Lighter and wider but still all Golf
According to a new in-depth report by Britain’s Autocar, the mark eight will continue to ride on the Volkswagen Group’s flexible MQB platform that underpins the current Mk 7.5, but with more extensive use of lightweight materials to cut weight by and additional 50kg.
Set to feature a wider front track, slightly longer wheelbase and a bigger boot than present, the mark eight will be offered as a five-door model only, with the publication further alleging that the styling will be conducted by Porsche’s Michael Mauer, and which has been described by Volkswagen Head of Design, Klaus Bischoff, as “beingmore fluid, more sporty with a very unique face”.
Centre to this are slimmer headlights that will incorporate not only LEDs but also active indicators, wider C-pillars, a tailgate that will be more upright than the Mk 7.5’s, “more pronounced” wheel arches and a thin horizontal grille. Based on the publication’s report, a clay mock-up has been already been seen and according to comments from witness’, improves on the looks from previous generation while remaining “instantly recognisable as a Golf”.
A techno tour de ’force
The interior meanwhile is set for the biggest change compared to previous generations, with a complete lack of traditions buttons for the switchgear and an all-digital layout ranging from the touchscreen infotainment system to the instrument cluster on higher spec models.
According to comments made by Bischoff, the sole conventional feature will be the steering wheel with even the switches for the headlights set to do away with the turn-dial in favour of a touchpad of sorts. On the technology side, the Golf will become one of the Volkswagen Group’s newest “always connected” models in being permanently linked to the internet, while the semi-autonomous driving system will allegedly be one of the most advanced in-class.
Internal combustion meets electricity
Despite the move to electric motivation with its I.D. range of models, Volkswagen will continue to offer the Golf in both petrol and diesel power, albeit with a choice of two hybrid layouts.
Starting the range off, entry-level models will come equipped with a new 12-volt battery system, while the bigger 1.5-litre TSI Evo will be carried over from the Mk 7.5 and joined later by an all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder, which could allegedly do away with the turbocharger completely and rely solely on the belt-driven starter/generator motor to provide better power and torque in addition to keeping emissions down.
Codenamed EA288 Evo, the 2.0 TDI option boasts a resized particulate filter and catalyst as well as a new turbocharger, which Volkswagen claims will up power by nine percent and cut emissions by 10g/km with outputs set to range from low as 99kW, to as high as 150kW.
In addition to the 12-volt battery system, the Golf will become the first mainstream model to feature a 48-volt setup, but with a smaller DC-to-DC converter and lithium-ion battery pack to keep costs down.
Citing Volkswagen’s Technical Head Frank Welsch, Autocar claims that the belt-integrated starter/ generator/alternator 48-volt system will provide both power and torque directly to the crankshaft and save fuel further by quickly starting up again when stationary.
An electric GTI
The 48-volt’s biggest role though will be its pairing to the 2.0-litre TSI motor in the next GTI, which would result in the powerful iteration of the iconic performance moniker ever made. Benchmarked is the limited-run Clubsport’s 195kW output, with a rumoured introduction of 2020.
With the drop in manual transmissions, the GTI is set to be an automatic affair with the seven-speed DSG being carried over from the Mk 7.5, but with a new boost function where the clutch houses an integrated electric motor that will supply the internal combustion mill when in Performance mode. Unlike the Mercedes-AMG A35 though, the GTI will once again be front-wheel drive. No word on the next Golf R was made.
Coming in 2019
Based on current speculation, Volkswagen will take the covers off of the Mk 8 towards the end of next year, although expect details and indeed numerous spy shots to emerge until then.
IMAGE renders from autocar.co.uk