Golf Mk7.5: More Power, Tweaked Looks and First in Class Gesture Controls

Volkswagen has revealed its updated Golf, set to go on sale in Europe in 2017 and in the US in 2018. Outside there are a few minor changes, but the real updates are happening to the infotainment system, which gets new, bigger screens, not that you even have to touch them now that you’ll have gesture controls.

That’s right, you too can live the dream of the future and pretend you’re Tom Cruise in Minority Report. The Mk7.5 Golf allows you to operate the car’s gadgets by waving your hands like a conductor. So far gesture control systems have been the reserve of the fanciest of luxury cars, but Volkswagen wants to be the first to offer the system in the compact class.

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Not everything will be touchlessly operable, though, so new, bigger screens (up to 9.2 inches) are being added to the Golf, which do away with the physical buttons of the current generation. Instead, everything will be done through the touch-sensitive tablet-like screen in the center console.

Information won’t be limited to the center console, though, as Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit will replace the conventional, analog dials (speedometer and tachometer) with digital versions.

Much like Audi’s lauded virtual cockpit, the new instrument cluster features a 12.5 inch screen that can change the dial sizes to prioritize navigation or vehicle information.

Plugging your phone into the car won’t be an issue anymore, either, as an inductive pad will allow you to charge and connect your phone to the car wirelessly.

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Under the hood come new engines with more power and efficiency. The European GTI, for instance, will come with about 10 more horsepower (roughly 230 hp) in standard guise, and 15 more (245 hp) in Performance trim. A new 1.5-liter gas engine is also being introduced in Europe that gets up to 51 mpg, but that engine likely won’t find its way to our shores. The relevant information here, then, is more power more, more efficiency, model year 2018.

The new engines will send power through a manual transmission or a newly developed 7-speed DSG dual clutch ‘box that’ll phase out the current 6-speed DSG.

New driver aids like traffic jam assist (which allows the car to follow the road for short periods of time at low speed, like Tesla’s Autopilot) will join existing ones, like lane departure warnings. These come along with a whole suite of safety features like pre- and post-crash braking and accident alert (which alerts emergency crews to your accident, not you. That would be unnecessary).

And to top it all off, you get a new grille, new LED headlights, and full LED taillights.

Unfortunately, there’s been no news about the new Golf R yet. Moreover, some of the updated Golf’s new features will be reserved for Europe, but just which ones Americans will miss out on remains to be seen. More on that when it becomes available.

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