Today in New York, Volkswagen hosted the North American debut of the seventh-generation Golf lineup. We’ve seen photos of these cars online before, but it’s nice to see them in the metal. Built on VW’s new modular MQB platform – which I firmly believe is VW’s not-so-secret weapon for its designs on dominating auto industry profits, the new cars are larger but lighter than the models they replace.
Though we already knew about the car’s weight and dimensions thanks to Volkswagen’s European release of the car, today VW confirmed the car’s powertrain lineup. As expected, the 2.5 liter inline-five goes away, and won’t be missed by many people. In its place is a new 1.8 liter turbo four, rated at 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That matches the five’s horsepower number, but bests its predecessor’s torque output by seven lb-ft. More importantly, it will be lighter and more compact than the five cylinder was, and will likely get much better fuel economy.
The 2.0 liter TDI (diesel) is also a new engine, though its displacement matches the old Golf TDI’s engine. Only the bore spacing is carried over; the new diesel produces 150 horsepower (up from 140 in the old 2.0 TDI) and a robust 236 lb-ft of torque.
Autosavants will likely be most interested in the GTI’s new 2.0T engine. Also a new architecture that sheds weight and adds power, the GTI’s 2.0T is expected to produce 210 horsepower (up 10 from the sixth-generation GTI) and 258 lb-ft of torque. The GTI’s engine output is not yet finalized; usually when this disclaimer is applied, final output is higher than the estimate (all about under-promising and over-delivering, you know).
All Golf and GTI models bound for North America will be built in Mexico, as will all three new engines. As the headline notes, all the cars will carry a 2015 model year, meaning they can’t go on sale before January 2, 2014.