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According to Edmunds, Volkswagen is currently developing a carbon fiber roof option for performance versions of its Golf hatchback. This feature would not only save weight, but could slightly improve fuel economy as well.

Adding the carbon fiber roof could shed anywhere from 18 to 20 pounds off the porky little hatch's curb weight, Edmunds reports. At this point in development, Volkswagen is currently working out how to develop a set of waterproof joints to seal the roof to the car's body sides and windshield.

Pricing or specific launch timing for the carbon fiber roof has not been released, nor have any details about what specific models will receive the option. Of course, it stands to reason that the hottest Golf of the bunch, the R, will have this weight-saving feature, but the perennial favorite GTI, pictured, would also be a good match for something like this.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      canuckcharlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Best weight shed starts with the driver
        Christopher Anderson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @canuckcharlie
        Weight lost in the middle of the car is the least effective. Losing weight at the top (like this), or in unsprung mass has the largest benefits.
          GR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Christopher Anderson
          You are talking for handling. For overall performance like acceleration, even the driver losing weight is important. It contributes to the overall reduction in weight the drivetrain has to pull. It baffles me that some guys who weigh 200+ pounds go out of their way to remove car components to save 5 pounds here, 10 there, etc. Why not lose weight yourself? Ever watch the video on youtube of the chimpanzee riding a Segway? Some Japanese TV show featured a chimp who could ride one. He was wicked fast on it and zoomed past humans. Why? Because the chimp was so much lighter in weight than the human. Same concept.
          Christopher Anderson
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Christopher Anderson
          Good point. Still, even for acceleration, unsprung weight has the most effect.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      mdcwave
      • 2 Years Ago
      In addition to the roof, add forged wheels, ceramic discs, li-ion battery and remove some interior content - you can easily drop 200 lbs without even straining.
      oRenj9
      • 2 Years Ago
      For the money, I'd rather have a proper LSD.
      knightrider_6
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOL. $5K extra for shedding only 20 lbs. VW has it's priorities straight. At least carbon fiber is fire retardant.
        Rochester
        • 2 Years Ago
        @knightrider_6
        CF vinyl wrap for about $100 installed, and no one will know. No one will care, either. But that's not the point.
        denverdave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Your comments are drab, uninspired and predictable. You're plagiarizing yourself. Zzzzzzz.......
      Maxximtl
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am baffled by VW's decision to thin body panels and use exotic materials when the car still uses an iron block engine. The single largest weight savings they could realize would be through the use of an aluminum block. Update the boat anchor under the hood, not the chassis.
      BC
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they're so boned about weight reduction, why does the new car have an optional panoramic moonroof instead of the perfectly fine traditional smaller glass panel?
      graphikzking
      • 2 Years Ago
      Somewhat on topic. My wife's prius has an aluminum hood and I swear that thing is like paper heavy. I can literally lift it easily with 1 finger. My maxima hood (the gas plungers were dead) would literally be like curling at the gym. It was an honest 35 lbs. The prius probably about 7lbs. Why not use aluminum on the roof, hood and trunk. - Prob about 50 lbs of savings. Then lighter wheels - another 25lbs (no added cost) Aluminum block (only reason I think they may still use cast iron is because of the TTRS and other higher boost models that use the same engine). In this application cast iron is definitely overkill. You could easily save another 120lbs right there with minimal cost increase and no huge investment for CF. I guess they can spread the cost throughout the R8, RS models etc.
        CarNutMike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @graphikzking
        They don't do these things because they are not free or even "minimal cost increase". Maximas have had aluminum hoods since 2009. They cost 4X the steel hoods on earlier cars. A Volt has lighter wheels than a Cruze. They cost 2X as much.
        RocketRed
        • 2 Years Ago
        @graphikzking
        Why not use aluminum? Because the rest of the car is not designed to look and be cheap and aluminum costs money. Also, Aluminum dings easy and is expensive to fix/replace. (Maybe that is wh I always see Prius hoods that look like people were dancing on them.) Why not use lighter wheels? Stock 18 VW wheels are already about 28lbs. 17s obviously are a couple pounds lighter. If you want a 25lb 18 inch wheel that costs money. It\'s ridiculous to put on a wheel that costs 50% more to save 2 pounds per corner, unless you are designing an F1 car. Aluminum block? costs lots of more money. The CF roof is not to save weight. It\'s a high-margin special feature, like how they charge you 2500 dollars for a set of 19inch \"performance\" wheels to inrease your performance. Like the wheels, it won\'t help your performance. But you will look like a baller.
      Captain Stu
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW is doing their PR backwards. Every other company announces carbon fiber roofs as a 'feature' not as something they need some time with. Granted companies may typically have this designed in from the start and not retrofitted but c'mon! Especially for only 20lbs?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Captain Stu
        [blocked]
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Make sure to not mention in the article how the production Lancer Evolution has had an Aluminum roof option since 2003 on a mass produced car. Try real hard to make VW sound innovative......
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        difference is, no one cares about Mitsubishi....pretty much, at all....
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        [blocked]
        crshcrstr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        aluminum is totally the same as carbon fiber. good work there. And considering the price discrepancy in the two cars, I should also point out that Ferrari used carbon fiber and aluminum on its f40 in the 80's. Try real hard to make mitsubishi sound innovative.
          AcidTonic
          • 2 Years Ago
          @crshcrstr
          Difference is regular people buy Mitsubishi's..... So so much with Ferrari. Try again.
        CarNutMike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        '86 Mazda TII. Thanks for playing.
      loopless
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Golf VII is not 'porky' by any means. The MQB platform makes it one of the lightest cars in its category. And what is interesting about what VW is doing here is not just the carbon roof itself. It is the production and bonding of the carbon roof to the rest of the car in a cost-efficient, mass-production manner.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they actually go through with this, there will be poseur d-bags with base model Golfs (and Jettas) that get the roof painted black (or vinyl cover). I don't understand what the point of this is -- as others have pointed out, there are many other more practical weight-saving or performance-enhancing measures. How about getting some more power?? The GTI is already far below the competition in terms of HP (which isn't everything -- but definitely is something).
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