With less than a year until production, Volkswagen has released details on the newest version of its best selling car – the Golf. Featuring sophisticated technology to improve performance, economy and usability, the Mk8 Golf promises to punch well above its mainstream rivals.
The new Golf is set to be marginally larger than the outgoing Mk7, boasting a longer wheelbase to offer more cabin and boot space. The new model is aimed at buyers looking to relegate from SUVs and traditionally more premium cars such as BMW’s 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class. This has also caused the eighth generation Golf to be offered in a narrower range than usual, with the three-door and station-wagon variants likely to be axed out.
The flexible MQB underpinning the current Mk7 Golf is retained, but with increased application of lightweight metal the structure will benefit from a 50kg weight loss. The new Golf will also carry over the turbocharged 1.5-litre TSI engine from the model it replaces, but a potential naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol motor is said to be joining the line up along with a new 1.5-litre TGI Evo which runs on natural gas. There will also be two diesel variants in 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre guise. Like the Mk7, the Mk8 Golf will be available with either a manual transmission or DSG in front-wheel drive or 4Motion four-wheel drive spec.
Throughout the model range (save for the hot variants), the new Golf will feature mild hybrid powertrains, pairing its internal combustion engines with 12V starter/generator motors (SGM) to offer more and immediate power and torque figures while reducing emissions and improving fuel economy. Power figures have not been confirmed, but we can expect the range to play between 129 (96 kW) – and 201 hp (150 kW).
In addition to the 12V mild-hybrid powertrains, Volkswagen is introducing 48V systems from the upscale Bentley Bentayga and Audi SQ7 offerings to the more affordable Golf family. Benefitting from the more potent 48V electrical systems are the hot variants of the Golf, particularly the GTI. Thanks to the familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine getting assistance from the 48V electric motor and integrated starter motor, the base Mk8 Golf GTI is expected to produce power figures that are on par with the limited edition Mk7 GTI Clubsport rated at 261 hp (195 kW).
Volkswagen is also said to introduce upmarket technology to the latest version of its best selling model. First introduced in the new Touareg, this tech includes upgraded autonomous driving functions and sophisticated connectivity which will enable its 3D satellite mapping to perform futuristic functions such as recognising where the strongest radio signal will be and provide live information like the latest pricing at nearby petrol stations for instance.
Thanks to the Mk8 Golf set to arrive before Volkswagen launches its ID hatchback which is tasked with introducing the company’s all-electric technology, there won’t be an all-electric variant anytime soon. But prior to the arrival of the ID hatchback, the Golf will arrive next year as VW’s most connected car in history.