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VW Golf Mk7 (2012): mule spy photos

Published: 05 February 2010

The new Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is nearer than you think. Although the Golf Mk6 only arrived in late 2008, CAR understands the new, seventh-generation VW Golf lands in September 2012, with a raft of new engines and bodystyles.

The VW Golf is the sweetspot of the Volkswagen range; get it right, and the entire group will thrive. Get it wrong, and the balance sheets will be blotched with red ink. It does therefore not come as a surprise that chairman Martin Winterkorn, R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg and design supremo Walter de Silva want to make 100% sure that the next Golf is spot-on. 

A few days after the 2009 Frankfurt motor show, the number of proposals was reduced from three to two. VW has almost certainly now crowned a winner. CAR's spies up in Scandinavia this week papped this Golf engineering mule, whose wider track points to this being a development hack for the new, bigger Golf Mk7. 

Martin Winterkorn on the new VW Golf Mk7

Herr Winterkorn whet CAR's appetite with a few nuggets on the next Golf. 'The modular transverse matrix opens a new set of opportunities,' he told us. 'By being significantly more space-efficient, MQB offers distinct packaging advantages – which in turn will directly influence the shape of the car. Don't worry: the next Golf will again be instantly recognisable as a Golf. But it will also push out the envelope in a way no previous transition from one model generation to the next has done.'

The Golf Mk7 range will continue very much as today's. The CC coupe-cabriolet with folding hard top is on ice, but a cheaper Golf cabrio is expected in 2014. The Scirocco has been deemed a success, and the three-door Golf may become a sleeker, more coupé-ish derivative. We publish the full roll-out on page two of this article.

The MQB hardware underneath the new Golf Mk7 enables shorter overhangs, a longer wheelbase and a more advanced silhouette, including a more raked windscreen and more upright back window. They're not going to muck up the Golf style, however. Trad chunky C-pillars and geometric lines will continue for that iconic look.

How big is the new VW Golf? Supersized like most newcomers?

Three wheelbases are planned, lightly stretched over today's Golf: short (2630mm) for the hatchbacks, midsize (2680mm) for Jetta, Tiguan and Golf Variant, long (2790mm) for Touran and Tiguan XL (USA and China only). Lugagge capacity increases accordingly, from 405 litres in the Golf to 455 litres in the Golf Plus to 505 litres in the Golf Variant estate.

Within the MQB architecture, there exist three different components sets tailormade for Polo, Golf and Passat. Each components set is subdivided into five modules labelled drivetrain, chassis, electrics/electronics, body and interior.

>> Find out what that means to the new 2012 VW Golf Mk7 by clicking 'Next'The oily bits underneath VW Golf Mk7

That MQB matrix underpinning the new Golf famiy means it will be about 20% less expensive to produce than its predecessor, which was slated for its high cost base.

Originally, project number VW370 was scheduled to enter production in January 2012. But owing to the sales success of the Golf Mk6 and the difficult economic climate, the launch dates were put back by eight months minimum. Here is our understanding of the roll-out for new Golf Mk7 family:

Sept 2012, Golf three- and five-door hatchback
Jan 2013, Golf Variant estate
Feb 2013, Golf Plus
Dec 2013, Touran replacement
Apr 2014, new Scirocco
Aug 2014, new Tiguan and Tiguan XXL
Nov 2014 Golf Cabriolet

The New Beetle and the next Jetta don't switch to MQB quite yet but remain faithful to the old and less advanced PQ matrix which is nurtured by VW Mexico. Older tech, cheaper costs.

The engines on the new 2012 VW Golf Mk7

The petrol engine range is expected to look like this:

1.2TSI, 86bhp/120lb ft
1.2TSI, 105bhp/130lb ft
1.4TSI, 122bhp/150lb ft
1.4TSI, 160bhp/185lb ft
2.0TSI, 180bhp/240lb ft
2.0TSI GTI, 220bhp/260lb ft
2.0TSI R 4Motion, 300bhp/295lb ft

The diesels meanwhile will line up like this:

1.6TDI, 90bhp/170lb ft
1.6TDI, 105bhp/185lb ft
2.0TDI, 140bhp/240lb ft
2.0TDI, 170bhp/260lb ft
2.0TDI GTD 4Motion, 220bhp/330lb ft

In addition to the six-speed manual, VW intends to offer three different six- and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions as well as a fuel-saving manumatic for the 1.2-, 1.4- and 1.6-litre models. In the alternative propulsion department, the Golf VII will be available with full hybrid and mild hybrid part electric operations.

>> New VW Golf Mk6: class benchmark or dull as ditchwater? Click 'Add your comment' and sound off

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

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