Volkswagen is developing the next-generation Golf 8, which is due to go into production in mid-2019 and can be expected to reach South Africa in 2020. The pinnacle offering, the Golf R, is expected to be more hardcore than ever before...
The Volkswagen Golf, a name that needs no introduction, has a long and successful history and has become a firm South African favourite. Excellent build quality, refinement, balance and performance have made the Golf an exceedingly popular premium hatchback, especially in GTI guise. In fact, it’s so good that the Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline R-Line scooped the win in the Premium Hatchback category of the 2017/18 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank.
The current Golf 7.5 is nearing the end of its product lifecycle and Volkswagen is already working on the next-generation Golf 8. It’s foreseen that Volkswagen will refine its successful exterior design recipe for the Golf 8, but the interior will be significantly overhauled. Given the benchmark set by the interior of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, you can expect an upgraded Active Info Display and large infotainment system offering segment-leading connectivity and functionality. Moreover, the Golf 8 will be built on Volkswagen’s MQB platform and make use of more lightweight materials that may result in a kerb weight saving of between 50 and 70 kg.
Volkswagen will look to refine the design of the Golf and the biggest changes are expected in the cabin.
Although engine details have yet to be confirmed, it is anticipated that 1.0-litre (in various states of tune) and 1.5-litre turbopetrol engines will be offered. On the diesel front, 1.5- and 2.0-litre turbodiesels are likely. A 48V mild hybrid system is expected, along with cylinder deactivation and coasting function to further enhance efficiency.
Over and above the standard turbocharged 2.0-litre Golf GTI, GTI Performance Pack and GTI Clubsport derivatives are also expected. The standard GTI could offer as much as 195 kW, while the Clubsport could see a peak output figure of around 240 kW.
What about the Golf R?
While the current Golf R offers 213 kW, the next iteration could develop closer to 300 kW, a massive improvement that should make enthusiasts happy.
The Golf R sits at the pinnacle of the range and if reports are to be believed, Volkswagen is going all-out to make the next R truly special. Not only is the R likely to feature more hardcore styling to differentiate it from the rest of the Golf range, but it will also be substantially more powerful. How does 298 kW grab you? For context, the current R develops 213 kW and is already capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 kph in 4.6 seconds courtesy of its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
The Golf R’s turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is expected to remain, albeit in uprated form, and it will again be coupled with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The major difference, however, is the inclusion of mild-hybrid technology that comprises a 48V electric system that will support the engine. This system will not only provide an electric boost during acceleration, but also help reduce fuel consumption figures during your city commute.
In a report by Auto Express, Jürgen Stackmann (VW Brand Sales and Marketing) commented: “The R brand is going extreme. The role of R is that it can go beyond the rational, nobody needs a compact car with 400 hp (298 kW), but is there a place [for it?]. Certainly, and that’s the turf of R.”
He further explained that “with a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things. It [the R brand] can find its place in a different league of pure performance and there’s a space where customers are willing to pay a significant amount of money.”
Are you looking forward to the next Volkswagen Golf R? We certainly R…