Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOW3) pulled back the curtain Wednesday on the U.S. version of its redesigned Golf, which is already plying the roads of Europe to great success but won’t be available in North American showrooms until sometimes next year.
The Golf, which is being displayed at the 2013 New York Auto Show, comes with one of three turbocharged engines. The standard 1.8 liter, four-cylinder, 170 horsepower and the turbo diesel TDI with 150 horsepower, a step up from the 140 horses of the previous model. Mileage will improve by as much as 15 percent, the company says. The diesel currently achieves 30 mpg in the city and 42 on the road.
But more exciting than the standard is the famed GTI, the 2015 model will become the fastest Golf yet with its 2.0 liter, four-cylinder turbo churning out a zippy 210 horsepower, according to preliminary estimates from the Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker.
"The Golf will continue to hold its strength of having the most refined and upscale interior in its class," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "The VW Golf will not sway too many buyers looking for a compact car based on price point, but those who consider themselves enthusiasts or want more bang for their buck will find this car appealing."
VW hasn't revealed the price for the redesigned Golf, but it is one of the more expensive compact hatchbacks on the market. The MSRP for the 2014 Golf GTI starts at $24,200.
Volkswagen had a phenomenal 2012, breaking an all-time record for annual sales of its passenger cars, led by robust demand for the seventh generation Golf. And the Golf, Tiguan and Touareg sales are all up year-to-date in the U.S., according to Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, of Volkswagen Group of America. The latest Passat sedan is selling at a monthly rate that took a year to acquire for the previous model, he added.
“There are many uncertainties facing the economy, and in this industry in particular, but Volkswagen will see growth in 2013,” Browning said. “We expect to see a volume that will be our highest in 40 years in the U.S. Volkswagen’s substantial investments in North American are clearly paying off.”