Thursday, January 15, 2009

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is a compact car/small family car manufactured by Volkswagen since 1974 and marketed worldwide across six generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates -- prominently as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada (Mk1 and Mk5), and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico (Mk1).

The front-wheel drive Golf was Volkswagen's first successful replacement for the air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle. Historically, it is Volkswagen's best-selling model and the world's third best-selling model, with more than 25 million built by 2007.

Most production of the Golf was initially in the 3-door hatchback style. Other variants include a 5-door hatchback, estate/wagon (Variant, from 1993), convertible (Cabriolet and Cabrio, 1979-2002), and a Golf-derived notchback saloon/sedan, variously called Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Vento or Volkswagen Bora (from 1979). The cars have filled many market segments, from basic personal cars, to high-performance hot hatches.

Volkswagen Golf
2007-2009 Volkswagen Rabbit (US)
Manufacturer Volkswagen,
Karmann (for convertibles)
Also called Rabbit, Caribe
Production 1974–present
Predecessor Volkswagen Beetle
Class Small family car
Subcompact (1974-1984)
Compact (1985-present)
Platform Volkswagen Group A platform series
Related Volkswagen Jetta, VW Scirocco

Golf Mk1 Rabbit (A1/Typ 17, 1974-1983)

Main article: Volkswagen Golf Mk1

VW Golf Mk1

In May, 1974 Volkswagen presented the first-generation Golf as a modern front wheel drive long-range replacement of the Beetle. Early versions included a now-sought-after 'swallowtail' rear end and 'smoothie' hood. Later Golf variations included the Golf GTI (introduced in June, 1976), a Diesel-powered version (from September, 1976), a notchback saloon version called Jetta (from October, 1979), the Cabriolet (from January, 1980) and a Golf-based pickup, the VW Caddy. All variants proved instantly popular with the only notable technical flaw being the poor braking in RHD models, due to the master cylinder for the brakes being placed on the left for LHD cars, as Volkswagen never intended the Golf to be sold abroad.

In North America, the Golf Mk1 was sold as the Volkswagen Rabbit. In Mexico, the Golf Mk1 was sold as the Volkswagen Caribe.

As of 2008, the Golf Mk1 is still being produced in South Africa as the Volkswagen Citi Golf.

Golf Mk2 (A2/Typ 19E, 1983-1992)

Main article: Volkswagen Golf Mk2

VW Golf Mk2

August, 1983 saw the introduction of the second-generation Mk2 that slightly grew in terms of wheelbase, exterior and interior dimensions while retaining in somewhat more rounded form the Mk1's overall look. In 1985, the first Golfs with four-wheel drive (Golf Country) went on sale with the same Synchro four-wheel drive system being employed on the supercharged G60 models, exclusively released on the continent in 1989 with 160bhp and ABS braking.

A Mk2-based second generation Jetta was unveiled in January, 1984. There was no Mk2-based Cabriolet model; instead, the Mk1 Cabriolet was continued over the Mk2's entire production run.

Golf Mk3 (A3/Typ 1H, 1992-1999)

Main article: Volkswagen Golf Mk3

VW Golf Mk3 North American version

The third-generation Golf Mk3 made its home-market début in August, 1991 and again grew slightly in comparison with its immediate predecessor, while its wheelbase remained unchanged.

New engines included the first TDI diesel in a Golf and a narrow-angle 2.8 L VR6 engine. For the first time ever, a Golf estate (Golf Variant) joined the line-up in September, 1993 (although most markets did not receive this model until early 1994), at the same time a completely new Mark 3-derived Cabriolet was introduced, replacing the 13-year-old MK1-based version.

The notchback version, called VW Vento (or Jetta III in North America), was presented in January, 1992.

It was European Car of the Year for 1992.

MK3 continued to be sold until 1999 in Canada and parts of South America, also in Mexico as a special edition called "Mi" (Golf CL 4 door, added A/C , special interiors, OEM Black Tinted Rear Stop Lights, and ABS, no OEM radio) ("Mi" ("i" in red) stands for Multiple Injection but no changes were made in the 1.8 petrol engine)

Golf Mk4 (A4/Typ 1J, 1999.5-2006)

Main article: Volkswagen Golf Mk4

VW Golf Mk4 (US)

The Golf Mk4 was first introduced in August, 1997, followed by a notchback version (VW Bora or, in North America, again VW Jetta) in August, 1998 and a new Golf Variant (estate) in March, 1999. There was no Mk4 derived Cabriolet, although the Mk3 Cabriolet received a facelift in late 1999 that comprised bumpers, grill and headlights similar to those of the Mark 4 models. New high-performance models included the 3.2L VR6 engined four-wheel-drive Golf R32 introduced in 2004. There was also a 2.8 L four-wheel drive Golf VR6 4Motion version available, succeeding the Mk3 VR6 which used a 2.8 L VR6 and only had front-wheel drive.

As of 2008, certain variants of the Golf/Bora Mk4 are still in production in Brazil, China, and Mexico. Revised versions of the Mk4 are currently on sale in Canada marketed as the City Golf and City Jetta. The two models are VW Canada's entry-level offerings. They received a significant freshening for the 2008 model year, including revised headlamps, taillamps, front and rear fascias, sound systems, and wheels. Both models are offered only with the 2.0 L SOHC 4-cylinder gasoline engine, rated at 115 hp. They are the only entry-level offerings with an optional 6 speed automatic. The production of Golf MK4 for the USDM ended in 2006.

Golf Mk5 (A5/Typ 1K, 2003-2009)

Main article: Volkswagen Golf Mk5

VW Golf Mk5

In Germany, the Volkswagen Golf Mk4 was succeeded by the Golf Mk5 in 2003 in Europe. This model did not reach the North American markets until model year 2006, where it was marketed as the GTI MKV. The GTI is powered by a 2.0 FSI and TSI Model. Both are turbocharged and produce a rather large amount of low end torque with relatively no turbo lag. The badge GTI is short for Grand Touring Injected.

Volkswagen also introduced the "Fast", a marketing ploy dedicated to the "fast" that lives inside every driver. Drivers who purchase new GTI MKV's from a dealership are shipped a model of said Fast, which employs GTI-like features, and appears as a small animal. The GTI version is the only one on sale in Mexico.

The notchback version, again called VW Jetta in most markets and built exclusively in Mexico (In Mexico this car is named Bora, in Europe it is now again named Jetta, as well), followed in 2004, a new Golf Variant in 2006. The Jetta however, is not the only variant, as the notchback version of the GTI can also be had in the GLI version. The front ends of the car are the same, with the only difference being that the GLI is a sedan, while the GTI is a "hot hatch" The Golf Cabriolet has been effectively replaced by the Volkswagen Eos.

In a comparison test conducted by Car and Driver Magazine, the Volkswagen Rabbit S was named the winner among eight small cars. While it was praised for its excellent driving position, fine instruments, and strong engine, it was criticized for having high levels of road noise, uncomfortable seats, and poor fuel economy. Though, the final verdict stated, "This one is all about driving pleasure, so it wins." The Rabbit also placed first in their last comparison in December 2006.

"MK5 Golf Production for the UK finished on Week 42" quote from Volkswagen UK.

Golf Mk6

Main article Volkswagen Golf Mk6

VW Golf Mk6

Volkswagen intends to base the next-generation Golf on the existing Golf V platform. This vehicle was debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

The Mk6 Golf will be designed by Volkswagen's chief designer Walter de'Silva with design cues inspired from the previous generations of the Golf, particularly of that from the Mk1 and the Mk4. The designs are also said to be more aerodynamic helping fuel efficiency and is quieter than its predecessor. Following criticism of the downgraded interior trim quality of the Mk5 Golf in comparison to the Mk4, Volkswagen had opted to overhaul the interior to match the quality that is on par with the Mk4 Golf, while maintaining the same user friendliness from the Mk5. The car will also be cheaper to build than its predecessor, Volkswagen claims that it will be able to pass on these savings to the customer as a result.

Turbodiesels will use the common rail direct injection which will replace the Pumpe Düse Unit Injector system. New on the Golf is the optional Volkswagen Adaptive Chassis Control which will allow the driver to select between normal, comfort and sports modes which will vary the suspension, steering and accelerator behaviour accordingly.

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