New VW Golf Cheaper, Start-Stoppier
There's an interesting juxtaposition in today's news about the forthcoming VW Golf. Motor Authority reports that Volkswagens sixth-generation Golf will offer standard stop-start technology in its efficiency-oriented Bluemotion versions. VW director of powertrain research Wolfgang Steiger reveals that the the Bluemotion is shooting for a 30 percent gain in efficiency, begging the question of whether Bluemotion trim will bring a hybrid drivetrain to the table. VW has reportedly ditched diesel-hybrid plans for a cheaper gas-electric unit. But Steiger only mentions a new range of 1.0 and 1.2-liter compact gas engines, with a possible forced-induction three-cylinder in the works. Either way, it's all a bit academic. Future US-market Rabbits will be developed separately, on cheaper platforms. Which is funny, because Auto Motor und Sport reports that the new "too-pricy-for-the-states" Golf costs nearly $2k less to produce than the outgoing model. Even with rising steel prices and a strong Euro, VW has managed to realize savings by reducing material costs, increasing volume and producing on a four-day work week. So, despite reducing the cost of building the new Golf, VW will be challenging Toyota in the US market with an even cheaper replacement for the Rabbit? With the diesel Jetta already behind the Prius curve, VW should bite the bullet and bring the Euro-Golf stateside, and proliferate stop-start across its US model line. Or give up its goal of taking on Toyota NA for volume sales.