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by Brett Davis

Volkswagen has taken the unusual step of unveiling the underpinnings of crucial future models including the seventh-generation Golf.

The new platform – dubbed MQB for Modularer Querbaukasten – will become the most significant in the entire Volkswagen Group, underpinning up to 60 different vehicles and body styles within the group’s broad umbrella.

The versatile MQB platform is expected to debut on the next-generation Audi A3 that will be unveiled at March’s 2012 Geneva motor show, before appearing on the new Golf later in the year and spreading to other VWs and other brands such as Seat and Skoda.

VW says the platform showcases vast advances in industry standards, and will be a critical aspect to the Golf’s evolution.

Volkswagen sources say the MQB platform could allow for an introduction of multi-brand production lines. This could include Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda vehicles all being produced on the same line, under the same roof. The move would significantly increase production capacity.

One of the key aspects to the MQB platform is a common engine-mounting area. Both petrol and diesel engines will be mounted in the same way, at the same angle. This will allow for increased efficiency during manufacturing and a reduction in production costs, and should, in turn, keep purchase prices competitive.

Another new technology that will be launched with the MQB, and one that will become standard on the Golf Mk7 and Audi A3, is an award-winning multi-collision brake system.

In the instance of an accident, upon initial impact, the vehicle’s computer is able to activate the brakes automatically to reduce the chances or severity of a secondary collision.

Up to 20 other new innovative progresses will be launched with the platform, including those that aim to improve safety, as well as infotainment system functions and dynamic advances in reducing vehicle weight.

Volkswagen says a number of these innovations were once reserved for higher market segment vehicles, but will soon be made available on entry-level vehicles.

Although little is revealed in the released images of the new Golf, the Mk7 will be lighter compared with the current model, with international sources suggesting an expected weight around the same as the Mk4 Golf – around 1200kg compared with today’s 1300kg average.

The new platform will also be available with various powerplants, ranging from Volkswagen’s EA211-series petrol engines, including 1.0-litre three-cylinder units offering 44kW to 55kW and the world’s first four-cylinder with cylinder deactivation technology, as well as the company’s EA288 diesel line-up, which produces between 66kW and 191kW. The fully electric 2013 Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-Motion variant is also on the way, based on the MQB platform.

 




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