Five generations, 34 years and over 26 million vehicles after the original Golf went on sale, the sixth generation has been unveiled.
The new Golf is claimed to be the safest, most technically advanced and most dynamic iteration yet. Not only does the new Golf promise great value, but also aims to set benchmarks in quality, style, safety and the reduction of emissions.
Instantly apparent in the sixth generation of Golf is a sharply defined look that draws on the new design direction established by the Scirocco. The new look aims to combine the elements that define the Golf across five generations while bringing them up to date. The result is a clean, elegant design that's easily recognizable as a Golf yet remains an all-new shape.The same elements of simplicity and attention to detail were applied to the vehicle's interior. A new level of quality is established in the Golf with the adoption of materials and equipment usually associated with a vehicle in a higher segment.
Clearly defined white back-lit dials sit in recessed, individual wells behind a three-spoke steering wheel with the option of controls for entertainment and communications functions. High quality, soft touch plastics are integrated with tasteful aluminum and chrome highlights. The new look is combined with advances made by VW engineers in reducing wind noise including a completely new door design, window seals, windscreen and a new engine mounting system. The result is new levels of acoustic damping to make the new Golf the quietest yet.
Aiding this refinement are advanced new gas and diesel engines. The new 2.0L TDI 108hp common rail diesel engine emits just 119 g/km of CO2 while returning 62.7 mpg on the combined cycle. Other diesel variants are available with 89hp, 138hp and 168hp outputs linked to a choice of six-speed manual or DSG transmissions. Many of the fuel engines adopt highly efficient TSI technology with outputs of 79hp, 101hp, 120hp and 158hp. There's no word on what US-bound Golf's will receive but hopefully both fuel and diesel models will arrive.
For the first time, Volkswagen's Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) will be offered on the Golf. This is available on the Passat CC and standard on the new Scirocco, and allows the driver to select from normal, comfort or sport modes to define the desired suspension, steering and accelerator response settings for any particular journey.Automatic Distance Control is also offered, which monitors the area around the vehicle through a series of sensors and will, if necessary, reduce the vehicle's speed should an obstruction be identified.
Building on the technical advances are new levels of safety equipment including the addition of a knee airbag for the driver to bring the total number of standard airbags to seven. A new head restraint system designed to reduce whiplash injuries and rear seat belt detection sensors are joined by new, more advanced Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) software.
Prices and specifications for the new Golf will be announced closer to the vehicle's launch towards the end of the year. The new Golf goes on sale in Europe in January '09, but stay tuned with ET to find out the US sale dates.
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