Despite being a role-player in Volkswagen’s U.S. lineup, the 2013 Volkswagen Golf will be the most important vehicle in the automaker’s lineup to debut this year. The automaker’s worldwide best-selling car, the 2013 Golf represents a brand new platform: bigger, stronger, and lighter than the outgoing model. It forecasts what Volkswagen will be bringing to the table over the next few years and introduces the buying public to what will become an ubiquitous platform: The MQB architecture.
That may not be too exciting to most people, but the MQB architecture will also become the platform for the 2013 Audi A3 and a whole helping of other vehicles. In the 2013 Volkswagen Golf, it will help the popular hatchback shed as much as 220 pounds that, when coupled with more-efficient engines, will allow the car to be up to 23-percent more efficient than the outgoing model.
In making the 2013 Volkswagen Golf, engineers looked at all aspects of the car to pare weight from it. The Golf’s air conditioning unit is six pounds lighter; seats are down 15 pounds; the car is made of significantly more lightweight steel.
But the car is also larger, spanning 2.2 inches longer than the outgoing model with 2.3 inches more between the wheels. The front wheels have been pushed forward, giving the Golf a sportier appearance. It sits slightly lower and wider than the 2012 Golf.
It makes the interior more accommodating. Additionally, a standard touchscreen in the European versions makes connecting to phones and MP3 players that much easier, too. Whether that makes it to the U.S. in more basic configurations like the Euro model is yet to be seen.
As yet to be seen are engine options. With stricter emissions and fuel economy regulations on the horizon, Volkswagen is bound to change up the various powerplants. We already know that Volkswagen will soon be replacing its 2.5-liter inline-5 that makes 170 horsepower for a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine that makes 160 horsepower but is lighter and more efficient. In Europe, Volkswagen also has a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that pumps out 140 horsepower and gets 49 mpg on Europe’s optimistic combined fuel economy loop.
Improved all around, we should get our first in-the-sheetmetal look at the 2013 Volkswagen Golf this month at the Paris Motor Show with it hitting our shores shortly thereafter.