RAC Cars News


VW Golf - 30 Million Milestone

By raccars Published

Last week saw the world's 30 millionth Golf roll off the VW production line at the brand's Wolfsburg plant, making it the second best selling model in automotive history. The Golf is beaten only by the Toyota Corolla, with sales of 39 million at the close of 2012.

VW celebrated the milestone event with an open day for Wolfsburg factory employees at the weekend, which coincided with the Golf receiving this year's 'European Car of the Year' award.

Mk 1 Golf

Running from 1974 to 1983, VW's follow on to the ultra successful Beetle had to be something special. The rear wheel drive and rear mounted, air cooled engine blueprint was turned on its head for a front wheel drive and front mounted, water cooled engine format, while the distinctive, curvy styling became sharply modern and angular. The legendary GTi hot hatch arrived in 1976, followed by diesel and cabriolet versions over the next few years.

Mk 2 Golf

The second Volkswagen Golf, produced from 1983-1991, was notable for bringing advanced auto technologies to the mass market, in the form of controlled catalytic converters, ABS and all wheel drive. It was marginally larger than its predecessor and updated styling rounded off some of the previous model's sharp edges. There was never a Mk2 cabriolet developed, with VW retaining the Mk1 cabriolet throughout the Mk2's lifespan.

Mk3 Golf

From 1991-1997 VW continued its use of pioneering technology in the Golf, this time focused on safety features. This third generation Golf was the first to come equipped with front airbags and its bodyshell was specially manufactured to improve the car's behaviour in the event of a crash. A turbo diesel engine was introduced, along with a high performance VR6 and the cabriolet was finally updated. 1992 saw the Golf awarded 'European Car of the Year' status.

Mk4 Golf

Widely considered the best looking Golf yet, 1997-2003's incarnation continued the use of advanced technologies, such as a dual clutch gearbox and introduced further licence endangering hot hatch variations.

Mk 5 Golf

From 2003-2008 the Golf continued leading its market sector in build quality and modern innovations, with a 35% torsional rigidity increase, thanks to laser welding body construction and the introduction of the super efficient BlueMotion engine range.

Mk6 Golf

2008-2012's sixth generation Golf once again beat the safety and efficiency pants off the competition, scoring the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash ratings and prioritising fuel economy with updated engines.

Mk7 Golf

The current Golf is larger yet lighter and more efficient than ever and is absolutely rammed with the best modern driver assistance features.

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