Cases such as the Vokswagen Golf are numbered with the fingers of one hand. It is that of a product that has managed to stay current for more than forty years, always with excellent acceptance by the public and with a particularity: maintaining a design that, in the most recent generations, has varied just and necessary.
Now, it is time for the eighth generation of this model born in 1974, and although its presentation in Argentina, which was scheduled for 2020, has been completely forgotten due to the pandemic unleashed by the Covid-19 (today it is not even In discussion stage at the table of the executives of the local branch of the German brand), the update of a product of this type is always a matter to communicate.
The presentation of the Golf VIII took place in Europe in February of this year, although the official launch was to take place at the Geneva Motor Show (Switzerland), which, as we know, was suspended due to the coronavirus.
Thus, the managers of the German brand were left wanting to make its great presentation, a more than important task for a model that, although it is one of the most successful in the history of the car, needs special support because, As with each generation, the new series is always very similar to the previous one. But, since in reality in many other aspects far from the aesthetic it offers several novelties, it is necessary to explain them.
For this, the executives of the Wolfsburg house, Klaus Bischoff, head of Design, and Karsten Schebsdat, manager of the Department of Vehicle Dynamics Systems and Chassis Control of the Volkswagen Group, held a video press conference (in which he participated Windshield) to explain some details of this particular model focused on the GTI, a special version that, since 1976, has been marking the path of compact cars with a marked sporting character.
Although the creators of the new Golf preferred – in the same way that they have been doing it for decades – to keep the classic lines, some details appear in the design of this eighth generation.
The most important thing is not seen: the new Golf GTI It is 15 mm lower than the previous one, says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the VW Group. In the purely aesthetic, the bumpers, the grille and the low areas of both the tube and the tail have changed (in the GTI there are two individual exhaust outlets), although the most striking thing is seen in the front sector: there is a new design with the x-shaped fog lights, as well as renewed optics that can be “joined” through a led strip (optional) that runs along the top of the grille. In this sector, one of the particular characteristics of the Golf GTI also appears: a red line. At GTE it is blue and silver in the GTD.
A built-in spoiler appears on the trunk lid and the “GTI” logo now located in the center (it was on the side before), just below the brand’s emblem.
The sides show panels without stridency, although in this GTI version the stylists incorporated black skirting boards. In addition, the new alloy wheels whose diameter can vary between 17, 18 and 19 inches stand out, the first being the standard measurement. Behind them, the red calipers appear
Although in the exterior aspect the changes are not very deep, they do appear prominent adjustments in the cabin.
There are bacquet-type sports seats whose upholstery shows a typical checkered design of the classics. The dash is now digitally configurable from a large 10.25-inch display, while the infotainment system’s touchscreen was also revamped and is now 10-inches.
It incorporates a keyless access and start system, with ambient lighting with up to thirty colors and a specific GTI mode. The multifunction steering wheel with touch pad is also new and, in the automatic version, a small selector has been incorporated.
As befits a model that boasts of being modern, the new GTI has advanced electronic aids. Among them we can mention, for example, the semi-autonomous Travel Assist, which keeps the car in its lane at the selected speed up to a maximum of 210 km / h, the adaptive cruise control and the Car2X intercom that allows the vehicle “dialogue” with other cars and with road signs.
The engine that gives life to this eighth-generation GTI is the well-known two-liter in-line four with direct injection and turbo which, for this version, delivers 245 HP of power (between 4,700 rpm and 6,200 rpm), the same value offered by the GTI Performance version of the previous series.
The front-wheel drive is with the XDS differential (works as a limited-slip one) and the six-ratio manual transmission, a system celebrated by those who prefer a more “purist” driving, although it is also offered with a seventh DSG (double clutch) for Manage the available 38.8 kgm of torque from 1,600 rpm and up to 4,300 laps.
It also offers a driving management system through which the pilot can choose the most suitable mode for his wishes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual. In the latter, and in the same way as in the Audi range, the driver can configure the different parameters to his liking.
The suspensions are independent, of course (McPherson forward and multi-link, rear) and can be improved by incorporating the DCC system (optional).
The steering (power assist) was calibrated for a sportier feel. Even the designers have modified some parameters to achieve more load on the rear axle and thus improve the dynamic response in curves and at high speeds, including, for example, specific maneuvers such as slalon, says Karsten Schebsdat, manager of the Department of Vehicle Dynamics Systems and Chassis Control of the Volkswagen Group.
Regarding benefits, Volkswagen has not released official data but, if we consider that this Golf GTI VIII uses an engine of the same power as the Golf GTI VII Performance, we can take as a reference those: 248 km / h of maximum speed and 6.2 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h.
You are not alone
In February, when VW presented the new Golf, it decided to do a “three for one”: it grouped in an advertisement those models that have the initials GT in their nomenclature: GTI, GTD and GTE.
Thus, the model we described above (GTI) accompanied its brothers with GTD turbodiesel engines and GTE (plug-in) hybrid propulsion in those preliminary announcements during the month of February.
In the case of the gasolero, it has a 2.0-cylinder four-cylinder engine that delivers 200 HP of power and 40.8 kgm of torque. It is an engine of the EA288 evo series, (one of those created to leave behind the bad memory of the Diesel Gate), developed with a modern concept in order to lower the emission of polluting gases. For this, it has two SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) catalysts arranged one behind the other and Twindosing system with double injection of AdBlue additive, technology through which it is possible to reduce significantly the levels of nitrogen oxides NOx.
The front-wheel drive and seven-speed DSG (double clutch) transmission.
In the case of the hybrid, the power train is made up of a 1.4 turbo 150 HP block associated with the 85 kW electric generator that is powered by a pack of 13 kWh capacity lithium-ion batteries, mechanisms that, together , they match the GTI in power: 245 CV. The torque is 40.8 kgm, the same as the GTD. The traction is front and the box DSG of sixth.
Regarding autonomy, official data shows that this plug-in hybrid can travel up to 60 kilometers in a hundred percent electric mode, while the maximum speed in this mode of circulation is 130 km / h.
The new Volkswagen Golf VIII has been on the streets of Europe since March. Its arrival in Argentina is uncertain and, in the same way as that of other models of this and other brands, it is subject to the evolution of the pandemic and its effects on the automotive market. We will have to wait.