Volkswagen unveiled the eighth-generation (or Mk8) Golf yesterday. Here’s what you need to know about the latest updates to the German company’s storied hatchback and whether we will see it in America.
The Golf’s exterior looks the same?
Yes. The Golf’s exterior did not get a comprehensive redesign. Volkswagen made some exterior tweaks. To get more aerodynamic the Golf is technically longer, narrower and shorter, though the largest of those changes in any direction was by one inch. The new Golf runs on the same MQB platform. It looks very much like a Golf, which isn’t a bad thing.
But the interior looks different?
Yes. Volkswagen went with a more minimalist, Tesla-style cockpit centered on digital displays. Touch-sensitive digital sliders have replaced many buttons. It will also offer a voice command system.
Is the base Golf coming to America?
Unclear. The Golf is Europe’s best-selling car, but sales in the U.S. have cratered. Volkswagen sold fewer than 400 base model Golfs in the U.S. in September. The e-Golf outsold it. Volkswagen has confirmed the U.S. will get the high-performance GTI/R versions but will only go so far as to say that bringing the base Golf over remains “under consideration.”
How many doors will the Golf have?
Four. Volkswagen has eliminated the classic two-door body style for the eighth generation.
What kind of engine will it have?
Europeans will have many, many Golf engines to choose from. There will be Golfs running on gas, hybrid, diesel and even natural gas powertrains. There’s no pure electric, because Volkswagen supplanted the e-Golf for the new ID3. If the base Golf does make it to America, it would most likely use the 150-horsepower 1.5-liter inline-four gas engine, perhaps with the mild hybrid as an option.
Will the Golf have a manual option?
Yes. Volkswagen not only retained the manual transmission, but it also developed a new six-speed for the Golf. The GTI and Golf R versions will come to America with that option.
Will the Golf be connected?
Volkswagen equipped the Golf with connectivity software that will offer over-the-air upgrades, semi-autonomous driving, using a smartphone as a key and a “car2X” communication system that can send and receive traffic information from smart devices and other cars.
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