The new generation Volkswagen Golf will not make its public debut at next week’s Geneva motor show not because it isn’t ready. It is, but the show has been cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus spreading in such a large public gathering.
The new Golf (the eighth generation of the hatchback) was due to take the stage in GTI, GTE (hybrid) and GTD (diesel) models, each benefitting from updated design inside and out, more power and a new driver interface.
The GTI gets a horsepower boost to 245 hp for the 2.0-litre turbo 4-cylinder, matching the output of the GTE (using a 150-hp 1.4-litre turbo “four” and 85-kW motor combo), though that variant also gets a chance to drive on electricity alone for up to 60 km. The turbodiesel 2.0-litre 4-cyl puts out 200 hp and uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic (as does the GTI, as an option to its standard 6-speed manual). The hybrid uses a 6-speed DSG.
A driving dynamics system is used for the first time in the Golf, continuously reading the road surface while also accounting for steering, braking and accelerator inputs and making adjustments at each wheel. The system can be adjusted between Comfort, Eco and Sport, as well as an Individual mode that can be saved and stored using a digital slider.
The standard LED headlights form a crossbar when combined with the radiator grille, with a narrow line spanning the front end (red for GTI, blue for GTE and silver for GTD). The headlights also feature an LED line to match the colour coded models, with the running lights running below it, and along the centre of the grille. Optional fog lights are integrated into the lower air intake honeycomb in an X-pattern at the corners.
All three feature wider side skirts in black and a racecar-style splitter, with the GTI using Richmond aluminum alloy 17-inch wheels (optional in 18 or 19 inches). At the rear, the model designation is now positioned centrally under the VW badge, and the tailpipes are also located differently — together on the left on the GTD, on either side of the GTI and hidden on the GTE.
The sport steering wheel mimics the colour-coding of the front end, with the centre silver ring highlighted at the bottom of the centre spoke to match the red, blue or silver colour of the front end. Similarly, the classic plaid seat upholstery features red, blue or light grey seams and red, blue or black piping depending on the respective model.
Standard equipment on all Golfs includes, lane-keep assist, front collision mitigation with autonomous braking and V2X (vehicle to everything) connectivity, among other features such as climate control, multifunction steering wheel and We Connect online services.