VW Golf

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VW Golf of the first generation from 1974
VW Golf VIII from 2019

VW Golf refers to a series of compact-class passenger cars from Volkswagen that has been in production since 1974. The eighth generation has been built since December 2019. A total of over 35 million Golfs had been built by October 2019.


Golf assembly line at the Wolfsburg plant (1978)

Vehicle concept

The VW Golf is a three or five-door hatchback or station wagon (two or four doors and a tailgate attached to the roof). The vehicle dimensions are well above that of a small car , but just as well below that of classic mid-range touring cars . The car offers enough space for four adults with their luggage, the interior can be rearranged as required by folding down the back seat. All VW Golf have front-wheel drive or partly also all-wheel drive and transversely installed, water-cooled four-stroke in- line engines , whereby a good use of space is achieved. With these features, the Golf established - in addition to some less successful models from other manufacturers - a new vehicle segment at the time, the so-called compact class or the “Golf class” so named after it.

History of origin

At the time of development, the Golf was the "great hope" for the VW group, which was in a crisis and posted high losses. Since the end of the 1960s, the demand for sales-generating VW Beetles has been falling, while the dollar rate has fallen, which means that exports to the USA have made less profit. The model range of outdated vehicles with air-cooled rear engines was renewed at the beginning of the 1970s with great effort. The somewhat more modern model of the VW Type 3 (VW 1500, later 1600) was replaced by the Passat in 1973. The VW 412 and K 70 did not sell well and were expensive to produce. The prototype EA 235 developed in 1967 with a water-cooled front engine remained a unique piece and had no impact on the model policy. An alternative model with a Beetle engine in front and front-wheel drive, the EA 276 from 1969, was also rejected by the group management. After all, this prototype was the first to have a twist beam axle . This suspension was brought into series production with the Scirocco and Golf, and is now the most popular axle design in smaller front-wheel drive vehicles.

At the beginning of the 1970s, a new model range of modern front-wheel drive vehicles with water cooling was developed within a short time , which replaced the previous model range and led the VW Group out of its sales crisis. VW partly used the vehicle technology from Auto Union (Audi), which had been acquired a few years earlier and had had such vehicles in its range since 1931. The first of these new models was the Passat, a mid-range car, which was almost identical to the Audi 80 . Then followed the Scirocco sports coupe and the first Golf , which was intended to be the successor to the VW Beetle. The other vehicles are the small Audi 50 and the structurally identical Polo .

Originally, a vehicle with the typical VW rear-wheel drive was planned as the successor to the VW Beetle. The result was initially led by Ferdinand Piëch at Porsche the EA 266 (EA means development contract) with water-cooled central motor along with the back seat. The preparations for series production were stopped by the new CEO Rudolf Leiding at the end of 1971 after a change at the top of the group . The reasons were too high production costs and the unfavorable location of the engine under the back seat, which would have made the vehicle prone to failure and not very easy to maintain.

Instead, a development study called EA 337 was taken up and made ready for series production, which had been started at the same time as the other designs. The shape of this car was created by the Italian vehicle designer Giorgio Giugiaro in his company Italdesign . With the characteristic hatchback body, he provided the basic design concept for all other Golf models. Giugiaro was also responsible for the design of the Scirocco and the hatchback of the Passat. The golf was named after an employee's horse.


Apparently to the surprise of the corporate management, the Golf developed into a great sales success within a few months, which continues to this day. Since the appearance of the first model so far (2014) over 30 million copies have been produced in a total of seven successive series. This makes the Golf one of the most popular cars in the world. It ranks third in the world behind the Toyota Corolla and the Ford F-Series . When Golf number 21,517,415 rolled off the assembly line on June 25, 2002, the record for the VW Beetle, which had been the world's best-selling car since February 1972, was broken.

In Germany in particular, the Golf has almost always been the vehicle with the highest number of new registrations since the start of production, sometimes with over 400,000 vehicles per year. It is also the best-selling car in the rest of Europe, although it does not top the registration statistics in all countries. Within the VW Group, the Golf had the third-highest production figures in 2012 with around 900,000 units per year, behind the Passat and the Jetta.

The 30 millionth Golf was produced in Wolfsburg in June 2013.

At the end of March 2020 it was announced that the Golf had been displaced from the top of most new registrations. Until then it was the best-selling car in Europe and has now been replaced by the Renault Clio . In the course of the corona pandemic and the stop of VW production, the top position was lost. In February, the European authorities counted 24,914 registrations of the Renault Clio. The Golf had to say goodbye to its previous top position with 24,735 new registrations.

Life cycles

The life cycles from Golf I to Golf VI decreased continuously and were shortened by more than half from nine years to four years, with the Golf VII the life cycle increased again significantly to seven years.

model construction time cycle
VW Golf I. 1974-1983 9 years
VW Golf II 1983-1992 8 years
VW Golf III 1991-1997 6 years
VW Golf IV 1997 - 2003 6 years
VW Golf V 2003 - 2008 5 years
VW Golf VI 2008 - 2012 4 years
VW Golf VII 2012-2019 7 years
VW Golf VIII since 2019

New prices

The list prices for the cheapest variants of the respective series are broken down below.

model List price Adjusted for inflation
VW Golf I. 7,995 DM € 11,347
VW Golf II 13,490 DM € 12,854
VW Golf III 19,974 DM € 16,430
VW Golf IV 25,700 DM € 17,817
VW Golf V € 15,220 € 19,156
VW Golf VI € 16,500 € 18,884
VW Golf VII € 16,975 € 18,397
VW Golf VIII € 19,995 € 19,995

Model history

Series at a glance

Since May 1974, the Golf has now been launched on the market in eight generations:

Other body styles:

Model variants


In mid-1976 the Golf GTI appeared, which was equipped with the 81 kW (110 PS) engine from the Audi 80  GTE. Its performance far exceeded that of other compact cars with front-wheel drive and tailgate and reached the level of the Ford Escort  RS2000 and the Opel Kadett  GT / E, both of which had 25% more displacement. The first Golf GTIs required high engine speeds. In the last model year 1983 of the first series of the Golf, the displacement of the GTI was increased from 1.6 l to 1.8 l, which had a positive effect on torque and speed level. Starting with the Golf III, there were even more powerful engines than those of the GTI models. In the Golf III, the VR6 syncro (190 hp) was the top model. In the Golf IV and Golf V, the R32 models (241 and 250 hp) had the most powerful engines. There is also a GTI model of the Golf V with 147 kW (200 PS) or 169 kW (230 PS).

The Golf Diesel, which was also presented in 1976, was also completely new. At the beginning of 1979, VW presented the Golf as a convertible , which succeeded the Beetle convertible that was discontinued at the beginning of 1980 . It is interesting that the open Golf was originally intended as a notchback model, long before the Jetta.

In 1978/1979, 10,000 copies of the Golf were exported to the GDR. The vehicles were delivered in a generous swap deal by VW for general goods, heavy heating oil , machine tools and rear lights. The special thing about it was that the Golf was actually available for Mark of the GDR . Thereupon there was the saying in the GDR population: “Hard-working, hard-working, the republic is turning thirty, the little ones run a wolf, the big ones buy a golf” (“run a wolf” refers to that Race to the authorities, where you registered for a car with waiting times of up to 16 years and where you tried to shorten this time with - rarely successful - urgency certificates.) In the GDR, the VW Golf was almost exclusively sold in Berlin . More golf was introduced into the GDR through payment in foreign currency via Genex and other channels .

VW Golf Country
VW City Golf

At the beginning of the 1990s, VW failed with the introduction of the Golf Ecomatic , which was not accepted by consumers. The automatic turn utilization system , which was used for the first time, led to driving behavior that took some getting used to: when the accelerator was released, the engine was switched off and restarted when accelerating. In connection with the semi-automatic gearbox (manual gearbox without clutch pedal), however, the average fuel consumption was indicative of 4.4 l diesel per 100 km. Only 2000 Ecomatic Golfs were sold. The final end for this Golf III variant (based on the CL) came with the introduction of TDI diesel engines with direct injection (the Ecomatic still had a swirl chamber engine), which enabled fuel consumption of a similar magnitude even without the automatic swing mode.

The notchback versions of the Golf ( Jetta or Vento and Bora) appear more conservative or more dignified in detail than the Golf. In Germany you have the advantage of a more favorable damage class classification in motor vehicle liability insurance . Such compact notchback sedans are very popular in Eastern and Southern Europe, generally outside of Europe and especially in the USA (where the name VW Jetta was never changed).

In 1990 the attempt to establish what is now a popular crossover model (e.g. VW Polo Fun ) at an early stage remained unsuccessful . The Golf II Country with a higher chassis, all-wheel drive and powerful bull bars on the front and rear as well as an externally mounted spare wheel was - also because of its purchase price and the eye-catching appearance - a flop, only 7735 vehicles rolled off the assembly line. The top version cost well over DM 50,000.

With the Golf TDI, which appeared in 1993 and whose engine came from the Audi 80 TDI, innovative, economical and at the same time dynamic diesel models were presented, which gave Volkswagen a considerable lead over other manufacturers in the compression-ignition segment in the 1990s.

From 2004 - long after the commercial failure of the Golf Country - work began again on an all-terrain Golf, the VW Tiguan , which was released in 2007 . Strictly speaking, the term “off-road Golf” is incorrect, as this car has little in common with the Golf V. In addition, Volkswagen has been offering the CrossGolf as an equipment line for the Golf Plus since September 2006 .

In South America and Canada , a modified Golf IV is still offered under the name “City Golf” (not to be confused with the South African VW Citi Golf ). The model is technically based on the fourth generation, but has since been revised several times.

At the beginning of 2020, VW will launch a new model. The Golf VIII will replace the Golf VII after around seven years of production and should offer customers more space with a larger and wider design.

Body styles

The design of the golf was and is in accordance with the Group strategy rather timeless conservative than fashionable or playful, to respond to the market as possible, all the layers. The Golf I designed the Italian designer Giugiaro . The Group's own Volkswagen design team later updated the shape without completely deviating from the striking original design. A typical stylistic feature is the relatively wide and therefore sturdy C-pillar . The dimensions increased with each model, the size of the Golf I was already reached by the VW Polo IV .

VW Golf Sportsvan

The Golf was or is offered in different body variants and provides the platform for related models of the Volkswagen Group (and thus also for the Audi , Seat and Škoda brands ):

In addition, the VW Citi Golf was also built in South Africa until autumn 2009 . It has a Golf I body with improved details, combined with the optical elements of the Golf II; the interior of the last generations was based on the Škoda Fabia including many extras such as sports seats etc.

Platform concept

VW Golf IV Variant as a police patrol car

The platform concept of the Golf series allows a body and an engine of almost any year of construction and design to be combined with one another with little conversion effort. A G60 engine from the Golf II can also be installed in the Golf I and Golf III. Many models in the VW range share the same axle parts.

With the introduction of the Golf IV, the so-called PQ 34 platform was also used in the Škoda Octavia , Audi TT , Audi A3 , Seat Leon , Seat Toledo and the VW New Beetle . This leads to a high proportion of identical parts for all Group parallel models and equipment variants. This platform strategy was retained and even expanded for the Golf V. For example, the platforms of the current VW Passat and VW Eos are also derived from the Golf platform.

Propulsion by gasoline engine


The basic model was powered by a four-cylinder carburetor engine (VW internal designation EA 801), which produced 50 hp from 1100 cm³. The engine was also used in the VW Polo and Audi 50 and had a manual choke . The more powerful version also had a four-cylinder carburettor engine (VW internal designation EA827 ), which was developed by Ludwig Kraus for the Audi 80 , which was offered from 1972 . In the Golf, the 1.5-liter engine developed 70 hp, with a 1.6-liter displacement, 75 hp. In the Scirocco, the engines fitted with register carburettors developed 85 hp. With the exception of the 1.5-l engine with 85 hp, which is only available in the Scirocco TS, all could be operated with 91 octane regular gasoline .

Golf GTI

Golf GTI 1 Market Hill with skips.jpg
Golf I GTI (1980)
Engine VW Golf I GTI 112 PS.JPG
Engine of the Golf I GTI (1983) with 1.8 liter displacement and 82 kW (112 PS)
VW Golf V GTI front 20080605.jpg
Golf V GTI (2004-2008)
Golf VI GTI (2009-2012)
Golf GTI W12-650 with twelve-cylinder mid-engine from Bentley Continental

The 1.6-l engine with mechanical fuel injection K-Jetronic from Bosch , first used in the Audi 80 GTE in 1975, in the same year in the VW Scirocco GTI / GLI and from 1976 in the VW Golf GTI, offered a powerful drive in a compact , everyday car . The letters GTI stand for Grand Tourisme Injection . 81 kW (110 PS) of power with an unladen weight of 810 kg helped the Golf GTI to achieve above-average performance.

The top speed was stated as 182 km / h, the acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 9.2 seconds. For the 1983 model year (from autumn 1982) the displacement was increased to 1.8 l - the output rose to 82 kW (111 PS) and was accompanied by a slight increase in performance (top speed 190 km / h; 0-100 km / h in 9 s).

The GTI was the most powerful engine variant in the Golf I. The engines required 98 octane super petrol, but could also be operated with 95 octane Eurosuper petrol by adjusting the ignition. The car was offered in 1976 with a base price of DM 13,850 (corresponding to today's purchasing power and adjusted for inflation: 17,800 euros) - in 1986 the successor model, the Golf II GTI, cost 24,140 DM (22,000 euros).

In order not to scare off potential customers for the “normal” Golf in view of the GTI, a press release addressed to housewives said: “You can also go jerk-free for shopping at walking pace” .

Originally a special series of 5,000 units was planned, but the demand exceeded all expectations: Production began in June 1976 - in 1977 21,836 cars were registered in Germany alone - in 1979 there were 31,997 vehicles, the maximum number of new registrations. From 1976 to 1987 (from mid-1983 as Golf II) 270,504 vehicles were brought into circulation in Germany.

In the course of time, the GTI model became more and more watered down, there were fewer optical identifying features such as e.g. B. the red stripes all around or the exclusivity of the GTI engine for the GTI. The GTI engine in the Golf III was also available in the GL version, here also in conjunction with the four-speed automatic transmission. For the first time there was also a diesel GTI, the GTI TDI with 110 PS. In the Golf IV, the GTI was just a model variant that only differed optically from the other versions in terms of the lettering, and there were several engines (petrol and diesel) to choose from. That changed drastically with the introduction of the GTI based on the Golf V: From 2005 there was again an engine exclusively for the GTI, and the look of the GTI again clearly differed from its more “civil” brothers. This also applies to the Golf VI GTI, which appeared in 2009, with a newly developed 2.0-liter FSI engine (EA888) and an output of 155 kW (211 hp).

The name GTI remained in consciousness as a synonym for the most powerful engine version, although the most powerful variants in the Golf II are the Golf II GTI G60 with 118 kW or the Golf II Limited with 154 kW, which is limited to 71 units, in the Golf III the 2.9- l-VR6 with 140 kW with Syncro drive and in the Golf IV and V the R32. In model year 2004, an engine (EA113) with an output of 147 kW and a displacement of 2 liters was offered for the GTI, which had been introduced in the Audi A3. This output is achieved by means of direct injection and a turbocharger, which enables a specific output per liter ( liter output ) of 74 kW (101 hp). The top speed is 235 km / h, the car accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.2 seconds.

In the Golf III GTI TDI 20-year anniversary edition , the 81 kW TDI engine was the first diesel engine in a Golf GTI, the performance of which was a reference to the original GTI. The Golf IV GTI was available with a 110 kW TDI engine. The 25th Anniversary Limited Edition had a 1.8 liter turbo engine with 132 kW.

From 2006 the "GTI Edition 30" could be ordered, with which VW celebrated the 30th anniversary of the GTI. Edition 30 has 169 kW (230 PS). The GTI "Pirelli" appeared on the same basis from September 2007 .

The era of the six-cylinder in the Golf ended in 2009. The successor to the Golf R32 was not an R36 with the 3.6-l VR6 from the Passat, but an R with all-wheel drive and the 2.0-l turbo engine from the Audi S3 with 199 kW (271 hp).

In spring 2007, the VW Golf GTI W12 650 with a W12 mid-engine , an output of 478 kW (650 hp) and a top speed of 325 km / h was presented at the annual Wörthersee GTI meeting .

The "GTI Edition 35" has been available from VW since summer 2011. This year the GTI celebrates its 35th anniversary. The anniversary GTI has 19 kW (26 PS) more power and 20 Nm more torque than the current GTI, i.e. 173 kW (235 PS) and 300 Nm. The most powerful series-production Golf at the time, however, was the Golf V R32 with a 3.2-liter V6 engine and 184 kW. It has an electronically controlled four-wheel drive with Haldex clutch .

In spring 2013, a new generation of the Golf GTI based on the Golf VII followed . The two more powerful output levels with 169 kW (230 PS) and 180 kW (245 PS) were presented for the first time. The 180 kW variant is called "Golf GTI Performance" and has a modified braking system and a front axle differential lock .

Golf FSI

FSI is a marketing name for F uel S tratified I njection to German stratified fuel direct injection . FSI stands for a gasoline engine with an injection process derived from the diesel engine.

At part load , the specific fuel consumption is to be reduced by the fact that the ignitable mixture is only formed around the spark plug . In principle, the combustion then takes place with excess air . The procedure is only used at part load; at full load, the mixture continues to be classically homogeneous and stoichiometric, i.e. without excess air. Contrary to popular belief, gasoline is injected using the same nozzle as in the lean operation. Even in homogeneous operation, this leads to an internal mixture formation (a characteristic of diesel engines) with corresponding mixture cooling through fuel evaporation. This enables higher compression, but this method requires a very low sulfur content in the fuel. With the GDI engine from Mitsubishi (the first series gasoline direct injection unit on the market in 1996), an external mixture formation with a separate injection nozzle was used (see sulfur content).

The main disadvantages are the increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NO x ) and problems in reducing pollutants due to the lower temperature of the downstream catalytic converter. That is why VW only uses homogeneous operation without stratified charge for its own FSI engines. Due to the finer distribution, this leads to an increase in performance of up to 15% and better exhaust gas values, but dispenses with the reduction in consumption in partial load operation.

Due to a number of technical and principle-related problems, the FSI process is not used in the VW FSI engines in series. In 2006 Volkswagen abandoned wall-mounted stratified charging technology. However, the FSI emblem was retained.

Golf TSI

The TSI engine technology (Twincharged or Turbocharged Stratified Injection) was new in the Golf V in 2005 and is also used in the Golf VI and VII. A direct-injection Otto engine (petrol engine) with a relatively small displacement is charged with an exhaust gas turbocharger or two different chargers. The advantages are high power and torque combined with low fuel consumption and good responsiveness to accelerator pedal movements. VW states a consumption saving of 10% compared to a comparable naturally aspirated engine (displacement ~ 2.2 l). Reasons for this include a. the small displacement, which leads to less friction in the cylinders. While VW originally only sold double-charged engines under the engine designation TSI (Twincharged Stratified Injection), since model year 2008 the previous only turbocharged engines with gasoline direct injection have been continued as Turbocharged Stratified Injection (TSI).

The timing chains of the TSI engines built in 2006 and 2007 showed wear after less than 50,000 km, although according to VW the timing chains should have the same service life as the engines themselves. Unfavorable material selection often leads to an elongation of the timing chains. 1.2 TSI and later also 1.4 TSI of Golf V / VI models are affected. This prompted VW to adopt goodwill regulations, as costly engine repairs of at least 3000 to 3500 euros were the result if a timing chain jumped or tore.

Hybrid drive

Golf GTE 1

Volkswagen Golf GTE Sport at the IAA 2015

In summer 2014 Volkswagen presented a Golf VII equipped with a plug-in hybrid drive .

Technically, the vehicle is based on the same platform as the Audi A3 e-tron . A TSI engine with 1.4 liter displacement and 150 PS power is combined with a 75 kW (102 PS) electric motor, which enables a purely electric drive with a factory-specified range of maximum 50 km (NEDC) at a speed of up to 130 km / h possible. Purely electric distances of a little more than 50 km can also be covered with one charge. The high-voltage battery with a capacity of 8.7 kWh can be charged from a household socket (faster with a special wallbox) in 3:45 hours or on the go using the petrol engine.

Various operating modes such as 'GTE' (both motors work, the maximum system output of 204 hp is available), 'Hybrid' (the motor management decides on the most efficient drive form), 'electric' (only the electric motor works), 'charge' and 'hold' '' (the petrol engine works sufficiently to maintain the battery charge level) allow adaptation to different needs. In all operating modes, the battery can also be charged by recuperation when driving downhill or braking. In addition, the selector lever of the automatic transmission enables switching from the normal driving program (D) to a braking mode (B). In braking mode, the GTE recuperates strongly and the brake lights are activated so that following road users are not surprised by the strong deceleration. When the battery is almost fully charged, the braking effect due to the recuperation of the kinetic energy is significantly lower than when the battery is not fully charged. In hybrid mode, the combustion engine switches on (if the battery charge level is not low) from just under 20 km / h, so the first part of acceleration is usually purely electric. The stronger the acceleration, the more likely it is that the hybrid engine will be switched on. If no gas is applied, the combustion engine switches off and the vehicle continues to roll. Braking and steering systems are fed electrically from the battery and are fully functional.

The purely electric range is extremely dependent on the selected speed, comfort consumers and external conditions. At temperatures around 0 ° C, the range of the display with a fully charged battery drops to an interior temperature of 20 ° C to approx. 30 km by switching on the heating. At a relatively constant speed of 100 km / h on the motorway, a purely electric range of 50 km cannot be achieved either (heating switched off in summer).

Information on fuel consumption l / 100 km: combined 1.8 - 1.6; Electricity consumption, kWh / 100 km: combined 12.0 - 11.4; Combined CO₂ emissions, g / km: 40 - 36; Efficiency class: A +.

Drive by diesel engine


The concept of installing a diesel engine in a compact vehicle was not new. As early as the 1960s, Peugeot had offered the compact 204 with a small diesel engine (1.3 liters with 29 kW (39 hp)). Volkswagen had good reasons for an economical diesel in this segment. The market launch of the Golf followed in the 1970s during the oil crisis, which forced all manufacturers to rethink. On the other hand, authorities in particular called for economical but reliable engines for their vehicle fleets.

The diesel engine in the Golf was derived from the cylinder block of the (M827) from Audi . The components had to withstand a higher load than the gasoline engine ( crankshaft , connecting rod , piston , piston pin , cylinder head , toothed belt ) and were reinforced. The engine has swirl chamber injection with distributor injection pump. A vacuum pump for the brake booster was placed in the place of the ignition distributor , which is not required for diesel, as the diesel engine does not provide any negative pressure from the intake system due to the system. The distributor injection pump (VESP) was operated via the existing toothed belt drive of the camshaft . The diesel engine was no bigger than a gasoline engine with the same displacement, albeit heavier; Until the introduction of the diesel engine for the Golf, diesel engines in compact cars were only available from Peugeot. Initially the engine had a displacement of 1.5 liters with an output of 37 kW (50 PS), then 1.6 liters with 40 kW (54 PS). The running behavior (noises, vibrations), especially of the first two diesel engine generations, was still largely unsatisfactory. The turbocharger of the first 70 hp diesel engine then brought noticeably more noise comfort through the damping in the exhaust tract. In addition, the bulkhead to the passenger compartment and the engine hood were acoustically insulated.

Golf GTD

VW Golf II GTD front 20090309.jpg
Golf II GTD (1984/85)
VW Golf VI GTD front 20100516.jpg
VW Golf VI GTD rear 20100516.jpg
Golf VI GTD (2009-2012)

1982 was the turbo diesel - equivalent to the VW Golf I presented GTI, the Golf GTD with 51 kW (69 hp) in the "GTI-Look" and taut suspension. Thanks to the low vehicle weight, respectable driving performance could be achieved, especially in comparison with other diesel vehicles of the competition at the time.

The engine with originally 40 kW (54 PS) from 1.6 liter displacement was equipped with a turbocharger for the Golf GTD to increase performance . Because of the higher thermal load during combustion, the piston crowns were forcibly cooled from below by oil jet nozzles and the cooling circuit was equipped with an oil and coolant heat exchanger above the oil filter element. The turbocharger pushes the air required for combustion into the cylinders with an overpressure of up to around 0.8 bar (when the pistons move downwards in the intake stroke). This means that a larger amount of oxygen is available for combustion. The distributor injection pump was able to inject more fuel per combustion cycle. This increased the maximum engine output with the same soot emissions. The full-load stop was adjusted via a membrane on which the boost pressure acted, thus regulating the maximum amount of fuel (LDA - boost pressure-dependent adjustment of the full-load amount). The engine was available in the Golf II and, with a displacement increased to 1.9 liters, also in the Golf III GTD.

In 1989, the 1.6-liter diesel engine in the Golf was available with an oxidation catalytic converter for the first time (as CL or GL, but not GTD). As a result - and removing the boost pressure enrichment - the engine output was reduced from 51 kW (69 PS) to 44 kW (60 PS). This version was also marketed as "environmental diesel". In 1991, this vehicle was available with an automatic start-stop system that switched off the engine when the vehicle was stationary, but started again when the accelerator pedal was pressed. The resulting reduction in fuel consumption averaged 0.2 liters per 100 km. From model year 1990, the 1.6-liter turbodiesel was offered with an intercooler , which increased the output to 59 kW (80 hp). Its slightly smaller turbocharger also responded a little better. However, the top diesel in the Golf II did not reach large numbers, not least because of the high price.

The term GTD lost its meaning in the Golf III. On the one hand because only the 1.9 l 55 kW turbo with 75 PS (55 kW) was available, on the other hand because the powerful TDI engines were not referred to as “GTD TDI” for marketing reasons. Instead, the modern direct-injection engines were called GT TDI (66 kW / 90 PS) and GTI TDI (81 kW / 110 PS, with a red line to the right of the I).

The GTD (Gran Turismo Diesel) celebrated a comeback in the Golf VI in mid-2009, which again followed the original idea of ​​offering the top diesel based on the GTI in a sporty guise as a more economical alternative. The drive was taken over by the 2.0-l TDI with 125 kW (170 PS).

A GTD has also been available for the Golf VII since spring 2013. Like its predecessor, it is equipped with a two-liter common-rail diesel engine that develops an output of 135 kW (184 hp).

Golf TDI

After Fiat was the first manufacturer to introduce a diesel engine with direct injection in a passenger car in 1987 in the Croma TD id , the Austin Montego MDi followed in 1988 . With a five-cylinder diesel engine, the Audi 100 2.5 TDI was the third car to hit the market in 1989 .

The direct injection process for diesel engines received the trademark TDI, which is protected in Germany for Volkswagen AG . A 1.9 liter variant with four cylinders was used for the first time in the Audi 80 from 1991 , and then in the Golf III as the Golf TDI from 1993 . In the Golf III, the engine with distributor injection pump initially developed 66 kW (90 hp). By adapting the engine control electronics in combination with a turbocharger with adjustable guide vanes ( variable turbine geometry ), 81 kW (110 PS) and above all a higher torque were achieved later. Later, all TDI engines at VW were equipped with VTG turbochargers.

In the course of the production of the Golf IV, the diesel engines were converted from the Bosch distributor injection pump to the in-house pump-nozzle system . Statutory limits on the quantities of pollutants emitted caused many manufacturers to implement higher injection pressures. In particular, the size of the soot particles can be reduced by means of an improved injection nozzle design and very high injection pressures, which could no longer be easily achieved with the known distributor injection pumps. This is why VW's own pump-nozzle injection process (marketing name: PD) was developed. The engines equipped with it generated 74 kW (101 PS), the first variant 85 kW (116 PS) and finally 96 kW (131 PS) or 110 kW (150 PS) as maximum output. The most powerful version of the 1.9-liter engine with 118 kW (160 hp) was only used by the Group's own brand, Seat . Pump-nozzle injection was only used temporarily by a few car manufacturers, as it had inherent disadvantages in terms of running smoothness. It was replaced by common rail injection at VW with the Tiguan in October 2007 . This new diesel generation, which continues to bear the TDI abbreviation, gradually replaced all pump-nozzle engines.

Golf SDI

The designation SDI (suction diesel with direct injection) stands for a diesel engine that is largely identical to the TDI except for the missing turbocharger and intercooler . The engine control can be simplified accordingly.

The output of the Golf III was initially 47 kW (64 PS), then 50 kW (68 PS) in the Golf IV, each with a displacement of 1.9 liters. A Golf V SDI with a displacement of 2.0 liters and a maximum output of 55 kW (75 PS) and a maximum torque of 140 Nm was available since February 2004. The pump-nozzle direct injection familiar from the TDI is used in this engine . The Golf 2.0 SDI reaches a top speed of 163 km / h. Because of the very high curb weight (VW Golf III and subsequent generations), an SDI only achieves moderate acceleration values, which are classified as sufficient for city traffic.

From the Golf VI onwards, SDI engines are no longer offered, especially since the more stringent emissions standards (Euro 5) can hardly be achieved without turbocharging.

Powered by an electric motor


Golf CityStromer based on Golf III

The CitySTROMer was developed as early as the 1970s, and the first examples were already running in 1979 in fleet operation at large electrical companies. For example, RWE AG operated around 40 Golf I CitySTROMers and a fleet of VW Transporter T2 in an electric version. This first version of electric golf was mainly given to fleet operators; free sale was not planned. From the Golf II and Golf III, VW CitySTROMer built an electric car version of the Golf between 1992 and 1996 and from 1994 as the Golf III. The production of this converted combustion engine car was stopped after only 120 pieces. The vehicles were intended exclusively for large energy suppliers and were not freely available. The vehicle was tested by the Research Center for Energy Economics and found an overall efficiency of 86% kinetic energy . Above all, the poor efficiency of the charger (84%) and the lead-acid batteries used (82%) led to a network energy consumption in city traffic of 17.3 kWh / 100 km and a practical consumption of around 25 kWh / 100 km , despite recuperation .

The CitySTROMer is approved as a 4-seater, has an empty weight with lead gel batteries of 1510 kg and a permissible total weight of 1860 kg. The output of the three-phase synchronous motor is 20 kW at 3450 rpm, the continuous output is specified by Volkswagen as 17.5 kW (23.8 PS). The vehicles were delivered with the original mechanical 5-speed gearbox, to which the electric motor was simply flanged. The maximum speed is 100 km / h. The acceleration of the CitySTROMer from 0 to 50 km / h was given as 13.0 seconds. The car had a charger for the normal socket and a DC-DC voltage converter , which enables the additional 12-volt on-board battery to be recharged with the 96-volt traction battery. An alternator like in a car with a combustion engine is not required. The factory specification for the range is 50 to 60 km in city traffic and up to 80 km at a constant 80 km / h. In everyday life, the range is up to 70 km in summer and 40 km in winter. The traction battery consists of 16 lead-gel batteries of 6 volts , 160 Ah C5, with a total of 96 volts. There is an energy recovery when braking. The lead-gel battery set with 160 Ah used in 1995 can now be replaced by a set of 96 V / 180 Ah C5, and modern lithium-ion batteries have also been retrofitted.


Drive the e-up! (Technically identical to the e-Golf drive, only the rotor and stator of the synchronous machine are longer on the e-Golf and the transmission was designed for a higher torque)
Battery of the e-up, is similar to the battery of the e-Golf.

In 2014, Volkswagen presented the e-Golf , which was equipped with an 85 kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 24.2 kWh. This allowed trips of up to 150 km with a maximum of 140 km / h. With the standard AC on-board charger, an empty battery can be charged in around 8 hours. With the optionally available Combined Charging System , a charge level of 80% is achieved after 30 minutes. In 2017 an improved version was presented, with 100 kW, 150 km / h, 35.8 kWh and a real range of over 200 km.

Web links

Commons : VW Golf  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

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