American motorists will finally get a good look at the new Volkswagen Golf when it makes its formal debut at the New York International Auto Show later this month. But the unveiling – which comes a half-year after the seventh-generation hatchback debuted in Europe – will still be little more than a tease.
VW doesn’t plan to actual start selling the newest version of the Golf here until the first half of 2014, it reconfirms, the maker waiting until it can shift production from Germany to a plant it is updating in Puebla, Mexico.
In an advanced press release, VW promises that. “Three different versions of the Golf will debut under the lights of New York City’s Javits Center.” That includes the turbocharged Golf TSI, the “oil-sipping” TDI diesel, and the “hotter” GTI.
What’s notably absent from the list is the so-called GolfVariant, the wagon that VW introduced at the Geneva Motor Show just last week.
The U.S. versions of the Golf will feature some modest tweaks compared to the models sold in Europe and other parts of the world, though most of those updates will be intended to meet specific American safety and emissions standards.
The fundamentals of the Golf – which was just named European Car of the Year — will remain true to what we first saw at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Dimensionally, it’s 2.2-inches longer than the Gen-6 model, 0.5-inches wider and 0.8-inches lower – in European trim, anyway.
The Gen-7 Golf also follows an increasingly common pattern among manufacturers to shed weight wherever possible – mass being the enemy of both mileage and performance, as any good automotive engineer will explain. Considering the diminutive size of the Golf, losing 220 pounds compared to the outgoing model is no small feat.
The U.S. version of the TSI will feature a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four, replacing the old TSI’s 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated inline-five. The TDI will get a 2.0-liter clean turbodiesel, and the GTI will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four.
“We’ll be waiting patiently” for next year’s launch of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf, the maker’s terse release suggested. The question is whether buyers also will hang on. The good news for the German manufacturer is that it has been steadily gaining momentum and should be able to keep true Golf fans sitting on the sidelines until production down in Puebla finally begins.
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