Seven iron a stroke of genius
The next Golf’s familiar appearance masks profound changes throughout
THE game of Golf changes its rules early next year as Volkswagen tees off with a new, cheaper and more economical version.
Succeeding a model that in November made history by outselling Holden’s Commodore, the Mark VII Golf is expected to further boost Australian sales. The reason? It marks thevwbadge debut of the group’s modular Mqbplatform.
Some 50 per cent of Golf sales are of the most expensive variants, including the GTI. However, the lower costs associated with themqb platform could translate to cheaper Golf variants.
MQBIS essentially one vehicle platform and a set series of components that can serve numerous car models and can cut up to 8 per cent off the build cost. . It will be seen first on Audi’s A3 and then on up to 60 models from VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat.
The Golf VII, which debuts at the Paris motor show in September, starts production in October and reaches Australia in March. Don’t expect a drastic visual change, because much of the Golf’s premium cachet and strong resale are built on its styling continuity.
The Golf VII will be slightly longer but noticeably lower and wider than the current model — and will be powered by an unprecedented variety of drivetrains. Mqbpermits front and all-wheel drive, hybrid and electric power.
Golf will get a new turbo petrol engine family variously displacing 1.0, 1.2, 1.4 and 2.0 litres. A 103kw/250nm variant of the 1.4 with cylinder deactivation is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent. It is designed to run on two cylinders and reengage the other pair in response to the accelerator.
Expect also all-new 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesel engines that meet rigorous Euro-6 emission standards. Vwclaims CO emissions are down by 45 per cent in these versions while performance is up by an average of 20 per cent.
The cream of the crop is the turbo petrol engine in the GTI and R models. Suggestions are strong that the range will expand to start with a frontdrive GT, an all-wheel-drive GTI and an even more potent AWDR.