Teased last month, the European-spec version of the all-new Volkswagen Golf was officially revealed today in Berlin before heading off to the Paris Auto Show. As the automaker had already confirmed, the seventh generation of its globally-marketed top-selling car is the first of several new VW models that will be based on the lightweight Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform architecture, a transition that allows it to grow slightly in scale - including a meaningful 2.3-inch stretch in wheelbase and expanded track dimensions - while shedding up to 220 pounds in curb weight.
To best leverage the benefits of that extensive mass-reduction program, the new Golf also will be fitted with highly-efficient gasoline and turbodiesel engines that are expected to net up to a 23-percent gain in overall fuel economy as well trim CO2 emissions by a similar amount.
Visually, the new Golf's exterior recasting is evolutionary in nature and maintains a good deal of the current car's basic character and proportioning. It does, however, bring fresher and more contemporary styling flair to the front and rear fascia treatments coupled with lower-profile bodywork and improved aero detailing that help reduce drag by about 10 percent.
Inside, the Gen VII Golf enjoys an even more profound upgrading. The redesigned cabin now offers significantly more passenger space and a bigger rear hatch makes it easier to access the Golf's now-larger cargo area. Richer looking trim, improved ergonomics plus the availability of ergoActive sport seats and ambient lighting add more appeal while all versions will come with a new infotainment system that features a 5.0-inch touchscreen. Top-line Golf models will offer an upgraded navigation package that features an 8.0-inch display. Both are expected to make it to the U.S.
The new Golf also will introduce a number of new safety technologies to the segment, including a world-exclusive "multicollision braking" system that automatically applies the brakes if the car gets struck from behind to mitigate any further damage to the vehicle ahead. Other features that will be available on European models and may be offered here as well include a Pre-Crash system, progressive power steering boost, adaptive cruise control, lane assist/front assist/park assist and driver-selectable multi-mode profiling capability.
The new Volkswagen Golf goes on sale this fall in Europe as a 2013 model. VW told KBB.com that its likely U.S. launch date will be sometime in early 2014, and that we can expect to see it accompanied at that time by a newe Gen VII GTI runningmate.