2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
The compact class starts moving in 2012. The seventh generation of the VW Golf will certainly determine the segment, but the pursuers are stepping on the gas.
In terms of broad impact, the new VW Golf is certainly the most important premiere of the coming year. After the last generation change in 2008 was rather an extensive facelift, the number seven expected for the end of the year is again a completely new design. The bestseller has increased its length and wheelbase slightly and also documents the new size with a higher-quality appearance with sharpened lines, sparkling headlights and more chrome trim. The engine range is being comprehensively modernized and, for the first time, expanded in 2013 to include an electric and a hybrid version.
Skoda steps out of line
The price should hardly rise despite the significant increase in value compared to the current model (from 16,975 euros). This is made possible through the use of a new technology architecture. The so-called modular transverse matrix ensures simpler production and a greater variety of variants. The Audi A3 will be the first model to be launched on the new platform in spring, initially as a three-door. The Ingolstadt golf cousin also has more space, a refined design and new engines. The five-door Sportback version will follow in autumn. The compact group family is also complemented by the Spanish offshoot Seat Leon. Skoda is
a little out of line. The Czech VW subsidiary is bringing a compact notchback model in the style of the VW Jetta in the middle of the year. The model, which is expected to be called Rapid, should only cost just under 13,000 euros and thus remain well below Golf and Co. This is made possible by savings in chassis and technology - but the drivers should not notice any of this.
New concept for Mercedes A-Class
Mercedes is making a completely new attempt in the compact class. After the A-Class with its van-like body and high seating position has so far mainly appealed to older people, the new model will also appeal to younger drivers from the summer who have previously bought from BMW and Audi.
This should succeed with a dynamic hatchback body based on the model of the competition, in which the radiator grille with integrated star, aggressively looking headlights and light edges in the style of the four-door Coupé CLS should ensure independence. Under the hood there is a new generation of turbocharged four-cylinder engines, for which a dual clutch transmission is also available for the first time. An AMG version should also celebrate its premiere.
New variants for Volvo C30
BMW is adding a two-door model to its new 1-series launched in 2011. Like the five-door, the rear-wheel drive from Munich comes up with more space, new four-cylinder turbo engines and an optional eight-speed automatic. The convertible and coupé versions of the compact family will remain unchanged for a while - the successors will start in 2013 and 2014 as a 4-series.
Volvo also wants to get its share of the premium cake. So far, the Swedes have only been able to show the less successful two-door C30 in the compact class; the new V30, as a four-door hatchback model, is based on more practical and spacious models such as the Audi A3 Sportback. A crossover version based on the model of the XC70 is also planned, which will then also attract potential customers of the BMW X1.
Hyundai and Renault in wait
However, the Hyundai i30 could become the toughest golf competitor. At least VW boss Martin Winterkorn seems to have a lot of respect for the Korean who will start in March. At the premiere at the IAA, the CEO grumbled about its rattle-free steering wheel adjustment, which his engineers could not achieve in comparable quality. The corresponding video later became a YouTube hit. The i30 also offers an interior that has been upgraded compared to its predecessor and modern engines.
The Renault Mégane will face the new competition in its class with an extensive facelift from the middle of the year. Above all, a new front design with a larger diamond and new turbo engines should help the French to regain their former position as Europe's best-selling car. (SP-X)
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