Seventh-Generation Volkswagen Golf Bigger Both Inside and Out, GTI Set to Debut in Paris Next Month

By Trevor Dorchies | August 22, 2012
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf is set to begin production next month, and thanks to Autocar, we now know a little bit more about the popular German hatchback. First, the next-gen Golf will be bigger than its predecessor both inside and out. Secondly, the GTI variant will officially be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month. We expect the GTI’s Paris debut to be in concept form but rumblings are that the production variant isn’t far from being firmed up. At least 220 pounds are expected to be dropped from the upcoming Golf, 51 pounds of which are thanks to the use of high-strength steel for the body. Volkswagen has also decided to go with some aluminum suspension parts which will drop another 57 pounds from the hatchback, and new electronics and seats account for another 26 pounds. When all of the new changes are accounted for, we expect the new Golf to tip the scales are around 2,300 pounds. As the new Golf’s weight drops, its overall size has grown. The hatchback’s overall length will now check in at 167.5 inches, and it will be 57.2 inches tall and 70.8 inches wide. The seventh-gen Golf will sit on Volkswagen’s MQB architecture, which can be formatted to accommodate subcompact cars all the way up to full-size sedans. Every vehicle that sits on this shared architecture uses the same engine, front axle, and pedal positioning, but the chassis itself can be stretched out or pulled in to fit the vehicle’s size. A current example of a Volkswagen Group vehicle that uses the MQB platform is the European-spec third-gen Audi A3, which will go on sale next month. The Golf’s increased size is the result of Volkswagen wanting to make the hatchback even safer and give occupants more space inside. Like all Volkswagen vehicles that employ the MQB platform, the new Golf also sees its pedals, driver’s seat, and shifter moved around to smooth over ergonomics. Keeping with the new Golf’s ergonomics, the steering wheel will now have a larger range for adjustment, according to Autocar.  Volkswagen also stretched the width of the floor and lowered the trunk lift-over to make loading and unloading cargo easier. At the time of its launch in Europe, the Golf will rely on your choice of a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 gasoline engine that’s rated at 1348 horsepower and is expected to be rated at an EPA equivalent of 50 mpg. A 1.6-liter turbo-diesel rated at 105 horsepower is also expected to be available and will get 62 mpg. Don’t get too excited though because it’s unlikely those mills will make their way stateside. For the states, a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel, and a 1.8-liter inline-four engine are expected to be available. Like the current Golf, expect a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic to be available. Some creature comforts that will appear on the European-spec Golf include automatic panic braking, an electronic differential lock (which is already present on the current-gen GTI), adaptive cruise control and suspension, a road detection system, and different driving modes (eco, sport, etc.). Other features include different touch screens that range in size from 5.0 to 8.1 inches, and an electric parking brake. However, no word on which of those expensive features will make it to the the American market. What say you? Is a bigger Golf better for the American market? Would you consider driving one? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: Autocar