NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI Preview

4/5/2013
Fast Facts:
  • Bigger on the inside
  • Longer and wider on the outside
  • Lighter and more fuel efficient
  • Standard turbocharged gasoline engine
  • Optional turbocharged diesel engine
  • More powerful GTI performance model
  • New Automatic Post Collision Braking system
  • Optional infotainment system with proximity-sensing touch screen
  • Made in Mexico

Introduction
When the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen Golf arrives in dealer showrooms during the first quarter of 2014, it will have traditional Golf styling cues riding atop new architecture that will spawn a variety of Audi and Volkswagen models, including the new 2015 Audi A3. Three versions of the new 2015 Golf will be offered: Golf, Golf TDI Clean Diesel, and performance-oriented GTI.

Exterior Features
Longer, wider, lower, and more aerodynamic than the model it replaces, the redesigned 2015 Golf is also lighter in weight, contributing to improved fuel economy and what is expected to be more engaging driving dynamics. The 2015 Golf is constructed upon a new architecture with what Volkswagen calls an "enhanced crash structure."

Red-painted brake calipers and unique aluminum wheels identify the sporty 2015 VW GTI models. Additionally, the new GTI gets a "GTI" badge for the grille, subtle styling modifications, dual exhaust outlets, and smoked taillights.

Interior Features
Volkswagen says the new 2015 Golf provides more cargo room than the outgoing model, combined with additional shoulder room, rear-seat leg room, and an improved driving position. The automaker reports that the new Golf has soft-touch interior materials combined with piano black, aluminum, and chrome detailing, and that interior storage space is increased compared to the old Golf. The cruise controls are relocated to the steering wheel, and the 2015 Golf comes standard with a 5.8-inch radio touch screen with a USB port, iPod cable, and an SD card slot.

As may be expected, the 2015 Volkswagen GTI is equipped with sport-bolstered front seats that have the model's classic plaid pattern inserts. Additionally, the new 2015 GTI is equipped with a sport steering wheel, unique shift knob, revised instrumentation, black headliner, stainless steel pedal covers, and red ambient cabin lighting.

Optional Features
Volkswagen supplies few details about options for the redesigned Golf, but does confirm that the car will be available with an infotainment system that includes a proximity-sensing touch screen and a DVD navigation system with 3-D graphics. The automaker also says that the new GTI will be offered with a European Performance package, but infers that this option will not be available when the car goes on sale.

Under the Hood
The 2015 VW Golf is equipped with a standard turbocharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces the same amount of horsepower and more torque across a broader rev range than the 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine it replaces. Volkswagen reports that this engine will generate 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.

A new TDI Clean Diesel engine is offered as an option. Turbocharged and direct injected, this 2.0-liter 4-cylinder common-rail diesel is expected to deliver 150 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque.

As the performance-tuned model in the lineup, the 2015 GTI is equipped with a more powerful, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, one developing an estimated 210 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Volkswagen says it will finalize power output figures closer to the car's arrival in dealer showrooms.

Regardless of engine, Volkswagen will offer a choice between a traditional 6-speed manual gearbox and a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), the latter an automated manual transmission that works just like an automatic. All 2015 VW Golf models are also equipped with Volkswagen's Cross Differential System (XDS), a front differential lock that improves handling and traction. Currently, only the GTI model has XDS. Progressive electric steering is also standard for all new Golfs.

Safety
In addition to what Volkswagen characterizes as an "enhanced" crash structure, the redesigned Golf is equipped with a new Automatic Post Collision Braking system. Following an impact, this safety feature automatically applies the car's brakes so that it will not be deflected into other vehicles, oncoming traffic, or nearby pedestrians. After the event, the brakes release so that the car can be moved or towed.

Technology
Information regarding available options and technology for the 2015 Golf is limited as this article is written. Volkswagen says an optional infotainment and navigation system will offer a proximity-sensing touch screen, but divulges no other details.

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