Feb 26, 2009
I was asked early last year what my opinion was on the future of the C Segment and what I believed then is what I still belive now: C Segment cars are too big, too space inefficient and, crucially, too heavy.
My conclusion was that any forward thinking manufacturer would take a similar approach to the one Mazda took when redesigning the 2: downsize and lighten up.
Following this assertion, I had a period of wondering if it would come true as each successive C Segment preview and launch continued the trend for bloat. Even Mazda, who has lead the recent focus on generational weight management let their game slip with the new 3.
Well it looks like VW is taking the lead with rumours pointing to a lighter, smaller MK VII Golf for 2012. The Golf has been one of the clearest indicators of C Segment bloat and to see a Mk 1 GTi parked next to a Mk V R32 is to understand why that later car needs 250ps and an Arabian oil field to be fun. It weighs 1612 Kg for pity’s sake! So talk of a smaller platform, lighter materials and a focus on small-capacity engines with amazing HCCI technology was music to my ears.
Having observed with wonder as VW’s engineers sent to market paragons of capability such as the Veyron and mental engines such as a V5, W12 and V10 TDi, it’s clear the intelligence is there. It’s seems it’s now being directed in a thoroughly useful, more sustainable direction.