Volkswagen Golf To Get Carbon-Fiber Roof Option


  • 2013 Volkswagen Golf Picture

    2013 Volkswagen Golf Picture

    VW is working on a carbon-fiber roof option for performance versions of the Volkswagen Golf. | May 03, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Volkswagen is working on a carbon-fiber roof option for performance versions of the Volkswagen Golf, the automaker told Edmunds.
  • The roof will provide a weight-saving benefit of 18-20 pounds, improving performance and fuel economy.
  • No word yet on pricing or launch timing for the unusual option.

VIENNA, Austria — Volkswagen is working on a carbon-fiber roof option for performance versions of the Volkswagen Golf, the automaker told Edmunds.

The roof will provide a weight-saving benefit of 18-20 pounds, improving performance and fuel economy. The challenge at this point is to develop a set of waterproof joints to seal the roof to the car's body sides and to its windshield, according to Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen's research and development chief.

The 2013 Volkswagen Golf R with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission returns 19 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.

No word yet on pricing or launch timing for the unusual option.

Boosting the use of carbon fiber has become a priority for many automakers.

BMW and Boeing last year announced they are collaborating on carbon-fiber materials. Recently, Volvo said public-road testing of its carbon-fiber flywheel technology has shown that when coupled with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine it has the potential to cut fuel consumption by up to 25 percent compared with a six-cylinder turbo engine at a comparable performance level.

Edmunds says: Expect to see more carbon-fiber panels in mass-production models as the cost of the material falls and methods are developed to enable it to be bonded into the core structure of steel and aluminum-bodied cars.

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