The MkVII version of VW legend gets more space, hi-tech kit and safety features
The all-new VW Golf is coming – and Auto Express has the best pictures yet. The MkVII is due to debut at next year’s Paris Motor Show, and go on sale shortly afterwards. It’s been rebuilt from the ground up to provide more space, technology and safety features than any previous generation of the iconic hatch.
As the cornerstone of the VW range, it will spawn a host of new models, including a saloon – for the first time – a practical Golf Plus, an estate and a replacement for the Touran MPV, as well as a hot new Scirocco coupé. They are all due in 2013, with a new Tiguan and a replacement for the Golf Cabriolet scheduled for the following year.
But the key model is this five-door hatch, which our illustrators have recreated using inside information. Together with images of prototypes caught testing in Germany, they give us a clear idea of how next year’s most exciting new family car will look. As ever, the changes are evolutionary – but design boss Walter de’Silva has set out to give the styling a sportier feel. The front features a raked windscreen, two-bar grille and LED lights, while a square tailgate and wide wheelarches mark out the rear.
Other design cues include dramatic slashes in the sides – but there are big changes under the skin, too. The car is based on a new architecture called MQB, and the wheelbase has been lengthened. This is designed to make the newcomer more versatile than the previous chassis.
The MkVII will have a larger boot than rivals such as the Ford Focus and Renault Mégane, and promises more rear legroom, too. New engines and a host of hi-tech options will also be available. A wide range of TSI turbocharged editions will join the line-up. They will start with an efficient 1.2-litre 85bhp powerplant that returns 60mpg and emits less than 100g/km of CO2 for entry-level models.
There will also be a 1.4-litre unit, plus a new flagship 2.0-litre petrol turbo. This will deliver 220bhp in the next GTI, and 300bhp in a forthcoming four-wheel-drive R model. Diesel options will include 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI engines. All models will get stop-start as standard, and VW also plans a 100mpg plug-in hybrid, a mild hybrid and an all-electric version, called the e_BlueMotion.
Entry-level cars will drive the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, while flagship variants are expected to offer the firm’s seven-speed DSG semi-automatic gearbox. And that’s not all, because the new Golf promises class-leading technology, too.
As with Ford’s latest Focus, an ‘eye’ installed in the front bumper will provide automatic speed limit warnings. It will also give a link to the advanced lane departure warning set-up. The new Golf will also be available with a system that helps the car avoid low-speed collisions, plus blindspot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
Inside, an advanced trip computer is expected to offer Web access, as well as the very latest sat-nav and phone connectivity systems. It will be a while before the MkVII hits the road, but it looks set to be well worth the wait.