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Volkswagen Golf wagon to mirror hatch

Broad appeal: VW will be going after both fleet and private buyers with its Golf wagon.

VW may offer a wide range of Golf wagon models as it seeks to expand fleet sales

Volkswagen logo2 Nov 2009

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed that the upcoming Golf wagon will have the same petrol and diesel engine line-up as the hatchback versions.

However, a GTI or high-performance ‘R’ version is unlikely as Volkswagen wants to concentrate on what it sees as a yawning gap in the compact premium wagon segment of the Australian market.

Due for launch in the first quarter of 2010 after the range was confirmed for Australia at September’s Frankfurt motor show, the load-carrying Golf is set to offer both the 1.4-litre TSI forced-induction four-cylinder petrol engine as well as the TDI turbo diesel family.

It is unknown if these will include both the 90kW turbocharged unit and 118kW twin-charged turbo and supercharged petrol engine, as well as the recently released 77kW 1.6-litre TDI to join the expected 103TDI 2.0-litre diesel.

If the 90kW 90TSI engine in the Golf wagon gets the green light for Australia, it will likely commence with sub-$30,000 pricing, if the Passat wagon’s $2000 premium over the sedan is anything to go by.

3 center image The Volkswagen wagon would then undercut the $31,490 Peugeot 308 1.6 XS Touring, and may even place the Golf 77TDI wagon (if it comes) on a par with the petrol-powered French car. According to Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) managing director Anke Koeckler, the company decided to wait for the rebodied sixth-generation wagon to come on line before committing, even though an example of the old Mk5 version was displayed at the 2007 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

“(Australia) will get the new car. We didn’t want to run with the old car (so late in the Mk5 model’s life),” she said.

“We get the latest model, the same as Germany, which (also) gets the new car (from the second week in November).

“We will run with the new engines, which are also found in the Golf hatchback.”

Volkswagen says it will target the fleet market as well as private family buyers who do not want a compact SUV or larger mid-sized wagon.

“We have the opportunity to target a new customer – a customer who would like the new Golf but has a family that needs more space,” Ms Koeckler said.

“It is a very successful car, especially in Germany, where 60 per cent are going to fleet customers and the rest to (others like) young families.

“And we are already doing quite well with fleets (in Australia), and it might also be a good opportunity to approach new customers (with something different).” A Volkswagen spokesman dismissed concerns that the Golf wagon will cannibalise sales of the popular Tiguan compact SUV, which starts from $33,990 for the 125TSI, as well as the closely related $28,990 Skoda Octavia 1.6 wagon.

“The Golf traditionally appeals to a completely different type of customer compared to the Tiguan and Octavia, so the others are safe,” he said.

Volkswagen declined to reveal sales expectations for the wagon so far away from the new model’s launch.

In Europe, the first Golf wagon was released almost two years after the Mk3 model debuted, during 1993, and quickly found a niche within the Volkswagen line-up.

Strangely, the 1999 Mk4 wagon was sold in many countries as both the Golf and Bora (Jetta) wagon, even though only mild stylistic differences existed to delineate the otherwise identical duo.

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