The entry-level Volkswagen Golf 77TSI will be ditched when the all-new seventh-generation small car arrives here in late April.
“We’ve created a new entry model [and] added a lot of equipment,” confirmed Volkswagen Australia Group managing director Anke Koeckler. “I can’t say anything [more] at this stage.”
General manager of marketing, Jutta Friese, did however confirm that the 77TSI would not be retained in the range, saying that “it wouldn’t make sense”.
That strongly indicates that Volkswagen will choose the 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 63kW and 160Nm as its entry-level powertrain, rather than the same-sized engine tuned to deliver 77kW and 175Nm – outputs that match the current 77TSI – that is also available overseas.
Doing so would create a larger performance ‘jump’ to the 103kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that will also be available in the Golf Mk7 line-up.
Confirmed by Friese, the launch of the Mk7 in this country will herald the re-introduction of a Golf with a torsion beam rear suspension in place of the multi-link suspension used in all models since 2005, but only for the entry-level car – all Golfs with less than 90kW get the simpler, cheaper rear suspension design.
Questioned whether the entry Golfs may take a step backwards in terms of dynamics, Friese replied that “I am not an engineer, I cannot say”. There were no entry-level Volkswagen Golf models at the international launch late last year.
Volkswagen executives wouldn’t be drawn into pricing speculation, however the marketing boss was surprised to learn that initial rumours were that Golf prices would rise on the switch to Mk7.
Firese also acknowledged that regular driveaway pricing during the Golf Mk6 run-out period improved sales volume substantially.
“Other manufacturers offer a really good entry driveaway deal,” said Friese. “We offer [driveaway pricing] across the range, with the exception of maybe the Golf R.”
But boss Koeckler said that the run-out deals seen with Golf Mk6 would not continue with the brand new Mk7.
“There’s no need to do it [driveaway pricing],” she said.