A Even after seven generations, 45 years of construction and over 35 million units, you can still learn something new about the VW Golf. For example, that he is exactly the right car to express his rebellious streak. Because in China a Golf buyer is considered a rebel because he does not have an opportune notchback sedan like the Lavida (one of the bestsellers there with over 50,000 copies sold) or a trendy SUV like the Tiguan (whose seven-seater Allspace variant is currently an international best seller advanced), but a compact car. Well, after all, in a global comparison the Chinese customer is particularly young with an average of 34 years (Europe 51 years, USA 45 years) and especially female (40 percent, Europe 30, USA 23 percent). In every market, however, the eighth generation will in future stand for the best connectivity - and that is exactly what drives the developers in Wolfsburg.
Golf with 12 million lines of software code
A total of around 11,000 technicians and engineers work there for all products on the subjects of electrics and electronics, there are 6,000 more worldwide, plus external workers. No wonder, because ten years ago a car still needed around ten million lines of software code, now it is 100 million. A fully equipped modern infotainment system alone requires 12 million lines. For comparison: the Facebook algorithm manages with around 40 million lines, an F35 military jet with 20 million lines. And even if there is always a hectic development shortly before the start of production, regardless of the manufacturer, there is a particularly high stake in golf should represent the upper vehicle segment affordable. So Golf number eight starts with a multitude of new functions from the wide field of comfort and safety assistance systems, which not only have to communicate with each other, but also get data from a cloud. But even supposedly simple systems turn out to be complex on closer inspection. The Golf will not only be unlocked with a so-called digital key, like a smartphone, but also started. For this purpose, data is exchanged between the telephone and, among other things, the immobilizer, the central locking and the door handles (equipped with nearfield communication technology). However, this can only be tried out when the individual systems work individually. Therefore, a software first runs through aDevelopment loop, then the integration into a component takes place, then in turn the integration of all these components into an overall system - per vehicle series. In the Golf alone, elements such as LED matrix headlights, additional hybrid drives, ambient lighting for the exterior and interior as well as Car-to-X communication, e.g. with traffic control systems, will be added.
VW Golf 8: World premiere in October
The VW range currently includes 24 model families (by the way, 80 percent of the vehicles are based on the MQB architecture, i.e. the modular transverse matrix), and last year alone 22 new products were launched worldwide. This year, in addition to the battery-electric compact car ID.3, this also includes the Golf, whose world premiere will take place in October.
Initially, customers can choose from 1.5 TSI and 2.0 TDI engines in various performance levels, as well a 150 hp four-cylinder petrol engine with a 48 volt belt starter generator, i.e. partially electrified, so that, for example, when driving without a load, the engine not only idles but can also be switched off completely - and thus reduce fuel and emissions. More drives will follow in 2020, including two plug-in hybrids, the GTI, the GTD and the R.
Best in class consumption values and best in class aerodynamics are the main development goals. And the connectivity. The cockpit is given a look similar to curved flat screens for the living room. However, it is a ten-inch display behind the steering wheel (standard) and a ten-inch monitor to the right of it (optional, eight-inch standard). The latter reacts to touch, and a new speech dialogue system similar to that of Mercedes and BMW is also available. Certain menu groups such as climate control or assistance systems can, however, be reached using a direct selection button, everything else can be arranged individually, similar to apps on a smartphone. Volume and interior temperature can be adjusted by swiping sideways at the bottom of the screen. During an internal presentation it got stuck right there, the system was rebellious, hung up, restarted - several times. Nevertheless, those responsible assert that the Golf should be configurable with all functionalities from the market launch. Of course, that doesn't say anything about the ability to deliver. Because even if errors are nothing unusual in vehicle development even shortly before the start of production, VW has big plans.