WOLFSBURG - Volkswagen unveiled the refreshed version of its Golf that offers new features including gesture controls and semi-autonomous driving, both introduced for the first time in the compact class.
VW hopes the upgrade will help Europe's best-selling car to fight off competition from premium rivals such as the BMW 1 series and Mercedes-Benz A class.
Since the current, seventh-generation Golf was launched in 2012, the brand has sold more than 3.2 million Golfs worldwide and with the mid-cycle facelift, VW expects it can slightly expand its market share in Europe's stagnating compact segment.
"The Golf has a particular status, it's the absolute benchmark in its class. From the perceived quality, it's fully accepted by our customers as a premium product," Karlheinz Hell, VW brand's head of compact cars, told Automotive News Europe. "We are at eye level with the premium brands."
Along with new seven-speed double clutch gearboxes, the Golf will also debut a new 1.5-liter gasoline engine called "1.5 TSI Evo," whose 128 horsepower BlueMotion version improves fuel economy by 1 liter per 100 km thanks to various optimizations. This includes cylinder deactivation and a power-boosting variable geometry turbo charger. The engine is also particularly efficient thanks to higher compression ratios achieved via early intake valve closure (EIVC). Additionally it can be completely shut off during operation when the driver takes the foot off the accelerator.