The brand new Volkswagen Golf is officially here, with the German carmaker finally sharing all the specs and images we’ve been waiting for, following a live unveiling event in Wolfsburg.
Unlike any other Golf before it, the Mk8 will be available in no fewer than five hybrid drive iterations, two of which will be plug-in hybrids, each with a new 13 kWh lithium-ion battery that allows for 60 km (37 miles) of zero emissions driving.
Before we get into its specs, let’s talk design and measurements. The all-new Golf is 4,284 mm (168.6 inches) long, 1,789 mm (70.4 inches) wide and 1,456 mm (57.3 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,636 mm (103.7 inches). Compared to the Mk7, the new model is a little bit longer and shorter, with a slightly larger wheelbase.
The body also doesn’t just look sharper, it literally is, lowering the end face to 2.21 m2 and the drag coefficient to 0.275. Overall though, there’s no mistaking the Mk8 for anything other than a Golf, and if you’ve been following VW’s design exploits as of late, you probably won’t be surprised by any of this model’s visuals.
More to see, more to do
The interior on the other hand is probably more exciting than the exterior, since it features so many novelties. For starters, it’s all about living in the digital age. Buyers can now enjoy an optional head-up display on their Golf, as well as internet connectivity where the car’s standard OCU (Online Connectivity Unit) comes with integrated eSIM links, We Connect and We Connect Plus functions and services.
According to VW, the new Golf will be setting new benchmarks in its class in terms of assisted driving functions. Its Travel Assist feature for example makes assisted driving possible on highways up to speeds of 210 km/h (130 mph), without the driver having to actively steer, accelerate or brake.
The 2020 Golf is also the first VW model to connect to its environment as standard. Here, you have the Car2X functionality which receives information from other vehicles within a radius of up to 800 meters (875 yards), plus signals from the traffic infrastructure to warn drivers – in turn, this information can be rerouted to other Car2X-equipped models.
Furthermore, the Golf’s new IQ Light LED matrix headlights will provide additional safety thanks to their partly interactive light functions. Other driver assist features include ACC with predictive speed detection, Front Assist, Oncoming vehicle braking when turning, and in a sense, DCC adaptive chassis control too.
What do I get as standard?
All Golfs come with the following goodies at no extra price: LED headlights and LED taillights, Keyless Start, digital instruments and an 8.25-inch infotainment display, We Connect and We Connect Plus, multi-function steering wheel, Climatronic (automatic air conditioning), Lane Assist lane-keeping, a new turn-off assist, Front Assist, predictive pedestrian protection and the previously-mentioned Car2X tech.
Life spec models offer 16-inch alloy wheels, exterior background lighting (including logo projection onto the ground), an interface to charge smartphones, wireless mobile phone integration, interior background lighting in 10 colors, center armrest at the front, ParkPilot parking aid and City Light. Opt instead for a Style model and you gain 17-inch alloys, additional chrome trim, sports seats, 32 colors for the ambient lighting, LED headlights with cornering light, poor weather light, LED taillight clusters with dynamic turn signal, Travel Assist and Lane Assist.
Then there’s the R-Line with its 17-inch Sebring alloys, R-Line bumpers, high-gloss black sill trims, rear diffuser, premium sports seats, driving mode selection, black headliner, aluminum gear knob, perforated leather for the steering wheel and more.
Last but not least is the GTE hybrid version, which comes with illuminated strips in the radiator grille, GTE-specific bumpers, special 17-inch alloys, red brake calipers, GTE roof spoiler and wider side sill panels. Inside, there are sports seats, a pulsating starter button, stainless steel pedals and 30 available colors for the ambient light system.
The best you can do in terms of the displays is go for the two optional 10-inch infotainment systems, which in conjunction with a large Discover Pro navigation system create the Innovision Cockpit. If that’s not enough, adding the 400-watt Harman Kardon sound system will probably do it – as in, create a more premium atmosphere.
Let’s talk performance
All of the new Golf’s gasoline and diesel engines are turbocharged direct injection units, with outputs ranging from 90 PS (88 HP) to 300 PS (295 HP), eventually. Meanwhile, a new 6-speed manual gearbox has been developed for front-wheel drive models, further cutting CO2 emissions.
The gasoline-powered TSI units are available in four output stages during this initial launch phase. They generate 90 PS (88 HP), 110 PS (108 HP), 130 PS (128 HP) and 150 PS (148 HP) respectively. The 90 PS and 110 PS engines are 1.0-liter three-cylinder units, while the 130 PS and 150 PS ones are 1.5-liter engines.
“From an output of 110 PS, they will also be configurable as a mild hybrid drive (eTSI) with 48-V system and dual clutch gearbox. Three 2.0-litre TSI engines for the Golf GTI, Golf GTI TCR and Golf R as well as a 1.5-litre TGI suitable for operation with natural gas (CNG) and petrol will be launched at a later point.”
The Golf Mk8’s 2.0-liter TDI diesel engines have been developed from scratch, and generate 115 PS (113 HP) and 150 PS (148 HP). Both can be had with either a manual gearbox or a DSG automatic, while the 150 PS model can also be had with 4MOTION all-wheel drive. A performance-oriented TDI variant will eventually arrive as the all-new Golf GTD.
Mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid
The eTSI mild hybrid drives of the Golf are complete novelties, featuring a 48-V belt starter generator, a 48-V lithium-ion battery and the latest TSI engines. These variants are exclusively available with a 7-speed DSG automatic and produce 110 PS (108 HP), 130 PS (128 HP) and 150 PS (148 HP).
As for the eHybrid range, you can get one with 204 PS (201 HP) or the GTE version, which puts down 245 PS (241 HP) thanks to a 1.4-liter TSI engine, an electric drive motor and a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery.
The new Golf will first arrive in European dealerships this December.