The 30 millionth VW Golf has come off the assembly line at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg. Production of the original Golf began in early 1974. The 30 millionth car is a Golf TDI BlueMotion; this recently introduced model has a fuel consumption value of 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpg US).
The history of the Golf is also the history of automotive progress. With technologies such as the safe front-wheel drive of the first Golf, the debut of the TDI in the third Golf, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the dual clutch gearbox of the fourth Golf and the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System of the new generation, this car has continued to democratize progress.—Prof. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG
Golf I (1974 to 1983). Volkswagen moves from the Beetle to the Golf, converting from an air-cooled rear engine to a water-cooled front engine and from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive.
Golf II (1983 to 1991). This was the Golf in which Volkswagen technologies such as the controlled catalytic converter (1984), ABS (1986) and all-wheel drive (1986) were introduced.
Golf III (1991 to 1997). In 1991, Volkswagen initiated a new era of safety in the third generation. The Golf III was the first model in the series to offer front airbags in 1992; further, progress in the area of body manufacturing led to further improvements in crash properties. The first TDI engine of the model series was also introduced in this Golf (1993).
Golf IV (1997 to 2003). This Golf introduced technologies such as ESC (1998) and the dual clutch gearbox (2002).
Golf V (2003 to 2008). The stability of the laser-welded body brought a 35% gain in torsional rigidity when the Golf V made its debut in 2003. The first Golf BlueMotion (4.5 l/100 km fuel consumption)—based on the Golf V—was created in 2007.
Golf VI (2008 to 2012). The body, once again welded by laser, attained the EuroNCAP maximum five star rating. TSI engines and conversion of the turbodiesels (TDI) to the common rail system led to more dynamic performance and better fuel economy. The forerunner was the second Golf BlueMotion, which offered a combined fuel consumption value of 3.8 l/100 km (62 mpg US).
Golf VII (since 2012). Weight was reduced by up to 100 kg (220 lbs) in the seventh generation Golf, reversing the upward weight spiral. Fuel consumption was reduced by as much as more than 23% compared to the previous model, depending on the specific engine. The forerunner of this movement is the Golf TDI BlueMotion with a combined fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100km—also the 30 millionth car produced. The Golf VII brought an array of new driver assistance. These include systems such as PreCrash preventive occupant protection and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System—technologies that were more likely to be offered in the premium class than in the compact class previously.