With stiffer competition closing in on Volkswagen from all sides, it's clear that the storied German marque has to do something to keep up.

To do so, VW has a raft of changes coming to the next-generation Golf.

Primarily VW will focus on three areas: weight reduction, more power and a better transmission, and new technology. These new additions will culminate in a product that is lighter, faster and more fuel efficient. And, according to our sources, the Golf will feature a plug-in hybrid and a fully electric version.

All of this certainly sounds impressive but the real question is: Will VW de-content the next-gen Golf like the current Jetta?

Here's the funny thing though. While a significant majority of the media has panned the Jetta, it's been selling extremely well. I am betting the next-gen Golf will follow the Jetta's footsteps in that it will get larger, a cheaper price, and de-contented.

The seventh-generation VW Golf will be lighter, safer and better to drive than ever. And as these latest spy shots show it's deep into development ahead of its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in October...

...The reduced weight will help to improve emissions and economy, as will a host of new three and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines - the highlight of which will be a 1.4 TFSI unit with cylinder deactivation technology. A plug-in hybrid and a fully electric model have also been confirmed, while a GTI and range topping 300bhp four-wheel drive
R model will complete the line up. Buyers will be given the choice of six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, as in the current Golf...

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