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BBC Autos

VW Golf’s long road to North America

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On 27 March at the New York auto show, Volkswagen continued to tease US drivers with the slow-motion dance of the seventh-generation Golf and GTI – models that go on sale in Europe shortly, but will not reach US dealers until early 2014 as 2015 models.

For now, the Golf is so new that the company showed European-spec cars from the recent Geneva motor show, said Andres Valbuena, product marketing manager for Volkswagen of America.

We do know that the American car's base engine will be a 170-horsepower 1.8-litre gasoline turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with an optional 2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder, generating 150hp. The hot-rod GTI, meanwhile, benefits from variable intake technology from corporate sibling Audi, which boosts power from the sixth-generation car’s 200hp and 207 pound-feet of torque to 210hp and a Golf GTD-like 258 lb-ft of torque, according to Valbuena.

VW aims to keep pushing the Golf upmarket, with more luxury options to lure customers. "We are going to try to put in new, relevant features that make the car unique," Valbuena said. That means power-adjustable seats, leather seat covering, a panoramic sunroof and thermostatic climate control – none of which are currently available in the US-spec Golf.

Despite the long gestation, watch this space as BBC Autos shares its first driving impressions of the MkVII GTI in April.