2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
New products from Volkswagen, Peugeot, Lancia and Hyundai will be looking for their place in the compact car segment in the coming weeks. The top dog, the Golf, will launch its next version in autumn.
Things are getting tighter on the “golf course”: The selection of vehicles in the compact class is growing, which is evidenced not least by almost a dozen innovations that will be coming onto the market in the near future. The industry spans the range from practical station wagons to affordable sports cars to real luxury models that differ from the upper class solely in terms of format.
Scirocco from Wolfsburg
An important novelty in the so-called Golf class is the sporty offshoot of the model that gave the segment its name: Volkswagen has presented the new Scirocco, which is supposed to bring more passion back to the VW range - at prices from 21,750 euros. VW combines the design of the 4.26 meter long three-door with the technology from the Golf shelf and uses transmissions and engines (88 kW / 120 PS to 147 kW / 200 PS, including a diesel) from its staid brother. However, the adaptive chassis is new.
Renault is also sporty - but initially only with a study. Because as a harbinger of the next Mégane, which will celebrate its premiere in October at the Paris Motor Show, the French have presented the study of a coupé with eye-catching gullwing doors. They are certainly not planning a coupé with gullwing doors in this segment. However, they seem to say goodbye to the provocative forms of their predecessor and instead rely on flowing lines that require less getting used to.
Station wagons from Peugeot and Hyundai
The compact class innovations from Peugeot and Hyundai are more practical. Both importers have presented the combination variants of their golf opponents. For the French, this is the 308 SW, which, according to press spokesman Bernhard Voss, will be available in two versions like its predecessor: as a load master with conventional rear seats and tin roof and as a lifestyle truck with a panoramic roof and seven individual seats in three rows. The load volume measures 573 liters with recessed rear seats and can be expanded to 1736 liters. The engine range of five petrol and three diesels covers an output range from 70 kW / 90 PS to 128 kW / 175 PS. Hyundai offers the i30 CW with two diesels and two petrol engines from 85 kW / 116 PS to 105 kW / 143 PS only as a conventional five-seater and promises a load volume of 415 to 1395 liters. For this, the Koreans have stretched the car in length by 23 centimeters to 4.48 meters compared to the five-door.
New edition of the Lancia Delta
But new brands are also pushing into the compact class. At the beginning of March, Lancia celebrated the new edition of the Delta at the Geneva Motor Show, which is intended to close the gap between the small car Ypsilon and the luxury sedan Thesis. Instead of the angular sheet metal dress and the thick cheeks of its predecessor, it has flowing lines and softly modeled shoulders. Only the basic shape of the coupé has remained. In addition, the Delta gets a panoramic roof and a sliding back seat for the compromise between load volume and legroom. Strictly speaking, the 4.50 meter long Delta is not new: under the sheet metal is a platform that also supports the Fiat Bravo. And the turbo-equipped gasoline and diesel engines from 88 kW / 120 PS to 147 kW / 200 PS are also known from other Group models.
In addition to Lancia, Saab is also flirting with the entry into the compact class: “Anyone who wants to be successful as a premium supplier needs a car in this segment too,” says CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, drawing attention to the 9-X BioHybrid, which shows “how a compact Saab could look like. " The entry-level model of the future is a sporty three-door that offers space for four passengers. It measures 4.42 meters and has a wheelbase of 2.71 meters, making it a little bigger than the competition. But the format could shrink a little before it is ready for series production.
At the Auto Mobil International trade fair (AMI, April 5th to 13th) in Leipzig, Mercedes is finally sending the revised versions of the A- and B-Class into the race. Later in the year, Peugeot brought the 308 back as a convertible coupe. The manufacturers still have a little time to position themselves on the golf course. But how well the new players are doing there, you will be able to see in autumn at the latest, when VW launches the new Golf, according to the words of CEO Martin Winterkorn - then the newcomers have to prove whether they can still hole despite a strong opponent. (dpa / gms)