The New Volkswagen Golf 8 Will be Simply Amazing (If you can pay for everything it has to offer)

Volkswagen is approaching the end of the development phase of the new Volkswagen Golf 8 - the most connected Golf of all time. But before I proceed with bombarding you with all the incredible things I’ve learned about it, let me just give you a glimpse of its importance through my experience.

It was 2004, my finishing year of elementary school when Volkswagen revealed the Golf MkV GTI. I remember that day vividly because that was the day I was directly exposed to the culture of the Volkswagen Golf aficionados that I subconsciously wanted to avoid. That day, during recess, one kid came running in the schoolyard carrying a ProAuto car magazine in his hands and basically yelling, “New GTI, New GTI.” He did not buy lunch out of his pocket money, but a car magazine with a GTI on its cover. Every single kid that had heard him charged at him to see what kind of a Golf the new GTIwill be. I ran too. I was struggling to see what the new Golf looks like and we all jostled each other to get a glimpse of the car.

That moment alone changed my perception of Golf for a lifetime. And, believe it or not, that car magazine I was telling you about - I started working there some years later.

Now, exactly 15 years after I saw the Golf MkV GTI for the first time, I have the opportunity to witness the reveal of the Golf 8 (and I believe the GTI). 15 years ago, Volkswagen proudly chanted in its press release “It is [Golf GTI] stronger, better and more sought after than ever.” The Golf MkVIII will be exactly that - stronger, better and more sought after than ever. But also, more connected than ever.

Update 3/13/2019: We’ve finally received some camouflaged spy shots of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf. Check them out along with what else we’ve learned in our special “Spy Shots” section below.

Spy Shots

March 13, 2019 – Cold Weather Testing With Lots of Funky Camo

2020 Volkswagen Golf
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2020 Volkswagen Golf
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We believe that we’ve already seen the 2020 Volkswagen Golf without any camo thanks to a number of shots that circulated social media. However, the shots you see here are the first shots that we know are the real deal with 100-percent certainly thanks to all of that camo. Obviously, Volkswagen is trying to keep some details hidden, and that’s our big red flag. With that said, these spy shots serve as clear evidence that the images we’ve seen previously (displayed below in our “Exterior”section) were, in fact, of the next-gen Golf. If you compare the rear end in these shots compared with those, you’ll see that they feature the same taillights. The lower portion of the rear fascia also features the same styling.

The side profile is without a doubt all VW Golf with little in terms of evolution or revolution, while the front end will change a little. It won’t change enough to write home about, mind you, but that’s kind of a good thing. The real important changes will come into play under the skin where the MQB platform is freed of excess weight thanks to new, lighter materials. On that note, word has it that the wagon model will be discontinued alongside the three-door model, so this generation may only be available as a four-door hatch. On the plus side, there are still GTi, R, and GTE models in the works, so there will at least be a wide range to choose from. There’s no word yet as to when the 2020 Volkswagen Golf will debut, but a good bet would be in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Exterior

  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Better aerodynamic efficiency
  • Longer wheelbase, shorter overhangs
  • sharper styling

As with every great design, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf won’t be considerably different compared to the seventh generation model. Just look at these spy photos (I believe they are the real deal), where the Golf 8 actually looks like an updated Golf 7. I am completely down with that.

The main changes include the addition of sharper front light and taillights, different bumpers, and slightly changed shapes of the body panels.

Yet, this is unmistakably the Golf. Das Auto, if you will.

The thing is that I do expect the new model to be slightly longer, with, most certainly, an elongated wheelbase and short overhangs. Honestly, too short overhangs cripple the design a bit, but I hope Volkswagen won’t overdo it.

2020 Volkswagen Golf
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As far as the equipment onboard goes, the Golf 8 exterior will be garnished with standard LED headlights and LED taillights. The swept back headlights with LED tech most certainly pull the Golf towards the premium stage. After all, the Skoda Scala will, most likely, end up in the hands of people who are accustomed to buying entry-level Golfs. Now, even the entry-level one will see a price bump and a whole lot of equipment. Exterior features such as LEDs, nice wheels, and sharper looks reflect just that.

Aside from the slight, but still obvious transformation into something posher, Volkswagen is adamant in simplifying its Golf range.

I am quite sure it will be available only as a five-door car. That means that Volkswagen will slash the wagon, the Alltrack, the three-door car (already canceled actually), and the e-Golf. After all, a dedicated electric car - I.D. Neo - will be a clear “Golf-moment” in the world of the electric cars.

Interior

  • Gesture control system
  • Biggest screen ever in the Golf
  • More space than ever thanks to a longer wheelbase
  • The Golf 8 is permanently connected to the Internet
2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Interior
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Note: current Volkswagen Golf interior pictured here.

While the Golf 8’s exterior will definitely be recognizable, the interior is a completely different story. The philosophy, the design, and the outlay of the interior will greatly differ compared to anything we have ever seen in the Golf. The reasons are simple - connectivity and roominess.

With a longer wheelbase, the Golf's interior will definitely grow by quite a bit, but something even more important is happening to Golf in its eighth generation.

Klaus Bischoff, Executive Director of Volkswagen Design, said “It’s a revolution. It’s really a total digital environment; the only analogue aspect is basically the steering wheel.”

What does “a total digital environment?” actually mean?

Well, first of all, thanks to eSIM technology - a factory installed eSIM (fixed SIM card) - the Golf 8 will be permanently connected to the Internet. The same story goes for the new Touareg. The installation of the eSIM in the Golf 8 only shows that Volkswagen is big on scaling down all of its tech. Speaking of the Touareg - the Golf will receive nearly the same interior layout - including the massive central screen and the all-digital instrument cluster. In essence, almost all solutions from the Touareg will be slightly scaled down to fit the Golf. I mean, the screens will be slightly smaller, because well, the Golf is smaller.

2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Interior
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Note: current Volkswagen Golf interior pictured here.

Always online means a few important things for Volkswagen. The eSIM makes it possible for the installation of the following:

  • A next generation of 3D sat-nav
  • Strongest radio signal search, or even direct internet streaming
  • More precise coasting function
  • Advanced self-driving tech that will enable automatic acceleration, braking, and steering
  • A completely new gesture control system
  • Advanced voice recognition software
  • Uncluttered dashboard
  • Available live information such as the fuel prices and the presentation of the POIs

Obviously, the new Golf’s interior is considerably different compared to the Golf 7’s interior. It is modern, crafted to touch the sophistication of premium, and will lead Volkswagen into a new, modern, always connected world.

Drivetrain

  • 48 volt electric system for mild-hybrid setup
  • New 1.0-liter, turbocharged engine
  • Far more powerful GTI, Clubsport and the Golf R
2020 Volkswagen Golf Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Volkswagen moved past the crippling “Dieselgate” scandal in a glorious way with the creation of an all-new line of vehicles that largely mitigate the annihilating effects of the affair.

The new Volkswagen Golf Mk8 will most certainly be the epitome of that revolution before the next best thing comes - the Volkswagen Neo.

In an effort to match the technological proves of the rest of its lineup, Volkswagen introduced a number of important drivetrain technologies with the new Golf. Some of the most important are:

  • A mild-hybrid setup
  • 48 Volt electrical system
  • Smaller turbocharged gasoline engines
  • Autonomous driving system
  • Advanced diesel engines
  • Far more powerful engines for the high-performance models such as the Golf GTI, the Golf GTI Clubsport and the Golf R

Karlheinz Hell, Volkswagen’s small car boss said:

"The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety."

2020 Volkswagen Golf Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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According to another Volkswagen official, CEO Herbert Diess, the new Golf Mk8 will be electrified.

“Mild hybrid systems will play a major role in the next generation of Golf; that will be the first application,” Diess reported.

While technology is a big deal in the new Golf Mk8, the thing is that the car will be based on the same MQB architecture as before.

Yet, with a longer wheelbase, the Golf will have more lightweight materials installed in it. This will help remove anywhere between 120-140 pounds of weight compared to the Golf Mk7, but actually, increase the stiffness and rigidity at the same time.

Less weight, better rigidity, more powerful engines, and a whole lot of new tech promise one thing - the best GTI ever.

Before I give you a bit more info about the new GTI that will, irrevocably, be seriously faster than ever, I will list the engine options for the new 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8:

  • 1.0-liter, turbocharged, gasoline engine with 90-120 horsepower (possibly linked with a mild-hybrid setup)
  • 1.5-liter, turbocharged, gasoline engine with 140+ horsepower
  • 1.5-liter, turbodiesel engine possibly available in the hybrid configuration as well
  • 2.0-liter, turbo diesel engine with a few different options and power range of 135-201 horsepower
Now, apart from these options, Volkswagen is likely to introduce a number of high-performance Golf hot-hatches including the Golf 8 GTI, the Golf 8 GTI Clubsport, and the Golf 8 R.

Compared to the Golf Mk7, the entry-level Golf 8 GTI is expected to have a 252-horsepower engine with a standard electronic limited-slip differential (VAQ) on all models. The Clubsport is expected to have an engine that develops more than 300 horsepower, while the top-notch Golf R may even end up in the same mad segment with the Audi RS3.

Fuel-saving tech (cylinder deactivation, coasting function, and start-stop) will probably be a part of all Golfs (including high-end models), while the self-driving systems will most likely be on par with higher segment cars comfortably surpassing anything offered in the compact segment.

Pricing

2020 Volkswagen Golf
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Yup, the new 2020 Volkswagen Golf 8 will be considerably more expensive compared to the Golf 7. Bear in mind that at any point in history, a nice Golf with a piece of fine equipment was not cheap. Ever. Volkswagen did offer low-end models before, but I believe that with the Golf Mk8, low-end Golfs will be no more. All thanks to the new Skoda Scala that will replace it in the most important markets and high-end tech that costs a bunch and, as you have seen, will be a part of every Golf. With that said, I expect the Golf 8 price to be $2,000 more compared to the 2019 Golf that starts at $21,845.

Competition

Ford Focus

2019 Ford Focus Exterior Interior
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The latest Ford Focus is considerably more upscale than ever before. Ford even focused on high-end Vignale and Sport models to reach to the new, richer customers. Now, even the ST went further with the 2.3-liter, EcoBoost and more than 270 horsepower. In some sense, the new Ford Focus is actually the best representation of what the new Golf will become - a more expensive, better equipped, and more luxurious hatchback. As always, the Ford will remain a proficient competitor to the Golf, but I doubt that it will ever match it in terms of sales. And, while the new Focus looks dashing, the Golf still has that sophisticated stance of the premium.

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Focus

Renault Megane

2016 Renault Mégane High Resolution Exterior
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I have a strange feeling that usually cheaper Renault Megane will actually replace the Golf in the driveways of those who were loyal to cheaper Golfs before. See, the Megane become that much better, while the Golf is becoming that much more expensive. Usually targeting somewhat different customers, the Golf and Megane always played a precisely planned game to win over their respective customers. Yet, the new Megane is a five-door car, it is available with novel small turbocharged engines, and has that massive screen inside. Obviously, the same as the Golf.

Read our full review on the 2018 Renault Megane

Mazda 3

2019 Mazda 3
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The new Mazda 3 hatchback looks fantastic, yet, it is a bit bigger compared to the new Golf Mk8 and does sport some novel technologies. Yet, not novel enough. With that said, the Mazda3 is a hatchback that can be compared with the Golf, but it is also somewhat eccentric and quirky. Yet, advanced and efficient. As is the case with basically any competitor on this list, the Mazda 3 is not likely to outsell the new Golf Mk8 anywhere.

Read our full review on the 2019 Mazda 3

Final Thoughts

2020 Volkswagen Golf
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Volkswagen will start the production of the Golf Mk8 in its Wolfsburg plant in June 2019. I have learned that after the Golf 8 Supplier Summit early this year. Now, the Golf will flood the market soon after, and I do actually expect Volkswagen to reveal the Golf GTI right away. After all, that one can make some buzz as I’ve told you in the intro of this article.

With the biggest transformation in its 45-year long history, the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 will introduce an all-new interior, a more sophisticated exterior look, and will include the latest tech available. I think it is not a stretch to say that the high-end Golf Mk8 models will drive semi-autonomously, talk to you thanks to a novel voice recognition software, and save as much fuel as possible. But it will probably be the most expensive Golf of all time.

Further reading

2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI.

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Variant

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