Volkswagen South Africa planning seven new or updated models in 2023

Published Jan 20, 2023


Johannesburg - While some car companies like to hold their cards close to their chests, Volkswagen South Africa is playing open cards with its 2023 product plans.

And it’s certainly going to be a busy year for the country’s second-biggest carmaker, which sold 63 601 units last year for a passenger car market share of 16.4%. The most popular model was the Polo Vivo with 20 866 sales, followed by the Polo (15 697) and T-Cross (10 384).

Here’s what Volkswagen South Africa has up its sleeve for 2023:

  • Golf 8 R - First quarter
  • Polo Vivo GT upgrade – First quarter
  • New Amarok – First quarter
  • Tiguan TDI - Second quarter
  • T-Cross Trendline - Second quarter
  • Polo Sedan TSI – Fourth quarter
  • Touareg facelift – Fourth quarter

Among the most keenly anticipated is the new Volkswagen Golf R, and were it not for global supply chain bottlenecks, it would have been with us long ago. As a reminder, the performance hatch flagship is powered by a new 235kW, 400Nm 2.0-litre turbo four, which gets it from 0-100km/h in a claimed 5.1 seconds. We have already driven the new Golf R at a preview event last year, so you can read our impressions here.

The other blockbuster launch for 2023 is the all-new Volkswagen Amarok, which also arrives in the first quarter. It’s built right here in South Africa alongside its Ford Ranger cousin in Silverton.

However, Volkswagen has gone to great lengths to differentiate its product and lend a more Germanic feel. Click here to read our review from the international launch.

As for the Polo Vivo GT upgrade, Volkswagen has yet to reveal any information on the sporty hatch model, but with its launch pencilled in for the first quarter, we’ll find out very soon.

For 2023, some of the existing Volkswagen products will be getting new engine options. The Tiguan TDI is set to arrive in the second quarter, and it is likely to be powered by the familiar 2.0-litre TDI unit with 110kW, which is offered abroad.

Also getting a new engine option is the Polo Sedan. The new-generation four-door was introduced late last year with a normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol motor being the only option. However, VWSA is planning to launch a TSI variant in the fourth quarter, and this should take the form of the 85kW 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbopetrol that’s offered in India, which is were our four-door Polos are sourced from.

Also on the cards for 2023, in the second quarter, is a Trendline version of the Volkswagen T-Cross, which will bring down the entry price for the compact SUV range, which currently starts at R393 400 for the Comfortline.

VWSA was originally planning to launch a 70kW TSI Trendline model in 2020, but opted against its introduction as the rental market had all but collapsed under the weight of lockdowns. However, with the rental market now resurging, it makes sense for the company to introduce it.

Finally the carmaker will introduce a facelifted Touareg SUV towards the end of the year, but we can’t tell you much about that right now as it has yet to be revealed abroad.

IOL Motoring