Wolfsburg, October 2019. It is the most successful Volkswagen of all time: the Golf, which has sold more than 35 million units. A phenomenon. The newly developed, eighth generation of the best-seller is now launching: digitalised, networked, predictive, intuitively operated and innovatively electrified. Never before has a Golf been so progressive. With no less than five hybrid versions, it is electrifying the compact class. Its digital interior architecture opens up a new dimension of intuitive operation, assisted driving is possible up to 210 km/h and it is the first Volkswagen to use traffic’s collective intelligence with Car2X to predictively warn of hazards. Volkswagen is celebrating the world premiere where the Golf was devised and where it has been developed and built for the last 45 years: at Autostadt Wolfsburg. The new Golf will be launched on the market in December.
Powering progress. The most recent version of the MQB is making its debut with the eighth generation of the Golf. For this reason the Golf is – and has always been – far more than just a product line. Volkswagen’s worldwide success and the rise of Volkswagen AG to become number one amongst all automotive manufacturers are directly linked to the Golf. This is based on the fact that it was the brand’s first MQB model in 2012, and worldwide best-sellers are developed on the basis of this extremely variable technical matrix, including Volkswagen models that have sold millions of units, such as the Passat, the US American Jetta or the successful Lavida and Sagitar models in China. These are supplemented by popular SUVs such as the Tiguan, T-Roc or the US model Atlas, which have an MQB heritage that goes right back to the Golf. If you add up Volkswagen models’ 2018 production figures based on MQB alone, this results in more than 3.4 million vehicles. As many as around 5.1 million MQB units were produced in 2018 across the group and including all brands. All these models will benefit from the most recent innovations in the eighth Golf generation as the start and guide model for MQB over the next decade.
Charismatic exterior. Since the debut of the first Golf 45 years ago, this Volkswagen has always been a vehicle that merged high levels of everyday suitability with a clear-cut, accurate design. The new Golf continues this approach. A prime example of perfect aesthetics and function: the outline. The dominant design element in this context is the C-pillar, characteristic for the Golf. It makes the body dynamic towards the front, concentrates it towards the rear and transfers the iconic shape of the original Golf into the present. The ideal ratio of greenhouse (roof section plus glass panels) and body (lower section from the window line) also lends the new Golf a strong presence while the deep-drawn roof line adds an authentic, sporty character. Just as striking: powerful shoulder sections and a very strong rear section, the charismatic front section with intentionally narrow radiator grille and an all-round undercut as a sharp line at the height of the door handles. LED technology replaces any conventional lighting technology in all versions – in this process, the new lighting design becomes a dominant and unmistakeable style element of the eighth Golf generation.
Dimensions and aerodynamics. Even though the new Golf does not seem as high, appearing more stretched and dynamic, its compact dimensions have been maintained: 4,284 mm long, 1,789 mm wide and 1,456 mm high. The wheelbase totals 2,636 mm. A glance at aerodynamic values simultaneously shows that each part of the body has been reshaped and refined in the wind tunnel: the end face has been lowered to 2.21 m2 and the drag coefficient (Cd value) has been cut to 0.275.
Self-explanatory, digital world. The new instruments and online Infotainment systems merge at the same level to form a digital cockpit. Individual areas featuring touch buttons and touch sliders perfectly round off this digital world of the Golf. A windshield head-up display is optionally available to further enhance the range of available information. Consistent digitalisation makes it possible to implement largely self-explanatory and intuitive operation thanks to touch surfaces and natural voice control. Volkswagen is pulling out all the stops and using digital controls and displays to elevate the interior to a new level of interaction between human and machine. The systems have not only been linked to each other, but thanks to an online connectivity unit (OCU), they have also been connected to the world outside the Golf. The standard OCU featuring integrated eSIM links to We Connect and We Connect Plus online functions and services. Just a quick example in this context: thanks to the online connection, navigation becomes interactive, as in future, automatically displayed points of interest along the route will be stored with information – for instance the telephone number to book a table in a restaurant via the smartphone and Bluetooth interface. The digitalised display environment can also be comprehensively customised to thus adapt to each driver’s individual taste. The fact is that the Golf’s linked digital Cockpit will change the way we drive cars. The technological leap at this point is comparable to the debut of the first ever, touch-based smartphones. The new Golf becomes a game changer in this context.
Linked technologies. The eighth Golf is setting a new benchmark in the compact class in terms of assisted driving functions: Travel Assist, a feature that has been installed in a compact-class model for the very first time in the world, makes assisted driving possible on motorways up to speeds of 210 km/h without having to actively steer, accelerate and brake. This consequently improves convenience and safety, particularly on long journeys. The new Golf is also the first Volkswagen to link up with its environment as standard: Car2X functionality applies the information provided by other vehicles within a radius of up to 800 metres in addition to signals from the traffic infrastructure to warn drivers and also forward these warnings to other Car2X models. As a result, collective intelligence becomes a reality. It’s the dawn of a new phase of road safety considering Volkswagen, as a manufacturer of high-volume models such as the Golf, will turn Car2X warnings into the standard within only a very short time. The new IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights will also provide added safety with their partly interactive light functions.
TSI, TDI, TGI, eTSI, eHybrid. The drive range of the new Golf features petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI), natural gas (TGI), mild hybrid (eTSI) and plug-in hybrid drives (eHybrid). All petrol and diesel engines are turbocharged direct injection units. Following the launch of all engines, their output stages will range between 66 kW/90 PS and over 221 kW/300 PS. For the first time, eight drive versions will be available for the Golf. Two three-cylinder petrol engines generating 66 kW/90 PS and 81 kW/110 PS as well as two four-cylinder diesel engines with 85 kW/115 PS and 110 kW/150 PS will premiere in the new range. The new TSI variants have particularly low consumption values and emissions thanks to elements including the innovative TSI Miller combustion process. A new TDI feature: in these engines, Volkswagen applies twin dosing – dual AdBlue injection – to significantly cut nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx). Consumption of the new TDI: up to 17 percent lower than that of its predecessor. Also new: four of the five hybrid drives of the eighth Golf generation.
Three eTSI and two eHybrid variants. The new Golf will be the first Volkswagen that will be available with no less than five hybrid drives. In this process, 48-V technology is celebrating its debut at Volkswagen: a 48-V belt starter generator, 48-V lithium ion battery and the most recent generation of efficient TSI engines form a new mild hybrid drive in the eTSI. Tangible benefits: consumption has been cut by around 10 percent (on WLTP basis) and the vehicle is very agile and comfortable when moving off. Volkswagen will offer the Golf in three eTSI output stages: 81 kW/110 PS, 96 kW/130 PS and 110 kW/150 PS. The eighth generation of the best-seller will also be available as two plug-in hybrid drive variants. A new efficient version of this eHybrid generates 150 kW/204 PS while the GTE version with a very sporty setup (evolved from its predecessor) delivers 180 kW/245 PS. Both Golf versions with eHybrid drive will launch with a new 13-kWh lithium-ion battery on board that enables long, electrically powered ranges and temporarily turns the Golf into a zero-emission vehicle.
Re-configured specification packages. Volkswagen has completely reconfigured the specification package range of the Golf, which is now only available as a five-door vehicle. The previously available specification packages Trendline, Comfortline and Highline are in the past. In future, these will be replaced by Golf, Life and Style specification packages as well as a sporty R-Line version. All new lines feature significantly more comprehensive equipment than their equivalent predecessors. The basic specification package already includes features such as: LED headlights and LED tail light clusters, Keyless Start, a digital cockpit, We Connect and We Connect Plus mobile online services and functions, a multifunction steering wheel, automatic air conditioner, Lane Assist lane keeping system, a new turn-off assist version, Front Assist area monitoring system with predictive pedestrian protection system and Car2X. Over the course of the next year, the independent Golf GTI, GTI TCR, Golf GTD, Golf GTE and Golf R models will follow.
Golf. Anything but basic. The specification package range starts with Golf. This variant already includes the following features as standard: LED headlights and LED tail light clusters, Keyless Start, digital instruments and an 8.25-inch Infotainment system, We Connect and We Connect Plus mobile online services and functions, a multifunction steering wheel, Climatronic (automatic air conditioning), Lane Assist lane-keeping system, a new turn-off assist, Front Assist (area monitoring system), predictive pedestrian protection system and Car2X (local communication with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure).
Life. Connected and with plenty of colour. In addition to the Golf equipment scope, the Life individualisation stage features elements including 16-inch alloy wheels, exterior background lighting including logo projection onto the ground, an interface to charge smartphones via contactless high-voltage battery charging, Wireless App-Connect (wireless mobile phone integration), interior background lighting in 10 colours, centre armrest at the front, ParkPilot parking aid and the automatically activated motorway function as well as City Light.
Style. Exclusive and assisted driving. The new top specification package, Style, additionally includes the following standard equipment details that deviate from the Golf and Life features: 17-inch alloy wheels, additional exterior chrome scopes (including trapezoidal tailpipes and lateral window parapet), sports seats at the front with centre seat panels in ArtVelours (driver side as ErgoActive electrically adjustable seat), leather steering wheel and leather gear knob, exterior mirror adjustment with memory function, interior background lighting in 32 colours, LED headlights with cornering light, poor weather light, LED tail light clusters with dynamic turn signal, Air Care Climatronic with 3-zone temperature control, Travel Assist and Lane Assist lane keeping system.
R-Line. Thoroughbred dynamism. The new R-Line version is the sportiest specification package for the new Golf. Different R-Line packages had been available for the predecessor. These will be replaced in the eighth Golf generation by a new R-Line equipment concept. As with Style, the Golf and Life specification package scopes already form part of this package’s basic configuration. The R-Line version is additionally characterised by the following features: 17-inch Sebring alloy wheels, R-Line-specific bumpers, high-gloss black sill trims, rear diffuser, premium sport seats with fabric/microfibre R seat covers featuring integrated head restraints, interior background lighting with 32 colours, sports running gear, progressive steering, driving mode selection, black headliner, aluminium gear knob, multifunction steering wheel with perforated leather, R-Line-specific trims and contrasting topstitching as well as brushed stainless steel pedals and foot rest.
GTE: performance model with eHybrid drive. As part of the eighth Golf generation’s world premiere Volkswagen is already giving an outlook on the Golf GTE, premiering in 2020 – equipped with an eHybrid drive generating 180 kW/245 PS. This model has been geared towards performance and features an exterior background light (elements including illuminated fins in the radiator grille), GTE-specific bumpers, special 17-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, an individual diffuser at the rear paired with a dedicated GTE roof spoiler as well as wider side sill panels to distinguish this model from other in the series. Sports running gear, GTE lettering and LED performance headlights as well as independent LED tail light clusters complete its exterior equipment. In the interior, the vehicle’s exclusive standard equipment features elements including sports seats with integrated head restraints, a pulsating starter button for the eHybrid drive and GTE-specific fabric, applications and details (including touch multifunction sports steering wheel, GTE gear knob, stainless steel pedals). Also as standard is a specific GTE setting for the background light featuring 30 colours.
Technologies can be retrofitted. Regardless of the specification package: as a new feature, technologies on board the new Golf will, for the first time, not only be capable of updates, but in many cases also capable of upgrades, i.e. they can be enabled retrospectively (We Upgrade). Consequently, elements including ACC Adaptive Cruise Control, Light Assist main-beam control, the navigation system, App-Connect (integrating smartphone apps), Wireless App-Connect (wirelessly integrating iPhone apps), a Wi-Fi hotspot and voice control can in future also be activated retrospectively.
Digital cockpit as standard. The new Golf is a vehicle that has been more closely connected to the driver than ever before. The basis for this are standard digital instruments (Digital Cockpit) with a 10.25-inch display, an Infotainment system (8.25-inch touchscreen featuring online connection) and a multifunction steering wheel. Merging the Digital Cockpit and Infotainment system creates a new, consistently digital architecture. The driver’s digital workplace can be further enhanced by two optional 10-inch Infotainment systems. In conjunction with the large Discover Pro navigation system, this creates the Innovision Cockpit. A windscreen head-up display is also available. The head-up display is directly projected onto the windscreen and thus virtually floats in front of the driver. Light and vision functions have also been redesigned, bundled and made more intuitive to operate: the light as well as the windscreen and rear window heating are now operated using a digital panel to the left of the instruments. The centre console is also characterised by perfect ergonomics: this area is now tidier than ever, particularly in conjunction with the now significantly smaller shift-by-wire gear knob for the dual clutch gearbox (DSG). This image continues to stretch across the new roof console where operation has also been digitalised – including a touch slider for the optional tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof. An optional 400-watt Harman Kardon sound system guarantees perfect on-board sound.
Networked Infotainment and entertainment. All Infotainment systems in the Golf are linked to an online connectivity unit (OCU) featuring an eSIM. OCU and eSIM grant access to a permanently growing range of online-based functions and services that are provided using the brand’s own Volkswagen We ecosystem. In this context, the We Connect (unlimited in terms of its usage period) and We Connect Plus (prepared for free use in Europe for one or three years) can be used in the new Golf as standard. The optional We Connect Fleet (digital fleet management) service has been developed for companies.
We Connect features the following functions:
Depending on the equipment, We Connect Plus features the following functions additionally to the We Connect scope:
We Connect Fleet features the following functions:
Mobile key. In future, the smartphone will be the vehicle key. We Connect is once again the interface for this. Compatible Samsung smartphones are set up for this purpose using the We Connect app, then authorised once as the primary user via the Infotainment system and a one-time passcode. No mobile network connection is required to use the smartphone as a mobile key. It is sufficient to place the smartphone near the door handle in the same way as the keyless locking and starting system Keyless Access opens the vehicle. Place the smartphone in the centre console (in the storage compartment with interface for mobile telephone) to start the engine. Furthermore, it will also be possible to send the mobile key to friends or family so that they can also use their smartphone as a key.
Personalisation. The customised settings are directly saved in the Golf or can optionally also be saved in the cloud, meaning they are once again available even after having changed driver or vehicle. Depending on the equipment, this includes the Innovision Cockpit setup, the seating position, exterior mirrors and air conditioning system, background lighting and the coming/leaving home light.
Electrified efficiency. The drive programme of the new Golf features petrol, diesel, natural gas (CNG), mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid drives. All petrol and diesel engines are turbocharged direct injection units. Following the launch of all engines, their output stages will range between 66 kW/90 PS and over 221 kW/300 PS. For the first time, eight drive versions will be available for the Golf. A new, efficient 6-speed manual gearbox has also been developed for front-wheel drive models which further cuts CO2 emissions.
Petrol engine (TSI). TSI engines will be available in four output stages during the first launch phase. They generate 66 kW/90 PS, 81 kW/110 PS, 96 kW/130 PS and 110 kW/150 PS. The versions generating 90 PS and 110 PS are 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines that are used in the Golf for the first time. The TSI engines with 130 PS and 150 PS are 1.5-litre engines with a special feature: temporary Active Cylinder Management (ACT). All engines with an output up to 130 PS feature the efficient TSI Miller combustion process and a turbocharger with variable turbocharger geometry (VTG). TSI engines have been paired with a manual gearbox as standard. From an output of 110 PS, they will also be configurable as a mild hybrid drive (eTSI) with 48-V system and dual clutch gearbox. Three 2.0-litre TSI engines for the Golf GTI, Golf GTI TCR and Golf R as well as a 1.5-litre TGI suitable for operation with natural gas (CNG) and petrol will be launched at a later point.
Diesel (TDI). Volkswagen has developed the two diesel direct-injection engines for the eighth Golf generation from scratch. The 2.0-litre TDI engines generate 85 kW/115 PS and 110 kW/150 PS. Both TDI engines will be available to order with a manual gearbox as well as DSG, and the 150 PS version will optionally also offer 4MOTION all-wheel drive. The engines’ efficiency has been significantly optimised, thus cutting CO2 emissions while simultaneously improving responsiveness. A new twin dosing SCR system featuring dual AdBlue injection additionally cuts nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80 percent in comparison to the predecessor. Consequently, the new TDI engines are amongst the world’s cleanest combustion engines. A Performance TDI will also follow in the Golf GTD.
Mild hybrid (eTSI). The three eTSI mild hybrid drives of the Golf are world premieres. A 48-V belt starter generator, a 48-V lithium-ion battery and the latest generation of pioneering, efficient TSI engines make for perfect performance and significantly cut fuel consumption. The mild hybrid drives are exclusively available with a 7-speed DSG and generate 81 kW/110 PS, 96 kW/130 PS as well as 110 kW/150 PS. eTSI models feature a powerful brake energy recuperation function. The 48-V system also makes it possible to coast while the combustion engine has been completely switched off to save even more fuel. Restarting the engine is significantly more convenient thanks to the 48-V system. eTSI models additionally offer extraordinarily good moving-off performance thanks to electric boosts.
Plug-in hybrid (eHybrid). The eHybrid range will be split into a version geared towards maximum range, generating 150 kW/204 PS, and a GTE version designed towards performance, generating 180 kW/245 PS (system output in each case). The plug-in hybrid drive consists of elements including a 1.4-litre TSI engine, the electric drive motor and 6-speed DSG as well as a lithium-ion battery. The new battery is characterised by 50 percent more energy capacity (13 kWh) and thus an improved electric range, meaning that almost all daily journeys within an urban environment can consequently be covered without generating any local emissions.
Car2X guarantees more safety. Car2X communication means the Golf is the first Volkswagen to exchange information relevant to the traffic situation with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure in the vicinity within a radius of up to 800 metres. This information is exchanged within milliseconds. Thanks to the application of a harmonised Car2X standard (Wi-Fi p/ITS G5) within the European Union (EU) that is valid for all manufacturers, it is possible to transfer information between vehicles of all brands as well as the infrastructure within all EU member states. In this process, this “common language” is a crucial requirement to cut the number of road traffic accidents throughout all countries. Thanks to Car2X, drivers are notified and warned of local, hazardous areas. The following scenarios are registered: accidents, broken down vehicles, tail ends of traffic jams, roadworks, emergency braking and emergency service vehicles.
Travel Assist. The new Travel Assist feature in the Golf enables assisted driving up to 210 km/h. In this process, the system relies on systems including automatic ACC (longitudinal guidance) and Lane Assist lane keeping system (latitudinal guidance). Travel Assist is activated using the multifunction steering wheel. For legal and safety-relevant reasons drivers must permanently monitor the system – for this purpose, they must have at least one hand on the steering wheel. Thanks to new capacitive sensor technology in the steering wheel, it is sufficient if drivers merely touch it. However, if they let go of the steering wheel for more than 15 seconds, visual and audible warning signals and a braking jolt are issued and implemented. The driver must react by this point at the latest and touch the steering wheel, otherwise Emergency Assist is activated and the Golf is brought to a stop.
ACC with predictive speed detection. The latest generation of Adaptive Cruise Control in the Golf is predictive. In this process, the system calculates the position of the Golf based on route and GPS data from the navigation system to lower its speed before reaching bends, roundabouts, junctions, speed limits and built-up areas. At the same time, ACC accesses the Dynamic Road Sign Display via the front camera and adjusts the speed as soon as a limit has been detected. The highest ACC development stage will also feature Traffic Jam Assist.
Front Assist. Front Assist offers new functional scopes. The area monitoring system operating on the basis of a radar sensor and in conjunction with the front camera warns and brakes in emergency situations in the event of an insufficient distance to the vehicle ahead – using the City Emergency Braking System and Pedestrian Monitoring, even at very low speeds in built-up areas. This range of functions is now enhanced by Cyclist Monitoring, swerve support and – for the first time in a Volkswagen – oncoming vehicle braking when turning function.
Oncoming vehicle braking when turning. When the vehicle turns left, the Golf featuring oncoming vehicle braking when turning automatically brakes the vehicle to a stop (while simultaneously emitting an audible and visual warning), providing there is an oncoming vehicle approaching on the lane the vehicle is intending to cross. Depending on the speed at which both vehicles are travelling, turn-off assist can prevent an accident or mitigate the consequences within system limits.
DCC adaptive chassis control. DCC is not a traditional assist systems, yet it still influences vehicle handling. Adaptive chassis control permanently reacts to the road surface and driving situation and takes into account elements including steering, braking and acceleration manoeuvres in this process. Drivers can set DCC modes to reduce body movements and adapt them to their liking. In this process, the required damping is calculated for each wheel before it is adjusted at the four shock absorbers within a fraction of a second. Consequently, DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and ideal driving dynamics. Thanks to the evolved DCC in the new Golf, INDIVIDUAL mode represents an enhancement of settings available in the previous range of fixed COMFORT, ECO and SPORT modes. In this process, drivers can very accurately adjust their very own DCC mode using a slider and save the setting. As a result, intermediate stages of familiar modes are also possible now.
IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights. Volkswagen will offer the new Golf with three different LED headlight versions. For the very first time, the top-of-the-range version will feature particularly powerful IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights in the compact vehicle category. A similar version of the system had been introduced for the first time in the current Touareg before it was transferred to the new Passat. The driver switches on the system using Dynamic Light Assist. Using 22 LEDs per each headlight matrix module, it activates up to ten different, partly interactive light functions and projects them onto the road surface, depending on the Golf model. The sliding turn indicator function of the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights represents a further feature that has been integrated into the Golf for the very first time. The sliding turn indicator function has a positive effect on active safety as a result of its striking looks.
Initial impulse. The first series-production Golf rolled off the production line in Wolfsburg in March 1974 and was available at dealerships from May in the same year. A new era definitively began where the Beetle had dominated the scene with its rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive for many decades: the era of the front-mounted engine installed across the body and front-wheel drive. The Scirocco and the Passat, introduced in 1973, had kicked off this trend shortly before. With the Golf, the class produced in the highest volumes had also been converted to the new technology. As the successor to the legendary Beetle that had been produced more than 21.5 million times, the Golf Mk1 developed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Volkswagen had to live up to immensely high expectations in order to continue the success story of the most successful car of all time up to that point. However, the modern and safe drive concept, great levels of variability with a tailgate and folding rear seat backrest, as well as its design, were so convincing that the production of the one millionth Golf was already celebrated in October 1976. 6.99 million versions of the first generation of the Golf – including all derivatives and the (at the time) structurally identical Jetta – were sold on all of earth’s continents.
The first evolutionary stage. It was the second Golf with which the baby boomer generation, hovering around the age of 50 nowadays, learnt to drive: while the predecessor had already become the favourite amongst driving instructors and learner drivers, the new Golf now finally and irreversibly conquered this generation that was later also named after this vehicle. And it was this Golf that made progress available to the masses for the first time – with technologies including a lambda-probe-controlled catalytic converter, the anti-lock brake system or the product line’s first all-wheel drive. In June 1988, the Golf already exceeded 10 million vehicles produced: a tremendously high figure. After 6.3 million produced vehicles, the second Golf generation was phased out in summer 1991.
The victory of safety. From August 1991, Volkswagen kick-started a new era of safety with the third generation of the Golf. Firstly, the Mk3 Golf was the product line’s first model available with front airbags from 1992 and secondly, great progress within the context of body design also led to significantly improved crash properties. Volkswagen revolutionised passive safety as this improved protection benefited millions of car drivers around the globe. However, several more product line milestones are linked to the Mk3 Golf: the first six-cylinder engine (VR6), the cruise control system, the first oxidising catalytic converter for diesel engines, the first diesel direct injection engine and the first side airbags. In May 1994, Volkswagen celebrated 15 million produced Golf vehicles. In 1997, the third generation was phased out after 4.83 million produced vehicles.
Style icon. Today the Mk4 Golf is considered a pioneering style icon amongst design experts – no doubt this also comes as a result of it bridging the gap to the 1974 Golf Mk1 with all its clear features and the product line’s striking C-pillar design. With the Mk4 Golf Volkswagen implemented a completely new quality standard within the segment. In parallel, the debut of ESP made further contributions to making safety available to the masses. A year later, ESP became series production standard in Germany first. The Golf GTI 132 kW, launched in 2001 (to mark the GTI’s 25th anniversary), is already a sought-after classic. It was followed in 2002 by the first Golf with direct petrol injection engine (FSI) and the debut of head-protection airbags installed as standard. In 2002, Volkswagen also introduced what was then the sportiest Golf: the R32 with a top speed of 250 km/h. In 2003, it was this Golf R32 that became available with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG) for the very first time. After 4.99 million vehicles built, the Mk4 Golf made space on production lines for the Mk5 Golf that same year.
End of class boundaries. It was the fifth Golf generation that offered comfort and dynamics that went beyond those of quite a number of competitors within the upper mid-sized vehicle class. The same rang true for quality. A value that underlines the stability of the laser-welded body is that its torsional rigidity had increased by 35 percent in 2003 upon the debut of the Golf Mk5. This also marked the first time that the Golf was optionally available with side airbags in the rear – in conjunction with the six standard airbags (front, sides at the front, head-protection airbag) this now meant that eight of these protecting, inflatable pads were on board the vehicle. In terms of comfort and dynamics the Golf Mk5 scored high marks thanks to features including the new four-link suspension rear axle and a new 7-speed DSG, bi-xenon headlights, rain sensor as well as a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, plus the debut of the first turbocharged direct petrol injection engine in the Golf GTI as well as the world’s first Twincharger featuring turbocharging and compressor-based charging. When the Golf Mk6 was introduced in 2008, 3.4 million units of all available Mk5 variants had been produced.
High-end compact class. By the end of July 2012, a further 2.85 million Golfs had been produced in only four years on the basis of the sixth generation that was introduced in 2008. And safety once again took a great leap forward this time: the still laser-welded body was so stable that it scored the maximum of five stars in the EuroNCAP crash test with flying colours. A further airbag had now also been included on board as standard: the knee airbag. In terms of quality, the interior of the Mk6 Golf was considered particularly pioneering. New assist systems, such as Light Assist dynamic main beam control, Park Assist, Hill Start Assist and technologies including DCC adaptive chassis control made the 2009 “World Car of the Year” the most progressive Golf at this point in time. Also available: features, such as the start/stop system and energy recovery mode, dynamic cornering light and LED tail light clusters.
Reversing the weight spiral. On 4 September 2012, Volkswagen celebrated the seventh Golf generation’s world premiere in Berlin. Just one day later, pre-sales of this best-seller that had been sold 29.3 million times at that point launched in the first countries. The weight of the new Golf had been reduced by up to 100 kg to reverse the often-quoted weight spiral. Depending on the engine, it was possible to cut consumption by up to 23 percent compared with the predecessor. Volkswagen additionally launched the Golf on the market with an entire armada of new assist systems. These included the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, a proactive occupant protection system as well as ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and the Front Assist area monitoring system including City Emergency Braking System. To date, around 6 million Mk7 Golf vehicles have left the factory gates.