The next Volkswagen Golf will be chock-full of standard and optional technology features, but its all-new Modular Infotainment System has the potential to set a new benchmark for both high-end and entry-level navigation, entertainment and connectivity.

Three new systems will be available when the 2013 Golf goes on sale in Europe towards the end of this year, starting with a five-inch touchscreen and moving up to a 5.8-inch unit and finally a range-topping eight-inch system. Each unit will be equipped with a capacitive touchscreen, with the eight-inch version packing an 800x450 resolution screen, multitouch functionality and the same NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor set to debut in future Audi models, including the next A3. Making use of that high-powered chipset will be revamped 3D graphics for menus and mapping, with free nav updates available for three years and the ability to activate additional features after the initial vehicle purchase.

Handwriting recognition will also be included in the system, much like the system already offered by Audi, which will allow users to skip the soft keyboard and write out destinations and point-of-interest searches. Additionally, VW is looking to include MirrorLink functionality (which essentially mirrors your phone's screen on the navigation display), as expected, Internet-connectivity through smartphone tethering will be an option, along with the ability to create a WLAN hotspot.

Finally, VW tells Autoblog it plans to integrate proximity sensors into the head unit – similar to Cadillac's CUE system – switching over from "display mode" to "operating mode" when it detects the driver or passenger's hand moving towards the screen. The proximity sensors could also detect which side of the screen your hand is placed and then highlight specific features for easier selection.

Naturally, pricing for each system won't be released until the Golf goes on sale in Europe this fall and hits the U.S. sometime in 2013, but VW representatives made it clear that these systems will be priced aggressively in order to compete with other feature-rich competitors.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought texting while driving was our new "Unsafe at Any Speed" danger-danger-moral-panic automotive public enemy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why does everything need to be a touch screen? I can reach over to my heater controls and jack up the heat with out taking my eyes off the road. A screen feels exactly the same everywhere on the screen. You have to look over, even if it's for a second. And if you're wearing gloves, forget about it. Who is the genius who keep thinking touch screens for simple functions are a good idea?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree. I have a touchscreeen in dash nav unit with tactile buttons along the side. I DO like the touchscreen for when i need it, like scrolling through long lists of songs or jumping to certain parts of a track but some things REQUIRE real buttons. Volume, next track/station being a few examples.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love my 42 mpg (on average - strictly city) 2011 VW Golf TDI, but I'd be happy with fewer electronic gizmos. By the way, when is the Polo diesel going to be offered in the US?
      • 3 Years Ago
      The next big thing---deaths by distraction.
      • 3 Years Ago
      German electronics. That's confidence inspiring. Not.
      Big Squid
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cool! More stuff to pay attention to in the car instead of the boring old road.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Color display? WTF. What is this 1989? Were we expecting the original GameBoy screen?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd really like to be excited about this, but speaking as a former VW owner, VeeDubs ain't exactly bulletproof in terms of electrical systems. Once they've got the basics sorted out (y'know...reliable sensors, good grounds, lights that go on and off when the drivers wants them to), then maybe they can dive into fancy-pants electronics.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unless they offer a traditional button+knob (no touch screen) option, I won't consider a Golf. Touch screens are like automatic seat belts from the '90s--a bad idea that need to go away.
      Jack Amick
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really hope the 2013 GTI launches in the US near the end of this year. I plan on getting the first one to come to my dealer.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jack Amick
        knowing it won't even launch in europe this year i wouldn't get my hopes up ;o)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why can't we just have buttons and knobs? I don't want to have to look down and go through 5 menus just to change a station or the temp.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I like the touchscreen more than buttons and knobs. I can point and click the feature immediately. But if I use MMI or i-Drive, I have to turn turn push push , spend far long time to do the same opreations.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, color display... Alternative is only available by the automotive industry anyways.
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