SPIED: Next Golf GTI
NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT YET: Behind the garish camouflage lurks the makings of VW's next generation Golf, GTI and R variants with latter capable of 223kW.
Volkswagen’s Up! may represent the future for the German automaker but its Golf will still remain the core of the brand. VW aims to repeat the success of its Golf 6 with a next generation model that will have an entirely new platform, one shared by the current Audi A3.
Our spy photographers spotted the Golf VII in Scandinavia and one thing remains clear - VW designers won't mess with a winning formula.
There will still be two and four-door hatchbacks with a tall and upright roof. A station wagon and a convertible are in the works as well as a model called the Golf Plus.
NEXT GOLF R
Compared to the current model, the Golf VII will be slightly longer and wider. The model will be more assertive with sharp creases and a lowered front end. Power will be derived from VW's range of turbocharged direct-injection diesel and petrol engines. A plug-in hybrid and an electric variant is also planned.
The petrol engines will be 1.2 to two-litre four-cylinder units and the range will be topped by a GTI and R.The sportier versions will use a new engine as its predecessor has been retired. In R trim, the new engine will develop about 223kW.
The future of the expensive 1.4 twin-charger, a mid-range engine used in the current Golf lineup remains uncertain.
The TDI diesel range will consist of three and four-cylinder engines with the highest model capable of 150kW. The plug-in hybrid, which has a claimed range of 50km on batteries, will be based on a petrol power train. Transmission choices will be a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch auto.
As opposed to the current Golf lineup, which is exclusively front-wheel-drive, with the exception of the all-wheel-drive Golf R, the Golf VII will offer all-wheel drive with some mid-range engines added.
The new Golf is going to offer a lot of options typically reserved for larger premium cars, such as adaptive cruise control and a number of electronic assistance systems. The new model is set to make its debut later in 2012.