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VW Unveils New Golf Variant; Diesel Headed to US

Golf Variant Sportline.

Volkswagen will introduce a new Golf Variant—the Sportline—to the worldwide market. The rollout begins 1 June in Germany; all other countries and continents will follow.

The new wagon will offer cargo capacity of up to 1,550 liters, an increase of 5.4% over its predecessor. In Europe, Volkswagen estimates that nearly two thirds of all Golf Variants are registered as company and commercial cars. Of these, a majority are paired with the 1.9-liter TDI which couples performance (187 km/h top speed) with low fuel consumption (5.2 liter/100 km on average).

VW is launching the new Golf Variant with two diesel and three gasoline engines, including four direct injection engines.

The entry-level unit is a 1.6-liter four cylinder that outputs 75 kW (100 hp). Positioned above it are the twincharged TSI engines, which deliver 103 kW (138 hp) 125 kW (168 hp) respectively. (Earlier post.)

The Jetta Sportswagen.

The two TDI diesels deliver 77 kW (103 hp) and 103 kW (138 hp) respectively. Both are factory-equipped with diesel particulate filters. A DSG dual clutch transmission is optional on all engines with the exception of the entry-level 1.6-liter.

The US version of the Variant will be the Jetta Sportwagen. Details on the US powertrains will be forthcoming.



Great! More practical fuel-efficient choices for the US market. The difference with clean diesels is that they offer both superior performance and increased fuel economy over gasoline-electric "hype-brids."

And VW will offer this in a useful wagon version no less!

This brings the SUV misnomer to light: there's nothing "sporty" about and SUV, and as far as "utility" is concerned, most modern wagons have more interior room and thus "utility" than our ubiquitous SUVs.

If only the domestics will catch on.


I like both, and might even do a diesel for my next car, but I'll rise to "hype-brids."

Isn't it funny that the future-car, the one we can't have yet, the one that is based on promises, ... that is not the "hype-car."

No, the "hype-car" is the one that's been getting me a consistent 50 mpg, city and highway, for the last couple years! Go figure.


Nice overall design. I don't see any commercial interest in this in the USA. However a diesel EuroVan would give the DC Sprinter some competition.


I wouldn't be so sure about no interest. I bought a Toyota Matrix in 2005, it was what I could afford at the time. As far as layout and utility it is one of the best cars I have ever had. Decent but not outstanding mpg. I have been saying ever since I got it that I wish it was offered with the same transmission and engine as my sister 2005 diesel Jetta.This sound like what I was looking for...2 years late or 4 years early from a personal standpoint.


I really like this car. A fun to drive, fuel efficent car, if it were reliable it would be perfect. but it's a VW, not necessarily a bastion of reliablity.

Why cant we have a fun to drive reliable car thats fuel efficient? Toyota has reliablity and fuel effiencey but they're boring, VW has fun and fuel effiency but no reliablity. Two out of three is bad.


I think wagons are set to make a comeback. I agree with the guy that bought a Toyota Matrix. My wife has a Pontiac Vibe (twin of the Matrix), and it's an awesome car. But the VW diesel's are even better... I've got a VW Golf TDI and it's great - spunky, thrifty, and fun to drive. I know VW has had quality issues in the past, but I don't think they're as bad a people think. And most of the bad issues they have had haven't affected the diesel models much.


Assuming the diesel version makes it to the U.S. (which seems a pretty good bet), this will almost certainly be my next car. My Maxima is just about eight years old now, so the timing couldn't be better.


Some versions of this vehicle will be assembled in the
VW Puebla Plant in México.


If I have calculated this right, the conversion factor is 241.86/liters, which equals 46.5 miles per gallon.


...making a Diesel clean is expensive. So, I would opt for a cleaner, quieter, better TSI.
Here, compare. 140 HP turbo patrol against the 140 HP turbo Diesel!
In test of the German motor press, the Diesel achieved round about 100km with 7l Diesel oel - the turbo patrol took 7l as well. How about the holly CO2 figuers one.
So, the 5,2l offically claimed by the VW is a joke even than I could get it on a journey through Northern Norway. Please take notice, that the Disel will be more costly with a desenct exhaust gas treatment required for the US market.


They really call this thing the Variant? What's next, the Deviant?


More diesel choices, and more biodiesel filling stations... hopefully they feed off of each other and lead to more growth for both.

Rafael Seidl

@ Michel -

you're right, a TC GDI petrol engine does achieve good fuel economy. For the US market, it may make more sense for vehicles of this size. Diesels do still enjoy advantages for larger vehicles, though.

@ doggydogworld -

"Variante" is German for a particular variation of a theme. VW has abbreviated that to "Variant" for the full wagon versions of its sedans and hatchbacks. They might want to think about what they want to call them in the US, where traditional station wagons lost market share first to minivans and later to SUV/CUVs.

Stan Peterson

There is no indication that the VW diesels will meet T2B5 standards, yet. So no US. Probably in mid 2008 or 2009 though, along with a cast of thousands alternatives.


Overall diesels have about half the servicing costs of their petrol
cousins , I have a 2 litre BMw diesel and my wife a 1.4 VW petrol
my car does twice the mileage of hers and yet costs half the money
to service.
However diesels stink , and whatever the manufacturer all seem to
emit clouds of smoke under hard acceleration.

darwin award

Diesels are good choices. You get to fill up with So. American Diesel instead of Mid-East Diesel. You get 50mi/gal at 70mi/hr equating to roughly a 700 mi range... drive till ya fall asleep.

Whats makin me scratch my pointy lil head is why not toss the turbo and install the hybrid in the diesel. Maybe ya need a 6-speed tranny.

BTW: the Passat class needs a 5cyl. 2.4L TDi for the US. The 4-banger a bit too small.


Why not toss the turbo? Because turbo-charging is ideal for diesels, since diesels do not have to limit air intake as is required by gas engines with octane being a limiting factor. Turbos give them huge amounts of boost; increase fuel economy and performance simultaneously and add to the refinement of a modern, diesel engine. Without direct-injection, which is also very suitable for diesels since they can take as much injection pressure as can physically be applied without octane as a limiting factor, and turbo-charging, diesels would be quite wimpy.

Why not apply hybrid technology? Well, they can, but it's an issue of cost. A diesel cost approximately $1,000 more to build per unit than a naturally-aspired, gas-powered engine (not a thousand more than these new VW TSI engines, however). This is due to the turbo charger and the heavier engine build required to handle all the compression. When you add the $2,500 to $3,500 extra cost of an electric motor and all the synergy technology required for that process, and the added cost of a diesel engine, not many buyers would pay for a diesel hybrid; at least not now.

Peugeot-Citoen is producing a diesel hybrid that is a mid-size, sporty car that gets over 70 mpg. I can't remember the name of the car, but it is very similar to the Ford Reflex concept vehicle shown at one of the U.S. auto shows. Ford and Peugeot works together on diesel technologies, so this is not surprising.

In the 90s, before we began this hyrdrogen dream, all three U.S. auto companies developed the most fuel-efficient, cost-friendly concept vehicles that they could produce in conjunction with a DoE program (I forget the name of that program), but all three developed a diesel hybrid car.


It was the Partnership for Next generation Vehicle (PNGV). And yes, all three domestic car makers independently came up with the same solution to the challenge to produce an 80mpg family sedan: the diesel-electric hybrid.

US taxpayers paid over $2.0 billion for this program under the Clinton years (when Clinton raised diesel fuel tax 50% above gasoline tax) and got little to show for it. The Big Three did nothing with the lessons learned.

To think that that was over a decade ago now. Do you suppose the US would be putting up with the Hugo Chavez, Ahminejads, and Saudi's (17 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi) if the Big Three had been more proactive a decade ago? Perhaps the Big Three today would still be GM, Ford and Chrysler instead of Toyota, GM, and Honda(?) ?

Further erosion of the US industrial base.
Your tax dollars hard at work!


The charter of PNGV was to have 80 mpg running prototypes by 2004.
PNGV was shutdown in 2001 by Bush Co. The replacement was the Fool-Cell program. Bush's Chief of Staff at the time was former GM exec Andy Card.

Jeff R

In 1999, Ford put out this press release, still on their site, touting the prototype Ford Prodigy, which I believe was the result of the PNGV program. 70mpg in a "hybrid-electric" family sedan, through light weight and reduced drag, mostly. No engine specs in the release, but read it and have your coulda-woulda-shoulda moment.

Cheryl Ho

There are developments in DME in China:
We see great potential for DME as a clean alternative fuel . The present diesel oil is a major source of air pollution from diesel engine of trucks and busses in large city like Tokyo. The potential market of diesel oil substitute is larger than LPG. DME is one of ideal fuel for diesel engine. DME vehicles were demonstratively manufactured in Japan, China and Korea and their driving test already started. Practical durability fleet test of a DME truck is under going in Japan.

We are pleased to organise a conference on China taking the lead in the DME market in production from coal and Japan and Korea activities.

If you would like to know more on COAL to Syngas to DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:


Good Grief! I think a 1.6 liter diesel is plenty of power for a commuter car. I have a 2001 Golf Diesel now and I commute round trip 45 miles a day. I get an honest 38-40 mpg combined with an automatic. This is the 90 HP model. I could easily do with 74 hp, As I don't drive over the speed limit. I don't need power. Jeez my 70 beetle only had 68 hp. And it did 70 mph all day long!

We should tax by engine size or hp. That would be another reason for smaller engines that get correspondingly better mileage. This would drive the 'market' for domestics as well.

puebla Battle in of

of Battle the puebla

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