FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen plans to launch the eighth generation of its best-selling Golf compact in 2017, five years after launching the present model, a German magazine reported.
Auto motor und sport said the new lower, wider Golf will look very different from the current seventh-generation hatchback with new design features including restyled front and rear lights.
Volkswagen will also offer new safety options in the Golf, including automatic parking and automatic braking with pedestrian recognition that will also be available in the new midsize Passat which will begin sales later this year, the report added.
Infotainment features carried over from the larger model will also include a heads-up display and Mirror-Link, which allows drivers to access and use smartphone apps via the car’s touchscreen display, the magazine said.
Like the current Golf, the new model will be based on VW Group’s generic MQB architecture that underpins models including the Seat Leon, Skoda Octavia and Audi A3.
In a move to cut fuel consumption, Volkswagen is working on new greener engines for the Golf and has cut the overall weight of the new hatchback by 50kgs (110 pounds), the report said. Additionally, the carmaker may also offer an economical three-cylinder unit currently fitted in the new Polo subcompact model, the magazine added.
Volkswagen declined to comment on the report and it was not clear when an eighth-generation Golf would reach the U.S.
The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, with seven-month sales of 312,177, a rise of 14 percent, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
In the U.S., Golf sales are down 29 percent this year to 13,915 units. The current seventh-generation Golf and Golf GTI are being produced in Puebla, Mexico.UPDATED: 8/25/14 4:17 pm ET - adds details