The new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf made its debut at the recent Paris Motor Show and it will go on sale here in December. It is a near perfect evolution of the current model with enough styling changes inside and out to excite, but not having gone too far to upset any members of the biggest golf club in the world, writes Padraic Deane.
Volkswagen have done a particularly nice job with the interior. It looks great and, intermixed with the expected German efficiency lines and safety features, it is pleasing to the eye.
Of special interest in the new range will be one of the world’s most fuel-efficient cars - the new Golf BlueMotion.
This is a genuine family car with five seats. Boasting all Golf’s traditional attributes of comfort and safety, it is predicted by Volkswagen to return 88.3mpg on the combined cycle and emit 85g/km of carbon dioxide. This should take it close to fitting into the lowest Band A level of the promised new VRT tax system in Ireland (revealed last month in the Auto Trade Journal ).
The current Golf BlueMotion runs at about €1,850 more than the nearest equivalent five-door 1.6 TDi Trendline mode. In the case of new model, if the Auto Trade Journal has forecast correctly, the BlueMotion should have a lower VRT band rating and therefore should be closer in price to the nearest equivalent Trendline model.
It should also bring with it a consequent advantage over many other small family car rivals for VRT, as well the inevitable new road tax rates.
The third-generation Golf BlueMotion is set for an Irish launch in the summer next year.
The first generation of the Golf BlueMotion made its debut five years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, with the car coming to market in left-hand drive in Europe at the end of 2007. At that time, the Golf BlueMotion set new standards for its class with a fuel consumption value of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 119g/km. In 2009 Volkswagen showed the second-generation Golf BlueMotion in Geneva - a concept car whose fuel consumption had been reduced to 74.3mpg and emissions cut to 99g/km.
The fact that fuel consumption for the third Golf BlueMotion has now been reduced by another 15 per cent and CO2 emissions by 14 grams per km to a class-leading 85g/km is a reflection of Volkswagen’s continuous technical progress. With its 50-litre fuel tank and 88.3mpg fuel consumption, the new Golf has a theoretical range of 970 miles. Assuming an average annual driving distance of 15,000km (approx 9,300 miles ), most drivers will only have to refuel 10 times a year.
The car’s combined fuel consumption has been achieved through innovative lightweight design (including 26kg less weight in the running gear and 37kg less in the body ), engine-related modifications, and a collection of other measures. These include super low rolling resistance tyres with higher air pressure, longer gear ratios (five-speed manual gearbox ), the stop/start and battery regeneration systems that are standard in all new Golfs, plus specific aerodynamic modifications.
Other fuel-saving features include improved aerodynamics and the recuperation of energy from braking.
The front of the new Golf was reduced by 0.03m2 and aerodynamic drag (Cd x A ) by nearly 10 per cent. Compared to other Golf models, the aerodynamics of the BlueMotion were also refined by a lowered ride height (by 15mm ), a roof spoiler, lateral air guide elements on the rear window, a masked front grille, partially closed air inlet screens, optimised cooling system airflow, special underfloor panels, optimised brake cooling channels and a C-pillar spoiler. These measures provide the Golf BlueMotion with a Cd value of 0.27, making the car one of the most aerodynamic in its class.
At the heart of the new Golf BlueMotion concept is a 1.6-litre 110bhp TDI from the newly developed EA288 engine series. The four-cylinder 16-valve unit develops its maximum torque of 250Nm from 1,500rpm up to 2,750rpm.
Various measures such as reduced internal friction, an innovative thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation, cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold result in successfully reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
To reduce emissions values further, Volkswagen has also implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.
The first models in the new seventh generation Volkswagen Golf range go on sale in Ireland in December this year, with the BlueMotion version to follow next summer.