Bold new Golf gets into shape

25 Feb, 2009 12:01am Jack Rix

It’s only just launched MkVI – but VW is already working on stylish replacement.

it’s time to face the future at Volkswagen! The MkVI Golf has only just gone on sale, but the firm is already working on its replacement, due in 2012 – two years sooner than anticipated.

Our illustrations show how the MkVII is likely to look. And as usual with VW’s most important model, the styling is evolutionary.

But it’s under the skin where this model plans to break new ground – leading the way in how cars of the future will be made.

Reports suggest the MkVII will differ so radically from its predecessor that it bears comparison to the giant leap Ford made from the Escort to the Focus in 1998.

Bucking the trend for ever-increasing dimensions and kerbweights, the newcomer will rely on a smaller platform than the current car, with many components borrowed from the forthcoming Polo. Lightweight body panels will reduce weight, so similar performance can be achieved from smaller-capacity forced-induction engines. And diesels are expected to make up an even bigger percentage of sales than at present.

VW’s highly efficient twin-clutch DSG gearbox will be offered across the range as well, while advances in its resilience mean high-powered versions such as the GTI will benefit from seven ratios instead of six for the first time.

But it’s not just conventional engineering that’s going to make the Golf the greenest in its class – the hatch is set to join the hybrid party. We tried a prototype of VW’s Twin Drive technology last year (Issue 1,024), although it won’t go into full production until the MkVII emerges.

It combines a frugal 1.5-litre diesel unit with three compact electric motors, and the plug-in drivetrain can operate on battery power alone below 31mph for around 30 miles. Above that speed, it works in tandem with the oil-burner, and takes over entirely at motorway speeds. The result is a startling 113mpg – more than twice what a standard 2.0-litre TDI can muster.

Beyond that, VW is already working on an HCCI engine – a petrol unit that thinks it’s a diesel. By ditching the spark plugs, this blends the fuel efficiency of a diesel with the cleaner emissions and free-revving nature of a petrol.

And as HCCI engines run most efficiently at constant rpm, there’s even talk of using it to extend the range on a plug-in hybrid powertrain – giving a similar set-up to the Chevrolet Volt.

But one thing is for certain: for the first time, VW’s focus will be on fuel efficiency, recyclability and environmental credentials above all else.

...and it takes a hole lot from next polo

Auto Express’s spies have caught the 2009 Polo testing on more than one occasion – but it’s what’s underneath the camouflaged body that’s of interest. Elements of the Polo’s underpinnings will be borrowed by the MkVII Golf. The new Polo debuts at the Geneva Motor Show next week – and we’ll have the first official images in Issue 1,053. MkVII will also take technology from the Twin Drive prototype.

Disqus - noscript

By god its a good looking car. Better than the current and already outdated golf by leaps and bounds. I like the way it seems to incorporate the nose and tail of the stunning bluesport concept in a hatch body. But then, where does that leave the actual roadster?

Yes, a nice looking Golf but these are just illustrations so even though it's launch is only 2 years hence, some of that could change. Thing is though, and this isn't really a criticism, but it does look like a large Polo and that probably isn't a bad thing as the forthcoming Polo is a bit of a looker and quite different to any past incarnation. The current Golf MkVI from the profile at any rate looks identical to the Golf MKV, there just isn't anything to choose between them. It's only when you come to look at the front or rear ends that you really notice that the 6th generation Golf is in fact slightly different, but you wouldn't know otherwise. The 7th generation Golf is quite a bit removed in appearance from Mk 5 or Mk 6 Golfs. I'll reserve full judgement though until 2012 when the MkVII

Change the dam shape VW.!Stop being so lazy in your designs. One day VW will have issues like Toyota, millons recalled and unlike Toyota, VW won't have the stylish cheap cars to fall back on. Finally VW will be shown as the boring cars that they are.

This new Golf looks very smart. VW's legendary build quality and reliability will make it a great car. It looks better than a lot of Ford's on the roads at the minute. Incidentally, there are two 'bs' in rubbish! You being a Ford fan you should be familiar with and be able to spell the word 'rubbish'.

Bigbazza - What do you drive? Have you actually driven a Ford recently? (if ever) VW has relied on a reputation built in the 80's there is nothing between Ford and VW when it comes to reliability and build quality. I would even go as far to say that since the bean counters at VW got to work with cost cutting measures, the Fords are more reliable. I drive the M4 corridor every day and it littered with French and German cars broken down on the hard shoulder, I rarely see a Ford in the same sitaution! The difference is that Fords are cheaper to run, with lower priced servicing and parts. The Focus is a better car to drive with cornering and general feedback. Unlike you I drove both before purchasing the Ford. The Ford was just a better car to drive. boring maybe but it has been the number one selling family hatch in all it's incarnations since it was launched around 11 yrs or so back

The design for the golf has hardly changed in 20 years!
Stick a private plate on a new one and you wont be able to tell what model or version it is
Golfs and VW's in general are boring by design and lagging even skoda!!

This is another bland incarnation of the stupidly named Golf. talking of names who comes up with these retarded and silly names; Golf, Polo, Lupo plus the silly T's; Tiguan, Toureg, Touran? Anyone that calls this 'new' Golf exciting then I feel sorry for your wife or girlfriend!

Volkswagen originally named their cars after winds/airstreams - so Golf (Gulf), Jetta, Polo, Passat hark back to these days. Lupo derives from the Latin stem for wolf (Wolfsburg), Touran is the product of assimilation ("Tour" plus "Sharan" = Touran), Touareg is named after the Tuareg people, a Berber-speaking group in North Africa (first used in an automobile in the 1996 Peugeot Touareg concept car) and finally, Tiguan is a combination of Tiger and Iguana, as chosen by the German public via AutoBild.

...big deal. The Golf is a bland car. All versions since the MKII have been. But it works for VW, so good luck to them. I just wish we didn't have to keep hearing about how good it is. I recently rode a couple of hundred miles in a new one - wasn't any great shakes IMHO - oh, and the door pillars were rattling after only a couple of hundred miles. Not for me.

Since the current Golf is billed as the Mark VI and not a facelifted Mark V and was only launched last year, surely 2012 is too soon for an all new model. Volkswagen are diluting the integrity of their designs by launching facelifted cars when all-new designs are expected, witness the recently facelifted 7 year old Touran.

They have achived the impossible - made the Mark VII Golf look like a marriage between an old Mazda 3 and the long defunct Fiat Stilo. VW really must try harder than this, although in fairness the looks of the Golf have never destroyed the sales.

PS - what happpened to tnew "Family Face" of the Mk VI/New Passat etc?

I have the latest GOLF and it has been the best car I have ever owned. If its not broken dont fix it. I cant wait to get the new one.

Having just stupidly swapped my VW vehicle for a Toyota, I now relise how special VW ownership is. The Toyota gives none of the 'joys of ownership' and 'perceived quality' buzzes that I got from the VW. It feels cheap and the electronics are decades behind. I am returning to the VW fold as soon as I can. By the way, I love the evolutionary styling. I don't want something as hideous as the new Focus on my drive!

Bought a Kia Sportage GSE recently. Love this car. Can't stop looking at it from all angles. "Chapeau" to you Herr Schreyer. Here in Ireland, VWs are seen as cars for boring people who can't be bothered to look around. VW are living on a 40 year old reputation. A friend of mine had a Golf that was addicted to new clutches and oil.

not as good as the Focus by a long way

To my mind, the current VW Polo looks alot better than the current Golf, so I think Walter De Silva has made the right move in going along the Polo design direction. I really like the crisp and angular lines much better than the bloated and bulky looking current Golf. I also like the particular attention given to the design of the tail lights and headlights.

As far as I know european Ford is German.
Production of cars in the UK ended in 2002 and the headquarter is in Cologne, Germany.

very nice, vw's starting to look nice again

cant wait to see the R version! hopefully with a big meaty 300bhp focus RS killer!

Like the sound of the diesel hybrid

Our illustrations show how the MkVII is likely to look.

It's a non-story again.

Looks like a KIA C'eed. VW is losing its way.

Is it me, but does the front end look a bit francòis'y??? what's with the angualar boxy lines and the plastic vents thingy mounted in the rear bumper? I can't really complain as I have just ordered my VW company car and can't wait!!!

I cant see much shape in it at all...

ford GB is independent with it;s own head quarters in the UK ...still employ 35K+ workers in the UK's design center is in the UK, 1 in 4 of Fords word wide car production will have a engine that is UK built including the brilliant Welsh built fire breathing Zetec engine.. Ok shame about Dagenham no longer producing cars... it still produces and now is focused on the the ford engines! Transit as far as i know is the only car/van built in the UK by ford ...
Ford still employ more people in the Uk than they do in any other country in the world apart from America itself

In what parallel universe could this 'new' Golf design be called 'bold' pray?

Auto Express 1,372
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links