VW’s New Golf… A class of its own

 In brief

Volkswagen presented the seventh generation Golf to the public for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. Nearly five months later, Volkswagen is launching the “best Golf ever” in South Africa.

The weight of the new Golf has been reduced by up to 100 kg, which has resulted in improved fuel economy by almost 23 per cent depending on the engine.

In addition, the seventh generation Golf will feature a new range of standard and optional assistance systems in its class.

Affordable – The new Golf can do everything better and the base model 1.2 TSI 77kW with BlueMotion Technology consumes only 4.9 l/100 km – CO2 of 114 g/km.

New engines – New petrol and diesel engines have been added into the new Golf model line-up. The 1.2 TSI with 77 kW is the new entry engine and it replaces the 1.6 MPI 75 kW. The 1.4 TSI with 103 kW and 2.0 TDI with 110 kW engines replace 1.4 TSI with 118 kW and 2.0 TDI with 103 kW respectively. Both engines combine dynamic sporty driving experience and frugal fuel consumption. The combined fuel consumption of the 1.4 TSI engine is: 5.3 l/100 km (equating to 121 g/km CO2) whilst the 2.0 TDI has a combined fuel consumption of 4.5 l/100km (equating to 119 g/km CO2 ).

Progressive – first Volkswagen with multi-collision brake

Safety and comfort at a new level. The quest to reduce every last gram of weight should not hinder advances being achieved in other areas. Volkswagen is demonstrating that the new Golf stands for the democratisation of advanced technology and for perfection in every detail. With added space (extra legroom in the back and 30 litres more boot capacity); new pioneering safety systems such as the multi-collision brake system, XDS electronic differential lock, electronic parking hand brake, a completely redesigned world of information and entertainment systems with standard touchscreen in all models and with a display that reacts to hand movements via a proximity sensor in Highline models.

Confident – one of the best-known designs is further enhanced

Unmistakable product features. The new Golf joins its six predecessors that have written a story of success not only in technical and economic achievement, but also in industrial design. The Golf‟s exterior form is today one of the most recognisable product designs in the world.

Walter de Silva, Head of Design, Volkswagen AG: “One of the keys to the Golf‟s success lies in its continuity. There are but a handful of cars in the world with a design like the Golf‟s. It has been refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and has thereby become timeless.”

Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer, Volkswagen Brand: “The Golf‟s unmistakable product features include the typical C-pillars, the long roofline and typical window line as well as the characteristic front and rear sections with their horizontal elements. These details make the new Golf more independent, sophisticated and durable than the majority of other compact cars. You could also say that the Golf‟s design is inherently stable.”

Premium proportions. “The language of form,” says Bischoff, “is logical, solid, product-focused, pure and precise and reflects the brand‟s design DNA as a perfect model of creativity. The base architecture of the new Golf is therefore unmistakable. It feels uncomplicated, strong, reliable and safe. Starting with the pure element of this clear base architecture, details such as the economical use and placement of sculptural lines are more like fine nuances. Also extremely important is the fact that the proportions of the Golf Mk7 have changed significantly, making the car look more confident than ever.”

Marc Lichte, lead exterior designer, explains: “The proportions have changed significantly because we have taken advantage of the Modular Transverse Matrix here. The front wheels, for example, were moved 43 millimetres further forward. This makes the front overhang shorter, and at the same time the bonnet looks longer.”

Klaus Bischoff confirms this: “Visually, the passenger compartment has been shifted towards the rear, creating what is called a „cab backward‟ impression. That‟s what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the bonnet is long and the passenger compartment a long way towards the back. On the new Golf, we thus have proportions that you otherwise only get in higher-class segments of the market.”

Quick facts of the new Golf

Assistance and vehicle dynamics systems (standard and optional): Electronic Stability Control (ESC including anti-lock brake system, brake assistant, traction control, XDS electronic differential lock, engine drag torque control, counter steering support and trailer stabilization); Light Assist main beam control; cruise control system including speed limiter; multi-collision brake; ParkPilot; Park Assist park steering assistant; tyre pressure monitoring indicator; Rear Assist.

Transmissions: 5-speed manual (2.0 TDI with 81 kW), 6-speed manual (1.2 TSI with 77 kW, 1.4 TSI with 90 kW and 1.4 TSI with 103 kW); 6-speed DSG (2.0 TDI with 110 kW) and 7-speed DSG (1.4 TSI with 90 kW).

Cargo capacity: 380 litres to 1,270 litres

Colours: Base: Urano Grey, Pure White, Tornado Red. Metallic: Night Blue, Pacific Blue, Sunset Red, Reflex Silver and Tungsten Silver. Pearl effect: Deep Black

Design: Walter de Silva (Group), Klaus Bischoff (Brand).

Dimensions: 4,255 mm long, 1,799 mm wide (without door mirrors), 2,027 mm wide (with door mirrors), 1,452 mm tall, 2,637 mm wheelbase.

Drive: Front-wheel drive.

Engines – diesel: 2.0 TDI with 81 kW and 2.0 TDI with 110 kW.

Engines – petrol: 1.2 TSI with 77 kW, 1.4 TSI with 90 kW and 1.4 TSI with 103 kW.

Equipment lines: Trendline, Comfortline, Highline.

Fuel tank: 50 litres

Infotainment: “Composition Colour” CD/radio (5-inch touchscreen) – standard in Trendline and Comfortline models, “Composition Media” CD/Radio (5.8-inch touchscreen) – standard in Highline models, “Discover Pro” radio-navigation system (8-inch touchscreen) – optional.

Production site: Wolfsburg plant and Mosel plant (Zwickau).

Sales: Over 29 million worldwide and 323 100 in South Africa.

Model introductions in South Africa: Mk 1 – 1978; Mk 2 – 1984; Mk 3 – 1992; Mk 4 – 1999; Mk 5 – 2004; Mk 6 – 2009.

Running gear: MacPherson-type front suspension; modular lightweight rear suspension (1.2 TSI with 77 kW and 2.0 TDI with 81 kW) and modular performance rear suspension – multi-link rear axle (1.4 TSI with 90kW, 1.4 TSI with 103 kW and 2.0 TDI with 110 kW).

Wheels: 15-inch „Lyon‟ alloy wheels on Trendline; 16-inch „Toronto‟ alloy wheels on Comfortline and 17-inch „Dijon‟ alloy wheels on Highline

BODY STYLING

Golf is one of the world’s most recognisable product designs Seventh stage of Golf evolution clearly shows added dynamism and precision Golf reflects par excellence the principles of Volkswagen design DNA

There is but a handful of cars with a design like the Golf‟s. It has been constantly refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and has thus become timeless. In this process, Volkswagen designers repeatedly gave a new edge to the Golf‟s product features. These include the typical C-pillars, the long roofline and the characteristic front and rear sections. These details also make the new Golf more independent, sophisticated and timeless than any other compact car.

The design of the new Golf

In developing the new Golf, the teams led by head designers Walter de Silva (Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Brand) based their work on a great deal of creative freedom that allows many different approaches for a new design, while also focusing on the principles of the Volkswagen design DNA. A look at this DNA reveals the key to the new Golf‟s design.

Development of the DNA. Over recent years, the Volkswagen designers have crystallised a selection of core elements from the brand‟s history, which they term its „historic DNA‟. All current Volkswagen designs correspond to this DNA which presents a modern, progressive impression that feels familiar. The Design DNA in the new Golf includes elements such as the reduced form of the radiator grille crossbeam, the look of the side windows as well as the roofline from Golf Mk1 and C-pillars and wheel arches of the fourth generation Golf.

This DNA creates a unique, unmistakable language of product features and design. The language of product features leaves a familiar feeling, and yet it creates a new sensation in the eyes of the observer. The features are visual characteristics such as functionality, robustness, honesty and reliability. These characteristics are generated by a language of form perfected over many years. It creates the typical Volkswagen product design that today enjoys success around the globe.

Premium proportions. “This language of form,” explains Bischoff, “is logical, solid, product-focused, pure and precise, and it reflects the brand‟s design DNA as a perfect model of creativity. This makes the base architecture of the new Golf unmistakable. It comes over as simple, strong, understandable, reliable and safe. When one begins with the pure element of this clear base architecture, details such as the economical use and placement of sculptural lines seem more like fine nuances. Another extremely important point is that the Golf‟s proportions have completely changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever before.”

Marc Lichte, lead exterior designer, explains: “The proportions have changed, as we have taken advantage of the Modular Transverse Matrix here. The front wheels, for example, have moved 43 millimetres further forward. The front overhang is therefore shorter, while the bonnet looks longer.”

Klaus Bischoff confirms this: “Visually, the passenger compartment has been shifted towards the rear, creating what is called a „cab backward‟ impression. That‟s what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the bonnet is long and the passenger compartment a long way towards the back. On the new Golf, we thus have proportions that you otherwise only get in higher-class segments of the market.”

Side profile has powerful lines. Marc Lichte: “We sought to emphasise these modified proportions with design elements. Below the door handles, we have integrated the now clearly visible and very sharp character line. While this line is interrupted by the wheel arches, it however continues around the car. It is stylistically reflected in the chrome bars of the radiator grille and headlights and at the back in the white lateral bars of the rear light clusters. Set deep down all the way around, this line lowers the visual centre of gravity and gives the car a more solid stance on the road. Another striking element is the new line along the side shoulder directly below the windows. This line begins at the front in the headlight, and then glides under the wing mirror, which is positioned right on the line, all the way through to the rear side window, underscoring the premium proportions of the new Golf.” The wheel arches are particularly prominent as well, and along with the wider track, longer wheelbase and tyre dimensions of up to 17 inches, they make the Golf appear more powerful.

“Two other features,” explains Klaus Bischoff, “are characteristic of the new Golf silhouette: the C-pillar and the roofline. On the previous Golf, the character line cut through the C-pillar. This is no longer the case on the new Golf. The C-pillar runs along one homogenous surface from the start of the roof all the way to the rear wheel arch. Above the wheel arch, however, it picks up more strongly the entire width of the car – and as a result, when viewed from behind or diagonally from the rear, the new Golf looks more solid and powerful. Viewed from the side, the precision of the C-pillar design catches the eye. It resembles the drawn string of a bow, giving the Golf a look of acceleration even while it is standing still. At the same time, it pays homage to the Golf Mk2 and Mk4 – both design icons.”

On the right-hand side of the vehicle, even the shape of the fuel cap is integrated into this arrow element. Head Designer Klaus Bischoff continues: “The contour of the roofline has also been completely redesigned. Above the side windows, the Golf now displays another line, which runs from the roof-edge spoiler right through to the A-pillars. It is one of those character features that give the Golf a particularly sophisticated look from the side as well – a line that at first glance may remain unnoticed, yet is a further detail en route to visual precision.”

Front section. The Volkswagen design DNA manifests itself in a „face‟ that has appealing features. In addition, in the same way as on the first Golf, it defines horizontally balanced elements that create a certain width. Together they produce a front section that is recognisable as a Volkswagen. Each Volkswagen class has its own character attributes in this respect. In the Golf class these include, for example, the slightly upward sweeping headlights and a defined maximum height for the radiator grille.

Compared to its predecessor, the new Golf displays completely restructured modulation of its surfaces. While on the Golf Mk6 the wings were higher than the bonnet – effectively framing it – this is now the other way round. On the sides, the crease lines form the wings‟ lowest points, before the latter transition vertically into the wheel arches. The top border of the wings is formed by a line, as if cut by a knife, which begins at the A-pillars. All of the lines together form a V-shaped bonnet.

Beneath the bonnet come the redesigned headlights and the comparatively narrow band of the radiator grille. At the bottom, the radiator grille is bordered – to the left and right of the chrome VW badge – by a chrome bar, which in the case of fitting with an optional Bi-Xenon headlights is continued in the headlight housing. Particularly striking are the LED daytime running lights of the xenon headlights. Meanwhile the bottom air inlet, in conjunction with the body-coloured area beneath the headlights, supports the strong horizontal layout of the front section design. The air inlet is now framed by a body-coloured area that even with the car‟s very confident look gives it the typical Volkswagen smile. Another core design element is the bend at the outer ends of the bumper, which produces – especially in a top view – an alternation of shapes.

Rear section. Typical Golf elements at the rear include the clear geometry of the rear lights, the rear window stretching all the way to the C-pillars and the large uniform surface around the Volkswagen badge. Iconic: even without the badge or model name the seventh generation of this best-seller is instantly recognisable as a Golf. And yet every line is new. That applies both to the rear light clusters that end narrower on the inside and parallel to the C-pillar on the outside (with striking L-shaped light contours) and to the tailgate, which reaches much lower down and offers the lowest boot sill height in its class (665 mm).

A horizontal light-refracting edge near the bottom of the tailgate, which continues on the bumper, and the boot sill running parallel below this emphasise the sportily full width of the new Golf. These elements also correspond to the lines of the now much more pronounced bumper that is visually “pulled out” towards the rear. The bumper itself is fully painted right down to the bottom, with only the centrally integrated diffuser, which also incorporates the exhaust pipe, kept black.

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