Car news

05 September 2012

Ladies and gentlemen: the new VW Golf

Larger, lighter, and more efficient, it’s the seventh generation of the World’s Greatest Hatch

TopGear.com
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Clearly, looking at the above picture, you’d be forgiven for thinking Volkswagen has the classic adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, tattooed onto every employees’ forearm. Ladies and gentlemen of the world, say hello to the brand new Volkswagen Golf.

As for that adage, you can kind of see why: the design is more subtle evolution rather than balls-out design fantasy. Says design chief Water de Silva: “One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its [design] continuity.” Underneath however, the car sits on something very important indeed, the MQB platform; a platform that will underpin a whole new generation of VW-group models.

There’s no mention of ‘Angry Birds’ being available, but there are numerous electronic driver aids that will do everything short of providing open-heart surgery

And that means that this new Golf is now 100kg lighter than before, around the average size of an American’s Golden Retriever. The MQB platform – which standardises many parts across brands and classes – has been adapted to make the new car 56mm longer, 13mm wider and 28mm lower than its predecessor. Rebigulation appears to be the key to progress, here. These extra millimetres have freed up vital space inside too, as the ‘Dub now boasts a bigger boot, more rear legroom, front shoulder room and more space for your freakishly large elbows.

Those elbows will be feverishly hacking away at the range-topper on the car’s launch, a 2.0-litre, 145bhp diesel unit returning a claimed 29.29kpl. Petrols include the 80bhp 1.2-litre TSI and a 135bhp 1.4-litre TSI with cylinder shut-off tech. Volkswagen reckon the Golf’s new variable ratio steering will also help the dynamics too, and this new gen comes with four driver profiles (eco, sport, normal and individual). Speccing the DSG ‘box opens up a fifth option (comfort), and each of these modes changes the throttle mapping and engine management.

Of course, if we use the mk VI as a base, this new one should be a gem to drive, so we turn our attention to the clever insides: all Golfs now come with a 5.8in colour touchscreen display, operating like a smartphone, adjusting the audio, Bluetooth, and trip functions. There’s no mention of ‘Angry Birds’ being available, but there are numerous electronic driver aids that will do everything short of providing open-heart surgery. Give it about five years, and you’ll probably get that too.

More details will emerge when the new Volkswagen Golf – the seventh generation – makes its real world debut at the Paris Motor Show. We'll be at Paris with our usual blanket coverage, so see you then. For now, have a click through the pics and tell us what you think. In almost every case, when we're asked to recommend a car to our nearest and dearest, we end up with a Golf. Will this carry on the tradition?

Tags: paris 12, volkswagen, golf

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