By on December 10, 2018

The eight-generation Volkswagen Golf is on the way, but, with still roughly a year to go before its unveiling in Europe, the automaker needs to keep Golf fandom primed. Thankfully, VW’s been more judicial in its teasing than, say, Toyota or Fiat Chrysler. Like any great romance, the timeless art of seduction demands space between advances.

So here we have the latest — an elegant sketch that looks like the logo for a 1950s European air carrier. It’s the 2020 Golf. Yes, it’s hard to see the 48-volt mild hybrid system in that image.

Expected to appear atop a modified (read: lighter) version of the car’s current MQB platform, the 2020 Golf has a tough job ahead of it. That is, it needs to stop the slow retreat of loyal buyers.

Despite hatchbacks being inherently useful for many families, the influx of crossovers into the once car-dominated European market has added pressure on VW to get this long-awaited revamp correct, if such a thing is possible in this day and age. The next Golf should see its dimensions grow somewhat, especially its width. Maximizing interior volume will be key, but so too will be thrifty powerplants. European regulators (and lawmakers) are real prigs.

2018 volkswagen golf r - Image: Volkswagen

Of course, we know VW’s solution for the latter issue: mild hybrid powertrains. The automaker plans to outfit both its entry-level gas and (overseas-only) diesel powerplants with a 48-volt belt starter-generator system to take some of the heat off its internal combustion partner. GTI models gain a mild-hybrid system, too, though VW is quick to point out its “boost” capabilities — the system provides a short-lived handful of electric force to the engine’s crankshaft under acceleration. Otherwise, mild-hybrids are useful in reducing fuel economy when idling (preventing idling, actually) and coasting. With the new battery on board, it’s likely the GTI will gain an electrically-operated turbocharger.

It shouldn’t be too hard to identify the model when it comes out. As the sketch shows, the next Golf’s face sees most of the alterations, with narrow headlamps mimicking those seen on other models. Autocar reports that LED running light accents are a sure thing, and the trademark wide C-pillar and upright rear hatch can clearly be seen above. What isn’t known is if the many Golf variants, including the SportWagen, will all return for 2020.

Somewhat ominously, VW has promise an exceedingly digital cockpit the the upcoming model, with many functions formerly controlled by buttons and switches giving way to touchscreen or touchpad control. That’s a gamble, as we all remember the Great Honda Volume Knob Controversy.

It’s been a tough year for the Golf in the U.S. While the model saw a refresh for the 2018 model year, sales of the Golf family are down 38 percent, year to date. November saw a 42 percent year-over-year loss. Overall, the Volkswagen brand fell 8 percent through the end of November.

The eight-generation, 2020 Golf should make its first public appearance in late 2019.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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18 Comments on “Volkswagen Releases Something to Tide Over the Golf Fanboys...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    I eagerly await. I love my Mk 7 Golf but ready for something new. In a financial position now where I could easily afford a nice GTI, but I don’t really want to rebuy my current car with a nicer engine and suspension get up.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Well, I’m sure glad that “mild-hybrids are useful in reducing fuel economy”. If there’s one thing we need Hybrids for, it’s to use as much fuel as possible.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “Mild Hybrid” is an euphemism for “I am too cheapskate to implemet a proper hybrid powertrain”

  • avatar
    darex

    Mark VIII Golf won’t come to America before 2022, if VAG holds to previous patterns.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Generally the US lags 1-2 years behind the EU launch, but I suspect that will be different this time. The MK7 delay was caused by retooling of the Puebla factory to build MQB vehicles.

      It’s possible that we’d get the MK8 is Q2/Q3 2020, but assuming that VW is going to continue emphasizing crossovers and giving the Golf a back seat for the North American market, I’d put the US launch in 2020 with on-sale being late Q1/early Q2 2021.

  • avatar

    Ford had already tried touchpad on Fusion/MKZ and reverted back to buttons. What VW does not understand about this real-life lesson? Will next Focus be Golf derivative?

  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    VW already have this in a fantastic car called the GTE – the performance hybrid Golf they don’t bring to North America for reasons that elude me. I wanted to buy it after the TDI for highway cruising and a little torque advantage around town…it’s kind of a perfect for big-distances as far as I could tell.

    Does someone know the story? And why they couldn’t just bring that to us in 2020? I decided not to get another Golf but would have if that had been available.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “Despite hatchbacks being inherently useful for many families…”

    You know, I keep hearing statements like this in the fanboi nation. “Oh, hatchbacks have HUGE interior, they’re SO useful…” Yeah, no.

    When the cover is on and the hatch is closed, my current GTI trunk is tiny compared to the trunk in my previous 2013 ILX. And I figured out why–it’s 11 inches shorter, not to mention a tad narrower. And I use it as an enclosed trunk–I have to. And it barely fits my backpack plus an umbrella back there. In fact, not only is the umbrella almost too long to fit sideways, my snow brush *is* too narrow to fit sideways.

    Oh sure, take the cargo cover off and put the rear seats down and you have some good space there. But suddenly we’re down to front seat passengers only, so how is that “useful for many families”? And of course, now everything there is open to prying eyes, so you don’t want to keep anything back there.

    I’m not saying you need a Suburban, but the Golf and its ilk are not the “practical jack of all trades” saviors that the fanboi world puts forth.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      OK, so a hatchback can’t carry four passengers and a washing machine, all at once. But it can do either, and a sedan can’t.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        That’s not what I’m talking about,.

        The Golf trunk is WAY WAY smaller than the silly ILX trunk. When the Golf trunk struggles to hold a backpack and an umbrella something’s not right.

        And what’s not right is the fanboi “these things are HUGE inside!” attitude.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      And many sedans have back seats that fold down too, and some also have a pass through if it is something that is long but otherwise not that big and still use 2 out of the 3 rear seat spaces.

    • 0 avatar
      Bill Wade

      The Sportwagen is rather handy. Some are saying they won’t bring the new one to the US.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I agree with you, Jalop. The Golf is a short car. I consider my ’09 Mazda3 to be cavernous compared to the current GTI. That’s because it’s 10 inches longer. One of the main reasons I don’t want to get rid of it, I’ve carried a ridiculous amount of stuff back there. No washing machines, but I have gotten a recliner in there.

      I really want a GTI, but I have doubts that I could fit my bike in the back, even with the front tire off. It fits that way in both the Mazda and my Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      random1

      If your snowbrush doesn’t fit in your car, it’s probably a wee bit bigger than it needs to be. Are you trying to brush snow while standing 5 feet away?

      Look – hatchbacks are useful, relative to their footprint, and for me, it’s an ideal 2nd car. I wouldn’t have one as my primary, or only, car for a family of 5, but it’s been incredibly useful in general.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Agreed 100% jalop1991, the benefits of hatchbacks are often overstated. I love my Golf when I’m moving, or hauling something large, but I’m a single guy with no family so it is not a big deal if I have to put the rear seats down. You definitely notice the compromised “trunk” vs a traditional sedan when going to say, the airport with a bunch of luggage.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    Looks like a Volvo

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