The Mk8 Golf - A technological leap forward
One of the most popular hatchbacks has undergone a major transformation, promising to be a massive technological advancement for Volkswagen.
The Volkswagen Golf is a major player in the hatchback segment, accounting for over 45,000 new car registrations in 2019 to date - but with the recent Ford Focus makeover, it was due an update.
Welcome the Mk 8 Golf. The silhouette remains undoubtedly Golf, however the bumpers are now larger, the standard LED headlights are slimmer, and the creases are sharper. The rear LED light cluster is reminiscent of the T-Roc, whilst high-spec models get Volkswagen’s new IQ.LIGHT technology at the front, which adapts the main beam LED lights to the road by dimming them accordingly if it detects an approaching vehicle.
Inside there has been a drastic transformation, which will no doubt shape the design of Volkswagens to come. The infotainment screen which once sat flush with the dashboard now stands proud, with sizes varying from 8.25” to 10” depending on trim level. A 10.25” Digital Cockpit is standard on all models, and drivers can spec a head-up display.
Minimalism is a key theme in the interior, characterised by a significantly smaller gear shifter and simple flowing air vents. Most buttons have been digitalised for an advanced, clean feel to the cabin - even the windscreen heating and lighting options have been morphed into a touch-pad style cluster at the edge of the instrument display.
The engine options have been geared towards hybrids, following the shift in the market towards hybrid models. Whilst 110PS, 130Ps and 150PS petrol TSI units and 115PS and 150PS diesel TDI units are available, it is expected the mild hybrid variants will quickly become the popular derivative thanks to their numerous monetary benefits.
The mild hybrids, dubbed the ‘eTSI’, will be available from launch. Each contain a 48-V belt starter generator and a 48-V lithium-ion battery paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch (DSG) gearbox. Three outputs are available: 110Ps, 130Ps and 150PS. The electric pairing provides additional fuel-saving technology, as well as a stronger moving-off performance boost.
Not only is there a mild hybrid, Volkswagen will also introduce an eHybrid version of the Mk 8 Golf. This unit comprises of a 1.4-litre TSI engine paired to an electric drive motor and 6-speed DSG gearbox, producing either 204PS or 245PS on the hot GTE variant. Hot-hatch GTI and R models are yet to be revealed.
The new Golf will also feature Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art Car2X technology, which allows the car to exchange information with other nearby vehicles and traffic infrastructure up to 800m away. Using Car2X, the Golf can be notified of hazards, accidents, broken down vehicles, roadworks, emergency service vehicles and traffic jams.
New too is Travel Assist. This feature enables assisted driving by using the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist lane keeping system, during which drivers need only touch the steering wheel to ensure they are monitoring the situation. Failure to do this will result in visual and audible warning alerts, followed by a braking jolt after 15 seconds. If the driver does not react, the car will enable Emergency Assist and bring the vehicle to a stop.
The Mk 8 Golf will go on sale in February 2020, with the first deliveries expected in April.