The new Golf will once again be badged as the Rabbit and is expected to be slightly more expensive than the outgoing model, with a $250 price hike set to apply to the base level Rabbit and GTI models. The improvements include a new engine lineup and increased availability of DSG dual-clutch transmission technologies, which can lower fuel consumption by up to 28% in some models.
Despite the current economic crisis and concerns over fuel prices, VW is eager to bring the GTI hot-hatch Stateside and is estimating that it will account for more than a third of Rabbit sales. Of the 35,000 fifth generation Rabbits sold in the U.S. last year, 15,000 were the high-performance GTI model. VW has similar ambitions for the new model, with the carmaker’s brand development chief Ulrich Hackenberg telling Automotive News that management is hoping to sell at least 40,000 units per year from 2010 onwards.
Two engine options will be available for the Rabbit: a 170hp (125kW) 2.5L petrol unit and a 140hp (104kW) TDI clean diesel. The range-topping GTI model will make do with a 210hp (155kW) TSI petrol engine.