Much has already been leaked about the next-generation Volkswagen Golf, which goes into production this month in Germany. But a new report from Autocar has elucidated two more details: the new Golf GTI will be shown in concept form at the Paris Motor Show, and the seventh-generation Golf will be much larger and roomier than the current car.
The new Volkswagen GTI is expected to go on sale in Europe next spring. When it debuts in Paris, it will probably only be shown as a concept, rather than a full production car -- but we're still excited, as the GTI has long been one of the benchmarks for fun-to-drive cars in its segment. The hot hatch will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with between 222 and 260 hp. Power will be directed to the front wheels either by a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Performance for the new GTI should be impressive because Autocar reports that all seventh-generation Golf models are significantly lighter than the current car -- by at least 220 pounds. Using more high-strength steel in the body reportedly saves 51 pounds compared to the sixth-gen Golf. Aluminum suspension components shave about 57 pounds, while a further 26 pounds are eliminated thanks to redesigned electronics and seats. That could bring the base Golf's curb weight to as little as 2300 pounds.
The weight loss comes even as the new Volkswagen Golf grows significantly. The new car is based on the company's MQB platform, which can be stretched or shrunk to accommodate various vehicles on one common chassis, thus saving both development and production costs. The seventh-generation Golf will reportedly grow a few inches to 167.5 inches long, 57.2 inches tall, and 70.8 inches wide. That's still a bit smaller than the Ford Focus hatchback, which measures 171.6 inches long, 71.8 inches wide, and 57.7 inches tall.
Autocar says that Volkswagen plans for the increased size to help bolster crash safety, and to provide more interior room. Leg- and shoulder room increase in both front and rear seats, and trunk space grows a bit. Moreover, the trunk lift-over is lower and the floor wider, allowing for easier loading and carrying of bulky items. The new Golf's shifter, driver's seat, and pedals have been rearranged for better ergonomics, and the steering wheel will reportedly have a greater range of adjustment.
Under the hood, European models will receive a host of technologies like adaptive cruise control, automatic panic braking, a road sign detection system, an electronic differential lock (like on the current GTI), adaptive suspension, and multiple driving modes from Eco to Sport.An electric parking brake and touch screens ranging from 5.0 to 8.1 inches in size also will be available. Most of those features, however, will probably be deemed too expensive for sale on the American-spec Volkswagen Golf.
Autocar reveals that two launch engines in Europe will be a 138-hp, 1.4-liter turbo-four gasoline engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It will return the equivalent of 50 mpg. A 1.6-liter turbo-diesel is expected to offer 105 hp and return the equivalent of 62 mpg.In the U.S., we will probably see a turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine, a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel, and a 1.8-liter inline-four engine.
Some of these technical components will trickle down to other Volkswagens in the U.S. We've previously heard that the 2014 Jetta will score the new 1.8-liter turbo-four engine. All versions of the 2014 Jetta will also adopt the electric power steering from the new Golf; currently only the TDI diesel and sporty GLI have electric power steering.