Ladies and gentlemen, your new Volkswagen Golf has arrived. The next generation of Volkswagen's best-selling car debuted at a press conference today in Berlin, Germany. According to Volkswagen, the new Golf offers "more features, even better safety, and more performance." You know, the usual.

One item particularly of note is the fact that this Golf is 220 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, through a holistic diet (and new MQB architecture) that shaves weight in places as minute as the wiring and air conditioning. The use of high-strength steel has gone up by 28 percent, as well, compared with just six percent before.

The Golf you see here is the European-spec model, so in addition to perhaps different-colored indicators and the lack of a Euro-spec license plate, its unclear whether or not U.S. customers will see the new 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four found underhood. Little has been said regarding U.S.-spec powertrains, though earlier reports have stated that the aging 2.5-liter inline-five will be swapped out in favor of a 1.8-liter turbocharged four.

Still, we don't yet have any official word yet on pricing, availability, or the confirmation of the above drivetrain speculation. We will bring you that information as soon it becomes available. For now, scroll down to read Volkswagen's initial press release.
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VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS SEVENTH-GENERATION GOLF IN BERLIN

First official images of VW's best-selling car-and the first model off the new MQB architecture.


Herndon, VA - Volkswagen today unveiled the new Golf, its best-selling car, at a press conference in Berlin, Germany. This seventh-generation version of one of the world's most popular cars is striking in that it offers more features, even better safety, and more performance than the outgoing vehicle, while breaking the cycle of being heavier than its predecessor.

Overcoming the weight spiral

Indeed, the latest Golf is up to 220 pounds lighter than the outgoing car, thanks to careful focus on weight savings in all aspects of the car's construction, from the electrical architecture through to the engines and the body-in-white. The air conditioning unit is, for example, six pounds lighter than the old car's; the seats have shed 15 pounds; and the body-in-white is 51 pounds lighter. One major reason for the bodyshell's weight loss is the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels. The share of the high-strength steels overall has gone from 66 percent in the previous Golf to 80 percent in the new one. Of this, the share of ultra-high-strength steel has gone from six to 28 percent.

Better fuel efficiency

One benefit of lowering the Golf's weight is better fuel economy: the European-market 1.4 TSI® that uses a 140-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine fitted with cylinder de-activation gets a European Cycle combined fuel consumption figure of 49 mpg, while the base 105-horsepower TDI® Clean Diesel engine delivers 62 mpg on the EC combined cycle.

Longer, lower, wider

The new Golf is 2.2 inches longer than the old car, with an overall length of 167.5 inches. Similarly, the wheelbase has grown by 2.3 inches to 103.8 inches. Since the front wheels are now located 1.7 inches further forward, the proportions are sportier, the crash structure is improved, and the interior package further optimized. The new car is 0.8 inches lower and 0.5 inches wider than the old car.

Improved interior

The new Golf is more spacious, with a passenger compartment that is 0.6 inches longer than before, giving 0.6 inches more rear kneeroom. Shoulder room is improved by 1.2 inches in both the back and front of the car. Cargo capacity has also been enhanced, while the load area is more accessible.

A key feature of the interior is a new infotainment system, which incorporates a five-inch touchscreen, even on entry-level European models. At the top end, the Golf features a navigation system which has a large, eight-inch touchscreen.