[UPDATE] videos added

Volkswagen has officially unveiled the 2013 Golf at the New National Gallery in Berlin, Germany.

Looking rather conservative, the model adopts an evolutionary design that emphases strong character lines and taut surfaces. Overall, the car measures 4,255mm long, 1,799mm wide and 1,452mm tall. This means the model is 56mm longer, 13mm wider and 28mm lower than its predecessor.

The exterior styling won't win everyone over, but the interior is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. Three different trim levels will be available and even the entry-level Trendline features air conditioning, metallic accents, power windows / locks, a folding rear seat and 15-inch wheels.

Moving up to the Comfortline adds comfort seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and floor mats. There's also a Composition Touch infotainment system, a fatigue detection system, parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The range-topping Highline boasts a unique exterior with chrome accents, xenon headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the cabin features ambient lighting and Alcantara / fabric sport seats.

All 2013 Golfs will be equipped with an infotainment system that has a screen which measures 5-, 5.8- or 8-inches. Entry-level models have a black and white display that only provides basic information such as vehicle settings, climate control options and the time / date. However, higher-end variants have a proximity sensor which automatically switches the screen from display mode to input mode when a finger is detected near the system. They also have MP3/Bluetooth/iPod/AUX/SD Card connectivity, an optional navigation system and an available UMTS telephone module.

Additionally, thanks to the Golf's 1,750mm wheelbase (an increase of 14mm), there's an extra 15mm of rear legroom and 30 liters (1 cubic foot) more cargo capacity.

On the safety front, the Golf features multi-collision braking (which brakes the car when an accident occurs), a PreCrash system (which automatically pre-tensions the seatbelts and closes the windows when an accident in imminent) and Adaptive Cruise Control. Other goodies include Front Assist with city emergency braking (which monitors vehicles in front of the car and applies the brakes if a collision is imminent), an XDS electronic locking differential, lane-keeping assistant and a fatigue detection system (which analyzes the driver's behavior and provides audio / visual warnings if they appear sleepy or distracted). There's also Light Assist (which automatically switches the high beams on and off), traffic sign recognition and Park Assist with a 360 degree display of surrounding objects.

The car is also equipped with a driver profile selection system that has five different modes: Eco, Sport, Normal, Individual and Comfort (only on models equipped with the adaptive chassis control system). In Eco mode, the air conditioner and other ancillary systems are optimized to reduce fuel consumption.

Under the hood, there's a variety of new and revised engines. They will come equipped with a start/stop system and brake energy regeneration.

At launch, options include:

  • A 1.2-liter TSI with 85 PS (63 kW) that consumes 4.9 L/100km and has CO2 emissions of 113 g/km
  • A 1.4-liter TSI with cylinder-deactivation technology that produces 140 PS (103 kW) and consumes 4.9 L/100 km with CO2 emissions of 112 g/km 
  • A 105 PS (77 kW) TDI that consumes 3.8 L/100km and has CO2 emissions of 99 g/km
  • A 150 PS (110 kW) TDI that consumes 4.1 L/100km and has CO2 emissions of 106 g/km

There will also be a BlueMotion variant which averages 3.2 L/100km and has CO2 emissions of 85 g/km.

The car also rides on the new MQB platform which helps the model to weigh up to 100 kg (220 lbs) less than its predecessor.

According to Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, "This duty to build sustainable cars in large numbers is something that we've always been conscious of here at Volkswagen. It was therefore important to us to build the most fuel-efficient Golf ever, which at the same time had to remain affordable. And we've succeeded in doing that."

The 2013 Golf will celebrate its public debut at the Paris Motor Show and German pricing starts at €16,975.

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