Happy 40th VW Golf

by staff writer JP

Over the last 40 years an amazing 30 million Golfs have been sold starting with the Golf Mk I in 1974. Built as the natural successor to the Volkswagen Beetle, by 1976 and 1 million cars later the Golf was regarded as a worthy contender. Also in 1976 the first Golf GTI was launched along with the naturally aspirated diesel engine. By 1979 along came the Golf Cabriole that was at times the best-selling cabrio in the world.

Enter the Golf Mk II: In 1983, the wider-bodied Golf was launched followed by an anti-lock braking system in 1986 plus the option of an all-wheel drive engine. By 1991, the world had been introduced to the third generation Golf fitted with front airbags. We also saw the introduction of the VR6 before launching the estate variant in 1993. Next up was the Golf Mk IV in 1998 and introduced the Golf 4MOTION technology. By 2002, Volkswagen had wowed us with the R32, with its top speed of 155 mph it was also the first to offer a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).

The fifth Golf landed in 2003 now fitted with six airbags, bi-xenon headlights, panoramic sliding sunroof and the world’s first twincharger in 2006 (combining a turbo and supercharger). Also in 2006, the fuel-efficient Golf BlueMotion with its 62.8 mpg range was introduced. By the time the Golf Mk VI arrived in 2008 with safety a key part, it passed the EuroNCAP crash test with the maximum five stars. Creature comforts such as the automatic main beam and Park Assist made the sixth generation the ultimate until the Golf Mk VII was introduced in 2012. The latest fuel option of an all-electric e-Golf is already available to buy and a new Golf GTE will be launched later in 2014.

Many happy return buyers.