enough, Volkswagen has added another model to the already bulging Golf range, this time in the form of a ‘rag-top’ cabr iolet. There’s little doubting the mechanical bits fitted to the Golf range, and this one’s no different. But the new Cabriolet isn’t all about the look and the ability to peel the roof back and feel the breeze through your hair, or in my case what’s left of it. The 1.4 litre twin-charge power plant offers stunning performance from such a small engine capacity v ia either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG. Suspension is sporty and firmer than your average Golf sedan but not GTI spec. While not par ticularly impeding the overall vehicle handling, the lack of a roof does give this Golf a different feel in the twisty bits. Lower ride height and an electronic diff lock enhance the fun factor on the road. Body rigidity has been enhanced by under-the-skin structural changes including additional under- body rails and diagonal braces. The penalty is around 150kg extra weight, but it is barely noticeable. The A-pillar gets increased r igidity and a different rake angle to the sedan. The folding roof provides excellent insulation from the elements and significantly reduces exter nal noise when up. You can fold the roof in around nine seconds at speeds up to 30km/h. The roof folds flat into a cavity above the boot so unlike the more common tin folding roofs these days you’ ll still have a reasonable boot with the roof down. Standard fare includes dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity; plenty of safety gear giving a 5-star ANCAP rating. The Cabr iolet also includes a roll-over protection system. My usual word of caution, the $41,990 driveaway price can quickly balloon. A quick scan of the options list can add another $11,000 if all the boxes are ticked. Audi Performance R8 Carbon I was lucky enough to get an early Christmas present from Audi in the form of closed-track testing of the new TT RS and RS5 Limited Editions and my favourite the R8 Carbon. All come with their own special upgrades and all are extremely desirable, but numbers of each are limited. I’m not sure words can describe the pure adrenalin the R8 generates. From the moment you start the 386kW V10 cold it runs rough and loud for about a minute, leaving me wondering how am I going to drive this brute out of Sydney. Then in just a minute or two it settles into a smooth low idle. Driving through Sydney traffic in rain to The Farm just north of Gosford wasn’t a chore; the R8 was more than happy doing the Sydney crawl. Once at The Farm, the ability to open up and hear that V10 sing was something I won’t forget. Handling, braking and an ability to bite the slippery surface almost defied physics. You could drive February / March 2012 37 PANEL BEATING SPRAY PAINTING Two pack spray and bake booth CHASSIS WORK Measure and alignment system from Finland 107 Mornington Road Mornington Telephone 6244 4732 Facsimile 6244 3845
Apr May 2012