Powered by a sophisticated and efficient new diesel engine, the five-speed manual Golf 77TDI can cover 100km with 4.9-litres on the ADR 81/02 combined cycle. In highway running consumption drops to just 4.3-litres per 100km.
In conceiving the interior for the new Golf, Volkswagen’s designers unashamedly set themselves the target of defining new benchmarks in quality in this class. This goal extends to all aspects, from ergonomics, through the feel and look of the materials used to the overall refinement within the cabin.
The new interior look is combined with advances made by Volkswagen engineers in reducing wind noise, including a completely new design of door and window seals, a new sound-damping inter-layer within the laminated windscreen and a new engine mounting system. The result is the quietest Golf yet produced.
The new 1.6-litre diesel, shares the same technology as the 2.0-litre diesel (103TDI) with 16-valves and common rail fuel injection. It produces peak power of 77kW at 4400rpm, while maximum torque of 250Nm is delivered between 1500-2500rpm. Fitted with a standard DPF (diesel particulate filter) to reduce particulate emissions, this new engine is not only one of the most efficient but also one of the cleanest diesels available.
The pair of dry, organic bonded friction linings do not require cooling, making the drivetrain more efficient through the extra gear ratio and the fact that less power is required for the gear selection and clutch servo system. Measuring only 369 mm in length and weighing only 79 kg, including the dual-mass flywheel, the gearbox is remarkably compact.
In adopting seven-speeds, Volkswagen engineers were able to lower first gear to improve acceleration from a standstill. By contrast seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function making it ideal for motorway driving with the additional effect of further improving economy and comfort levels.
The lubrication circuits are divided into two to maintain the purity of the oil. As with a conventional manual gearbox, one of the circuits is used for cooling and lubrication of the gear teeth, the second feeds oil to the gear actuators. Since the clutch does not require cooling the quantity of oil has been reduced from 7 litres in the six-speed DSG gearbox to only 1.7 litres in the new seven-speed system.
The Golf uses proven MacPherson strut-type front suspension to offer direct steering feedback, strong axle rigidity under cornering loads and minimal body roll.
Ride and handling benefit from the car’s clever mounting concept for the lower wishbone with separate mountings for spring and damper on the suspension strut tower, including a lightweight twin-sleeve damper unit and optimised spring rates.
The previous Golf’s completely new four-link rear suspension system was a major stride forwards for this market segment in terms of providing the optimum combination of handling dynamics and ride comfort.
The compact four-link layout features three lateral control arms – the spring mounting, the track rod and the upper control arm – and a trailing link at each wheel. Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle subframe and, as at the front, rubber-and-metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to ensure that the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively. This combines accurate handling with good ride and low road noise levels.
The Golf uses a third generation electro-mechanical power steering system (EPS) which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.
Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centering action, its ability to compensate for different driving hazards, like crosswinds and steep road cambers, and a beneficial effect on fuel economy.
On the passive side, there is a further perfected safety body (including additional reinforcement in the door area and optimized pedestrian protection), seven airbags including a knee airbag on the driver’s side and a patented safety optimised head restraint system for driver and front passenger.
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