Volkswagen has just unveiled their new Golf. Expect it isn’t really ‘new’ at all. What they have released to the world today is simply a facelifted version of the Golf 7 that’s been around the block since 2012. These are the five most important things you need to know about it:
1: It is packed with hot new digital infotainment systems
People love tech. iPhones. Smart watches. Tablets. Volkswagen knows this better than anybody and as such has equipped the Golf with their new ‘Discover Pro’ infotainment system. Rocking a 9.2-inch display it can be operated via hand gestures and comes linked to an Active Info Display: a digital instrument panel that’s already been seen in the Passat, Tiguan and Touareg. This is, apparently, a world first in the compact hatchback class.
2: It can drive itself. Well, almost.
Another technological ace up the ‘new’ Golf’s sleeve is something called Traffic Jam Assist (TJA). By fusing the functionality of Lane Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control, TJA will automatically steer, brake and accelerate you through stop-start traffic at speeds of up to 60km/h. Fancy.
3: There is a new turbocharged petrol engine on offer
As diesel (TDI) is now a dirty word Volkswagen has developed an all-new petrol engine for your driving pleasure. The 1.5 TSI Evo motor churns out a useful 110kW. Later on this will be joined by a detuned 96kW BlueMotion version. Both engines will feature fuel-saving technology such as Active Cylinder Management that, when conditions alloy, will automatically shutdown one or more cylinders to further reduce consumption. In addition to this the familiar six-speed DSG gearbox will slowly be phased out in favour of a more efficient seven-speed unit.
4: The GTI has been given a boost in power
South Africans will love this bit of news. From 2017 onwards the Golf GTI will now sport 169kW as standard – a hike of 7kW. Performance Pack models will now muscle out 180kW – an increase of 11kW.
5: It looks sleeker and meaner than ever before
A facelift isn’t a facelift without a cosmetic nip and tuck. As such the refreshed Golf 7 has been madeover with new bumpers, new halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights and new full LED headlights to replace the xenon headlights. You’ll also find new front wings, new full LED tail lights fitted as standard on every version as well as new alloy wheels. Expect it launch locally early next year. – Thomas Falkiner