Volkswagen has today revealed its new Golf Plus model at the Bologna Show in Italy.

The Golf Plus, which fits into the Volkswagen range between the Golf hatchback and Touran compact MPV, will go on sale in the UK next year.

The Golf Plus is based heavily on the Golf hatchback and has the same footprint.  However, thanks to its increased height (raised by 95 mm to 1580 mm), it offers more interior space. This means more flexibility with more stowage areas and loadspace, and a more adaptable rear seat arrangement. These seats can be shifted lengthways by 160 mm and folded via a new system, which means they are lowered automatically when folded down resulting in an almost level luggage space. They can also split 60:40, with the middle seat doubling as a fold-down drinks table. What’s more, a double height boot floor allows more adaptable stowage with a maximum capacity of 505 litres.

The Golf Plus will have a near identical line-up to the Golf hatchback with shared engines and trim levels ranging from S through SE to Sport. There will not however be a GTI or a three-door model in the Golf Plus range. Specification levels are also expected to be similar to those of its hatch sibling, giving highlights such as standard ESP, ABS, twin front, side and curtain airbags, and a CD player.  LED technology is used for the rear lights, while active curve headlights – which follow steering direction – will also be available.

The Golf Plus is closer in concept to the Golf than the Touran, which is offered with seven seats and represents a much larger increase in interior space. Where the Touran appeals directly to buyers with families who are primarily concerned with practicality and space, the Golf Plus is likely to attract those without families – or with a small family – but who require more room and flexibility than the traditional hatchback can offer.

The Golf Plus will go on sale in the UK in summer 2005. Price, engine and specification details will be announced closer to launch, though prices are expected to fall between those of the Golf and Touran.