Now that Ford has launched a fancy new Focus and Toyota’s latest Auris hatchback looks like it too could make serious noise, one could argue that supremacy in the non-premium C-segment is up for grabs.
That is, until VW decides to introduce us to their latest Golf, arguably the segment’s most iconic and well-respected nameplate, one that you really shouldn’t underestimate. Let’s put it this way: the Golf is like the San Antonio Spurs of compact hatchbacks, a benchmark of overall excellence.
So meet the all-new Golf 8, looking not-too-spiffy while wearing the body of its predecessor (aka the current model), trying to keep its true form away from prying eyes. At least we can say that these are the very first images of the car, and aside from the exterior, which does reveal a thing or two, we’ve also been given glimpses of the interior.
Starting with the Mk7 sheet metal, it’s obvious that the new iteration has a longer rear, and by the looks of it, a longer wheelbase too. We’re at a time where everybody is building more advanced 5-door hatchbacks, with improved safety, connectivity and comfort features, not to mention more room for rear-seat passengers.
With regards to how the final product will look, it’s possible we’ll see certain influences from the likes of the Arteon or the new Touareg, since they feature VW’s brand new design language. We also wouldn’t mind to see it resemble the Golf GTE Sport concept from 2015.
We might be in for a spectacular cabin design
VW did some pretty cool things with the all-new Touareg regarding its interior, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Golf 8 also put some of its rivals to shame with multiple large displays and a futuristic architecture.
The mule’s 7th-gen dashboard isn’t fooling anybody. The instrument panel display is clearly new (doesn’t have a notch like before), as is the gear shifter, borrowed from the Touareg. As for the rest of the console, that’s where all the magic will happen, since what we have here looks completely improvised.
So in the end, we could end up with one very large infotainment display, perhaps joined by a slightly smaller one specifically designed for the climate control system.
Can’t envision it? Here’s the Golf R Touch concept from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. It had gesture control, sensory feedback, proximity sensors, the works:
As for powertrains, expect a wide range of turbocharged petrol and diesel units, joined by a plug-in hybrid variant, all three riding on an updated version of the MQB modular platform.
The VW Golf Mk8 will most likely go into production sometime next year, just in time to take on the new Focus, Auris, new Ceed, Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Renault Megane, Peugeot 308, Seat Leon, Hyundai i30, Mazda3, Honda Civic and more.