The 2020 VW Golf was officially unveiled in Wolfsburg, Germany yesterday. This is the eighth generation of the most successful Volkswagen of all time, which has registered more than 35 million units in sales worldwide.
The VW Scirocco may be gone but it has left its mark at Volkswagen in the VW Golf Mk8. The visibly wide body along with low-slung front-end hints of the discontinued model. Overall, though, the legacy has been maintained by having an evolutionary design. The 2020 VW Golf is 4,284 mm long, 1,789 mm wide and 1,456 mm high. It has a 4,284 mm wheelbase.
At the front, the 2020 VW Golf features aggressive twin-pod headlights that are sleek and sharp, an intentionally narrow radiator grille with thin LED light strips on the top (at 00:53 in the video below) and the new Volkswagen logo that looks imposing on the slimmer radiator grille. LED headlights are standard, and they are made in three different versions: LED, LED performance and IQ.Light LED matrix. The ‘Q.Light LED matrix headlights include sliding turn indicator function as well - another new key feature of the car.
From the sides, the all-new model looks barely any different if looking at just the cabin. At the rear, the tailgate has a smoother design and appears to be wider, which should make loading luggage easier. The more minimalist look of the new tailgate is aided by the new Volkswagen logo, ‘GOLF’ name in block lettering. The combination lamps carry a new L shape and are more angular. They also flaunt a more sophisticated light structure.
The bumpers and alloy wheels too are freshly designed, and as on the old model, their design varies as per the configuration. However, a common change that can be easily made out is that the front bumpers are brawnier but in a subtle manner.
Stepping inside, there’s a much greater sense of minimalism. Serious attention has been given to the reduction of clutter and increased digitalisation. The new instruments and infotainment systems have been clubbed together at the same level to form a digital cockpit and they’re not only inter-connected but also to the outside, thanks to an online connectivity unit (OCU) featuring integrated eSIM.
The technological leap is so huge that Volkswagen calls it comparable to the debut of the first-ever touchscreen smartphones. The slimmer AC vents, sharper dashboard and new ambient lighting make the cabin one of the most striking ones seen in a Volkswagen ever. The new shift-by-wire gear knob complements the tidier cabin. Touch buttons and touch sliders for various functions further uplift the feeling of the cabin being way more techy than other rivals.
Unlike in any other VW Golf of the past, it is possible to retrofit technologies in the VW Golf Mk8 regardless of the specification. Digital cockpit comprising a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and an 8.25 touchscreen online infotainment system is standard. There is an option for two 10-inch displays.
Another highlight of the 2020 VW Golf is Car2X, which makes it the first Volkswagen capable of exchanging information relevant to the traffic situation with other vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. Car2X operates within a radius of up to 800 metres. The driver is notified and warned of local, hazardous areas. Accidents, vehicle breakdowns, traffic jams, roadworks, emergency braking and emergency service vehicles - the driver can know all of these on the go. That’s not all. The eighth-gen Golf boasts even autonomous driving. The driver can relax and let the car do the driving till speeds of up to 210 km/h. The car can steer, accelerate and brake by itself.
As for the drive range, there are a plethora of options: petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI), natural gas (TGI), mild hybrid (eTSI) and plug-in hybrid (eHybrid). In all, for the first time for the Golf, eight drive versions will be available, with maximum power outputs ranging between 90 PS and 300 PS.
90 PS 1.0L TSI, 110 PS 1.0L TSI, 130 PS 1.5L TSI (with ACT) and 150 PS 1.5L TSI (with ACT) will be the conventional petrol engine options initially. The diesel engines have been developed for the all-new compact Volkswagen from scratch. They’re 115 PS 2.0L TDI and 150 PS 2.0L TDI units. The TGI engine will be a 1.5L unit.
The latest Golf will be the first Volkswagen to be sold with no less than five hybrid drives, two eTSI and two eHybrid. This is the brand’s first model with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. The engines available with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology will be the 110 PS, 130 PS and 150 PS TSI units. The maximum system output of the two plug-in hybrid systems will be 204 PS and 245 PS respectively. Both the plug-in hybrid variants will use a new 13 kWh Lithium-ion battery.
The 2020 VW Golf will hit the first markets in December. India may get its yet-to-be-unveiled GTI variant, in 2020 or 2021. There’ll be GTI TCR (petrol), R (petrol) and GTD (diesel) performance variants as well. The plug-in hybrid variants won’t be available at launch either. They’ll go on sale in 2020.