The "Classic Motor Sport Tour" includes visits to Goodwood Revival, Donington Grand Prix Collection, Grand Prix Historique de la Vienne, Manoir de L'Automobile and Museum de L'Automobile at Le Mans and, for a farewell dinner, Atelier Renault on Champs Elysees. Also included are city tours of London and Paris, Classic Team Lotus Works tour and Brands Hatch race master (with an opportunity of a drive in a high performance Renault). This great tour includes return economy air fares, departure tax, transfers, 13 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 13 nights accommodation.

See the brochure for more details ..... here.

Bookings close 25th June, 2008.

Sheryl Poulter
at Preston Travel on
(03) 9470.4737 for enquiries and bookings.





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Road Test

Volkswagen Eos

by Ian Barrett

7th January, 2008

Volkswagen Eos TDI 
Click on the image for a larger view

The release of Volkswagen's stylish Eos is great news, not just for VW fans but also for the ever-growing number of buyers in the expanding category of folding metal roof coupe-convertibles. Joining established rivals from Peugeot and Renault, as well as newcomers from Chrysler, Ford and Holden, the Eos features a world-first sliding-tilting sunroof integrated into its five-section CSC hardtop.

The quick and easy transformation from coupe to convertible, together with the added security and durability over conventional ragtops (as convertibles were once affectionately known), together with enhanced safety, are a few reasons for the expanding market. And after spending a week with the Eos, in which we clocked up over 1,100 kilometres in a variety of weather conditions, we can see why!

Our test car was a 'Shadow Blue Metallic' example with optional 'Corn Silk Beige" Vienna leather trim. It's refreshing to see interior colours in something other than black or grey tones and this particular combination really turned heads! The entry-level 2.0 litre TDI turbo-diesel, equipped with VW's brilliant DSG (manual/auto sequential) gearbox was another welcome fitment for our environmentally aware times. Normally oil-burners come at a price premium over petrol variants, but in this case VW only offer the high performance turbo FSI petrol engine as an alternative. These engine choices fit well with the sporting nature of the Eos.

Once settled inside, cabin layout is found to be stylish and uncluttered.

Fit and finish are of a high standard, with the colour and texture of plastic surfaces being particularly pleasing to the eye. Typical VW ergonomics mean that controls are arranged logically and fall easily to hand. The two-way adjustable leather-bound steering wheel incorporates audio and trip computer controls and even has a bluetooth phone button. The roof mechanism is hidden from sight, making for a neat interior with the top-up.

Comfort levels are high, with the well bolstered front sports seats having a range of adjustment to suit almost every size and shape. We must mention that the optional 12-way electric seats feature lumbar support adjustment that operate in both horizontal and vertical planes! This is a car you can drive all day long and still exit feeling fresh. That is, assuming you can tolerate a reasonable degree of ride firmness in the interests of good handling! Rear occupants also fare well, at least for shorter trips. Seats - for two only - are well-shaped and offer good support. Leg room is adequate, although head room, with the roof in place, may be an issue for taller folk.

Switching from coupe to convertible takes 25 seconds and must be done whilst the car is stationary. Naturally, rear occupants are buffeted by turbulences when driving with the top down. An optional folding wind deflector can be quickly fitted over the rear seats for improved aerodynamics which, of course, converts the car into a 2-seater, allowing driver and front passenger to maintain their hairstyles even at freeway speed, particularly if the side windows are raised. But forget the retractable deflector built into the top of the screen, as it only produces wind noise .... but it is helpful for taller front occupants to shield them from an extra portion of wind. And one more thing: don't forget to 'slip, slap and slop' if you're planning extended time in our summer sun with the top down!

The Eos is well-equipped with lots of desirable goodies. Dual-mode climate control, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, premium 8-speaker sound system with 6-stack in-dash CD, reversing/opening roof sensors - to mention just a few.

The Eos also comes with a swag of safety features. ABS and traction control are integrated into the Electronic Stability Programme, helping to ensure that the vehicle goes where it is pointed even under extreme driving conditions. New airbag technology allows for the side units to inflate both vertically and horizontally, fully covering the side glass in event of collision. And pop-up alloy roll bars deploy behind the rear seats in the event of an impending roll-over.

Volkswagen Eos TDI 
Click on the image for a larger view

On the road, the turbo diesel delivers surprising performance, with a claimed 0-100 km/h time of a satisfying 10.3 seconds and a top speed of 203 km/h for the DSG model. The familiar diesel rattle does intrude under hard acceleration from a standstill, but once you're underway, the Eos is a remarkably quiet car at freeway speeds, helped by fine aerodynamics and good soundproofing. At the legal limit, the engine is turning at only 2,000 rpm, making for very relaxed cruise. And the diesel torque means plenty of oomph to make light work of the longest and steepest hills on the F3 north of Sydney, where we travelled.

The sharp electro-mechanical steering has a good feel and the handling is quite neutral under most conditions, albeit at the expense of some ride comfort and suspension noise. Patched, potholed and unsealed roads are best avoided and speed humps need to be approached with more caution than usual. There was a little creaking from the hardtop on such surfaces, but thankfully, no steering shake! Overall this vehicle feels very solid and surefooted. Manoeuvrability is good in tight spots, thanks to a turning circle that's better-than-average for a front-wheel-drive car.

We did have initial reservations about practicality. Luggage space is the main issue, of course - it's reduced dramatically if you plan on having the top down, so you'll need to choose your picnic basket carefully! Despite this, we thoroughly enjoyed our week behind the wheel. The VW Eos is a most enjoyable vehicle, a driver's car with style, comfort and performance. And with claimed fuel consumption of just 6.9L/100km (combined), it's relatively easy on the environment and very easy on the pocket.

Priced from $47,990 plus on-road costs and options (for example; metallic paint $690, 'Vienna' leather interior $3,290, electrically adjustable front seats $1,490), the Volkswagen Eos is not the cheapest car in its class, but it certainly enhances the coupe-convertible menu! And to underline the increased durability offered by the metal roof, the car comes fully galvanised, with a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. It represents good value for money and should prove to be a hit with buyers wanting personal mobility at the expense of some day-to-day practicality.

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Other Volkswagen content: here.

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