WOLFSBURG – The new Golf listens to motorists and speaks with infrastructure. And it dialogues with the network. Never has the Volkswagen best seller been so connected before now. And maybe it won't even be anymore, since more than one expert ventures that the one just presented in Wolfsburg could be the last generation. That is the eighth, which should project the model over 40 million specimens marketed.
So far it has been 35 million, two and a half of which in Italy, where the Golf VIII debuts during the first quarter of next year. The adventure of the new model, changed a little outside, but a lot inside, will begin in December with the markets of Germany and Austria. The indicative price for the German market will be just under 20,000 euros. For the Italian one we will have to be patient.
The Golf VIII could become (even more) a collector's model, if it really doesn't have heirs with combustion engines. In the C segment, the most important in Europe and the best seller, Volkswagen is about to launch the ID.3, the first zero-emission car born on the modular electric platform. For this reason the Golf will no longer be produced on battery power (or even with three doors, to be honest), but in exchange it will be electrified.
It will have five hybrid variants: three at 48 volts and two rechargeable. Not to mention the updated alternative to natural gas based on the 1.5-liter unit with 130 horsepower. To those who fear the risk of a possible "cannibalization", the number one of the brand, Ralf Brandstatter, explained that "the Golf belongs to the essence of the brand and for us it is taken for granted that it will be a model that will guarantee profits". The manager is obliged to say so, but the fascination that this model still exerts on customers is probably greater than that of the electric cousin.
The Golf VIII has the same pitch as the previous model, that is 2,636 meters, while it has gained 26 millimeters in length (4,284), that is more than half a meter more than the first generation, the one designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, wanted in Wolfsburg for the "Baptism" of the "eight".
His "little girl" is a beautiful forty year old: the setting has remained essentially the original one and the proportions are not changing despite the size. This is also why it has become an icon.
Electrification is the big news: mild hybrid technology makes its debut on Volkswagen with the new Golf. It will be marked with the eTsi logo, will guarantee consumption reductions of up to 10% and will be applied to the 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo petrol units with 110 horsepower (another "first" of the Golf, which will have an entry level of 90 horses, always three-cylinder) and the two 1.5-liter 130 and 150 horses. The plug-in versions (eHybrid), developed on the one thousandth petrol and coupled to an electric unit with 13 kWh battery and automatic transmission with six gears, will have 204 and, like Gte, 245 horses. For the moment the technical data have not been anticipated, but the possible zero-emission autonomy should exceed 50 kilometers. Volkswagen will continue to offer diesel engines, although more refined and cleaner. The manufacturer credits the 2.0-liter with 115 and 150 horses of Co2 emissions filed 17% with a reduction of those of NOx up to 80%.
The credit is due to the adoption of the double injection of AdBlue (twin dosing). For the most demanding customers, Volkswagen will not miss the most “thrusting” declinations: from the Gti to the Gtd up to the high-performance R, for which there is also reason for around 400 horses. The maximum power declared for the range is officially 300 horses.
A decisive contribution to the best environmental performances of the model also came from aerodynamics: the 35 mm height reduction (1.456 meters) is an important aspect. "Its lightness is expressed through a clear and purist design language, which in the eighth generation has achieved a harmony without interruption", summarizes Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen's design number. The Golf that listens has voice commands, in addition to a new digital dashboard with an 8.25 "screen in which almost all the switches have been replaced by keys with touch-sensitive surfaces.
Listen also thanks to Alexia, the intelligent assistant developed by Amazon and integrated by Volkswagen on its best seller. And then he speaks in the Car2X language, namely that of infrastructures (most of which are still "ignorant"): Golf is the first European model to offer this serial communication.
The manufacturer has also anticipated that all models will be equipped with the We Connect function to allow the eighth generation to always be online. Customers will be able to activate various services even after purchase, thus creating a customized digital environment, which can also be transferred to other models of the brand in the future.