Why is the VW Golf still on top after 8 generations?
Volkswagen gave birth to its Golf in the 70s. In 1974, to be exact. Almost 50 years later, the little German sports car is still there. It is even the favorite car of Europeans.
The Golf 8 which has been marketed since 2020, should also follow up its successor in a few years (the future Golf 9?). The chance to revisit the story of a car that has sold more than 30 million units since its creation and was twice crowned “Car of the Year” in 1992 and 2013.
After the Beetle according to Volkswagen…
In 1970, the German brand Volkswagen decided to develop the Beetle or “people’s car”. Engineer Alfons Lowengorg, project leader, plans to create a Typical VW Sport.
At that time, the brand systematically gave air names to its new cars: the Passat, which means Alizé in German, then the Scirocco and finally the Blizzard. Finally, Volkswagen would not keep this name and would favor the name of a warm Gulfstream, to give birth in May 1974 to the Golf.
Golf 1: a first card in 1974
The very first Golf presented in 1974 was a resounding success and sold almost 7 million units. The round lines of the Beetle become angular in the Golf and the engine is clearly towards the front. The foundations of the new compact were then laid, for a long time.
As early as 1975, the current idea of creating a sports car prompted Volkswagen engineers to offer the Golf Sport to big boss Toni Schmucker.
Instant approval: the Golf GTI where GTS was born! In the United States, that year, we discovered the Golf Rabbit !
In 1984, production of the Golf 1 stopped after more than 6,780,050 units had been built!
Golf 2 (1983): all for the sport
The success of the Golf is undeniable in this larger and more aerodynamic second generation. The goal is to continue to respect the spirit of the model while incorporating the latest technologies.
From January 1984, the Golf 2 GTI Turbo Diesel (ie the Golf 2 GTD) claimed 70 horsepower, 1,600 cm3 and reached 160 km/h! In the summer of 1985, a sportier version of the GTI was born, the Golf GTI 16S (139 horsepower), people adored it and tore it up! Until 1991, the brand launched several versions of its star car: the cupThe Golf RallyThe golf is limited and even a Golf Country.
Golf 3 (1991): more curves
With little aerodynamic perfection and despite the drastic increase in weight, this new Golf has a record drag coefficient of 0.30. It was also the first Golf with airbags and an impact-resistant body structure.
The Golf 3 VR6with a unique engine noise, the first Golf to receive a 2.8-liter V6 engine, producing 174 horsepower.
Then, in 1993, we saw the appearance of one that would become a hit, especially among young urban dwellers: the Golf Convertible1.8 liter 90 horsepower.
Golf 4 (1997): modern era
This new Golf presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show has seen some notable changes in its design, especially in terms of the roof, which is more stretched and the rear window, which is steeper. This fourth generation is largely the first to benefit from an electronic stabilization program (ESP).
Golf 5 (2003): can you bring back a little sportsmanship?
Bigger and safer than before, the Golf V has a sportier look, especially with its silhouette that rises towards the rear and the new outline of the headlights at the front. At the same time, his The GTI version reaches 200hp for the first time.
Golf 6 (2008): the most technological
Designed by Walter de Silva’s team, the Golf 6 suggests the features of the Scirocco coupe for the front and the resemblance of the Touareg for the rear lights. But above all, this Golf is full of electronics and driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, high beam assistant. Equipped with 9 airbags, it gets the highest score of 5 stars in the famous EuroNCAP crash test.
Golf 7 (2012): ecological awareness
The Golf 7 includes new sophisticated driving aids such as emergency braking in town, panel detection and a proactive passenger protection system in the event of an imminent impact. Note its two unique versions TGI (powered by natural gas) and the rechargeable hybrid GTE. However, it retains the GTI and R versions of the Golf.
Golf 7.2 (2016): waiting for Golf 8
Since it is only a restyling, this new version of the Golf VII changes slightly on the outside. But inside, it stands out with its new infotainment system with gesture recognition and its beautiful 9.2-inch screen.
Golf 8 (2020): always on top
The Golf 8 is the worthy successor to the Golf. It is more technological and more dynamic than others. In fact, it is simply the same recipe but improved. Aesthetically it hasn’t changed much either. It is the LED bar at the grille level that mainly makes it possible to distinguish it. The biggest change comes from the loss of a large number of buttons in favor of touch controls.
And what about the future of Golf? Will we deserve a Golf 9 or will the Golf 8 be the last before definitely giving way to the Volkswagen ID.3?