The new Volkswagen Golf has made its global debut today at Volkswagen’s AutoStadt in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Externally, the new Golf is differentiated by its new front and rear bumpers, new LED headlights replacing the previous model’s Xenon, and new tri-bar LED tail lights. The turn signals are now animated, just like the newer models from its sister-company Audi.
Loosely referred to as the Golf Mk 7.5, this facelift model of the seventh generation Golf will come with a 1.5-litre turbocharged TSI Evo engine – still referred to as the EA211 - replacing the outgoing model’s 1.4-litre TSI. The new engine produces 150 PS, and 250 Nm from 1,500 Nm. The numbers are identical to the updated 1.4-litre TSI engine introduced in Malaysia earlier this year, but claimed fuel consumption is now 0.1-litre/100 lower than before, at 4.9-litre/100 km (NEDC combined cycle).
Contributing to the improved fuel economy is the Active Cylinder Technology, which shuts down the second and third cylinder when driving under low load conditions to save fuel.
There’s also a high efficiency BlueMotion version of the TSI Evo engine, which has been detuned to 130 PS and 200 Nm, and adopts a more fuel efficient Miller cycle combustion, variable turbine geometry turbo – a technology typically reserved only for diesel engines, and an extended coasting function which shuts down the engine when the accelerator is released.
Meanwhile, the more powerful GTI variant now pushes out 245 PS, 25 PS more than the outgoing model. A new 7-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission will replace the previous model’s 6-speed unit.
No details on the Golf R yet though.
Now With Active Info Display
Like the all-new Passat B8, the Golf Mk 7.5’s instrument cluster now features a very swanky Active Info Display full digital cockpit.
New infotainment system
Apart from the Active Info Display, another significant highlight of the new Golf’s interior is its Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB) infotainment head unit, which Volkswagen was keen to emphasize, the Golf is the first car in its class to use gesture control.
The previous model’s rather small-ish 5-inch touchscreen has been replaced with a new higher resolution (800 x 480 pixels versus 400 x 240) Composition Colour 6.5-screen.
Also available is an even larger 8.0-inch Discover Pro and 9.2-inch Discover Pro system. The latter is available with both touch- and voice-command operation with gesture control in addition to proximity sensors – a world premiere in the compact car segment.
Improved driving assistance features
In certain markets, the new Golf will be available with Traffic Jam Assist, a semi-autonomous driving feature that relieves the driver of driving duties in stop-go traffic. The feature is only available on cars equipped with Lane Assist lane departure warning system and adaptive cruise control ACC. It steers, brakes and accelerates the car semi-autonomously, limited to speeds of up to 60 km/h.
The Golf is the first model in its class to implement such a feature.
Also available are Pedestrian Monitoring for Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Trailer Assist and Emergency Assist.
Front Assist warns the driver of an impending crash ahead, and if the driver fails to react, automatically brakes the car. Previously the system is only capable of detecting vehicles, the newer version adopted in the Golf is capable of detecting pedestrians as well.
Trailer Assist helps the driver to steer the vehicle when reversing a towed trailer – a rather European thing - into a parking slot.
Emergency Assist is a feature that takes over the control of the vehicle if the driver is, for whatever medical reason, is incapacitated and fails to respond to repeated warnings from the vehicle. When activated, Emergency Assist turns on the hazard lights, intentionally executes gentle steering moves to warn other road users, and gently slows down the car to a stop.
Start of the largest product offensive of Volkswagen’s history
Yes the Volkswagen brand has seen better times, but it will take a lot more than dieselgate and transmission issues with some of its earlier models to take down Europe’s largest carmaker.
More importantly, the brand has firm plans to turn around its business by launching 10 new models and major updates. By 2020, the entire Volkswagen model range will be renewed.