If there’s one car you could call a bestseller, it’s the Volkswagen Golf. Developed continuously from one generation to the next, it has become an automotive icon. It is the car of choice for the masses.
Today, the latest version of the long-running hatchback has been unveiled at the German firm’s Wolfsburg headquarters, before going on sale early next year. Although the car has been spied testing in camouflage, we are finally getting the chance to see the model in its final form.
Dr Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, said: “Over the course of 7 generations, the golf has impressed more than 35 million customers. The entire automobile industry expects a new Golf to set the new standard.”
Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of VW Passenger Cars, also commented: “This car is completely new. But of course, a Golf always remains a Golf. Because the underlying concept is timeless. This car has defined our brand over decades. The Golf has consistently made new technologies available for everyone.”
As Auto Futures reported last week, there will be no fully-electric model due to VW’s commitment to the upcoming ID 3 that was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show. However, the brand has launched the Golf in two plug-in hybrid powertrains, including a performance-focused GTE version.
In addition to a range of 12V mild-hybrid engines, the new Golf offering includes 1.5-litre and 1.0-litre petrol variants, alongside 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre diesel options.
“With the new Golf, we are providing a broad spectrum of electrified drives,” continued Diess. “Every customer can decide just how big the first step for them will be.”
The new Golf is much wider and longer, with even more cabin room and a bigger boot, to attract consumers who are looking to downsize from their SUVs.
VW says that the new generation model will be permanently connected to the internet, allowing customers to utilise 3D satellite mapping, hybrid radio and live information such as nearby fuel stations and fuel prices.
Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at VW said: “In a world where complexity is ever-increasing, the new Golf allows the driver to operate the vehicle intuitively.”
Almost all of the displays and controls inside the new Golf are digital; the new instruments and online infotainment systems meld together into a display landscape featuring touch buttons and touch sliders. A windshield head-up display is optionally available to further enhance the range of information available.
The new Golf is also the first VW to connect with its environment as standard, via Car2X: signals from the traffic infrastructure and information from other vehicles up to 800 metres away are notified to the driver via a display. The Golf also shares these warnings with other Car2X models. Swarm intelligence is becoming a reality, representing the beginning of a new phase of traffic safety.
Included in this technology overhaul is, of course, autonomous driving, which will play a key role in VW’s top-selling car. Expect this self-driving software to feature in the ID 3, which will be available later this year.