The seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf has just been revealed in Germany. It is up to 100 kgs lighter than the previous model and yet it has a stronger body structure.
At 4,255 mm long, the new Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm. The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space. It is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm. This helps to create a 10 per cent improvement in the drag co-efficient, which is now 0.27 Cd.
Inside the Golf there is more room than ever. Rear legroom is improved by 15 mm, and the front seats have been moved 20 mm further back, benefitting taller drivers. Front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm to 1,420 mm (at the rear it is 30 mm wider) and elbow room by 22 mm to 1,469 mm (20 mm wider at the rear). The boot is 30 litres larger too, at 380 litres, while the front passenger seat can also optionally fold fully forward, creating a loadspace which is up to 2,412 mm long.
Inside the cabin, all Golfs now have touchscreen systems as standard, starting in the UK with a 5.8-inch colour display system, and rising to the range-topping SatNav system with eight-inch colour display. It operates with finger gestures that will be familiar to smartphone posers. Features include DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs (including USB), Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information.
It also has one of those new-fangled electronic parking brake things with auto-hold feature.
There are four driving modes too – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual; with a DSG gearbox a fifth option – Comfort – is also offered.
There’s a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems. At launch, the petrol engines are a 1.2 litre TSI 85 PS and a 1.4 litre TSI 140 PS unit with Active Cylinder Technology, which can deactivate two of the cylinders. The launch diesel engines are a 1.6 litre 105 PS engine and a 2 litre 150 PS unit.
No doubt there will be a GTI along at some stage, but we'll need to wait till the Paris Motor Show (29 Sept - 14 Oct) when the car will go on sale with the first UK deliveries expected in January 21013.