Golf GTD Mk VII

Few cars have a history like that of the Golf.  Global sales reached 30 million in June 2013, and in 2015 it was the fourth best-selling car in the United Kingdom.

The first Golf GTD was launched in 1982, and was a revolutionary car in that it had the sporty tuning and style of the Golf GTI but with low diesel running costs. The latest GTD is a based on the seventh generation Golf, and is a leading long-distance touring car.

The GTD was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in early 2013 and accounts for around 3,000 Golf sales in the UK. The car has a 2.0-litre TDI engine that is available with a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox.

The Golf offers buyers a car which sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency.  The seventh generation was launched in September 2012 in Berlin, and had its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month.

Despite offering more room for passengers and more advanced technological features than previous versions, new production techniques contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaces, helping to make it up to 23 per cent more efficient than before.  On top of this, the new Golf is also safer than ever, thanks not just to a stronger body structure (which is also 23 kg lighter) but also to a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems.

The new Golf is built on the so-called MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix.  This standardises many vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes, and allows access to new powertrains and technologies, including innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for vehicles in higher segments.

At 4,255 mm, the new Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  This helps to create a 10 per cent improvement in the drag co-efficient, which is now 0.29 Cd.

Though the new car’s dimensions are larger, its overall design is unmistakably that of a Golf, thanks to a design DNA that has evolved through the decades.  Walter de Silva, Head of Design for Volkswagen AG, said: ‘One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its continuity.  There are a handful of cars with a design that, like the Golf’s, has been refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and thus become timeless.’

Inside the Golf there is also more room than ever.  Rear legroom is improved by 15 mm, and the front seats have been moved 20 mm further back, benefitting taller drivers.  Front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm to 1,420 mm (at the rear it is 30 mm wider) and elbow room by 22 mm to 1,469 mm (20 mm wider at the rear).  There is more room for luggage, too: the boot is 30 litres larger, at 380 litres, with a low 665 mm sill to make loading effortless.

The centre console is now angled more towards the driver, giving him or her easier, more ergonomic and direct access to auxiliary controls, including the new generation of touchscreen infotainment systems that is available on the Golf.  The Golf GTD comes with a satellite navigation system with eight-inch colour display as standard.  It operates with finger gestures that will be familiar to smartphone users.  Features include DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information.  Between the front seats, space is increased by virtue of the new electronic parking brake with auto hold feature. 

The new Golf features a number of innovative standard safety systems, while optional systems include many previously only available on vehicles in a class above.  Standard on all new Golf models, in addition to ABS, ESC and seven airbags, is XDS (an electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling) as well as an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

Standard on the GTD is the PreCrash system that made its debut on the Touareg, Automatic Distance Control, Front Assist, City Emergency Braking and a Driver Alert System, while optional electronic aids include a camera-operated Lane Assist system and High Beam Assist.  Specify the latest generation Park Assist, and the new Golf will even park itself in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle as well as in perpendicular spaces.

For the first time, the Golf GTD also comes with driver profile selection, which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Dynamic Chassis Control another mode – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Powering the Golf is a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  The Golf GTD is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged common rail diesel 184 PS engine, which returns 64.2 mpg (combined cycle) and 114 g/km. Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – was boosted from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm.  The Golf GTD went on sale in April 2013 with first deliveries in August ‘13.

The Golf GTD comes with smoked LED rear lights with LED licence plate illumination, along with standard bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, chrome dual tailpipes, 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ alloy wheels with 225/40 tyres, side skirts, a rear diffuser, sports suspension and a large roof spoiler.

Standard features including progressive steering, white ambience lighting, 2Zone climate control and a touchscreen infotainment system which also includes DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. UK GTD models come with an 18-inch space-saver spare wheel as standard.

Summary

  • All-new Golf made Paris Show debut on 27 September 2012, 38 years after the original model (first shown in May 1974) redefined the small family car.  30 million Golfs have been sold to date worldwide (June 2013), of which over 1.6 million have found homes in the UK
  • Design of seventh generation is an evolution of Golf styling, demonstrating Volkswagen’s ‘DNA’; under the surface, use of the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix brings fundamental changes
  • At 4,255 mm, the new Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  Boot capacity is increased by 30 litres to 380 litres, while a low 665 mm sill makes loading easier
  • Despite being larger, new production techniques and developments contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaces, and up to 23 per cent more fuel efficient; new Golf is also safer than ever, due to a stronger body structure (which is 23 kg lighter)
  • Safety systems include as standard a new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance or consequences of a second impact
  • Also available is a PreCrash system which, on detecting the possibility of an accident, pre-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure the airbags provide the best possible protection
  • Other electronic aids on the GTD include Automatic Distance Control, Front Assist and City Emergency Braking), all of which can reduce or eliminate the chance of accidents occurring.  Also standard is a Driver Alert System. A camera-operated Lane Assist system and a High Beam Assist system are optional
  • Engine: four-cylinder TDI (turbocharged common-rail diesel); front transverse; displacement 1,968 cc; bore/stroke 81.0/95.5 mm; compression ratio 15.8:1

Power: 135 kW / 184 PS at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm

Torque: 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) at 1,750 to 3,250 rpm

Gearbox / drive: Six-speed manual; optional six-speed DSG / front-wheel drive

Fuel consumption / CO? (manual): 64.2 mpg; 114 g/km CO?

0-62 mph 7.5 sec; top speed 143 mph

Unladen weight: 1,377 kg (incl. driver [68 kg], luggage [7 kg] and 90 per cent filled fuel tank; calculated according to 92/21/EEC)

  • In the cabin the minor controls have been redesigned and are angled more towards the driver. A new generation of touchscreen infotainment systems brings the interior up to date with a range of systems, features including DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information
  • The engine incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems
  • Available for the first time is a driver profile selection facility which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Adaptive Chassis Control a fifth option – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the engine mapping (among other parameters) to the chosen style
  • Other new technologies include the latest Park Assist, which allows the Golf to park itself parallel to the kerb in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle, and cope automatically with end-on bay parking.  A universal phone holder with inductive aerial, which increases the signal strength of a phone placed in it, and reduces the drain on the phone’s battery will also be available
  • GTD is in VED bands C-D, all of which qualify for £0 first-year road tax
  • Golf specification levels in the UK are S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, GTD, GTI, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and R – with both three- and five-door bodystyles available

MARKET INFORMATION

The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased.

Fleet customers account for around 68 per cent of new Golfs sold, with 85 per cent diesel-powered.  More than 90 per cent are sold with five doors.  Overall, the 1.6-litre TDI SE five-door will be the best-selling model.

In 2015, 78,136 Golf Mk VIIs were sold in the UK.

TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS

Infotainment systems

The seventh-generation Golf is equipped with new radio and radio/navigation systems with completely new designs.  The GTD includes the 6.5-inch Discover Navigation version as standard.

For the first time, all displays have proximity sensors so as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode.  The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to just the essentials.  In the operating mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated by touch are specially highlighted to simplify intuitive operation.  On the optional Discover Navigation Pro system, the displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand.

In designing the new generation of devices, Volkswagen’s primary goal was to integrate the most advanced infotainment applications into the Golf, which should be consistently easy to use – despite all of the complexity of today’s systems – i.e. they should be totally intuitive and therefore safe to use while driving.

Discover Navigation system (standard on Golf GTD)

With this sophisticated system, there are four buttons to the left and four to the right of the touchscreen.  It works in conjunction with the following features:

  • DAB digital radio
  • Bluetooth telephone connection for compatible units
  • dash-mounted single CD player
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface); SD card reader; AUX-in socket
  • music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • title and cover art display
  • eight speakers, front and rear
  • 4 x 20 watt output
  • car menu
  • Eco function (with tips for economical driving)
  • preloaded European navigation data
  • 2D / 2.5D map view
  • choice of route options
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones

Optional upgrades to infotainment system

Customers of the Golf GTD can specify the range-topping Discover Navigation Pro package.  In this case the car is equipped with an eight-inch colour touchscreen and has the following:

  • voice activated control system for navigation, CD and radio functions
  • 64 GB solid state hard drive
  • preloaded European navigation data; 3D map view
  • choice of route options, and dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones
  • additional SD card reader and photo display

Advanced telephone connection (optional on GTD)

This not only adds a USB socket in the central under-armrest storage box for mobile phone charging, but also an inductive link to the vehicle’s external aerial, making for better phone reception and reducing the drain on the phone’s battery.

Dynaudio Excite soundpack (optional on GTD)

This tailored sound system includes a 10-channel digital amplifier, 400-Watt output and eight speakers.  A boot-mounted subwoofer sits in the spare wheel well.  (NB The subwoofer sits within the 18-inch space saver spare wheel on GTI and GTD models).

TECHNICAL FEATURES

In addition to the introduction of the MQB platform, the reductions in weight and consequent cuts in fuel consumption and emissions, the seventh-generation Golf is also significant thanks to its enhanced value proposition.  While this is true in the recommended retail price, it is also worth noting how much technology has been added to the new car.  Features which were previously the reserve of cars in the premium and luxury segment are now standard on many Golfs, adding significantly to the car’s overall safety and comfort credentials (see also Infotainment section).

ABS, ESC and XDS (standard on all Golfs)

The previous generation Golf benefited from standard ABS and ESC plus seven airbags, while the seventh-generation also gains XDS electronic differential lock (formerly only on GTI and GTD) across the range for improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESC system.

Its benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESC sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion.

XDS also compensates for the understeer which is typical of front-wheel drive cars, meaning the Golf’s driving characteristics are significantly more precise and neutral, leading to greater driving enjoyment.

XDSPlus (standard on GTD)

This is a development of the XDS system and works in all unbraked driving states.  The new system improves the vehicle’s agility, reducing the need for steering angle inputs through targeted braking of the inside wheels on both axles through corners.  XDSPlus works on all types of road surface, even snow.

Sport and Sound pack

The Sport and Sound pack is an option that is exclusively available on the Golf GTD. It contains an exhaust sound actuator for the selected Driver Profile. For example, the Normal and Eco modes give a comfort sound, and the Sport mode gives a ‘Depp Sporty’ sound. This option also includes ‘Red’ brake calipers with ‘GTD’ logo.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (standard on all Golfs)

An innovative new feature is the Golf’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which has already won a safety innovation award from Germany’s largest automobile club (ADAC).  Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision. 

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Misfuel prevention device (standard on GTD)

On vehicles with a diesel engine, there is an insert with a mechanically locking flap on the filler neck for the fuel tank.  The flap prevents a fuel nozzle from being inserted which is not suitable for diesel fuel (in other words a petrol fuel nozzle) thus protecting the vehicle from being filled with the wrong type of fuel.

Driver Alert system (standard on GTD)

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break. 

The Golf’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated. 

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection (standard on GTD)

The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg. 

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist (standard on GTD)

Like the PreCrash system, Automatic Distance Control (ADC) has until now been the preserve of cars in higher segments.  Now standard on the Golf GTD, the system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ADC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG.  In vehicles with DSG, ADC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation.  It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic.  ADC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic.  The system dynamics can be individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector (see next page for details).

Front Assist (standard on GTD)

Front Assist works like ADC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead.  Even with ADC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings.  If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision.  Should the driver, meanwhile, not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised.  The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City Emergency Braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking (standard on GTD)

The City Emergency Braking function, first seen on the up! model and now standard on the Golf from Match Edition upwards is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor.  It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph).  If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist.  If the driver fails to intervene, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact.  In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist (optional on GTD)

The Golf’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane.  The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines).  If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

High Beam Assist (optional on GTD)

High Beam Assist analyses traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Driver profile selection (standard on GTD)

For the first time, a driver profile selection is available on the Golf, offering customers up to five different programmes to allow them to match their car settings to their desired driving style.  The standard available programmes are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.

Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.  A fifth profile – Comfort – is also offered on cars which have optional Adaptive Chassis Control (see Running Gear section for details).

It is worth noting that within driver profile selection, the vehicle systems use the German abbreviations of DCC for Adaptive Chassis Control and ACC for Automatic Distance Control.

Park Assist (optional on GTD)

The latest version of the parking assistance system, Park Assist 2.0, facilitates not only assisted parallel parking, but also reverse parking at right angles to the road.  In addition, Park Assist 2.0 is also equipped with a braking and parking space exit function.

The system can be activated at speeds of up to 40 km/h (approx. 25 mph) by pressing a button on the centre console.  Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked.  If, using the ultrasound sensors, Park Assist detects a large enough parking space (a manoeuvring distance of 40 cm, front and 40 cm, rear, is sufficient), the assisted parking can begin: having put the vehicle into reverse, all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake.  The car takes care of the steering.  Acoustic signals and visual information on the multifunction display assist the driver.  If a collision is looming, the system can also actively apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof (optional on GTD)

For the first time on the Golf hatchback a transparent panoramic sunroof is available, which occupies the maximum roof area possible, offers optimal ventilation and opening functions, does not reduce the car’s torsional rigidity and has the visual effect of lengthening the windscreen from the outside.  What is referred to as the light transparency area – the amount of light coming into the car when the roof is closed – was enlarged by 33 per cent compared to a normal tilt/slide sunroof.  The tinted, heat-insulating glass, however, reflects away 99 per cent of UV radiation, 92 per cent of heat radiation and 90 per cent of light.

Keyless entry and start (Standard on five-door GTDs)

The latest generation five-door Golf GTD comes with a Keyless entry and start system.  This isn’t available on the three-door Golf GTD.  When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle.  The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation.  The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Golf.  If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button.  Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car.  For example, to protect children, the Golf cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle.  It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control.  From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.  The Golf can also be unlocked and locked by remote control.

ENGINE

2.0-litre TDI, 1968, 16-valve 4-cyl, 184 PS

The 2.0-litre diesel engine used in the new Golf GTD produces 184 PS (14 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous GTD).  Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – has risen from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) in the previous model to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm. 

Acceleration from zero to 62 mph takes just 7.5 seconds, while the top speed is 143 mph, yet the new Golf GTD consumes just one gallon of fuel every 64.2 miles (combined cycle), making for CO? emissions of only 114 g/km.  With the optional six-speed DSG, fuel consumption is 60.1 mpg and CO? emissions 124 g/km. 

JB/0716/

Few cars have a history like that of the Golf.  Global sales reached 30 million in June 2013, and in 2015 it was the fourth best-selling car in the United Kingdom.

The first Golf GTD was launched in 1982, and was a revolutionary car in that it had the sporty tuning and style of the Golf GTI but with low diesel running costs. The latest GTD is a based on the seventh generation Golf, and is a leading long-distance touring car.

The GTD was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in early 2013 and accounts for around 3,000 Golf sales in the UK. The car has a 2.0-litre TDI engine that is available with a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox.

The Golf offers buyers a car which sets benchmarks in comfort, practicality, safety and efficiency.  The seventh generation was launched in September 2012 in Berlin, and had its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later that month.

Despite offering more room for passengers and more advanced technological features than previous versions, new production techniques contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaces, helping to make it up to 23 per cent more efficient than before.  On top of this, the new Golf is also safer than ever, thanks not just to a stronger body structure (which is also 23 kg lighter) but also to a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems.

The new Golf is built on the so-called MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix.  This standardises many vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes, and allows access to new powertrains and technologies, including innovations in the areas of safety and infotainment, which until now were reserved for vehicles in higher segments.

At 4,255 mm, the new Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  This helps to create a 10 per cent improvement in the drag co-efficient, which is now 0.29 Cd.

Though the new car’s dimensions are larger, its overall design is unmistakably that of a Golf, thanks to a design DNA that has evolved through the decades.  Walter de Silva, Head of Design for Volkswagen AG, said: ‘One of the keys to the Golf’s success lies in its continuity.  There are a handful of cars with a design that, like the Golf’s, has been refined, tweaked and enhanced down the decades and thus become timeless.’

Inside the Golf there is also more room than ever.  Rear legroom is improved by 15 mm, and the front seats have been moved 20 mm further back, benefitting taller drivers.  Front shoulder room is improved by 31 mm to 1,420 mm (at the rear it is 30 mm wider) and elbow room by 22 mm to 1,469 mm (20 mm wider at the rear).  There is more room for luggage, too: the boot is 30 litres larger, at 380 litres, with a low 665 mm sill to make loading effortless.

The centre console is now angled more towards the driver, giving him or her easier, more ergonomic and direct access to auxiliary controls, including the new generation of touchscreen infotainment systems that is available on the Golf.  The Golf GTD comes with a satellite navigation system with eight-inch colour display as standard.  It operates with finger gestures that will be familiar to smartphone users.  Features include DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information.  Between the front seats, space is increased by virtue of the new electronic parking brake with auto hold feature. 

The new Golf features a number of innovative standard safety systems, while optional systems include many previously only available on vehicles in a class above.  Standard on all new Golf models, in addition to ABS, ESC and seven airbags, is XDS (an electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling) as well as an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

Standard on the GTD is the PreCrash system that made its debut on the Touareg, Automatic Distance Control, Front Assist, City Emergency Braking and a Driver Alert System, while optional electronic aids include a camera-operated Lane Assist system and High Beam Assist.  Specify the latest generation Park Assist, and the new Golf will even park itself in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle as well as in perpendicular spaces.

For the first time, the Golf GTD also comes with driver profile selection, which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Dynamic Chassis Control another mode – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Powering the Golf is a new range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  The Golf GTD is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged common rail diesel 184 PS engine, which returns 64.2 mpg (combined cycle) and 114 g/km. Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – was boosted from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm.  The Golf GTD went on sale in April 2013 with first deliveries in August ‘13.

The Golf GTD comes with smoked LED rear lights with LED licence plate illumination, along with standard bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, chrome dual tailpipes, 18-inch ‘Nogaro’ alloy wheels with 225/40 tyres, side skirts, a rear diffuser, sports suspension and a large roof spoiler.

Standard features including progressive steering, white ambience lighting, 2Zone climate control and a touchscreen infotainment system which also includes DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. UK GTD models come with an 18-inch space-saver spare wheel as standard.

Summary

  • All-new Golf made Paris Show debut on 27 September 2012, 38 years after the original model (first shown in May 1974) redefined the small family car.  30 million Golfs have been sold to date worldwide (June 2013), of which over 1.6 million have found homes in the UK
  • Design of seventh generation is an evolution of Golf styling, demonstrating Volkswagen’s ‘DNA’; under the surface, use of the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix brings fundamental changes
  • At 4,255 mm, the new Golf is 56 mm longer than its predecessor, with a 59 mm longer wheelbase of 2,637 mm.  The front wheels are 43 mm further forward, helping to generate more interior space, while the Golf is also 13 mm wider, at 1,799 mm, and 28 mm lower, at 1,452 mm.  Boot capacity is increased by 30 litres to 380 litres, while a low 665 mm sill makes loading easier
  • Despite being larger, new production techniques and developments contribute to the Golf Mk VII being up to 100 kg lighter than the car it replaces, and up to 23 per cent more fuel efficient; new Golf is also safer than ever, due to a stronger body structure (which is 23 kg lighter)
  • Safety systems include as standard a new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance or consequences of a second impact
  • Also available is a PreCrash system which, on detecting the possibility of an accident, pre-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure the airbags provide the best possible protection
  • Other electronic aids on the GTD include Automatic Distance Control, Front Assist and City Emergency Braking), all of which can reduce or eliminate the chance of accidents occurring.  Also standard is a Driver Alert System. A camera-operated Lane Assist system and a High Beam Assist system are optional
  • Engine: four-cylinder TDI (turbocharged common-rail diesel); front transverse; displacement 1,968 cc; bore/stroke 81.0/95.5 mm; compression ratio 15.8:1

Power: 135 kW / 184 PS at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm

Torque: 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) at 1,750 to 3,250 rpm

Gearbox / drive: Six-speed manual; optional six-speed DSG / front-wheel drive

Fuel consumption / CO? (manual): 64.2 mpg; 114 g/km CO?

0-62 mph 7.5 sec; top speed 143 mph

Unladen weight: 1,377 kg (incl. driver [68 kg], luggage [7 kg] and 90 per cent filled fuel tank; calculated according to 92/21/EEC)

  • In the cabin the minor controls have been redesigned and are angled more towards the driver. A new generation of touchscreen infotainment systems brings the interior up to date with a range of systems, features including DAB digital radio, auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth telephone preparation and access to vehicle trip information
  • The engine incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems
  • Available for the first time is a driver profile selection facility which allows the driver to choose from four modes – Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.  With Adaptive Chassis Control a fifth option – Comfort – is also offered.  Each of these modes alters the engine mapping (among other parameters) to the chosen style
  • Other new technologies include the latest Park Assist, which allows the Golf to park itself parallel to the kerb in a space no more than 80 cm longer than the vehicle, and cope automatically with end-on bay parking.  A universal phone holder with inductive aerial, which increases the signal strength of a phone placed in it, and reduces the drain on the phone’s battery will also be available
  • GTD is in VED bands C-D, all of which qualify for £0 first-year road tax
  • Golf specification levels in the UK are S, BlueMotion, Match Edition, Match BlueMotion Edition, GT Edition, R-Line Edition, GTD, GTI, GTI Clubsport Edition 40 and R – with both three- and five-door bodystyles available

MARKET INFORMATION

The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, and the best-selling Volkswagen in the UK.  It competes in the lower medium class, and is a direct rival to cars such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.  In the UK, this class accounts for around one in every three cars purchased.

Fleet customers account for around 68 per cent of new Golfs sold, with 85 per cent diesel-powered.  More than 90 per cent are sold with five doors.  Overall, the 1.6-litre TDI SE five-door will be the best-selling model.

In 2015, 78,136 Golf Mk VIIs were sold in the UK.

TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS

Infotainment systems

The seventh-generation Golf is equipped with new radio and radio/navigation systems with completely new designs.  The GTD includes the 6.5-inch Discover Navigation version as standard.

For the first time, all displays have proximity sensors so as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode.  The display mode shows a screen that is reduced to just the essentials.  In the operating mode, on the other hand, the elements that can be activated by touch are specially highlighted to simplify intuitive operation.  On the optional Discover Navigation Pro system, the displays also have a function that lets users scroll through lists or browse CD covers in the media library with a swipe of the hand.

In designing the new generation of devices, Volkswagen’s primary goal was to integrate the most advanced infotainment applications into the Golf, which should be consistently easy to use – despite all of the complexity of today’s systems – i.e. they should be totally intuitive and therefore safe to use while driving.

Discover Navigation system (standard on Golf GTD)

With this sophisticated system, there are four buttons to the left and four to the right of the touchscreen.  It works in conjunction with the following features:

  • DAB digital radio
  • Bluetooth telephone connection for compatible units
  • dash-mounted single CD player
  • MDI (Multi Device Interface); SD card reader; AUX-in socket
  • music playback from MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • title and cover art display
  • eight speakers, front and rear
  • 4 x 20 watt output
  • car menu
  • Eco function (with tips for economical driving)
  • preloaded European navigation data
  • 2D / 2.5D map view
  • choice of route options
  • dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones

Optional upgrades to infotainment system

Customers of the Golf GTD can specify the range-topping Discover Navigation Pro package.  In this case the car is equipped with an eight-inch colour touchscreen and has the following:

  • voice activated control system for navigation, CD and radio functions
  • 64 GB solid state hard drive
  • preloaded European navigation data; 3D map view
  • choice of route options, and dynamic navigation based on TMC+ data
  • branded points of interest
  • traffic sign display with speed limits and no-overtaking zones
  • additional SD card reader and photo display

Advanced telephone connection (optional on GTD)

This not only adds a USB socket in the central under-armrest storage box for mobile phone charging, but also an inductive link to the vehicle’s external aerial, making for better phone reception and reducing the drain on the phone’s battery.

Dynaudio Excite soundpack (optional on GTD)

This tailored sound system includes a 10-channel digital amplifier, 400-Watt output and eight speakers.  A boot-mounted subwoofer sits in the spare wheel well.  (NB The subwoofer sits within the 18-inch space saver spare wheel on GTI and GTD models).

TECHNICAL FEATURES

In addition to the introduction of the MQB platform, the reductions in weight and consequent cuts in fuel consumption and emissions, the seventh-generation Golf is also significant thanks to its enhanced value proposition.  While this is true in the recommended retail price, it is also worth noting how much technology has been added to the new car.  Features which were previously the reserve of cars in the premium and luxury segment are now standard on many Golfs, adding significantly to the car’s overall safety and comfort credentials (see also Infotainment section).

ABS, ESC and XDS (standard on all Golfs)

The previous generation Golf benefited from standard ABS and ESC plus seven airbags, while the seventh-generation also gains XDS electronic differential lock (formerly only on GTI and GTD) across the range for improved traction and handling.  Technically speaking, XDS is a functional extension of the electronic limited-slip differential (EDL) which is a part of the standard ESC system.

Its benefits are experienced when driving quickly through a bend.  ESC sensors provide information on lateral G forces, while ABS sensors monitor levels of friction.  Using this information a control unit can predict when an inside wheel is about to lift and apply a braking force automatically to increase traction on the opposite front wheel.  XDS differs from EDL however as it brakes the inner wheel before it loses traction rather than afterwards.  The result is smoother, more sure-footed and safer progress with better traction through fast corners when on the limit of adhesion.

XDS also compensates for the understeer which is typical of front-wheel drive cars, meaning the Golf’s driving characteristics are significantly more precise and neutral, leading to greater driving enjoyment.

XDSPlus (standard on GTD)

This is a development of the XDS system and works in all unbraked driving states.  The new system improves the vehicle’s agility, reducing the need for steering angle inputs through targeted braking of the inside wheels on both axles through corners.  XDSPlus works on all types of road surface, even snow.

Sport and Sound pack

The Sport and Sound pack is an option that is exclusively available on the Golf GTD. It contains an exhaust sound actuator for the selected Driver Profile. For example, the Normal and Eco modes give a comfort sound, and the Sport mode gives a ‘Depp Sporty’ sound. This option also includes ‘Red’ brake calipers with ‘GTD’ logo.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (standard on all Golfs)

An innovative new feature is the Golf’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which has already won a safety innovation award from Germany’s largest automobile club (ADAC).  Studies have found that around a quarter of all traffic accidents involving personal injury are multiple collision incidents, in other words, when there is a second impact after the initial collision.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order significantly to reduce its residual kinetic energy and hence prevent or minimise the severity of a subsequent collision. 

Triggering of the system is based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors.  Vehicle braking is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum deceleration rate of 0.6 g.  This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist and ensures that the driver can take over handling of the car even in case of automatic braking.

The driver can ‘override’ the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time; for example, if the system recognises that the driver is accelerating, it is disabled.  The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.  Essentially, the system applies the brakes until a vehicle speed of 10 km/h is reached, so this residual vehicle speed can be used to steer to a safe location after the braking process.

Misfuel prevention device (standard on GTD)

On vehicles with a diesel engine, there is an insert with a mechanically locking flap on the filler neck for the fuel tank.  The flap prevents a fuel nozzle from being inserted which is not suitable for diesel fuel (in other words a petrol fuel nozzle) thus protecting the vehicle from being filled with the wrong type of fuel.

Driver Alert system (standard on GTD)

It is estimated that a quarter of motorway accidents are caused by driver tiredness.  For this reason Volkswagen has introduced an innovative fatigue detection system, which is particularly valuable for company car drivers who may cover long distances without a scheduled break. 

The Golf’s Driver Alert system does not work in the same way as those from other manufacturers which monitor eye movements.  Instead, for the first 15 minutes of a journey the system analyses the driver’s characteristic steering and driving behaviour.  Further into the journey the system continually evaluates signals such as steering angle, use of pedals and transverse acceleration.  If the monitored parameters indicate a deviation from the initial behaviour recorded at the beginning of the trip, then waning concentration is assumed and warnings issued.

The system warns the driver with an acoustic signal lasting five seconds, while a visual message also appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break.  If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated. 

This assistance system cannot detect so-called ‘microsleep’ but instead focuses on detecting early phases of lapses in concentration.  This means it is much less costly than an eye movement monitoring based system – and also still functions when the driver is wearing sunglasses or driving in the dark.

PreCrash preventive occupant protection (standard on GTD)

The Golf’s preventive occupant protection system is just one example of a technology that has been transferred from the premium to the compact class, having been implemented first in the Touareg. 

If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking via an activated brake assistant – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system.  When a critical and ‘unstable’ driving situation is detected, for example through severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention, the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) and so is the sunroof.  This is because the head and side airbags offer optimal support and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness when the windows and sunroof are almost fully closed.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist (standard on GTD)

Like the PreCrash system, Automatic Distance Control (ADC) has until now been the preserve of cars in higher segments.  Now standard on the Golf GTD, the system uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to detect distance from the car in front, maintain a preselected speed and automatically brake or accelerate in traffic.

ADC operates over a speed range from 30 to 160 km/h (approx. 18 to 99 mph) with a manual gearbox and with DSG.  In vehicles with DSG, ADC intervenes to such an extent that the car may be slowed to a standstill, depending on the situation.  It may also automatically pull away in stop-and-go traffic.  ADC maintains a preselected speed and a defined distance to the vehicle ahead, and it automatically brakes or accelerates in flowing traffic.  The system dynamics can be individually varied by selecting one of the driving programmes from the driver profile selector (see next page for details).

Front Assist (standard on GTD)

Front Assist works like ADC with the radar sensor integrated into the front of the car, which continually monitors the distance to the traffic ahead.  Even with ADC switched off, Front Assist helps assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions by means of visual and audible warnings.  If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision.  Should the driver, meanwhile, not react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the car so that under optimal conditions the speed of any impact is minimised.  The system also assists the driver by an alert if the car is getting too close to the vehicle in front.  The City Emergency Braking function is also part of Front Assist.

City Emergency Braking (standard on GTD)

The City Emergency Braking function, first seen on the up! model and now standard on the Golf from Match Edition upwards is a system extension of Front Assist and scans the area in front of the car via radar sensor.  It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (approx. 18 mph).  If the car is in danger of colliding with a vehicle driving or parked up ahead and the driver does not react, the brake system is preconditioned in the same way as with Front Assist.  If the driver fails to intervene, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the impact.  In addition, if the driver is initiating braking, but fails to press the brake pedal sufficiently, the system will assist with maximum braking power.

Lane Assist (optional on GTD)

The Golf’s camera-based lane-keeping assistant with steering intervention detects lane markings and helps the driver to avoid critical lane changes or inadvertently leaving the lane.  The camera sensor is activated from 40 mph and permanently scans lane markings to the right and left of the vehicle (both solid and dotted lines).  If the car approaches a lane marking, Lane Assist warns the driver visually on the dashboard and via gentle steering vibration.

The system differentiates between intentional and unintended lane changes, for example, if the driver has activated the indicators; the driver can also override Lane Assist through a strong steering intervention, so essentially it detects gradual and unintended drifting.

High Beam Assist (optional on GTD)

High Beam Assist analyses traffic ahead and oncoming traffic – via a camera in the windscreen – and automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 60 km/h, approx. 37 mph).

Driver profile selection (standard on GTD)

For the first time, a driver profile selection is available on the Golf, offering customers up to five different programmes to allow them to match their car settings to their desired driving style.  The standard available programmes are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual.

Each of these modes alters the throttle mapping and engine management (among other parameters) to the chosen style, so in Eco mode, for example, the engine management, air conditioning and ancillary systems are controlled to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Vehicles with a DSG gearbox have an additional coasting function in Eco mode which disengages the gear to allow the engine to idle, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of the car’s kinetic energy and better fuel economy.  A fifth profile – Comfort – is also offered on cars which have optional Adaptive Chassis Control (see Running Gear section for details).

It is worth noting that within driver profile selection, the vehicle systems use the German abbreviations of DCC for Adaptive Chassis Control and ACC for Automatic Distance Control.

Park Assist (optional on GTD)

The latest version of the parking assistance system, Park Assist 2.0, facilitates not only assisted parallel parking, but also reverse parking at right angles to the road.  In addition, Park Assist 2.0 is also equipped with a braking and parking space exit function.

The system can be activated at speeds of up to 40 km/h (approx. 25 mph) by pressing a button on the centre console.  Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked.  If, using the ultrasound sensors, Park Assist detects a large enough parking space (a manoeuvring distance of 40 cm, front and 40 cm, rear, is sufficient), the assisted parking can begin: having put the vehicle into reverse, all the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake.  The car takes care of the steering.  Acoustic signals and visual information on the multifunction display assist the driver.  If a collision is looming, the system can also actively apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Panoramic tilt/slide sunroof (optional on GTD)

For the first time on the Golf hatchback a transparent panoramic sunroof is available, which occupies the maximum roof area possible, offers optimal ventilation and opening functions, does not reduce the car’s torsional rigidity and has the visual effect of lengthening the windscreen from the outside.  What is referred to as the light transparency area – the amount of light coming into the car when the roof is closed – was enlarged by 33 per cent compared to a normal tilt/slide sunroof.  The tinted, heat-insulating glass, however, reflects away 99 per cent of UV radiation, 92 per cent of heat radiation and 90 per cent of light.

Keyless entry and start (Standard on five-door GTDs)

The latest generation five-door Golf GTD comes with a Keyless entry and start system.  This isn’t available on the three-door Golf GTD.  When one of the door handles is touched, a signal is transmitted from an aerial integrated in the handle.  The system then searches for a valid ID transmitter, from which it detects access authorisation.  The antenna relays the code sent by the transmitter to the relevant control unit in the Golf.  If the code is recognised, the system then unlocks the doors, deactivates the immobiliser (and the anti-theft alarm system where fitted), and allows the vehicle to be started at the push of a button.  Other antennae check whether the ID transmitter is in the car.  For example, to protect children, the Golf cannot be started if the ID transmitter is too far away from the vehicle.  It is not possible, for example, to put the transmitter on the roof, get in the car and drive off.

If no door is opened within 30 seconds, the doors lock again as with a conventional system operated by remote control.  From inside the vehicle, it is unlocked by pressing a button in the door handle.  The Golf can also be unlocked and locked by remote control.

ENGINE

2.0-litre TDI, 1968, 16-valve 4-cyl, 184 PS

The 2.0-litre diesel engine used in the new Golf GTD produces 184 PS (14 PS more than the equivalent engine in the previous GTD).  Maximum torque – the characteristic that arguably best defines the easily accessible performance of the GTD – has risen from 350 Nm (258 lbs ft) in the previous model to 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) from just 1,750 rpm. 

Acceleration from zero to 62 mph takes just 7.5 seconds, while the top speed is 143 mph, yet the new Golf GTD consumes just one gallon of fuel every 64.2 miles (combined cycle), making for CO? emissions of only 114 g/km.  With the optional six-speed DSG, fuel consumption is 60.1 mpg and CO? emissions 124 g/km. 

JB/0716/

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