Automotive

Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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VW Golf GTI Mk7 Launched At RM217,888

This is the all new VW Golf GTI which has just been launched in Malaysia at a very tempting selling price of RM217,888.00. VW Malaysia is also offering a 3-door GTI for the 1st time at RM209,888.00 and a TECH PACK special edition for RM227,888.00 (with DCC, Vienna leather seats and driver profile selection).

This GTI is powered by a turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine (TSI) with 220 PS. Possibly one of the most important properties of the new Golf GTI – related to the interior – is the fact that the car simply fits – as though cast to be ergonomic. The driver simply opens the door, sits down on the standard sport seat, adjusts it, adjusts the height and length of the sport steering wheel, buckles up, starts the engine, puts the hand on the gear shift lever and drives off.

Ergonomics benefit from MQB

Significantly more room and even better ergonomics define the GTI driver’s area. Taller drivers in particular will welcome the seat position that has been shifted back by 20 mm; the steering wheel’s adjustment range has also been modified. Pedal distances have been optimised as well thanks to the modular transverse matrix; the space between the brake and accelerator pedals, for example, has increased by 16 mm. Another ergonomic improvement: compared to the previous model, Volkswagen has raised the position of the gearbox controls by 20 mm; the gear shift grip now rests better in the driver’s hand.

Configuration in legendary GTI style

The typical GTI insignia are important in the interior as well. Consider the seat covers: the first GTI already had seat covers in the legendary tartan pattern. The fabric of the Golf GTI VI known as “Jacky” was – as in the transition to every new GTI generation – redesigned and is now named “Clark.” Naturally, the tartan pattern was retained. The top sport seats offer exceptionally good ergonomic properties. In addition, the front seats have height adjustment and a manually adjustable lumbar support. Red decorative seams provide a sporty contrast; the black roofliner that is always part of the GTI emphasises the sporty layout of the interior.

It is also quite clear that the standard leather multifunction sport steering wheel in GTI design with red contrasting seams was upgraded, as was the gear shift gaiter. It matches the red ring in the lens top of the leather gear shift grip. Accents on the dashboard are in “Checkered Black” and the same applies to the decorative inlays in the door trim panels and on the centre console. Also making a strong statement is the GTI instrument cluster with a colour display and independent instrument graphics. It is no coincidence that they are reminiscent of high-end chronometers. When the engine is started, the pointers of the tachometer and speedometer swing once to the end scale position and then back. The GTI specific look of the interior is rounded out by red ambience lighting, special trim strips and panels (trim strips in the front doors with ambience lighting), brushed stainless steel pedals and foot rest (on left), door sill entry plates in front with a stainless steel application and ambience lighting that is also integrated here.

Quality and image overcome class boundaries. It is the entirely new fundamental concept for the interior design of the seventh generation Golf that represents a breakthrough for the GTI’s sporty and high-end interior architecture: especially noticeable is the wide centre console that is oriented towards the driver; it is more characteristic of the premium class than the compact class. In the middle of the centre console, beneath the switch for the hazard warning lights, is the 5.8-inch infotainment touchscreen with its menu keys and dials. For the first time, Volkswagen is using a touchscreen generation here that features proximity sensors and functionality that reacts to wiping movements of the fingers (wipe and zoom gestures as with a smartphone).

Located beneath the infotainment module are the well laid-out controls for the standard dual-zone automatic climate control system (Climatronic). This is followed by the lower section of the centre console that runs in a line up to the large centre armrest. To the right of the driver are the buttons for the new electronic parking brake and its Auto Hold function. Next to it, there is a closing storage compartment with integrated multimedia interfaces (AUX-IN, USB and optional Apple); the compartment is large enough to hold a smartphone.

There is a wide storage compartment hidden under the centre armrest that can be adjusted by up to 100 mm in length and five stages in height.

More space over its length. Despite all of its sportiness, the Golf GTI is more than just a sports car; it is an all-round talent. And that describes the seventh generation GTI as well. This would make the Golf GTI a good choice as a business car for any day of the year. Background: larger body dimensions in overall length and width, a larger wheelbase, optimised track widths and MQB-modified package all have a positive effect on comfort. The GTI interior is now 14 mm longer (1,750 mm), for example. In the rear seating area of the optional four-door Golf GTI, passengers enjoy 15 mm more leg room. In front, shoulder room has increased by 31 mm to 1,420 mm, and elbow room has now gone up by 22 mm to a width of 1,469 mm. In the rear seating area, shoulder room was also improved by an additional 31 mm and elbow width by 20 mm.

In addition, the rear seat bench folds and has a 60:40 split. When folded, a nearly level cargo floor is created with a length of 1,558 mm. Cargo capacity, for example, has grown by 30 litres to 380 litres; the variable cargo floor can also be lowered by 100 mm. Perfection in the details: the load sill to the bootspace is now just 655 mm high – the best value in the core segment. In parallel, the maximum bootspace width has grown by 228 mm to 1,272 mm. Volkswagen has also increased the width of the bootspace opening by 47 mm to 1,023 mm.

Powertrain – TSI engines

The Golf GTI VII is powered by an advanced engine of the EA888 series – a two-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine (TSI) with a new cylinder head design. The TSI produces 220 PS (from 4,500 to 6,200 rpm). Only a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) is available.

Advanced petrol turbocharged direct injection engine (TSI)

The engine of the new Golf GTI is based on the EA888 four-cylinder engine series – now in its third generation. Compared to the previous engine generation, numerous technical details were modified to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while simultaneously increasing power and torque values. As a result, the new model is the first Golf GTI to conform to limits of the Euro-6 emissions standard.

Newly developed cylinder head. A unique innovation in this power class is a water-cooled exhaust gas circulation loop to the turbocharger that is fully integrated in the newly developed cylinder head. This type of exhaust cooling makes an important contribution towards reducing fuel consumption at full load in the new Golf GTI. In addition, the 1,984 cc TSI has variable valve timing with dual camshaft adjustment. In addition, the valve lift on the exhaust side can be switched over two stages. This enables optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy and low emissions.

Running gear – layout and electronics

The Golf GTI is offered with a standard sport suspension that is tuned to the higher power of the Volkswagen car. Therefore, the body was lowered 15 mm compared to the less powerful Golf models. In front, a MacPherson suspension provides for precise tracking; at the rear, there is the modular performance suspension. Equipped as standard with the further advanced XDS+ vehicle dynamic function and the new progressive steering system (significantly smaller steering angle input required from one end stop to the other: just over two full turns), the Volkswagen Golf GTI is advancing more than ever into the realm of high-class and significantly more expensive sports cars with its agile and safe handling properties.

Vehicle dynamics

The running gear layout of the new Golf GTI has been tuned for maximum driving fun combined with a high level of vehicle stability. Drivers will notice that steering response is now even more agile than in the previous model thanks to more direct steering gear ratios. Maximum attainable speeds through bends were also increased, because of more neutral running gear tuning and optimisations of the XDS+ system.

Progressive steering

The progressive steering system is celebrating its debut in the new Golf GTI. It is a standard feature for both power levels. This steering system lets drivers make a turn of a given radius with smaller steering wheel movements. That is, the driver does not need to reach over the steering wheel as often in tight bends. With progressive steering, it takes 2.1 turns of the wheel (380°) to reach the end stop; in the standard steering system of the less powerful Golf models it takes 2.75 turns (500°). Background: Conventional steering systems operate with a constant gear ratio. The new steering of the Golf GTI, meanwhile, operates with a progressive steering gear ratio. This reduces steering work perceptibly when manoeuvring and parking. On country roads with lots of bends, and when making turns, the driver experiences a plus in dynamics due to the more direct layout.

Technically, progressive steering differs from the basic steering system primarily by the rack’s variable tooth spacing and a more powerful electric motor. Its functional difference: Unlike with constant steering ratios, which by necessity always represent a compromise between dynamic performance and comfort, here the steering rack’s toothing is significantly modified by the steering stroke. This results in more precise and relaxed driving in the middle steering range up to high speeds; due to the smaller steering input angles that are required, the system offers significantly greater agility and more driving fun on roads with lots of bends. At lower speeds, on the other hand, such as in city driving or parking situations, the Golf GTI is much easier to handle thanks to the lower steering input angles – offering a perceptible gain in comfort.

DCC dynamic chassis control

A second generation DCC dynamic chassis control system is at work in the Golf GTI. DCC offers the three driving modes “Comfort”, “Normal” and “Sport”, which are now selected and displayed under “Driving profile selector” on the touchscreen of the centre console. Besides offering a “Normal” mode, the DCC system, which was specially tuned for the GTI, now offers the “Comfort” mode, which is indeed comfort-oriented but still reflects typical GTI properties. In “Sport” mode, especially dynamic and agile handling is implemented. In the “Individual” driving profile, the DCC mode can even be configured with any other desired driving profile properties.

The DCC system adaptively regulates the damper valves via a further developed and refined Volkswagen control algorithm which sets the damper characteristic. In doing so, DCC evaluates input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle bus information from the Chassis-CAN bus. It then computes the optimal damper force for every driving situation and adaptively adjusts this force. Damping forces are selectively applied to the four wheels individually.

In the new DCC generation, it is now also possible to fully independently vary rebound and compression damping for transverse dynamic manoeuvres – a significant benefit in optimising vehicle dynamics. The damper valves were also modified for further improved response.

MacPherson-type front suspension

A MacPherson front suspension (spring struts) with a newly developed low wishbone and track-stabilising scrub radius enables optimal handling and steering in the GTI as well as a balanced response to vibration. All components were reworked for improved functionality, weight and cost. This resulted in a weight savings of 1.6 kg compared to the previous model. This was made possible, for example, by the use of high-strength steel in the transverse links and an innovative bionic approach to designing the pivot bearings. The subframe is centrally positioned on the front axle; its frame – designed for maximum transverse rigidity – handles loads from the engine mounts and steering as well as loads of the front suspension components.

The now fully tubular anti-roll bar has a spring rate that was specifically tuned for the handling of the new GTI. The rubber bearings are vulcanised directly onto the painted anti-roll tube; this assures optimal acoustic properties and optimises the responsiveness of the anti-roll bar which is important to vehicle dynamics. A new aluminium pivot bearing was also designed for the GTI. The use of aluminium and the bionic design of this pivot bearing enabled a weight reduction of 2.8 kg. Compared to the previous model, the location of the centre of motion was moderately raised for quicker and more precise response of the new GTI front suspension.

Modular performance rear suspension

The rear suspension of the Golf GTI was further developed from the perspectives of improved kinematics, acoustics, weight situation and modularity. However, nothing has changed with regard to its fundamental approach of consistently separating longitudinal and transverse rigidities. The low longitudinal rigidity has been preserved by the soft axle control of the trailing link; this was a necessary precondition for further improving ride comfort.

Furthermore, Volkswagen successfully improved the transverse rigidity of the modular performance suspension, which is important for steering behaviour, by a new tie rod bearing tuning. Tracking and camber values are individually tuned by eccentric screws on the spring link and at the upper transverse link according to requirement for each vehicle type. Key design changes to the rear suspension are the connections of the tubular anti-roll bar and the suspension damper, which are now made at the spring link. This reduces forces within the suspension; there are also significant package advantages. In addition, the suspension was made 4.0 kg lighter in weight by structural optimisations of many components and the use of high-strength steels.

Exterior features

On its exterior, GTI-specific standard features are the red painted brake callipers, sport suspension (15 mm lower ride height), the progressive steering system being used in the GTI for the first time, bi-xenon headlights with cornering lights, licence plate lighting in LED technology, dark red LED rear lights, the GTI-typical honeycomb structure of the air inlet screens, a roof spoiler (in body colour) with side-mounted aerodynamic elements (high gloss black), GTI bumpers, GTI logos on the front wings (sides of body in area of A-pillars) and chrome 80-mm diameter tailpipes, one on the left and one on the right. In the chassis electronics area, on-board features also include the extensively reengineered XDS+ electronic differential lock.

Colours and wheels. The production colours Red (“Tornado Red”) and “Black” as well as “Pure White” have been typical for the Golf GTI since its beginning days. As a special feature, the new Golf GTI can also be ordered in “Carbon Steel Grey Metallic”.

Interior features

GTI instruments and ambience lighting. Also making a strong statement is the GTI instrument cluster with a colour display and independent graphics of its instruments. It is no coincidence that it resembles high-end chronographs. The GTI specific look of the interior is rounded out by red ambience lighting, special trim strips and panels (trim strips in the front doors with ambience lighting), brushed stainless steel pedals and foot rest (on left), door sill entry plates in front with a stainless steel application and ambience lighting that is also integrated here.

XDS+

The XDS system that was first introduced in the Golf VI was further developed to the advanced XDS+ system for the new VW Golf GTI. Technically, the XDS+ electronic differential lock is a functionality that is integrated in the electronic stabilisation programme (ESC) for improved vehicle dynamics. XDS+ is an extension of XDS, which is familiar from the previous model; its functionality has now been extended to cover all unbraked driving states. The new system improves agility and reduces the need for steering angle inputs by targeted brake interventions at the wheels on the inside of the bend of both axles. In addition, XDS+ is effective over all conceivable road friction values, and it results in more precise handling. The well-known benefits of XDS – such as significantly reduced understeer and improved traction – were also perfected.

Electronic parking brake

Instead of a handbrake lever, a control switch plus an Auto Hold switch are located on the centre console of the Golf GTI. The electronic parking brake offers numerous advantages: eliminating the conventional handbrake frees up more space on the centre console; in addition, the brake is automatically released when driving off. And that simplifies driving off up a hill. Last but not least, the Auto Hold function prevents unintentional rolling from a stopped position by automatically holding the GTI in place. Waiting phases, such as a red traffic light, are made more comfortable, because it is no longer necessary to continually press the brake pedal.

DCC now available with the Tech Pack

A second generation DCC dynamic chassis control system is at work in the Golf GTI. DCC offers the three driving modes “Comfort”, “Normal” and “Sport”, which are now selected and displayed under “Driving profile selector” on the touchscreen of the centre console. Besides offering a “Normal” mode, the DCC system, which was specially tuned for the GTI, now offers the “Comfort” mode, which is indeed comfort-oriented but still reflects typical GTI properties. In “Sport” mode, especially dynamic and agile handling is implemented. In the “Individual” driving profile, the DCC mode can even be configured with any other desired driving profile properties.

The DCC system adaptively regulates the damper valves via a further developed and refined Volkswagen control algorithm which sets the damper characteristic. In doing so, DCC evaluates input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle bus information from the Chassis-CAN bus. It then computes the optimal damper force for every driving situation and adaptively adjusts this force. Damping forces are selectively applied to the four wheels individually.

In the new DCC generation, it is now also possible to fully independently vary rebound and compression damping for transverse dynamic manoeuvres – a significant benefit in optimising vehicle dynamics. The damper valves were also modified for further improved response.


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