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The best technology from Golf 1 to Golf 7: GTI, VR6, DSG, MQB

GTI, TDI, G60, VR6, DSG, ESP and MQB
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G olf I: GTI , Diesel, also with turbo

The Golf I came in 1976 as a diesel and in 1982 as a GTD with turbodiesel.

The first innovation was that it came at all. The Golf kicked 1974 to replace the Beetle. But the Type 1 resisted the attack of the Type 17, which could do everything better: more space in less space, for example, less fuel consumption with better performance and safe driving behavior. Objectively, the Golf I made the Beetle look like it was in 1974: old. But people liked and kept buying the Beetle, it wasn't until 2002 that the Golf set the Beetle record of 21 million cars built - and a short time later VW also the Beetle.

But we wanted to talk about the Golf. It came in 1974 as a GTI with the tuned 1.6-liter engine from the Audi 80, black plastic wheel arches and a red frame around the grill. This is a great way to hunt mid-size sedans. The Gulf broke hierarchical boundaries for the first time. The Golf Diesel arrived almost at the same time. Peugeot had been earlier and cultivated the diesel up to the great 205. VW built one million diesels from the Golf I and introduced the GTD with 70 hp turbo diesel in 1982, the year before the Golf II came.

Golf II: 16V, G60, Syncro

Sharpest of all Golf II: Limited with four-valve engine, 210 hp and all-wheel drive.

The Golf II became 18 centimeters longer and initially looked as if everything would stay the same: the shape was retained, there was a little more power from the proven engines, more space, more comfort and above all: rust protection. After the sometimes disastrously short life of some first-series Golf-I, VW flooded the cavities with wax and created a long-term automobile that partially outlived its successor.

But first things had to go forward: the Golf was heavier GTI drivers had to fear for their lead and image. VW only thought of the 16V, with 136 hp the world of GTI drivers was right again. Later came the G-Lader, which brought 160 hp, but didn't always hold, but broke. In the Rally Golf combined with the Syncro all-wheel drive, also newly introduced in the Golf II, and spectacular fender flares in M3 style as well as in the discreetly narrow, four-door and gray-painted Limited with 16V head, Syncro all-wheel drive and 210 hp. Limited to 70 pieces, today a collector's item.

Golf III: VR6, TDI, airbags

Hans Peter Seufert
Strong proof of the creativity of the VW engineers: Golf VR6 with 2.8 liter six-cylinder and 174 hp .

The Golf III said goodbye to the round headlights and didn't seem as indestructible as its predecessor. Instead, the body was safer, the variant more practical and the VR6 classier than all Golfs before. VW had actually developed a V6 with a narrow 15-degree cylinder angle and packed it across the Golf engine compartment - nobody had done that before. The result was a Golf with the performance of a BMW 325i - an establishment opponent in the style of the Golf I GTI. But with better manners. VW left out the GTI sign.

Golf IV: R32, DSG, platform

From 1999 a red I marked the pump-nozzle TDI. If all three letters were red, it stood for 150 PS, which also made an impression in the GTI.

The next Golf GTI finally became one Equipment line above Trend, Comfort and Highline. They replaced the abbreviations CL, GL and GT, which had been tried and tested since the Golf II, and some of them did not recognize the Golf again: Where the screws in the indicators were still visible on the Golf II, they now ran at the Golf IV the joints tight, the door handles were softly painted, the instrument panel was foamed and the grab handles floated muffled against the headliner. It took years to see that the soft lacquer tends to scroll and that the window regulators, unlike the exhaust, do not last forever and that the frequently sold base engine rattles with a few equipment parts. Despite its weaknesses, the neatly designed Golf IV is an automobile that will last forever. The rough, but high-torque and fuel-efficient pump-nozzle TDIs, which are now banned from entering many cities due to Euro 4, are brilliant. The first double clutch transmission in the R32, which gives the macho golf with all-wheel drive and 241 hp V6 . Most customers did not see the greatest innovation for the VW group: Audi built the A3, Seat the Leon, Skoda the Octavia and VW the Beetle on the new platform. Saved time in development and brought higher discounts on purchases.

Golf V:DSG, TSI, Plus

HD Seufert
The Golf V drove really well with the multi-link rear axle and electric power steering.

With multi-link rear axle and electric power steering enthused the Golf V tester while driving . The significantly larger body gave more space on the back seat and in the trunk - the competition had no chance against the Golf. The stingy one also as a TDI with fuel, pulled through hard and nailed it uncouth. With good insulation and a well-balanced chassis, the comfort was still right. New in the range: the 9.5 centimeter higher Golf Plus with a variable interior. Should replace the Variant, which did not succeed and forced VW to push in the station wagon.

Golf VI: Golf V by other means

H.-D. Seufert
The Golf VI has become a successful all-rounder and, with the common rail TDI, more comfortable.

From the technically very good Golf V, VW developed the flatter and more elegant Golf VI . The interior looked less price-optimized, the design less long-legged. It was also fitting that the TDI engines with common rail injection were less cheeky and the entire interior made a higher quality impression than in the rest of the class, which has now been named after the Golf.

Golf VII: MQB, GTE, E-Golf

Christian Schulte
The Golf VII uses technology from the flexible MQB group construction kit.

Modular transverse construction kit : Another production innovation, however much more variable than the platform idea from the nineties. Only the distance between the front wheel center and the pedals is fixed, the wheelbase and track widths are just as variable as the wheel sizes. The MQB is practically enough A3 to Golf and Touran to Tiguan, the Polo and Passat can also use components from them. Saves money and can quickly get an update with new technology. The hybrid drive in the Golf GTE, for example, or the digital cockpit. Even an electric Golf is possible with it, albeit not as consistently as with the MEB electric kit. The MQB idea is so good that the Golf 8 also uses the modular system - just with the latest technology, such as a 48-volt mild hybrid and ten times more computing power.


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