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Volkswagen is slotting a third Golf derivative called creatively enough the “Golf Plus” in between the current Golf V and Touran models. This new model is intended to compete with a growing segment of European models that have taller greenhouses, more space and utility but don’t offer a third row seating option and thus keep the overall dimensions more compact.
Volkswagen of America had given consideration to offer the Golf Plus in North America instead of the 4-door Golf V, however the Golf Plus fits better in the European market and costs more than the standard Golf V and in the end got voted down. This is part of the reason for the delays in getting the 4-door Golf V to North America.
Volkswagen of America officially tells us there are no plans to currently offer the Golf Plus over here, but never say never.
The full Volkswagen AG press release follows below:
Design and positioning
All-round vehicle: Golf Plus unites numerous strengths of Golf and Touran
Cleverly designed: multi-variable rear seating system and 1,450 litres storage capacity
Wolfsburg / Bologna, December 2004. Volkswagen is expanding its model spectrum with a new Golf dimension: the Golf Plus. A second, an additional, a different Golf. With added extras in terms of bodywork and seating height, interior space, variability and functionality. Tailored, point by point, to the needs of our time. Premièred for the first time ever at the Bologna Motorshow. Market début in Germany: end of January 2005. The Golf Plus is positioned as a progressive all-round vehicle of a new vehicle generation.
The clever design of the new Golf Plus includes, among other features, a lengthways adjustable rear seat with a newly-developed folding kinematics system, first-class ergonomic seating, and with up to 43 storage and attachment possibilities offering space in abundance. Apart from ESP and various airbags, an added safety standard making its début in the Golf class is the particularly quick-response integrated LED tail-lights. Another innovation on board the Golf is the optional active curve lights.
Golf Plus – in good company: Five Golf Generations, five evolutionary phases, thirty years of continuous development, thirty years at number 1. The Golf. A design which became the nucleus of the most successful car family of all time. Bora, New Beetle, New Beetle Cabriolet, Caddy Live, Touran – all these carry the Golf gene. Last year, more than 1.35 million of the world’s population chose one of these models. During the first ten months of 2004, around 665,000 car drivers in Western Europe alone selected a Golf or Touran.
Dimensions: Although instantly recognisable as a Golf on first sight, the stylistic details overflow with independence and open up a completely new Golf perspective. The starting point? The height: with its 1.58 metres the Golf Plus surpasses the Golf by exactly 95 millimetres, but remains 5.4 centimetres below the Touran. The Golf Plus is immediately recognisable as a Golf through the characteristic radiator grille, the front wing and the bonnet, the C-pillar, the bumper and the large hatch back design. For the Golf Plus is a further developed version of the original Golf design with more height and space, and no mere reflection.
A detailed view of the Golf Plus bodywork
The Golf Plus designers re-created doors, bonnet, bumper, wing, roof, headlights and tail-lights for the new model. The only bodywork parts remaining the same are the wing mirrors, VW-logo, door handles and optional navigation system antenna.
The Front: The V-shape bonnet continues the classic line of the radiator grille in the case of both Golf and Golf Plus. Yet while this “V” can be found deeply embedded between the high-arching wings in the classic model, the proportions used in the “new” version are just the opposite. The V-modulation is contoured upwards, while the wings, on the other hand, lie lower down. In this respect, the Golf Plus follows the stylistic example set by both Touran and Touareg, meeting the demands of a correspondingly high vehicle, as the bonnet, must, in this case, fuse homogeneously with the higher-built windscreen.
The wing contour changes prove striking, while the headlights, with their three round integrated light elements (indicator, dipped beam and full beam), are as large as they are impressive. These stretch, similar to the Touareg (four by four), far into the respective wing. During the first six months of 2005, the Golf Plus will additionally be available with active curve lights, whose beam constantly follows the steering direction, thus offering an evident safety advantage.
Silhouette: The headlight extension starts off a side line, which continues at door handle height until finally reaching the tail-lights. This lends the Golf Plus a clear tension, dividing as it does the naturally high door surface in the upper quarter. At the same time, this line ensures that both front and rear wings appear broad and muscular.
The Rear: The rear of the Golf Plus has also been subject to the redesigning process. The inwards-pointing, trapezium-shaped tail-lights and the large rear window extend as far as the C-pillars. Typical Volkswagen: the round functional components which form the revolutionary Phaeton-style LED tail-lights, used for the first time in this class. The rear area is also characterised by being extremely well-suited to everyday life: the edge is a mere 62.4 centimetres high, the narrowest storage loading width is 100.8 centimetres, with the maximum height 84.2 centimetres. The hatch back opens up to an impressive 2.08 metres in height.
LED tail-lights: functions: The Golf Plus’ LED tail-lights consist of two basic elements, located outside on the wing and inside in the boot respectively. In the outer section, the LEDs form the tail-, indicator- and brake- lights. This forms an added safety feature, particularly as far as brake- and indicator lights are concerned: In contrast to conventional light bulbs, LED-lights excel by means of a far faster response time. The following traffic is thus alerted earlier. A further advantage is the homogeneous nature of the lit surfaces. The use of LEDs allows functional surfaces to be constructed completely with brilliant optics without coloured interim discs for the first time. The inner parts of the lighting unit are, in contrast, fitted with light bulbs, as this technology does better justice to the job performed by reverse and fog lights. The third brake-light, integrated into the roof edge spoiler, also functions with LEDs.
The Golf Plus interior in detail
When casting an eye over the interior, it becomes clear, as is the case with the bodywork, that Volkswagen has succeeded in putting what is, in many respects, a completely new car on the road.
Cockpit: The development department created a new fittings base interior corresponding to the Golf Plus’s increased height. As this is also higher than its counterpart in the classic Golf, it is understandable that it should develop its own independent style. This becomes particularly clear during an examination of the entire middle console. Four (of a total of eight) air radiators integrated in this area are round instead of square, with chrome edging, and are now located to the side, and no longer above the audio / navigation system. The Golf Plus air conditioning is located, as usual, underneath, but is, however, more clearly optically separated from the infotainment area.
These wide-ranging modifications run through the entire interior, affecting gear tunnel and console, middle arm-rest and passenger area, door trims and seating. The Golf driver will discover both the new and familiar in all these places. He will certainly find storage and attachment possibilities in abundance – up to 43 depending on the design. For example, it is possible to stash a street map in the front door pocket, along with a 1.5 litre bottle.
Seating system: The differences between Golf and Golf Plus perhaps become most visible as regards the seating. Compared with the Golf, all seats are positioned higher in the new model (in front by 75 millimetres, at the rear by 85 millimetres). The driver thus enjoys an optimum all-round perspective, the passengers an all-embracing view. In the case of the driving seat, the steering-column position and accelerator pedal angle have undergone ergonomic adjustment to match the higher seating position. Moreover, a total of 1.007 millimetres inner height in front ensure that even the tallest of us can banish all fears of making contact with the roof lining; and at the rear the corresponding measurement is still a spacious 976 millimetres.
Variable rear seating system: Generally, the rear has a lot to offer. This applies especially to the new rear seating system. As standard, this can be divided on a 40/60 ratio. The seats can also be adjusted independently of one another up to 160 millimetres lengthways. The boot capacity can also be varied according to passenger size or storage goods between a minimum 395 litres and a maximum 505 litres, comprehensible when you envisage the unlimited use of all five seats. If the rear seat backs are completely lowered, you are presented with up to 1,450 litres storage capacity.
Kinematics system lowers seating area: When the rear seats are lowered, a cleverly-designed kinematics system automatically lowers the seating area, resulting in an almost level storage space. Seating area and back rest amount to just 160 millimetres when folded down. The whole system is easily operated by one person. A luggage rack fixed behind front or back seats and a further model for the floor of the boot (which can also be tightened and used as a bag rack) guarantees that the load doesn’t develop a life of its own. An extra feature: a standard support in front of the back seat on the passenger side ensures that a large, standard umbrella can be stashed away safely, saving space and yet remaining easily accessible.
Fold-down passenger seat back: If you need to transport particularly long objects, the passenger seat back can be folded down. The result? A storage length exceeding two metres.
Flexible boot flooring: The height-adjustable floor of the boot also proves its flexible worth. Raised to the higher of two levels, an expansive storage space opens up beneath, perfect for smaller articles or sports equipment such as tennis racket and trainers. For maximum storage capacity, the floor itself can also be removed if required.
Variable middle seat: The Golf Plus is a five-seater. If you don’t require the middle seat as such, but could use it as additional storage space, you can just put down the back. This is just the start of the various possibilities presented to you: folded down, the seat back becomes a table with integrated drinks holders in the first of three variations. If desired, this can be transformed into the middle arm-rest with the help of a cushion. The third variation on this theme: the arm rest becomes a large multi-functional box, again with integrated drinks holders. This box, separately available, is just slotted into the folded-down seat back. Children on board thus have enjoyable access to a unique toybox.
230-volt-connector: The Golf Plus is, without doubt, a car which allows you to have fun, lightening up your everyday existence with its numerous well thought out detailed solutions, and surprising you time and again. With its voltage capacity, for example. An optional 230-volt connector is available for the back half of the middle arm-rest, enabling you to recharge your laptop or other electronic devices underway. In the vehicle’s top-class version with arm-rest, the dual-design console between the front seats offers a coolable storage compartment (in the case of air conditioned vehicles) and the possibility to integrate the optional CD-changer or DVD player from the Rear Seat Entertainment range from Volkswagen Individual.
Rear Seat Entertainment: The system is controlled from the rear either using an operating panel or by remote. You can listen using the on-board loudspeakers or head-set included in delivery, ensuring that it’s also possible to listen to both DVD and radio simultaneously. An AUX-interface allows for the connection of a games console or camcorder. As soon as the system is activated by means of the CD-key and the 7-inch monitor from the roof console’s end compartment, the cinema experience can begin.
The Golf Plus: detailed standard fittings
Like the Golf, the Golf Plus will also be available in design lines Trendline, Comfortline und Sportline. The Trendline model only marks the creative start. The Comfortline version offers a plus in terms of exclusivity. In contrast, the Golf Plus Sportline is dynamism personified.
Trendline: The basic version of the Golf Plus offers expansive comfort, function and safety fittings as standard. Included in this are six airbags, ESP, active head-rests in front, central locking, electro-mechanic power-assisted steering, all-round electric windows and asymmetrically adjustable rear seating.
The Golf Plus Trendline: detailed standard fittings:
Wing mirror casings in vehicle colour
- Side indicator lights integrated into wing mirrors
- Halogen headlights and indicator lights with clear glass covering
- Zinc bodywork
- Radiator grille in vehicle colour
- Side protection strips in black
- Steel wheels (6 J x 15) with full wheel covers, 195/65 R 15 tyres
- Bumper in vehicle colour with black protection strips
- Green warmth protector glaze
- Storage compartment in roof liner and in the middle of the instrument panel
- Storage compartments in all doors (support for 1.5 l bottle and map in front)
- 2 drinks holders in front and 1 behind
- Height-adjustable driver seat
- Luggage compartment cover
- Lockable, lit glove compartment
- Three-spoke steering-wheel)
- Asymmetrically adjustable rear seating, folds down and is lengthways adjustable with adjustable seat-backs and middle arm-rest (also acts as table)
- Fabric seat covers with “Media” pattern
- Driver and passenger airbags with passenger airbag deactivation function
- Active front headrests
- Lap and diagonal safety belts (3) in the rear: with height-adjustment facility on the outer seats
- Automatic lap and diagonal height-adjustable safety belts in front with belt tightening facility
- Electronic stabilising programme (ESP) including brake assistant, ABS, EDS and ASR
- ISOFIX support eyelets (device to safely fasten 2 child seats to the rear seating)
- Head airbag system for front and rear passengers including side airbags in the front
- 3 head-rests in the rear
- Disc brakes in front and back, inner ventilation in front
- Warning buzzer and lights for unfastened belts in front
- Electronic steering wheel locking device
- Electrically adjustable wing mirror with separate heating facility, aspherical on driver side
- Electric windows in front and rear
- Lit luggage compartment
- Hazard warning triangle support
- Rear window wiper system with interval switch
- Heating and fresh air system with 4-level fan and recirculated air switch
- Front interior lighting with contact switches and time delay – on all doors
- Blue-lit instrument panel, regulated; red night switch design
- Combi-instrument panel with electronic tachometer, kilometre and daily kilometre counter, revolution measuring facility, exterior temperature and brake lining wear indicator
- Control lights and maintenance display indicator
- Steering column with height and length adjustor
- 2 reading lights in front
- Integrated make-up mirror in the sun visor
- Non-smoking model: storage compartment and plug replaces ash-tray and cigarette lighter in front
- Umbrella holder in the rear
- Reflectors integrated into all doors
- Front windscreen-wiper with interval switch
- Electro-mechanical power-assisted steering, speed-regulated
- Dust and pollen filter with active charcoal use
- Petrol tank opener with remote unlocking facility
- Tyre mobility set, 12-volt compressor and tyre density device
- Warning buzzer sounds when lights left on
- Central locking with radio remote control, 2 remote keys, (enabling opening and closing of windows and luggage compartment with radio remote control facility)
- 12-volt plug in the lining of the boot
Drive and running gear
Golf Plus drive and running gear: in depth
In its opening phases, the Golf Plus will be available with two petrol and two diesel engines (TDI). All engines comply with the EU4 norm. And, in addition to the manual five-gear and six-gear systems, Volkswagen also offers an automatic six-gear system (tiptronic) and the innovative double clutch DSG system for the Golf plus. The tiptronic is used with petrol engines, while the DSG is put to work in diesel engines.
Petrol engines: The basis for the Golf Plus is formed by the 1.4 l, four-cylinder model with 55 kW / 75 h.p.. The 1.6 FSI is capable of 85 kW / 115 h.p. and designed for use with 95 ROZ super fuel. During the first six months of 2005, the set will be rounded off by a 1.6 l with 75 kW/ 102 h.p., and a 2.0 FSI with 110 kW / 150 h.p.
Both the Golf Plus FSI function according to the homogeneity principle. In a company-wide unification of the Volkswagen series strategy, this will also be used in both Golf and Touran.
Diesel engines: Initially, the 1.9-litre TDI with 77 kW / 105 h.p. and 2.0 TDI with 103 kW / 140 h.p. will be available. During the course of the first six months of the new year, these will be followed by a starter diesel engine, the 1.9 TDI with 66 kW / 90 h.p..
Running gear: The high-quality safety running gear with front axle suspension strut and multi-steer rear axle adopts its classic shade from the original Golf. The innovatively deigned modules thus enable the high vibration comfort and markedly agile handling qualities typical of Volkswagen to be maintained with the aid of deliberately careful choice of springs, shock absorbers, added springs and stabilisers. It is also generally possible to choose between three basic types: normal, simple and sporting running gears.
Note: All specifications and designs contained within this press report are valid for the German model series only. Information provided for other countries could deviate from this. Subject to alterations and errors.
The terms FSI, TDI and DSG are registered trade marks owned by Volkswagen AG or other companies operating under the umbrella of the Volkswagen group in Germany.
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