Nine things you might not know about the Volkswagen Golf

10th October 2019
Bob Murray

Volkswagen is teeing up the next Golf, shown here in these preview sketches ahead of its unveiling on 24th October. This will be the eighth generation of the archetypal hatchback, first launched in 1974, and out to reprise all those qualities that have made it such a worldwide best seller.


So – judging from the sketch – it is staying recognisably Golf like but, says the company, with a new digital cockpit and improved connectivity for more online-based functions and services. VW is also promising  new suspension for a boost to agility and more assisted driving features.

Cars which reach their eighth generation without a name change are pretty rare, though the VW Beetle lasted in production for 65 years, even if it was officially the Type 1 rather than the Beetle.


As we look forward to 24th October, then, we thought it was worth a quick look back at the Golfs of old…  


Nine things you may not know about the Volkswagen Golf

  • The Golf might have been called the VW Blizzard. That was never used but Rabbit (in North America) and Caribe (in Mexico) were.
  • VW began work on replacing the Beetle as early as the 1950s but cars like the Type 3 and 411 never took off.
  • The Golf is one of only three cars ever to win the European Car of the Year award twice.
  • Since its launch in 1974 more than 35 million have been sold – that’s one new Golf every 41 seconds – making it one of the planet’s top three biggest sellers.
  • There was never a Mk2 convertible, instead the MkI cabrio remained in production for 13 years until the Mk3 came out.
  • Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign was best known for wild concepts and supercars like the de Tomaso Mangusta and Maserati Bora when he designed the original Golf.
  • One of Giugiaro’s early Golf prototypes had a sliding side door.
  • The Grand Touring Injection (GTI) sporty Golf began as a skunkworks project using smuggled components.
  • In the 1970s Peugeot loved diesels but hardly anyone else did… until the first Golf oil-burner arrived in 1976 and set a standard for low fuel consumption.
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