Today is the day of the presentation of the all-important, seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback that comes into light 36 years and more than 29 million sales after the original model shaped the modern compact segment.
While we have already shared the first photos of the new 2013 Golf five-door hatchback, which will probably be sold as a 2014 model in North America, Volkswagen has released new images and more details on the car following the presentation at a special event in Berlin, Germany, earlier today.
You can judge for yourself by looking at the exterior pictures of the Golf, but we’ll just tell you that the new version builds on the appearance of the sixth-generation model with sharper lines and some new details like the small corner window on the front doors.
Walter de Silva, Head of Design for Volkswagen AG, commented on the new Golf’s styling: “One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its continuity. 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.”
Even though it’s shape and styling follows VW’s familiar DNA, the Golf Mk7 is all new underneath as it is built on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix featured on the new 2013 Audi A3 and Seat Leon.
Measuring 4,255mm (167.5 inches) long, the new Golf is 56 mm (2.2 inches) longer than its predecessor, and comes with a 59 mm (2.3 inches) longer wheelbase at 2,637 mm (103.8 inches).
Furthermore, VW says that the front wheels are positioned 43 mm (1.7 inches) further forward to help generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm (0.5 inches) wider, at 1,799 mm (70.8 inches), and 28 mm (1.1 inches) lower, at 1,452 mm (57.2 inches).
According to the German automaker, this helps to create a 10 per cent improvement in the drag co-efficient, which now stands at 0.27 Cd.
The increased exterior dimensions benefit the interior with the new Golf offering 15mm (0.59 inches) more rear legroom, while front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm (1.22 inches) to 1,420 mm / 55.9 inches (rear by 30 mm or 1.18 inches), and elbow room by 22 mm (0.87 inches) to 1,469 mm / 57.8 inches (20 mm wider at the rear).
The luggage compartment has grown by 30 liters to 380 liters, while the front passenger seat can be optionally fold fully forward, creating a loadspace of up to 2,412 mm (95 inches) long.
As we noted in our previous post, the interior styling evolves the design seen on the outgoing Mk6 Golf with the most visible change concerning the center console that is now angled more towards the driver.
New highlights include the touchscreen systems, which at least in certain European countries such as the UK, will come as standard on all models, starting with a 5.8-inch color display system, and rising to the range-topping satellite navigation system with eight-inch color display, plus the new electronic parking brake with an auto-hold feature.
Among other standard safety features are the multi-collision brake system that automatically applies the brakes on the car after a collision to reduce kinetic energy and minimize the chance of a second impact, and the PreCrash system that re-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure protection from the airbags during a crash.
Other available aids include Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist, which can bring the Golf to a complete stop and operates at speeds of up to 150 km/h (93 mph); City Emergency Braking, which operates at up to 30 km/h (19 mph); and the Park Assist that automatically parallel parks the car in a space no more than 80 cm (31.5 inches) longer than itslef.
The new Golf MK7 may be bigger than the car it replaces, but thanks to the new chassis architecture, production techniques, engines and even electric wiring, it is up to 100 kg (220 pounds) lighter than the Mk6.
As an example, VW says that 3kg (6.6 lbs) were shaved from the new electrical wiring, 12kg (26.5 lbs) from the equipment features, 26kg (57.3 lbs) from the aluminum components in the chassis and 38kg (83.8 lbs) from the new body, bringing the base model’s curb weight down to 1,050kg (2,315 pounds).
The Golf Mk7 will be offered with a variety of drivetrains. Transmission options include six-speed manual gearboxes, and six- and seven-speed dual clutch DSG units.
For the European market, Volkswagen has developed two brand-new generations of engines (petrol and diesel) for the latest Golf, all of which are equipped with a standard stop/start system and battery regeneration, and offer a power range from 84hp (85PS) to 148hp (150PS),
These include the 1.2-litre TSI 84HP (85PS) petrol unit returning 4.9 lt/100 km (48mpg US or 57.6mpg UK and 113 g/km), and a 1.4-litre TSI 138HP (140PS) unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders, and achieves up to 4.8 lt/100 km (49mpg US or 58.9mpg UK and 112 g/km).
The launch diesel engines are a 1.6-litre unit with 104HP (105PS), which returns 3.8 lt/100 km (61.9mpg US or 74.3mpg UK and 99 g/km), and a 2.0-litre 148HP (150PS) unit that returns 4.1 lt/100 km (57.4mpg US or 68.9mpg UK and 106 g/km).
The most fuel-efficient version of the launch series will be the diesel-powered Golf BlueMotion with CO2 emissions of just 85 g/km and a combined fuel consumption of 3.2lt/100km (73.5mpg US or 88.3mpg UK).
As we speak, nothing has been said about which engines will be offered in other markets outside of Europe like North America.
The five-door hatchback seen in these pictures will be joined by a three-door version, while VW’s plans also include replacements for the sporty GTI and R-branded models (see spy shots here), all-wheel drive variants, the Golf Plus MPV, a five-door station wagon and a convertible.