A Golf that weighs about 30% less than the current model is believed to be in development

A Golf that weighs about 30% less than the current model is believed to be in development

Volkswagen’s Mark VI Golf has just made its world debut to much fanfare at the recent Paris Motor Show but confidential papers leaked from the carmaker’s Wolfsburg headquarters reveal that the car has already been marked for ‘End of Production’ by December 2011.

The new Mark VI essentially rides on a warmed over Mark V platform but VW is working on a much more efficient platform and engine lineup that will be ready in a couple of years. It is for this reason that VW is planning to speed up the introduction of a new Mark VII.

A three year cycle for a car is short by any standards, and this hastily planned shift reveals the defensive tack VW is taking with the Golf in light of the struggling car market. According to the same confidential papers, VW is expecting to sell less than 1.6 million units of the Mark VI. The Mark V, which has been on sale since 2003, has already racked up more than 2.3 million sales, reports Automotive News Europe.

This new Mark VII will feature a clear emphasis on environmental cleanliness, a theme that will carry throughout the Golf lineup. Its platform, known internally as the MQB (Modular Querbaukaste - denoting small to midsized family cars with transverse engines), has been described by the carmaker’s chief of development, Ulrich Hackenberg, as a major turning point for the Golf. He revealed that it will allow engineers to implement a much broader range of drivetrains, hinting at the possibility of alternative fuels playing a role in the next Golf.

VW recently showed off a new plug-in hybrid powertrain called Twin Drive, which is expected to enter production in the middle of next year and will likely appear in the Golf. Other future powertrains already previewed by the carmaker include a new hybrid as well as an ultra-efficient diesel.

Further improvements in efficiency will come from size freezes, meaning new models will no longer get continually larger than their predecessors, as has been the de facto program throughout the industry for a number of years.