MkVI Golf GTI In 2009, No Engine Details Yet
For hot hatch fans yesterday’s announcement of the Golf MkVI was something of a disappointment. The only news of the MkVI Golf GTI was that it will be released in ‘early 2009’, with a successor to the R32 appearing in ‘late 2009’.
Until then the hottest version of the Golf will be a 1.4-litre TSI (with turbo and supercharger) generating just 160PS (or 158bhp). Not very exciting, but with big economy improvements over the outgoing engine at least it will offer a reasonable compromise between performance and economy (approx 45mpg).
The best diesel engine at launch will be a 140PS 2.0-litre, but there are plans afoot for a 170PS version. For the new lineup VW have switched to common-rail injection with improvements to both refinement and economy, with the 140PS engine now capable of 58mpg. That’s pretty good, because don’t forgot you’ll get a massive dollop of torque to go with the power, so in real-world driving this will probably be the quickest of the launch engines.
The Golf VI’s design is all about evolution, with a subtle but effective redesign on the outside and even more subtle changes on the inside. It’s said that quality of materials is up while cost of manufacture is down, something that Volkswagen were keen to achieve as the MkV Golf was expensive to produce.
There’s new technology available in the shape of adaptive chassis control (DCC), borrowed from the Passat CC and Scirocco, that allows the driver to select from normal, comfort or sport modes to define the steering, suspension and accelerator settings.
There’s also automatic distance control (ACC) that uses sensors to monitor the area around the vehicle and if it detects any sort of obstruction in the path of the car it will reduce the vehicle’s speed.
The old automatic transmission is now no longer an option, with either 6-speed ot 7-speed DSG transmissions taking over (depending on engine).
Overall the new Golf MkVI looks like a significant improvement on the MkV and will doubtless secure thousands of sales on release. Whether it’ll be dynamically improved remains to be seen, but with the Mk5 GTI setting such high standards you can expect an excellent chassis.
Hopefully we’ll hear more about the GTI and R versions before the end of the year. Speculation is rife, with some sources indicating a 250bhp version of the current 2.0-litre, other sources suggesting a drop in engine size.
Expect the Golf MkVI to be in UK showrooms in January 2009, with prices starting at around £12,000.