Masters of their craft: Stirling Moss and the New Volkswagen Bora

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For some time, industry analysts have been predicting that Volkswagen will be the manufacturer of the next millennium. Any doubters have been silenced as Volkswagen has produced a series of stunning technical innovations, including a W12 engine, advanced diesel units and the world’s first V5 engine. Along with this display of imagination and expertise, Volkswagen has achieved the seemingly impossible, to improve on its already legendary build quality. The Bora is a perfect example of Volkwagen’s policy. It is a saloon with sporting a characteristics which also provides high levels of comfort and ride, plus enjoyment for the driver. The Bora may look like a regular medium-sized saloon, albeit an exceptionally attractive one, but the perception changes once one is inside it.

Thanks to clever, and aerodynamic styling, the Bora looks sleek even though it is almost as wide and high as its larger brother, the Passat. The result is exceptional cockpit space and, with the rear seats folded, luggage capacity is an outstanding 27.7 cu. ft. Volkswagen set out to make a car as comfortable as the Passat, which is a class leader, but with a Sportier feel. Volkswagen bills its unique V5 engine as top of the range, which is understandable given that unit’s impressive power, but its turbocharged diesel units are equally outstanding in a completely different way. Fuel consumption of 55+ mpg, allied with sparkling Performance, make the turbo-diesel options very attractive alternatives.

Motorists who have had to choose between performance, handling and response on the one hand, and fuel bills and insurance rates on the other, can now have the best of both worlds. Thanks to the Bora’s exceptional security system, insurance premiums are commendably low for a saloon of such quality and performance. Insurance rating begins as low as Group SE for the Bora 1.6 S.

Volkswagen believes that it has outstripped its traditional rivals in the market place and has pitched the Bora squarely against BMW’s 3-series. This is not wishful thinking because laser welding and advanced bonding techniques have improved build quality and panel tit to levels undreamed of for popular cars only a few years ago. Since the body is galvanised throughout, Volkswagen can confidently oiler an outstanding 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. New production techniques also add rigidity to the shell which both improves handling and is an integral part of Volkswagen’s commitment to safety which shows itself in headline features like air bags and head restraints, and details such as special lsofix child seat anchorage points.

Every Bora offers a high level of comfort and appointment to cosset its occupants. Volkswagen set out to create an environment which gives the sensation of travelling in a much more expensive car and items like a folding arm rest for the rear passengers are standard fitting. On the Bora Sport and V5 genuine walnut cappings and dashboard finish are fitted as standard. To judge by the enthusiastic reception from the press, Volkswagen has succeeded in making a truly egalitarian luxury car.

Customers also have a long list of options which includes air conditioning, alloy wheels, traction control, cruise control, a CD autochanger mounted in the boot, automatic dimming rear mirror and rain sensor, leather upholstery with heated seats and electrical adjustment, special paint finishes and a choice of two different navigation systems. On the upper end of the model range, many of these desirable luxuries are fated as standard.

Volkswagen has set its sights high with the Bora in terms of comfort, quality and dynamics. A few years ago one might have thought that Volkswagen was being over-ambitious, but the Bora delivers the goods. Moreover it delivers with speed, style and comfort.