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Volkswagen Golf Could Embrace All-Wheel Drive

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On: Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 11:23AM | By: Carl Malek

Volkswagen Golf Could Embrace All-Wheel Drive

Volkswagen's versatile Golf hatchback has already proven to be a viable contender in a wide range of applications, but, other than the Golf R, the standard Golf is solely front-wheel drive. However, a statement from someone who would know at Volkswagen said VW is ready to offer four-wheel drive Golf for the U.S. market.

Expected to bring the fight to the Subaru Impreza, the Golf 4Motion is available in Europe, but is not here in the U.S. due to the costs involved in shipping the model across the pond. Hendrik Muth, Volkswagen's VP of Product Marketing and Strategy, sat down with the publication The Truth About Cars for an interview, and claimed that the decision to build the Golf-based Alltrack (with 4Motion) at its plant in Puebla, Mexico has opened up newfound opportunities and possibilities for the brand.

The Golf 4Motion would allow VW's troubled North American division to finally have a formidable contender for the Subaru Impreza, which is a popular choice in areas of the U.S. where its deceptively simple blend of capable all-wheel drive and a value-oriented pricing ladder has caused it to become a top choice for buyers. The 4Motion would be designed to help lure some of these buyers away from Subaru showrooms and allow Volkswagen to carve a piece of the all-wheel drive sales pie for itself. It is currently unknown how much the model would cost, as well as whether it will be available in either a manual or automatic transmission layout. Those answers would eventually be known if Volkswagen chooses to formally approve the model for production. More likely than not, an automatic-only offering would not surprise us since it would avoid the extra engineering work needed to make the manual gearbox fully handle the characteristics of the all-wheel drive system.

Regardless of which transmission is used, building the new model would actually be deceptively simple since the system already exists and the only obstacle in the way is building and shipping the 4Motion-equipped Golf to U.S. showrooms. If a final decision for production is made, look for the Golf 4Motion to appear before the end of the year with the car making its debut at an auto show during that time frame. In the meantime, U.S. buyers that still want all-wheel drive have three options to choose from the performance-oriented Golf R, the debuting Golf-based Alltrack, the Sportwagen, and several Tiguan models which offer all-wheel drive as an option.


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