Volkswagen has unveiled the new Volkswagen
Golf 36 years aver the first Golf was launched. Since then 29 million Golfs have been sold.
The new Golf is bigger. It is 56 mm longer overall, with 59 mmm added to the wheelbase. The body structure is also stronger. Yet, the design team have managed to trim as much as 100 kg from its weight. As a result, Volkswagen say the new Golf is up to 23% more efficient.
The longer body has also enabled Volkswagen to improve the drag coefficient which is now 0.27 Cd.
Despite the fact that it is new from the ground up, the new Golf is unmistakably a Golf in terms of its looks. Volkswagen believe this is important.
“One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its continuity,” says Walter de Silva, Head of Design for Volkswagen AG. “There are a handful of cars with a design that, like the Golf’s, has been refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and thus become timeless.”
Built on the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, the Golf benefits from the standardisation of many vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes. In turn, this means designers have access to new powertrains and technologies that were previously reserved for vehicles in higher market segments. Volkswagen cite, as examples, safety equipment and information and in-car entertainment systems, or ‘infotainment’.
The longer body has enabled Volkswagen’s design team to provide more interior space. Rear legroom is improved by 15 mm, and the front seats have been moved 20 mm further back, which should be welcomed by taller drivers. There is also more shoulder and elbow room front and rear. Luggage space has increase by 30 litres to 280 litres.
There is more of a cockpit look in the interior, with the centre console is now angled more towards the driver. All models in the UK will have a touchscreen for the infotainment system, ranging from 5.8-inch to eight-inch with satellite navigation. Space has been freed up by changing to an electronic parking brake with auto hold.
Among the safety features is the PreCrash system that made its debut on the Touareg. If it detects the possibility of an accident, it pre-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure the best possible protection from the airbags.
UK models from SE upwards will get adaptive cruise control as standard and city emergency braking, which operates at up to 19 mph. A driver alert system monitors the driver inputs to detect signs of tiredness. Also available are a lane assist system and dynamic lighting assist, which masks the high-beam when it detects traffic. The latest generation of Park Assist will park the Golf in a space as tight as 80 cm longer than the car.
Also available is a driver profile selection, offering four modes ‘Eco’, ’Sport’, ‘Normal” and ‘Individual” (plus a fifth option of ‘Comfort’ on cars with a DSG gearbox). These settings will change the throttle mapping and engine management to suit the chosen profile and, in ‘Eco’ mode it will also change air conditioning and other ancillaries to reduce fuel consumption.
The steering now uses a variable system and Volkswagen say it is more agile, while ensuring high-speed stability and ease of manoeuvrability in town.
All the petrol and diesel engines on the new Golf will incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems. At launch, the Golf will be offered with a 1.2-litre TSI 85 PS, a 1.4-litre TSI 140 PS unit with Active Cylinder Technology (this can deactivate two of the cylinders for greater economy when the power is not needed). The launch diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 105 PS and a 2.0-litre 150 PS unit.
The new Volkswagen Golf will be launched at the Paris Motor Showv with the first UK deliveries expected in January 2013.