We’re fans of Volkswagen’s Golf in just about any form — especially in GTI trim — and can’t wait for the next-generation car. It turns out we’ll have to wait at least another 22 months, as new reports suggest the seventh-generation Golf will launch in 2012.
Unlike the last car, the Mk VII Golf’s biggest change won’t simply rest with sheet metal. Instead, the new compact — set to be offered in both hatchback and convertible forms — will be Volkswagen’s first model to ride on the company’s MQB modular transverse architecture, a platform slated to underpin nearly 37 models globally. It won’t, however, be the first to use MQB — Audi’s new A3, due next summer, will likely bear that honor.
We first heard about the MQB’s future use back in November of 2009, but VW has apparently spoken out on the platform’s possibilities. The automaker suggests spreading one platform across so many models can provide a double-digit cost savings. Better yet, don’t expect those models to be cookie-cutter clones of one another. Thanks to some ingenious engineering, the architecture can easily be shortened, lengthened, and widened, allowing it to underpin a number of front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models.
Apart from the new platform, expect the new Golf to push the fuel economy envelope. Automobilewoche suggests the new car will receive smaller, more efficient powertrains all around, but didn’t reveal any additional details as to their displacement, induction, or fuel type. One option already confirmed for the new car, however, won’t use any fuel. Although currently installed in a number of prototypes, Volkswagen’s Blue-E-Motion electric driveline will finally be offered to consumers in the Mk VII Golf. According to the company, the electric variant will reach production by 2014, and will be priced “affordably.”
We’re interested, however, in what Volkswagen does with Golfs headed for North America. We wouldn’t be surprised if the automaker elects to strip some premium content from entry-level models to compete on pricing — after all, a similar tactic was used for both the new 2011 Jetta and the 2011 Passat. Look for more information on the new Golf to emerge closer to the end of the year.