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Bora, Bora, Bora; VW sound the battle cry against their rivals with a stunning new saloon.

AN ill wind is about to blow across the bows of some of Britain's best- selling cars.

The reason? Volkswagen are about to unleash their stunning new saloon.

And the new Bora, named after an Adriatic wind, has the class and looks to give its mainstream rivals a real blast.

The mid-sized saloon will compete against the likes of the new Ford Focus, Toyota Avensis, Vauxhall Vectra and Nissan Primera.

Compact and sporty, the Bora offers buyers a level of quality and attention to detail rarely found in this sector.

Pitched in the competitive prestige executive sports saloon market, the German new-comer has been designed to look both purposeful and elegant.

Shorter than its big brother, the Passat, its prices start at pounds 14,395 for the 1.6S. The flagship version, a new 2.3-litre V5 automatic, will cost pounds 19,880 when it goes on sale this month.

The Bora is distinguished by a prominent, angled grille with a large VW badge proudly adorning the front.

Flared wheel arches give a welcome visual link to the New Beetle, and all Boras have large 15- inch or 16-inch wheels, benefiting both looks and the all-important handling.

At the rear, the design is equally impressive, with a steeply sloping rear window and a short, notch-back tail. The boot lid opens down to bumper level.

The body is fully galvanised and comes with a 12-year cover against internal corrosion.

Like its stablemates, the Bora doesn't stint on standard spec. All models come fitted with four airbags, front and rear head restraints and anti-lock brakes.

Much of the equipment is exactly the same as parts on the Golf and Passat models.

This is hardly surprising, however, as Volkswagen's strategy has been to purchase many of their components in high volume.

If an engine, a gearbox, a window lift motor, a nut or a washer can be used in seven or eight different models rather than just one, the saving on costs is enormous.

There are four trim levels - the S, SE, Sport and V-engined. Even the entry-level Bora comes with electric windows on all four doors, central locking, electrically-heated and adjustable door mirrors and carpet mats.

Drivers will always be able to command the best driving position, thanks to the height- adjustable seat, while the steering wheel can also be altered for height and reach.

The SE model comes with an even more extensive list of goodies, including air conditioning, centre armrest, multi-function trip computer, rain sensor windscreen wipers, and bigger wheels.

The Bora is further enhanced at Sport level, the seats coming from the Golf Gti, while walnut trim inserts on the dashboard and door pulls enhance the appearance.

At the heart of the Bora will be the choice of two diesel engines and three petrol units, all with the option of manual or automatic transmission.

The wonderfully refined and frugal Tdi units are offered in 90 and 110bhp, both capable of 56 mpg.

Petrol engines vary from the 100bhp 1.6litre, the 115bhp two-litre used in the New Beetle, and the 150bhp 2.3-litre V5.

Top speed of the big-engined Bora is a mouth-watering 134mph, while it will cover 0- 62mph in a fraction over nine seconds.

Having enjoyed remarkable success with the Golf and Passat, Volkswagen are convinced the Bora will make it a clean sweep.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 2, 1999
Words:557
Previous Article:BUMPER to BUMPER.
Next Article:Easter weather set to put hot-spots in the shade.


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