Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the sixth generation version of its Golf hatchback, one of the world’s most successful ever model lines.
VW has sold 26 million worldwide, and the new car will debut at the Paris motor show in early October.
All key body elements have been redesigned, though the car is instantly recognisable as a Golf.
It has a sportier and more distinctive appearance, and the interior has been given a more upmarket look.
The cabin’s brushed chrome accents and round instruments are derived from those used in the Passat CC, and are intended to give occupants the impression of sitting in a car from the next higher market segment.
All controls have been made easier to use. They include the control of the automatic climate control system (Climatronic) which debuted on the Passat CC.
The power window controls are now located further forward in the door trim, making them easier to use.
A special damping film in the windscreen helps reduce driving noises, as does the newly developed seal concept for the doors and side window guides.
The new shape of the outside mirrors also significantly reduces wind noise.
Modifications were also made to acoustically isolate the engine and passenger compartments from one another.
Very quiet rolling tyres and new engine bearings round out the noise reduction package, which has achieved what VW calls the ‘quietest-ever’ Golf.
Assistance systems such as “adaptive chassis control” (DCC) and the “park steering assistant” are fitted to the new Golf.
A new ESP system, with finer response over its control range, further optimised crash properties, seven airbags including knee airbag, special head restraints (WOKS) that counteract whiplash trauma, and a seatbelt detection feature in the rear seat provide for high safety.
Engine and transmission technologies lower fuel consumption by up to 28 percent. All petrol and diesel engines meet the EU-5 emission standard.
Quiet TDI diesel common rail engines are being used in the Golf for the first time. Two balancer shafts will minimise vibrations. All Golf diesel engines have a particulate filter (DPF).
The TSI petrol engines have smaller capacities and improved fuel economy.
Using a supercharger and/or turbocharger will ensure performance remains strong.
Volkswagen’s dual clutch DSG transmission is the only automatic available on the new Golf.
With six or seven ratios and super-quick gearchanges, a DSG transmission offers fuel consumption and performance far superior to a classic torque converter automatic.
VW’s New Zealand general manager, Dean Sheed, says the new Golf will be here in 2009. New Zealand specification and pricing are yet to be finalised.