Volkswagen Golf celebrates 40th anniversary
March 31, 2014

The popular Volkswagen Golf has celebrated it's 40th anniversary, the vehicle is now in it's seventh generation with more than 30 million units having been produced since it's introduction on March 29th in 1974.


The history of the Volkswagen Golf


In the 1970s, Volkswagen (VW) had the task of designing the successor to the Beetle and the Golf was their answer. The vehicle was instantly popular, using engines in the front and front wheel drive, unlike the Beetle which had the engine in the rear and rear wheel drive. After just two years on sale, the Golf had attracted one million customers.


The GTI variant was introduced in 1976, soon followed by the Golf D and Golf GTD, which played a large part in the establishment of diesel engine technology in the mainstream car market and in 1979, the first convertible Golf was launched.


Since the first ever Volkswagen Golf, the model has moved on to it's seventh generation, passing many landmarks along the way. The third generation Golf was the first to feature airbags when they were included with the car in 1992, while anti lock brakes became standard on all models in 1996. By the fifth generation, the Golf saw the introduction of fuel efficient BlueMotion technology, while the sixth generation launched in 2008 was the first Golf to feature driver aids like park assist.


Comments on the Volkswagen Golf's history


Klaus Bischoff, head of design at Volkswagen, commented, “The step from Beetle to Golf was truly revolutionary. The change from air-cooled rear engine to water-cooled front engine, and from rear to front wheel drive respectively, was a completely new vehicle layout at the time. Creatively, the Volkswagen designers changed from a round to an angular use of forms in those days, thanks to the legendary design by Giorgio Giugiaro. The main design elements of the Golf I, such as the silhouette of the upright, massive C-pillar, the prominent wheel arches and the typical horizontal front with slim grill and downwardly protruding headlights exist in every Golf to the present day.”


The current Volkswagen Golf


The latest generation was launched in 2012 and is lighter and more efficient than the model it replaces. The VW Golf TDI BlueMotion version now returns economy figures of 88.3mpg and emits just 85g/km of CO2. For the first time, the Golf range also includes an electric model, called the Volkswagen e-Golf. The company claim that the electric car can do around 118 miles on a single charge.


Later this year the company plan to add a Volkswagen Golf plug in hybrid GTE model to their range, which combines electric battery power with a conventional petrol engine.


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