Golf8 is a hybridized technical tour de force for VW

Golf8 is slimmer but more spacious image via: VW

VW has revealed its Golf8 and the world’s most iconic hatchback features a flood of clever technologies.  

When it launched back in 1974, the original Golf was an unproven concept, but VW’s product planning was visionary, and it has since become one of the most popular vehicles in history.

Since its debut in the mid-1970s, VW has sold nearly 35m Golfs. It has been a huge success for the brand and with each evolution, the Golf has moved upmarket, offering more luxury, features and technology.

VW has come to dominate the market for premium hatchbacks, especially in South Africa.

Although the established hatchback market has come under pressure from crossover vehicles of late, VW believes that its traditional Golf customers still aspire to owning a premium hatchback.

Golf8 remains recognisable – but also modernised

Golf goes 8.0 and embraces new tech
Since 1974 VW has been evolving its Golf8 heritage image via: VW

In its latest iteration the Golf8 has grown narrower, lower and longer. VW engineers have also managed to stretch its wheelbase a touch, gifting it a cabin architecture with more passenger space.

The overall design sees a new front bumper, bonnet and headlamps which feature bladed edges. Compared to Golfs of yore, the new one has a tiny slit grille.

With Matrix LED headlights the Golf8 will cast a massive safety zone of illumination ahead of it, when you are travelling through the Karoo, in the dead of night.

Mechanically the Golf8 rides on an advanced VW MQB platform, which is lighter than the Golf7.

Golf8 introduces new hybrid engines

Golf8 remains instantly recognisable from any angle
This new Golf is bursting with technology but also slightly lighter image via: VW

By far the most significant new technology concerns the range of engines. VW is offering an array of powerplants with the Golf8 and many of them feature hybridization.

The new hybrid engines are mostly based on the 1.5-litre four-cylinder architecture, tallying outputs of 96- and 110kW. There will also be an entry-level 1-litre triple, boosting 81kW.

Using an integrated starter motor, which feeds a small battery pack, VW’s engineers have managed to gain huge efficiencies with this new hybrid system.

Beyond the three mild-hybrid variants, VW has also added two plug-in hybrids to the range. These have a 13kWh battery pack and can drive on pure electric power for up to 60km, which should make them outstanding commuter options for congested traffic commutes.

The standard Golf8 plug-in hybrid isn’t shy on performance, either, with 150kW, whilst a more potent GTE version has 180kW.

VW has always traded strongly on its GTI badge, within the Golf range, and followers of the celebrated German hot hatch won’t be disappointed with its Golf8 version.

Although the new car’s focus has been reduced carbon emissions and greater efficiency, VW will be producing eight-generation versions of all its performance orientated Golfs. For enthusiasts of fast Golfs, that means that there will be a Golf8 GTI and Golf R.

Golf8 is on trend

Golf8 borrows Touareg ergonomics
Intuitive digital interface, angled towards the driver image via: VW

Digitisation features strongly in the Golf8 infotainment system and user experience. Vital vehicle functions are relayed via a 10.25-inch high definition display, whilst the centre console mounted infotainment screen is either 8.25- or 10-inches in size, depending on specification.

VW has refined the menu systems on its Golf8 to ease navigation and be more intuitive. The transmission shifter has been replaced by a small touch tab, creating a surplus of small item stowage space between the seats.

Perpetual wireless connectivity is also part of the new Golf8, with VW claiming that the car will be in constant contact with emergency services and traffic news prompts, thereby avoiding accident zones or congestion issues.

VW has confirmed that the Golf8 will launch in South Africa during the latter half of 2020.

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