Vw Golf Mark VI Late, Next-gen Phaeton Smaller

By: Jerick Brooks

According to Volkswagen's Production Development Executive Ulrich Hackenberg, VW fans will have to wait longer than originally planned for the next-generation Golf. He added that the VW Golf Mark VI will hit dealerships in the later part of 2008.

This is contrary to previous reports that implied VW was making a tracking development on the next model because of its declining sales in the US, and tougher competition from radically styled models such as the Honda New Civic.

Hackenberg said VW is on the right on track and where they want to be. This is a good sign for one of the highest selling cars on the road today.

Original plans under the leadership of former VW chief Bernd Pischetsrieder would have seen the car released at September's Frankfurt Motor Show. But Volkswagen's new head Martin Winterkorn has pushed back its release to further accommodate styling changes and increases in quality levels such as that of the .

These latest innovations reveal the new design for the Mark VI Golf, proving that its designers are keeping with the current model's stylish yet conservative looks. The previous design would have seen the next Golf wearing teardrop shaped headlights as used by the Eos convertible.

The two-door version was dropped in favor of the all-new Scirocco. The Golf Mark VI will be coming as a four-door hatch and as a people carrier with the Europe-only Golf Plus. There will be numerous engine choices for the new Golf. These include a new 1.6L TSI engine developing 200hp as well as a high-performance 2.0L version with 260hp in the GTI. Some reports say top of the line 3.6L FSI V6 engine taken from the Passat R36 and developing 281hp will round out the Golf range.

VW has also announced a 30 percent more fuel-efficient version. This stems from the VW Polo Blue Motion were released on the last quarter of 2006. The Blue Motion models utilize slow-shift gear boxes that reduce fuel consumption as well as low-resistance tires to save extra fuel.

Meanwhile, contrary to the trend for automakers to increase a car's size with each new model change, VW is planning to make its flagship Phaeton sedan smaller for the all-new 2010 model.

The announcement came from VW boss Martin Winterkorn who told reporters at Germany's Der Spiegel the next Phaeton will be based on the next generation Audi A6 with the two vehicles sharing several components.

With this model, VW is expected to make substantial savings because there is no need to develop expensive components such as transmissions or power trains. The current model Phaeton never managed to meet its projected sales expectations, with only a quarter of the 20,000 planned units rolling off the showroom floor.

The Phaeton had several flaws going against it. Unlike its aluminum constructed Audi A8 sibling, the Phaeton weighs too much, lacks performance and its engine easily gets exhausted, thereby needing more fuel. The VW label also lacks the brand cachet needed in this premium segment. Analysts say the German car maker will not be making the same mistake with its next version. According to the source, the new Audi A8 will be larger than the Phaeton, which itself will be larger than the A6, and will showcase technologies earmarked for the next-generation Bentley Continental.

In an interview with Bloomberg last April, VW America Spokesman Andreas Meurer revealed that the Phaeton would make a return to the US after the slow-selling sedan was pulled from the market in 2005.

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