THE seventh generation of the iconic Volkswagen Golf has been unveiled on Tuesday at a ceremony in Berlin, 36 years and 29 million cars after the Mk I was launched.
Report by Autotrader/Reuters
The new range looks more evolutionary than revolutionary, with Volkswagen’s chief designer, Walter da Silva keeping many of the car’s classic styling cues.
To be honest, apart from the larger dimensions, you’d be hard pressed to notice much difference over the Mk VI.
Interior space has also been improved, with rear leg room increased by 15mm and the front seats moved back by 20mm, to aid taller drivers.
There is more space in the boot as well, going up from 350 litres to 380 litres.
The Golf will now feature an electronic parking brake with an auto-hold function.
The big news, however, is the efficiency gains over the previous model. VW claims that the car will be up to 23% more efficient than its predecessor. It will be lighter, stronger, more slippery through the air and more spacious than the outgoing Mk VI, utilising more efficient engines to ensure excellent fuel economy and emissions figures. The eco-friendly Bluemotion model claims 88 mpg and just 85 g/km of CO2, which are astonishing figures.
There will be four engines available, two diesels (1,6 and 2,0 litres) and two petrol (1,2 TSI and 1,4 TSI). All of these will be equipped with stop/start engine systems and the 1,4 TSI petrol engine will be equipped with cylinder de-activation technology, becoming a two-cylinder when under light load, to save fuel.
The Mk VII will feature a raft of new technologies to help make the car even safer. The Mk VI already has the maximum five star Euro-NCAP safety rating.
Category firsts such as a multi-collision brake system, which automatically brakes the car after a collision reduce the kinetic energy inherent in the accident, thereby reducing the chances of a second impact.
Also standard will be the PreCrash system which debuted in the Touareg.
This detects the possibility of an incident and pre-tensions the seatbelts and closes the sunroof and windows automatically to ensure that the airbags work to their maximum capacity.
Options will include adaptive cruise control, front assist, which can bring the car automatically to a complete stop from speeds of up to 150 km/h and City Emergency Braking, which is operational at speeds of up to 30 km/h which can help to reduce the chances of an accident during urban driving.
Volkswagen is hoping the sleek makeover will keep its Golf in the best-selling compact car spot, helping the German automaker overtake Toyota and GM as the world leaders.
But the mid-range vehicle faces an onslaught of competition from cheaper and premium models, just as car makers grapple with an economic slump in Europe and slowing growth in China.