Volkswagen is having a busy Geneva motor show, with six new Mk 7 Golf variants being unveiled for the first time. Adding to the Golf 7 family, the best-selling small family car range now includes an estate as well as performance and eco-friendly versions. First previewed online ahead of the show, the Golf BlueMotion builds on the BlueMotion Technology versions of the new Golf already on sale, and posts an 88.3mpg figure on the combined cycle – giving it a theoretical range of 970 miles – as well as low emissions of just 85g/km (the current Golf SE 1.6 TDI is 14g/km more polluting). There’s also a 92g/km natural gas version of the car, which will only be sold in mainland Europe.
The Golf GTI and Golf GTD also headed to Geneva for their world premieres, with the former developing 217 or 227bhp depending on which version (standard or ‘Performance’) you choose. Long a mainstay of the range, the latter features all of the traditional sporting Golf trimmings, but with a 181bhp TDI engine and a low 109g/km CO2 figure. UK deliveries start in June for the GTI, while the GTD arrives in ‘the summer’. The first Golf 7 BlueMotion cars are scheduled to be UK-bound in August.
A 4MOTION four-wheel drive model will come in due course – but for mainland European markets only – and most excitingly of all, Volkswagen has given fans of fast estates a glimpse of the new Mk 7-based Golf R, with the unveiling of the Golf Estate Concept R-Line. The performance concept differs from the standard extended Golf by means of a more aggressive-styled bumpers, rear spoiler and sills, and new 18-inch ‘Salvador’ alloy wheels. Powered by a 148bhp 2.0 TDI engine, the Lapis Blue Metallic Golf Estate Concept R-Line is driven by all four wheels. There is no word yet on production feasibility.
Finally, to top it all off, Volkswagen bosses were handed the coveted European Car of the Year 2013 trophy last night, as the new Golf was voted the ‘Car of The Year’ by 58 automotive journalist panelists from all over Europe. The judges, from 22 countries, awarded the Golf the top prize by some margin, the Volkswagen car beating its nearest rival, the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ, by 212 points. With a score of 414 points in the final vote, the Mk 7 Golf is the third Volkswagen to take the prize, following the Mk 3 Golf in 1992, and the fifth-generation Polo in 2010. It would seem that the public agrees with the CoTY jury: more than 150,000 Golfs have already been ordered throughout Europe.