Volkswagen has unveiled the eighth generation of the Golf—the most successful Volkswagen model, having sold more than 35 million units. The newest Golf is digitalized, networked, predictive, intuitively operated and electrified, with five hybrid versions from mild to plug-in.
Its digital interior architecture opens up a new dimension of intuitive operation, assisted driving is possible up to 210 km/h (130 mph) and it is the first Volkswagen to use traffic’s collective intelligence with Car2X to warn of hazards predictively. The new Golf will be launched on the market in December.
The powertrain range of the new Golf features gasoline (TSI); diesel (TDI); natural gas (TGI); mild hybrid (eTSI); and plug-in hybrid drives (eHybrid). All gasoline and diesel engines are turbocharged direct injection units. Following the launch of all engines, their output stages will range between 66 kW/90 PS and more than 221 kW/300 PS.
Two three-cylinder gasoline engines generating 66 kW/90 PS and 81 kW/110 PS as well as two four-cylinder diesel engines with 85 kW/115 PS and 110 kW/150 PS will premiere in the new range.
The new TSI gasoline variants have low fuel consumption values and emissions due to a range of elements including Volkswagen’s Miller-based combustion process (earlier post). In the diesels, Volkswagen applies twin dosing—dual AdBlue injection—to cut nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) significantly (earlier post). Consumption of the new TDI diesel is up to 17% lower than that of its predecessor.
Three eTSI and two eHybrid variants. The new Golf will be the first Volkswagen that will be available with five hybrid drives. In this process, 48-V technology is celebrating its debut at Volkswagen: a 48-V belt starter generator, 48-V lithium ion battery and the most recent generation of efficient TSI engines form a new mild hybrid drive in the eTSI. As a result, fuel consumption has been cut by around 10% (on WLTP basis) and the vehicle is very agile and comfortable when moving off.
Volkswagen will offer the Golf in three eTSI output stages: 81 kW/110 PS; 96 kW/130 PS; and 110 kW/150 PS.
The eighth generation of the best-seller will also be available as two plug-in hybrid drive variants. A new efficient version of this eHybrid generates 150 kW/204 PS while the GTE version—with a very sporty setup evolved from its predecessor—delivers 180 kW/245 PS.
Both Golf versions with eHybrid drive will launch with a new 13-kWh lithium-ion battery on board, enabling an all-electric range of approximately 60 km (37 miles).
Gasoline engines (TSI). TSI engines will be available in four output stages during the first launch phase. They generate 66 kW/90 PS; 81 kW/110 PS; 96 kW/130 PS; and 110 kW/150 PS. The versions generating 90 PS and 110 PS are 1.0-liter three-cylinder engines that are used in the Golf for the first time.
The TSI engines with 130 PS and 150 PS are 1.5-liter engines with temporary Active Cylinder Management (ACT). All engines with an output up to 130 PS feature the efficient TSI Miller combustion process and a turbocharger with variable turbocharger geometry (VTG).
TSI engines have been paired with a manual gearbox as standard. From an output of 110 PS, they will also be configurable as a mild hybrid drive (eTSI) with 48-V system and dual clutch gearbox.
Three 2.0-liter TSI engines for the Golf GTI, Golf GTI TCR and Golf R as well as a 1.5-liter TGI suitable for operation with natural gas (CNG) and gasoline will be launched at a later point.
Diesel (TDI). Volkswagen has developed the two diesel direct-injection engines for the eighth Golf generation from scratch. The 2.0-liter TDI engines generate 85 kW/115 PS and 110 kW/150 PS. Both TDI engines will be available to order with a manual gearbox as well as DSG, and the 150 PS version will optionally also offer 4MOTION all-wheel drive.
The engines’ efficiency has been significantly optimized, thus cutting CO2 emissions while simultaneously improving responsiveness. A new twin dosing SCR system featuring dual AdBlue injection additionally cuts nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80% in comparison to the predecessor. Consequently, the new TDI engines are amongst the world’s cleanest combustion engines. A Performance TDI will also follow in the Golf GTD.
Mild hybrid (eTSI). The three eTSI mild hybrid drives of the Golf are world premieres. The mild hybrid drives are exclusively available with a 7-speed DSG and generate 81 kW/110 PS; 96 kW/130 PS; as well as 110 kW/150 PS. eTSI models feature a powerful brake energy recuperation function.
The 48-V system also makes it possible to coast while the combustion engine has been completely switched off to save even more fuel. Restarting the engine is significantly more convenient thanks to the 48-V system. eTSI models additionally offer extraordinarily good moving-off performance thanks to electric boosts.
Plug-in hybrid (eHybrid). The eHybrid range will be split into a version geared towards maximum range, generating 150 kW/204 PS; and a GTE version designed towards performance, generating 180 kW/245 PS (system output in each case).
The plug-in hybrid drive consists of elements including a 1.4-liter TSI engine, the electric drive motor and 6-speed DSG as well as a lithium-ion battery. The new battery is characterized by 50% more energy capacity (13 kWh) and thus an improved electric range, meaning that almost all daily journeys within an urban environment can consequently be covered without generating any local emissions.
New assist and light systems: Car2X, Travel Assist and IQ.Light in a Golf for the first time. Car2X communication means the Golf is the first Volkswagen to exchange information relevant to the traffic situation with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure in the vicinity within a radius of up to 800 meters. This information is exchanged within milliseconds.
With the application of a harmonized Car2X standard (Wi-Fi p/ITS G5) within the European Union (EU) that is valid for all manufacturers, it is possible to transfer information between vehicles of all brands as well as the infrastructure within all EU member states. In this process, this “common language” is a crucial requirement to cut the number of road traffic accidents throughout all countries.
With Car2X, drivers are notified and warned of local, hazardous areas. The following scenarios are registered: accidents, broken down vehicles, tail ends of traffic jams, roadworks, emergency braking and emergency service vehicles.
The new Travel Assist feature in the Golf enables assisted driving up to 210 km/h. In this process, the system relies on systems including automatic ACC (longitudinal guidance) and Lane Assist lane keeping system (latitudinal guidance). Travel Assist is activated using the multifunction steering wheel.
For legal and safety-relevant reasons drivers must permanently monitor the system—for this purpose, they must have at least one hand on the steering wheel. Thanks to new capacitive sensor technology in the steering wheel, it is sufficient if drivers merely touch it. However, if they let go of the steering wheel for more than 15 seconds, visual and audible warning signals and a braking jolt are issued and implemented. The driver must react by this point at the latest and touch the steering wheel, otherwise Emergency Assist is activated and the Golf is brought to a stop.
The latest generation of Adaptive Cruise Control in the Golf is predictive. In this process, the system calculates the position of the Golf based on route and GPS data from the navigation system to lower its speed before reaching bends, roundabouts, junctions, speed limits and built-up areas. At the same time, ACC accesses the Dynamic Road Sign Display via the front camera and adjusts the speed as soon as a limit has been detected. The highest ACC development stage will also feature Traffic Jam Assist.
Front Assist also offers new functional scopes. The area monitoring system operating on the basis of a radar sensor and in conjunction with the front camera warns and brakes in emergency situations in the event of an insufficient distance to the vehicle ahead—using the City Emergency Braking System and Pedestrian Monitoring, even at very low speeds in built-up areas. This range of functions is now enhanced by Cyclist Monitoring, swerve support and—for the first time in a Volkswagen—oncoming vehicle braking when turning function.
When the vehicle turns left, the Golf featuring oncoming vehicle braking when turning automatically brakes the vehicle to a stop (while simultaneously emitting an audible and visual warning), providing there is an oncoming vehicle approaching on the lane the vehicle is intending to cross. Depending on the speed at which both vehicles are travelling, turn-off assist can prevent an accident or mitigate the consequences within system limits.
DCC adaptive chassis control is not a traditional assist systems, yet it still influences vehicle handling. Adaptive chassis control permanently reacts to the road surface and driving situation and takes into account elements including steering, braking and acceleration manoeuvres in this process. Drivers can set DCC modes to reduce body movements and adapt them to their liking. In this process, the required damping is calculated for each wheel before it is adjusted at the four shock absorbers within a fraction of a second.
Consequently, DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and ideal driving dynamics. With the evolved DCC in the new Golf, INDIVIDUAL mode represents an enhancement of settings available in the previous range of fixed COMFORT, ECO and SPORT modes. In this process, drivers can very accurately adjust their very own DCC mode using a slider and save the setting. As a result, intermediate stages of familiar modes are also possible now.
Volkswagen will offer the new Golf with three different LED headlight versions. For the first time, the top-of-the-range version will feature particularly powerful IQ.LIGHT–LED matrix headlights in the compact vehicle category. A similar version of the system had been introduced for the first time in the current Touareg before it was transferred to the new Passat.
The driver switches on the system using Dynamic Light Assist. Using 22 LEDs per each headlight matrix module, it activates up to ten different, partly interactive light functions and projects them onto the road surface, depending on the Golf model. The sliding turn indicator function of the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights represents a further feature that has been integrated into the Golf for the very first time. The sliding turn indicator function has a positive effect on active safety as a result of its striking looks.
Technologies can be retrofitted. Regardless of the specification package: as a new feature, technologies on board the new Golf will, for the first time, not only be capable of updates, but in many cases also capable of upgrades, i.e. they can be enabled retrospectively (We Upgrade). Consequently, elements including ACC Adaptive Cruise Control, Light Assist main-beam control, the navigation system, App-Connect (integrating smartphone apps), Wireless App-Connect (wirelessly integrating iPhone apps), a Wi-Fi hotspot and voice control can in future also be activated retrospectively.
While the GTI and Golf R are confirmed for the US, the regular Golf is still under consideration for the North American market.