A further subtle change in appearance can be detected in the new Golf's overall proportions, with a longer hood and the cabin shifting farther back. Lichte said: "The proportions have changed. The front wheels have moved 1.7 inches (4.3 cm) forward. The front overhang is therefore shorter, and at the same time the bonnet looks l onger."
VW brand design chief Klaus Bischoff said: "Visually, the passenger compartment has moved toward the rear, creating what is called a 'car-backward' impression. That's what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, on which the bonnet is long and the passenger compartment a long way toward the back. On the new Golf, we thus have proportions that you otherwise only get in higher-class segments of the market."
Along with the initial five-door hatchback, Volkswagen plans a three-door hatchback, a high roof five-door hatchback (Plus), five-door wagon (Variant), four-door sedan (CC) and two-door cabriolet versions of the new Golf.
The new look will also be reflected on upcoming replacements for the Jetta, Touran, Scirocco and Caddy. Unlike the current Golf, which was a heavily face-lifted version of the fifth-generation car, the new model has been re-engineered from the ground up.
"We have replaced or modified each single component. It is new in every sense of the word," said Ulrich Hackenberg, head of development at Volkswagen.
Bigger but lighter
Behind the evolutionary appearance of the new Golf is a new platform known as the MQB (modular transverse toolkit). Set to underpin more than half of all Volkswagen models by the middle of the decade, the highly flexible structure makes use of a higher percentage of high-strength steel than its predecessor, the PQ35 platform, leading to a 81.6-pound (37 kg) weight reduction for the platform alone.
In combination with other weight-saving measures, the new Golf tips the scales at up to 240.3 pounds (108 kg) less than the sixth-generation model introduced in 2008, with a claimed curb weight of 2,314.8 pounds (1049 kg) for the most basic model, VW says.