WOLFSBURG -- Volkswagen is adding advanced connectivity and semi-autonomous features to help its latest Golf retain buyers in a market shifting toward SUVs and full-electric cars.
The Golf's new digital cockpit is a technological leap comparable to the debut of the first touch-based smartphones, VW said on Wednesday when it presented the latest generation of the compact model at its headquarters here.
It's unclear which of the Golf's new features will be included in markets outside of Europe such as the U.S.
The Golf family of compact cars is being redesigned in Germany for 2020, but the Golf GTI and Golf R that will sell in the U.S. won't be here until 2021. Also, the Golf Sportwagen and Alltrack won't return to the U.S.
The Golf is first Volkswagen to offer car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure Car2X communication as standard to predictively warn of hazards, VW also said. The Golf can either be notified of upcoming traffic hazards by other Car2X-enabled vehicles or alert other participants within a radius of a half mile.
VW said the Golf's semi-autonomous travel assist function is a first in a compact model. The optional system can actively steer, accelerate and brake the car on highways at up to speeds of 130 mph. Drivers must keep at least one hand on the steering wheel when using the feature. VW offers the system in its Passat midsize model in Europe.
The Golf will have a completely digital, high-end cockpit as standard, the first model in its price bracket with such a feature, VW said.