New Volkswagen Golf VIII: presentation

New Volkswagen Golf Mk8: presentation

The eighth generation Volkswagen Golf is shown in near-production form in test livery

Volkswagen has confirmed it will introduce the eighth-generation Golf later this year, with the company's chief designer promising it will be "really attractive."

The latest version of the long-lived hatchback was originally supposed to be unveiled alongside the ID 3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but Volkswagen executives decided to focus the event on its new electric offering. The Golf is said to be released in the fall. It will go on sale in the UK early next year.

The car has been spy tested several times, with little to no disguise, and now Volkswagen has released an official test shot of the Golf in black and white camouflage. This shows that the car will retain many of the model's traditional design features.

Volkswagen chief designer Klaus Bischoff said the Golf will have "elegant proportions". In a post, the German firm added that the eighth-generation Golf was designed for "an era of electrified drives, a digital and connected interior world, driving assistance systems and online features and services."

Notably, the icon on the test machine is completely closed. This is because Volkswgen will unveil the updated logo at the Frankfurt Motor Show and the new Golf will be the first car to go on sale with it.

Volkswagen previously released a design sketch of the Mk8 model, which showed a distinct evolution in appearance and interior technology. It was revealed that the Golf would feature a large dual-screen gauge and an infotainment panel placed across the driver's eye. As a result, the rest of the interior has a more minimalist look.

Volkswagen management has also begun offering some details about the latest Golf, the most important car in the company's lineup.

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show in March, head of marketing Jurgen Stackmann said the new Golf retains the legacy of previous versions, but with the benefits of new technology.

“The new Golf will have everything that people have loved for years, but now it will be digital,” he said. “People want the Golf — it's an iconic car — but now there's been a huge leap forward in its digitization. It's still a Golf, but now digital. He kept what people loved and moved on to the next stage.”

Stockmann also confirmed there would be no e-Golf in the next generation to avoid duplication with the ID hatch, and instead the lineup would "end with a GTE" in terms of electrification, with all future electric VWs based on the firm's dedicated electric platform.

The GTI and R will be replaced and R will once again be the leader of the range. This means that the hybrid gas turbine engine will not have a large increase in power. Stockmann said GTD would be announced, but without confirmation of whether he would return or not.

The new Ford Focus competitor was previously photographed by Volkswagen fan and Instagram user johannes.vag driving through the McDonald's motorway in Germany with little or no protective camouflage.

The car in the pictures matches last year's official preview sketch and previous Autocar renderings, with a typically evolutionary design approach for the company's main lineup and details adapted from the smaller Polo. The sketch hinted at the new grille and lighting design introduced by the latest Touareg SUV, but that family resemblance isn't as obvious in this prototype, probably because some trim pieces are still covered up.

The Mk8 Golf will feature levels of fuel-saving technology, connectivity, autonomous driving and enhancements designed to take second place among major competitors.

Its appearance is an evolutionary design that once again highlights the wide, flowing C-pillar. The bodywork is expected to be slightly sharper, modeled on the latest Polo. The GTI version will have large corner vents in the lower bumper, as previewed by the GTI TCR concept earlier this year.

Volkswagen will use the Mk8 Golf to introduce a powerful 48-volt mild hybrid powertrain and a new line of micro hybrids. There will also be CNG versions, but there won't be a new electric Golf because Volkswagen will start introducing its new ID electric vehicle line shortly after the Mk8 launch.

The lineup will be simplified, the most likely candidates for the role of an ax will be a three-door body and a station wagon. With consumers increasingly turning to SUVs and crossovers and large volume car makers under significant cost and profit pressure, insiders say the Golf Mk8 will try to appeal to buyers who are turning away from larger cars and premium models. such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes. -Benz C-Class, offering more interior and trunk space than usual in this segment, outstanding refinement and exceptional fuel economy.

The new Golf will have a noticeably wider track and even more room in an already spacious cabin, as well as a slightly longer wheelbase and a larger boot than its hatchback rivals.

The car is also expected to feature an interior that is almost entirely devoid of conventional switches, at least on higher-end models. Volkswagen design boss Klaus Bischoff said the Mk8's interior is a "complete" digital environment, with the steering wheel being the only traditional component. Touch screens will replace the traditional instrument binnacle and climate control. Even the headlight switch could be replaced with a touchpad.

Mk7 Platform Update

At the heart of the next Golf is an updated version of the versatile MQB platform used in today's model. VW insiders suggest it will use a higher percentage of light metal than the existing design to save 50kg in weight.

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Planned modifications to the construction process are also reported to enable smarter production and shorter construction times, as part of a strategy to improve economies of scale and profitability for VW's best-selling model.

While there is still time before the introduction of the new Golf, VW says it has already solidified the car's design, which was developed under the guidance of the company's latest designer, Michael Mauer, who was in charge of the car's design. the current Porsche range.

Those familiar with the latest clay model layouts say the new Golf builds on the classic hatchback look of its predecessors with familiar proportions, reimagined details and a simple surface that makes it instantly recognizable as a Golf.

Key styling features described for Autocar include a thin horizontal grille marked with smaller angled headlights than those in use today with a distinctive LED daytime running light image. The new car is also said to have more pronounced wheel arches and a more defined side swage line, paired with typically wide C-pillars and a relatively vertical tailgate.

Gasoline and Diesel Engines

The new Golf Mk8 will get a range of 12V hybrid engines for entry and mid-range. The 1,5-litre TSI ACT petrol unit will be carried over from today's Golf Mk7, but will be joined by a 1,0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and an all-new 1,5-litre diesel, which will also likely be sold as a Mild Hybrid on 12V. Autocar understands that mild hybrid starter/alternator assistance reduces engine stress and reduces NOx emissions from diesel exhaust.

One of the more intriguing rumors is that 1,0-litre petrol engines may not be turbocharged at all, and instead may rely solely on direct assistance from a belt-driven starter-generator engine (SGM). The SGM is expected to provide enough extra power and torque to the base engines to eliminate the need for a turbocharger, intercooler and associated piping and control systems.

The Golf Mk8 diesel range will include a new 2.0 TDI engine (codenamed EA288 Evo). VW says the base version of this unit has been extensively redesigned to reduce exhaust pollution. The turbocharger is more efficient and responsive, and the engine is lighter, loses less heat and has less internal friction.

More importantly, the size of the diesel particulate filter and engine catalyst have been resized to improve performance, especially over time. VW claims the engine offers an average of 9% more torque and power, as well as an average 2g/km reduction in CO10 emissions. The firm said that the new diesel unit will be offered in versions from 135 to 201 hp. and will be used in Audi models before being installed on the Golf Mk8 next year.

Crucial ID concept - click here to learn more

VW has already released details on the Golf's 1,5-litre TGI Evo natural gas engine, which will begin production this year. Based on the 1,5-litre TSI engine, the TGI unit uses the same Miller cycle valve timing and variable geometry turbocharger. When installed on the Golf Mk7, it develops 129 hp. and 148 lb-ft from 1400 rpm. VW claims this engine emits about 93g/km of CO2 in the NEDC cycle when connected to a standard dual-clutch transmission. Natural gas engines also have lower NOx and particulate emissions than diesel engines, and cars can be refueled from the gas mains using small wall-mounted compressors. However, the lack of gas infrastructure in the UK means this option is unlikely to reach these shores.

New or upgraded powertrains will be offered in conjunction with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, depending on their configuration. Along with front-wheel drive, VW also plans to offer optional all-wheel drive (which it calls 4Motion) on select models, as it did on the previous four generations of its long-running bestseller.

Two types of mild hybrid

The big surprise for the Golf Mk8 powertrain is that VW says it will invest in 12V and 48V mild hybrid systems after the company upgraded the Golf family's MQB electrical architecture (one of the most expensive component systems in a car). to accommodate a 48V system. So far, 48V "mild" hybrids have only been used in premium VW Group vehicles such as the Bentley Bentayga and the Audi SQ7.

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Frank Welsh, VW's head of technical development, has already unveiled the firm's new "affordable" 48-volt system, which uses a belt-integrated starter/alternator/alternator to support the engine, delivering extra power and torque directly to the engine's crankshaft.

The key to bringing 48V into the mainstream vehicle was the development by VW and its suppliers of a less expensive and more compact system that uses a small DC-DC converter and a small lithium-ion battery.

Welsh said the 48V setup allows much more energy to be recovered than 12V systems, which translates into significant fuel savings. These new mild hybrid engines can also start and stop very quickly, allowing the Golf Mk8 to switch into and out of coasting mode while driving, further saving fuel.

Connected technologies take precedence

Sources at VW have already promised that the next Golf will be "always connected". Using the same eSIM card already featured in the new Touareg, the Golf Mk8 will be permanently connected to the internet. This will allow the car to connect to a XNUMXD satellite map, a hybrid radio (where the audio system finds the strongest signal for a station, whether analog or digital), and the ability to get real-time information such as the latest prices at nearby gas stations.

The always-on connection opens up the ability for these future models to “read” the topography of the road, such as from 3D maps, and switch to coasting when driving downhill or approaching an intersection.

Autonomous driving will be a key feature of VW's best-selling eighth generation as the brand brings even more advanced autonomous technology to the new model, as well as making it the most connected car in the company's history. the all-electric ID hatchback, which is also due out at the end of 2019.

VW compact series head Karlheinz Hell said: “The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected cars with advanced autonomous driving features. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will set the benchmark in terms of connectivity and security.”

The current Golf benefits from VW's semi-autonomous Traffic Jam Assist system, which controls the vehicle's steering, acceleration and braking at speeds under 37 mph, so you can be sure the Mk8 model will take things a step further from that. Elsewhere, the Audi A8 is the first vehicle in the wider VW group to achieve Level XNUMX autonomy where it is allowed.

Golf to shape VW design plan

While the new Golf will be an evolutionary approach to the outgoing car, it will feature new design elements that chief designer Klaus Bischoff described as "smoother, sportier and with a very unique face."

Bischoff says it's part of VW's new strategy to differentiate its standard lineup from the new ID family of electric vehicles: “The ID is a new world of proportions and all-new body styles that are more emotional. When we look at the headlining design on ID cars, we need to replicate that on ICE cars to have sportier proportions [and] a more progressive and cleaner design.”

Bischoff said the cars of the future will stay true to traditional VW design principles: "We pay attention to our origins, so no 'me too' products." All of them will remain very individual VW vehicles.

“If you look at the design of the front of the car, almost everyone is copying Audi. VW will go its own way to stay true to the brand and not look over the fence for others.”

Volkswagen reaps the benefits of MQB

The Volkswagen MQB architecture is at the heart of its best-selling Golf model, 968 of which were sold in 284.

The modular toolbox is used for most of the firm's most successful models. In total, the five MQB models currently account for 3,8 million worldwide sales.

The company's second best seller last year was the Jetta/Sagitar (the latter being a compact sedan for the Chinese market), with 883 units sold. The seventh-generation Jetta, which went on sale this year, is now based on the MQB, as are the company's next two bestsellers: the Tiguan SUV (346 sold), in both short and long wheelbases, and the Polo. .

The Lavida, a Jetta-sized MQB sedan sold only in China, is the firm's sixth best-selling model, with 2017 produced in 507. What remains is the Passat/Magotan family, which is sold in Europe, the US and China. The current European versions of this model are built on the MQB, with the US and Chinese versions moving to the architecture in 000, adding about 2019 more MQB vehicles to total sales.

These numbers are just for Volkswagen itself: the MQB toolkit is also widely used by other brands in the group.

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