Say Goodbye to the Affordable Volkswagen Golf as VW Sends it Upmarket
Because VW won’t stop until the world thinks it’s a luxury brandby Kirby, on
Volkswagen has big plans for the next-generation Golf, one that could move the iconic hatchback upmarket to a new niche market that’s above the current competition and just below the compact luxury segment occupied by the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. The potential move is an attempt by Volkswagen to lure buyers who are looking into downsizing from premium models like the 3 Series and C-Class with more affordable alternatives that offer more cabin and luggage space than is normal in this segment, as well as top-class refinement and exceptional fuel economy. Volkswagen wants the next-generation Golf — the Mk8 — to be the top choice among those alternatives.
Volkswagen starts production of the next-generation Mk8 Volkswagen Golf in less than a year, and according to Autocar, it’s going to have features that will blow away its current segment. From fuel-saving technology to autonomous driving capability, the Mk8 Golf will have them. That’s a clear sign from Volkswagen that the automaker isn’t messing around; it has big plans for the next-generation Golf.
It’s not just the tech, either. The Mk8 Golf will also feature an evolutionary design. It’s going to have a more defined and distinct look, one that will run through the family of Golf models.
The Golf GTI, for example, will carry larger corner air vents in the lower bumper.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because we saw it on the Volkswagen GTI TCR Concept earlier this year.
The next-generation Volkswagen Golf will also be the first VW model to carry a powerful 48 mild-hybrid powertrain. The company hasn’t specified which Golf model will get the new powertrain, but the likely candidates are the Golf R and Golf GTI. The two performance models are in line to produce power and performance figures that the Golf has never had. It’s as if the Mk8 Golf will be a completely different model from its predecessors. Don’t expect the next-gen model to carry a pure-electric powertrain, though. That’s reserved for Volkswagen’s new range of ID electric cars.
The Golf’s reinvention could be a shock to the system of the model’s large fanbase. It’s going to look different, perform different, and it could also be packaged differently from what we’re all used to. Three-door and wagon body styles are probably going to get shelved.
That said, Volkswagen is also aware that if the Golf is to be a legitimate alternative to models like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, it’s going to have to offer a lot to get people to look in its direction.
In addition to creating a new look and revamping its powertrain lineup, Volkswagen also wants the Golf to offer features that are better than what Bimmer and Mercedes are offering without sending sticker price sky high. These features could include a completely digital interior — VW design boss Klaus Bischoff calls it a “total digital environment” — as well as a more spacious cabin and larger-than-usual cargo space.
By the looks of it, Volkswagen’s plans for the Mk8 Golf go beyond our own expectations of the model. Then again, if the German automaker really wants to swing the next-gen Golf upmarket, it has to go big to do it.
Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Concept.
Read our full review on the 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf
Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R.
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