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Geneva Motor Show: Volkswagen Golf Variant officially introduced

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Yesterday in Geneva, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn officially introduced the world to the new Golf Variant. Early reports, including a VW press release issued in late February, indicated that the car would launch with a pair of gasoline and a pair of diesel engines. The official word at Geneva has changed to include just one gasoline engine and a pair of TDIs. The 1.4L TSI 4-cylinder won't appear in the car at launch...a last-minute change, from the looks of things. The press release pasted after the jump still mentions "two gasoline engines" in a section that didn't get the required edit. The absence of the TSI makes the 2.0 TDI the top-flight engine in the new wagon. It generates 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque while sipping fuel at a rate of 42 mpg. That seems pretty impressive to us, and we're sure the economically-minded TDI driver will be able to wring even more out of it in terms of fuel economy. (Paging Chuck Goolsbee...)

Continues after the jump...

[Source: Volkswagen]
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Stylewise, the car wears the familiar corporate mug up front and a totally new look in the rear. The taillights don't intrude onto the rear liftgate itself, in a move VW says is designed to emphasize the width (read: utility) of the rear opening. When you open said hatch, you can dump in 24 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats in place, or 54 cubes with them folded down. The passenger cabin gets VW's typically deluxe-looking attention to detail, and is highlighted by an optional and trendy panoramic glass sunroof. The roof looks great, but it'll probably be one of the pricier checkboxes on the option sheet.

It'll be sold in three trim levels -- Trendline, Comfortline, and Sportline. We're drawn to the lowered, slick-looking Sportline (above) and it's eye-catching wheels. Our friends in Europe will be able to take delivery of the Golf Variant this summer. No word on when we'll receive it (probably as the Jetta Wagon). With any luck, the New York Auto Show will bring more answers on that front.

Full details can be found in the press release after the jump.

2007 Geneva Motor Show - Golf Variant
Europe's Number 1 New Station Wagon

World premiere: New Golf Variant debuts at the Geneva Motor Show

World's bestseller: More than 1.2 million Golf Variant cars produced since 1993
Wolfsburg, 06 March 2007

For 45 years now, Volkswagens with extra-large cargo areas have been called – unless they are a van – "Variant". To date, more than 6.1 million of them have been sold worldwide. Now there is a new one: The Golf Variant. The third generation of the Golf Variant will be presented in a world premiere at the International Geneva Motor Show (March 8 to 18). Its market introduction is scheduled for this summer, initially in Europe.

This wagon, which is as spacious as it is variable, is being supplemented with the addition of a third – and fourth – body version to the successful Golf product lineup. Version 1: The classic Golf, the "icon", including the "GT", "GTI" and "R32". Version 2: The Golf Plus with greater height, higher seat position and longitudinally adjustable rear bench seat. The new CrossGolf, which is based on the Golf Plus, is also being launched currently. Version 3: The Jetta; although it is not called a Golf, in its DNA it is one. For years now, this version has proven to be the most successful car of any German car producer in America. The new version 4: The Golf Variant –not only as a TDI that outputs 77 kW / 105 PS and is economical (5.2 liters diesel per 100 km) and clean (137 g/km CO2).

Recipe for success: Impressive cargo space dimensions with reasonable exterior dimensions

More than 1.2 million Golf Variants have been sold over two model generations since 1993. The new generation of the five-door Volkswagen is meant to continue this success story. Once again, the Golf Variant is characterized by an ideal ratio of interior and exterior dimensions. This is precisely what has always been a key factor in its formula for success: Impressive cargo space dimensions together with reasonable exterior dimensions. The new Golf Variant is not any different in this regard: When the cargo net is installed (standard starting with Comfortline), even with five occupants on board the Golf Variant can carry 690 liters of cargo; up to the load sill at the window level this still amounts to 505 liters (without spare wheel well). When the rear bench seat is folded, the full interior height (0.83 meters) can be utilized, and up to 1,550 liters of cargo can be stowed in the 4.56 meter long Volkswagen.

1.74 meter load length and up to 629 kilograms payload capacity

When the rear bench is folded, the continuously flat cargo area of the new Golf Variant measures 1.74 meters up to the driver's seatback. There are additional storage compartments under the cargo area and in its side trim. Even if the asymmetrical split bench is not lowered, a respectable 1.07 meters of cargo space depth is still available. The maximum width: 1.29 meters. Another dimension that is crucial when it comes to cargo capacity: Payload capacity. And here too the new Golf Variant has a whole lot to offer with 607 to 629 kilograms capacity (depending on engine version). And it is easier to load cargo with a liftover height of just 57 centimeters.

Synthesis of new and classic stylistic elements;
all Golf Variant cars characterized by insignia radiator grille

A synthesis of new and classic style elements marks the design of the third Golf Variant. In its silhouette, the lines of the new Volkswagen definitely forge links to the Passat Variant. Nevertheless, from this side perspective the Golf Variant also exhibits a high level of autonomy. One unmistakable characteristic: The taillights that wrap around far into the car's flank.

The rear end of the new Variant shows an entirely new side of the Golf. While about half of each taillight is integral to the rear hatch on other body versions of the model series, on the Golf Variant they are integrated completely in the fender. Visually, the taillights emphasize the large load width of the hatch opening. And it is actually over one meter wide. Simultaneously, the rear design of the Golf Variant attains a very independent character due to the newly designed taillights.

Typical Volkswagen design characteristics, analogous to those of the Passat Variant, are the rear window that wraps around to the D pillars (also an indicator of large load width) and the roof edge spoiler that acts as a trailing edge to optimize aerodynamics (increased tread pressure, better fuel economy). Air resistance coefficient: cW = 0.31. In parallel, spoiler accentuates the decidedly sporty image of the new Golf Variant.

The front end design is distinguished by the chrome-plated insignia radiator grille. This is also reflected in the chrome bumper protector strips. Taken 1:1 from the general model series were its headlamps (optional bi-xenon for low and high beam lamps), fenders and engine hood.

105 PS TDI with 5.2 liters per 100 kilometers fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 137 g/km

At its market introduction Volkswagen will be offering the Golf Variant with two gasoline and two diesel engine options. The gasoline engine outputs 75 kW / 102 PS. The two diesels of the Golf Variant deliver even more power with extraordinary economy: 77 kW / 105 PS and 103 kW / 140 PS, and they are among the most efficient engines ever. The smaller of these two TDIs is content with just 5.2 liters fuel per 100 kilometers. CO2 emissions: Just 137 g/km. Moreover, the large TDI of the new Golf Variant is as fuel efficient as it is environmentally friendly. In spite of its hefty maximum torque of 320 Nm, the Golf Variant 2.0 TDI, which can attain speeds up to 205 km/h, consumes just 5.6 liters fuel per 100 kilometers. Its CO2 value is 148 g/km. Like the Golf, Golf Plus and Jetta, the Golf Variant will also be available with different six-speed automatic transmissions, including the DSG dual-clutch transmission.

Standard roof rails beginning with "Trendline"; "Comfortline" and "Sportline" with climate control

Like the "classic" Golf, the new Golf Variant will also have the "Trendline", "Comfortline" and "Sportline" equipment lines. Even the "Trendline" base model exhibits extensive convenience and safety features including six airbags and ESP. All versions get bumpers and accent protector strips in car color, as well as a chrome insignia radiator grille and roof rails.

Buyers of the Golf Variant Comfortline also get 16-inch alloy wheels ("Misano" type) with 205 tires, "Climatic" semi-automatic climate control system, "comfort seats" in front (including adjustable lumbar support and center armrest), a rear seating system with center armrest and cargo pass-through feature, automatic dimming rearview mirror, and sensors for rain and driving lights. The Golf Variant Sportline comes with standard features such as a sports chassis lowered by 15 millimeters, sports seats in front, 16-inch alloy wheels ("Atlanta" type) with 205/55 tires, on-board computer, leather sports steering wheel and identical climate control system. Volkswagen Individual is also planning a special exclusive version of the new Golf Variant.

Transparent sunroof is 1.36 meters long and 0.87 meters wide

As a feature of all versions of the Golf Variant, there will be a newly designed panorama sunroof. With a length of 1.36 meters and a width of 0.87 meters the transparent sunroof spans a large section of the interior, providing for a light-filled, friendly ambiance. The roof consists of two halves, the front section of which can be raised as well as completely opened. To preserve full interior height, the opening segment is driven out above the closed section of roof. An electrically-powered sunshade can be used to protect against intense sunlight.

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