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Volkswagen details Mk7 Golf

Lucky seven: The new Volkswagen Golf will be bigger, lighter and more frugal than the current model, although its looks remain a mystery (note: current Mk6 model pictured).

More emerges on crucial seventh-gen Volkswagen Golf ahead of September reveal

23 Aug 2012

THE seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf due in Australia by mid-2013 will be longer, lower and substantially lighter than the model it replaces, with more powerful and efficient engines and a classier interior.

Volkswagen revealed details of the crucial new Golf – far and away its biggest seller with 29 million units sold around the world since 1974 – at an event in Europe overnight, less than two weeks before its official unveiling in Berlin on September 4.

The car will make its public debut at the Paris motor show on September 27, including a preview of the Mk7 GTI hot hatch, which is tipped to feature a more potent 165kW 2.0-litre turbo engine developed by Audi for its new A3.

The Mk7 Golf will be the first Volkswagen model based on the vaunted new MQB transverse-engine platform, which made its production debut under the new Audi A3. Variations of this modular platform are expected to underpin as many as four million vehicles a year by 2018.

According to UK publication Autocar, the new model will be 56mm longer (to 4255mm) and 13mm wider (1799mm) than the current Mk6 Golf, yet 28mm lower (1452mm), and will get a 59mm-longer wheelbase and slightly wider tracks front and rear.

3 center imageLeft: Volkswagen's MQB platform and Golf engines.

This growth will provide extra cabin space, with the interior reportedly 14mm longer (to 1750mm), adding an extra 15mm of rear legroom, around 30mm more shoulder room front and rear, and around 20mm more elbow room, while boot space will grow by 30 litres to 380 litres.

Volkswagen is said to have improved cabin ergonomics by shifting the driver’s seat back, raising the gear shifter and adding extra space between the pedals. The steering wheel will also have a wider range of adjustment.

The company is expected to ditch the current manual parking brake in favour of a space-saving electric item, and will also offer active safety features such as adaptive cruise, autonomous braking, lane assist, fatigue assist and traffic sign detection.

Despite the larger dimensions, Volkswagen has reportedly slashed up to 100kg from the car’s weight, thanks partially to the use of more high-strength steel within the body structure (said to save 23kg alone), and lighter engine, all-round independent suspension and cabin components.

The MQB architecture also brings substantial weight savings – as much as 40kg on its own – meaning the Mk7 Golf will weigh about the same as the Mk4 model produced between 1997 and 2003, despite featuring more safety, comfort and convenience technology.

Entry-level variants are said to tip the scales at just 1050kg without using expensive lightweight materials like aluminium on the body panels.

Reduced weight and a range of upgraded drivetrains are said to yield improvements in fuel consumption of up to 23 per cent.

The full engine line-up will not be revealed until next month, but confirmed is an upgraded, direct-injection 1.4-litre turbo petrol producing either 90kW/200Nm or 103kW/250Nm depending on tune, with the latter featuring fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology.

Autocar reports the more powerful version will have impressively low carbon emissions of 112g/km – and fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km – when paired to the latest seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.

Expect the existing 77kW/175Nm 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine to carry over in Australia as well, although there is no word on the fate of the ‘Twincharge’ turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine from the current model.

Also locked in for production is a 1.6-litre common-rail turbo-diesel with 78kW of power and fuel consumption on the European combined cycle as low as 3.8L/100km, plus a potent 140kW/380Nm 2.0-litre unit that could power the next GTD variant here.

Volkswagen senior engineer and board member Ulrich Hackenberg told Autocar that the car will feature a revised electric steering system, as well as up to five different driving modes – Eco, Sport, Normal, Individual and Comfort – compared with the current three-mode system available as an option on select Australian Golf variants.

Expect the Mk7 Golf to be available with an upgraded Park Assist system, along with a 360-degree overhead parking camera and new infotainment systems (with a 5.0-inch black and white display for base variants and either 5.8-inch or 8.0-inch colour units for higher-specified models).

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