How the Volkswagen Golf became an icon

Just two years after its launch in May 1974, one million Volkswagen Golf cars had already been produced. Since then, the Golf has grown to become the second most popular car of all time, and the latest model is every bit as impressive as its heritage suggests.

The addition of the Golf MK2 in 1983 saw a longer wheelbase and the fitting of a range of powerful engines. Though the car maintained the compact manoeuvrability that was so popular with motorists around the world, its increased length gave it more presence on the road than its competitors, more interior space, and more room for Volkswagen’s pioneering technology. The MK2 Golf GTi 16V was considered by many to be one of the finest cars of its age, and its dynamic on-road performance has set the benchmark for compact cars right up to the present day.

After further growth, the Golf picked up the coveted “European Car of the Year” award in 1992 for its MK3 range, which added increased aerodynamics and style. The range went on to win the Which? “Best Family Car” award in 1997, as testament to its impact on the European market.

Over the years, Volkswagen has released a variety of limited edition Golf models to celebrate the success of the range. To mark the 35th anniversary of the Golf GTi, Volkswagen released the special Golf GTi 35 in 2011, enhancing the standard model with the addition of a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine offering 232bhp. The rare GTi edition managed a speed of 0-60mph in less than seven seconds, making it one of the fastest cars of its class off the mark.

The latest edition to the Volkswagen Golf range is already building a name for itself, having been crowned “European Car of the Year” in 2013, with more than double the votes of its nearest rival. The 2013 Golf was praised by the judges for its “achievements in safety, fuel efficiency, dynamics and comfort,” and the production version of the GTi MK7 model is currently making a big impression at the Geneva Motor Show.

Volkswagen have not only revolutionised the motoring market but they’re also setting the standard for their competitors, they are the bench mark that other franchises look to exceed. Be sure to check out the latest models at your local Volkswagen dealership.


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