Greenpeace activists picket launch of Volkswagen Golf in Berlin

Article by Anita Panait, on September 7, 2012

Around 50 activists from environmental group Greenpeace picketed the debut of Volkswagen's newest Golf hatchback in Berlin's New National Gallery on Tuesday, claiming that the German carmaker has done too little to cut fuel consumption. Wolfgang Lohbeck, Greenpeace's German transportation expert, told Reuters that VW holds a unique responsibility since the Golf distinguishes the compact segment for the next 10 years worldwide and it establishes the benchmark for its class.

According to Lohbeck, VW had the expertise to produce a car, of which the basic version offers better fuel economy than the 4.9 liters of fuel per 100km vowed by the seventh-generation Golf. Lohbeck urged the German carmaker to set a target fuel consumption of 3.0 liters per 100km for the Golf.

He described the actual consumption figure of the new Gold as lame and disappointing. Lohbeck remarked that the possible 2013 rollout of an electric version of the Golf would not matter since it won't “comprise the bulk of the volumes,” adding that what is important is the basic petrol version. Volkswagen Group chief executive, Martin Winterkorn dismissed Greenpeace’s protest, saying the Golf was the "right answer for rising fuel prices."

Winterkorn said the Golf also has derivatives like the upcoming Golf Blue Motion, which consumes just 3.2 litres of diesel per 100km. The seventh-generation Golf will retain the starting price of its predecessor at EUR16,975 ($21,300). The Golf is the only VW model that the carmaker produces on four continents and is a vital part of its strategy to surpass Toyota as the world's largest carmaker.

Volkswagen has unfurled the latest generation of its top-selling small family car, the new Volkswagen Golf. This continues the legacy of already iconic Golf, which VW has started selling 36 years ago, resulting to more than 29 million units parked in the garages of customers around the around.

The seventh generation of the Golf is developed and created to offer new levels of efficiency, practicality and safety. It is now more spacious than ever and contains more advanced technological elements. Thanks to new production techniques, the new Golf is lighter than its predecessor by up to 100 kg, an innovation that allowed the seventh-gen iteration to be up to 23 percent more fuel efficient than previous models. Its lighter yet stronger body structure – along with an array of standard and optional passive and active safety systems – made the new Golf achieve new safety levels.

Underpinning the seventh-gen VW Golf is the so-called MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, also known as Modular Transverse Matrix. With this new platform, VW could standardize several vehicle component parameters across brands and classes. Moreover, this new platform allows VW to implement new powertrains, technologies as well as safety and infotainment innovations across its brands and vehicle classes.

In terms of dimensions, the new VW Golf measures 4,255 mm in length, 1,799 mm in width and 1,452 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,637 mm. This means that, compared to its predecessor, the next-gen Golf is 56 mm longer, 13 mm wider, and 28 mm lower. Its wheelbase is also 59 mm longer. Likewise, the front wheels of the new Golf are moved around 43 mm forward, which helped this small family offer more cabin room. Overall, these dimensions helped the new Golf to post a coefficient of drag value – at 0.27 Cd – that is around 10 percent better than the previous model.

Topics: vw, vw golf, hatchback

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