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Is this what the next Volkswagen Golf will look like?

The next, all-new Volkswagen Golf is due to debut by the end of this year. Here's what it could look like.

Published March 2, 2012
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The next, all-new Volkswagen Golf is due to debut by the end of this year. And a concept from Volkswagen-owned ItalDesign Giugiaro may give clues as what one of the most popular cars in the world will look like.

Not only does ItalDesign get its funding from VW, but its founder, Giorgetto Giugiaro, designed the original 1970s Golf, as well as its Scirocco coupe sibling.

European patent drawings, leaked by Spanish Autoblog, show an angular, Golf-sized two-door hatchback concept. Expect to see the real deal at next week’s Geneva auto show.

More: Here’s what’s wrong with the new VW Beetle

U.S. delays mandatory rear-view cameras

Rules aimed at helping drivers avoid unintentionally backing over children, already overdue, are being delayed again following complaints from automakers that requiring rearview video cameras systems on new cars and trucks would be too expensive.

In a letter to lawmakers, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said his department needs more time for “research and data analysis” before it can issue regulations.

“I believe it is important to allot additional time to ensure that the final rule is appropriate and the underlying analysis is robust,” LaHood wrote Tuesday. The letter didn’t mention the auto industry’s concerns.

More than a year ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed requiring improved driver rear visibility in new vehicles, a standard that in most cases would necessitate rear-mounted video cameras with in-vehicle display screens. The regulations were to be phased in, applying to all cars and light trucks by the 2014 model year.

“We’re disappointed the government did not take final action today to address this problem, but we understand they are still on a path forward to issuing a rule this year,” said Ami Gadhia, an attorney for the Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports magazine.

“We hope that day comes as soon as possible so that rear visibility for all vehicles is improved and needless deaths and injuries are reduced.”

The new rear visibility standard was required by a law that Congress passed in 2008 in response to dozens of accidents in which children were backed over. At issue in particular were blind zones in large sport utility vehicles and pickups.

Nearly 300 people are killed and 18,000 injured each year because of back-over accidents, according to NHTSA data. Many occur in driveways and parking lots. Nearly half the deaths involve children under age 5. The elderly also are frequent victims.

About 45 percent of 2012 model cars have rearview cameras as standard equipment, according to KidsAndCars.org, a safety group that championed the passage of the 2008 law. The cameras are an option on an additional 23 percent of models.

Fastest Ferrari ever pegged for Geneva debut

There’s not much wrong with Ferrari’s current 599 GTB Fiorano. But with Ferrari releasing information about its successor just days before debuting the new car at the Geneva auto show, all of a sudden, the 599 seems rather old hat.

Dubbed the “F12berlinetta,” the two-seat, front-engine GT will be powered by a 740 hp and 509 lbs.-ft. of torque V12, catapulting it from rest to 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds, topping out at 340 km/h, and around the Italian supercar maker’s test-track in a record-breaking time of 1 min and 24 seconds, making it the fastest Ferrari to lap the famed Fiorano circuit, according to its maker.

Canada’s Magna also heading to Geneva

It may not go around a racetrack like a Ferrari, but Canadian-owned Magna is also heading to the annual Swiss show, planning to debut its sixth concept car.

Magna doesn’t get to put its name on the cars it makes. But it’s one of the industry’s largest contractors, having made more than 2.5 million vehicles, including the Aston Martin Rapide and Mini Countryman.

The company’s Geneva-bound MILA Coupic showcases a new, adaptable bodystyle, with a crossover coupe body that can also act as a pickup or convertible. The hope is the Magna technology ends up on a future production car — just not one with a Magna badge.

Ford’s new “Blueprint for Mobility” hoping to ease urban congestion

At the recent World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Ford outlined its new vision for helping to manage the estimated 2 billion cars that will be on the planet by 2050.

Called “Blueprint for Mobility,” Ford wants in-car connectivity to manage traffic using “connected cars,” instead of just dialing up your favourite ’80s satellite radio station.

The end result would include vehicle-to-vehicle integration over WiFi systems, single seat or two seat commuter vehicles and fully autonomous cars.

More interesting, Ford is also looking into managing traffic to include bicycles and pedestrians.

European patent drawings, leaked by Spanish Autoblog, show an angular, Golf-sized two-door hatchback concept. Expect to see the real deal at next weekâs Geneva auto show.

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