Facelift Volkswagen Golf Finally Breaks Cover

VW has been milking it for all it’s worth, but now the new Golf has been shown off to the public for the first time. At a press conference in Wolfsburg, the facelift car (effectively a Mk7.5) was revealed with Management Board Chairman Dr Herbert Diess proclaiming, “The new Golf marks the beginning of the largest product offensive in the history of Volkswagen.”

Much of the talk was about new engines, a new gearbox, more connectivity and safety, as well as revised styling. The performance Golfs weren’t neglected in the changes to the car though.

The GTI gains 10hp – taking standard power up to 227hp – while with the Performance package serves up 241hp. These figures bring the GTI slightly closer to the Clubsport and R, albeit still with enough clear air between them.

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One of the biggest announcements for the new Golf is the introduction of a brand new engine to replace the previous 1.4 TSI. A 1.5 litre TSI Evo engine takes its place, pushing out 148hp and a chunky 184 lb ft of torque. It uses direct injection, a variable vane turbo and can shut down two cylinders under light loads in order to save fuel.

As well as new powertrains, VW has launched a brand new DSG gearbox with seven speeds, taking the place of the previous six speed box.

Visually, the new Golf has been tweaked rather than receiving a significant redesign. The chrome strip on the radiator grille has been extended and is painted red on the GTI, and blue on the GTE. LED running lights now surround full LED headlights, replacing the xenons on certain models in the range. Lower cooling vents have been accentuated and the radar panel, which controls the adaptive cruise control among other things, is now hidden. At the rear the bumper has been tweaked and, as with the front of the car, all lighting is now via LEDs.

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There’s more news on the inside of the car and during the press conference VW was at pains to point out that some of the most major changes to the Golf come in the form of technology – especially connective technologies. In a nod to its Audi stablemates, the Golf now gets a virtual dashboard which includes a host of programmable functions and display options including 2D and 3D navigation. There’s a new generation infotainment system too, with high-resolution touch screens ranging from 6.5 to 9.2 inches in size. The new “Discover Pro” will be the first Volkswagen infotainment system to offer both touch- and voice-command operation with gesture control in addition to proximity sensors – a world premiere in the compact car segment.

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Backing up the new infotainment system is the obligatory integration with Android MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A “Guide and Inform” feature also takes navigation further by enabling more dynamic place finding and live traffic information. For example, owners of the new GTE and e-Golf will be able to quickly locate the nearest charging station through voice or touch control. The tech-fest doesn’t end there, as drivers can now benefit from a host of driving aids including adaptive cruise control, front assist, lane assist, park assist and a blind spot monitor.

Expect the new Golf to make its first appearances in showrooms early next year.

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