New Golf Mk8: it’s your eight-point briefing Faster GTIs, slick hybrids and digital inside. Georg Kacher introduces the new Golf.
Factfile: Volkswagen Mk8 Golf R
POWERTRAIN 1998cc turbo four-cylinder, all-wheel drive
PERFORMANCE 328bhp, 4.5sec 0-62mph
1 GTI AND R GET FASTER
VW is preparing three fast Golfs; GTI, GTI Cup and the all-wheel-drive R. The 232bhp GTI is an evolution of the original concept, complete with cloth upholstery. The 286bhp Cup adopts the more extrovert livery of today’s TCR, including bigger wheels, more spoilers, extra warpaint and a go-faster interior. The Golf R retains the 2.0-litre engine but power leaps to 328bhp. Aided by a 37lb ft torque boost, 0-62mph drops to 4.5sec.
2 THEY DON’T ALL LOOK THE SAME
Big-ticket Mk8s get more chrome, five-point LED lights up front, twin exhausts (round or rectangular, depending on engine) and bigger rims. The GTI gets a standalone visual treatment with added black and red accents, bespoke wheels, diamond-shaped daytime running lights, a wider track and lowered suspension. All GTIs also get upgraded suspension, steering and brakes.
3 INSIDE, GOLF’S GONE DIGITAL
Jump in and you’ll find digital instrumentation, a by-wire shifter, slick eight-inch or 10-inch touchscreen options and a compact in-dash touch panel for headlights, foglights and parking lights. Wherever you look, there’s the new white-on- blue brand logo. Customers can specify an optional head-up display and a multi-view virtual cockpit is standard. Push buttons are definitely a dying breed…
4 HERE COME THE PHEVS
Mk8 will launch with a 1.5-litre TSI rated at 128bhp and 148bhp, a 1.5 TSI 48-volt mild hybrid and a 2.0-litre TDI with 113bhp and 148bhp. The seven-speed DSG remains an option for the low-end powertrains. In comes a new 1.4-litre TSI in two PHEV Golfs, rated at 148bhp and 178bhp and due to come on stream next summer. The least potent Mk8 gets an 89bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder.
5 IT’S STILL GOLF-SIZED
The new car is virtually unchanged in size, with a 2630mm wheelbase. The estate gets a 50mm stretch for more rear legroom and a bigger boot. VW is claiming a best-in-class drag coefficient.
6 Mk8 EMBRACES SMART MOBILITY
Smart Mobility is the Mk8’s new marketing pitch, and under this banner VW’s listing the 24-volt and 48- volt mild and plug-in hybrids with extended zero-emission ranges and enhanced e-performance, complete with boost function and shorter charge times.
7 IT’S NEARLY SENTIENT
While autonomous driving is still years away, automated driving is an essential element of the Golf Mk8 from day one. Emergency assist, lane assist and front assist are standard. On the options list is a more comprehensive safety package and a predictive cruise control linked to the onboard cameras and sensors, real-time nav info and digital services related to parking, road pricing and charging/ refuelling.
8 IT’S CONNECTED, OBVIOUSLY…
The infotainment can be accessed via smartphone, which also acts as your multifunctional smart key, vehicle location system, user preference enabler (favourite music, cabin temperature, destination, email reader, concierge service…) and personalised journey planner. In combination with the Volkswagen We app, the third-gen infotainment is 10 times faster than the previous hardware/ software combination.
Spyshot shows off Golf’s A-Class inspired twin screens