The Volkswagen Golf Celebrates 39 Years & 30 Million Models

By Elliot | 16th June 2013 | Category: History | Leave a comment

Volkswagen Golf VII

The 30 millionth Volkswagen Golf rolled ceremoniously off the assembly line at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg Plant.

The Volkswagen Golf is the most successful European car ever produced, and the latest model was named “Car of the Year 2013” by an international jury of 60 members.

Statistically, since the first Volkswagen Golf was produced in 1974, an average of 2,000 people a day have purchased a new Golf. With the production of the 30 millionth model, Volkswagen are clearly in the mood to celebrate.

Says Volkswagen's Professor Martin Winterkorn: “The history of the Golf is also the history of automotive progress.

“With technologies such as the safe front-wheel drive of the first Golf, the debut of the TDI in the third Golf, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the dual clutch gearbox of the fourth Golf and the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System of the new generation, this car has continued to democratise progress.

“An optimum of safety, comfort and driving fun are no longer a question of money thanks to the Golf. And so our bestseller lives up to the Volkswagen name.”

By that he means that the Volkswagen Golf is truly “a car for the people”, as the literal translation of “Volkswagen” would have us believe.

Volkswagen Golf - A Brief History

The first Volkswagen Golf was produced from 1974 to 1983. It began, explains Volkswagen Head of Design Klaus Bischoff, “with a revolution. A new vehicle layout was created with the conversion from an air-cooled rear engine to a water-cooled front engine and from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive.

“In terms of the car’s styling, Volkswagen designers switched from round shapes to a rectangular design structure – based on the legendary design study by Giorgio Giugiaro”.

The second generation Volkswagen Golf was in production from 1983 to 1991. During its run, an extensive range of new technologies were introduced for the very first time. The controlled catalytic converter appeared in 1984, followed by ABS and all-wheel drive in 1986.

The Volkswagen Golf III spanned from 1991 to 1997. Its run was defined by the introduction, in 1993, of the first ever TDI engine of the model series. The theme of technological innovation continued with the Volkswagen Golf IV, which premièred ESC in 1998 and the dual clutch gearbox in 2002.

The fifth and sixth generation Volkswagen Golf featured a laser-welded body, the first ever Golf BlueMotion engine and such advanced safety technology that it scored the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP crash testing. And, with the evolution from TDI to common rail systems, the Volkswagen Golf began to offer a fantastic combination of dynamic performance and superior fuel economy.

The Volkswagen Golf VII

And now, after 30 million models and 39 years of innovation, we have the Volkswagen Golf VII. Up to 100kg lighter than its predecessors, its reduced fuel consumption by as much as 23%. A compact model which itself introduces a range of new systems for driver assistance and convenience, it's no small wonder that the Volkswagen Golf VII has already been recognised as The 2013 Car of the Year.

2014 will mark yet another landmark – the 40th anniversary of the Volkswagen Golf. Expect no small number of celebrations throughout the year.

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