New Golf lands in just 18 months’ time
VW confirms production date of critical Golf No.8 at supplier conference
VW’s head of procurement Ralf Brandstätter said: “Together with the I.D family, the introduction of the upcoming Golf generation will be the most strategically important product launch for the brand.”
Volkswagen has confirmed that the all-new Volkswagen Golf will go into production in June 2019, just 18 months from now. The current, seventh-generation, Golf was the second best-selling car in Ireland last year, bucking any fallout from the VW diesel scandal.
“In 75 weeks, the eighth generation of the bestseller in the compact segment is to roll off the production lines at Volkswagen’s main plant, in Wolfsburg, Europe’s largest car factory”,a VW spokesperson said at the ‘Golf 8 Supplier Summit’, held at the Volkswagen Arena. VW showed a vague pencil sketch outline of the car, whose design will be overseen by Porsche stylist Michael Mauer, but it didn’t reveal much other than that the familiar big c-pillar and overall silhouette will remain in place.
It’s quite possible that the styling will undergo a much more radical shift than was seen from the sixth to seventh generation models. VW is keen for the new Golf to make a splash with the public as the potentially ground-breaking new ID all-electric hatchback will be going on sale just a year later. Indeed, the electric eGolf model will be dropped from the Golf 8 lineup, so as not to internally compete with the ID.
Even with the ID coming (and the fact that the Jetta was actually VW’s global best-seller in 2017) the Golf is still the most critical car in the Wolfsburg empire. Presenting the details to the suppliers, VW’s head of procurement Ralf Brandstätter said: “Together with the I.D family, the introduction of the upcoming Golf generation will be the most strategically important product launch for the brand.”
The man in charge of the new Golf, VW’s head of compact cars Karlheinz Hell told the conference that: “The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety.”
Expect to see a significant ramp-up of autonomous capability, giving the Golf the ability to keep itself in lane and a safe distance from the car in front on the motorway, although that will be reserved for top-spec models.
Underneath, much of the new car will be familiar from the current model, including the MQB platform and chassis (which should see a weight reduction of around 50kg) and more efficient versions of the current engine lineup, thanks to the addition of new turbochargers and the ability to switch from conventional ‘Otto’ four-stroke combustion cycle to the more fuel-saving Atkinson cycle, as commonly used in hybrid cars.
There will also be the addition of a 48-volt ‘mild hybrid’ system which uses a small electric motor and battery both to improve emissions and give a low-down performance kick. That is expected to transform the performance of the GTI model, which is expected to get not just the mild hybrid system, but an electrically-driven turbocharger as well, for lightning-fast throttle response.
On the diesel front (yes, VW still makes diesels…) the new Golf is expected to be the launch vehicle for the long-awaited all-new diesel engine family, centred around a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder TDI, although the top-end 2.0-litre TDI engines will be carry-over units from the current Golf.