After the last unit of the facelifted seventh-generation Golf was sold by Volkswagen Singapore in January this year and the GTI in March, the German carmaker’s Alexandra Road showroom was left with a massive void.
The Golf is arguably Volkswagen’s most important model, as important as say, the 911 is to the Porsche and the E-Class is to Mercedes-Benz.
The compact car defines the hatchback segment and it also carries the full weight of the VW brand and reputation.
And not having its most important model in stock is like a famous chicken rice hawker stall running out of chicken. Yes, it can sell char siew or roast pork rice, but they are not the same thing or what the stall is famous for.
On Wednesday (May 19), the void was finally filled when Volkswagen Singapore finally took the covers off the eighth-generation Golf.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF NOW A MILD HYBRID
The highlight of the launch was the debut of VW’s 1.5-litre eTSI mild hybrid engine. This is in line with the current trend where almost every carmaker has a hybrid model as a path towards electrification.
The 1.5 eTSI engine replaces the outgoing 1.4-litre powerplant, promising the same output of 148hp (150PS), but with a higher torque of 250Nm (+50Nm) and improved mileage of 20.8km/L (+2.6km/L).
The latest Volkswagen Golf also accelerates quicker (8.5 seconds versus 9.1 seconds in the century sprint) and has a higher top speed (224km/h versus 204km/h) than its predecessor.
VW’s 48-volt technology comprises a 48-volt belt starter generator and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery. It allows the car to coast while the combustion engine has been completely switched off to save even more fuel. The 48-volt system also gives an electric boost to the car when it moves off.
The 1.5-litre eTSI also comes with Active Cylinder Management (ACT), where two of the four cylinders can be switched off, minimising both consumption and emissions.
NEW EQUIPMENT PACKAGES
For a start, there are three versions of the 1.5-litre mild hybrid Golf hatchback – the Life, Life Plus and R-Line trims, replacing the previous Trendline, Comfortline and Highline trims.
All three variants get more comprehensive equipment than their equivalent predecessors.
The basic package includes LED headlights and LED tail-light clusters, keyless entry and ignition, a 10.25-inch digital instrument display and an 8.25-inch Infotainment system.
Also included are the multi-function steering wheel, proactive occupant protection system, automatic post-collision braking system, side assist with rear traffic alert, cruise control and wireless smartphone charging.
The R-Line package is the sportiest of the trio. It comes with its own bumpers, high-gloss black sill trims, rear diffuser, and sport seats with fabric/microfibre R seat covers featuring integrated head restraints.
It also gets equipment upgrades such as interior background lighting with 30 colours, progressive steering and driving mode selection.
EVEN SPICIER VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI
The racy GTI completes the new Golf starting line-up.
It carries over its predecessor’s turbocharged 2-litre powerplant but gains more horsepower (241hp versus 230hp) and higher torque (370Nm versus 350Nm).
There is no change to its 6.4 second zero-to-100km/h sprint time or its fuel efficiency at 15.4km/L.
The latest Volkswagen Golf GTI comes with a new Vehicle Dynamics Manager which VW says provides greater agility and sportiness by integrating control of the electronic differential locks and the lateral dynamics components of the adaptive chassis control.
It also offers more customisation compared with its predecessor’s COMFORT, ECO and SPORT modes.
The cars are available for test drives from Thursday (May 20) at Volkswagen Singapore. The Golf 1.5 starts at $125,900 and the GTI costs $205,900. Both prices are inclusive of COE.
The local Golf line-up remains incomplete without the Golf R, but there is no official word yet on when the flagship Golf will return.
Volkswagen Golf 1.5 eTSI (A)
ENGINE 1498cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged 48-volt mild hybrid
MAX POWER 148hp (150PS, 110kW)
MAX TORQUE 250Nm
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 8.5 seconds
TOP SPEED 224km/h
CONSUMPTION 20.8km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE From $125,900 (after $15k VES rebate)
AGENT Volkswagen Singapore
Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 (A)
ENGINE 1984cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 241hp (245PS)
MAX TORQUE 370Nm
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 6.4 seconds
TOP SPEED 250km/h
CONSUMPTION 15.4km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE $205,900 (no VES rebate/surcharge)
Click here for our first drive of the Volkswagen Golf
Read our first drive of the even hotter Golf GTI here