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VW details U.S.-spec 2015 Golf, GTI

by Andrew Ganz

VW\'s latest Golf will finally land on our shores boasting turbo-only power.

Volkswagen's seventh-generation Golf hatchback finally made its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show. To celebrate the occasion, VW saw fit to share with us all of its specifications.

The new Golf is essentially identical to the model that debuted last fall at the Paris Motor Show. Riding on VW's new MBQ (modular transverse matrix) platform, it is designed to save weight while adding rigidity. The new Golf is about 2.2 inches longer and half an inch wider than the current car, which gives it improved interior space.

Three powertrains will be on offer: A 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the GTI.

The 1.8-liter unit cranks out 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque and it will be mated to both manual and automatic gearboxes. Golf TDIs receive a new turbodiesel rated at 150 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque. In addition to making more power than the outgoing Golf TDI's engine, the new diesel should be more fuel efficient. A six-speed stick is standard, while VW's DSG dual clutch automatic will be optional.

North American-specification GTIs will crank out 210 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, but an additional 10 horsepower included with the European market Performance Pack will eventually make its way into the GTI, VW has confirmed.

All North American GTIs will include an electronic differential lock on their front axle to improve handling and traction. In addition, their electric power steering will be progressive, allowing for lower effort at parking speeds and higher effort for cornering.

Notably, VW says that soft touch interior plastics will make their way into the North American Golf, which further solidifies the model as a more premium offering than the Jetta.

All three Golf models will be available when the new car goes on sale in about a year's time. Why the long lead time? VW is gearing up a new line to build the Golf at its Puebla, Mexico, assembly plant.

Pricing and fuel economy information will be announced closer to the hatchback's on sale date.

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