Volkswagen will reduce the weight of its seventh-generation Golf by as much as 100 kilograms (220 pounds) through the use of stronger steel to minimize the metal content. The weight reduction is expected to translate into a 23 percent reduction in fuel consumption. According to the carmaker, the new materials and production processes, which is part of the Volkswagen Group's new MQB modular manufacturing system, will also be used by over 40 small and mid-sized models, or around 3.5 million cars vehicles.
VW expects the shared MQB platform to shave production costs by 20 percent, manufacturing time by 30 percent and one-time expenses by 20 percent.
Savings gained from using the platform will be used to fund upgrades of in-car entertainment systems and the development of new generations of VW vehicles, says Autonews.
VW is set to unveil the revised version of its flagship Golf compact on September 4, 2012, as part of its effort to gain market share and overtake Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. to become world best-selling carmaker by 2018.
According to Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s brand development chief, the Golf plays a distinguished role at the carmaker because of its high production volumes, the number of employees behind it, and because it is the “face of VW."
Volkswagen's manufacturing strategy entails using strengthened steel to cut overall weight, since it is a cheaper alternative to materials such as aluminum or carbon fiber.
The new and lighter Golf is expected to emit 13.9 percent less Carbon Dioxide per car, equal to about 119,000 metric tons in European markets, complying with tougher environmental rules.