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The Long Wait for New VW Golf is (Almost) Over

VW's familiar hatchback will debut as a 2015 model.

by on Mar.27, 2013

The seventh-generation, or G7, Volkswagen Golf.

Take a good look.  If you like what you see, you’ll have time to start saving your pennies. A half-year after the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf made its debut at the Paris Motor Show it has finally rolled into the U.S., VW unveiling the ever-popular hatchback at this week’s 2013 New York Auto Show.

Unfortunately for those who’d like to rush out and place an order, the new model is still nearly a year away from actually reaching American showrooms. But Volkswagen is hoping you’ll be willing to wait for what will be sold as the 2015 Golf, promising the 5-door will be not just bigger and more spacious than the model it replaces but is also lighter, and as much as 15 percent more fuel-efficient.

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The maker is showing off three different versions of the 2015 Golf at NY’s Jacob Javits Convention Center: the turbocharged Golf TSI, the “oil-sipping” TDI diesel, and the “hotter” GTI.

The 2015 Golf is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the outgoing Gen-6 hatchback. It is also 1.1 inches lower and the co-efficient of drag has been reduced by almost 10% compared with the Golf 6. The interior package has been optimized to give 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom and 1.2 inches of additional shoulder room in the back.

The VW Golf was named European Car of the Year last week. Americans will have to wait til 2014 to see if they agree.

It may be bigger but an equally important assignment for Volkswagen engineers was to cut the new Golf’s mass. The extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels leaves the new Golf body shell 51 pounds lighter than the current model even while offering an enhanced crash structure.  The entire vehicle sheds an impressive 220 pounds.

The U.S. version of the Volkswagen Golf TSI will feature a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four, replacing the old TSI’s 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated inline-five.  It makes 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the same hp and 7 lb-ft more than the old five-cylinder.

The Golf GTI will punch out 210-hp and 258 lb-ft from its uprated 2.0-liter turbo inline-four. It can be paired with six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox. VW also hints that, “It is expected that the European Performance Pack will be offered during the GTI’s lifecycle.”

The Golf TDI will go with a common-rail 2.0-liter clean turbodiesel. Other than the bore spacing, it’s billed as an entirely new engine for the Gen-7 Golf and delivers 10 more ponies, at 150 hp, and 236 lb-ft of torque. The diesel will come with a standard 6-speed manual, though a DSG auto-shifting manual is also available.

What VW showed in Geneva as the GolfVariant may land in the U.S. as the next Jetta SportWagen.

All versions of the 2015 Golf will get the electronic differential lock, VW’s front-drive limited slip system. The new Golf also features a progressive steering system that translates into a lower steering ratio on the highway but a quicker ratio when you’re trying to park.

The design team, led by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff emphasized timeless and sophisticated design for new Golf. The new car’s hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood. The front end of the Golf also has a very strong horizontal graphic, with a relatively narrow radiator grille.

The new Golf incorporates the classic C-pillars and other elements that hark back to previous generation Golf models, such as the side windows, the roofline, and wheel arches.

The form language is: “logical, product-focused, pure and precise. The Golf’s proportions have completely changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever,” according to Bischoff.

The sporty nature of the Golf is enhanced with the GTI model, with its red-painted brake calipers, twin chrome tailpipes, and a lowered sport suspension. The exterior features GTI-specific wheels and low-profile tires, special side skirts, a rear diffuser, and smoked LED taillights with LED license-plate illumination.

The new interior also benefits the driver ergonomics. The seat position has been shifted back by 0.8 inches and the steering wheel adjustment range has been modified. The whole interior is finished in soft-touch plastics along with chrome, aluminum, and piano black surfaces.

So, why will it take so long to bring the 2015 Volkswagen Golf to the U.S.? The maker is transferring production from Germany to an expanding assembly plant in Silao, Mexico. It won’t be up-and-running until around the end of this year. The good news, says VW, is that it will be able to launch future versions of the Golf in the U.S. at the same time as Europe.

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