Volkswagen continues to employ its MQB platform, debuting improvements, especially with connectivity and electronic driver-assist features, in the new eighth-generation Golf. Among other highlights, this latest version of the mark’s popular hatchback will feature a digital dash as well as a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
On the outside, the biggest update is a new dual-element headlight with a hexagonal pattern. New fascias have been added to both ends, and the rear design now integrates the exhaust tips. Other than that, the design for the Gold stays relatively the same. But a new design wasn’t the point of emphasis for the new Golf. Rather, performance is the name of the game.
VW wants to keep the Golf a driver’s car, so they are planning two versions. The GTI version is rumored to see a jump in horsepower from 220 to 300. The Golf R will make use of a four-cylinder turbo engine capable of 400 horsepower. Both engines will be mated to a six-speed manual, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic being available as well. VW is also adding in enhanced suspension technology which is said to improve the agility of the new Golf.
“People want a Golf—it’s iconic,” said Volkswagen board member Jeurgen Stackman in an interview with Autocar, “but now there’s a huge leap forward in the digitization inside it. It’s still a Golf, but now digital. It’s kept what people have loved and moved it to the next phase.” Part of that next phase is the inclusion of the mild-hybrid system.
This system features a belt-driven starter-generator that can recover kinetic energy when the car is coasting. That recovered energy is sent to a battery pack to be sent through the drivetrain when under acceleration. The computer of the system uses data to decide when and where to use that energy, such as when climbing a hill rather than when stuck on city streets.
The Golf 8 is set for a global debut in the fall of 2019, with sales for the 2021 model year starting soon after.